Respectful Insolence

Starchild Abraham Cherrix turns 18

Somehow, with all the blogging about vaccines last week, I totally missed a major update to a story that’s been of great interest to me since I first became aware of it. It turns out that Starchild Abraham Cherrix, the teen who two years ago rejected conventional therapy for his lymphoma and sought out the quackery known as Hoxsey therapy, has turned 18:

Abraham Cherrix, the teenager who fought a court battle on the Eastern Shore for the right to choose his own cancer care, turns 18 today, officially freed from reporting his medical condition to the Accomack County court that has required regular updates since August 2006.

“When I turn 18, I can make my own decisions,” Abraham said Thursday from his home in Floyd, in the far western part of the state where he lives with his mother and siblings.

His latest blood results show no indication of the Hodgkin’s disease he first was diagnosed with in 2005, according to Abraham and his mother.

He gained worldwide attention in the spring of 2006 when social workers took his parents, Jay and Rose Cherrix, to court, accusing them of medical neglect. Abraham, who was living in Chincoteague at the time, had refused to go through a second round of chemotherapy for his lymphatic cancer and also shunned radiation treatment.

He instead traveled to Tijuana, Mexico, with his father for a controversial alternative medicine treatment called the Hoxsey method.


First off, let me just say that no one’s happier that my estimation of Cherrix’s prognosis was more pessimistic than how things have turned out thus far. I certainly hope that Cherrix is the one to beat the odds. I truly hated the thought of a young man with a potentially curable cancer being lured into eschewing effective therapy by the siren call of quackery. Remember that the first therapy that Cherrix wandered into was indeed quackery, specifically the Hoxsey therapy. Cherrix went to the Association of Research and Enlightenment founded by the infamous psychic “healer” Edgar Cayce. Cayce’s center is a center devoted to some serious woo. Now is a good time to review Cherrix’s case because if they haven’t already purveyors of unscientific treatments will almost certainly point to his reaching eighteen as proof that he has beaten cancer using only alternative therapies. It’s not. Not by any means, for reasons that I’ll discuss. I still hope he beats the odds but hold no illusions that he is “cured.”

After Cherrix went through one round of chemotherapy and still had residual tumor when he completed it in February 2006. He had had a great deal of difficulty with nausea and other side effects and decided at that time that he had had enough, even though his tumor was still potentially curable (with an estimated long term survival with treatment of over 70%) and his doctors recommended another course. His parents supported him in this decision and apparently helped him seek out “alternative” and “natural” therapies. It was through Cayce’s Association that Abraham and his parents were introduced to the Hoxsey therapy, which involves herbal concoctions claimed to be able to cure cancer. A man named Harry Hoxsey had claimed that the recipe for this “therapy” had been passed down to him from his father, who had received it from his father, who had discovered it. His grandfather, or so the claim goes, had supposedly noticed regression of a cancerous tumor of one of his horses who grazed in a particular field. He then took plants and flowers from that field and ground them up to make a paste to which he also added some other ingredients from home remedies and came up with a concoction that, according to him, could cure cancer. All that appears to be in it is a mixture of antimony, zinc and bloodroot, arsenic, sulfur, and talc as external treatments, and a liquid mixture of licorice, red clover, burdock root, Stillingia root, barberry, Cascara, prickly ash bark, buckthorn bark, and potassium iodide for internal consumption. According to Mildred Nelson, Harry Hoxsey’s former nurse and director of the Bio-Medical Center in Tijuana after his death, claimed an 80% success rate for all cancers. (Conveniently enough, the failures were blamed on a “bad attitude,” further claiming that a patient’s strong belief that the treatment is going to lead to recovery was the best predictor of success. Cherrix chose this to treat the tumors in his neck and chest rather than radiation and chemotherapy.

The results of Cherrix’s battle were two-fold:

