MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

You have to excuse me, if I keep coming back to this theme: so-called ‘alternative cancer cures’ are truly dangerous. I have tried to explain this already many times, for instance here, here and here. And it is by no means just alternative therapists who make a living of such quackery. Sadly qualified medical doctors are often involved as well. As to prove my point, here is a tragic story that broke yesterday:

Former Miss New Hampshire, Rachel Petz Dowd, lost her battle with cancer on Sunday 12 June 2016 — a battle she fought publicly through personal writings in a blog in hopes of helping others on a similar journey toward healing. The singer/songwriter and mother of three from Auburn died about a month after traveling to Mexico for an aggressive form of alternative cancer treatment. She turned 47 last week. Dowd was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer in May 2014. The diagnosis led her to create a blog called “Rachel’s Healing” to document what she hoped would be a journey back to health. “I hope my readers can gain something from my journey and that they find their own personal way to combat this disease impacting too many women today,” she wrote. Dowd used the blog to share her experiences with traditional and natural medicine during her cancer fight.

On 5/3/16 Mrs Dowd wrote on her blog: “Well after some careful consideration and looking at different clinics and hospitals we’ve made a decision. Will be going to the CMN Hospital on the Yuma, Arizona border*. For 28 days of treatments. It’s not a day clinic but a full hospital servicing over the past 30 years. There’s a special wing dedicated to alternative cancer care and the treatment list is impressive.  Many treatments that are not available in this country. We feel this would be the best course of care daily for 28 days and then at the end of the 4 weeks I intend my immune system to be back on-line. I will be doing a stem cell boost of my bone marrow the last week. I know of a women, Shannon Knight, from The Truth About Cancer documentary, who had stage 4 metastasized into locations of her bones and her lungs and she came out of there completely cured. Her oncologist said it was nothing short of a miracle, but she said no it was just clean hard work!  She said no it was just clean the hard, aggressive treatments that only attack cancer, boost and prime your immune system, become a whole, healthy being once again:) It is possible and I am planning on being one of the exceptions like Shannon!”

  • The hospital is across the US border in Mexico; it is run by medically qualified personnel.

The hospital [“CMN Hospital’s facility is only 14 blocks away once you cross the border to begin your alternative cancer treatment”] has a website where they tell a somewhat confusing story about their treatment plans; here is a short but telling excerpt:

CMN’s protocols are individualized and comprehensive. You will benefit from oxidative therapies, IV minerals selenium and bicarbonate IV vitamins such as vitamin B-17 and IV vitamin C. Far infrared and others including MAHT, Cold Laser Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Ozone Therapy are a daily part of your protocol. Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation is effective in destroying pathogens in your blood and slows the growth of cancer cell growth. CMN’s Stem cell therapy and Dendritic cell therapy are just two of the advanced cancer treatments applied to patients.”

And here is what they say about three therapies as examples of treatments that have discussed before on this blog: vitamin C, Laetrile and Essiac.

IV Vitamin C If large amounts of vitamin C are presented to cancer cells, large amounts will be absorbed. In these unusually large concentrations, the antioxidant vitamin C will start behaving as a pro-oxidant as it interacts with intracellular copper and iron. This chemical interaction produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide. Because cancer cells are relatively low in an intracellular anti-oxidant enzyme called catalase, the high dose vitamin C induction of peroxide will continue to build up until it eventually lyses the cancer cell from the inside out!

IV Vitamin B17 / Laetrile Also known as amygdaline, Vitamin B-17 is a molecule made up of four parts: -2 parts Glucose -1 part Benzaldahyde-1 part Hydrogen Cyanide. Laetrile is found in at least 1200 different plants, including apricots, peaches, apple seeds, lentils, cashews, brown rice, millet, and alfalfa. Commercial preparations of laetrile are obtained from the kernels of apricots, peaches and bitter almonds. The body requires an enzyme called beta-glucosidase in order to process laetrile and release the cyanide. Studies have shown that cancer cells contain more of this enzyme than normal cells, which allows for a higher release of cyanide at tumor sites. Another enzyme known as rhodanese is important in this process. Normal healthy cells contain rhodanese which protects them from the activated cyanide. Most cancer cells are deficient in this enzyme, leaving them vulnerable to the poison. Tumor destruction begins once the cyanide is released within the malignancies, meaning laetrile therapy is selectively toxic to cancer cells while remaining non-toxic to normal cells.

Essiac Tea / Order Original Essiac Tea Essiac, given its name by Rene Caisse (“caisse” spelt backwards), consists of four main herbs that grow in the wilderness of Ontario, Canada. The original formula is believed to have its roots from the native Canadian Ojibway Indians. The four main herbs that make up Essiac are Burdock Root, Slippery Elm Inner Bark, Sheep Sorrel and Indian Rhubarb Root. Essiac tea helps release toxins that build up in fat and tissues into the blood stream where they can be filtered and excreted by the liver and kidneys.  Cleaning the body of toxins and impurities frees up the immune system to focus on killing cancer cells and protecting the body.

 

I think I will abstain from further comments, firstly because I want to avoid getting sued by these people and secondly because it seems all too depressingly obvious.

171 Responses to ‘Alternative cancer cures’ cost money and lives

  • They still call laetrile “vitamin B17”? Wow. Even Krebs knew that was bullshit, he only called it a vitamin in order to exploit the “big herbs” loopholes in US law.

    • “B17” also referred to as Amygdalin. Called B17 but is not a vitamin … Amygdalin is a compound found in the pits or seeds of apricots, apples, peaches, plums, red cherries, and other fruits. It’s also in bitter almonds. Laetrile is a partly man-made, purified form of amygdalin, was patented in the 1950s. Laetrile does not work and is no longer used in the US. B17 natural amygdalin does work. Research how the natural form is not a “cure” in itself but good to add into and overall treatment. 😉 To date, there haven’t been any “controlled clinical trials” on amygdalin. This means scientists haven’t compared people who receive the treatment to people who don’t. This is the case with most “alternative” natural methods. Perhaps because there is not as much money to be made.

      • B17 does not work for cancer or anything else. if you disagree, you need to provide links to evidence to the contrary.

      • @ Teresa O (with secondary reference to Ibrahim).

        You wrote

        This means scientists haven’t compared people who receive the treatment to people who don’t. This is the case with most “alternative” natural methods. Perhaps because there is not as much money to be made.

        It is surely long past time to put this tired, boring old trope to sleep. Yes, it’s true that the most profitable product a business can patent is a ‘new chemical entity’ — a novel compound that’s previously unknown, but patent lawyers have a second tier of perfectly valuable patents, such as ‘use patents’ and ‘formulation patents’ they can use for known and naturally occurring chemicals with demonstrable medicinal effects.

        I can assure you that research scientists in pharmaceutical companies devote tons of their time to scanning the literature for anything that shows the slightest promise for medicinal use. They routinely send compounds that show prior probability of efficacy in their in-house test models. Cancer treatment has spawned many test systems, in ‘test tubes’ and in animal models of disease.

        If a chemical shows even limited efficacy in screening tests then chemists get to work producing related molecules in an effort to improve the original compound’s medicinal efficacy, ease of administration, dosing, shelf life, formulation and many other parameters. The series of compounds generally known as ‘penicillins’ is a good example of the process. The original (benzyl) penicillin discovered by Fleming is a naturally occurring product, first marketed during World War II. The search for novel forms of penicillin has continued solidly over the 70+ years ever since. It has resulted in a pharmaceutical armoury of more than two dozen clinically effective compounds, all with different antibacterial spectra, routes of administration and other clinically relevant properties. Opioid drugs are another good example of the process of commercial development of natural products (for opioids the process started way back in the 19th century). You can read all about what I’m saying in publications like this example.

        Sometimes the original natural product can’t be improved on, but there will always be entrepreneurs (and big pharmaceutical companies) who will develop a natural product unmodified. Old examples still in heavy medical use include digoxin, cyclosporine, tacrolimus and many anti-microbial drugs, but this short list only scratches the surface. Take a look at this review and you’ll find (Fig. 6) that more than 60 unmodifed naturally occurring chemicals were approved for clinical use between 1981 and 2014 and even more semisynthetic derivatives of natural products.

        A high proportion of these drugs from natural products are used as anti-cancer agents. No pharmaceutical scientist will have missed reports of amygdalin as a potential anti-cancer drug. The fact that no (ethical) pharmaceutical company has developed amygdalin or any derivative to the market for cancer almost certainly means that amygdalin has no worthwhile, demonstrable anti-cancer efficacy. (Google ‘Occam’s razor’.)

        Your contention that a chemical you happen to believe is effective as a cancer treatment (you provide absolutely zero evidence to back up your belief) has been overlooked “because there is not much money to be made” is total nonsense, and an insult to the efforts of scientists belonging to what referred to in my second link above as the ‘natural product community’. The same applies to all other failed ‘alternative’ therapies. Please do not imagine professional pharmaceutical scientists are as ill-informed as you appear to be.

  • Quack, quack, quacks! Let them sue ME.

    While I have every sympathy for this woman and her family, I do wonder how anyone falls for this rubbish. Every one of those “treatments” can easily be debunked with a fairly casual google search–but you have to go ahead and read something that isn’t guaranteed to prop us your wishful thinking.

    • Dr. Cox , this is the first time ever i post on a blog! I am so sad to see how narrow-minded the medical corp can be regarding “alternative treatments” that have been discovered a long time ago by researchers, MDs,Phds… the thing is all these alternative treatments are not profitable for the fda but they are working and not quacks. Why is it so hard to believe that we can find in nature amygdalin and that this amygdalin when tested for years with cancer cells appeared to target them and induce their apoptosis? Why was that amygdalin used in the us as a cancer treatment for decades until the fda came and asked to stop it because they were not making enough money out of it? What is so complicated concerning vitamin c IVs?? If vitamin C IVs react with iron and produce hydrogen peroxide that is too high to be fought by the low catalase levels produced by cancer cells, which induce once again apoptosis for these cancer cells, why for God’s sake are doctors criticizing these treatments? What about “Insulin Potentiation Targeted low Dose chemotherapy”??? Isn’t that logical and once again found and proved by doctors and biology researchers, that cancer cells have 10 times more insulin receptors than regular cells and in cinsequence you can use insulin to transport chemo drugs targeting cancer cells and using only 10% of the usual chemotherapy dose used? And witg no side effects? Why are all treatments not using Insulin Potentiation before chemo today?? Is it because it would not cost the same price to give only 10% of the dose? You really have to give 100% toxicity to make a 100% profit and kill that poor patient? Where is the quackery for hyperthermia? Create fever in the area of the tumor, up to 42 degrees celsius and the tumor can not survive at that temperature and dies! Why is that a quackery?? If cancerous cells need an anaerobic environment to survive and would not grow in an environment witg enough oxygen, why is it a quackery to say that eating cordyceps mushrooms, that have been used in chinese medicine for over 3000 years,are known to aleviate the oxygen in your blood by 40%! And that chinese athletes have been asked to do doping tests after breaking records at the olympics just to be found consuming these mushrooms daily in their diet so that their blood is 40% more oxygenated than other athletes, would it be hard for doctors to suggest consumming these simply as a prevention to keep our blood oxygenated?
      I am sorry if my message is long or if you disagree with everything i am saying but i think everyone should be able to consider other ways than what our conventional system and society dictates. I did not know any of these treatments a few months ago but my mom has been diagnosed with a lymphoma and i decided to find the best treatments for her. It is so hard and sickening to be constantly confronted to narrow minded answers from anybody who is in the medical field without any argument, but the idea that conventional treatments are the only solution while patients keep dying just as 100 years ago.

    • Oh! Excuse ME! Mustard Gas is SO MUCH SAFER!

      • Lol
        ….now that was funny! And so very true, thank you.
        Oh and Mr. Cox I am 3 years in this journey of adenocarcinoma with no surgery chemo or radiation, and I’m still here doing good.

        • I am happy for you! Congratulations!
          ~Shannon Knight
          http://www.shannonknight.com

        • My daughter, 25 yrs of age and a new Mother, was faced with the dreaded news a few days ago. It felt as if our world had stopped. What was your approach. I have been searching high and low for alternative treatment in the US. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

          • Alternative treatment has either been shown not to work or it has not been evaluated. As soon as there is evidence for it then it becomes incorporated into conventional medicine and stops being alternative. If your mother has just been diagnosed, why would you want to turn away from her best chance?

            Also, be aware that there are many people who are happy to make false promises just to take your money. They may be nice guys, and talk about everything being natural, but remember that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

            Also, remember that cancer treatment has come a long way in the past few years. Things probably aren’t as bad as you think.

  • “Cleansing the body of toxins and impurities frees up the immune system….” is a dead giveaway to unscientific pseudo healt h care. Please do not confuse this rubbish with legitimate research-based cancer Immunotherapy being investigated at Duke University and other reputable institutions. There is no comparison. Generally, when the seller of a drug(herbs, vitamins, minerals especially) claims to treat a laundry list of complaints or ailments, it is usually useless. Likewise, when they use a laundry list of alleged treatments to treat a single condition, one should be suspicious. I have no specific information on the above protocol but……

  • I am a close friend of Rachel’s and I feel it is important to set her story straight.
    She spent two years following traditional protocol for treating her aggressive form of cancer. She was treated in Boston at Mass General Hospital and then during her second year, she found a cancer treatment facility in New Hampshire closer to her home. She put full faith in the standard medical practices of her doctors at both facilities , but in the end their treatments did not work for her. The doctors finally told her there was nothing else they could do, after the cancer spread throughout her body.
    Rachel wanted to make one last effort to cure herself and it wasn’t until then that she chose to go to an alternative cancer treatment hospital. If you do further research in the hospital she chose, they have many more cutting edge treatments from around the world then the simple three that you posted. She had long conversations with their head doctor and did extensive research about alternative treatments . She made her final decision after hearing from a friend who had the same aggressive form of cancer and who had been successfully treated through this hospital. She also spoke to others who have been cancer free after going through the treatments at this facility. It was well researched, but probably way too late.
    Rachel knew that her cancer was probably too far gone for any further treatments to work, but she desperately wanted to live for her three kids and was willing to try. Had she gone to this facility first instead of going the traditional route, we will never know if it it would’ve given her better results.

    Before you post such things online, I think it’s important to do more research. People die daily who have used standard medical cancer treatments, but nobody posts about these huge numbers. They only highlight those that try alternative treatments that aren’t successful. There are many more who are successfully treated by various alternative options . I think the future will include a mix both standard practices with some alternative treatments.

    • Unfortunate patients still die from cancers but thanks to modern medicine(not alternative) many, many more are surviving or living longer than 10-20 years ago. This is because proper science based clinical trials are done to verify the benefits, risks and results of various therapies. You cannot rely on hearsay or hypothetical case reports to trust such important decisions, especially when someone is selling unproven treatments that sound good based on anecdotal reports. The desperation is understood but offering fake therapies without informed consent as to the proven risks and benefits is unethical and just wrong. If the real facts based on real data are provided and a terminal cancer patient still wants to try it, then they can make that choice based on reality and not false hope.

      • What fake therapies were offered?

      • Proven facts? There’s less than 3% 5 years surivival rate for terminal colon cancer through ‘modern medicine’, the chemo drugs that did not change much for last 40 years. No, I am not against modern medicine. I just look at the data and ask questions. And many questions are unanswered. Unfortunately too many snobbish MDs accuse patients of being ignorant without understanding their needs. Or helping them to fully understand what is going on.
        Yea many people survival cancer longer than 10-20years through ‘modern medicine’, are you talking about stage 1 and stage 2 cancer where by the survival rate has always been pretty high?

        Due to the nature of my work, I strongly rely on data. And due to personal interest, I sought out cancer patients and interviewed them. People who choose either the conventional, alternative or both. In fact one of them is my 25 years old neighbour. He died in 6 months after receiving chemo. By the way his doc is the top doc in the National cancer centre of singapore. My own aunt with lung cancer died in 6months after chemo. My mum, colon cancer, pass away in 6 months due to very bad infection after operation.

        Let’s talk about the data I got from alternative. My next door neighbor’s 29 year old friend, diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. She advise the 29 years old not to go for chemo, and take some honey, ginger and herbs daily. After a year, she went for check up again, she was cleared from cancer.
        My other aunt, breast cancer stage 2, she refuse chemo NOT because she don’t want it. She was too poor for it. Doctor told her she will die in a year. She believe but what can she do? Then she heard a friend advising no sugar, salt or oil. Eat lots of green organic vegetables only and some rice. Of course she don’t know if this will work but it’s her last hope and it’s cheap enough. She did it for a year and went back for check up every 3 months. First 6 months was really discouraging. After a year a breakthrough happened, she was cleared. She is still alive for 10 years now.

        I met this elderly man in a park doing qigong and found out he was diagnosed with leukemia in his 20s. He refused chemo too. Doctor says less than a year left. He refused to give up and travel all over China to seek cure.
        Nothing works until he met a monk who told him to eat only 1 meal a day. After many years of pain, he recovered. And he is over 75years old now.

        Another friend I met while searching for help for my mum. Her mum stage 4 colon cancer spread to lungs and liver, doctor says 3-6months left even after chemo. She refused to give up, convince her mum to try alternative clinic with targeted chemo. Well she was cleared in 6 months and the conventional doctor couldn’t believe it. Sadly, she still pass away after 3 years. Still, much longer than the 6 months diagnosis. Did I mention why my friend a high flyer in P&G decided to refuse conventional treatment for her mum? She saw 3 of her closest friends, in their late 20s and early 30s died and suffer badly from side effects for chemo and they died quickly. All within a year.

