This is the sort of story that I really hate but feel obligated to discuss. I hate these stories because they usually portend the unnecessary death of a cancer patient, often a child with cancer whose parents refuse chemotherapy or who refuses chemotherapy and is unfortunate enough to have a parent who either has alternative medicine proclivities herself, lacks the guts to tell the child that he’s getting treated for his own good and he doesn’t have a choice in the matter, or, in a couple of cases that I’ve discussed, conflates using indigenous people’s medicine instead of chemotherapy as a way of asserting their cultural identity. In the vast majority of these cases, the child has a highly curable lymphoma or leukemia. Not infrequently, the child undergoes one or two rounds of chemotherapy, and the child and/or parent, alarmed at the side effects, decides that the child doesn’t need the rest of the chemotherapy course. This seems to be more likely to happen if the child has a great response to the first round or two of chemotherapy and goes into complete remission. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy regimens for childhood leukemias and lymphomas are long for a reason. Oncologists don’t give up to two and a half years of chemotherapy because they like poisoning children. Decades ago, they learned that if they didn’t give such prolonged courses of chemotherapy, the cancer was likely to return, even if it had gone into remission after only one or two courses of intensive chemotherapy. Unfortunately, that reality has led too many parents who, understandably, can’t stand seeing their children suffering chemotherapy effects to go along with prematurely stopping the chemotherapy.

The names of the children and adolescents with cancer I’ve discussed resonate over the years who have refused chemotherapy still resonate with me even though it’s been a while since I discussed such a case: Abraham Cherrix, Sarah Hershberger, Daniel Hauser, Makayla Sault (who died), and, of course, Cassandra Callender.

Cassandra Callender was a particularly problematic case to me, and I want to update you on what’s happening because readers have written to me. But first a little background for those not familiar with the case. I considered her case problematic because she was 17 years old when she refused chemotherapy. She had developed Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a very treatable malignancy with an estimated expected survival rate of 85%. At the risk of being repetitive, I strongly believe that competent adults have the right to decided their own medical care. They can choose science-based medicine, no treatment at all, or even quackery; I consider it my mission to try to discourage the use of quackery through educating the public. Children are different, however. They depend on their parents and are not considered competent to make such life-or-death decisions. Of course, when children develop the ability to understand the consequences of their decisions is, of course, debatable, as a six year old or eight year old is quite different in his ability to reason and understand consequences than a 13 year old or 16 year old. We as a society have decided that 18 is the age of adulthood for legal purposes. I also realize that society has to pick a number. But what about 17 year olds? They’re pretty damned close to adults. Cassandra Callender was 17 when she was basically locked in a hospital room and forced to undergo chemotherapy. Yes, it was all for her own good, and legally she was not yet an adult, but if you don’t feel at least a little uneasy about her case, even if you ultimately decided it was the right thing to do to make sure she was treated, well, Mister (or Ms.) you’re a better man (or woman) than I.

Not surprisingly, Callender’s case became a cause célèbre among the alternative medicine crowd, as all such cases do—but even more so because of how old she was. Not surprisingly, a few weeks before she was to turn 18, Callender found her way to cancer quack Ty Bollinger, who interviewed her for his “Truth About Cancer” series as an example of “medical kidnapping.” During the interview, which is still in Bollinger’s series, Callender demonstrated magical thinking at ever level, believing that there really is another effective way to eradicate her cancer “naturally” or with homeopathy. At the same time, she hinted at bad news, mentioning a recent PET scan that “didn’t look good.”

Unfortunately, a few months later we learned that she had relapsed in the form of a mass in her lung. Fortunately, this being Hodgkin’s lymphoma, that wasn’t a death sentence. Her disease was far from terminal, but it would likely have required salvage chemotherapy followed by an autologous stem cell transplant. Basically, her bone marrow would be harvested for stem cells, and then she would undergo high dose chemotherapy to wipe out her bone marrow, after which she’d undergo a bone marrow transplant. Her expected survival? Between 40-60%.

So here’s what’s going on. I’ve recently been made aware of Callender’s GoFundMe page, and the news is not good. The page was set up on March 14, 2017, and this is the story:

This page has been set up to help raise money for Cassandra’s 2nd battle against Hodgkin’s lymphoma . In 2014 she was diagnosed and pronounced in remission after 6 months of chemotherapy in 2015. 9 months later in 2016 Cassandra had found out she relapsed with a mass in her left lung and surrounding neck/chest. She spent the whole year using alternative treatments / cannabis oils but unfortunately the cancer became more aggressive. In January of 2017 cassandra discovered that now both of her lungs are full of masses along with her surrounding lungs , chest , surrounding heart and neck . Cassandra now has to go through a very intensive 6-9 months of chemotherapy, again in hopes that things clear up. Her life expectancy doesn’t look well at the moment and it’s going to be quite the battle . She no longer has a normal breathing capacity and struggles with daily life functions that the sickness brings . She is unable to work, is now behind on bills and overall the financial struggle of going through this process yet again is taking a financial toll on her and her family . Any donations would be appreciated at this time . All donations will go directly to Cassandra. After going through this battle once already , Cassandra looks at life as everyday a gift especially when the next day is not promised .

So basically, the woo didn’t work and Callender’s disease is progressing alarmingly. Cannabis oils didn’t stop the cancer because cannabis does not cure cancer. Sadly, none of this is a surprise; untreated relapsed Hodgkin’s lymphoma is not going to go away on its own, and that’s basically what would have had to have happened for Callender to get better. At least she appears to be finally getting treatment again. This is something that’s common among those who choose quackery instead of medicine. When it becomes obvious even to them that the woo isn’t working; they go back to the chemotherapy. Unfortunately, by then it is often too late, or they have to undergo a much more rigorous, unpleasant treatment with less chance of success than they had before.

Maybe Callender’s use of chemotherapy explains a bit of something I noticed on Facebook. Not long before Callender set up her GoFundMe page, the despicable cancer quack Ty Bollinger posted this on his “Truth About Cancer” Facebook page:

Here’s the interesting thing. The Vimeo link to the video above is dead. Similarly, the link to a simila earlier video from Callender from 2016 that Ty Bollinger had posted to Facebook is also dead:

So clearly Callender had gone to Tony and Marcy Jimenez’s Hope 4 Cancer Institute in—where else?—Mexico, a mere 30 minutes south of the border near San Diego. In other words, this is a Tijuana quack clinic. And, boy, is it ever! Just take a look at what it offers:

Yes, any place that offers coffee enemas to treat cancer is a quack clinic par excellence, particularly when the practitioners there justify it the way Hope4Cancer does. Besides regurgitating the usual “death begins in the colon” tripe so beloved of those who think that toxins from built up poop in the colon cause cancer, the Jiminezes offer this gem:

Coffee from the coffee enemas (this is not regular coffee that is available in the market!) preferentially absorbs through the venous system in the lower part of the colon going directly to the liver. The coffee stimulates the liver to produce more bile that flushes out the toxins from the organ, This frees up the liver’s capacity to process more toxins instead of being in a constant state of overload. Without this detoxification, the toxins remain concentrated in the bloodstream and upstream in the various tissues and organs, causing overall toxicity in the body.

Only someone with minimal to no understanding of physiology could come up with a ridiculous explanation like this. Even if coffee did stimulate the liver to produce more bile that wouldn’t “free up the liver’s capacity to process more toxins instead of being in a constant state of overload.” That’s not how the liver works.

Perhaps my favorite is this one:

At Hope4Cancer Institute we require that the patients watch an Immuno-Imagery program, a health imaging video and audio series that promotes health from within. This unique self-imaging system combines the scientific discoveries of psychoneuroimmunology (the study of the interaction between the mind and the immune system) with the latest professional guided imagery and deep relaxation techniques of Emmett E. Miller, M.D., a nationally acclaimed physician specializing in Psychophysiological Medicine.

This comprehensive program contains time-lapse motion picture photography through a microscope of actual immune cells. It reveals captivating animation, coupled with an inspiring narration that describes just how the body defends itself. These images guide the patient through a visualization process that helps activate their immune system. The audio provides relaxation and visualization guidance with soothing music and calming sounds of nature. Dr. Miller comments, “IMMUNO-IMAGERY provides a crucial element in any program designed to support the healing process in a most beneficial way, providing clear, vivid images of healthy functioning immune cells doing exactly what you want them to do within your body.”

Great. So the Jimenezes sell the marks a bunch of videos of animations of how the immune system works with a soundtrack of soothing nature sounds as a method of showing patients how to tell their immune system to attack the cancer. Yeah, that’ll work. (That’s sarcasm, people.) I particularly like the woo babble (like Star Trek technobabble but with woo) about psychoneuroimmunology, proving once again that quacks can co-opt any scientific term in the service of selling stuff.

Then there’s this:

At Hope4Cancer Institute we have the technology and know-how to extract, from urine, the proteins that are produced by the cancer cells and develop a vaccine “Autologous Antigen Receptor Specific Oncogenic Target Acquisition” (AARSOTA). This vaccine is administered intramuscularly at specific intervals to promote an antigen-antibody response and provide immunological information to the antibodies. The immunological response enhances specific cancer fighting ability by the body’s defense system.

Tumor markers are measurable biochemicals that are associated with a malignancy. They are either produced by tumor cells (tumor-derived) or by the body in response to tumor cells (tumor-associated). They are typically substances that are released into the circulation and thus measured in the blood. There are a few exceptions to this, such as tissue-bound receptors that must be measured in a biopsy from the solid tumor or proteins that are secreted into the urine.

It all sounds pretty impressive; that is, if you don’t know anything about cancer. What amazed me even more is that the Jimenezes basically admit that what they are doing is complete bullshit:

As tumor cells grow and multiply, some of their substances can increase and leak into the bloodstream or other fluids. Depending upon the tumor marker, it can be measured in blood, urine, stool or tissue. Some widely used tumor markers include: AFP, beta-HCG, CA 15-3, CA 19-9, CA 27.29, CA 125, CEA, and PSA. Some tumor markers are associated with many types of cancer; others, with as few as one. Some tumor markers are always elevated in specific cancers; most are less predictable. However, no tumor marker is specific for cancer and most are found in low levels in healthy persons, or can be associated with non-neoplastic diseases as well as cancer. Also, no tumor marker test is free of false negatives or false positives.

Which basically tells you that trying to make a vaccine out of all these tumor markers isolated from the urine is doomed to failure. In the slideshow that accompanies this woo babble, slide 6 shows a list of cancer vaccines in development by other companies without noting that the antigens being targeted are far more specific to the tumors being treated. The presentation also includes a slide about how whole cell extracts are good sources of cancer antigens, as though this justifies the approach of extracting the urine. In particular, I note that not a single scientific paper or clinical trial is presented to justify the treatment, which is called “Autologous Antigen Receptor Specific Oncogenic Target Acquisition” (AARSOTA).

