Chemotherapy: Snake oil?

In an article entailed “Chemotherapy: Snake-Oil Remedy?” that appeared in the Los Angeles Times of 1/9/87, Dr. Martin F. Shapiro explained that while “some oncologist inform their patients of the lack of evidence that treatments work…others may well be misled by scientific papers that express unwarranted optimism about chemotherapy. Still others respond to an economic incentive. Physicians can earn much more money running active chemotherapy practices than they can providing solace and relief.. to dying patients and their families.”

Dr. Shapiro is hardly alone. Alan C. Nixon, PhD, Past President of the American Chemical Society wrote that “As a chemist trained to interpret data, it is incomprehensible to me that physicians can ignore the clear evidence that chemotherapy does much, much more harm than good.”

In 1986, McGill Cancer Center scientists sent a questionnaire to 118 doctors who treated non-small-cell lung cancer. More than 3/4 of them recruited patients and carried out trials of toxic drugs for lung cancer. They were asked to imagine that they themselves had cancer, and were asked which of six current trials they themselves would choose. 64 of the 79 respondents would not consent to be in a trial containing cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug. Fifty eight found all the trials unacceptable. Their reason? The ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity.

Read More….

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