The Truth About Cancer: A global quest

Hi everyone.

I don't know if some of you have watched the 9 part long documentary "The Truth About Cancer A Global Quest" that was very strongly advertised all over the internet for a good number of weeks before it was finally broadcast last week and the week before. You were able to watch each episode live and afterwards for 24 hours before it was taken down and replaced by the next one.

The documentary, for those who haven't heard of it and haven't watched it, was made by a guy who claims to have lost both his parents to cancer and, due to that loss, decided to go on this global quest to find out about alternative ways of treating and possibly curing cancer.

There are good things and bad things to say about the documentary from my point of view, and I find this so important that I have actually made a podcast about it which you can find here:

audioboom.com/DublinReiki.

Well, the only good thing I can say about the documentary is that I feel that our conventional medicine is concentrating very heavily on three pilars of cancer treatments: Chemo, radiation and surgery, and that it may be very helpful to look into alternative ways, especially natural medicine, for treating and possibly curing cancer. I am sure that there are lots of little things nature has to offer and lots of little things we can do to help decrease tumor growth and to lessen side-effects of conventional medicine and maybe even to become cancer free one day.

But, while the initiative, this global quest, was good, I feel that there is a lot wrong with this documentary.

1. In the documentary we get regularly told that especially Chemotherapy is a terrible drug because it is so aggressive and because it creates a lot of terrible side-effects which can be life-threatening or even take life. And then we get reminded that the same substances that are used in Chemotherapy drugs today were used to kill soldiers during the second world war. So far so good. All this is fact. However, we then get asked a very provocative question which is: How can something that was previously used to kill people be supposed to be a cure for people today? And this is an outrageous and highly irresponsible thing to say! It is outrageous because, through this question, they documentary crew is creating a link between facts which doesn't exist. Yes, the substances were used during the war to kill. And yes, today these substances are used to treat and cure. But all these facts have nothing whatsoever to do with one another. I am sure of that anyway. And to say that they have is highly irresponsible because people like all of us here on the forum are in difficult situations, and I am sure there are many more people out there, who are in a difficult situation, maybe because they have to make the decision of whether to go for conventional cancer treatments, which includes Chemotherapy, or whether to go for alternatives, but when people hear this twisted argument from the documentary, they may turn against conventional treatments, and they may be the very ones that can be a life-savor!

2. The second thing I didn't like about the documentary has to do with credibility. Many doctors and many therapies are featured in the documentary, and I took a lot of time to look each and every one of them up on Google. And what you find, unfortunately, is that, while there is something good to say about all the doctors and all the therapies, there is always some kind of problem: either the doctors had to stop practising because the therapies they were using weren't approved, or they charged a fortune for their particular therapy approach, and in some cases there was simply not sufficient research to show that this therapy or another would be effective in treating and curing cancer. I would have much preferred if they had said: Okay, you have the conventional medicine on one hand, but you have on the other hand alternative treatments that we want to show you, most of which, unfortunately, are not as much researched as the conventional ones, but now you have at least the information of what is out there and you can decide what to do.

3. My third criticism of this documentary has to do with creating fear. I think we have enough fear as it is in the world, we don't need anymore. But what else is it when we get told all the time throughout the whole documentary that we have been brain-washed by the pharmaceutical industry to believe in the conventional medicine, that the conventional medicine is only a big money-making machine, and even going so far that, at times, we get drugs prescribed that will make us more sick so that we can stay sick and give them more money. To some extend it is of course true that the pharmaceutical industry has a lot to do with money. But what hasn't? And, also, the conventional cancer treatments are the best ones we currently have!

I am only sharing all this with you because I feel that, if you have watched this documentary, it would be great to open a conversation about it. Some of the things mentioned in it are perhaps something that some of us want to take to heart - for example, there was a lot of good dietry advice in it -, but we have to be careful not to glorify alternative treatments.

Those are my thoughts anyway. It would be interesting to see what others think.

48 Replies

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  • I know there are a lot of people making a lot of money off the fears of cancer patients, I will stick with the conventional proven treatments and try to find ways to increase my NK cell population.

  • Melanie,

    Thank you for writing this and putting it in your podcast. I think your observations about Bollinger's video are very much on target and, if anything, were more generous than I would have been.

    I couldn't watch all the videos. They made me too angry. At least some of the people he interviewed were not medical doctors and, as far as I could tell from listening to them, did not even understand basic science much less cancer biology or cancer medicine - both extraordinarily technical and difficult subjects. Asking those people about how to cure cancer is not a whole lot better than asking a layman how to design or repair a computer chip, a cell phone, or a GPS receiver. Cancer biology and research is every bit as complex and technical as that and, if anything, contains problems that are much harder to solve.

