Cancer Diaries
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Cancer Diaries

Part One:

The Current Status of the
Fight Against Cancer


Written by Rick Archer
July 2013
 

Forward: Why Rick Archer is Involved

As you will learn, I was born with a giant Question Mark planted in my brain. 

I question the truth of everything.  It is in my nature. 

This article is the by-product of the largest Question Mark I have ever experienced in my life... for the past year, I have asked myself repeatedly what the truth is in the fight against cancer.  There is so much conflicting information out there, I am in constant turmoil as to whom to believe.

I do not have cancer.  Nor do I wish to get cancer.  Unfortunately, since 1 in 2 males develop cancer at some point in their lives, I live in constant fear.  That fact alone qualifies me to be concerned about cancer. 

Up to this point in my life, I have dealt with my fear of cancer by trying to avoid thinking about it.  It was a curious coincidence as well as an odd circumstance that was responsible for activating my "Question Mark" a year ago. 

Now,  twelve months later, I imagine I have put more thought into the cancer debate than the average person.

My article covers what I have learned about the fight against cancer over the past year. 

Let's begin with a reminder about how deadly the disease is.  Approximately 1,660,000 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2013.  In 2013, about 580,000 Americans are projected to die of cancer.  That amounts to nearly 1,600 people a day. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for 1 of every 4 deaths.

The coincidence took place in November 2011.

It started when my daughter Samantha Archer announced at Thanksgiving that she had just been accepted into the Texas 4000 program.  This is a program sponsored by the student council at the University of Texas. 

The program combines a 4,000 mile bike ride from Austin to Anchorage with an appeal to raise funds for cancer research.  Billed as “The Longest Charity Ride in the World”, the stated mission of Texas 4000 is to fight cancer by sharing hope, raising awareness and soliciting charitable contributions.

Once I finally understood the principle behind the program, I was immediately on board.  What a great idea!  In fact, I gave Sam a brand new racing bike a month early as her Christmas present that year. I wanted her to begin training for the long ride as soon as possible.

Shortly after Sam's announcement, my wife Marla got the bad news that her brother Neil was in the hospital. He was very sick.  It took them a while to figure it out, but sure enough the problem was cancer.  Neil wasn't given much time to live.  Understandably, Marla was heartbroken.  Immediately after Christmas 2011, Marla flew out to San Diego to spend time with Neil.

Immediately Sam's program had just taken on a greater sense of urgency in my mind.  Neil's illness had just made cancer personal for me.

Like I said, because the topic of cancer is so totally synonymous with misery, grief, pain and death, I had always preferred to simply avoid thinking about the subject.  Unfortunately, the odd 2011 Thanksgiving pairing of Sam's bike ride announcement and Neil's diagnosis now made the thought of cancer a permanent unwelcome guest in our home. Not a day passed where I was able to give my mind a rest from at least a few moments of pondering over this depressing disease. 

The first thing I was struck by was my feeling of total helplessness.  I had no therapy to suggest to Neil and no words of wisdom to console him by.  I hated every mention of his inexorable decline towards the inevitable because I wanted so much to help him.  I dealt with my guilt in the most obvious way possible - I gave as much support to my daughter's Texas 4000 campaign as possible. 

Naturally when Sam said the purpose of the Texas 4000 program was to raise money for cancer research, I donated generously.  Whatever I could do to support Sam - and to honor Neil - I was ready to helpThanks to my daughter, I felt a great deal of pride that someone in the family was doing something practical to help raise money to fund cancer research. 

And I wanted to do my part too.  So one year ago in June 2012, I initiated a fund-raising effort in the fight against cancer.  I wrote an article in my Travel Newsletter explaining Sam's program and asking for donations.  I think the message struck home. Thanks to my help and the help of the dance and travel community, 20 different people contributed.  Overnight Sam raised $5,000. 

I thought I had done a good thing.  Then suddenly I was stopped cold in my tracks.

I was stunned by a strange surprise... and not a very welcome one either.  To my shock, a friend accused me of supporting an evil money-making apparatus that has completely duped the American public.  He wasn't gentle either.  In fact, his words were very cutting.

“Rick,  I love your stories (even if they are not dance related) because they make for interesting reading.  And I admire Sam for going on a 4,500 mile bike ride.  Wow, that is amazing. 

But you are asking me and others to donate money for cancer research???? 

I know you are trying to be Mr. Nice Guy and you honestly believe that they are actually trying to find a cure for cancer. 

But that is one of the biggest hoaxes and lies ever invented. 

Do you realize how many industries and companies are in involved with cancer "treatments"?  I promise you, they do not want a cure because if a cure is found, then a lot of businesses will go out of business.

Sorry, that’s not going to happen anytime soon.  MD Anderson may go out of business?  No way.  Not going to happen.   These days too many people are making huge profits out of cancer.

Maybe you have an ulterior motive?  Maybe you want to piggyback on this "help find a cure for cancer" so you can make some money for yourself? 

If so, then you are no better than the rest.  I hope I am wrong.  I always believed you were a good person. 

Study the material.  You seem to fear it.  Learn about it now.  It will come in handy with your friends and family now or at a later date.”


The Alleged Medical Conspiracy

To be honest, I felt insulted that this man had the nerve to accuse me of unethical behavior.  In my opinion, he crossed the line, so I told him so.  However, my deeper concern was how I should evaluate what Mr. Skeptical had said.  His slap in the face had definitely gotten my attention.  I respected his intelligence far too much to idly dismiss his ranting. 

My Question Mark had definitely been activated.

My first question was to wonder what was the source of so much bitterness. 

From what I gather, Mr. Skeptical became involved when his mother fell ill with cancer.  Mr. Skeptical suggested that he was able to cure his mother's cancer using alternative medicine.

In 2008 my mother was diagnosed with liver cancer.  They found three lumps in her liver using a cat scan (maybe an MRI, don't remember).  I was surprised. My mother does not drink, did not have hepatitis, does not take Tylenol/Advil.  What was she doing with liver cancer?

They did a biopsy that showed it was cancer. This occurred in a small town north of Las Vegas.  Needless to say, they were slow to get things started. This gave me time to step in and try to save Mom. I was now pretty involved in health so I immersed myself in researching this cancer.

From what I learned, she needed to do hydrocolonics (at least ten sessions) and do liver flushes (at least ten flushes preferably twenty). Hesitantly she complied with what I told her to do. My Dad did it with her. But she only would do four sessions of each, no matter how much I pleaded for her to do more. Two months later the doctors finally took action.  Mom was told to come back in; they wanted to see how it progressed and to set up a time to start taking poison (chemo).

To their surprise, they could not find the lumps in the liver!  The doctors were horrified and baffled. They had never seen anything like this before. They did not know what to do so they told her to go home, everything was OK.

We won!!!  What a relief that was for everybody involved.

