Friday, December 26, 2014
How to understand cancer treatments and why our system is so messed up
By R. Webster Kehr
We live in a world of “fast foods,” “fast cars,” and fast answers or should I say: “shallow answers.” Executives don’t like to read reports of more than one or two pages. People want to learn everything they need to know about something by watching a 1/2 hour television show. Students want to learn complicated mathematics while they play video games. And so on.
Unfortunately, the world of cancer politics and cancer treatments are not simple subjects. They are complicated. Plus it is impossible to overcome decades of constant false information by reading for half an hour. So grab something to drink, settle into your seat, and grab your computer mouse, because this is not going to be a short story, nor will it be entertaining. Let us start with a metaphor.
The Small Town Metaphor
Let us suppose you move to a new town, in fact a small town with only two car repair shops (i.e. “garages”). One of them is owned by Jim. The other by Bob. Jim’s garage is by far the biggest garage, he has lots of customers.
The problem is that Jim’s mechanics are not very good because they have had very poor training. In fact, most of the time the cars they have “repaired” are in worse shape when they are done, than when the car first came in. Most people put up with Jim and just live with the shoddy work.
However, some people go to Bob’s garage, usually after they have gone to Jim’s garage first. While Jim’s garage charges an average of $1,500 per car repair job, Bob’s garage only charges $75 per car repair job. Furthermore, in over 90% of the time, Bob’s garage completely fixes the cars of its customers, including the extra damage done by Jim’s garage.
You are new to the town, and wonder why anyone would ever take their car to Jim’s garage and why everyone doesn’t take their car to Bob’s garage first.
Then one day as you are reading the newspaper you see part of the problem. Jim is so rich he has several large ads in the newspaper every day. Bob rarely advertises, and when he does he usually gets a visit from the police, and it is not a friendly visit. It seems that all prior policemen in the town now work at Jim’s garage, and the current policemen look forward to a cushy job at Jim’s garage.
You also note that the newspaper has an article virtually every day about how good Jim’s garage is. They interview satisfied customers, interview the mechanics, and make the mechanics sound like geniuses. You also read about how the mechanics at Jim’s garage are constantly striving to get better and better equipment. But you note that the better and better equipment they talk about doesn’t improve anything, it just increases the cost of their repairs.
You also note that the mayor, members of the chamber of commerce, etc. all strongly endorse Jim’s garage. You also note that many of these influential people are highly paid part-time salesmen for Jim’s garage.
You also note that Jim contributes significantly to the local schools, and that the children are taught how good Jim’s garage is.
Finally you realize there is a war going on between Jim’s garage and Bob’s garage and that those in power in the town are more interested in which garage offers them the most benefits, than in which garage has the best mechanics. You see that the political machine in town does everything in their power to crush Bob’s garage.
But above all, you note that month after month, year after year, Jim’s garage prices keep growing and growing, it makes obscene profits, and usually does more damage than good in repairing the cars. You also note that those small number of people who later go to Bob’s garage usually get their car completely fixed for less than $100.
What Is Wrong With This Picture?
What I have just described is the war in modern medicine with regards to cancer treatments.
Orthodox medicine is well organized, unbelievably well funded, and has total control over the news media due to the massive amounts of advertising dollars spent by the pharmaceutical industry. When was the last time you saw a 1/2 hour television show where the main speaker was a doctor who used alternative treatments for cancer? Try to name 10 of the “top 100″ best alternative treatments for cancer.
Would it surprise you that the pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars in profits on chemotherapy drugs every year? Big Pharma also controls many other aspects of life in America due to their many billions of dollars of clout. It turns out that there are a lot of people who will quickly “look the other way” for the right price.
Alternative medicine, on the other hand, is very poorly organized, equally poorly funded, disjointed, and severely persecuted by orthodox medicine.
People in America, unfortunately, generally make their key decisions based solely on what they hear on television. Yet, the fact that orthodox medicine has lots of money, and alternative medicine is disjointed, has nothing to do with which type of medicine has the best treatments for cancer. It only has to do with which side has had the most money for the longest amount of time. It is like the above metaphor: just because Jim’s garage makes far more money than Bob’s garage, and does far more advertising, doesn’t mean Jim’s garage charges a fair price and does a better job.
While orthodox medicine generally uses surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, alternative medicine uses treatment plans with names like: Kelley Metabolic, Breuss Tea, Budwig Flaxseed, Brandt Grape Cure, Essiac Tea, etc.
Did you recognize any of the treatments I just mentioned under alternative medicine? You probably didn’t. Yet if you have cancer, and if you make the wrong treatment decision, it could cost you your life! That’s right – your own life. Before you brush-off this war as being unimportant to you, keep that in mind.
You probably think that this war is about medical theory, and that one side believes in the “germ theory” of disease and the other side believes in the “nutritional theory” of disease. Or perhaps you think that orthodox medicine is interested in treating “symptoms,” while alternative medicine is interested in treating “causes.” While there are theoretical differences, the war is not caused by differences in medical theory. The war is all about profits.
We are not dealing with a scientific problem. We are dealing with a political issue.
Dr Samuel Epstein, M.D.
The fact of the matter is that this war is a political war. Like all other wars in world history, it is all about money, power and the control of the general public. Most of all it is a war about orthodox medicine maintaining the power they have had since 1910.
Our government agencies and the corporations that control them have done everything in their power to make sure you do not know the truth about alternative medicine, and especially alternative treatments for cancer and alternative prevention measures for heart disease. And the television stations and other media are not about to say anything negative about one of their biggest advertisers – the pharmaceutical industry. So called “investigative journalists” are never going to investigate the friends of their employer.
Why does a particular story not receive the coverage it deserves in the media? While a variety of reasons may be at cause, foremost among them … seems to be conflict of interest issues involving the financial concerns of major media advertisers.”
Peter Phillips, in his book, Censored 1997
Before saying more about this war, it is instructive to go back to the beginning, to see why this war started in the first place.