Cancer Treatment: a war of ideas.

“I wish I had read this before I was diagnosed as doctors and the cancer charities didn’t tell me any of this.” – D. Bushell, cancer survivor.

This was part of a review of The Cancer Survivor’s Bible (actually the previous edition) on Amazon UK. And the key thing to note is that my book contains information that doctors and cancer charities won’t tell you. They won’t tell you, in part, because they don’t know it. They won’t tell you in part because they are professionally taught to dismiss this information as ‘anecdotal’ or ‘unproven’ and they won’t tell you because it doesn’t fit in with their paradigm that only ‘proven therapies’ should be used (ie surgery, radiation and chemotherapy).

The problem is that  their so-called proven therapies are not proven in any way. That is simply a fact. However, they insist that their approach is backed by ‘science’ while other approaches (using diet, herbs, vitamins or electro-magnetic devices) are not. But in truth this is also not true.

In medicine, for something to be called proven, it must be shown to be better than a placebo in a double-blind controlled trial, ideally using thousands of subjects. A controlled trial is when two groups are given different treatments – one the treatment being tested and the other a treatment using a substance that is completely neutral (the placebo). A blind trial is when the person receiving the treatment doesn’t know which group he/she is in. A double-blind trial is when even the doctors and researchers don’t know either (so cannot accidentally reveal the truth to the patient). With surgery, we can see immediately that there is no possible way of testing its effectiveness using a double-blind controlled trial. The surgeon will know who he is operating on. So surgery cannot ever be referred to as proven (nevertheless, it is generally agreed on the basis of experience to be the most effective approach – particularly when a tumour is found very early). Radiation generally has generally failed to prove it’s value (” oftentimes, patients participating in the experimental arm fare no better than control subjects ” say the authors of one 2011 summary of research into the effectiveness of radiation – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3965328/)

And then there is chemotherapy. Here there is strong evidence of benefit for a few cancers (penile, testicular, lymphoma) but for the most part it has been found to be not very effective. Indeed the question arises as to whether the effectiveness of chemotherapy has not been actually disproven more often than it has been proven. But we never hear of chemotherapy as being a disproven therapy. There is far too much money involved. Doctors are far too attached to the idea of powerful drugs. But, let’s face it, the most toxic chemicals have been thrown at cancer for over 50 years, and there has been very little improvement in the situation. At what point will doctors say: “enough is enough. This is not working.” Not at any time soon. Without chemotherapy where would they be?

Patients unfortunately, generally speaking, do not do the research they need to do before going along with the doctors’ suggestions. If patients understood the real truth of the situation they are faced with, I believe the majority would walk away from what they are being offered in hospitals and look more seriously at diets, herbs, vitamins and many other approaches which, on the basis of anecdotal reports, have helped people brave enough to choose this way to recover.

There is a war of ideas – and all of us who face cancer have to choose which side of the argument they support. I have spelled out a fuller treatment of this issue in my book – it occupies one complete chapter – because until people realise there is a major conceptual difference between doctors and the pharmaceutical companies on the one hand and the ‘natural health’ crowd on the other hand. Doctors will never approve of diets, herbs and vitamins as weapons against cancer. And sadly, many people go along with this view (because it is the view of the ‘experts’). Here is my analogy of ‘the experts’. If you wish to pacify Afghanistan you might ask one expert (the air-commodore) how to solve it. He will say: “Bomb them!”. If you ask another expert (the army general), he will say “Put boots on the ground”. If you ask a third expert (an NGO), they might say “put money into education, agriculture, improving the status of women etc” – three experts and three very different opinions. The situation in relation to cancer is the same. In the end you have to choose. If it’s your cancer it is your choice.

 

 

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