But I should have known better.  I did not know enough about cancer; it has to be watched closely for the next five years or it may return. And return it did, three years later, with a vengeance. Mom and Dad did not tell anyone about it until it was now in the advanced stages (they waited too long even go see the doctors).

Mom would not eat now, that left me with little I could do for her. Things got bad, we called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. That is where I learned how doctors treat cancer patients. They told her directly that it was hopeless, she only had a short time to live (talk about a death sentence).

About two weeks later she passed away.  This is what the doctor told her would happen and she believed it.

For the last month of her life I averaged 10 hours a day researching cancer. And I continue to research the topic, even to this
day. The more I learn, the more I realize how much of a lie cancer research is and that includes the American Cancer Society.
 

Mr. Skeptical's personal testimony struck a chord with me.  I did not know if he was right or wrong in his conclusions, but I was at least convinced he was sincere.

Like Mr. Skeptical, I am a truth-seeker.  I will study any religion, any philosophy, any scientific finding, any ghost stories or any supernatural claim if I think it will help me understand the Universe better.  So when a man whose opinion I respected had the nerve to suggest I was seriously misguided, I had two choices.  I could either be offended and blow him off or I could take him seriously.

With a very heavy heart, I decided to take him seriously.  I did not want to go through this door, but I did it anyway.

I started by debating him as best I could.

I am going to tell you what I know about cancer. I know nothing.

I have no knowledge to refute you or agree with you.

I do know that cancer treatment is controversial because no one seems to be able to lick this sonofabitch, so lots of people take different approaches.

All I know is that I trust the doctors I know personally. These are good men. I also respect trusted public figures like Sanjay Gupta and Katie Couric as well… the ones I saw in the MD Anderson video I posted.

If I am wrong, forgive me for backing the wrong horse.

When I attempted to argue with him, Mr. Skeptical did not ease up a bit.  Like a good tennis player, he kept me on the defensive.

Here is Mr. Skeptical's reply.

Rick, based on your statement "no one seems to be able to lick this sonofabitch", it is obvious you still believe what mainstream media and the medical establishment want you to believe, so I will repeat myself. All cancers have a cure and they are already known. Cancer is curable, my estimation it is over 80% cure rate (meaning a person will live 10 or more years after treatment, the other 20% is because of the mental factor).

But you will never hear that said from 99.999% of the doctors out there including your "good men" and especially the people from MD Anderson. They have been taught to use poison, burn or cut to help get rid of cancer which has a low success rate. Ask them, "What is the success rate for all cancers 10 years after treatment?"

Mr. Skeptical implied that I was totally ignorant.  In fact, he practically slapped my face with his rebukes.  He recommended I do some investigation before opening my big mouth again.  He shared some links and told me to open my eyes.

So I took him up on his suggestion. I actually did clink on those links and begin to poke my nose into the trillion dollar industry of cancer research and cancer treatment.  To my dismay, I found myself agreeing with Mr. Skeptical on some of his points.

I am not going to lie about it.  I was disgusted by some of my findings. I realized a profound doubt was developing inside me.  If I or someone I loved like Neil were to develop cancer, I had a hard time believing I could trust today's accepted method of cancer treatment.

I was so depressed.  I had no idea what the truth was.  I was paralyzed with doubt.  On the one hand, it was my inherent belief that cancer research is our very best hope to lick this dread disease, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not seem to shake my newfound distrust of the cancer industry.

Finally I made two decisions.  I told myself I would not ask anyone for another dime.  Until I knew more about what was going on, my requests for donations was over.  Then I began to explore what various people had to say about cancer on the Internet.

It has been a year now since I began my own research.  During this entire time, my frown deepened as Neil's health continued to slide towards the bitter end.  When Neil passed away on Father's Day in June, 2013, I decided the time had come to deal with his passing.  Hating the helpless feeling I experienced with Neil's death, I decided the best way to remember Neil would be to channel that energy and write this story.

Here is what I have learned so far. 

   

Remembering Neil

Neil was 70 when he passed away.  He is survived by his wife Ellen (they were married 49 years), his two daughters Marilyn and Stacy, and a considerable number of grand-children.  

Neil is what you would call a pillar of society.  Neil was both an outstanding husband as well as a great father.  He quietly volunteered his time to help in his community and his synagogue.   

Neil was perhaps the most brilliant man I have ever met.  

When I say “perhaps”, I admit this is strictly a hunch.  Neil was so innately modest that he never once touted his accomplishments to me

Marla and I always grinned at Neil's modesty.  Whenever we gently tried to pry, Neil would say in his aw shucks voice, "Oh, I work for the government and I do part-time real estate. No big deal."

His act would have worked except that it was obvious the man was a millionaire. 

Now how does that happen?

Neil and Ellen, Marla and Rick.  Picture taken in Malta, December 2010


After Neil passed on, his daughter Stacy pulled back some of the curtain in her eulogy.
What we know now is that Neil held an extremely high-ranking position as an intelligence officer in the Navy. His job was so important and so secretive that Neil was once thoroughly vetted and sworn to the utmost secrecy.  He was then promoted to a highly sensitive post at the heart of our nation's defense.  This explains why he was so reluctant to discuss what he did even after his retirement.

Neil had an amazing career.  With an advanced degree in maritime communications, Neil played a key role in the early development of submarine to submarine communications and submarine to land as well.  Neil was constantly being promoted.  He went on to coordinate the communications on the AWACS spy planes during the Gulf War.  As you may remember, it was our complete air superiority that kept American casualties to a bare minimum.  Neil played a big part on the Navy's eye in the sky.

Neil went on to help develop the Patriot Missile Intercept program.  The 2012 flare-up between the Gaza Strip and Israel offered the first real test of this system. The results were impressive.  The system destroyed 95 incoming missiles at a 93% success rate. Thanks in part to Neil’s work, our close ally Israel became a much safer place to live.

Several years ago, Marla heard that Neil and Ellen had attended some sort of swankienda dinner in San Diego back around 1993.  That was all Marla was told.  At the funeral, Marla learned the whole story.  She discovered that dinner was actually in Neil’s honor.  The Pentagon’s top brass was in attendance and President Clinton was scheduled to give Neil a plaque for his service.  The funny thing is that Neil never explained a thing about it to his sister Marla.  This was all news to her.

Oddly enough, I am not surprised by any of these revelations.  My instincts told me all along there was something remarkable about Neil that he was hiding. 

I confess I was never any good at getting Neil to talk about his job. And it wasn't for lack of effort either.  I tried to get him to take the bait several times without success. Like any good spy, Neil kept his secrets to himself. 

Perhaps the only revelation I ever got out of Neil was the admission that there was a California element to the 9-11 conspiracy. 

Neil hinted there were plans on that fateful day to fly a plane into a Los Angeles skyscraper.  However these plans were foiled by the decision to ground all planes after the Twin Towers were hit. 