The case of Cassandra Callender saddens me. There’s no doubt that she got a raw deal, first being diagnosed with cancer and then being on the wrong end of the 85% survival rate for Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she relapsed. However, she still had a decent shot to salvage the situation. It would have been a hard and painful road. The high dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell rescue still had about a 50-50 chance of failing. But the flip side of that is it also had a 50-59 chance of succeeding. By choosing quackery, unfortunately Cassandra Callender chose death, even as she thought she was choosing life. Her tumor progressed. Fortunately she appears to have realized her mistake, and it’s great that she’s finally fallen back on real medicine. I really do hope it can save her life, but there’s no doubt that her chances are much worse than they would have been if she hadn’t waited after her tumor relapses. That’s what quackery did; it diminished her chances of survival after relapse.

If she thinks that the quacks at Hope4Cancer and Ty Bollinger don’t know that, she should ask them why they’ve’ scrubbed her the two videos about her “journey” at Hope4Cancer from Vimeo. (Certainly I couldn’t find them.) The reason is simple. She is a testimonial they used to sell their quackery, and a patient dying of cancer doesn’t make a good sales tool. Neither does a patient who used quackery like the Jimenezes’ quackery at Hope4Cancer and seen her cancer continue to progress despite all the woo thrown at her.

Also, as much as I hate to say it, if Callender dies of her disease (and I really hope she doesn’t), quacks will oh-so-sadly and piously say it was because she didn’t stay the course with the Hope4Cancer quackery and instead underwent chemotherapy again. The chemotherapy, they will falsely claim, killed her and not the cancer. Quacks are predictable that way.

Comments

  1. #1 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    June 5, 2017

    Krebiozen had a pretty good take on Mexican clinics in his last ever comment here.

  2. #2 Yvette
    June 5, 2017

    And if she passes- and sadly that seems likely from what you wrote- the chemo she received two years ago will be blamed by the woonatics.

  3. #3 Lighthorse
    June 5, 2017

    “not a single scientific paper or clinical trial is presented to justify the treatment, which is called “Autologous Antigen Receptor Specific Oncogenic Target Acquisition” (AARSOTA)”. Considering the part of the anatomy the treatment was pulled from, AARSOTA has an appropriate ring to it. But the real target of acquisition is the unfortunate cancer patient given to believe in the crap. Now, if Trump is still hell-bent on imposing trade sanctions on Mexico, I can’t think of a better one than the cancer quack clinics sanctioned by the government.

  4. #4 Panacea
    June 5, 2017

    Yvette: yes. Which is why hardly anyone has donated to her GoFundMe page. The woo meisters are not going to pay for her chemo, and she seems to have wised up and realized she needs real medicine.

    She’s raised a paltry $270 in just under 3 months. Her woo buddies have abandoned her.

    She must realize it. I feel sorry for her. Sick, cheated, and probably in hospice care by now.

  5. #5 Christine Rose
    Ann Arbor
    June 5, 2017

    @Lighthorse #3

    “Crap” and AARS are the wrong analogies for a treatment that involves *injecting urine.*

  6. #6 Lawrence
    June 5, 2017

    Of course they’ll blame the chemo – because it’s never the fault of the “alternative” cures themselves….of course, the majority of these “alternative” cures don’t do anything on a biological level, so the disease just takes its natural course.

  7. #7 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    This is really sad.
    I clearly recall when she was first diagnosed and the controversy that ensued when she was forcibly treated. My view at the time was that, while intended to save her life, the actions of the State of Connecticut went way too far. Both her and her mother were opposed to chemotherapy, and it seemed (at the time) that Cassandra understood that refusing treatment would lead to her eventual death from HL-and, while she was just under 18, she seemed to understand what the consequences of refusing treatment would be.

    I didn’t hear that she thought that “alternative treatments” would cure her cancer until she relapsed, and by that point, she was an adult.

  8. #8 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    The other thing is that, when the state steps in and forces treatment, it makes “us” (that is, proponents of science-based medicine) look bad in the eyes of some, and it probably gives the cancer quacks more fuel to rail against chemotherapy.

    Certainly most people would feel uncomfortable with a 17-year old with cancer being taken from her home and family by child services, forcibly treated with chemotherapy, and not be allowed to have contact with her family during that period.

    Ultimately, the question is “do the ends justify the means?”, and in this case I would have to say that they did not. In cases where the child is younger, I would say yes, but with a 17-year old, I just can’t say that they do.

  9. #9 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Lawrence-Yes, they probably will blame the chemo, even though she initially went into remission. Many quacks (especially homeopaths) claim that “conventional” treatments somehow “interfere” with the (nonexistent) ability of their so-called “treatments” to “work”.

  10. #10 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Orac-The GoFundMe page you quoted says “in January of 2017 cassandra discovered that now both of her lungs are full of masses along with her surrounding lungs , chest , surrounding heart and neck . Cassandra now has to go through a very intensive 6-9 months of chemotherapy, again in hopes that things clear up.”

    But at the bottom of your post, you write “every week without effective treatment further diminishes the chances that Callender can be saved. I just hope she takes that chance and seeks real medical treatment instead of quackery as soon as possible.”

    Doesn’t the GoFundMe page state that she finally has sought real medical treatment, and is now undergoing chemotherapy?

    • #11 Orac
      June 5, 2017

      Yeah. Somehow an older version of the post posted where I didn’t notice that. I changed it to the right version. In my defense, I was writing this crammed in a plane on an overnight flight and the first time through didn’t read the GoFundMe page closely as I should have. I couldn’t sleep; so I blogged. I don’t know what happened. But, yes, thankfully she does appear to be getting treatment. That also explains why Hope4Cancer dropped her like a hot potato from its Vimeo page. I also note that, as I was trying to fix this, I somehow managed to reinstate the original version that was wrong about her seeking treatment. Damn WordPress. Sometimes its saving every version of a post can trip me up. This isn’t the first time this has happened.

      Be that as it may, this little slip up shows Orac’s Tarial cells need recharging. Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I’ll now go and contemplate some black holes, as Orac does when his circuits are scrambled. Read the post now. It’s much clearer. I also changed the title and the blurb to make clear exactly what’s going on.

  11. #12 myusrn
    June 5, 2017

    @Orac/others having gone through the ringer with a loved one i really appreciate these scientific and logical insights on the alternative medicine offerings that make decision making during an escalating health crisis even more challenging. That said the above focuses on how those alternative treatments have not saved her life,

    What about sharing your insights on how the original chemotherapy treatment she was apparently forced into doing before she was declared an adult didn’t save her life either given the disease progressed? How do we know it actually left her better off vs worse? Is there ever a time when professionals using evidence based treatment approaches should be telling patients we are not likely going to be able to turn this around and you should focus on acceptance and quality over quantity of life? Thanks in advance for any insights on these aspects of the cancer treatment journey.

  12. #13 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    June 5, 2017

    Her story is also similar to that of Jess Ainscough, whom you’ve also written about.

  13. #14 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Julian Frost-How are the two cases are similar, besides the fact that both of them fell victim to cancer quacks? Callender has Hodgkin’s disease, whereas Ainscough had epithelioid sarcoma.

    Also, Ainscough initially underwent isolated limb perfusion (before she fell victim to the Gerson therapy quackery), which appears to have been effective, for a time. Since Ainscough had isolated limb perfusion, it seems tyo me that she may not have been as averse to treatment as Callender is/was, and that Ainscough may have only turned to quackery after her cancer returned and she was told that the only hope for a cure would be amputation of her arm at the shoulder. That’s obviously a far more radical intervention than chemo.

  14. #15 Christine Rose
    Ann Arbor
    June 5, 2017

    @Jonas, #7

    I remember her saying she was ready to die as well. At the time I wondered if a seventeen year old could really think that one through. But now I see that we were wrong–she was planning to cure herself with woo all the time. She just said that to get the doctors and judges to leave her alone.

    I’d like to see someone charged with manslaughter for this one.

  15. #16 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    Epithelioid sarcoma is a slow growing cancer, and that’s why she believed, for a time at least, that the Gerson “therapy” was “working”. In reality, of course, the slow progression was to be expected, and had nothing to do with coffee enemas or any of the other Gerson quackery that she fell victim to (and promoted).

  16. #17 sirhcton
    June 5, 2017

    Isn’t treating cancer with urine derivatives Stan Burzynski’s territory?

  17. #18 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Christine Rose-I think charging anyone with manslaughter in this case is a real stretch, especially since she (against her will) did receive chemotherapy.

    But there are other, somewhat similar cases, where people should have been prosecuted and were not. The worst example was in Australia, where a homeopath told a woman with colon cancer that she could cure her cancer, and convinced the woman not to undergo surgery and chemotherapy. Eventually, the poor woman developed bowel obstruction, and even then, when the woman was in extreme pain and would have had just a day or two to live without surgery, the homeopath continued to urge the woman not to have surgery.

    At that point, the woman finally ignored the homeopath’s advice and underwent emergency surgery, but by then, the cancer had metastasized, it was too late, and the woman died of metastatic colon cancer 2 years later.

    In my opinion, the homeopath absolutely should have been charged with manslaughter. But she wasn’t.

  18. #19 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Christine Rose-“I remember her saying she was ready to die as well. At the time I wondered if a seventeen year old could really think that one through. ”

    Some have argued that adolescents are mature enough to make such decisions. Christopher Doig and Ellen Burgess, of the University of Calgary, wrote: “Life and death are concrete concepts clearly understood by adolescents. There is a clear ethical and legal foundation for permitting competent adolescents to decide if they will accept life-sustaining medical treatment.”
    (Source: Withholding life-sustaining treatment: Are adolescents competent to make these decisions?, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2000).

    Of course, if Callender believed that she could be cured with quackery all along, as it now seems, then she wouldn’t have viewed chemotherapy as necessary to save her life, and therefore couldn’t be considered competent to make such a decision.

  19. #20 Rebecca Fisher
    That London
    June 5, 2017

    @Julian – Do we know what’s happened to Krebiozen?

  20. #21 Windriven
    Portland-ish
    June 5, 2017

    There is so much to feel about cases like this but really so little to say. It is a life wasted on a delusion. Does it make much difference that the delusion is quackery as opposed to, say, religious zealotry (Buddhists self-immolating in protest)?

    When people abandon reason for belief, the result is all too often tragic.

  21. #22 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Windriven-I agree completely. I’d add that, in my opinion, spending one’s life as a nun or monk is another example of a life wasted on a delusion.

  22. #23 Narad
    June 5, 2017

    “Life and death are concrete concepts clearly understood by adolescents. There is a clear ethical and legal foundation for permitting competent adolescents to decide if they will accept life-sustaining medical treatment.”