    I don't know if Ty Bollinger is in on the take with the quacks he interviews, of if he's just a naive fellow who doesn't know any better. I'm hoping it's the latter.

    I mean no disrespect to those on this forum who take Bollinger's videos seriously - and I know there are quite a few who do. Believe me, I have had cancer myself. I understand what you are going through and I understand your fears about treatment. But I think that your best hope for assistance with the disease will be from the doctors who pay attention to the treatment guidelines worked out by the leading doctors and scientists, not from the completely unproven and often absurd advice offered by the unlicensed quacks.

    Alan

  • Hi Alan.

    I understand that the episodes made you angry. My husband and I were the same. My husband stopped watching after a while, but I kept going, I guess hoping to find bits of information that would be useful in the future.

    Yes, many of the people he interviewed are not medically trained. Did you notice, by the way, the most of the interviews were conducted outside? - as if those people didn't have a clinic or practice they could show.

    Well, as you say, we don't know if he is making money with this or just being naive.

    I just hope that people will always make sure they are as best informed as they can before deciding for or against treatments, both conventional and alternative.

    I ave just unsubscribed from his mailinglist after having received many emails over the past few days reminding me to buy the documentary and to join the "global movement".

    Thanks again for your post, Alan.

  • Your link does not work. This one does audioboom.com/posts/5674246...

  • It should work. It works from here. I go to:

    audioboom.com/DublinReiki

    The "Who we are and what we do" is one of the episodes of that podcast, but not the one I was referring to in my previous posts.

  • I think I know the cause of the broken link. It's the period at the end of the link text in the original posting. HealthUnlocked apparently includes the period in the link - which causes it to fail. I'll try to send them an email about it but, in the meantime, we have to be careful to write our links without any ending punctuation.

  • I sent a message to the HelpUnlocked support group explaining the problem. I'm hoping they'll fix it so that we don't have to know or remember not to use punctuation at the end of a link.

  • Ah okay, Alan. I am sorry. I didn't think of leaving the period out after the link. I will in future.

  • Thanks so much for your considered opinion which is well balenced and helpful. I myself am of the opinion that convential medicine is by far the best defence but believe we all should go to great lengths to adjust our lifestyle ( diet exercise and mental approach) and we will reap the benefits. But only time will tell on that one.

  • Yes, that is exactly what I think. Life-style adjustments are always good.

  • I always see the Big Pharma argument in these mockumentaries. This is solely based on the American experience, I.e. Having to pay for drugs and treatment.

    Here in the U.K. and most of the civilised world we have free healthcare for all, so the Big Pharma argument fails at the first hurdle.

    A lot of the Cannabis Oil promoters believe in Rick Simpson's website. They fail to disclose the massive disclaimer in small letters right at the bottom of the page. Wether they choose to ignore it or their attention span is too short to read that far is a matter for conjecture.

    Over many years I have seen people die from alternative treatments, which always seem to be based in 'clinics' in foreign countries. Pretty much like Dr Schuffhausen in the aptly named Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

    There is currently an advert on Facebook promoting a tablet for Prostate health, which I personally find offensive in that it appears to promote these tablets before seeing a doctor, which as we all know is a pretty dangerous thing with PCa.

    Everything seems to be aimed at relieving the vulnerable from large amounts of money, just like the Big Pharma they love to hate. Strange.

    Martin

  • Hi Martin.

    Healthcare is not free. At least not here in Ireland. We have to pay between 50 and 80 Euro per visit to the GP, around 80 Euro for a simple visit to the dentist, and, unless you ha ve VHI health insurance, you have to contribute to some of the standard treatments as well. Patients, unless they have a medical card when they have a physical disability, have to pay for their drugs in the chemist. For instance, I used to get sleeping tablets and tablets for migraine a couple of years ago; one of these migraine pills alone was 18 Euro, and the sleeping tablets were 9 Euro, as far as I remember. And even if we are not paying ourselves for our treatments, our system is.

    But I don't see anything wrong with it. Of course we all have to pay for our health. But we also have to pay for our cars to get serviced or our houses repainted or whatever.

    And yes, unfortunately, those alternative practitioners - or so-called practitioners - and their therapies are very expensive. As you say, they relieve us of money.

  • I never knew you had to pay for healthcare in Ireland - that's a scandal..

  • Yes, we have to. But, even if you don't pay for healthcare directly like in the UK, healthcare is never free. It comes out of tax or whatever. So, from my point of view, no country or person has free healthcare.

