All as we thought really, isn’t it?

Cancer patients who choose complementary medicine over treatments like chemotherapy, or surgery, are twice as likely to die within seven years, the first major study has shown.

Any specific cancer in any specific person – who the hell knows? Immune systems can do some pretty impressive things.

In general though, using that sciencey stuff, alternative medicine doesn’t work. Because, you know, if it id it wouldn’t be alternative or complementary, would it?

14 thoughts on “All as we thought really, isn’t it?”

  1. Maritime Barbarian

    I wondered whether people who chose alternatives were those with a more advanced diagnosis, more likely to die and were therefore more desperate to try any remedy.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    I was surprised to read that the survival rate for complementary medicine was sa high as 70%. Some work needs doing to find out why they survived to see if some people can be spared radiation and chemotherapy.

  3. There’s an old medical saw on the lines of: Given the best treatment, a cold can be cured in only 7 days, whereas left untreated it may last for a whole week. I wonder if the same is true for some cancers.

  4. Of the 3 people I have known who have been diagnosed with incurable cancers, 2 resorted to unconventional therapies (one of them went in for coffee enemas) and managed to extend their lives beyond the expert forecasts. One of them is still alive 15 years after being told he had months to live. Obviously small samples tell us little apart from a glimpse into the fallibility of experts and the limits of human knowledge

  5. ‘twice as likely to die’

    Reveals that the study is JUNK SCIENCE.

    Real scientists would state the control rate and the test case rate. ‘Twice as likely’ is theatre.

    A change in rate from .001% to .002% is twice as likely, but of no consequence.

  6. There is (I believe) a literature on doctors declining chemotherapy for themselves. Just as they often decline cancer screening.

    This implies, I suspect, that you will be offered – or even urged to take – chemotherapy, or screening, mainly because the doctor doesn’t fancy being sued or subjected to professional discipline.

  7. ‘twice as likely to die’

    Reveals that the study is JUNK SCIENCE

    JUNK HEADLINE perhaps, since the first paragraph of the article linked-to indicates a comparative survival rate of 85% to 75%. I imagine that statistic (and possibly more, I didn’t read further) came from the study.

  8. One of them is still alive 15 years after being told he had months to live.

    I’d put that one down to a misdiagnosis. As he’s still alive, it doesn’t really matter anyway.

  9. Rob, indeed misdiagnosis is one explanation, which makes the chemo and radio therapy he initially underwent into some form of state-sanctioned torture

  10. Junk headline. Fair enough. Knapton and the Tele are more interested in click bait than science.

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