Steve Jobs case reveals alternative medicine dangers in cancer treatment-Grace Gawler
The next time you hear of an miraculous natural cancer cure remember the words of the late Carl Sagan – “Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.” Personally after nearly 4 decades of working in strategies to manage and recover from cancer, I remain surprised and shocked at the numbers of patients refusing surgery or valid treatments only to try some miraculous cure based on anecdotes and with little or no evidence. If patients really understood the nature of cancer and how it behaves and metastasizes (spreads through the body) – I believe they would make different choices. (More on this topic next blog)
Take the example of two patients who 9 years ago were diagnosed with the same type of breast cancer with the same hormonal status and one positive lymph node. One patient went the conventional route – surgery, chemo and a hormone blocking agent – she remains well and vibrant to this day.
The other lady – like Steve Jobs, believed surgery was too invasive so she chose to keep her lump and node after a she received her biopsy result. Rather than booking in for the surgeon, she fled to a well known cancer naturopath who advised to her to fast, juice and take a variety of herbs and supplements as well as other treatments such as Scalar energy. Her treatments cost her a small fortune. Although she had massive tumour development by the time she found me, 7 years on…she believed that the tumours were resolving by simply “coming out” of her body, a theory condoned by the naturopath concerned who also that said all her ‘test’ results were excellent, therefore she must need emotional healing. This lovely lady had more secondary tumours than I had seen in my 4 decades of working in this field.
She passed away this year after a hellish battle for her life – her final months extended by compassionate conventional medicine. By the time she realised what she had chosen was not working and that she had listened to the wrong people – it was indeed too late. There is a mantra repeated daily in my practice.. “I wish I had come sooner!”
Recently while in conversation with a friend – another most unfortunate story came to light; sadly it is also a story I hear all too often and it has the same tone as Steve Job’s outcome and my above mentioned patient.
My friend related how his friend Mark had a lump on his back for some time – likely a skin cancer – but it was never biopsied or removed surgically; he did not believe in doctors. Instead – being a nature-cure type of person Mark explored the internet and found a old herbal remedy, ‘black salve’, a paste made from bloodroot and various other additives. He emailed a few friends and they told him glowing reports of people they knew who had ‘success’ with the paste.
Within hours Mark’s lump was painful ball of inflammation – a nasty black scab appeared on the surface and over many weeks the crater underneath healed.
He believed he had cured his lump whatever it was and went about sharing the wonders of this miracle treatment with all and sundry. However, 18 months later Mark became quite unwell, so unwell that he eventually had to seek the advice of a doctor. Scans revealed secondary melanomas in his bowel liver and oesphagus
The primary? Yes – it was the lump on his back he had ‘successfully’ removed with ‘black salve’ … that ‘successful removal’ had cost him his life – he was blissfully unaware of the insidious disease he had been harbouring in his body. He still refused convention interventions choosing more natural remedies and died within a month from a very aggressive melanoma! Had Mark had his original lump diagnosed when removed – the outcome may have been very different. He leaves behind a wife and 4 teenage children.
So… back to Steve jobs whose biggest legacy I believe is a big caution to patients who choose not to follow valid conventional medicine options first and foremost. One has to ask the obvious question: Do you believe in something enough to play Russian Roulette with your one precious life? Are you following the ideologies of others rather than applying logic you your own situation? Are the cancer Gurus and entrepreneurs that you follow legitimate advisors or survivors?Can you place trust in their stories- so much so that you are prepared to risk your life?
Author Walter Isaacson talked to “60 Minutes” for the Sunday, Oct. 23 episode, telling host Steve Kroft that he was shocked about Steve Jobs’s decision to initially skip surgery while he experimented with ‘alternative medicine’ for his pancreatic cancer — that such a genius could make such a wrong decision about his own health.
“I’ve asked Jobs why he didn’t get an operation then and he said, ‘I didn’t want my body to be opened … I didn’t want to be violated in that way,'”said Isaacson.
“I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking…. We talked about this a lot,” he told Kroft. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it. … I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.”
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