Doctors embrace ‘ancient’ medicine?

Embracing ancient medicine? Would that it were true, it is still quite premature. (“Doctors embrace ancient methods,” Vanguard, Jan. 29, 2003)

The compensation of oncologists (doctors who specialize in treating cancer) has increased 40 percent on average in the last 5 years, according to a weekend feature story in The New York Times (Drug Sales Bring Huge Profits, and Scrutiny, to Cancer Doctors, Jan. 25, 2003). This self-administered pay raise is noted as more than double that of specialists in general.

The soaring profitability is under scrutiny because it has come from cancer doctor sales of chemotherapy drugs to their patients.

For decades, cancer specialists in traditional medicine have warned against people going to alternative-health-care providers. One of the primary arguments was that those “alternative” people were just making money off of products they sold to cancer patients. After many decades of oncologists putting alternative health providers in a bad light, now the light is being shined on traditional cancer specialists as investigators take a gander at the profiting from product sales to cancer patients by these traditionally oriented accusers.

Is turnabout fair play?

Another argument of medical doctors who treat cancer that has traditionally been made against alternative practitioners is that those “alternative” people were administering unneeded and/or worthless treatments.

A National Health Institute study from 2001 reportedly noted one-third of patients being given chemotherapy even though their cancers were considered unresponsive to chemotherapy even by optimistic medical standards.

Furthermore, an examination of the overall meager improvement in cancer cure rate over the past 30 years brings into serious question even the effectiveness of chemotherapy in the first place.

The pot calling the kettle black?

Dr. Hardin Jones was a cancer researcher from the University of California (Berkeley and Davis). After 23 years of study into cancer treatments, he noted, “My studies have proved conclusively that cancer patients who refuse chemotherapy and radiation actually live up to FOUR TIMES LONGER THAN TREATED CASES.”

Dr. Jones presented his findings to the American Cancer Society and medical colleges. Jones noted that “unfortunately, it seems to be only a question of time, usually, before the disease pops up again all over the body.”

“Every cancer patient who keeps in excellent physical shape may have many good years left. The alternative is to squander those years as an invalid through radical medical intervention, which has zero chance of extending life,” Jones stated.

Jones’ statistics were also published in a New York Academy of Sciences article many years ago. Where was The New York Times at that time and since then? Profiting on people’s misery? Another old stand-by accusation of traditional medical providers against alternative practitioners has been that those “alternative” people were taking financial advantage of cancer patients.

Oncologists are now reaping handsome profits from insurance companies due to chemotherapy drug sales. In addition to that, they receive co-payments from the patients that often exceed what the doctor paid for the drugs. Does that sound like they are taking financial advantage of cancer patients?

Do you remember hearing about how drug pushers get one started easy, and then once that one is hooked, the price goes up and up and up?

It was said that timing is everything.

Chris Barr is a newspaper columnist in association with the organization “Children of Jesus,” Pocahontas, Ark.