Exceptional Cancer Patients

It’s evident that there is a wide chasm, even disconnect, between cancer research and clinical oncology. Groundbreaking discoveries are made regularly, but most patients and even some oncologists are not aware of them. Moving slower than a turtle and sometimes at glacial speed, the progress from research bench to clinical application for certain tumors is barely discernible. This is frustrating for millions of cancer patients, like me who have been diagnosed with rare, aggressive or advanced disease. Patients facing tough cancers, which impose an extremely tight timetable, need answers now! There are many reasons why these delays are so prevalent, but they are beyond the scope of this article. Remember this; no matter how frustrating, no matter what the circumstance, no matter how dire your prognosis, there is always hope!

There are thousands of cancer patients who have extended their survival well beyond the average, or who are seemingly cured after being given a terminal prognosis. They are called “exceptional” patients. What is it that they are doing to heal themselves of incurable diseases or to improve their chances of being cured?

Kelly Turner, PHD author of Radical Remission; Surviving Cancer Against All Odds, has studied more than 1,000 examples of “spontaneous remission,” as it is often called. Typically, there is nothing spontaneous about these unusual cases. Most of these patients are actually doing something to facilitate healing. According to Dr Turner, there are nine factors common to most of the patients. These people:

  1. Radically changed their diets
  2. Took control of their health
  3. Followed their intuition
  4. Used herbs and supplements
  5. Released suppressed emotions
  6. Increased positive emotions
  7. Embraced social support
  8. Deepened their spiritual connections
  9. Had strong reasons for living

Moshe Frankel, MD, has also done research on exceptional outcomes and found “connections” to be a common theme. There were internal connections, meaning a relationship with God or a higher power, and with oneself. And there were external connections, or those with family and friends, the medical system (physicians, nurses, and other staff), and other patients. Personal activism was another recurrent theme that involved taking charge, getting engaged in the process of diagnosis and treatment, being more altruistic in one’s relationships with others, and changes in philosophy of life.

In addition, for me, personal activism, was and continues to be a huge lifeline. I want to be the CEO of my own survival and continue to think outside of the box. Many of the patients who come to see me, are looking to do the same. They are also engaged in trying to target their care towards going after their tumors. Additionally, they are starting to understand, that they need to go way beyond the typical standard of care, if they are facing aggressive or advanced disease.

I want you to understand that at the present moment, we are walking between two worlds: the traditional, conservative standard of care and a bold, new world of personalized cancer care. You can access the knowledge, resources and technology to become an exceptional cancer patient.  Additionally, you can start by letting go of the painful, fearful, terrifying emotions you are hanging onto.  Think about replacing them instead with thoughts of love and inner peace. No matter what you are going through, there is always hope. That’s the exceptional patient.  

Originally printed on Mark’s website, CancersStrategist.com. Reprinted with permission.


Mark Roby, PA-C is an Integrative Clinician, Author, Speaker, Cancer Coach, and Survivor.Through his passion, knowledge, experience, and  having survived cancer himself, he teaches and connects with audiences like no other. He speaks to cancer patients, hospitals and medical centers, and religious organizations about highly impactful practices of personalized care and cancer survival.

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