Let me copy here portions of what was posted at The Man Who Questions Chemotherapy : Dr. Ralph Moss. Ralph W. Moss, PhD has written books and edited documentaries mostly on the question of cancer research and treatment. He is a graduate of New York City public schools, New York University (BA, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1965) and Stanford University (MA, 1973, PhD, 1974, Classics). The former science writer and assistant director of public affairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (1974-1977), for over 30 years Moss has independently evaluated the claims of various cancer treatments, conventional and non-conventional. You can find more info at his website. Here are the excerpts. There is a lot to read, but please read through it all as it is very valuable information. Boldface is mine.
Dr. Moss’ work documents the ineffectiveness of chemotherapy on most forms of cancer. However, he is fair in pointing out that there are the following exceptions: Acute Iymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and nonseminomatous testicular cancer. Also, a few very rare forms of cancer, including choriocarcinoma, Wilm’s tumor, and retinoblastoma. But all of these account for only 2% to 4% of all cancers occurring in the United States. This leaves some 96% to 98% of other cancers, in which chemotherapy doesn’t eliminate the disease. The vast majority of cancers, such as breast, colon, and lung cancer are barely touched by chemotherapy. However, there is another category where chemotherapy has a relatively minor effect — The most “successful” of these is in Stage 3 ovarian cancer, where chemotherapy appears to extend life by perhaps eighteen months, and small-cell lung cancer in which chemotherapy might offer six more months.
Effective cancer treatment is a matter of definition. The FDA defines an “effective” drug as one which achieves a 50% or more reduction in tumor size for 28 days. In the vast majority of cases there is absolutely no correlation between shrinking tumors for 28 days and the cure of the cancer or extension of life. When the cancer patient hears the doctor say “effective,” he or she thinks, and logically so, that “effective” means it cures cancer. But all it means is temporary tumor shrinkage.
Chemotherapy usually doesn’t cure cancer or extend life, and it really does not improve the quality of the life either. Doctors frequently make this claim though. There are thousands of studies that were reviewed by Dr. Moss as part of the research for his book — and there is not one single good study documenting this claim.
What patients consider “good quality of life” seems to differ from what the doctors consider. To most it is just common sense that a drug that makes you throw up, and lose your hair, and wrecks your immune system is not improving your quality of life. Chemotherapy can give you life-threatening mouth sores. People can slough the entire lining of the intestines! One longer-term effect is particularly tragic: people who’ve had chemotherapy no longer respond to nutritional or immunologically-based approaches to their cancers. And since chemotherapy doesn’t cure 96% to 98% of all cancers anyway…People who take chemotherapy have sadly lost their chance of finding another sort of cure.
It’s especially telling that in a number of surveys most chemotherapists have said they would not take chemotherapy themselves or recommend it for their families. Chemotherapy drugs are the most toxic substances ever put deliberately into the human body. They are known poisons, they are designed poisons. The whole thing began with experiments with “mustard gas,” the horrible chemical-warfare agents from World War I.
Dr. Moss’ position on chemotherapy is supported by many major students of the study of cancer treatment. Following are some examples: Dr. John Bailar is the chief of epidemiology at McGill University in Montreal and was formerly the editor of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In 1986 the New England Journal of Medicine published an article by Dr. Bailer and Dr. Elaine Smith, a colleague from the University of Iowa. Bailer and Smith wrote: “Some 35 years of intense and growing efforts to improve the treatment of cancer have not had much overall effect on the most fundamental measure of clinical outcome – death. The effort to control cancer has failed so far to obtain its objectives.
Dr. John Cairns, a professor of microbiology at Harvard, published his view in Scientific American in 1985, “that basically the war on cancer was a failure and that chemotherapy was not getting very far with the vast majority of cancers.”
As far back as 1975, Nobel Laureate James Watson of DNA fame was quoted in the New York Times saying that the American public had been “sold a nasty bill of goods about cancer.”
