Another young woman with cancer, lured into quackery by Ty Bollinger

It sucks to be diagnosed with cancer at any age, but it especially sucks to be young and diagnosed with cancer. The prompt application of science-based cancer treatment is important for anyone with cancer, but it’s especially important for young people with cancer, because they have the most life-years to lose if they dawdle or pursue quackery. That’s why I get particularly perturbed about young people with cancer whose parents choose (or who themselves choose) quackery over science-based medicine, and it’s why I become the most perturbed of all when I learn of stories of children being subjected to alternative medicine instead of effective cancer treatment. Examples have, unfortunately, been fairly common over the years, and include children such as Sarah Hershberger, teens such as Abraham Cherrix, and young adults like Jessica Ainscough, a.k.a. “The Wellness Warrior.” Add to that credulous stories in the media these people who reject conventional therapy in favor of whatever woo has attracted them, and it’d enough to infuriate a cancer surgeon.

Unfortunately, here comes another one

This one comes from Down Under, and it’s about a 22 year old woman named Carissa Gleeson, who hales from Western Australia and, as is so often the case, is portrayed as the picture of health. (Actually, before getting cancer, she was the She and her partner own a farm; she does lots of outdoorsy things. Before her cancer was diagnosed, she did a lot of farm work. Now she has a GoFundMe page to raise money for the quackery she has chosen to use. Meanwhile, I learned of her story in—where else?—The Daily Mail, although subsequently I found a more in-depth story on in Sunshine Coast Daily, a local paper, entitled Cowgirl chooses alternative therapies to treat cancer, complete with a photo of Gleeson and her partner looking like, well, a cowboy and cowgirl.

Over the last decade-plus, in assessing these alternative medicine cancer cure testimonials, I’ve learned what to look for and how to read between the lines. Those skills came in handy looking at Gleeson’s testimonial as told in these two sources and her GoFundMe page, as you will see. First, let’s take a look at how the Daily Fail presents her story:

A young woman, 22, who works at a cattle station, is trying to beat cancer by taking high doses of Vitamin C and using an infrared sauna daily.

Doctors told Carissa Gleeson, from outback Western Australia, chemotherapy would give her a 50 per cent chance at surviving five years of synovial sarcoma in her lower back, a rare cancer of soft tissue.

She had visited the doctor with a lump on her back, and was diagnosed with the rare cancer in March last year, when she was just 21-years-old.

Let’s just start out with this presentation. Glesson had a lump on her back. We don’t know how large it was. (At least, I haven’t been able to find out anywhere, and that includes both news stories, Gleeson’s GoFundMe page, and her blog My Journey Back to Health.) The reason it’s important will become clear in a moment. Notice how above it says that chemotherapy would only give Gleeson a 50-50 chance of survival. First of all, most sarcomas require a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation to be treated effectively. One wonders why she didn’t mention surgery. Elsewhere, on her GoFundMe page, Gleeson states that she “decided against chemotherapy and radiation as I did not like what they had to offer” her.

So what does this tell me? Well, the primary treatment for most sarcomas is surgery. Usually, if surgery can be done first safely and without too much disfigurement, it is. Certainly this is the case with synovial cell sarcoma, whose cell of origin is not clear, where wide excision with a negative margin of 1-3 cm all around is the standard of care, and frequently postoperative radiation is administered to decrease the chance of a local recurrence of the tumor in the excision bed. The use of chemotherapy, either before surgery (neoadjuvant) or after surgery (adjuvant) is somewhat controversial and only contributes slightly to survival, which is, roughly, 50-60% at five years and 40-50% at ten years, survival rates that assume successful excision of the cancer.

The relevance of these observations is as follows. The fact that nowhere does Gleeson mention that she would need surgery tells me one of two things. Either she has already undergone surgery to excise the cancer and she is being offered adjuvant chemotherapy. Personally, I hope this is what’s going on, because then at least Gleeson would have had the tumor excised and therefore might have a chance of long term survival close to what I mentioned above. The second possibility is that her tumor is too large to excise and she was being offered neoadjuvant chemotherapy to shrink it and make it possible to remove. This would be a much worse possibility, and I hope that’s not the case. I tend to favor the first possibility as the most likely explanation of what’s going on because if she had a mass so large that it couldn’t be removed on her back it would be difficult to hide and likely now, a year after her diagnosis, very symptomatic. Also, I doubt the oncologists would have quoted her a 50% five year survival if she still had her primary tumor in place, because her odds of surviving that long with a completely untreated high grade sarcoma. (Synovial cell sarcomas are nearly all high grade.)

As usual, though, I’m speculating. It’s an educated speculation, but speculation. I just can’t know because, as is the case with pretty much all of these testimonials, the information released is too little to make more definitive predictions and conclusions.

What is provided in great detail, though, is a breathtakingly inapt analogy:

Carissa uses a simple analogy to explain why she walked away from traditional chemotherapy.

"If you walk into a restaurant, and they only have three things on the menu but you don't like any of them, you are going to walk out and find another restaurant.

"When I say three things, I am referring to chemotherapy, radiation and surgery because they are the only three things offered by conventional medicine when you have been diagnosed with cancer."

"There is a lot more out there that can be more effective, every caner is different but you have to find what's right for you. And you have to believe and trust in what you are doing."

Sigh. Medicine is not a restaurant. The reason there are only three treatment modalities for Gleeson’s tumor on the menu is because those are the only three treatment modalities that are efficacious. That’s the cold, hard reality of the situation. When you’re facing a life-threatening disease and your options are all bad options, it’s entirely understandable to want to reject those bad options and look for something else. It’s human nature, and there’s no doubt Gleeson got a raw deal to have been diagnosed with a cancer with a 50-50 chance of cutting her life short within five years. Unfortunately, nature is not forgiving. Sarcomas don’t care about what you want. They care about getting nutrients from their host, growing, and ultimately spreading. It’s what cancers do, and all the wishful thinking about other miraculous treatment options in the world won’t change that.

And when I refer to “miraculous,” I should have said “magical.” Just look at some of Gleeson’s treatments:

In the last 12 months I have made some huge dietary changes, followed a strict supplement routine & done emotional healing. I have also done a lot of cleansing including juice / water fasting, infrared saunas, colonics and hyper baric chamber. We have managed to slow everything down with all of this but we are in need of stronger treatments to start killing off the cancer cells and reducing the tumour size.

I am now doing 3x weekly intravenous treatments including high dose Vit C, ozone therapy, UV blood cleaning, bi carb, polyMVA, glutathione and emotional healing. I am now working along with an amazing team of doctors both in Aust and the U.S and have 100% faith in what I am doing.

None of these treatments are effective, and some are potentially dangerous, such as ultraviolet “blood cleaning” and IV ozone therapy. The first involves treating the blood with UV irradiation, either through withdrawing it from a vein or doing it “transcutaneously” (through the skin). Often for the first, just a few millileters of blood are withdrawn, irradiated, and reinjected, an amount too small to be plausible as a means of producing a major therapeutic effect even if irradiating blood did all the magical things its advocates claim. Actually, it’s been known since 1970 that UV blood irradiation is ineffective against cancer. Ozone therapy involves mixing of the ozone with various gases and liquids and injecting this into the body, including the vagina, rectum, intramuscular, subcutaneously, or intravenously. The result when ozone is mixed with an aqueous solution is hydrogen peroxide. There is no evidence that it is effective against cancer. Nor is there any evidence that infrared saunas, like the one Gleeson is photographed lying in, have any healing effect on cancer.

Then there are, as usual in these cases, many, many bogus lab tests:

These past few weeks I have done a whole range of different tests for a variety of different things. A few weeks ago I done a really important and quite expensive blood test which was sent to a lab in Greece. Here they are able to take malignant cells out of my bloodstream and grow them out in different dishes over a period of a few days. They can then test the sensitivity of the cancer cells against different therapies and also find out if they are resistant to any therapies. This is extremely important as we can then personalise my protocol a lot more with different therapies and supplements which are shown to have an effect on my type of cancer. (and also take away different things that are shown to have no effect.) Good news is the infusions I am currently doing showed different levels of effectiveness in killing the cells. ?? The cells are also sensitive to hyperthermia.

Last week I received my results back for a food intolerance test which is also done via a blood test. This is really important as I need every system in my body working correctly and to also keep inflammation in my body as low as possible. Different foods can cause severe inflammation in the body and different foods can also drastically reduce inflammation in the body. My test showed that I had an intolerance to 26 different foods including nuts such as almonds, Brazil, hazelnuts and peanuts. Also broccoli, white cabbage, sunflower seeds, chicken eggs and a range of dairy products. I was quite surprised with the results as I consumed a LOT of broccoli, almonds, brazil nuts and white cabbage. I did suffer from bloating before and since cutting out these foods I have not had any bloating after eating meals. ??Depending on the severity of my intolerance to the food it will need to be cut out of my diet for a minimum period of 2 -12 months. After this time frame I can slowly reintroduce and see how my body responds.

Many have been various tests that take tumor cells from the primary tumor and test them for sensitivity to various chemotherapeutics to guide therapy. They have all thus far been disappointing in their ability to identify effective chemotherapy regimens “personalized” to the patient. These days, companies have been offering tests that purport to isolate and test a patient’s circulating tumor cells for sensitivity to various drugs. These tests suffer from the same problems and shortcomings as tests examining cells from the primary tumor plus the added problem of whether the lab knows what it’s doing when isolating actual circulating tumor cells. These are the sorts of tests that are particularly loved by functional medicine quacks. As for the food tolerance tests, there is no evidence that cancer is due to food intolerances or that an “antiinflammatory” diet can treat an already established cancer.

So where did Gleeson learn about these quack treatments? Apparently, while “doing her own research,” she came across the video series by Ty Bollinger, The Truth About Cancer. We’ve met him before, and his video series is a cornucopia of cancer quackery credulously presented. It’s a load of pure nonsense. In retrospect, I’m now regretting that I didn’t expose myself to the series when it was available for free, the better to write a series of blog posts taking it down, but it just seemed like too much work, even for me, at the time. I might have to rectify that situation the next time Bollinger updates his series.

Be that as it may, here is the danger of quackery propaganda movies and video series. They persuade desperate cancer patients like Gleeson, desperate for another way other than conventional treatment, that there does exist a way of curing their cancers without pain, without the need for toxic drugs or potentially disfiguring surgery. Would that it were true! It’s not. But videos like this can lead cancer patients to believe that it is true and thereby lure them away from their one best shot at surviving their disease onto a path where they will not survive. Even worse, that path is very, very expensive. On her GoFundMe page, Gleeson informs us that her treatments alone average $5,000 a week, and that cost doesn’t even include the supplements that she is taking. When I read that, I wondered just what the heck could cost over $20,000 a month? A lot of conventional chemotherapy regimens don’t cost nearly that much, the greedy depredations of big pharma notwithstanding. What on earth are these quacks selling that costs that much, or is it, as I suspect, that their markup would make Martin Shkreli hesitate and exclaim, “That’s highway robbery”?

Stories like Gleeson’s saddens me. She’s yet another in a depressingly long line of young cancer patients lured by quacks to throw their lives away unnecessarily. It is not, however, Gleeson who angers me. She is a victim, as clueless as her statements to the press have been. What angers me are the quacks who seduced her with their siren song of a no-pain cure for her disease and the press, which, despite its perfunctory and obligatory quoting of cancer experts saying how ineffective these treatments are, presents stories like Gleeson’s in a glamorous light. It’s a combination that kills.

More like this

In other words, she's earning a hard won Darwin Award.

Now, with some highly specific cancers, that may well be the way to go or more correctly, pain management courses of care.
For this, too many question marks, not especially incurable, questionable choices abound.
So, it's her choice, she chose stupidly and will most probably die. If she actually did have cancer cells cultured from her blood, she's stage four.
That said, one has to use a full salt mine to take such legends with a grain of salt.

This is occurring in my backyard. I would love to know who the "healthcare professionals" are who are advising her so I could report them to the regulatory authorities.

As a physician and pathologist, one of the many things about these cases that don't make sense is this: They trust and believe mainstream medicine to *diagnose* their cancer, but when it comes to *treatment*, they reject it? Why aren't they sending their specimens to unregulated, expensive, pseudo- laboratories like naturopaths use to support their bullshit diagnoses?

Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

Australia has universal health coverage via Medicare, so the chemotherapy (and surgery, and legitimate blood tests) would have cost her close to nothing. $5,000 a week is a total rip off. I hope she comes to her senses early enough, or that she did have the surgery and is lucky enough to get through without chemo. And seriously, there are very few legitimate pathology tests that can't be carried out in Australia by professional labs. This is so obviously snake oil it's ridiculous.

“There is a lot more out there that can be more effective, every caner is different but you have to find what’s right for you. And you have to believe and trust in what you are doing.”

"

“And you have to believe and trust in what you are doing.”

So in the end when she inevitably succumbs to her cancer, it will be because she didn't believe hard enough. What was that about blaming the patient/victim Orac wrote about a while back, again? Sigh.

we are in need of stronger treatments to start killing off the cancer cells and reducing the tumour size.

Following Orac's explanation on pre- versus post-surgery, and the main reason not doing surgery being tumor size, this part about needing to reduce tumor size does not bode well.
Of course, the "reducing tumor size" may be part of the standard sale pitch of her woo seller, regardless of her condition.
Still, not looking good.

OTOH, if she did have surgery, some quack will get an easy "see! I cured her" testimony.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 18 Apr 2016 #permalink

"There is a lot more out there that can be more effective"

[Citation needed]

really important and quite expensive blood test which was sent to a lab in Greece.

This will be Research Genetic Cancer Centre (RGCC), run by Ioannis Papasotiriou. He puts a lot of money into website design, publishes in OMICS, works hard to ingratiate himself with the pro-cancer anti-therapy Health-Coach bloggers.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Apr 2016 #permalink

Following Orac’s explanation on pre- versus post-surgery, and the main reason not doing surgery being tumor size, this part about needing to reduce tumor size does not bode well.

I was wondering about that myself.

Jeepers, that RGCC website.... my pathology training is in Microbiology, but even I can tell it is a whole bunch of BS. I can see why punters fall for it though.

In other words, she’s earning a hard won Darwin Award.

I would also like to take this opportunity to heap contempt upon invocations of of "social Darwinism."

I'll toss in disdain for producing nested comments while I'm at it, so don't.

Narad, as one who did challenged the hell out of the Darwin Awards, albeit classified, I don't have a problem invoking that award.
To be brutally honest, I'm honestly astonished that I made my way into military retirement.

At times, it is what it is. :/

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Narad (not verified)

She's spending $5000 a week on her quack treatment? Stanislaw Burzynski must be green with envy - he only charges that much a month, doesn't he?

By Mrs Grimble (not verified) on 18 Apr 2016 #permalink

^ "so don't in this cae"

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to rest enough to simulate autonomic stability with my PCP this afternoon.

"Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try to rest enough to simulate autonomic stability with my PCP this afternoon."

Heh, we're still trying to calm open panic in ours. :/
The unofficial term for us is, "train wreck".

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Narad (not verified)

There's a "Nutripath" place near Melbourne offering no end of scam tests (including neurotransmitter levels -- I shudder think of the biopsy). The website is all Integrative and Naturopathy and Ayurvedic, for these people are broad-spectrum scammers. Anyway, they claim to be the sole Australian agents for RGCC, and on their website you can find bafflegab like this -- a sample test result from the Greek grifters:
http://nutripath.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/7003b-RGCC-Sample-Te…

Starts with a magical membrane that can distinguish transformed from normal cells by inspecting their DNA or something:

We isolated the malignant cells using Oncoquick with a membrane that isolates malignant cells from normal cells. Then we centrifuged at 350g for 10 min and we collected the supernatant with the malignant cells.

...and gets steadily more magical from there on.

Then we developed fifty cell cultures in a fetal calf serum media. In each culture of the well plate we added a biological modifier substance [Nrf2 Activator, Artecin, Proteo-Xyme, Arabinogalactan, Aromat8-PN, Dextrol, Cellular Vitality, Epimune Complex, Cat’s Claw Forte, Retensyme Forte, Metformin, Salicinium, Mammary PMG, Quercetin, Super Artemisinin, Oncoplex ES, Poly-MVA, C-statin, Ascorbic Acid, Superoxide Dismutase, Ukrain, Bio-Ae-Mulsion Forte, Bio-D-Mulsion NuMedica Micellized D3, Curcumin, Vitanox, Mistletoe, AHCC Active Hexose Correlated Compound, Amygdalin (B17), Thymex, Burdock Complex, Salvestrol, Virxcan, Immune Plus (fermented soyextract), DCA (dichloroacetate), genistein, PME, new PME, OPC, Intenzyme Forte, Cruciferous, CV247, Lycopene, Green Tea extract, Paw-Paw, Indol-3-Carbinol, Melatonin, Naltrexone, Resveratrol, oleander extract] that is used in clinical application. Then we developed those cultures and we harvested a sample every 24 hours and made the following assays

Basically if there is a cancer-leech out there using Worthless Nostrum X, RGCC will claim to test the efficacy of W-N-X against the 'cancer cell lines' they obtained with their magic membrane. In the hope of fastening onto another money-teat when that particular cancer-leech starts using their services. They are second-order parasites within the whole ecology.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Basically if there is a cancer-leech out there

For a split second I imagined a bio-engineered leech designed to suck out cancer cells out of a patient.

All of these quacks are against vaccines. Yet, could you imaging what they would be saying if vaccines had never existed? We would be treated to documentaries about how to cure smallpox and polio naturally. They would be saying Big pHARMa is hiding the cures for these diseases because they make so much money treating them, rather than preventing them. (Actually they do have this attitude towards one vaccine-preventable disease, Lyme, of course).

This just shows at its core, the heart of alternative medicine isn't "nature" or anything like that- it is adolescent opposition pure and simple.

If mainstream medicine and science says a treatment works, alt-med will say it doesn't If mainstream medicine and science says a treatment doesn't work work, alt-med will say it does.

Bollinger is a menace. His new series of videos is every bit as bad as the earlier ones. He's going to get so many people killed.

@ hdb

How the manitee. What a long list. They forget the raccoon (French joke).
As an aside, I believe they mean they reverse the membrane on top of some liquid before centrifuging the cells out of it.
But yeah, magical.
I wonder how they "harvest" samples. Most mammal cells on a culture plate tend to stick; and the non-harvested ones tend to complain if the culture is disrupted. Harvesting cells may actually be a good way to "find" the next day that the cells are being killed by the fairy dust.

The laundry list is just mind-blowing by its insanity.

PME, new PME?

Ukrain? How did they find room in the cell plates for so much geography, and don't the Ukrainians complain?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Meanwhile, back in reality, I learned recently of an old aqaintance who was cured of a horrible cancer because the cancer just happened to be the exact mutant variety that an experimental drug specifically targeted. Science really does work.

By palindrom (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

It would be good if the families of the victims of cancer quacks were to take legal action. I don't think it would take many cases to bankrupt most of these scammers.

By Guy Chapman (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

As Australia has had a number of high profile episodes recently of quack medicine being ineffective (Jess Ainscough anyone?), it seems that the public remembers.

I feel sorry for young Carissa, being diagnosed with a potentially fatal disease when you are just looking forward to embarking on life, but also because she has been taken in by charlatans.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

It's more like going to a restaurant and finding that the menu only has three things: soups, full meals, and vegetable side dishes. The place down the street has herbal teas, and a fancy menu with headings for "steamed foods," "vegetable specialties," "our chef presents," "seasonal delights," "daily specials," "home-style," "comforting," "authentic Chinese": but if you look closely, everything except the herb teas is based on kale and brown rice, and almost none of it has either interesting seasoning or protein.

Chris @22 -- A very clever comment on the article that you linked reads:

All the best to you. I highly recommend you research Jessica Ainscough. She had a similar tumour to yourself, and her story is an inspiration. I hope you learn more about yourself by researching the path she took.

It's clear that the person is enticing the woo-ish into finding out, presumably to their horror, that Ainscough died a terrible, lingering death.

By palindrom (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Possibly, although Jessica Ainscough was pretty famous in Australia; so chances are good that Gleeson had probably heard of her...

@ Vicki

It’s more like going to a restaurant and finding that the menu only has three things: soups, full meals, and vegetable side dishes.

I was thinking along these lines.
It depends on the country and the hospital, but surgery/chemo/radio are not really monolithic approaches, there are a number of variations, most notably in chemo.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Chris Preston: wow! The commenters on that post are really ripping into her for her decision. I think maybe they did learn something from Jess and Belle.

@MI Dawn

Really? Seems to me they're nothing but sympathetic towards the young woman while heaping scorn on the writers/publishers of the article for putting a positive spin on and reinforcing her very, very bad decision...

Ukrain?
I had heard of Ukrain, and some of the other proprietary snake-oils on the RGCC list, but it was sobering to see so many unfamiliar ones.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

As Orac noted, there is a severe shortage of information about this young woman's tumor (size? differentiation? lymph node involvement or distant metastases?) and what surgical procedure(s) she may have had. Unless the sarcoma wasn't surgically resectable, a good excision with wide margins probably would have been the most important treatment.

"The comparison of the subgroups of patients who underwent adjuvant treatment in addition to surgery (i.e. surgery and radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy, surgery and radiochemotherapy) showed no significant difference in OS (P = 0.24). Patients treated with surgery only (and therefore in a better prognostic group) had a significantly better outcome in terms of OS (P = 0.055; Figure 7) and distant metastases (P = 0.012) than those who received adjuvant treatment."

http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2010/08/17/annonc.mdq394…

So it's possible that if she had a tumor amenable to surgery alone, chemotherapy and/.or radiation might not add much to survival. Going through a passel of ineffective and potentially debilitating/dangerous alt med procedures, beyond giving the patient the feeling she's being proactive about her diseases, won't add anything besides a potential mountain of debt.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Martin Shkreli indeed: good one, Orac.

On the other thread I was just telling our friend prn about the availability of quack treatments - including IV vitamin C and ozone - through the efforts of an actual RN and her guru at prn/fm
( see Metropolitan Wellness) : these people have big plans for a health resort in Texas ( which has less pesky laws about things like that) now in its first stages of development -
like a DCIS **.

** I know, I know I usually compare woo to a festering swamp but I had to say that at least once.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Well, the level of doublethink required from alt-med crowd is downright orwellian. On one hand they bash "cancer industry" hiding the cure because it is more proffitable to treat the cancer. On the other they enable quacks who cost that poor woman 5 grand per week. More, they put those quacks on pedestal as selfless, brave mavericks who just want to bring the cure to the people...

It's sort of incredible.

By The Smith of Lie (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Hear ye, hear ye!

Mikey is drawing his enraptured thralls' attention to our own fearless- and peerless- leader ( more accurately, to his alter ego, Dr DG) in a long screed today at Natural News:
Orac controls wikip. Orac is like Arianna, Orac is a shill , Orac is the best advert for alt med etc.

Orac has created quite a splash around woo-topia. recently.
We will all bask in the glory of reality. Woo hoo.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Looks like part of all this is pH woo (note the IV bicarb). This is another potentially dangerous treatment, especially considering most metabolic alkaloses are iatrogenic. Who is administering unindicated IV bicarb? They need their license taken away ASAP.

By capnkrunch (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

As if any of the "conventional" cancer treatments work. Over 30% of those with cancer getting chemo die from the chemo; not the cancer. You cancer doctors are the worst. You make more money then an ER doc, and kill more people then Ebola, bubonic plague and drowning combined annually. Why would anyone listen to anything you have to say? Cannabis oil cures cancer, you know it and some day people will be able to PROVE that you knew it. People like Gorski are going to go to jail for all of the propaganda he has vomited for pharmaceuticals and the cancer industry. You people will be brought to justice, I assure you. Smarter people then you are hard at work to make your jail time a reality. I hope that you are afraid. You should be. You are a criminal, and people are starting to see that now. I hope that the jury of your peers includes a cancer survivor and a few parents with vaccine injured children; that would be fitting. Sleep well David.

By Jason Pilnt (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

When searching "cancer alternative treatment" in Google the first non-ad listing is the Mayo clinic. They offer ten alternative treatments to cancer including acupuncture and aromatherapy. When the premier hospitals are jumping on the pseudo-science bandwagon to scavenge money from their "patients" then how are people to know where to turn?

By Wondering Vet (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Amethyst: that's what I meant. Thank you for being clearer than I was. I should never comment before my first cup of coffee.

Wow. After reading the regimen that this woman has been on (not to mention the costs), I immediately had the reaction that I would just take the surgery and chemo--it's seems like it would be a welcome break compared to all of the rigmarole she's been going through.

By Dr. Chim Richalds (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

A lot of cancer treatments in the US are easily north of $50,000 per month sticker price, all in. e.g. mCRC with Folfox-Avastin or Folfiri-Erbitux with Neulasta and expensive secondary drugs, or various hospitalization costs.

The truth is that regulation, legal costs, defensive medicine, small volume base, and persecution tremendously drives up the cost of experimental / alternative medicine treatments. Less competition in such hostile circumstances favors the marketing/huckster types.

I spend under $1000 a month for chemo etc, have most things done at home, and the oncologists can eat their hearts out for results. Those that have seen the paperwork change their tune, they can't remotely achieve it.

As for this lady, probably not technically consistent and aggressive enough. Technically this is a no-holds barred fight - ideologues and less thorough MDs, conventional or alternative, fail. I have to admit, "anti-extinction" took more than I thought it would technically. I see both sides as typically insufficient, technically speaking.

Sadly, there are many, many like this young lady. You never here the "testimonials" about their deaths, however.

Here's one...on Facebook. JenJourney.

She Gofunded a trip to a Gerson clinic in Mexico to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars....Less than three weeks after she was discharged (for lack of funds, I believe), she was gone. 35 years old.

@yvette #17:

"This just shows at its core, the heart of alternative medicine isn’t “nature” or anything like that- it is adolescent opposition pure and simple.

If mainstream medicine and science says a treatment works, alt-med will say it doesn’t If mainstream medicine and science says a treatment doesn’t work work, alt-med will say it does."

Exactly! The more I read about what alt-med crowd believes, the more I agree with this.

In related and sad news, the CT teen, Cassandra C, who refused chemo at 17 until court ordered, has apparently developed lung tumors. According to the news article, she is pursuing "alternative" treatments. She's 18 now, and IIRC, this was the possibility our host feared.

"If you walk into a restaurant, and they only have three things on the menu but you don’t like any of them, you are going to walk out and find another restaurant."

Oh, would she miss out on some fantastic meals, then. The absolute best restaurant meal I ever had (no, scratch that, the absolute best meal I've ever had, period) was at a hotel in Caen, France. Oh lord. The restaurant only did one sitting each night, because the meal took hours to consume. It was a fixed menu, with a few minor points where you could choose between one item or another. And it was all extraordinary.

What's more, a too-long menu tends to actually be a *bad* sign, not a good one, because it means that either the kitchen is in total chaos trying to cover too many different items, or things are largely pre-made and just need cooking and final assembly, which will compromise quality. And that's even ignoring that the "three things" she listed aren't three things, they're there categories of things. That's like rejecting a restaurant because all it offers is beef, chicken, and fish.

That just leapt out at me. Not only is medicine not a restaurant, but her advice isn't even sensible when it comes to food.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Hi Orac, I've been stalking your blog for awhile ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. I had surgery, chemo, and radiation and am doing OK. I really respect my oncologist and surgeon who practice out of the Ann Arbor area. Out of normal curiosity while being treated, I signed up for Ty's Truth About Cancer series. Had to restrain myself from flinging my iPad to the floor. Spent too much time reading comments about how someone's loved one or themselves were cured by (insert woo here). Anytime anyone comments negatively on the content, they are shot down by the angry hordes as a pharma shill, blah blah blah. They are replaying the series now...don't know if this link would work for anyone.

If cancer could be cured by eating cottage cheese and flaxseed, well, geez I'd be right there at the front of the line for my bowlful. I wonder if Ty was ever diagnosed with cancer, if he'd run off to a real oncologist or down to Mexico for coffee enemas.
I did try acupuncture for my neuropathy...nada. In fact it was uncomfortable to the point of me nearly jumping off the table in pain. I thought acupuncture was supposed to be painless. The practitioner said, "Yeah, nerves are funny things..."
Thanks for your great blog...it's a terrific read.

By Christine16 (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

"It is not, however, Gleeson who angers me. She is a victim, as clueless as her statements to the press have been. What angers me are the quacks who seduced her..."
Gleeson is more than a victim. She is actively doing harm in the world by promulgating dangerous, pseudoscientific ideas that infect others in similar situations and lead them to make equally stupid and deadly choices with their health care. She is more than a victim. She is also a culprit...
Many of the quacks who prey on these desperate people are, in a sense, a "victim" as well- because they too are operating under deluded, wishful, self-serving thinking. And that doesn't alleviate their culpability one bit.

By dougtothecore (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

Someone, if you love this woman; take her to an oncologist stat! That is all...

By Psychiatrist mom (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Calli Arcale:

I'd go so far as to suggest that the three options offered by modern cancer care aren't so much beef/chicken/fish, but more on a par with offering dishes based on representatives of Animalia, Plantae, and Fungi.

Why is it mostly women that fall for this crap? Is it just that they tend not to be science trained or is it the conditioning that emotion are better than knowledge?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

madder -- a fair point.

PGP -- I'm not sure that's true in the first place.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@herr doktor bimler #15:

There’s a “Nutripath” place near Melbourne

I couldn't help but see that as 'nutpath' on first reading.

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ PGP:

I don't know if women are more susceptible to woo - although what you discuss could be possible factors. I don't know for sure.

They may be more VOCAL about their beliefs.

HOWEVER as I listen to the heart of darkness of woo (tm) myself ( i.e. prn.fm) I hear many men call in worshipfully as well. Retreat participants there seem to be a mix based on photos displayed.; products are aimed at both.

Vitamin stores appear to stock many male-oriented products - boner supplements, muscle formulae, prostate rxs,
anti- baldness etc.

We should remember that women may reach out for help more easily - even to SBM- which may mean something.

I do think that the anti-vaxxers are more likely to be female
although there are men,

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Rich Woods:

I thought the same.
Great minds etc.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ prn:

I am curious to know what you have done and how long you have been successful.
Could you please give us details without revealing your identity, location and your providers' identities? I know you took vitamin C and mushrooms ( maybe).
Give us an idea. If you would be so kind. I know you've survived a long time. ( And even much more, I hope. Truly)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

I couldn’t help but see that as ‘nutpath’ on first reading.

In their logo they're "NutriPATH". So it's nutrition! And finding Your Journey to Health!
They don't seem to do any tests themselves, but more of a middle-man between Australian quacks and overseas blood-test scammers, everyone collecting their percentage along the way.

I learned of her story in—where else?—The Daily Mail

The DM are't the only UK tabloid glorifying and encouraging people to abandon therapy.. the Mirror dabble in the same genre. They love stories about people who Fight Cancer, and Won't Give Up, and Choose Their Own Way. And the tabloids get to play heroes by publicising the GoFundMe accounts and enriching the scammers.
DM writers do not worry about the deaths of the people they've talked into slow suicide for public entertainment.

Meanwhile the whole crowd-funding concept has given a new lease of life to the cancer-scamming industry; they no longer need limit their prices to what patients can pay on their own. I'm pretty sure that most of the Mexican shops have someone on staff to help prospective patients set up their own GoFundMes and funnel money from sympathetic strangers.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

I was heartened to see that a goodly number of comments at the Rural Weekly site took the paper and reporter to task for their coverage's being essentially uncritical encouragement for quackery.

Patients treated with surgery only (and therefore in a better prognostic group) had a significantly better outcome in terms of OS (P = 0.055; Figure 7)[*]

Sigh.

