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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:02 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I can. They can become an obsession, and if the patient buys into the creed that the only reason this might not work is that you didn't try hard enough, a very destructive obsession.

Homoeopathic remedies are harmless too. Would you suggest he take these, for that reason?

Rolfe.
Homeopathic remedies are supposed to be harmless and should be if they are prepared properly however people have died for taking homeopathic preparations due to bacterial contamination contamination with powerful drugs. The point I would say is that if a product is entirely useless than any risk from it is too much. There are risks to all these natural things you might think are safe. More and more risks are discovered all the time as they get used more and more. On top of that there is a plethora of imaginary treatments to use. How would one go about logically choosing those which might help?
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:12 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Admirable restraint! I almost started a post chewing him out, then thought, leave that to fowlsound. I'm very impressed at your calm reaction.

...I guess it's a good think you two are not in the same room, tho'.

Hans

Well, it started out that way. If you look at the split I was less than charitable later on in the thread.

It baffles me how someone can read a paper explicitly explaining how offensive something is to someone then go do just that to that person.

Also, I would point out that love had said I was using my cancer and subconsciously wanted to have cancer. This is ridiculous. love obviously has never seen firsthand anyone recovering from spinal surgeries, or cancer. Why anyone would presume someone would "want" that much pain and suffering is beyond me, and quite offensive.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:22 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by fowlsound View Post
Also, I would point out that love had said I was using my cancer and subconsciously wanted to have cancer. This is ridiculous. love obviously has never seen firsthand anyone recovering from spinal surgeries, or cancer. Why anyone would presume someone would "want" that much pain and suffering is beyond me, and quite offensive.
Unfortunately, fowlsound, this is the zeitgeist of the woo. Blame the victim. A friend of mine, whose husband had cheated on her throughout their marriage was told by a woo friend of hers that she needed to examine the reasons she needed to attract such a husband to her. Whoa.

How very caring and wholesome a movement, eh? A clear improvement over the cold, heartless scientific and medical community, eh? They always say it sincerely and with smiles on their faces, "well, if only you didn't need to have cancer, you wouldn't have it." It is so easy, and you are so stupid to be having this horrid disease. Snap out of it! Pay the receptionist $350 on your way out, please. Next?

If this crap keeps up we'll be back to Monty Python, "bring out yer dead" scenes and all the other trappings of the dark ages we thought were long past. Ah, yes, those were the days of the nights. Last one out of the enlightenment, please remember to turn off the lights.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:25 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by love View Post
I am not sure that using alternative medicine is the same as not using doctors. Which of magic water, changing your diet or Vitamin C kills you?
Q: What do you call alternative medicine that works?

A: Medicine
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:32 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by BillHoyt View Post
Unfortunately, fowlsound, this is the zeitgeist of the woo. Blame the victim. A friend of mine, whose husband had cheated on her throughout their marriage was told by a woo friend of hers that she needed to examine the reasons she needed to attract such a husband to her. Whoa.

How very caring and wholesome a movement, eh? A clear improvement over the cold, heartless scientific and medical community, eh? They always say it sincerely and with smiles on their faces, "well, if only you didn't need to have cancer, you wouldn't have it." It is so easy, and you are so stupid to be having this horrid disease. Snap out of it! Pay the receptionist $350 on your way out, please. Next?

If this crap keeps up we'll be back to Monty Python, "bring out yer dead" scenes and all the other trappings of the dark ages we thought were long past. Ah, yes, those were the days of the nights. Last one out of the enlightenment, please remember to turn off the lights.

Apparently making broad assumtions that are untrue about people and passing them off as fact is par for the course also. love cited that I was using abusive tactics to control their argument, and that my father probably did the same. My father was rather quiet and softspoken, and hardly abusinve in any stretch of the term. (granted, he was an attorney...)

love reminded me of a bad psychic reading. throw enough out there and expect the other person to fill in the blanks, then reccommend som crap treatment afterward.

Thing is, nothing they said was true about me, and honestly I do not see how they couldn't understand they were offensive.

If you offend someone, the reason they are abusive back is merely because you offended them to that point. End of story.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:41 AM   #86
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Splossy, love, let me point something out.

