The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
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A 'lucky' lady perhaps??

Can I describe my mum as lucky I wonder? Anyway, here is her story. Mum truly is a lovely lady. Full of life and zest for her family and friends, she always makes people laugh. The lung cancer diagnosis came as a total shock to us - mum is only 58 and even though she’d been a smoker since her teens had never had a sick day in her life.

Crash, wallop: it all began in June 2012. Mum displayed worrying symptoms. However, the coughing up of blood, a nagging cough and pain under the right shoulder blade did not arouse the suspicions of the family GP. Amazingly, he did not think a lot of these worrying symptoms and instead sent her packing with steroids and antibiotics. So much for experts and value for the tax payer.

Within the next fortnight her condition worsened gradually and sis took her to the hospital. Within an hour of admission they could tell it was lung cancer. Within a week they had the full diagnosis: small cell lung carcinoma (T3N3M1b) – 6cm primary in the upper right lung, EXTENSIVE spread to the liver, further metastases to the lymph nodes in the neck and to three distinct places in the spine. To top it all she also had a collapsed right lung, pneumonia of the right lung and a twisted oesophagus (she could hardly breath and was on oxygen). She really is very lucky to be alive. In reference to the cancer, the big cheese at the hospital told us “this is extensive disease”.................”without treatment, she has weeks...............”.

Very quickly though, she became so poorly and they told us in the consultation room “get the family in, your mum will not last the weekend”. We believed the docs. However, ten weeks later she’s here and has responded amazingly well.

Due to the extensive nature of the disease mum’s cancer is obviously inoperable. However, as small cell is potentially treatable they offered her chemotherapy. They CONTINUALLY said “you don’t have to take the chemo”......... “we will keep you comfortable” and “in any case, there’s a good chance the chemo will kill you”. Mum is a true fighter and chose to take the chemo. She was prescribed etoposide and cisplatin. She has been through 5 chemo cycles now and has responded very well. The primary in the lung is down to 3cm and the liver tumours have regressed (as evidenced by improved liver function). There is also no evidence of the spine tumours (she can write again!) and visually she no longer has swollen nodes in her neck. She also no longer has a collapsed lung, pneumonia or a twisted oesophagus!!!! To top it all we have her home and we’ve made her comfortable.

Whilst in the hospital they gave her a tonne of steroids to take and this has destroyed her upper leg muscles.....................however, she is now off the steroids and the muscles are growing back!! She will hopefully not require her zimmer frame much longer.

All that I have written above is factually correct. What I have omitted to say thus far is that I gave mum 4 grams of curcumin per day throughout this whole process. Curcumin is an extract of turmeric (used in Indian cooking).

The reason I got interested in curcumin and convinced mum to take it is that I had read some anti-cancer articles on it in the past. Check out this video clip from Prof Steward from the University of Leicester. He is conducting a clinical trial using it and he says he has found it to be powerfully anti-cancerous when combined with chemotherapy (though he doesn’t say which)

Below is a paper explaining what they think curcumin might be doing against small cell lung carcinoma. It is hardcore for the non-informed (I have a phd in molecular biology) but I have read it a couple of times and the science and methodology appears to stand up:

Here is another article specifically on curcumin and head and neck cancer:

In fact, if you check out pumbed there are hundreds of studies on curcumin with different cancer cell lines in the laboratory.....................however, crucially, we are currently lacking a proper clinical trial to see if this stuff actually works!!

Recently, I made the decision to get mother to take another compound – this time from green tea (abbreviated EGCG). An example of this combination is found here The following also describes inhibition of cancer cell growth and spread using two different cancer cell lines in the lab

Here's another snippet from Glasgow Uni on green tea

The ‘combination therapy’ of these two compounds is interesting – particularly if they do actually have an effect (!!) and assuming they are active in the presence of cisplatin and etoposide.

We had a meeting last week with mum’s consultant to discuss the way ‘forward’. She was a right misery guts about mum’s prognosis (though she wouldn’t actually state one). She said she’ll only prescribe mum one more cycle of chemotherapy (to take it up to 6) and then there will be no more. The rationale for this is she thinks mum should have some ‘quality time’ without chemotherapy and steroids in her body. Apparently, mum’s blood counts are down and they will inflict too much damage by giving her more chemo. Potentially killing her they warn, an ironic assertion based on her diagnosis!

I also emailed the consultant about mum taking curcumin – that was a waste of time as she never replied.


I will stop there. I am keen to hear if anyone has any comments on what i’ve written. Particularly mum making so much progress, the use of curcumin and the fact her consultant will give no more chemo past 6 cycles of etoposide and cisplatin.

I should finally add I am not advocating anyone take curcumin but this is mum's story. The placebo affect could be at work here and several of my friends said they would pray for mum, so maybe that's what has done the trick. You make your own mind up, do your own research and everyone is different etc, etc.

All the best!