[*] DB's link was to the online-early Fig. 6. This one is also mislabeled on the y-axis, but whatever. Could someone explain this figure to me? It appears that the survival figure for surgery+chemotherapy (dotted line) is higher than that for surgery alone (solid line) at 20+ years, despite the steep drop in the former up to 10 years.

I presume – perhaps erroneously, as I haven't gone through the whole paper (the PCP visit mentioned earlier in a different thread added up to several hours, including et alia a full 30 minute visit with the doc and an MMR booster) – that adjuvant chemotherapy isn't being asserted to promote recurrence, and I further presume that Gleeson is betting on the long term.

Is this merely an artifact of other longer term confounders?

credible threat to you safety

Jason Pilnt
your asshοle

Well, well, well, look what crawled out of the woodwork. I note that Jason was pulling a regular Phildo routine over at Disqustink recently (there's a screen shot of the users/details.json query in there somewhere, as I recall):

So now you are trolling, trying to find out who I am. I do not have a facebook account. I do not know Jason Pilnt. I do not know what this has to do with the conversation other then you are trying to threaten me by implicating that you know who I am. Whatever. You are not a good person. I wish you did know who I am; I have nothing to hide from people like you, and I certainly am not afraid of you. I am quite capable of defending myself; try if you would like to hunt me down and do me harm, but I do not fear people like YOU.

People like [G——] are going to go to jail for all of the propaganda he has vomited for pharmaceuticals and the cancer industry. You people will be brought to justice, I assure you. Smarter people then you are hard at work to make your jail time a reality.

I once again refer the reader to John Baez's Crackpot Index:

"40 points for claiming that when your theory is finally appreciated, present-day science will be seen for the sham it truly is. (30 more points for fantasizing about show trials in which scientists who mocked your theories will be forced to recant.)"

Why, in a conventional restaurant they only offer three main sources of calories. Such bore, the menu of the holistic oxygenarians down the street offers literally hundreds of different sources of energy! And at only several times the cost!

Today at lunch I sat next to a woman who was in for chemo (It was a cancer center cafeteria and she had the port and tracking tag). She spent a long time discussing her woo diet with her friend. If it makes her feel in control to do it, then I'm all for it, but it sounded more like it was sucking the joy out of her life.

Orac, I'd love to see you do an expose/takedown on the Angeles Clinic in Tijuana. They have a very nice website which avoids the obvious buzzwords.Like the Greek place it uses just enough sciency words to seem plausible, but is woo all the way through. I would love for google to pop up with you when potential marks search for them.

@ Denice Walter

You can also add that there is a long history of women being ignored or inappropriately treated by (often male) doctors. Legit problems have been missed or dismissed as a result. It's not too hard to see how the warm, woo-filled embrace of alternative healers might be more appealing. While the medical world has lifted it's game, it takes time for change to filter through. It's a sad irony that in a bid to take back 'control' of their health they just end up handing their time, money and trust to a bunch of self accredited 'experts'.

So I'd agree that women aren't necessarily more prone to irrational beliefs and yes, if you look at the fitness/life coaching scene, you'll find plenty of guys spending $$$ on crap.

@Jason Pilnt #35: "Cannabis oil cures cancer". Really? Can you prove it? Off the top of my head, I know of 2 recent cases of breast cancer in which both women died shortly after they began using cannabis oil. How's that supposed to be a cure?

By Lighthorse (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

@JeffM

Whats really needed I think is something like "The Other Burzynski Patient Group", a central site, maybe a blog to list all the Crowdfunding attempts by people who have chosen to fall for the blandishments of the alternative medicine industry and what happened to them.

@Jason Pilnt

"Over 30% of those with cancer getting chemo die from the chemo; not the cancer."
[citation needed]

"Why would anyone listen to anything you have to say?"
Look, who's asking.

"Cannabis oil cures cancer"
[citation needed]

"You people will be brought to justice, I assure you"
Bring it on, jackass.

@Jason Pilnt

“Over 30% of those with cancer getting chemo die from the chemo; not the cancer.”
Bovine defecation. I've lost several aunts to cancer, not a one was on chemotherapy when they died. You'll be unable to find a single citation to back up that fine, uncomposted fertilizer.

“Why would anyone listen to anything you have to say?”
Typical, output only, blathering lies and never listening to facts, citations and studies.

“Cannabis oil cures cancer”
Unicorn farts. Provide a citation, oh wait, you can't.

“You people will be brought to justice, I assure you”
You're going to need a bigger army and the US one won't show up at my doorstep.
It looks like you picked the wrong site, sonny.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 19 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Moon (not verified)

@ Denise, #52 -

"Brave, young women going their own way in the face of the establishment" simply has much more "story appeal" than a man doing the same - which of course stems from the rather degrading notion that most women are too weak to do so, making cases like these "super special" or something.

That is also why you always read/hear about "warrior moms" and never "warrior dads" and how brave and special they are.

In related and sad news, the CT teen, Cassandra C, who refused chemo at 17 until court ordered, has apparently developed lung tumors.

"Approximately the size of a clementine." (This is the fault of the chemo, natch.)

Thanks for the link, "Ty."

Good Herr Doktor @55

I know I've said this before but it seems worth repeating in this context: The Daily Heil/Fail has a long-standing right wing, "free" market, anti-state provision agenda and has been in the forefront of attacking (usually via factually inaccurate or incoherent stories) our public sector, most especially the NHS and education. These "heroes of alternative medicine" stories fit into their anti-NHS agenda, as they are further proof of how conventional medicine, typified by the NHS, lets people down.

It doesn't matter that the subject of this story is Australian, as it is another chip or 2 out of the credibility of conventional cancer treatment and by extension our healthcare system...

“Cannabis oil cures cancer”.

If only someone had thought to inform Bob Marley!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

I know [prn]’ve survived a long time. ( And even much more, I hope. Truly)

Echoed.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

I have doubts that the lady discussed here has adequate treatment that may reflect my ignorance on many points of her disease,

The widespread knee jerk jeering about vitamin C is part of a larger sociological problem interfering with C vitamins' correct assessment of known properties and their effective use for cancer in advantageous, adequate combinations.

For me, anyone that doesn't understand the IV vitamin C story for viruses and toxins is unprepared to discuss the cancer issue with vitamins C as partial adjuncts.

may reflect my ignorance on many points of her disease, ...and treatments.

Studies of vitamin C alone
•Intravenous (IV) vitamin C was studied in patients with breast cancer who were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The study found that patients who received IV vitamin C had better quality of life and fewer side effects than those who did not.
•A study of IV vitamin C and high doses of vitamin C taken by mouth was done in patients with cancer that could not be cured. Vitamin C was shown to be a safe and effective therapy to improve quality of life in these patients, including physical, mental, and emotional functions, symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss.
•Vitamin C has been shown to be safe when given to healthy volunteers and cancer patients at doses up to 1.5 g/kg, while screening out patients with certain risk factors who should avoid vitamin C. Studies have also shown that Vitamin C levels in the blood are higher when taken by IV than when taken by mouth, and last for more than 4 hours.

http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq#…

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit office
Special Agent in Charge David P. Gelios
477 Michigan Ave., 26th Floor
Detroit, MI 48226

OFFICIAL COMPLAINT OF SUSPICION OF ONGOING CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY, NOTIFICATION OF IMMINENT DANGER TO PUBLIC SAFETY AND A CALL FOR INVESTIGATION OF KARMANOS PERSONNEL INCLUDING DR. DAVID GORSKI

So, Jason, are you going to keep posting this in multiple threads? (I really, really hope the original comically rambling mess – complete with hopelessly broken inside addresses – was actually cc'd to the FBI and Michigan SA.)

Filing a false crime report with the FBI is a very, very serious felony. It's a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, with a stiff fine and not more than five years in federal prison.
That's not jumping the shark, it's playing with fire, while sitting on a powder keg.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Narad (not verified)

Of course he is, Wizard. In order to be a follower of the Health deRanger, you have to be weapons-grade stupid. It's in the bylaws.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Belay my last. It looks like the deRanger posted a fake letter to the FBI on his page (per Narad) and "jason" fell for it.

My comment about the weapons-grade stupid still stands.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Forgery of a federal document is also a felony, impersonation under color of law a felony as well.
Dude really wants to meet his new fiancee, Bubba.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by shay simmons (not verified)

He did send that link to the cancer center address he listed; so it wouldn't surprise me if he sent it to e-mail addresses associated with the law enforcement agencies listed.

It's insane to follow anyone blindly. This includes western medicine. Do your own research, digging as deeply as possible, instead of believing the hype. Learn how to read the research article, rather then just the abstract, and know exactly who funded that research. It's ok to do what your M.D. tells you but not what you personally research and choose for yourself? You should believe what you are being fed and disregard every other thing as "quackery"? It's ok when so many die, despite conventional treatment, but if someone chooses a different way and dies, that's not ok? It's time to open our minds, our hearts, and our inner truth and guidance. Bless those who choose a traditional path, and please also bless those that choose a new way. Reality isn't as limited as you think, unless you think it is. It's up to you.

Julianne, research when one has time to spare is fine, but one also has diagnostic windows, where after, one's treatment is deleteriously impacted.

Case in point, I presented to a new doctor, shortly after relocating, with blood pressure of 200/100, pulse of 128 and atrial flutter, with left ventricular hypertrophy. Additional findings, a pulsatile abdomen.
An ultrasound revealed aortic dilation of 2.2 cm, get around 3.5 and it's party over.
Labs revealed extremely low thyroid stimulating hormone. Secondary labs revealed free T3 and free T4 an order of magnitude higher than the highest threshold levels.

So, should I have screwed around researching all manner of non-traditional paths until my aorta ruptured or I went into congestive heart failure?
No, some research showed the most common treatment methods, my endocrinologist surprised me with a more conservative treatment of blocking thyroid function, rather than obliterating my thyroid.
I've had my beta blocker reduced from 350 mg of metoprolol to 150 mg and anticipate it being lowered again fairly soon. My pulse, courtesy of that beta blocker has remained under 100 and my atrial flutter is slowly resolving, the LVH to likely resolve over the course of months.
Time was critical, as I was rapidly decompensating and things could have sent me spiraling around the drain quite quickly.
So, I'll stick with modern, evidence based medicine. My herbal teas, for flavorful entertainment only. :)

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Julianne (not verified)

"Reality isn’t as limited as you think, unless you think it is. It’s up to you."

Reality is not something you can make up to suit your beliefs.

Therein lies insanity.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Do your own research

Just don't be gulled into thinking that "they" really are hiding The Cure for cancer.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

The shame of it is, we have cured some types of cancers and are making major advances in others.
Alas, there isn't one form of cancer, but many forms and some are difficult to treat.
Still, one wonders what will be killing us in a century?

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by shay simmons (not verified)

Do your own research, digging as deeply as possible, instead of believing the hype.

This is one of my favourites. As a researcher I can say that doing your own research takes years of training and the ability to assess the experimental design, statistical analysis and enough background knowledge to judge the basis for the conclusions. "Doing your own research" is not the same as searching Google lookin for things that agree with your existing position.

Because I am trained in the art, I sometimes do my own research, but I still listen to what my doctor has to say - because he has much more expertise and experience than I do.

So the message about "Doing your own research" in medicine is that it is one of those activities that you shouldn't try at home.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Chris, I've learned how to do my own research. Google Scholar helps, as rubbish tends to be filtered out reasonably well.
If some claim is too good to be true, it isn't likely to even be close to being true. If a claim has no physiological pathway, it's a bogus claim. If a mathematical result is claimed and no formulae are present, the work not proved, the claim should be dismissed.
I learned my way around a medical library back when computers were not networked, networking being a thing of the future. That helped me a fair amount, along with the above very general rules.
Case in point, my hyperthyroidism. Something dealing with the endocrine system, my experience is in military medicine, which largely dealt with contagious disease and plumbing leaks in the human body. So, endocrine issue are far outside of my experience base.
But, I was able to research my condition, gauge what doctor would likely say, read of odd interactions (which doctor told me about anyway) and my only surprise was doctor's choice in the course of my treatment. But, that's why I was paying extra to that doctor, her knowledge and experience and my lack of both in the field.
So, I had zero surprises, well, save for one liver enzyme test, which is only mildly elevated. As the levels are only mildly elevated, we've adopted a watchful waiting approach.
Which my research and doctor's experience fully support.
I've also taken the precaution of lowering my ethanol intake drastically, to avoid potential problems. Methimazole is a bit hard on the liver.
But, my research also has lead me to the point where my primary trusts me to titrate my beta blockers, just keeping him informed as I adjust my dosage. That trust doesn't occur in a vacuum.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Chris Preston (not verified)

Wait. Fur'real?! This blog is written by someone with no name other than "Orac" who claims to be a scientist/suregoen?

Anyone this biased (angrily sounding so) has an agenda and clearly has never experienced up close the vapid remains of a conventional cancer treatment patient. There are far far FAR and WIDE more of them, you'd have to be blind.

Informed people should not be so detested, again-unless you've got an agenda. Redick.

Wait. Fur’real?! This blog is written by someone with no name other than “Orac” who claims to be a scientist/suregoen?

Not very clever are we?

So much for doing your own research.

By Chris Preston (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

@84 Julianne

Do your own research, digging as deeply as possible, instead of believing the hype. Learn how to read the research article, rather then just the abstract, and know exactly who funded that research. It’s ok to do what your M.D. tells you but not what you personally research and choose for yourself?

The difference between the research you do on google and the what your doctor tells you to do is at least a decade of study and training. Why on earth would you assume that you could learn as much as your doctor in time for it to do you any good?

@ChrisP: someone else who has failed the Respectful Insolence intelligence test.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Filing a false crime report with the FBI is a very, very serious felony.

Yeah, but they may or may not have sent a 'complaint of suspicion'. Mikey isn't brave or stupid enough to make an actual accusation, and is hiding behind 'I think...'.

I'm sure the FBI and others will file this in their comic relief folder.

Johnny - wouldn't it be awesome if Mikey had sailed too close to the wind on some of his health claims, and an ambitious Federal prosecutor has been looking for something to nail him with?

(Yes, I have my fantasies too).

By shay simmons (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

b: "Wait. Fur’real?! This blog is written by someone with no name other than “Orac” who claims to be a scientist/suregoen?"

It is the worst kept secret on teh internets. It is never mentioned here because it is an informal intelligence test. You failed.

Well; unbelievable how many comments here that agree with this blogger Orac. Jason and madder seem to be the only devils advocates!!!! and what expertise does Orac have?
have ANY of you seen this series? the scientific research posted in respected journals like the Lancet? The MD's, scientists, putting their reputation on the line, AND their license too? And who are all ypu to judge this woman? She's only been given a 50/50 chance to live for 5 years WITH conventional treatment. Maybe she would like to live longer?After working in Medical ICU for over 30 uears, and seeing so many patients dying from side effects of chemotherapy, I am a very big skeptc of traditional treatment. Well, the series also heavely covers prevention, and prevention of a return of cancer. ALSO covers a lot in helping to alleviate side effects from chemo/radiation.
Lastly, brain washing can happen in either side of this issue, folks. Learn everything with open minds then discuss rationally.

By Toni B. RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

And here, we see why I'm deathly afraid to be hospitalized.
RN's turning their back on evidence based medicine in favor of woo - and I'd be stuck under their care.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Toni B. RN (not verified)

b
ur mamma's house

Hi, Jason Pilnt/"brian."

Toni B: "...and what expertise does Orac have?"

And someone else who failed the Respectful Insolence informal intelligence test.

Amazing; I posted but it didn't go through? Seen to many dying from effects of chemotherapy ,as a RN in Medical ICU for past 30 years. And as Chris said, who the heck are you Orac? Have you or any of your fellow bloggers seen this series? it heavily covers prevention, and prevention of returning cancers for survivors as well as alternative cancer treatments. And do you really think the MD's, scientists, and health professionals would put their reputation on the line as well as possible losing their license by telling these health truths if they didn't have evidence with the scientific literature, as well as well as there own successes?
Brain washing can occur on both sides of the fence; so keep an open mind learn about both sides of this issue before you blog.

By Toni B. RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Toni, when it comes to quackery, there's money to be made and some will sell out to make it.
As for professional licenses, may I suggest you look up former doctor Andrew Wakefield?

As for your ICU, I sincerely hope that I never screw up and end up in your woo filled ICU, as I want evidence based medicine, not woo.
Excuse me, woo and outright lies.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Toni B. RN (not verified)

Filing a false crime report with the FBI is a very, very serious felony. It’s a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, with a stiff fine and not more than five years in federal prison.

This is, by definition, not a very, very serious felony. I'm not going to go rooting around in the USSG for the offense level, but I'm guessing that conviction on a lone Category I count would basically mean "probation."

I'd have to do some digging, but I think the fine is $10k max and no more than five years in prison.
So, it's not one of the bigger felonies, like kidnapping or murder, but it's still a felony.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Narad (not verified)

Hi Wzrd1; Your comment greatly saddens me. Even the worst nurse out their, MUST follow Dr's orders, or they are fired. I have hung Chemo therapy IV bags to give this tx to my patients. I have watched their emaciated bodies blow up like balloons from the fluids we give because they are in septic shock. I have been the one to call in their loved ones to the bedside before they pass. I have held their hands and prayed with, and cried with while they are dying. I am there doing everything the Dr orders during a code blue. And always hoping that this treatment will save them! I and no nurse I know has ever turned their back on their patient. Its the nurse at the bedside who cares for you 24/7. Blessings to you.

By Toni B. RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Toni, a little hint. Look at the top of the page and a little blue icon and you will find out who Orac really is. As an ICU nurse you see patients at the end Orac sees and cares for his patients from the beginning to unfortunately a not happy ending many times. Once you find out who Orac really is, I believe, your opinion of this blog may change. Also, no where will you find that Orac or any of his minions don't believe as an adult this young lady doesn't have the right to chose her treatment. However, we do believe she is at best is gullible if not just ignorant (I didn't say stupid, just ignorant).

Perhaps people who feel uncomfortable and squirmy in the company of sick people should not pursue a career in nursing.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Herr dorky bimler and Rich Bly; don't confuse compassion and being the best nurse I can as being squirmish. Any one working in MICU can't be squirmish and practice their whole career there.
Rich; sorry didn't realize Orac was so professional. And to let you all know, I have worked with the most amazing physicians, including oncologists, who care about their patients and believe in their treatments. Personally for me, I love to learn prevention. like eating 8-10 fruits & vegies a day? How many Americans even do that?

Not I, Toni. I don't get the chance to eat that much of the good stuff. :(
Still, I eat a whale of a lot more than most of my peers do and I'm uber big on veggies.
I just have to avoid kale and other high iodine foods currently, lest it create a problem with my hyperthyroid TX. That is something I'll do my best to avoid, I nearly crapped myself when I saw the lead VI amplitude!
Fortunately, no significant rotation and the only other artifact usually sends the ECG analysis software running home to mamma with "digitalis effect", courtesy of "Salvadore Dali's mustache", which was caused by a heat stroke.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Tonib RN (not verified)

Toni B: "And as Chris said, who the heck are you Orac? "

Reading comprehension fail. You failed the informal intelligence test on this site: mainly to figure out the worst kept "secret" on teh internets. Have you heard of this thing called "Google"?

Also, Toni B, who seems to someone pretending to be an RN: I have met Orac in person, I know exactly who he is.

Wzrd1@99 (or so I hope it's #99),

I have on my bookshelf two issues of physicians leadership journal which I read passionately to learn the chops required to run an hospital or a chain. This the reason why ;)

Call me a fool but if I fail, I'll learn from it.

Al

Alain, I learned by business equations during CISSP training, which then got thrown rapidly into use protecting DoD assets. :)
Of course, the next disaster that hit us had no contingency, a flood in the desert, after a water pipe ruptured and filled the manholes with the telephone and network cabling/optical fibers.
Who'd have prepared for a flood in the desert? :/
That flood bit us again a week after, when a transformer failed and the standby generator, a week from the monthly test, refused to start. The flooding displaced the fuel in the underground tank.
Once power was restored, the SL-100 switch took 8 hours to boot up and the theater crypto, 12 hours to rekey. Oh well, we got our incident response plans tested.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Alain (not verified)

BTW, MICU is bad enough, but the place that eats professionals for lunch is NICU. I saw them go through quite a few doctors and nurses at TUH.
We're fortunate in this country, we're not accustomed to bad things happening to our children. Developing nations can't say that, although most would love to be able to truthfully say so as well.

And who are you Chris? I have NEVER met Orac but accept who he is at face value. As to pretending, you seem to enjoy lashing out and getting off the subject. I would be happy to meet you and talk rationally, not sling mud. I wouldn't stoop to that level. Oh and I could show you my RN license.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Wzrd1,

Path lab, after NICU that is, must be a hell of a strain too.

Alain

Toni,

A quick test for you: at my last surgery (ruptured appendix), during the time I was recovering with a nasogastric tube, after removal of the self injection pump for painkillers, the nurses were adamant about giving me oral dilaudid instead of the syringe ones (with the exception of the night shift nurse who always used the injectable one). I specify three times to use the injectable method because there is a loss of efficiency in the oral form; caveat: while I have the nasogastric tube. Why did I had to ask the surgeon to ensure I have the injectable one? How would you act when faced with such a request (also, consider the drug addiction angle)? Do what the patient ask or decide using clinical judgement in the absence of surgeons order?

Alain

So, it’s not one of the bigger felonies, like kidnapping or murder

Murder isn't really a federal crime, and kidnapping is limited.

but it’s still a felony.

Enough to prevent him from owning a firearm anytime soon, in all likelihood, which sting to his persona would probably cause him to accumulate more adipose tissue.

@ shay re:96 or thereabouts

Yeah, I agree, but as long as Mikey has the quack Meranda warning in his T&Cs, I suspect he's covered.

I wouldn't be surprised if he has a lawyer on call to make sure he stays just this side of trouble.

Wzrd1; yes the NICU is hard. But worst for me is burn unit. Especially the children that are there! That unit has the highest turn over of nursees. This is at UCDMC, and am very proud to be part of this amazing, all RN, research hospital

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Hi Allan; first of all the physician had to order both the injection and oral dose, at RN's discretion. Yes it can be very addictive, but not for short term hospital use after surgery. An NG tube allows RN to give med down tube. During day we don't like to over sedate, so pt can get up and moving. At night, sleep is SO important, so being pain free a must. Smart night nurse. This is what I'd do; ask what your pain level is; how low is it with oral dose vs injection AND also Ck nurses notes to see pain med effect.,that being said, I always want my pts as comfortable as possible. You CAN NOT heal well in the presence of pain, proven fact scientifically, do to stress etc, so I'd give you what you asked for, the injection. If that over sedates, chart that, and decrease next injection, if range is ordered. Dr would do that anyway if saw over sedation.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Hi Allan; first of all praise God you lived after rupture appendix! Ok so the the physician had to order both the injection and oral dose, at RN's discretion. Yes it can be very addictive, but not for short term hospital use after surgery. An NG tube allows RN to give med down tube. During day we don't like to over sedate, so pt can get up and moving. At night, sleep is SO important, so being pain free a must. Smart night nurse. This is what I'd do; ask what your pain level is; how low is it with oral dose vs injection AND also Ck nurses notes to see pain med effect.,that being said, I always want my pts as comfortable as possible. You CAN NOT heal well in the presence of pain, proven fact scientifically, do to stress etc, so I'd give you what you asked for, the injection; us ring clinical judgement. If that over sedates, chart that, and decrease next injection, if range is ordered. Dr would do that anyway if saw over sedation.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a lawyer on call to make sure he stays just this side of trouble.

For bumptious litigation purposes, Adams relies on the team of Emord Associates, Censorious Asshats-at-Law (they specialise in furthering the interests of supplements scammers and lobbying for the abolition of regulatory authorities).

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a lawyer on call to make sure he stays just this side of trouble.

"Notably, we are also likely to be threatened with legal action by Dr. Gorski, who will almost certainly attempt to silence us, intimidate us or possibly even attempt to cause us personal harm through a variety of nefarious and criminal means that are consistent with his verbal attacks and pathological personality. We are taking prudent steps to protect our legal rights under the First Amendment and to protect our persons from physical harm through all legal means available to us under established law."

Wzrd: As for your ICU, I sincerely hope that I never screw up and end up in your woo filled ICU, as I want evidence based medicine, not woo.
Excuse me, woo and outright lies.

If my mom weren't a nurse, I'd have given up on the field years ago. A lot of them seem to have forgotten everything they ever learned, and it's a mystery why they ever wanted to be nurses in the first place. I think it comes back to what I said earlier- women tend to use feelings in place of facts. You don't see male nurses going this far off the rails, though a few do just straight up lose it and start offing their patients.

Toni: So, I'm guessing your degree came in the mail? When did your brain evaporate, when you started going to church?

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Politicalguineapig, our eldest daughter is an RN and uses her mind, we drummed that into her and her sister from an early age.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Politicalguineapig (not verified)

I've got to stop overlooking this in blockquotes. Again,

I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a lawyer on call to make sure he stays just this side of trouble.

"Notably, we are also likely to be threatened with legal action by [Dr. G——], who will almost certainly attempt to silence us, intimidate us or possibly even attempt to cause us personal harm through a variety of nefarious and criminal means that are consistent with his verbal attacks and pathological personality. We are taking prudent steps to protect our legal rights under the First Amendment and to protect our persons from physical harm through all legal means available to us under established law."

Though Mom does have a few odd beliefs-she made me try biofeedback and acupuncture, and baby sis had feverfew for her migraines.(I understand that at least, sis had migraines once a month until she hit puberty and they'd lay her out flat for a day. Me, I was just difficult.)
But at least she's more or less on the side of science, even though I think her beliefs are a bit squishy.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

I can tell from the grammar, punctuation, cited references and vocabulary, etc. that most of those contributing to the discussion on this board are highly educated, medical practitioners: doctors, nurses etc etc. I am your ordinary John Doe who was diagnosed with colon cancer back in 2008; I am cancer free as of today, but tomorrow ??.

I have a few questions for those of you who poo poo alternative cancer treatments and brand those who provide such treatments as "quacks" (yes there are quacks in all endeavors of life and plenty of them too).

a: If your standard of care delivers the goods, why will any sane person seek alternative treatment.

b: So, Wzrd1, by saying that "she chose stupidly and will most probably die" are you implying that she probably will live if she wisely chose the standard of care?

c: Dr RJM: "They trust and believe mainstream medicine to *diagnose* their cancer, but when it comes to *treatment*, they reject it". Pardon me, but are diagnosis and treatment not mutually exclusive, or are they joined at the hips? You are being too defensive.

I have called out Wzrd1 and Dr RJM to illustrate the close-minded attitude of our cancer care providers to alternative cancer treatment. It is your way or the highway. All we "cancernoids" (ie. persons diagnosed with cancer....do not look the word up, I just coined it) want is any means that can rid us of this dreadfull deasese, whether a combination of chemo, surgery, nutrition, or whatever. See the photographs of Steve Jobs or Phara Faucet Majors for what the "standard of care" does to us. And please let us not compare cost,survival rate or quality of life. How do you rebuild the cells that are damaged by chemo; what foods do you eat and how often do you eat them. I will encourage you all to read "Anti Cancer A New Way of Life" by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD and see how he complemented the conventional therapy of his brain tumor with nutrition and supplements. Several roads lead to Rome; it does not matter which roads or combination of roads we use to get there.

My husband and I just finished watching all 9 episodes of the latest version of the Truth About Cancer series. It was amazing how easily we were taken in. First episode, demonize big pharma and the medical profession. Next, mix in a generous sprinkling of the name of God, give Him credit for inventing natural cures, and plenty of anecdotes of people who prayed and then woo'ed over to the stove to cook up some ginger and hot chili pepper potion. There's more to this than ignorance, there's something really spooky about it. Glad to find rational discussion, like a much needed slap in the face.

By Nancy Hollo (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Wzrd1; yes the NICU is hard. But worst for me is burn unit. Especially the children that are there! That unit has the highest turn over of nurses. This is at UCDMC, and am very proud to be part of this amazing, all RN, research hospital.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

they specialise in furthering the interests of supplements scammers and lobbying for the abolition of regulatory authorities

Emord & Associates didn't seem to fare too well for client ECM BioFilms.

Politicalguineapig WOW!!!! Another comment, mud slinging instead of staying on the subject! YES, women in general are more apt to show emotions, be more caring etc then men. That's why we are mothers! And would men want us any other way? to be like them? I think not! I work with male nurses too. They are more detached in general, but stop stereotyping, and being so prejudice!!! I don't get attached to every patient. But many I do. It never interferes with my judgement or expertise in my nursing care. And as I told Chris, happy to meet with you, and talk rationally, not sling mud. And show you my RN license from the state of CA.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Politicalguineapig WOW!!!! Another comment, mud slinging instead of staying on the subject! YES, women in general are more apt to show emotions, be more caring etc then men. That's why we are mothers! (But men can be just as good too, right?) And would men want us any other way? to be like them? I think not! I work with male nurses too. They are more detached in general, but stop stereotyping, and being so prejudice!!! I don't get attached to every patient. But many I do. It never interferes with my judgement or expertise in my nursing care. And as I told Chris, happy to meet with you, and talk rationally, not sling mud. And show you my RN license from the state of CA.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Eesh. Rense?

"Dedication. Tenacity. Perseverence."
"Courage. Stamina. Persistence."

I.e., "fees."

"Conviction. Honesty. Creativity."

Not the way these three-word slogan are playing out.

"Zeal. Intelligence. Compassion."
"Integrity. Commitment. Loyalty."

I leave the floor open.

SOOOO back to the subject!!!! Cancer diagnosis is now up to 1 in 2; when Nixon signed the war against cancer act in 1971, I believe it was 1 in 20. We poor MILLIONS of dollars into cancer research and we are getting worse! Yes chemotherapy has greatly improved with less side effects then 40 years ago; but 50% of us will get cancer? Why are you all so against looking outside the box, and throwing the baby out with the bath water? Like PREVENTION? Preventing return of cancer? Alleviating chemo/radiation side effects? No one is answering these, my earlier questions. Also ? WHY would MD's etc put there practice and license on the line with alternative practices?

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 20 Apr 2016 #permalink

Toni, it's odd that the CDC doesn't see your mythical 1:2 cancer rate. Indeed, it's odd that half of my street here isn't in cancer treatment!
http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/state.htm
Those intervals are much, much lower than 1:2.

As for burn wards and children, yeah, our daughter spoke of that experience, she hated it and loved to help.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Toni b RN (not verified)

(Raises hand) If Toni is an RN, then I am very ashamed of my profession and need Orac's paper bag to hide under. Nurses are not "forced" to follow doctor's orders if there is reason to expect harm to the patient. That's why you went to school, for pete's sake - to freakin' LEARN TO USE YOUR BRAIN!!! You have EVERY RIGHT and EVERY EXPECTATION that an order should be quesioned if it seems wrong.

Toni: I'm really glad you aren't a nurse on the east coast. I would absolutely HATE to be in your ICU. One of the worst things for a patient is to know they can't trust their nurses.

To my fellow minions (and yes, because there are people who will immediately jump to "pharma shill, let me just point out to them that it's an affectionate joke between the frequent commenters): my apologies for all the shouting above. It really peeves me to see nurses lie so blatently. And, as my youngest prepares to go to nursing school, I will make sure she doesn't fall into this pile of malarkey.

