The Economist on pros and cons and costs of chemotherapy

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:    We are told that the definition of a medical disaster, according to Big Pharma, is anything which creates or eliminates the need for vast amounts of medicine.

Here is the precise quotation:   “Disaster is defined as a treatment that kills or cures.”
  

Only the naive neglect to “follow the money trail”.

Thought you might be interested in this this article from ” The Economist” and some quotes from people in the industry regarding Chemotherapy. Modern Insights and a historical reflection on Chemotherapy’s effectiveness in the survival of cancer patients.    This is a sobering article from “The Economist”, which is then followed by a series of quotes that should get the attention of everyone of us.

Ask your oncologist about corrective cancer care using low dose targeted chemotherapy – a treatment that its patients refer to as “side-effect free chemo”   See  this summary and  also www.bestanswerforcancer.org   for a practitioner in your area.

From :  The Economist.

 

Oncologists have long been using crude weapons to fight cancer — cut out tumors or use chemotherapy that kills good cells as well as bad ones. Drug companies say that new cancer drugs will change this — for a price. Last year Gleevec grossed $4.3 billion, Herceptin made $6 billion and Avastin $7.4 billion.

Cancer drugs are often horribly expensive. Last year biotech drugs accounted for 70 percent of the increase in pharmaceutical costs in America. In general, cancer plays a huge role in raising costs. America’s National Institutes of Health predicts that spending on all cancer treatment will rise to $158 billion in 2020 — or, if drugs become pricier, as seems likely, as high as $207 billion.

The Economist reports:

“Not all these new drugs work. In December the FDA said that Avastin’s side effects outweighed its meager impact on breast cancer. (Genentech will argue otherwise in a hearing in June.) More generally, some people reckon that new cancer drugs offer small benefits at an exorbitant price. Provenge costs $93,000 for a course of treatment and extends life by an average of four months. Yervoy costs $120,000 for three-and-a-half months.”

None of this is likely to change so long as the conventional medical establishment and organizations like the American Cancer Society, which appears to be far more interested in money than it is in finding a cure, continue to have their way.

Sources:

The Economist May 26, 2011

 

 

Comments from Critics of The Cancer Industry:

 

The only way to fight this type of corruption is by informing the voting public, and increasing awareness among those who vote. Your politicians allow the National Cancer Institute, and American Medical Association to promulgate the lie about finding a cure.  There is no “Freedom of Speech” of speech when it comes to the FDA.  There must be a “grass roots” movement to allow the “Complimentary Alternative Medicine” groups to tell their stories to the people and let them decide on their choice of treatment for their diseases.  Those pharmaceutical drugs that are breneficial and cost effective will survive in an atomsphere of “full disclosure”.  Those drugs that are overpriced, ineffective and result in shorter patient life spans will be replaced in an atmosphere of “full disclosure”.   Health Freedom is long overdue.  The people need the right to have “freedom of speech” and  the removal of the FDA’s prohibition of “health claims” for any foods or supplements that can help prevent, treat or mitigate any disease.

 

The “Cancer Indstry” is not an industry built on finding a cure so patients will live.  By definition this industry is a moral hazard, because the industry’s goal is make money and survive. Finding  a cure will serve as a poison pill for the industry. The money is in treating the patient, not curing them.  A more accurate description of what’s happening is “genocide” for the sake of profit. Yet again another example of too big to fail because they now pay three lobbyists for every man in Congress and the Senate to keep them selling bad drugs.  A study published May 23, 2011 in the Archives of Inernal Medicine revealed the average different side effect of for each drugs is 70, with more commonly prescribed drugs having around 100 side effects.    The highest number of different side effects for one drug was 525.  How can any  doctor know what the side effects are when a patient is taking  5 or 10 prescribed medications at the same time????  Yet, there are patients taking more than 15 medicaitons at one time.

 

After reading the following comments from professional health care workers familiar with the “benefits” of conventional chemotherapy treatments, you may want to question the use of chemotherapy by itself, or in combination with other Complementary Alternative Medicines,  as  the answer to cancer.

