Robert writes articles about emerging medical discoveries with a focus on the health benefits of natural remedies and ingredients.
Alternative Cancer Treatments
Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases, and despite years of medical research and billions of dollars spent on experimental treatments such as drugs, immunotherapy and radiation, it remains stubbornly difficult to treat. In spite of advances, cancer is still a deadly killer and very often the cure is just as horrible as the disease.
Not surprisingly many people turn to the faint hope offered by natural remedies and alternative medicine in the hope of beating cancer without some of the side effects that come with traditional treatements such as chemotherapy and radiation. This article explores some of the more promising alternative treatments for cancer, but also exposes some of the worst frauds which give false hope to the sick and dying.
Although medical science has made great strides in curing cancer, Cancer remains one of the most dreaded diseases. Almost as dreaded as the disease itself are the cancer treatments itself which most cancer survivors, myself included, can only describe as torture. Despite decades of scientific research and advances, fighting cancer still involves one of three main choices: chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery. All of these treatments are painful, to varying degrees, and destructive of the healthy body.
To make sure that they get all of the cancer, surgeons must take away a lot of the healthy surrounding tissue leaving the patient with scars and often the loss of entire organs and limbs. Chemotherapy floods the body with poisons which it is hoped will be more lethal to the cancer cells, but even when chemotherapy works it causes damage to healthy tissue. In some cases, the patient is so weakened by the chemotherapy that they succumb to secondary infections and die from the treatment rather than the cancer. Radiation works on much the same principle: the cancer is bombarded with radiation and because cells are most vulnerable to radiation when they are divided, the faster growing cancer cells are killed off at a greater rate than the healthy ones. But even when it works, radiation therapy is often painful and debilitating. Inevitably, as with chemotherapy, the radiation also kills or damages healthy cells and and organs and not just cancer.
To add insult to injury, the damage caused by radiation and chemotherapy can often lead the patient to develop knew forms of cancer a few years later. To conventional medical science, and for most patients, the damage caused by conventional cancer treatments is the price one has to pay in order to fight cancer. Its this or death.
Alternative Cancer Treatments
- A Special Message to Cancer Patients Seeking "Alternative" Treatments
An objective discussion of quacks and frauds that do not cure cancer.
- Alternative cancer treatments - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Why People Turn to Alternative Cancer Treatments
But in many cases chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are prescribed not as a means of curing cancer (in medical terms, a radical treatment) but simply to buy the patient some precious time, or alleviate symptoms (also called palliative treatment). In many cases there is not a frank discussion between doctor and patient about the quality of life that they will have if they undergo treatment. A friend of mine's mother, terminally ill with liver cancer, was prescribed six months of chemotherapy. When her daughter, who happens to be a doctor, asked how much longer she would live, the answer was about 6 weeks. In her case, the woman decided to refuse treatment and let nature and cancer take its course; she felt that the treatment was not worth the few extra weeks that it would buy her. She turned to alternative cancer remedies and natural remedies to help strengthen her body and buy her some time, but most of all improve the quality of the time that she had left.
Whether or not to undergo treatment and what treatment is best for cancer varies from patient to patient, and is a choice that should only be made between a patient and his or her oncologist (cancer doctor). In most cases, cancer treatment -- whether it be radiation, surgery or chemotherapy -- works and is the only hope of recovery or increased survival. However the fact is that the choices offered by conventional science remain bleak and for many cancers survival rates or in other words, your odds of beating cancer or at least surviving another 5 years, are not great.
It is not surprising therefore that many cancer patients look to alternative cancer treatments in the hopes of either curing cancer without having to choose what is for them an unattractive choice between chemo or surgery or radiation, or all of the above. Other cancer patients seek out alternative or natural cancer remedies in the hopes of strengthening their immune system and helping their own body fight cancer, often in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.
Do Natural Remedies Such as Vitamins and Herbs Do Any Good?
