I have no interest in Patrick Swayze's expertise on modern medicine, but this "article" on "Natural News" dot com brings up some common misconceptions regarding the pharmaceutical industry and medicine in general... along with some downright silliness:
Basically, the author laments the fact that Patrick Swayze has chosen to treat his pancreatic cancer with the current standard of care... which also happens to be the most effective treatment that we know of. Granted, pancreatic cancer is a horribly devastating disease, and the treatments we do have are not very effective.
The mainstream medicine group that has failed to conquer cancer for half a century has clearly gotten into Swayze's head. These are the same MD's and oncologist who will more often than not advise a person to not take antioxidants when having chemo, though there have been no reliable studies to support such advice and many which dispute it. The mainstream chemo theory is to weaken and destroy the cancer cells with chemical poison which also weakens and destroys the rest of the body's cells and organs in the often misplaced hope that the symptoms of cancer (tumors and cancer cell masses) will somehow be eliminated before the treatment itself kills the patient.
I have no idea what that sentence about antioxidants even means, but the author brings up one important point. It's true that modern oncology employs a method of poisoning the cancer, and cancer poison is often toxic to non-cancer cells. Drug developers try design a molecule that acts like a wrench in the gears of the machinery driving the growth of a cancer cell. Since tumor cells are essentially just normal cells that have gained the ability to grow uncontrollably, almost any poison designed to kill a cancer cell will likely kill other cells in your body. The idea is to design drugs that are more toxic to cancer cells than any other cell of the body. So, the scientists have two choices. We can either exploit the specific trait (often a mutation) that causes the cancer to rapidly divide. Or, since most cells of the body don't divide as fast as most cancer cells, we can target all rapidly dividing cells. Either way, the theory is that cancer cells should have a larger response to the drug than any other cell in your body.
Every cancer drug can be viewed through a biological "cost vs benefit" analysis. You want to maximally kill the tumor and minimally kill the rest of your body. Often times these drugs are administered at what is known as the, "maximum tolerated dose" or "MTD." That is, the patient will be prescribed the most drug possible, just short of the most severe side effects. Usually, this means the patient will not die from the drug, but will become nauseous, dizzy, weak, and sore all over. It can be awful, and there's great incentive to make newer drugs with fewer side effects without sacrificing any anti-tumor effects. With all that said, remember that in the case of pancreatic cancer, about 95% of the patients will die within the first 5 years after diagnosis. So, how would you dose a drug to pancreatic cancer? Wouldn't you want to hit that cancer with everything the doctors have? If I were a patient, I'd be pushing for MTD.
But, what's the alternative? What does "natural medicine" have to say on the topic?
Though pancreatic cancer is a very aggressive and difficult cancer to beat, two natural items featured here at Natural News have been particularly successful against pancreatic cancer: oleander and black cumin seed oil.
Are you shitting me? oleander and black cumin seed oil? Ok... what are the survival rates of patients who take these wonder "herbs?"...
He continues without stats:
Despite a decades long continual stream of pronouncements about annual progress and new cures and treatments being just around the corner, more people continue to contract and die from cancer every year. Not coincidentally, more money is spent on cancer treatments each year as well. Cancer is an almost $400 Billion a year industry. The only way it can maintain and increase it's profits is by NOT finding a cure. The legacy of not finding a cure and putting profits before healing can be found in our nation's graveyards, where millions of bodies lie of those who were taken from their friends and families and sent to early graves before their time.
Tony Isaacs, you're a dipshit. Suppose for one moment that you're diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. How much would you pay for a cure? How much do you think Patrick Swayze would pay? I know it's a gruesome topic, but since you brought it up, I'll go there with you. The number of dead bodies is not proof of a mass conspiracy to suppress cancer cures. There is no incentive for any pharmaceutical company to keep patients dying of disease. Dead people don't pay the bills. Pharmaceutical companies make money when they find cures. I'm not saying the business is all roses, but someone needs to call a spade what it is. You're actually advising people to ignore clinical data that - at worst - extends the life of dying people, and at best offers a cure, for what? oleander and black cumin seed oil? herbs and positive thoughts?
If you actually made it through Mr Isaacs' drivel, you may have noticed that he found three quotes to close his attack on "modern medicine." It just so happens that one has been dead for almost 2,300 years (Hippocrates) one for 14 years (Linus Pauling) and the last is not dead, but close, and he's a downright kook and social pariah in the scientific community (James Watson, although I highly suggest you go to see him if he's speaking near you, just for laughs).
As if Mr. Isaac's "natural" garbage wasn't enough, it looks like his peers want to add their woo to the ever growing list of federally supported rights:
I can see it now, not only are these jerks promoting oleander for pancreatic cancer treatment, but they want the taxpayer to foot the bill.