  • Many very persuasive, authoritative books support most or all of your post. I considered watching the series and reading his books, but the widespread and vitriolic criticism of Bollinger left me too dubious. I've read only some of the many books condemning Big Pharma and data manipulation so far ... most recently and HIGHLY credible "Doctoring Data" by cardiologist Kendrick ... and it is absolutely devastating to the entire mainstream peer-review process, very well supported by the data from its own studies, expertly logical, scathingly wry, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny ... if one can laugh at the deliberate, greedy, deception of the global public causing literally millions of deaths. I will never again believe any Conclusions of any peer-reviewed study in which the pharmaceutical industry was involved.

    In fact, "Doctoring Data" may just motivate me to skim Bollinger's books on my shelf. The very vitriol leveled at him is exactly how the medical and pharmaceutical professions institutionally poison the well against ANYONE, including some of the biggest medical rock stars on the planet, the minute they suggest any deviation from established belief systems.

    Just one of many examples: Treating 200 people with statins will have no benefit for 199 of them and will prolong the life of the 200th by just four months, yet most of those will suffer statins' SEs. Source: the very data presented in the thousands of published statin studies. The benefit appears only in the words written by the drug companies, mostly by their PR depts and often cited verbatim in the Conclusions. (It's much like those fictional "97% of scientists" who purportedly support ... never mind; this isn't the place for that debate no matter how well it demonstrates the HIGHLY parallel deception in our pharmaceutical industry-driven fiasco.)

    Two dudes cited repeatedly in the book have quit their jobs largely over such lies, criticizing them very soundly and claiming the problem is getting MUCH worse ... virtually pandemic in PubMed and the journals in articles with ANY Big Pharma involvement. Both were decades-long ex-editors of a couple of publications you may have have heard of: The New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet.

    And that's just one small part of one chapter of this one book, supported be many other such books. If I weren't already convinced by the DATA from hundreds of studies and highly reference and authoritative books (boosted my personal successes), I'd rush to read another of Kendrick's books on my shelf, on the whole cholesterol/sat-fat/heart disease myth. Not one published study supports it with evidence, while hundreds refute it, often based on the data from the studies whose WORDS support it. The DATA from many hundreds of studies, for example, very clearly prove that once men reach 65, the higher their cholesterol, the longer they live. With women, that benefit begins before they come home from the hospital nursing at their mothers' breast and really takes off after menopause.

    More directly relevant to this entire forum is the other leading hypothesis purporting to reverse the entire DNA-cancer causality paradigm: Which causes the other ... the cancer or the DNA deviation? The metabolic theory of PC (that metabolic anomalies cause the cancer which in turn causes the DNA anomalies) resolves MANY of the paradoxes in the DNA -first model hypothesis. I'm taking no sides on that issue myself, but the medical logic behind the metabolic hypothesis has some leading oncologists around the world advocating it with all their might despite the thousands of verbal rapes their "heretical, insane, evil, murderous" ideas trigger when the attackers feel threatened. Whole countries (e,g., Turkey), some Nobel prize-winning physicians, and oncological icons who share the Hippocratic oath, all armed with a great deal of research, and at their own peril in the face of the onslaught of momentum-driven dismissals such as "your best hope for assistance with the disease will be from the doctors who pay attention to the treatment guidelines worked out by the leading doctors and scientists, not from the completely unproven and often absurd advice offered by the unlicensed quacks." The biggest problem with that particular statement and whole books like it is that they offer no distinction between "Whole countries (e,g., Turkey), some Nobel prize-winning physicians, oncological icons who share the Hippocratic oath, all armed with a great deal of research" and the "unlicensed quacks". They tend instead to equate the former with the latter simply because they are bucking entrenched, highly institutionalized momentum. "Doctored Data" assaults that momentum and those institutions with data and logic that are tough to refute, including examples of towering giants in the field of medicine (and science; the earth actually DOES rotate about the sun!) who were destroyed by obscene personal vitriol and even executed simply because their (often subsequently proved) ideas challenged the so-called "leading doctors and scientists'" authority.

    Lastly, so many comments imply that "mainstream" and "alternative" treatments are mutually and inherently exclusive, overlooking the even bigger category we all should be seeking: "complementary". There's no reason we must rely 100% on either of the former when the latter includes both without inherent conflict. There's even plenty of room within the "mainstream" for "complimentary" methods, such as using mainstream drugs in innovative but FDA- and-Medicare approved protocols to add decades of vigor to men declared imminently terminal by some of the foremost cancer centers in the world.

    (Which reminds me; I need to open my primary oncologists' eyes and minds to the latest research in MM's direct anti-cancer benefits; they presume it's just palliative, and the research presumably isn't funded by Merck, AstraZeneca, et.al..

    I must assume that "Here in the U.K. and most of the civilised world we have free healthcare for all" is tongue-in-cheek.

