The cancer industrial complex; The hype vs. the facts.
Being told you have cancer by your physician is one of the scariest things a person can hear.
Images of tests, surgeries, and treatments that will make you feel ill and lose your hair go through your head. Will you survive this and will cancer go into remission allowing you to live a normal life. Will your insurance allow you to see the best healthcare providers and cover the cost? Then there is the periodic testing and monitoring for years after to make sure cancer does not return.
What about alternatives to the mainstream treatments that can help you survive, most of which are usually not covered by insurance. Some of these treatments may actually be effective or more effective long term.
We constantly read about the latest immunotherapy that targets the tumor which can help us eliminate cancer forever. Large pharmaceutical companies are constantly purchasing small biotech companies that are able to get their immunotherapy treatments through secondary trials with big paydays for the investors. When some of these treatments come to market, the costs are often absurd and many of the treatments often just extend life for months or a few years.
The truth about the cancer industry is that it often overstates the effectiveness that leans on old treatments such as chemo which is a poison to the body and will make you physically ill. Some facilities such as the Cancer Institutes of America will also use alternative therapies as part of their treatments. Statistically, long-term survival rates for patients are often overstated while the next trial may be your only hope for a cure if it works.
On the other hand, some alternative treatments that attempt to treat the tumor in a different way, sometimes at a lower cost may actually cure the disease. One doctor a few years ago was removed from practice in Italy after he claimed to be able to reduce tumors with bicarbonate. Laetrile also called vitamin B 17 found in grasses and certain bitter foods claimed to naturally improve a body’s response to most tumors The German medical literature is filled with references that most cancers are actually caused by viruses and they use a machine that detects the virus and removes it from your system. Can this be curative and if so, why hasn’t it become mainstream? Has the money interests in the treatment of the disease prevented us from having other options for treatment?
There are of course other theories that show many of the things we eat and are exposed to can be cancer-causing and some of the chemicals used in industrial farming may be part of the cause as well. Too much sugar is fuel for inflammation and cancer and there is a growing amount of information that suggests that inflammation may actually be fuel for cancers and other common diseases.
An opinion piece written for Scientific American explores the hype vs. the truth regarding the costly cancer treatments being offered by Sloan Kettering and other hospitals that specialize in oncology. The industry is about treatments, and not necessarily curing the disease. Check the article out below.
The Cancer Industry: Hype vs. Reality
Cancer medicine generates enormous revenues but marginal benefits for patients
By John Horgan on February 12, 2020
BIG PROBLEM, BIG BUSINESS, BIG HYPE
First, some basic facts to convey the scale of the problem. Cancer is the second most lethal disease in the U.S., behind only heart disease. More than 1.7 million Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and more than 600,000 died. Over 15 million Americans cancer survivors are alive today. Almost four out of ten people will be diagnosed in their lifetime, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Cancer has spawned a huge industrial complex involving government agencies, pharmaceutical and biomedical firms, hospitals and clinics, universities, professional societies, nonprofit foundations, and media. The costs of cancer care have surged 40 percent in the last decade, from $125 billion in 2010 to $175 billion in 2020 (projected).