By Vince DiBianca | Bio

Over the last year or two, I’ve found myself surrounded by family and friends who have been diagnosed with cancer of different forms. I’d say the number amounts to a dozen people. Of these, only two are in remission (breast cancer and testicular cancer). Six have passed away (after lengthy chemo/radiation) and the remaining four are in the midst of their “battle”, as it’s put. These are, seemingly, not great odds of survival.

This seems like an unusually high incidence rate in such a short time. Is it our age? Is it The Age? I can’t attribute it purely to aging since these people range in age from their early 40s to their 80s. Trying to identify the cause of their cancer feels hopeless. Is it genetics, high stress, diet-related, environmental toxins, virus/fungus or bacteria-related, a run-down immune system, lack of nurturing, happenstance, fate or something else? I have my suspicions, but certainly don’t know. Finding the cure seems as much a challenge.

What I notice is how most people in the US react to this health crisis in terms of treatment. It is amazing how quickly these folks are swept up into the current treatment protocol of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. It’s immediate and posed as the only responsible thing to do. It is automatic, fast and singular. Generally, there is no other real choice offered. Many cancers (like pancreatic, brain and liver) are quickly posited as a likely death sentence. Any alternative to chemo and radiation is scoffed at as risky, unproven and a waste of time and money (and most likely a waste of life).
From what I can tell—and this is based purely on my personal experience and not statistical studies—the chemo and radiation approach hasn’t been proven either. After extensive chemo and radiation, all my friends and family with lymphoma and cancer of the brain, liver, pancreas and lung all died within a few years. I can find no credible, objective, independent study that reports the long-term results of chemotherapy or radiation. I do know that the impact of chemotherapy and radiation on the quality of life of my friends and family has been horrific. Most have said to me that if they would have known the impact of chemo and radiation before they began the treatments, they would not have selected that route.
I did find this interesting info in an internet search (of course, it is difficult to verify the accuracy of this info):

According to Italian oncologist Dr. Tullio Simoncini (author of Cancer is a Fungus) polls and questionnaires show that a full 75 percent of doctors say they’d refuse chemotherapy if they were struck with cancer due to its ineffectiveness and its devastating side effects.

Many doctors have spoken out about it, yet their voices are still ignored. For example, Dr. Allen Levin, MD, author of The Healing of Cancer, has said, “The majority of the cancer patients in this country die because of chemotherapy, which does not cure breast, colon or lung cancer. This has been documented for over a decade and nevertheless doctors still utilize chemotherapy to fight these tumors.”

Professor Gorge Mathe similarly stated, “If I were to contract cancer, I would never turn to a certain standard for the therapy of this disease. Cancer patients who stay away from these centers have some chance to make it.”

So, how effective is chemotherapy?*

There is at least one reported study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in December 2004, the results of which were astounding, showing that chemotherapy has an average 5-year survival success rate of just over 2 percent for all cancers!

In the U.S., chemo was most successful in treating testicular cancer and Hodgkin’s Disease, where its success rate fell just below 38 percent and slightly over 40 percent respectively.

Still well below the 50/50 mark…

A review of chemo on 5-year survival rates in Australia garnered almost identical results, with a 2.3 percent success rate, compared to the U.S. 2.1 percent rate of success.

And yet this is the best that conventional medicine has up its sleeve for treating this widespread killer.

Do alternatives work at all or any better?

I hear about approaches to rid the body of toxins and to rebuild the immune system. I’m intrigued by this—it would be my personal treatment of choice. But does it work? I hear of many anecdotal stories of success. I’ve heard of things like nutrition therapy, vitamin and mineral supplementation, naturopathic medicine, mind/body methodologies, image enhancement, laughter therapy and spiritual healing. There are hundreds of websites on natural approaches—many include patient testimonials. I don’t know if they work.

It is my bias that some of these approaches—coupled with a commitment to healing/ good health—can have as much or more impact as anything else. As an experienced biochemist friend of mine said, “For over 35 years, I’ve worked with people who have had cancer. In my view, by far, the biggest factors affecting their health are attitude/state of mind and support systems—followed by a strong immune system.” Is this partly why childhood cancers are reportedly gaining in terms of CURE and long-term survival while many adult cancers are not?

What is a person to do when confronted with the devastating diagnosis of cancer?

Is there a more holistic approach? Where do we go besides a traditional hospital or physician? Where in the world is the scourge less rampant? What are those characteristics that define the differences? Is seeing this through the scientific method limiting? Who can/will fund the studies that would show the population statistics for some of the non-industrial potential cures (i.e. if there is not a buck to be made, how will we ever know)? Who can we talk to that has an informed and expansive view? Do we have better options or ideas?

What’s a person to do?

© 2008 Vince DiBianca. All rights reserved.