HOW DOCTORS (and others) DESCRIBE THE EFFECTIVENESS AND TOXICITIES OF CHEMOTHERAPY DRUGS–PART 1

by Yeong Sek Yee & Khadijah Shaari

As we browsed through various books, publications written by medical doctors and oncologists, patients, etc we were particularly amused but impressed by the courage and the way some of them describe the effectiveness or toxicities of chemotherapy drugs. Some of these descriptions can really stretch your imagination. Below is just a sampling:

A most unique description is made by Dr Margaret Cuomo, MD, a board certified radiologist in her book, A WORLD WITHOUT CANCER, in which she said…..”chemotherapy is like taking a stick and beating a dog to get rid of fleas”

(Comment: How many times do you have to beat the dog to get rid of all the fleas before the dog dies?)

Similarly in TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR CANCER, Dr James Forsythe, MD and an oncologist, described (very imaginatively), the art of choosing chemotherapy drugs for the different types of cancer as….”often it is akin to entering a dark room with a handful of darts and hoping to hit the center of the dart board” Dr Forsythe strongly feels that….without knowledge of the genetic markers for specific tumours to guide them in composing an effective chemo drug protocol (i.e. chemosensitivity testing), an oncologist is truly “shooting in the dark”

(Comment: How many darts do the oncologists need before they can hit the center of the  dartboard?)

NATURAL STRATEGIES FOR CANCER PATIENTS, Dr Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon named Chapter 3 of his book as Chemotherapy: Poisoning Cancer (and You). A most apt title because chemotherapy drugs, especially when used in combination, can cause immense injury to numerous organs and tissues such as the liver, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, lungs and heart—this is described as cancer’s collateral damage.

The concept of cancer’s collateral damage is best articulated by Dr David Levy, MD and former president of the British Columbia Cancer Agency, Canada as summarized below:

  • “In fighting the war on cancer, there is, like in any war, unwanted collateral damage. There is no silver bullet, but in many ways, a refined shotgun, blasting the tumour while pellets hit other vital organs.
  • ·         “The bone marrow, liver, and nervous system get their share of hits, but the heart and vascular system are certainly at risk depending on the weapon used, particularly because the vascular system and blood supply are intimately involved in any treatment delivery.

Link:http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2010/09/25/the-heart-collateral-damage-from-cancer-treatment/

Some doctors feel that the conventional treatment is worse than the disease itself. One such doctor is Dr Keith Block, MD and an integrative oncologist who, in the introduction of the book, LIFE OVER CANCER, posed this question….” What is it about cancer that enables it to survive despite surgery to excise it, radiation to burn it and chemotherapy to poison it?” Additionally, Dr Block also mentioned….”most patients die not from their cancer but from the consequences of the cancer”….meaning the conventional treatments.

Another oncologist and Professor of Medicine, Dr David Agus, MD admitted in his book, THE END OF ILLNESS that….” It’s human nature to want to find magic bullets in medicine, but they happen once in a blue moon, and we may already have had all of our blue moons. We haven’t found many new pills lately that really cure diseases. This is why the pharmaceutical industry is somewhat broken right now; it has run out of low-hanging fruit, a magical chemical that cures the disease. I don’t think we’re likely to find a lot more of these; it seems like a waste of time, money, and resources to keep looking for these magic bullets. We need a new approach—a new model.”

(Comment: Will there ever be a new approach/new model when there is so much at stake  in the present cancer industry?) One baffling statement by Dr Agus in the book is….”Despite chemotherapy’s being a widely used treatment for cancer, nobody has ever shown that most chemotherapy actually touches a cancer cell. It’s never been proven” Can anyone help here?

Although Dr David Servan Schreiber, MD and a neuroscientist, survived 19 years with brain cancer with 3 surgeries and several chemotherapy sessions, he had this to say about chemotherapy in his best seller ANTICANCER—A NEW WAY OF LIFE :

  • “one of the great mysteries of chemotherapy is that sometimes you can make tumours melt away and have very little effect on survival time”

The late Dr John Lee, MD who was an expert on the subject of HRT for women wrote very blunt comments about chemotherapy in WHAT YOUR DOCTOR MAY NOT TELL YOU ABOUT BREAST CANCER. Some of these comments are:

  • Chemotherapy is an attempt to poison the body just short of death in the hope of killing the cancer before the entire body is killed. Most of the time it doesn’t work.
  • The women who agree to try new chemotherapies are guinea pigs for a type of treatment with a notoriously poor track record. Like most other aspects of the breast cancer industry, there’s little agreement about what constitutes chemotherapy.
  • Some chemotherapy does prolong life for a few months, but generally at the high price of devastating side effects, and if a woman does happen to get lucky and survive that bout of cancer, her body is permanently damaged; recurrence rates are high.

(COMMENT: Dr Lee’s comments on breast cancer are equally applicable to other cancers).

In THE WAR ON CANCER: ANATOMY OF FAILURE, A BLUE PRINT FOR THE FUTURE, Dr Guy B. Faquet, a Professor of Hematology and Oncology at Medical college of Georgia and the University of Texas Medical Branch likened cancer treatment as:

”medical treatment of cancer for most of the past century was like trying to fix an automobile without any knowledge of the internal combustion engine or, for that matter, even the ability to look under the hood.”

In his latest book, WHOLE–RETHINKING THE SCIENCE OF NUTRITION, Dr Colin Campbell, PhD (Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University) firmly believes that “there is no such thing as a targeted strike when it comes to biochemistry.” So the strategy of using chemicals to treat disease is akin to the infamous Vietnam War strategy of “burning the village to save the village.” Just as in actual war, it leaves in its wake a predictable killing field of collateral damage.

We all know what Russian roulette is….a lethal game of chance in which a person, using a revolver with one bullet, spins its cylinder, points the muzzle at his or her head, and pulls the trigger. Walter Last, a science and health writer described Chemotherapy as Medical Russian roulette. You can read his full comments from his article, HOW SCIENTIFIC ARE ORTHODOX CANCER TREATMENTS? at the following link:

Link: http://www.whale.to/a/last.html

In another article, CANCER THERAPY—A NEW DIRECTION (Link: http://www.health-science-spirit.com/cancerdirection.htm), Walter Last hit the nail squarely on the head when he highlighted at the top of the article that…..”Cancer is so difficult to cure because it is so profitable to treat.”

This reminded us of a comment by a cancer patient recently when he said that….”the current medical set-up does not want cancer patients to get well, nor do they want them to die so soon…that period when they are still alive is their window of opportunity (to rake in the money).”

We have one last quotation that is often touted at scientific conferences………this will definitely prick your conscience…..” the treatment was successful, but the patient died.”

Watch out for Part 2….and learn what is “bottled death”

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