What follows below is our email correspondence, modified to remove identifying information about her.
I allow myself to write this e-mail in connection with your HAMLET Research hoping to get some tips on breast milk treatment
I know your case. I wanted to ask about a possible weight-based dosage. We are starting therapy today so the matter is quite urgent.
My aunt was diagnosed in December 2019 with G4 uterine cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation therapy - successfully completing them in July. Magnetic resonance imaging in July showed no neoplastic lesions. In August, she was diagnosed with a spine tumor in the L4 segment with infiltrates on L1 and L2. Currently, doctors talk about metastases to the lymph nodes and intestines.
Due to the weight of my aunt, it is impossible to remove the spine tumor, as the titanium implant would not support it. The tumor presses against the spinal cord, causing incredible pain, uninterrupted for three weeks.
Currently, an alternative therapy with alpha-lactalbumin or HAMLET is our only hope.
I would be very thankful for any advice on treatment.
I'm sorry for the travails your aunt is going through and its impact on her whole family. I do not have much wisdom on the issues you raise. No one has done any studies, to my knowledge, on what an appropriate dose is with regard to body weight. Still, mothers' milk should be harmless (assuming the donor(s) do not have any STDs or other transmissable diseases), since it is the natural food for neonates and infants with minimal immune systems.
No one knows how it is transported through the body, how long it remains. I believe there is little blood circulation to the disks and spine. My suggestion is, that along with any appropriate medical interventions your aunt may undergo, she drink as much mothers' milk as she can tolerate (and afford or obtain). Start slowly, maybe 4 ounces a day, and increase that.
For my part, I found the oily undertaste of frozen and then thawed milk, due to its oleic acid content, not very palatable. So I mix the milk into a smoothie to mask the taste. Choose your favorite and available ingredients. I use orange juice, yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, tofu.
How did you hear of me/find me? Where are you located? From your name I would think Eastern Europe or Poland, but, obviously, you could be anywhere.
I wish you all luck. Please feel free to ask further questions, and do let me know what you/she are doing and how things progress.
Thank you very much for your answer and advice.
I was able to find a nursing mother among my friends, whose milk has been accepted at the Milk Bank for the last 5 months, so it is thoroughly tested and safe. It was our priority because of the weakness of my aunt due to chemotherapy and opioid use. Today my aunt took her first dose. According to your suggestions for the dose, the milk should last for a week. Later our close friend gives birth, we hope that she will be able to pass on a little.
I heard about you on the Netflix series, I found the e-mail in a letter addressed to President Obama.
You were right - I come from Poland, we live in Krakow. Unfortunately, our awareness of the need for milk in neonatal departments is very low. They do not have any reserves, often they are not enough to feed newborns, so I also think that the fact that we came across a milk donor whose food was thoroughly tested is a sign from God that this therapy can be effective. Until recently, I myself was not aware that such entities as milk banks existed at all.
I have also contacted the University of Lund about HAMLET given by injection. I am waiting for a reply as my aunt is likely to have another spine operation, and the results of the bladder injection were very promising.
Thanks again for your answer. I will keep you informed about my aunt's health while using milk therapy. We would be delighted if it at least stopped the metastases to the intestines and kidneys.
I'm glad I could be of some help.
I would suggest you contact Anders Hakansson at Lund University (Malmo campus); he's the one who originally discovered the effects of HAMLET when he was a grad student 25 years ago, and is much more responsive than Svanborg and her group.
I assume you found my web paper
BTW, your English is impeccable.
Actually getting HAMLET for injections (or the bladder infusions) seems to be somewhet difficult. I am neither a chemist nor a biologist and do not know the details. However, this is a gating factor that led the various pilot studies done in Lund to have such small cohorts -- 9 men with bladder cancer with one infusion each daily for a week; maybe about 25 rats with grafted human brain cancers getting (only 1/3 of the set) only one injection of HAMLET into the tumors; etc.