        To make things look not so depressing, I have a friend with deadly stage 4 pancreas cancer, who still survive after 4 years with combination of both convention treatment and alternative treatments, though not in remission yet. But I must comment that her strong fighting spirit is what keeps her alive. I have not met many people as determined and resilient as her.

        So these are not data and real human experience? I can give you their contact for you to verify yourself if you want. I doubt you will care though. And there’s still many more people I interviewed.

        I don’t think there’s a cure per sae, not even with alternative. I think what is important is how you approach this, how patients should be well informed and make informed decisions. Make decisions based on what is most important to them and do not give up. And that is what I see lacking in conventional doctors. The lack of empathy and understanding of what patients really need. Arrogant or ignorant.

        By the way, is not a treatment that cost $300,000 with low percent survival rate for terminal cancer ( I’m not talking about stage 1 and 2 here, And mind you, we are only talking about 5 years survival here) unethical and wrong too? And so what if part of it can be covered by it, does this make it ethical? People still don’t die of cancer through conventional treatment? Heck it, you mean none of us will die eventually? Again, I am not against conventional treatments, I just hate seeing so called MDs saying the same stuff over again and again, LIKE A TEXTBOOK ANSWER. As if every cancer is the same. How convincing. How professional.

        I wish more conventional doctors are more open, more supportive and more respectful towards patients even if they choose to do combinations treatments or even alternative only. It will improve patients’ life quality and overall experience through this journey.

        • @Ting

          Did you not count all those who refused conventional therapy or changed their diet or whatever, who died of their disease before you met them and interviewed?

          Now here is how to do science, very simplified:
          First, you exclude all those who got the wrong or uncertain diagnosis of terminal or serious cancer, both from the survivor group and non-survivor group. You should also exclude those who received conventional therapy along with unconventional because you cannot be sure which it was that worked wonders. You will be left with plenty of material.
          Then you divide the number of survival cases with the number of non-survival, then you will be closer to an estimaton of the true ratio of cases cured by unconventional methods to those not cured and thus the efficacy of unconventional therapy.
          Simple enough?

      • TOTAL LIE! The (traditional protocal) survival rate has not improved over the last ten years. Just more garbage you spew out to convince people.

        • “survival rate has not improved over the last ten years”
          ANY EVIDENCE FOR THAT?

          • Age Group 1950 1982 2015 1950-1982 1982-2015 1950-2015
            Ages 0-4 11.1 4.4 2.0 -3.3* -2.1* -81.6
            Ages 5-14 6.7 4.2 2.1 -1.9* -1.7* -68.4
            Ages 15-24 8.6 5.8 3.3 -1.4* -1.4* -61.4
            Ages 25-34 20.4 13.5 8.6 -1.4* -1.7* -58.0
            Ages 35-44 63.6 48.2 27.0 -0.9* -2.0* -57.5
            Ages 45-54 174.2 171.4 96.5 0.0 -1.8* -44.6
            Ages 55-64 391.3 435.5 282.0 0.4* -1.8* -27.9
            Ages 65-74 710.0 832.7 609.0 0.6* -1.3* -14.2
            Ages 75-84 1,167.2 1,249.3 1,095.6 0.3* -0.6* -6.1
            Ages 85+ 1,450.7 1,598.7 1,628.3 0.5* -0.2* 12.2
            All Ages 195.4 208.3 158.7 0.2* -1.1* -18.8
            Total
            Annual Percent
            Percent Change Change
            Age Group 1950 1982 2015 1950-1982 1982-2015 1950-2015
            Ages 0-4 – – – – – –
            Ages 5-14 – – – – – –
            Ages 15-24 0.2 0.1 0.1 -2.8* -0.3 -60.7
            Ages 25-34 0.8 0.7 0.3 -1.0* -2.9* -61.6
            Ages 35-44 4.6 8.9 2.5 1.5* -3.3* -44.8
            Ages 45-54 20.2 52.1 19.5 2.7* -2.9* -3.5
            Ages 55-64 48.9 143.4 76.3 3.0* -2.7* 56.2
            Ages 65-74 59.4 246.3 186.5 3.8* -1.3* 213.8
            Ages 75-84 55.4 255.0 306.4 4.5* 0.1 453.2
            Ages 85+ 42.3 187.4 316.9 4.7* 1.2* 649.3
            All Ages 14.9 51.7 40.7 3.5* -1.1* 172.5
            Table 1.3
            66-Year Trends in U.S. Cancer Death Ratesa
            All Races, Males and Females
            All Primary Cancer Sites Combined

          • I do not know what these figures mean, nor where they come from.

          • That is cancer statistics for 66 years from SEERcancer.gov it’s a table but didn’t transfer over as one. You can copy it into a table or simply go to their site and see it.

          • @Candy

            ROFL! You’re not shy to demonstrate your ignorance, are you? By Googling “66-Year Trends in U.S. Cancer Death Rates” I found your source (which, if you were a serious debater you’d have cited in the first place). It’s the excellent NIH National Cancer Institute statistics review of cancer mortality trends for 1975–2015 (Table 1.3).

            I make the comment about your ignorance on solid grounds, because the data show the precise opposite of your claim that the “survival rate has not improved for the last ten years”. You clearly don’t have a frickin’ clue how to read the table!

            For a start the table presents annual percent changes for two periods — 1950–1982 and 1982–2015, neither of which is a 10-year period. (To save you having to work it out, both periods are 32 years long, not 10.) And ‘annual’ means ‘per year’, so when, for example, the figure for ages 0–4 from 1950–1982 is given as –3.3, that’s a much greater overall mortality reduction for the period. The many asterisks you have copied and pasted indicate a statistically significant mortality change.

            The most relevant numbers to any discussion in the effects of real medicine on cancer mortality come from the right-hand column — total percentage change in mortality (for all forms of cancer) from 1950 to 2015. Over that 65-year time-span, all-cancer mortality has been reduced by 81.6% for ages 0–4, by 68.4% for ages 5–14, by 61.4% for ages 15–24, and so on. (Click my link to the table above and take another look).

            The overall cancer mortality has decreased less for the older age groups and has indeed increased by 12.2% between 1950 and 2015 for people aged more than 85 years. But I’d suggest that a mortality decrease of 28%, 14% and 6% is not bad for the age groups 55–64, 65–74 and 75–84. We’re all suffering from a sexually transmitted, terminal disease called ‘life’. We have to die of something, sometime!!

            Thank you, Candy Champion, for so clearly demonstrating your total absence of education in very simple things like reading data tables. That your limitations don’t stop you imagining you’re some kind of crusader against skeptics (who you probably imagine are all on the ‘Big Pharma’ payroll). We try to do sick consumers a good turn by pointing out that, in the real world, their favourite brand of pseudo-medicine is complete nonsense. But you simply Google something and, from the deepest bowels of your cognitive bias, wrongly imagine you’re seeing something that supports your case.

          • Candy,

            I have had a look at your tables, but it is not very clear what they mean. Are they referring to death rates per cancer diagnosis, or deaths from cancer per 100,000 people per year (which is usually how such rates are expressed) or something else entirely. If it is death rates from cancer, then this does not only depend on whether treatment is more successful, but also very much on whether the incidence of cancer is changing, and indeed on whether the accuracy of reporting on death certificates has changed. Certainly I would expect more cancers to be picked up these days simply because we have much better ways of diagnosing them, and that is going to affect the numbers on death certificates and cancer registries.

            Indeed, we know that more people are dying of cancer now because they are not dying young from infectious diseases, and that doesn’t tell us anything about the success of cancer treatment, either.

            So for many reasons we might expect the reported death rates from cancer to increase even if treatment has greatly improved over the period in question.

            Nevertheless, as far as I can tell from the tables cited, the death rate from cancer in all age groups except the very elderly is falling, not rising or staying the same, though the total is rather skewed by the 85+ group as it is the largest group (unsurprisingly, since cancer is predominantly a disease of old age), which makes the improvement seem less than it is.

            So, Candy, it would be helpful if you could give your source, and also explain what the table is showing, rather than simply listing a series of numbers which, on the face of it, appear to show the opposite of what you are claiming.

          • It seems that Ms. Champion’s reading of cancer statistics like the devil reads the bible has an extremely sad background. If I read this post from her@ 14:14 today correctly, she is desperately trying to justify her ill advised decision not to accept proper treatment for her own adenocarcinoma disease.

          • @Bjorn Geir

            I regret I had overlooked Candy Champion’s earlier comment. When someone posts a comment such as this one, full of aggression and accusations of lying, I tend to respond with a similar level of aggression when I find that the comment is based on a total misreading of tabulated data.

            FWIW: earlier this year I too was diagnosed with a colorectal adenocarcinoma. I’m currently undergoing medical and surgical treatment and am cautiously optimistic that, as a result, I’ll be declared cancer-free by the end of the year. The treatments, particularly chemotherapy, are not pleasant, but I’m impressed by the many measures that have been developed to prevent or reduce the severity of the side-effects. I am prepared to suffer a little for the longer-term good.

            I find it easy to understand why some people elect not to undergo orthodox medical treatments; it’s entirely their own business. But when that choice is apparently taken on the basis of serious misinformation or failure to comprehend statistics, and the person concerned feels abusive towards medical orthodoxy, then something, somewhere, has gone seriously amiss.

            I’d recommend anyone newly diagnosed with cancer and thinking of refusing orthodox medical treatments to read the many empathetic, erudite comments on this blog from the oncologist Julian Money-Kyrie. Good examples are this one and this one. Dr Money-Kyrie has also addressed the issue of Googling as ‘research’ in the hands of people with no background education in biology or medicine (here).

          • Attack me all you want, I’m not being aggressive just stating facts that you asked for. Now, let’s go back to facts. The facts are that chemo effects damages to the body now let’s say I had chemo and a year later had a heart attack and die. That death is counted not as cancer death but as heart attack (which was damaged by chemo) .

            We’ll take the number you used 8% increase in 10 years. Now recalculate to include those who had traditional treatment but died as a result of that treatment. You can’t because it’s not counted anywhere.

            So let’s get to my point, if someone wants to have traditional protocol treatments then go for it. If someone wants to have alternative treatments they should go for it as well and should be allowed to get that here and no have to go to Mexico to get it. Doctors shouldn’t be giving false information either for or against any treatment. I feel like I deserve to know the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth and base my decision on that.

            Please continue on with your bashing game. But for the record how can you say that alternative treatments killed Rachel when she had at least 2 surgeries, chemo and radiation then doctors said they did all they could, she goes then for alternative treatments on a body that was already destroyed.

            When people get a cancer diagnosis they are scared and dont know what to do. We are taught to trust our doctors and listen to what they tell us.
            When I said to my doctor, let me think about it, he said no you can’t you have to have surgery this week before it spreads. Funny that almost 3 years later it hasn’t spread according to my last mri.

            Maybe someday people will see it’s all about the money and wake up.

            Come judgement day I feel for all of you who have to face the lives you held in your hands and traded for your pockets filled. Yes I do believe in God and I trust him with my life. Please dont bother to respond with negative comments especially about my belief.

          • Candy,

            Actually you haven’t given me any of the information that I asked for, but never mind.

            I have given a lot of chemo and radiotherapy over the course of my career, and more recently I have received both myself.

            Believe me, oncologists are very much aware of the toxicity and the kinds of damage that such treatments can cause, and are constantly looking for ways to mitigate the effects. Any course of treatment is planned with this in mind, and side-effects are constantly monitored so that treatment can be adjusted, delayed or stopped altogether if necessary.

            You give an example of a death from a heart attack one year on from treatment where the ultimate cause of the heart attack is the chemotherapy, and say that this would not be counted as a cancer death. Counted where? I don’t know the system in the USA, but in the UK the death certificate has to give a cause of death, together with other diagnoses contributing to the death, and how accurate that is depends very much on who the certifying clinician is and how well they know the patient. If they were familiar with the patient and death appeared to be due to treatment-related toxicity, then that would go on the certificate and eventually make its way to the National Office of Statistics. If they died one year after treatment and no longer had cancer at the time, is there any reason why this should be counted as a cancer death at all?

            If you are talking about whether the death is correctly recorded in some kind of local or national cancer registry, then the data collected (I am guessing here) would probably include date and age of cancer diagnosis, and date and age of death. From this information we can compare survival rates after cancer diagnosis without needing to know anything about what treatment was given, what happened to the cancer or whether death was treatment-related.

            For that matter, if deaths from chemotherapy-related heart attacks aren’t counted, how do we know that they happen at all?

            Actually I will answer that – from randomised controlled clinical trials, where adverse events are usually recorded in detail and participants are followed up until most of them have died, with regular interim analyses of the data, say, every five years or so. That way if there is an association between the treatment under investigation and an increased risk of (for instance) heart disease, fatal or otherwise, it will be picked up and quantified. This may result in a drug being withdrawn, or restricted in its usage, or it may be judged to be acceptable if the antitumour effect is strong enough.

            It has to be remembered that, although chemotherapy, radiotherapy and indeed most effective treatments for anything damage the body, cancer damages the body too. The aim with cancer treatment is not to restore perfect health (which is seldom possible), but to maximise survival with a good quality of life.

            I’m not sure what point you are making about 8% increase in 10 years, nor can I find where in this thread these figures have been mentioned. But there is plenty of information regarding people who have been given conventional treatment and died from it; even so, in most cases fewer of them died overall than if they had not been given conventional treatment.

            I’m also not sure why you are referring to conventional treatment as traditional. Medical knowledge improves all the time, and when I was practising I soon realised that if I was treating my patients the same way as last year then I wasn’t keeping up with developments. There is nothing traditional about evidence-based medicine.

            If someone wants to have alternative medicine, then I agree that it is their choice, but it is important that it is an informed choice. I used to spend a lot of time explaining things to my patients about how their body worked, how their cancer was likely to behave, what the treatment I was offering would involve, what the effects were likely to be, good and bad, and what it could and could not achieve. If they decided to go down another route, I would encourage them to come back for scans and other monitoring, and if they were seeing a known charlatan (plenty of those around) I would warn them.

            I do believe that the State has a duty to regulate medical treatment of all kinds, and if that means outlawing particular kinds of ineffective or fraudulent practices, then that is to be applauded. Of course its jurisdiction cannot extend to other countries, and citizens should be free to travel abroad for treatment if that is their choice. We have an important legal principle in the UK that the Law does not protect us from our own folly.

            You are quite right that most people are scared and confused when they receive a cancer diagnosis. It is very rare that treatment has to start immediately, and it is much more important that when it does start it is the right treatment, and all involved (especially the patient) are in agreement. Of course undue delays can compromise the outcome, particularly with some high-grade tumours such as testicular cancer, but in most cases a few weeks is unlikely to have a major effect.

            I don’t want to pry about your own cancer, though there do seem to be some inconsistencies in your posts. You originally said that your doctors had recommended removal of a third of your colon and associated lymph nodes, followed by chemotherapy, which sounds as though the aim was to cure the cancer (if it was incurable, the standard treatment would be chemotherapy to control it, and possibly surgery to prevent an obstruction, which would not involve removing lymph nodes). You then went on to say that you had been given a 3 – 5% chance of surviving five years, which sounds like a very different kind of cancer altogether, and one that has already spread widely. More recently you say that your latest MRI has shown that the cancer has not spread, three years after the original diagnosis, so the initial poor prognosis can’t have been appropriate.

            You also quote some CEA figures, none of which are particularly high (unless the USA uses different measurement units from the rest of the world, which it does for some other blood tests); CEA is not a specific marker for colorectal cancer or indeed for cancer at all (any kind of abdominal inflammation and other benign conditions can raise it), and indeed not all colorectal cancers make CEA. It is also well-established that colorectal cancer can grow quite slowly.

            What I am getting at is that your story so far does not seem to be indicative of anything other than your mistrust of doctors and your faith in whatever treatment you are having (you haven’t actually let us know what that is). It doesn’t really tell us how the cancer itself is doing so far.

            As for your claim that it is all about the money – I suggest you visit any NHS oncology centre in the UK where treatment is state-funded and doctors are not particularly well-paid compared to other professions. The main financial concern over here is that treatment should be cost-effective. Though I do have to say that the USA system seems particularly iniquitous.

            I hope I haven’t made this too personal, as this wasn’t my intent, but as an oncologist I do feel personally upset when you throw meaningless numbers around and make statements about conventional cancer treatment which are simply untrue. And as a cancer patient I am becoming more aware of the sharks that are out there preying on the unwary.

          • Frank Odds,

            Thank-you for your kind remarks.

            I am afraid I would like to correct you with regard to the spelling of my name…

          • @Dr. Julian Money Kyrle. Apologies. I must have had eleison on my mind!

          • @Frank Odds

            Lord have mercy on us all!

          • Refer to the JAMA Oncology study of 2015. Mortality rates are going down. However, there is no evidence that this is due to advances in treatment. “Neither [traditional] treatment (radiotherapy or surgery type) was predictive of mortality.” It appears there are other variables (including detection) that are helping lower the mortality rates. This may (or may not) include alternative approaches (these were not studied).

          • Cheryl Trenwith said:

            Refer to the JAMA Oncology study of 2015.

            Got a DOI?

