The cancer treatment world is really two separate worlds, based on two divergent belief systems, two different views of how the body works, what causes cancer and therefore how to treat cancer.
One world sees cancer as a genetic disorder, an infestation in the otherwise well operating machine of the body. In this world, cancer is to be killed; either by chemotherapy (poisoning) , radiation (burning) or by surgery. (physical removal).
The other world sees cancer as a metabolic disorder, the physical expression of an energetic imbalance, a systemwide malfunction of immune system, improper diet, too much sugar and starch, etc. In this world, the goal is to restore system-wide health by whatever means are available, and the body will heal itself.
Some patients travel back and forth between these worlds.
Others pick one approach and follow that one.
This discovery of two cancer worlds worlds struck me as bewildering. Were there no common standards for evidence between them ? Infrequently yes, but for the most part, no.
In one world, drug trials are done in successive stages and their results are the basis of treatment. In the other world, there are few drugs, fewer trials, and many non-drug approaches . Which is better, and how to tell ?
Furtherly, in these two worlds, there are also widely divergent views of where the ultimate authority for healing rests, of when to call a success a success, and of what constitutes acceptable side effects from treatment. In short, there could hardly be more disagreement.
Where does that leave the newly diagnosed cancer patient ?
Most likely adrift and potentially at the mercy of the worst fears of their family.
A decision made from fear may not likely lead to the most desirable outcome.
Fear activates the sympathetic nervous system and suppresses the immune system*, not at all helpful for a cancer patient.
The most useful question of all for me was : ” How does anyone know what they claim is accurate ? ”
So ask. Ask a lot. And keep asking.
Ask everyone who wants to be your cancer doctor. ( and anyone you know who has ever had cancer )
Let doctors justify their approach to you, then get a second opinion. Then get a third opinion. It’s your health, your life, your experience of recovery.
Do your own research on the efficacy of the proposed therapy. What does “cure” actually mean ? ( This discovery of murk and nuance in a cancer treatment world about such a fundamental issue was an unpleasant surprise)
How is this cancer treated in other countries? What are their results ?
Does this treatment world accord with my values ?
It is often a challenge to be completely sure of what we ourselves know, and to what degree certainty.
How much less certain must we be of anyone whose livelihood depends on selling us a product or a service ?
Two worlds from here.
Dr. Laughlin’s graphic from here.
An excellent cancer reference resource that crosses the bridge (somewhat) between the two worlds.