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Editorial Issue 98

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 98 - April 2004

I have never been comfortable with the dichotomies and schisms semantically describing various approaches to healthcare. Why do we have to continually divide and categorize types of techniques, practitioners and even beliefs by terms which are at best ambiguous and at worst, misleading: conventional medicine, traditional medicine, orthodox medicine?

Consider the numerous terms in usage by both consumers and practitioners – Complementary Medicine, Alternative Medicine, CAM, Natural Medicine, Integrated Medicine, not to omit the specific disciplines including Nutritional Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Medicine. In China and India, where Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine respectively are the traditional medical systems, would you call Western (drug-based) medicine alternative? Confusing? You bet! A deliberate ploy, in my opinion to fabricate the belief that there are different universes related to healthcare. This is a nonsense! When you are suffering from any medical complaint, surely all potentially effective avenues of treatment should be considered and embarked upon, balancing the most effective with those inflicting least harm.

Consider Dr Neil Slade's Homeopathy Column (see page 22), about a horrific injury to the hand of a concert pianist (falling off a stool and smashing a pint glass into his right hand). Following surgery from a specialist in the USA to reconnect tendons and severed nerves, the prognosis, career-wise, for the pianist was fairly grim. However, a few months later, following astute case-taking and homeopathic and tissue salt prescriptions, the injured pianist was back practising 8 hours a day and resumed his concert career.

Part I of the three-part authoritative feature by Dr Nicholas Calvino DC Integrative Medicine for Colon Cancer (see page 24) reviews the progress, or lack thereof, in cancer treatments. As quoted from a 1986 report from the New England Journal of Medicine:

"Despite progress against some rare forms of cancer, which account for 1 to 2 per cent of total deaths caused by the disease, the report found that the overall death rate had increased substantially since 1950. The main conclusion we draw is that some 35 years of intense effort focused largely on improving treatment must be judged a qualified failure. The report further concluded, We are losing the war against cancer."

Dr Calvino continues his review:

"What this research, and current research today show, is that survival rates for the most common types of cancer (those that make up 90% of cases), have remained virtually unchanged, except in the forms of rare types of cancers and one or two other exceptions. Patients with advanced disease are often told their treatment will do more good than it is likely to and chemotherapy is presented as more effective (and less toxic) than it really is.

"The side effects of chemotherapy are routinely understated. Proof of this is the discrepancy between what oncologists tell patients to do, and what oncologists themselves do (or would do) if they have cancer. Do they believe in their own treatments so much that they would take it themselves? When celebrated chemotherapist Dr. Kettering found out he had advanced cancer, he told his colleagues, "Do anything you want – but no chemotherapy!" And when Dr. Kettering's mother got cancer, she was sent to Germany for unconventional treatment. Further proof of medicine's own lack of belief in some forms of oncology was a shown in 1986 when McGill Cancer Centre scientists sent a questionnaire to 118 doctors who treated cancer. All of them were affiliated with the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto or with the Ontario Cancer Research and Treatment Foundation, which operates seven cancer clinics. These Canadian specialists were asked to imagine that they themselves had cancer, were asked if they would they consent to chemotherapy. 74% of specialists would not consent to chemotherapy. The reason they gave: the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity."

Dr Phillips-Brown's authoritative feature Vitamin C Essential for Year-Round Whole Body Protection (see page 33) reviews the literature and discusses the myriad of clinical areas in which vitamin C is therapeutic, including Cardiovascular Health, Vision, Bone and Connective Tissue, Skin and Immunity. Why is it that, despite the tens of thousands of research studies documenting the efficacy of vitamin C, the impression provided by the majority of the medical profession and the media, is that vitamin C is simply a waste of urine?

The lack of information possessed by the medical establishment and the majority of physicians regarding the substantive knowledge base of Nutrition, Herbal, and other areas of so-called complementary and alternative medicine is disgraceful. The research published about the effects of nutrients upon cancer and other areas of medicine is bona fide research, not alternative or some other obscuring adjective.

When your physician gives you no alternative to highly toxic and possibly life-threatening treatment, there may be other less toxic and equally effective treatment options. Until all practitioners – conventional and other – are fully up to speed about all treatment approaches – we must always act to protect ourselves and make our own decisions in our own best interest.

There is no excuse for ignorance or obfuscation in these matters which are vital for our health. And there is no fight more vital than to protect our right to life- and health-enhancing nutritional and herbal supplements.

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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 USS, focusing 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. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. She has been a member of the Therapy Advisory Panel of the Penny Brohn Cancer Care, Scientific Expert Committee member of the Alliance for Natural Health and Patron of the Avalon Complementary Medicine Trust in Wells, Somerset.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 25 years, with facilities for training, fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She 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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