MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Alternative cancer treatments in Mexico offer hope to a teacher in St. Paul, Minnesota, but many critics worry that these types of clinics offer false hope.
It’s a risk Jamie Rumpza-Albertson, 45, is willing to take.
In 2012, Rumpza-Albertson was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.
“I thought that if I had my breasts removed it wouldn’t return, but that’s not the case,” said Rumpza-Albertson.
In 2017, she was rediagnosed with stage four breast cancer, which spread to her lungs, liver and bones.
After two months of traditional treatment and her life on the line, the married mother of two quit her long-time job as a teacher at St. Paul public schools and turned her attention to alternative medicine.
“There really is no cure for cancer, but some people go into remission—and sometimes for a lifetime—that’s incredible and that all I’m looking for,” she said.
In February, Rumpza-Albertson spent three weeks at a research hospital in Tijuana, Mexico. The facility, known as CHIPSA, combines natural remedies and immunotherapies to treat cancer, some of which are shunned by doctors in the United States.
“I don’t have to stay here in my little city,” Rumpza-Albertson said. “I have a big problem and I think it’s OK to look outside the box and check into other countries and see what they’re doing.”
Rumpza-Albertson is planning to return to Mexico in a few months for a second round of therapies. The alternative therapies are estimated to cost more than $30,000.
Her family and friends started a fundraiser, hoping that it will lead her to a new beginning.
“I just want to lead a full life like anybody else, and I want to stay with my kids, and it’s going to take money for me to do that,” she told Fox 9.
Rumpza-Albertson said the treatment she is receiving is not scientifically proven to be safe. It is not approved by the FDA, nor is it covered by health insurance.
A cancer benefit is being held Sunday in Minneapolis for Rumpza-Albertson.