Chemotherapy - why or why not

An oncologist treating a lady I was visiting, informed me that 50% of those folks who receive chemotherapy die. The lady had a small slow growing lung cancer, and may have survived longer without chemo. Each case must be decided individually. Chemotherapy does keep some folks with cancer alive for additional years.  One deciding point may be whether the chemo is being used to keep an aggressive cancer down or whether it is given to "prevent cancer in the future".  The latter case may not be worth the risks. For example:

I asked a physician friend about it.  Turns out he'd had colon cancer and had elected to take chemo but he said they told him it would only give him a 15 percent chance of not getting cancer in a few years.  Doesn't seem like very good odds to me. He's still alive, 10 years later but did he survive because of the chemo or despite the chemo?

Chemo is hard on the body because:

The cellular poisons used in orthodox cancer therapy today cannot distinguish between cancer and non-cancer cells. They act instead to differentiate between cells that are fast-growing and those that are slow-growing or not growing at all. Cells that are actively dividing are the targets. Consequently, they kill, not only the cancer cells that are dividing, but also a multitude of normal cells all over the body that also are caught in the act of dividing.

Theoretically, those cancers that are dividing more rapidly than normal cells will be killed before the patient is, but it is nip and tuck all the way. In the case of a cancer that is dividing at a slower than normal cells, the chance of success is reduced.

In either event, poisoning the system is the objective of these drugs, and the resulting pain and illness often is a torment in itself. The toxins catch the blood cells in the act of dividing and cause blood poisoning. The gastrointestinal system is thrown into convulsion causing nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, cramps, and progressive weakness. Hair cells are fast-growing, so the hair falls out during treatment. Reproductive organs are affected causing sterility. The brain becomes fatigued. Eyesight and hearing are impaired. Every conceivable function is disrupted with such agony for the patient that some patients elect to die of the cancer rather than to continue treatment.

It is ironic that the personnel who administer these drugs to cancer patients take great precautions to be sure they themselves are not exposed to them. The Handbook of Cancer Chemotherapy, a standard reference for medical personnel, offers this warning:


The potential risks involved in handling cytotoxic agents have become a concern for health care workers. The literature reports various symptoms such as eye, membrane, and skin irritation, as well as dizziness, nausea, and headache experienced by health care workers not using safe handling precautions. In addition, increased concerns regarding the mutagenesis and teratogenesis [deformed babies] continue to be investigated. Many chemotherapy agents, the alkylating agents in particular, are known to be carcinogenic [cancer -causing] in therapeutic doses. (Roland T. Skeel, M.D., and Neil A. Lachant, M.D., Handbook of Cancer Chemotherapy; Fourth Edition (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1995), p.677.)

Because these drugs are so dangerous, the Chemotherapy Handbook lists sixteen OSHA safety procedures for medical personnel who work around them. They include wearing disposable masks and gowns, eye goggles, and double latex gloves. The procedure for disposing needles and other equipment used with these drugs is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency under the category of "hazardous waste."

In 1986 McGill Cancer Center scientists surveyed 118 oncologists who specialized in lung cancer. They were asked if they would take chemo if they developed lung cancer. Three-quarters replied that they WOULD NOT TAKE CHEMO.
Taken from Reclaiming Our Health by John Robbins, 1996. Published by HJ Kramer, Box 1082, Tiburon, CA 94920.

This is something you might want to ask your medical provider about.


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