 

Quotes from Industry:

“If you can shrink the tumor 50% or more for 28 days you have got the FDA’s definition of an active drug. That is called a response rate, so you have a response…(but) when you look to see if there is any life prolongation from taking this treatment what you find is all kinds of hocus pocus and song and dance about the disease free survival, and this and that. In the end there is no proof that chemotherapy in the vast majority of cases actually extends life, and this is the GREAT LIE about chemotherapy, that somehow there is a correlation between shrinking a tumor and extending the life of the patient.”—Ralph Moss


We continue to hear horrific stories from chemo patients.  There are more and more reports by establishment oncologists doubting the value of chemotherapy, even to the point of rejecting it outright. One of these, cancer biostatistician Dr. Ulrich Abel, of Heidelberg, Germany, issued a monograph titled “Chemotherapy of Advanced Epithelial Cancer” in 1990. (See Healing Journal, No. 1-2, Vol.7 of the Gerson Institute.) Epithelial cancers comprise the most common forms of adenocarcinoma: lung, breast, prostate, colon, etc…. After ten years as a statistician in clinical oncology, Abel became increasingly uneasy. “A sober and unprejudiced analysis of the literature,” he wrote, “has rarely revealed any therapeutic success by the regimens in question in treating advanced epithelial cancer.” While chemotherapy is being used more and more extensively, more than a million people die worldwide of these cancers annually – and a majority have received some form of chemotherapy before dying. Abel further concluded, after polling hundreds of cancer doctors, “The personal view of many oncologists seems to be in striking contrast to communications intended for the public.”

Abel cited studies that have shown “that many oncologists would not take chemotherapy themselves if they had cancer.”  (The Cancer Chronicles, December, 1990.)  “Even though toxic drugs often do effect a response, a partial or complete shrinkage of the tumor, this reduction does not prolong expected survival,” Abel finds. “Sometimes, in fact, the cancer returns more aggressively than before, since the chemo fosters the growth of resistant cell lines.  Besides, the chemo has severely damaged the body’s own defenses, the immune system and often the kidneys as well as the liver.”


“….chemotherapy’s success record is dismal. It can achieve remissions in about 7% of all human cancers; for an additional 15% of cases, survival can be “prolonged” beyond the point at which death would be expected without treatment. This type of survival is not the same as a cure or even restored quality of life.”—John Diamond, M.D.


“Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy…Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade. Yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumours…Women with breast cancer are likely to die faster with chemo than without it.”—Alan Levin, M.D.


“The five year cancer survival statistics of the American Cancer Society are very misleading. They now count things that are not cancer, and, because we are able to diagnose at an earlier stage of the disease, patients falsely appear to live longer. Our whole cancer research in the past 20 years has been a failure. More people over 30 are dying from cancer than ever before…More women with mild or benign diseases are being included in statistics and reported as being “cured”. When government officials point to survival figures and say they are winning the war against cancer they are using those survival rates improperly.”—Dr J. Bailer, New England Journal of Medicine


“I look upon cancer in the same way that I look upon heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, or even obesity, for that matter, in that by dramatically strengthening the body’s immune system through diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise, the body can rid itself of the cancer, just as it does in other degenerative diseases. Consequently, I wouldn’t have chemotherapy and radiation because I’m not interested in therapies that cripple the immune system, and, in my opinion, virtually ensure failure for the majority of cancer patients.”—Dr Julian Whitaker, M.D.


“In the end there is no proof that chemotherapy in the vast majority of cases actually extends life.”  Interview of Dr Ralph Moss, Ph.D.


“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.”   Alan Nixon, Ph.D., Past President, American Chemical Society.


“We were lied to and threatened so that oncologists could fill our son with deadly ineffective poisons that simply shortened his life and made his last days on earth a living hell….  The oncologists did what they were trained to without challenging the death rates that surrounds their treatments. …. The drug companies received their chemotherapy profits. Alexander lost his life. And we have to live with the knowledge that we never gave our son a fighting chance to survive his disease.”   “No Rights for a Child Diagnosed with Cancer”


“Two to 4% of cancers respond to chemotherapy….The bottom line is for a few kinds of cancer chemo is a life extending procedure—Hodgkin’s disease, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL), Testicular cancer, and Choriocarcinoma.”—-Ralph Moss, Ph.D. 1995 Author of Questioning Chemotherapy.


“NCI now actually anticipates further increases, and not decreases, in cancer mortality rates, from 171/100,000 in 1984 to 175/100,000 by the year 2000!”–Samuel Epstein.