            However, the only paper I can find that text you quoted is this:[1]

            We were unable to determine which cases of DCIS were screen detected and which were symptomatic. We did not have data on the margin status of the patients, and positive margins have been positively associated with the risk of in-breast recurrence.21 We included household income in our statistical models, but this is an incomplete indicator of social class. It is possible that there may be undisclosed differences in access to care in the different racial groups, but we found that neither treatment (radiotherapy or surgery type) was predictive of mortality, and these therefore are unlikely to be confounders. Few women in the study would have received chemotherapy.

            This is solely about DCIS. Are you sure you want to cite this to support your claims?

            __________
            1. Narod SA, Iqbal J, Giannakeas V, Sopik V, Sun P. Breast Cancer Mortality After a Diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. JAMA Oncol. 2015;1(7):888–896. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.2510

          • I don’t feel the need to support any claims. I am simply saying that there is research to support that survival rates have improved (you asked for research to support this), but not because of any new or specific treatment (surgical or chemical). Cancer is still very difficult to understand, therefore, difficult to treat.

          • it is hard to think of a comment that would disqualify you more profoundly that this one!

          • Mr. Ernst, I found your site and was excited to find a place to listen to intelligent discussion regarding cancer treatments based on bogus claims or flawed research in order to balance the information I am getting daily regarding this, and how to approach my own care in the face of this terrifying disease. However, so far, in less than 24 hours, I have only gotten hostile feedback on my own post, based on a scientific study in a respected medical journal. [JAMA Oncology, October 2015, “Breast Cancer Mortality After a Diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ”, Steven A. Narod, et al]. So, I guess I am on the wrong blog to find what I was looking for. Sorry to disturb.

          • with one thing you might be correct: this blog is not a patient forum; it is a platform for critical analysis of all aspects related to alternative medicine [https://edzardernst.com/2012/10/a-new-blog-on-alternative-medicine-why/].

          • This is an entertainment site for skeptics! Nothing more! http://www.shannonknight.com I beat stage 4 without chemo, so did my twin sister and many other’s dear. The details of my diagnosis are on my page.. You can find me there. I rarely come here because the skeptic group is depressing.
            I went to CMN Hospital and am over 7 years cancer free. The body can respond favorably to alternative even at stage 4. There is no guarantee for either treatment choices but let me just say this. I know for a fact that if insurance covered healthier treatments, more people would choose alternative FIRST because it has worked and if it doesn’t you can still choose chemo, radiation and surgery. The military is already starting to use Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber for Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD! Now that at least is progress.

          • oh dear, oh dear!
            these are too many unsubstantiated claims to tackle late in the evening.
            perhaps you want to supply at least some evidence for some of them some time?

          • Oh dear! Oh dear, You have the ability to do this, you are old news here and we all know it. Find it if you want 🙂
            I am proof celebrating! Happy New Year, I love that my heart and emotions get you riled up xoxoxox kisses

          • thank you for providing all the evidence you have.
            I just looked up the CMN hospital; I am underwhelmed!
            https://www.cmnact.com/Care.aspx
            in fact, they would be criminal in most countries.

          • @Cheryl

            “I don’t feel the need to support any claims.” But you might at least provide the reference to exactly which JAMA oncology study from 2015 you are referring! As Alan Henness says, a DOI will do. JAMA publishes an entire sub-journal dedicated to oncology! You can’t expect us to be mind readers.

          • In the October 2015 article (JAMA) entitled “Breast Cancer Mortality After A diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ” Steven A. Narod, MD, et, al. In the “Discussion” section of this study, “In our updated analysis, the 20 year mortality rate continues to decline…”and “It is unlikely that the decline in mortality is due to more effective treatments because we show here that mortality rates did not vary with specific treatment”.

            I don’t understand the antagonistic tone of posts following my post. I guess this really isn’t a site for meaningful discussion about cancer diagnosis and treatment. I am looking for real answers, but a little compassion would be nice as well. Guess this isn’t the place.

          • @Cheryl Trenwith

            I don’t feel the need to support any claims

            What you feel is irrelevant. Claims are invalid unless supported. If you wish to make your voice heard in a discussion about serious matters like health and disease, you have to support your contribution, not the least when it is controversial or even demonstrably wrong.
            As said above, you need to at least provide the source of your reference. JAMA Oncology publishes hundreds of studies each year and we have no way of knowing which one you are referring to. The question is whether you know it yourself? Further, we cannot simply guess if the number 2015 refers to the year the study was published or the period studied, there are scores of articles in JAMA Oncology that fit both.
            You could also provide more information about yourself to help us understand why you are writing this.

            For all we know, have no education in medical or other sciences and are simply paraphrasing something you read on Natural News, Mercola or GreenmedInfo, to name some examples of sites that produce health-related nonsense to frighten simple people and lure the gullible to buy from their online supplement-shops.

          • Cheryl Trenwith said:

            I don’t feel the need to support any claims.

            Then they can be dismissed just as easily.

          • Cheryl Trenwith said:

            I don’t understand the antagonistic tone of posts following my post. I guess this really isn’t a site for meaningful discussion about cancer diagnosis and treatment.

            This blog is a great place for discussing evidence and science. You failed to provide any for discussion.

          • Cheryl wrote, “ I guess this really isn’t a site for meaningful discussion about cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

            You are, in part, correct. This isn’t the place to discuss the modern medical approach to cancer diagnosis and treatment (or other health conditions). This blog writer focuses on one piece of the puzzle, that stuff which favors the blog writer to usually be correct. To look at the bigger picture of the weakness of modern medical approaches, well, that would muddy the agenda.

          • what a pompous little meaningless comment you wrote there!

          • @Cheryl Trenwith

            Thank you for providing enough detail for readers of this blog to find the article you referred to. There were four issues of JAMA Oncology (not simply JAMA) published in October 2015, but at least you provided the first author’s name and the title of the paper to allow a search that found the paper.

            “I don’t understand the antagonistic tone of posts following my post. I guess this really isn’t a site for meaningful discussion about cancer diagnosis and treatment. I am looking for real answers, but a little compassion would be nice as well. Guess this isn’t the place.” We’re not lacking compassion: it’s simple: you cited a “JAMA Oncology study of 2015” without giving any details of the reference that would allow potential discussants to look up what you were talking about!

            Sadly, the article lurks behind a paywall, so I still can’t view the details for myself. That’s in no way your fault, just a sad reflection on the greed of the publishers of medical journals!

          • Frank,

            “What you feel is irrelevant.”

            How many other ways could that have been phrased? Would you consider that an example of “compassion”? Was the phrase necessary in that comment at all?

            Do you suppose Julian would have used the same phrasing? Or would he have made his point differently?

            I know that’s not your quote, but you did say “We’re not lacking compassion”.

          • Shannon Knight said:

            I am proof

            No you are not.

          • Cheryl Trenwith:

            I think the others are being a bit harsh in their tone, considering that you have recently had a cancer diagnosis and you are trying to find information. I am an oncologist, forced to retire early at the end of last year after I was diagnosed with an incurable cancer myself. I can tell you that the Internet is not a very good source of information about cancer unless you know exactly where to look. The press are only interested in a good story, and there are a lot of people selling alternative cures who spread nonsense and lies to promote their causes. There are also many people who are well-meaning but don’t really know what they are talking about. Then there are sites for health professionals which assume that readers have detailed technical knowledge and experience treating cancer, and the sort of discussions that go on there are probably not very relevant to you. Not to mention the press releases and patient information from drug companies who will have you believe that their product is the only thing that is going to help you. If you are in the USA, you will also be bombarded by advertisements direct to the patient for products and treatments that you are not in any position to assess.

            In particular be very wary of survival figures. If they are from a clinical trial, then survival figures are there for the purpose of comparing the outcomes from the different treatments being tested, and are not necessarily typical of survival outside that specific trial. If they are looking at populations, you need to know how those populations differ, and what statistical methods have been used to standardise them for comparison purposes (e.g. if you are looking at countries with a different age structure). There are also different ways of measuring survival (e.g. absolute vs. relative, which will give very different numbers, overall survival, disease-specific survival, disease-free survival, Kaplan-Meier curves etc.).

            I found Edzard Ernst’s site after a nurse in a travel clinic told me that mistletoe injections had helped her through her own cancer, and gave me details of where she had got them. She was clearly trying to be helpful and honestly believed in this treatment, but I recognised the name she gave me as that of a known fraud who had treated some of my own patients. I was intrigued to find out more about what was on the Internet about mistletoe, and among the many pages of nonsense there was one site that actually examined the evidence rather than promoting useless treatment. As well as mistletoe I had two friends who offered to get me cannabis oil! Again something for which there is no evidence at all in malignant disease, and in any case I prefer to have a clear head.

            This particular blog is an examination of alternative medicine of all kinds, with particular regard to the evidence for and against it (there isn’t very much evidence for it in general – as soon as there is evidence that a particular treatment works, it is incorporated into standard medicine). It isn’t a patient forum, and the tone is that of any scientific discussion – challenging people to produce evidence and examining such evidence critically.

            I’m not sure why you quoted a paper on survival figures in DCIS. DCIS isn’t cancer. It is a diagnosis which didn’t really exist before mammographic screening for breast cancer – sometimes when the abnormality was biopsied the pathology would show cells with malignant morphology (i.e. appearance) but not behaviour (i.e. they were confined to the ducts and not invading the underlying tissue). It was named ductal carcinoma in situ, and was thought to be a pre-cancerous condition (i.e. one that had a significant risk of progressing to invasive carcinoma if left alone); it was also sometimes found in association with a breast cancer.

            Going back 20 or 30 years or so we didn’t really know how to treat DCIS, or even whether treatment would make any difference. Various approaches included leaving it alone, giving hormones, irradiating the whole breast or mastectomy (by then mastectomy for a localised breast cancer had been largely abandoned in favour of breast-conserving treatment). Clinical trials were set up comparing these different treatments, in the knowledge that it would take a long time to get the answers, particularly with regard to survival, as it was anticipated that most women with DCIS would live a long time regardless.

            Although I used to treat breast cancer, that was a long time ago, and for most of my career as a Consultant Oncologist I have been specialising in genitourinary tumours, so I am not familiar with the recent literature regarding DCIS, nor how it is treated nowadays. I would imagine that the most important factor in survival is how it is diagnosed – if a diagnostic technique is more sensitive than others, and picks up more of any kind of malignant or pre-malignant condition then it will include a higher proportion of mild cases that are going to do well. People often forget the importance of things like this (and of a proper mathematical analysis of their numbers) and try to think of all sorts of reasons to explain what their studies have found. A really good understanding of numbers is very important for reading medical papers (and writing them).

            Apart from the fact that you have mentioned a recent diagnosis, I don’t know anything about you, and in any case I can’t give specific advice to somebody I haven’t seen. Generally speaking, you will get the best information from the team treating you. I hope they will be able to give you verbal and printed information concerning what is wrong with you, and contact details of a named team member (perhaps a nurse specialist) who you can ring any time you have a problem or there is something you don’t understand. They may also be able to put you in touch with a local support group of people with the same diagnosis.

            In the UK there is a charity called Macmillan which is dedicated to supporting people with cancer, and there is a lot of very useful and relevant information on their Web site.

          • Shannon,

            I have just had a look at the Web site of the hospital you recommended. Clicking on a few of the treatments that they offer (such as stem cell therapy and dendritic cell therapy) brings up a mixture of things that are true but irrelevant (such as a description of neutrophil cells) and things that are abject nonsense (such as their explanation of what these treatments do to the immune system – clearly whoever wrote them has never studied immunology). Dendritic cell therapy is being examined by proper medical researchers but is not an established treatment. Stem cell therapy is used by oncologists and haematologists in conjunction with other approaches (generally to reconstitute the marrow after it has been wiped out by high-dose chemotherapy), but certainly not in the way that it is described here, so it is a bit disingenuous to suggest that the clinic is offering for free a treatment that is very expensive in the USA (and free in the rest of the developed world where there is a proper health service).

            Hyperbaric oxygen has long been used by the military – specifically the Navy, where it is mainly used for treating decompression sickness. It has other uses in medicine, and in oncology it has been used as a form of radiosensitisation (it worked but was very impractical). Most tumour cells are short of oxygen and die because of this; I would be concerned that improving tissue oxygenation would mainly improve the oxygenation of the cancer cells themselves, which isn’t really something that you want to do. It also has its dangers, from perforated eardrums to seizures related to oxygen toxicity.

            The existence of this clinic in Mexico is the only argument I have heard so far in favour of Trump’s wall.

    • No two cancers are completely alike. Besides it is always worth to check whether person telling that she/he has had such and such cancer has really had it, because it often turns out that it has been more indolent cancer or even benign tumour. Misdiagnoses happen, or patients tend to mix up terms, or they decide they have worst form of disease just because they are receiving the same drugs as another person with such disease and conclude that doctor has been hiding the truth…. And certainly one should never trust stories of the patients of alternative clinics. It is a common tactic of marketing to use people who have never had cancer, patients who have had conventional therapy and non-exitant patients.

    • I would love to have the name of this clinic.
      It is nice Rachel had a friend who supported her and is defending her decisions still
      Good on you!

    • Had she gone to this facility first instead of going the traditional route, we will never know if it it would’ve given her better results.

      Why do you think it might have given her better results? What makes you think these “alternative clinics” in Mexico are not just parasitic vultures praying on desperate people like your friend, trying to take their money for false hope with a witches brew of strange inventions, one more unbelievable than the next? If these “clinics” really had a succesful therapy, why are there so many different, using very varying approaches and different concoctions? Don’t you think that by now a few of them were enormously succesful, drawing thousands of patients from all over the world and written magnificent reports of all the thousands of happily cured patients? Please tell us why you believe these “clinics” still have to hide in Tijuana if they can cure where medicine cannot?

      • Well it couldnt have given her worse results could it? Simple facts are conventional therapy failed her. If she had sought alternative treatment it may have worked .. are you an expert in alternative treatments? How can you say weather it would or wouldn’t work… the 3 traditional therapy options are poison burn or be cut up … people have lived for thousands of years without traditional therapy so why are we scaremongored into having it today… it’s about money … we the little people are meaningless to the gready monopolising big pharma… nature made us so nature you can be darn sure will save us … god bless

        • do I get the impression that your alternative treatments are useless against paranoia?

        • amen brother, I totally agree. it’s a proven fact that traditional protocols (surgery, chemo, radiation ) failed her and countless others. I am 2 years into alternative treatment and doing just fine. I would probably already be dead if I’d gone with traditional treatment since only 3% live 5 years.

  • You are falling for the trickery of alternative pseudotreatments. Read Dr. Edzard’s series on “The tricks of the quackery trade.” They take credit for improvements that have nothing to do with their witch craft and cannot provide any evidence of well done scientific studies showing complications or improvements of what they charge for. For most they are taking advantage of desperate people. There are many anecdotes of alleged cures by a variety of treatments, many being pure nonsense, but the magic is convincing. You may say well, what do they have to loose but money. That is understandable but everyone deserves the right to receive honest informed consent of the benefits and risks and expectation of efficacy, based on evidence- based trials and not just word of mouth.

    • I remember Russians did a talk-show about woman “treating” cancer with tap water. They invited four or five former patients and paid for complete medical checkup. It turned out that neither of them had ever had cancer they had presumably been cured of, however one of the women had symptoms that were indicative of lymphoma. She was invited to do further exams but refused because of her belief in the tap water woman….

    • So actual proof of remission is not enough via scans, blood-work, and the patient presenting themselves to you is not proof enough for you? Because I went to CMN Hospital in MX in mid-2015, received all of their treatments, and I am cancer free right now, and I have scans and bloodwork to prove it (last PET done late last year). No peer-studies needed here, clearly. You are all seemingly walking a very thin legal-line with your slanderous accusations.

      • thank you

      • Mel said:

        So actual proof of remission is not enough via scans, blood-work, and the patient presenting themselves to you is not proof enough for you? Because I went to CMN Hospital in MX in mid-2015, received all of their treatments, and I am cancer free right now, and I have scans and bloodwork to prove it (last PET done late last year). No peer-studies needed here, clearly.

        Well, you say that but provide not a jot of evidence.

        You are all seemingly walking a very thin legal-line with your slanderous accusations.

        It’s clear you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

        • Are you asking me for my PET scan results? Who are you? Are you a licensed physician? Did you or any other person in this group review Mrs. Dowd’s medical records prior to, or after her going to Mexico? What truthful basis is there for this thread if her records had not been reviewed? Why would Mr. Ernst choose to post from a dead woman’s CHOICE, and defend it, even after a friend of her’s defended her choice? Did this makes Mrs. Dowd stupid? According to this post, it did.

          It’s clear that I DO know what I’m talking about..I’m that zero-in-a-million success story you claim is not out there. And that is a fact. Spin how you will, your power-trip is breaking down people sentences to one-up them. Superiority complex much, Sir?

          • Mel said:

            Are you asking me for my PET scan results?

            Goodness, no. Why on earth would I be the slightest bit interested in that and why would you think I would be?

            Who are you? Are you a licensed physician? Did you or any other person in this group review Mrs. Dowd’s medical records prior to, or after her going to Mexico? What truthful basis is there for this thread if her records had not been reviewed? Why would Mr. [sic] Ernst choose to post from a dead woman’s CHOICE, and defend it, even after a friend of her’s defended her choice? Did this makes Mrs. Dowd stupid? According to this post, it did.

            I’m someone who’s asking you if you have good evidence. So far, you’ve neither produced any, but more importantly, failed to understood what might constitute good evidence.

            It’s clear that I DO know what I’m talking about..I’m that zero-in-a-million success story you claim is not out there. And that is a fact. Spin how you will, your power-trip is breaking down people sentences to one-up them. Superiority complex much, Sir?

