Even cancer orthodoxy uses “anecdotes” when it suits them
Translated from "propagandese" to plain English
by Keith Scott-Mumby MD, MB ChB, PhD
Dr. Keith thoughtful
This update, along with other important material, will be appearing soon in version 3.0 of "Cancer Confidential"
Did you perhaps see the EXCELLENT lead article in Forbes magazine, March 2nd, 2009? There was the usual “we are looking for a drug to back this up” spin (otherwise it would never have gotten published) but really the article is about what I and hundreds of doctors worldwide have been saying for decades: if you boost the immune system, it’s your immune system that will save you from cancer, not the supposed treatment.
That’s why chemo and radiation don’t make much sense. These treatments wreck the immune system- it’s their MAIN side effect.
Hey, guess what made me snicker? They did anecdotal stories! If us guys do that, it’s tantamount to fraud, they say. We're misleading the public and it's not scientific. But when orthodox medicine wants to roll something out with a big swing, guess what? It’s anecdotes all the way!
The featured cases included 56-year old Charles Burrows. He was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer. It’s got one of the worst prognoses. He was told to get his affairs in order because you have 30 days to live, maybe 60 days.' See “Cancer Confidential” section #5, where I talk about doctors giving these stupid death sentences. They become a self-fulfilling prophecy and so they kill the patient by intention. It makes the doctor look good.
The trouble is that they are wrong so often, it doesn’t make sense to keep issuing these stupid predictions.burrows
They were wrong about Charles Burrows. Within 2 months the tumor started to shrink and was soon gone. He went back to the VA, where gastro-enterologist Nooman Gilani was flabbergasted to find no sign of cancer on CAT scan and MRI imaging. Where the tumor had once been, there was "literally empty space," Gilani says.
Gilani can’t explain. But I can; it’s easy—and that’s not showing off.
The key aspect of Burrows’ account is that he went into an episode of abdominal bloating, shaking, chills and nausea. This is classic and I have seen it many times in my career. I not only welcome it, I try to make it happen! It’s called “fever therapy”.
We deliberately raise the patient’s temperature because that favors the immune system over pathogens.
What I think helped save Borrow’s life was that the doctors did NOTHING! If they had tried to treat him, he would have been killed almost overnight. Then they would have said “Well, he was so far gone anyway…”
Rip up those textbooks
I repeat my call to rip up the medical textbooks. Oncologists are going in the wrong direction. Very few today practice medicine with Nature in mind. They see the cancer as something to destroy, like vermin, instead of seeing it as Nature gone wrong. The way to really fix cancer, properly and permanently, is to correct the causes and I’m sorry but chemo deficiency is NOT a cause of cancer! But bad diet and lifestyle are major contributors and can be changed, with permanent benefit thereafter.
Using another anecdotal case, Forbes reports Ole Nielsen Schou, a Danish pharmaceutical production manager (now 69 and retired). He looked like he would die within weeks, a few months maximum. He had contracted malignant melanoma, which soon spread to his liver, abdomen, lungs, bones and ten spots in his brain. The abdominal tumor was surgically removed, but doctors at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen had no treatment for his other tumors. He took a cocktail of 17 vitamins and supplements, including shark cartilage pills, and vizualized the metastases as rats and he was chasing them with a club.
Orthodox doctors scoff at the visualization trick be we knowledgeable doctors know that the most powerful healing tool in the Universe is the human mind. It has no equal. What can be imagined inside your head can—and will—come to pass in the physical world (so be careful of all your thoughts, please).
After just 4 months later Schou went back for a new scan and found that 90% of his tumors had melted away. Soon they were gone. Plastic surgeon Vennegaard Kalialis, who detailed his case last year in Melanoma Research, doubts it was the vitamins. "It is a complete mystery," she says. "Nobody has seen anything like this."
There is no reason under the Sun for this silly Kalialis to say it could not be the vitamins. It’s just her deep, deep prejudice surfacing. It only looks like science. She will quote maybe a score of studies that show vitamins don’t stop cancer. But I can show her three score or more where it proves vitamins DO help.
The real point—and this is where the science fled out the window—she has not the faintest idea what doses and regimen Schou was on and so cannot compare this with any known study. And of course, if she had, chances are what he was doing was not exactly what was tested in the failed studies. So any direct comparison would be meaningless and therefore unscientific.
Isn’t it a joke the way the call us rebels unscientific!
