Many times, we have spoken on this blog about the dangers of falling for the massive amounts of misinformation on how to cure cancer that is foisted on desperate people by alternative “healers.”
Here is another dramatic example: the heartbreaking story of a young Italian woman with breast cancer, who turned to Tullio Simoncini for help and was cruelly let down. The story created much echo and indignation on the Italian internet. Everyone diagnosed with cancer, who believes in the natural goodness and altruism of alternative “healers” and is considering treatment by Tullio Simoncini or any other alternative miracle healer, should read this.
One day, a young woman by the nickname “Aysha” joined a forum on alternative medicine. She had decided to forgo conventional therapy for her breast cancer. She had joined the forum for advice and support. Those of you who read Italian can click here.
During her treatment, Aysha became more and more disappointed by Simoncini’s treatment and she said so on the forum. There were others as well who vented their doubts and disappointments. All critical posts have been deleted by the forum owner, and all of the forum members, including Aysha, were eventually banned from the forum, after some very cruel things were said to her.
However, I have succeeded in preserving the complete thread (with thanks to B**), which can be viewed here: http://www.aerrepici.org/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3503
Aysha had breast cancer in the past, the first time in 2004, in her left breast. She had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. In 2006, she was diagnosed with cancer in her right breast. She had chemotherapy and surgery, as well as a reconstruction procedure.
A naturopath prescribes vitamines and diet (Nutriflor, Nutrimax, A.I. Protex, Essiac). Aysha feels in good health. In September, a red spot appears on the skin of her right breast. A biopsy confirms that it is cancer. Aysha then contacts Tullio Simoncini, a former doctor, via e-mail and telephone. He prescribes thermal baths for 20 days and intravenous solutions of bicarbonate, which she is to administer herself. He also prescribes injections in her breast which he will administer himself, but as it turned out he was always too busy, so she never received these.
It was difficult for Aysha, who had a young child, to organize such a long stay away from home to be able to take the thermal baths, but she followed through. Her skin was looking worse however, there were sores and inflammations, but according to Simoncini this was a good sign as it showed that the therapy was taking effect.
When she had had 3 rounds of sodium bicarbonate, she felt two lumps in her armpit the size of pinheads, right under the skin. She said: “I see no improvement at all, the whole area is red and it reaches almost to the left side. I fee very demoralized.”
Aysha then had a meeting with her oncologist, who asked her why she waited so long before starting her treatment. She told the doctor she was taking thermal baths (she did not mention Simoncini). She also said: “I expect the inflammation and edema to regress after some time.” The doctor says that even if this is so, this would not necessarily mean that she is improving, because the disease may progress within. Perhaps, Aysha says, I am unconsciously convincing myself that I’m getting better because I don’t want chemotherapy and monoclonal antibody therapy (trastuzumab) or radiation. The doctor tells Aysha that her prognosis is serious!
A friend of Aysha’s writes on the forum of a Cancer Institute and they state that cancer can NOT be cured with “natural” (“alternative”) medicine. They also say they are very sorry that people’s good faith is being abused and taken advantage of in this way.
But the naturopaths in the alternative forum know better and this includes the metastases in her lymphnodes: the only reason they are swollen is because they are working hard to get rid of the sodium bicarbonate waste. That is only natural, so the swelling is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.
There are also the habitual attacks on conventional doctors: “Veronesi & Co will never cure anyone of cancer, if they deserve a Nobel Prize, it is for impudence, all they have to offer is idle chatter.”
They tell Aysha that her case is by no means serious. She will receive good advice on the forum and she should go on taking her supplements and do what they tell her. And they have a very important advice: Don’t speak with family and friends about your treatments. Keep it a secret!
Simonini tells Aysha that her cancer has regressed slightly but that this is not serious. The most important thing is that the disease does not return. He prescribes another 4 cycles of sodium bicarbonate, to ensure that no metastases will occur. He does not give her any injections, but tells her this is no problem, because if there were no metastases to begin with, they are not likely to occurr now. Aysha suggest that perhaps they can take out the implants and insert catheters in the breast. Simoncini has very little time for her, because there is another appointment at the same time and he only looks at her very briefly.
