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Does Chemo Work?



Chemotherapy Increases Your Odds by Only 2.1 Percent!

This is the shocking truth according to an extensive study done in Australia by Dr. Graeme Morgan, Associate Professor and radiotherapist at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Dr. Robyn Ward, a senior specialist in Medical Oncology and Associate Professor of Medicine at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney and Michael Barton, Research Director Associate Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Liverpool Health Service, Sydney.   They published their work in the Journal of Clinical Oncology Volume 16, Issue 8, December 2004, pages 549-560. This is a peer-reviewed, well-respected medical journal. Their paper was submitted for publication on 18 August 2003. It was revised and finally accepted for publication on 3 June 2004.  Their study was based on data from randomized-controlled trials (RCTs -- the gold standard of medical evidence) published from 1 January 1990 to 1 January 2004. Data were also obtained from the cancer registry in Australia and USA. The contribution of chemotherapy to survival of those over 20 years old and who suffered from 22 major cancers were studied.  The absolute real-life data that this article carries is most shocking: "The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA." In short, they said that the contribution of chemotherapy overall is not more than 3%.  To be fair, chemotherapy has been shown to have some increased positive effect in a few select cancers which include early Burkitt's lymphoma, stage II-III testicular cancer, childhood sarcomas and lymphomas.

Then Why Would My Doctor Say Chemo Will Increase My Odds by 50 Percent?

Given a choice, would you rather take a cancer drug that reduces the odds of you dying from the cancer by 50%, or would you rather take a drug that cures cancer in 1 out of 1000 people with the disease?  Both of these statistics refer to the same drug.  The first way – 50% - is called the relative risk and the second – 1 in 1000 – is called the absolute risk.  Here is how this is figured:  1000 people are diagnosed with cancer, and the normal cure rate without treatment of any kind is 1 in 1000.  1 person will get well with no treatment.  In a study, using a particular drug, 2 in 1000 are cured.  We would say, from the absolute view, that this drug cures 1 in 1000 people (one person would have been cured anyway without the drug and one additional person is cured with the drug).  Therefore it can be said the relative cure rate is 50%!  1 additional person cured is 50% of the 2 survivors!  The relative number is what your doctor will give you when you ask how much the treatment will increase your odds of surviving.  He or she will tell you your odds of surviving are increased 50%.  This is the information given to them by the pharmaceutical companies selling the drugs.  If your doctor gives you a cure rate, ask them if it is the relative or absolute cure rate.  If your doctor doesn’t know what you are talking about, find another doctor.

Overall we shouldn’t really blame the doctors.  If your doctor suggests an alternative treatment for cancer, he can lose his license to practice medicine.  He may also be fined or even imprisoned!  He or she has also been brainwashed into thinking conventional treatment is all there is.  We may reason that if an alternative is so good, why is MD Anderson or Mayo not using it?  The reason is that no one wants to fund $20 million to do a study on a natural cure that can’t be patented.  There is no way to get the investment back.  In addition, the natural cure is going to be much less expensive than chemo, surgery and radiation and so there are billions and billions of dollars that will be lost to the natural alternative.  Pharmaceutical companies don’t want natural cures as they stand to lose billions. 

You should know that the FDA, drug companies, mainstream press and many doctors lie using these misleading statistics.  In this way, the very miniscule benefits of cancer drugs are promoted.  This is really criminal and it all has to do with money.

Chemotherapy Response vs Cure

When a doctor tells a patient that a cancer has a response rate of 75% to chemotherapy, the patient doesn't hear the word "response."  He or she hears the word "cure."  The response rate is what is most often given to the patient.  Filled with hope, the patient fails to seek alternatives that might actually cure the cancer.  Here is a table of Response vs Disease-free Survival that was provided by a top NCI (National Cancer Institute) scientist to an orthodox medical textbook - the Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 18th edition.

Chemotherapy response rate vs cure rate

When chemotherapy is given it is common for tumors to shrink.  However, it is all too common for them to return with little or no extension of life when compared to having no chemotherapy treatment.  As we learned from the study at the beginning of this article, chemotherapy is only 2.1% effective at providing a longer life.  Most cancer patients would be far better off never taking the chemotherapy.

The following is reprinted from the book Questioning Chemotherapy by Dr. Ralph Moss, PhD.

It is one of the central fallacies of chemotherapy that shrinkages or "response rates" have been proven to correlate with increased survival time.  Yet. in answer to a patient's inevitable question, 'What are my chances?' the doctor may give impressive-sounding "response rates" of, say, 60 percent. There is no explanation of what exactly a "response" or a "success" rate is in this context, or how it supposedly correlates with actual increased survival.  In fact, such a correlation has not been proven for most kinds of cancer.

Yet time and again, we hear such statements as this: "We are on the verge of achieving high enough response rates on a consistent basis to affect positively the survival outcome of patients with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer as a group". Countless other such statements could be given, as this assumption has been repeated so many times that it has taken on the aura of a dogma.

Is it any wonder that many doctors who deal with patients are themselves confused on this point?  Or do they know, but are trying to spare a "terminal" patient's feelings?  Or are they promoting their services?

The doctor talks "response rate" but the patient hears "cure"!  These same patients and their family members may be furious when they realize that "response rates" do not often correlate with increased survival or improved quality of life.  They begin to wonder what in the world is going on - why would doctors lie like this?

The resoning that connects tumor shrikages with increased survival is "so obvious and logical that its popularity is hardly surprising," says Dr. Ulrich Abel.  Yet despite the fact that this is almost universally believed, it happens to be wrong.  This is well known to some chemotherapists.  According to the outstanding European (EORTC) monograph on breast cancer:  "Response rate alone is a poor parameter by which to assess therapeutic benefit in advanced breast cancer, it does not predict survival, and its effect on quality of life is very much determined by the nature of the treatment used."

For a more thorough explanation of this and much much more, purchase a documentary called Healing Cancer from the Inside Out by Mike Anderson.  Amazon has it available for purchase. 


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