Your heart sinks as you get the fateful diagnosis. It’s cancer. Emergency surgery is scheduled and you’re practically put under anesthesia in the office.
But is this a good idea? We already know that cancer treatment, with a few exceptions, is remarkably ineffective. We also know that “prevention,” when used in the context of mainstream medicine, is also close to worthless. The two powerhouses, mammography and PSA, have both come under intense scrutiny in recent years because of the risk of over diagnosis causing more harm than benefit.
We also know that surgery itself may promote cancer because it is such a stress on the immune system.
This particular article takes a very hard look at just how effective surgery for cancer is. You see, the problem is that, ethically, we don’t do placebo controlled clinical trials where one group of cancer patients gets real surgery and the other group gets a sham surgery where the tumor is not actually taken out. We just don’t do these types of studies because it is viewed to be so incredibly unethical as to be comparable to a clinical trial comparing skydivers with parachutes to skydivers not using parachutes on mortality outcomes.
So we just ASSUME that doing surgery is so important to the outcome that we could never envision not removing the tumor. And of course we ALL know what happens when we assume.
I will not go into the details of how the author teases apart ways to tell if surgery for cancer is effective at saving lives because the details are beyond what I normally get into for these blog posts. However, I would STRONGLY advise anyone who has a stake in cancer treatment to read through this article. It really is eye-opening.
And for those of you who think the very concept of NOT doing surgery on someone with a cancerous tumor is ridiculous, I would ask this most important question:
Is cancer a localized disease that needs to be cut out before it can spread or, is it a systemic breakdown in the balance between the immune system and DNA damage from poor quality lifestyles?
The answer to this question is critical to answer the question of whether surgery should be done on cancer patients. If it is the former, then cut away. But, if the latter hypothesis is true (and I will tell you that this theory makes WAY more sense and has far more literature to back it up) than we have taken a massively dysfunctional approach to cancer prevention and treatment; so much so that NOT following the dogmatic approach would seem barbaric.
Just some stuff to think on.