If I had cancer, the first thing I'd tell any doctor is use whatever means possible to kill the disease, as long as it had been proven effective. Considering the amount of money and time required with proven treatments, why would I waste time on ANYTHING other than that which is effective?

If you don't get the Cancer, the Cancer gets you.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:44 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Roadtoad View Post

If you don't get the Cancer, the Cancer gets you.

Damn skippy.

Cheers mate.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:49 AM   #88
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The rate for spontaneous remission from cancer is about 4%

Those are really poor odds. I think FS has every right to go for the treatment with the best percentages without his belief system having anything to do with it.

The difference between 85% and 4% is rather large. FS is choosing life and not a sugar pill.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:53 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Splossy View Post
You don't actually know that to be the case.

This from Skepdic:

"There are too many studies which have found objective improvements in health from placebos to support the notion that the placebo effect is entirely psychological.

Doctors in one study successfully eliminated warts by painting them with a brightly colored, inert dye and promising patients the warts would be gone when the color wore off. In a study of asthmatics, researchers found that they could produce dilation of the airways by simply telling people they were inhaling a bronchiodilator, even when they weren't. Patients suffering pain after wisdom-tooth extraction got just as much relief from a fake application of ultrasound as from a real one, so long as both patient and therapist thought the machine was on. Fifty-two percent of the colitis patients treated with placebo in 11 different trials reported feeling better -- and 50 percent of the inflamed intestines actually looked better when assessed with a sigmoidoscope"

There are other parts of the article that probably contradict it. But it's clear there might well be a physical side to it.
I would be interested in seeing the study on the warts and what the inert substance was and what controls were used. However warts often spontaneously resolve so it is difficult to evaluate treatments. Asthma is in my opinion partially a psychological disease so would respond to psychological manipulation. The perception of pain can be altered by your mind no big news there. Perhaps there is a psychological factor in colitis so that would explain why it seems to respond to placebo. Symptoms can respond to placebo (the disease usually doesn't unless it is of a psychological nature to start with) Notice there were no malignant tumors mentioned in the placebo descriptions.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 02:09 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Splossy View Post
If it were me, I'd be trying some of the more harmless alternative methods as well. Just in case. I can't see the harm in the imagination exercises.
What is important in this case is that you probably would not delay the conventional treatment. There is no harm in the imagination exercises... what does cause harm is trying NOTHING but "alternatives" and allowing the cancer to grow to a more unmanagiable state. Just like was illustrated by the case of prostrate cancer posted by Ripley Twenty-Nine in post http://www.internationalskeptics.com...8&postcount=74
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Old 23rd December 2005, 02:28 PM   #91
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I know some people are going to tell me I'm wading around in woo for this but, I think there is good evidence that a person's psychological state can have definite effects on bodily illnesses. No, there are no mysterious powers or strange auras or supernatural entities involved, just the brains ability to do some amazing things. In this regard I tend to believe in the "holistic" approach to medicine. Having said all that a person would be a fool not to avail himself of every conventional medical remedy available. If I get sick I get myself to my local GP, but I do think my state of mind can help any recovery.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 02:30 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by AnotherSillyAlias View Post
I know some people are going to tell me I'm wading around in woo for this but, I think there is good evidence that a person's psychological state can have definite effects on bodily illnesses. No, there are no mysterious powers or strange auras or supernatural entities involved, just the brains ability to do some amazing things. In this regard I tend to believe in the "holistic" approach to medicine. Having said all that a person would be a fool not to avail himself of every conventional medical remedy available. If I get sick I get myself to my local GP, but I do think my state of mind can help any recovery.


State of mind is very important. I agree with you. It's when you take the sCAM instead of traditional medicine that is offensive.

Of course I take it further and say it's offensive to offer me soemthing that doesn't work, but it is not offensive to me for people to tell me to keep a positive attitude and cheer me up.

