This is the true story of the late Mike Cutler, who was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in 2009. After losing consciousness at work, Mike was taken to the hospital for a complete workup. What they discovered was the worst news he could have heard. His doctor eventually obtained a CT scan which showed extensive hepatocellular (liver) cancer. Due to the widespread involvement of the cancer he was given only three months to live.
His doctors were bewildered as he lived until December 2014! Mr Cutler had a protracted hepatitis C infection for years prior to his cancer diagnosis. It’s a chronic viral infection of the liver. With chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) infection, the risk of hepatic cancer increases dramatically.
HEPATITIS C AND HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA
Hepatitis C is an infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 3% of the world’s population has been infected with HCV and that there are more than 170 million chronic carriers who are at risk of developing liver cirrhosis and/or liver cancer….Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a primary malignancy of the liver and occurs predominantly in patients with underlying chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
HCC is now the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with over 500,000 people affected. The incidence of HCC is highest in Asia and Africa, where the endemic high prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C strongly predisposes to the development of chronic liver disease and subsequent development of HCC.
Resection may benefit certain patients, albeit mostly transiently. Many patients are not candidates given the advanced stage of their cancer at diagnosis or their degree of liver disease and, ideally, could be cured by liver transplantation.
In the United States, the incidence of acute HCV infection has sharply decreased during the past decade. Its prevalence remains high (approximately 2.7 million Americans), however, because chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection develops in approximately 75% of patients after acute infection.
The CDC provides a breakdown of the causes of chronic liver disease. As you can see, HCV infection accounts for 40% (including HCV with ETOH consumption).
Mike’s doctors called him lucky since he was a candidate for a liver transplant which can be a cure. He received a new liver in November of 2009. For over two years after the transplant Mike was doing well but, by 2012 his cancer had returned. As is often the case, his “new” liver cancer was much more aggressive.
THERE’S NOTHING ELSE WE CAN DO
Mr Cutler received numerous bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in a futile attempt to stop the relentless advance of his cancer. Finally, the hospital admitted defeat and sent Mike home to die. He was given a bag full of one litre bottles of morphine tincture and tablets of extended release morphine, Zomorph 30 mg for pain, lots of pain.
As Mike puts it he was reduced to a “bed-ridden junkie.”
At home he was miserable with severe, unrelenting abdominal pain. In addition, he had to deal with the loss of his “top set of teeth” from the toxic effects of chemotherapy. Moreover, the chemo had injured his pancreas and he eventually developed type I diabetes. Because of the chemo he had to take insulin for the rest of his life. There’s more:
They re-cut my 25″ scar to insert a mesh to hold my stomach together, which in turn caused trauma to my nerve endings. How has it affected my life? These last couple of years have been a constant extreme pain, caused me to be bed ridden, I needed help to dress, bathe and undress.
RUN FROM THE CURE
Now desperate, sick and wasting away at home, he started looking into alternative therapies. That’s when he discovered the movie by Christian Laurette, Run From the Cure, a documentary on Rick Simpson.
So it began in a fashion played out thousands of times all over the world. Feeling that there was absolutely nothing to lose, he took his first dose of Rick Simpson Oil (RSO). That fateful day was April 25th, 2013.
Then an amazing thing happened. After several days on full-dose RSO his crippling abdominal pain essentially disappeared! Yes, vanished. This is a common observation among many patients with overwhelmingly painful cancers. By adding in RSO a synergy with morphine occurs often leading to terrific pain relief.
This, mind you, was the same pain that tablets of slow release morphine couldn’t control. That’s with a compromised liver to boot which makes the morphine much more potent by eliminating what’s called “the first pass effect.” This is where the normal, healthy liver metabolizes 80% of an oral dose before it reaches your pain centers.
This reminds us of yet another benefit to patients who have access to RSO. It can remarkably decrease or eliminate opiate use. Often times this leads to better pain control, ablation of nausea and vomiting from opiate side effects, less sedation, and not having to deal with chronic constipation. Chronic constipation, or obstipation, can be a setup for much worse bowel disorders such as bowel obstruction, should things go awry.
He remarked that cannabis was his savior, and if it were not for cannabis he would undoubtedly have died much, much earlier. Not only did it exted his life, but it helped him in reducing his enormous opiate addiction which was leaving him addled;
…as the cannabis oil relieved my pain to such a degree that I am no longer bed ridden and I have my dignity back because I do not need help with my personal hygiene.
From an article in the Daily Mail (2014):
In May this year (2014), the grandfather-of-nine went for a biopsy at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
To his relief, doctors told him the new cancerous cells had vanished.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Free Hospital confirmed Mr Cutler had not received any cancer treatment since his transplant in November 2009.
Mr Cutler, a retired builder from Hastings, East Sussex, said: ‘Finding out I could die was terrible.
‘All I had in those dark days was my laptop, and that’s when I began searching for something else that could help me – I couldn’t accept I was going to die.
SCIENTISTS HAVE HOPE
Dr Kat Arney, Cancer Research UK’s science communications manager, told MailOnline:
‘We know that cannabinoids – the active chemicals found in cannabis – can have a range of different effects on cancer cells grown in the lab and animal tumours.
‘But at the moment there isn’t good evidence from clinical trials to prove that they can safely and effectively treat cancer in patients.
‘Despite this, we are aware that some cancer patients do choose to treat themselves with cannabis extracts.
‘These stories can help researchers build a picture of whether these treatments are helping or not, although this is weak evidence compared to properly-run clinical trials.
‘Cancer Research UK is supporting clinical trials for treating cancer with cannabis extract and a synthetic cannabinoid In order to gather solid data on how best these drugs can be used to benefit people with cancer.'[ref](http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2699875/I-cured-cancer-CANNABIS-OIL.html) 12/17/2015[/ref]
Dr Arney’s professional opinion is surprisingly fair. All of the anecdotal case reports we have help to build a picture of marijuana’s healing ability. From there, we normally would progress to clinical trials on humans. But for most countries that’s simply not possible because of the criminal justice system.
While Mike Cutler eventually succumbed to his illness, he defied the odds and extended his life for five years more than was estimated.