A woman who battled with blood cancer for more than a decade has stunned doctors by defeating the disease with turmeric.
Dieneke Ferguson, 67, from London, was diagnosed with the myeloma in 2007 and had gone through three rounds of chemotherapy and four stem cell transplants in a bid to treat the deadly disease, reported Metro.
Patients diagnosed with myeloma only have an average survival of just over five years, making it one of the most deadly forms of cancer, reported the newspaper. Myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cells. If not treated, the disease can lead to a weaker immune system, kidney damage, bone pain, and fractures, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
After years of back pain and two relapses, Ferguson came across a website in 2011 alleging that curcumin—one of the main compounds of turmeric—could remedy the condition. As a last resort, she decided to try it.
She started taking 8 grams of curcumin in tablet form daily—about two teaspoons—with little hope that she would recover from the rapidly spreading cancer.
But Ferguson and doctors were shocked when her cancer started to stabilize. From that point on, her condition remarkably improved and her life changed drastically.
“Here we describe a myeloma patient who started a daily dietary supplement of curcumin when approaching her third relapse,” Dr. Abbas Zaidi, a hematologist at Barts NHS Health Trust told the Mirror.
“In the absence of further antimyeloma treatment, the patient plateaued and has remained stable for the last five years with good quality of life,” he added.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report in which curcumin has demonstrated an objective response in progressive disease in the absence of conventional treatment,” doctors from Barts Health NHS Trust in London, wrote in the British Medical Journal Case Reports, reported Metro.
The tablets, from an Indian company called Sabinsa, contain a concentrated dose of curcumin and are quite expensive—about US$68 for a 10-day course. Regular kitchen turmeric, on the other hand, will not be able to treat cancer due to its weaker concentration of curcumin—about 2 percent.
“Curcumin is a polyphenol derived from the perennial herb turmeric and has—for centuries—been used as a traditional Indian medicine,” Zaidi wrote in the BMJ Case Reports.
“Several reports published over the two decades have claimed various health benefits of curcumin and this has led to its increasing popularity as a dietary supplement to prevent or treat a number of different diseases. The biological activity of curcumin is indeed remarkable,” he added.
Ferguson continues to take curcumin without further anti-myeloma treatment and her cancer cell count is now negligible, reported the newspaper.
“I hope my story will lead to more people finding out about the amazing health benefits of curcumin,” Ferguson told Metro.
In 2017, the United States anticipated approximately 12,590 deaths from myeloma and an estimate of 30,280 new cases of the disease was expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2017, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
It is recommended that anyone considering the treatment consult a doctor or healthcare professional.