You mention a weight issue with your aunt. Is she obese and therefore a difficult person to operate on, and whose weight would not be supported in the aftermath of surgery; or, on the contrary, too underweight with those associated problems?
I am impressed that you were able to track me down from the short amount of time (Un)Well gave me in the Netflix documentary. And also the global reach of their promotion of the series. And your resourcefulness as well as compassion for your aunt.
I hope this all comes to help your aunt and then the consciousness of how important nursing is as well as the therapeutic effects of mothers' milk in general in Poland and then Europe.
I tried to contact Anders on Tuesday via email. Unfortunately, to no avail. I also tried to track him on linkedin, but couldn't find a profile that could belong to him.
I wrote to Professor Svanborg on Wednesday, I hope one of them will respond.
I realize that research on HAMLET is in its early stages, but we are ready for anything. Today, my aunt's health deteriorated significantly - she is so weak that she cannot move her head. Doctors recommend referring her to a palliative unit. I hope the milk will strengthen her at least a little.
My aunt is overweight (she weighs about 130 kg) [about 286 pounds] - therefore our family care is insufficient, because we do not have enough strength to turn her over - not to mention lifting or supporting her while walking. If she finds herself in a palliative ward, I will try to convince doctors to continue milk therapy - I’ll give them a link to your website.
I wish I had contacted you on Monday immediately after watching Un(well) and that we had not started therapy on Tuesday. I believe that I found you and this therapy for some greater purpose.
Anders' email is email@example.com You might have better luck with that.
I think I wrote that Svanborg has never been responsive to mere mortals such as myself or a friend who wanted to contribute to her lab (many years ago) or even the San Jose Milk Bank director. Good luck with getting through to her or her minions.
Research on HAMLET has been going on since around 1995 -- hardly early stages. One problem, as I see it, is that HAMLET cannot be patented and therefore there is no incentive for pharmaceutical companies to pursue it. However, it makes sense to me for insurance companies and national/international health organizations (like the US NIH and any European equivalent) to fund this research as it has the potential to save lives and gazillions of dollars/euros.
I see why you need professional help in caring for your aunt and palliative care seems appropriate. My web paper is anecdotal (but look up A's story (As_story.html) in Bibliography under Other People's Stories); however you can also download a set of peer reviewed scentific papers on HAMLET research from it to also present to the doctors. Alternatively, you can just bring in the mothers' milk and feed it to your aunt. It can't hurt.
And one day, more or less, won't really make much of a difference. Monday versus Wednesday. The good thing is that you already have a source of milk to start her on which may be of help to her physically as well as psychologically (the feeling of agency, of being able to do something to help herself).
Right now, as they say, you are drinking from a firehose, trying to learn as much as possible as quickly as possible to get up to speed on an entirely new area of knowledge and then to be able to take helpful and effective action.
Wishing you all well,
Thank you very much for your e-mail to Anders. I'll try to contact him today. I will also provide the materials indicated by you to the doctors - I hope they will pass the milk to the aunt on palliative ward - due to covid-19 it is closed to visitors.
I am aware of the problem related to the barriers to HAMLET entry into production in pharmaceutical companies.
Aunt has taken two doses of milk and the first results are visible. Since Tuesday, she has been unable to eat - she takes a large amount of drugs, antibiotics and has metastases in her intestines. From Thursday, she did not take any food (only milk) and the doses of drugs were increased - yesterday, after the second dose of milk, she regained her aptitude [appetite] and ate the entire dinner. I suspect that the milk created a lipid barrier and covered the gastrointestinal mucosa with it. Today my aunt is stronger and we are convinced that it is the milk work[ing].
Yesterday our friend gave birth to a little daughter - in the next few days we will ask her for help in arranging the next milk delivery.
Thank you very much for your help once again. I will let you know what the progress is.
I recall that about 15 years ago a nurse from the US contacted me about using mothers' milk for cancer. Specifically, her mother had metastatic breast cancer and had been sent home from the hospital to die. She just lay in bed and could not eat. When the nurse started giving her mothers' milk, her appetite picked up as well as her energy levels. She became mobile and had a significantly better quality of life for the additional month and a half or so that she lived. She obviously was too far gone for the milk to reverse the cancer, but it did improve her health and quality of life and likely prolonged her life a bit as well.