There's a distinct line there.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 02:32 PM   #93
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D*mmit fowlsound, I go away for a few weeks and this is what I come back to? I'm sorry you are dealing with this again but you are on the right path and you have fought this before and come out ok. I hope it is not as rough this time around. I will be thinking of you and will want to know how you're doing. If anyone has the ability to kick this things a**, it's you. Sometimes it's a good, good thing to be angry.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 03:32 PM   #94
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Quote:
If I get sick I get myself to my local GP, but I do think my state of mind can help any recovery.
State of mind helps but not in direct ways. It helps you to endure the illness, it helps you to keep taking your prescribed therapy, it keeps you in the proper frame of mind to communicate accurately with the doctor, it keeps you from feeling sorry for yourself and becoming self destructive
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Old 23rd December 2005, 03:39 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Dogdoctor View Post
State of mind helps but not in direct ways. It helps you to endure the illness, it helps you to keep taking your prescribed therapy, it keeps you in the proper frame of mind to communicate accurately with the doctor, it keeps you from feeling sorry for yourself and becoming self destructive

Agreed.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 04:04 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Rockstar View Post
Q: What do you call alternative medicine that works?

A: Medicine
Brilliant.

The thing that bothers me the most about alternative medicine is when it is simply shoved off. Government regulation mainly, and some others like the animal research haters, cause new ideas to not even be tested. If they would just get out of the way and let science do its job...
Much of today's real medicine was "alternative" once upon a time. Let science do what it does best, learn.

Best of luck Fowlsound.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 04:10 PM   #97
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If placebo is 20% effective that means I only need to take five of them to assure myself of a cure.

Sorry, I was trying to come up with something as stupid as:

Sure, but I wouldn't stop at one, I'd use several.

How did I do?

Actually I think love outdid that one with this gem:

I merely point out it is your attitude that causes you to find it offensive rather than say, naive.

love: I think he finds it offensive because he is not naive.

FS:
I read your paper. It makes a strong point. Hope you get well.




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Old 23rd December 2005, 04:15 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by AnotherSillyAlias View Post
I know some people are going to tell me I'm wading around in woo for this but, I think there is good evidence that a person's psychological state can have definite effects on bodily illnesses. No, there are no mysterious powers or strange auras or supernatural entities involved, just the brains ability to do some amazing things. In this regard I tend to believe in the "holistic" approach to medicine. Having said all that a person would be a fool not to avail himself of every conventional medical remedy available. If I get sick I get myself to my local GP, but I do think my state of mind can help any recovery.
The brain is poorly understood. My dad was in a nursing home for 6 years after unsuccessful brain surgery to remove a tumor. At first he was like a vegetable -- he couldn't speak, he couldn't feed himself, or move. He had a suizure and after that he could speak, feed himself, and at least move a little bit. At the current time, I believe that brain surgery is partly voodoo science. They know very little -- some but not by any stretch of the imagination everything. They are feeling in the dark yet it is still far ahead of the days when they did trepination to relieve brain swelling. Well enough of my persona experiences.

Fowlsound, I'm sorry that you have to go through this. Knowing you from your postings, I'm sure you'll go through it with aplomb and dignity. I admire you and wish you the best in your treatment and hope you'll be with us for a very, very long time.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 04:24 PM   #99
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Y'know. I'd like to point out that any 'benefits' of a placebo effect would also occur by getting REAL MEDICAL HELP! I would feel better knowing a real doctor, who's studied for a number of years, has taken a look and is doing what he can to help.

If I had cancer, I would be in a hospital so fast, it'd make your damn head spin. I don't care what the cost. I may be paying off hospital bills for the rest of my existence, but I would HAVE the rest of my existence to do so!
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Old 23rd December 2005, 04:30 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Rockin' Rick View Post
Brilliant.

The thing that bothers me the most about alternative medicine is when it is simply shoved off. Government regulation mainly, and some others like the animal research haters, cause new ideas to not even be tested. If they would just get out of the way and let science do its job...
Much of today's real medicine was "alternative" once upon a time. Let science do what it does best, learn.

Best of luck Fowlsound.
I'm having this argument over at another forum at the moment.

I'll start by saying, there is no "big pharma"/ government conspiract to prevent research into any aspect of medicine, and many parts of the SCAM industry are big enough to fund proper research into theri methods, they just choose not to. I've yet to hear a good explantion for this which does not show teh SCAMers as living up to theri name.

In my opinion the dividing line between woo and real medicine is not necessarily the evidence base, but the willingness to use proper scientific methods to establish an evidence base.