In 1991, Dr. Albert Braverman, Professor of Hematology and Oncology at the State University of New York, Brooklyn, published an article in Lancet titled “Medical Oncology in the 1990s,” in which he wrote: “The time has come to cut back on the clinical investigation of new chemotherapeutic regimens for cancer and to cast a critical eye on the way chemotherapeutic treatment is now being administered.”
Dr. Braverman says that there is no solid tumor incurable in 1976 that is curable today. Dr. Moss confirms this and claims that the greatest breakthrough in the objective study of chemotherapy came from a biostatistician at the University of Heidelberg, Dr. Ulrich Abel. His critique focused on whether chemotherapy effectively prolonged survival in advanced epithelial cancer. His answer was that it is not effective. He summarized and extended his findings and concluded that chemotherapy overall is ineffective. A recent search turned up exactly zero reviews of his work in American journals, even though it was published in 1990. The belief is that this is not because his work was unimportant — but because it’s irrefutable.
With the extensive documentation in Dr. Moss’ book, and all the statistics developed by the experts, why is chemotherapy still pushed by the large majority of oncologists? Dr. Moss feels that “there’s a tremendous conflict going on in the minds of honest, sensitive, caring oncologists.” They’re in a very difficult position because they’ve been trained to give these drugs. And they’ve devoted many years to reaching a very high level of expertise in the knowledge of poisonous, deadly compounds. They’re really in a bind, because they went into oncology to help the cancer patient, yet the tools they’ve been given don’t work. And they see what happens to physicians who “step out of line” and treat cancer with alternative means.
Armed raids, loss of licensure, professional smearing and ostracism are some of the consequences. These could all be related to the quotation in the book made by Dr. Lundberg, editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. At a recent National Institute of Health meeting, he said of chemotherapy: “[It's] a marvelous opportunity for rampant deceit. So much money is there to be made that ethical principles can be overrun sometimes in a stampede to get at physicians and prescribers.” You never heard that on the evening news.
The economics of cancer treatment are astounding. Cancer treatment is close to $100 billion annually ($100,000,000,000). The chemotherapy part of that by 1995 will be up to $8.5 billion. Looking from another angle: the Bristol Myers company owns patents on twelve of the nearly forty “FDA-approved” chemotherapeutic drugs. The president, past president, chairman of the board, and a couple of the directors of Bristol Myers all hold positions on the board at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Dr. Moss’ book details the failures (and very few successes) for chemotherapy with more than fifty types of cancer, includes a complete description of the major chemotherapy drugs, and has a section about questions to ask your doctor. All of Dr. Moss’ books and Cancer Chronicles newsletters are available from Equinox Press, 1-800-929-WELL or 718-636-4433.
We are obviously losing ground with conventional cancer treatment, because the death rates keep going up. The reason for this is because conventional treatment is based on a faulty standard: That the body must be purged of cancer by aggressive and toxic methods such as surgery chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This, of course, seemed reasonable back in 1894 when William Halsted, M.D. did the first radical mastectomy, but it has proven to be so wrong over the last 50 years that continuing to adhere to it constitutes more fraud than honest mistake. However, this standard still dominates conventional cancer therapy, and until that changes, we will continue to lose ground with cancer.
Dr. Whitaker, a firm believer in Dr. Moss’ work and alternative cancer therapy goes on to give some of his personal views:
Statistics Don’t Tell the Real Story
What is lost in the unemotional statistic of 500,000 cancer deaths per year is how those people died. Dr. Whitaker goes on to say more about the treatment of cancer: In my opinion, conventional cancer therapy is so toxic and dehumanizing that I fear it far more than I fear death from cancer. We know that conventional therapy doesn’t work — if it did, you would not fear cancer any more than you fear pneumonia. It is the utter lack of certainty as to the outcome of conventional treatment that virtually screams for more freedom of choice in the area of cancer therapy. Yet most so-called alternative therapies regardless of potential or proven benefit, are outlawed, which forces patients to submit to the failures that we know don’t work, because there’s no other choice.
