Read this sentence — and tell me exactly how you’d react to it:
“[A new study concluded that] patients with cancer using complementary medicine (CM) were more likely to decline potentially curative conventional cancer treatment, which in turn increased their risk for death.”
Now tell me…doesn’t that make you want to abandon complementary medicine entirely? And run into the waiting arms of Big Pharma and conventional medicine?!
And I’d say that was exactly the point.
But as usual, there’s more to this research than meets the eye. So let’s bust out the magnifying glass and take a closer look at what the study in question really tells us…
Jumping to conclusions without key details
To arrive at this questionable conclusion, researchers drew data from subjects in the National Cancer Database. These patients had a variety of non-metastatic (non-spreading) cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal.
Now this next part is very important: All of the patients receiving complementary medical care also received at least one type of conventional cancer treatment.
Ultimately, the study linked complementary medicine with lower 5-year survival rates and a higher risk of death.
The explanation? Results showed that while patients who also opted for complementary medicine also started standard treatment right away, they were more likely to refuse major interventions — like surgery, chemo, hormone therapy, and radiation — down the line.
But suffice it to say, there are a lot of holes in that conclusion.
This was a retrospective study, so we have absolutely no way of knowing the details behind these choices. Including where in the treatment process they made their decisions, or what kind of side effects they were dealing with.
We’ll also never know what the CM patients were doing in terms of treatment once they refused the major mainstream interventions.
For instance, were they working with integrative doctors who knew how to support their cancer patients through treatment, or were they going it alone? Did they end up using complementary medicine in place of standard treatment? Or did they just discontinue treatment (of all types) altogether?
And, perhaps most importantly, what kinds of CM therapies were the patients using? In this study, patients were labeled as using complementary medicine if they received any “cancer treatments administered by nonmedical personnel.”
And, well… that could mean just about anything.
The internet is rife with products claiming to be able to cure everything that ails you. And desperate cancer patients are its favorite prey. It’s simply not fair — or scientifically sound — to lump hyped-up “magic bullets” like these in with complementary care you would receive from a trained professional.
And these are ALL important questions to consider before insinuating that the choice to use CM is what killed these patients.
It’s called “complementary medicine” for a reason
The reckless conclusions of studies like these are exactly what give holistic-minded doctors like me a bad name. And as I said earlier, anyone diagnosed with cancer needs and deserves to be working with a compassionate physician that understands both worlds.
Because once researchers eliminated refusal of major mainstream intervention as a factor, any differences in survival between the two groups disappeared. Which means that, in reality, you have absolutely nothing to lose by including complementary therapies in your overall cancer treatment regimen.
Which is one of the main reasons why I devised my Essential Protocol to a Cancer-Free Future — to give patients accurate and reliable information about ALL the strategies that will help boost survival and comfort.
Because that’s what any cancer therapy should offer. Period.