Chemo Baths

A photographer by the name of Jon Upson was diagnosed with appendix cancer. We was said to have a strong stomach pain and decided to ignore it. One day, he was unable to stand up. Appendix cancer is rare and very aggressive. The cancer spread throughout his entire stomach and the doctor said it would eventually crowd his organs and find a way into his blood stream. He was told that there was no hope and that it would take over his body.

Jon found a new type of cancer treatment called a hot chemo bath. He met with Dr. Andrew Lowy, an oncologist at UC San Diego. Jon’s rapid spread of his disease and young age made him the perfect candidate. Dr. Lowy started by making in incision from his rib cage to his pelvis, and then cut out the visible tumors. Using tubes he filled up Jon’s abdominal cavity with cancer killing drugs in a process dubbed “shake and bake.” These are the same drugs used in chemotherapy but the drugs are heated to almost 108 degrees. Dr. Lowy then sloshed the hot chemicals inside of his belly for 90 minutes for a total operation time of ten hours.

 “There are cancer cells that aren’t visible to our eyes, and can’t be operated on,” Lowy said. “We are trying to kill those tumor cells that could be a source of a recurrence. The rationale for using heat is that is has been known for over a century that heat is toxic to cancer cells.”


You can actually kill cancer cells at the right heat without killing healthy cells. Many hospitals do not accept this new type of cancer treatment because they feel it is too invasive and risky. The patient is open for many hours and their vital organs are exposed meaning the risk of infection is very high. Dr. Lowy is proving that these chemo baths are effective on colon and stomach cancers.

Yehuda Bock, a 61 year old received the treatment and it proved to be effective. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer by another doctor who had told him that they would try an make him comfortable in his remaining days. The median survival time for colon cancer is 32 months, Yehuda is currently at 49 months with no trace of cancer. Many hospitals around the country are running clinical trials on chemo baths because of the high amount of success rates.

I think that after the clinical trials are completed on this new type of treatment, hospitals should use chemo baths as much as possible. Any type of treatment for cancer is considered an advancement and I feel as though they should all be used to save people’s lives. Chemotherapy is just as risky as chemo baths in my opinion. Chemotherapy is a poison that can have as equally many side effects as chemo baths.


About Brittany Hartwell

Brittany is currently a student at Wichita State University in the Health Administration Program. This is her last year before she ventures out into the eventful healthcare world. This blog will primarily show the latest healthcare topics of our beautiful and ever-changing nation.
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