Must read: A fair view on Alternate Me... - Breast Cancer India

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Must read: A fair view on Alternate Medicine for cancer

sumeet_shah profile image
9 Replies

There is a reason why you will not find a single Oncologist support Alternate treatment.

India is on its way to become the cancer deaths capital of the world (It already has done so in heart diseases and in road traffic accidents). One of the major hurdle in way of proper treatment, apart from lack of awareness and late presentation, is an extra ordinary belief in alternate treatment for cancer and magic. We still believe that a magic will happen. We refuse to open eyes and see the results of scientific treatment world around.

This article is really worth reading.

9 Replies
roxboxfox profile image

In 1947, the NCI reviewed ten cases selected by Dr. Gerson and found his report unconvincing. That same year, a committee appointed by the New York County Medical Society reviewed records of 86 patients, examined ten patients, and found no evidence that the Gerson method had value in treating cancer. An NCI analysis of Dr. Gerson’s book A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases concluded in 1959 that most of the cases failed to meet the criteria (such as histologic verification of cancer) for proper evaluation of a cancer case . A recent review of the Gerson treatment rationale concluded: (a) the “poisons” Gerson claimed to be present in processed foods have never been identified, (b) frequent coffee enemas have never been shown to mobilize and remove poisons from the liver and intestines of cancer patients, (c) there is no evidence that any such poisons are related to the onset of cancer, (d) there is no evidence that a “healing” inflammatory reaction exists that can seek out and kill cancer cells

Charlotte Gerson claims that treatment at the clinic has produced high cure rates for many cancers. In 1986, however, investigators learned that patients were not monitored after they left the facility . Although clinic personnel later said they would follow their patients systematically, there is no published evidence that they have done so. A naturopath who visited the Gerson Clinic in 1983 was able to track 21 patients over a 5-year period (or until death). At the 5-year mark, only one was still alive (but not cancer-free); the rest had succumbed to their cancer.

The cancer doctor in me knows that this is pretty much what would be expected if one were to follow 21 patients with advanced cancer who were being given no treatment. The exact timeframe for their deaths would vary depending upon the mix of cancers, but one could be pretty confident that very few, if any, of them would be alive after five years–or even two or three years. Moreover, because the Gerson regimen, like the Gonzalez regimen, is quite onerous and difficult to follow, only patients in relatively good shape to begin with can follow it, thus selecting for patients more likely to live longer with their metastatic cancer anyway.

This will be a good link in future for Proponents of Alternative therapy, for them to review the Hidden Truth behind the not so (Beautiful) Natural Treatment they would be considering

Its just that most of the times, Oncologists would be silent when someone brags and boasts about alternative therapy.

Its time we as doctors have a moral responsible to inform about the lack of evidence and the fate of people taking alternative treatment and asking them to produce the results of the proposed therapy in literature, which has been cross examined.

sumeet_shah profile image
sumeet_shahAdministrator in reply to roxboxfox

Yes, absolutely, Rohit. None of them wants to scientifically show their results.

Just yesterday, a case of advanced Head and neck cancer was referred to me; this young lady of 35 years had a fungating nodal mass below her ear (level 2 nodes) and very advanced intra oral malignancy. At the outset when they entered my Consulting room, they told me they do not believe in any form of surgery or chemo etc. They had only come for dressing. They were taking treatment at some centre of alternate treatment in Gujarat, where they would apply cowdung and cow urine (gou mutra) over the nodal mass. On enquiry, I found out, it was not fungating before the application of that cow dung there. Only after cow dung application, it started fungating. And the 'doctors' there said, the cancer is 'coming out' of the body through that pathway. The patient is happy!

Can you beat this?

India has not only an extra ordinarily long way to go, I personally do not think we will see a progress.

In our Whatsapp group, one very educated girl's mom is undergoing treatment for BC. They are following conventional treatment, but they had more faith in that Tibetan Medicine gentleman and she was propagating the medicine to others as well. I have been in Tata Memorial, and have seen not hundreds, but thousands of cases botched up because of those.

I saw a young girl last week, 23 years, with ovarian cancer, unmarried, just started work, no father; financing her own treatment. I was finding it difficult to even look into her eyes and tell her that it was a stage 3 ovarian cancer. I was having a pain in my heart. From her reports, the cancer was diagnosed two months back, but they were taking treatment from an Ayurveda Gentleman outside Tata Memorial Centre, who feels your pulse and gives some herbs! I spend about 45 minutes with her convincing that chemo is way out, and also told her, that I can get her entire treatment for free, not to worry of finances. I told her I would co ordinate with docs at Tata and ensure her treatment is done at earliest. After few days, I got a call from the person who had referred her to me saying, they have decided to take treatment from the Ayurveda doc and decided not to go for any of standard treatments! And just to inform you, the Ayurved doc's charges are no less, two to three visits cost Rs. 5000/- and his 'herbs' are costlier than chemo!

