Chemotherapy is killing up to 50 percent of patients within 30 days, a UK study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) According to the National Cancer Institute, over 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year alone – with over 609,000 people expected to die from the disease. Sadly, Western medicine relies heavily on chemotherapy to treat cancer, but ‘chemo’ isn’t always successful.
In fact, we know that these toxic medications can cause serious – even life-threatening – complications. For example, millions of people have no idea that chemotherapy can actually increase the risk of ‘secondary cancers.’
Now, a new study conducted by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK reveals a shocking finding: at some British hospitals, chemotherapy, and not cancer, killed almost half of the patients whose lives it had been intended to save – within a month of beginning treatment.
Chemotherapy ALERT: Study reveals horrible mortality rates at some hospitals
In a study involving over 23,000 patients with breast cancer and over 9,000 patients with non-small cell lung cancer, researchers used data from a 12-month period in 2014 to ascertain that 1,383 of the patients died within 30 days of beginning treatment with cancer drugs.
The fact that the patients succumbed this quickly indicates that the cancer treatment – and not the cancer itself – was responsible.
While survival rates varied dramatically from hospital to hospital – for instance, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals featured a 30-day mortality rate of 28 percent – several hospitals stood out for their extremely high death rates.
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And, at the Milton Keynes hospital in Buckingham, England, the death rate for lung cancer treatment exceeded a stunning 50 percent.
Survival rates were worse for older patients and those in poorer health – leading the study authors to conclude that doctors must be more cautious in selecting patients for treatments that could do more harm than good.
Medical experts commenting on the study noted that the figures could be “skewed” – and that the number of patients studied in the Milton Keynes study was extremely small.
However, some acknowledged that there could also be a problem with treatment practices.
The hospitals with higher-than-expected death rates were notified of the researchers’ findings, and will review their practice and their data. (One would certainly hope so).
The study was published in The Lancet Oncology, one of the premier medical journals of cancer treatment.
Chemotherapy drugs damage normal, healthy cells along with cancer cells
Doctors say that chemotherapy is a primary reason for improved survival rates over the last 40 years, and many cancer survivors credit the treatment with saving their lives.
However, chemotherapy has a major downside: its “scattershot” approach means that healthy cells are destroyed along with cancer cells.
Noted physician and teacher the late Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, frequently made the point that chemotherapy drugs were initially developed from poison nerve gas used in WW II.
Cancer drugs have been associated in studies with a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart problems, hearing loss, infertility, liver damage, endocrine disorders and peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) – along with a higher risk of developing secondary cancers.
In addition to these serious long-term effects, cancer drugs feature a menu of side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue and anemia. They can also cause thrombocytopenia, a deficiency of platelets in the blood which can lead to bleeding and easy bruising.
Researcher: “The chemotherapy drugs weren’t helping…”
Additional research has highlighted the dangers of chemotherapy.
In a later study, also published in The Lancet Oncology, researchers looked at the efficacy of cancer drugs on 600 patients in 17 different countries. All had osteosarcoma (bone cancer), for which chemotherapy had already failed.
The team found that adding two additional cancer drugs to the protocol did not improve patient survival at all. Instead, the addition caused a toxic overload that triggered more side effects.
The study’s lead author, Neyssa Marina, M.D., noted that her outlook had changed as a result of the study.
In the past, said Dr. Marina, she had been treating “a lot of patients” with chemotherapy drugs – until realizing the truth. “The medications,” she admits, “weren’t helping.”
And a recent Mayo Clinic study, published last year in ESMO Open, found that radiation and chemo can accelerate aging at a cellular and genetic level, unraveling DNA and speeding cell die-off.
The team reported that cancer drugs could cause brittle bones, nerve damage, impaired wound healing and diminished immune system response – and noted that the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen could cause cataracts and early menopause.
And, the researchers came to a grim conclusion.
Those who survive childhood cancer and chemotherapy have a 30 percent lower life expectancy – and are three to six times more likely to face another bout of cancer.
Researchers’ focus turns to natural methods of cancer treatment and prevention
Fortunately, there have been exciting advances in safe, natural methods of preventing and treating cancer – particularly in the areas of cellular medicine and epigenetic diets (nutrition that targets cancer by affecting gene expression).
Scientists at the Dr. Rath Research Institute say that cancers of the bladder, cervix, kidney, skin, pancreas, breast, bone, prostate, colon and lung can be controlled using a micronutrient synergy approach. This treatment combats cancer by inhibiting the invasion of cancer cells, decreasing blood supply to tumors and inducing cancer cell death.
Natural health experts have long recommended an organic diet to help prevent cancer – with healthy intake of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, optimal amounts of vitamin C and D plus a healthy amount of cruciferous vegetables – daily.
Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage are rich in anti-inflammatory, anticancer compounds called glucosinolates. In an influential study published in Current Pharmacological Research, glucosinolates were found to regulate genes responsible for the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells).
Of course, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, reducing exposure to environmental toxins, and getting sufficient exercise can also help reduce cancer risk.
For Shahrukh Hashmi, M.D., a senior researcher on the Mayo Clinic study, the risks of chemotherapy are becoming increasingly apparent. “We are now beginning to see the gravity of a multitude of complications among cancer survivors,” Dr. Hashmi warns.
Isn’t the primary precept of medical treatment “First, do no harm?”
While cancer is a life-threatening disease, chemotherapy should not be a life-threatening treatment. Sadly, however, it is.
Sources for this article include: