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Dr. Ben Williams

Professor Ben Williams was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a terminal brain cancer, at age 50. He overcame his cancer using orthodox therapies supported by his own concoction of 'repurposed' old drugs and compounds he added based on his own extensive research.

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Diagnosis

Diagnosis: Glioblastoma (terminal brain cancer)

At the age of 50, I had surgery for a glioblastoma brain tumor on March 31, 1995, after an MRI in the emergency room the preceding day. The tumor was located in my right parietal cortex and was very large (approximately 180 cc, and described as the "size of a large orange"). My neurosurgeon later told me that I would have been dead within two weeks had I not had the surgery when I did. My MRI three days after surgery showed that the substantial mass effect had been eliminated, but there still was a great deal of enhancement indicating substantial residual tumor. I then received standard radiation treatment. 

Treatment: Radiation, Chemotherapy, Surgery

(& later self-prescribed vitamins and medicinals)

My next MRI after the 33 days of radiation treatment showed about the same amount of enhancement as was present just after surgery. In other words, it was not evident that radiation did me any good, although presumably it stopped the tumor from growing for at least some period of time.

During the first two months after my diagnosis I spent many hours on the internet and in our medical school library, learning all that I could about possible treatment options. While I initially entertained boron neutron capture therapy, gene therapy, and radiation-loaded monoclonal antibodies as much more promising than conventional treatment, I finally rejected all of these based on likely problems of various sorts. I therefore opted for conventional chemotherapy but in combination with other agents that seemed likely to improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy over that which typically occurs.

Treatment

Follow Up

All of my MRI's since chemotherapy have been free of any sign of tumor. Throughout my first year of treatment I added various nutritional supplements that can be obtained at most health food stores. All of which have been shown to have some degree of effectiveness against at least some forms of cancer. I also began paying much more attention to my diet, by eating large quantities of broccoli sprouts, garlic, raspberries and blueberries, onions, and soy products.

 

No one afflicted with a glioblastoma can be considered lucky. But there are degrees of bad luck, and in that comparative context I have been extremely lucky. Despite an enormous amount of brain damage, I have never been seriously impaired, and have been able to lead a relatively normal life. The first year after surgery I did have some significant memory problems, and the undergraduates that I teach (I am a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego) had to suffer as a result. My suspicion has been that this was due primarily to the radiation I received. Regardless of the reason, these deficits have largely disappeared over the years. My only real complaints at this point, other than living under the dark cloud of a possible recurrence, is that I have been unable to regain my previous level of physical conditioning and that I frequently need afternoon naps because of mental fatigue. But these problems are minor compared to those experienced by others. Despite the ordeal I have endured, I perhaps perversely now look back on my time as a brain cancer patient in a positive light, and my hope is that this will help other victims of brain cancer to cope more successfully with their diagnosis.