The Topic of Cancer

When actress Farrah Fawcett recently sought out “alternative” cancer treatment, she was greeted with predictable media scorn. For example, (October 3) characterized such a choice as a “last-ditch attempt to find a cure, one that brings the patient into a murky world of offshore clinics and unproven courses of treatment that are scorned by the medical establishment.”

Speaking of the “medical establishment,” ABC News quoted Barrie Cassileth, chief of the Integrative Medicine Department at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Cassileth said patients pursuing “alternative” approaches are “signing their own death certificate.” Dr. Cassileth added: “I would say they are wasting time they could otherwise spend happier and with their families.”

Almost 600,000 American die of cancer each year — roughly 1500 per day — and a new case is diagnosed every seven seconds. Yet, the Western medical priesthood stigmatizes alternatives and aggressively defends its Holy Trinity of cancer treatment: surgery, radiation, and of course,

“We’ve been told that it’s only the treatments of orthodox medicine that have passed careful scientific scrutiny involving double-blind placebo-controlled studies,” write Gary Null and Dr. Debora Rasio. “Concomitantly, we’ve been told that alternative or complementary health care has no science to back it up, only anecdotal evidence. These two ideas have led to the widely accepted ‘truths’ that anyone offering an alternative or complementary approach is depriving patients of the proven benefits of safe and effective care, and that people not only don’t get well with alternative care, but are actually endangered by it.”

This includes the doctors themselves. As reported by John Robbins in Reclaiming Our Health, the percentage of oncologists who, if they had cancer, would not participate in chemotherapy trials due to its “ineffectiveness and its unacceptable toxicity” is 75%. Conversely, the
percentage of Americans with cancer that receive chemotherapy is‹you guessed it: 75%.

By odd coincidence, there was another October 3 story on the topic of cancer. It seems a Long Island woman was told she had breast cancer, underwent a double mastectomy, and then learned that the lab made a mistake. She didn’t have cancer. Deemed a “mix-up,” the whole thing was blamed on “a technician who admitted cutting corners while labeling tissue specimens.”

Obviously, “murky” and “unproven” are in the eye of the beholder. But until American health care consumers move toward awareness, self-education, and prevention, all they’re doing is debating which pen to use when “signing their own death certificate.”

Mickey Z. is the creator of a podcast called Post-Woke. You can subscribe here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on New York City streets. Spread the word. Read other articles by Mickey.

8 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Chris said on October 7th, 2007 at 11:15am #

    This overwrought screed is much more heat than light. If you want to take on the Cancer Establishment (a worthy activity), you better have more in your arsenal than emotion and you better take the work seriously enough to provide facts and precise, accurate details.

    For instance, if it’s true that oncologists won’t take part in chemotherapy “trials” that is a vastly different decision than that to use standard chemo on patients. A drug trial is just that – testing a new drug. Standard chemo drugs have passed through trials into common use. Not very surprising that oncologists don’t want to be guinea pigs for unproven chemicals any more than the average person.

    Also, using one specious example does not an argument make (technical mistakes happen in every walk of life; tragic yes, meaningful, no). I have a friend whose life was probably saved by a round of low-toxicity chemo – her tumors were dissolved by it and haven’t returned. She’s now gotten on with a normal life. My one example is an indication that this issue is far more complex and requires careful research and writing.

    This is an important issue; this piece doesn’t do it justice.

  2. gerald spezio said on October 8th, 2007 at 3:54am #

    Mickey Z is not a bad guy, but he is way out of intelligent commentary here.
    Chris has done some gentle but mandatory debunking.
    The best debunking of Mickey Zs new age alternative medicine is here;

  3. CH said on October 9th, 2007 at 10:51am #

    Mick’s all right. His articles tend to be short and not in-depth, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t bring up important points worth exploring further.

  4. gerald spezio said on October 9th, 2007 at 12:05pm #

    The medical establishment has plenty of ugly warts, but seeing those warts doesn’t demand that anybody shoot himself in his brains.
    So, don’t be a new age shidhead, Mickey.
    Our brains are some of our best meat, and we must never hurt our own meat.
    The yuppie boys and girls at Rubenstein want to injure your brain meat.
    Rubenstein eats meat.

  5. e.a.greenhalgh said on October 22nd, 2007 at 6:03pm #

    The cancer establishment has good and bad people ,but many people are in cancer research like people are mechanics or butchers or ditch diggers , it is a job. And any job is easier if you don’t think but do routine. I had cancer like Lance Armstrong, at the same time and used my own research theories to treat the cancer and ten years later over 20 catscans etc , I am cured and cancer free. No chemo. No radiation. No secondary tumours like Mr Armstrong. And I am a black listed scientist so academic fraud by Yale and the University of Waterloo (RIM,the blackberry) could be covered up.See my website for details. What is cancer,all cancers are special conditions of genes and the origin of life as explained by V.T.T. on my website. And hormones are special evolutionary developments of virus communication which is why hormone therapy is now being used and works, and can be the basis for scientific altenative treatment without chemo or radiation. But I am blacklisted and most cancer researchers are not saints or even good people but merely people with jobs. Like a car mechanic who will be nice to you if you pay him.Very few mechanics will do something for nothing except a few saints, just like there are a few exceptions in cancer research. If you want to make cancer history tell people to read my website and maybe chemo and radiation will be(in the words of Dr. McCoy of Star Trek) something of barbarism from the past. It’s up to you, if you will walk or run for the cure for cancer will you read for the cure ? Thank you. Ed A.Greenhalgh

  6. Eskimosik said on November 19th, 2007 at 1:24pm #


    What do you think about this? When it happens?

  7. Eskimosik said on November 20th, 2007 at 8:47am #


    What do you think about this? When it happens?

  8. EnvegmenT said on January 21st, 2009 at 5:20pm #

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.