This is consistent with the immediate effects you are seeing with your aunt, and these are encouraging signs. I have also heard that ingesting mothers' milk mitigates some of the side effects of chemotherapy.
Best of luck to you all.
I'm back with good news. Aunt got up, walks around the apartment without pain from her spine, she regained feeling in her legs. It looks like there is no pressure on the spinal cord.
Unfortunately, we can't do an MRI to see the size of the tumor because my aunt got COVID 19, but we plan to do the MRI scan as soon as she recovers.
I hope you are fine and healthy.
K, This is fantastic news! I'm sure you will continue giving your aunt milk. My advice is that should be a life long habit for her. I know of a couple of cases where taking mothers' milk helped a cancer go into remission, but a couple of years after the person stopped drinking milk, their cancer came back, more virulently. This is why, 21 years out, I continue to drinking 2 (4 ounce) bottles a week.
I'm sure you are all relieved and happy. Don't stop whatever medical treatments she is receiving and keep up the astounding work. I wonder if the milk will help her immune system fight off the covid as well?
Many thanks for the follow up. It was pretty quick in taking effect, about a month.
Two weeks ago my aunt was under radiotherapy 5 times (as far as I know it was a cobalt bomb on isotope 60) thats the only Therapy that she underwent. My aunt was refused to get chemotherapy - the doctors saw no chance of survival two weeks ago - and they also gave her no chance of walking. Tomorrow will be a month from turning on the milk.
My aunt goes through covid quite gently - much better than the rest of the family. She coughs but has no breathing problems or other symptoms. I suspect it's thanks to the milk. We will continue to give her milk - the effects are spectacular!
How is situation with Covid in US?
In Poland especially in Cracow the situation is dramatic. I have about 40 infected friends, two times more on quarantine. Few of them are in hospital in critical condition.
You will all surprise the doctors and they'll congratulate themselves on how well their treatment worked.
As for covid, it is a mixed bag. The US is big, lots of different geographies, densities of population, attitudes about taking precautions. Denser areas like New York City were hit hard and early (March, April, May), but with Democratic governors and mayors, they took the pandemic seriously and have tamped the incidences of new cases down. More rural and Republican states, like in the south and midwest, still do not take masks, social distancing, self-quarantining, isolation, etc. seriously and have had significant and continuing outbreaks since June or so, even in sparsely populated states like North and South Dakota.
California (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area) had its share early on as well, since there is a lot of connection to China and a significant Chinese population here, travel back and forth for business as well. Much of the infections are among poorer communities and "people of color" -- Mexicans, Blacks, folks who live in more crowded conditions and have less access to medical care and who are forced by their poverty to be out working. (Us professionals can do a lot of work from home, but an agricultural laborer or a supermarket clerk cannot.)
I knew of one person here (in my area of California) who got covid, an MD, pulmonary specialist who I had gone to high school with (so older and more vulnerable); he was hospitalized and on a ventilator a couple of weeks, but recovered. One of my late wife's cousins died from covid in June at the age of 68. He and his wife were both ill; she recovered. They live north of Atlanta, Georgia, in the deep south. I had not seen them in 20 years, but I speculate that, given their right-wing Facebook postings, they did not take appropriate precautions.
Other than that, I am not aware of people I am connected to catching the disease. I have been pretty much isolating with my significant other and my dog, aside from going out food shopping once a week, masked up. But I can also work from home. Covid is around, quite contagious, nasty, and can be fatal, or, if survived, leave one with permanent damage, so I do take it seriously.
Be well and stay well. Do congratulate your aunt and take pride for your caring and resourcefulness. And your flawless English.
I am glad that You are healthy and have a low risk of infection thanks to the possibility of working from home. I am also glad that your friends and family were not infected. I hope it won’t change.
