How effective is chemotherapy, really?
I received an email yesterday regarding chemotherapy and radiation treatments that I decided to answer on the blog. Here it is.
My wife found your blog and I find it very inspirational and resourceful.
I’ve been diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer just like yours, but unlike your tumor, mine is located in the lower part of the rectal area.
I have visited the oncologists and surgeons, they said the best way is to go through Chemo and Radiation in order to shrink the tumor size small enough to remove it during surgery.
I will begin my treatment next week, the chemo I’ll be taking is the pill that I’ll have to consume twice a day for 6 weeks with radiation.
The doctors said I will be required to go through another chemo therapy after surgery, which would be different chemo treatment (through IV). That’s where my wife feel most uncomfortable and began researching different options such as alternative therapy. And she found your blog with some insightful information.
I changed my diet to raw organic vegetables the day I was informed that I had cancer. It was a life changing moment and left me a little confused what’s on the horizon for me. I began to eat more raw organic food and exercise more than I have done before (I have been eating organic food and exercising moderately for years).
While I have read through some of your blogs and stories, I know you mentioned that you had surgery to remove part of the large intestine and forego chemo and radiation with alternative therapy. I am still confused about the part when you had surgery…Did you have any treatment before your surgery? I understand your blog and stories mostly mention after surgery treatment but maybe I overlooked somewhere that says anything about before surgery?
I am curious to know because my age is slightly older than your age right now, and I have two young daughters, too.
Do hope that everything posted on your website is true. I am not doubting anything, but I do praise your recovery and living cancer free. That’s my goal too.
Yes it’s all true! Here’s what I did.
I first had surgery to remove the tumor.
I did not have chemo or radiation before the surgery.
During the surgery the doctor discovered that the cancer had spread to my lymphnodes (Stage 3C).
After surgery the doctors recommended 9-12 months of chemotherapy.
I declined, which was not a popular decision.
Most of my family thought I was crazy and it took several years and multiple cancer free reports before they came around.
I believe that in some cases, surgery makes sense; to get as much cancer out as possible and to give your body a jump start in dealing with whatever cancerous cells are left.
In other cases, surgery can cause the cancer to spread. It’s a bit of a gamble…
Knowing what I know now, I probably would have postponed surgery, pursued hardcore natural methods first for 90 days, and along the way, would have had the doctors monitor my progress.
If you’ve read my posts on chemotherapy then you know that my reasons to reject chemotherapy were:
– Chemo causes permanent damage throughout the body.
– It destroys your immune system, which is the most critical component in getting well.
– Many chemo drugs are a carcinogenic and can cause secondary cancers.
– The reports of its effectiveness are grossly exaggerated.
A groundbreaking 14-year study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in December 2004 called “The Contribution of Cytotoxic Chemotherapy to 5-year Survival in Adult Malignancies”.
Researchers at the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Northern Sydney Cancer Centre studied the 5-year survival rates of chemotherapy on 22 types of cancers in the US and Australia.
They studied 154,971 Americans and Australians with cancer, age 20 and older, that were treated with conventional treatments, including chemotherapy.
Only 3,306 had survival that could be credited to chemotherapy.
“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”
“As the 5-year survival rate in Australia is now over 60%, it is clear that cytotoxic chemotherapy only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival. To justify the continued funding and availability of drugs used in cytotoxic chemotherapy, a rigorous evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life is urgently required.”
Chemo Only Contributes About 2% to overall 5-year survival!
This is probably also something that your doctors didn’t mention.
It is important to remember that the “2.1% average” can be deceptive. Some cancers do respond better to chemo than others.
According to this research, the best results from chemotherapy are in treating testicular cancer.
In testicular cancer, chemo is 41.8% effective toward 5-year survival.
In Hodgkins Disease, chemo is 35.8% effective toward 5-year survival.
Still not great. Would you hire an auto mechanic who had a 42% success rate at fixing cars?
You can read and download the entire study HERE.
Make sure you look at the tables on page 3 and 4. These tables show the survival rate in the US and Australia, with chemo treatments, for each type of cancer.
You will notice that the survival rate for some cancers after chemo treatment has a dash (-). That means ZERO effectiveness of chemotherapy toward 5-year survival. This includes pancreatic cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, melanoma, kidney, bladder, and uterine cancers.
And yet chemotherapy is still prescribed to treat many these cancers today, over a decade after this study was published.
And although not included in this research, chemo does have a better success rate on leukemia and some childhood cancers.
How Effective Is Chemotherapy for Colon and Rectal Cancer?
As for mine and yours, chemotherapy was shown to be 1.8% effective toward 5-year survival for colon cancer and 5.4% effective for rectal cancer.
As bad as all this sounds, the reality is actually worse.
Nowhere in the study does it say that the 3,306 patients (2.1%) who made it to the five year mark were actually cancer free.
The only thing we know is that they were “still alive” at the five year mark.
It is safe to assume that some of them still had cancer and may have died of cancer later.
I would love to see a follow up on how many of the 5-year survivors actually lived to the 10 year mark. I imagine the results would be even more brutal.
As far as I know that study hasn’t happened.
Why is Chemotherapy still the Go-To Solution?
So why in the world are doctors continuing to prescribe a treatment that doesn’t work on most cancers?
Read my post on The Business of Chemo.
When I was where you are, back in 2004, I also knew chemo was a toxic poison, which is why I didn’t want to do it.
It didn’t make sense to me that I could poison my body back to health.
Nevertheless, in the back of my mind it was my last resort if nothing else worked.
Today, as I’m writing this post, I know many people (personal friends, as well as folks I’ve met online), whose bodies have been wrecked by chemotherapy.
They’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on these “treatments” and they still have cancer.
That is why I do what I do here on this site.
I am not a doctor and cannot give cancer treatment advice, but as a friend I can certainly share what I did.
There’s no law against that! (yet)
What Else Can Be Done Instead of Chemo?
One very powerful approach is converting to the Raw Plant-Based Diet to flood your body with the nutrients it needs to heal itself.
Read the books on my Resources page.
I also highly recommend Dr. Richard Schultze’s Incurables Program. It is hardcore, but it ain’t chemo! Get it at herbdoc.com
(I don’t receive any compensation for recommending his program)
I know this is probably going to cause a lot of doubt and confusion as to your treatment plan. But you asked and so I answered.
My wife and I will be praying for your healing and that God leads you in the path you should go.
Please keep us posted on your progress.
I created a coaching program for patients, caregivers and anyone who is serious about prevention called SQUARE ONE. Since you’ve taken the time to read this article, I’d like to give you Module 1 for free (just go through this link).Beat Cancer Kitchen: My New Recipe Book, Deliciously Simple Plant-Based Anti-Cancer Recipes Get it on Amazon here Beat Cancer Daily 365 Days of Inspiration, Encouragement, and Action Steps to Survive and Thrive Get it on Amazon here
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I also created a coaching program for cancer patients, caregivers and anyone who is serious about prevention called SQUARE ONE. It contains the step-by-step strategies used by myself and everyone I know who has healed cancer with nutrition and natural, non-toxic therapies.
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