            Maybe it is clear to you… However, I took apart your ‘arguments’ (such as they were) to show them to be empty. What you have failed to do is provide a jot of good evidence for, well, anything.

          • Mel,I would very much like to speak with you in regards to your cancer treatment my email is candyrchampion@gmail.com.

            In regards to Ms.Dowdy had she not listen to advice from her doctors and seeker alternative treatment first she may still be alive. They jump to blame alternative treatments but neglected to state that the surgery and chemo rendered her immune system helpless to fight the cancer.

        • Are you asking me for my PET scan results? Who are you? Are you a licensed physician? Did you or any other person in this group review Mrs. Dowd’s medical records prior to, or after her going to Mexico? What truthful basis is there for this thread if her records had not been reviewed? Why would Mr. Ernst choose to post from a dead woman’s CHOICE, and defend it, even after a friend of her’s defended her choice? Did this makes Mrs. Dowd stupid? According to this post, it did.

          It’s clear that I DO know what I’m talking about..I’m that zero-in-a-million success story you claim is not out there. And that is a fact. Spin how you will, your power-trip is breaking down people sentences to one-up them. Superiority complex much, Sir?

      • Thanks Mel for your support! Dr. Cox , this is the first time ever i post on a blog! I am so sad to see how narrow-minded the medical corp can be regarding “alternative treatments” that have been discovered a long time ago by researchers, MDs,Phds… the thing is all these alternative treatments are not profitable for the fda but they are working and not quacks. Why is it so hard to believe that we can find in nature amygdalin and that this amygdalin when tested for years with cancer cells appeared to target them and induce their apoptosis? Why was that amygdalin used in the us as a cancer treatment for decades until the fda came and asked to stop it because they were not making enough money out of it? What is so complicated concerning vitamin c IVs?? If vitamin C IVs react with iron and produce hydrogen peroxide that is too high to be fought by the low catalase levels produced by cancer cells, which induce once again apoptosis for these cancer cells, why for God’s sake are doctors criticizing these treatments? What about “Insulin Potentiation Targeted low Dose chemotherapy”??? Isn’t that logical and once again found and proved by doctors and biology researchers, that cancer cells have 10 times more insulin receptors than regular cells and in cinsequence you can use insulin to transport chemo drugs targeting cancer cells and using only 10% of the usual chemotherapy dose used? And witg no side effects? Why are all treatments not using Insulin Potentiation before chemo today?? Is it because it would not cost the same price to give only 10% of the dose? You really have to give 100% toxicity to make a 100% profit and kill that poor patient? Where is the quackery for hyperthermia? Create fever in the area of the tumor, up to 42 degrees celsius and the tumor can not survive at that temperature and dies! Why is that a quackery?? If cancerous cells need an anaerobic environment to survive and would not grow in an environment witg enough oxygen, why is it a quackery to say that eating cordyceps mushrooms, that have been used in chinese medicine for over 3000 years,are known to aleviate the oxygen in your blood by 40%! And that chinese athletes have been asked to do doping tests after breaking records at the olympics just to be found consuming these mushrooms daily in their diet so that their blood is 40% more oxygenated than other athletes, would it be hard for doctors to suggest consumming these simply as a prevention to keep our blood oxygenated?
        I am sorry if my message is long or if you disagree with everything i am saying but i think everyone should be able to consider other ways than what our conventional system and society dictates. I did not know any of these treatments a few months ago but my mom has been diagnosed with a lymphoma and i decided to find the best treatments for her. It is so hard and sickening to be constantly confronted to narrow minded answers from anybody who is in the medical field without any argument, but the idea that conventional treatments are the only solution while patients keep dying just as 100 years ago.

        • The ideas (theories) of some alternative options are reasonable, but the religious acceptance of the ideas based on faith, beliefs or placebo effects with or without science sounding words is not adequate, reliable or ethical. This scams honest people into false assumptions of real treatments. If an alternative treatment is proven by reliable evidence using high quality scientific methods then it is no longer alternative but would become medicine. Science and medicine are open minded to truth but not trickery and gimmicks used to con the naïve or desperate.

  • I was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma in May 2016, I went to CTCA where I was told my only option is surgery to remove 1/3 of my colon and surrounding lymph nodes and chemo. There was another lady staying at my hotel who has the same cancer same stage, had the same recommended protocol and went for her 1 year check up, it had came back and metastasized went to her liver and she had a blood clot in her lung from the previous chemo treatment. CTCA gave me their statistics for my type cancer as well as ACS statistics of which their 5 yr survival rate was 5% and ACS was 3%.Correct me if I am wrong but that told me I have a 95%-97% chance of dying within 5 years! I didn’t like those odds so I did a lot of research and chose not to have it, I chose alternative treatment and started mid June and my cancer had been dropping (CEA 3.4) and I had a problem with my port and got one treatment in 4 weeks (CEA 7.1) Our wonderful government will not allow treatment without clinical trials and drug companies can’t patent natural items so there is no money in it for them. Go look at research outside of USA, Germany or Switzerland they work.

    • Good luck Candy. Could you share the “alternative treatment” you are receiving so we can investigate and research the specifics of this alleged cancer treatment. Our government and any responsible physician expects evidence of effectiveness and safety before experimenting on anyone for profit. I do understand your desperation and wish you success, but there are many greedy and underhanded “clinics” that prey on patients with false hopes and clever marketing. Hopefully that is not the case for you.

      • I’m sorry Dr.Cox you may not want to hear this but the real truth is there are many “greedy and underhanded ” Medical Doctor’s, research Facilities and most especially pharmaceutical companies. Clinical trials are not done on natural products because they cannot be patented therefore there is no money in it for the pharmaceutical companies.

        As far as my treatment the number one thing is that I changed my diet, cutting out white flour, rice,pasta,sugar, all processed foods and gmo foods including meats feed unnatural diets steroids and such. Secondly, I am going to the root of the problem and trying to rebuild my immune system which fights the cancer (In case you don’t know, cancer is inside everyone it only becomes a problem when the immune system has be comprised, vitamin D levels or oxygen levels drop. Which the cancer levels in my blood have dropped.

        • Those are for the most part excellent recommendations Candy and make common sense for everyone with or without cancer. Most physicians offer similar advice and like any profession there are bad apples. Science based health care(with compassion) serves society and individual patients best with proven treatments when possible. Unfortunately modern therapies cannot cure everyone, but have come a long way(even though too expensive, especially with greedy pharmaceutical and device companies,insurance companies, health business administrators and some docs). There are many more “greedy and underhanded” alternative-to-real-medicine con artists than physicians, and all should be avoided, including any irresponsible doctors.

        • I’m sorry Dr.Cox you may not want to hear this but the real truth is there are many “greedy and underhanded ” Medical Doctor’s, research Facilities and most especially pharmaceutical companies.

          True, but irrelevant.

          Clinical trials are not done on natural products because they cannot be patented therefore there is no money in it for the pharmaceutical companies.

          A classic piece of special pleading put about by the quackery industry, but demonstrably false. A large amount of medical research is funded by charities and governments, and not only is there no remotely plausible reason why this would arbitrarily exclude so-called “natural cures”, there is solid evidence that it does include them. See for example research into cannabinoids for cancer patients.

          The problem for “natural cures” is not that they are not tested, but that when they are tested, and found not to work, their promoters refuse to accept it. Hence the existence of clinics in Mexico offering refuted therapies such as Hoxsey, Gerson and laetrile.

          Cancer, as anybody who is not trying to sell you bullshit will acknowledge, is not a single disease, it is a class of diseases. The reality-based medical community is very wary of using the word “cure” in respect of cancer. It can often be effectively treated, and in many cases patients may be in remission for decades and eventually die of something else entirely, but we do not understand the disease well enough yet to say that even someone who has no signs of disease twenty years after treatment is “cured”, only that they are cancer-free.

          Of course, quacks ruthlessly exploit the careful honesty of science by trading “guaranteed cure” against outcomes couched in terms of a percentage chances of long term survival.

          When you look into the claimed “natural cure” cases, you find that patients always fall into one of three classes:

          1. They never had proven cancer in the first place (e.g. Belle Gibson). Often they are diagnosed and then “miracle cured” by the same quack.

          2. They had cancer and received reality-based therapy prior to quackery, and the outcome is consistent with the reality-based therapy (e.g. Jessica Ainscough).

          3. They had cancer, and still have, or have since died of, cancer (e.g. Kim Tinkham).

          Cancer is terrifying and there are no simple answers. The claims of cancer quacks are purest evil, cynically exploiting the vulnerable. That’s why it is illegal in the UK to claim to treat or cure cancer.

          As far as my treatment the number one thing is that I changed my diet, cutting out white flour, rice,pasta,sugar, all processed foods and gmo foods including meats feed unnatural diets steroids and such. Secondly, I am going to the root of the problem and trying to rebuild my immune system which fights the cancer (In case you don’t know, cancer is inside everyone it only becomes a problem when the immune system has be comprised, vitamin D levels or oxygen levels drop. Which the cancer levels in my blood have dropped.

          A grab bag of this week’s bêtes noires of quacks. To pick a couple at random: GMOs do not cause cancer, cutting them out of your diet makes absolutely no provable difference, the proteins in GMOs are biologically indistinguishable from those in other foods. In several decades of assiduous pseudoscience only one paper I’m aware of has ever managed to find even a glimmer of a link between GMOs and cancer, and this turned out to be fraudulent and was retracted. Ironically, given the hysteria over Big Pharma funding, virtually all research purporting to show harm from GMOs is funded by the immensely profitable organic food industry. Independent studies consistently find no risk.

          White flour also is a completely arbitrary choice. Some quacks latch onto it because it is white, and they think cancer cells are also white (genuinely, it’s that level of magical thinking). Biologically, there is no discernible difference between white and wholemeal flours, wholemeal contains the same proteins but with more fibre.

          You say you are trying to rebuild your immune system. Which part? And how will you stop it from attacking your body? As someone with an autoimmune disorder I find it amusing that some people think boosting their immune system might be a good idea. It’s also funny that they think they can. We have no idea how to regulate the immune system for the most part.

          “Cancer is inside everyone” is a meaningless phrase, as is “it only becomes a problem when the immune system has be comprised, vitamin D levels or oxygen levels drop”. Have you been subjected to the hyperbaric oxygen or H2O2 shills? Blood oxygen saturation is typically 96%-99% at sea level, and I am not aware of any credible evidence that cancer is caused by a drop in blood oxygen or vitamin D levels. Contrary tot he claims of quacks, nobody really knows why cells sometimes start reproducing out of control. There are well known triggers that substantially increase risk (e.g. smoking) but as far as anyone can tell right now it is, in the end, largely down to a combination of genetics and chance, and nobody actually knows in what proportion.

          And that’s the difference between quacks and medical scientists. Quacks give you confident assertions, medical science is not afraid to admit lack of knowledge.

          At the present stage of development anybody who promises you a cure, or confidently asserts specific factors as a cause (rather than a contributory factor) can be assumed to be a charlatan until proven otherwise.

    • Candy Champion said:

      drug companies can’t patent natural items

      Oops!

    • From what you say, your chances of surviving five years with the best treatment medical science can provide, is, tragically, very low.

      Your chances of surviving five years without any treatment at all, are substantially lower.

      Your chances of surviving five years with “natural cures” are identical to your chances of surviving five years without any treatment, because any “natural cure” that provably worked would already be part of mainstream medical practice.

      The quacks actually know this, but they want your money.

      I know what you’re going to say: natural cures are suppressed by the medical-industrial complex. Bullshit. Doctors and their families get cancer too, there’s no way they would suppress a cure in the way quacks claim, and the conspiracy of silence would have to involve, at a conservative estimate, many hundreds of thousands of people including nurses, doctors, researchers, charity workers and government regulators from countries as politically diverse as Cuba and the United States. It would be probably the largest conspiracy in history, and not one person has ever spilled the beans.

      Here’s a thing. People who get cancer and take alternative remedies, will either die or they won’t. The ones who don’t die, always credit their perspicacity in spending large sums on alternative remedies (because otherwise they would have wasted all that money, and cognitive dissonance is a s bitch). They never credit any reality-based therapy they had, it’s always the product they bought, the “research” they did.

      And the ones who die? We never hear from them.

      So, you’re thinking of buying a lottery ticket and you want to know if you’re likely to win. Statistically, the odds are very firmly against you. Every dollar you spend, you’ll get maybe 50c back. But if you base your “research” purely on googling the stories of winners, you’ll get a rather different picture.

      There’s never been any shortage of people who promise to beat the statistical odds in all walks of life. Sadly, the fates tend to ignore them.

      • IN the 1960’S Rockefeller donated huge some of money to medical college’s and got his goons appointed to the boards of those schools, they changed what was taught to symptoms suppression through pharmaceutical prescribed synthetic medicine. They are not taught nutrition or cure anything. So doctors and nurses do not know how to cure anything.

        I am going to give a good example from my own experience. In March I was diagnosed with diabetes and stroke level a1c and triglycerides. I was prescribed metformin and phenylfibrates.I was not given any diet to follow, just pills and told to come back in 3 weeks. I got them filled and read the paper the pharmacy included in my bag. I got as far as the part where it says do not take this if you have any liver problems it could cause liver damage. I didn’t take them and started looking for options. Changed my diet and went back in 3 weeks, the nurse Practician told me I couldn’t do it without taking those meds she was very openly angry with me when my reply was I’m going to give it 2 months and see. In May when I was told I had cancer I was also told I was prediabetic and trigliserides were down, in June I was below normal a1c and normal triglycerides. So I did what I was told could not be done and I fully intend to do it again! With all your nah saying none of you picked up on the FACT: when I started my CEA was 5.7 it has already came down to 3.4 when I was getting alternative treatment, when my port messed up and I only got 1 treatment in 4 weeks CEA went to 7.1. What that tells me is the treatment works. So I am going to continue and I am going to live aS best I can as long as I can. All yall nah sayers continue in your lala garbage.

        • Before there was pharmaceutical companies there was God, and he made our cures for us. More and more people are getting fed up with all the garbage and corruption and awakening to the gmo and processed foods were fed. Before long doctors and pharma we have now will be a thing of the past.

          • And your God made the viruses, bacteria and fungi that kill millions?

          • Yes Alan God did create some virus,bacteria, fungi, cancer, rats, cockroachs, buzzards, and various other things that I don’t find so appealing but in his all knowing wisdom he knew we needed scavengers to clean up our waste, cancer is designed to aid defense in our bodies not kill us, don’t believe that ask any doctor. Also, while your at it go ahead and ask them what our bodies are designed to eat, can our bodies thrive on GMO foods? So before you spout off and blame God maybe you should take a look in the mirror and see if minds like yours could possibly be the problem.

          • Why did your god give you cancer in the first place? He could have cut out the middleman and saved you a lot of misery. Is it all part of a large test? If “he made our cures for us”, it seems more like a scavenger hunt to me. “I’ve given you a deadly disease BUT I’ve hidden the cure somewhere. If you find it, you live.”

            (Actually, it sounds more like the plots of all the Saw movies.)

            Your god also provided doctors, hospitals, medical knowledge and modern science. Why do you turn your back on those?

            And to those of us who don’t believe in any gods, we don’t deserve to live?

          • Candy Champion said:

            Yes Alan God did create some virus,bacteria, fungi, cancer, rats, cockroachs, buzzards, and various other things that I don’t find so appealing but in his all knowing wisdom he knew we needed scavengers to clean up our waste, cancer is designed to aid defense in our bodies not kill us, don’t believe that ask any doctor.

            This is a nice – and, I suspect, pointless – diversion, isn’t it, that raises far more questions that it answers.

            Also, while your at it go ahead and ask them what our bodies are designed to eat, can our bodies thrive on GMO foods?

            You do beg the question, of course, but it seems our bodies can and do thrive on GMOs given we all consume all sorts of them and many throughout the world do seem to be thriving. But since you seem to believe we aren’t, please feel free to provide your evidence.

            So before you spout off and blame God maybe you should take a look in the mirror and see if minds like yours could possibly be the problem.

            My mind doesn’t seem to be the problem here: you have made all sorts of claims about your god, presumably based on how you view the world. I will change my mind presented with good evidence (which has so far been lacking); what will it take to change your mind? Once we have that answer, we can make a judgement about where the problem lies.

          • Nothing is changing my mind, because I have seen the evidence. I have read hundreds of research studies and clinical trials. You want proof look at the health of our country 25 years ago and look at today. It was 1 in 10 had cancer now it’s 1 in 2. Obesity especially children, diabetes threw the roof….need I keep going?

            About my belief in God…He is real he loves you, whether or not you believe in him. Because he loves you I choose to try to be nice, If you choose to disagree with me that’s fine your choice, but what I believe is my choice as well. I am not changing my mind.

            I would only suggest you do your own research find your answers. A good place to start would be https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-herbal-medicine/ and Holy Bible.

            Have a blessed day!

          • Candy Champion said:

            Nothing is changing my mind

            Who is it who has the closed mind? I’m reminded of the quote usually attributed (probably wrongly) to John Maynard Keynes: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

            I have read hundreds of research studies and clinical trials.

            Please feel free to cite what you believe to be the most compelling.

            You want proof look at the health of our country 25 years ago and look at today. It was 1 in 10 had cancer now it’s 1 in 2. Obesity especially children, diabetes threw the roof….need I keep going?

            Ponder for a moment on the possible reasons for that… then explain the ever-rising life expectancy. Your answer to that could be quite illuminating.

