Day 33 – Finding New Cancer Treatments

Slash, poison, burn. That’s what a leading cancer doctor calls the protocol of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. We spend $150 billion each year treating cancer, yet a patient with cancer is as likely to die of it today — with a few exceptions — as one was 50 years ago. 

“The First Cell”: Dr. Raza criticizes what she calls the “protocol of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation” — the slash-poison-burn approach to treating cancer, which she says has remained largely unchanged for decades. In the last three decades, we have seen a 26% decline in cancer mortality, which is about 1% a year, but that’s not happened because we have developed some grand, new treatment strategy, it’s because we started using screening measures to diagnose cancers earlier and earlier. Watch her video. Check out her book.

The American Cancer Society “warns against alternative medical therapies that promise wellness using a method that sounds simple, wholesome, and without harmful side effects but can pose dangers. Almost 40% of Americans believe cancer can be cured through alternative therapies alone. However, evidence shows that people who use alternative therapies in place of standard cancer treatments have much higher death rates.”

Notwithstanding, over the last several decades, the 5 year survival rates for most forms of cancer have remained fairly static. No significant improvements were made, regardless of the huge amounts of money spent in research and treatment. U.S. News and World Report.

Medicine is big business. Large pharmaceutical companies are vested in maintaining the status quo. Cancer treatment drugs now routinely cost more than $100,000 per year of therapy; yet most offer only modest benefits — one study put the median benefit at 2.1 extra months of life.  Another study found that 85% of the experts who wrote widely used cancer guidelines had received payments averaging more than $10,000 from pharmaceutical companies. StatNews.

Certainly there must be reasonable alternatives to expensive chemotherapy drugs that offer minimal efficacy. The question remains however, is which ones to trust. The Mayo Clinic outlines some alternatives and is working on novel therapeutics and advanced diagnostics