    This analysis fails to take into account understanding of the manner of death.

  23. #24 Narad
    June 5, 2017

    Does it make much difference that the delusion is quackery as opposed to, say, religious zealotry (Buddhists self-immolating in protest)?

    The boldfaced part is far more complicated than you seem to think. Moreover, if the reference is to Thích Quảng Đức, (1) he was a Mahayanist and (2) it was a political action rather than “religious zealotry.”* One may as well classify enlisting in the military as a category of delusion under this gloss.

    * Robert Buswell does recount some cases of Korean monks engaging in a form of one-upsmanship in terms of who can burn off more fingers. Burning off one was used as a way to avoid military conscription.

  24. #25 Narad
    June 5, 2017

    ^ Or heroism in combat, etc.

  25. #26 Narad
    June 5, 2017

    Coffee from the coffee enemas (this is not regular coffee that is available in the market!)

    No, if you put it that way, it certainly isn’t.

  26. #27 LW
    June 5, 2017

    @myusrn,

    Is there ever a time when professionals using evidence based treatment approaches should be telling patients we are not likely going to be able to turn this around and you should focus on acceptance and quality over quantity of life?

    This is not such a case. Orac described the science-based treatment as having an 85% chance of a cure.

  27. #28 darwinslapdog
    Trying to get back to the Galapagos
    June 5, 2017

    I admire your compassion; I guess that’s why you’re a doctor and I wouldn’t even want to be one. I saw the most dismissive, snotty doctor ever today, but I’d see him again if I needed to and there was no one else, before I’d turn to woo. I have a hard time feeling sorry for believers, be it woo or magical sky beings. It might be the “mild autism”, and I do hope this young woman gets well, mostly because then hopefully she will have learned her lesson and spread that anecdote.

  28. #29 Narad
    June 5, 2017

    What about sharing your insights on how the original chemotherapy treatment she was apparently forced into doing before she was declared an adult didn’t save her life either given the disease progressed? How do we know it actually left her better off vs worse?

    Naively, I think most people would file remission under “better off.” You’d need to define your terms more carefully to shift it over.

    Is there ever a time when professionals using evidence based treatment approaches should be telling patients we are not likely going to be able to turn this around and you should focus on acceptance and quality over quantity of life?

    You bet your sweet bippy. I’ll be damned if I can really figure out why my mom rejected a home hospice nurse.

  29. #30 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Orac-Thanks for clarifying. I’m glad to hear that she is finally getting appropriate treatment.

  30. #31 Chris Hickie
    June 5, 2017

    Meanwhile, from the Hope For Anna Facebook page postings it sound’s like Anna’s brain tumor is growing (but Burzynski is calling it inflammation and not tumor growth) and Burzynski has the family flying back to Houston to try some new pill he “discovered” in Europe. Translation: Burzynski needs more $$$.

  31. #32 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    June 5, 2017

    @Jonas:

    @Julian Frost-How are the two cases are similar, besides the fact that both of them fell victim to cancer quacks?

    Both had diseases that were treatable with evidence based medicine. Both decided to forego evidence based medicine. Jess Ainscough died, and it appears a virtual certainty that Cassandra Callender will also pay with her life.
    @Rebecca, no. I haven’t seen anything about what happened to him.
    If anyone knows if Krebiozen is still alive, what happened to him, why he’s no longer commenting, I would appreciate it if you could tell us.

  32. #33 Christine Rose
    June 5, 2017

    Also both of them were/are attractive young women, still outwardly healthy, appealing to the generous, and articulate enough to convince the ignorant. And both of them had to admit they were wrong and risk offending their fans. A toddler may tug at more heartstrings, but babies don’t have to have that moment when the truth clamps its slimy jaws right down onto what would have saved you two years ago…and belches in your face.

  33. #34 Panacea
    June 5, 2017

    LW: She had an 85% cure rate in the first go round, when she was 17. I’m unclear whether or not she completed that first go round after she turned 18. IIRC she stopped short but was in remission. Now her chances of a cure are a mere 40-60%, and I tend to think more towards the latter end. It gets worse the more she delayed treatment. Metastasis has already occurred; by the time you get this, your chances really go down even with aggressive treatment.

    Not impossible. Her age benefits her; younger, healthier people are better able to withstand the rigors of chemo or radiation than older people with other health problems to complicate things.

    And while I suspect myusrn is playing the “reasonable approach” argument to supporting woo, she does ask a valid question:

    “Is there ever a time when professionals using evidence based treatment approaches should be telling patients we are not likely going to be able to turn this around and you should focus on acceptance and quality over quantity of life?”

    The answer to that question is a qualified “Yes.” Experienced oncologists and oncology surgeons generally are able to tell when a patient is not responding to treatment, or when treatment is not likely to be successful in the first place, and are able to so accordingly inform, advise, and educate the patient. I say a qualified yes, because physicians are human beings. They may over estimate their ability to help the patient, and recommend a continuation of a treatment that is hopeless. They may hesitate to tell a patient the truth, fearing the patient will lose hope. Or they may under estimate the effect the treatment is having and recommend hospice care too soon. It would be disingenuous to suggest physicians never make mistakes.

    But the majority of the time, they don’t. Experience counts for a lot. When I worked as a hospice nurse, I got to know a lot of the local oncologists fairly well as they referred a lot of our patients to us. Their patients were going through a lot and they did the best they could for them.

    So, myusrn, here’s a primer on how fractionated dosing works to answer your other question about why her first round didn’t save her. Bear in mind, this is the Reader’s Digest version.

    Any cell has four stages of growth, including cancer cells. Some forms of chemo will kill in any of the cell cycles, other forms target the cell in a specific growth state. Radiation therapy targets a specific part of the cycle. Giving the patient the whole dose of chemo or radiation would likely kill the patient, since both therapies affect healthy as well as unhealthy cells. So the therapies are given over time, to be better tolerated, and to ensure you get all the cancer.

    That’s why surgery for solid tumors is essential in many forms of cancer; get the bulk out early enough, follow up with chemo, and the 5 year survival rate gets much much better.

    But when you delay treatment, you make it harder to get all the cancer. If it starts to spread, its’ even worse. Not impossible but the further you go the more unlikely it gets. Cancers often find their way into the lymphatic system, which is like a highway system for cancer cells. They travel everywhere eventually, and take root in distant parts of the body. NHL is a blood cancer, but it can still do this, and that’s what happened to Cassandra Callender. That’s why she needed a bone marrow transplant and stem cells.

    Problem is if you don’t finish the treatment, even if the cancer goes into remission, it tends to come back harder later on. That’s why Orac writes about these cases so often . . . they are such tragedies because they are so avoidable, and because they are used to fool people into thinking they can stop EBM when they really can’t.

    Coffee enemas aren’t going to do jack for a cancer of the white blood cells.

    And it’s a waste of good coffee besides.

  34. #35 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Julian Frost (#32)
    Yes there are some similarities. But there are also significant differences. Callender’s case is well-known mostly because she was a minor at the time that she refused treatment, and therefore she was forced to receive chemotherapy.

    In contrast, Ainscough was an an adult when she was diagnosed, so her right to refuse treatment was never even a question.

    Also, Callender was refusing *all* treatment when she was first diagnosed, whereas while Ainscough refused the recommended treatment (amputation of her arm), she was initially treated with isolated limb perfusion, which was effective for a time.

    Also, Ainscough promoted herself as a “Gerson therapy” “success story” for years, while Callender hasn’t done so.

    Finally, the cancers that the two have/had are much different. Hodgkin’s disease has a good prognosis, and as mentioned, Callender’s chance of survival with treatment was at least 85% in 2014. The prognosis for epithelioid sarcoma is much more guarded, and the treatment that could have cured Ainscough (amputation of her arm at the shoulder, perhaps followed by chemotherapy) is much more radical than the treatment for Hodgkin’s disease. Since Ainscough accepted isolated limb perfusion, it seems likely to me that had she had Hodgkin’s disease, she would have accepted chemotherapy. It was the fact that she required amputation of her arm-obviously a life-altering intervention-that drove her to seek out quackery in place of real medical treatment.

    But I think the biggest difference is that Ainscough promoted herself for years as a “success story” for years, whereas Callender didn’t.

  35. #36 Jonas
    June 5, 2017

    @Panacea-BTW, there have been some advances in the treatment of patients with HL, who have relapsed after a bone marrow transplant, in the last couple of years. Treatment with brentuximab vedotin can put some patients with relpased/refractory HL into remission, at least for a time. I don’t think that most of those patients remain in remission, though.

    Also, the checkpoint inhibitors pembrolizumab and nivolumab have both shown efficacy in the setting of HL that has relapsed after a bone marrow transplant, and some of the HL patients who responded to checkpoint inhibitors have had durable responses (perhaps, some of these patients have been cured, but much longer follow up will be needed before you can conclude that checkpoint inhibitors can cure HL).

  36. #37 Panacea
    June 5, 2017

    Hi, Jonas,

    I know. That’s why I said I thought her chances were more to the 60% end IF and only IF she gets conventional treatment. If she has delayed, even new treatments aren’t likely to do her any good.

    Which is very sad. She is much, much too young.

  37. #38 sadmar
    June 5, 2017

    Cassadra Callender’s case is complicated not just because she was a minor, but by the role of her mother – who was/is the true vehement woo fanatic driving the alt treatment and the rejection of chemo. There was some evidence that Cassnadra herself was conflicted about her mom in general, and about the treatment choice. When the State tried to force her into chemo she may have blanched because she’d already had her fill of folks telling her what to do, and that may have seemed somehow worse somehow than the familiar entreaties of ‘mom’, tilting her teenage rebelliousness back toward home. (I speculate wildly, of course…)

    I was kind of surprised she continued on the pure woo path after becoming an adult and being able to make her own choices. I’d guess the diagnosis of remission was enough to let her hope she could avoid the very difficult path of conventional treatment for her cancer, and bought into the hope that the cannabis etc. would help prevent it’s return. I’d guess further that if she had ever truly gone full-faith in the woo, instead of just cross-you-fingers hope, she wouldn’t have abandoned it even after discovering the relapse…

    I wonder if she’ll make any statements about her story, now that she’s trying to raise money to fund chemo. Which, btw, is a crime, as we should have universal national health insurance that covers this. Of course, she has a pre-existing condition, and life-saving treatment in the GOP’s Muricah is a privilege for the privileged, not a right for the hoi poloi.
    ______

    For the record, Makayla Sault’s family only claimed to be “using indigenous people’s medicine” as a ruse to block any attempt by Child Services to take her into custody. Her parents were born-again Christians, who were actually relying on faith-healing to save her, as she was publicly ‘cured’ by televangelist Ted Shuttlesworth at a revival in Sarnia. McMaster Children’s Hospital also bears some responsibility for her death by going postal when her parents first refused chemo and referring the case to Child Services instead of the State Board that could have placed her under a mandated treatment plan without challenging custody.