The fact is that cancers do recover. Often! Regressions have most often been reported in melanoma and in kidney cancer. But the phenomenon is much commoner than ever suspected. A recent study suggests that as many as 1 in 3 breast tumors may vanish on their own before being detected by a doctor. I reported all this in “Cancer Confidential”, in a section entitled “Do Doctors Create The Cancer Problem?”
Yes, they do!
Only Your Immune System Will Save You
One of the interesting facts elicited in the Forbes article (again, it’s all in “Cancer Confidential”) was that people often dramatically and surprisingly recover from cancer just after a severe infection.
The evidence points to the fact that the infection propels the immune system into high activity. Once the white cells are in action and showing attitude, then it’s God help the cancer cells while they are on the rampage!
A really good clue was that Schou's abdominal tumor was swarming with white blood cells when they removed it. So finally, the oncologists and research scientists might start to “get it”: people who beat the disease, with our without getting radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, survived because of their own immune systems and NOT BECAUSE OF THE THERAPY.
Nobody ever survived because of therapy. Rather despite the therapy! But ultimately and only because the cancer victim’s own immune cells were able to get on top of the case and vanquish the rogue cancer cells. The laughable idea of the oncologists of killing EVERY cancer cell down to the last one is too absurd to even contemplate: yet that’s what they honestly believe they do.
Incredible though it seems, there are still doctors who dispute the role of the immune system in fighting cancer. But then they are people who would probably jump out of an aircraft at 30,000 feet without a parachute, because they “don’t believe” in gravity!
Jedd D. Wolchok, an oncologist at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, has made the connection, however. A spontaneous remission, he says, is "either divine intervention or the immune system." While few researchers directly study such cases--they are far too rare--they provide hints of what the immune system might be able to do if we could harness it.
If only they would listen to people who have already got the results and have been doing for years: me, Mike Schachter, Nicholas Gonzalez, Jose Contreras and Patrick Kingsley (there are hundreds of others).
[see in “Cancer Confidential” a Japanese doctor who hasn’t lost a cancer case in 10 years, using brilliant management of a unique set of markers]
Big Pharma Wants A Cut
So if immune therapy works, then of course Big Pharma wants a slice of the pie and will fight, tooth and nail, anybody else’s immune therapy. GlaxoSmithKline I hear is in the final stages of testing a vaccine to prevent lung cancer from coming back after surgery. In an early trial it slashed the probability of cancer recurrence by 27%.
"It is all about educating the patients' natural defenses against cancer," says GlaxoSmithKline's spokesman Vincent Brichard.
Welcome to the real world of cancer therapy, Brichard! Actually, I think 27% is pretty pathetic, not what I would call “slashed” – but it’s a start!
Unfortunately, orthodoxy is still obsessed by drugs and most doctors are totally unaware you can boost the immune system with diet changes, herbs, homeopathy, energy healing. Even just exercize sends floods of healing white cells into the peripheral blood!
But at least they are beginning to look in the right direction. A drug to boost the immune system is 1,000% more intelligent than looking for drugs to kill cancer cells.
The efficacy of all drugs judged by the FDA is based on shrinking the tumor (nothing to do with life increase remember—a drug could shrink the tumor but SHORTEN life expectancy and yet would be approved by this stupid system). Did you know that about half a solid tumor is composed of the patient’s own immune cells? So shrinking the tumor, depending on why it’s happening, could be a disaster, not a triumph!
Now at least boosting the immune system will give doctors the chance to switch over to survival as the measure of effectiveness.
Consider this: In a 2006 study by the University of Paris Descartes' Wolf H. Fridman found that the number of special white blood cells inside colon tumors is a stronger predictor of a relapse than “staging” criteria pathologists traditionally use (such as whether cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes, stage 3). Fridman analyzed tumor samples from 415 people who had been operated on for early-stage colon cancer over the last two decades. Those with the highest number of these cells in their tumor rarely relapsed; those with few immune cells almost always did.
The search for a patentable drug to boost the immune system goes on. In trials to date, immune-enhancing drugs have been generally disappointing. But when they do work, it can be spectacular.
Let’s follow one more anecdote; melanoma again.
Sharon Belvin, age 22, was diagnosed with melanoma in her lung a week before her wedding. That’s a tough break, anyone would admit. Once it starts to spread malignant melanoma is rapidly fatal. By the time Sharon turned 24 the few standard treatments had failed, and she had tumors in both lungs.
belvinBut she was put on an experimental drug called ipilimumab (where do they get these awful names? I know, don’t tell me – they are computer generated). It’s action is to trigger the immune system.