Xysia. If anyone needs to private me my email address is

15 Replies


This is fascinating! Thank you for sharing all the info.. My situation is a little different in that I am 53, non smoker and had tumour successfully removed, no spread. However am now having adjuvant chemo and hating every min.

Do you think curcumin is something we should take in any event? I am going to check out the links you so kindly leave right now

With best wishes to you and your mother



*kindly left right now.... Predictive text!,


Hi xysia, Thanks for the information , I am 63 and go on thursday to find out what form of lung cancer I have. My hubby bless him has just gone off to the shops to buy some curcummin. love to you and your mum. :)


Dear Jillygirl, I sincerely wish you good luck on Thursday. Be brave and face up to it. Don't let it beat you.

If it helps we bought curcumin x4000 from these guys

We got fast delivery here in the UK. I have mum on 1 gram of this a day (5 tablets).

The only apparent side effect is orange poo so watch out!

All the best,



Thanks love, nice to know. Can put up with the orange poo . :D will let you know how I get on. take care. xx



I am really interested in this - more and more I am reading about diet, supplements which make a difference. Do you think this has any benefits with Lymphoma? My Dad, 81 has Lymphoma, and two nodules on his lung, which they are watching, not treating. He probably wouldn't tolerate chemo too well anyway as already very unstable on his feet with peripheral neuropathy, but I wonder if something like this might help?

Hope your Mum continues to respond.


Hey willowtree,

I looked at pubmed and did a search for articles on lymphoma and curcumin in the title

Have a look and make your own mind up. It is noteworthy that perhaps all the articles are with Indian and chinese sounding indication perhaps of the big differences between Eastern and Western medicine!

I honestly can't say if there is any benefit of taking curcumin for lymphomas or other cancers.

I wish you and your dad all the best.



ok thanks for your help



Seems positive - how did you decide that 1g a day was the right dose (5 tablets)?


An interesting question Willowtree. There are articles that say the body tolerates curcumin up to 8g per day. The x4000 we get from is supposed to be more easily I said to someone else curcumin makes your poo orange - an indicator of the fact that the body doesn't absorb it well. I decided just to give her less of this more absorbable version.

I have read in several places things like this - ''Remarkably, curcumin produces virtually no change in healthy breast cells, with very low toxicity even at doses as high as 8,000 mg daily''

I copied this from this website -


Just wanted to say your mum sounds like strong lady and is 'lucky' in the sense she has you in her corner too! Family support makes all the difference when oncologists are all doom and gloom. I realise they can't give false hope but cancer is like any other 'virus' in that everyone reacts differently to it. You can have two people, same gender and age, with same stage of cancer in the same location and give them the same treatment but one may see no affect on the cancer and the other might have a complete response. I was told they would be lucky to control my cancer with chemo but had a complete response to it and two and a half years later the cancer hasn't yet shown back up on any scans. I've taken tumeric and drank plenty of green tea since diagnosis. Like you, I don't claim it cures or even helps but it won't do me any harm and I actually couldn't survive without my green tea anymore - I love it!! Best wishes you and your mum x


Dear MummyS,

I am so glad you wrote. I am delighted to hear you have had a complete response and you're in full remission.

May I point out though that they claim the active component in green tea (called EGCG) is the potential anticancer substance. It may help further if you find a supplement with this concentrated in it. I say this as you apparently have to drink a lot of green tea itself to get the potential benefit of the small quantities of EGCG it contains.

I wish you a continuing recovery.



I wish your mum all the best.

I myself found out that my dad had lung cancer in July this year. I'm he's daughter, we are very close and it was a complete blow. He has been a smoker since he's teens and is now 65 but has been a very healthy man up until this point.

I looked hard and long on the internet for alternative medicine and with he's diagnosis of only having months to live this spurred me on to find something that could help him. He has had chemo and radiotherapy but has been told that the tumor is inoperable because it is so close to he's heart. He's treatment went well but along the way he suffered a blood clot and is now having to inject himself with blood thinning drugs every day. Along with taking stattins.

The internet is riffe with people who claim to have the "cure" , l have investigated long and hard treatments, compounds etc. and curcumin has shown up all over to be an effective thing to take. I have also found through research that a juice called aloe arborescans which my dad is now taking is suposed to be very good along with a flax oil and cottage cheese mix. (which sounds strange but is also suposed to be very good)

He is also taking vitamin d3 and l am still looking for more alternative medicines which could help.

He has been told that the treatment he has had will prolong he's life, but l personally believe that there is so much more out there.

I wish your mum all the best and admire anybody who is looking outside of the box. x


Hey Georgi, thanks for your message.

It does annoy me sometimes that the docs here do not think out of the box - but I guess it's all in their training. Eastern medicine is far more creative!!

We'll get effective treatments one day but I guess it's down to the scientists and not the medical doctors.

I wish you and your dad well.



Thankyou Xysia,

I agree, l believe one day some of these medicines will take over from the main stream treatments, or will be incorperated alongsidse them. It's down to the scientists like you say.

All the best to you and your mum.



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