            About my belief in God…He is real he loves you, whether or not you believe in him. Because he loves you I choose to try to be nice, If you choose to disagree with me that’s fine your choice, but what I believe is my choice as well. I am not changing my mind.

            Blind faith, anyone?

            I would only suggest you do your own research find your answers.

            You made the claims; you provide your evidence. That’s the way it works.

            A good place to start would be https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-herbal-medicine/

            Which particular article do you think is particularly compelling?

            and Holy Bible.

            I don’t recall ever seeing any reliable medical advice in it… and certainly not about how to cure cancer. But then again, religionists are frequently very adept at contortions.

          • You asked for evidence, I gave you a place to start. It is not up to me to do your work for you I already did that for myself. If the evidence should change then yes my mind may change but based on the evidence I have its not.

            Everyone is going to die! it may sooner or later but it is inevitable. I want to live the best quality life I can with what time I have whether that’s 1 hour or 20 years. You see it your way I see it differently, let’s just agree to disagree. That being said I would ask you one question. If you had a child with cancer ( I really hope that never happens ) could you stand by watching them suffer horribly for a 3% chance of living 5 years or would you seek less suffering and 85% chance of living 5 years?

            Doctors did try all kinds of fear involving tactics with me, didn’t work on me but it does on alot of innocent people. I think that is very sad. When an oncologist denies his own statistics his hospital put in black and white, you show him and he still denies it, now that is what I call a liar. I want no part of that type treatments or so called medicine.

          • “It is not up to me to do your work for you I already did that for myself”
            I FEAR THIS IS WRONG: IF YOU MAKE A CLAIM, IT IS UP TO YOU TO PRODUCE THE EVIDENCE.
            sad to hear that your oncologist was a ‘liar’ – I know many who are completely honest. in fact, I have never met a dishonest one.

          • So still no answer why your god gave you cancer in the first place?

            Funny, I’ve asked this question for years on science bogs of religious people who claimed their god cured their cancer or praying to Jesus healed them or their god provides everything the body needs to cure cancer.

            So why bother giving you cancer in the first place? If your god controls everything, your getting cancer was his/her’s doing, n’est ce pas?

            I’m not holding my breath waiting for an answer, but I find it revealing there’s a consistent pattern of refusal to answer my honest and sincere question.

          • the answer I usually get is: god wanted to test me.

          • You want an answer here it is. Cancer is present in everyone’s body. When our bodies immune system can’t remove toxins (that we or our environment puts there, not God)its a kind of quarantine to isolate those damaged cells.If we fix the problem the immune system can remove it. We cannot fix the problem by killing the immune system.

          • I am so glad you did not become an oncologist.

          • “the answer I usually get is: god wanted to test me.” Ah, but which god? Maybe the cancer is caused by one of the Hindu gods, and Candy’s belief in the Christian god is needed to overcome those effects. Or vice versa.

            Or perhaps Candy would be better served by belief in Oludumaré or one of the other orixas in which followers of Candomblé place their faith. For all we know, Candomblé may well beat Christianity for speed of cancer cure: the experiment has never been done.

          • to be on the safe side, pray to all of them – there are only ~ 400!

          • ~400?! You must have led a sheltered life. Many thousands at a rough estimate.

          • Candy Champion said:

            You asked for evidence, I gave you a place to start. It is not up to me to do your work for you I already did that for myself. If the evidence should change then yes my mind may change but based on the evidence I have its not.

            You’ve been making the claims; you provide the evidence for them. I have no work to do here.

            Everyone is going to die! it may sooner or later but it is inevitable.

            Well, you’re getting closer to answering the question I asked, but still no cigar.

            I want to live the best quality life I can with what time I have whether that’s 1 hour or 20 years. You see it your way I see it differently, let’s just agree to disagree. That being said I would ask you one question. If you had a child with cancer ( I really hope that never happens ) could you stand by watching them suffer horribly for a 3% chance of living 5 years or would you seek less suffering and 85% chance of living 5 years?

            False dichotomy. You never said precisely what your cancer was or at what stage it was detected nor what treatment you undertook. That is for you, but what do you think the survival rate for all cancers is? You also haven’t said what it is that might give this reduced suffering nor where this 85% 5-year survival comes from. Until then, your question cannot be answered.

            Doctors did try all kinds of fear involving tactics with me, didn’t work on me but it does on a lot of innocent people. I think that is very sad. When an oncologist denies his own statistics his hospital put in black and white, you show him and he still denies it, now that is what I call a liar. I want no part of that type treatments or so called med

            Yet again, hyperbole, hand-waving and waffle. Provide the evidence. If you don’t understand what constitutes good evidence or the need for it, try reading more on this blog. If you are still unable to comprehend, I cannot help you any further.

        • Candy Champion said:

          IN the 1960’S Rockefeller donated huge some of money to medical college’s and got his goons appointed to the boards of those schools, they changed what was taught to symptoms suppression through pharmaceutical prescribed synthetic medicine.

          Even if that was true, what is being taught now? Please provide evidence.

          They are not taught nutrition or cure anything. So doctors and nurses do not know how to cure anything.

          Wrong.

          I am going to give a good example from my own experience.

          Wrong.

          What that tells me is the treatment works.

          Unfortunately (for you) many here have far higher standards.

          So I am going to continue and I am going to live aS best I can as long as I can. All yall nah sayers continue in your lala garbage.

          Some are persuaded by personal experience; some know the many pitfalls and dangers of doing that. If you ever have any good evidence to present – rather than unverified and unverifiable anecdotes – please do come back.

      • Guy, your comments are refreshing, honest, factual and based on true reality. As a retired physician and cancer patient myself it is frustrating to see how so many patients, desperate or not, become duped by con artists usually in an alternative-to-real-medicine discipline(if it can even be called that) or pseudo-health-care quacks. All we can do is try to counter the misinformation, which is more difficult when they have had inadequate experiences with other responsible or allegedly irresponsible doctors.

      • I’m 2 years good already, and had zero days recovering from surgery or chemo where I couldn’t eat. I still have all my hair, I am able to do all my own personal and professional work, gardening and most importantly play with my grandbabies. Say what you will, I’m proving you wrong.

        • Candy Champion said:

          I’m proving you wrong.

          No, no you’re not.

          • oh yes I am and you cannot stand it. You know as well as I do if I had went the traditional protocols route that you recommend, I’d more than likely already be dead or at least we’ll on my way. I hope you never get cancer but if you do you go right ahead and take you own advise but I’d be willing to bet that you dont.

          • Candy, for Pete’s sake, what does it take to get you to understand something very simple? I’m glad for you that you’ve not yet succumbed to your cancer, but that is NOT evidence that any aspect of your behaviour has contributed to your survival. To prove that a particular medicine, surgery, lifestyle or anything else affects colon cancer outcomes, you need at the very least to study GROUPS of people with the same disease, half of whom adopt the treatment of interest and half who don’t. If there’s a notable difference in outcome between the groups, that makes a case to investigate the treatment further; ideally with a prospective, randomized, double-blind experiment with outcome end-points stated before the experiment even starts.

            Surely you realize what a complicated thing the human body is, and what a complex situation cancer creates within that complexity? There are cigarette smokers who live beyond 100 years and non-smokers who die of lung cancer in their 50s. Does that prove anything? No; such folk are statistical outliers. Now, try to think… to ask yourself ‘How do I prove I’m not just an outlier?’.

            PS Bjorn Geir has offered you some highly valuable advice below, free of charge. I truly hope you’ll overcome your very ignorant objections and follow it.

          • Oh no you’re not…

            See how easy it is to reject your comments…unless and until you can provide some good evidence and not just an unverified and unverifiable anecdote.

            But you were told this over a year ago – you haven’t made any progress.

        • I had a brief, incomplete look at the literature on untreated colon cancer. Here is an example that came up high in the pile of interesting hits:

          COLORECTAL CANCER: THE NATURAL HISTORY OF DISSEMINATED DISEASE ‐ A REVIEW
          Bruce Nathaniel Gray
          ANZ Journal of surgery,
          Volume50, Issue6
          December 1980
          Pages 643-646

          Abstract
          The natural history of disseminated colorectal cancer has been reviewed with reference to its dissemination to the liver. The overall median survival rate of patients with hepatic metastases from colorectal primary cancer has been shown to vary from three to 11 months, with an average median survival of 7 months. Many patients survive for three years and some patients for more than ten years without any specific treatment. This may therefore form a basis for comparison of uncontrolled reports of prolongation of survival due to treatment.

          It can take years for an untreated colon or rectal tumour to develop into intractable disease. I have taken care of many patients who came too late for treatment. Some of them suffered horribly, for a long time. My advice to you is, get your but over to your oncologist right away, it might still not be too late.
          I have operated lots of colon cancers and many were cured. Surgery and chemotherapy are often curative and at least many times better than the sometimes excruciating pain of an invasive, infected primary tumour that it was too late to remove, perhaps with an emergency stoma because of obstruction and bone metastases that require continuous morphine infusion to give a little palliation.
          I’ve seen several such cases, some of them delayed due to reliance on mistletoe, amygdalin or some other useless muck. Believe me, I would not wish such a death for anyone.

          And by the way, new drugs are showing very promising results, sometimes melting down liver metastases so they become resectable. Progress is being made in this field so you might still have a chance Candy. Even if it may not be curative, it is always better to remove the primary tumour before it is too late.

          • “I had a brief, incomplete look at the literature…”

            Enough said.

          • Love you too “jm”.

            At least I am honest to declare the extent of my research before commenting.
            I might have found an even better reference but I seriously doubt that further literature studies would have changed my finding, that untreated colon cancer can take many years before it starts to wreak havoc.

            Now go play with your cups “jm” and stop trying to sound smart, it only reveals your shortcomings.

      • The average cost for conventional treatment in the US from dx to hospice is over 1.2 million. Just relating to the costs.

        People who do not have decent healthcare or any healthcare would never be able to be treated with conventional treatment. It is also very well known that those who are unfortunate not to have healthcare do not receive the same treatments as those who do ( e.g., different less expensive chemo drugs with less efficacy for their type of cancer)

        Sort of goes against the hypocratic oath.

  • BTW I’ll be back with my own personal proof. Bet you boys try to find a way around even that.

  • Dr. Ernst,

    …the answer I usually get is: god wanted to test me.

    Sounds iike a pretty cruel, sadistic god they’ve got there.

    I find the juxtaposition of these two statements from Candy both revealing and perplexing:

    It was 1 in 10 had cancer now it’s 1 in 2. Obesity especially children, diabetes threw (sic) the roof …

    She then claims:

    God…He is real he loves you, whether or not you believe in him. Because he loves you …

    A fairly sick way to show his “love” by giving one in every two people (I doubt that statistic is true, but anyway) cancer and creating so much juvenile obesity and diabetes.

    • YES, BUT GOD MOVES IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS, YOU KNOW.

    • Let me state it clearly for you….God had nothing to do with me having cancer. He didn’t make me eat gmo food, or get a vaccine loaded with toxins and yes even cancerous ingredients, man did all that and more. What God has to do with is me, he keeps me going daily.

      • Candy:

        It´s true that many alternative therapies are really really ineffective. All MDs know about this fact. I can understand that you want to find an alternative therapy which might extend longer your life, at the same time
        give you better quality of life.
        Indeed something is in between of conventional treatments and alternative treatments–if you do some research about DDW (deuterium depleted water) and hydrogen. And look for info about Mitochondrial dysfunction and cancer progression: ww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4950268/ ; http://www.nature.com/articles/cr2017155

        Therapeutical application of DDW was (most likely) discovered by Dr. Gabor Somlyai, see
        http://www.amazon.com/Defeating-Cancer-Biological-Deuterium-Depletion/dp/0759692610

        About Hydrogen, there are so many studies, you can check
        http://www.molecularhydrogeninstitute.com ; http://www.molecularhydrogenstudies.com

        We use the combination of DDW and hydrogen to treat autoimmune diseases, late stage cancers and some rare diseases. Recovery rate (not 5 years survival rate) for late stage cancer patients is extremely high, even for hard to treat cancers (tumor in lung and brain, for example).
        We do not treat stage 1, 2 , 3 cancers. Patients with late stage cancers do not pay for the treatments.

        Dr. Somlyai had done some clinical studies. But DDW without hydrogen is less effective.
        We had confirmed that DDW alone does not have sufficient efficacy for late stage cancer treatment.

        It´s OK to look for alternative treatments. But don´t pay for vitamins, minerals, IV vitamin C, magnets therapy, aroma therapy, light therapy or local hyperthermia therapy etc. None of those therapies is effective for serious conditions.

        Good luck for you.

  • … toxins (that we or our environment puts there, not God)

    So her god created everything except the stuff he didn’t create.

    My bottom line question remains: if your god has control over everything in this universe and presumably beyond, why did he allow or cause you to get cancer in the first place if he loves you so much? Your “answer” did not address this fundamental question.

    • There is no rational answer to the questions posed by theodicy. That’s why so many people sell books of arm-waving explanations of it.

    • God did not create junk food man did that. when I say junk food I mean processed cardboard chicken nuggets, bleach refined flour etc. God didn’t create nuclear plants, toxic waste, etc man did that. Man had manipulated viruses genes, cross breeding I could go on and on. You cannot blame God for what man does!

      You guys can mock me all you want, it only goes to prove how ignorant you are. I answered your question twice, your comeback is to bash God and mock me, no matter you remind me of Hillary and Obama.

      I am so glad I didn’t become an oncologist too, although I am considering becoming a doctor, one that actually helps to heal people! Oh and if I do, I’ll do it for free so as not to allow you guys to accuse me of swindling people.

      If you read the Bible you would realize God gave man free will, we can choose him or not, we could use earth wisely or abuse it.

      You guys think your so smart, but you are only deluding yourself living in your tiny little box. I think and live totally opposite and I am so thankful. You just have no idea how matrixly negative you are.

      I thank God and I am grateful for all I have and even what I don’t. I don’t have the hatred you have. I am not pompous and your mocking only makes me laugh.

      Have a good day

      • “man did that” over and over, as if it’s something bad. And who, according to you, created man? Do you really never think about what you believe??

      • Candy

        The way you gain respect here is to provide evidence to back up the claims you make.

        Despite many requests, you have failed to do so.

        There would appear to be several explanations for this, the most parsimonious of which are that you are either unable to provide it or unwilling to provide it.

        Whichever it is, continuing to try to put your argument (such as it is) without it will get you nowhere.

        • This has been a sad but poignant demonstration of why so many are conned by alternative health care and fraudulent orange haired politicians. Truth, honesty and fact checking obviously do not work. They say in the South “you can’t cure stupid.”

  • So I am curious….for those that do / did not believe in “alternative” treatment for cancer, how was your cancer cured? And aside from traditional treatments (i.e., chemo, radiation, oral chemo, etc)…what did you do to help your body become cancer free?

  • My my “Mr. Henness”. For one who proposes free-will and peaceful thinking (and even quotes Pacifists), you certainly cannot walk the walk, altho you’re so confident of your talk! What a hypocrite. If you were true to what you proclaim, you would support fellow human’s right to choose treatment, regardless of what it is for. Your complex is, you think you’re smarter than those choosing…that others cannot make informed decisions. You are the police of CAM! You selectively avoid answering specific questions, and enjoy belittling others who defend their decisions. It’s your right to live without religion, good for you. We won’t even go into the types of “medicine”/remedies ancestors used prior to conventional medicine. Amazing the human race even survived, according to your proclamations. Let’s take this to a different level, just to keep things in perspective. Here’s a question you may look for a way around: You have a wife, she’s got stage 4 breast cancer, already had a bi-lat mastectomy, 3rd recurrence, did chemo/radiation/oral chemo and nothing has worked. She begs you to let her try something else, something safer, something “natural”. You have kids, ages 3 and 7. She wants to live, but has been told she has 3 months to live. What do you tell her?

    • My, my “Mel”. It seems you’ve not understood a single thing that’s been said to you or anything else on this blog.

      • My understanding, Mr. Henness, is crystal clear…as is the fact that you refuse to address a hypothetical question where the answer you gave might muddy-up your self-serving”facts”. Maybe you’re just not married and cannot comprehend the question. Maybe the question was beneath you? Either way, I’m confident some other readers were awaiting at least some sort of response. Cancer is a very personal thing. Maybe next time you start insulting people, you should live with Cancer for a few years. It might change your perspective.

        • Mel

          Please just try to provide some good evidence. So far you have not.

        • Mel, you seem to be fixated on blind faith no matter what the diagnosis or prognosis. After reviewing the best available options, risks and chance of benefits I selected radical prostatectomy and as expected still have an excellent prognosis because my cancer was detected at an early stage. Appropriate medical advice differs based on the cancer and stage with or without metastasis. Surgery is not indicated for advanced prostate cancer because the risks have been proven to out way the benefits. However, other studied therapies are helpful, depending on the individual status of the patient and degree of metastasis. In most cases unproven therapies(which includes most if not all alternative choices) are ineffective inspite of anecdotal or artificial successes claimed by some, especially by those that profit from them. Anyone has the right and choice to try unproven or unreasonable treatments but SHOULD be informed of the risks, the costs and possible or improbable benefits that are claimed. I think the comments you object to are based on science based medicine and attempts to discourage the spread of FALSE HOPE which is predatory and unethical. Complications and failures occur in medicine but our chances of success are much better with a well trained and experienced physician/surgeon than an inadequately trained alternative provider with unproven or fake modalities, or a greedy and incompetent doctor with any degree. Yes, as a Family Physician , I obtained 2 seperate opinions from Board Certified Urologists from 2 different teaching hospitals(actually both hospitals use team approaches with 3 different MD’s discussing their specialty options–Urological Surgery, Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology.) I chose surgery, realizing all the risks for each option, including no treatment at first but rather Active Surveillance. Believe it or not, some patients are treated by quacks and did not even have cancer.