Since California is three time zones removed from the East Coast, the plane targeted for use in California had not yet left the ground.  In Neil’s opinion, whoever made that move saved a lot of lives. The terror cell assigned to attack Los Angeles was left twiddling their thumbs in some airport terminal.  

I can definitely say I felt goose bumps when Neil shared that story. 

Neil wasn’t just brilliant in the intelligence field.  He was a genius at playing the real estate game as well.  For thirty years, Neil and Ellen mastered the art of buying property, fixing the place up, moving in for a while, then flipping the home every few years at a substantial profit.  Then they would upgrade to an even better home and start all over again.  By the time they were finished, Neil and Ellen had a mansion on a bluff overlooking a golf course in a plush San Diego gated community. 

Thanks to a lifetime of clever moves, Neil became a millionaire.  Despite growing up poor, he did it the American way through education, hard work and keen insight. Wouldn’t it be nice to be as talented as this guy? 

My respect for Neil was profound.  The amazing thing about Neil is that despite his accomplishments, he always remained an extremely modest, unassuming man.  Neil spent his entire life in service to his country with no expectation of any visible rewards.

However, I think it is safe now to reveal to the world that Neil was a very special man, definitely one of America's unsung heroes.
 

And what is my point? 

I have chosen Neil as my reason to learn about cancer.  Like Neil, we have all lost someone. We all know someone close to us who is sick now or who has recently died of cancer. 

We also know there is no guarantee of safety for the rest of us.  There is no place to hide!  Our own genetics might be the cause.  Common factors that contribute to cancer include diet, tobacco, obesity, infections, alcohol, exposure to radiation, stress, lack of physical activity, and environmental pollutants.

We all know cancer could be hiding in what we eat, in the walls at work, the water we drink, or smoke from the guy sitting next to us.  Avoiding cancer is like walking through a minefield.

Half the time we will never even know what the cause was.  The day might come when we visit the doctor with a lingering cough, a sore hip or unusual weight loss only to find this minor symptom is related to the disease we all dread. 

The question on everyone's mind is the same.

What can we do about it? 

 

The Select Fraternity of Dead Pioneers

"Half the time we will never even know what the cause was...."

Towards the end, Neil shared a startling observation with Marla.  In his role as a naval intelligence officer, Neil served considerable time aboard some of the earliest U.S. atomic submarines.  Neil commented darkly that every single man in his unit had already died from cancer.  Neil was the last surviving member.  That was soon to change.

Neil was a pioneer who had unwittingly risked his life by working on those nuclear subs.  His point was unmistakable. There was strong circumstantial evidence suggesting radioactive leaks on those vessels.  Somehow the men had all been exposed to something that was harmful.  They had no idea that they were being poisoned until many years later. 

After I learned what Neil suspected had happened to him, I immediately thought of Madame Curie, the brilliant Polish physicist who discovered radioactivity at the turn of the previous century. 

Madame Curie was rewarded for her brilliant work with two Nobel Prizes, but she also paid a high price.  Madame Curie died from aplastic anemia brought on by her years of exposure to radiation.  Of course no one in those days had any idea how dangerous radioactivity was.  Cancer had claimed an unknowing victim, Marie Curie, one of our finest scientists.

There is an old saying about “pioneers”.  You can always tell who the pioneers are by the arrows in their back.  In other words, there is great danger in being the first person on the scene.  What a shame that Neil and Madame Curie had to learn their lessons the hard way.  

Madame Curie’s untimely death was eerily paralleled by the death of Rosalind Franklin back in the Fifties.  Dr. Franklin was a researcher who used x-rays in an attempt to unlock the secrets of DNA and the Double Helix.  Dr. Watson had been trying his entire career to decipher the secret of DNA without success.  However, when Watson observed Franklin’s x-rays of DNA spiral bands for the first time, shortly thereafter he had the famous insight that solved the mystery. 

Dr. Watson would go on to receive the Nobel Prize for Science. Unfortunately, his colleague Dr. Franklin wasn’t around to share in the glory.  She had died several years earlier of ovarian cancer at age 37.  Frequent exposure to X-ray radiation is considered a likely factor in her illness.  She had no idea how dangerous her work was until it was too late.

Neil got sick in November 2011.  Determined to lick the disease, Neil was a model patient.  He did EVERYTHING the doctors asked him to do.  Neil ran the gamut… surgery, chemo, radiation therapy.... or, as Mr. Skeptical would say, the cut, poison and burn. 

Unfortunately, none of it really worked. 

Yes, Neil went into remission a couple of times.  And yes, the doctors definitely extended his life by anywhere from half a year to perhaps a year.  But in the end, his passing was one more bitter, senseless defeat for the mainstream approach to curing cancer.

 


The Sad State of Modern Cancer Treatment

As I pointed out, Neil was a very wealthy man.  Obviously we can conclude that wealth is no guarantee of health.  Like the wealthy Apple genius Steve Jobs who also died of “incurable cancer”, Neil could afford the finest medical care imaginable.  A lot of good it did both men.

For that matter, there is a long list of well-heeled celebrities who have suffered the same fate – Michael Landon, Patrick Swayze, Farrah Fawcett and Linda McCartney to name a few.  Add John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner and Humphrey Bogart to the list.  For that matter, cancer claimed Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, the entire Rat Pack.  All their money and fame could not save any of them. 

Of course it is noteworthy that most of these people were heavy smokers and heavy drinkers.  So it isn’t all that surprising that they paid a stiff price for their years of hard living.

But what about people who know the risks and take precautions? 

What bothers me even more is when I notice an article in the Houston Chronicle about an MD Anderson physician who died of cancer.  I have seen three such stories in the paper.  If people who have devoted their entire lives to fighting this disease aren’t safe, then what hope is there for the common people to survive?   

Wouldn’t one assume that all that knowledge would save them?  Apparently not.  If cancer doctors aren't safe, then none of us are.

Neil was very careful about his health.  Neil exercised religiously all his life, watched his diet and his weight carefully, and avoided the pitfalls of alcohol and tobacco.  He did everything you are supposed to do to minimize the risk.

Consequently, Neil was pretty bitter about his illness.  Personally, I think he had every right to be angry.  After a life of moderation, Neil deserved to be rewarded with good health.  It aggravated him no end to “die before his time”.  Of course 70 isn’t exactly ‘young’, but it does fall significantly short of 76, the average life expectancy of the American male. 
 


About Steve Jobs, Poster Boy for Cancer Treatment Futility

The fact of the matter is that everyone knows the cure rate of mainstream medicine is abysmal.  Some people suggest a cancer victim has a 1 in 3 chance of living more than 5 years after diagnosis using conventional treatment methods. 

That doesn't sound very optimistic, does it?

The much-publicized story of the cancer treatment received by Steve Jobs has affected us all because it gives a startlingly transparent glimpse into the status of today's cancer treatment.