Oh good. Toni: do some research. Have you heard of such things as "improved diagnostic tests" and "lead time" and "additional cancer screening"? When Nixon was president, we didn't have women undergoing annual mammograms. You didn't have screening colonoscopies, or MRI machines or PET scans. You didn't have all the DNA testing we can do now. If you are old enough to remember Nixon as president, as I am, then you can recall your classmates getting measles, mumps, and rubella, chicken pox, and other diseases.
And you might remember such things as the "ret*rd room" where any child who didn't fit into the normal boxes was places. And you might remember the kids in your classes who were just "weird" or "scary" or "dangerous" who now would have diagnoses and help for their ASD or autism.

This blog is written by a cancer surgeon, with a PhD. He probably has done more research and READ more research in the past 6 months than you've done in your life. Many of us are medical professionals, or other professionals who know how to read and interpret research. We don't believe in woo because it hasn't been shown to work when tested honestly.

Don't bring a plastic knife to a gunfight, dearie. You'll lose.

Jaja @ #130:

"c: Dr RJM: “They trust and believe mainstream medicine to *diagnose* their cancer, but when it comes to *treatment*, they reject it”. Pardon me, but are diagnosis and treatment not mutually exclusive, or are they joined at the hips? You are being too defensive."

What on earth are you talking about? Diagnosis and treatment are intimately, inextricably entwined. As a clinician and a pathologist, I do both, every day. Every competent healthcare practitioner knows this. sCAM artists do not understand the diagnostic process, and their treatments are essentially based on absurd beliefs rather than science and evidence.

Is that all you've got?

Denice@54
I've assembled several categories of chemistry, additively.
It would be long, controversial and personal.
1. the 1990s Japanese 5FU based CRC chemo regimen, slightly updated
2. various Life Extension GI cancer recommendations with adjustments and trimmings
3. maybe a dozen other nutrients, in perhaps excessive amounts, in critical eyes

Maybe the most notoriously excessive being IV vitamins C. Maybe not.

@Toni b RN #137

Why are you all so against looking outside the box, and throwing the baby out with the bath water? Like PREVENTION? Preventing return of cancer? Alleviating chemo/radiation side effects?

Hum, the article above criticizes completely replacing standard of care with alternatives, not what you describe. Regulars of this blog are not as against what you are talking about now as you seem to think.
For example, cancer prevention is pretty mainstream ; it will never be 100% effective, but this kind of advice lowers your cancer risks : http://cancer-code-europe.iarc.fr/index.php/en/ecac-12-ways
You can also say that cannabis oil doesn't cure cancer by itself (as so many like to claim), but acknowledge that some cannabiniod alleviate chemo side effects ; it will not be that controversial here.

"I can tell from the grammar, punctuation, cited references and vocabulary, etc. that most of those contributing to the discussion on this board are highly educated, medical practitioners: doctors, nurses etc etc."

You'd never know it from Toni's posts.

"Why are you all so against looking outside the box, and throwing the baby out with the bath water?"

Don't be so quick to throw evidence-based medicine under the bus. Chemo and radiation are selling like hotcakes, and besides, there is no "I" in "team".

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

If medical schools would begin teaching nutrition and doctors were to discuss and recommend diet changes with their patients it might disarm the critics who say they have a claim on the truth. Which poses a question - why don't people like Ty Bollinger try to educate the oncologists and surgeons instead of taking the adversarial approach?

By Nancy Hollo (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Nancy Hollo

That is assuming that they don't already. "Eat better" and "Get more exercise" is something people get told by their doctors all the time.

@Nancy Hollo: medical schools DO teach nutrition. It's generally a single course, then, mixed in with every clinical course they take. Ask any MD/DO about the nutritional discussions in a hospital about caring for patients, and how diets vary according to patient need.

And every doctor I've seen has discussed diet with me, or (in my case) recommended talking with a registered dietician to improve diet. Doctors don't have the time to go over all the ins and outs. But every RD I've seen has spent time discussing diet choices and how to improve my diet.

Medical school curriculum commonly covers nutrition. This may include dedicated courses. For example:

http://med.stanford.edu/nutrition/stanford_nutrition/NAA/courses.html

Nutrition and diseases caused by/affected by nutritional deficiences are also covered in other pre-clinical coursework and clinical training, including physiology, biochemistry, pathology and clinical rotations.

People like Ty Bollinger are either unaware of this, or more likely ignore it in order to make money selling useless books, videos and supplements.

"Doctors don't know anything about nutrition" really means "Doctors don't buy into my nonsensical woo".

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Nancy Hollo:

Whoever told you that medical students don't learn nutrition lied to you. Please remember that deception the next time they try to convince you of something, because they're probably after your money.

I'd like to know where the fans of alt-med keep this hive of doctors who don't "discuss and recommend diet changes with their patients." I have never heard of any doctor who actually spends time in direct patient contact who routinely omits that topic, and reading years of comments by non-altie commenters here and at other blogs hasn't turned any up, either. But the alties regularly assure us that they're ubiquitous.

Do you keep them in an underground bunker, or something? Think about trying one of the regular (free-range!) doctors that the rest of us see. Our doctors talk about diet and exercise all the time. Maybe those poor doctors trapped in the bunker really are trying to kill you slowly with incomplete medical advice.

Toni b: "And who are you Chris?"

Someone who first encountered Orac on a couple of newsgroups on UseNet over a decade ago, and met him a few years ago at TAM 9 (The Amazing Meeting). I am also someone who knows how to use Google, and have figured out how to see and click on links.

You seemed to someone pretending to be something else. Especially if you think Ty Bollinger is qualified for anything other than finding ways to empty wallets of very sick people.

If...doctors were to discuss and recommend nag me about diet changes

Happens all the time. Perhaps my doctor didn't get the word.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Nancy hollo: Personally, I think ginger and chile is grand, in a stirfry. I'm a big fan of capsacin, taken internally.

NH:why don’t people like Ty Bollinger try to educate the oncologists and surgeons instead of taking the adversarial approach?

Because people like Bollinger would be the ones getting schooled instead, and they know it.

ToniRN: your comment pretty much makes my point for me. Emotions make women gullible and gum up the brain. Men tend to turn off their emotions more easily, because they have figured out emotions are a weakness. They prefer women weak and easier to exploit. It's past time women wised up.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Pgp: and you just make the rest of us look bad with your global generalizations about men and women. Would you PLEASE stop it? You've been asked before.

Hi Dawn; yes you are right we aren't forced to follow Dr's orders. My point was you couldn't turn your back on a pt and not administer standard of care, as Wzrd1 stated on comment #99. I have refused orders when contraindicated, but go up chain of command to have order changed. You also seem to want to judge my character and intelligence as an RN. Again, I don't need to critique you or others here, just stay on subject. Obviously you and others are angry people. Yikes!!! And how would you treat a patient who was asking about alternative care? BTW, yes I and other kids got all those childhood diseases, and now have lifetime iminuity (except shingles, possibly). AND I'm not against vaccinations!!!!!
We will just have to agree to disagree, if you think you can handle that without another shouting match.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Yes Pgp, you are stereotyping AGAIN!!!! As a medical professional working with female RN's and physicians, they are just as professional as their make counterparts. You are sexist, period. Go away.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Male not make, of course. I apologize for my typo errors. Going to fast

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Toni B

" I thought I did everything right. "

Those were the words my wife uttered immediately after a CT scan showed lesions on her liver, lung and bone. See, after she endured surgery, chemo and rad, my wife became vegan, juiced and took supplements to ward off recurrence. She passed very soon after.

Conventional, SBM gave my wife five very good years, which she lived to the fullest. It's taken me couple of years to accept this, but she was just unlucky. My MIL was lucky. Still alive 16 years on. What you suggest...alternative...does not work. At. All.

@Toni b RN: Well, first I'd ask them what they wanted to do, and what they expected to get from it. If it's something they want to try along side standard treatment, we'd need to discuss interactions. If they want to avoid standard of care for something, we'd need to talk about what the pros and cons are. Honestly, I think an adult has the choice to not seek out standard care. But then they don't get to demonize it, and they don't get to blame it when things don't work the way they expected them to.

If you notice, no one blames the alternative medicine when someone dies. They blame the patient - they should have started "X" sooner, not done "Y", should have gone to "A" and "B".

I definitely would want to see peer-reviewed studies or be assured of lack of harm. I'm not against alternates. I used herbal ointment (comfrey in a fat base) for my children for diaper rash. It worked better comparatively than the commercial white stuff, and was much easier to wipe off. But I knew what was in it, and if it hadn't worked, I would have looked for a better treatment. And that's only an n=2, and I'd never tell someone that my choice is what everyone's choice should be.

I'm always willing to test. When I had breast surgery, my doctor offered me arnica homeopathic pills to decrease bruising. My comment to him was, if I could do a controlled trial (one side bruises, the other doesn't) on myself, I'd take them. But since if I took them, I wouldn't know if it was the arnica or my own body if I didn't bruise, I didn't figure it was worth it. (For the record - no bruising, but one heck of a gawdawful rash from the steri-strips after 5 days).

@PGP, you're making a common error of confusing the expression of emotion with the possession of emotion. Just because it's more socially acceptable for women to express emotions, doesn't mean they are more emotional. In most of Western society, men are socialized not to show their emotions. All they're turing off is the expression. It's doesn't mean they don't have them. It doesn't mean their emotions don't occasionally gum up their brains. Men and women are not nearly so different as you seem to think.

I'm going to go watch a movie where something blows up now (my favorite kind!).

Jaja thank you and ditto!

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

MI Dawn thank you, well said. I never talk to pts about alternatives unless they ask, and WOULD NEVER suggest to stop their cancer treatment.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Still, I don't understand why SO MANY MD's whould risk jail time and losing their license by going to alternative treatments. In CA only surgery, chemo and radiation are allowed for cancer; anything else is against the law. And in all states I'm sure. Yet there are MD's here who are doing just that

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Chris I am not a google expert. I have expertise (37 years) in nursing.
Not advocating anyone to buy Ty Bollinger's series. It was FREE on the Internet, and as I enjoy learning ALL about health, I listened to it. And because I also always look at both sides of issues, I googled "Ty Bollinger quackery". I found you. I'm glad I did.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

See the photographs of Steve Jobs or Phara Faucet Majors [sic] for what the “standard of care” does to us.

If you had done your homework, you would have found that both Jobs and Fawcett did employ "alternative" treatments.

Toni b RN, have you actually watched the entire series? My husband and I did this week. It's pure propaganda. Those in conventional medicine are demonized. No opposing viewpoints are introduced. There were frequent film clips of Nazi soldiers and officers to demonize conventional medicine and portray them as the dark side. There are frequent shots of Ty and his beautiful family in slow mo, bathed in light and slightly blurred as a contrast to underscore a battle of dark vs. light. God's name is used to endorse natural cures and cancer sufferers who followed intuition vs. evidence were touted as examples of victorious lightworkers. It borders on occult.

By Nancy Hollo (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Toni: " In CA only surgery, chemo and radiation are allowed for cancer; anything else is against the law. And in all states I’m sure."

It's hard to believe that any RN, much less one that works at a research facility, would make such a claim.

I encourage you to look into other, widely used and completely legal cancer treatments that do not fit any of those categories. For instance, targeted therapies that involve hormonal treatments, monoclonal antibodies to deliver cytotoxic molecules to cancer cells, drugs that affect specific molecular targets, immunotherapies etc. Herceptin (for some breast and stomach cancers) is an obvious example, but there are many more, which cannot be categorized as "chemotherapy".

Adenocarcinoma of the stomach or gastroesophageal junction: Trastuzumab (Herceptin®), ramucirumab (Cyramza®)

Basal cell carcinoma: Vismodegib (Erivedge®), sonidegib (Odomzo®)

Brain cancer: Bevacizumab (Avastin®), everolimus (Afinitor®)

Breast cancer: Everolimus (Afinitor®), tamoxifen (Nolvadex), toremifene (Fareston®), Trastuzumab (Herceptin®), fulvestrant (Faslodex®), anastrozole (Arimidex®), exemestane (Aromasin®), lapatinib (Tykerb®), letrozole (Femara®), pertuzumab (Perjeta®), ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla®), palbociclib (Ibrance®)

Cervical cancer: Bevacizumab (Avastin®)

Colorectal cancer: Cetuximab (Erbitux®), panitumumab (Vectibix®), bevacizumab (Avastin®), ziv-aflibercept (Zaltrap®), regorafenib (Stivarga®), ramucirumab (Cyramza®)

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans: Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®)

Endocrine/neuroendocrine tumors: Lanreotide acetate (Somatuline® Depot)

Head and neck cancer: Cetuximab (Erbitux®)

Gastrointestinal stromal tumor: Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®), sunitinib (Sutent®), regorafenib (Stivarga®)

Giant cell tumor of the bone: Denosumab (Xgeva®)

Kaposi sarcoma: Alitretinoin (Panretin®)

Kidney cancer: Bevacizumab (Avastin®), sorafenib (Nexavar®), sunitinib (Sutent®), pazopanib (Votrient®), temsirolimus (Torisel®), everolimus (Afinitor®), axitinib (Inlyta®), nivolumab (Opdivo®)

Leukemia: Tretinoin (Vesanoid®), imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®), dasatinib (Sprycel®), nilotinib (Tasigna®), bosutinib (Bosulif®), rituximab (Rituxan®), alemtuzumab (Campath®), ofatumumab (Arzerra®), obinutuzumab (Gazyva®), ibrutinib (Imbruvica®), idelalisib (Zydelig®), blinatumomab (Blincyto®)

Liver cancer: Sorafenib (Nexavar®)

Lung cancer: Bevacizumab (Avastin®), crizotinib (Xalkori®), erlotinib (Tarceva®), gefitinib (Iressa®), afatinib dimaleate (Gilotrif®), ceritinib (LDK378/Zykadia™), ramucirumab (Cyramza®), nivolumab (Opdivo®), pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), osimertinib (Tagrisso™), necitumumab (Portrazza™), alectinib (Alecensa®)

Lymphoma: Ibritumomab tiuxetan (Zevalin®), denileukin diftitox (Ontak®), brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris®), rituximab (Rituxan®), vorinostat (Zolinza®), romidepsin (Istodax®), bexarotene (Targretin®), bortezomib (Velcade®), pralatrexate (Folotyn®), ibrutinib (Imbruvica®), siltuximab (Sylvant®), idelalisib (Zydelig®), belinostat (Beleodaq®), obinutuzumab (Gazyva®)

Melanoma: Ipilimumab (Yervoy®), vemurafenib (Zelboraf®), trametinib (Mekinist®), dabrafenib (Tafinlar®), pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), nivolumab (Opdivo®), cobimetinib (Cotellic™)

Multiple myeloma: Bortezomib (Velcade®), carfilzomib (Kyprolis®), panobinostat (Farydak®), daratumumab (Darzalex™), ixazomib citrate (Ninlaro®), elotuzumab (Empliciti™)

Myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative disorders: Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®), ruxolitinib phosphate (Jakafi®)

Neuroblastoma: Dinutuximab (Unituxin™)

Ovarian epithelial/fallopian tube/primary peritoneal cancers: Bevacizumab (Avastin®), olaparib (Lynparza™)

Pancreatic cancer: Erlotinib (Tarceva®), everolimus (Afinitor®), sunitinib (Sutent®)

Prostate cancer: Cabazitaxel (Jevtana®), enzalutamide (Xtandi®), abiraterone acetate (Zytiga®), radium 223 dichloride (Xofigo®)

Soft tissue sarcoma: Pazopanib (Votrient®)

Systemic mastocytosis: Imatinib mesylate (Gleevec®)

Thyroid cancer: Cabozantinib (Cometriq®), vandetanib (Caprelsa®), sorafenib (Nexavar®), lenvatinib mesylate (Lenvima®)

http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/types/targeted-therapies/t…

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In CA only surgery, chemo and radiation are allowed for cancer; anything else is against the law. And in all states I’m sure.

Which law would that be?

Dangerous bacon and Narad;
I'm not an oncology nurse or in research, so did not know of many of these treatments. All FDA approved. I have heard of some of them, yes. I stand corrected. My point was any other treatment not FDA approved or under research grants from FDA is against the law. Still, no answer to my question; why would MD risk so much using alternatives???????

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

My point was any other treatment not FDA approved or under research grants from FDA is against the law.

And you're still wrong.

Still, no answer to my question; why would MD risk so much using alternatives???????

See above, no risk and more $$$.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Toni @ 168: "why would MD risk so much using alternatives???????"

Let me help: Money. It's all about the money.

Opus Can't be; no Dr I know whould risk so much for money.

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

I think I'm done here. By to all of you. Stay healthy

By Toni b RN (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Can’t be; no Dr I know whould (sic) risk so much for money.
See: Burzynski, Stanislaw

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Still, no answer to my question; why would MD risk so much using alternatives???????

I'm sure money enters into it (check out the estates of Mercola and Burzynski), but also the ego-boost of being a rebel. Also,how about a 9 to 5 cash only practice with no on-call duties? You don't see altie MDs in the ICU or Emerg at 2 o'clock in the morning.

Chris: Because they don’t work. If they did work they would not be “alternative.”
Biologically based tx are often alternative because they don't have sufficient "scientific" testing including RCTs and some approval or consensus, whether they work (if eventually demonstrated) or not, or are "disproved".

What is interesting it that some supplements decried in the US as alternative are approved in other jurisdictions like in Asian countries with varying corpus of tests and RCT. Mushroom extracts including PSK for cancer, serrapeptase for inflammation, CoQ10 for cardiology and vitamin K2 for liver cancer and osteoporosis come to mind.

Vitamin D intakes long decried as "alternative" or even "toxic", say 5000-10,000 iu D3 per day (vs 200 iu D2 until ca 2000), are now show to be utterly necessary and safe for substantial groups of population to achieve basic blood levels.

Much nutrition is just beginning to come into sight as experimental subjects despite clear preliminary indications decades ago. Much nutrition remains "alternative" in the dark, untested or incredibly poorly tested, because some medical groups have their heads so far up their behinds.

Our host likes to remove nutrition from alternative but then rants on about vitamin C. Therapeutic nutrition is often unsettled by orders of magnitude for a given component, and "disproofs" sometimes seem better measures of (lack of) medical intelligence and scientific sophistication. In any case, many nutrient tx will get tossed in many US hospitals, along with the patient or provider.

Toni b:

If no doctor you know would do such things, that's encouraging: it means that there are fewer doctors promoting nonsense for the sake of their bank accounts than I sometimes suspect. The thing is, neither medical school nor any other professional school is guaranteed to make an unethical person ethical. Courses in professional ethics are useful, but knowing what they should do won't always make someone do it.

PGP does not speak for Orac or most of the commenters here; among other things, most of us are fed up with her victim-blaming.

If I may sum up Toni's line of piffle:

1. Any form of treatment other than surgery or chemo or radiotherapy is illegal. She's a nurse, she wouldn't make that up!

2. Yet a great number of doctors and clinics are making a sh1tton of money by offering alternative / holistic / integrative / functional medicine, and not getting arrested or deregistered.

3. They would not be making a sh1tton of money and running this non-existent risk of being arrested unless they believed that their alternative / integrative therapies worked. Therefore they work. Did I mention the money?

4. Here is a freshly-made-up lie about the prevalence of cancer, but it's a number, so it must be true. Did she mention that she's a nurse?
-----------------
I don't think she really came here for the hunting.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

One combats rectally procured numbers with real numbers.
Such as my link to the CDC state by state cancer prevalence site. Interestingly enough, the latest numbers are from 2012, so her recent dates are also rectally procured dates.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by herr doktor bimler (not verified)

They would not be making a sh1tton of money and running this non-existent risk of being arrested unless they believed that their alternative / integrative therapies worked. Therefore they work.

This tedious drumbeat also emanates from homeopathic cheerleader Roslyn Ross.

Toni @ 106:
I have hung Chemo therapy IV bags to give this tx to my patients. I have watched their emaciated bodies blow up like balloons from the fluids we give because they are in septic shock. I have been the one to call in their loved ones to the bedside before they pass.

Toni @169:
I’m not an oncology nurse

Repeated without comment.

... I've known a number of real oncology nurses, in the course of my mis-spent youth (what can I say? Poor life choices, bad choice of companions), and reassuringly, most of them are not disgusted by and obsessed with the unhealthy appearance of their patients.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Toni b: "Chris I am not a google expert. I have expertise (37 years) in nursing"

And on her first comment: "... what expertise does Orac have?"

Hmmm... Click here, really, just click right here!

Right now I really miss lilady. She would have had lots of fun with Toni the RN.

Toni @163 and Dangerous Bacon @167:
There are also real, actual immunotherapies for cancer as well. Not fake, woo 'immunotherapy', but the real stuff. There's one for prostate cancer (Provenge) that was the first true immunotherapy to get FDA approval. It uses the patient's own cells. You don't get any less "surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy" than that!

And then there are all the other immunotherapies, biologics and other treatments currently undergoing trials. Many of them created by the many, many biotechs and pharma companies in the Bay Area, just a few hours' drive from Sacramento.

"Illegal in California" my aunt Nora.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Right now I really miss lilady.

Don't we all.

By palindrom (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

MI Dawn@154,

Pgp never learned the meaning and implications of poker face, just about anyone can do it but it's a pain in the @ss for autistics and maybe other dx. The drain it takes on a person can be awful.

Alain

ToniB. RN:We will just have to agree to disagree, if you think you can handle that without another shouting match.

From what I've seen Dawn has been more polite than you deserve. You're the one who's shouting. And I really wouldn't trust you to assess anyone else's professionalism., especially since you're so two-faced in your comments and interaction with your patients and the doctors you work with.

Meg: Just because it’s more socially acceptable for women to express emotions, doesn’t mean they are more emotional. In most of Western society, men are socialized not to show their emotions.

Frankly, I think it should be less socially acceptable for anyone to express emotions. Women can't achieve equality unless they're as ruthless as men are. That includes tamping down the inclination toward woo.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

Poor life choices, bad choice of companions

I'm occasionally inclined to invoke Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School, even though the only song I much care for from the album is "Bill Lee."

Alain: Actually, I understand poker face quite well, thanks. It's a survival skill on cross-town after-midnight bus rides. If my face changes so much as a millimeter, I know that at best, I'd be murdered.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

I got more useful information from scanning these comments than in 9 episodes of TTAC.

By Nancy Hollo (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

PGP,

That's right but also a very, strike that, extremely simple explanation to the underlying phenomenon.

Alain

I got more useful information from scanning these comments than in 9 episodes of TTAC.

I don't know what "TTAC" is, but I do know that "scan" means the opposite of its common invocations, much like "officious," except that it's not really a case of a shortage of words.

If my face changes so much as a millimeter, I know that at best, I’d be murdered.

Dayum, I'd rather pound my balls flat than live with you Yankees in a city, where people are murdered, or worse, for moving a facial muscle. No wonder PGP hates people.

@ken, instructions from my endocrinologist. Taking a thyroid hormone blocker now, add kale to that and I'd go seriously hypothyroid. :/
It's a shame, it was high on my list of things to try (I love green, leafy veggies).
Oh well, it's only for a year or so. I'm also holding off on shrimp and crab, both of which I love.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by ken (not verified)

#198 So thankful for SBM. My father died from complications of untreated hyperthyroidism in 1960. Advances in treatment have allowed 2 cousins in their 40's to live a normal life.

@ken, I was astounded by the number of drugs recently made available to treat hyperthyroidism. The one I'm taking, methimazole, was introduced in 2007, if memory serves me correctly.
I got fairly close though, my abdominal aorta is dilated by 2.2 cm, I have left ventricular hypertrophy and the atrial flutter is slowly resolving.
Still, it fills me with wonder over all of the treatments that we have today and greater wonder of what is yet to come!

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by ken (not verified)

Johnny: Public transit is dangerous everywhere in the world. In India,a woman was murdered for getting on a bus at the wrong time.So, it isn't a Yank thing, it's being visibly female in public.
And I don't hate all people. I just usually hate the demographic that's being stupid in public or making my life difficult.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

@pgp, the US does have a rather singular distinction where one can be gunned down in the streets, either by police or a criminal.
Our income disparity helps create an environment where crime is extremely violent and common.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Politicalguineapig (not verified)

@Politicalguineapig

Men tend to turn off their emotions more easily, because they have figured out emotions are a weakness

That's a half truth. Nobody can turn off their emotions - unless you're a psycopath or somesuch. Men are taught and pushed towards supressing and hiding their emotions, but they are still there. It is one of the leading causes of emotional turmoil in boys and men, sadly.

Personally, I'd say girls and women are pushed towards being too emotional, whereas boys and men are pushed towards being emotionless. Both are enforcing gender sterotypes and both are damaging in the end...

Amethyst, there is another mode, a more sociopathic mode used by EMS workers and ED staff.
A setting aside another human's problems while one works one's best to preserve their lives and function. One learns that or one rapidly mentally collapses and finds a different line of work.
Of course, when something occurs to break through that artifice, mental problems are likely.
It isn't being tough, it's learning to not make one's patient's problems one's own, doing what is necessary and ignoring empathy as much as is possible.
Interestingly, both male and female EMS and ED workers acquire that trait, in about equal numbers.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Amethyst (not verified)

Interestingly, both male and female EMS and ED workers acquire that trait, in about equal numbers.

That does not surprise me at all, since I believe that the "women are more emotional"-trope is pure bovine droppings. Emotions are a human trait (some would even argue that it is a mammalian trait), not a male or female trait.

Amethyst, you're reaching a bit there.
Whoever said I was human? I've had many a Private insist that I wasn't human at all and it took around $50k to prove that I had a heart, which was something the senior staff thought was impossible. ;)
I've even had members of the senior staff of our brigade call me inhuman at times. :/

OK, more seriously, one has to insulate oneself from the emotional conditions present in an emergency, lest one become emotionally involved and make a logical error that results in the loss of life or function.
Eventually, that becomes not a learned habit, but a near-instinct. Hence, the harm when it breaks down.
The "heartlessness" was hard learned, ignoring an error would get someone killed outside of a training environment.

I'd consider wanting to adopt the fictional life of a Culture Mind, save that Banks also wrote a story about such a Mind partially passively, partially actively, participating in its ritual suicide on an anniversary of the death of a star system. Apparently, Banks found a way to move PTSD into Culture Minds.
I've got a modest share of it already.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Amethyst (not verified)

Great, now I can't help but imagine you as the drill intructor from Full Metal Jacket.

Naw, I was far more evil and nice.
I'm the guy everyone would enjoy having a conversation with. I'm also the guy that'd turn Heartbreak Ridge's Gunny pale looking, when working in a tactical environment.
Meanwhile, operationally, I did my best to use the former. "Hearts and minds" was reinvented due to our teams efforts, learned by our distant predecessors.
Not having to fight should always be the goal, fight when you can't avoid it as well.
Or, bellicose friends are the friends of nobody. :)
The mind is the primary weapon, not something that explodes or launches a projectile.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Amethyst (not verified)

The mind is the primary weapon, not something that explodes or launches a projectile

Unless you're one of Marvel's X-MEN. :)

I can neither confirm or deny or be able to consume the English with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.
Although, what has issued, did once evacuate a barracks of ill men - from ten feet away outside.
That was simply a case of really bad food poisoning.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Amethyst (not verified)

Oh puh-lease. We all know you guys are developing a serum to unlock psychic abilities in soldiers...!

Not here! My hyperthyroidism horrifies me in some brief rages!
I'd depopulate the planet with a thought.
Under those conditions, I'd prefer to be euthanized.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 21 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Amethyst (not verified)

Wzrd1: I live in the US, so believe me, I know ALL about the risks of gun violence. It's just, I dunno, more of an abstract thing to me, like the risk of being in a car crash or an airplane crash. The risk of a stranger's attention is much more personal.And no one blames you if you happen to be on the wrong end of a stranger's gun.
(Also, accidental gun death is easier on a family than suicide. Just sayin'.)

Amethyst: Emotions are a human trait (some would even argue that it is a mammalian trait), not a male or female trait.

It's a maladaptive trait. And by turn off, I mean suppression, not eradication. Emotions are like sweatpants, they belong at home where no one can see.

Ken: So thankful for SBM.
Don't say stuff like that, you almost launched my eyeballs into orbit.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 22 Apr 2016 #permalink

Narad, sigh...did you really just make fun of my comment? Did you not notice the title of the blog on which you're commenting, Another young woman with cancer, lured into quackery by Ty Bollinger? Why are you commenting here unless you know who Ty Bollinger is, his media firm TTAC, and his video series The Truth About Cancer? Hitting Unscubscribe, outta here...

By Nancy Hollo (not verified) on 22 Apr 2016 #permalink

Nancy, Narad has a habit of being annoying. I noticed he really did not read your comment without reading your first commnet.

@pgp

It’s a maladaptive trait. And by turn off, I mean suppression, not eradication. Emotions are like sweatpants, they belong at home where no one can see.

I'm so very glad your opinion seems to be a minority one. A world in which people pretended to have no emotions in public would be decidedly unpleasant.

I'm all for courtesy and self-restraint but the sort of behavior you seem to be advocating usually gets a DSM diagnoses.

I also see no evidence that the expression of emotion is maladaptive.

@ Politicalguineapig

Emotions are like sweatpants, they belong at home where no one can see.

Oh, FFS. Give it a rest.
As I have big troubles expressing my feelings, life passed me by. So if you want to be a recluse, fine, but please don't encourage others to cripple themselves.

PGP, you know who else would spout things like "they belong at home where no one can see" about emotional display, and not coincidentally, also about females? Male members of a good number of patriarchal societies.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 22 Apr 2016 #permalink

I’ve had many a Private insist that I wasn’t human at all

Don't tell me -- senior staff non-commissioned officer.

By shay simmons (not verified) on 22 Apr 2016 #permalink

@shay simmons; nail meet head. :)
Retired now and glad to be retired. It started to hurt too much to put all of that crap on.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 22 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by shay simmons (not verified)

I think you doctors are sad, because you lie about your treatment! Your treatment protocol makes people get chemo-therapy, which is putting poised into your body that kills everything, both good and bad cells, leaving patients even more sick, killing the lining of their stomachs, or cutting on them and maiming / butchering them only for the cancer to show up in a different part of the body! Cancer is the symptom that you are sick. It's sad that Big Pharma is in charge of the FDA, who both want profits, not a cure! They are killing people knowing to well that all of their patients will eventually die from their so called treatment! These Pharmaceutical companies pay for their scientists to find in favor of their so called cure! The side effects of their medicines are worse than the cancer itself! Please people, don't be fooled by our government and the pharmaceutical companies as they are only after your insurance dollars! See the video of "The Truth about Cancer"! Then decide for yourself what you believe to be true! I definitely don't believe our government or Big Pharma! And the FDA is in on it too! They are genetically modifying our already perfect food made by God to give us nutrition and life. They are putting pesticides on crops that our bodies don't recognize it or the modified food, so it turns into fat and fat turns into cancer! We all have free radicals in our bodies. They are cells that instead of being noticed as dead and that a normally healthy body would be attacked and exit our bodies through urination or bowel movements, it disguises itself so that it won't be attacked and turns itself into cancer! And a lot of well meaning doctor's have not been taught about homeopathy think they are doing what is right, when it is the FDA who teaches them what the new protocol is for treating cancer, and what new chemo or radiation is best when the 1st chemo stops working! And all of those chemo therapies will all eventually fail, because the cancer gets immune to one, and the next, and the bext, and so on and so forth! Please people, don't listen to what doctors, the FDA, OR the Government tells you, it's all lies for their monitory gain! So Sad!!

Is there anybody out there who realizes how many people are killed by chemo and how many oncologists would recommend chemo to one of his or her relatives. The chemo substance is a chemical made to kill people. How can you expect to be cured by it. They call it science based cancer treatment. Yes indeed, it is scientifically proven that it kills people because there is only a 2% survival rate.
I hope that I will never get cancer, but if I do, I would certainly not kill myself with a chemo cure.