          • Thank you Mr. Cox, for your logical explanation on where you stand on this entire thread. And I agree with you that there are attempts from Naturopaths and clinical physicians / workers to spread “false hope”. My issue with this thread is that the HOSPITAL that I chose to go to was thrown under the bus by Mr. Ernst, without anyone here actually visiting the hospital and interviewing the Specialists that work there. This is a highly respected hospital that saves lives, and serves the entire community. It even has a nursery where it delivers babies, treats patients in its emergency room, has an OR and ICU as well. The doctor thoroughly explained to me that there is no promise when treatment cancer, and gave me literature of the treatments it uses to treat cancer. It leaves the choices up to the patients. It doesn’t spread false hope. I had the chance to research each and every therapy I was given, pros and cons. I started with an Oncologist here in the states and researched all options here too. There are NO promises given with chemo/ radiation / surgery in the states as well. What irks me is finding a thread that attempts to damage the reputation of a hospital / doctors just because a patient that went there did not make it. And no medical records of that patient were reviewed prior to this thread being put up. Therefore, this is an UNinformed thread being supported by speculation…and solely because some therapies are used that you all deem voodoo or snake oil. CMN Hospital has no quacks and does not deserve to be implicated as such. EVERY place, in the U.S., Mexico, or Istanbul that treats cancer patient sees death. Right? Thank you for your response.

          • Do you mean there’s no misdiagnosis or mistreatment by conventional doctor? Believe it or not, some patients are treated by quack conventional methods and did not have cancer too.

        • This has been documented and explains their “miraculous ” recoveries. It is easy to “cure” a nonexistent cancer with just about any magic. As expected these so called successes are touted by the alleged but appreciative patient or “mark” as wonderful healing experiences. And the con goes on. Do you believe in magic?(which is the title to a wonderful book by Dr. Paul Offit which explains with numerous factual references the many facets of medical fraud and misunderstanding.

          • And the beat goes on! Your response leads me to ask you….how did the human race survive disease prior to western medicine and University peer-studied modalities and chemicals? Things from the earth, maybe?

          • Mel,

            Modern medicine has clearly shown that teenage pregnancies pose a health risk to both the mother and the child.

            The human race managed to survive without modern medicine, not because of “Things from the earth” that prolonged life, but simply because enough members of our species — our ancestors — managed to live just long enough to become sexually reproductive then raise their children for at least a few years.

            Modern medicine has managed to extend, and to protect, human life to such an extent that it has become illegal in many regions of the world to engage in sexual activity until several years after the boys and girls become both very keen to engage in this activity and functionally able to procreate.

  • Mel and Candy, I would urge you to read the emperor of all maladies.
    It is a great book the documents the history or cancer and cancer medicine including many of the one mentioned in this thread.
    If after reading and knowing a little more about how cancer works and how treatments come about you still feel the choice you are making is informed then great at least you will know as much as you can.

  • http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/cracking-cancer

    This is a very interesting article – they talk about curing cancer using a treatment for diabetes….

    • Hi Brenda,

      When you visit any website, including the one you link to above, how do you determine if what the website tells you is right or real?

  • I was diagnosed B-cell lymphomas which are types of lymphoma affecting B cells. Lymphomas are blood cancers” in the lymph nodes. They develop more frequently in older adults and in compromised individuals.I remember being on my knees praying, “God, I will fight as hard as I can if you just let me get through this chemo stuff.” When I went in, Dr. Noy said, “I have something that’s going to help. I’m going to give you Procrit after you get your chemo.” Once I got the Procrit, I never felt again like I had after that first chemo treatment. I got tired and I didn’t feel 100 percent, but I was really okay. My cancer became very real to me once I lost my hair. But by then the mystery, the uncertainty, was sort of gone. Not gone, but it just wasn’t at the forefront. There were things that I started looking forward to doing, like going out and not just staying in the house. By then, the weather had started getting really nice, and I decided I needed to get out. I would go for a long walk or take the subway into the city and look in the store windows. It’s funny, people I didn’t know would chat with me on the bus, on the train. We would talk about anything. That made me feel a lot better. It come a day when i was told by a lady to try and do some research on the internet for help maybe there will be a cure to my Cancer.I google for treatment for cancer and i saw some testimony about the herbalist called Dr Adams johnson and the great work of his Herbal Herbs. With the hope i have in God i believe this to be the end of my problem for i have pray for a solution from God. I contact Dr Adams johnson with the giving email and also click on his website to see his work. I finally believed in him and told him about my problem. He prepare His Herbal medicine and which I was advice to take for three weeks, There are lot to say about Dr Adams johnson, I Thanks God that this man was used to end my sorrow All my pains and sorrows turn to joy and history from the day i came in contact with Dr Adams johnson, Who really help with his herbal herbs, I WAS TOLD HE IS A HERBALIST AND HE CAN BE OF HELP, I gave him a try and it really work out for me, today here I’m cured of B-cell lymphomas. Contact him via: (Adamsjohnsoncure @ gmail,com )

    • HOW STRANGE!!!
      THIS COMMENT WAS POSTED BY SOMEONE CALLED ‘ADAMS JOHNSON’
      if I were ill, I would avoid him like the pest.

      • It’s spam. There are quite a few of these every day all saying much the same thing promising cures for all sorts on conditions and they normally end up in the spam bin but this one got through somehow.

        • Another snake oil salesman con artist makes a buck! How is this different from robbing a bank or just one sucker at a time? ” Research on the internet helped him find an expert herbalist who claims to cure lymphoma based on testimonials.” unbelievable!! Like PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

  • Stage 4 NO CHEMO: Over 6 years cancer free!

    Shannon Knight and my amazing Twin Sister beat Breast cancer without DRUGS! That is right NO CHEMOTHERAPY, NO HORMONE BLOCKERS
    Like it or not UCLA FAILED ME! I am celebrating 6 years cancer free when I was given only months to a year. Cancer spread to all lobes of my lungs and bones!

    I laugh so hard when I see this stuff because people die doing chemo and they doe doing the alternative. They live too! We are not clones!! just look me up. Everyone is right and everyone is WRONG 🙂

    I am alive, I survived with advanced alternative cancer treatment in CMN Hospital San Luis Sonora Rio Colorado Mexico. I am grateful every single day and they saved my twin sis too. BE HAPPY! and research

  • I’m a health care worker and also have several family members with various kinds of cancer. I have seen alternative methods succeed where Western Medicine failed. The idea with Western Medicine is to treat symptoms not fix anything. It is not cost effective. After being given 2 months to live from lung cancer that had metabolized throughout his body. He was given Chemo and radiation and sent home to die. After going to Mexico for 6 weeks, (family and friends were welcome to come stay with the pt and even eat the food if they so desired) he came back to the states. All tumors gone except the main one which were shrinking. He would have done better if he had not done chemo or radiation as it weakened hi greatly.
    He lived for years later until he went into a hospital in the states for a heart issue and took him off everything he was taking. The tumors came back and he died. So the United States killed him anyway. I know of another women who was cured there and came back.

  • I am astonished at the nonsense in this thread. There seems to be a great deal of ignorance about biology, about Medicine, about the behaviour of cancers, about the immune system, what conventional cancer treatment treatment involves, what it can and can not achieve, and how much it has changed over the past few decades.

    We seem to be mainly discussing colorectal cancer, so I will start there. When I was a newly-qualified house surgeon in 1986 we would see people with acute problems in their abdomen who would be taken for exploratory surgery. Sometimes they would prove to have bowel cancer with spread to the liver, and generally the management was to close the abdomen without performing any further surgery, and to put the patient on morphine. Now it is completely different. For a start, they would probably have a CT scan, which would be followed by a biopsy and then a referral (via a multidisciplinary team discussion) to an oncologist, who would offer effective chemotherapy with a view to alleviating symptoms, improving quality of life and extending life as well. There are several commonly used treatment regimens (including targeted biological therapies) which can be used sequentially, and it is not unusual for the patient to live several years with a good quality of life, albeit with a lot of hospital visits. We have come a long way in thirty-odd years.

    Indeed, for potentially curable colorectal tumours, the surgery has improved. Early tumours can be treated with a minimal access approach, with laparoscopic, robotic or trans-rectal approaches, and there is no longer an automatic need for a permanent colostomy for low rectal tumours. The surgery for more advanced tumours is much better, partly because it is done by specialist bowel surgeons rather than generalists, and partly because of the development of new operations such as total mesorectal excision for rectal tumours.

    It is now recognised that the presence of liver metastases does not imply disseminated disease as spread from the bowel to the liver can be via the portal vein and not the systemic circulation, so limited liver secondaries can be resected, often after chemotherapy to shrink them, and in suitable cases this can lead to a long-term cure.

    Of course the success of treatment is better with earlier tumours, and screening programmes such as the one in the UK looking for faecal occult blood can identify high-risk individuals (also those with a family history or other risk factors) for regular colonscopies. Because early bowel cancer progresses rather slowly, a colonoscopy every four years is usually enough to identify cancers while they are still small enough for straightforward surgery to be successful (and this might be the removal of a polyp, not necessarily a section of the bowel).

    I don’t suppose the natural history of untreated colorectal cancer has changed very much since 1980, except that these days it would probably be diagnosed at an earlier stage, so you would expect the life expectancy to be correspondingly longer.

    While you might expect someone with metastatic colorectal cancer to live a few years at most with treatment, there is quite a wide range of actual behaviours, depending on the grade and inherent nature of the tumour and also the age and fitness of the patient. I have looked after patients who have been coming back for chemotherapy every year or two, living for up to fifteen years with liver and lung metastases. These are not the majority, but every oncologist has seen them. Indeed, it is impossible to give an accurate prognosis at the time of diagnosis, and very unwise to try. Quoting survival figures from some trial or other is very misleading, as the wide range (from those who do very badly and live a few months to those who do very well and live many years) is boiled down into a single figure – median survival – the purpose of which is to determine which of the treatments under investigation is the best, not to predict how an individual patient is going to do. Given this, I am not at all surprised at the many people who were told that their prognosis was very poor who actually do much better.

    Indeed, in my experience most people come away from the initial consultation with their oncologist with only one piece of information – that they have cancer. Everything else that was discussed is forgotten, and if prognosis was mentioned, then their understanding is usually quite different from their doctor’s.

    What about early colorectal cancer? Well, the initial symptoms can be obvious, such as complete or intermitttent bowel obstruction, or mild or heavy bleeding, or they can be much more vague, such as changes in bowel habit. A change of diet will itself change the bowel habit, and if that was the presenting complaint it can be completely masked. Again, given the often slow progression, I am not surprised at the number of people who are still well some years after declining conventional treatment.

    We have had a number of people in this thread claiming extraordinary successes from alternative treatment. Of course the ones who eschewed conventional treatment and did badly wouldn’t be posting (or indeed alive), and we would expect some people to do very well anyway as that is the way that some cancers behave. However, what we don’t have is any details of how the diagnosis was reached, what type of cancer it was (histologically, that is), how it was staged, and whether the metastases were a few deposits of a couple of millimetres across or heavy involvement of a major organ. Nor have we had any details of what treatment was actually given (phytooestrogens might be expected to give very good control of a previous untreated, hormone-sensitive breast cancer, for instance). Or indeed what subsequent staging investigations have shown, if they were done at all.

    What about the idea that cancer is Nature’s way of dealing with toxins? I wonder at an educational system that can lead to anybody believing this. On the other hand, so-called alternative medicine practitioners (and salesmen of all kinds) are very good at coming up with plausible-sounding explanations with little basis in reality (my definition of BS) and many people do not have the capacity (or more likely the willingness) to see through it.

    For that matter, what are the toxins? I have seen many treatments claming to detoxify the body in various ways but nobody has ever been able to tell me the name of a single toxin that they might remove.

    What about the idea that we all have cancer, but the immune system keeps it in check, and that suppressing it with chemotherapy and radiotherapy only makes the tumours progress all the more?

    Well, for a start, the trials that have shown radiotherapy and chemotherapy to work look at outcomes such as overall survival, disease-free survival etc., so whatever they do to the immune system (or indeed anything else) they clearly do more to the cancer. And of course the trials to record toxicities of all kinds very carefully, including immunosuppression. Indeed, oncologists are always very worried about the side-effects of treatment, particularly in the long term, and are constantly looking for ways to understand them better so that they can be reduced.

    Undoubtedly long-term immunosuppression can lead to an increased risk of cancer (e.g. following organ transplants), and indeed there are treatments under investigation (CAR-T therapy, dendritic cell therapy, tumour vaccines) and used as standard treatment (checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab) that harness various aspects of the immune system against cancers. There are other ways of modifying the immune system (colony-stimulating factors such as filgrastim and lenograstim) to enable chemotherapy to be given more safely, and indeed treatments such as bone marrow and stem-cell transplants that allow it to be completely replaced. The immune system is an immensely complicated thing, and yet SCAM supporters talk about it as though it were all or nothing (chemotherapy to destroy it, echinacea to enhance it, or whatever).

    What about cancer cases going from 1 in 10 to 1 in 2 over the course of 25 years? I expect that is probably a misunderstanding of the statistics quoted (isn’t it funny how so many people quote statistics without having the faintest idea as to how they were arrived at and what the actual data says? Polilticians are the most common offenders here.). Even so, since cancer primarily affects the elderly, anything which increases life expectancy is going to increase the number of cancers, since people aren’t dying of something else first. Also, anything which improves diagnostic accuracy is also going to increase the number of cases (e.g. all the early prostate cancers that are never going to harm their owners and which went unnoticed until the PSA test was invented).

    And yes, roughly 1 in 2 to 1 in 3 people get some sort of malignancy over the course of their lifetimes.

    The human genome project has now led to the ability to sequence DNA rapidly and cheaply. This is the basis of the science of molecular biology, which has done a great deal to unravel the mysteries of what is going on in cancer cells, how they develop, which genes are mutated, over-expressed or deleted, what pathways they are involved in, how they are controlled and how they interact with each other. There is a lot more work to be done here, but already the understanding that has resulted has led to many new and effective treatments (that are not based on chemotherapy).

    I am retired now (early, unfortunately, as I have cancer myself), and to hear how SCAM supporters describe the state of modern medicine sounds like a caricature of what it was before I ever started medical school. Those who claim that we simply treat symptoms don’t have any idea at all of what we do. And I despair at the number of people who think they know more after an Internet search than a specialist who has devoted decades to the study and treatment of cancer.

    • thank you – well said!

    • Thank you for the excellent comments based on your personal vast experience and expertise Dr. Money-Kyrle. It is astonishing and frustrating that so many non physicians and non scientists become convinced in Voodoo magic perpetrated by con artists. It reminds me of the book by Dr. Paul offit,”Do You Believe in Magic?” All patients should read this, since it conveys and compares reality and truth to nonsense with fact based discussions and references.

    • Brilliantly written as ever, Julian. Thank you. More people need to read this.

  • My name is Shannon Knight; I am celebrating seven years of being cancer free the same month that we have buried my uncle. He tried so hard and fought with such dignity and courage the conventional way. I am still not over the suffering he went through with all the chemo. My website is http://www.shannonknight.com My story is there along with videos of hope for all who are facing a cancer diagnosis. I had stage 3 in 2006, and it is because of CMN Hospital and God, or my immune response being stronger because perhaps I refused the chemo? (I was very sick with stage 4) I am also very grateful that my twin sister is cancer free. She is celebrating three years. She was only stage 2 and went to CMN Hospital just as I did. She never blogged about her cancer journey. I have been blogging about it since 2006 when MYspace was a big deal. It is strange how scared she was (There is an interview with us about her fear of not beating it.) It is an emotional interview once you get past the first 10 minutes. I mean, what she went through as a twin who got it five years after my recurrence emotionally was something I did not know until this interview. It broke my heart that she held it inside. My sister was so scared that alternative treatment would not do the same for her as it did me. This just shows how even if you have a twin sister who paved a path in a new direction and succeeded it does not offer comfort once you are diagnosed because the road of cancer and treatment reminds me a lot like a tornado in a way. Why do some people survive chemo or alternative and why do others die?

    If you visit my website, you will learn that I respect the choice of treatment probably more than anyone I have ever met because of it affecting my family so much. I want my family to trust their decision and instinct of what treatment they feel is right for them because faith in what we do is half the battle. It is such a heavy burden on our shoulders having to make a big decision on how to heal once you are handed a cancer diagnosis. Especially when you have been given a time frame of how long you have to live. Our decision becomes vital; we can’t mess up! I hope to bring some reassurance to people who are diagnosed; I have yet to see a high rate of accuracy when a doctor gives a time.

    The choices available to treat cancer whether choosing convention, integrative or holistic realize there are no promises of success. If a doctor is guaranteeing success, I am sure this would already be on the web and have gone viral. I just have not heard of any promises of survival in cancer blogs I read and when people write to me. What I have heard and read is that doctors were giving up and telling someone how long they have to live. A cancer diagnosis is the scariest thing to experience. Especially if you are told your life is over; not changing, not disabling you, but that you are dying. The first thing I did is turn away from that doctor and went where I would at least have a medical team that cared about what they said. They made no promise at CMN Hospital (OF COURSE NOT!), but they calmed me and helped me feel hope and collect my thoughts. Not many of us at stage 4 has options left.