  • Personally, I have always been very passionate about health and well-being and I like the idea that much more than we currently know is possible when it comes to getting healthy and staying healthy. And I am certainly very interested in holistic therapies and always very interested to learn about them. However, this interest has never lead me to believe that conventional medicine is less important, and I would never advise anyone to drop the conventional treatments and go for the other ones. In fact, all I would say if somebody asked me for my opinion is: You have to find out what is best for you yourself! But please remember that knowledge is power and you have to get as best informed as you can before choosing any treatment!

    One good thing has come as the result of watching "The Truth About Cancer", though, I must say: We have decided to have a more healthy and more balanced diet. Grapes and Broccoli are now part of our daily diet. But actually we knew long before watching the documentary that those two are good :-)

  • Are they? Resveratrol got shot down. But was that just because it isn't patentable?

  • Its_Baaack:

    You and I have discussed some of these issues in the past but, since you've brought them up, I'd like to comment on them again.

    First, the issue of big Pharma and the medical establishment.

    I think that people are people, whether they work for big companies or big hospitals or hole and corner mail order homeopathy shops. I can accept the view that big pharma will do what they can get away with to make money, and that some doctors will too. What I cannot accept is that the Ty Bollingers and the quacks he interviews are somehow above such reproach. In fact I think the opposite is true.

    There are restraints on big pharma, doctors, and hospitals. Maybe they aren't as good as we want them to be, but I have no doubt that the peer review system we have is vastly superior to the NO review system that quacks subscribe to. It is the nature of self-interest in science that you don't want to be exposed as a fool or a charlatan. It can easily cost you your reputation and your job. It is the nature of the legal system that hundreds of smart lawyers will line up to sue big pharma companies with their billions of dollars if they get caught falsifying data. I doubt if anyone is standing in line to sue Ty Bollinger or his interviewees and as for their reputations and jobs, you can't risk what you don't have.

    The other topic I want to comment on is the DNA mutation issue.

    I strongly suggest that you read a good textbook on biochemistry and a good textbook on molecular biology before you attempt to come to any unorthodox conclusions about this issue. Everybody knows that DNA encodes genes, but saying that is just mentioning the tip of an iceberg of knowledge about the chemistry and biology of DNA and it role in cell biology. I have read a number of them cover to cover, including the standard _Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry_ (1119 pages) and Alberts' standard _Molecular Biology of the Cell_ (1600 pages). They are truly outstanding books that will give you far more insight and understanding about DNA and cancer (though they are not primarily about cancer) than the popular books. If you like science and want to understand how it is that a bag of chemicals, following nothing other than the laws of chemistry, can be a living creature, these are the books to read.

    Alan

  • Re: "I can accept the view that big pharma will do what they can get away with to make money, and that some doctors will too. What I cannot accept is that the Ty Bollingers and the quacks he interviews are somehow above such reproach. In fact I think the opposite is true."

    No disagreement there. It wasn't I offering Bollinger as a credible source.

    "There are restraints on big pharma, doctors, and hospitals. Maybe they aren't as good as we want them to be, but I have no doubt that the peer review system we have is vastly superior to the NO review system that quacks subscribe to."

    The two men who resigned as the editors of the NEJM and the Lancet would likely quarrel with the word "vastly", except maybe as compared to the quacks.

    "hundreds of smart lawyers will line up to sue big pharma companies with their billions of dollars if they get caught falsifying data."

    Only a handful of respectable medical researchers (unlike the climate data issue) have been caught falsifying data. As I said, the problem lies in the TOTALLY misleading words in which the pharmaceutical company PR wordsmiths present those data in the journal texts and press releases. I'd LOVE to type up some compelling examples, but that would take too much time.

    Today's Wall Street Journal* strongly reinforced everything I mentioned and more, adding for example the fact that in two large-scale attempts to vet hundreds of promising peer-reviewed medical studies, only 11% to 25% of them could be replicated -- the gold standard test of a study's validity -- even with years of intervening knowledge and sometimes using the original scientists. I'm still disappointed that little old me found significant self-contradictions in the Memorial Sloan Kettering salvage radiation efficacy nomogram that my Fred Hutch/UW dept chair oncologist, an MSK post-doc shining star who participated in that study, could not explain. Subsequent clarification by leading experts in exactly that topic supported my findings and saved my butt ... and rectum, and bladder, and total treatment failure ... from a huge but EASILY predictable fiasco IN MY CASE.

    * The article is based on a new book by longtime NPR correspondent Richard Harris titled "Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions". He and "Doctoring Data" often mention Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannadis whose PLOS Medicine paper concludes that "most published research findings are false. ... Moreover, for many scientific fields, claimed research findings may be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias." The book supports that conclusion with long discussions from many sources including the NEJM and Lancet editors.