“A study of over 10,000 patients shows clearly that chemo’s supposedly strong track record with Hodgkin’s disease (lymphoma) is actually a lie. Patients who underwent chemo were 14 times more likely to develop leukemia and 6 times more likely to develop cancers of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than those patients who did not undergo chemotherapy (NCI Journal 87:10).”—John Diamond


Children who are successfully treated for Hodgkin’s disease are 18 times more likely later to develop secondary malignant tumours. Girls face a 35 per cent chance of developing breast cancer by the time they are 40—-which is 75 times greater than the average. The risk of leukemia increased markedly four years after the ending of successful treatment, and reached a plateau after 14 years, but the risk of developing solid tumours remained high and approached 30 per cent at 30 years (New Eng J Med, March 21, 1996)


“Success of most chemotherapy is appalling…There is no scientific evidence for its ability to extend in any appreciable way the lives of patients suffering from the most common organic cancer…chemotherapy for malignancies too advanced for surgery which accounts for 80% of all cancers is a scientific wasteland.”—Dr Ulrich Abel. 1990


The New England Journal of Medicine Reports— War on Cancer Is a Failure: Despite $30 billion spent on research and treatments since 1970, cancer remains “undefeated,” with a death rate not lower but 6% higher in 1997 than 1970, stated John C. Bailar III, M.D., Ph.D., and Heather L. Gornik, M.H.S., both of the Department of Health Studies at the University of Chicago in Illinois. “The war against cancer is far from over,” stated Dr. Bailar. “The effect of new treatments for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing.”


“My studies have proved conclusively that untreated cancer victims live up to four times longer than treated individuals. If one has cancer and opts to do nothing at all, he will live longer and feel better than if he undergoes radiation, chemotherapy or surgery, other than when used in immediate life-threatening situations.”—Prof Jones. (1956 Transactions of the N.Y. Academy of Medical Sciences, vol 6.


There is a fifty page article by Hardin Jones of National Cancer Institute of Bethesda, Maryland. He surveyed global cancer of all types and compared the untreated and the treated, to conclude that the untreated outlives the treated, both in terms of quality and in terms of quantity. Secondly he said, “Cancer does not cure”. Third he said “There is a physiological mechanism which finishes off an individual”.)


“With some cancers, notably liver, lung, pancreas, bone and advanced breast, our 5 year survival from traditional therapy alone is virtually the same as it was 30 years ago.”—P Quillin, Ph.D.


“1.7% increase in terms of success rate a year, its nothing. By the time we get to the 24 century we might have effective treatments, Star Trek will be long gone by that time.” Ralph Moss.


“….chemotherapy’s success record is dismal. It can achieve remissions in about 7% of all human cancers; for an additional 15% of cases, survival can be “prolonged” beyond the point at which death would be expected without treatment. This type of survival is not the same as a cure or even restored quality of life.”…  “Keep in mind that the 5 year mark is still used as the official guideline for “cure” by mainstream oncologists. Statistically, the 5 year cure makes chemotherapy look good for certain kinds of cancer, but when you follow cancer patients beyond 5 years, the reality often shifts in a dramatic way.”—John Diamond, M.D.


Studies show that women taking tamoxifen after surviving breast cancer then have a high propensity to develop endometrial cancer. The NCI and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, which makes the drug, aggressively lobbied State of California regulators to keep them from adding tamoxifen to their list of carcinogens. Zeneca is one of the sponsors of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


“Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy…Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade. Yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumours…Women with breast cancer are likely to die faster with chemo than without it.”—Alan Levin, M.D.


According to the Cancer Statistics for 1995, published by the ACS in their small journal (2), the 5-year survival rate has improved from 50%-56% for whites and 39%-40% for blacks from 1974/1976 – 1983/1990. However, the data is taken from FIVE of the states with the lowest death rates AND the smallest populations! NONE of the 10 states with the highest death rates AND comprising 34% of the Total U.S. Cancer Deaths, were included in the data! Also, in prior years, the Composite (Ave.) 5-year survival rate for ALL Cancers Combined was computed and published. This Ave. 5-year survival crept upward to 50%, in the early nineties. It now stands around 51-52%, due primarily to the improvement of 11% survival for Colon and 13% increased survival for Prostate. It gets worse. The ACS boasts of “statistically significant” results when Uterine Ca survival drops from 89%/60%-85%/55% (W/B)?? Also, Pancreas Ca is 3-3 (W) and Laryngeal Ca survival drops from 59%-53% (B) while Cervical Ca drops from 63%-56% (B). Liver Ca improves from 4%-7%. I wonder how many Pancreatic and Hepatic Ca patients cheered these dramatic results? Ovarian Ca = 36%/40% – 42%/38% (W/B) and Breast Ca = 75%/63% – 82%/66% (W/B). In 16 years the Breast Ca rate improved 3-7%, while Uterine Ca decreased 4-5%. Aren’t these marvelous results that the Cancer Establishment should boast about??—-RD Hodgell, M.D.


