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Editorial Issue 208

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 208 - August 2013

Integration of Alternative Cancer Treatments

There are several factors regarding cancer treatment regimens conspiring to create a catch-22 situation, preventing the broadening the scope of cancer treatment.

1. The most widely used and accepted cancer treatments used by cancer treatment physicians / oncologists are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Hence, epidemiological research and statistics regarding cancer incidence, clinical efficacy, survival / mortality which have been amassed, consolidated and publically disseminated usually pertain to only these treatments.

2. Research and Clinical Data regarding integrative / alternative cancer treatments performed by physicians and specialist clinics are often not collated, recorded, statistically analyzed or disseminated. These treatments may be performed on individual cancer patients; there is a lack of an organizational structure to combine these results for statistical analysis. Research and publication in these fields is improving; however there is a considerable way to go to bridge this clinical and information gap.[1,2]

3. The paucity and weakness, relative to mainstream conventional cancer treatment, of the available published research evidence regarding alternative cancer treatments, contribute to the non-acknowledgement, or non-acceptance of the validity or efficacy of alternative cancer treatments by oncology and other cancer medical professionals.

4. The Cancer Act of 1939 makes it illegal to inform people outside a highly restricted group, including cancer patients, from finding out about different treatments for cancer.

Excerpts from the UK 1939 Cancer Act:

"4 - (1) No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement -

(a) containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof; or

(b) referring to any article, or articles of any description, in terms which are calculated to lead to the use of that article, or articles of that description, in the treatment of cancer.

In this section the expression "advertisement" includes any "notice, circular, label, wrapper or other document, and any announcement made orally or by any means of producing or transmitting sounds."

“Publication of such advertisements is permitted to a very restrictive group comprising members of either House of Parliament, local authority, governing bodies of voluntary hospitals, registered or training to become registered medical practitioners, nurses or pharmacists, and persons involved in the sale or supply of surgical appliances.”[3]

Therefore it is important to strengthen the research, clinical / medical and communication logistics of cancer treatment in order to progress to a more truly integrated cancer treatment regimen accepted by all health professionals, not divided into conventional and alternative domains.

It is widely acknowledged among Cancer treatment health professionals - oncologists, doctors, nurses and patients -  within both conventional and alternative medical establishments that the currently accepted sanctioned cancer treatment regimens - surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy - have significant side effects; indeed it is posited that perhaps 10% of cancer chemotherapy patients die due to the treatment itself.

This has been highlighted poignantly and eloquently by numerous carers and loved ones of cancer patients. Lord Maurice Saatchi whose beloved wife Josephine Hart died in 2011 from inoperative and terminal ovarian cancer following chemotherapy and radiation treatments which he described as "medieval, "degrading and ineffective” in interviews and articles recently published in the mainstream media and cited in the Editorial of Positive Health PH Online Issue 206:[4] www.positivehealth.com/article/editorial/editorial-issue-206

I recently listened to a discussion on BBC Radio 4 on this very subject, with input from a cancer patient who had suffered grievous life-changing side effects following radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment for throat and prostate cancer. One horrible side effect this patient had suffered was that radiotherapy had burned a hole in his colon. A MacMillan Cancer Nurse  acknowledged the situation regarding the harshness of cancer treatments; however her advice and solution was for patients to be better informed about  potential treatment side effects and recommended that health service and community health providers be better prepared to manage these patients with their life-changing injuries and illnesses caused by cancer treatment.

When I heard this my immediate thought was that they are missing one obvious, missing and totally unmentioned solution - the integration of the myriad of other, less brutal, yet effective cancer treatment regimens into cancer treatment. This is the subject of the article by Grace Gawler published in Positive Health PH Online Issue 208: Streamlining Cancer Treatments: Choosing the Best of Complementary and Conventional Medicine

www.positivehealth.com/article/cancer/streamlining-cancer-treatments-choosing-the-best-of-complementary-and-conventional-medicine

“…small groups of patients around the globe are realizing that the best way to approach a cancer recovery is to treat as conventionally as necessary and naturally as possible. This is exactly what is happening in a number of small private hospitals around the world…

“Bridging the gap, these small private clinics are offering a range of treatments including targeted immune-therapies, antibodies, locally delivered (not systemic) chemotherapies, oncogenic virus identification, dendritic cell vaccines in conjunction with adjunct botanical medicines and targeted supplements. It is all rather exciting to see the advancement and the long overdue amalgamation of two different medicine genres - conventional allopathic and alternative / complementary medicines.”

There are endless techniques and substances which have been used in cancer treatments for more than a hundred years, including nutritional, herbal, immunological and light-sensitive substances. There are hundreds of articles and >650 research updates on Positive Health PH Online itself which mention cancer. When the history of cancer is written in the future, due homage must also be paid to the many pioneering and innovative doctors and scientists who have developed life-saving and non-lethal cancer treatment regimes, but who have been rewarded by being persecuted, hounded out of their countries and sometimes confined to poverty, even prison as their rewards.[5-7]

Achievement of Integrative Medicine is to be aspired in all areas of healthcare treatment, not only cancer treatment. This Issue 208 of PH Online continues to contribute to this aspiration by the publication of authoritative and clinically relevant editorial features across a wide spectrum of subjects – Healing, Chronic Illness, Mind-Body, Reflexology, Herbal and Nutritional Medicine and Bodywork.

References

1. DM Seely, LC Weeks PhD, and S. Young, MA. A systematic review of integrative oncology programs. Curr Oncol. 19(6): e436–e461. doi:  10.3747/co.19.1182. PMCID: PMC3503675. Dec 2012. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3503675/ 

2. Shneerson C, Taskila T, Gale N, Greenfield S and Chen Y. The effect of complementary and alternative medicine on the quality of life of cancer survivors: A systematic review and meta-analyses. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 21(4): 417-429.  August 2013.

www.complementarytherapiesinmedicine.com/article/S0965-2299%2813%2900088-5/abstract

3. The Stranglehold that the UK 1939 Cancer Act Exerts in Great Britain.The Cambridge Institute of Complementary Health. http://cichealth.org.uk/#/1939-cancer-act/4567446788

4. www.positivehealth.com/article/editorial/editorial-issue-206

5. www.cancertutor.com/Other02/Recommended_Books.html

6. http://panacea-bocaf.org/alternativecancertreatments.htm

7. www.healingcancernaturally.com/medical-history.html

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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US. She has focused upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993.

 

In publishing in Positive Health PH Online authoritative articles and book reviews by leading proponents of numerous alternative cancer treatment approaches, Dr Goodman has demonstrated her passion about the necessity of making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, considerable clinical expertise in areas of Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. She is a member of the Therapy Advisory Panel of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Scientific Expert Committee member of the Alliance for Natural Health and a Patron of the Avalon Complementary Medicine Trust in Wells, Somerset. Nutrition and Cancer.

 

Dr Goodman and Mike Howell, her long-term partner, seek individuals with the resources, structural organization and interest to continue and expand the legacy of Positive Health PH Online forward into the 21st century, adding facilities to conduct online seminars, fund raise for alternative cancer research, as well as to promote leading holistic organizations and businesses internationally. Follow her Blog and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  Dr S Goodman may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via: sandra@drsgoodman.com     www.drsgoodman.com  sandra@positivehealth.com   and www.positivehealth.com

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