    "I strongly suggest that you read a good textbook on biochemistry and a good textbook on molecular biology before you attempt to come to any unorthodox conclusions about this issue. "

    No conclusions looming, promulgated, or sought here. That's why, when I mention that alternative but powerful hypothesis, I make it clear that despite the lofty credentials of its proponents and the volume of science, logic, and data supporting it, it's still not accepted by many oncologists. Of course, that proves little, considering some of the absolutely eye-opening myths mainstream medicine STILL clings to despite scores to hundreds of years of solid disproof and despite the millions of lives cut short by belief in such myths.

    "Everybody knows" is among the favorite mantras used every day to refute solid research that flies in the face of dogma. I'm not by any means saying that it is proof that the dogma is wrong, but "everybody knows" the myths that the sun revolves around the earth, heavier-than-air craft cannot fly, stress causes ulcers, sat fat => cholesterol => heart disease, testosterone is inherently akin to pouring gasoline onto PC's fire, estrogen replacement therapy causes heart disease in women, stretching and aerobics/cardio are intrinsically beneficial, red meat raises cholesterol, statins prolong women's lives, PSA screening prolongs lives, red wine is protective against heart disease (145 counts of falsifying data on that one), the best-selling drug of all time (Lipitor, at $125 billion) has been shown to reduce heart attacks/heart disease, high blood pressure causes strokes and heart disease (countless drug approvals and prescriptions are based on that lie about the Framingham study, whose data show just the opposite), blood-pressure-lowering drugs improve QOL, most researchers have access to the data their own studies produce, Tamiflu fights influenza, post-heart attack bed rest helps recovery (in fact it kills millions), AZT benefits rather than harms AIDS patients, coronary artery bypass/bariatric surgery/polypharmacy (multiple meds) have been shown beneficial, the most hydrated long distance runners are the leaders, running more than 20 miles a week at or above a steady 8-minute pace prolongs lifespans ... and SO much more.

    Yet world-class physicians are called in journals, "death-dealing Nazi sympathizers" for pointing out discrepancies in those myths. When the one U.S. government/NIH statin study independent of Big Pharma showed no significant benefit to statins, Harvard Med said, "Physicians might be tempted to conclude that this large study demonstrates that statins do not work, but ["everybody knows"] that they do." Lancet editor Horton wrote in 2004 that "Journals have devolved into information laundering operations for the pharmaceutical industry". European Society of Cardiology heart surgery Drug Guidelines Committee chairman Don Poldermans was fired for falsifying data to enhance his income from Big Pharma; estimates are that his corruption killed 800,000 patients in Europe alone.

    This just goes on and on and on and on. And, yes, sources are cited.

  • Thanks for your thoughtful info.

    What does "MM's" mean?

  • Medical Marijuana. Awesome for pain, appetite, mood.

  • I'd stop right at the title. The audacity to claim to possess the "Truth" about such an impossibly complicated and broad topic is to make the claimant immediately suspect.

    We need to stop legitimizing Quack Medicine.

    This so-called documentary is nothing more than a one-sided manipulative polemic. Don't expect to learn much of anything new that is based on actual verifiable objective evidence.

    Say what you want about Big Pharma, but at least they're regulated, and there is a clear documented track record of treatment efficacy. There are people in the Medical profession who are exploring new means of treatments, but they still have to do the hard work of clinical trials and rigorous data analysis before they can state a credible claim of efficacy. Evidence-based "Alternative" medicine in that regard is, simply- "Medicine."

    Big Placebo, OTOH, is a multi-billion dollar BIG BUSINESS that is hardly regulated at all. They traffic in misinformation, half-truths, and above all- fear and mistrust of the medical establishment. Their biggest crime is peddling false hope to the desperately ill and frightened, sometimes to the point that the patients forgo established interventions and proven treatments entirely.

    They belong in jail.

  • You say "We need to stop legitimizing Quack Medicine."

    I find this one hard to agree with completely.

    Maybe, just maybe, there are things out there, especially coming from nature, that are very effective when it comes to treating certain cancers. But, even if not, there are definitely treatments/therapies that help people to feel better while they are going through difficult treatments with serious side-effects. For example, in my practice I work with people wo have undergone Chemo or are currently undergoing Chemo and they love the healing touch with Reiki or the work with essential oils and light massages. It doesn't make the disease go away, but it can help them to get through this.

  • Nothing wrong with that. I too use those treatments for their palliative and emotional benefit. No surprise there- I live in Asheville, NC and caring friends have offered them.

    However, neither you nor my healers are promising a cure without evidence, which is my beef with Big Placebo. I just want healers to tell the truth and not misrepresent what they're doing. It's only quackery when you don't get what you're promised.

