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LINK Cancer patients who use homeopathy and alternative remedies as part of treatment twice as likely to die from disease, study finds | The Independent

remember this is what happened to Steve Jobs. He had all the money to buy the best alternative medical treatments, refusing conventional medicine, yet died from a a cancer with a relatively high cure rate

People who use homeopathy, herbal remedies and other alternative therapies as part of their cancer treatment are, on average, twice as likely to die from the disease as those who use conventional treatment only, a study has shown.

This is because cancer patients using complementary therapies were much more likely to refuse some or all recommended treatment, resulting in a much poorer prognosis, Yale University researchers found.

Complementary medicine covers a wide range of trends and traditions of scientifically unproven value as cancer treatments. These include Chinese herbal medicine and homeopathy, dietary supplements, cleanse diets, yoga, and massage.

The side effects of cancer treatment can be harrowing, including nausea, joint pain, fatigue and infertility, and all patients face a decision about balancing quality of life with the best chances of survival.

Studies have shown some alternative therapies, including massage and acupuncture, can improve quality of life and wellbeing while patients are coping with conventional treatment side effects, and also help patients relax or feel in control. Between 48 and 88 per cent of patients are thought to use complementary therapy as an element of their treatment.

However studies have also suggested many patients believe such alternative treatments will also help their survival prospects.

"Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion about the role of complementary therapies,” said Dr Skyler Johnson, lead author of the new study, published on Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Oncology.

"Although they may be used to support patients experiencing symptoms from cancer treatment, it looks as though they are either being marketed, or understood to be effective [as] cancer treatments.”

These side-effects and mistrust of major pharmaceutical companies can make the benefits of alternative therapies seem like a credible option for some patients.


By Lukian
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All I could think of while reading this article was “in other news, water is wet!”

OpheliaWilde Level 2 Dec 6, 2018

I would never do chemo. No way. No how. I have seen chemo take someone's life quicker then if they didn't do anything at all. Chemo is nothing but mustard gas, a chemical. I also seen people survive chemo and ended up changing their body, permanently.
Usually when someone does chemo and survives, the cancer comes back within 5 yrs and the person dies.

I am a firm believer that the body's PH level needs to be at 7.4 to prevent cancer. So that means all fruits and veggies for a diet. Also, sugar is a major cancer causing to consume.

countrylife Level 5 Dec 3, 2018

I don't know where to begin...
Fruit have a pH ranging from 2 to 6... how does that make your body go up to 7.4?
You are correct, normal blood pH is between 7.35 and 7.45 regardless of what you eat. Now is you breath very quickly in an out for 1 or 2 minutes you will cause blood acidosis so don't do that.

You are basing all your whole health on this 100 year old claim: Then, in the early 1900s, the Nobel-prize winning Dr. Otto Warburg, suggested that cancer cells “live in hypoxic, very low oxygen, and acidic conditions and derive energy from sugars by fermenting them the way yeast does.[2,3] From this, he theorized that these low-oxygen and highly-acidic conditions caused cancer.

That was before science even knew what DNA was... Good luck to you.

Ever grow cancer and healthy cells in a dish? I have, and they both live in hypoxic state because oxygen is not free flowing in your body but transported. Oh and alkali will kill them both the same way. The term Lactic acid is wrong when talking about the compound in the body, it should be lactate (the lactic acid salt) because your blood is buffered.

Here is my anecdotal cancer story: Had an uncle who survived 5 cancers because of medical treatment. He died at the age of 84 from pneumonia... if only Dr. Warburg had found a way to prevent pneumonia in the elderly...


I find it terribly depressing that they wasted time and money to determine what should be obvious.

JimG Level 8 Dec 2, 2018

if they, you mean scientists, these studies are often done for public policy. Fundamentally you cannot recognize a phenomenon without measuring it and you can't change something that was not measured.

@Lukian I know, and I would not blame scientists for scientific study. My thought was that there weren't enough credible results to warrant studying alternatives to medicine ( a term I find more accurate than "alternative medicine." )

@JimG got it!


Comfort measures versus cure. Would be good if the language used to present alternatives pointed that out.

RavenCT Level 9 Dec 2, 2018

If ‘alternative medicine’ worked it would be called ‘’medicine’

Rational8Human Level 4 Dec 2, 2018

Hey, that sounds like Tim Minchin.