Personal Belief Systems Determine the Choices You Make
Because cancer treatment is such a sensitive issue, I need to set some ground rules before I tell you what I would do if I had cancer. What follows is what I personally would do. It is not a recommendation for you, and should not be considered as such. It is not even what my wife would do (that would be her decision), nor is it what my young son would do (that would be the joint decision of my wife and myself). The choices to be made in treating cancer are not easy ones, because there is so little certainty of cure in any of them. The course that someone chooses to take is very personal, and reflects not only that person’s knowledge of the options, but also his/her beliefs.
Yet, because we are strongly influenced by our natural fear of death, we lineup for conventional cancer therapy, not so much believing that it will work, but hoping that it will not fail. If expensive, debilitating procedures to eliminate acne scars had the same failure rate as cancer treatment, they would be abandoned. It is only because cancer is so often fatal that conventional approaches were not abandoned long ago. We continue to use them not because they work, but because those who perform them have so vigorously eliminated any other choice.
My Imaginary Cancer Scenario
(by Dr. Whitaker)
Though I would approach my own dilemma with hopes of total cure, I would be the first to admit that, regardless of the course I took, the chances of that are small. Consequently, my choices of cancer therapy are a mix of science and philosophy. They are as much a reflection of how I would struggle for survival as of how I would wish to die if the struggle failed. For the purposes of this discussion, let us assume that I have just been diagnosed with cancer of the lung, and a particularly virulent one. (Please understand that I do not have cancer, nor do I smoke.) Before going into what I would do and why, let me say what I wouldn’t do, and why.
I Wouldn’t Take A Passive Role
If I am going to fight for my life, I want to do just that. I am always perplexed by the news stories of some celebrity, doped to the gills with heinous poison, “courageously battling for his life.” What does this mean? The celebrity, who simply accepts conventional cancer therapy, is no more “courageous” than a laboratory mouse. This is not to say that what the celebrity is doing is wrong, only that it is the very opposite of a willful act of courage.
Taking a passive role with today’s conventional therapy is terribly dangerous. Recently Jackie Kennedy, after a “courageous fight,” succumbed to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – or did she? Her early demise, attributed to the cancer, was a shock to cancer specialists worldwide, and brought into question the real cause of her death. She had been given an unproved protocol of very high-dose chemotherapy. The drugs alone could easily have caused her death – and this would not be unusual. There are numerous cases of iatrogenic (doctor-induced) deaths from chemotherapy.
I’d Actively Fight For My Life
On the other hand, the cancer patient who says, “no, thanks” to chemotherapy recommended by large cancer treatment centers, and takes off to Grand Bahamas Island to receive Immuno-Augmentative Therapy (IAT); or to Houston, Texas, to receive antineoplastons from Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski; or who heads to the public library to make a battle plan, has begun fighting and is acting courageously.
Whether I win or lose, that is the course I would take. What have I got to lose? Conventional treatment is toxic and simply doesn’t work, so I would throw my lot with something safe that might work, and folks, a lot of approaches fit that description. I also believe patients who seek alternative therapies are more optimistic. They have only one worry – the cancer- not the cancer and the therapy!
And Now. Here’s What I Would Do
(by Dr. Whitaker)
I’d turn my back on 50 years of institutionalized expertise, because it follows the wrong paradigm. Everything that is done in medicine or in any other discipline fits some paradigm. The paradigm I use for cancer is that it is a systemic problem in which the normal control mechanisms of your body are altered. Your immune system likely bears the largest burden for this control; thus, all techniques that enhance it are promising. Those that damage it are not.
Also, cancer cells are different from normal cells in many ways, including their metabolic profile. At least one non-toxic therapy, hydrazine sulfate, takes advantage of this difference. It has been shown in double-blind trials published in respectable journals to significantly reduce the severe weight loss (cachexia) of advanced cancer, and markedly improve the patient’s emotional state, almost to the point of euphoria. It is also inexpensive. Even though hydrazine sulfate has been shown to be effective and non-toxic, and it makes the patient feel better, it is ignored by every major cancer center. Yet I would take it immediately. (For more on hydrazine sulfate, see Ralph Moss’ book, The Cancer Industry.)