In a nutshell, there are two approaches to curing cancer.  There is the mainstream method of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.  Then there are various alternative methods involving anything from herbal teas to strictly controlled diet to ancient folk remedies. 

From what I gather, Steve Jobs tried both methods.  He tried alternative methods first, then switched to conventional treatment.  Although the conventional methods failed miserably, the defenders like to say it was his own fault for wasting nine months trying the alternative method route.

Forbes Magazine

According to Steve Jobs’ biographer, Walter Isaacson, the Apple mastermind eventually came to regret the decision he had made years earlier to reject potentially life-saving surgery in favor of alternative treatments like acupuncture, dietary supplements and juices.  Though he ultimately embraced the surgery and sought out cutting-edge experimental methods, they were not enough to save him.

Jobs’ cancer had been discovered by chance during a CT scan in 2003 to look for kidney stones, during which doctors saw a “shadow” on his pancreas. Isaacson told CBS’ 60 Minutes last night that while the news was not good, the upside was that the form of pancreatic cancer from which Jobs suffered (a neuroendocrine islet tumor) was one of the 5% or so that are slow growing and most likely to be cured.

But Jobs refused surgery after diagnosis and for nine months after, favoring instead dietary treatments and other alternative methods. Isaacson says that when he asked Jobs why he had resisted it, Jobs said “I didn’t want my body to be opened… I didn’t want to be violated in that way.”

His early resistance to surgery was apparently incomprehensible to his wife and close friends, who continually urged him to do it.  But there seemed to be more to his resistance than just fear of surgery.

“I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something,” Isaacson told CBS, “if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking. And it had worked for him in the past.”

It worked in business, anyway – and brilliantly. Jobs’ employees had joked that surrounding him was a “reality distortion field,” which allowed him to make his own rules, and conjure up new products for which there was no precedent or apparent market. His capacity to create the reality he envisioned – and convince others of it – was a large part of his business success.

Another element of Jobs’ decision-making process was, according to Isaacson, his trust of his own instinct. Jobs had spent time studying Buddhism in India, and he felt it served him in his work. “The main thing I’ve learned is intuition, that the people in India are not just pure rational thinkers, that the great spiritual ones also have an intuition.”

But however well his intuition and “magical thinking” may have worked for him at work, Jobs’ postponement of surgery in favor of alternative means was a bizarre executive decision. “We talked about this a lot,” says the biographer. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it. … I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.”

By the time Jobs finally opted for surgery, the cancer had spread. He had an under-the-radar liver transplant and began putting a lot of energy into researching the most sophisticated experimental methods, making a complete about-face from how he began his treatment years before.

According to the New York Times, Jobs was one of the few people in the world to have his genome sequenced. Collaborating researchers at several institutions sequenced his DNA in order to develop a treatment that would target his specifically mutated cell pathways. He went for an experimental treatment in Switzerland in 2009, which involved using a radioactive isotope to attack the faulty hormone-producing cells of the body.

These treatments may well have extended his life, but nine months is a long time to wait in cancer time. And while there’s truth to the notion that food and supplements can aid a body’s repair mechanisms, there’s a limit to what they can do. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most insidious forms of cancer, and has few survivors.

Isaacson says Jobs started talking about an afterlife more and more towards the end. On one of the interview recordings, Jobs says, “Maybe it’s because I want to believe in an afterlife. That when you die, it doesn’t just all disappear. The wisdom you’ve accumulated. Somehow it lives on.”

But he adds, “Yeah, but sometimes I think it’s just like an on-off switch. Click and you’re gone. And that’s why I don’t like putting on-off switches on Apple devices.”

It’s impossible to know what went into Jobs’ decisions at work and at home, and whether his unexpected medical decisions were in spite of or because of his business brilliance. But for a man who revolutionized the way we work, communicate, and play, it’s certain that his life was too short.


As you have read,
people have suggested that Steve Jobs compromised his chance for survival by wasting time with “alternative” cancer treatments, also referred to as “holistic medicine” and empiric medicine”.

Here is more information about Steve Jobs and his fight to survive. It comes from a mainstream medical doctor.  I do not know the identity of the man quoted here, but his diagnosis seems knowledgeable, so I will share it and let you judge for yourself.

“I am a Professor of Medicine and Associate Chief of Medical Oncology at a major medical center with extensive experience in this arena.

From my understanding of the literature, my personal experience with this kind of tumor, and my understanding of Mr. Jobs condition from reading between the lines of what has been reported, this is what likely happened:

Mr. Jobs was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor of the pancreas which, like a great majority of these tumors, likely had micrometastatic spread at diagnosis. I agree that he likely had a resection of the tumor, whether through a Whipple procedure or another less radical procedure. Whether he had some liver involvement at diagnosis is unclear, but my bet is that he had some minimal liver abnormalities on CT of unclear significance, and they went ahead with the surgery given his age and his desires.

Neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas do not respond all that well to cytotoxic chemotherapy. There are a few older papers in the literature on intrahepatic chemotherapy with anthracyclines, as well as papers on 5-FU and streptozocin systemic therapy. Most of the papers give median survivals for this disease of 6-8 years.

I suspect that Mr. Jobs liver metastases showed up within a few years of diagnosis and he did get systemic and likely intrahepatic chemotherapy. Some pictures released of Mr. Jobs sometime in the late 2000's show him with no hair.

The major complications of these types of tumors have to do with the hormones they secrete. That is why Mr. Jobs had his weight loss.

We also know that he had a liver transplant in 2009 at a hospital in Memphis. This was likely because the tumor burden in his liver and the systemic symptoms such (i.e. the weight loss) were such that a heroic effort of that nature was a reasonable option. It gave all of us two more years of Mr. Jobs.

The reason for his cancer progression and likely death was progressive tumor in either the abdomen (carcinomatous peritonitis with attendant bowel obstruction--the most likely scenario) or recolonization of his liver with metastases (less likely).

He outlived the median survival of his disease by a few years.

Whether he used alternative therapies or not had absolutely no effect on his survival or outcome -- that was dictated from day one by his tumor and its biology, and our current lack of effective therapies for this condition.


It is rare that we have such a public illness.  It is also rare that we have a man with the means to afford any possible cancer treatment he could desire to try.  You have to hand it to the man.  Steve Jobs tried everything! 
For example, he went all the way to Switzerland to have his genome sequenced.  That experimental treatment in Switzerland is right on the cutting edge of the latest greatest in mainstream cancer treatment. Too bad for all of us that it didn't work. 

Unfortunately, the only positive conclusion we can draw is that maybe Steve Jobs lived two years longer than he was supposed to.  Sadly, in the end, the finest cancer treatment suggested by the brightest minds in medicine still came up short.

As the stories of Steve Jobs and Neil make perfectly clear, once someone is sick, finding a cure for cancer is a formidable challenge even for people with access to the finest medical care available.  That is very depressing news for all of us.
 

