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"Even if we're just dancing in the dark"

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

(Bruce Springsteen reference)

I promised myself that I would not jump back into the 'natural' thing, but a couple of posts, one in particular, where a great number of tentative sites (at best) are cited as if they are legitimate information resources, lead me to come back one more time. I apologize in advance to all of you who are pretty much over it regardless of where you stand on the issue.

To begin, let me advise that I am not averse to 'natural' remedies (for whatever that is worth). In an earlier response to the original post, in fact, I use the example of my own common suggestion that people might use aloe to prevent or relieve burning from radiation (with doc's permission). In fact, those I know who have used aloe insist that you buy only natural aloe and not some aloe-in-a-bottle, the contents of which you might not be sure of.

I am not averse to 'natural' remedies. In fact, I am aware that many if not most APPROVED medications are derived directly from natural sources. I recall that penicillin was discovered accidentally in a bread mold, although 'discovered' might be the wrong word, since it had apparently been in use ... naturally ... as a 'staple of folk medicine in Europe since the Middle Ages'. It doesn't get much more natural than that.

I find it disingenuous or corrupt for someone who purportedly lives in China and allegedly is a crusader for expanded knowledge about potential cures to be unaware (or unwilling to include the knowledge) that an institution as distinguished for its conventional western treatment of cancer as MD Anderson Hospital in Houston has been working with Chinese researchers for at least several years now to assess the benefits of integrating traditional (natural) Chinese methods with western conventional methods, with some measure of success. Despite being part of the conspiratorial cabal that some are claiming they are part of by default, MDA advises that there are promising returns in some of the research, including benefits from such esoteric areas (to me) as acupuncture and meditation, to say nothing of what they have been doing with the nuts and berries so important in some minds to breaking through the cabal's chains.

(Incidentally, in the article I read about this in CURE magazine, even the Chinese researchers and doctors were quick to point out that one should not quit one's western, conventional, treatment, regardless of results. Of course, these folks are probably part of the cabal, putting on some sort of charade to soothe us as they plot behind our backs to figure out ways to patent meditation.)

And, when we consider how the cabal is all about profit, how it is corrupt and immoral (or amoral, at best), we should probably ask how it is that a polio vaccine was offered to the public, both here and abroad, how TB has been nearly eradicated (some folks like to liken TB, in its day, to where cancer is today, in terms of the so-called conspiracy: many institutions, research institutions, hospitals, long-term care facilities, even resorts, had to change their directions when TB was virtually eradicated.)

Of course, the grassy knoll folk will argue that times have changed and the profit margin is much greater (where you people get your numbers is beyond me: 20% of the GNP? For cancer? Come on!), or that the conspiracy cabal profited from those vaccines and cures. I would counter that the motivation to make a profit has not changed and that the cabal will make a profit from a cancer cure as well, a huge profit. After all, SOMEONE is selling you your 'natural remedies' I suspect.

There are a few other things that bother me more about this entire sordid mess. First, to indicate, as has been done, that ALL of our researchers, doctors, nurses, and the like are in cahoots with so-called Big Pharma, either willingly or by necessity, is not just a blatant lie, but also an impugnment of the integrity of the very people who work to try to extend or save our lives on a daily basis. It suggests, in fact, implicitly, that we should not trust our doctors, our nurses, that their best interests are with the profit margin, with the best interests of so-called Big Pharma.

As dangerous as some of the other stuff is because it is really unsubstantiated apparently beyond some grasping-for-straws web sites cited by posters and may actually hurt folks, beyond that there is the greater danger that it will instill in folks a distrust of the medical professionals dedicated to our well-being (when they are not taking their kickbacks from Big Pharma, of course).

Finally, I will take my doctor over your herbalist any day of the week. I have written about this in the past, not as part of an agenda against natural remedies, but just as a cautionary tale at one point, in my blog, which is to say it is a true story:

When I was diagnosed with lung cancer (my second cancer) and was told I might have as little as ten months to live, a neighbor of mine, also diagnosed with lung cancer (I had not previously known this) came by my house with an offering of a gallon of green tea.

If I am not mistaken, green tea is a known anti-oxidant promoted by some as a way to reduce or eliminate tumors. In any event, she certainly thought so.

I do not know where she developed the notion that green tea would save her. Maybe on a site such as this one, who knows. But she certainly did not come up with that on her own. I didn't know that green tea existed before she brought it over, and my wife is a tea/teapot aficianado.