    You don’t have to be intelligent to know that to this day there are no doctors regardless of their methods which can guarantee their patient that they will respond and get well. Lives are lost with the chemotherapy drugs as well, and the side effects can be very uncomfortable. I have 14 family members and we are all easy to find information about on facebook because the bond is strong and boy do we love each other. Every time cancer hits one of us we know there are hard choices to make. With the internet, we see other options, and there are people like myself beating it against all the odds. #WeExist who have had a diagnosis of cancer. I am public about it.

    I have an aunt who did chemotherapy and had success about 25 years ago. Unfortunately, my Uncle, her loving husband did not have a favorable outcome and suffered terribly before passing. His memorial was Oct 21, the photos album and slide show are public, precious and on my facebook. He was such a good man. They followed the oncologists orders. My cousin said to me that it confused the family that because he was just fine, he could walk and was healthy, and right after the chemo he could not walk, lost weight and ended up on life support. Saying goodbye was so hard for all of us. (The family has kept the experience well documented in a supportive way among my family on facebook because we were cheering him on, trying to bring hope. I also lost three grandparents to cancer and an aunt to conventional treatment. I have two uncles who did conventional therapies, but one uncle is dealing with the side effects and continuously in and out of remission. He is such a fighter. He helped me out many times cheering me on when I was sick and trying to raise money to get alternative at CMN Hospital. It took a few months; I was stage 4 ER and PR positive Her two negative.

    I think it’s important to understand that we know chemo is dangerous and a risk (I saw your list of the alternative treatments, and it risks as well. The common thread I see running through these posts is we can agree that there are no promises made, everyone deserves to keep trying to fight for their life and that there are risks. I wish alternative treatment were covered under insurance because my intuition was powerful not to do the chemotherapy.

    I had complications of staph infection, and pneumonia and chemo would have only made matters worse “for me” in my condition. We are all hoping to never deal with a diagnosis. I know many people who went where I did because they find me and write a letter or chat with me on facebook and share the long, exhausting journey of all the conventional treatment working than dealing with a recurrence of cancer coming back and failing with chemo once again. Many people are scared, and sadly many of them will blame themselves for taking the conventional path. I always say you cannot be so hard on yourself. You have no way of knowing whichever path you choose. You did what you thought was good for you according to what the oncologist recommended. We all know the standard care of cancer treatment and we also know that we can’t sue a doctor if the chemo kills a child or adult. They don’t get publicly bashed as doctors for TRYING.

    Alternative cancer treatment doctors have success and failure as well. However, you will find a long-running blog like this that tries to I know what it feels like to not want to give up. I had the bilateral mastectomy in 2006, it failed, I had my lymph nodes removed. Usually, when it gets to the lymph nodes there is a strong chance some cancer cells may have gotten through. There really is no way of knowing for sure because even the scans cannot pick up a new tiny cancer cell settling in somewhere like our brain, liver or bones. My UCLA oncologist explained it like this. He said it is like aircraft flying over a bunch of icebergs and seeing only the top part. My family and best friend were upset that he told me that and said I needed to do radiation. I did do radiation, there are photos of the burns. Unfortunately, it only caused fluid in my lungs, and I had a persistent cough that remained until I finished treatment at CMN Hospital. When you become a patient at CMN, there is a CMN support group online where we have our survivor community. So many of us are grateful for success, and yet we have grieved together when a patient did not survive. There are many variables with each patient for instance age, prior treatment and let’s face it we do not know what is going on with each other at home. Some people get talked back into chemo when they see their Oncologist upon returning home. It is still their choice. They are CHOOSING how to try and stay alive, how to heal and many do not want the toxic side effects of chemotherapy. It simply terrifies them. I was frightened to do it.

    My youngest cousin died last year from stomach cancer / he did chemotherapy. His stomach was in so much pain he had to stop the chemo. Unfortunately, he died soon after he quit the chemo. I lost a cousin and an uncle in one year to cancer with conventional treatment. I am alive with stage 4, and there are photos of what the radiation did, and angels for Shannon is still up to share info on how to raise money if you don’t want to quit after chemo fails and want to go somewhere to TRY and restore your immune system an hopeful beat cancer. There are no guarantees and the will to live at stage 4. The fighting spirit is different in each of us, and it is to be honored by our loved ones not because they have to. It is because they don’t want to lose them and have seen more stories of survival against all odds. Are their risks? Absolutely. If CMN Hospital turned me away just like UCLA when they gave up on me (UCLA gave me only 3-12 months to live) and nothing will be said or written about burning my lungs front and back, the scar tissue that grew and the staph infection from the US hospital. No sir, many hospitals and doctors are failing every day with chemotherapy, radiation and surgery and the difference is that Insurance covers it conventional. We don’t get the option to choose a healthier way under the care of our oncologists here in the United States. The give up and put us on hospice. Those of us who want to keep fighting like I did don’t know if we will survive with alternative. Just like going into war. We have changed, we are not looking at people the same I knew I would never get to say goodbye to many people. It was morbid when I would think about the color of flowers at my funeral, and I was telling my (husband then) Please just make sure there are no lilies there; only roses. The only difference is, we have to leave our country to get on a different battlefield like Mexico or Germany.

    Thank you, Mexico for allowing me to get treatment in your Catholic hospital CMN and for CARING about my American life. I spent days there not even a citizen, and you saved my life! Thank you for your compassionate care and telling me that even though you could not make a promise to save my life that you were going to do everything you could. You reassured me as I went through my panic that there is always hope and took time calming me when I was terrified of dying each night and sleeping with my light on. Your nurses took turns and stayed with me until I fell asleep. I got to witness two babies being born while I was there at your full-service hospital. I got to see your pulmonary specialist and orthopedic doctor for my lungs and bone pain. You tended to me as if I was a family member and my sister too.

    This blog was a great discussion, and it is sad to see some of the posts upon re-visiting. The only thing that has become more evident after looking through the comments is that we know that cancer is the thief! There has not been one proven treatment that is consistently saving lives for this treacherous disease. I believe doctors want to heal their patients. I also know that just because our insurance covers chemo, surgery, and radiation. Don’t be fooled into thinking that there isn’t a bundle of money to be made off of cancer treatment in the US. Someone is paying for that insurance.

    I worked for Prudential and Blue Cross, and I have seen the claims and the astronomical cost of chemotherapy. I want to leave you with this. Please visit Dollars for Docs at Pro Publica and put your oncologist’s name in there and see if they are a part of big money making machine of chemotherapy.

    I pray that we find a cure and that there never has to be harsh side effects with that cure. I would like to see this beast of a disease conquered once and for all. Xoxoxo This post is sent with blessings and prayers for healing for each person who is in search of it. Miracles happen. People are beating cancer with alternative treatment, #WeExist and there are many of us. Never lose hope. NEVER. Trust your intuition, and I mean slow down your mind that is overthinking and panicking. Breath and try to figure out what is best for YOU.

    • Dear Shannon,

      I’m sorry to hear how you and your relatives have suffered from cancer and am glad you are currently well. Your comment contains a few points I feel require some sort of response.

      First of all, there’s no one type of cancer. I had to wait till the 8th paragraph of your comment to discover you had breast cancer. But even the term ‘breast cancer’ refers to several different types of disease, each requiring a different approach to treatment. In 2018 it’s sort of obsolete to talk of cancer as if it were just one disease. For each form of cancer there are different statistics concerning survival and treatment outcomes. Sadly, statistics apply only to groups, not to individuals, and it’s very hard to persuade an individual who has beaten a survival statistic, as you claim to have done, that they are not in some way special.

      Then you talk of ‘chemotherapy’ as if it were just one treatment. In fact there are more than 100 different forms of chemotherapy, each with its own set of side-effects. Not all of these are equally debilitating, and — in any case — individuals react differently to identical chemotherapy treatments. But, once again, statistics are of little help to an individual patient.

      You repeatedly point out that nobody (trained doctor or alternative pseudo-doctor) ever guarantees their treatment will effect a cure, as if this is something other than very obvious. The same applies to every known disease, and in other walks of life as well. A glance at product reviews on the Amazon website will swiftly show how something that rates 5-star raves from most of its reviewers still attracts 1-star ratings from people for whom the product didn’t work as expected or described.

      Your final shot, suggesting that oncologists who prescribe chemotherapy are “a part of a big money-making machine” is simply unworthy and unfair. This comment might be justified if your Mexican alternative treatment were provided free and gratis, but you tell us “angels for Shannon is still up to share info on how to raise money if you don’t want to quit after chemo fails and want to go somewhere to TRY and restore your immune system an hopeful [sic] beat cancer”! so why don’t your CMN carers also fall into the same pot of people unreasonably making money from cancer treatments? After all, it has been pretty convincingly shown that people who choose alternative medicine for several different (common) forms of cancer die sooner on average than patients who undergo conventional treatments. (Once again, of course, if you happen to be an outlier you’ll probably not believe the statistics.)

      Good luck to you and yours for the future, Shannon. You have all suffered more than most. Please remember that the term ‘saving a life’ more prosaically means only ‘postponing an occasion of death’. I wish you well.

      • Dear Frank Thank you for your condolences for my family. I apologize for not posting the details of my diagnosis in the first sentence. Here is the website that gives more details which I did share. It has generous information about my diagnosis.

        My disease was a full report. It had far more details than what this topic was about. However, to satisfy your discontent I will oblige you. I had a diagnosis of ER and PR positive. I went to a university with interns that practiced giving their drug recommendation on a tape recording. I was allowed to choose. I’d like to invite you again to visit my “personal” website where you can learn more about my diagnosis. In my videos, I emphasize the fact that there are numerous types of cancer and how we are not clones.

        I believe that chemosensitivity testing will be valuable and more humane. Testing drugs on the entire body is a little more barbaric and I think this goes all the way around for alternative and conventional.

        I don’t think it’s difficult to persuade an individual who has beaten a survival statistic that they are not in some way special. There are many survivors in my groups and we just feel the same as people who beat cancer with conventional “DAMN LUCKY AND BLESSED!” All cancer diagnosis is disheartening and we want to be that special one who survives. If we feel special, that’s a personal thing.

        I talk about chemotherapy as a treatment because this is a blog, not a book and it is a given that there are various chemotherapy drugs. Doctors even talk to us generally about chemo. They say often times. I am going to suggest chemotherapy. The doctor does not go into great detail until they are putting together a plan. There are more than 100 different forms of chemotherapy! Who is going to list them here? I did not need to point out that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the US doctor suggested chemo, radiation and surgery. I did not want to lose my hair and vomit, so the RX names of the 3 drug cocktail were not important for me to add in my blog as well as the many different drugs that were tried on my relatives for all their different cancers.

        The statistics; I don’t need to go into that.
        This blog is about alternative medicine for cancer costing money and lives, not all other diseases. I referenced the blog the way it should have been about Conventional chemotherapies costing lives as well. You may want to look up the word chemotherapy. Even though the word chemotherapy seems too general to you the word covers a lot in our good old Webster dictionary. I will just post it here and you can fact check me.

        Chemotherapy
        che·mo·ther·a·py
        /ˌkēmōˈTHerəpē,ˌkemōˈTHerəpē/Submit
        noun
        the treatment of disease by the use of chemical substances, especially the treatment of cancer by cytotoxic and other drugs.

        My final shot about chemotherapy and the cost is fair. I will not retract that. The doctors do their job and do not set the price, Pharmaceutical companies do that. Chemotherapy drugs are a commodity and patients are the consumers. Traditional cancer treatment is far more costly than alternative medicine. Conventional and traditional do not offer more hope one way or the other. However one does cause more collateral damage to the body. People fear a diagnosis of cancer for obvious reasons. To put it straight, they are afraid of the standard treatment. It does not offer enough hope. It has horrible side effects with complications of surgery, radiation and the chemotherapy recommendations.

        People become afraid of cancer for that reason. STANDARD TREATMENT.

        I think alternative treatments should be tested more in western medicine and be used integratively for cancer patients to provide a more advanced treatment to build back their immune system after all the toxic treatments have been completed. The science can be done. We all know the importance of restoring the immune system after receiving chemo drugs.

        It has not been convincingly proven that people who choose alternative medicine for several different (common) forms of cancer die sooner

        You will have to pst reliable stats on that because often times people do alternative after the conventional failed and weakened the immune system It is not included in the standard of care for an option.

        Just post the statistics if you wish. I am not any more special than the next person faced with a diagnosis and choices on how to heal. I am a survivor of stage 4 breast cancer who went to CMN Hospital and did not experience the things listed above in this blog and I belong to a large community of survivors and have never heard of this so far.

        Good luck to you and yours for the future I wish you well.
        Sincerely
        Shannon

        • Shannon,

          I have found your Web site, but after hunting around for a bit I haven’t been able to find very much information about your disease, nor specifically what treatment you had.

          “I believe that chemosensitivity testing will be valuable and more humane”
          One of the main thrusts of cancer research at the moment is to be able to predict which cancers will respond to which treatment. We are now able to characterise individual tumours in terms of what mutations are present and which proteins are up- or down-regulated. This is beginning to translate into individualised treatment, though much more research still needs to be done. One of the earliest examples is breast cancer, where the presence of Her2neu predicts response to Herceptin (and its absence predicts a greater response to certain types of chemotherapy)

          “alternative treatments should be tested more in western medicine”
          Many of them have been, and rejected. Western medicine includes anything that has been shown to work.

          “I did not want to lose my hair and vomit”
          Nobody does. There are strategies for mitigating hair loss (such as scalp cooling) though these don’t work for all types of chemotherapy. But it does grow back. I lost all my hair within three weeks of starting chemotherapy, and when it grew back it was curly (having been completely straight all my life). I love it, though a perm is probably easier. As for vomiting, when I was a junior doctor in the late 1980’s I worked for a consultant who insisted that every time any patient vomited from chemotherapy, the on-call junior had to go and see them, whatever the time of day or night. This was quite an effective approach, even in the days before ondansetron and related drugs, which are so effective as antiemetics that they have revolutionised the way that chemotherapy is given.

          “alternative treatments should be … used integratively for cancer patients to provide a more advanced treatment to build back their immune system after all the toxic treatments have been completed.”
          Is there any reason to suppose that alternative medicines have any beneficial effects at all on the immune system? The immune system is extremely complicated, with hundreds if not thousands of different types of cell, and thousands of feedback and control systems, and even now we can’t pretend to be anywhere near understanding it fully. I have heard vague claims about immune-boosting or immune-balancing, but never anything which actually made any sense.

          “they are afraid of the standard treatment. It does not offer enough hope.”
          It does not offer false hope. Though I have found as an oncologist that even when you can’t cure somebody there is usually something you can do to help them.

          “It has not been convincingly proven that people who choose alternative medicine for several different (common) forms of cancer die sooner”
          I don’t know what it would take to convince you. There have been a number of studies looking at this, including a joint Australian / American study which I can’t find just now. Have a look at this one:
          https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/110/1/121/4064136

          “My final shot about chemotherapy and the cost is fair”
          The standard drugs used in breast cancer are now off-label and are therefore cheap, though new cancer therapies (mostly not chemo) are all very expensive.

          “Traditional cancer treatment is far more costly than alternative medicine”
          What about the cost-to-benefit ratio?

          I am sorry that you live in a country with such a ridiculous healthcare system. In theory you have access to some of the best care in the world, but in practice it is only available to those who can afford it. At least in the UK everybody is eligible for world-class cancer treatment paid for out of taxes.

          “I had a diagnosis of ER and PR positive”
          Of course I don’t know other important details of your diagnosis (such as the tumour grade, which is probably the most important factor in determining how it might behave) but if you have had any treatment, conventional or otherwise, which has hormonal effects, this can hold breast cancer in check for a long time.

          “It has horrible side effects with complications of surgery, radiation and the chemotherapy recommendations”
          Every oncologist is very much aware of the side-effects of their treatment, and worse than that, the complications (which are usually rare). They are also aware of the effects of untreated cancer. Where the aim is to cure the patient, then usually any side-effects are more acceptable than when the aim is to control the disease, and treatment regimens are chosen with that in mind.

          It is important to remember that with adjuvant treatment (e.g. chemotherapy in addition to the primary treatment of surger / radiotherapy) only some patients will benefit (because others are already cured, and others won’t respond to it) and there is no way of knowing in advance who those will be. The oncologist knows that he will be saving lives by treating everybody, but he will understand that some individuals would prefer to take their chances when they only stand a 10% chance of them being the one. This is a reason to have a proper discussion about an individual treatment, not to reject the system altogether.

          The main difference between conventional and alternative medicine is the approach. Alternative medicine claims to have the answers, but this is not based on any plausible mechanism of how the treatment might work (the nonsense on the CMN Web site doesn’t bear scrutiny by anybody with any understanding of biology), nor on any evidence other than anecdote. Conventional medicine is the best we have so far, but we are well aware of its limitations, and we are constantly researching in order to understand how the body works a bit better and what various treatments do in practice as opposed to theoretically, as well as examining our practice critically in order to improve it.

  • Oh my… how sad.

    Had bilateral mastectomy, lymph node removal and aggressive radiotherapy and says she THEN went to a clinic in Mexico that is supposed to have saved her life. This story does not add up to anything more than she is nothing more than a seven year survivor of surgery and radiotherapy, that is not at all unusual. Had she not had this treatment she would wither not be alive now or suffering from the horrible agony of untreated breast cancer.
    Her claims that her doctors gave her little hope is, apart from being totally unverified, quite irrelevant. Many oncologists prefer to err on the negative side when asked about the prognosis.