   

Drug MoneyWelcome to the Conspiracy

The main reason that Mr. Skeptical's criticism hurt me so much is that it hit right on a weak spot.  I don’t exactly trust mainstream medicine myself.  Mr. Skeptical’s negativity exploited my own doubts about the direction of cancer treatment. 

When people like Steve Jobs, Neil and the MD Anderson doctors die of cancer despite having access to the best minds in the business, what kind of hope is there for the rest of us?   To an uninformed person like myself, it seems like we are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to curing cancer. 

The critics of mainstream medicine point out that the Cancer Industry has become such a big business that it has become "too big to fail".  Where have we heard that before?  In other words, too many people are dependent on conventional cancer treatment to even dare to suggest it isn't working. 

A man named G Edward Griffin said this in his book World Without Cancer:

"...eliminating cancer through a non-drug therapy has not been accepted because of the hidden economic and power agendas of those who dominate the medical establishment."

"...at the very top of the world's economic and political pyramid of power there is a grouping of financial, political, and industrial interests that, by the very nature of their goals, are the natural enemies of the nutritional approaches to health."

"...that policy-makers in the medical, pharmaceutical, research and fund-raising organizations deliberately or unconsciously strive not to prevent or cure cancer in order to perpetuate their functions."


If I read that third quote correctly, this man suggests there are people who could care less if we take our sweet time curing cancer.  Now that is a cynical thought indeed.

There is no doubt that cancer is Big Business.  A rule of thumb suggests that each cancer patient spends an average of $50,000 fighting their disease

Although some cancer victims end up bankrupt as well as dead, someone clearly benefits from their suffering.  With one million new American cancer patients a year, that adds up to 50 billion dollars. 

The cynics suggest that a lot of doctors, a lot of drug companies, a lot of hospitals and a lot of cancer researchers have come to depend on the unending supply of those cancer dollars. 

What would happen to this giant apparatus if someone discovered that some obscure mushroom growing in the rainforest of Brazil could solve the problem quickly and inexpensively?

Then the entire House of Cards would come tumbling down.

My problem is that I happen to agree that an awful lot of people are making an awful lot of money off cancer.  Why bother curing it when cancer is making so much money for so many people?  


It is so ironic to remember how cigarette commercials dominated TV advertisements when I grew up.  The ridiculous thing is that some doctors weren't much smarter than the rest of us.  Remember the days when cigarette ads would fill the TV screen with garbage like "Most doctors prefer Camels"?  Unbelievable.

Compare that to today.  Now when I watch TV, the cigarette commercials are gone, but it seems like cancer hospital advertisements have taken their place.  It is darkly ironic to see one cancer hospital after another competing for all the sick people out there. 

One cancer advertisement claimed that their chemotherapy was so accurate it would target only the cancer cells and bypass the healthy cells.  Oh really? 

Some hospitals even promise to care about the people they treat!!  Wow!  One would assume that would be automatic, but apparently not.  One begins to wonder what the surcharge is for the extra cost of hiring personnel that actually ‘cares’.

It is commercials like these that underscore what big business cancer has become.  Thanks to all those cigarette commercials from thirty years ago, today we have an entire generation of Baby Boomers about to get sick at the same time. Surely these giant hospitals are licking their chops at all the upcoming profits. 

The thinly disguised greed behind the constant hospital commercials on TV only serves to make me more suspicious. 

The Houston Chronicle isn't doing much to ease my mind either.  Not long ago, the Houston Chronicle began hammering away at MD Anderson.  The Houston Chronicle ran one headline after another regarding financial improprieties over at MD Anderson. 

The articles were difficult for me to understand, so I guess the articles were written in some sort of code with lawyers looking over shoulders.  I could be wrong, but the implication to me was that some of the leaders in Houston’s cancer community were “ethically-challenged”.  On the surface, it appeared certain people had used their high-ranking influence to champion cancer treatment drugs they had just happened to own stock in.  It looked like they were using their position to make huge profits off the cancer drugs they were sponsoring.  Of course I could be wrong.  Maybe I misread it.

From what I gather, the Holy Grail in cancer is creating a synthetic drug that actually beats this disease.  Unfortunately, no one has even come close.  Nevertheless, the drug companies, aka “Big Pharma”, had found a way to rope in gigantic profits even from drugs that accomplish very little.  One drug kills cancer cells, two more drugs negate the harmful side effects, and another drug helps kill the pain and nausea caused by the other drugs.  It makes you want to shake your head and say, "Enough already!" 

At times like this, the mere mention of the cancer industry makes me feel suspicious.  

I ask myself this question, “Do I dare trust these guys or not?”

A lot of people probably agree with me, but once they get sick, what other choice do they have? 

 

 

Distrust of the Medical Profession

These days, the lingering distrust of the medical profession is almost as rampant as our distrust of the politicians.  Who can we trust to do the right thing? 

More than any other book, Robin Cook’s Seventies novel Coma touched a national nerve when it suggested there are doctors out there who would stop at nothing to make a buck.  Yes, Coma was fiction, but Cook made his terrifying thriller so plausible that I remember believing something like this could really happen. 

The book and the movie made it easy to believe there really are doctors who would do anything for a profit… even something as far-fetched as deliberately murdering patients and harvesting their organs. 

After that book came out and the movie as well, no one could ever enter a hospital again without feeling a creepy touch of paranoia. 

The plot of the 1993 Fugitive remake with Harrison Ford revolved around a conspiracy of false drug test data.  Once this drug was approved, the crooked doctor stood to become fabulously wealthy. Only one problem - it didn't work.  So the doctor decided to kill to protect his secret.

"Kimble discovers that Sykes, the one-armed man, is employed by a pharmaceutical company scheduled to release a new drug called Provasic.  Kimble had investigated the drug in the past and revealed that it caused liver damage. This would have prevented it from being approved by the FDA.  He also deduces that a fellow doctor leading the drug's development had arranged a cover-up and ordered Sykes to kill him.  Kimble's wife's death was an accident caused by Sykes' botched assassination attempt."

But this stuff is all fiction, right?  There isn’t anything such as a crooked doctor or an ethically-challenged doctor in real life, is there?  No one would resort to murder to protect millions in pharmaceutical drug profits?

As it turns out, I have first hand evidence that there are doctors who have no conscience when it comes to exploiting patients for their own ends.

 

Cutting Off My Nose to Make a Point 

You have surely heard the old saying about the guy who cuts off his nose to spite his face.  Well, I didn’t do it deliberately, but one time I actually did cut off the tip of my nose.  

By looking at me now, you would never know it. For the purpose of this chapter, I asked Marla if she could see any sort of scarring on my nose.  Marla looked carefully and then shook her head 'no'.  Mind you, Marla is as scrupulously honest as they come.