  38. #39 NWO Reporter
    June 6, 2017

    There are hundreds of thousands of cases just like Cassandra’s among people who pursued only conventional cancer treatments. Many die every single day.

    There is no way to know if Cassandra would have been better off had she pursued more of the conventional treatment she received the first time around–the one that pronounced her “in remission”–only to learn nine months later she had more cancer that had already spread.

    This story–of “successful” conventional treatment, followed within a few years by relapse with more cancer that is more widespread and virulent–is a very familiar one. For those patients, there is only compassion, and no ridicule for their poor choice of treatment that left them dead.

  39. #40 Chris
    June 6, 2017

    NWO Troll, why should we care about your uneducated opinion? You are just noise in the ether.

  40. #41 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    June 6, 2017

    There is no way to know if Cassandra would have been better off had she pursued more of the conventional treatment she received the first time around

    Are you kidding me? We have ample data from decades of practise that show that she would have almost certainly been cancer free had she continued with conventional (read “proven”) treatment.

    the one that pronounced her “in remission”–only to learn nine months later she had more cancer that had already spread

    NWO Reporter doesn’t know the meaning of the word “remission”. Colour me unsurprised.

  41. #42 Se Habla Espol
    June 6, 2017

    It would be interesting to have actual numbers rather that pro-woo conjecture, wouldn’t it; numbers organized like:
    (A) 89% survival after completing full chemotherapy, only.
    (B) __% survival after complete chemotherapy + sCAM ‘therapy’
    (C) __% survival with partial chemotherapy.
    (D) __% survival with partial course of chemotherapy + sCAM ‘therapy’.
    (E) __% survival with sCAM ‘therapy’ only.
    (F) __% survival with no treatment at all.

    What would you wanna bet that (A) and (B) are indistinguishable; that (C) and (D) are indistinguishable; and that (E) and (F) are indistinguishable and indistinguishable from 0%?

  42. #43 Zimba
    June 6, 2017

    Hope4Cancer offers quite an assortment of quackery. It also seems to have a large fan base because of Bollinger’s Truth About Cancer film.

    Interestingly, they offer one treatment modality that might seem more legitimate than a coffee enema to the average person, because it is actually registered as a drug somewhere – Rigvir oncolytic virus, for skin melanoma, which was also praised in Truth About Cancer. But that is only the case if you don’t check PubMed, don’t know about its background in its home country Latvia, suspicious registration without proper evidence from clinical trials, countless breaches of drug advertising laws, and the fact that oncologist associations in Latvia have asked for its removal from drug register due to insufficient evidence: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1spm0ua

    Hope4Cancer is an exclusive partner of Global Virotherapy Cancer Clinic in Latvia. Some time ago I looked at Gofundme.com requests for donations for Rigvir treatments, mostly at “Rigvir certified” Hope4Cancer clinics, but also in Latvia and some German quack clinics. For 79 patients the total value of requested money was well above 3 million euros, people from all walks of life are selling their houses, emptying savings and pension funds just to end up dead or with a progressing disease due to this Latvian “miracle drug”.

    Based on these prices and pictures on Hope4Cancer website, you’d think this is quite a luxurious place, a bit like a spa. However, recently an alternative medicine fan went on a Mexican clinic tour and wanted to film the clinic. Hilarity ensued, as she was not allowed in. But she filmed the outside and the reception and we can see what kind of luxury setting 50-70k USD will buy you: http://bruisedbanana.travel/2017/05/20/medical-travel-quick-visit-to-the-hope4cancer-clinic-in-tijuana-mexico/ Not exactly the tropical paradise one expects…

    • #44 Orac
      June 6, 2017

      Yeah, one of these days I have to look into Rigvir more, but today is not that day, as you will understand when my post for today goes live. 🙂

  43. #45 Zimba
    June 6, 2017

    Oh, a new post coming, great! 🙂

  44. #46 Lawrence
    June 6, 2017

    @Chris H. – that’s horrible to hear about Anna.

    Based on the posts on “The Other Burzynski Patient Group” page, it sounds like Anna is suffering from the inevitable effects of “non-treatment” and is going down the path of many of his other patients.

  45. #47 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    NWO Troll: yes, many patients with cancer die every day. Don’t remind me: they made up a large part of my hospice client group. I know far more about what it’s like to watch someone die with cancer than you ever will (and that includes watching my father die from liver cancer).

    What you ignore is that treatments for some kinds of cancer have gotten a lot better. It’s getting rare for someone to die of cervical cancer today, and I can see a day when no one does because we’ll have eliminated 90% of the cause through vaccination. That means those women won’t have to worry about the risk miscarrying their babies because of an incompetent cervix, or ever have to go through surgery, radiation, or chemo.

    But when Henrietta Lacks got cervical cancer in the 50’s, there wasn’t any effective treatment at all, and it was usually caught late, and was a death sentence.

    We’re doing better with other cancers now as well thanks to routine screening, and early treatment and intervention . . . so well, we now have to be careful not to over diagnose so as to avoid unnecessary treatment and anxiety.

    @Julian: NWO Troll doesn’t know the meaning of the word relapse, either.

    • #48 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      You mean ‘we’ have figured out people survive longer after diagnosis if the cancer is detected earlier. Shocker. The same would be true without any treatment at all. Just one of the obvious ways the cancer industry manipulates perceptions.

  46. #49 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @NWOR (#39). You know nothing. Chemotherapy has saved countless lives. Does it have serious adverse effects? Of course, but without it, the survival rate for someone in Cassandra’s situation is 0%.

    Numerous forms of cancer, including Hodgkin’s disease, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Wilms’ tumor, and
    testicular cancer, are highly responsive to chemotherapy and the survival rates for these forms of cancer have improved from essentially 0% before the development of chemotherapy to, in many cases, more than 80% today.

    Testicular cancer is often curable with chemotherapy even if it is has metastasized at the time of diagnosis, and more than 80% of pediatric patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, are cured of their disease (unfortunately, the prognosis for ALL in adults is significantly poorer).

    The prognosis for Hodgkin’s lymphoma has also dramatically improved, and the 5-year survival rate for all HL patients is now around 85% (in patients under 20, it is even higher).

    Sadly, Cassandra was one of the very unlucky patients who relapsed-but even she still has some chance of survival with real medical treatment (whereas if she had continued with the quackery, she would have had absolutely no chance of survival).

    • #50 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      In case you missed it…Cassandra tried conventional cancer treatment first. The cancer industry deemed it a “success”–but nine months later, she had more cancer than she started out with. Seems like any rational person would be less than impressed with the end result.

  47. #51 squirrelelite
    June 6, 2017

    Since it’s likely to be a slow week, I’ll add this note.

    Olivia Newton-John has had a recurrence of her cancer.

    I’m not sure what the natural wellness therapies are, but I hope the photon radiation is gamma radiation and that it works.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/30/entertainment/olivia-newton-john-breast-cancer/index.html

  48. #52 Murmur
    UK-ia
    June 6, 2017

    “Some have argued that adolescents are mature enough to make such decisions. Christopher Doig and Ellen Burgess, of the University of Calgary, wrote: “Life and death are concrete concepts clearly understood by adolescents. There is a clear ethical and legal foundation for permitting competent adolescents to decide if they will accept life-sustaining medical treatment.”
    (Source: Withholding life-sustaining treatment: Are adolescents competent to make these decisions?, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2000).”

    The crucial word in all of that is “competent”, which IME of working with adolescents who gave the appearance of wanting to be dead, needs, as per UK-ian law, to be assessed on a case by case and appointment by appointment basis.

    I certainly met numerous adolescents who certainly appeared to be competent, but, when one explored their views about death and what it meant in more detailed, actually displayed a whole load of magical thinking, strongly suggesting that they did NOT understand these “concrete concepts”.

    This is one of those areas where it is almost always more complicated than that…

  49. #53 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @Murmur- Well, if someone believes in an afterlife, then in my book they are displaying thinking that is, to say the least, not in touch with reality-so if you look at it that way, the majority of people are displaying thinking about death that is inconsistent with reality (yes, I know, I know, the religious people commenting here will point out that there is no *absolute proof* that there is not an afterlife, but there is zero reason to believe that there is).

    I’m assuming that the magical thinking you are making reference to went way beyond just believing in an afterlife, since many people believe in that, but I still couldn’t resist pointing out the fact that the majority of people do not understand the concrete reality of death (i.e., that once you die, your brain ceases to function, and therefore there cannot be any consciousness after death-and that since everything that makes a person a person is the brain, once their brain ceases to function, they cease to exist).

  50. #54 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    Jonas: I’m glad courts don’t use your book to decide if someone is competent then.

  51. #55 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    Panacea, I was saying that, in a way, the majority of people don’t have a “concrete understanding” of death, because they believe in an afterlife. Basically, I was using Murmur’s comment about adolescents having “magical thinking” around death to make fun of the fact that so many people believe in an afterlife.

    It is really obvious that the “magical thinking” that Murmur was referring to goes way beyond belief in an afterlife, and I was clearly not suggesting, in my previous comment, that those who believe in an afterlife are not competent to make their own medical decisions. I was just pointing out that a lot of people have beliefs that could also be viewed as “magical thinking” or something similar.

  52. #56 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    Yes, Jonas. I get you were making fun of the fact so many people believe in an afterlife.

    I believe in an afterlife. What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China? Ones belief in an afterlife or a greater power has no bearing on ones ability to understand death, or to make competent decisions on their health care.

    And whatever you were trying to say about Murmur’s opinion, you said it poorly because you definitely sent the message that anyone who believes in an afterlife believes in magical thinking.

    Even if you are not attaching those beliefs to medical decisions, those beliefs still impact health and coping with severe illness. Spirituality, a belief in a higher power, and an afterlife are powerful tools for patients coping with life threatening or altering medical issues.

    • #57 Windriven
      Portlandish
      June 6, 2017

      @Panacea
      “And whatever you were trying to say about Murmur’s opinion, you said it poorly because you definitely sent the message that anyone who believes in an afterlife believes in magical thinking.”

      But Panacea, that is, in fact, accurate. There is no proof of gods or afterlife. Believing in those things is a choice based on supposition. If you don’t want to call that “magical thinking” propose another term. But from the perspective of logic and reason …

  53. #58 Lawrence
    June 6, 2017

    Actually, she was in remission, but refused to continue the treatments which would have given her a better chance of not suffering a relapse (she specifically rejected conventional treatment as soon as she turned 18).

  54. #59 Lawrence
    June 6, 2017

    I tend not to worry too much about people’s internal religious beliefs.