  • Yes, I agree with you there.

  • re: 'We need to stop legitimizing Quack Medicine."

    Hear, hear! But we need to define it first. MUCH of what is known as mainstream medicine is completely unproven, often even overwhelmingly disproved (e.g., that stress is the cause of ulcers). And much that remains "disproved" was never even tested or long ago proved true.

    Re: "Say what you want about Big Pharma, but at least they're regulated, and there is a clear documented track record of treatment efficacy. There are people in the Medical profession who are exploring new means of treatments, but they still have to do the hard work of clinical trials and rigorous data analysis before they can state a credible claim of efficacy. "

    In countless examples of some of the very biggest drugs in history, the data not only do not support but very often totally disprove efficacy. IOW, the only efficacy claims very often come word-for-word from Big Pharma's word processors. A quick example found just by glancing into my heavily hilited copy of "Doctoring Data" is this choice between two competing PC screening tools:

    "One prostate cancer screening tool reduces the odds of dying of PC by 20-30%.

    The other will save one life for every 10,000 person-years of PC screening.

    Which tool would you want your doctor to use on you?"

    Answer: It doesn't matter. They are the same tool, and of course the data are identical. The only difference is how the results are worded. Source: Michael Baum, Professor Emeritus of Surgery at University College London and a 30-year breast cancer researcher. He uses that question on every senior postgrad oncology specialist class at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

    How would you rate from the media and PubMed about the longevity of the people in these 5 BMI categories: Underweight (BMI < 18.5), Normal (18.5-25), Overweight (25-30), Obese30-35), Morbidly Obese (>35)? The data, from longest to shortest lifespans, are: overweight, obese, normal, morbidly obese, then underweight. Past middle age, the longevity advantage of being in the "overweight" category become ever more pronounced (due to sarcopenia, maybe?). Supermodels and long distance runners beware.

    A aging athletic friend eats NOTHING but sugar in all its forms because of his familial hypercholesterolemia ... despite the facts that the hard research DATA on FH show longer longevity in seniors with FH. He keeps wasting away to an alarming level of skin and bones, yet refuses to eat even the healthiest of fats and anywhere NEAR enough protein beyond that required to maintain a heartbeat because his cardiologist is an idiot and he refuses to read even one book (beyond his PhD in nuclear fuels). Ironic, given that of carbs, protein, and fats, the only one we do not have to consume is carbs. Do the thousands of statin studies' Conclusions admit any of that?

    The government's recommendation to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day was plucked right out the trans-fat-laden air at a convention of fruit and vegetable companies, including McDonald's, in California in 1992 ... and there has never been any formal definition yet of a "serving", even though it keeps getting replucked.

    Kendrick uses countless publications and studies to clearly shows that peer review measures little to nothing more than the degree of bias in those exalted peer groups.

    Fascinating book(s).

  • All good points, but be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Everyone is responsible for doing their own due diligence.

  • I just hope my thousands of hours of due diligence weren't largely wasted on BS (um, Biased Science). I suspect not, because it mostly regarded treatment options rather than pharmaceuticals. Even then, though, the vast majority of researchers admit (or their studies reveal) that they do not even record, let alone confess to, SEs unless they lead to rounds of serious corrective surgeries. That's a lot of dirty bathwater to overlook. If my odds of being changed from an athlete and student to a crippled fencepost are 0.75, I want to know it before I expose my veins or abdomen to these people. We've all seen MANY cases in online and warm-bodied PC forums in which patients were told very little -- or lied to -- about their outcome and SE expectations due to the physicians' ignorance, impatience, medical biases, dishonesty, cash flow crunch, and/or fear of losing grant money and prestige if study outcomes are negative. At the very least, books like "Doctored Data arm us with many tools to evaluate the credibility of any study we see. i.e., the book is about interpreting the words in any report we see, not about analyzing hot-button topics such as statins. He uses hot topics as familiar examples, not cadavers under autopsy.

  • Steve Jobs went the "alternative therapy" route almost exclusively during the many years bout with his pancreatic cancer. Before he died, he stated that it was a serious mistake.

  • Was it? Many years with pancreatic would have been considered a major victory just a few years ago.

  • I read Alan's response, and when he mentioned Ty Bollinger, I knew it was a crock o' bull. So, I blew off your post completely.

    I just happen to have a conspiracy theorist sister, who tells me often that cancer has been cured already, I just have to look for it on the internet. WTF!?! Really, if you are confused about something, she can wrap it into a conspiracy. Nothing she says makes any sense, but there is no changing their minds once it's imbeded in there. The same with this Ty joker.