Within four months her lung tumors started to shrink and by late 2006 they were gone. Today Sharon remains free of cancer and off treatment. She gave birth to a healthy daughter. Her case is so unusual that during a recent appointment the radiologist called her oncologist in disbelief and asked, 'What did you do for this patient? Am I reading the diagnosis correctly?'"
Of course the drug may get the credit—it’s just an anecdote, after all, nothing proven.
But the real victor was the patient’s immune system. Given the chance, most peoples’ immune system will save them from cancer. But—and it’s a giant BUT—the precipitating causes must be addressed. Carrying on with the same deadly lifestyle after a severe warning like cancer is stupid.
Yet that’s what so many people seem to want. Even some people seeking alternative remedies have the same weak-minded mentality, “Just give me something so I don’t have to bother about eating a better diet or making any healthy changes.
Finally, the Forbes piece mentions New York surgeon William Coley. He learned about the benefits of fever therapy when he witnessed a patient with sarcoma who recovered after suffering an acute bacterial infection. In the 1890s Coley started vaccinating other patients with killed bacteria. He claimed that his toxins spurred the immune system to destroy tumors in a minority of cases.
What the article doesn’t state is that Coley’s fever toxins were sold by Park Davis and part of the standard pharmacopeia until as late as 1952. In 1962 the Food and Drug Administration, which as we know writes its own version of science, refused to acknowledge Coley's Toxin as a proven drug. Thus, in 1962 it became illegal to use Coley's Toxins for the treatment of cancer in the USA (but not in other civilized countries, of course).
Drug treatments that aim to amplify the immune system report similar patterns--scattered amazing success stories combined with a failure on the broad stage. Last summer Cassian Yee at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported eradicating tumors in a 52-year-old man with advanced melanoma by plucking out the rare white cells from his blood that seemed to be active against cancer, painstakingly growing them in the lab and then injecting billions of them back into him. The man is free of cancer three years later. Yet on eight other patients the same procedure was unsuccessful.
Steven Rosenberg at the National Cancer Institute carries out a similar therapy to Yee’s. He was able to help 72% of melanoma patients when given after chemo and radiation. Rosenberg, whose work was inspired by a patient whose stomach cancer vanished on its own, is now expanding the method to colon and breast cancer. But this procedure is far too complex for most hospitals to do.
What is special about the miracle survivors? Why do a minority of outliers live years longer than most? Is it something in their blood? Their genes? Are their tumors weaker than some? Or do they have unusually strong immune systems that just need a slight nudge?
It comes down to another fact largely ignored by conventional medicine, which is that everyone is unique. There no such thing as an average. NOBODY IS AVERAGE, as I keep saying. So what is the point in studying only the average? We all have countless minor genetic variations. No two individuals are alike when it comes to DNA.
That’s great when it comes to forensic evidence but a big nuisance and failure factor when it comes to testing the efficacy of drugs.
It’s why some people do OK on a certain drug, while other patients are badly harmed and may even die.
In addition, patients' tumors also have mutations that make them particularly sensitive to one drug or another.
Another problem is that tumors are often “invisible” to the immune system; they secrete a sticky coat that prevents them getting on the immune radar.
Alternative doctors have known this for decades and we have a sneaky method of getting round this tumor trick: we use enzymes. Again, this is in “Cancer Confidential”, but just in brief, we give enzymes which digest away the protective coat around tumor cells. This leaves them naked and vulnerable. So they get attacked by the immune system, once it can get at them.
Probably a lot of drugs would perform differently if oncologists would only acknowledge and use this strategy, instead of fighting it.
But it remains a very complex picture. There are many chemical processes going on, both in healthy cells and tumor cells, that can be hi-jacked and altered, to favor either the normal immune cells or the tumor cells. That’s why tumors are sometimes contained and sometimes they escape immune control and rampage through the body.
There is a lot to learn. All I know for sure is that we need to use natural mechanisms to create cures, not wade in with all the artillery blazing, in the vain, stupid hope that we can kill every last cancer soldier. We need more understanding of the “enemy”, not more guns.
Politicians can learn from this too. There are no victors in war. Vietnam was a classic case of the fact that you cannot “wipe out the enemy”, no matter how much fire power you bring to bear. We can see the same mistakes being made all over again, 40 years later, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In fact oncologists and politicians are a bit alike: pig-headed, arrogant, self-righteous, yet largely mistaken!