    It only worries me when they take that same kind of magical thinking and attempt to apply it to the real world (i.e. a rejection of science).

  55. #60 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    Windriven: I’m going going to get into a theological debate with you. I believe what I believe, you believe what you believe. I’m not asking you to believe something simply because I do.

    The vast majority of my patients have some sort of spirituality that is important to them, and it is a cornerstone of good nursing care to respect that regardless of what I personally believe.

    • #61 Windriven
      Portlandish
      June 6, 2017

      “I believe what I believe, you believe what you believe. I’m not asking you to believe something simply because I do.”

      Neither am I. But that is the point. There is a difference between belief and evidence. What is belief other than magical thinking?

  56. #62 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    @ Lawrence #59

    Exactly my point.

  57. #63 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    June 6, 2017

    You mean ‘we’ have figured out people survive longer after diagnosis if the cancer is detected earlier. Shocker. The same would be true without any treatment at all.

    Wait, what? Are you saying that earlier diagnosis on its own and no treatment is enough to up survival rates? Seriously?

    In case you missed it…Cassandra tried conventional cancer treatment first. The cancer industry deemed it a “success”–but nine months later, she had more cancer than she started out with.,/blockquote>
    And how much more cancer would she have had had she not had any treatment?
    I’m amazed at you, NWO Reporter. Do you not realise how idiotic your arguments look?

    • #64 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      You are so utterly corrupt. “Survival rates” are always measured by a specific time period. Of course someone diagnosed earlier rather than later will survive longer after diagnosis, with or without treatment.

      You can speculate all you want about how much cancer Cassandra would have had without the conventional treatment that left her with more of it, but that’s all it is–speculation. What a pathetic attempt to tout a treatment than was a spectacular failure.

      • #65 Windriven
        June 6, 2017

        You are so utterly corrupt. “Survival rates” are always measured by a specific time period. Of course someone diagnosed earlier rather than later will survive longer after diagnosis, with or without treatment.

        You can speculate all you want about how much cancer Cassandra would have had without the conventional treatment that left her with more of it, but that’s all it is–speculation. What a pathetic attempt to tout a treatment than was a spectacular failure.

        Oh my goodness, no much misinformation in so few words!

        ” “Survival rates” are always measured by a specific time period.” Ya think? We all die. Sometimes we die of cancer that had been in remission. But we measure our progress in treating cancer by noting changes in survival rates at some interval – usually 5 or 10 years. Few scientists ever speak of a cancer as having been cured; there is nearly always some chance of recurrence. But while most cancer diagnoses were death sentences only a few generations ago, today many cancer diagnosees go on to complete remission and eventually die of an unrelated condition.

        “You can speculate…” You should understand that it really isn’t speculation, it is a judgment based on the treatment of others with similar staging at the time of diagnosis. There are, of course, no guarantees. We all have different genetic profiles and sometimes respond differently to treatment. But to suggest any relationship between survival probabilities with or without treatment is simply wrong.

        • #66 NWO Reporter
          June 6, 2017

          All this smug condescension and sugar coating…yet still, we have a woman who underwent conventional treatment and wound up with more cancer than she started with.

          “No, it wasn’t a failure! It was a medical miracle! The statistics prove it! Her only hope for survival is more of the same!” Right. And doctors wonder why so many people distrust the cancer industry and are seeking out alternatives. It’s like a dark satire.

          • #67 Windriven
            Portlandia
            June 6, 2017

            “Her only hope for survival is more of the same!” Right. And doctors wonder why so many people distrust the cancer industry and are seeking out alternatives. It’s like a dark satire.”

            Yes NWO, her only hope is more of the same. Her best hope would have been to stay with the program without interruption.

            Doctors don’t wonder why some people distrust or fear cancer treatment. Cancer is a terrible disease (actually, a suite of diseases). Cancer treatment usually demands intimidating radiation treatments and/or noxious chemotherapy. It is sometimes horrific and it is never pleasant. How much more inviting to believe that coffee enemas and macrobiotic rice will make it all better. It won’t.

            Cancer physicians didn’t wish cancer on their patients. They are exquisitely trained men and women who have devoted their lives to driving cancers into remission. They don’t always succeed. But the odds get better every year.

            Whether one let’s fear and superstition control their life and death is a personal choice. make it wisely.

          • #68 NWO Reporter
            June 6, 2017

            No doubt a lot of people think so. Still, anyone who doesn’t get at least two or three opinions to confirm their cancer diagnosis and recommend a treatment is taking a serious risk with their life. For every doctor who has been exposed as a cancer charlatan, there are likely at least a 100 more.

  58. #69 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @NWOR (#50)-She went into remission after receiving chemotherapy. The majority of patients with HL (typically more than 85%, and, in some subgroups of patients without adverse prognostic indicators, 95%) remain in remission after treatment and never have a relapse(as a matter of fact, I know a guy whose son had HL-he had chemo and is now cancer-free, years later), but unfortunately, Cassandra Callender is one of the approximately 15% of HL patients who will relapse.

    I already discussed how the development of effective chemotherapy has improved the prognosis for patients with many forms of cancer in comment #49. I certainly could expand on that comment, and discuss how more recent advances (e.g., the development of the immune checkpoint inhibitors pembrolizumab and nivolumab) have improved the prognosis for patients with advanced cancer who previously had few if any treatment options.

    However, based on your comments here, and on your previous comments regarding vaccination, it appears that you are someone who is vehemently opposed to all conventional medical intervention, regardless of the evidence of it’s efficacy.

    • #70 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      “Remission,” eh? Nine months after that pronouncement of “success,” her body was riddled with cancer–more than she had before the treatment. It didn’t grow overnight. Sounds like that “remission” was more like a coffee break. Obviously, the conventional treatments didn’t work well for her. With “success” like that, it’s no wonder she sought out alternatives.

  59. #71 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    Windriven: different standards of evidence.

    You can neither prove nor disprove an afterlife because science investigates the natural world, not the supernatural. It doesn’t even LOOK at the supernatural world, which is as it should be.

    People have experiences that no one can explain using scientific methods. I’ve had them. That’s not enough to convince everyone and that’s OK. Something happened to me. I call it spiritual. You can’t call it magical thinking simply because you don’t understand it.

    I’m done with this conversation.

    • #72 Windriven
      Portlandish
      June 6, 2017

      “I’m done with this conversation.”

      Bu-bye now.

      To anyone other than Panacea who might be interested:

      “You can neither prove nor disprove an afterlife”

      I don’t need to prove or disprove an afterlife or the god that would be all but necessitated by the existence of an afterlife. To accept the existence of a god or an afterlife as fact there needs to be clear evidence. There is not. Absent that evidence there is only belief. People believe in ghosts, fairies, yetis, sasquatches, and little green men. And gods. Doesn’t make any of them real.

  60. #73 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @Windriven (#61). I agree.

    @Panacea (#56). It is my view that religion, belief in afterlife, etc, is a psychological coping mechanism. It is much more pleasant to believe that your loved ones are in heaven than it is to accept the reality that they are gone, and it is much more pleasant to believe that you will go to heaven when you die than it is to accept that death=eternal oblivion.

    In view of that, belief in an afterlife could be considered to be, basically, a very comforting delusion.

    That being said, I agree with you when you say “it is a cornerstone of good nursing care to respect that regardless of what I personally believe”, and I will also note that nobody here is trying to impose their atheism on anyone else, nor do I think anyone here has any problem with what anyone else believes, as long as it is not imposed on others.

  61. #74 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    Hi, Julian,

    Yeah, this is why I said in my #47 regards to NWO #39: Ginny doesn’t understand what relapse means any more than she understands what remission means.

    And Jonas is right: she just was to dis EBM. I hope she never gets cancer.

    • #75 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Your condescension is hysterical. Her body with riddled with cancer only 9 months after the doctors pronounced her conventional treatment a “success.” And we should hail it as a miracle. You are a great illustration of why so many people are seeking out alternative treatments. 😀

  62. #76 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @Panacea-You must be a faster typist than me-I typed the above response before I saw that you’d posted your most recent comment (#65) We’ll have to just agree to disagree on this issue (which is fine).

  63. #77 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @Panacea-I also hope that she doesn’t have kids, since if she does, she wouldn’t vaccinate them, and might not get them proper treatment if they are ill.

  64. #78 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @NWOR-This is the type of thing that happens when people with cancer listen to people like you. https://www.danbuzzard.net/journal/scammed-to-death-how-francine-scrayen-killed-penelope-dingle.html

    Cassandra Callender seems to have finally realized that the “alternative treatments” she was getting were worthless, and that she needed real treatment-hopefully, she didn’t reach that conclusion too late.

    • #79 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Once again, you ‘forget’ to mention that she started out with the ‘real’ treatment she ‘needed.’ Nine months later, her body was riddled with more cancer than she started out with. I’d call that a spectacular failure. It’s hardly a surprise she decided to try alternatives the next time around.

  65. #80 Windriven
    June 6, 2017

    @Jonas #69

    “I will also note that nobody here is trying to impose their atheism on anyone else, nor do I think anyone here has any problem with what anyone else believes, as long as it is not imposed on others.”

    Amen, my brother 😉

  66. #81 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @NWOR-Chemotherapy is not always effective (in this specific case, it was partially effective, in that she did go into remission for a time, but then relapsed), but quackery (you call it “alternative” treatment, I’m going to just call a spade a spade and refer to it as quackery) is NEVER effective, and hasn’t saved ANYONE from dying of cancer.

    And it is still possible that Cassandra will survive with real treatment-unfortunately, she delayed getting treatment, which has hurt her chances of survival, but there is still some hope.

    • #82 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      And it’s possible Cassandra would be better off now had she not pursued conventional treatment the first time around. And it’s possible she’d be dead by now if she had pursued more conventional treatment instead of alternatives the second time around. Speculate all you want–that’s all it is. You can’t disguise that in condescending judgments and directives, and it’s not your life at stake.

      • #83 Windriven
        Portlandish
        June 6, 2017

        “Speculate all you want–that’s all it is. ”

        You repeat the same nonsense despite having had the facts explained to you. One wonders if you came by this refractory ignorance through some intellectual defect of if you are simply being an ass.

        Probability and speculation are entirely different things. The high probability is that she would have achieved and maintained complete remission had she completed the prescribed therapy and complied with the follow-up program prescribed by her physician.

        A similarly high probability accompanies the choice of quackery in place of medicine and that probability is for the disease to run its course culminating in the death of the patient.

        There are no guarantees either way. A vanishingly small number of patients spontaneously remit and remain in remission. A relatively small number of patients receiving conservative medical treatment will succumb to the disease despite early diagnosis and appropriate care. The first is like playing Russian Roulette with 6 of 6 chambers loaded and hoping for a misfire.