  • A court battle in which the State of Virginia tried to abrogate the Cherrixes’ parental rights and compell Abraham to undergo therapy. I was very conflicted about this court case because, on the one hand, I truly hated the thought of a young man losing his potentially savable life due to quackery but, on the other hand, I had many of the same reservations about governmental power that supporters of Cherrix’s right to choose quackery over science-based treatments did. The first decision was that Cherrix had to undergo chemotherapy, but a compromise was struck in which Cherrix agreed to undertake treatment under the supervison of a woo-friendly radiation oncologist named Dr. R. Arnold Smith. The good news was that Dr. Smith would treat Abraham with low dose radiation therapy, which, as I pointed out at the time, is effective palliation for lymphoma. And Cherrix needed palliation, because he had tumorous deposits in his neck that were endangering his airway and esophagus. The bad news is that Dr. Smith is also fond of all manner of dubious treatments, including a bizarre “immunotherapy” with no scientific or clinical basis to support its efficacy called belly plaques. Abraham had some recurrences, which popped up and were treated like a deadly game of Whac-A-Mole™, eventually producing an apparent remission late last year. The Cheerful Oncologist pointed out that the use of radiation in this fashion, rather than an aggressive campaign of combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy, possibly leading to stem cell transplantation, to treat relapsed lymphoma was the fallacy of moderation. He also noted that occasionally long term survival in cases like Abrahams has been achieved with radiation therapy alone, but the odds are long. If he becomes a long-term survivor, as I hope he does, we can say with great confidence that it was the radiation, not the Hoxsey therapy, the various other woo he has pursued, or Dr. Smith’s other ministrations, that cured him.
  • A very badly conceived law. Inspired by Abraham’s battle, a lawmaker in Virginia proposed and got passed a law called “Abraham’s Law” that, as I described before, in essence gives parents the right to pursue any manner of unscientific treatment they want for teenagers between 14 and 17 suffering from “life threatenening” diseases, as long as the decision is “made jointly” between parents and child. This is how I described it before:
  • In essence, if you’re a child between the ages of 14-18, the State of Virginia no longer protects you from quackery or religious idiocy. In essence, parental stupidity, something state laws normally try to protect children against as much as possible in medical matters, is now legal. Worse, it’s not just limited to children with “terminal” illnesses, where, it can be argued, nothing can save them and taking them away from their parents to have them obtain conventional therapy would cause them undue stress in the remaining weeks or months of their lives. It now includes any child with a life-threatening condition.

I see nothing that has happened since to change my assessment.

So what’s going on with Abraham now? Let’s find out:

Since the fall of 2006, Abraham has received several rounds of radiation treatment under Smith’s care, along with immunotherapy, in which supplements and medicines are used to bolster the immune system.

Abraham’s latest bloodwork was reviewed by Smith this week, according to Rose Cherrix.

“Dr. Smith is very pleased,” she said. “He said to keep doing what we’re doing.” Calls to Smith on Thursday afternoon were not returned.

Abraham said he still is taking vitamins and supplements recommended by Smith. He also adheres to a sugar-free, organic-based diet.

He said it’s been about six months since he’s had a scan of his chest and neck area, the location of previous tumors, but he has detailed blood work conducted every couple of months, the results of which are forwarded to Smith for review.

Once again, it must be emphasized that there is no good evidence that immunotherapy of the unconventional variety administered by Dr. Smith has any efficacy against Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It almost certainly was the multiple courses of radiation therapy that Cherrix underwent that resulted in his fortunate condition right now. I do, however, have to wonder about Dr. Smith’s followup. NCCN guidelines for followup after treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma recommend the following:

Interim H&P:

Every 2-4 mo for 1-2 y, then every 3-6 mo for next 3-5 y Consider annual influenza vaccine especially in high risk patients (eg, treated with chest RT, bleomycin)

Laboratory studies:

CBC, platelets, ESR (if elevated at time of initial diagnosis), chemistry profile every 2-4 mo for 1-2 y, then every 3-6 mo for next 3-5 y TSH at least annually if RT to neck Chest imaging: Chest x-ray or CT every 6-12 mo during first 2-5 y

Cherrix has been fortunate enough to have been in apparent remission for nine months now, and it’s been six months since his last scan. Arguably, he’s due for a chest X-ray and, given that he had tumors in his chest treated with radiation, almost certainly a chest CT as well. Blood tests are very insensitive to detect recurrence. I rather wonder what Dr. Smith told Cherrix. Certainly normal blood tests are a good thing, but they by no means tell us a lot. The vast majority of lymphoma recurrences are not detected by blood tests; they’re detected by clinical symptoms or by findings on physical exam, such as a new enlarged lymph node popping up. Moreover, Abraham hasn’t really entered the time period when most lymphoma recurrences are diagnosed, which is between 12-18 months, and he can’t really breathe easier until five years. I hope he makes it, but remain pessimistic that he will. I also know that advocates of unscientific medicine will point and claim that Cherrix is “proof” that conventional treatments don’t work and so-called “alternative” medicine does. He’s nothing of the sort.

