The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eli Lilly announces drug breakthrough for stage-4 lung cancer

Eli Lilly has announced that its new cancer drug for non-small-cell (squamous-cell) lung carcinoma has shown promise in trials for extending the life of patients in advanced stages for this form of cancer, when used in combination with conventional chemotherapy.

This is good news, yes? But nowhere in the article announcing this great news did I see any reference to a time factor. By how long was the life of patients extended? A few weeks? A few months? A few years? In fact the great news seemed to be that Eli Lilly's shares rose in trading as a result of the announcement, which is of little consequence to lung cancer patients, unless they happen to own shares in Eli Lilly.

Reported side effects included a rash (which could be severe) and possible blood clots, including pulmonary embolism. The side effects of the conventional chemotherapy in conjunction with which this drug is to be used are legion. The website collating side effects reports nine deaths directly related to the use of the drug.

I would like to see studies comparing the effectiveness of this drug and its cousins in treating stage-4 cancer against the effectiveness of the Domancic Method, the Bengston Method, and Kurt Peterson's cancer treatments, with respect to both longevity and quality of life.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Buyer Beware

A few years ago I took a Level II workshop in the Domancic Method in Sarasota with Zoran Hochstatter. The workshop took place in the context of a clinic. It was there that I met Alex, who at the time was helping Zoran. Alex was a quiet young man with a flamboyant healing style. He seemed to especially enjoy "psychokinesis", which is a method Domancic practitioners use to demonstrate the practitioner's ability to affect the patient's body by causing it to bend using only energy. This is something all Domancic students learn on the first day of their Level I workshop.

Alex has a website that recently came to my attention called "Energy Healing for Cancer". He offers private in-person treatments and blocks of long-distance treatments costing thousands of dollars. He also teaches "simple yet powerful techniques" of energy healing, involving protocols, so there is no "guessing work or confusion" -- in short, something very much like the Domancic method.

The private in-person treatments sound quite similar to the ones offered on Kurt Peterson's Cancer Touch website, right down to the price. There is a schedule of cities where treatments will be offered, just like on Kurt Peterson's website. The success rate that is claimed is better than Kurt Peterson's at 80 to 90%, but "These statistics can change due to many causes. There is nothings (sic) that is always fixed."

It may be that Alex is indeed an extraordinary healer. There are a number of testimonials by people who say they have been cured by him on the website, but they all look very similar to me in expression and grammatical structure, as if they had all been written by the same person. It could be Alex recalling individual cases, with endorsement or permission from the individuals involved. But I wondered as I read the site where Alex's statistics came from, and whether he has kept meticulous records, as Kurt Peterson says he does of his own cases. I also note that Alex was likely fresh out of primary school when Kurt Peterson began to work as a healer.

I encourage patients and their loved ones to ask many, many questions from healers whose websites they find on the internet. I have seen what energy  healing can do, and in the hands of a gifted and competent practitioner it can indeed do amazing things. But there are charlatans out there and there are also misguided people who see themselves as more competent than they really are. This is not to say Alex is either, but only to point out that when you encounter someone on a website, you cannot know whether they are the genuine article. So you owe it to yourself to ask many questions before you sign up, even to the extent of asking for references or proof of the claims being made by the healer. It is not a plus in their favour, in my humble opinion, if their website, the services they offer, and their pricing structure mimic someone else's.

The sad truth is that desperate people will go with the practitioner who offers them the most hope and sounds the most certain of the efficacy of his method, as if that somehow guaranteed success. And that is true not only of alternative therapies but also of mainstream ones. In all these cases, alternative and allopathic, there is little downside for the practitioner, who will collect his or her money no matter what happens to the patient. The patient is the one who lives (or dies) with the consequences.

Postscript November 11th 2015: And I note that Kurt Peterson's own website has now gone blank, with only the comment that he is not available for appointments. It is my understanding that Mr. Peterson was involved in a serious accident in the summer.