"Is there anybody out there who realizes how many people are killed by chemo and how many oncologists would recommend chemo to one of his or her relatives."

Yes.

I personally know of a number of physicians who've either used chemotherapy (or other anticancer drugs) for themselves or recommended it to loved ones. They are well aware of drug side effects, and of the dreadful effects of untreated cancer.

https://anaximperator.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/do-75-of-doctors-refuse-…
https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/chemotherapy-doesnt-work/

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

I know a plastic surgeon who is married to another doctor. As a plastic surgeon he works closely with oncologists all the time. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, went through the Whipple procedure and is going through chemotherapy. The prognosis is very bad. If his friends in oncology knew of anything better to offer, they would offer it to him. But they don't. Desperate doctors (I've known several) can search the Internet just like Sheila and Juliet, but they can also recognize medical fantasy and fraud so they don't get taken in as easily.

@Juliet(220),

Actually the big problem is that doctors do tell the truth about the effectiveness, side effects, and limitations of their treatments because we have spent a lot of time and money gathering the numbers to give a reality-based probability of success or failure.

People like Ty Bollinger aren't constrained by the truth because they never bother to find out what it is.

What they do know is how to slip through the cracks in existing laws and take advatage of freedom of speech to get away with what amounts to lying through their teeth.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

@Sheila,

I'll second DB, but I'd also like to know what is your preferred method of killing cancer cells, specifically synovial carcinoma, with using chemicals at all?

And can you cite a study where it was actually tested on patients with cancer?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

Sheila and Juliet, please outline exactly what qualifications Mr. Bollinger has that are so much better than a surgical oncologist. Please provide links to actual documentation that he has actually at least had graduate school classes in some relevant field of study.

FWIW, I've ridden public transit, alone and in company, at all hours of the day and night, and never even tried to immobilize my facial muscles. (Looking alert but not directly at people, or focusing on my book, yes.)

After midnight, the other people on the train are either also trying to get home (from a friend's house or a late shift job) or hoping to be left alone to sleep.

In case it matters, I'm female, and have been riding the subways alone since I was 11 (but only during the day at that age: I did a fair amount of my high school reading on rush hour trains).

They are genetically modifying our already perfect food made by God to give us nutrition and life.

If God had really made perfect food there would be 3 pizza trees in my yard next to the enchilada bushes.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

"We all have free radicals in our bodies."

This only applies to Bernie Sanders.

Speaking of feeling the Bern - there's a multi-band fundraising concert coming up in our area for the Sanders campaign. One of the featured bands is Coal-Fired Bicycle, which seems apt.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

Juliet and Shiela; I tend to agree with you, but Chris is right, Ty Bollinger has no qualifications himself just losing both parents to cancer, and a lot of passion. (Juliet, I did watch the series TTAC,) However, he did interview a lot of qualified physicians and scientists from around the world. The blogs here think they are all quacks. How many slamming this info actually watched it? Not to smart to ramble on about something you haven't seen, folks.
I was very impressed with Dr. Buttar, so much so I got his book on my kindle. His credentials are very impressive. Besides his military career as a surgeon, he was Chief, department of emergency medicine, at an army hospital for 12 years, is still involved in scientific research, has served as visiting scientist and nutritional scientist at NC State University. He still teaches medical courses in advanced trauma life support for physicians, nurses, and emergency responders. He has testified in front of the NC Legislator, as well as the US Congress, on human rights and wellness. And this is just a small list of his career! Its hard to accept that with these credentials, he is a quack, or unbelievable. Also, this is just one physician that was interviewed by Mr Bollinger.
Oh, and I had to look up "woo" as I've never heard that term used in this context before!

Please people, don’t listen to what doctors, the FDA, OR the Government tells you, it’s all lies for their monitory gain! So Sad!!

Juliet, like "Jen" and "Amal" a few weeks ago, is exhibiting the symptoms of Trump Haiku Syntax. Seek medical assistance.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

"They are genetically modifying our already perfect food made by God to give us nutrition and life."

Just about everything we eat has been pretty heavily modified by human intervention eg the sweetcorn, watermelon, bananas, & beef found in a modern diet look very little like their forerunners of even 20,000 years ago.

Apparently, the OP is under the mistaken impression that modern corn was "invented by God" that way, rather than more resembling crabgrass, which is what the progenitor of modern maize.
The same is true of wheat and every other grain and bean that we consume. The difference between aurochs and modern cattle is equally marked.
How dare our ancestors interfere with God's perfection by breeding our food crops to such an unnatural humongous size!

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by alison (not verified)

I was very impressed with Dr. Buttar, so much so I got his book on my kindle. His credentials are very impressive.

The disciplinary record, to be sure.

@Juliet:

The side effects of their medicines are worse than the cancer itself!

On behalf of my entire family, I would like to suggest that you FOADIAF.

Orac who thinks he is a god and claims quackery of all who practice good eating habits and live by our Creator's rules...He is sooo stupid to think that his profession of scientist is superior to God. Oh, yes keep denying what is because you will perish by your own hand..... calling the kettle black Orac, you scientists are the biggest quacks .... synthetic this or that all for the sake of money... you are the quack .... You actually do quack a lot! You are a crazy quacker!!!!!!

By Grandma Canyon (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink

QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!

By Grandma Canyon (not verified) on 23 Apr 2016 #permalink
Narad, sigh…did you really just make fun of my comment? Did you not notice the title of the blog on which you’re commenting, Another young woman with cancer, lured into quackery by Ty Bollinger? Why are you commenting here unless you know who Ty Bollinger is, his media firm TTAC, and his video series The Truth About Cancer? Hitting Unscubscribe, outta here…

Nancy, Narad has a habit of being annoying. I noticed he really did not read your comment without reading your first commnet.

I see that I did fυck up extremely stupidly in my reply to Nancy Hollo. It's too late to undo the damage, but I offer my apologies all around nonetheless.

Whoa! This is actual evidence that Narad is a true skeptic with an open mind: he publicly admitted he made a mistake, and apologized.

Seriously, Nancy, people make mistakes. It takes maturity to admit to them, so please do come back.

Grandma Canyon: "He is sooo stupid to think that his profession of scientist is superior to God."

By the hammer of Thor, which god? The one that gives us the free will to learn about nature, including how to prevent and treat diseases? Or is the god that is filling up a cemetery in Oregon City with small coffins because that god decided they should not live? (even though the kids could have lived had they seen a real doctor)

Orac who thinks he is a god and claims quackery of all who practice good eating habits and live by our Creator’s rules…He is sooo stupid to think that his profession of scientist is superior to God.

"Our creator"? Speak for yourself. I am a proud product of purely random revolution.

Speak for yourself, granny. I wasn't created, I, like every other senior NCO was reproduced and reproduced by binary fission.
We're somewhat like bacteria, but nastier.

BTW, kindly provide citations for your rant. I could use a good laugh.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 24 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Meg (not verified)

Grandmas used to be so sedate and peaceful in the old days, but now...

I think it's the GMOs and excess caffeine. :(

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 24 Apr 2016 #permalink

Thanks for sharing that, Chris. At least Oregon has put in an exemption to the shield provision in CAPTA that was influenced by Christian Scientists Haldeman and Ehrlichman when the law was signed in 1974.

Neighboring Idaho still protects people under that shield provision so the state can't prosecute them for negect.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/13/followers-of-christ-idah…

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 24 Apr 2016 #permalink

@244

Speak for yourself, granny. I wasn’t created, I, like every other senior NCO was reproduced and reproduced by binary fission.
We’re somewhat like bacteria, but nastier.

Daddy was a Chief Warrant Officer. Nicest man you'd ever hope to meet. All animals and children loved him. Unfortunately, from my mother's point of view, so dd almost all women.

Perhaps Navy NCOs are different. ;-)

@247; Warrant officers are a special variety of creature. :)
After all, they are officers by warrant, rather than commission.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 24 Apr 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Meg (not verified)

“Our creator”? Speak for yourself. I am a proud product of purely random revolution.

So no-one else was assembled from spare parts and animated by harnessing the energy of lightning in a castle laboratory?
Umm, me neither.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Apr 2016 #permalink

Dangerous Bacon @ 245 "I think it’s the GMOs and excess caffeine. :("

My grandmother had a different diagnosis: "She's so full of it* that you could give her an enema and carry her around in a matchbox."

*Grandma didn't believe in vulgar language.

You just know it's a slow day somewhere when the "You're all Big Pharma Shills!" mob is rapidly followed by screaming creationists...

Dear Big Pharma Conspiracy Merchants: where is my sodding money then?

Dear creationists: go and learn some basic biology, history, geology and critical thinking, please?

*Grandma didn’t believe in vulgar language.

One of my grandmothers believed in vulgar language so long as it was not in English, nor in her own mother tongue, but rather in German, and directed at Germans. My earliest memories include her efforts to teach me all the vilest German obscenities in her sizable vocabulary, in case I should ever encounter a German audience of the appropriate generation.

Northern European vendattas, there is nothing quite like them.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Apr 2016 #permalink

Grandma Canyon
QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!

Was it "International Make-Way-for-Ducklings Day" again? Why does no-one ever remind me in time?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 24 Apr 2016 #permalink

In a gesture of pure benevolence Mr Bollinger has made his best selling comedy series The Truth About Cancer - A Global Guest available for free this weekend. If you would like a copy to review let me know. Beware, you'll never get those 9+ hours of your life back.

@ hdb

So no-one else was assembled from spare parts and animated by harnessing the energy of lightning in a castle laboratory?

I was assembled in a cattle laboratory. Does this count?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 25 Apr 2016 #permalink

A couple of things...

- I noted that Mikey, in his NN article about the Notorious DG, ( 'Science Troll' - sic), included an audio with Robert Scott Bell and Ty Bollinger. Bollinger doesn't like Orac either. In fact, none of them do. 34 minutes

- I came across a cancer cure testimonial which illustrates neatly how merchants of woo interact with their marks..
(see prn/fm, go to Shows, go to The Gary Null Show
You'll find this past Thursday's tapes - the 21st)
which includes a testimonial that they liked so much they also added it as a separate 14 minute entry.

A woman explains that she had breast cancer and had a lumpectomy, then needed a mastectomy ( lymph node involvement) a year later after the lump came back; she refused any other treatments which were suggested by SB doctors. She is a long time listener to the show.

Instead she embarked upon a magical journey sampling much of what woo has to offer: various treatments and diets highlighted by a 3 week stay at the host's Texas retreat where she followed strict dietary protocols and endured treatments through the auspices of the famous woo nurse. She and other patients received multiple "energy healings" delivered by none other than the fabulous host. ( who got the Power).

She is now "cured". So were many others she says.

It is disturbing to listen to this example of faith in BS.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Apr 2016 #permalink

The latest glurge on Denatured News exposes the dastardly plot to bribe Thompson into withdrawing his allegations about the MMR paper, courtesy of maverick investigator and star of Retraction Watch, Brian Hooker.
Supposedly Thompson has been "turned" by a big bribe, promise of his own foundation, a luxury RV and a bevy of exotic "science comfort women" (OK, he doesn't actually mention the last two but you can't prove they weren't part of the deal).

E-mails from unidentified but undoubtedly genuine "skeptics" discussing the Thompson plot have been uncovered by Denatured News' crack investigative team. Oddly, the excerpts parrot antivax dogma, suggesting that provaxers are imitating antivaxers to confuse and confound their enemies.

As Holmes once said, these are deep waters indeed.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 25 Apr 2016 #permalink

@ Dangerous Bacon:

Is that 'crack investigative team' or 'investigative team on crack'?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Apr 2016 #permalink

" Science comfort women"?
I guess you've been to our parties.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 25 Apr 2016 #permalink

That's dark, Denice...! :O

My my my, so many angry people here straining at the leash to tear strips out of my good friend Ty, who I now understand is a quack (even though he makes no claims to being either an expert or medical practitioner), an occultist (presumably because of his Christian faith), and only God knows what else. I can only assume that I must have throttled my critical faculties the moment I clicked on that wretched play button.

But wait........I actually recall dismissing the complete garbage uttered by one of his contributors about the manner of Yuri Gagarin's death and the effects of space travel on human physiology, etc., so maybe I didn't commit intellectual suicide whilst viewing TTAC after all. Well, it's a reasonable working hypothesis at any rate, so I'm going with it.

Be that as it may, the reason for all the vitriol liberally sprinkled throughout these blog comments? Ah yes, because chemo apologists are once again outraged over the story of yet another poor victim of the snake oil promoted by Ty's TTAC docu-series. What a cad. And all because of his insatiable appetite for portraits of his favorite president. You will never find that kinda avarice raised to the power of 10 in those altruistic, charitable institutions often disparagingly referred to as 'big pharma', will you? Of course not, and merely to suggest such a thing should be more than sufficient to invite howls of derision.

But before you all organize yourselves into a baying lynch mob, may I suggest a possible compromise with a view to establishing an uneasy truce between two irreconcilable camps? I'll stop shedding tears over the millions who have died prematurely after being poisoned, irradiated or butchered over the last 70-odd years of 'standard care' if you do the same over the relatively few who fail to respond to alternative therapies.

Too much to ask? OK then, try this one for size. I wish every one of you chemo apologists the very best of health for the rest of your natural lives. No, seriously, I really do - every single one of you, even though I don't know any of you personally. But if any of you should ever suffer the misfortune of a cancer diagnosis at some point in your lives, I promise not to criticize your free choice to go down the conventional route, providing you extend to me the same courtesy if I choose differently. Even if that means I suffer the same fate of this poor victim of snake oil.

Now, do we have a deal?

But if any of you should ever suffer the misfortune of a cancer diagnosis at some point in your lives, I promise not to criticize your free choice to go down the conventional route, providing you extend to me the same courtesy if I choose differently. Even if that means I suffer the same fate of this poor victim of snake oil.

Now, do we have a deal?

How's this a criticism of Gleeson?

"Stories like Gleeson’s saddens me. She’s yet another in a depressingly long line of young cancer patients lured by quacks to throw their lives away unnecessarily. It is not, however, Gleeson who angers me. She is a victim, as clueless as her statements to the press have been."

Or did you just pop by to object to criticism of your "good friend Ty" with no familiarity of where you are? What part of this don't you understand?

"As I’ve discussed many times before and reiterated yesterday, competent adults have the right to decide their own medical care. They can choose science-based medicine; they can choose no treatment at all; they can even choose quackery."

Costas @ #262

"I’ll stop shedding tears over the millions who have died prematurely after being poisoned, irradiated or butchered over the last 70-odd years of ‘standard care’ if you do the same over the relatively few who fail to respond to alternative therapies."

[citation needed]

Costas @ 262 "I’ll stop shedding tears over the millions who have died prematurely after being poisoned, irradiated or butchered over the last 70-odd years of ‘standard care."

My wife had a choice when diagnosed with stage 3 multiple myeloma and kidney failure: chemo with a risk of peripheral neuropathy and other assorted ills, or death. I'm sure you'd rather she had a few herbal solutions and died a painful death.

If I were an unpleasant person I'd wish that you were marooned on a desert island with a rusty knife, one 81mg aspirin and testicular cancer. However, I'm not, so I hope that God has mercy on your twisted, blackened and shriveled soul.

Please accept my apologies for the gendered reference. Please substitute the following: If I were an unpleasant person I’d wish that you were marooned on a desert island with a rusty knife, one 81mg aspirin and testicular and/or ovarian cancer.

Again, my apologies. We get bone marrow biopsy results tomorrow and my patience for cretins is limited.

@ Narad - I have absolutely no problem with valid criticisms of anybody, not even Ty. My reference to 'good friend' was intended as humorous hyperbole. Never met the man, don't know him personally (except for what I gleaned from TTAC), never corresponded with him, and never purchased a thing from him - not even his book.

As to your second question, given the choice, I would opt for science-based medicine every time. So it's a real shame that there is no science behind either chemo or radiation, except for that which proves how utterly barbaric and unsuitable they both are in the treatment of cancer. Indeed, based on Einstein's definition of insanity (constantly repeating the same experiment whilst expecting a different result every time), I would argue that there is plenty of evidence for their justifiable use by the criminally insane.

Having said that, I must thank you for allowing me the freedom to choose the manner of my death.

@ DrRJM - It's getting late.......really late, so I'm gonna take the lazy way out of this one and simply refer you to Outsmart Your Cancer by Tanya Harter Pierce. If/when you've managed to read it, by all means get back to me and we can then discuss citations. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get at least some shut-eye this AM.

Costas,

I had a look at Tanya Harte Pierce's website.

It's the usual cornucopia of baseless claims and woo. Nothing special about it compared to the hundreds of other quack websites out there.

Oh, and the "disclaimer" reads:

"DISCLAIMER: Tanya Harter Pierce, M.A. MFCC, is not a physician and does not diagnose, prescribe or treat patients. She does not sell any treatment products and no treatment products or supplements of any kind can be purchased from this website. The alternative non-toxic approaches including Protocel discussed on this site and in her book are NOT approved by the FDA, and anyone who has cancer, or suspects he or she may have cancer, should always consult with a qualified physician prior to making any final treatment decisions."

This is known as a "Quack Miranda", and pretty much labels the website as garbage.

Get back to me when you have any scientific evidence to back up your outrageous claim. I'll be up all night waiting for you.

Indeed, based on Einstein’s definition of insanity (constantly repeating the same experiment whilst expecting a different result every time)

Oh, L-rd, it's another failed attempt at argument by aphorism. That line is from Narcotics Anonymous or something very similar, not Albert Einstein.

I also note that you completely ignored the substance of my comment, which was that your roundabout assertion that Gleeson was being criticized is a crock of shіt.

There is no science behind either chemo or radiation

The enormous brass balls and/or sheer stupidity needed to post a blatantly false statement such as this - on the blog of an actual cancer surgeon no less!

What is your explanation to the many documented cases where chemo and/or radiation has "cured" someone of their cancer? Dumb luck? Divine intervention?

Amethyst, did you notice that Costas did not address any of his criticism to Opus's remarks on his wife getting real treatment for cancer? It is kind of like he does not want to deal with reality.

Dear Opus, in good conscious I know prayer is useless, but I hope the serendipity statistic elves smile on you and that the biopsy results are favorable.

Probably because reality has an anti-woo bias.

Adding to what Chris said - Opus, I hope you and your wife get the best news possible from the tests. Even though I don't believe in prayer, I do believe that positive thoughts from friends make one feel cared for - and we do care!

@Costas: Oh fuck off, you holy shit-filled nob. That so-called "cut-burn-poison" already saved both my dad and my aunt from horrible painful premature deaths, and that's just N=2. So you can cram your preening ignorance and laughable lies up your arse and spin, because we all know you don't have shit to show for any better options. And hey; you know who will come up with more effective and less unpleasant treatments in future? Scientists and oncologists, like our gracious host (may he pardon my French) whose house you so happily roll into and defecate on just to pump up your own petty ego.

Until then, those of us who aren't completely full of it will take all we can get, and we are fucking grateful for it too - as our foremothers and fathers would've given their lives to enjoy even a fraction of the scientific and medical tools we are now blessed with through the utter dedication and endless hard work of infinitely better people than me or you.

To second has @ 274:

When we welcomed the new millennium on January 1, 2001, there were NO treatments for multiple myeloma. Although my wife has kidney failure, which restricts the available treatments, and although the best treatment option has failed, we will meet with the oncologist today to discuss which of the eight or more treatment regimens is the best solution. Each of those eight protocols has been developed by real scientists, trying to address a real disease, not by quacks fattening their wallets.

Every time you repeat that "cut-burn-poison' excrement you are trying to kill someone, directly or indirectly.

I repeat: You Are Trying to Kill Someone.

has: " ...as our foremothers and fathers would’ve given their lives to enjoy even a fraction of the scientific and medical tools we are now blessed with through the utter dedication and endless hard work of infinitely better people than me or you."

One of those great tools is the echocardiogram that discovered my son's abnormal heart muscle growth, which was starting to block his aortic valve. There was even a teeny tiny version that was guided down inside of his body as the surgeon cut into the aorta, pushed aside the leaves of the aortic valve and sliced away the extra muscle during open heart surgery.

Now we don't get 911 calls to our house. I dare Costas to tell me that "cutting" was unnecessary and could have been cured with "natural" means.

By the just a few years ago the most common way this disorder of diagnosed was after "sudden cardiac death." Unfortunately that still happens way too much, especially to young athletes.

Three years ago I was diagnosed with stage 3 prostate cancer. I had four choices: 1. do nothing, 2. Go the Woo route (same as #1), 3. Chemo and surgery, 4. Chemo and radiation.

I finished chemo and radiation 2 years ago next month. I have had quarterly PSAs performed all of which have been below detection limit. If my PSA next week comes in low again; I am in at least in remission if not cancer free.

If I had taken either option 1 or 2, I would probably be dead today.

So Costas find the tallest sharpest object in London spread your cheeks over it and spin.

A quick Pubmed search shows over 3 million articles on cancer.

Adding Bollinger reduces to 2 aolder articles about prostrate cancer.

However, I encourage Costas to direct us to where Ty Bollinger has published the results of developing his treatment to share in that enterprise.

Hint: YouTube infomercials don't count.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 29 Apr 2016 #permalink

I had 8-10 paragraphs of content moderated out or deleted back at #6-10 between filter and host. It's lost.

Trying to be productive, one of the possibilities is better monitoring for these patients. To the extent std of care is weak in monitoring, some cancers or patients may be more closely monitorable, with 6-9 months more lead time on blood results over SoC (heavy chemo, imaging, and weak blood testing). If people can see the start of a problem sooner, they might change their tune and improve their tx sooner.

Gentlemen, thank you one and all for the warm reception. Much appreciated, and more or less as expected. So I'll take that as a no then. Very well, let's do it your way. But you should all note that judged by any internationally accepted standards for the conduct of civil open debate, most of you will be considered to have already lost the argument by virtue of your reliance on ad hominem abuse. There are two or three notable exceptions, so thank you DrRJM, Chris and squirrelelite for maintaining some measure of civility in trying circumstances.

I should also add that I don't normally respond to personal abuse, but since these are matters of life and death, I feel honor-bound to respond to the points raised above, some intrinsically more meritorious than others.

@ OPUS (#265, #266 and #275)

STRAW MAN No.1: Actually, no, that's not what I would suggest for your wife. I would like you to do exactly what you think is best for your wife - nothing more, and nothing less. Either you have failed to understand my original post, or else you have chosen to deliberately misrepresent my views. Either way, what does aspirin have to do with anything? If you really believe that aspirin forms any part of alternative protocols, then either you have been gravely misinformed, or else you are laboring under a self-inflicted misapprehension.

Having said that, your response confirms a hypothesis I have long held, viz., that your blind rage against the 'altmed' community is directly proportional to the extent of your investment in the 'gold standard' of care. The more you (or a loved one) are forced to make what amounts to Hobson's Choice, the more you feel obliged to justify that choice by lashing out against anyone who might suggest that there is a better way, or chooses differently for themselves. There had better not be another way, a more excellent way, because the implications would simply not bear thinking about.

After all, they are putting you both through hell, so they had better be right. Else why would you take those kind of risks with your wife's health when then is no other choice? If there was a better way, a less damaging protocol that offered you the prospect of a genuine cure instead of a redefined 'cure' that amounts to little more than the hope of a 5 year remission, then surely, for the love of everything that is sacred to you, they would have told you, would they not? So yes, from your narrow, blinkered and angry perspective, I can fully understand why you have chosen to travel down that road. It is a well-traveled road after all, and there is a feeling of safety and security in numbers and state-sanctioned, state-imposed protocols. Besides, investigating possible alternatives takes time, and that's one luxury you don't have.

So let me remind you of this basic fact. This is your choice, not mine. I put you under no pressure, gave you no instruction, inducement, incentive or encouragement to go down that road. You made that impossible decision (presumably with your wife) entirely of your own accord. Yet despite all of that, you still feel justified in lobbing a guilt grenade at my door for your life choices. How about you take full responsibility for your decisions? We all have our crosses to bear, but have you actually taken a moment to 'listen' to yourself? Yours is a classic description of the dilemma faced by people in your position. I know it must be agony for you, but if only you could see the irony of your predicament, all courtesy of the standard of care in which you freely choose to participate and place your trust, but apparently begrudge me my freedom to choose differently. If I choose to take herbs, supplements, vitamins, essential oils, spices, green juices or teas - whatever, what is it to you exactly?

So by all means feel free to vent your spleen at me. Hurl every insult you can muster, every term of personal abuse at your command. Unlike most of the others here, you have earned that right. Just bear in mind the possibility that your anger against me might be misdirected. Despite all that, I still wish your wife the best possible outcome.

@ DrRJM (#268)

Well, I hope at least you didn't lose any sleep on my account in the meantime, and please accept my apologies for the necessarily delayed response to your rejoinder. As you will see from all my other replies here, I've been kept rather busy.

To your excellent points. If you could see past your entrenched prejudices just long enough to consider the evidence Pierce presents, backed up with enough citations to fill a small library, then at the very least you might be slightly less cynical about the merits of our case, even if not totally persuaded. After all, you profess to respect the scientific method, do you not? Or is that just lip-service on your part? Then what happened to one of the central prerequisites of scientific enquiry where you're concerned - that of an open and inquisitive mind? In particular, I would draw your attention to what she says on pp 14-15, and ask whether you recognize yourself in that description?

But if you really find that disclaimer so objectionable (by the way, a device made necessary by the legal and regulatory framework in which altmeds have to operate if they want to avoid the unwelcome attention of the feds), then here are a couple of disclaimer-free alternatives for you:

'Cancer Research Secrets' by Dr Keith Scott-Mumby, and

'Politics in Healing' by Daniel Haley

There are many more I could cite, but for the sake of brevity, there's not much point at this stage of the proceedings. Happy reading, if you ever manage to overcome those obstacles that are sadly holding you back. Finally, and for what it's worth, I would point out that I was not born in the 'altmed' camp. I'm a grumpy, cynical old man who until around 10 years ago still held a position that remained more or less unchanged since my youth, and not a million miles removed from that which you now hold. I came to my present views on this subject in incremental steps over a period of some 4-5 years, until finally the weight of evidence (both scientific, anecdotal, and my own personal experiences) was so overwhelming that I was forced to abandon previously held views.

Once again I must thank you for your impeccable manners, and for extending to me the courtesy of a fair hearing. That's a lot more than can be said for most of the other respondents here.

@ Narad (#269)

I stand corrected, with due apologies to Einstein. I'll try to check my sources more thoroughly next time, if there is one.

As for ignoring your substantive point, I guess we could argue the toss about whether the characterization of her as being 'clueless' is closer to being a criticism than a compliment, but quid pro quo, that was not the main thrust of my post either. It is the underlying premise of the entire blog that I find so reprehensible. But a failed argument by aphorism? Easily rectified given enough space to develop an argument. If chemo represents the 'gold standard of care' (henceforth SoC), why did a 1985 survey of Canadian oncologists find that 84% of them would refuse
chemo for themselves for certain types of cancer?

In 1985, MacKillop and colleagues found that of 118 Canadian doctors who treat lung cancer, only 16% would want chemotherapy for symptomatic metastatic bone disease. SOURCE: Mackillop WJ, O’Sullivan B, Ward GK: Non-small-cell lung cancer: How oncologists want to be treated. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 13:929-934, 1987).

But that's nowhere near enough evidence, so here's a little more on the house:

“A study of over 10,000 patients shows clearly that chemo’s supposedly strong track record with Hodgkin’s disease (lymphoma) is actually a lie. Patients who underwent chemo were 14 times more likely to develop leukemia and 6 times more likely to develop cancers of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than those patients who did not undergo chemotherapy.” - Dr W John Diamond.

“We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of research is to see whether two doses of this poison is better than three doses of that poison.” - Dr. Glenn Warner, leading cancer specialist.

“As a chemist trained to interpret data, it is incomprehensible to me that physicians can ignore the clear evidence that chemotherapy does much, much more harm than good.” - Dr. Alan C. Nixon.

“…if I contracted cancer, I would never go to a standard cancer treatment centre. Only cancer victims who live far from such centres have a chance.” - Dr. Charles Mathe, French cancer specialist.

“Everyone should know that most cancer research is largely a fraud, and that the major cancer research organisations are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.” - Linus Pauling, Two time Nobel Prize Winner.

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine.” - Dr. Marcia Angell, physician and long time Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ).
SOURCE: Angell M. Drug companies and doctors: A story of corruption. January 15, 2009. The New York Review of Books 56.

“My overall assessment is that the national cancer program must be judged a qualified failure. Our whole cancer research in the past 20 years has been a total failure.” - Dr. John Bailer, 20 years NCI staffer and former editor of its journal, JNCI.
SOURCE: Dr. Bailer, speaking at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in May 1985, as quoted in Bette Overall, Animal Research Takes Lives - Humans and Animals BOTH Suffer, NZAVS, 1993, p.132.

“This article is a short version of a report which presents a comprehensive analysis of clinical trials and publications examining the value of cytotoxic chemotherapy in the treatment of advanced epithelial cancer. As a result of the analysis and the comments received from hundreds of oncologists in reply to a request for information, the following facts can be noted. Apart from lung cancer, in particular small-cell lung cancer, there is no direct evidence that chemotherapy prolongs survival in patients with advanced carcinoma. Except for ovarian cancer, available indirect evidence rather supports the absence of a positive effect. In treatment of lung cancer and ovarian cancer, the therapeutical benefit is at best rather small, and a less aggressive treatment seems to be at least as effective as the usual one. It is possible that certain sub-groups of patients benefit from the treatment, yet so far the available results do not allow a sufficiently precise definition of these groups.

Many oncologists take it for granted that response to therapy prolongs survival, an opinion which is based on a fallacy and which is not supported by clinical studies. To date, it is unclear whether the treated patients, as a whole, benefit from chemotherapy as to their quality of life. For most cancer sites, urgently required types of studies such as randomized de-escalations of dose or comparisons of immediate versus deferred chemotherapy are still lacking. With few exceptions, there is no good scientific basis for the application of chemotherapy in symptom-free patients with advanced epithelial malignancy.”
SOURCE: Abstract - Chemotherapy of advanced epithelial cancer--a critical review. Tumorzentrum Heidelburg/Mannheim, Germany. Biomed Pharmacotherapy. 1992;46(10):439-52. Abel U1.

"Pneumonia and sepsis during neutropenia are common complications from chemotherapy and they are sometimes lethal. Radiation pneumonitis is also a common toxicity after thoracic radiotherapy, and severe pneumonitis causes hypoxia and death. However, the incidence and risk factors of treatment-related death from the treatment of advanced cancer using chemotherapy and/or thoracic radiotherapy are not well understood. Between July 1992 and December 1997, 1799 patients were diagnosed as having lung cancer and 784 of 1799 patients received chemotherapy in the National Cancer Center Hospital East. Of 784 patients, 18 (2.3%) died from toxicity of the initial chemotherapy. In the Japan Clinical Oncology Group (JCOG) trials for lung cancer, 29 of 1176 patients (2.5%) were reported to have died from toxicity of the treatments.

Several papers have reported the risk factors of early death after chemotherapy or treatment-related death caused by chemotherapy in patients with cancer. Only poor performance status was a vigorous risk factor. Reported mortality rates of radiation pneumonitis range from 0 to 9.9% from 7 reports and 29 of 1244 patients (2.3%) died of pneumonitis after thoracic radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. Our previous report suggested that pulmonary fibrosis identified on plain chest X-ray film is a very strong risk factor of treatment-related death from radiation pneumonitis. At least 1-2% mortality should be expected for chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy. And in patients with poor PS, the expected mortality rate from chemotherapy is increased."
SOURCE: Abstract - Treatment-related death from chemotherapy and thoracic radiotherapy for advanced cancer. Department of Internal Medicine, National Cancer Center Hospital, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan. yohe@ncc.go.jp Panminerva Med. 2002 Sep;44(3):205-12. Ohe Y1.
And finally, a source beloved even by your host, though he hates it with a vengeance when we cite him. Can't imagine why:

"As EBM became more influential, it was also hijacked to serve agendas different from what it originally aimed for. Influential randomized trials are largely done by and for the benefit of the industry. Meta-analyses and guidelines have become a factory, mostly also serving vested interests. National and federal research funds are funneled almost exclusively to research with little relevance to health outcomes. We have supported the growth of principal investigators who excel primarily as managers absorbing more money. Diagnosis and prognosis research and efforts to individualize treatment have fueled recurrent spurious promises. Risk factor epidemiology has excelled in salami-sliced data-dredged articles with gift authorship and has become adept to dictating policy from spurious evidence. Under market pressure, clinical medicine has been transformed to finance-based medicine. In many places, medicine and health care are wasting societal resources and becoming a threat to human well-being." - John P A Ioannidis,
SOURCE: Quote from Extract of a report to David Sackett: Evidence-based medicine has been hijacked.

Is that specific enough for you? So in light of the expert testimony of the competent authorities cited above, let me put a couple of pertinent questions to you. There are now more than half a million cancer deaths per year in the US alone occurring during or after the prescribed SoC. Are all these deaths deemed acceptable and unworthy of note or comment simply because they are so commonplace, and the end result of legally sanctioned protocols? Because if so, then by what conceivable stretch of the imagination or rule of thumb do you consider it reasonable, fair acceptable, or justifiable to single out one death or relapse within the altmed community in order to make a spurious and self-serving point? Why is this case singled out, heralded from the rooftops, and accompanied by the obligatory hand-wringing and finger pointing?

I’ve been accused elsewhere in these comments of running away from reality (are you still with us Chris?). Pot, kettle, black. If anybody around here needs a reality check, look in your own backyard as a first port of call. Face it - if your so-called SoC was judged by the same criteria that you apply to us, chemo and its partners in crime would have been outlawed almost from the get-go. The only reason it is still in use today is because it's simply too lucrative to abandon, period.

The simple and undeniable fact of the matter is that there are some serious double standards at play here, and they smack of rank
hypocrisy. Whatever happened to even handedness and fair play? Were they thrown out of the window the minute your host caught sight of 'alternative' in his rear-view mirror? If your chemo apologists first took those planks out of their own eyes before they tried to strain at the gnats in our eyes, then at least we might find some common ground on which to conduct a reasoned debate on the subject. In the meantime, I look forward to your illustrious host's damning exposé of the next scandalous death or relapse resulting directly from SoC intervention, but I'm not holding my breath.

@ Amethyst (#270 and #272)

My explanation is quite simple. A great deal depends on what you mean by 'cured'. Ever heard that old maxim - 'there are lies, damned lies, and statistics'? I'm not even going to try to attribute that quote this time (I learn fast), but never has it been more true than in the field of claimed cancer cure rates. They are among the most manipulated, massaged, skewed, and downright dishonest statistics ever called into the service of epidemiology. Pierce describes no less than 6 ways in which this is achieved (Op. cit. pp 6-12), but I'm not about to recount her evidence here. In short, RTFB, and do your own research. It might also pay you dividends to read my response to Narad above at #283.

But if we are talking of genuine long-term cures (rather than temporary remission or 5 yr survival rates) in which the patient survives well into old age and dies of some cause other than cancer, then yes, if you are happy with a 2-3% cure rate, then I suppose you could argue that chemo has its place - just. At the risk of inviting even more ire from the chemo lobby here, I would argue that this cohort survived in spite of the chemo, not because of it.

For example, how many of them were told to go home and get their affairs in order, but after one last desperate throw of the dice, managed to find a cure in the alternative community? We just don't know, because such statistics cannot be legally sanctioned and, in any event, would not be officially recognized in the literature. That is why we in the altmed community are forced to rely largely on anecdotal evidence. Yet we know from a vast body of such evidence that at least some of these 'survivors' did exactly that. So the actual cure rate for the SoC could be considerably lower still than the already pathetic 2-3% max. that can realistically
be attributed to the SoC.

Of course, I don't expect any of this will convince you that you have a serious case to answer, but I hope at the very least it will encourage you to refrain from speculating about the metallurgical content of certain parts of my anatomy.

@ Chris (#271 and #276)

STRAW MAN No.2: Really? So time lines, time zone differences, the need to get in at least 3 hours sleep, the urgency of other matters needing my attention, etc. etc. - all these mean nothing to you? Seriously, I'm starting to lose the will to live. See my response to Opus above at #281, then try some of that home-made humble pie. Don't forget, there's only one of me here right now, but quite a few more of you. I can't always give instant replies, so just try a little more patience next time, if that's not asking too much.

STRAW MAN No.3: In the specific context of the subject under discussion, I was referring exclusively to unnecessary disfiguring surgery used prophylactically – eg double radical mastectomy, and surgery that contributes to metastases in instances where the primary tumor is either ruptured, releasing cancerous cells into the blood stream, or else not completely removed. I did not, and never will, question the value of all surgery, so your 'challenge' is rendered completely academic.

As for whether chemo constitutes 'real treatment for cancer,' I believe I have substantially addressed that question in my reply to Narad at #283 above. And oh yeah, thanks also for not breaking out into open abuse, which seems to be about par for the course, at least as far as most of your buddies are concerned.

@ has (#274)

I consider it a minor miracle that in what amounts to a torrent of abuse, you nevertheless somehow manage to make at least one point that is actually worthy of comment. Wonders will never cease.

So, 'science' will find a cure you say? Well, yes and no. It may surprise you to learn that science has already discovered or confirmed several
cures for cancer, but none of them involve chemo, radiation or surgery. They are fully documented in the books referred to earlier, and many more besides. So the scientific discovery of cures for cancer is not, and never has been, the issue. The problem here is one of semantics, because what you really mean is that you expect the pharmaceutical industry to make those discoveries. Confusing pharma with science is a rookie error - they are not one and the same thing, at least not now, and most likely never have been. I believe I have near as damn it proved as much in my reply to Narad above at #283.

Then pharma will discover that cure, right? Err........no, 'fraid not. That ain't never gonna happen. At least, not unless and until they can slap a patent on it. The war on cancer was declared in 1971, and was already nominally in progress some 30 years before that. Some 45 years, around 50 million deaths worldwide (a conservative estimate based on annual US deaths), and $500 billion later, you are no closer to that pharmaceutical
cure than you were when that war was declared. As already hinted, there are good commercial reasons why that will always be the case, but fundamentally it all boils down to just one inescapable fact - nature does not easily lend itself to legally enforceable patents. One or two pharmaceutical companies have tried, but failed to get over that legal hurdle.

Now it may have escaped your attention that no patents = no profits = no cures. It's as simple as that, but as you're too busy hurling abuse at me, it might be too much to expect you to notice or comprehend such a simple, basic truth. And by the way, your French still leaves a lot to be desired, so by all means get back to me when you've graduated from 3rd grade. We might then be able to have a sensible and mature discussion on a level you can understand. As for that bowel movement of which you complain so bitterly, I'm pretty sure you'll find that a DNA profiling test performed on the result will conclusively prove that it all belongs to you. All of it. But if your juvenile invective is intended to eject me from this blog, I will happily oblige you just as soon as your fellow-travelers stop trolling in my natural habitat, otherwise known as curezone.

@ Rich Bly (#277)

I'm extremely happy for you. May you live long and prosper. But please note, the tallest, sharpest object in London is the Shard, but at 310 meters I would face some insurmountable anatomical and logistical problems in any attempt to bestride it with my diminutive frame. Having said that, when those problems have been resolved I'll get my people to speak with your people, coz although it was your idea, it will be my discomfort, and I will insist on exclusive broadcasting rights by way of compensation for my trouble. I hope we'll secure a deal on that basis this time at least, but if not, by all means have a nice day anyway, and do please steer clear of tall pointy buildings. You just never know who’s been there before you.

@ squirrelelite (#278)
Like Opus, I believe you are laboring under a misapprehension. As far as I'm aware, Mr Bollinger does not have or develop his own cancer treatment as such. Like Pierce, he is simply a lay cancer researcher who was compelled to embark on his journey of discovery after this disease cut swathes through his family tree. He does however have his own website in which numerous alternative protocols are described:

https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/

But for the avoidance of doubt, I should add we do not claim to have a magic bullet cure for cancer. Anybody who claims he has a guaranteed 100% cure rate is, quite simply, lying. We do, however, have cure rates that conventional treatments can only dream about. They are nearly all natural, non-toxic, safe, and side-effect free. More importantly, when we use the word 'cure', we do not mean 'in remission', or 'survived for 5 years'. We mean cured, as in the way most people understand that word.

I hope that helps, but if I've failed to address your question in any way, by all means get back to me. Have a spiffing day sir, and I wish you and your sister well.

@Costas,

I try to maintain a civil tone in all my discussions, so thanks. It's a critical skill in my current job.

I see you like Tanya Harter Pierce, who has a book published on Amazon about something called Protocel.

I did a quick search on Pubmed and the only two references were to a couple of PDQ summary papers like this one.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK65905/?report=reader#CDR0000062973…

Despite claims for "comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information", the report had to admit that
<blockquoteThese findings, however, have not been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and only testimonials and anecdotal reports have been provided. No clinical trials of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel have been reported.

In other words, there is no good evidence that they work. Science is about testing your ideas about reality (like how to cure cancer) against reality itself to see if they match. The manufacturers of Protocel haven't done that hard work and neither has Ty Bollinger. Until they do, there is no good way to know if their ideas about how to cure cancer are any better than hundreds of other good ideas that have failed to actually work.

Survival statistics are flawed, as are the statistics I check every night before I come home from work, but they are better than nothing, which is what Pierce and Bollinger have to support their claims so far.

As a result of the hard work of numerous people year in and year out, the overall survival for cancer patients in the US has improved from 2003-2012.

cancer death rates decreased by:

1.8 percent per year among men
1.4 percent per year among women
2.0 percent per year among children ages 0-19

http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/statistics

I'm a numbers guy and I much prefer those numbers over what Pierce and Bollinger can show to support their YouTube video claims.

Have a nice day and May The 4th Be With You!

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@Costas (288)

Thanks for the clarification about Bollinger. The problem is not that alternative medicine doesn't have a magic bullet cure for cancer. SBM doesn't have that either.

The problem is that lots of sites like the ones that you link to make it sound like they do. But there is no good evidence that they really work and many cases where people have tried to use those methods and failed.

Here is link for the local story I referred to.
http://krqe.com/2016/04/01/albuquerque-brother-and-sister-battle-cancer…

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@Costas

But you should all note that judged by any internationally accepted standards for the conduct of civil open debate, most of you will be considered to have already lost the argument by virtue of your reliance on ad hominem abuse.

Your concern over the tone of comments is noted. (And might I add, what lovely pearls you're clutching.)

But if you really find that disclaimer so objectionable (by the way, a device made necessary by the legal and regulatory framework in which altmeds have to operate if they want to avoid the unwelcome attention of the feds)

You know what is another good way to operate without the unwelcome attention of the feds? Do the actual science required to determine whether their treatment du jour actually works or not, is clinically effective, and is relatively safe, then submit that science to the FDA for approval. Ta da! They can then legally make claims to be able to treat X disease with Y treatment.

Sadly for the poor, oppressed alt-med people, since they prefer to rely on anecdotes, rather than doing actual science, they are barred from making medical claims for their products. Why can't the feds just stay out of it and let them make all manner of claims based on little more than whatever they pulled out of their posteriors? Such a sad, sad world where only those who do the work to show that their stuff works get to make treatment claims. Why, just the other day I was lamenting that I couldn't market my homegrown dandelions as cures for every ailment! Instead, I have to use innuendo and fanbois to spread the wonders of my treatment herbal immune support.

Costas: I'm curious: you say that chemotherapy is not a scientific treatment for cancer.
What about the childhood blood cancers that are cured with chemotherapy? The ones that used to kill? Do they not count?

Also cancer research and cancer therapy are rapidly changing, so how about let's cite research and opinion articles from this decade? Or at least this century?

By JustaTech (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

Costas: "(Bollinger) is simply a lay cancer researcher who was compelled to embark on his journey of discovery"

Why is it that alties so often describe diving down a dark rabbit hole of ignorance as a "journey of discovery" or "a healing journey"? Sadly, the "journey" in such instances is a ride on a treadmill ending in despair, failure and sometimes bankruptcy.

Costas: "We do, however, have cure rates that conventional treatments can only dream about."

I don't think that evidence-based medicine dreams of achieving a record of continual failure and broken promises.

That's not "torrents of abuse" - but simple facts that are evidently impossible for quacks - excuse me, "lay healers" to face.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

@Costas: “We do, however, have cure rates that conventional treatments can only dream about.”

You also mentioned something about very few altmed. cancer patients who failed to respond to the quackery. Well, those are the people who made it into the news - helpless children who had to be saved from their parent's love for woo, or self proclaimed health gurus like Jessica Ainscough or the grand quacks themselves like Hulda Clark who died of cancer. What about the death camp in Tijuana where people go to be robbed out of their last money before they die?

The big difference is that your supposed "cure rate" is 0%. Not a single cancer patient has been cured by alternative modalities simply because they cannot have been since cancer is neither a liver fluke, nor a fungal infection, nor can it be influenced by vitamin C infusions, coffee enemas, ozone etc. All supposed survivors brag about refusing chemo or radiation but they conveniently fail to mention that they had undergone surgery before that. Then there are a few spontaneous remissions. What's more, how many were reported as cured by the quacks then used as examples in their books and documentaries and died shortly after? Got any numbers?

I hope you've noticed that the number of cures for all diseases is equal to the number of quacks out there- everyone has his own. This should tell you something.

Please, refrain from cancer cure testimonials. I' ve been called a pharma shill a lot and I don't like reading unverifiable or made up anecdotes by god knows who.

P.S: Not a single leading specialist would say the things that you quoted in your #283 comment. I picked a random name - Glenn Warner and checked it. Sure, he is MD, but deffienetly not a leading cancer specialist.

It's so cute when someone thinks they've learned what ad hominem means.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 04 May 2016 #permalink

I'm sorry I missed Mr Costas' little projectile vomiting exhibition at 283. Just a couple of comments:

Costas said:
"In 1985, MacKillop and colleagues found that of 118 Canadian doctors who treat lung cancer, only 16% would want chemotherapy for symptomatic metastatic bone disease."

Let's see, 1985. Windows 1.0 released, the original MacIntosh and Commodore 128 selling like hotcakes, and the Polaroid 600 was the biggest consumer item going. Nothing's changed since then, Nosirree Bob.

Next bolus from Costas:
"“A study of over 10,000 patients shows clearly that chemo’s supposedly strong track record with Hodgkin’s disease (lymphoma) is actually a lie. Patients who underwent chemo were 14 times more likely to develop leukemia and 6 times more likely to develop cancers of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than those patients who did not undergo chemotherapy.” – Dr W John Diamond."

Interesting that there's no data associated with this claim, although it has been spread across the internet many times.

However, Costas failed to quote his more famous remark, one upon which our host could talk at length:

"I have had a number of patients with breast cancer, all of whom had root canals on the tooth related to the breast area on the associated energy meridian."

However you missed his 'money quote:'

"Legal Disclaimer
The material on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended for use in diagnosing or treating any individual. Serious diseases and medical conditions should always be treated under a physician’s supervision. Do not delay in seeking medical advice if you have any medical or psychological condition or whenever the symptoms of an ailment are present."

Yep, the Quack Miranda in all its glory!!

Next, Costass quotes: “We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of research is to see whether two doses of this poison is better than three doses of that poison.” – Dr. Glenn Warner, leading cancer specialist.

How strange, he lost his medical license sixteen years ago, after his 'treatment' led to the death of a patient. Finished medical school in 1948. Nothing much changed since then. In fact, our proto-Wakefield died in 2000.

Next projectile from Costas: "“As a chemist trained to interpret data, it is incomprehensible to me that physicians can ignore the clear evidence that chemotherapy does much, much more harm than good.” – Dr. Alan C. Nixon "

It took a lot of (totally wasted) time but I finally tracked down the original mention, which referenced The Congressional Record of September 9, 1987. Guess what?? Mr Costa$$'s quote isn't there. I found 71 references to 'Nixon,' all of them tied to one Richard Milhouse Nixon. Don't believe me, Costa$$? Check it out yourself

Nixon.https://archive.org/stream/congressionalrec13317unit/congressionalrec13…

Onto the next puddle o' puke:
“…if I contracted cancer, I would never go to a standard cancer treatment centre. Only cancer victims who live far from such centres have a chance.” – Dr. Charles Mathe, French cancer specialist."

Dr Mathe indeed existed, although I can find no record of that quote other than on alt medicine websites. His obituary is interesting: there's NOTHING to indicate that his beliefs matched those in the quote, although he may have felt that way at one time, since he became skeptical of chemotherapy in 1951 1951!!!
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/health/research/21mathe.html?_r=0

Apparently Cost@ss failed to look far beyond whale.to in his 'research,' since he couldn't find our host's discussion of Linus Pauling:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2009/02/18/vitamin-c-and-cancer-has-l…

For his next trick, Costass decided to prove the old adage that 'even a blind hog finds an occasional acorn.' The Marcia Angell quote is real.

Next bolus: "“My overall assessment is that the national cancer program must be judged a qualified failure. Our whole cancer research in the past 20 years has been a total failure.” – Dr. John Bailer, 20 years NCI staffer and former editor of its journal, JNCI.
SOURCE: Dr. Bailer, speaking at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in May 1985"

Where have I seen that year before??? OH, I remember!!! Polaroid 600, the apex of human ingenuity hit the market.

At this point I realized that further time investment was a waste. But I would like to close with one last quote:

"The bottom line is that the “evidence” used by cranks and quacks to prove that “chemotherapy doesn’t work” is most often based on intellectually dishonest tactics. They either misrepresent studies, as they frequently do with the McGill study claiming that oncologists won’t use chemotherapy. True, thanks to the way these studies have been misrepresented over the years, many of these quacks probably honestly think they’re accurately representing them, but that just goes to show how lazy they are about going back to the primary sources to back up their claims. As for the rest, the Australian study was custom-designed to minimize the apparent utility of chemotherapy, while Dr. Abel’s study intentionally left out the types of situations where chemotherapy is most useful and looked at primarily advanced malignancies. In this latter case, there’s nothing wrong with that approach; the problem comes when the quacks either intentionally or unintentionally fail to disclose that qualification, lose any hint at nuance, and use the results to imply that chemotherapy doesn’t work for anything." Orac

When the evidence is reviewed, it's clear that Costas is intellectually lazy, incompetent at research and suffering from a terminal case of confirmation bias. In short, someone to be pitied.

Costas,

AS i anticiated, you have not provided any citations for anything that is recommended by Ms Pierce on her website is safe and effective for the treatment of cancer.

You are making the claim; the onus is on you to provide the evidence to support it.

I don't care how old you are, how wise to claim to be or how wide your mind has been "opened". None of that is relevant to your argument.

In 1985, MacKillop and colleagues found that of 118 Canadian doctors who treat lung cancer, only 16% would want chemotherapy for symptomatic metastatic bone disease.

Fail.

Is that specific enough for you?

There's nothing "specific" about a half-assed grab-bag of cut-and paste quotes, so you'll have to excuse me for not sieving the rest of your vomitus.

If I can list some of the common problems:
many CAM claims and literature are decades old, obsolete in their data/trial formats by current US regs; usually obsolete in their application of CAM technology too.

* The CAM data are thin, sometimes incomplete, materially different than practices in the current locale , sometimes unfamiliar types of information, often experimental or clinical series. Their strengths are often their weakness too e.g. a single practitioner or group with perhaps some stratification and advanced technique.

* RI readers highly emphasize formal RCTs and FDA approvals before interupting their sleep cycle.

* Patients (CAM or conventional) often have little technical residue in their brains. If parents' passing knowledge of high school chemistry were prerequiste at the moment of conception, world population could be under a billion in a generation. Likewise it is often difficult to tell whether their ignorance exceeds their arrogance with many doctors who obviously haven't read their own journals when they snicker about things you have 10 major journal papers in your hand.

* Legit CAM patients and practitioners often face a disruptive audience with hostile drs, nurses, "skeptics" and institutions (e.g. hospitals, regulators, insurance). Misplaced skepticism aggravates this problem, interferes with their "right to chose", and could make it worse.

* Costas complains about skeptic invasiveness at his favorite site. I originally thought he would complain about added EU oppression of his London environment for supplements the potential for more misconcieved regulations based on rumormongering, false trials, and hearsay. Many of the "skeptic" discussions completely miscomprehend the chemistry, application and expectations of biologically based CAM treatments.

Costa:

The FDA exists for a number of reasons, but primarily it is to protect the public.

That you perceive it to be an inconvenient hurdle for all and sundry to hurdle in order to flog their magical thinking to the unsuspecting public speaks volumes.

Gentlemen,

Thank you all for your excellent points, especially Opus, DrRJM, and squirrelelite.

I know 2 or 3 of you might wish that I desisted altogether, but I intend answering all the substantive points that have been made, especially as they relate to citations, 'numbers', scientific evidence, the FDA, etc., and of course not forgetting Opus’ scathing demolition job on the bulk of those anti-chemo quotes.

BTW DrRJM, you are gravely mistaken to think that just because I have not yet given you those citations, they do not exist. I simply wanted to avoid doing what you could just as easily do for yourself. But you are quite right – the onus falls squarely on my shoulders to prove my case, and it was perhaps too much to expect that you would take it all on trust and find those citations for yourself in the books I recommended to you.

For those of you who are still interested, all I ask is forbearance on your part until I am able to respond in full. Until then, I wish you all a pleasant spring/early summer, and good health. Even you Narad.

Some of the public doesn't want the FDA for their protection, or at least the entire package. From where I stand, the FDA seems to trample on the Right to Life, never mind some free speech issues.

It is the FDA that creates artificial market conditions that allow a company to charge 10,000x an international retail price for an old, generic oral drug.

It is the FDA that stops or delays old generic drugs with superior features from reaching the US, by decades if ever.

It is the FDA disrupts patient treatments with reliable old drugs, sometimes to replace them with inferior products.

It is the FDA that disrupts early stage legitimate claims while often allowing marketing cons, large and small to flourish.

My question is how can competent patients reasonably modulate the FDA infringements ***as individuals*** for their own access to drugs. Especially those treatments that they view as life essential, never mind the opinion of anyone else. Especially those with inherent or demonstrated conflicts of interest.

@ prn

I couldn't agree more mate. They are now little more than the enforcement wing of the pharmaceuticals, with whom they have a revolving door relationship that's rotten to the core. The conflicts of interest that have been fully documented over the last decade or so simply beggar belief. They license drugs that have supposedly been thru the so-called 'gold standard' clinical trials - double-blind placebo-controlled, only to withdraw them years, sometimes even decades later, or else are forced to slap black-box warnings on them.

I will cite several instances of the FDA's predilection for raiding and trashing the medical practices of qualified MD's who dare to use CAM protocols. Their jack-booted thugs arrive armed to the teeth as if expecting violent opposition - from doctors or their patients for goodness sake, who they then terrorize with their SWAT-like antics, pointing barrels in their faces, confiscating medical records, computers, medical equipment, etc., never to return them again, and all but forcing them out of business. Yet despite all those theatrics, they then fail to follow through with indictments or prosecutions because, of course, no law was ever actually broken, or no evidence presented before a grand jury.

This is nothing less than the abuse of state power and due process. They are patently acting on spurious pretexts concocted by their paymasters, whose profits must be protected at the expense of turning healthcare into a monopoly that brooks no competition. DrRJM appears to be completely unaware of this aspect of his favorite regulatory body's behavior. He seems to think they are simply there to protect the unsuspecting public from quacks. That might have been the case in the past, but it is increasingly less true today, to the point that I believe they are now utterly unfit for purpose.

Then again, I don't want to anticipate too much of what I will have to say about the FDA in a more comprehensive reply to the points made earlier, so I'd better stop there before someone has to carry me off.

With the greatest respect to the good doctor, his apparent belief in their benign role is

By Costas (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by prn (not verified)

@Costas, citation needed on seizure of medical equipment that is never returned. Courts can order the seizure of equipment, but once no charges are filed, the equipment is returned. Assuming it was approved equipment and not an illegal quackery device.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Costas (not verified)

It is the FDA that creates artificial market conditions that allow a company to charge 10,000x an international retail price for an old, generic oral drug.

If you're referring to the Orphan Drug Act (Colcrys springs to mind), as the name suggests, it's not the FDA's doing.

Costa,

I live by the aphorism " In God* We trust: All others bring evidence".

Extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence.

Anecdotes, testimonials, opinion pieces and Internet quotes do not qualify as evidence in the rough and tumble world of evidenced-based medicine.

prn:

It is common for people to rail against regulatory authorities like the FDA.

The FDA most definitely have significant limitations.

Individuals are free to eat, drink, infuse, apply and insert anything they like. Virtually all generic drugs are available online without prescription. So, the FDA can readily be subverted on the individual level; but expecting that they will greenlight baseless claims of safety and efficacy of magic potions is misunderstanding their role and function.

*As an atheist, it was painful for me to type this but that's how the quote goes....

I dunno, Doc, I think I'll stick with my Rx only medication. Doctor has more training and experience than I do.
That said, doctor trusts me to adjust my own beta blocker dosage while I'm undergoing my hyperthyroidism treatment. That's a good thing, as I was originally at 350 mg metoprolol, split in two doses per day, now I'm at 50 mg bid with only two significant hypotension events.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by DrRJM (not verified)

...........probably well-intentioned, but likely misplaced.

Unfortunately, there's no edit function once posted, so I couldn't correct @ #303 above.

prn: It is the FDA that creates artificial market conditions that allow a company to charge 10,000x an international retail price for an old, generic oral drug.

Narad@305:If you’re referring to the Orphan Drug Act (Colcrys springs to mind), as the name suggests, it’s not the FDA’s doing.
Thanks, Narad. That paper looks like a fair reference to illustrate part of the difference in our pts of view. Whether some Congressmen and their cronies bombed an innocent FDA unasked, dropped manna from heaven, or someone in the FDA set it all up, my view is that those (super)powers and duties are what create and define the FDA, good and/or bad. The people, inside and outside the FDA, then follow the money and the power.

For someone(s), those "side effects" were not unintended consequences but rather lobbied changes for enrichment, even if 99% of the Congress and FDA were innocent naifs.
For my family, suffering loss of availability several times, those powers need to be altered or abolished.

Thanks, Narad. That paper looks like a fair reference to illustrate part of the difference in our pts of view. Whether some Congressmen and their cronies bombed an innocent FDA unasked, dropped manna from heaven, or someone in the FDA set it all up, my view is that those (super)powers and duties are what create and define the FDA, good and/or bad. The people, inside and outside the FDA, then follow the money and the power.

For someone(s), those "side effects" were not unintended consequences but rather lobbied changes for enrichment, even if 99% of the Congress and FDA were innocent naifs.

For my family, suffering loss of availability several times, those powers need to be altered and moderated, or abolished.

Costas,

As I do not practice medicine in the US, the FDA is irrelevant to me.

We have a similar body in Australia (TGA), but as far as I know their powers are pretty limited.

Did the FDA really storm into a doctors office, point weapons in peoples faces, whilst wearing jackboots*? if they did, that is alarming, but I suspect this is hyperbole. Happy to be proven wrong.

* Where can one obtain a decent pair of good quality jackboots? I'm asking for a friend.

DrRJM, you could always check Amazon. :)
Personally, I don't have much use for jack boots, preferring my old military issue combat boots and a set of custom boots I also purchased back when I was in the military.

I'm sure that it was hyperbole, but I did request a citation for any of his claims.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by DrRJM (not verified)

I will cite several instances of the FDA’s predilection for raiding and trashing the medical practices of qualified MD’s who dare to use CAM protocols.

Please do.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

O.
M.
G.

Costass is back!!

I can't wait to see how this unfolds, although I note with some interest that (s)he penned a long epistle (The Jackboot Epistle) without responding to previous requests for citation. Purely an oversight, I assume. . .

In the meantime, totally off-topic, I am reminded of an episode from my childhood. I grew up in the rural American south in the 1950s, when life was simpler and references more basic. I once heard an uncle describe an unfolding drama: "It's like watching a blind armadillo trying to screw a football - funny for a minute or two until you realize that the armadillo is pitiful and the whole episode is pointless."

I don't know why that came to mind, so I guess I'll go back to watching Costa$$ demonstrate his/her sexual prowess on the gridiron.

It is common for people to rail against regulatory authorities like the FDA.
No doubt the FDA counts on the sound and fury, er, ah, dying out. Sooner than later. I've actually seen this with Brits and Canadians when denied Avastin tx.

Individuals are free to eat, drink, infuse, apply and insert anything they like.
Not as much as you imply. Not in a hospital, IV vitamin C has been a problem for years, although that may change. Likewise I've seen complaints about apricot product restrictions, but that doesn't affect me.

Virtually all generic drugs are available online without prescription.So, the FDA can readily be subverted on the individual level; ...
For some cancer drugs not really, without going to extremes that most people can't execute legally and practically. In fact, if you see any inexpensive leucovorin tablets online, our national source dried up and I'm "in the market" for a decent international source even with a foreign scrip (this is not for the US). Ideally I'd like to order direct from a legit Indian pharmacy.

...expecting that they will greenlight baseless claims of safety and efficacy of magic potions is misunderstanding their role and function.
This greatly misunderstands some of what the FDA has interfered with historically, in cheaper, more effective medicines and their commercial development.

Again, citation free claims are discarded claims.
Let's see a citation on alleged raids, interference with drug development, etc.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by prn (not verified)

prn,

I sit on the Drug and Therapeutics Committee at my hospital. We evaluate evidence provided by the applicant (who has to declare any COI) and make formulary decisions based on this. If someone wanted to use IV vitamin C, ozone, Mg etc for a particular indication, then they can submit an application and it will be evaulated, just like all the "Big Pharma" folk have to do. Strangely enough, despite all the internet huff and puff about the miraculuous IV vitamin C, and the backing of a Nobel laureate, no-one has ever attempted this at my hospital, nor any other I am aware of.

If a patient of mine in my hospital wants to take hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, doxycycline, amoxycillin and rifampin for their "Chronic Lyme Disease", I first screen them for florid mental illness, and once satisfied that they are capable of making decisions, I tell them to go ahead and knock themselves out. What I don't do is endorse it, and I certainly do not ask the hospital and/or the taxpayer to pay for it. I do promise I'll be there to treat their raging Cdiff colitis when it occurs.

Re: on line generics, some of my patients (who actually do have a chronic infection that actually responds to antimicrobial therapy) have been doing this for years. I use the Chris Rock approach: I don't agree with it, but I understand it.

I was interested in the leucovorin issue (although not strictly an anticancer agent, I know what it is used for in this context). I was able to get to the final step of purchasing it online from Universal Drugstore. it took about 2 minutes to go from Google to "credit card details please". USD$50 for 30 x 5mg. Is that expensive? Dunno. In my world, patient advocacy groups usually intervene in situations like this and drive down the price through bulk ordering etc. Not ideal, but there you go.

I'm also interested in your claim that the FDA has directly interfered in drug development. Could you offer an example?