For those who are still strongly motivated towards Alternate therapy, please remember one thing - a cancer cell formed in the body is an 'irreversible' change. No energy on earth, not even God can reverse that change.

Do you know what is an 'irreversible' change? These are some examples:

- A corn becomes a pop corn

- Milk becomes curd

- A rotten patch develops in an apple.

That's the very reason that we have no choice but to get those cancer cells out of the body, because we cannot reverse that change. Where they are aggregated in a group (like a lump in the breast), we get them out by surgery; where they are spread apart (like those moving in blood circulation or wanedring in local lymphatics), we try to kill them by chemotherapy and radiation. By hook or by crook.

The day these so called herbs or alternate medicines start acting and showing results on cancer cells, will be the day when you will get your corn back from a pop corn, or you will get milk back from curd; or you will spray those herbs on a rotten apple and it will become normal again.

Think about it.

manish_vkg profile image
manish_vkgTeamBCI in reply to sumeet_shah

I would recomend everyone should read and better to accept the truth...

Rkbuntyg profile image
Rkbuntyg in reply to sumeet_shah

Doctor Shah --- I can see you have good heart about the patient also you deal with --- Very few Doctors have views like you --- you offer for free consultation for a patient is a great step --- A big salute to you ---

chandu8542 profile image
chandu8542 in reply to sumeet_shah

Dr. Summeet, whatever you said might be partially true. A few days back, I spoke two peoples who are alive because of the homeopathy treatment. Sanjay pal (his story here was declared to be dead by 2014 because of relapse. Satish Sharma ( told me he was supposed to be dead by 2010 as per oncologist. He is still alive and doing fine. Any comments? Also see the comments of peejohn in the link you provided.

Secondly, I would like to see or know the reasons why cancer is mushrooming so fast? Has cancer research society been able to dig the reasons why is this happening so much? Oncologist try to diagnose the monster but unable to tell for sure the reason why person X got the monster?

sumeet_shah profile image
sumeet_shahAdministrator in reply to chandu8542

Fair enough. In this post, me and Dr. Rohit are just laying down our thinking in crystal clear and understandable terms. By no means are we even forcing anyone to choose treatment. Our duty is to lay the facts, decision is yours. It's your life, you decide. You can decide pros and cons of all forms of treatment and take a call. Choice is yours and absolutely yours. If you wish to go ahead with alternate treatment or recommend it to someone, you are absolutely free to do so, we have no objection. You quote a few people cured with alternate treatments; maybe you can stand at the gates of Tata Memorial Centre one day and see the hundreds of new patients daily (Yes, I mean a HUNDRED per day or more), who opted for alternate treatment and see what happened to them. You need to see with your eyes to believe it. A few do write of some magical treatment with alternate medicine, but none write about the botch which happens, mainly because most are not even alive.

India has one of the LOWEST survival rate of cancer in the world (less than even some backward African nations), we are no where compared to the cure rates achieved in the West. It is not without a reason. A lot of it has to do with what form of treatment people opt for. And our belief in 'magic' that one single thing can cure every illness on earth.

Both me and Rohit are very busy Oncologists. There are times we barely get to sleep even five hours. Not that we get paid more if we work more; we dont get anything for any more effort we put; and we would be more than happy to retire early and rather spend time with family, but its the oath we have taken and a duty which we fulfil. But we do so, we keep working without any expectation. And on top of that busy professional life, to run this forum is no easy task. To be honest, its a thankless job, if you understand. Since most people measure everything in terms of money, let me tell you, I or Rohit do not get a single paise out of this and nor do we want it, nor do we try to generate patients from here (rather, we ask them to meet their own Oncologists). We are doing this on our own free will, a desire to help. And that desire has come around only because of seeing a phenomenal number of deaths where lives could be saved by opting for correct treatment. If you understand this last sentence, that would be enough for me.

chandu8542 profile image
chandu8542 in reply to sumeet_shah

I understand your point to choose the correct treatment. However, patient family is still confused whom to believe and who do not. Contrary to patients going to TMC after alternate medicines, late Rajiv Dixit can be heard on youtube saying patient coming to him from TMC. So, you see people want to save the life at every cost and they go whenever /wherever they see a ray of hope. The way I see the alternative therapy as hitting the target in the dark and by random chance, if hits correctly, patients get cured otherwise they move to a different weapon to hunt down the lesion.

Bhaiya profile image

Thanks Dr Shah for your practical observation . In this situation mind is puzzled & running here and there , finally loose precise time

Guudhubby1 profile image

Very important for us Indians to read this article.

Last four months ,I got to read many articles when I was in search of knowledge about breast cancer.

May I know wheather any of such substances like Curcumin(turmeric extract),Virgin's mantle which are studio so extensively in vitro ;been used in vivo on any humans?

Just a queen.

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