Now that Abraham is 18, he can basically do anything he wants. He can go back to Mexico to the Bio-Medical Clinic if he wishes. He can continue with Dr. Smith if he wishes. He can even elect to go back to doing conventional therapy if he wants, although if imaging studies show no detectable disease (otherwise known as “no evaluable disease, or N.E.D.) it’s not clear to me what a conventional oncologist would recommend, given that I don’t routinely treat lymphoma. Watchful waiting is probably the best way to go.

Sadly, this story was reported by the media (and continues to be reported by the media) as that tried-and-true story of the underdog fighting the power and actually winning. That he did so in the cause of quackery, apparently, is irrelevant to the press, because such stories are irresistable to them. What really bothers me about the case is that it will affect far more than just Abraham. Given that he was almost of age anyway, it could easily be argued that he had a right to do what he wanted with his own body. The problem is that his case didn’t end up applying just to him. His struggle led to a very bad law that in essence puts 14-17 year olds at the mercy of parents who prefer quackery, be it unscientific medicine or religion-inspired. No doubt Abraham doesn’t see it that way, but he unintentionally weakened measures designed to protect children against quackery and religious woo. Children in the state of Virginia are the worse off for it.

ADDENDUM: Well, that didn’t take long. It’s already begun.

Comments

  1. #1 Grimalkin
    June 10, 2008

    Wait, the treatment is actually called “Hoaxey”? Am I pronouncing this right?

  2. #2 Niobe
    June 10, 2008

    Ya gotta love woo reasoning.

    “Chemo is too radical, take this 1600% DRI vitamin A instead.”

  3. #3 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 10, 2008

    Am I a horrible person if the thought had popped into my mind “If Cherrix had died a slow, painful death fewer people would likely engage in this quackery” Cherrix’s survival will likely kill more people indirectly because he will be a prominent example that purveyors of woo can point to. I’m having a lot of trouble feeling good about his survival.

  4. #4 jane
    June 10, 2008

    Yeah, you are a horrible person. Suppose someone said that Lance Armstrong’s survival was a bad thing because it would encourage other people with late-stage metastasized cancer to suffer through chemo that had only a remote chance of saving them. What would you think of that?

  5. #5 DonZilla
    June 10, 2008

    “His latest blood results show no indication of the Hodgkin’s disease . . .”

    WTF? I thought blood testing DESTROYED Hodgkin’s cells. It was the reason my Hodgkin’s wasn’t discovered until one of my lymph nodes was removed. I’d told my PCP I thought I had lymphoma, but he said, “No, that would’ve shown up in your bloodwork.”

    And a dear friend of mine, who’s a lipid researcher at Penn and does nothing but work with cells all day, told me this was true.

    So how can he claim he’s Hodgkin’s-free, based on bloodwork results? Is there a special blood test just for Hodgkin’s once you’re diagnosed? I’m a 2-year survivor and so far my onc’s never used bloodwork alone in ANY of my followup care.

    Thanks Orac for posting this.

  6. #6 Kemist
    June 10, 2008

    What I’m wondering is if the media will report it if he gets a recurrence. I’ve noticed that journalists everywhere love to tell those wishful thinking stories but don’t very much care when they turn badly. Or that when they turn out badly, they don’t mention the woo ever again but focus on grieving relative. Such a story happened recently in my city (it was a sad case; the little boy had no hope of being cured).

    Anyway, whether or not this turn out right, the purveyor of woo will use him as an example later, when the dust will have come down. If it turns bad, they will conveniently forget to mention the bad things. It has happened before.

  7. #7 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 10, 2008

    Jane, I’d think that was an interesting argument, especially if one thought that we put too much effort into saving lives and not enough into end-stage palliative care.

    There’s a fundamental difference between these two cases however, in one case lives are being saved in the other case more people are dying.

  8. #8 Martin
    June 10, 2008

    Joshua,
    although I can understand on an abstract level what you are saying, I think you are lacking in empathy. If you have ever experienced the horror of a chemotherapy – and it *is* a horrible experience, imagine how you feel after a few days with almost no sleep (although you may sleep a lot, you never feel well-rested), imagine being sick all the time (and in the end you may even start to vomit before the medication begins just from the expectation) and to top it all off you have a permanent fear of death – if you have ever experienced this, you can well understand that people (erroneously, I hasten to add in case I get misunderstood) hope that there is an easier way out of it all and try to take it?
    To me, your argument seems inhumane – yes, we should make public that his way is wrong, yes we should tell everyone that their best chance is classical medication with all its horrors, but still we should wish this young man all the luck in the world that he beats the odds.
    I’m happy that Orac seems to feel the same.

