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The Alternative Hype
Cancer Research UK warns of the risks in Alternative Therapies, and I pay great attention to what these guys say. I know from my association with their research capability, that they take an evidence-based approach and do not publish these things lightly.
Please note Alternative Therapy is not the same as Complementary Therapy. Alternative therapy is something used instead of conventional approved treatment, complementary therapy is something used in addition to conventional approved treatments. Nonetheless, any therapy which is not approved may be dangerous to cancer patients.
One of the big selling points advocates of alternative therapies use is to claim that conventional treatments are ’toxic’ while their favoured treatment is ‘natural’, implying that natural is somehow better. In analysis, that is a fallacy. It’s easy to get sucked into promises of ‘cures’ and ‘remission’ by using herbal remedies, diets, potent supplement, etc (the list of endless). However, if these things really worked, all Oncologists, specialists and major cancer centres would be advising this too and they would be included in treatment guidelines.
“But it works… I read it in the news!”
Stories in the news about alternative therapies are usually framed in the words of a single patient talking about their own cancer journey. But this is neither scientific proof nor any kind of guarantee that a treatment is effective or safe. People pushing alternative therapies frequently wheel out stories from ‘survivors’ who are apparently alive due to their treatments, yet without providing solid evidence these people are only alive due to this miracle treatment, i.e. solid evidence that the actual ‘miracle’ drug was the reason for the improvement rather than something else of a previous or concurrent conventional treatment. This raises false hope and unrealistic expectations that there is a hidden miracle cure that can be unlocked for the right price, or by eating exactly the right foods.
I listed the known and proven treatments for Neuroendocrine Cancer in summary form – click here to read. I also regularly publish interesting clinical trials. I see some strange things attempted to be posted in my private group (they are either rejected as a post or removed as a comment on an approved post). I am constantly on my guard on my public sites for those who try to post alternative treatments on my timeline, the delete and block features are in constant use.
Be careful out there and be aware of the alternatives.
Watch this space as I intend to expand this blog post with examples of some dangerous stuff. In the meantime, please see below the other posts in this series of hidden dangers lurking on the internet and social media.
“Certain popular ideas about how cancer starts and spreads – though scientifically wrong, can seem to make sense, especially when those ideas are rooted in old theories. To a certain extent, it can be the case with treatment too. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even hinder good prevention and treatment decisions”
Part 1 – Cancer Myths – click here
“Those selling and promoting alternative treatments rarely discuss the risks, especially the biggest risk of all – missing that small window of opportunity to hit a cancer with the best conventional (and proven) treatment possible”
Part 2 – Alternative Therapy risks – click here
Hope is great, false hope is not.
I am not a doctor or any form of medical professional, practitioner or counsellor. None of the information on my website, or linked to my website(s), or conveyed by me on any social media or presentation, should be interpreted as medical advice given or advised by me.
Neither should any post or comment made by a follower or member of my private group be assumed to be medical advice, even if that person is a healthcare professional.
Please also note that mention of a clinical service, trial/study or therapy does not constitute an endorsement of that service, trial/study or therapy by Ronny Allan, the information is provided for education and awareness purposes and/or related to Ronny Allan’s own patient experience. This element of the disclaimer includes any complementary medicine, non-prescription over the counter drugs and supplements such as vitamins and minerals.
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