In my own case, I was diagnosed with a fairly curable form of cancer and because it was caught early it was treatable with conventional radiation treatment. 14 years later, though a little worse for the experience, I remain cancer free. However, from the moment I was diagnosed I sought out vitamins, herbs and various nutrients to help me fight the cancer and subsequently heal. Even after treatment was ended and I was declared cancer free I continued to follow various nutritional regimens to strengthen my body's defenses and ensure that the cancer did not come back. I don't know if I can give credit to some of the choices I made but so far so good.
Because of my own experiences I have done a lot of research into the field of alternative cancer remedies and this article summarizes some of the supposed cures for cancer and cancer therapies that have been developed. In writing about these options, I do not mean to endorse them or in any way suggest that these cancer treatments work or that you should try them. To put it even more clearly, I am not recommending any of the alternative cancer remedies that I describe. In fact many of them have been proven scientifically not to work. Some of these alternative approaches to treating cancer may hold some promise, others are pure quackery. I am presenting this information for discussion purposes only, and in most cases I have not tried the treatments described. I also need to stress that I am not a doctor and nothing in this article or the articles I link to is meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have cancer, find yourself the best cancer doctor you can and trust his or her advice.
Natural and Alternative Cancer Cures
More on Alternative Cancer Treatments
There are an incredible number of treatments and products claiming to cure or prevent cancer. In most cases, the so called "cure" is nothing but snake oil and completely ineffective; one hopes that these pedlars of false hope at least believe in what they are selling, rather than knowingly exploiting desperate patients. Below I discuss some of the better know alternative cancer remedies as well as some less known treatments that claim to cure cancer.
Where the link is not yet active, it is because the article has not yet been written, but it will be added soon.
- Chaga Mushrooms
- Essiac Tea (Rene Caisse's Formula)
- Hoxsey Therapy
- Shark Cartilage
- Sutherlandia, "The Cancer Bush"
- Aloe Arborescens
- Cesium Chloride
An Important Note
None of the statements, products, treatments discussed in this article or any website linked from this hub have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The information is being presented for discussion purposes only and I am not recommending or endorsing any of the treatments discussed herein. Some treatments are promising and may merit further scientific investigation, others are downright fraudulent and dangerous. Nothing in this article or any web page linked from here should be considered a substitute for following the advice of a competent medical doctor. Do not base any treatment decisions on what you read here.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2011 Robert P
A Little TRUTH on September 19, 2011:
Nice concise and accurate list of the con’s of conventional cancer therapy.
I feel for your friend’s mother, but it sounds like she made a good decision. If I read you correctly, the alternative and natural remedies bought her both quantity AND quality of time, compared to the prediction for the prescribed chemotherapy.
I heard chaga is a good coffee substitute also. You’ve convinced me now to get some. I’ll check out your chaga hub.
Of course the natural remedies have not been scientifically proven to work and will never be FDA approved, because they cannot be patented and sold as a drug to create huge profits. On the contrary, it would cut into profits.
You may want to consider adding to your list:
- MMS [www(dot)miraclemineral(dot)org] I’ve used this successfully on skin cancer and tooth abscesses.
- Asparagus. A few spears 2 or 3 times a day.
- Apricot seeds. Eat several daily.
- Wheat grass. You need a special juicer.
And you may want to consider adding to your Amazon capsule:
- “World Without Cancer: The Story of Vitamin B17” by G. Edward Griffin
Even though I’m outside the US and not subject to SWAT team raids and jail time for suggesting a cancer treatment that works and is not FDA approved, I mirror your cautionary statements as follows: The disclaimer statements in the above article apply to these comments as if fully stated here, except for the last sentence before the video which I don’t agree with because I’m not giving advice.
Sorry for the long comment. I should write a hub, but you’ve done such a nice job, I’d rather just add to yours.
sensiva on September 19, 2011:
I believe that alternative treatments are the way to go as far as cancer treatment is concerned as most of the alternative therapies are aimed at healing the PATIENT (as opposed to treating the cancerous growth)
Chad Young from Corona, CA on September 18, 2011:
I guess if you tried all traditional methods and nothing has worked then these medicines may give you some ray of hope.