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Medical How long do people live after chemo?

  1. Aug 4, 2011 #1
    Hello forums, I have a question, but I will give you a little background before:
    I recently had an argument with my friend. We both have no medical education, but he's read some books about nutrition and knows great deal about it. He claims that he could actually cure cancer with a proper diet. Actually he is also opposed to conventional treatments. I believe it is a result of him reading some books on bogus theories (I suspect Dr Day's). I don't have the knowledge to really win an argument there, because he always comes back with something else, and I don't have time nor desire to read trough so many books on such topic, but I think there is one thing that I could really prove him wrong:

    He claims that people do not ever live more than 5 years after chemotherapy.

    I tried to find some study on this subject, but with no success, whether it is due to lack of such study (I doubt it) or my lack of proper nomenclature and bad keywords. Could you please help me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 4, 2011 #2


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    *sigh, I feel sorry for you. Your friend should invest in learning real science rather than crackpottery. I would advise that he reads something like Ben Goldacres "Bad Science", it's a great book full of links about nutrition.

    As for chemotherapy if it is successful then people could go onto live for the rest of their lives, as I type this I'm sitting in a hospital which cures people daily and I know people who have gone on to live normal lives.

    I've just done a quick search and found http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849" [Broken] that investigated the 5 year survival rate of patients with malignant cancers who underwent chemotherapy. It found that the average survival rate of people with a range of cancers was around 60% with 2% of this directly attributable to chemotherapy (as opposed to radiotherapy, surgery etc).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Aug 4, 2011 #3


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    If it were true, then it would be pretty pointless to use a 'five year survival rate' as the benchmark for cancer care... :rolleyes:
  5. Aug 4, 2011 #4
    As far as I know there are no food items which selectively provide nutrients to healthy cells and not cancerous cells. Diet plays a role in the prevention of certain types of cancers, but to say that a particular diet can "cure" cancer shows a fundamental lack of understanding on your friend's part of what cancer actually is.

    The remark from the above poster is spot on -- 5 year disease-free survival is a commonly used metric for assessing the manageability of a particular cancer type or for assessing the effectiveness of a treatment modality. If no patients treated with chemotherapy survived beyond 5 years it would be a pretty useless metric, wouldn't it?
  6. Aug 5, 2011 #5
    Thank you for your answers, hopefully next time I will convince him to examine more carefully what he claims.

    I know that, but that is not exactly what he claims. He says that in food that you eat there is a lot of toxins, and when you eliminate them from your diet completely, your body will be strong enough to fight the cancer on its own. Or something along these lines. In fact usually avoid discussing it with him, because I don't want to offend him as I can learn a lot about healthy diet from him when I sieve out the mumbo jumbo.

    thanks, I think I will read that book myself, seems like a good introduction to the topic.
  7. Aug 5, 2011 #6


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    I understand why it would be tiresome to debate with him. If I were in your position I could see myself asking what exactly these toxins are, what they do and what scientific studies have shown this. Then I would ask why these cancer-curing diets have not been found by the scientific community (who have done extensive studies on the subject, I just typed in "Diet AND Cancer" into pubmed and got well over 30,000 papers). I have a sinking suspicion that his answer would have something to do with big pharma, money and vague notions of a world wide conspiracy against nature...

    I strongly advise it, it is a great book that's both well written and covers a lot of good topics. I particularly like the section on toxins and nutrition when it goes over some of the big misconceptions perpetuated by the nutrition/advertising industries such as the health fad that eating antioxidants will make you healthy. It's really made me notice that the way health adverts are structured are very cleaver, they generally go

    "Our product has been specially formulated to include X which has been clinically proven to reduce Y"

    Both halves of this statement are true leading you to infer that taking their product will reduce Y however this is the clever/evil bit; whilst X may reduce Y in the lab (a good example is that antioxidants are a natural mechanism of reducing DNA mutation and therefore cancer) there is not necessarily any evidence and may actually be evidence against the claim that eating/inhaling/rubbing X will do anything! Of course the company's advert has broken no law because it hasn't actually made a claim, the customer makes the inference. Personally I think it should be illegal within reason to make an advert that is likely to imply something untrue but considering most people don't know it is an issue theirs no impetus to do so.
  8. Aug 5, 2011 #7
    Here's an excerpt from Chemotherapy Principles: An Indepth Discussion of the Techniques and Its Role in Cancer Treatment from the American Cancer Society dated 9/10:

    Cantstandit, you may like to share this *free* pdf with your friend. There is a wealth of information found within it. Best wishes to you and your friend. :smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  9. May 18, 2012 #8
    Hello :smile:

    Here is one of the 5 year report/study:

    By the way... Why do you have to win anything over anyone in the first place? Just let it go... Both are valid views. Just recognise that both of you can learn from each other. Besides, it all just depends on the situation and perspective. The dualistic mindset is what actually contributes and feeds cancers. Just like: Sugar, Fat and Alcohol is to the body. However, the decisions of begin in the mind. So before you analyse cancer, you should first analyse the mind.

    Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy and Chemical Drugs cause cancer. This is a proven FACT! Yes, you may survive! But miracle drug or cancer cure does not exist. Unless you are willing to understand what are the causes of cancer and make the right amends because cancer, diabetes, etc.. Is preventable! Some may be surprised that the causes are absolutely everywhere in so called modern life. From what you put in your mouth, to what you shower with. "Formaldehyde"

    Enquire and investigate this subject. It's totally worth it! Read once single book called "The China Study." and experience things for yourself. Or else your reply to your friend won't be your answer, but someone else's.

  10. May 18, 2012 #9


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    Welcome to the forums.
    Baffling statement. You can't have two valid viewes that are contradictory on a factual topic. Either people live more than 5 years or they don't.
    This is a very misleading statement. Whilst these things can cause cancer the risk of them doing so is less than using them to treat a patient with cancer.
    Again this is very misleading. Whilst it is possible to minimise risk of getting cancers (e.g. not smoking to lower the risk of lung cancer) there are no guarantees.
    Yes carcinogens are everywhere but I have never heard to formaldehyde in shower gel, citation?
  11. May 18, 2012 #10
    >> Doesn't it matter if 5 or 10? You will die because chemo itself promotes cancer in cells. It will munch bad cancer cells, sure, but also healthy cells so the cancer agents remain.

    >> Chemo itself causes cancer. You want more contradictory than that?

    >> Optimum Oxygenation is actually a very important factor for your mind and overhaul health but... No Smoking? How about everything else that we all do on a daily basis?

    >> Google is your friend. <<

  12. May 18, 2012 #11


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    Chemotherapy, depending on what it is, has a probability to cause cancer but your average treatment will not.
    What about it? My point is that there are behaviours that can reduce risk but none that can remove it.
    When you make a positive statement i.e. a factual claim the onus is on you to provide supporting material. It's bad form to think that others should do your work for you :rolleyes:
  13. May 18, 2012 #12
    touché my friend. Society already does encourage behaviour, luckly keeps on evolving and hopefully improving.

    In fact, i can't insert URLs here or else i would add URL...
    Would be a google search of the Link between Formaldehyde and cancer.

    Last edited: May 18, 2012
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