"I really believe there's something to it, whether or not it's going to save my life, I don't know, come and see me in five years," cancer patient Linda Michael told Ivanhoe.
She's battling aggressive ovarian cancer, which kills 15 thousand women per year. Monthly chemo visits are just too much.
"I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't get off the couch," Michael said.
So she's adding a new treatment to the mix: tea made from papaya leaves.
"I'm doing a whole lot better than my oncologist thought I was going to do," Michael said.
University of Florida physician Nam Dang has the science to back up Linda's new brew.
"We have found that there are components in tea extracts that actually kill cancer cells directly," Nam Dang, M.D., Ph.D, said.
Dr. Dang found exposure to papaya leaf extract slowed tumor growth in ten types of cancer cells. It also it also boosts the immune system, where traditional chemo treatments make it weaker.
"That's the excitement behind our finding that we might have a drug that can do several things in fighting cancer," Dr. Dang said.
"Western medicine saved my life, I can't say anything bad about it, but chemo is tough stuff," Michael said.
With science on her side, Linda's now cooking-up her own combo of old-and-new treatments. If Dr. Dang's trial results are the same in both humans and animals, he'll try to develop an actual cancer drug from the extract.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
University of Florida
Division of Hematology – Oncology
PO Box 100278
Gainesville, FL 32610-0278
Phone : 352-273-7832