There is a strong move within the medical communities and government bodies such as the US FDA to make sure that people who are ill are not subject to scam claims about alternative cancer remedies and natural cancer treatments.
This would be fair enough if the medical community was actually offering treatments that worked. Unfortunately some of them have been shown to be medically ineffective. An important medical paper in 2004 showed that chemotherapy only increased the average 5 year survival rates by just over 2% (reference below).
Chemotherapy for breast cancer, for example, has an average increased 5-year survival rate of only 1.5%. A number of cancers (soft tissue sarcoma, melanoma of skin, uterus, prostate, bladder, kidney and multiple myeloma) were shown to have no increase in survival due to chemotherapy at all.
Doctors often talk about patients having unrealistic expectations about the efficacy of drugs, but to my way of thinking they only have themselves to blame. None of the doctors I work closely with in our medical school had ever spoken to patients about the low effectiveness of chemotherapy. In fact only one of them knew exactly how ineffective the drugs actually were.
If we take the breast cancer example again – women with breast cancer have a 78-85% 5-year survival rate in Australia, of which only 1.5% was due to chemotherapy. None of my friends who have had breast cancer were told that the average length of survival for breast cancer is 20 years nor about the high survival rate, nor about the low impact of chemotherapy. All believed that they needed chemotherapy to have any hope of survival.
The flip side of this terrible situation is that if only 1.5% of survivors are due to chemotherapy, then 76.5-83.5% is due to other things. Surgery and radiotherapy will play some part. But so too, does the body’s natural ability to heal. If you really want to keep on living it makes sense to spend a little time exploring those aspects of healing, known to science and to our cultural traditions which will improve our quality of life, and hopefully, our longevity.
There is much known to science but a lot of this is tucked away in health psychology text books and journals. Some of this is known through pop psychology but may not be accurate. For example, it is often believed that to survive you have to be positive all the time. My own research has shown that this is not the case, however being positive most of the time is one of the characteristics of survivors.
Governmental bodies and anti-scam scientists are particularly hard on those who promote supplements suggesting that all people are after is making money out of the sick. No doubt this is sometimes the case. But what excuse is there for promoting chemotherapy as THE answer to cancer when it only increases survival by an average of just over 2% and in some cases, is not of benefit at all. Who benefits from this? Who is paid the big money?
As a researcher I have to say that it is highly unlikely that just one supplement, herb, fancy berry from the highlands of somewhere will be sufficient to make the difference of life or death. However there are some good scientific pointers to suggest that avoiding sugar and flour which feed cancers, adding anti cancer foods of brightly colored vegetables and fruit, adding some supplements proven to be advantageous, taking regular exercise, and undertaking certain self care activities would definitely be positive to health. And many regions around the world have their traditional cancer remedies, their natural cancer treatments which might be good to add to your overall regimen. Check out all of your options and don’t let yourself be bullied by anyone.
Reference: Morgan G, Ward R, Barton M. The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies. Clinical Oncology 2004;16:549-560. This is reasonably readable and anyone with cancer should get a copy (try your university medical library – they can download it for you). It isn’t very chatty, mostly just how they came to the figures for each of the main cancers.
Source by Harriet Denz Penhey