        • #84 NWO Reporter
          June 6, 2017

          You can’t seriously believe a slew a derision hides the fact you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth. Of course there are no guarantees. Yet you arrogantly dictate choices about someone else’s life, as if you are God. I thought you didn’t believe in God.

          • #85 Windriven
            Portlandia
            June 6, 2017

            “you arrogantly dictate choices about someone else’s life”

            You misrepresent what I’ve said. I dictate nothing. Each adult – and I’ll give this young lady credit for being an adult at 17 – get’s to make her own choices. Sometimes we make stupid choices. Sometimes we pay for those choices with our lives.

  67. #86 Lawrence
    June 6, 2017

    She never actually finished the treatment regimen – even after remission, oncologists will err on the side of caution and there will be follow-ups to lessen the chance that the Cancer will recur.

    In Cassandra’s case, she never had the follow-up, so to blame conventional treatments is just another example of your total absence from reality.

  68. #87 JustaTech
    June 6, 2017

    So, NWO, what should people with cancer do?
    Nothing?

  69. #88 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    NWOR, do you accept that ANY conventional medicine is effective? Are you so far gone that you wouldn’t even agree to take antibiotics if you had a bacterial infection?

    I’d like to think you would, but your unwillingness to acknowledge that chemotherapy is effective and your ludicrous attempt to blame Cassandra’s relapse on the chemotherapy that she received in 2015, combined with your anti-vaccine statements on another thread, makes me really wonder.

  70. #89 Jonas
    June 6, 2017

    @NWOR (#79). No, actually, that’s not possible-there is absolutely no possible way that she’d be better off if she hadn’t received treatment in 2015. It is possible (very likely, in fact), that she would have already died of Hodgkin’s if she hadn’t had chemotherapy in 2015.

    • #90 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Prove it.

  71. #91 JustaTech
    June 6, 2017

    NWO @89: Would you take the 5 yer survival rates for HL before treatments were developed?

    Or do you want us to go back in time to just before Cassandra had her first chemotherapy treatment and split the timeline so we can compare treated and untreated Cassandra? You would have to do that, I’m not allowed to mess with the timelines any more.

  72. #92 Marie
    Columbus Ohio
    June 6, 2017

    As someone who was actually treated for Hodgkins that didn’t respond to front-line treatment, I am incredibly thankful that my oncologist looked me in the eye and said, “you’ll be dead in two years if you don’t get a stem-cell transplant”. That was 9 years ago. If there is an 85% success rate for initial treatment that means, of course, that 15% may need additional treatment. I have completly recovered, although I realize that I face some future risks associated with my treatment. But life is a risk. I wake up every day thankful that I am fit, happy, and on no meds associated with my treatment or transplant! BTW, other cancer patients I met along the way, who post-poned or declined cancer treatment DIED. Sure, I know that is anecdotal evidence, but it still vivid to me.

  73. #93 Lawrence
    June 6, 2017

    Untreated Cancer progresses – that’s what it does. Eventually, it would have killed her….with treatment, the odds of recovery were high.

    Without it, near 100% certainty that she would either be dead by now or well on her way.

    • #94 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Odds don’t matter in the slightest here because she DID get treatment and we know how it turned out. She was pronounced “in remission,” and nine months later her body was riddled with more cancer.

      • #95 Windriven
        Purgatory
        June 6, 2017

        “She was pronounced “in remission,” and nine months later her body was riddled with more cancer.”

        First, being in remission doesn’t necessarily mean that chemotherapy should cease. It means that the disease is in remission and usually chemotherapy continues for a period after the onset of remission.

        Next, what exactly occurred in the none months between remission and the finding of resurgent cancer? She turned 18 and refused continuing medical treatment in favor of a cancer quack. When she finds out she’s facing resurgent disease she doubles down on the quackery … at least for a while. Now she’s back to chemo and, one presumes, desperately hoping that she didn’t squander her chances for a long life.

        And yet you bray on. You live in a fantasy world.

        • #96 NWO Reporter
          June 6, 2017

          Interesting theory. Do you have access to her medical records? Because there’s no indication on her GoFundMe page that she rejected conventional treatments in between the time the doctors pronounced her in remission, and the time they discovered more cancer.

          • #97 Windriven
            Portlandia
            June 6, 2017

            “there’s no indication on her GoFundMe page that she rejected conventional treatments in between the time the doctors pronounced her in remission, and the time they discovered more cancer.”

            No, I would expect not. I do not get my information from GoFundMe pages. If you do, there is little for us to discuss. Take a bit of time and compare the timeline on the GoFundMe and the timeline on Ty Bollinger’s Truth About Cancer page.

          • #98 NWO Reporter
            June 6, 2017

            Holy cow, that’s quite a frightening story–I had no idea how bad our medical police state is becoming.

            Anyway, I can’t find any support on Bollinger’s page or elsewhere for your contention that conventional treatments were recommended but rejected from the time she was pronounced “in remission” at age 17, to the time they discovered more cancer, at age 18. So my tentative conclusion is you are being deceptive, again. But by all means, clear it up with substantiation for your claim.

  74. #99 Lawrence
    June 6, 2017

    Oh FFS, what part of “discontinued treatment” don’t you understand, dunderhead?

    All of it, I guess.

    • #100 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      You mean discontinued when she discovered her body was riddled with cancer again?

  75. #101 Opus
    just north of the buckle on the Bible Belt
    June 6, 2017

    Ginny: “You mean discontinued when she discovered her body was riddled with cancer again?”

    Finally, the little light bulb goes on for Ginny!! Congratulations! Cassandra gave up on cannabis oil and other types of wishful wooful thinking when she discovered that they had done nothing to slow down her cancer. She returned to the only treatment which demonstrated ANY results: chemotherapy, aka evidence-based medicine.
    .
    For the longest time I thought you were pretending to be incredibly stupid, but now that you’ve established tangential contact with reality I see that it was no act.

    • #102 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Nice try, Opie. The issue was when she discontinued the CONVENTIONAL treatment she started with. You know–the one that left her body riddled with more cancer than she started with. It was after that debacle with conventional treatment that she tried alternative treatments. But then, you know that. 😉

      • #103 Windriven
        Portlandia
        June 6, 2017

        “It was after that debacle with conventional treatment that she tried alternative treatments.”

        Your reading comprehension is as abysmal as your reasoning skills. She abandoned conventional care upon reaching 18 years of age, shortly after the cancer was in remission. Being in remission DOES NOT mean that treatment stops. It means that treatment is working and needs to continue.

        But then, you know that. ?

        • #104 NWO Reporter
          June 6, 2017

          Nope, doesn’t sound that way. Sounds like she underwent the complete course of recommended conventional treatment (forcibly), was pronounced in remission, and 9 months later, when a mass was discovered in her lung, she rejected more conventional treatment.

          • #105 Windriven
            Portlandia
            June 6, 2017

            “Nope, doesn’t sound that way.”

            Only to you, Tinkerbell. The facts are what they are. Timelines don’t lie.

          • #106 NWO Reporter
            June 6, 2017

            Post a link to the timeline.

          • #107 Windriven
            Portlandia
            June 6, 2017

            I can save us both the time. READ ORAC’S

          • #108 NWO Reporter
            June 6, 2017

            Is your link finger broken or something?

          • #109 Windriven
            Keeping it weird
            June 6, 2017

            Are you illiterate?

  76. #110 Opus
    Just north of the buckle on the Bible Belt
    June 6, 2017

    @NWO Distorter #97
    Sorry, my mistake. You really ARE that stupid.
    .
    In # 70 you say that she was riddled with cancer nine months after stopping treatment. By comment #97 she stopped treatment because it left her riddled with cancer.
    .
    Behold the woonatic mind at work: believing two contradictory ‘facts’ on the same day on the same forum.
    .
    Ginny: here’s a pro tip from my grandmother: “If you don’t lie you don’t have to try to keep your stories straight.”

    • #111 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Nope. Nine months after being pronounced “in remission” after her (forced) conventional treatment, a mass was discovered in her lung. At that point she declined further conventional treatment.

      Better go back to skipping rocks in Mayberry, Opie–you’re not very good at this deception thing. 😀

  77. #112 Narad
    June 6, 2017

    There is no proof of gods or afterlife. Believing in those things is a choice based on supposition. If you don’t want to call that “magical thinking” propose another term.

    There is no “proof” of the ontological accuracy of monist materialism, either.

  78. #113 Bobl
    June 6, 2017

    Be careful about discarding elements of traditional medicine, would you laugh at treating someone with a bacterial infection with bread mould or externally with the oil of the tea tree, insect infestations with a chrysanthemum, perhaps a headache and fever with white willow bark or even constipation with the leaves and fruit of the senna plant, pain with poppies, or burns with bandages impregnated with silver. Each of these natural treatments are common and proven medical realities. There is NO doubt that some natural substances help with some cancers, tea tree oil for some skin cancer for example. Capsicum (capsicum)shows some efficacy in the lab against cancer, as does ginger and garlic probably due to antiviral/ antibacterial /anti fungal properties where cancer is related to a pathogen.. Willow bark (aspirin) has been shown in some studies to reduce the incidence of metastasis. Other things can make cancer worse, for example estrogenic compounds, possibly condroitin. Modern medicine isn’t foolproof either, the common biopsy procedure is suspected of inducing metastasis. While I would never counsel avoiding modern medicine altogether, there is no doubt that diet and general health plays a major role in long term survival and maintaining a sense of order and hope for the patient. Does that excuse outright quackery, well no, but a real scientist would look for adjucts that help the patient even in small ways.

  79. #114 Lawrence
    June 6, 2017

    “This page has been set up to help raise money for Cassandra’s 2nd battle against Hodgkin’s lymphoma . In 2014 she was diagnosed and pronounced in remission after 6 months of chemotherapy in 2015. 9 months later in 2016 Cassandra had found out she relapsed with a mass in her left lung and surrounding neck/chest. She spent the whole year using alternative treatments / cannabis oils but unfortunately the cancer became more aggressive.”

    So, after convention treatments, she went into remission.

    She relapsed & tried “alternative” treatments – and after a year, her Cancer got worse.

    Spin that one, nitwit.

    • #115 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Yeah, that’s the point. She wasn’t too impressed with her forced conventional cancer treatment, given that only nine months after it was pronounced a “success,” she was riddled with more cancer again. Can’t really blame her for deciding to try alternatives instead.

  80. #116 Ben
    June 6, 2017

    I’m not sure I understand why Jonas “couldn’t resist” pointing out his opinion of beliefs pertaining to an afterlife, but it definitely derailed the thread a little; kudos to Panacea for walking away.

    @NWOR

    Cancer can relapse in spite of successful treatment. This is known. There isn’t anymore to discuss beyond that simple fact.