A fantastic recent example of this was the Nobel prize for research in stomach ulcers, ok so they where going against conventional understanding in suggesting a bacterial cause, but they went away and did good research to prove their point, they didn't just rely on patient testimonials and conspiracy theories.

Of course once the tests have been done, then the dividing line between woo and medicine is the evidence base.

Oh and on the "positive thinking" aspect of symptom control, the best "alternative" remedy my sister ever had was from a programme called "look good, feel better" which was a group of beauticians who offered their services for free for young women going through chemo. Didn't do a darn thing to help her cancer but it sure did help her get through the emotional turmoil of loosing her hair.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 04:34 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by clarsct View Post
Y'know. I'd like to point out that any 'benefits' of a placebo effect would also occur by getting REAL MEDICAL HELP!
You know I feel kind of stupid posting this (a common ocurance for me on these boards) but I never actualy though of that argument.

Its one of those statements whcih is so oviously true, that I never actualy thought about it.

I'll certianly be using it in the future! Cheers
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Old 23rd December 2005, 05:31 PM   #102
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Fowlsound, wow. Great paper, thank you for sharing, and all the best of outcomes on the arm problem. The best of health to you in 2006 and onward!

If anybody decides to supplement their medical treatment with placebos, be sure to use red ones. Studies have shown they are more effective. There's some form of a vitamin B that is popular as an injected placebo as it's a cheerful bright red.
One pitfall I might point out in feel-good ideas about medical treatment. You might feel better having a friendly, social doctor with a great bedside manner who you find relaxing. But if it comes down to a tricky surgery where your friendly doctor has a 78% success rate, and there's another guy who's a jerk but has a 97% success rate...who should you pick?
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Old 23rd December 2005, 05:33 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by ysabella View Post
Fowlsound, wow. Great paper, thank you for sharing, and all the best of outcomes on the arm problem. The best of health to you in 2006 and onward!

If anybody decides to supplement their medical treatment with placebos, be sure to use red ones. Studies have shown they are more effective. There's some form of a vitamin B that is popular as an injected placebo as it's a cheerful bright red.
One pitfall I might point out in feel-good ideas about medical treatment. You might feel better having a friendly, social doctor with a great bedside manner who you find relaxing. But if it comes down to a tricky surgery where your friendly doctor has a 78% success rate, and there's another guy who's a jerk but has a 97% success rate...who should you pick?

I go with the jerk.

Luckily, my neurosurgeon that rebuilt my spine was not only a very warm, caring man but top in the country in spinal tumors. MD from Harvard, PhD from MIT and 12 years heading up a nuerosurgery department in Philly.

This is not always the case. another big point of advice:

Find out the numbers on your doctor! Make sure you have someone with good success rates.


In the beginning of all this, my nuerosurgeon said "I really think you need this surgery immediately." and I said "And you're the guy to do it. I've read your stats. They're damn good. When can you cut me?"

He was floored. and very flattered.

Know who you are dealing with.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 05:55 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by love View Post
I do use homeopathy. Last time I had dental pain, for example, I treated myself using a homeopathic remedy. I guess I am just one of those 20%. Perhaps I am extra suggestible.
Or perhaps the pain would have subsided at that point on its own, even if you hadn't taken anything.

(Sorry if someone else already said it - I haven't finished the thread yet.)
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Old 23rd December 2005, 05:59 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by RSLancastr View Post
Or perhaps the pain would have subsided at that point on its own, even if you hadn't taken anything.

(Sorry if someone else already said it - I haven't finished the thread yet.)

Be sure to check the split in AAH for some blood boiling anger.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 06:09 PM   #106
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I do not know if "enjoy" is the right word to say, but I did "enjoy" reading your paper, even though the subject is not about fun. I could relate to so much, in a small way! My father (who was a scientist) died of cancer this year, and he too got the same thing about how he should try "everything" and "what could it hurt" etc. etc. I will tell you how it could have hurt him - he had so little energy towards the end, it could have used all that energy up and for nothing. Instead he had the best doctor he could find, a man of science he could speak with and work with, and then he used his energy to spend his last moments with his family.

