“I will not drink camel urine and I will not go abroad”: an oncologist said what he would do if he was diagnosed with cancer

02 June 2022, 10:50


Are other people’s cancers suitable for eating, is it possible to cure cancer with the advice of shamans, will hair that has fallen out after chemotherapy grow back and when will scientists beat cancer? Oncologist Ivan Rykov spoke about this in an exclusive interview with Yamal-Media. The most important points of the discussion are in our review.

What is commonly called cancer, said Ivan Rykov, is not really a disease, but a huge group of different diseases. As there is no disease called “infection”: infectious diseases can be completely different, from herpes, which will pass on its own, to groin disease, from which, if not treated with antibiotics, the patient dies in 2-3 days .

Different diseases have different prognosis and different stages. There are oncological diseases that can be cured with a high degree of probability, but there are also those that are practically incurable. They can often be transferred to a chronic condition – they will remain and be felt, but they will not threaten the patient’s life.


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If you feel healthy

Our bodies often deceive us, the doctor warned. The insidiousness of oncological diseases is that at an early stage they do not bother the patient. To detect “early” cancer (and most cancers can be cured at an early stage), you need to look for it accurately. When symptoms occur, it is already an advanced stage. Therefore, even if a person considers himself perfectly healthy, this does not mean that a tumor process does not occur in his body.

“You should not rely solely on a healthy lifestyle, although it is very important,” said the doctor. Many types of cancer develop without contact with lifestyle. There are both inherited causes and factors that cannot be taken into account – viruses that cause disease, environmental conditions. However, a healthy lifestyle does not hurt anyone. And this is not just about cancer.


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If you have cancer

The worst that can be done in this case is to endure and hope that “it will pass by itself”. So you can wait for the moment when it will be very difficult or impossible to help at all, warned the oncologist.

You can not refuse the already prescribed treatment. Yes, health is “private property”, it is up to the patient to decide whether to receive treatment or not. The only thing the doctor can do is make a diagnosis and explain the prospects to the patient, but the patient has to make the decision on his own. Ivan Rykov said he had repeatedly met patients who refused treatment. Most of the time they came to him again. Sometimes it’s too late.

You can not rely on “alternative” treatments. Many studies have shown that none of them work. This is a waste of valuable time and money. The doctor remembered a patient who drank camel urine for a month, which a shaman “prescribed”. However, Ivan Rykov believes that if such methods are at least not harmful, they can be used – but only in parallel with the treatment shown by traditional medicine.

Anything that is not harmful is acceptable. If a patient undergoes chemotherapy and at the same time drinks camel urine, believing that it helps, let him drink.

Ivan Rikov


With certain types of tumors, such as melanoma or kidney cancer, there are cases of spontaneous remission, self-medication. It occurs in about one percent of patients. Their immune system suddenly “sees the light”, learns to see the enemy in the tumor and destroys it. Modern methods of immunotherapy are based on this principle. The problem is that if such a patient has used some non-traditional types of treatment, he sometimes sees a direct link between them and his recovery.

The doctor gave an example from his practice: a patient suffering from lymphoma who received high quality and effective treatment said after recovery: “Do you know why I was treated? “Because I’ve been drinking grass all this time.”

The doctor dispelled the common myth that cancer treatment is always a terrible torment and it is easier to accept death than to suffer it. This misconception was created a long time ago, when oncologists used highly toxic drugs and there were no drugs that could alleviate their side effects. In recent years, according to him, the situation has changed dramatically: there are new drugs and medicines that make it easy to tolerate treatment.

If the treatment is prescribed correctly, its shape is well studied, the patient in most cases tolerates it well.

Ivan Rikov


The doctor challenged the common perception that cancer treatment is extremely expensive. The cost of even very expensive drugs – targeted and used in immunotherapy – in Russia is covered by the compulsory health insurance policy, he reminded.

Ivan Rykov addressed an issue that often worries patients, especially women: hair loss during chemotherapy. It all depends on the treatment regimen, he explained. There are various drugs in oncology. With some treatments, hair almost never falls out, with some it almost always happens. The doctor stressed that in this case, 3-4 months after the completion of the chemotherapy cycle, the hair will come out again. There are no such drugs, the side effect of which would be their irreversible loss. The oncologist has not seen anything like this in all 20 years of his practice.

He denied another misunderstanding, which has almost disappeared, but sometimes appears. Some people think that cancer can be transmitted from one person to another. “Cancer patients are the safest in medicine,” Ivan Rikov said. In order to be infected by a tumor, it is necessary for its cell to enter the body and gain a foothold in it. But it can not survive there – it will be killed immediately by the immune system as part of a foreign organism.

You can eat someone else’s tumor and not get cancer.

Ivan Rikov



Photo: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

When scientists defeated cancer

Given that there are many forms of oncological diseases, it is almost impossible to create a universal drug, explained Ivan Rykov. But innovations in the treatment of individual species are constantly happening. Recently, doctors learned how to treat kidney cancer in the fourth, advanced stage. Skin cancer, melanoma, which has long been considered the “queen of tumors”, is now treated even in the most severe cases.

A tremendous breakthrough in the treatment of cancer, almost a turning point, was made with the invention of targeted drugs. In order for a healthy cell to turn into a tumor cell, something must break inside it, the doctor explained. As a rule, this is a gene responsible for the synthesis of one of the proteins – the cell begins to produce the wrong protein. Drugs have been developed that can target just such cells – they will kill the tumor without damaging healthy tissues.

In conclusion, the oncologist said that he is not afraid of getting cancer. This fear passed even during the stay – in the second year of her stay, the young doctor had a dream that she had a tumor. In addition, he never met colleagues who feared this disease. If this happened and he really got sick, the doctor suggested, he would make a decision based on his diagnosis. If the disease is curable, it will definitely be treated. If she is incurable, she will weigh the pros and cons of the treatment available at the time. It is unlikely that he will go abroad for treatment, Ivan Rikov noted. There is no big sense in this, according to him: we have all the methods used in the US and Europe.

Watch the full version of the interview on our VK-video channel.

The most up-to-date news is on our Telegram channel “Yamal-Media”.

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