If you have prostate cancer (or any slow-growing cancer), you might be interested in some new technology. This new technology enables your oncologist to deliver much higher dose radiation with much more precision to your cancer. Sounds good doesn't it? The media seems to think so. They've really jumped on the bandwagon.
Here's why: A recent study looked at its value on 392 men. They were about evenly split between conventional radiation and the new-fangled stuff. They followed the men for five years. Just over 61% of men on conventional radiation remained cancer-free. But 80.4% of those treated with high-dose radiation had no cancer recurrence, the researchers found.
This sounds great. But there's a catch. After five years, there was no difference in survival rates.
Friend, that's exactly what's wrong with conventional medicine. They get a good report on the particular parameter their chemical or procedure targets (like lowering blood pressure with drugs). But the bottom line is the long-term outcome.
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In this case, there was no difference in survival. Hmmm, I wonder why? The researchers suggested it was due to prostate cancer being slow growing. Could it also be that radiation exacts a heavy toll on the immune system? Could it be that any conventional therapy (other than perhaps hormone blockade) for prostate cancer does nothing for survival? Of course, it does plenty for those raiding your pockets. Looking at the medical studies over many years, I think it's the latter.
So if you have prostate cancer (or any other cancer), don't jump on the latest technological bandwagon just because your local newspaper does. Too often there's a price to pay for jumping in too soon.
On Friday, I'll have some better, less dangerous treatments you can use to treat prostate cancer. These are treatments that work - and are quite safe.