We had offers to send him to some place in Mexico where he could drink juice and get enemas every day. The neighbors even insisted on sending some guy to my father's house, to "assess" him and see if his particular type of enemas would cure him. One woman gave us a free bottle of Tahitian Noni juice, claiming it would cure him. I ask you!!! We took the Noni juice and all the pamphlets to show him, thinking it might bring a smile to his face because is was so ludicrous. We also had offers to send him to some clinic in TX (I think that is where it is) to do some other goofy procedure. So my father could have spent his last days in airports, traveling all over Kingdom Come chasing a chimaera of lost hope, instead of getting the very best medical care available, being as comfortable as possible and being with his family. In my opinion, those goofy "cures" would have been very damaging indeed.

It is just amazing what science has done for you, Fowlsound. Your neurosurgeon must be incredibly good. I join the others in wishing you the best.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 06:21 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Amapola View Post

We had offers to send him to some place in Mexico where he could drink juice and get enemas every day. The neighbors even insisted on sending some guy to my father's house, to "assess" him and see if his particular type of enemas would cure him. One woman gave us a free bottle of Tahitian Noni juice, claiming it would cure him. I ask you!!! We took the Noni juice and all the pamphlets to show him, thinking it might bring a smile to his face because is was so ludicrous. We also had offers to send him to some clinic in TX (I think that is where it is) to do some other goofy procedure. So my father could have spent his last days in airports, traveling all over Kingdom Come chasing a chimaera of lost hope, instead of getting the very best medical care available, being as comfortable as possible and being with his family. In my opinion, those goofy "cures" would have been very damaging indeed.
An excellent tale and a small island of sanity in a sea of woo.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 06:25 PM   #108
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My father had cancer, a nerve tumor behind the ear. After going through numerous doctors and tests, asking for opinions, etc., we found one of the very best at the time, when others claimed inoperable this guy was ready for the challenge. Long story short, after radiation treatment, which is rough going, he survived the cancer. He later passed do to pneumonia after having a stroke or two, he was weak after the cancer.

A close friend of mine's father is suffering from esophagus cancer, and a variety unknown to science only a few years ago. He went through surgery and chemotherapy, but it has spread, they have exhausted every option they know of. I know several others that have battled the big C.

I understand the issues against "big pharma". But it's no different than wealth envy. I don't hate Bill Gates, I have no reason to, not for his wealth. But some do. No, "big pharma" does not wish us to be sick. They most certainly stand to make more money on a cure than from research. But they are huge companies, they only do what is good for business. While they don't want us ill, they will just cash in on the fact that we get ill. That isn't a vast conspiracy, it's just business. The reference to automobiles is a little iffy. Car makers have had better technology in front of them, yet fail to bring it to market. It's very much about the money. They do what works for them today. BP (British Petroleum) for example, we think of them as an oil/fuel company. They are actually an energy company. They have interests in natural gas, wind, and are one of the world's largest producers of solar energy products. Big tobacco, they didn't fortify cigarettes with all those chemicals to harm us, they did it to sell cigarettes. These sort of things happen all the time. So I get it, I understand the concern, but lets take a good scientific look at the situation and not just flip out.

To tell a cancer patient that chewing on tea leaves will cure them or some such craziness is just infuriating. I like the talk about vitamin C. While it is has been found to be truly remarkable it certainly cannot repair defective DNA. What I've heard about it is that cancer patients should NOT use vitamin C. It works so well that it can actually help cancer cells fight off chemotherapy.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 07:25 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by fowlsound View Post
I go with the jerk.

Luckily, my neurosurgeon that rebuilt my spine was not only a very warm, caring man but top in the country in spinal tumors. MD from Harvard, PhD from MIT and 12 years heading up a nuerosurgery department in Philly.

This is not always the case. another big point of advice:

Find out the numbers on your doctor! Make sure you have someone with good success rates.
You make every kind of sense to me, Fowlsound. And excellent job on checking out your doctors - every patient should be so empowered!
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:08 PM   #110
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It seems pretty obvious that the placebo effect works best if you believe in the therapy. Since fowlsound believes in science, he gets a very good package.