  9. #9 jane
    June 10, 2008

    Joshua, if this young man had really gone into remission just by using a nontoxic alternative treatment, I would think that was a wonderful thing that should lead to quick research funding. If you’d find it so threatening that you’d rather see him die, what that means is that even if the alt med did work, you’d want to suppress the fact, just like the conspiracy theorists like to claim. That doesn’t look so good. Anyway, he didn’t just get alt med. He also got conventional treatment, even if it wasn’t a second round of the edge-of-death “aggressive” treatment you might have preferred, and Orac has already made a good case that that ought to get the credit for his recovery. Why can’t you just make the case that regular medicine saved him, instead of being sorry that he was saved?

  10. #10 DonZilla
    June 10, 2008

    Martin, I understand what you’re saying. People always fear the worst when it comes to “classic” cancer treatment, but in reality, everyone reacts to it differently. Some people breeze through it (I did, except for radiation pneumonitis at the end) and some get horribly sick.

    I’d hate to see someone newly diagnosed read Abraham’s story, then use it to validate rejecting “classic” cancer treatment out-of-hand. As usual, humans focus on the negative and we don’t hear about those for whom cancer treatment wasn’t too bad, or went smoothly. But we’re out here. I’m one of them.

    I don’t think anyone’s wishing ill on Abraham here, they’re just wary of how this whole thing is going to play out. Me too.

  11. #11 Patrick
    June 10, 2008

    Congratulations Starchild, Hope things keep looking good, but as the good doctor here warns, let’s hope it lasts for the rest of the 5 year shake out, and please go get some more imaging done to ensure things aren’t popping up again.

  12. #12 Joshua Zelinsky
    June 10, 2008

    Jane, if he had been actually saved by an alternative treatment I’d be very happy about that and want research into that. However, the problem is as exactly as Orac detailed; Cherrix was almost certainly helped here by standard radiation treatments. However, that isn’t the way that the alternative medicine groups will present it. Indeed look at for example this http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,363941,00.html . This is being spun as a triumph of alternative medicine. I have little doubt that other people will look at this and use it as a factor in deciding to treat themselves solely with alternative medicine and not even bother with the radiation or chemo or what have you. Cherrix’s survival will almost certainly lead to other people dying.

  13. #13 jane
    June 10, 2008

    The story does say that he completed radiation treatments.

  14. #14 James
    June 10, 2008

    I tell you..I am just blown away by the remarks made here. y 11 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkins, she just had her 3rd treatment of chemo, and thank god she has been able to tolerate it. I have been doing alot of reading about her treatment options, I tell you it’s not easy. Thinking about the toxicity these chemicals create in the body and the risks of future cancers due to the treatment. On the other hand Unconventional treatments claim that when you treat the immune system with a good diet, and supplements to help boost the immune system is the remedy and the body will heal itself….It is hard for a person to make decisions when in a situation like this…….My wife and I opted for conventional therapy along with everything we feel may assist the immune system in battling this condition. We feel that conventional treatment has been proven to work in the past, however because conventional treatment advocates say that it will not cure bor will do no harm, we do not want to discard that there is some valid points to natural remedies…We have opted to combine both, to where it is possible…Personally, in the end it really does not matter who gets the credit as long as my daughter survives.

    God Bless

  15. #15 James
    June 10, 2008

    I tell you..I am just blown away by the remarks made here. y 11 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkins, she just had her 3rd treatment of chemo, and thank god she has been able to tolerate it. I have been doing alot of reading about her treatment options, I tell you it’s not easy. Thinking about the toxicity these chemicals create in the body and the risks of future cancers due to the treatment. On the other hand Unconventional treatments claim that when you treat the immune system with a good diet, and supplements to help boost the immune system is the remedy and the body will heal itself….It is hard for a person to make decisions when in a situation like this…….My wife and I opted for conventional therapy along with everything we feel may assist the immune system in battling this condition. We feel that conventional treatment has been proven to work in the past, however because conventional treatment advocates say that it will not cure bor will do no harm, we do not want to discard that there is some valid points to natural remedies…We have opted to combine both, to where it is possible…Personally, in the end it really does not matter who gets the credit as long as my daughter survives.

    If it worked for this young man don’t knock it.

