Skepchick Quickies, 1.12


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. The mainstream medicine group that has failed to conquer cancer for half a century…

    As opposed to “natural” medicine which has failed to conquer cancer for several millennia? These people should remember: “Behold not the mote in thy brother’s eye, but the chip on thy shoulder.”

  2. Re: “Patrick Swayze’s misguided faith in mainstream medicine”

    I couldn’t help but note a profound lack of any numbers for alternative medicine doing a lick of good, though they point out that pancreatic cancer’s five year survival rates are low.

  3. RE: “Patrick Swayze’s misguided faith in mainstream medicine”
    “These are the same MD’s and oncologist who will more often than not advise a person to not take antioxidants when having chemo, though there have been no reliable studies to support such advice and many which dispute it.”

    Why would there be a study to support the advice of not taking anti-oxidants and why would there be studies to support such advice? Perhaps something like I want to sell you these overpriced relatively ineffectual supplements.

    Here too, the right herbs and supplements can play a vital role in attacking tumors and cancer cells to arrest their growth and eliminate them to give the body the time it often needs to become restored and keep cancer at bay in the future.
    If any herbs or supplements were even coming close to curing cancer they would be flying off the shelves.

    I am glad Patrick Swayze is using mainstream medicine, at one time I had some faith in alternative medicines, until I used them with no or negative results, and decided that alternative medicines wer pretty much useless.

  4. While I’m all for mainstream medicine for most cancers, my understanding of pancreatic cancer in particular is that there is essentially no hope of survival. I think if I was in his shoes i

  5. woops… I think if I was in his shoes I would try whatever woo woo idea had more than 10 people saying it worked. Especially when the alternative is chemo which is going to make feel like beyond SH– and then have you most likely die anyway.

  6. I’d love to see some proof that “mainstream medicine” is not looking for a cure or a way to prevent cancer.

    @Andrés Diplotti: If you can stand to read it there is a rambling “answer” to your comment in the Swayze article’s comments section. Here’s the part that would interest you…

    Oh did you forget that herbs and atternative treatments made disease a thing of the past. In India where herbs are a part of the diet, that is why people forgot the more potent curing herbal concotions. Now they stop using herbs instead of using turmeric and ginger they use adultrated turmeric powder which does not contain less of turmeric and more of yellow color and ginger paste which has poisonous preservatives and the nutritional value of ginger is lost. Infact if youbanned all the chemicals in food cancer would dissappear automatically. I just dont believe people like you exists who expect herbs to be vaccines and when MD do not cure but only make your condition work, you believe in them. It is like you want a miracle drug that would eradicate cancer(even though herbs cure) or else they should just shut up while poeple die at the hands of MDs. Lets see what happens when you get cancer.

    So to clear that up, at one point somewhere on Earth there was disease. But then “they” started using alternative treatments (alternatives to what?) and disease became a thing of the past. But then people sort of forgot about them, and I guess that’s how we got mainstream medicine.

  7. I was hoping they’d give us a close-up of the ghost. On second thought, that might give away the hoax.

  8. The problem I see with that natural medicine story is that they keep repeating that a strong immune system is key to defeating cancer. Well, based on my limited understanding of cancer, that makes exactly zero sense. Cancer cells are just cells from your own body that have a genetic error allowing them to multiply with no limit. Your immune system has no bearing because they are not recognized as alien cells, but as just another part of your body. And while anti-oxidants might help prevent cancer by reducing free radicals (though I think the science is still out on that), they aren’t going to cure it because the damage has already been done.

    As for the “psychic”, I don’t even know why they mentioned her in the story. It was only marginally related. Is it possible that her upcoming show will be featured on a Fox subsidiary? If anyone is interested, you can see the video “evidence” here:
    They’re basically just driving around the area where she lived, getting vague feelings. If they got such a positive hit at that spot, why didn’t they report it at the time? I’d love to see the video for the rest of their drive around and see just how many “weird feelings” they got, and how many times they stopped to look around.

  9. Oh, and for any alternative medicine proponents reading this, here’s a bit of anecdotal evidence for you:

    A friend of my brother’s who is fighting pancreatic cancer through the use of “mainstream medicine” let us know this weekend that his tumors have been reduced in size by 40%. Still no cure, but his projected survival just increased by at least several months.

  10. Sorry for being so off topic, but I thought perhaps some of you here may be interested to know that today is The Amazing Kreskin’s 74th birthday. According to his Wikipedia article he does not claim to have “paranormal or clairvoyant powers” and “is annoyed to be lumped with psychics”.