I do have one observation, which I hope one doesn't find too "woo-ish" with regard to Vitamin C. Some years ago, my sister was suffering from Leukemia (which killed her, by the way, as Acute Myelogenous Leukemia often does, and certainly did in 1976), and during the chemotherapy she had various problems which her husband suspected involved, among other things, scurvy. It's unfortunately the case that many doctors and nurses do not read all the literature on the drugs they use, and several of the antibiotics, as well as the chemo, listed scurvy as a potential side effect. The doctors, in the belief that more than a little bit of vitamin C is wasted, poo-poohed this idea. It was quite a battle to get them to give her as much as a gram a day, which turned out to be beneficial after all. The funny thing was that the doctors also did not communicate with each other. When one or the other of us asked about vitamin C, one doctor would say something like "Well, I don't believe in it, except that it has been shown to shorten a cold somewhat." Another would say the same thing, except that it's been shown to do something else useful. And so on down the line. If you took the statements of each doctor, and listed the one property they were sure vitamin C had, it would appear to be pretty good stuff. Well, anyway, we know it prevents scurvy! And beet juice really does prevent potassium depletion too.

All of which is a long-winded way of reminding Fowlsound that it's a good idea to do your own research on side effects, and don't forget to do a little science of your own. Vitamin C, for example, will of course not cure your cancer even a little bit, and not having taken a zillion grams a day did not cause it either, but if, for example, you're on chemotherapy and three potent antibiotics to keep you from dying of infection in the meantime (good medicine without argument), it may turn out that you need more, because the drugs steal it. Of course this may be better understood now than it was in 1975-6 when the story of my sister occurred, but a little extra research never hurts. If you do end up needing more therapy, get a Physician's Desk Reference. Those nasty greedy big pharma conspirators everybody hates did a LOT of research, and wrote it all down too. There's more than some busy doctors have the time to read.

Rounding out the story of my sister, she did indeed die, but she died of leukemia. The therapy did not work, but it also did not kill her first. This is not as common an outcome as one might expect, because the therapy must be as drastic as the disease is. At least a part of the credit for this belongs, I think, to the extra care she and others on her behalf took to do their own research.

Well, it sounds as if Fowlsound has some good doctors out there, and I hope they continue to prove it.
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Old 23rd December 2005, 11:50 PM   #111
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People sometimes have an idea that chemotherapy is almost as bad as the disease (cancer). This is BS. Most of the time chemo is much better than the disease. While the only cancer I have had is skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) there are many people I have known who went through chemo and most of them do pretty well. Chemo has improved much along the lines of the over all experience for the patient. There are times when it may be worse but those are relatively rare.
eta: If you are wondering where this is coming from I heard someone I know refused radiation and chemo because she wanted to keep her hair and I know she is allready doing herbs and other crap. I hope the surgeons got it all.
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Old 24th December 2005, 02:01 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by fowlsound View Post
Do you want to gamble your life on the placebo effect? It is not 100%. It's more like 20% (or somewhere around there. med folks, help me out with that #?) There is no PLACEBO that cures CANCER.

Originally Posted by love View Post
I do use homeopathy. Last time I had dental pain, for example, I treated myself using a homeopathic remedy. I guess I am just one of those 20%. Perhaps I am extra suggestible.
Hey, Fowlsound. I've only just seen this thread. Sorry to hear the bad news.

Just a couple of things to say to our esteemed interlocutor from the Planet Woo.

But, first a clarification that others have also made. I think your guess of 20% is way off for a 'real' placebo effect, i.e. an effect created by the patient's mind on their disease state, as distinct from coincidental recovery or the effects of co-factors like lifestyle canges.

A figure of 20% might apply to diseases that are largely psychosomatic in origin. It might also apply in a different way to diseases where there is no good objective way of measuring the response so when a patient tunes their repsonses to make the therapist happy there is no way of contradicting that report.

For proper physical diseases I expect that a real response to placebo is close to zero.

If you look at discussions of sCAMers' claims, a 'real' placebo effect is sometimes invoked by the sceptical side almost as a means of not giving unnecessary offence to the woo side. But, the diseases under discussion will almost always be exactly those that allow patients to misrepresent their own condition or ones where the patient's attitude to the disease will have a very obvious link to the disease itself, such as...

"Last time I had dental pain"

I can't quite believe I'm having to say this, 'love' , but you have just likened your trivial dental pain to bone cancer and have insisted that just because your toothache got better at some point after you took a sugar pill then Fowlsound's cancer will go away if he also takes such a pill. If you cannot see the gross asymmetry in these circumstances then you have no right to say anything at all.