It seems her brother had died of pancreatic cancer previously, and the strongest memory she had of that experience was that he suffered from the chemotherapy. In her mind, the chemo shortened his life. To her way of thinking, green tea would save her and chemo would kill her.

I opted to stay the conventional western course. I had a lobectomy with follow-on chemo. More than three years later, I am here to write this. She was dead within six months, leaving a bitter, angry, husband behind.

Take care,


palmyrafan's picture
Posts: 397
Joined: Mar 2011

I love reading your posts Joe.

I am not against "alternative" medicine as long as it has been shown to hold "some" promise. But I think the tried and true methods of seeing the doctor/specialist, etc. and taking part in traditional medicine holds better promise for me.

I have read too many horror stories and answered too many questions from people who are trying to find a quick fix or a rapid cure and think they can get it from an experimental treatment (i.e., Fast Eddie's Seaweed Oil) rather than seeking medical treatment and perhaps saving their life.

Again, thank you for your wonderful posts, I do enjoy reading them and I always learn something new from them.


Posts: 665
Joined: Apr 2010

I love a healthy diet & trying to maintain a certain level of activity besides shopping work's for me. I have to stick to what my Dr know's for my own piece of mind. I guess I can say I honestly don't know a ton about alternative medicine. I respect everyone's opinion. However, I watched a dear friend suffer after no medical treatment for breast cancer. I think I shall pass on that one!

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jan 2010

I'm with Joe.

My children attended an alternative school, a Steiner or Waldorf school to be exact. Many folks there espoused alternative philosophies about spirituality and medicine. We were, in essence, a small village, and we all knew each other well. A surprising number of folks there had, or have cancer. Quite the cluster, actually, except it was a mix of brain and breast and ovarian and melanoma and even three other individuals with head/neck.

Some of the folks chose conventional medical treatment for their cancer, others went the Chinese, or Ayurvedic, or herbal route. Those of us who opted for the cut/poison/burn methods are still hanging in there. We all got to watch the ones who opted for alternative treatment die quick and horrible deaths; Cinder B., lauded as a "cancer treatment pioneer" in her obituary for spending thousands of dollars she did not have, on ineffective herbs provided by a clinic in Mexico. Donna J.-B. had a head/neck cancer similar to mine. Her final summer was horrible, with a massive tumor protruding from the side of her neck like a goiter, while a sweet classmate of my elder daughter's summer job was administering several coffee enemas a day in an effort to "detox her liver." Both of these individuals had young children. Don't even get me started about the lovely Christian woman up here who remains convinced that prayer alone will cure her metastasized breast cancer. The sad part about Paula N.-S. is that she has convinced at least one other person to forego conventional treatment in favor of prayer. I know other stories that are even worse, but I'll quit now.

Now, me, I've got no saliva, and a bit of a problem lifting one arm above my head. But I enjoy every day with my beautiful children and husband. My girlfriend Cheryl D.-J. lacks one breast, but she and her two kids traveled Europe together last summer. Shelly H. and Becky A. and Marsha S. are all still around too, and we throw a big party every year to celebrate. We all sit around and talk about watching our beautiful children grow up.

I am most emphatically cynical about alternative medicines; or at least the ones NOT practiced as an adjunct to to conventional treatments. I have personally known several people in my village for whom alternative treatments did NOT work, and I got to watch the process up close, from beginning to end. It was not a pretty sight.


sweetblood22's picture
Posts: 3228
Joined: Jan 2010

I am most emphatically cynical about alternative medicines; or at least the ones NOT practiced as an adjunct to to conventional treatments. I have personally known several people in my village for whom alternative treatments did NOT work, and I got to watch the process up close, from beginning to end. It was not a pretty sight.

I'm hitting the 'like button' on that one.

DrMary's picture
Posts: 522
Joined: Nov 2010

It is good (but not nice) to hear anecdotal evidence on the other side - mostly you hear about the "Chinese herbs cured my cancer" stories.

In order to buy into the conspiracy theory that big pharma is keeping these wonderful cures from us, you really have to suspend a butt-load of disbelief. There are some fairly brilliant pharmaceutical chemists in third-world countries who would be glad to producing and selling cancer cures that actually worked (and, since they had no R&D costs, and labor is dirt cheap in their country, could sell it cheap and still make a fortune). If the big pharma companies bought them out as well, then they should be off on the beach somewhere rather than making standard drugs for cheap (I do miss walking into the local pharmacy and buying controlled substances for pennies).