First, I would Change My Diet
I would switch to a mostly vegetarian diet. I’d also take the Nutritional Supplements “Green foods,” such as GREENS+ (800/643-1210) or Green Magma (from Healthy Directions; 800/722-8008, ext. 572). These supplements include the phyto-chemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals required for optimal health.. I would enhance that basic program with the following:
Vitamin C – 10,000 mg per day in divided doses. Ewan Cameron, a Scottish physician, did a study in which 100 cancer patients were given 10,000 mg of vitamin C for the rest of their lives, while control patients were not. The patients on vitamin C lived much longer than the age-matched controls. The Mayo Clinic did two studies on vitamin C, and in both studies found that vitamin C did not help. However, both studies were set up in a manner that almost guaranteed failure. Frankly, I think that this was done intentionally to generate negative publicity for this non-toxic approach.
Cartilage – A three- to four-month trial of bovine or shark cartilage. The mucopolysaccharides in cartilage stimulate the immune system and normalize malignant cells. Ninety percent of patients with a variety of cancers responded to a clinical trial of bovine cartilage; shark cartilage has demonstrated success rates of 25 to 50%. VitaCarte bovine cartilage is available from Phoenix BioLabs, 800/947-8482 (suggested dose is 9 g a day). Shark cartilage can be obtained from MHP 800-647-0074 (suggested dose is 1 g per 3 pounds of body weight).
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – Used as an effective therapy in congestive heart failure, CoQ10 has only recently been studied as a cancer treatment. Cancer patients have been found to have deficiencies of CoQ10. Clinical trials in breast cancer have resulted in no further metastases, improved quality of life (no weight loss and less pain), and partial remission in six of 32 patients. Vitaline makes a chewable CoQ10 with vitamin E (800/648-4755; 503/482-9231, in Canada).
Essiac Tea – 2 ounces 3 times a day. This blend of four herbs -burdock root, sheep’s sorrel, slippery elm and Indian rhubarb root- has its genesis in Native American medicinal folklore. Since it was “discovered” by Canadian nurse Rene Caisse in the 1920s, thousands have claimed to have had their cancers cured by this tea. I’d keep on searching. We have the formula if you are interested in purchasing the individual herbs in bulk.
Finally, you should know that if I were battling cancer – or any serious disease, for that matter- I would be in a constant search for effective, non-toxic therapies. One place to begin that search is with Ralph Moss, Ph.D. He is probably the most knowledgeable writer in the world on alternative therapies for cancer, and has recently published a 530-page book, Cancer Therapy, The Independent Consumer’s Guide to Nontoxic Treatment and Prevention. (Equinox Press, New York, NY, 1995). In addition, Dr. Moss offers a report service called Healing Choices, which ascertains, through a questionnaire, the type and severity of cancer, and suggests alternatives. This costs $250, and it is well worth it. If I had cancer, I would start here for more information. You can get more information by sending a large SASE to The Cancer Chronicles, 2 Lincoln Square, Suite 31A, New York, NY 10023, or by calling Melissa Wolf at 718/636-4433.
Another source of information is People Against Cancer, which provides a comprehensive counseling service called the Alternative Therapy Program. It includes a review of your medical records by a network of doctors using alternative therapies. It also costs $250. People Against Cancer can be reached at 515/972-4444. Their Internet address is: http://www.dodgenet.com/nocancer.
This is certainly not my final say on cancer treatment, because it changes as new research is done. I want to say again that what I would do is not a recommendation for you. However, it is not a reasonable belief to think that conventional cancer experts offer the best approaches for most cancers. There is just too much evidence to the contrary. One of these days there may not be a need for ”alternative’ approaches to cancer. Until then, look for the answers to the cancer riddle in the growing field of alternatives, because they are obviously not present in our armamentarium of conventional therapies.