Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ignorance about cancer and chemotherapy

Test Result: Bone marrow cancer.


I go back to the transcript, Dr Barlogie begins with a clear statement:

Dr Barlogie
: The bottom line that everybody agrees upon is that what one considers the conventional treatment for multiple myeloma is not very successful. Patients are not cured with this approach.


Dr Barlogie:

In effect, this is what my first consultant said : there is no cure, but we have treatment.

What one considers the conventional treatment
for cancers : allow me to try to explain what Dr Barlogie meant. I shall use information that I did not have at the time.

The conventional treatment includes chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a procedure by which poison is put in the blood. No poison, however, attacks only cancer cells and leaves the rest alone. Like carpet-bombing the villages in trying to wipe out the renegades-enemy. If such a poison existed, it would be magic, a miracle. But no such luck.

So there are problems.

'The reason we can't cure cancer is that we can't give enough chemicals without killing the patient. The more chemo we give, the worse havoc we wreak', Dr Peter Dottino, Head of Gynaecological Oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, told Liz Tilberis, the editor of Harper's Bazaar, (No Time to Die, p.8)The 'havoc' includes the dreaded side effects : vomiting,'arching veins', hair and eyelashes falling out, saliva not produced, nails falling out.

Also, in Liz Tilberis's case, 'green moss' growing on her tongue and 'my neck swelling like a sumo wrestler's, my lips puffing out like a Ubangi warrior's. My mouth became ulcerated and I could not swallow my own saliva. Every day of chemo brought some new horrifying change to my body' (p.230)

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