Breast Cancer and the Fear of Recurrence

Stan Goldberg, PhD

By Khevin Barnes

My surgeon recommended that I have an ultrasound exam every four months for the first two years after my mastectomy. As the date approached for my first quarterly check up I found myself experiencing a bit of apprehension and it was then I discovered the number one concern (make that fear) that many cancer survivors face for the rest of their lives. And that of course is the fear that cancer will return somewhere in our bodies at some future date.

When you think about it, this is a perfectly logical worry. (By the way, the number two and three biggest fears of cancer survivors is the fear of death and the fear of stigmatization or “branding” of us as “people with cancer”).

So about two weeks before my first check up, and four months after my mastectomy, I began to experience some pain in my abdomen. It persisted on and off for a week and it was about that time that I became convinced that I had stomach cancer.

Then I woke up one morning with a splitting headache along with some trouble concentrating and I was absolutely certain that the stomach cancer had metastasized to my brain.

And so it goes I suppose for many of us until the anxiety of a recurrence is diffused enough to slowly fade from our troubled minds. I think that we simply get tired of worrying after awhile.

And so, I have decided that cancer will have a very different meaning for me from now on.
Cancer……Spelled C….A….N….C….E….R
It can mean many things to many people. To me it means:

“Cancel All Negative Conditioned Emotional Responses.”

Conditioned responses are those thoughts we have that are automatic. “Cancer is bad. Chocolate is good.” And so on. It’s also what we call a conditioned reflex. It’s part of being human. As an example, someone might experience the negative side effects of Chemotherapy on a friend or relative and decide that “chemotherapy is bad”.
And whether something is good or bad is just a thought we have. To get a clear view of our options then, it becomes imperative that we “cancel all negative conditioned emotional responses”.

And when I do that, I remember to return to simply living in the now. In this present moment. After all, when and if things happen to us, that is the time to respond. This is easy to say of course but it requires the utmost attention and vigilance to implement. And with a bit of practice, we can actually live fully day to day, minute by minute.
Cancer will do what it must. In living fully moment by moment we aren’t ignoring our disease. We aren’t pushing away the reality of our condition. We are simply allowing our bodies to heal in their own way, and trusting that the outcome will be perfect—just as it is.

Khevin Barnes is a breast cancer survivor


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  1. Khevin Barnes

    Steven and Stan,
    I send sincere thanks to both of you for delivering me to the Therapeutics Research Institute and the wisdom therein. My breast cancer diagnosis last May came about as I was finishing my year at a Zen Center in Honolulu. We grew a large patch of fresh turmeric there and I began to juice it and drink it daily, a practice I follow now as well.
    Nice to see Curcumin on your list. And so much more. This is the most intelligent and useful cancer information available. I’m in!

    • Steven

      Delighted we might be of benefit to you. When you read the eBook, please note the dose levels of the supplements since this information has taken decades to develop. Also we have no tie-ins to any manufacturer but we identify ones whose products we monitor [through lab testing of ingredients] to be sure they actually contain what they say. I take a vast number of them myself. So let me encourage you NOT to improvise — like the recipe for a fine food product, we have been working on these “recipes” [Protocols] for many decades.

  2. Steven

    The legitimate peer-reviewed medical literature identifies a number of things that reduce the likelihood of a recurrence significantly. However cancer doctors virtually always ignore these since docs are focused on treatment interventions for the presence of cancer. They have little stake in this part of the patient’s well-being. Mammograms are a form of early detection [and the prospects for more treatment], not an actual strategy to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. The exception is often just the prescription drug tamoxifen or one of its alternatives. There are quite a number of additional ones that are not prescription drugs — but which have a proven track record [e.g., 5000 IU of D3 daily]. I have found that when women learn they can play an active role to actually minimize recurrence, this empowerment aids them immensely. Traditional medicine continue to drop the ball here.

    • Stan Goldberg

      Thanks for your insights Steve. The guest author of the article is the first man I know who had breast cancer. How prevalent is it?

      • Steven

        This year, a little over 2300 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and it is estimated that a little over 400 will die from it this year. Still, with those with stage 1, about 99% will be “cured” [live for at least 5 more years]. Even with stage 2, expect about a 85% similar “cure” rate.

    • Khevin Barnes

      Thanks Steven for the input. I have no medical background and must rely to a great extent in my own breast cancer journey on the ideas expressed via the Internet and medical journals. The enormous amount of conflicting information is
      confounding, and what little is known about treating and preventing male breast
      cancer seems to be directly proportional to the 1% of us who contract it. That
      being said, I am a great proponent of personal choice and self-guided therapies, taking into account what little we know at this point.
      My decision to say “no” to the 6 weeks of Adriamycin and 2 years of Tamoxifin was a choice I made after weeks of questions and research and I am very much at peace with that decision. But the question that remains is : what else is there?
      In the case of men with breast cancer, it seems the answer is “not much”.

      • Steven


        I recognize the problem you are having. To help, we have formulated all our research findings [here at the Therapeutics Research Institute] that explicitly address this issue and have put them into an eBook. It is free and we sell no products at all. I think Stan will not mind [we go way back for decades] with my directing you to our link which can be found at Just click the cancer tab and download the book. If you have questions, you can then email me further [use email to the address shown under “contact us”]. We do not charge for any services we provide, there are no fees, no tie-ins to anyone, etc. Yes there are critical things that are known [in the peer-reviewed published medical literature] that you SHOULD be doing for yourself. I hope this helps.

      • Stan Goldberg

        Hi Khevin,

        Yes, Steve is an old friend and I’ve been using his cancer protocol for many years–since I’m still alive, I guess it’s working.

      • Steven

        Naturally I could not say due to confidentiality that Stan was following advice from the book — but now that he has said so, I am absolutely elated that he may be a beneficiary of these decades of research .. and so by extension, all his readers who have his ongoing blog contributions year after year from which we all benefit.

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