I do wonder how many of those "chronic Lyme" cases are autoimmune.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 05 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by DrRJM (not verified)

I will cite several instances of the FDA’s predilection for raiding and trashing the medical practices of qualified MD’s who dare to use CAM protocols. Their jack-booted thugs arrive armed to the teeth as if expecting violent opposition – from doctors or their patients for goodness sake, who they then terrorize with their SWAT-like antics, pointing barrels in their faces, confiscating medical records, computers, medical equipment, etc., never to return them again, and all but forcing them out of business.

And yet you don't actually cite those, at least not in any definition of "cite" I can find.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien
"And yet you don’t actually cite those, at least not in any definition of “cite” I can find."

Please note the words 'I will'. I mean them literally, not rhetorically or stylistically. And for the rest of you who think/believe I was merely using hyperbole, if only that were so. No, I'm deadly serious, and the evidence will be posted in due course - probably later today. Trust me, I'm not a doctor. And if any of you can refute the evidence, I'll be the first to congratulate you.

@ Opus
"...he penned a long epistle (The Jackboot Epistle) without responding to previous requests for citation. Purely an oversight, I assume. . .."

You could not have seen my post at #301. Having trouble keeping up old man? Oh yeah, that's right.......too busy posting the latest insult. By all means keep them coming. I'm sure they have a therapeutic value for you, so all is not lost.

PS How do you guys manage to get the quotes italicized? I tried copy/paste from a word processor, but no joy, and I don't see a txt editor anywhere. Has Opus blinded me with his venomous spray to the eyes?

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Mephistopheles… (not verified)

I also eagerly await examples of Jack-Booted FDA Thugs Armed To The Teeth barging into doctor's offices waving guns in their faces, only to cringe in embarrassment later when no charges can be substantiated.

I suspect we will never get to see them, as Costas either exits stage left because he has More Important Things To Do, or blithely moves on to other unsubstantiated claims.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Dangerous Bacon

Et tu Brute? Did ya not see my post just above yours then? Seriously guys, I'm starting to lose the will to live again. Give me a break... please. As it happens, yes. I have several urgent matters to which to attend. Much as it may come as a shock to you, I do have a life outside cyberspace.

But I hafta say, I am seriously surprised that all of you appear to be totally unaware of this aspect of FDA activity. I thought it was fairly common knowledge, but your apparent ignorance of this begs several questions that I must resist asking for now.

I repeat.........watch this space.

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Dangerous Bacon (not verified)

Trust me, I’m not a doctor.

No worries, no one will ever mistake you for one.

Use html for formatting genius.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

Costas - Clearly I was too impatient. Whenever you get around to it. Take your time.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Mephistopheles O'Brien

I love you man.

Costas is beginning to remind me of that rather entertaining nutjob who interviewed the CDC, FDA, China, Paul Offit, etc. and will be releasing the details SOON!!111! And we'd all be sorry only to never return.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Science Mom

Drats, I've been rumbled.

Tho not sure I understand your last sentence. Care to elaborate for us nutjobs?

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Science Mom (not verified)

@Costas, it's simple enough, make a bold claim, provide detailed citations in support of the claim.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Costas (not verified)

Breaking News!!

The armadillo has yet to locate the football, stops to engage in pseudo-intellectual autoeroticism.

Stay tuned. Details at 11:00

"I have very urgent matters to attend to that prevent me from providing any citations. Instead, let me just take time to read your comments and add my own seven replies."

@ Todd W.

U got it in 1 mate. Now go figure.

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Todd W. (not verified)

U got it in 1 mate. Now go figure.

I keep coming up with zero.

@ TBruce

Then I repeat (again) - watch this space, mate. You won't have too long to wait.

Never, in all my experience of posting, have I ever come across such an impatient bunch. Why the frack are you all straining at the leash? Haven't you heard that patience is a virtue? And yes, I'm still trying to get that urgent job done.

Now please.......DESIST!!!

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by TBruce (not verified)

“I have very urgent matters to attend to that prevent me from providing any citations. Instead, let me just take time to read your comments and add my own seven replies.”

It's always entertaining when a woo poster disgorges numerous and/or lengthy diatribes, and eventually flounces off in a huff while protesting that they have far better things to do with their time. Bonus points for intimating that others must not have jobs or if they do, are financed by the Giant Pharma Lizards to prey on innocent altie commenters.

A problem for poor Costas is that many here are nauseatingly familiar with and have little patience for the altie playbook.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

"I have very urgent things to attend to! Stop posting, because then I'm forced to respond. My urgent matters and these forced responses take up all of the time I would otherwise have available for providing citations for my claims. Now, please, let me finish my important things and stop forcing me to write responses."

Costa$$ said Has Opus blinded me with his venomous spray to the eyes?

If only there were a way to let our Reptilian Overlords know that I've mastered such a truly reptilian skill!! Riches of a truly galactic scale would shower down up me and my soon-to-be scaly family.

@ Opus

Sorry mate. Nobody, but nobody, interrupts my post-coital fag.

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Opus (not verified)

PS Oh yeah, for the rest of you doubters out there. The reason I can't immediately post my evidence is that there are about a dozen or so links involved, which need a bit of time to locate, collate, etc.

It's quite simple really, so why all the fuss over nothing? Is patience now a rare earth metal across the pond?

As it happens, yes. I have several urgent matters to which to attend. Much as it may come as a shock to you, I do have a life outside cyberspace.

Here's some free advice: when I want to make an argument based on verifiable premises (as opposed to simply stating an opinion) I make sure I have the appropriate citations before I post. If I don't have time to look up the evidence to back up my claims, then I don't have time to make them - it's as simple as that. Not only is it an inconsiderate waste of other people's time, but I find that if I have to go looking for citations, it frequently turns out I didn't know the evidence as well as I thought I did.

@ Sarah

Excellent advice my dear. Yes, I've jumped the gun - ass about face, etc. My bad, and no excuses this time. Sorry. But those links will be posted.

@ Bruce

Yes, that's right, coz writing those 'junk excuses' takes only a fraction of the time I need to put together my case. Is that so hard to understand?

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Sarah A (not verified)

Costas:
Yet you have time to repeatedly post junk excuses.
We are impatient - at being jerked around.

I suspect that our friend from across the pond will post several stories about FDA raids, and they can all be found here -

http://www.myopia.org/fdaraids.htm

I suspect this list is old and way out of date. I see a couple of the incidents cited do include a couple of medical doctors

Bursynski - we all know why

Dr. Jonathan Wright - After L-tryptophan was banned, Dr. Jonathan Wright continued to prescribe it.

and an example of seizing medical records -

Hospital Santa Monica is an alternative cancer hospital in Mexico that competes with mainstream hospitals in the U.S. They were accused of distributing unapproved drugs. More than 50 federal agents with guns drawn raided the hospital office in San Deigo, seizing a tractor trailor of business records, patient charts, and computers. They also searched employees' homes and seized $80,000 found in the owner's safe. Over $300,000 was taken from the bank accounts of the hospital and two vitamin companies.

in short - there is a grain of truth to his claims, but I have serious doubt that his examples (if he ever gets off his dead @$$ and provides them) will be found to be other than scam artists and quacks, which he admits (bolding mine).

I will cite several instances of the FDA’s predilection for raiding and trashing the medical practices of qualified MD’s who dare to use CAM protocols.

Speaking for myself, I wish there were more FDA raids of the scam artists friend Costa$ will try to cast as heroes.

The subject of the militarization of police agencies would be a separate topic, and a trend I find somewhat disturbing.

HTML fail - I hope that my post is clear enough.

Can a brother get a preview button, please?

@ Johnny

Correct re Dr Jonathan Wright & Stan Burzynski. And at least 2 or 3 others. And a couple of health food stores, farm markets, etc. And a seller of apricot kernels.

Ah yes, L-Tryptophan, that well-known toxic drug that will put a horse out of commission in one fell swoop with just one whiff. Absolutely scandalous.

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Johnny (not verified)

The world ended about 20 years ago. I'll supply sources when I get a chance.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Mephy

Not sure I love you so much now bro. I thought you got it.

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Mephistopheles… (not verified)

"More than 50 federal agents with guns drawn raided the hospital office in San Deigo"

The way I heard it, it was 200 masked special forces commandos with smoke bombs, flash grenades and snarling attack dogs. Many deaths ensued - but you will not hear the truth about this scandal from our main$tream media.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

Thank you Mr Bacon. You are doing my job for me, and I appreciate the help. The truth seems to be gradually leaking out already, and that's before I've even posted my magnum opus (sorry Opus).

That's the point, innit? That's why all you lovely ppl have never heard this before. It's not just pharma, the FDA, the AMA (ad nauseum) that are all in bed with each other, They control the media too, eg thru advertising revenue, your govt., eg thru campaign contributions - in fact, the whole show. So you'll never hear these stories. Ever heard of 'The Young Turks' network?

https://www.tytnetwork.com/

Or Redacted Tonight on RT Tv even?

https://www.rt.com/shows/redacted-tonight-summary/341448-primary-electi…

Try them for a change, and you might actually have a chance of getting the truth. You live in a corporate police state my friends, and you don't even know it. But what's really worrying (to me at least) is that we're not that far behind you, thanks to TTP and TTIPS.

Don't ask.

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Dangerous Bacon (not verified)

Correct re Dr Jonathan Wright & Stan Burzynski. And at least 2 or 3 others. And a couple of health food stores, farm markets, etc. And a seller of apricot kernels.

Ah yes, L-Tryptophan, that well-known toxic drug that will put a horse out of commission in one fell swoop with just one whiff. Absolutely scandalous.

As expected not a single one of those, which someone else had to provide for Costas, support what s/he claims.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

Costa$

If Burzynski is your poster child for FDA overreach, you'll be laughed out of the room. I myself would like to see him raided, arrested, given a fair trial, and a fine hangin', every day for a month.

DB - it wasn't clear in my post, but I didn't write that paragraph - that was from the web site I mentioned. I do not claim that site is a fair and impartial purveyor of facts.

@DB

The way I heard it, it was 200 masked special forces commandos with smoke bombs, flash grenades and snarling attack dogs. Many deaths ensued – but you will not hear the truth about this scandal from our main$tream media.

I heard it was nuked from orbit. Only way to be sure.

@ Johnny

Actually no, I wasn't gonna cite him as one of my examples. I meant correct as far as an example of that type of FDA activity is concerned. If you're telling me SB is a quack, I'm actually inclined to agree with you, along with Hulda Clark, homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractor, etc. etc. Does that come as a surprise to you?

@ Johnny

PS Did you know the FDA have agreed to sanction clinical trials on antineoplastons? I'm sure you'll be looking fwd to the results.

Given Burzynski's record of publishing, I don't think any of us will be alive if and when that happens.

PS Did you know the FDA have agreed to sanction clinical trials on antineoplastons? I’m sure you’ll be looking fwd to the results.

Christ on a cracker, you think we fell off the mail truck yesterday? Count Scamula has had decades of "clinical trials" and nada to show for them. Why don't you search this site before you step in that one too.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

People, people. Stop replying to Costas. You know he has Important Things to Do and he is medically incapable of not responding to you. If you want him to provide citations for any of his bloviations, you'll just need to keep quiet and refrain from commenting on his bovine excrement.

No need to reply to thank me, Costas. Now, go about your business with the assurance that the comment thread will remain dormant until such time as you have gathered your citations.

The the two premier FDA battles and abuse stories of the 1990s are Life Extension Foundation and the Tahoma Clinic raid, where the principals had the wherewithal, public support and fortitude to fight back and there was some public record.

Many FDA actions were essentially thumping the little old lady with a health food store stories. Over and boring even for teenage thugs.

Costas, don't let them rush you if you can dig up quality dirt like the Tahoma video. Some just want to laugh at you if you can be hurried to fumble.

This is her journey and good for her for seeking alternative medicine. I've been dealing with cancer for over a year now using western medicine and it's been nothing but an epic fail. Moving on to alternative medicine. Plant based medicine us the way to go for me. I don't want to be tied to big pharma controlling my outcome which is just treating it for the sake of raking in billions while obliterating your immune system. Everything "The Truth About Cancer" has said this far I have experienced with Western Medicine so no, Ty Bollinger is not a quack. Just a brave soul who wants to blow the lid on the truth about your chances if you stick to Chemo, Radiation and Surgery as conventional treatments which is they don't work. It always comes back because they are not addressing the underlying cause which is the cancer stem cell. Again, epic fail!!! How many lives need to suffer before people get the truth!!!!

prn: citations please for the "little old lady" raids.
Bold claims require citations, not repetition, lest you be further mocked for bullshitting.

Oh, for the record, rt dot com isn't "redacted today", it's Russia Today, the official Russian government news site. We'll suffice it to say, it's heavy on propaganda, light on facts and has been so since communism was a thing in Russia.

@ Wzrd1

Coming from the land of Fox News, CBS, and CNN, that's quite funny. Guess irony ain't your thang though.

If I'm not mistaken, I think the progr. is actually called Redacted Tonight, and yes, it's on RT Tv = Russian Television. Despite that obvious handicap, there is more truth in that half hr comedy show than you'll get in a month of watching all the other channels put together.

Tell me, is the TYTNetwork also communist propaganda?

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Wzrd1 (not verified)

I really haven't reviewed the other, when one is quoting Russia Today as a factual news source, I tend to discount any other sources.
Honestly, I get most of my news from Al Jazeera and the BBC.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Costas (not verified)

Both excellent sources. And RT is ok as long as you know where to distrust them - ie anything that Russia is directly or indirectly involved in.

So Syria? - Lies.
Ukraine? - Lies.
MH17? - Lies.
Assassination of Alexander Litvinienko? - Lies.
Sergei Roldugin & the Panama Papers? - Lies.

Catch my drift?

By Costas (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Wzrd1 (not verified)

@prn

You're a true scholar, a gentleman, and an acrobat sir. You understand me perfectly.

@ Todd

Medically incapable of not replying? I love it.

By Costas Cleater (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

The the two premier FDA battles and abuse stories of the 1990s are Life Extension Foundation and the Tahoma Clinic raid, where the principals had the wherewithal, public support and fortitude to fight back and there was some public record.

You call that abuse? Sleazy operators illegally shipping drugs, manufacturing cocaine and manufacturing in dirty conditions. Oh yea boo freakin hoo for them. Try again you're not even close to helping out your new friend.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

This is her journey and good for her for seeking alternative medicine.

Oh FFS she's not on a "journey", she's right where she started and is actually going backward.

It always comes back because they are not addressing the underlying cause which is the cancer stem cell. Again, epic fail!!! How many lives need to suffer before people get the truth!!!!

Jennifer, I'm truly sorry for what you are dealing with but failure of medicine to help you doesn't mean magic will work. Sometimes, for some things, there is not the outcome we need. I wish you well.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Jennifer

Welcome to the madhouse chuck. I hope Science Mom's dismissive comments hasn't put you off hanging around for a little while at least.

I'll be making some posts over the next few days that might be of interest to you - if you can stomach the febrile atmosphere. In the meantime, are you familiar with the book referred to @ #267, last para.?

Wow, when Andrew freakin' Weil comes out against you, you KNOW you're a quack.

By Emma Crew (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Jennifer

I posted the above comment (#368) a bit too quickly. Lest you think, based on my comments above, that I'm just a 'venom-filled' commenter, let me give you some background.

My wife was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma last July. It was Stage III, and there's no such thing Stage IV for multiple myeloma. The bone marrow biopsy done in late July showed that 75% of her bone marrow cells consisted of the IgA plasma cells, when they should be only 5% of the total. After eight months of chemotherapy her bone marrow biopsy earlier this month showed that the abnormal cells were now 12% of the total. If they had dropped below 10% it might have met the conditions for remission but that didn't happen. There are those (like Costas) who would say that this represents a failure of traditional medicine but they are dead wrong, which is what my wife would be now if she'd followed Ty Bollinger's or Tanya Harter Pierce's advice. Let me repeat that for you: if my wife had followed the advice in Ty's or Tanya's books she would be dead and I'd be settling her affairs, cleaning out closets and wondering what might have been. Instead yesterday was a Cinco de Mayo celebration with neighbors, today we visited my 90-year old aunt and tomorrow is a Siete de Mayo celebration, with the neighbors who couldn't come for Cinco de Mayo. She still has incurable cancer but her best - and only - hope comes from science-based medicine.

If you read the material in the above link from post 368 you will note that Costas' preferred solution to cancer was first tested in the late '70s and again in the early '90s. If my wife had been diagnosed in 1978 or 1991 her life expectancy would have been the same, whether she took Costas' route or science-based medicine. In 2001 the situation hadn't changed much: woomeisters of the type Costas likes weren't much worse than oncologists. Today someone with multiple myeloma would have to be misguided to follow Costas' advice. (Not that it doesn't happen - I came home today with a pamphlet from a relative with a new 'cure.') We meet with the oncologist later this month and all of the eight possible treatment protocols we will review have been developed, tested and put into production since 2001 by real scientists, not people selling hope and nothing else. Life expectancy for multiple myeloma patients is increasing so rapidly that the data in the SEER tables at cancer.gov is no longer applicable.

Unfortunately the world is full of people like Costas, who seem to have an inordinate need to know the 'truth' behind conspiracies and be in on 'The Secret.' No amount of information can change their minds; refer to Costas' epistle at 283, and the comments that follow. The majority of the 'evidence' that (s)he posted is old, long-debunked crap yet (s)he never acknowledged its faults; instead (s)he just kept posting.

As I mentioned above I am old, retired in fact. I spent 30+ years in the trenches working on issues of poverty, child abuse, malnutrition etc. We had an adage, often called upon when we had to clean up behind politicians' efforts to address these issues: "Every complex social problem has an answer that's simple, cheap, easy to implement and wrong."

Unfortunately, now that I'm retired and facing, with my wife, a life-threatening illness, I have discovered that a maxim true for social services is true to medicine, with only one wording change: Every complex medical issue has an answer that's simple, cheap, easy to implement and wrong.

If my wife is unable to beat multiple myeloma - and make no mistake, the odds are stacked against her - the oncologist, nephrologist, cardiologist and internist will almost certainly wonder what they could have done differently. We know them all and see their frustration when syncope events occur more and more frequently, when dialysis doesn't seem to be working, when her blood pressure falls from 220 to 54 in one week, and when Medicare stops covering a very effective medication. They are emotionally invested in her care.

One thing is certain, neither Costas nor Tanya Harter Pierce will care if you follow their advice and die as a result. You are nothing but a vehicle for emotional return for Costas and financial return for Tanya Harter Pierce, unless they are one and the same, in which case you may draw your own conclusions.

Let me close with two simple questions:
Question 1: What does Tanya Harter Pierce call someone who buys her book and lives?
A: A $20.74 entry on the income line.
Question 2: What does Tanya Harter Pierce call someone who buys her book and dies?
A: A $20.74 entry on the income line.

Almost but not quite off-topic: I wish our host had been assigned a tech-savvy group of hatchlings by our reptilian overlords. It would be an interesting assignment to set up an email address for commenters to send in a wager: one which specified which previous Orac post best rebutted (prebutted?) the as-yet-unsubmitted epistle from Costas, the amount to be wagered and the charity/cause to which the winning were to be sent if the submitter had the best entry.

Unfortunately I can't think of a way to do it in the current blog: as each entry is posted Costas would read it, mutter 'curses, foiled again,' start 'researching' from the beginning and we'd never get to see the magnificent assemblage of discredited science, old links and outright quackery that (s)he is building right now.

Ah, well, if only my shill check had come in early this month I'd do it, but no such luck.

...the as-yet-unsubmitted epistle from Costas...

I have no doubt a Gish Gallop will follow in due course. "Friend" Costa$ will post a list numbering in the dozens, if not more, of poor pitiful people who only want to $ell adulterated, contaminated, unsafe, unproven nostrums to the suffering and afflicted.

The FDA raids people and places, sure. The FDA brings guns, and plenty of them, because they are not arresting doctors who are working to heal, but to bring justice to criminals taking advantage of the vulnerable. A person who would commit one type of crime (fraud) would likely try to protect their scam, with violence if necessary. Overwhelming force, against a bad guy, is a good thing.

Costa$ would have us believe that the FDA goes after good and honest people, shoves assault rifles in their mouths, and seizes their property without due process. I believe this to be bulls#!+.

Costa$ (and prn, who is another like-minded idiot) -

Post your single best example in the next 3 responses or I will consider you to be a total vegetarian. 3 responses, 1 one example.

As the FDA lacks police powers, they'd not be shoving a firearm anywhere. That'd be a US marshal or FBI agent (or treasury agent) that could bring firearms and make arrests.
We used to not use a high level of force when serving search warrants, but since our war on drugs needed more teeth, raids today are conducted by heavily armed agents and using the weapons of war.
I recall one instance where INS came to retrieve a toddler, showing up with fully automatic assault rifles and treating one and all like they were public enemy #1. Years before, a few agents would have simply shown up, armed with handguns that stayed in their holsters, picked up the kid and called it a day.
Welcome to the police state. Where maximum force is to be employed first and always.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Johnny (not verified)

Orac,

This is Mycroft, the grain barges are locked and loaded. Please provide the needed targeting data.

By Mycroft Holmes (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

@ Johnny

Sorry mate, I don't take kindly to ultimatums. I want to post at least half a dozen or so of 'my best', maybe more, and on my terms, not yours. I will not be rushed. And I think you have totally misconstrued where I'm even coming from on this topic. I'm not talking about legitimate raids, although once again I don't want to get locked into an interminable debate with you over what defines a legitimate raid and what constitutes abuse of power or restraint of legitimate trade.

But even more to the point, I would dearly love Opus to do one of his beloved 'hatchet jobs' on my evidence. My genuine desire is to discover that everything I've ever read on this subject is (as I'm sure most of you already believe) little more than the hysterical paranoia of 'alties' defending snake oil merchants.

And that is also why I'm taking so much longer than I would like to present the case. This isn't a question of simply 'googling' the topic. It's a question of trawling thru my own records and finding the examples of which I speak, which involves a much greater investment in time.

@ Wzrd1 Absolutely correct. The FDA don't directly enforce. They deploy the local constabulary to do their dirty work.

It's called serving a search warrant, based upon evidence and probable cause. Courts don't just go "Woo-hoo, free search warrants all around!", they weigh in evidence presented to the court and if sufficient in the estimation of the judge, issue a search warrant.
During the serving of a search warrant, firearms are not shoved into people's faces, the officers are armed and these days, quite heavily armed, but shoving a firearm into the face of a suspect is a tactical no-no. Center mass is what is aimed at.
Aiming at the head is a special operations thing, when dealing with terrorists. Don't want anyone pushing a button...
One to the head, one to the thorax tends to be the rule there, but two to the head also is highly effective, aimed in a way to destroy the brainstem, when in a CQB environment. At range, it was head and thorax.
Again, something that law enforcement doesn't do, as their job is to arrest suspects, not kill terrorists.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Costas (not verified)

@ Jennifer

If you're still around, just taking a quick time-out from the FDA issue to post this, as it was a relatively quick/easy link by comparison. It's Pierce's reply to Weil:

http://outsmartyourcancer.com/resources/in-the-news/

I think it's only fair that she's given a fair chance to respond. I will reply to Opus' other substantive points in due course, after I've managed to get the FDA issue out of the way.

Costa$ would have us believe that the FDA goes after good and honest people, shoves assault rifles in their mouths, and seizes their property without due process.

You seem to have omitted "Bradstreeting."

@Narad, dyslexia and fatigue are catching up with me.
My skim of the mail had me read, then re-read "Brad streaking", combined into one word. ;)
Dyslexia can give some humorous initial errors, once one reviews and corrects a misread.
Of course, concepts also can be misread, creating communication issues and comprehension issues, but that's something far different than the notion of Brad running around sans apparel.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 06 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Narad (not verified)

SciMom@365
prn: The the two premier FDA battles and abuse stories of the 1990s are Life Extension Foundation and the Tahoma Clinic raid, where the principals had the wherewithal, public support and fortitude to fight back and there was some public record.

SciMom: You call that abuse? Sleazy operators illegally shipping drugs, manufacturing cocaine and manufacturing in dirty conditions. Oh yea boo freakin hoo for them. Try again you’re not even close to helping out your new friend.
SciMom, your sweeping slam blurs and horribilizes details that I am not quite sure of your factual base.
Cocaine ? LEF?? Tahoma clinic ?? (you???)
AFAIK, Tahoma Clinic and Wright were victimized by the pharmacist on cleanliness and interstate manufacture. Also definition and application of "drug" was a problem with vitamins and amino acids, partly clarified by subsequent Congressional action, not in the FDA's favor. At least our host can't seem to get over DSHEA, which was probably quickened by these two particular cases.

With abject apologies for trying everybody's patience, my (alleged) pathological inability to stop responding to your provocations/challenges, and the resulting interminable exchanges. There are more that I would have liked to include, but was unable to find. If I come across them soon, I'll add in a supplemental post. I didn't think it was sensible to delay posting any longer.

A. Raids on doctors' clinics, surgeries, etc:

1. The clinic of Dr Ivan Danhof:

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_industryweapons28.htm

2. The clinic of Dr J. V. Wright

In the good doctor's own words. So ok, I was wrong about the jackboots. In my defence, I was writing from memory, which is manifestly not inflammable these days. Dr Wright's wry mention of them clearly imprinted itself on my memory circuits. The gun in the face was pretty close to the mark tho.

Please watch 59:04 - 1:05:25 of this:

https://go2.thetruthaboutcancer.com/agq/episode-1/

B. Raids on raw milk farmers, etc

http://www.naturalnews.com/033280_FDA_raids_timeline.html

C. Raids on health-food stores, etc

http://www.naturalnews.com/021791_the_FDA_medical_racket.html

D. Raids on altmed research labs.

True, these raids were in Europe. I can't prove they were FDA-inspired coz the nature of the evidence would make it next to impossible to uncover, but I've got more than a sneaking suspicion that these raids were initiated after a 'friendly' request from your agencies, a la Gregory Caton and Interpol. After all, we do your bidding most of the time, don't we?

http://anhinternational.org/2015/02/11/uk-government-raid-strips-cancer…

E. Prosecution & imprisonment of seller of a health food/cancer cure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJAiutL8JyU

F. Illegal abduction:

http://www.naturalnews.com/033573_FDA_abduction.html

G. Restraint of Trade: FDA loses a legal case involving importation of laetrile:

Chapt 1 - Case Dismissed:
http://www.whale.to/m/binzel.html

Now, if the skeptics here can dismiss all this as baseless, so much the better. I'm open to arguments for the defence of the FDA, but so far the evidence against them looks pretty damning to me.

Just... Wow.
So, the US FDA raided foreign labs, because. Or something.
Note that the FDA is a US institution and hence, has zero authority or power abroad.
But... Magic! They stretch their magical arm across the globe or something! Must be a DoD thing, on wait, different branch of government there.
Oh wait, both are executive branch, so something's to be said or something.

Seriously, if that's all you're bringing to the table, (as well as the non-sources), well, you'd drive me to drink, but I beat you to the punch.
Alas, there isn't enough ethanol on the planet to even rent in, let alone buy into an international invasion conspiracy theory about the US invading foreign labs over Christ knows what.
Sod off son, you're annoying me.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Costas (not verified)

@costa$$ - If you ever get your act together (and I'm sure it will be a beautiful manifesto) I suggest you take your dog and pony show to Trump land. They're a much more credible lot. Indeed, I don't think they ever met a conspiracy they didn't like, so shilling for whatever bunkum you're pushing there.
Here, we're a bunch of reality based meanies insisting on verifiable evidence before handing over wads of cash. We'll just kick your kitten to smithereens. Because you ain't got bumpkiss.

DrRJM@317
I’m also interested in your claim that the FDA has directly interfered in drug development. Could you offer an example?

ref prn@315: ...FDA has interfered with historically, in cheaper, more effective medicines and their commercial development.

Perhaps more accurately here, US commercialization:
UFT with 100 mg tegafur is an oral 5FU drug for CRC developed in the 1980s in Japan. UFT was denied US FDA approval ca 1999 because 224 mg of the pill was non poisonous uracil for DPD inhibition rather than being pure (toxic) inhibitor as required by some obscure rule or statute. This (now) cheap generic drug has some clear advantages over any other 5FU drug, and in skilled hands solves problems perhaps not achieved with other 5FU drugs. The chief investigator for the drug subsequently became the head of the FDA, and still no action.

IV vitamin C has a complex history with FDA regs simply torpedoing it, for indirect reasons like initial testing cost. One version that I know of was Viron ca 1962 with the new FDA test regs. Later test stoppages have been over Upper Limits and trial with an approved IV drug version of vitamin C.

As I am not sure of Jennifer and Costas' stories, I want to point out that in fighting cancer, political ideology goes out the window for survival and pragmatic science.

My observations with mCRC, based on lab work, OS and bloodwork, are that some combinations of chemo and therapeutic nutrition work together far better than either alone, balancing cytocide, WBC diff and Quality of Life. That is what I saw with others I've known including a pair of sisters, both BrCa.

Jennifer provides another sad example of the patient deceived into thinking that making the rounds of failed alt med constitutes a healing "journey". Instead, it's what the Talking Heads might have been describing in "Road to Nowhere".

Jennifer: "Moving on to alternative medicine. Plant based medicine us the way to go for me."

Possibly true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_sources_of_anti-cancer_agents

Of course, none of those plant-derived anticancer drugs actually exist, nor will any others be introduced, because, y'know, natural products can't be patented so no one studies them. And no one affiliated with Big Pharma ever gets cancer so they have no interest in change.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

prn:

re: tegafur/uracil: On reviewing the RCT data it seems to be non-inferior to infusional 5-FU without the hassle factor of continuous infusion and need for long-term IV access, hence the strong patient preference. It looks like BMS gave up trying to get FDA approval after being rebuffed initally. So the FDA did block the usage of the agents in the US, but did not interfere in the drug's development per se.

Re: IV vitamin C: One of the many problems with agents such as this is that, because they are not patented/patentable, drug companies will not sponsor clinical trials of them, so it is left to interested investigators to attract research funding from independent sources eg NIH. There is an excellent, very recent review of the history of IV vitamin C research in cancer on the NCI website and it is clear that researchers are actively investigating its potential role in adjunctive cancer therapy. So watch this space I suppose.

@D Bacon

One more time for your benefit - they are tested, but not by pharma. Their economic model is based on a powerful, steady revenue stream that can only be generated by patented drugs. You cannot charge $100's, $1,000's, or even $10's of 000's for natural remedies that are widely available to everyone. The laws of supply and demand simply don't allow it. Now, pray tell me, what's so hard to understand about that?

And, btw, did you not see the link I gave to Jennifer @ 377 which shows exactly what happens when one of these remedies is tested by an 'approved' institution, the NCI?

@ brook

Check out the post just above yours mate. I look forward to your assessment of the evidence.

Well, it's clear that Costa$$' extensive 'research' didn't run across Scopie's Law.

whale.to? You're giving us whale.to? You are a n00b.

You still got diddleysquat.

@ Opus

Yeah, I think you might have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stickus yet again old fruit. It's actually a quote from a book (Alive and Well) by Phillip E Binzel, a qualified MD. It documents his success with the laetrile protocol in the treatment of cancer in his patients. It's available as a free download on hundreds of sites, and can even be purchased as a hard copy from, eg Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Alive-Well-Experience-Nutrition-Treatment/dp/0912…

It has absolutely nothing to do with whale.to, and just because it's cited by a dodgy site does not invalidate the book or any of its contents. Or are you now simply justifying smear by association?