In Poland we recorded a significant drop in the number of cases in the summer, but the government decided to open schools and universities and it is much worse than in March, April and May taken together.
I will let you know when we will get the CT or MRI results about the size of the tumor and metastases.
Doctor Anders said that’s probably the first case of milk treatment in spine tumor.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we probably won't win this fight. On Wednesday, my aunt had an MRI scan which showed pulmonary thrombosis caused by acute covid inflammation. She is currently in hospital under a heparin drip.
Unfortunately, the results of the MRI are unequivocal - the tumor has metastasized multiple organs. The spine tumor also goes vertically towards the lumbar region. The liver and adrenal glands are currently affected. I'm afraid it was too late for milk therapy.
My uncle anesthesiologist, seeing the MRI results, said that there was no chance of saving her life, and death would be milder and more dignified if she died of a pulmonary embolism.
However, I am sure that it significantly improved the quality of life of my aunt, who on Wednesday left the 4th floor on her own and without help (despite being weakened by covid), went to the hospital and came back to the 4th floor. Her case is described in medical newspapers as a phenomenon on a Polish scale. The editor, reading the doctor's article, assumed that her aunt's condition had caused her early covid-related death, he couldn’t believe that she survived. The medical community is shocked that her condition is so good with such exhaustion of the body, both with covid and cancer.
Unfortunately, we are prepared for the worst. We will continue treatment until the end to improve her quality of life. We'll also try turmeric and celery therapy which helped a guy that I recently met - he had significant improvement with prostate cancer with metastases to the spine. I sent him a link to your website.
Thank you very much for all your help, together with the doctors we are convinced that thanks to milk therapy we will be able to improve the functioning of my aunt in the last months of life and leave with greater dignity.
I'm sorry to hear the bad news, happy to hear the good news. Sometimes, intervention is too late or too little to save a life but can improve its quality and extend its length. Know you and your family have done a Good Thing for her and, indeed, for the medical system by enlightening her doctors (and the press?) about the therapeutic benefits of mothers' milk as an anti-cancer (and, it seems, an anti-covid) therapy.
What do her doctors say? What was written in the medical press about your aunt? Did it get into the general press as well? I am interested in and curious about their reactions.
Do keep it up and do keep in touch with updates.
I'll be sending you a connection request on LinkedIn after I send this email. I assume this is you: https://www.linkedin.com/in/... While I know no Polish, it looks like your credentials.
Thank you again for your warm and articulate communications. How old is your aunt? Can you tell me more of her medical history vis-a-vis her cancer and her covid infection?
I don't know if you've heard, but last week the Constitutional Court ruled a total ban on abortion for lethal fetal fetus damage. There have been protests of many thousands in Poland for a week, and over 100,000 people have passed through Warsaw on Friday. The government turns its electorate against the protesters causing riots - they throw pyrotechnics at the protesters, and there are attacks with knives. Of course, the rise in covid infected is huge. The introduction of martial law is not excluded.
As far as I know, the publication hasn't come out yet. I'll let you know when I get it. Doctors are surprised by my aunt's good condition.
The Covid she went through was not (probably thanks to the milk) in its strong form. My aunt had no problems with breathing only a cough and, as it turned out, pulmonary thrombosis. However, she was functioning with it for 2 weeks without the care and treatment of doctors and was also taking care of less well-passing covid family members. Considering that pulmonary embolism itself is lethal at the slightest movement, doctors believe that in the state of aunt, the fact that she is alive is a miracle.
Aunt is 59 years old.
She is genetically quite burdened - both of her parents have died of cancer. My mother struggled with breast cancer for many years - eventually she died as a result of pancreatic metastasis. The father died of prostate cancer with multiple metastases. Aunt's brother is also in cancer treatment - from what I remember - leukemia. Fortunately, the cancer was caught quickly and Uncle is doing well.
Aunt has problems with cholesterol - hence circulatory problems were a big alarm for doctors.
She is doing well now, although doctors suspect that lung metastases are also present - it is even more a miracle that my aunt is regenerating so quickly.