    How wonderful that she has survived so far and how abominable that she is now making money from selling books and “anticancer” food supplements. Instead of supporting other cancer victims she is promoting a fake cancer clinic in Mexico that offers a grocery list of ridiculous pseudo-therapies. Most of the “therapies” listed there have actually been disproven and some have even been proven to have cancer promoting effects!
    I would not be surprised to learn that the woman is also paid by the clinic to promote this racket.
    Instead of being grateful to modern medicine that saved her life so far, she selfishly uses her story for her own financial and emotional gain.

  • A shorter reply on this matter. A very old topic. Not even a shock quite frankly.
    Title of this bloc should be
    Conventional and Alternative ‘cancer cures’ cost money and heal or kill lives!

  • @Shannon.

    What a shame! You just don’t get it. I provided a link to exactly the same article as Dr Money-Kyrle, published in 2017 and providing clear evidence that people who choose alternative medicine for cancer treatment die sooner than conventionally treated counterparts but you just aren’t interested in robustly obtained evidence.

    I didn’t expect you to list the many different types of chemotherapy (my link already did that), merely to acknowledge that not all chemotherapies are the same. I recently completed three cycles of Xelox chemo for my own (colorectal) cancer. My hair didn’t fall out, nor did I throw up at any time.

    Sadly you seem to be typical of folk who carry an emotionally felt candle for alternative therapies: strikingly ignorant of biology and medicine and unwilling or unable to apply any hint of reason in their arguments.

    • All cancer cures’ cost money and may save lives

      I am a survivor, my story and details are available for curious minds. http://www.shannonknight.com
      I had no luck with surgery in 2006 when they amputated my breasts…moving on… cancer came back with a vengeance in Jul 2010 and UCLA said inoperable and offered drugs. I did radiation on ONE area, “my sternum” Thank you UCLA for trying. They 22 rads out of 45 planned because I developed pneumonia and a staph infection in my lungs. I have witnesses, family, friends, and people who loved and cared for me as I went through the battle.
      I hope you are not like that weird ice lander sitting at the computer all day probably eating hot pockets and twinkies looking for a good debate. It makes him feel good. I looked up a couple folks here that are being ridiculous and they are loners.

      I am grateful to be alive my story is honest and public and your opinion of what worked has no weight or bearing on the success I had with stage 4 breast cancer treatment feb 2011. I did not have radiation anywhere except one spot on my sternum and instead of shrinking in AUGUST 2010, it got worse. My family and friends thank God supported me as I decided to choose a Catholic hospital that has been around for 35 years. I did not have to follow a testimony to get the idea to go to Mexico. My grandmother was born there, I lived in a border town and was never afraid of good doctors in another country. This hospital CMN has saved many lives and they do not just treat cancer. They are full service and you do not need a break down of that

      Radiation did not work. I had mets to all lobes of my lungs ribs collar bone throat and soft tissue (No details necessary) It failed and caused more complications. You were nowhere around and have no right to diminish my experience personally. You have shown no manners towards anyone battling cancer and have gotten so far off track of the point here. Alternative medicine heals. All cancer treatment costs money and all of it may or may not work.

      http://www.cmnact.com
      http://www.shannonknight.com

      I am done and I do not wish to reply any further to you. Stay healthy. You made your choice for treatment, and I am glad it worked for you. I hope whatever people choose works. debate with someone else that thins you are worth it. I do not find your comments to be of any value. I am alive. stage 4 breast cancer survivor 7 years ER PR Positive HER 2 Negative. my story is at my website.

      !Shannon Knight

    • To the man who commented incorrectly and recklessly about my cancer treatment . I do not sell supplements and never have.
      Surgery failed in 2006, Radiation failed in 2010. UCLA could not treatment because I got so sick. My oncologist kindly told me in front of my family that there was nothing else to be done. So I left my country at let a very good hospital treat me. The do surgery at CMN and it has ICU, not a clinic at all. It is only inpatient. If not for them I would not be here. Your evaluation of my experience has me hoping that other readers of your rude comments don’t get affected by it.
      I did however write a book inspired by all survivors regardless of their treatment choices. It’s not an easy decision to put your arm out and accept anything that has risks whether it is a chemo drug or a holistic treatment. Maybe it is the placebo affect for all survivors.
      “Grateful Heart” Memoirs of a Cancer Survivor. Is the name of my book.
      Your comment was a wasteful venomous accusation with no merit.
      Life is too short for you to be that angry, xoxoxo to all who are trying to decide what treatment is best for you. I know how hard it is. http://Www.shannonknigjt.com

      • @Shannon Knight
        You are alive seven years after diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer. (Or was it after radiotherapy?)
        You had, according to yourself, extensive surgery and twenty-something rounds of radiotherapy. You were advised chemotherapy as well, which sounds normal procedure to increase your chances but you boastfully claim you refused that and went to get treated at a named clinic in Mexico.
        You boast that you beat cancer without chemotherapy but try to belittle the fact you were aggressively treated by modern cancer treatment. That you did not accept the addition of chemotherapy does not mean that the surgery and radiotherapy did not help you (or “failed” as you claim).
        That you have lived seven years is wonderful but I am afraid that it is not impossible to get a relapse of breast cancer even after many more years of remission. That is why chemotherapy is usually offered and often anti-hormone therapy for five years or so.

        Your web is little more than a large promotional web for the Mexican clinic. If you are doing them a favour for free, that’s fine with me but I find it rather implausible.
        I followed the links from your web to see what they offer and did not find a trustworthy medical clinic/hospital, only yet another fake cancer clinic in Mexico offering a grocery list of disproven and dangerous make-believe medicine: https://www.cmnact.com/Treatment-Summary.aspx
        A “clinic” that offers rectal ozone therapy, biomagnetic therapy and Rife technology, to name a few, is per definition a charlatan clinic. There are many more disproven and dubious items on their list. Some of the “treatments” listed are even cancer boosting such as some vitamin infusions.
        I see nothing in this list that is likely to have cured a cancer of any kind.
        If you wish us to consider believing your claims and your story (and your integrity) you can start by telling us what treatments are supposed to have saved your life that surgery and radiation did not.

        And as for you selling supplements, please see: https://youtu.be/aaNSTTFoERs?t=1578 . I call this ‘selling’, you can call it promotion or advertising but I find it very hard to believe you are doing it for free.
        In the video you claim anti-cancer properties for the products you are promoting/selling. That is in my mind, highly dubious, unproven and therefore unethical.

        • In all fairness I doubt whether the radiotherapy contributed very much, though of course it is hard to judge without knowing more details. She already had multiple metastases in her lungs at the time of treatment, so the only purpose of irradiating her sternum would be to relieve pain from a metastasis there causing bone pain. 45 rads sounds an odd dose to use in this situation (though the effects of radiation depend very much on the fraction size, not just the total dose), not least because we have been prescribing radiotherapy in Gray, not rads, for at least the last 25 years (though maybe not in the USA, which uses different units from the rest of the world for most things medical). I would give a single fraction of 8Gy (80 rads), which has been shown in randomised trials to be equivalent to fractionated doses for bone pain. On the other hand in the USA they charge per fraction and tend to use much longer regimens than the rest of the world (sometimes in spite of the evidence).

          If the course was cut short it would still probably be enough to make some difference to the pain (though if there was a fracture present it might take a while to see the benefit). Radiotherapy can affect the lungs, but it takes a few months for pneumonitis to develop, and more than a year for fibrosis. In any case the sternum would be treated by a short-distance technique that would give very little dose to the lungs.

          Certainly I would not expect radiotherapy to the sternum to affect the natural history of her disease. Having said that, there were some very interesting (and practice-changing) results published last week from a multicentre randomised trial showing that radiotherapy to the prostate can prolong survival in the presence of bony metastases, which goes against all oncological practice. One of the doctors who designed the study told me a few years ago that he suspected that irradiating tumours can in some cases prime the immune system against the disease elsewhere in the body, though we don’t actually know the mechanism of what is really going on here, and this is prostate, not breast cancer (though there are some similarities between the two, for instance hormone-sensitivity).

          Having said that, I have seen all kinds of odd responses with breast cancer, and it can run a very long course; I have even seen relapses forty years after apparently curative initial treatment. And every oncologist has a few patients with spontaneous and often durable remissions.

          I suspect that Shannon has done well in spite of her treatment (orthodox and alternative) rather than because of it, though anything that might be affecting her hormonally may well be responsible. However, if she had had chemotherapy at the time of the mastectomy there is a chance that this would have prevented the metastases from developing. I can’t comment on any possible benefit from the mastectomy as I don’t know what kind of disease she had.

          • @Julian M-K
            Your thoughts are interesting and relevant as usual.
            I am afraid though, that such medical-technical deliberations are wasted on Ms. Knight. She will most likely read into it whatever fits her agenda, which seems fixed on promoting appalling cancer-charlatanry in Mexico and whatever goods she may be peddling on the side as I pointed out.

            IF her story is true, which we have little means to verify, she is simply one of those very lucky patients who drew a long straw in the fight against cancer. How long it is remains to be seen of course, as these cancers may reappear years and even decades following initial remission.

            IF the clinic in Mexico had any part of that positive outcome, which I find highly doubtful, it certainly is not because it is a serious provider of credible medical services that patients with cancer should rely upon, much less pay for their “treatments”.

      • @Shannon Knight, dont let them get to you that’s what they want. They are rude, egotistical, pushy, and down right mean. They can’t stand it they we dont take their mularkey and get with their program. We know they are not the end all be all they claim to be. We know they truth and there isn’t any that can say to convince us, so they resort to calling us snake oil peddlers and ignorant imbesuiles.

        • who are ‘THEY’?

          • The Big “THEY”! C’mon, Edzard. Didn’t you get your cheque from Big Pharma and The Illuminati this month? Mine’s in the bank already now I’m just off to plant some misinformation in the mainstream media and help my mate spray some chemtrails.

            When people have no substantive argument, the tinfoil hat get jammed down and the rhetorical bucket gets dipped into the well marked “paranoiac conspiracy theories”.

      • Happy Holidays (They are around the corner!! 🙂
        My story
        www,shannonknight,com

  • This is why charlatans pretending to treat cancer are in Mexico, not in countries with a legal framework that may whip their wallets and ruin their lucrative business fleecing desperate patients. The clinic Ms. Knight is naively promoting is one such.

  • It is not “alternative” when someone does what their doctor recommends. it doesn’t work, and they look for other things to try. What you neglect to mention is that she had exhausted all that western medicine had to offer, which also costs money and lives. How do you know that she didn’t die from the extensive chemo and radiation she received as so many do? Certainly the majority of my friends have succumbed to the toxic treatments before cancer had a chance to kill them. I think its safe to say that, although the money spent on complementary treatments may have been wasted, at least it “did no harm”… a claim that western medicine cannot make. I am a miracle survivor that credits both western medicine and complementary therapies for my survival. 6 years ago, I lost the use of my legs and one arm from tumors splitting my hip and crumbling several vertebrae. I was told I would never walk again. It didn’t much matter because I would be dead within weeks due to the numerous tumors populating my liver, lungs, lymph, every vertebrae and my pelvic girdle. I got through that by employing western medicine and an intensive naturopathic protocol designed to help me survive the toxins of western medicine. Then they found 9 leptomeningeal tumors and gave me weeks to live again. I not only walk, I hike, ski, and scuba dive and I have been “No evidence of active disease” since May 2014, even in my brain. For the leptomeningeal brain tumors, western medicine had nothing to offer me because the chemo and immunotherapy would not cross the blood-brain-barrier. I discovered that cannabis crosses and kills cancer, ingested large amounts, and 3 weeks later, four of the 9 brain tumors were gone without a trace. It was certainly the cannabis and I believe I have the world record for survival after the diagnosis of MBC leptomets… AND Im NEAD! if I had listened only to my doctors and employed only the treatments they offered, I would most certainly be dead… even they admit that. You do the world a disservice by having a mind so tightly closed that you have lost the ability to learn. Non-toxic treatments based on peer-reviewed scientific studies would be the gold standard but don’t exist. When you are given weeks to live because of the current inadequacy of western medicine, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for that clinical trial that is just a gleam in some scientist’s eye. Do not judge until you have been in our shoes.

    • “It is not “alternative” when someone does what their doctor recommends. it doesn’t work, and they look for other things to try. ”
      Actually it is.

      “How do you know that she didn’t die from the extensive chemo and radiation she received as so many do? Certainly the majority of my friends have succumbed to the toxic treatments before cancer had a chance to kill them.”
      It is very unusual to die from the effects of radiotherapy. There are rare deficiencies of DNA repair that can lead to an unusual sensitivity to radiation, and of course treatment errors can occur. Deaths from chemotherapy are more common as it can be highly immunosuppressive. Happily the toxicity from these drugs can be much better managed these days than it was a decade or two ago. If the majority of your friends died as a result of their treatments that suggests that there was something seriously wrong in the way it was given.

      “an intensive naturopathic protocol designed to help me survive the toxins of western medicine”
      If this works then there are a lot of oncologists who would want to know what it is.

      “6 years ago, I lost the use of my legs and one arm from tumors splitting my hip and crumbling several vertebrae… …they found 9 leptomeningeal tumors… …I hike, ski, and scuba dive”
      I don’t know who certified you as fit to dive, but they are wide open to legal action if anything goes wrong. You have clearly made a remarkable recovery but aside from any residual musculoskeletal problems I would be particularly concerned about scarring from the leptomeningitis putting you at risk of a seizure triggered by the increased partial pressure of oxygen when breathing air at depth. You also need to consider the danger you pose to your dive buddy.

      “the chemo and immunotherapy would not cross the blood-brain-barrier”
      Tumours tend to disrupt the blood-brain barrier, so this isn’t necessarily true. In any case the meninges are outside the brain.

      “I discovered that cannabis crosses and kills cancer”
      Obviously substances in cannabis cross the BBB otherwise you couldn’t get high, but I am not aware of any evidence that it kills cancer, despite the number of offers I have had from friends to get it for me.

      “It was certainly the cannabis”
      Post hoc ergo propter hoc – one of the most common fallacies in reasoning, due to the tendency of the mind to find patterns where none exist. Million-to-one coincidences are also quite common due to the vast number of things that happen to us, almost all of which go unnoticed.

      “I believe I have the world record for survival after the diagnosis of MBC leptomets”
      MBC? I’m not familiar with the acronym out of context. From the pattern of disease you describe and your photo I am guessing that you have had either melanoma or breast cancer. Both of these are well-known for occasionally behaving atypically, including spontaneous remission. All oncologists have seen this for a variety of different tumour types, and it is an active area of research. Having said that, I have never seen anyone with leptomeningeal breast cancer live longer than 2 – 3 weeks (and about a year from prostate cancer), so it wouldn’t surprise me if you are a record holder.

      “When you are given weeks to live because of the current inadequacy of western medicine, you don’t have the luxury of waiting for that clinical trial that is just a gleam in some scientist’s eye.”
      That is very true. It is an impossible situation, sadly exploited by so many charlatans. Though to put the blame onto the inadequacy of Western medicine, without which you may well not be here at all, is to deny all that it can achieve. Everybody is going to die of something, and medicine is never going to be able to prevent that.

      When my own treatment stops working I wonder whether I will be brave enough to put myself forward for phase I trials in the hope that the knowledge gleaned will help others in the future, as so many of my own patients have selflessly done. And of course I hope that (like you) I will find myself at the tail of the bell curve rather than towards the middle.

      “You do the world a disservice by having a mind so tightly closed that you have lost the ability to learn”
      Personally the day I stop learning is the day I will no longer wish to live. However, if you accept the first explanation that comes to mind for anything unusual you are unlikely to learn much from it. I am currently in the middle of reading ‘The Astronomer and the Witch’, Ulinka Rublack’s fascinating account of Johannes Kepler’s defense of his mother after she was accused of witchcraft. The detailed descriptions of life in early 17th-century Germany and the widely-held superstitions and practices at that time are quite a testament to what can happen when the apparantly plausible is accepted as the truth. Interestingly, Kepler himself (a prominent and respected scientist who tried to apply rational thought in all areas of life) wrote about the importance of taking folk knowledge seriously, for instance urging physicians to take note of traditional herbal remedies.

  • This guy is still pissed about prince Edward endorsing gerson. Did you buy too many houses before losing your funding? ): Yeah those damn charletons scammed you out of retirement? You got a lot more quacking to do. I think a word count of 50 quacks per piece should do it. Probably not hard with all your free time these days. The morris fish does not fall far from the bein.

    Ernst was accused by Prince Charles’ private secretary of having breached a confidentiality agreement regarding the 2005 Smallwood report. After being subjected to a “very unpleasant” investigation by the University of Exeter, the university “accepted his innocence but continued, in his view, to treat him as ‘persona non grata’. All fundraising for his unit ceased, forcing him to use up its core funding and allow its 15 staff to drift away.”[16] He retired in 2011, two years ahead of his official retirement.[1][26] In July 2011, a Reuters article described his “long-running dispute with the Prince about the merits of alternative therapies” and stated that he “accused Britain’s heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and other backers of alternative therapies on Monday of being ‘snake-oil salesmen’ who promote products with no scientific basis”, and that the dispute “had cost him his job – a claim Prince Charles’s office denied”.[27][15]

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edzard_Ernst

    This is just shocking. Another stooge pretending to be a grass roots blogger. Try harder tho!

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