Aysha’s situation is getting worse, she now has sores and open wounds and the redness of the skin is expanding. Aysha thinks the bicarbonate isn’t working or that she isn’t getting any. The lumps in her armpit have grown considerably and hurt when she lifts her arm. But according to Simonicini, the disease will have stopped by now. Aysha is afraid and doesn’t know what to do. The naturopaths on the forum advise her to take ricotta and nettle-poultices, as these help to take the toxins out.
In spite of a total of 7 treatments, Aysha’s skin is only getting worse, her skin looks infected and she has big sores and bladders on her chest. She thinks that perhaps this is because she has not received the injections.
The naturopaths on the forum keep advising Aysha to go on with the ricotta and the nettle-poultices.
Then she has another appointment with Simoncini. He now tells her that it is not a good sign that the sores are still open and that the disease is progressing. He thinks she has an infection. He says he wants to try and take out the implants and insert catheters under the skin, to stop the infection. This has to be done in a private hospital, as no public hospital will perform such an intervention and it will cost about 10,000 euros.
He tells her this is very urgent and that if she does not have this intervention, she is sure to have pleural metastases within a week. How can this be, Aysha wondered, when just a month ago he told her that the disease has stopped? Aysha felt devastated and did not know what to do anymore. She also says she had the feeling that she was scared into agreeing to this treatment.
Apparently then, the cause of Aysha’s misery is now no longer a fungus, but an infection, either bacterial or viral, or perhaps both. The people on the forum are referring to Pauling, Hulda Clarck etc. And now they are telling her this.
On the forum, where there also are employees of Simoncni, they are now suggesting that Aysha did not follow Simonicini’s treatment correctly, thus suggesting she is making things up to put the blame on Simoncini. Aysha swears she has done everything Simoncini prescribed to the letter.
They also say that Simonini has offered to find her a place in a clinic for free. Aysha says this is not true. He did not explicitly say that she had to pay, but she felt he was trying to scare her so much about her condition that she would agree to anything he said.
During the appointments, which never lasted longer than a few minutes, Simoncini kept checking his mail and answered the phone several times. He only looked at her skin superficially and never once looked at her medical file from the oncologist. During the last appointment he was also very busy with a Dutch patient who apparently was of more interest to him than Aysha.
Aysha said she couldn’t help thinking of his website, where it says about him that he is so empathic and altruistic.
Aysha said that her sister had an appointment with a clinic where the catheter would have to be inserted. There they told her that this kind of procedure would never be permitted under these conditions because it amounted to malpractice.
Then the atmosphere on the forum changed. Aysha’s posts were deleted, she was under constant attacks, accused of twisting the facts, of contradicting herself, by members of Simoncini’s staff (GHIBLI for example), who insist on defending their guru. They try to make Aysha feel guilty that she has not recovered and try to make her believe this is her own fault because she did not follow the protocol correctly. If someone does not recover, it must be their own fault. It can never be Simoncini’s, for he has saved the lives of so many and would never leave a patient in a terminal stage, they say.
That he looks at his pc and answers the phone during his appointments with Aysha is because he is such a saint: he can refuse no one, the poor healer. That he never looked at her file was because he had known about her condition all the time, but was not telling her out of pity, to keep her hopes up and protect her from knowing the awful truth. And isn’t that very kind of him, not telling Aysha how serious her condition is? Wouldn’t anyone want their doctor to be like this?
Aysha says that she always trusted Simoncini, although there were many things that she did not understand and in spite of her condition getting worse all the time. She says she trusted him with all her heart.
Now many people on the forum are asking questions and want to know what is happening. The naturopaths on the forum are increasingly annoyed by this.
In the last appointment Aysha had with Simoncini, she told him that the money would not be a problem, but that she was not sure anymore that she could trust him. She would speak with her parents who had always supported her and they would think it over. Simonicini seemed nervous and, while Aysha was still there, put on his jacket and had already opened the entrance door.
Aysha asks the naturopaths if they realize what they have written, that there was no hope for her and that Simoncini knew this from the start. Is she to believe that Simoncini knew even then that nothing could be done for her, but that at the same time he made her believe he could save her? So had he been deceiving her from the start? While in the beginning, according to her oncologist, her bloodtests were so good that she was even advised to take TAC? Does Simoncini even know what he is doing at all?
Then Aysha is banned from the forum and new forum rules are laid out: the least “impropriety” will immediately result in a ban.
Aysha died in October 2008. We hope that her story may serve as an example and a warning to those who believe that alternative “healers” are by definition always good and altruistic people.