If you managed to overcome your rabid myopia just long enough to look slightly deeper into what exactly is being quoted here, you might have spotted that patently obvious fact.

As for my research capabilities, I assume you have not yet noticed that Pierce blows your Weil 'citation' clear out of the water?

Now grow up old man. Or at least get a life before you burst a blood vessel..

Mephi baby, are you being deliberately obtuse?

By Costas (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Mephistopheles… (not verified)

This is absolute comedy gold. Pointing and laughing is no longer possible because I am doubled over and out of breath from ten minutes of guffaws. Costa$$ points to a refutation by Pierce that blows Weil out of the water. Pierce points to Burzynski as 'proof' of her case. Costa$$ lauds his own 'research' skills but hasn't noticed that Orac has discussed the Texas killer over and over. Here is a hint: type 'Burzynski' in the box labeled 'search this blog' at the top of the page.

To quote yet another relative: "Though lacketh the ability to find thine own buttocks, yea tho thy hands are restrained behind thou.

Damn autocorrect.

Costas and prn, quality of sources matters, yours' are laughable and in no way supportive of the claim that FDA-armed to the teeth-jackbooted thugs storm practices offering CAM.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

@Opus,

Pirrce's reply is a hoot.

She complains that Andrew Weill can't critique her method because he sells competing products! Whatever happened to the Big Tenth?

But then she provides a great example of the blame of the "blame the victim" attitude of CAM. The FDA tested hid product and it didn't work, but those tests don't count because they didn't do it right. They didn't follow his 3 magic rules to make it work. But I won't tell you what those are. our need to buy my book to find out.

So let me guess.

1, Go to a stone basement at least 6 feet underground to better connect with the earth power. Lay out a penta Glenn in pure white sand, only closing it after you step into the middle.

2, Recite the proper incantation to the earth me there gaia to send her healing power to the patient.

3. Dance naked in the light of the full moon for one hour three nights in a row.

Repeat every month until the patient is healed or dies.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

And, Costas , since Pierce thinks the Gonzalez protocol has shown such good results, I suggest you do a search on Gonzalez after you finish reading up on Buryinski.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

@ squirrelelite
No need to buy the book mate - I'll give you those conditions that were stipulated by the creator of the formula, Jim Sheridan. They are perfectly sound, rational, and are dictated by the way Protocel works. But by all means continue scoffing in the meantime - I've heard it has many cardio-vascular benefits.

But first, gotta get me some light supper before it gets too late.

Oh no - I've done it again. Shoot.

By Costas (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by squirrelelite (not verified)

@ squirrelelite

3. Don't forget, the moon has to be visible, so one clouded night can spoil the results.

To be fair, Costas didn't just cite whale.to.

He also linked to a couple of DenaturedNews articles, which are about as equally trustworthy when it comes to revelations about Jack-Booted Heavily Armed FDA Thugs.

As for Costas' continued insistence that 1) plant-derived drugs are not moneymakers for pharma and 2) are not tested by them - unfortunately these delusions smash head-on into reality. Take taxol, one of the best-known anticancer drugs derived from research into plant-based remedies.

A weekly regimen for advanced-stage breast cancer runs about $13K (alternately, the twice-weekly dosage plan, which also lasts for 12 weeks is more than double that cost). Not as much as some cancer drugs, but still worth the drug company's while to develop and continue selling.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/805220

Meantime, Roche has another breast cancer drug, Kadcyla, which is another of those drugs developed via botanical research. A full course of treatment goes for $94K.

You can if you wish argue that these drugs cost too much, but what you can't do (if you are remotely honest*) is claim that such drugs don't get developed because Big Pharma can't patent and make money from them).

*a dubious proposition.
**if the linked Medscape article is not available, I encourage Costas to use his mad Google skilz to readily find other examples of solid pharma returns on "naturally"-derived remedies.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

Lay out a penta Glenn in pure white sand

Squirrelelite, Spell Correct is just fooling with you now.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

Good old spell check, the bringer of the "Duty Rooster".

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by herr doktor bimler (not verified)

#398 Science Mom
Costas and prn, quality of sources matters, yours’ are laughable and in no way supportive of the claim that FDA-armed to the teeth-jackbooted thugs storm practices offering CAM.
I offered commentary and advice, no sources. I had hoped that Costas could find the onsite video. Here's one NY Times article, over a year later:
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/08/09/us/fda-steps-up-effort-to-control-vit…
Otherwise the historical record starts to become a he said/she said. The FDA+officers, circling the wagons, admit at least one gun was pulled but suggest that textbook procedures were followed and no citizens or rights were endangered or transgressed in this drama; any testimony to the contrary being hysteria and malice.

Your overconstrained bait, "...claim that FDA-armed to the teeth-jackbooted thugs," underwhelms me as high school debate and theatrics.

Rhetorically, I'm fine with "jack-boots" whether black paratrooper boots or military camos stomping round - you know what they meant.

There clearly were a lot of guns onsite. Local officers were "agents" of the FDA in the sense of being the strong arm dupes, acting at the behest or cause of FDA. As to whether (any) FDA agents were armed, like many Americans, I am skeptical of any conflicted government employee's statement these days. Who knows what tac gear (vests and signage) was shared onsite with various flunkies. My understanding is that the embarrassed Seattle officers or dept told the FDA to f' off after that dungpile.

DrRJM
prn: re: tegafur/uracil: ... non-inferior to infusional 5-FU without the hassle factor of continuous infusion and need for long-term IV access, hence the strong patient preference. It looks like BMS gave up ... So the FDA did block the usage of the agents in the US, but did not interfere in the drug’s development per se.
At the level of the BMS registration, I agree and why I said commercialization. However, in my eyes, UFT treatment development was arrested because the drug is so easy to modulate multiple times beyond uracil, LV or PSK for additive power. Once you get past the initial 5FU problems with therapeutic nutrition, even a first time amateur like me could run rings around oncologists on metrics, both the mCRC itself and side effects.

Re: IV vitamin C: One of the many problems with agents such as this is that, because they are not patented/patentable, drug companies will not sponsor clinical trials of them,... So watch this space I suppose.
Serious cancer is more complicated, where IV vitamin C is mostly an additive adjunct with several useful properties, when formulated and used skillfully.

Much easier conceptually and practically, is IV vitamin C for killing acute viruses that haven't diffused into chronic, difficult compartments, as well as venoms and toxics. The Levy book contains a lot of historical medical references with favorable results despite often suboptimal dosages. Once you have IV access, everything else is easy as long as you dose enough. Although my observations with viruses, bacterial biofilm modification, and venom are of low numbers, the effects are obvious.

Since Costa$$ has spent so much time flogging Outsmarting Your Cancer by Tanya Harter Pierce I thought I'd check into it.

The table of contents for Outsmart Your Cancer is mind boggling. Behold!!
[Certain portions omitted for brevity]
After an introduction our ‘author’ delves into alternative ‘non-toxic’ therapies in Section II
- Hoxsey Therapy
- Essiac Tea
- Gerson Therapy
- Laetrile
- Dr Kelley’s Enzyme Therapy
- Burzynski’s Antineoplastons
- Protocel [multiple chapters since this is her source of income]
- Flaxseed oil and cottage cheese
- Rife machine
- 714x
- Cesium high pH Therapy
- Ten more alternative therapies

Section III has Key Cancer Recovery Issues
- To alkalize or not to alkalize
- What women need to know about hormones
- What men need to know about prostate cancer
- Toxic teeth
- Evaluating conventional treatment methods

I'd love to see Orac's take on the last chapter but the book itself would probably provide material for months of Respectful Insolence.

The saddest part is that Costa$$ apparently really believes that this Compendium O' Bullsh!te is for real.

Furthermore, after due consideration and a full review of the evidence at hand I've realized that, if Jenny McCarthy got a Ph.D. from the University of Google then Costa$$ squeaked through and got a certificate of keyboard proficiency from the Millard Fillmore High School of the Mechanical Arts.

NOTE: I am not responsible for physical, emotional or mental damage if you choose to follow me in this endeavor and delve into Outsmart Your Cancer. The portions I was able to read appeared to be Quantum-level idiocy.

Opus,

Wow, that list is a real "woo's woo" of quackery, a greatest hits list of every form of cancer nonsense I've ever encountered.

I'd love to know what those "ten more" therapies are: what can possibly be left?

I've brought this up before vis a vis books like Suzanne Somers's: if any one of those cancer charlatans/theories on the list are correct, that means that EVERY SINGLE OTHER theory has to be wrong.

So how can one author include all those competing (in some cases competing for real big $ from patients) methods and claim they are all effective? How can Gerson co-exist with Burzynski and with Rife and Simoncini, as they all claim to have invented their own "treatments" based on contradicting causes and theories of cancer.

Or is one supposed to try them all?

Bueller?

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

How can Gerson co-exist with Burzynski and with Rife and Simoncini

It's just that cancer is really really easy to cure. Practically *anything* cures cancer -- vibrations or diets or linseed extract or mistletoe. Many tumours have been eradicated by sarcasm alone.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

It is highly unusual for purveyors of woo to criticise each other.

The fact that Weil came out on the record to diss Protocel is telling.

Costas

PS Did you know the FDA have agreed to sanction clinical trials on antineoplastons? I’m sure you’ll be looking fwd to the results.

Are any of those trials, random control trials? Will the results of those clinical trials be released? I'm asking because Burzynski have conducted 50+ clinical trials over the last 25 years and so far he have released very little information about them.

@ Wzrd1 #373

OT
(shameful plug for Bookhunter, by Jason Shiga)

Welcome to the police state. Where maximum force is to be employed first and always.

You mean like the Library Police?

(warning: Bookhunter and Fleep are family-friendly and enjoyable enough books, if you are geek-oriented; the link I provided is safe.
OTOH, Shiga's latest and longer book could be downright disturbing and definitively NSFW)

By Helianthus (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

I'll keep those in mind, I'm always looking for a new book to read. :)
It's quitting time after doing a double, so I'll check it out when I get home.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 07 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Helianthus (not verified)

Yeah, it's a definite, I'll set up a gobbler later on to buffer the site, then a translation goodie to import to my ebook reader.
NSFW doesn't count when one is at work and reading while taking a crap. :)
Or on swing or night shift. ;)

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Helianthus (not verified)

Say what you will about Andrew Weil (and there's plenty to criticize), he does occasionally attack harmful woo.

Another case in point - Weil has a good take-down of essiac tea on his website, noting the lack of evidence for its alleged anticancer effects, and calling out advocates who tell people to avoid evidence-based cancer treatment while drinking essiac - calling their advice "reckless and dangerous".

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/id/QAA400157

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

I am amazed, nay astounded. Our troll has apparently gone, not to return, so it appears that I will never know "those conditions that were stipulated by the creator of the formula, Jim Sheridan. They are perfectly sound, rational, and are dictated by the way Protocel works."

How ever will I live without that essential information?

@ Opus

Nope, still here mate. Family day out today. And some heavy commitments 'morrow, incl. picking up a new car, and ripping out a flood-damaged floor (not mine, I hasten to add - sorry to disappoint).

But fear not old fruit - those 3 testing requirements for Protocel will be posted soon, along with details of those 10 other protocols. I like to keep you all amused, you see. I will also answer your 'hatchet job' on my citations, give the good doctor the citations he demanded of me (quite rightly too), and answer a couple of other misc. points that have been raised in the meantime, especially that one (name escapes me) about chemo being derived from plants. I just love that one. In fact, I was actually wondering how long it would be before that hoary old chestnut was called on for service again.

But all in good time - so no more pressure please to deliver yesterday. It ain't gonna happen. But rest assured, I keep my word, unfortunately for you. It was really good of you to express concern about my present whereabouts though. I really appreciate it. Didn't know you cared.

BTW, for the avoidance of any further doubt, I'm a he. Costas (a diminutive of Constantine) is the male form. Constance, Constantina, etc., the female form. And for those who want to continue with the abuse, Costa$$ will do just fine.

See ya all soon, and sleep tight - don't let the bedbugs bite.

By Costas (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Opus (not verified)

"I like to keep you all amused, you see."

Troll in its impurest form.

Apparently it thinks it is unique, when we've seen other (and wittier) iterations numerous times before.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

@ D Bacon

err...........excuse me, but it was the mighty Opus himself who recently reported being doubled up in an apoplectic fit of laughter after one of my posts, so you can hardly blame me for wanting to tickle his fancy a little more. Sheesh, there's no pleasing some ppl.

I can play it straight-laced too if you prefer, but make your mind up one way or the other please. As for 'troll', I thought my absence was noticed?

By Costas (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Dangerous Bacon (not verified)

Well since he never flounced I guess we can't accuse him of not sticking the landing.

Maybe we could just call it The Content-Free Second Coming of Costa$$*

*Not to be confused with the Initial, Multi-post Content-Free Appearance.

@ Opus

Why, I do believe you're going soft on me. Get a grip man.

By Costas (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Opus (not verified)

Costa$$

No I haven't forgotten that you'd rather people die than get effective treatment.

Sorry, missed one very important word.

No I haven’t forgotten that you’d rather OTHER people die rather than get effective treatment.

@ Opus

You have a very short memory sir. If you retrace some of my comments, you'll see that I emphatically stated my belief as being that of individual responsibility. I distinctly remember saying that you should do what you consider best for your wife. That principle applies to everyone, not just you.

But I guess it's a lot easier to set up straw men, then continue blowing until you succeed in knocking them down again. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to visit Bedfordshire for some shut-eye. But rest assured, I will return soon with more content than you will know how to shake a stick at.

By Costas (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Opus (not verified)

Next, the Amazing Miracle Story of How God Revealed the Secret to Curing Cancer to Jim Sheridan, Ignoring All The Other People In the World Who Really REALLY Needed to Know The Secret, Thus Leaving All The Really Deserving, Terminally Ill People To Die If They Didn't Know Jim Sheridan Personally!!

"In September 1936 before the marriage took place*, Dad had the dream that brought together all the events of the past. During a nap, he saw the bands of color of the rainbow, which represented the respiratory enzymes. Each color represented an enzyme at a specific redox level. The electrons from the DeBye Theory represented energy units in the respiration moving from glucose to oxygen via the respiratory system. Dad awoke knowing that he had his "Marching Orders." (I would recommend reading an eBooklet by Tanya Harter Pierce available at www.outsmartyourcancer.com for a more detailed explanation of the science.) Three years later, Dad bought his first white mice and began his work mostly at home in his spare time."

For the whole story:
http://www.elonnamckibben.com/tribute-james-sheridan.html

* Speculation as to the erotic origins of this dream are STRICTLY off-topic!

Chapter Three: Evil-Doers Are About!! Or is It Afoot??

Screw the grammar discussion, just get to the story!

Details here, but suffice it to say that a Fox has Entered the Henhouse!!

http://entelevhome.net/ourstory.html

Chapter Four: Down the Rabbit-hole with Ed Sopcak, Jim Sheridan's trusted colleage and coworker

Caution!! The Cra-cra is turned up to eleventy-one!!! in this interview. As if one would expect something different from whale.to

http://www.whale.to/v/cancell.html

Chapter Four: In a Truly Astounding Turn of Events We Go Up the Rabbit Hole!!!</b?

Nothing more to be said: "One of the limitations to good compliance to the recommended dosing of all of these liquid products mentioned earlier was the taste, with users describing it from metallic to horrible. The liquid formulations also stained everything from clothing to teeth. It was also suggested that a way around the problem was to take it rectally with an eye-dropper."

http://www.oriontherapeutics.com/alternative_therapies.html

prn @407

How do you define "serious cancer"? Are you referring to a particular stage (eg using the widely used TNM nomenclature) or is it another system? To most patients, any diagnosis of cancer is serious, even indolent DCIS or prostate cancer confined to the organ.

Re: antiviral activities of vitamin C: As an infectious disease physician and clinical microbiologist, I'm very interested in this claim. A lot of substances have in vitro antiviral activity, but "hairy test-tube" and / or human studies do not demonstrate a clinical meaningful effect. Can you point me to peer-reviewed literature that demonstrates a clinically significant effect of IV vitamin C in "chronic, difficult compartments" (eg retroviral infection such as HIV, HTLV-1 etc)? if such literature exists, I would happily present it at my next journal club for the edification of myself and my colleagues. PS acute, self limiting viral infections (eg. rhinovirus) would fall out of this scope.

@DrRJM, at the risk of wandering OT by a lot, I'm curious as to the current thinking in regards to persistent viral shedding present in post-recovery Ebola patients, with viral RNA detected in semen up to 9 months post-recovery.
Is the thinking that immune privilege is playing a role with viral persistence?

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by DrRJM (not verified)

Chapter Five: Testimonials are So Very Good! and Costa$$ gets to reveal the truth.

" Cancer cells are anaerobic — meaning they thrive in an oxygen-free environment. Instead of creating energy through the use of oxygen like normal, healthy cells, these abnormal cells create energy by fermenting glucose.

Sheridan’s formula reduces the “voltage” in these cells to the point where they lack the energy they need to grow."

http://www.cancerdefeated.com/from-college-chemistry-experiment-to-awes…

And now the question for Costa$$:

Since we 'know' from the sources who feed off the same offal that you feed on that 'cancer cells are anaerobic' please explain how the metabolism of 'cancerous' IgA plasma cells differs from that of non-cancerous IgA plasma cells. Don't forget the footnotes, to peer-reviewed sources!!!

Wzrd1@432

Great question.

It is not uncommon to detect residual nucleic acid in a specimen for weeks / months after an actual infection has resolved.

This is particularly the case when very sensitive techniques (eg real-time PCR) are used on specimens originating from so-called "privileged sites" like semen, vitreous fluid etc. where nucleic acid degradation is not as swift as in other compartments.

My definition of "viral persistence" would be a) detection of virus with b) demonstrable in vitro replicative ability.

If this were to be demonstrated, then yes, the explanation may be immune privilege. I'm not sure if the Ebolavirus researchers have taken that step yet.

BTW, thanks for triggering my post-Ebola anxiety: I didn't see a case, but I was the "dude in the suit" in my jurisdiction when the suspected cases were referred, all of whom had falciparum malaria. Good times. :)

I think that's the next step for researchers, ascertain how much is just remnants vs replicative virus. I've been tracking it on the Promed list since the epidemic started.
Hopefully, it's just fragmentary RNA being detected, but considering Zika sexual transmission for an extended period after recovery, it's a very real potential reservoir that could bring back an epidemic.

Heh, ages ago, I'd have been one of the NCO's in the suit, retired now. I asked our eldest, an RN, if she was ready during the peak scare period. The room grew cold when she admitted to not following universal precautions all of the time and she got a very stern lecture about using them all of the time.
But, it could have been worse on your end, you could have gotten a few hantavirus infections to sort through as well. That'd wake up a lot of people!

Out of all organisms that I'd be happy to see extinct, falciparum would likely be in third place, behind polio and measles.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 08 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by DrRJM (not verified)

Almost, but not entirely, off topic -

HBO, John Oliver, Last Week Tonight.

Watch it.

DrRJM@431
How do you define “serious cancer”? Are you referring to a particular stage (eg using the widely used TNM nomenclature) or is it another system?

I am into high risk III, and mCRC and GI cancers, especially with sialyl Lewis A & X, as serious. I assess CRC data by TNM, specific site(s), serum marker levels, tissue expressions if available. Mostly CEA, CA199, LDH but CSLEX1, AFP, d-dimer too. Sure, "You've got mail" is a shock, and 4b is something that you may be staircased into as data trickle in, or various drs defer to the oncologists. Multisite, multiple elevated marker colorectal cancer, especially on bad real estate, have different kinds of OS tails depending on metastatic potential of the disease, and treatment details. I do distinguish treatment stats because of these rapidly changing treatment scenarios.

Re my previous (#407) comment, "Serious cancer is more complicated, where IV vitamin C is mostly an additive adjunct with several useful properties, when formulated and used skillfully."
The lab, clinical and trial data for sodium ascorbate show that IV monotherapy succeeds with a relative few cell lines and types of cancer at reasonable C levels. As heterogeneity, mutation, and complexity increase, monotherapy is going to be even more likely to not be adequately inhibitory at reasonable doses. Rather it, alters the effectiveness of other inhibitor compositions in some very fundamental ways, reduces chemo side effects and increases quality of life. Even looks.

Re: antiviral activities of vitamin C: As an infectious disease physician and clinical microbiologist, I’m very interested in this [acute vs chronic virus] claim.
My C comment has a long, muliple punctuated sentence. It's core is, "...IV vitamin C [is] for killing acute viruses that haven’t diffused into chronic, difficult compartments"" IV vitamin C was considered notably curative for acute viral infections especially stuff that hospitalizes or kills people. It is not curative for chronic viruses, like chronic hepatitis B and HTLVs. Some AIDS pts claim benefit, not cure, with IV vitamin C 1-2x per wk. Some clearances of chronic HepB have been claimed, and Klenner suggested 5 weeks continuous IV treatment (!) In some early papers for hepB at lower dosages, the particulars were symptomatic and hospitalized, to improved and out of the hospital, faster.

For longtime IV vitamin C observers, one wonders where the waters edge is on various scary viruses rising through their acute phases to mortality. That is, how many hours or day(s) before death could heavy duty IV vitamin C infusions pull them back from the brink and even eradicate the virus. Klenner felt some pediatric viral cases were less than an hour away from catastrophe. Since dehydroascorbate crosses the blood-brain barrier, it may be possible to hit them there too.

Klenner's IV C range is about 0.7 grams to 1 gm C per kg body mass per infusion, starting at several times in 24 hr. The modern epidemics of rising blood sugar and vitamin D deficiency may shift similar performance requirements toward the higher end but most adult infusions are probably 25-100 grams each. If you go from 100 grams per day to 200+ grams IV sodium ascrobate per day, increased attention to electrolytes is important.

The most thorough IV vitamin C summary of evidence and references is Tom Levy’s Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. An interesting historical sampler is McCracken’s Injectable Vitamin C , https://archive.org/details/InjectableVitaminC

If I were the “dude in the suit” in a Level 3 or 4 Biohazard unit, I probably wouldn't go until I knew that they had 250 - 500 gm injectable sodium ascorbate on hand...

DrRJM@431
How do you define “serious cancer”? Are you referring to a particular stage (eg using the widely used TNM nomenclature) or is it another system?
I am into high risk stage III, mCRC and GI cancers, especially with sialyl Lewis A & X, as serious. I assess CRC data by TNM, specific site(s), serum marker levels, tissue expressions if available. Mostly CEA, CA199, LDH but CSLEX1, AFP, d-dimer too. Sure, "You've got Cancer" is a shock, and 4b is something that you may be staircased into as data trickle in, or various drs defer to the oncologists. Multisite colorectal cancer with multiple elevated markers, especially on bad real estate, have different kinds of OS tails depending on metastatic potential of the disease, and treatment details. I do distinguish treatment stats because of these rapidly changing treatment scenarios.

Re my previous (#407) comment, "Serious cancer is more complicated, where IV vitamin C is mostly an additive adjunct with several useful properties, when formulated and used skillfully."
The lab, clinical and trial data for sodium ascorbate show that IV monotherapy succeeds with a relative few cell lines and types of cancer at reasonable C levels. As heterogeneity, mutation, and complexity increase, monotherapy is going to be even more likely to not be adequately inhibitory at reasonable doses. Rather it, alters the effectiveness of other inhibitor compositions in some very fundamental ways, reduces chemo side effects and increases quality of life.

DrRJM@431
Re: antiviral activities of vitamin C: As an infectious disease physician and clinical microbiologist, I’m very interested in this [acute vs chronic virus] claim.
My C comment has a long, punctuated sentence. It's core is, "...IV vitamin C [is] for killing acute viruses that haven’t diffused into chronic, difficult compartments"" IV vitamin C was considered curative for acute viral infections especially stuff that hospitalizes or kills people. It is not curative for chronic viruses, like chronic hepatitis B and HTLVs. Some AIDS pts claim benefit, not cure, with IV vitamin C 1-2x per wk. Some clearances of chronic HepB have been claimed, and Klenner suggested 5 weeks continuous IV treatment (!) In some early papers for hepB at lower dosages, the particulars were symptomatic and hospitalized, to improved and out of the hospital, faster.

For longtime IV vitamin C observers, one wonders where the waters edge is on various scary viruses rising through their acute phases to mortality. That is, how many hours or day(s) before death could heavy duty IV vitamin C infusions pull them back from the brink and even eradicate the virus. Klenner felt some pediatric viral cases were less than an hour away from catastrophe. Since dehydroascorbate crosses the blood-brain barrier, it may be possible to hit them there too.

Klenner's IV C range is about 0.7 grams to 1 gm C per kg body mass per infusion, starting at several times in 24 hr. The modern epidemics of rising blood sugar and vitamin D deficiency may shift similar performance requirements toward the higher end but most adult infusions are probably 25-100 grams each. If you go from 100 grams per day to 200+ grams IV sodium ascrobate per day, increased attention to electrolytes is important.

The most thorough IV vitamin C summary of evidence and references is Tom Levy’s Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. An interesting historical sampler is McCracken’s Injectable Vitamin C , https://archive.org/details/InjectableVitaminC

If I were the “dude in the suit” in a Level 3 or 4 Biohazard unit, I probably wouldn't go until I knew that they had 250 - 500 gm injectable sodium ascorbate on hand...

Wow. An entire weekend has gone by and still no scientific citations from Costas. I'm shocked. Shocked, I say!

Todd, my good man. Please bear with. I did beg your forbearance quite a few posts ago. I repeat, I'm a man of my word, and I deliver - eventually. Those citations will be forthcoming, and not too far away now.

Thank you for your continuing interest, and the constant 'ribbing'.

By Costas (not verified) on 09 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Todd W. (not verified)

Costa$$ says: Verily I say unto you, That there be some of you that read here, which shall not taste of death, till you have seen the powerful citations that I shall provide!

How very true. Well, close enough.

By Costas (not verified) on 09 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Opus (not verified)

prn @438

Thanks for your reply.

Apologies for misinterpreting your comment about viral compartments.

The point still stands though: could you direct me to the peer-reviewed literature that supports your claim that IV vitamin C is safe and efficacious in the management of a viral infection that is not self-limiting?

PubMed references are preferred if available.

The website you provided a link for doesn't contain this data.

If this literature exists, I would be keen to review it critcally with my colleages.

Knowing what we know about Costa$$ they are going to be YUUUUUUUGE, I tell ya, YUUUUUUUUUUUGE!! The GREATEST, BEST peer-reviewed science citations ever!!

prn,

Re: "dude in the suit"; we don't use the term "Biohazard Unit" in clinical medicine; the room we manage suspected VHF patients in is called an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR). I find your suggestion to have sodium ascorbate "on hand" interesting; is this for the benefit of the patient, or for me to inject myself with if a potiential Ebolavirus exposure occurs? Is there any evidence (either preclinical or clinical) that this is safe and effective in the management of Ebolavirus exposure/infection?

"The GREATEST, BEST peer-reviewed science citations ever!!"

Steady on mate. I made no such claims. I merely offered citations. I'll leave the good doc. to decide if they're worth the cyberspace they're written on.

I see you're still honing your straw-man construction techniques. Mk6 is a definite improvement over the previous versions, so good job.

I see there's some discussion going on about vit. C as well. I have an interesting link for that too, tho would not claim it's a 'citation'. Will post that too for what it's worth.

@ squirrelelite

You asked earlier about the 3 requirements specified by J Sheridan for the administration of Protocel in the NCI tests between 1978 and 1980. They were:
1. Must be by mouth, diluted in water - not injected.
2. Test period must be at least 28 days long.
3. Should not be tested on mice with leukemia. Apparently, they typically die within 18-19 days - not long enough for the formula to take effect.

For whatever reason, the NCI ignored all 3 stipulated requirements. The formula was injected; the mice had leukemia, and the tests were completed within 8 days. (p.153, Ibid.). When the errors were discovered, a second series of tests was ordered. The same mistakes were repeated again (Op. cit.). I'll let you draw your own conclusions, which will obviously not be the same as mine. But Pierce gives the NCI the benefit of the doubt:

"Some ppl who understand the workings of the NCI and the labs it farms tests out to, believe that the above failure of the NCI to correctly test Sheridan's formula on mice was not so much 'deliberate' as it was the result of an 'institutional blind spot' (p153 - 154, Ibid.).

There subsequently followed a protracted episode of foot-dragging by the FDA over MLD tests, until finally the NCI agreed to carry out in vitro tests in 1990. The tests yielded positive results, which were obtained from the NCI under a FOIA request by Dr John Zimmerman, director of BEMI in Reno, Nevada, and were published in BEMI Currents Jnl Vol.3: No.4 dated 4th March 1993. All 9 graphs of the test results are cited and annotated by Pierce (pp157 - 163, Ibid.).

Despite the positive result, the NCI refused to sanction human trials because ...........well, I'm not about to summarize the entire 4 chapters on Protocel for you, so if you want more
info regarding this protocol, you'll need to get the book.

I should add for the record that I do not represent the UK chapter for Protocel. I have no personal interest in it, other than as one alternative cure for cancer among many others.
It would not necessarily be my first choice of protocol if I had cancer (more about that later, with 'citations'), but as a 'last resort' option, I would definitely consider it based on both the clinical and anecdotal evidence.

By way of conclusion, Opus has quoted various sources that purport to discredit it as snake oil - naturally. I briefly scanned one of his 'citations', and if memory serves, found a reference to sulphuric and nitric acid among the ingredients. If that were true, I would certainly not touch it with the proverbial barge pole. Pierce lists the ingredients as: tetrahydroxyquinnone, rhodizonic acid, sodium, potassium, croconic acid, triquinoyle, pyrocatechol, leuconic acid, mineral and trace elements incl. copper (p. 128).

Still a lot of acids in there, but not ones that I recognize well enough to run away from.

As for those other protocols she describes, they are:
1. Poly-MVA
2. CAAT
3. LifeOne
4. German New Medicine
5. LDN
6. Lapacho/Pau D'Arco
7. N-Tense
8. Mexican Cancer Clinics
9. German Cancer Clinics
10. Ellagic Acid

So that's 21 protocols covered by the book, leaving only around 200 or so others not mentioned, including my preferred protocol. But that will have to wait for another post, as will those citations. Sorry Todd.

As we say on the farm, Costa$$ produces a lot of crap, time is limited and my shovel is small.

However, a few brief notes. Costa$$ said "There subsequently followed a protracted episode of foot-dragging by the FDA over MLD tests, until finally the NCI agreed to carry out in vitro tests in 1990. The tests yielded positive results, which were obtained from the NCI under a FOIA request by Dr John Zimmerman, director of BEMI in Reno, Nevada, and were published in BEMI Currents Jnl Vol.3: No.4 dated 4th March 1993. All 9 graphs of the test results are cited and annotated by Pierce (pp157 – 163, Ibid.)"

I spent quite a while chasing the BEMI Journal Currents before I realized that the Bio-Electo-Magnetics Institute is not to be confused with the Bioelectromagnetic Society, which is an actual scientific society. Volume 3:4 of the BEMS journal is found here:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bem.v3:4/issuetoc There is nothing resembling the article mentioned above.

Currents, the Journal of the BEMI has no online presence. This is the listing I found in a couple of e-books on amazon.com
BEMI Currents. Journal of the Bio-Electro-Magnetics Institute (Available from Dr John Zimmerman, 2490 West [Redacted] Lane, Reno, Nevada 89509, USA. (NOTE: the journal's physical existence may be an issue, depending on whether Dr Zimmerman's printer is working.)

Next, note the ominous note "obtained from the NCI under a FOIA request". Dr Zimmerman's research skills are fully as formidable as those of his admirer Costa$$. The results were published in the January/February issue of CA: a cancer journal for clinicians

The test results are here: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cancell-pdq#section….
I am certain that Pierce's notes explaining the results are quite interesting.