    • #117 NWO Reporter
      June 6, 2017

      Chemo increases the risk of developing more cancer. This is well known. So yes, there is much more discuss.

  81. #118 Narad
    June 6, 2017

    She wasn’t too impressed with her forced conventional cancer treatment, given that only nine months after it was pronounced a “success,” she was riddled with more cancer again.

    It wasn’t ever “pronounced a ‘success’,” you fυckwit. She only had five months of treatment for stage III–IV HL.

  82. #119 Narad
    June 6, 2017

    ^ G-ddamn blockquotes.

  83. #120 Narad
    June 6, 2017

    Still, anyone who doesn’t get at least two or three opinions to confirm their cancer diagnosis and recommend a treatment is taking a serious risk with their life.

    Um, she did get a second opinion. Are you just scooping shіt out of your ass here, Ginny?

  84. #121 NWO Reporter
    June 6, 2017

    How many people who have undergone ONLY conventional cancer treatment are lying on their death bed right now? There must be hundreds at least, probably thousands.

    Think how comforting it would be for them to read an article about how they did the right thing–how they made the right choice by avoiding all those alternative and complementary treatments. Just think–this blog could be used to provide them comfort in their time of greatest crisis. Instead, it’s used to attack a young woman in her time of crisis for her personal health care decisions. You’d think her medical arrest and forced chemo would be enough punishment for a lifetime–it’s truly a horrific story. But we all know that wouldn’t sell the agenda quite as well.

  85. #122 Panacea
    June 6, 2017

    Narad . . . Windriven . . . Lawrence . . . c’mon guys. You know NWO is a flippin TROLL.

    Don’t feed the trolls.

    • #123 Windriven
      June 7, 2017

      Just so. I’m done with it.

  86. #124 Jane Ostentatious
    June 7, 2017

    So, NWO, what would you have chosen to do if you were diagnosed ? Lotsa and lotsa coffee enemas? Organic juicing? Bleach?

    How would you have done it differently? Just curious.

  87. #125 Moon
    June 7, 2017

    And it’s possible Cassandra would be better off now had she not pursued conventional treatment the first time around.

    Oh, really? Says who? An clueless asshat like you?

  88. #126 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    June 7, 2017

    Chemo increases the risk of developing more cancer

    Citation needed.

  89. #127 Se Habla Espol
    June 7, 2017

    @Julian Frost, #124: Of course it does. If you’re dead from a first cancer, your probability of a second cancer is 0. OTOH, if chemo, radiation, and/or surgery allowed you to survive that first one, you have a probability of a second one that’s greater than 0.

  90. #128 Lawrence
    June 7, 2017

    I fully aware she is a thick-headed dullard & troll….I just wanted to see how stupid she would get, and she didn’t disappoint.

  91. #129 aairfccha
    June 7, 2017

    @122: Well, dying from one kind of cancer unquestionably makes it rather unlikely to get cancer again… Correlation and causality, the claim is still an exercise in statistical sewer diving (increase from dumpster diving).

  92. #130 aairfccha
    June 7, 2017

    Correction to my 127: Reference should be @124 Julian Frost (number changed for some reason)

  93. #131 Marie
    Columbus Ohio
    June 7, 2017

    @NWO Reporter: Yeah, I know you’re a troll, but I still want to respond: Your arguments against evidence-based medicine are so vile to patients like me who had to make decisions about cancer treatment. I faced an onslaught of information about how chemo would kill me. Every time I walked in a grocery store there would be some free “Natural Awakenings” magazine telling me that Cannaboid Oil would be curative. Or coffee enemas, or mushrooms, or Vitamin C, or some other “woo of the month”. The internet was filled with websites offering every form of BS. It was a terribly frightening period for me. I didn’t want chemo and I sure didn’t want a stem-cell transplant, but I had to face the facts: I didn’t want to die in a year or two. Looking back, 9 years later, I am SO GRATEFUL that this technology was available to me. And I am SO annoyed when I see hucksters trying to sell BS that “cures cancer” either for their direct profit or to just flip off “the medical establishment” , “the man”, “Big Pharma”.
    NWO Reporter: you probably wouldn’t be alive today, if it weren’t for the progress made in the last 50 years by medical science.

  94. #132 dingo199
    June 7, 2017

    Well said, @Marie #131.
    If it wasn’t so tragic for the girl involved, NWO reporter’s mangled concepts of lymphoma remission and relapse would be very amusing.
    I wonder what his/her take on “remission” as defined by Burzinski and fellow snakeoil merchants would be?

    Lymphoma will go into remission with conventional treatment.

  95. #133 Narad
    June 7, 2017

    (number changed for some reason)

    When people irritatingly use the nested “reply” function, which doesn’t appear on the Web site proper but only in the E-mail notifications, all of the following comments get renumbered. Oh, and one has to scroll back through the whole freaking thread to find the damn reply.

  96. #134 Narad
    June 7, 2017

    Just think–this blog could be used to provide them comfort in their time of greatest crisis. Instead, it’s used to attack a young woman in her time of crisis for her personal health care decisions.

    Where, precisely, is that part, fυckstain?

  97. #135 JustaTech
    June 7, 2017

    This is how we know that NWO is a full-on troll: they don’t have any suggestions. At least our idee fixee trolls have a suggestion (even if it is the same thing every time), but NWO just says “NO!” to everything.
    There is nothing that NWO likes or wants except an opportunity to be contrarian.

    I’ve got to learn to quit trolls.

  98. #136 Opus
    Just north of the buckle on the Bible Belt
    June 7, 2017

    Talking ABOUT a troll is totally different from interacting WITH a troll, right?? I’d never want to feed a troll. . .
    .
    Narad said “Where, precisely, is that part, fυckstain?”
    .
    Which got me thinking. Fuckstain Ginny would be a wonderful band name, topped only by:
    .
    APPEARING TONIGHT!!
    FUCKSTAIN GINNY AND THE STONERS</b
    Performance art based on the premise that talent, expertise, education and hard work can be replaced with bullsh!t and a sneer.

  99. #137 Opus
    June 7, 2017

    Borked the tags. . . Oh, well.

  100. #138 Se Habla Espol
    June 7, 2017

    Instead, it’s used to attack a young woman in her time of crisis for her personal health care decisions.

    She volunteered as a Bad Example of self-responsibility. Her Bad Example is being discussed as—guess what—a bad example. With any luck, her self-imposed crisis will help others avoid her fate.

    Perhaps she should be thanked, but I suspect her demise will be due mostly to the misinformation she got from the woo industry, which includes you.

    • #139 NWO Reporter
      June 7, 2017

      So the thousands of people dying right now after dutifully undergoing their 100% conventional cancer treatment…they volunteered as ‘Good Examples’ of self-responsibility, I suppose. Their ‘Good Example’ is certainly not being discussed–from this discussion, you’d think a cure for cancer was as easy as following doctors’ orders, when in fact cancer is the second leading cause of death. With any luck (from your perspective), their self-imposed crises will encourage others to blindly follow in their wake. Ching ching! $$$

      Perhaps they should be thanked for giving a dose of reality to humanity, but I suspect their demise will be due mostly to the arrogance and hubris they got from the cancer industry, and people like you and the others in this den of vipers.

  101. #140 Se Habla Espol
    June 7, 2017

    In case of confusion: the antecedent of ‘you’ in my previous comment is NWOR, not any of the reasonable, civilized people here.

  102. #141 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    June 8, 2017

    NWO Reporter, I’m writing this down not to convince you (you’re beyond convincing) but to point out to any lurkers the huge gaps in your argument.
    Cassandra Callender was diagnosed with cancer at 17 and initially refused treatment. Because she was legally a minor she was forced to undergo treatment.
    Her cancer went into remission.
    When Callender reached 18, she refused to continue the treatment and was able to because she was no longer a minor.
    Without treatment the cancer came back. Nine months later it was detected again.
    Callender decided to use quackery to treat her cancer. The cancer spread further.
    Callender now seems to have realised that she blundered badly by refusing treatment and embracing quackery, and is restarting chemotherapy.
    You are insinuating that it was the chemotherapy that caused her cancer to return. It wasn’t. It was her not finishing her course of treatment that caused that.

    • #142 NWO Reporter
      June 8, 2017

      “Her cancer went into remission. When Callender reached 18, she refused to continue the treatment and was able to because she was no longer a minor.” — As much as the vipers on this blog are fond of repeating this, I have yet to see a single piece of evidence to support the contention that after her cancer went into “remission,” any conventional treatment was recommended and refused. That is, until she underwent testing 9 months later (which indicates she was doing follow-up visits) and found she had more cancer. So either post the evidence it happened, or admit you are making it up to support your agenda.

    • #143 NWO Reporter
      June 8, 2017

      While you’re at it, why don’t you explain why cancer is the second leading cause of death, if the conventional medical system is doing such a bang-up job. Maybe when you get it down to the 10th or 20th leading cause of death, people will be more inclined to believe you know what you’re doing.

  103. #144 squirrelelite
    June 8, 2017

    Actually, the overall cancer death rate in the US has been declining since the 1990’s and dropped 13% from 2004 to 2013.

    But that is reality and has nothing to do with NWO’s babblings.

    https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understandic.f.ng/statistics

    • #145 NWO Reporter
      June 8, 2017

      It looks like cancer incidence rates per 100,000 have been falling on average 1.1% each year over the last decade. Death rates have been falling on average 1.5% each year. This hardly indicates any miraculous advances in treatment. Most of the declines in mortality are due to the decline in incidence.

      • #146 Windriven
        June 8, 2017

        Please link sources to substantiate those numbers.

        • #147 NWO Reporter
          June 8, 2017

          You can find them here: https://seer.cancer.gov/

          • #148 Windriven
            June 8, 2017

            You really ought to dig a little deeper. Incidence of some cancers has dropped substantially due to screening – colon cancer comes to mind. On the other end we have too many lung cancer deaths in females because of the uptake of smoking among females in the 70s and 80s.

            There are similar stories on the treatment end with some – melanoma comes to mind – having rapidly increasing longevity owing to more effective treatments while others – pancreatic cancer, for instance – proving very difficult to crack.

            Really, NWOR, if you clear your head of preconceptions and follow the evidence, you’ll find yourself in a very different spot from where you are today.

  104. #149 Narad
    June 8, 2017

    While you’re at it, why don’t you explain why cancer is the second leading cause of death

    “Cancer”* isn’t a single disease, pudding head, and it’s a f*cking disease of longevity.

    * Or “malignant neoplasms,” if you hadn’t been too lazy to look at the primary source.

  105. #150 Lawrence
    June 8, 2017

    An interesting point of fact, just about every man in the world will eventually get colon cancer – it’s nearly inevitable.

