Choosing treatments

There are three types of treatments that you must consider in treating cancer. First are orthodox medical treatments (such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation) of which I am completely in favor when prescribed by a qualified physician and concurred with by an independent qualified second opinion. Orthodox medical treatments always come first and foremost in treating cancer. Second are termed supplemental (such as prayer, relaxation, imagery and diet), which means methods of treatment that are used in addition to orthodox medical treatments. I am completely in favor of any and all supplemental forms of treatment as long as your physician says they will not specifically harm you or interfere with whatever medical treatments you are taking.

Third are alternative therapies, methods of treatment used instead of orthodox medicine. I am totally and unequivocally opposed to any form of alternative treatments.

Sometimes you may hear a person describing a treatment as “unorthodox.” In my opinion, that term should not be used. It merely indicates the person using it is unfamiliar with the treatment and trying to discourage its use even though it might be helpful to the particular patient. In fact, sometimes this term is applied to legitimate experimental therapy.

Fifty years ago, anyone being cured from cancer could only have done so with surgery. Therefore, to relatively few surgeons, any methods of treatment other than surgery, such as radiation, chemotherapy, relaxation or prayer are unorthodox. Oncologists know that this position is totally foolish. A few doctors with tunnel vision will call any treatments other than straight medical treatments unorthodox. This is only because they feel that they are imbued with all the knowledge in the world, and since they weren’t taught this, it can’t be good. My advice is to ignore the negative connotation of the word unorthodox whenever used. The idea is to get well, and if unorthodox methods can help, then after you are well you can try to figure out whether it was the orthodox or unorthodox treatments that did the most good.

The critical thing to differentiate between is alternative and supplemental treatments. Use your head and you will have no problem figuring out which is which. Everything recommended in Fighting Cancer is supplemental. It is in addition to whatever your qualified physician recommends.

Some people don’t like the prospect of taking an unpleasant medical treatment. Perhaps some doctor told them there was nothing medically that could be done, and they failed to seek a second opinion. A human being will not be denied hope. They get oversold on a supplemental therapy, and use it to the exclusion of medical treatments. Then this supplemental therapy becomes an alternative therapy. It goes from something wonderful, something that can help save your life to something terrible, something that can most certainly cost you your life.

Ignore the word unorthodox, as it has no meaning other than to demean a particular treatment because it is not familiar. Stay far, far away from alternative therapies because they can kill you by denying you access to the treatments that thousands of scientists have developed and perfected over the years. Believe in and use every supplemental therapy that your physician says cannot hurt you. It is your life, and if you don’t do everything possible to help yourself, no one else will.