    So… just wanted to say happy birthday to a somewhat honest mentalist. That is all.

  11. From the fucking Swayze article:

    The mainstream medicine group that has failed to conquer cancer for half a century…

    Well, according to the BBC, 10 and 20 year breast cancer survival rates have increased dramatically in only a decade. I guarantee this progress has occurred completely in spite of any growth in the natural/alternative medicine industries.

    And I’d love to see some data on the progress the alternative “medicine group” has made on conquering cancer.

    Also from the fucking article:

    Cancer is an almost $400 Billion a year industry. The only way it can maintain and increase it’s [sic] profits is by NOT finding a cure.

    And the only way the CAM industry can increase its profits is by derogating and ignoring the advances of modern, evidence-based medicine.

  12. Having just watched the Swayzmeister in Point Break this weekend, my husband, pals and I were saying that if there was anyone who could kick cancer’s ass, it would be him.

  13. Infact if youbanned all the chemicals in food cancer would dissappear automatically

    I’m ROTFLing right now.

    If you banned all chemicals in food, food would disappear, not cancer.


  14. @Andrés Diplotti: Oh, they don’t mean chemicals. They mean chemicals. You know, chemicals. You skeptics and your “definitions” for “words”. It’s no wonder you slavishly believe in that whole “reality” thing.

  15. @Steve: Oh, completely! Thinking that anything anyone says can mean anything except to say that science is wrong and woo woo is right is just so wrong. Now, let’s all join PETA and become Breathanarians!

  16. @Tiki_Idyll: Ha, ha, alright guys, you know what they mean isn’t chemicals, it’s CHEMICALS. You know, things that are naturally made in nature are harmless and helpful while all lab syntheced CHEMICALS are harmful and damaging. True story, I know so because nature is good and peaceful and people in labs only want to get rich by hurting you and then tricking you by thinking they’re making you better. I can see this and you can’t because you lack the ability to think outside the box of “reality”.

    Also, it’s apparent you didn’t read the article because “fasting helps the body eliminate toxins and waste and helps it regain proper balance.”, see you agree with them after all.

  17. @Gabrielbrawley: I have no idea what a belladonna weight loss regime is.

    My favorite line in that article was:
    “Everyone should know that the ‘war on cancer’ is largely a fraud.” – Two Time Nobel Prize Winner Linus Pauling
    Those two Nobel prizes are, one in chemistry for helping to better understand the nature of chemical bonds, and one is a Nobel peace prize for his work to stop nuclear weapons testing. Both kinda but totally not at all relevant to the ‘war on cancer’.

  18. @Gabrielbrawley: Okay, I looked up “Belladonna diet” and found this from webMD:

    Belladonna-Phenobarbital Oral

    What conditions does this medication treat?

    Belladonna-Phenobarbital Oral may also be used to treat:

    Irritable Colon

    Anyway, I was a little confused.

  19. The best part of the “psychic” article…

    “She told that her cadaver dogs ‘took a very heavy interest’ in the spot.”

    Cadaver dogs. I repeat. Cadaver. Dogs.

    I just… I can’t… I mean… How could… If she’s… Then… Why?

    Fucking CADAVER DOGS!

  20. I’m holding out my applause for Obama’s views on science. While I have no doubt that climate research and stem cells may receive more (or any) funding, I’m worried about defense spending. Many of the developments in computer research are based off defense contracts (I’m an electrical engineering Ph.D. student). For example, the “Internets” grew because of concerns stemming from the Iron Curtain. Not to mention, didn’t he also pick a vaccine-conspiracy nut as head of the EPA? Even if the EPA doesn’t engage in the vaccine debate, the new head clearly issues thinking scientifically.

  21. I know this is kind of old, but I just received this note from the Profnet media query service:
    HEALTH: Alternative Cancer Treatments — Freelancer

    What should Patrick Swayze do to cure his cancer? The article is for Associated Content. I’d like to hear what you, as either a naturopathic doctor, medical doctor, or layman who has healed his/her own cancer naturally, believe that Patrick Swayze should do. This is not a medical article. It is simply an open-minded presentation of alternative therapies. If you’ve written a book on this topic, I will include the title in the article. Contact: Lorra Garrick, [email protected]
    Click Here to reply from your ProfNet Inbox
    Submitted by:
    Lorra Garrick
    Jan 25, 2009 06:00 PM EST(America/New_York)
    Email address:
    [email protected]

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