Thanks to milk, she regained her faith that she could get out of cancer because she was stronger. On Wednesday, when she was taken to the hospital and the doctors were shocked with her good condition, she announced that "even if she had to crawl to the oncologist, she would not give up chemotherapy". The milk that probably saved her life gave her hope that by recovering from covid, she would also recover from cancer.
I will let you know when we have any new messages.
You've made a good bet on LinkedIn that it's me. Thank you for adding me.
Thank you for connecting on LinkedIn and for the information on your aunt. Her family is indeed haunted by cancers. I am sorry for your loss of your mother and your natural concerns for your own genetic heritage, a shadow hanging over you as you get on with your life.
Your aunt's story is amazing, the positive effects that mothers' milk has had for her. Like A's husband, her case is much more extreme than mine was. I am happy to have contributed in whatever small way I have to her strength and quality of life and positive attitude.
I have heard of the resurgence of the right wing in Poland (and elsewhere in Europe) and of their attempting to take away all civil and medical rights from women -- banning abortions is just the first step. We, too, as you are likely well aware, have our neo-fascist slow motion coup with Trump and his minions in our Congress and state legislatures. I hope that tomorrow's elections will reverse this train wreck and provide some hope for the future in so many areas of concern to me and for the planet.
Fighting back is a priority. One crisis on top of another focuses one's attention on survival first; and then we can turn to merely important matters. It is a Good Thing that you are well connected politically. I hope your political, legal and medical contacts can eventually get milk banks instituted in Poland, promote nursing of infants, and make better known the health (and social) benefits of nursing. And then the possibilities of using mothers' milk to help fight off cancers.
In the meantime, stay safe and be well.
[A LinkedIn message]
Dear Howard, I'm writing with a quick message here ;-)
the doctors put a cross on her aunt, they didn't even want to take her for blood tests, claiming that there was nothing to tire her, because they wouldn't qualify her for chemotherapy anyway. Aunt completely broke down mentally seeing that everyone was waiting for her death
I fought for a blood tests - it was finally taken by a university hospital nurse I know at aunt's home (she is very weak due to covid complications). It turned out that the tumor markers were standing still, the tumor growth stopped. The cells do not multiply any further - the oncologist thinks it is a delayed action of the milk that the aunt continues to take. We want to double its dose to make her stronger - yesterday she got approval for chemotherapy. Doctors gave her two weeks to two months. It's a miracle.
I hope that you are well and are healthy. Best regards
I got your LinkedIn message this morning. It is good news that her cancer markers have stopped increasing and that she is apparently holding her own against covid, despite all her other medical issues. Increasing the amount of milk she drinks may well help her mitigate some of the nastier side effects of chemotherapy. I wish you all good luck and smoother sailing through these dark times and your personal crises.
I am still well and healthy although the pandemic is roaring into a difficult third wave in this country and even in California, where things had been better than in much of the rest of the US. We're still mostly isolating, seeing people & attending lectures and some theater via Zoom conferencing. I expect we'll keep hunkering down until late next spring when we may get on the queue for one of the vaccines just now coming out.
You, too, stay well and have as festive a holiday season as you can under these trying circumstances.
My best to you,
Unfortunately, last Wednesday my aunt got worse. She was unconscious since yesterday. She left after saying goodbye to us yesterday at 9.20 PM CET.
Please Pray for her soul.
Thanks to you and milk therapy, she avoided painful death, for which we will always be grateful.
I am glad that you are safe and healthy. I sincerely wish you to stay that way.
I'm so sorry to hear of your aunt's death and glad I was able to help you all in some little way. It was your courage and intelligence and resourcefulness (and English fluency) that provided mothers' milk therapy for your aunt, eased her suffering, perhaps prolonged her life for a while.
I appreciate your good wishes, and reciprocate. May we all stay safe and healthy and may we soon get in the queue for one of the new covid vaccines, and may they be as safe and effective and long lasting as we all hope them to be.
Do stay in touch.