  • Yes, this whole thing about conspiracy is really awful. I mean, as if we didn't already have enough creation of fear in the world today?

    I suppose the thing with the conspiracy theories is that, once you have one, it is easy to present it to people and just twist and turn things around until they fit in.

  • Almost as bad as Amway.

  • Melanie,

    Bollinger is not a good source IMO.

    Read: sciencebasedmedicine.org/th...

    for a critique.

    -Patrick

  • Patrick,

    There is plenty of BS in mainstream medicine. You should post your comments about how all the Uro's were making big bucks on Lupron and shooting all their patients up causing an increase in CRPC

    Gus

  • Wonder if that explains why the vast majority of oncologists (and national cancer clinics?) automatically prescribe Lupron when degarelix/Firmagon has such superior benefits and SEs.

  • No, not now. This was when Lupron was first approved and the URO's were making $2000 a shot often with additional kickbacks from big Pharma....every PCa patient who walked in the door got a shot whether they needed ADT or not....1000's of guys died needlessly from CRPC caused by Lupron.....these guys made Ty Bollinger look good

  • This is really an interesting discussion. I am glad I brought the topic up here, and I am thankful that so many of you take part in this discussion.

    Isn't it so interesting how many therapies are out there that are supposed to be very, very good for people with cancer: Hypothermia, Magnetic Field Therapy, treatments with all kinds of supplements, removing your fillings and clearing the body of all toxins, etc... One guy who was shown in the last episode of the documentary got home after his appointment with his oncologist and got a lot of black paper and ginger and other hot spicy things and had those in large quantities for about two months and was supposedly cancer-free afterwards!

    Well, you know, if anything like that has ever worked for a large number of people I am sure we will hear about them. Until then, we won't really know if any of those things work unless we try them ourselves.

    And I and my husband would find it too risky to say: Okay, let's no longer look at the conventional medicine but go with the alternatives from now on and see how we go! - because it is about keeping him well and alive as long as possible!

    So, while we are waiting for our next appointment with his doctor and to hear from Germany, we are trying alternative things, but this doesn't mean that we are excluding the conventional ones. It is just that we feel: Okay, there can't be any harm in eating more fruit and vegetables and nuts and staying active and positive is very important...

  • RE: "there can't be any harm in eating more fruit and vegetables and nuts " ...

    Well, not entirely. Fat-assed (i.e., most) Americans cannot survive the hormonal OR calorie hit of even modest quantities of most fruits, potatoes, grains (whole OR processed), etc. Our bodies see all of those as sugar, and more than a palmful of nuts daily is big calorie load for us. Besides, fruits have shown to do nothing for cancer patients and sugar is a tumor's primary fuel.

  • For some fruit that is true. But for some it is not because the body cells change the sugar molecules.

    Look, I am not a biologist and therefore can't explain exactly how it works.

    We are just trying our best to keep a well-balanced diet rich in nutions and vitamins.

  • I made it a point to skim Ty Bollinger's book to see if he offered any fact-based (as in provable cases of cancer patient's cured by alternative therapies). Suffice it to say, his book is both misguided and his advice quite dangerous. Drinking tea derived from roots as a curative is part of the myth-making so abundant in his book. Better to read the excellent "Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life" by David Servan Schreiber, MD, PhD. He is a cancer patient who survives despite brain cancer that he had to treat twice, the last occurrence requiring him to undergo chemotherapy for a year. After his first diagnosis 15 years ago, he educated himself about his "terrain" (a metaphor for his entire body and how he treated it). He learned that improving that terrain through major lifestyle changes enhances one's quality of life and makes both the body and mind stronger in resisting the disease of cancer. I have just finished the book and plan to re-read it again. He is adamant about one thing: NO alternative treatments alone will conquer cancer. It takes a blended approach but the front-line treatment must be medically-based, using surgery, chemo and radiation. Read the book. It will inspire and calm the fear that so nags at those of us with prostate (any) cancer. I am working on my terrain. It does make a powerful difference in the anti-cancer fight.

  • I will definitely get and read the book. Thanks for sharing. I love to read and hear all the different experiences people have had and educate myself that way, although, and that is very obvious to me: Everyone of us has their own journey with cancer. Some will reject Chemo, Radiation and surgery and only go for alternatives, and, who knows, maybe that works for them. Others will only go for Chemo, Radiation or surgery and that will work for them. And many will do some of both and be successful. It is a journey of discovery what works, I think.