Originally Posted by love View Post
In the end, I believe people heal when they take responsibility for their own health.
This quote bears repeating for the health-Nazi crap that it is. It is the ultimate get-out clause for every despicable fraudulent woo. If the disease doesn't get better it is the patient's fault. It absolves you of the need to ever reconsider your crackpot belief system. Beyond anything else this is what makes enthusiastic support for alt.med. so loathesome. Sadly, you may have become so brainwashed that when some horrible disease befalls you, you might still believe this lie.

Let's try a question for you, 'love. What will you do when the time comes or are you making plans for immortality? Frustratingly, when a sCAMmer is finally dying they will surely disappear from public awareness and probably have more on their minds than making a humiliating public recantation.


sCAM = the crazed well preying on the ignorant sick.
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Old 24th December 2005, 02:10 AM   #113
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Originally Posted by Dogdoctor View Post
People sometimes have an idea that chemotherapy is almost as bad as the disease (cancer). This is BS. Most of the time chemo is much better than the disease. While the only cancer I have had is skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) there are many people I have known who went through chemo and most of them do pretty well. Chemo has improved much along the lines of the over all experience for the patient. There are times when it may be worse but those are relatively rare.
eta: If you are wondering where this is coming from I heard someone I know refused radiation and chemo because she wanted to keep her hair and I know she is allready doing herbs and other crap. I hope the surgeons got it all.
Wife of a friend of my father had breast Ca. Breast-obsessed husband supported her rejection of surgery and conventional drugs in favour of the full Californian woo-package. Tumour became disgusting festering mess. Wife is now dead.

Placebo effect mysteriously failed to kick in.
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Old 24th December 2005, 05:00 AM   #114
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Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
sCAM = the crazed well preying on the ignorant sick.
I'll say it again, its worse than that, many people facing a potentially fatal condition are willing to "try anything" regardless of whearther they know it will work or not. Preying on the desperate sick is much more profitable than to prey on those who are potentially facing death, they tend to be much more willing to part with their life's savings.
Street robbery is a much more honest living.

Fowsound is a credit to rational peipel everywhere for fighting agianst this crap.
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Old 24th December 2005, 05:03 AM   #115
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Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
Wife of a friend of my father had breast Ca. Breast-obsessed husband supported her rejection of surgery and conventional drugs in favour of the full Californian woo-package. Tumour became disgusting festering mess. Wife is now dead.

Placebo effect mysteriously failed to kick in.
it's ok, Imsure some "well meaning" woo somewhere will console teh humsband that his wife didnt realy want to get better, or that she didnt belive hard enough in the woo, or some other crap.
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Old 24th December 2005, 05:15 AM   #116
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I would like to say thanks to ‘love’ for contrasting fowlshound’s paper so well.

(S)he is a perfect example of the sort of idiotic thinking that leads to needless suffering and death in patients.

Whenever I get the “what’s the harm?” question asked, I try to get it across to people that there’s little harm in irrational beliefs while things are going well; it’s at life’s crisis points that they become harmful.

‘love’ is a great example of this blissful ignorance, and is someone who’s set themselves up to discover the power of hindsight.

‘love’, if you’re still reading, I’d read fowlshound’s paper again (properly this time) and take heed of the message: it might just save your life one day.
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Old 24th December 2005, 06:19 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Dogdoctor View Post
People sometimes have an idea that chemotherapy is almost as bad as the disease (cancer). This is BS. Most of the time chemo is much better than the disease. While the only cancer I have had is skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma) there are many people I have known who went through chemo and most of them do pretty well. Chemo has improved much along the lines of the over all experience for the patient. There are times when it may be worse but those are relatively rare.
eta: If you are wondering where this is coming from I heard someone I know refused radiation and chemo because she wanted to keep her hair and I know she is allready doing herbs and other crap. I hope the surgeons got it all.
I did not intend to imply that the chemo is always almost as bad as the disease, but in some instances it can be pretty drastic. I don't know how much refinement the treatment for AML has become, for example, though I still see some of the same substances mentioned, but that treatment consists in essentially killing off one's bone marrow in the hope that this will kill off the disease. It's more or less like draining a pond to get rid of an invasive fish. Since messing up the marrow is more or less what the leukemia does, the chemo I saw did pretty much seem like a very acute bout of the disease, topped off with a number of other side effects such as nausea bad enough to require constant IV feeding, and of course an openness to infection which required massive doses of antibiotics of enough varieties to cover the maximum spectrum. Add to this that the therapy is of course undertaken only if the patient is already very very sick. My sister had chemo several times during the year she was being treated, and at least one of those times, it was begun only after her hematocrit had dropped to the single digits and she was receiving packed red cells on a daily basis. This is not a healthy way to start your day. All of which adds up to a situation in which ordinary daily nutrition, for example, may not suffice, and is not possible anyway.