    He may be on to something yet to be explored by conventional medicine……..Conventional medicine cannot prove it does not work, just like they cannot not prove it does, only time will tell…

    In the mean time we cannot impose our own believes onto others, we can only tell them what we believe and in the end it is their personnal decision. And it needs to be respected..

    It is easy for people to criticize their choices as patient and parents, I bet none of the critics would be willing to lend a hand in the process other thatn try to impose their own personnal belives…..It is easy to do that when it is not your child going thru this, seeing him or her puke their brains out due to treatment. Desperation kicks in and people will do things unimaginable to others, yet all we can do is sit there and criticize.. No help offered, just “you are wrong, you have to do this, you have to do that”…

    Lets show them, we will call Social Services, and here comes DSS to the rescue……Hey lets put more stress in these peoples lives than what they already have.

    It must be easy…In a perfect world……..

  16. #16 AnnR
    June 10, 2008

    I hope that his remission continues.

    I have stood by my husband through 10 rounds of chemotherapy for a blood cancer (not HD) and he has never considered quitting.

    In his last relapse he began to suffer actual symptoms that were very frightening. When you begin to feel better AFTER the chemotherapy then you know that cancer is nothing to blow off!

    There are many anti-nausea drugs available. You need to take them and accept that you won’t be at the top of your game for the duration. It beats not being able to breath or being in pain from tumors pressing on your organs.

    What bothers me most about this story is the perception that chemo side effects are so miserable that someone would rather go untreated. Particularly in a young person with a disease for which there is a cure it’s a shame.

  17. #17 jane
    June 10, 2008

    This young man had already done one round of chemo, so he actually knew what the experience was like for him (very bad), and he knew that it had failed to cure him the first time he did it. It’s not irrational of him to have taken those factors into account in making his decision.

  18. #18 Matty Smith
    June 10, 2008

    “The alternative (and I use that word loosely because it’s not really an alternative… it was in fact the original way to heal) is a viable option.”

    There are tears welling in my eyes. Both of sadness and laughter.

  19. #19 AndyD
    June 11, 2008

    James:
    I’m sure most posters here have no doubts as to the reasons why parents do avail themselves of any “treatment” that might help and I agree that targeting the parents is mostly pointless. The real targets are the purveyors of these treatments which they know don’t actually work and the media and government bodies that lend legitimacy through uncritical reporting and lax legislation.

    For example, if I told you that for just $500 I could send you a specially coated paper that would cure cancer if you use it to send letters to 200 friends – would you pay the money? What if it was just $20? Could anyone blame a parent for trying my “remedy”? Do you think the media would be wise to advertise my claims as if they had merit? Do you think I should be locked up for fraud?

    For weeks now my son has suffered severe groin pain and, to date, no doctor has given an unequivocal diagnosis and no tried treatments have done anything (he’s seen 4 GPs and a specialist and has had blood tests and an ultrasound). While this pales in comparison to a child with cancer, I am fast coming to understand the power of the “dark side” of alternative therapies. I won’t go there, but you can be assured friends and relatives are starting to suggest I should. If my son had cancer, I might just crumble and pray to Shiva, adorn my son’s room with crystals and stick a candle in his ear in the hope that one or all of these things might cure him.

    The difference here, however, is that Cherrix’s cancer is diagnosed and reportedly curable using real medicine (I’m no doctor so I’m only basing my comments on Orac’s article), but the impact of the treatment obviously made alternatives look pretty good, even if they can’t be justified on the evidence.

    So I guess my question, James, is do you think people should be allowed to take advantage of desperate parents by selling them something which can’t be shown to provide any genuine benefit and if not, do you support people like Orac who expose the quacks for what they are?

  20. #20 jane
    June 11, 2008

    Here’s a point I have wondered about. If a doctor has a kid, say a younger child, taken away from his parents, or otherwise uses legal coercion, to force him to have chemo instead of “just” radiation…does the doctor then provide the treatments for free? Or does he expect to be paid for his services, plus doing the usual thing whereby the oncologist buys chemo drugs and resells them to the patient at a hefty profit? It seems to me there ought to be a general principle that if a doctor compels you to accept treatment against your will, he forfeits the right to send you a bill; he’ll have to do it for charity.

  21. #21 Interrobang
    June 11, 2008

    Here’s a point I have wondered about. If a doctor has a kid, say a younger child, taken away from his parents, or otherwise uses legal coercion, to force him to have chemo instead of “just” radiation…does the doctor then provide the treatments for free?