I do wish there was another way to cure cancer - the current best way to beat it sucks (at best). And I do believe that folks who have healthy lifestyles have better outcomes. But ignoring what is currently the best treatment, based on data gathered in thousands of tests? Not for us.

Hondo's picture
Posts: 6643
Joined: Apr 2009

First I want say I enjoy reading a lot of your post and the stories that you put in them, a lot of times I can’t help but laugh or wonder at a lot of what you say. A lot of other times you state things that you have done or share your opinion with everyone about something you know. I believe that is where the problems come in, when you are sharing your opinions there are times I disagree with something you are saying, but I never lashed out at you for it because that is your opinion and I respect that, for we all live in a free country. But I find you don’t share that same respect because you have lashed out at me on many occasions when my opinion differed from that of your opinion.

Joe I know and understand that you don’t know much about the truth of Alternative Cancer Treatment, that you made clear in you post. It is not about someone drinking a gallon of Green Tea and being healed. I know you read my post and there I stated that 90% of what a person will find on the internet about ACT is Garbage and that is very true. But that does not mean that all Alternative Treatment is bad there are some very good one out there but they are few. ACT is more than just drinking something or taking a few pills, Alternative Treatment is a total life style change from the things you once did and if a person is not totally committed to a total change then like anything it is not going to work

I also go to MD Anderson and I love my doctors there, but did not do my treatments at MDA because I was not totally informed about Cancer back then. I did my treatment with my local home doctors who unknown to me never saw a case of NPC in his 37 years of treating people for cancer. They never told me that they just treated me like any other cancer, and you know my story after they treated me twice with Rad and chemo the NPC Still came back a third time. When they told me there was nothing more they could do but to try more Chemo I said no if it did not work before why would it work now. In my story it was my brother who found a place that did Alternative Treatment, I was not looking for it because I already accepted death. My brother forced me to take their stuff because he is very hard headed; he got my wife involved in changing my life style. That is what Alternative Cancer Treatment is, a total change in your life style and taking the right type of herbs that purge the body of all toxin.

As I said I love my team at MD Anderson and think the world of them now that I found doctors who deal with my type of Cancer. I go there every 6 months for a checkup with PET & MRI because I still have hot spots always showing up. The Chief Surgeon who has been over my case there for many years now just monitors me; he does not understand why the hot spots and never any cancer, but always said I am a very difficult case. As you see I am not against Doctors they go by all the information they have and try their best and are on the front line of this battle everyday doing what they have been trained to do. They know they are not God and they know that some people respond well to treatment and some not so well. And when someone is told the news I was told, that they can’t do anything more, go home because you only have 3 months or 6 months or whatever. Don’t give up hope keep trying and maybe Alternative Treatment a total life style change will work for them, you will not know if something will work unless you try it. I am still here 6 years later; I no longer have Cancer, but the side effects of radiation treatment is killing me now.

I believe both you and I have the same desire and that is to help others who are in need of help. You see it one way and I see it two ways. I just hope that both you and I can learn to better understand each other’s view and opinions.

All the best to you Joe and may you have many many more years helping people and making them laugh with your post.

Posts: 24
Joined: Mar 2011

I HATED putting that mask on 33 times, but glad I did.

Scambuster's picture
Posts: 973
Joined: Nov 2009


Seeing that I am the only poster who ‘purportedly lives in China’, I guess you are you are referring to me !!

Gee golly Joe, I am so glad you approve of ‘natural remedies’ and that Aloe is OK. It has only been used for several thousand years. Even though the medical community don’t endorse it’s use, now that you have given it your OK (well at least your none aversion), the alternative world can now breathe easy. Thank you Joe ! What a load off.

And further, you actually bothyered recall some history about the natural origins of penicillin ! Wow, guess that should be another naturally developed treatment which is OK to use. Thank you again Joe, you are a champ.

I guess this response has been festering from the post about Alternatives and the discussion went into claims of corruption within and among the FDA and the Pharmaceutical companies, and the impact that can and does have on some medical institutions. It also is reflected in the way doctors treat disease. I notice my original reply was deleted !