I have an aunt who developed an idiopathic muscle disease (apparently there is no name for it because it is so rare and therefore not understood). Some years ago she read on the Internet that eating only cucumbers for a month would cure her. She tried this and almost died.
I've taken care of two aging parents over the last 10 years, and I have no doubt that SOME "alternative" therapies have SOME effect, but once that effect is identified, I'm not sure that counts as alternative anymore. It's just a therapy.
I had a coworker give me a giant book of alternative medicine recipes when I told her my mother had Parkinson's. Looking at the book, I couldn't make any useful sense out of it...much like the Bible when I was a kid. The only think that HAS helped is relentlessly reading everything available while applying critical thinking at the highest level I am capable. I've certainly spend thousands of hours reading articles, scientific papers, caregiver forums, drug interaction websites (both the public and professional tabs, as you can glean extra info from the pro tabs), and news trackers for the US, UK, and Australia. I've saved her life several times over, and now have a better idea of what we DON'T know about Parkinson's.

greyeyed123 Level 4 Dec 2, 2018

Twice is likely means that there is only half as much success. If you factor in Chemo sucks to some people that would still be worth it.

Biosteelman Level 4 Dec 2, 2018

My friend & her partner decided to go that route, with her death occuring. Quote: "we don't want to experience the horror of conventional therapy"
Me, find a lump of any size, anywhere, i want 10 feet of surrounding tissue out & heavy radiation too, tomorrow!

AnneWimsey Level 8 Dec 2, 2018

I laugh even if your statement was actually serious

@Lukian i can find humor (and in fact have had to!) In anything...this however is more just factual.


It's also sad that people who believe in alternative medicine generally cannot be convinced otherwise. I'm commenting about people I know.

I'm currently recovering from cancer surgery. No way would I rely on any voodoo magic treatments.

member0001 Level 4 Dec 1, 2018

Live long and healthy.


Been there done that if you ever need to talk.


The absolute hardest part of my job is watching patients choose alternative medicine to 'treat' their cancer while declining evidence based interventions. We have no choice but to respect their decision, but we also know all too well it's a death sentence. The lack of accountability for those who push such "treatments" pisses me off to no end.

Amzungu2 Level 5 Dec 1, 2018

Yes. So much yes.


Out of curiosity, do you know what alternative treatments Jobs used?

Piece2YourPuzzle Level 7 Dec 1, 2018

I could not find the original article I read but here is an another:

@Lukian Thanks for the link!

"In spite of pleas from family and friends, he tried to cure himself through acupuncture sessions, drinking special fruit juices, visiting "spiritualists" and using other treatments he found on the internet."

He really thought acupuncture and spiritualists would get rid of cancer? I would think special fruit juices would have a preventative factor, but not have a factor in regression or elimination.

I really would like to see a study done on cannabis oil, but I doubt they ever do a study.

@Piece2YourPuzzle don't doubt, it's legal in Canada. i'll bet actual government studies will be made now.

@Lukian I hope so. It can be either a breakthrough or a chance once and for all to put an end to the speculation or anecdotal accounts.


Huzzah for science based medicine!

The Australian government eliminated the insurance subsidies for 17 alternative health practices due to a lack of evidence for efficacy back in June, 2018. A win for medicine and Australian taxpayers.

Battling beliefs is tricky. It seems silly enough; oils, powders and pills don't usually seem to hurt anyone, apart from drain their pocketbooks. I figure it's a tax on people who didn't pay attention in chemistry class. But there is a greater danger if people put too much stock in it-people shouldn't have to die from making a stupid decision, (Example: Steve Jobs believing sunflower seeds would beat his cancer) but it does happen.

Rejecting science has it's price.

Anonamoose Level 3 Dec 1, 2018

actually there is a rise of liver failure due to an increase of alternative medicine like herbs and plant extracts and even excessive consumption of vitamins. Liver failure is usually one side effect heavily monitored during clinical trials to approve medicines.


If I found out I had a form of cancer that was treatable by conventional methods, then that is exactly what I'd be doing.
I don't believe in "alternative treatments". Especially after seeing the above.

I've long thought most of that stuff was bullshit anyway.

KKGator Level 9 Dec 1, 2018

So sad.

Stephanie99 Level 7 Dec 1, 2018

Cannabis oil offers the best option. Real cannabis oil, not CBD derivatives. Google Run From The Cure If you are interested.

Wangobango3 Level 7 Dec 1, 2018

I cannot comprehend how cannabis can cure every single cancer and why ppl think it can. I agree that it can alleviate symptoms and help with the pain and depression but a cure all, no way.


CBD is more of a prevention than a cure. Reduces inflammation and kills free radicals. I've also learned not dismiss the endless stories of the power of alternative medicine


@Biptu I can agree on the inflammation angle. You know that free radicals are created by simple breathing and also there is a thing about consuming too much antioxidants.

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