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Tuesday 29 November 2011

Homeopathy and Cancer (Healthy Medicine)

This blog was first published on the blog, but was removed because of the difficulty in the UK discussing the medical treatment of cancer. With a few minor amendments, here it is.

Can homeopathy heal cancer? Well, no, of course it doesn't. The Cancer Act, 1939 does not allow any such claim to be made. Therefore, it is unusual for the mainstream media, but the Telegraph has recently retold the story of Gemma, and her recovery from cancer

In 2010, my 'Homeopathy Safe Medicine' blog featured Gemma's story. It is, indeed, a quite a remarkable story. It is worth looking at these two articles in their own right, but also the responses to them, mainly made by homeopathy 'denialists', who, rather than being 'delighted' with the possibility that people claim that homeopathy has treated their cancer, do their best to rubbish all such stories. At the time of writing there are over 50 responses to the Telegraph article, and what they demonstrate is that the supporters of conventional medicine have no interest in such stories, and no intention of delving further.

"This is just and anacdotal, subjective experience - it is not science..."
"Homeopathy has never been shown to be better than placebo...."
"I just can't believe in homeopathy... it is quackery"
"It is cruel, because it raises people's hopes....."
"It is just 'spontaneous remission'...."

I know Gemma, and I know that she is pleased to be well. Indeed, she is pleased to be alive! So why do the denialists go out of their way to deny the evidence in from of them? And why does the Establishment support them?

Gemma's experience is not unique. Indeed, it is not even unusual. This is the story of Kaviraj. And this Kevin's story'. And these are just two that have appeared in my 'Homeopathy Safe Medicine blog. 

There is much, much more; many more people who have tried homeopathy have found it to be both safe, free from awful adverse reactions, and effective. The whole topic of Homeopathy and cancer does need to be discussed, if only as a matter of information. So here are some recent articles on the subject.

* This article looks at how a homeopathic remedy emanating from Cuba is being used in the treatment of cancer in China.

* Homeopathy even works with animals that contract cancer. See this description of the homeopathic treatment of animals with cancer - and article that includes several case studies.

What this experience means is that homeopaths are being asked to treat cancer. Indeed, many homeopaths are developing programmes for doing so. Take this example - Welling Homeopathy have developed an interesting programme that focuses on the treatment of cancer.

Even for people who want to go through the gruelling adverse effects of ConMed's cancer treatment, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, homeopathy can still be useful in combating some of this suppressive treatment.

So what should be done about homeopathy and cancer? Certainly, anyone looking seriously at developing more effective ways of treating cancer should not be dismissing any form of treatment out of hand - as the law appears to demand. Such an approach is a totally 'unscientific'. Science demands that the world is first observed, and then explained. Cancer patients deserve nothing less than this, unless we are all to assume that Big Pharma drug and radiation treatments are all that are available. There has to be a search for truth, and where possible, the development of new approaches to cancer.

As more people look towards homeopathy for treatment, homeopaths need to 'hone' their techniques and their strategies, not to deny them. And there is promising research evidence that suggests why we should be doing so.

In particular, look at this article, which states that when considering the treatment of breast cancer, homeopathy should be doing this in conjunction with other natural therapies. 

Of course, more scientific research should be done, both pure research into the impact highly diluted homeopathic remedies has on tumours, and through 'outcome' studies. As far as pure research is concerned, this process has already begun.

In this study, the Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer, 4 remedies were used, with interesting, and positive results.

And in this study, just one remedy, Ruta Grav, was studied for its effect on brain tumours, again interesting and positive results.

So there is increasing evidence that homeopathy has a part to play. Moshe Frenkel, MD., looks here at the evidence for homeopathy in the treatment of cancer in this paper. Unlike the homeopathy denialists, Frenkel comes to a proper science-based conclusion. He says that the existing data 'necessitates further studies'. He says that there are already two conclusions from what has already been done. 

* First, homeopathic remedies 'appear to be safe and without adverse reactions'.
* Second, that there may be a role for homeopathy in improving the quality of life of cancer patients.

Yet because homeopathy is a safe and gentle form of medicine, in contrast to the toxicity of ConMed treatment, I would argue that it is the development of treatment that should be the main objective of homeopathy at this time. And much work has already been done here too, especially in India, and especially by Dr AU Ramakrishnan, who has developed a method of treatment, which he calls 'plussing'. He can make extraordinary claims of success over the past 20 years of practice. For instance, he claims a 73% success rate for breast cancer, 55% for stomach cancer, 75% for pancreatic cancer, 32% for liver cancer, 40% for colon cancer, 80% for prostate cancer, and so on.
A Homeopathic Approach to Cancer. Dr AU Ramakrishnan, Catherine R Coulter. Quality Medical Publishing. 2001.

Gemma's story in the Telegraph may be the start of something new and exciting. It means that a national newspaper has now been brave enough to publish a story about homeopathy and cancer. It could open the door for people with cancer, to try new treatments. It could provide an opportunity for the mainstream media to begin telling us more about such treatments. It could start a process within the NHS to compare and contrast the value of different treatments, even to offer them to people who might otherwise die of their cancers, or the toxic treatments that conventional medicine has been offering them now, for decades.