Two-time breast cancer survivor explores treatment options

Stephanie Belknap received her first cancer diagnosis in 2011, when she learned she had thyroid cancer.

Posted: Oct 15, 2021 3:14 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2021 3:55 PM

SHADY COVE, Ore. -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve cannabis as a form of treatment for cancer or any other condition, but one breast cancer patient tells NewsWatch 12 that cannabidiol (CBD) has assisted her through her cancer journey.

Stephanie Belknap received her first cancer diagnosis in 2011, when she learned she had thyroid cancer.

For that form of cancer, she received treatment that consisted of a thyroidectomy and the removal of more than 30 lymph nodes. She also took two pills of radioactive iodine.

In 2017, she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma the same year her mother was diagnosed with HER2 triple negative breast cancer, which is far more aggressive when compared to ductal carcinoma.

Belknap says her mother was treated with herceptin and has recovered since.

In July 2021, Belknap learned the breast cancer had returned to the same area of her breast but as the more aggressive HER2 positive.

"It was still the bad kind but the lesser, the triple negative is really bad."

She says in 2017 she had a lumpectomy in addition to radiation. With her most recent and more severe diagnosis, she had a mastectomy and chemotherapy, which she will complete in the coming weeks.

After she had completed her mastectomy, she developed a staph infection that slowed down her healing process.

Before she began chemotherapy with Asante's doctors and specialists, she went to receive a second opinion from OHSU on treatment options. She says doctors there agreed that the extensive treatment plan would be her best option.

In doing research on her own and joining the Facebook group, Curing Cancer Naturally, Belknap discovered Rick Simpson Oil.

Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is an unrefined, potent oil extracted from cannabis using ethanol. It's named after the man who created it and first benefited from it. Canadian Rick Simpson claims he cured his own skin cancer with a custom blend of cannabis oil, which has come to be known as Rick Simpson Oil (RSO), or Phoenix Tears (the name of Rick's website). Since then, he has touted the benefits of medical marijuana and used to give away his eponymous oil for free.

"When I found out that I had the HER2 the second time around I started taking Rick Simpson Oil."

She says on her paperwork, the shrinking of her 9 millimeter tumor to 2 millimeters is partially attributed to her use of the oil.

With the seriousness of her condition, she says she felt she needed traditional Western medicine and holistic practices.

"I've done everything oncology wants me to do too because it's an aggressive cancer."

Belknap says her diet has changed since cutting out simple sugars. She says she now aims for organic foods and sweetner alternatives that are natural, like agave and local honey.

During her first battle with breast cancer, she denied the hormone blocker Tamoxifen. The drug can be prescribed for as long as 10 years. Joint pain and arthralgia are among the most commonly encountered side effects seen in patients receiving tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors (AIs) as hormonal adjuvant treatment. For this reason, Belknap was hesitant to take the drug, but says she will be taking it this time around.

Belknap encourages other people in her situation to explore all treatment options whether they are based in Western or Eastern practices.

Her plan after healing is to live a stress-free life and live her life as fully as she can.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5060048

Reported Deaths: 74129
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152429427102
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581500
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
Out of CA00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 48°
Brookings
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 55°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 48°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 48°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 36°
Mild and brighter day on Sunday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Saturday, November 27th Weather

Image

SOU Men out shoot Antelope Valley, Women win 4th-straight

Image

Friday, November 26th Evening Weather

Image

Friday, November 26 weather

Image

Thursday, November 25th Evening Weather

Image

Pet of the Week: Bat, Hunk & Keith

Image

Thursday, November 25 afternoon weather

Image

Thursday, November 25 morning weather

Image

2021-2022 StormWatch 12 Winter Forecast

Image

Wednesday, November 24 Evening Weather