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Editorial Issue 211

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 211 - January 2014

2014 is Positive Health PH Online’s 20th Anniversary; the growing international PH Online community continues to esteem this quality collection of articles, research and book reviews about natural health approaches, written by outstanding clinicians and researchers and by people who have clinically benefitted from a multiplicity of disciplines.

Increasingly, however, I view the state of Natural Alternative and Complementary health from a longer timeline  perspective;  the mid 1980s following my transition from molecular biology scientist to researcher / author of books about organic germanium and vitamin C, and the early 90s when I set up the Cancer and Nutrition database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.

Indeed, during the research for my Vitamin C book I came across published pleas during the 1920s and 1930s from doctors / researchers to make available vitamins C and E for heart conditions!! Today, the evidence and published research regarding the efficacy of vitamin C and E supplements has burgeoned; however these treatments are still not mainstream approaches and are frequently derided in a largely hostile media which never misses an opportunity to criticize twice Nobel laureate Linus Pauling for his sterling work about vitamin C for colds, cancer and many other intractable conditions.

The paradigm taught to students and adopted by scientists - hypothesis - research - evidence - published results - translates into an accepted convention that if one proves scientifically that a certain approach works that it will be accepted and embraced by the greater community. Evidently this is not necessarily the case either in science, politics, religion, business or indeed any walk of life. There are always a multiplicity of other interested parties who may be opposed to or hold opposing views, despite research findings or publications.

This is obvious in today’s fractious and polarized world; however when I originally published my scientifically researched books about organic germanium, vitamin C and later on Nutrition and Cancer, I was naïve enough to think that this information could help to create a change in treatment approaches for a multiplicity of conditions, particularly cancer. Twenty-thirty years ago, the clarion call went out for research to prove the efficacy of natural treatment approaches. This clarion call was heeded by many researchers, including myself, who set about collating and publishing research regarding natural treatment approaches for many conditions.

The result has been the burgeoning of journals and publications and research articles - the PH Online site alone has published >3000 research updates across hundreds of disciplines - the mere tip of the iceberg of all research published. When I realized some time ago that despite the huge increase in awareness of the general public and medical professionals, that ‘conventional’ treatment approaches were not being embraced with open arms, I started to wonder whether the call for research and publications might have been part of a Machiavellian plot to marginalize the entire natural complementary community - keep them / us spinning our wheels while drug-based medicine continued on - business as usual.  I also hadn’t realized at that time the scale of opposition to natural health approaches by parties with vested interests, nor did I wish to resort to conspiracy theories to explain the lack of progress or vicious vehemence to certain fields in particular, such as homeopathy.

As has been well-rehearsed in PH Online, by law - Cancer Act of 1939 -  cancer treatment by oncologists is generally restricted to surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments.  And published research regarding cancer mortality and survival is generally confined to these modes of cancer treatment. The media is awash with fund raising efforts of families to pay for these cancer treatments in the so-called war on cancer in which patients fight the good fight and often eventually succumb to the disease, despite valiant and generally toxic interventions. We are all familiar with cancer patients who lose their hair, suffer nausea, pain, weakened immune systems and sometimes death during cancer treatment.

In the meantime, innovative physicians around the world have been supporting cancer patients’ health with a variety of alternative cancer approaches - nutritional, herbal, immune enhancing, oxygen - in many forms delivered via a multitude of delivery vehicles including orally, capsules, infusions, injections. There is a massive amount of information and dedicated websites devoted to alternative cancer treatments, yet cancer patients newly diagnosed are usually provided with the same 3 options: surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

It’s as though alternative cancer treatments inhabit a world separated from the conventional oncology world. Oncologists only know about and can draw upon the research published about their treatments; they can truthfully say that they have no knowledge about these alternative treatments and that there is no evidence to prove that these treatments work. There is hope that with the recently forecasted development of molecular approaches and vaccines to provoke the body’s immune response against cancers such as prostate cancer, that this divide between the two cancer treatment universes will begin to narrow.

Hence, it is definitely time to collect the results from the probably hundreds of clinics internationally who have treated cancer patients using numerous alternative treatment approaches, plug them into a complex multi-modal database and publish the results. Of course these survival / mortality data will not be randomized controlled trials, but neither are the majority of existing cancer mortality / survival data which  are large compilations of statistics of cancer cohorts of patients broken down into type, grade and stages of cancer, types of treatments carried out and mortality/survival.

Then it would be possible to compare the success or otherwise of alternative with conventional cancer treatments; and perhaps in the future to integrate all modes of cancer treatment could be made available to cancer patients.

So all I would have to do is clone myself so one part could carry on with PH Online and the other compile the alternative cancer treatment research statistics.

I commend Jan 2014 Positive Health PH Online with all its clinical and health-enhancing wisdom - to all readers:

www.positivehealth.com/issue/issue-211-january-2014

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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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