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A member asked:

can b17 cure cancer? asked for someone with stage 4 colon cancer.

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lauren Stegman
Radiation Oncology 27 years experience
I : I wish there were a reliable cure for stage IV colon cancer, but unfortunately there is not, and vitamin b17 is most definitely not one. Vitamin b17 is another name for laetrile. This named was coined in the 50's in an attempt to overcome drug regulations and increase sales based on the popularity of vitamins. Laetrile, or amygdalin as it is also called, is not a vitamin by any definition of the biochemical term. There is no scientific evidence that laetrile or vitamin b17 has any anti-cancer benefits. I share many patients with naturopathic oncologists who prescribe nutritional and herbal therapies, but i've yet to see any of them consider laetrile effective. In the very special circumstance when a stage IV colon cancer patient has only a small number of metastasis in the liver only, there is a possibility of being cured by a combination of surgery and other therapies. Most of the time in stage IV disease, the cancer has spread widely in the body and it is impossible for the body or doctors to get rid of every last bad cell. There are however, many new and effective treatments that have significantly lengthened the amount of time patients with this disease can live and with a good quality of life. Some of these treatments are chemotherapy. Many people forget that one of the most effective chemotherapy drugs for colon cancer, irinotecan (camptosar), is a slightly modified form of a compound originally found in the bark of the "happy tree" (camptotheca) which grows in southern china. Other effective treatments are special purified antibodies (which are part of our immune system). One class of these antibodies attack specific changes in the cancer cells that distinguish them from normal cells and can stop the cancer cells from growing so fast. Another class of these antibodies help stop the cancer cells from hijacking the normal body to build new blood vessels to feed the cancer. More information can be found via the links below. I wish you or your loved on the best in their struggle with colon cancer.
Dr. Lawrence Hochman
Radiation Oncology 31 years experience
No: B17 and any other vitamins are helpful support for patients for cancer, but are not curative treatment.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
No. It's worthless.: Laetrile / "vitamin B17" (there is no such vitamin) was the most elaborate, cruel, and cynical of all the historic cancer frauds. There was over 100 new millionaires and not a single case demonstrating benefit.. Cancer patients are vulnerable and thus are easy marks. Don't let someone pretending to be a "humanitarian" or "exposing a conspiracy" get money by deceiving you.

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A 38-year-old member asked:

Is it possible for me to tell if I have colon cancer!?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
No: At your young age, colon cancer is unlikely. There are little or no symptoms from colon cancer. Late colon cancer can cause bowel changes, bowel obstruction, slow blood loss anemia, etc. See your doctor for an examination to discuss your concerns.
Warren, RI
A 18-year-old female asked:

How can you tell the difference between hemmorhoids and colon cancer? Even though the symptoms are very similar, what are the major differences?

3 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Donny Peterson
A Verified Doctor answered
A US doctor answered Learn more
Colonoscopy & biopsy: Hemorrhoids are abnormally enlarged veins at the anus that can flare secondary to constipation, diarrhea, straining, dehydration, pregnancy, being overweight, and several other conditions. Colon cancer would be unusual in an 18 year old; most are detected after age 50. Symptoms may not be present in early cases, but can include blood in stool, obstruction, weight loss, or an abdominal mass.
A 49-year-old member asked:

Is there any help for someone in stage 4 colon cancer?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Steve Martinez
Breast Surgery 28 years experience
Certainly: Stage 4 colon cancer is no death sentence. Depending on your situation, there may be options for surgery, ablation, and systemic treatments like chemotherapy. I suggest that you seek help at a nationally recognized cancer center (www.Cancer.Gov).
A 39-year-old member asked:

What are the chances of developing colon cancer if you are under age 20?

3 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Hoepfner
General Surgery 39 years experience
Very rare: Very rare. Usually seen after age 50 or older. See your doctor for an examination.
A 39-year-old member asked:

My doctor is going to 'examine' me for colon cancer and i'm really embarressed. What should I do?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Chad Levitt
Radiation Oncology 22 years experience
Discuss youconcerns: If they r referring to a digital rectal exam , then speaking with your doctor about your concerns may allow them to explain how quickly and easily the exam itself will be. There should only b slight pressure and no pain. If you are referring to a colonoscopy, discuss as well but know that some of the medications they give you help relax and decrease anxiety and memory of the procedure.

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