Yes I posted a long list of links showing that these claims are in fact true. Very sorry you have difficulty absorbing or accepting these facts Joe. There have been arrests and convictions, there were documented at least 60 FDA employees/ executives who were recruited by the Pharmaceutical industry, there have been countless legal cases against the pharmaceutical companies, most settling out of court for undisclosed amounts and with ‘non-disclosure’ clauses to prevent the victims from talking.

The evidence and known fact that the Pharma co/s themselves do their own research and submit their own results is clear - no ? Is any of this data manipulated to ensure their new drugs pass the FDA requirements ? Read up on the Aldara story Joe which is just one and I did cite several other cases/ drugs which were fraudulent in the approval process. Another big pill for swallow ? Too big maybe ?

Do the Pharmaceutical Companies fund research in the distinguished institutions? Yes they do Joe, big time. Does the research they do get controlled in anyway by the funders ? Well sorry to say but yes. Maybe not always or 100% but there is serous influence in most cases.

Joe, let me get you straight here, while corruption has existed and still does exist in the cancer and other medical business, it is not across the board and not everyone is involved. That has never been claimed by me - the alleged China dweller.

The larger impact on Doctors is their lack of knowledge of the benefits and advantagesand availabilty of alternative and conmplimentary therapies & subsatnces, whether as stand-alone treatment or adjunct and complimentary treatments which may be combined with orthodox treatments. Even Tric02 posted a rather reversed view and admission that corruption does exist on the same post (which was deleted). A complete 180 to her original claim. It’s not in every place Joe, but is there and is affecting medical research.

Your lack of tolerance to other peoples views and experience on this topic and sending messages suggesting a certain individual on our board get out of your (their) country if they even think or suggest there is corruption in the system indicates something about your character and this is reflected clearly in your posts.

I personally don’t ‘dig’ your stories Joe. Sorry. I guess the New York publishers are not exactly banging your door down to ‘sign a book deal’. Maybe an Alternative publisher would be interested? Day job …??

Ironically, your stories are generally about your pain and suffering, and admirable endurance. If people like you didn’t attack the alternative community with such venom, maybe more of them would feel comfortable to post their stories here, success stories Joe.

Joe, I have never suggested anyone abandon their orthodox treatments. You seem to infer that. I do have strong feelings of objection and questioning when I hear about someone with their second third or fourth recurrence going back in for more of the same.

As for Doctors and caring medical people, I have utmost respect for their intentions. I do however take exception when they take a firm and exclusive view of how to treat illness and disease and not only exclude the possible use or alternative treatment, but will loudly refute any claim that an alternative approach might have merit.

My experience has shown that most Doctors are averse to most if not all Alternative therapies, and I’m not just talking about cancer treatment. I have experienced these situations first hand. They (Dr’s) are trained to deal with the symptoms and have an arsenal of medications and procedure with which to do this.

While I know, have personally experienced, and had family involved in unnecessary medical (and dental) treatmenst with only one benefit and that is increasing the invoice bottom line. There are some unscrupulous operators out there but the majority of them are not like this. I have never inferred they are.

The problem is Joe, when you get the nasty mix of ignorance and arrogance. This is very bad combination.

Once again I have not implied to not trust your Doctors Joe. I trust my Doctors but only for their opinion to the extent of what they know and or have studied. They don’t know everything so I make my own calls these days using their and other professional opinions to form my decisions. It has been mentioned here many times, Medical Doctors study very little about diet and nutrition often quoted as less them 8 hours total in a medical degree. What does that tell you Joe ? Should you seek dietary advice from your Doctor ? Their usual line is ‘eat a well balance diet’. Well shoot ! I can get that information from a tabloid newspaper.

I do suggest people remain open to second and third opinions and opinions from non medical doctors. Having blind faith in one doctor(s) carries inherent risks in my view. You may be lucky and have brilliant doctors, but they are all human last time I checked and do make errors and are limited to what they have been trained in.

To hear MDA is running research in TCM is very pleasing to the ears. What will come of it, what their intentions are, how they expect or intend to benefit are all questions. Gee I am so sorry for not mentioning their effort in my post. Very careless of me Joe.

This however does not mean the medical profession has suddenly become open to alternatives (unlike you and your ever expanding acceptance of natural remedies like Aloe) . Far from it. A start yes, but there is still a long way to go. Of the hundreds of alternatives shown to have great benefits, they are studying TCM, Acupuncture and Meditation, all of which have been around for 100’s to thousands of years.

