Now when you or someone you love is diagnosed with Cancer, there will always be lots of well intentioned, friends, colleagues and family members who will likely suggest that they read or heard about somebody who cured their Cancer by eating some special diet, taking Cannabis oil, some herbal remedy, dancing round a fire while wearing a native American headdress or some other crazy idea. This all comes under the much used phrase amongst Cancer patients of Quackery.
Now the truth behind these stories may come from people with genuinely good intentions and belief in what they are saying, however the headline often hides the true story of the treatment these people have had and runs the risk of patients desperate for a cure, rejecting the standard treatments that will keep them alive.
For example I have read headlines where someone has been cured by ‘a radical diet’ but only when you read the article fully you will see they also had Chemotherapy and surgery prior to the cure. In fact it was much more likely that the conventional treatments led to their cure, it just happened they were also on the diet at the same time or went on it at the end of their treatment.
Likewise Cannabis oil, is often touted as a cure for Cancer, but again there is really no evidence to suggest that to be true. There is some evidence for it as a pain killer and is being looked into seriously to help with managing pain and symptoms of treatment but it is highly unlikely to stop the spread of your Cancer.
The other thing I hear regularly and does particularly annoy me, is that the cure for Cancer is there but the big pharmaceutical companies won’t release it as they make too much money from Cancer. This is absolute rubbish!!
Firstly the majority of people in the world are good people, if there was a cure, they would be shouting it from the rooftops, there would be a leak to the press, some disgruntled employee would let it slip, unless of course the many thousands of people who work in research and development for these big companies are all in on it and are all heartless. Just like us most of these people will also have been impacted by Cancer and therefore them all hiding a cure for shareholder profit, is a little unlikely.
Secondly and I think most importantly, Cancer isn’t one illness, there is no magic Cancer cure that will cure all Cancers with one tablet. There are multiple types of Breast Cancer’s for example each with different characteristics and different triggers and responses. No one drug will defeat these things and therefore there simply isn’t a single cure for Cancer.
Thirdly outside of Big pharmaceutical companies there are thousands of researchers, Doctors, oncologists etc working their very hardest to find a cure and help their patients. I know for a fact our Oncologist is doing his best to keep Jo healthy and get her free of Cancer and if he thought any of these other treatments would work, he would suggest it.
Now generally when people come up to you and offer such advise, I have generally answered politely by saying ‘Thanks I will look into it’, but in reality I don’t have any intention, we are going to stick with the conventional treatments, because they are known to work and save many peoples lives, based on evidence and study. Also as a Cancer patient you have to be very careful about what you eat or take as some supplements etc could cause your existing treatments not to work as intended. If you are changing your diet or taking anything extra, please make sure you discuss this with your Oncologist first.
So before suggesting any of this quackery, please remember, that the person you are talking too is already doing their best to save their lives, by having the treatment that evidence, testing and research already suggests is most likely to work. If they don’t try what you suggest, isn’t because they aren’t trying hard enough to save themselves, it’s because it is highly unlikely to work and could have detrimental impacts on their current treatment.