Dr John Zimmerman, Ph.D. also has a very low profile online, although for a period of time he sported a Sc.D. as well as his Ph.D. I perused the surprisingly small list of google results for 'John Zimmerman Ph.D.' and none of the results matched our culprit. It's almost as if he gave himself a degree, but no quack has ever done THAT before so we can rule that out. His profile on zoominfo fleshes out the picture quite well: http://www.zoominfo.com/p/John-Zimmerman/2145619

Finally, one of my citations did indeed refer to sulphuric and nitric acid as ingredients. To be clear, these were not listed ingredients, they were the actual ingredients discovered in the FDA sample testing as presented in the motion for a permanent injunction against selling the snake oil.

My arms are tired from shoveling Costa$$' crap. There's no telling how many tons of it will be in his next epistle. Hopefully he will discuss the 'clinical evidence' for Protocel!

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0032547/

"Based on the manufacturer's recommended doses of a marketed brand of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel it has been calculated that under idealized conditions of absolutely no loss of the constituents after administration to a patient (i.e., 100% bioavailability, meaning no loss due to degradation, absorption in the body, or rapid excretion—an unlikely situation), the maximum concentration that could be achieved in the plasma of an average 154-lb male is 29 μg/mL (antilog of 1.46). Thus, under these highly idealized conditions Cancell/Cantron/Protocel may exhibit some mild inhibitory effect on the growth of some cancer cells, but it would not be expected to inhibit their growth completely or to kill them. There is little evidence that any of the constituents of Cancell/Cantron/Protocel would be available in the bloodstream of a patient.

Activity was seen in two-thirds of the cell lines, though at levels that would be roughly 275 times higher than the theoretical maximum concentration achievable in serum. Therefore, the in vitro effects are likely due to nonspecific effects of changes in salt concentration. Furthermore, cells in the NCI Tumor Cell Line Screen are grown in artificial media under conditions that do not truly mimic the in vivo situation in animals or humans, and results obtained with the screen may not accurately reflect possible effects in humans. To place the findings for Cancell/Cantron/Protocel in perspective, any conventional drug exhibiting this low level of in vitro activity in the NCI human cancer cell line screen would normally not be investigated further by NCI."

I have a sneaking suspicion you didnt look in to the results of that study itself, only some random persons interpretation of it.

DrRJM@443, 445:
[prn]... I find your suggestion to have sodium ascorbate “on hand” interesting; is this for the benefit of the patient, or for me to inject myself with if a potiential Ebolavirus exposure occurs?
You, in most cases. Right now, I assume you will cite legal and perceived ethical reasons to not treat the patient. So...
1. If a "Dallas" episode occurred where the patient "had left the bldg" by the time they became symptomatic, it could only be you and the ethical constraint would not apply.
2. If you suffered an accident with big splash or puncture, again you might consider to use it immediately. WTF.
3. If it were legal for the patient, I would sure consider getting some in before or during transport.

As for preclinical papers, many virus research papers are of course the 1930s. However these two preclinical papers might help you with the breadth of antiviral action that we see in real life.
Antiviral effects of dehydroascorbic acid (2010)
Antiviral effects of ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids in vitro. (2008)
There are other papers that mention pathogens' accumulation of copper or iron ions, where many transition metals catalyze the highly destructive Fenton reaction.

Is there any evidence (.... clinical) that this is safe and effective in the management of Ebolavirus exposure/infection?
I think we are still at the indirect indications of a non-specific, broad spectrum microbiocide that has been used clinically to over 500 grams but not formally documented. Again, the two books.

The formal safety data are primarily the cancer trials including highly compromised patients with liver involvement, probably up to 160 - 220 grams IV C per infusion.

160 - 220 grams IV of vitamin C or any other acid would throw a patient into acidosis instantly.
So, assuming it isn't IV push, what is the magical dosage rate?
Bolus is totally out, so what is the rate of infusion that prevents turning the patient's blood acidic enough to cause terminal harm?

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 10 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by prn (not verified)

prn @ 449,

Thanks for your reply.

The two citations you provide describe the antiviral activity of ascorbic acid related agents in in vitro cell lines.

Neither paper describes or postulates a mechanism for this activity.

As a clinican/researcher, I see a lot of these studies presented at meetings and published; I would say >95% of these agents ever reach the market where they can be used therapeutically.

There appears to be no peer reviewed, published clinical data describing the safety and efficacy of IV vitamin C in the treatment of non-self limiting viral infection, including Ebolavirus. I also can't find any dose-ranging studies that would help guide a) how much to administer and b) how long to administer it for in this setting. "Highly compromised" cancer patients are, pharmacokinetically and pharmacodynamically speaking, a world away from where I work with critically unwell ICU patients with multiple organ failure on ECMO, CVVHD and inotropes.

As a clinician who works in "real life" as you put it, treating life-threatening infections on a daily basis, I rarely, if ever, expose my patients to agents where there are no dose-ranging studies, no pharmacokinetic/dynamic parameters upon which to base dosing, and no data on duration of therapy. To do so would be unethical, unless I obtained informed consent from the patient or their next of kin and made it clear that my suggested treatment is experimental. I doubt very much whether I could convince myself, never mind anyone else, that this would be the case when I do not know whether the manufacturer followed GMP, how the proposed agent works, how much to give, how to monitor efficacy and toxicity, and for how long to administer it.

Wzrd1 @450

Yes, I wondered about that.... I don't think my ICU colleagues would appreciate it if i recommended the infusion of close to a quarter of a kilogram of an acid to a profoundly septic patient with a pH of <7.

@ squirrel & Adrian

Excellent point Adrian, but as I said, anecdotal evidence also carries some weight with me, even though it is generally dismissed by the SBM/EBM community as having little or no value. This is mainly to be found at:

http://elonnascorner.com/

the Protocel users support forum. If it helped these users beat cancer, who am I to challenge their stories? I should also add that Protocel is not recommended for aggressive or fast-growing cancers. It is a 'slow burner' type protocol with very precise instructions that must be followed to the letter.

But as I said, I'm not a 'pusher' as such. I merely cite it as one of many protocols at our disposal.

A rather long comment may not have made it into moderation, due to a problem on my end, so I’ll do a quick reprise.

Costa$$ said: “obtained from the NCI under a FOIA request by Dr John Zimmerman, director of BEMI in Reno, Nevada, and were published in BEMI Currents Jnl Vol.3: No.4 dated 4th March 1993.”

Getting to the bottom of this took quite a while. First, the Bio-Electro-Magnetic Institute is NOT to be confused with the Bioelectricmagnetic Society, which is a real scientific body. Any resemblance between the names of the two is purely coincidental. Dr Zimmerman’s outfit is operated out of his home. If you are lucky enough to find an online reference is will look something like this: Zimmerman, J.,  BEMI Currents, Journal of the Bio-Electro-Magnetics Institute  (available from Dr John Zimmerman, 2490 West Moana Lane, Reno, NV 89509) The journal apparently exists ONLY at Dr Zimmerman’s house.

No FOIA request was necessary, as the results were published earlier:
Cancell/Entelev. CA Cancer J Clin 43 (1): 57-62, 1993 Jan-Feb.

Dr Zimmerman’s online bio speaks volumes:
http://www.zoominfo.com/p/John-Zimmerman/2145619

Note the educational information.
I spent an hour checking out every John Zimmerman Ph.D. on google. None of them seem to be our culprit. Oddly enough, ‘Dr’ Zimmerman once claimed an Sc.D degree but that seems to have evaporated. Astute observers will also note that there is no educational institution associated with the degree, hence further investigation as to whether it was self-granted or purchased might prove fruitful.

The EIN for the Bio-Electro-Magnetic Institute is 74-2431823. The IRS has a very interesting website which shows the status of 501-c-3 exempt organizations. Google is your friend.

In essence, Costa$$ seems to trust any site which reinforced his preconceptions, without investigation or reservations. I am not surprised.

@450: There are several rate discussions but 0.5-1 gram of C per minute is an achievable comfort zone for peripheral infusion. 1.1-1.5 gram of C per minute is on the high side for comfort.

re: acidosis You realize that IV vitamin C is either buffered ~7.0+, or pure sodium ascorbate at a pH ~7.4 ? That said, electrolytes and osmols require increasing attention to detail as daily C quantities rise toward and above 200 grams per day.
---------------------
I spent effort titrating celebrex and leucovorin in with the UFT and other things. IV vitamin C is used flexibly to prevent postsurgical sepis, side effects, and inflammation to help achieve low noise blood data and other benefits.

I appreciate DrRJM thoughts about ICU patient fragility, as food for thought about the definition needed to better use vitamin in some situations. #451 also saddens me because this whole comment reflects TOTAL INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE in the US and (post) industrialized countries on research support for IV vitamin C these last 75+ years. All the tasks he lists should have been done decades ago through NIH if not March of DImes or many other charities whose putative goals would better achieved by a successful use. Instead these items reflect the experience and professional opinions a few dedicated pioneers.
------------------
The question becomes, "Under what circumstance our drs are willing and able to support our careful, informed choices?" For us Drs are consultants, where we want to make independent informed choices, very real choices. Because it is possible to get ahead of the curve for superior results, reflected in years gained and quality of life.

I'll toss in a quickie here before I have to go to work.

Thanks to Costas for responding and to Adrian for providing more information about Protocel.

The actuall testing of our ideas, sharing the results, and discussing them is a key part of the process of science. Unfortunately there is very little of that done by the purveyors of alternate cancer cures.

So, the FDA tested Protocel in mice with cancer but they died before it had time to act in whatever manner it might eventually get around to doing. That doesn't sound very promising. The treatment was a success but the patient died.

The FDA went back and did in vitro lab experiments at levels much higher than could be plausibly achieved in humans or mice. It was sort of effective, but not remarkable enough to warrant further study.

Do any of its proponents advertise it as "not good enough for really bad cancer, but might help if you have a slow growing, indolent form" ?

I doubt it.

Also, I think adding bad examples to your list of therapies that might possibly some day turn out to be useful if we can talk some people into spending the money to really test them doesn't improve the argument.

For German New Medicine (or is it New German Medicine), read this link from 8 years ago.

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/10/14/biologie-totale-the-quacke…

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 10 May 2016 #permalink

"In Remembrance
This section is to be SOLELY used for the posting of individuals' Protocel®/Entelev®/Cancell® stories who lost their battle with cancer. It is NOT to be used as a memorial site for everyone you know who has died from cancer. This section is here so that we realize that most individuals who die while on Protocel®/Entelev®/Cancell® do not die of their cancer, but rather from secondary conditions set up in their body from the toxic conventional treatment pursued prior to Protocel®/Entelev®/Cancell® and/or other complications such as blood clots, infections that run rampant in the body due to the weakened condition of the individual, Cachexia (Wasting Away Syndrome), etc."

Forgive me if I dont trust the anecdotal stories from people who have entire forum sections labelled like this.

@ Adrian

Forgiven. Protocel's failure to help around 10% - 15% of participants has already been noted. I'd still take those odds over those for chemo any day.

By Costas (not verified) on 10 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Adrian (not verified)

Adrian @459: That is the most callous, heartless, disingenuous and ass-covering statement I've read in a very long time.

"If our snake oil didn't cure you it's your own fault for not starting soon enough." Talk about victim blaming!

Funny, I've never seen anything like that for any real cancer treatments.

By JustaTech (not verified) on 10 May 2016 #permalink

"Protocel’s failure to help around 10% – 15% of participants has already been noted. I’d still take those odds over those for chemo any day."

Citation from peer-reviewed publication needed.

Its even worse then you can imagine because they not only try to cover their own asses, but the neglect to mention that those things ARE what kill many people with cancer, but it happens BECAUSE of the cancer.

Its the same ridiculous logic used when people say "falling of a building doesnt kill you....its the sudden stop at the end"

Its like they dont even understand that cancer doesnt kill you via some magical cancer pathway. It kills many because of the disruption it causes to your bodies ability to maintain homeostasis. Cancer that gets to the heart can cause cardiac failure. Cancer that gets to the liver can cause liver failure. Get enough cancer in the body and the disruptive hormones and signals it creates can cause cachexia (still debate over this.) Its like these people think cancer kills you magically and not that it just leads to a failure of a major system and then you die.

In their world, dying of liver failure because the tumor destroyed your liver means the cancer didnt kill you, the liver failure did. Its semantics that betray a massive misunderstanding of what cancer does.

So again, when people like this are telling me "this mixture of herbs cured me" I take it with much more than just a gain of salt.

It's a good time to post this, while we wait for Costa$$ to excavate the lowest levels of the internet for documentation of his claims. It's entitled "A Rough Guide to Bad Science."

http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/files/2016/05/A-Rough-Guide-to-S…

Although it's aimed at science reporting I fully expect Costa$$'s 'documentation' to suffer from at least eight of the twelve. For the record, he's already checked off #2, misinterpreted results, when he said "Despite the positive result, the NCI refused to sanction human trials . . ." Adrian was kind enough to post the link to the actual results, so that we could compare reality to Pierce's book & Costa$$'s position.

I'm guessing #12 is the next he will check off, followed by #5 and/or #11.

@ Dr RJM - You asked me for citations. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

The citations below relate mainly to natural cancer treatments in general vis-a-vis the SoC treatments offered by EBM/SBM, and therefore do not speak directly to cure rates for, eg, Protocel. It is readily conceded that there are no scientifically verifiable cure rate stats for Protocel beyond anecdotal evidence, and I'm well aware this does not amount to a hill of beans as far as the SBM community is concerned.

My advocacy of natural therapies, however, was never contingent on the effectiveness or otherwise of Protocel, which in fact would not figure even in my personal 'Top 20' protocols. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that Protocel is hardly natural. My first choice of anti-cancer protocol is in fact a 'slight' modification of my final citation.

First Citation
I would like to introduce you to the anti-cancer properties of curcuminoids, as described in this general overview:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-chen-md/the-diseasefighter-in-you_b…

and then drill down to just one of the citations referenced at footnote no.5 here:

http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/20/2/2728/htm

.........for a more detailed description of the science that underpins the use of curcumin in the treatment of cancer.

Second Citation
I will not regale you with the long history of suppression and misrepresentation of this protocol, so if you don't mind, I'd like to go straight to the citation for laetrile, aka amygdalin, aka Vit B17:

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0105590

I believe the study is still work in progress, and so far more or less confirms the work of Drs Ernst T Krebs (Sr & Jr), Dr Philip E Binzel, MD (Alive and Well), and Dr Kanematsu Sugiura of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, among many others.

Third Citation
Finally, my preferred protocol, although we might argue whether this conforms to the strict requirements of a citation. Dr Andre Kruger heads the GP Dept of my local hospital (Queen Mary, Sidcup), and he is an advocate of integrative protocols that include the use of chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer. I agree with everything he says in this article - except for the use of chemo:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hS4Mxwm2FYhPvQQpYDZwEMi0x0HQmLpXcK_…

I believe I can beat any chemo treatment with fasting alone. Combined with some of the natural modalities (including those mentioned above), I believe my prospects of a full recovery would be orders of magnitude better than those who undergo chemo alone:

By way of conclusion, there are many more citations I could give you, but I have to draw the line somewhere. If you want more, by all means let me know, and I'll be happy to oblige.

Happy reading, and I hope you find something of interest in the above.

Costas @466

Thanks for your reply.

You are right when you say that the mainstream scientific/medical community would not consider any of the citations you provided as sufficient evidence to make recommendations to patients regarding their cancer therapy.

In vitro anti-tumour activity, whilst interesting and important, frequently does not translate into clinical efficacy and does not provide any relevant safety data. That is why we do phase 1/2/3 trials; to sort the wheat from the chaff.

I'm interested in your statement "I believe I can beat any chemo treatment with fasting alone". I presume you are basing this on the citations you provided, which refer to in vitro studies of "starvation" of cell lines and limited related "hairy test tube" data. Can I ask you if there is any human clinical data that supports your opinion? ;

Uh, Costas may I inquire?

What kind(s) of cancer experience(s) or situation are you working from? You're reading a lot, but what's driving you or where is this going?

Opus @469

So, clinically ineffective as demonstrated by a recent Cochrane review, and dangerous?

I think I'll pass.

Re Costas @466

If you type "laetrile treatment for cancer" into pubmed you get 264 references, sorted chronologically. You will note that there are MANY in vitro studies, similar to the one you posted. What is special about that one?

Costas @466

Science magazine published a review of Laetrile in September of 1977. That is not a typo - it was 39 years ago. What has changed since then? How many in vitro Laetrile tests have been published? How many stage three clinical trials of Laetrile? How many other cancer drugs have gone from in vitro trials through clinical tests into general use over this time period?

anti-cancer properties of curcuminoids, as described in this general overview:
ht_tp://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-chen-md/the-diseasefighter-in-you_b_734807…

Ah, so a cartoon clickbait piece of froth.

and then drill down to just one of the citations referenced at footnote no.5 here:
ht_tp://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/20/2/2728/htm

...where the crucial citation is from a predatory journal that prints anything as long as contributors pay...

Academic Editor: Bharat B. Aggarwal

...edited by a litigrious fraud.
http://retractionwatch.com/category/by-author/bharat-aggarwal/

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 May 2016 #permalink

Reformatting:

anti-cancer properties of curcuminoids, as described in this general overview:
ht_tp://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-chen-md/the-diseasefighter-in-you_b_734807…

Ah, so a cartoon clickbait piece of froth.

and then drill down to just one of the citations referenced at footnote no.5 here:
ht_tp://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/20/2/2728/htm

...where the crucial citation is from a predatory journal that prints anything as long as contributors pay...

Academic Editor: Bharat B. Aggarwal

...edited by a litigrious fraud.
http://retractionwatch.com/category/by-author/bharat-aggarwal/

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 May 2016 #permalink

@ DrRJM / Opus

In vitro anti-tumour activity, whilst interesting and important, frequently does not translate into clinical efficacy and does not provide any relevant safety data.

Indeed.
Obligatory XKCD cartoon.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 11 May 2016 #permalink

In favor of the XKCD cartoon, so does a thermonuclear warhead. 100% cure rate, 0% survival rate.
Obviously equal rates with the alternative "cure".
A nuke a day keeps cancer away... And life, of course.

By Wzrd1 (not verified) on 11 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Helianthus (not verified)

@ DrRJM - Yes, there is limited clinical evidence. See here:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815756/?tool=pubmed

It's not a panacea by any stretch, and it's not for everybody. Ideally, it should only be done under medical supervision, especially where illness is involved. I have fasted safely many times up to 21 days with no ill-effects, and without medical supervision, beyond that provided by Dr Kruger on our fasting forum. Unfortunately it is no longer active but can still be accessed here:

http://www.fastingconnection.com/index.php/forum

The problem, of course, is the usual one. It's next to impossible to get the mainstream to look at these alternative protocols seriously. Why should they, when the only possible long-term outcome would be the decimation of their bottom line?

@ prn - If you recall my original post @ #262, it was a plea to the EBM community to look in their own backyard before they criticize someone who chooses differently. That's all. When it comes to matters of health, I believe in freedom of choice, even if the result is self-immolation.

If we are all wrong, then the laws of natural selection should eliminate the natural med. community, and the chemo apologists can then inherit the earth unencumbered by our stupidity and rejection of chemo, etc.

@ herr doktor, et al - If that article does not impress, just google curcumin or turmeric and cancer, and take your pick. The body of literature is vast, and I'm sure you'll be spoilt for choice.

@ Opus - You have succeeded merely in finding the misrepresentation that I have already referred to. They are based on a 'misunderstanding' of the biochemistry involved. The cyanide subsists in a bound state that is harmless to healthy tissue, but activated on uptake by the tumor or cancerous cells. Again, Binzel (Op. cit.) gives a full account, as well as cure rates. But being 'off grid', they are of course rejected by your pals.

Costas @477

Thanks for that. I was concerned there was a gap in my knowledge regarding the importance of nutrition in the treatment of cancer.

@ DrRJM - You are very welcome. If I can be of any further help in your researches, please let me know. I may not always be able to respond instantly, but I promise to get around to answering you eventually.

The body of literature [on curcumin / turmeric] is vast, and I’m sure you’ll be spoilt for choice.

I am sure it is, but my interest in the research area dwindled when the leading source of positive results proved to have systematically manufactured his evidence.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 12 May 2016 #permalink

@DrRJM - you're my hero

Costas at #447 says :The problem, of course, is the usual one. It’s next to impossible to get the mainstream to look at these alternative protocols seriously. Why should they, when the only possible long-term outcome would be the decimation of their bottom line?

Bull! Do you seriously think the mainstream doesn't have beloved family members with cancer? Do you HONESTLY think that they care more about their own bottom line than those loved ones? If those alternatives worked, the "mainstream" would be all over it, because they go into the fields to help people live, not die. But the mainstream doesn't sell false hope, unlike your pseudoscience nonsense.

THIS, Costas, is why you come across as such a uncaring jerk and a shill.

@ MI Dawn

If those alternatives worked, the “mainstream” would be all over it, because they go into the fields to help people live, not die.

Even if Costas and his ilks were right about Big Pharma/mainstream only caring about the bottom line (and let's be fair, like any business, pharmaceutic companies do care about their bottom line), he would still be spectacularly wrong on the rest of his assumption:

- a lot of business decisions are done on the short- to medium term range, so a lot of pharma entrepreneurs will say "the heck with long-term outcomes, I'm selling this sh!t right now". It's not like there is a shortage of young biotechs, spin-off, and ambitious young people.

- that's assuming that cancer will disappear overnight once a cure is found. Since we are talking cancer treatment, not prevention, that's not going to happen.

- It works with a single dose, instead of 20 doses? Make it 10 times more expensive. It's not like Big Pharma doesn't do things like this already.

- the cures are made of cheap natural products? Not an issue. Patent/copyright the process, the mixture, the name of the finished product. Big Pharma is already making a killing with generic drugs (aspirin, anyone?). What would stop them selling one more?
- Since a lot of pharma are already in the vitamin market, they actually would love to have a reason to sell more of it, with a big "cure cancer" on the label.
- finally, Big Pharma and her big brother Big Agro already have in place production facilities, distribution logistics and access to a pool of farmers willing to grow and sell them fruits and herbs. Should a natural product become recognized as an anticancer drug, they could start selling it practically overnight.

tl;dr: if you can make money out of it in a mostly legitimate way, big corporations would step in to sell it.

----------------------------
As an aside, as Costas describes it, I fail to see how laetrile/cyanide is not a form of chemo:

The cyanide subsists in a bound state that is harmless to healthy tissue, but activated on uptake by the tumor or cancerous cells

So in short, it's a drug which is administered in the hope it will be killing more cancer cells than normal cells.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 12 May 2016 #permalink

Costas: Your underlying assumption is that "the mainstream" will ignore things that reduce the profits of large pharmaceutical companies. I'm not convinced of that as a generalization, but let's stipulate it for the instant:

If fasting helps patients tolerate chemotherapy, that would make people more likely to continue with chemo, which would benefit the companies selling the chemo drugs.

There's another financial interest you may be overlooking, if you live in a civilized country: insurance companies. Their motive is to pay as little as possible for treatment, and telling a patient to fast doesn't cost them anything.

Costas's denial of responsibility for leading people astray is breathtaking in its idiocy. He is willing to advise people to take steps that will almost certainly kill them yet it is their fault if they follow his 'medical' advice and die. Where have we heard THAT before?

I wonder how that approach would work in other arenas. "Your honor I had no responsibility for the sinking of the vessel and subsequent death of the skipper. All I did was give them him the wrong GPS coordinates for the reef entrance."

Yeah, that would work.

I have fasted safely many times up to 21 days with no ill-effects, and without medical supervision

It's been quite a while since Natural Hygiene has reared its moronic head around here.

Some years ago I found a small wound on my earlobe. No matter what creams I put on it spread. I was diagnosed with melanoma and my doctor told me that it was one of the most dangerous forms of cancer and I had to undergo an operation immediately , which would cost half of my earlobe, followed by chemo. In my panic I remembered that someone once left with me primitive Rife device for repair. He left the country and it was forgotten. After repairing it I started to use it. After about a week the spreading was less and after a month the wound began to heal.It took another month to heal completely. I still have my earlobe and there is only an almost un-noticable scar. Conventional cancer treatment is the biggest con on earth and the medical and pharmafia make a killing out of it.

By George Corvin (not verified) on 13 May 2016 #permalink

Prepare for a barrage of flak George. According to the EBM crowd here, what you experienced is nothing more than spontaneous remission - that's it.. That's their explanation for all natural cancer cures, even those where the patient was told to go home and get their affairs in order.

Rife was arguably second only to Einstein in terms of sheer genius, and Morris Fishbein's attempt to buy him out is a matter of record. If there is such a thing as a magic bullet for curing cancer, the original Rife machine is it.

Unfortunately for us, almost all modern-day copies are fraudulent rip-offs. If you are genuinely in possession of an original, you should take very great care to ensure it never falls into the hands of the authorities. It will most likely never see the light of day again if you fail.

By Costas (not verified) on 13 May 2016 #permalink

In reply to by George Corvin (not verified)

@George Corvin,

You were diagnosed with melanoma. OK
You used a Rife Machine. OK
You no longer have cancer. I'm glad to hear that.

You don'T quite assert that the Rife Machine healed your cancer, but you certainly imply that.

But that would be a scientific claim and requires documentation. At best what you did was an n=1 test, which may have value, but only if you provide documentation comparable to this case.

http://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2016/05/12/the-mysterious-story-of-a-boy-…

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 13 May 2016 #permalink

My, oh my - nothing like telling the truth about maim-stream medicine, especially maim-stream cancer treatments ,to stir up the hornet's nest of dupes, trolls and apologists! Where to begin? Let's start with some unpleasant facts: First of all, by their own admission, mainstream drugs kill about 106,000 people a year in the US alone - and that is only for drugs which were properly prescribed and administered. That alone makes mainstream medicine the number three cause of death in the US. When you add in doctor errors, overdoses, unevaluated and underreported deaths (such as deaths at home) deaths which were attributed to the originial disease instead of the drugs that caused the death, and diseases acquired in hospitals (such as MRSA) that number is estimated to be as high as 750,000 people a year.

Meanwhile, vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements kill about zero in any given year. But natural supplements and foods, and natural healing, which we have adapted to and utilized since we first put down our footsteps in the sands of time is considered woo by the maim-stream crowd, while side-effect laden drugs (over 95% have side effects) which mostly manage symptoms are considered to be the only valid forms of healing? Amazing how every generation thinks that their science is the end-all, though the rule is that the science of today is often overturned tomorrow. When it comes to our medicine, someday mankind will likely look back on it as the true dark ages of medicine.

So, OK, let's talk cancer. Here are some more unpleasant facts: Chemo and radiation are themselves carcinogens and they cure precious little. Both damage the immune system which is vital for beating cancer and keeping cancer at bay. Mainstream studies in the US and Australia found that 5 year survival due to chemo was only 2 - 3% greater than it was for those who did not opt for chemo. Like chemo, radiation kills the least robust cancer cells first and leaves behind the most resistant cells to multiply and make the cancer ever stronger and harder to beat. In the case of radiation, it actually creates cancer stem cells which are 30 times more difficult to kill than regular cancer cells. In actuality, chemo kills many more people than it saves each year - mostly from liver failure, heart failure and wasting disease (cachexia). Think Patrick Swayze.

Despite statistical juggling, the cure rate for cancer has not grown all that much. Much of the credit for the improvement in cancer statistics is due to earlier diagnosis because in addition to cancer being easier to defeat when it is detected early, mainstream medicine considers anyone who survives 5 years after diagnosis to be a "cure" - even if the day after their 5th anniversay their body is eaten up with cancer and they die. The biggest reason for improved breast cancer statistics is that a highly beatable condition that had previously been considered to be pre-cancerous (DCIS - ductal carcinoma in situ) was moved to the cancer category and viola - breast cancer survival stats improved by leaps and bounds.

Neither chemo nor radiation, nor surgery for that matter, address the root causes that enabled cancer to gain a foothold in the first place. For many decades, mainstream science considered genetics to be the primary cause of cancer, though they are slowly coming to admit the truth - that toxins are the main cause of cancer, as famed French scientist Antoine Bechamp told us a century and a half ago. A person may be genetically predisposed to have a greater risk of cancer, but it is not the genes that cause the cancer, it is the toxins.

So why has manstream cancer stuck to a mostly failed paradigm of trying to cut out, poison out or burn out the symptoms of cancer (the tumors) instead of addressing the root cause. Why does mainstream treatment continue to treat cancer with items which cause cancer? For the same reason that they reject abundant natural cancer cures, several of which are highly effective. Because cancer is a profit-making goliath. Estimates range from over $100 Billion a year to as high as $400 Billion - especially when you consider the drugs, oncology practices, hospitals, hospices, mammography machines and film and the government agencies and non-profits with their cushy salaries and perks. The only way to maintain, much less increase, all the profits, jobs and perks is to NOT find a cure for cancer. And so we haven't.

Now, I know Ty Bollinger personally and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that the information he has given to people in his books, articles and films has cured far, far more people of cancer than anyone posting here - most likely more people than everyone posting here combined. Nature has been here all along - and just because what natural items and/or treatments one person chooses does not work is not an indictment against ALL natural alternatives. If failures were an indictment, there would be no mainstream treatments - and a whole lot of people practicing mainstream cancer treatment would be in orange jump suits.

I can hear the angry hornets stirring already!

By Tony Isaacs (not verified) on 13 May 2016 #permalink

"Rife was arguably second only to Einstein in terms of sheer genius, and Morris Fishbein’s attempt to buy him out is a matter of record."

Ah, the eeevil Morris Fishbein and his A.M.A. mafiosos, who descended on Rife in the middle of the night with an offer he couldn't refuse, but he did anyway. Then, many years later, Rife dies a mysterious death - natural causes they said, but _we_ know better.

All the modern-day Rife machines are ripoffs sold by con men, but all those anecdotal reports of fantastic cures must mean there are thousands of original Rife machines still circulating.*

Gosh, I hope they can't trace George through the Internet and confiscate his machine. It would be all over for EBM if the truth got out!!!

*and what of those machines that Royal Rife donated to the San Diego P.D. (not sure why, but they would have revolutionized law enforcement). Are they still moldering away in the P.D.'s basement, or were they secretly conveyed to the Morris Fishbein Foundation, to be stored with all the other devices that have cured cancer but were suppressed by the Medical Establishment?

A word to the wise - don't ask too many questions.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 13 May 2016 #permalink

No, D Bacon, I wouldn't go so far as to say he died a mysterious death. AFAIK, he died a 'broken' man, mainly due to his alcoholism. As for Mr Fishbein, I didn't call him evil either, tho I have a hard time seeing him in a favorable light. He has form after all. He did the same to Harry Hoxey, who to his eternal credit also refused to sell out to Fishbein. My understanding is that science has since discovered anti-tumor properties in virtually every ingredient of Hoxey's formula.

EBM will get there in the end, but a whole lotta people will have to die first before those huge profits are sacrificed for the greater good. I repeat, no extortionate profit margins are possible when nature is called into the service of healing, and that old argument about chemo being made from plant derivatives is a complete non-sequitur that doesn't bear close scrutiny.

Mr. Isaacs, bully for you that you know Ty Bollinger.

It is true that there is a cure for cancer, the unfortunate side effect is the host always dies.

If and when you have cancer, you only need to eat 10 to 20 apricot pits (of course more won't hurt) at one time and your cancer will be cured.

@ R Bly - Actually 1g of lemon grass per day is probably even more effective. Ther