Tag: chemotherapy

Medicine past, present, and future: Star Trek versus Dr. Kildare and The Knick

I love the new Cinemax series The Knick, which is set in 1900 and portrays a brilliant maverick surgeon named Dr. John Thackery on the cutting edge of medicine at the time. I also love Star Trek's Dr. "Bones" McCoy and have recently come to like the old radio show featuring Dr. Kildare. Looking at how the three shows portray medicine in...

/ September 15, 2014

Medical marijuana as the new herbalism, part 2: Cannabis does not cure cancer

Medical marijuana. It’s promoted as a seeming panacea that can cure whatever ails you. In particular, it's touted, primarily in the form of cannabis oil extract, as a cure for cancer that "they" don't want you to know about. While there are potentially useful medicinal compounds in marijuana, in general the medical marijuana movement vastly oversells the promise. While some cannabinoids do...

/ August 11, 2014

“Atavistic oncology”: Another dubious cancer therapy to be avoided

An idea promulgated by physicist Paul Davies that cancer is a reversion to a primordial cell type has been making the rounds. It's even spawned a form of quackery, atavistic chemotherapy, promoted by Dr. Frank Arguello. Davies, in his hubris and his view of himself as an "outsider," seems to think he's the first scientist to have ever had this "brilliant insight,"...

/ July 28, 2014

Medical marijuana as the new herbalism, part 1: Science versus the politics of weed in New York and beyond

Medical marijuana. It's promoted as a seeming panacea that can cure whatever ails you. While there are potentially useful medicinal compounds in marijuana, in general the medical marijuana movement vastly oversells the promise. The truth is far more prosaic and nuanced.

/ July 7, 2014

Ketogenic diet does not “beat chemo for almost all cancers”

One of the difficult things about science-based medicine is determining what is and isn’t quackery. While it is quite obvious that modalities such as homeopathy, acupuncture, reflexology, craniosacral therapy, Hulda Clark’s “zapper,” the Gerson therapy and Gonzalez protocol for cancer, and reiki (not to mention every other “energy healing” therapy) are the rankest quackery, there are lots of treatments that are harder...

/ June 23, 2014

In which Dr. Gorski is taken to task by an eminent radiologist for his posts on mammography

Introduction: An unexpected e-mail arrives One of the consequences of the growing traffic and prominence of this blog over the last few years is that people who would otherwise have probably ignored what I or my partners in blogging write now sometimes actually take notice. Nearly a decade ago, long before I joined this blog as a founding blogger, if I wrote...

/ May 26, 2014

“Right to try” laws and Dallas Buyers’ Club: Great movie, terrible for patients and terrible policy

One of my favorite shows right now is True Detective, an HBO show in which two cops pursue a serial killer over the course of over 17 years. Starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, it’s an amazingly creepy show, and McConaughey is amazing at playing his character, Rustin Cohle. I’m sad that the show will be ending tomorrow, but I really do...

/ March 8, 2014

An update on the case of Sarah Hershberger: Parental rights trump the right of a child with cancer to live

Sarah Hershberger, an Amish girl with leukemia, is refusing chemotherapy, and her parents are supporting her. Unfortunately, it looks as though the State of Ohio will let this child die.

/ December 9, 2013

Chemotherapy doesn’t work? Not so fast… (A lesson from history)

If there’s one medical treatment that proponents of “alternative medicine” love to hate, it’s chemotherapy. Rants against “poisoning” are a regular staple on “alternative health” websites, usually coupled with insinuations or outright accusations that the only reason oncologists administer chemotherapy is because of the “cancer industrial complex” in which big pharma profits massively from selling chemotherapeutic agents and oncologists and hospitals profit...

/ October 28, 2013
Chris Wark didn't beat cancer

Yes, Chris beat cancer, but it wasn’t quackery that cured him

Chris Wark is a young man who was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2003 at age 26. He underwent appropriate surgery for his cancer but declined adjuvant chemotherapy in favor of quackery. Now promotes his testimonial, in which he tries to convince people that it was the quackery, rather than the surgery, that cured him. He even claims that surgery...

/ October 15, 2013