They say it just takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel.  Well, in 1997 I met a rotten doctor.  I don’t remember his name, but I will never forget him.  I'm sure he's still out there.  This jerk put a distrust of medical professionals in my heart that I have never been able to shake. 

It was a bizarre accident to be sure.  My daughter Sam was six.  We were scheduled to leave on a ski trip the following day.  I was at the print shop on a Saturday morning.  I was there to get some last-minute dance studio schedules to leave behind while I was gone for a week.

Patrick, the owner of the print shop, had become a personal friend.  I knew he often brought his kids with him on Saturday mornings, so I brought Sam along to play with Patrick's children. 

I had some time on my hands waiting for the print job to be completed, so I went outside to play with the kids.  I immediately began chasing them.  I was the big monster and the little kids were running from me.  It was in fun.  They were laughing and screaming with excitement.  To escape, three of the children ran down a narrow alley behind the building. I didn't want to actually scare the kids, so I stayed about 15 feet behind them, growling with monster sounds and threatening to catch them. 

That’s when the accident happened.  As I chased after the kids, suddenly my head was violently snapped backwards.  I had no idea what had gone wrongInstantly I began falling backwards to the ground.  Something out of thin air had hit me, but what? 

As I hit the ground, I felt a searing pain in my face.  I saw blood dripping from my face onto the sidewalk.  That’s when I noticed the front tip of my nose had been nearly completely severed.  It was just barely hanging on to my nose by a slim thread of skin. 

So what happened?   It turns out that there was a metal wire that extended from the metal building to the metal fence.  I have no idea what the purpose of the wire was, but it crossed the alley about five and a half feet off the ground. 

The small children had run under the wire without a problem, so their steady pace gave me no reason to suspect there was any danger.  And the wire was too thin for me to see at the speed I was running.  I never had any idea the wire was even there.  And I am sure whoever put the wire there had any idea it was in a dangerous spot.  In other words, this was a freak accident.

The wire caught me right where my moustache is and snapped my head back.  Oddly enough, it didn't really hurt that much. The bone right under my nose is pretty strong.  The pain came after the wire nearly cut my nose off as my head tilted back.

Gruesome?  Absolutely.  But I will tell you this – it could have been a lot worse.  At the speed I was running, if I had caught that same wire on my throat, I could have been killed.  On the other hand, if it had hit my chest, I wouldn't have been hurt at all.

As I lay there, I cautiously put the tip of my nose back where it belonged and held it in place with my finger.  The kids went inside and got help.  Patrick brought me a towel to help stop the bleeding.  Then he drove me to the emergency room.  I was really upset because I knew our expensive ski trip had just gone down the drain thanks to this accident.  That hurt almost as much as the nose.

After hours of waiting, a plastic surgeon on call finally showed up. He sure took his sweet time getting there.

The doctor proceeded to deaden my nose with a series of shots.  Those shots sent stabbing pains throughout my nose.  My nose was so sensitive that I wanted to scream!  Ouch!  Those shots really stung

I was ready to accept pain for one shot, but why did each new shot hurt so much?  For example, at the dentist’s office they give a local anesthetic that hurts a little but not much to numb the area.  Then ten minutes later they bring on the stronger stuff.

Furthermore I have had stitches before.  Usually the first shot numbs the area sufficiently and the rest of the shots don't hurt much at all.

This was totally differently.  Each new shot hurt as much as the previous one.  I didn't understand, so I immediately complained.  Did these shots really have to hurt so much?  I asked if these painful shots were his only choice.  Surely there was there was a less painful way to handle this numbing problem.  

The doctor did not answer my question.  Instead he told me to be quiet; he needed to concentrate.

Okay, I got the message.  I had no choice to comply.  So I trembled with fear in anticipation with each new shot.  This doctor really hurt me with those numbing injections.  Furthermore I couldn’t figure out why I needed six different injections in such a small area.  To put it into perspective, the entire numbing procedure turned out to be equal to any pain I have experienced as an adult.  

To be honest, I still have a lingering suspicion that if the man had waited longer between shots, the pain would not have been anywhere near as intense.  Why not give the anesthetic five or ten minutes to spread like the dentist does?

After ten minutes of non-stop injections, finally it was over.  Once my nose was deadened, the doctor sewed the tip of my nose back on.  Humpty Dumpty was ready to go.  Then the doctor handed me his card and told me to make a follow-up appointment at his office in four days. 

I asked him if I could go on my ski trip.  After all, a nose cut isn't exactly a life-threatening injury.  Besides, inside a ski mask I wouldn't look any different from the rest.

He looked at me like I was out of my mind and shook his head ‘no’.   Did I want to risk an infection?  Did I want to fall and risk losing the stitches? 

Well, I suppose he was right, but to this day I think if I was careful, I could have gone.  Look at it this way - basketball players get stitches in their face all the time and come right back into the game.  So that's another issue where I didn't trust my doctor.

There was a feeling I had about this guy that I didn't like.

Four days later I showed up in his office.  Immediately the doctor began talking about a very ambitious plastic surgery project.  He was going to take skin off my butt and put it on my nose.  The cost was prohibitive, but he was sure that my insurance would cover it “after the deductible” of course. 

It wasn’t the money that made me hesitate.  The deal killer for me was when he said he was going to deaden my nose the same way again with a new series of shots.

I was dismayed.  If I had any choice in the matter, I didn’t EVER want to feel that kind of pain again.  I asked the doctor a simple question.  What would happen if we did nothing?   Now that there were stitches, wouldn’t the tip of the nose eventually reattach on its own?  Wouldn't new skin grow in on its own? 

The doctor said my nose would be deformed for the rest of my life.  He suggested that I would look like an escapee from a leper colony.  Why take that risk?

I wasn't convinced. I pointed out that I had managed to live with acne scars all my life, so what was the problem with a small scar on my nose?

He shook his head in disgust.  He implied that would be the stupidest decision I ever made.  Did I really want to walk around with a massive scar on my nose for everyone to laugh at? 

I admit I am woefully ignorant about medical treatment.  But I have learned to trust my gut and I didn't trust him one bit. I was already angry that I had trusted him on his curt "No Ski Trip" command.  Now I didn't believe him about that scar.  However, my lack of medical knowledge kept me openly challenging him. 

Frightened and insecure, I asked about the surgery again.  Did I really have to go through those painful shots again?   Couldn’t he knock me out ahead of time?

At this point, the doctor insulted me.  He called me a sissy.  He pointed to his own forehead and said he himself had undergone those same shots when he had received his recent expensive hair transplants.  If he could withstand the pain, then why couldn’t I?

For starters, I imagine shots in the forehead would not hurt as much as a hyper-sensitive wounded nose.  And I resented his macho approach to shaming me.

