Is Chemotherapy a Good Option?
Is Chemotherapy a Good Option?
Majid Ali, M.D.
Should chemotherapy be given to a 15-year-old girl with acute leukemia? Categorically yes! At my present state of knowledge and experience, I am not aware of any cases in which acute leukemia was controlled by nutritional, herbal, or energy therapies for extended periods of time. By contrast, chemotherapy in experienced hands can control acute leukemia in a majority of cases.
Should chemotherapy be given to a 65-year-old man with a low-grade prostate cancer? In most cases, my answer will be: No. At my present state of knowledge and experience, most cancers of the prostate gland, within that age group, can be controlled with the Oxygen Protocol for several years (up to 19 years among my own patients). In advanced cases of prostate cancer, I have seen some good initial results with chemotherapy drugs (selected on the basis of the results of chemosensitivity tests) administered concurrently with strong nutrient, herbal, and detox therapies. However, the follow-up to date in such instances has been too limited to allow me to take a firm position on that subject. Time will define the real long-term efficacy of such chemotherapy regimens. I might point out here that chemotherapy regimens based on broad chemosensitivity test profiles are generally available in Europe but not in the U.S. at this time.
The crucial point here is this: Each individual with cancer requires an individualized assessment and treatment plan. There is no room here for dangerous generalizations.
I want to emphasize that there is a crucial difference between individualized chemotherapy, which is in use in some German clinics and some other countries, and the protocol chemotherapy being administered in the U.S. at present. In my view, the German oncologists are ahead of their U.S. counterparts, both in technologic advancement and openness of mind. The difference between the two forms of chemotherapy is critical. Regrettably, the U.S. protocol chemotherapy, with some exceptions, make no attempts to determine the sensitivity of cancer cells to a broad range of genetic, enzymatic, or receptor elements. The choice of the drug (s) to be used is limited to a few “approved” agents C two drugs for leukemia, three for lung cancer, etc. C and oncologists are effectively barred from trying the so-called “un-approved” regimens.
In individualized chemotherapy, the focus is on the sensitivity profile of a specific cancer as determined by objective laboratory tests. The crucial importance of this distinction can be driven home with the analogy of culture and sensitivity testing for bacterial infections. Imagine if the American Society of Clinical Pathologists were to ban the use of culture and sensitivity testing for infectious disorders and demand that doctors treat infections only with pre-assigned “protocol” antibiotics. One can only hope that the rich, close-minded, and stubborn big boys at the American Cancer Society can be persuaded to consider broader cancer chemosensitivity profiling before millions more persons with cancer suffer needless toxicity of blinded chemotherapy and lose their lives.
On some occasions, I have heard “holistic” doctors vehemently denounce chemotherapy. They do not do so because they have effective therapies on hand to control cancer. How can any therapy be denounced until one has a treatment option that is at least as good as that being denounced? Regrettably, whenever I encountered blanket denouncement of chemotherapy from holistic doctors, it was not accompanied by any data to show that there was something else that was safer and more effective than chemotherapy for the cancer in question.
Many oncologists regularly administer chemotherapy when they know that the drugs being used are highly toxic and are not known to control the type of cancer in question. Sadly, on too many occasions, I have heard them say,
“I had to do something.”
With the above line, oncologists defend their decision to administer chemotherapy. No one has to be given toxic drugs simply because the oncologists will not make the effort to learn how to use supportive nontoxic therapies. It is true that in many advanced cases the therapies of the Oxygen Protocol described in this book may not significantly prolong life. However, from many years of experience, I know that supportive oxystatic therapies add to the quality of life and are never toxic to the patient. At the very least, such therapies do not make a sick person sicker, as chemo drugs often do.
“I know chemotherapy does not work for that cancer, but I did it for anecdotal reasons.”
This is the second sentence that I have commonly heard from oncologists. This statement is equally preposterous. It is interesting how oncologists regularly ridicule holistic practitioners for being anecdotal, and yet accept the logic of anecdotal experience to justify administering poisonous chemo drugs for types of cancers that do not respond positively to these drugs.
I have also seen some oncologists employ scare techniques to intimidate patients and force them to undergo chemotherapy for types of cancer that do not respond to such treatment. That is deplorable. It is hard to see how any physician can be justified in forcing a hesitant patient to receive a highly toxic treatment that has no proven efficacy.
The most disturbing aspect of the prevailing practice of oncology is this: Ineffective and effective chemotherapy drugs are administered with equal frequency. Specifically, chemotherapy is administered for cancers that initially respond to chemo drugs as commonly as for those cancers that do not respond to chemotherapy, even in a limited way. How common is that unconscionable practice? It is far more than any person outside of medicine can guess. I refer the reader to Dr. Jerome P. Kassirer’s book, On the Take, for a chilling account of the frequency with which persons with cancer are given highly toxic and ineffective drugs only for meeting the profitability goals of oncology hospitals and oncologists. Of note, Dr. Kassirer was the editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine for over eight years.
The issue of a person with cancer rejecting chemotherapy is a different and an important concern. Many people have witnessed cases of horrible toxicity of chemotherapy C including deaths from such complications as kidney or liver failure C in regard to their family or friends. They have an understandable distrust of chemotherapy.
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