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Entries in Criticism (3)


[Video] Criticisms: A Summary

One of the clearest signs that the conventional-only approach to cancer is on the wane is in the form of its criticisms of its competing treatment approaches. When we wrote our book, a loud chorus of criticisms came from conventional-only medical circles about the treatment path that Hollie chose. Our response was essentially this—that's it? That's all that mainstream cancer medicine has to say in response to Hollie doing just fine, indeed thriving, after rejecting chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy (Tamoxifen) and extensive surgery for her breast cancer in 2002?

When we gave our talk at the Cancer Strategies Symposium in 2011, we summarized the various criticisms we received, and our good friends at The Healthy Medicine Academy, who sponsored the conference, gave us permission to post that section of our talk. (Thanks to Dr. Robert Zieve and Eve Greenberg!) See the video below for a summary of those criticisms, and of our responses.

Oh, and the success of last year's conference has led to an even more exciting event this year. Check out this link to learn about this year's conference, entitled "Advances in Cancer Strategies Symposium." We look forward to seeing you there!


Criticism: Surgery Alone Cured Hollie

A common criticism that we've gotten in response to our book is that Hollie's lumpectomy and lymph node removal were alone enough to cure her cancer. This view is a good example of why we say we need to improve the logic in our thinking about cancer. This criticism takes exactly half of the big picture into account, and when you're dealing with cancer, it's essential for you to be able to see the entire truth.

First and foremost, this argument is revisionist history. Hollie's doctors weren't saying anything close to "Eh, you'll probably be fine after just the surgery." Their advice was exactly the opposite, and we quote it directly in the book: "Hollie, you need chemotherapy." They strenuously recommended chemotherapy, radiation and five years of hormone therapy. One surgeon recommended extensive additional surgery following the lumpectomy. We rejected the additional surgery, along with all of the other conventional therapies being recommended to us. These are the harmful treatments being doled out indiscriminately, and especially to women with breast cancer, and with little to no scientific support for their effectiveness. In our view, in the future it will be common for women to reject these conventional treatments. But it is not common to do so today, and it certainly wasn't in 2002. 

Next, it's worth noting that this criticism is really beside the main point of our book, which is that the biggest cause for concern in conventional cancer treatment is what's recommended to patients after surgery. 

Also, saying it was "no big deal" that Hollie turned down these treatments in favor of safer, smarter alternatives fails to recognize how strongly these treatments are pushed, and how strongly one's future is tied to doing them, according to conventional thinking. If you've spoken to anyone who has gone through chemotherapy, radiation or hormone therapy, then you know just how grueling these treatments are, not to mention the tremendous decrease in quality of life during (and after) the treatments. As Dr. Susan Love says when asked about the quality of life for breast cancer survivors, "If anything, it's getting worse because we're over-treating them." 

Fast forward eight years to the present—we were right, and they were wrong. Hollie is the picture of health, and she didn't have to get sicker first (via conventional treatments) in order to get healthy. The most advanced testing available shows that she remains 100% cancer-free, not to mention healthier in a wide variety of other ways (no more migraines, gastrointestinal problems, painful cysts, low energy, thyroid troubles, etc.). 

Another problem with this argument is that it obscures the fact that cancer statistics are not individualized. Take the 70% cure stat presented by those who offer this criticism. Sure, surgery would "cure" about 70% of women with breast cancer. But, that didn't mean it would cure Hollie. Hollie may have had a zero percent chance of being cured by surgery, especially given her numerous negative prognostic indicators. Conventional wisdom said that this number could be improved to perhaps 80% via chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. That made no sense to us at all, especially given all of the collateral damage caused by conventional treatments in order to achieve that so-called reduced risk. In our view, using the very best botanical and nutritional science available was a much safer, smarter approach. Via the herbal medicine protocol she followed, along with changing her diet dramatically, Hollie has made her body bio-chemically inhospitable to cancer. That's a true cancer cure.

This gets at another important point. While surgery is by far the most effective (and least harmful) conventional treatment, it still does nothing to address the underlying reasons why cancer developed in the first place. We believe that surgery (and sometimes chemotherapy) can definitely help to achieve a cancer cure. But they must be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses and fixes the imbalances of each unique patient. Because of the uniqueness of each cancer and each person's body, there is no magic bullet cure (drug, surgery, etc.). That frustrates many people, but it's the reality of cancer.  

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we'd like to see a more judicious use of the word "cure." Conventional treatments, including surgery, don't cure cancer, in the strict sense. They remove it, or burn it to death, or poison it, and in the process they cause a tremendous amount of damage to the body in wide variety of ways. Does that approach "work" in some cases? Sure, and we will never once fail to celebrate someone living after cancer, regardless of what treatments were used. But here are some hard questions that we need to start asking ourselves. Is there a better way? Are there safer, smarter ways to deal with cancer? Are there ways to heal your body from cancer even without surgery?

The answer to all of these questions is "Yes!" Hollie rejected chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy, and lived well to tell about it. And you can, too. 


Leading Oncologist Likes Our Book!

Well, if by "likes" you mean "hates," then yes, a leading oncologist likes our book! We've gotten quite a response to our book from conventional medicine in just the first few days of widespread publicity. What an honor!

All joking aside, we're glad to have such a substantial response to our book on the part of conventional physicians in just its first few days of broad publicity (the vitriol in some of their commentary is unfortunate, but not surprising). It should also be noted, too, that there are plenty of conventional doctors who actually do like our book, and its message. The last thing we need in the cancer realm is what we have in politics today—two camps, both talking past each other with shrill, one-sided arguments. 

We're going to take full advantage of the amount of discussion being generated, both by those in favor of, and opposed to, our cancer choices. We're going to be responding to the criticisms being offered in response to our book, so that we can show the very specific areas where we disagree with the logic and methods of conventional cancer treatment. To make these posts easier to follow, we'll denote all of the responses via the titles of the posts, like this: "Criticism: Surgery Alone Cured Hollie." And we'll also be creating a table of contents that links to all of the individual criticisms and responses.

The responses we've been getting from some conventional physicians only confirm the conclusions we began drawing eight years ago upon Hollie's diagnosis. More than ever we need the forward-thinking minds in cancer treatment, conventional and holistic, to join together to create a smarter, safer and more complete approach to healing cancer.