  • Our (USA) Government’s method of approving drugs is flawed. It requires large sums of money to go through the FDA required trials to gain approval. This high huddle eliminates things that cannot be patented. To practice medicine means to prescribe FDA approved drugs for specific symptoms/conditions. Prescribing non approved FDA drugs/protocols is a reason for a doctor to lose his/her license and effectively be shutdown. Just ask Dr Denmeade (John Hopkins) with his research using High-Dose Testosterone on advanced PC patients. Big Pharmaceutical companies aren’t behind it. He is not using any new patentable drug(s). Without donations or grants his work/studies may never be approved by the FDA for use and it could very well be a very effective procedure/process. Just something to consider.

  • Just thought to clarify your post. I believe that you mean the path to FDA approval is very expensive. FDA approval is different than patent approval, a far less costly procedure. I feel confident in saying that Dr. Denmeade at Johns Hopkins is paid well enough that the cost of patent application and approval could be paid entirely by personal check. Malecare achieved a patent on a nuclear medicine device last year. Our legal fees were provided entirely pro bono but were well under the amount that you may imagine.

  • Let me say it this another way. If there was a cure for cancer, and let's say it was eating 2 apples a day, no one in their right mind would pursue FDA approval. The FDA approval process is expensive and anyone with an apple seed can grow apples, making apples inexpensive. Apples are not unique and cannot be patented. I know the patent process is a completely separate process conducted through the US patent office and it is easy and inexpensive to get a patent. In this example, prescribing apples to cure cancer would be considered alternative medicine. Dr Denmeade isn't using a new drug, that can be patented by the patent office, in his BAT studies, therefore he will have to rely on grants and donations to go the full route for FDA approval, which is expensive. The Reason; no one/company stands to make a killing ($) if his BAT procedure is effective. So again I say that his procedure may be effective yet may not become main stream medicine due to a lack of funding for FDA approval, not approval of a patent through the US patent office.. :-)

  • So much money goes into research and into the process through which drugs get approved.

    I think the reason why the conventional medicine has usually more credibility than any alternatives is because in the area of conventional treatments you can do scientific research and create more or less the same results over and over again, and once the treatments and drugs are approved than they will make sure that we all know about it.

    I just wish that the same scientific research was possible with holistic treatments. I believe in some cases it is. But in many it is not. And that is what makes people think that those treatments and substances can not be as effective.

    Just another thought...

    I don't have any fixed opinion on anything here. I just find it a very interesting discussion.

  • "in the area of conventional treatments you can do scientific research and create more or less the same results over and over again" would be nice, but it is rare, implying most research reports are fatally flawed. Closer scrutiny lays most of the blame for that on Big Pharma, which -- according to the big journals and an ever-increasing parade of highly referenced exposés -- apparently writes the Discussions, Conclusions, and press releases (in essence, does most of the wordsmithing) of and about most published studies. After all, they do fund most drug-related studies, and government/NIH funding is plummeting. That makes experiment results belong to them by contract, so they can be VERY clever with their wording. Most physicians and patients would swear Big Pharma's words flat-out lie about results, and they hide more results than they publish for some odd -- NOT -- reason.

  • Hi everyone.

    I would like to come back to the example with the apple and say something else.

    Imagine if my husband had an apple twice a day and his next PSA is below 1 and a scan doesn't show any cancer. I imagine they would repeat the scan to be absolutely sure. But, if the scan result remained the same, and if follow-up examinations in a couple of weeks or months time show the same, his oncologist and the nurses would say: "Congratulations! We don't know how it has happened, but you are cancer-free!" If my husband tells them that he thinks it is because of eating two apples a day, they would dismiss that and simply say: "Well, we don't know. But continue what you are doing anyway." If the same happens with 6 or 7 other patients, they themselves may start to think that there might be a connection there, but I don't think that anything else would happen between eating an apple twice a day and the disappearance of the cancer. But I think this would be it, there would be no more said about it, and my husband as well as those other people would be put down as "miracle cures" or something like that.

    There are probably many people who become cancer-free after something they change in their lives, but we never hear about them because these stories never enter the mainstream.

    I give you an example. When my husband and I met in 2009, his PSA was at 52 and had been around that for many years. He was on hormone therapy back then. Within the first couple of months of being together, his PSA dropped to 3, then to 2, and then was 0.5. During one appointment with his oncologist I said: "Well, this is maybe because of love and the fact that he has become a happier person now." (My husband himself wouldn't have said this because he doesn't believe that this was the reason, I do, though.) And the oncologist said, "Who knows."

    And that is the thing: We don't know. And it would be wrong to assume now that everyone who enters a relationship with advanced prostate cancer or changes his life-style into a happier one becomes free of cancer. And yet it is so encouraging to see something like that. That is why I love to hear stories of people who have successfully fought their cancer and about the things they have found helpful.

    I think the thing is: We only hear about things they - and by they I mean the pharma industry mostly - wants us to know about, only things that have been researched and proven to work.

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