The doctor was so aggressive and so insistent that suspicion continued to grow.  I could not shake the feeling that this surgery might actually be unnecessary.  I was almost certain this doctor was trying to exploit my situation for his own gain.  However I doubted I would ever get a straight answer from this doctorHe saw me as a mean ticket.

Someone had to pay for those expensive hair grafts, right?  My new nose would keep him from being bald.  I felt like he was playing me for the world’s biggest sucker.

So I pretended to go along with him. I made another appointment with him for the following week just to be able to leave without further bullying.

When I got home, I made an appointment with a dermatologist I had seen once before to remove a wart.  The dermatologist told me exactly what I thought he would say.  He said that if I did nothing, the nose would heal and new skin would grow in naturally.  The dermatologist scoffed at the leper reference.  He said all I had to do was keep it clean and it would heal on its own.  Then he added that in two or three months, the average person would never notice a thing.

It turned out the dermatologist was right.  My nose turned dark black and I definitely looked like a monster for a while.  Then after a month, the new skin came in.  Other than the fact that my pink nose tip didn't match the rest of my nose, the nose didn’t look so bad any more.  Two months later, the coloring blended and the nose was as good as new. 

I might add that today no one notices a thing.

And what is my point? 

I contend this story shows there are some unethical people in the medical profession who will exploit the vulnerability of fearful patients.  If a certain patient has the right insurance, the sky is the limit for the procedures they will suggest.

Mind you, I am aware of the dangers of generalization based on one incident.  And I am also well aware that unethical people can be found in every profession. 

Are there also unethical lawyers?  Yes.  And there are also unethical stock brokers, unethical politicians, unethical therapists and unethical religious leaders. 

For that matter, there are even unethical dance teachers.  I know a couple that come to mind.  But on the other hand, dance students are not typically at the mercy of their Jitterbug instructors.  Unless the instructor cripples them with bad advice, they can come and go as they please.  That's a small joke, incidentally.

It is medical patients who are the most vulnerable of all.  They are afraid for their lives, but often they don't have a clue what their doctor is saying or what will happen if they don't follow his adviceThat dependency makes them easy to exploit. 

How many people can claim to know what a doctor is talking about when he explains cancer?   Oncology, metastasis, DNA mutations, chromosome abnormalities, tumor suppressor genes, epigenetic alterations, osteosarcoma Do you know what those terms mean?  I sure don’t.  It's mumbo jumbo to me.

Like me, most patients have little medical training.  Just as I wrestled with the sincerity of my evil plastic surgeon, how are they supposed to judge what the doctor is saying?

Given their pain, given their fear and given their ignorance, these vulnerable people are almost totally at the mercy of their doctor.  They don’t even know what questions to ask.  This vulnerability makes them totally dependent on their doctor’s advice.  

 

How My Mother Became a Medicare Cash Cow

Here’s another example of why I don’t trust the medical profession.  When my mother was on her death bed, the doctors performed what was termed a “risky experimental procedure” on her heart.  A special balloon was flown in from Minnesota for insertion.  It was a test procedure.  This operation had never been tried before.  If it worked, it was supposed to buy Mom another six months… or so they said.

I was very skeptical.  They didn't bother to add she would be weak and totally bed-ridden for those six months.  The chances of Mom ever going home again were remote.

It seemed like my mother was being used the same way a lab rat would be.  Mom was in a very weak condition.  She had heart failure, cancer, kidney collapse… the wolves were circling.  It was a race to see which dire threat would kill her first. 

So what exactly was the point of this expensive and elaborate heart procedure?  

I concluded these so-called noble doctors were determined to prolong life at any cost… as long as Medicare would pay for it. 

However, it wasn’t my call.  My mother made the decision to give it a try.  So I shut up and stood by to see the results.

What a giant, colossal failure.  First Mom nearly died on the operating table.  They had to take profound measures just to revive her.  Then she never regained consciousness once the operation was over.  Mom died of a massive coronary about fifteen hours after the surgerySo much for the experimental balloon.  All I can say is a quiet thank you that she probably didn't feel a thing.

But I was disgusted that all my reservations about this ridiculous operation had come to pass.  What a colossal waste of time and good money.  I don't even want to begin to know what the cost was.  I stopped counting the day the hospital billed her $750 to send a taxi to bring Mom to a chemo treatment.  If a glorified taxi ride is $750, then I shudder to think what they charged for this useless operation.

But someone had to pay for this operation, right?   That "someone" would be you and I.  And we wonder why Medicare saps our national budget.  You need wonder no longer.

What a racket.  I concluded was there is definitely a type of doctor whose judgment seems guided by how much money he can generate for himself and the hospital.  This story made me understand why Medicare is so costly to the American taxpayer.  We have all heard of the mythical "death panels" and I certainly don't envy the life and death decisions doctors have to make.  That said, I firmly believe my mother's surgery was a clear-cut abuse of the system... abuses that probably take place all the time. 

So now I have explained why I have a profound distrust of the medical establishment.  And don’t get me started on the skyrocketing cost of medical insurance.  In the past several years, health insurance premiums have increased for everyone at a rate far greater than the rate of inflation.  I worry that the insurance industry is completely out of control.

I don't even know who to blame, but I am certain that I would be appalled if I knew the whole truth.

Not only are the monthly premiums exorbitant, the medical insurance companies deny payment on procedures at the drop of a hat.  I have first-hand experience that you can’t even argue with them.  They always have a reason to explain why this or that isn’t covered. 

Even when you have medical insurance, you don’t even know for sure what they will and what they won't pay for!

For example, I have had two routine colonoscopies in the past six years.  The first colonoscopy cost nothing, but I paid for the last colonoscopy out of my own pocket.  I didn't expect to pay a cent. It was just another routine checkup recommended by my doctor. 

My insurance found a reason to not pay. The reason given for denial of payment was that four small benign polyps were removed.  That is kind of odd considering that during my first colonoscopy they also removed four small benign polyps.  My first routine colonoscopy was completely covered.  What is it about the new set of polyps that gives the insurance company a reason to deny payment?

I couldn't argue with them.  Finally I gave up and paid the deductible.  It was an extra $2,500 out of my pocket that I will never see again.  When a person like me is retired, losing that money stings no end. 

But why do I even bother elaborating?  I don’t need to say another word because you all know exactly what I am talking about from your own experience.  We are all in the same boat.  Something is deeply wrong with the medical field and none of us know what to do about it.

I have identified two enormous obstacles in the medical field.  The first problem is guessing who the good guys are and who the dangerous ones are.  The second problem is negotiating with the insurance industry and their bag of dirty tricks. 

Given what I have said so far, you might think I don’t trust anyone.  Not so. 

I trust my daughter's pediatrician implicitly.  She was a caring, brilliant woman who took wonderful care of my daughter Sam back when she was growing up.

And I trust my own personal care doctor completely.  I am convinced he is a decent man who has my best interests in mind at all times.  He takes the time to answer my questions and his answers seem reasonable.  I remain wonderfully healthy, so it is easy for me to believe in him.  I willingly follow his advice at all times. 

