ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE & CANCER
IS THERE ANY SCIENCE BEHIND IT?
The annual meeting of the ASCO (the American Society of Clinical Oncology) is one of the biggest physician gatherings on cancer on the planet, and as you'll see, Dr. Gorski is concerned that "quackery" is invading his chosen profession. The session that Gorski was particularly upset about was called, "Integrative Oncology: The Evidence Base".
The list of alternatives that were discussed at the meeting (and then discussed by Dr. Gorski in his post) was as follows.
- Meditation and other “mind-body” therapies
- Optimal nutrition, special diets, and supplements
- Massage Therapies
- Music Therapy
- Acupuncture Treatment
If Dr. Gorski and other cancer doctors / policy makers really believe that diet and exercise are part of the "fortress" that makes up "science-based medicine", why don't we see this play out in the average patient's cancer treatment? I would contend that unless you are treating at a very select few cancer treatment facilities, you will not be provided with any (strong word, but it is the correct one) advice on diet or exercise. In my nearly three decades of experience with patients, the exact opposite is far more likely to occur (HERE). In fact, other than patients who have sought out "alternative" practices for treating their cancer either here in the States or in Mexico, I have yet to hear of a patient being given any sort of real / substantial advice concerning diet other than, "eat whatever you want" (see previous link). And why not? Especially if, as Dr. Gorski says, these are "science-based".
The truth is, "science" is not necessarily what we have always thought it was, or what we were taught it was while in school. All too often, science is paid for by the highest bidder, making large amounts of what we today refer to as EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE, anything but. As is always the case, I would suggest that you not blindly follow your doctor concerning anything. Do your own research and make educated decisions about your healthcare --- especially when it comes to CANCER.