My father also had chemo and radiation for malignant melanoma. Again, this was long ago, and the treatments have undoubtedly changed (I hope, in his memory, that they've become more effective at least), but it was certainly no picnic.

I will not bother with any further horror stories about busy hospitals, unread charts, conflicting orders, etc., which do occasionally occur, excpet to say that even under the highest-quality care, if you have a complex and dangerous condition, it's a good idea to keep track of what is going on and be your own advocate.

This is not in any way disparaging or discouraging the use of chemotherapy, which often works, and is a almost certainly a best for cases with a good prognosis, and the only bet for those without, but this is one area where you might benefit from what might be called a "holistic" approach (though I hesitate to borrow that word back from the woos who have stolen it). Doctors and nurses often seem to know or care very little about nutrition, and tend to concentrate on the particular task they're involved with. I found that this is especially true of the hotshot research doctors one may meet when one is undergoing cutting-edge therapy. They are very good at treating the cancer, but less so at treating the patient. Drink lotsa juice!
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Old 24th December 2005, 09:31 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by Badly Shaved Monkey View Post
Wife of a friend of my father had breast Ca. Breast-obsessed husband supported her rejection of surgery and conventional drugs in favour of the full Californian woo-package. Tumour became disgusting festering mess. Wife is now dead.

Placebo effect mysteriously failed to kick in.
This, unfortunately, is more common than one would assume. Fear of losing the male partner has been identified as a factor in the delay to have suspicious lumps investigated and then in rejecting surgery. "He's a breast man" "He loves my breasts" "He'll leave me for someone with two breasts" Men worry about impotence after prostate cancer surgery as well.

Horribly sad.
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Old 24th December 2005, 12:50 PM   #119
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Well, as a self confessed "breast man," I'd rather see her do without than lose her to something as stupid as vanity.
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Old 24th December 2005, 02:58 PM   #120
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I think homeopathy would be the choice for anyone who has unlimited time to which to experiment.

But if you were ultimately given a death sentence of like 6 months to live, I think you would realize that whole grain breads, organic water, magnets, accupuncture, Vitamin C, Omega -3, etc., etc., is not going to extinguish the raging inferno within you. Perhaps if one lived a life of this stuff before the disease, perhaps no disease. But only perhaps. There are other factors where good diets and excercize aren't going to guarantee you a healthful life of 100 years.

Kevin Trudeau's claim that reversing your ph balance can actually prevent and REVERSE existing cancer is quite the bolsterous claim. Either it can or it can't. But if I had cancer, I would indeed try to look into that claim quite seriously. But, it does sound like a stretch, that something so easy could cure it. I think someone posted regarding this (on an original Kevin Trudeau thread a few months? back), that if you achieved that ph balance reversal, that then you would die of THAT.

I know a neighbor that has cancer in his lungs, liver and shoulder. Any one of these cancers could have killed him. He actually went into remission for quite a while after standard medical treatment. They aren't looking for him to make it though. But, I believe he would have been dead already if it weren't for those standard treatments he has gotten.

I am fascinated by "remission". I can't understand what causes the cancer to shut down for a while, then restart up. You would think that medical science would have found the cause (of remission) and used this to solve the cure, long ago, because of some clue, regarding remissions. Could it be that there is an oscillation effect where the tumors need and get a lot of blood?...and then the blood supply can't keep up with the tumor(s) after a while?...so the tumor stops growing?...but then collaterals develop and the tumor gets more blood once again, and so the cancer takes off once again? I have heard that some of the lastest tumor fighting drugs are those that supress blood flow to the tumor.
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