For that matter, I know dozens of other people in the medical field who I believe are fine, decent human beings.  I am convinced these people are in medicine for all the right reasons and that they do unimaginable good on a daily basis. 

The problem is finding out who the good ones are and who the dangerous ones are before it is too late.  I consider that today’s medical industry is filled with many good people, but there are clearly greedy, exploitive people in the profession as wellJust thinking about my evil plastic surgeon makes me shudder.  How do I avoid getting stuck with someone like him again?

It isn’t easy to navigate the minefields. Who are the dangerous ones?   How are we supposed to know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are? 

After all, they all wear the same white lab coat.

   

Further Criticism of Modern Medicine:

Milton Friedman and Linus Pauling

I am certainly not the only person who is suspicious of the medical industry.  From what I gather, there are many prominent men who have severely criticized the AMA.  Apparently their prestige is too great for them to worry the AMA might try to suppress their voices.
 

Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006) was a leading American economist who taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades.  He was a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second most popular economist of the twentieth century after John Maynard Keynes The Economist described Friedman as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century and quite possibly the entire century."

Milton Friedman asserted that the American Medical Association acts as a “guild”, a fancy name for a group of people who exert total control over their particular craft to increase profits.

Over the years, the AMA has attempted to increase physicians' wages and fees by influencing limitations on the supply of physicians

Friedman said "the AMA has engaged in extensive litigation charging chiropractors and osteopathic (holistic) physicians with the unlicensed practice of medicine, in an attempt to restrict them to as narrow an area as possible."

By restricting “non-physician” competition, the AMA completely controls the medical field with its monopoly. 

   

Linus Carl Pauling (1901 –1994) was an American biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator.  He was one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among the most important scientists of the 20th century.  Pauling was one of the founders of quantum chemistry and molecular biology.

Linus Pauling was included in a list of the 20 greatest scientists of all time by the magazine New ScientistAlbert Einstein was the only other scientist from the 20th century on the list.

Gautam Desiraju, the author of the Millennium Essay in Nature, claimed that Pauling was one of the greatest visionaries of the millennium, along with Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.

For his scientific work, Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. For his peace activism, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize In 1962.

This makes Linus Pauling the only person in history to be awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes.  

Here is what Linus Pauling said about the war on cancer in 1989.  This quote appeared on the book jacket of The Cancer Industry by Ralph W. Moss, PhD:

“The revelations in this book about the ways in which the American people have been betrayed by the cancer establishment, the medical profession, and the government are shocking.

Everyone should know that the ‘war on cancer’ is largely a fraud, and that the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society are derelict in their duties to the people who support them.”
 

Regarding Chapter Two of the Cancer Diaries

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests the American Medical Association has suppressed many attempts to find a non-pharmaceutical cure for cancer.  Those of you who are familiar with the bitter Laetrile controversy will know what I am talking about.

Personally, if this is true, I am dismayed.  I say it makes absolutely no sense not to explore Nature in search of a cure for cancer. 

There is ample anecdotal evidence that cures for many diseases can be found in Nature.  We already know that certain foods offer protection against disease.  For example, garlic, ginger, oranges, apples, almonds and broccoli are said to have beneficial properties. The list is actually much more extensive. 

For that matter, many plants are said to have curative powers.  For example, when I was a kid, I played sports outdoors every summer.  My mother swore by aloe vera and kept several of these plants growing in our garden to treat my occasional bouts of sunburn. 

No one can deny the myth of the Indian medicine man who used the secrets of the forest to heal people long before the advent of modern medicine.  Any person with a brain wonders if those legendary healers were on to something.

It makes perfect sense. Modern medicine started around 420 BC with Hippocrates.  That suggests 2,500 years.  For over 10,000 years, Native Americans wandered the forest.  Estimates suggest they encountered over 6,000 herbs and derivative plants.  The Indians knew what each plant looked like and where they could be found.

Some parts of a plant can be toxic, while other parts of the same plant can have healing properties. The secret is in knowing the difference.

Using trial and error, they experimented with different plants and observed the results.  They watched how the plants performed either alone or in combination with other herbs.  It doesn't take much of a stretch to believe a tribe could develop formulas for specific ailments and pass that learning from one generation to the next.

In these modern times, most of us are cut off from nature.  For example, here in Houston, a city slicker like me can wander through Memorial Park without the slightest idea what berries are safe, what mushrooms will kill me, and what plant juice might ward off mosquitoes. 

That said, if I had one shred of scientific ability, I would be a lot more curious about each plant.  That is because I already know there is are powerful historical precedents to look to Nature for possible cures to disease.


One need look no further than Penicillin to recognize nature has the potential to produce cures.  Penicillin is derived from mold, another word for fungus.  Penicillin is one of the earliest discovered and widely used antibiotic agents.  Antibiotics are natural substances that are released by bacteria and fungi into the their environment as a means of inhibiting other organisms - it is chemical warfare on a microscopic scale.

In 1928, Sir Alexander Fleming observed that colonies of the bacterium Staphylococcus could be destroyed by the Penicillin mold, proving that there was an antibacterial agent there in principle. This principle would later lead to medicines that could kill certain types of disease-causing bacteria inside the body.

Giving Fleming's amazing discovery, any hint of a mainstream medicine bias that ignores the active search for a natural cure seems preposterous.  Could this be true? 

My next chapter will directly address this allegation.  For example, I will present a compelling story of a Canadian woman who once attempted to cure breast cancer using an Herbal Tea gained from the Ojibwa Indians.  She must have been doing something right because she had an entire legion of supporters who believed in her. 

In fact, 55,000 Canadians signed a petition asking the Canadian Parliament to legalize her treatment so more people could have access to it.  The measure missing being passed by three votes.  That's right, three votes.  Shortly after that, the Canadian Medical Establishment stepped in and stopped her cold. 

Considering I imagine most women with breast cancer would prefer drinking an herbal tea over having a double mastectomy, one would think the positive reputation of her treatment would guarantee her remedy would be given the highest research priority possible.  Not so.  This woman was harassed for the rest of her life.

Next week I will present this woman's story and that of several others.  If you are unfamiliar with these stories, I predict you will be shocked.

I will now conclude with a comment made by Dr. James Watson, the famed discoverer of the Double Helix DNA model.  When asked about cancer research and the National Cancer Program,  Dr. James Watson, Nobel Laureate, replied:

"Intellectually bankrupt, fiscally wasteful and therapeutically useless."

And with those harsh words, I conclude Chapter One of the Cancer Diaries, my three chapter series on cancer.  Chapter Two will appear in one week.

Rick Archer

If you have any comments or questions, please contact me at dance@ssqq.com
I will honor any request to keep your comments private.


Part Two - The Medical Conspiracy

   
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