If you have doubts about the revenues and profits generated by the pharmaceutical Companies Joe, do your homework. Your counterclaim is pathetic.

As for your Green Tea story, Green Tea has shown to have Antioxidant and Antiangiogentic properties. The way you relay this story is indicative of your lack of understanding of this subject. I know of no one or place which says “Take green tea and it will cure your cancer”. If you are choosing to use diet as part of your strategy to beat cancer, then green tea is good things to add among many other foods and supplements. That experience seems to be your only brush with Alternative therapies but I guess that was enough to convince you how things are in the world.

Most alternative and complimentary therapies include several aspects including diet.
Whether you like it not Joe, there are people out there right now, getting these Alternative treatments, and getting cured and doing so with little to no side effects. Many are climbing out of the ‘Too Hard Basket’, ‘sent home to die’ by their Doctors crew. Don’t bother to track one of them down Joe. You just might get ‘exposed’ to this quackery.

Many followers of the Alternative/ Complimentary therapies are either too afraid or have been put down for sharing their story and so they remain silent in the shadows and share only with those seeking. I am not a member of the ‘Shrinking Violet Club’ Joe so I will be here for as long I could be bothered to insure our friends reading get a broader and more accurate picture to this subject and not quiver with fear and kowtow to the narrow views expressed by some on these boards. To take sides - ‘I’m with you Joe’ indicates the shutters are down and staying down. Never give up and as importantly never cease the learning process.
Your statement that these alternative treatments can actually harm people or don’t work at all. Yes, I am sure some of them do dependant on what people take, who administers them, where they get their information and from where they source product - all of great consequence.

But ARE YOU BLIND Joe. Are you saying that orthodox treatments are harm free ? You may as well have with your post. Are you actually reading any other posts except mine and yours ? Orthodox treatments may be your first choice as is with most of us here, but to think 1. They don’t hurt you and 2. There is no alternative - is both ignorant and negligent. Look at 80% of the posts here Joe. What are they about ?
With any treatment, due diligence is highly recommended. When we choose orthodox treatment, are we choosing or are our doctors choosing for us ? Most of us collapse in a panic when we are diagnosed and we let the doctors take over. This is an understandable reaction. Once these treatments have run their course and failed, maybe two or three times, some individuals seek out these alternative therapies. Some are good and work, some don’t. I am passed the ‘Doctor Knows best’ Joe, well passed.

Many of us start to study our health far more seriously and continue to study after our Cancer diagnosis. Others simple rely on and trust their Doctors to sort them out. Some are lucky, others not. Learning about your health and how to survive cancer is a critical part of this fight. I urge everyone to become active in this learing.

One salient point to absorb here Joe is that when a desperately sick person does seek an alternative method of treatment, often they are so far advanced with disease, have severely compromised health due the orthodox treatment already done, so that their chances of survival are minimal at best. If they do die, guess who gets the blame ? Give up ? a) The alternative practitioner or b) whatever the alternative therapies are blamed for killing them. Now do you really think if we reversed this common blame game the other way, we might have a little paradigm shift ? If a person dies while using Orthodox treatment, they die of Cancer. Do you perhaps see just a little bias here Joe ?

We hear the same crap getting dragged out here. “Oh Steve McQueen used Laetrile therapy (B17) and he died !” Pleeeese. Spare us these idiotic examples. They may seem like informed anecdotes to share with your impressionable coffee group but such examples are simple misinformation and really look foolish here.

For you people who cite all the people who died terrible deaths while using alternative therapies. Please cross over to the Liver Cancer Board, the Esophageal Cancer and Colorectal Cancer Boards and go back through this H & N board and tell me what happened to so many of our dear friends who are no longer with us. They all used orthoidox treatments - most exclusively.

Can you explain why you refuse to acknowledge the casualties from orthodox treatments?
I am happy for you to stick with your Doctor Joe. That is your God given right as is mine to take my advice from a wider range of trained people, and treat my body in a different way to you.

Do yourself a favor Joe, read a few of the recommended texts on alternative treatments, diet/nutrition, and even some about the Cancer industry. I would be happy to give you a list. I am also happy to get any recommended reading from you.
Your attempt to shut the door with a ‘juries in’ assumption on Alternative therapies is not helping anyone here yourself included.


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