    If the child has become a ward of the state, doesn’t the state pick up the tab? (That’s how it works where I live, but our medical system and the American one are very different, so I can’t vouch for what’s done in the US.)

    Unlike Orac, I’m not conflicted at all about the court decision. At least where I live, the state has the right to take custody of children that are being abused or neglected. Kids don’t get to be alties unless they have alties for parents (and if you needed a big, big clue as to what kind of people the parents in this case are, the kid was born 20 years or so after Woodstock and they named him “Starchild” anyway), and if you would rather your kid run the risk of dying from a preventable or curable disease than have them do a course of regular medicine, in what way is that not a form of child abuse or neglect?

    Now that he’s 18, on the other hand, I fully support his right to kill himself any way he chooses, so long as he doesn’t take someone else with him, including his own hypothetical child(ren).

  22. #22 George
    June 11, 2008

    Any word about Katie? Hope she is well.

  23. #23 Orac
    June 11, 2008

    I thought of that and was going to see what I could find out.

  24. #24 DLC
    June 11, 2008

    “The alternative (and I use that word loosely because it’s not really an alternative… it was in fact the original way to heal) is a viable option.” (not sure where that came from)
    But… what percentage of cancer patience “heal themselves”?
    I have not done any research on it, but I’d bet that spontaneous cures are about 1 in 10 million ? lower ?
    What I’m trying to get at here is — There is no “Original way to heal” for cancer. And really — the “original” way to cure diseases was to pray to Ra and hope for the best.
    Do you really want that alternative ?

  25. #25 KSV
    June 20, 2008

    You know, Harry Hoxsey didn’t come up with that treatment, he ripped off Parke Davis’s Trifolium Compound which had been used for years for cancer treatment, in some form from the 1800s through the mid 1900s. Red clover (Trifolium spp) has been used in several continents for cancer historically and probably is of therapeutic value.

    Not that it means eschewing standard therapy. In fact in China, herbal fu zheng therapy was developed to combine with chemotherapy. Practitioners in this country have found it to enhance the chemotherapy and to reduce the side effects like hair loss and nausea.

    80% of the world’s medicine is botanical and it would behoove us to learn to use it in combination with modern therapies, as doctors elsewhere in the world have learned to do.

  26. #26 Marilyn
    August 5, 2008

    I find it interesting that the medical community never states that cancer patients died of chemo or radiation. They always say they died of cancer. It’s usually the treatment that kills them.
    How is adding poison (chemo) to your body logical? How is radiation (cancer causing) logical? They make you sick and weaken your immune system at a time when you need to strengthen it.
    Alternative therapies, on the other hand, enable the body to heal itself. The body strives to heal and be in balance. When given the proper fuel (food), excercise, detox and lymphatic drainage it will heal.
    I have met people who were told by conventional doctors that they had months, maybe a year to live. Rather than buying that they changed their diets to raw “living” foods and their lifestyles to help their body heal. Now, many years later (8+) they are healthy and cancer free.
    Drug companies are very powerful. They can’t make money if you don’t buy their drugs. So they do all they can to dismiss natural cures as quackery. Don’t let yourself, friend or family member be a victim. Take charge of your health and enable your body to heal.
    Here’s a great place to start http://www.naturalnews.com/Index.html

  27. #27 Orac
    August 5, 2008

    I find it interesting that the medical community never states that cancer patients died of chemo or radiation. They always say they died of cancer. It’s usually the treatment that kills them.

    No, it’s not.

    Also, you’re not going to convince too many citing Mike Adam’s repository of quackery.

  28. #28 Marilyn
    August 5, 2008

    Orac,
    You are probably on some drug companies payrolls being the strong supporter of drugs and vaccines that you appear to be. You dismiss natural healing as quackery while it is clearly insane to blindly follow advice to poison ones body.
    Did you know that doctors research determined
    “The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.”
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849
    Based on those results should chemo still be a course of “treatment”? Hardly.

  29. #29 MartinM
    August 5, 2008

    You dismiss natural healing as quackery while it is clearly insane to blindly follow advice to poison ones body.

    Quite right. Common sense dictates a course of leeches.

  30. #30 Natalie
    August 5, 2008

    No, no, MartinM, leaches will not help in this case. Cancer is caused by a buildup of negative energy in the phlegmatic humor, caused by demons – the proper treatment is a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Sebastian. Then apply the leaches.