    Of course, in the old days (and even today), most men don’t actually reach the age at which the Colon Cancer would present itself. So, men die of many other things before they ever get to the Colon Cancer part.

  106. #151 Narad
    June 8, 2017

    ^ Oh, dear, it would totally stink if the overwhelming majority of those were filed under “trachea, bronchus, and lung,” now wouldn’t it, Ginny?

  107. #152 Narad
    June 8, 2017

    An interesting point of fact, just about every man in the world will eventually get colon cancer – it’s nearly inevitable.

    Are you sure you don’t mean prostate?

  108. #153 Lawrence
    June 8, 2017

    Dammit Narad – thank you for correcting me. It’s been a long week.

  109. #154 Narad
    June 8, 2017

    “Her cancer went into remission. When Callender reached 18, she refused to continue the treatment and was able to because she was no longer a minor.” — As much as the vipers on this blog are fond of repeating this

    Pretty ironic coming from a tapeworm.

    I have yet to see a single piece of evidence to support the contention that after her cancer went into “remission,” any conventional treatment was recommended and refused. That is, until she underwent testing 9 months later (which indicates she was doing follow-up visits) and found she had more cancer.

    Here is the timeline through April 1. She was released at the end of April.

    By August 16 (not “nine months later,” BTW), her GoFundMe page had been revised to state that she was in “questionable remission” and would have another scan on September 1 to “determine if she is actually cancer free.”

    It was not subsequently updated, but in her interview with Ty Bollinger,* that she had no intention of pursuing conventional treatment past her September 30 birthday.

    She announced in mid-April of 2016 that she had a mass in her lung and had “known about this for a while, but it’s been hard going public with it.”**

    Nowhere but nowhere can your fantasy version of events be unearthed here. In fact, I can’t even find any boundary that corresponds to your drearily intoned “nine months later.”

    * ht[]p://www.nde.life/god-and-life-articles/factory-farming-vegetarian-nutrition-health/the-truth-about-cancer/15469-the-truth-about-cancer-transcript-of-interview-with-cassandra-callender
    ** E.g., ht[]p://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3546167/Teen-forced-undergo-cancer-treatment-says-new-mass-found.html

  110. #155 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    June 8, 2017

    NWO,

    To paraphrase from (in my belief) the best TV show ever: Colonel Potter to Hawkeye: Rule 1 is young men die in war, Rule 2 Doctors cannot prevent Rule1.

    In real life rule one people die (in the last 3 years I’ve come close with cancer and a heart attack. Rule 2 doctors can’t prevent rule 1 but they have gotten ever so much better at lowering the number of people who die.

    More than likely as little as ten ago my heart would either outright killed me or left me in very poor condition. Even today less than 6 percent of people survive the type of heart attack I had. I am in an even lower percentage because I didn’t suffer any heart muscle damage.

  111. #156 Narad
    June 8, 2017

    Most of the declines in mortality are due to the decline in incidence.

    Weren’t you just squealing like a stuck pig for “evidence,” Gindo?

  112. #157 Narad
    June 8, 2017

    ^ Oh, man, I failed to fully appreciate this Teen Talk Barbie moment:

    It looks like cancer incidence rates per 100,000 have been falling on average 1.1% each year over the last decade. Death rates have been falling on average 1.5% each year.

  113. #158 C.C.
    June 8, 2017

    Does anyone here know about intra arterial chemotherapy for DIPG? I’ve been following a local girl who is currently in Monterrey, Mexico receiving this treatment. I tried reading up on it, but I’m not a doctor. If anyone has a more informed opinion, I’d be interested to hear it.
    Thanks!

  114. #159 Jonas
    June 8, 2017

    @C.C.-There is a clinical trial of intra-arterial Melphalan for DIPG at Johns Hopkins-. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01688401

    I’m very sorry to hear about her situation-DIPG is terrible.

  115. #160 Jonas
    June 8, 2017

    For whatever reason-my comment posted before I was finished typing-I must have hit “submit comment” by accident. In any case, I was just going to also say that I would be extremely skeptical of anything run out of a clinic in Mexico-quacks oftentimes will set up bogus clinics in Mexico or elsewhere in Central America to evade FDA regulations.

    And I didn’t see anything about trials of intra-arterial chemo for DIPG in Mexico-all I saw was the one clinical trial at Johns Hopkins.

  116. #161 squirrelelite
    June 8, 2017

    Sorry about the weird link.

    For the full story, check out the SEER report.
    https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/jnci/djx030

    If you can’t read all the way through, at least check out Figure 1.

    From 1999 to 2008, the death rate was declining faster than the incidence among men. The incidence rate for women has remained flat.

    Since 2008 the incidence rate for men has declined more steeply.

    But 5 year survival rates for many (unfortunately not all) types of cancer have improved steadily and the number of people still alive after a cancer diagnosis continues to rise.

    And none of that change is due to cannibis oil, vegan diets, or coffee enemas.

  117. #162 Jonas
    June 8, 2017

    @squirrelelite-While unfortunately the prognosis for some forms of cancer (e.g., pancreatic cancer) have not improved much in the last 20 years, the prognosis for others has improved significantly in just the last 5-7 years. I’m thinking in particular of metastatic melanoma-7 years ago, the only approved treatments were IL-2 (and the adverse effects of IL-2 are too severe for many patients to tolerate) and dacarbazine.

    Today, some metastatic melanoma patients are attaining durable complete responses with immune checkpoint inhibitors (i.e., nivolumab and pembrolizumab). A few years ago, it was reported that 17% of metastatic melanoma patients were still alive at 7 years-and I imagine that the same results-or better-will be observed with nivolumab and pembrolizumab. 7 years ago, ipilimumab wasn’t even approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma yet. Of course, the targeted drugs (e.g., vemurafenib, dabrafenib) have also been approved since then, but unfortunately resistance to those drugs usually develops, and they haven’t produced the same kinds of durable responses that the immune checkpoint inhibitors have (plus they only are effective for the subgroup of patients with the BRAF V600E mutation)

    The prognosis for ALK mutation positive lung cancer has improved significantly in just the last 7 years, too. It was just announced at the ASCO conference that alectinib is significantly more effective than crizotinib in the treatment of ALK-positive NSCLC patients. Alectinib was more effective in treating brain mets and there were also fewer adverse effects in the alectinib treated patients than in crizotinib treated patients.

    Of course, NWOR ignores all this, instead choosing to focus on the areas where there hasn’t been progress.

  118. #163 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 8, 2017

    Submitted for y’all s approval
    https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2016/cancer-facts-and-figures-2016.pdf

    70 pages or so of cancer incidence and mortality going back about 80 years, and covering different types of cancers.

    NWOReptile isn’t completely wrong. Year to year improvements aren’t big numbers, but they do look to be steady. 50 or 60 years of (more or less) 1.5% decline in cancer mortality would suit me just fine. If all of that decline was on the prevention side and not the treatment side, well, I’d be even more happy (I’m a great believer in preventive maintenance).

    This document says on page 3 that 595,690 are expected to die of cancer in 2016. If 1.5% of their deaths can be prevented, that’s close to 9000 people. After a few years, that’s gonna add up. I dunno why NWOR wants these people to die, but I guess she has her reasons.

    Maybe she knows of something out there that works better that real medicine, and thinks we should use that. All I can say is ‘bring your numbers’.

  119. #164 Dangerous Bacon
    June 8, 2017

    “I can’t even find any boundary that corresponds to your drearily intoned “nine months later.”

    Thanks, now I’ve got this Fuzztones earworm:

  120. #165 Lawrence
    June 8, 2017

    Because she wants the one “TRUE – 100%” cure for all cancers, don’t you know….

    • #166 Windriven
      Planet earth
      June 8, 2017

      ” she wants the one “TRUE – 100%” cure for all cancers”

      A .45 will do. It isn’t a cure, exactly. But you won’t die of cancer. Meanwhile, most of the rest of us are willing to accept less certain odds and standard oncological care. We’re such fools.

  121. #167 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    June 9, 2017

    Well, I want drive-thru 5 cent beer stands, but I’ve come to terms with the disappointment that it’s not likely to happen.

  122. #168 Narad
    June 9, 2017

    NWOReptile isn’t completely wrong. Year to year improvements aren’t big numbers, but they do look to be steady.

    I’d say that when one mindlessly subtracts contemporaneous incidence rates from mortality rates, yes, one is completely wrong whether or not the result turns out to be in crude qualitative agreement with a rational analysis.

  123. #169 sadmar
    Rockin' out with Dangerous Bacon
    June 9, 2017

    @ Narad

    You know I don’t go for the endless wrangling with trolls, but I have to say the “viper” —>”tapeworm” one-liner was some A+ smack, and I chuckled out loud. That one goes in Narad’s Greatest Hits for sure. 🙂

  124. #170 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    June 9, 2017

    @Windriven;

    she wants the one “TRUE – 100%” cure for all cancers”

    A .45 will do.

    Were you thinking of this, perhaps?
    https://xkcd.com/1217/

    • #171 Windriven
      June 9, 2017

      Precisely!

  125. #172 Dangerous Bacon
    June 10, 2017

    While the Ninny Woo Order whines about limitations of “conventional cancer treatment”, there’s hope for significantly improving the chances of those with the type of tumor that killed Steve Jobs. We’re apparently on the threshold of approval of a targeted drug for neuroendocrine tumors. It involves attaching a radionuclide to an octreotide molecule that binds to tumor cells, so that a radiation dose much more directly hits those cells, largely sparing surrounding normal tissue.

    http://fortune.com/2017/03/16/steve-jobs-cancer/

    It’ll be terrific when we can offer these patients an expanded arsenal of options against such tumors, as opposed to the juice fasts, colon cleansing, acupuncture and psychic interventions offered to Steve Jobs (and which may have shortened his life).

  126. #173 John Q. Public
    June 10, 2017

    Ty Bollinger did give $10K to Cassandra, see … https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/TTAC-Charity-Event-December-3-2015-p9.jpg, but that wouldn’t cover a week at the Hope4Cancer clinic in Mexico … http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Hope4Cancer

  127. #174 herr doktor bimler
    June 15, 2017

    that wouldn’t cover a week at the Hope4Cancer clinic in Mexico

    A Gazoogle check for “gofundme + Hope4Cancer” returns about 4200 Ghits. Which is an indication that the Hope4Cancer money-extraction machine provides its victims with advice on how to set up GoFundMe pages, thus turning them into franchises of the scamming. As is standard practice now in the Tijuana cancer-exploitation industry.

    I struggle to come up with comparisons from parasitology that describe just how vile these humans are. Ghouls and leeches and vultures and vampire bats all have a valuable role in the eco-system.

    Ty Bollinger did give $10K to Cassandra

    He may or may not be receiving a kickback from the clinic for pimping them with such enthusiasm.