Friday, 8 March 2013

Rog T's Cancer Blog - TELL US THE TRUTH !

For those of you who are regular readers and have read the previous posts on Cancer, you can skip this first paragraph.This is the latest installment in my occasional series about how I'm adjusting to living with a big C in my life.  For those of you who aren't, here's a quick summary. I'm 50 years old and I last year had a prostate biopsy following two "slightly high" PSA tests - 2.8 & 4.1. The biopsy took ten tissue samples and one of these showed a "low grade cancer" which gives me a 3+3 on the Gleason scale. I'm now on a program of active monitoring.  In early February, I got the results of the latest PSA test - down to 3.5 and an MRI scan which found absolutely nothing. My latest PSA test in August was not quite so promising, back up to 3.9, in other words the downward trend has stopped. I've no symptoms and sadly for a few people, if I'm gonna die soon, it won't be from Prostate cancer. Got the picture? 

First off, some news. I had my latest PSA test on Wednesday, so I am in that limbo period again, waiting to see if my cancerous little darlings love me or hate me. I will let you know what the result is ASAP. It is always a tad stressful waiting for the news.

Anyway, news out of the way. Let the ranting begin !

As regular readers of this blog will know, I've been trying to control my cancer's development by following an anti cancer diet, largely based on the guidence in "Anti Cancer - A New Way of Life" a book by Dr David Servan-Schrieber. The book is practical and evidence based. I have shared my views on the subject as widely as possible, via this blog and elsewhere. I've been drinking green tea and pomegranite juice, eating tomatoes, water cress & organic and I've significantly upped my exercise levels and lost weight. So the big question is whether it is any more use than a placebo? 

I was discussing this with a doctor friend, who informed me that I was spouting b*ll*cks saying that diet could influence the development of active cancers. As with all Doctors he said "where is the evidence". I asked whether he'd read the book "I have better things to do". Which sums up the attitude of the medical profession pretty well. They don't want to bother. So I said "I've been told that a PSA test pretty accurately reflects cancer progression once a positive prostate disagnosis has been identified, is this correct". My friend replied "pretty much". Then I said "And there are tens of thousands of people on active surveillance?". He replied "Yes". So I then said. "So if the NHS recruited 4,000 people, half of whom carried on their old lifestyle and half of whom undertook an anti cancer diet & appropriate lifestyle changes, and monitored the PSA levels for five years, we could see whether there were any positive statistical trends and that would settle the argument".

My Friend informed me that it isn't that simple. Someone has to pay for the trial and all manner of controls have to be built in. I retorted "Yes of course they do, but if we could get evidence to prove that dietry changes could slow cancers or in some cases eradicate them, it would save the NHS and the social security budgets billions". My friend retorted that there are "better things to spend the money on, things which have a scientific basis for investigation". 

It infurates me. There is plenty of evidence (as described in the above book) that all manner of things can affect the development of tumours. The physiological process of how tumours develop is ever better understood and strongly displays a link with environmental factors. The "missing link" is a properly funded scientifically based trial to develop diet based treatments for cancers. The should not be viewed as alternatives to conventional medicines, but for people such as me on "active surveillance", those in remission and those at risk, I believe there is a strong case for advocating lifestyle changes that would lower risk factors of cancer development.

I do not understand the total refusal of the medical profession to engage in a debate. It almost seems to me that they have a Jesuitical evangelical zeal to promote drug based treatments to the exclusion of all else. I only have one mission with regards to cancer. That is to understand and promote the lifestyle that will keep a human being as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Last year I lost a dear friend, who was given no advice on healthy lifestyles after a serious cancer diagnosis. For instance he smoked nearly to his final breath. The doctor advised him that he might as well if he enjoyed it. Would he still be here if he'd adopted my diet and kicked the smoking into touch? Would he have lived one day longer? Would the chemotherapy have worked better if he'd drunk five cups of green tea a day and eaten organic?

Who knows, but he was never given the information to have a go. That is what troubles me. What troubles me even more is that the medical profession seems in no mood to even try and find out. T

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