“The five year cancer survival statistics of the American Cancer Society are very misleading. They now count things that are not cancer, and, because we are able to diagnose at an earlier stage of the disease, patients falsely appear to live longer. Our whole cancer research in the past 20 years has been a failure. More people over 30 are dying from cancer than ever before…More women with mild or benign diseases are being included in statistics and reported as being “cured”. When government officials point to survival figures and say they are winning the war against cancer they are using those survival rates improperly.”—Dr J. Bailer, New England Journal of Medicine (Dr Bailer’s answer to questions put by Neal Barnard MD of the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine and published in PCRM Update, sept/oct 1990.


“I look upon cancer in the same way that I look upon heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, or even obesity, for that matter, in that by dramatically strengthening the body’s immune system through diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise, the body can rid itself of the cancer, just as it does in other degenerative diseases. Consequently, I wouldn’t have chemotherapy and radiation because I’m not interested in therapies that cripple the immune system, and, in my opinion, virtually ensure failure for the majority of cancer patients.”—Dr Julian Whitaker, M.D.


“Finding a cure for cancer is absolutely contraindicated by the profits of the cancer industry’s chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery cash trough.”—Dr Diamond, M.D.


“We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of research is to see whether two doses of this poison is better than three doses of that poison.”—Glen Warner, M.D. oncologist.


  • “Percentage of cancer patients whose lives are predictably saved by chemotherapy – 3%
  • Conclusive evidence (majority of cancers) that chemotherapy has any positive influence on survival or quality of life – none.
  • Percentage of oncologists who said if they had cancer they would not participate in chemotherapy trials due to its “ineffectiveness and its unacceptable toxicity” – 75%
  • Percentage of people with cancer in the U.S. who receive chemotherapy – 75%.
  • Company that accounts for nearly half of the chemotherapy sales in the world – Bristol-Meyers Squibb.
  • Chairman of the board of Bristol-Meyers – Richard L. Gelb.
  • Mr. Gelb’s other job: vice chairman, board of overseers, board of managers, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, World’s largest private cancer treatment and research center.
  • Chairman, Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s board of overseers, board of managers – John S. Reed.
  • Reed’s other job – director, Philip Morris (tobacco company).
  • Director, Ivax, Inc., a prominent chemotherapy company – Samuel Broder.
  • Broder’s other job (until 1995) – executive director, National Cancer Institute. “from

– Reclaiming Our Health: Exploding the Medical Myth and Embracing the Source of True Healing by John Robbins.


“The majority of publications equate the effect of chemotherapy with (tumour) response, irrespective of survival. Many oncologists take it for granted that response to therapy prolongs survival, an opinion which is based on a fallacy and which is not supported by clinical studies. To date there is no clear evidence that the treated patients, as a whole, benefit from chemotherapy as to their quality of life.”—Abel.1990.


“For the majority of the cancers we examined, the actual improvements (in survival) have been small or have been overestimated by the published rates…It is difficult to find that there has been much progress…(For breast cancer), there is a slight improvement…(which) is considerably less than reported.”—General Accounting Office


“As a chemist trained to interpret data, it is incromprehensible to me that physicians can ignore the clear evidence that chemotherapy does much, much more harm than good.”—Alan Nixon, Ph.D., Past President, American Chemical Society.


“He said, “I’m giving cancer patients over here at this major cancer clinic drugs that are killing them, and I can’t stop it because they say the protocol’s what’s important.” And I say, “But the patient’s not doing well.” They say, “The protocol’s what’s important, not the patient.” And he said, “You can’t believe what goes on in the name of medicine and science in this country.” –Gary Null

 

 

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