IN DEFENSE OF THE ONCOLOGIST

I’ve met maybe 8 oncologists in my cancer journey and I’ve never met one I didn’t like.

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I may joke about going to see my oncologist, thinking, if I do not look my best, he will give me less attention, but it is just that, a joke.

I have the greatest respect for all the oncologists I have consulted. To me they seem very dedicated to finding the best solutions for their patients.

It’s got to be a hard gig.  Meeting and trying to help very sick and dying people and their families. Some won’t or don’t want to be helped. Then at times seeing patients place all their eggs in a questionable ‘alternate’ product or a ‘saviour’ healer. Patients who you know you had a good chance of curing or extending their lives with conventional medicine.

A few years ago, I asked an oncologist what was the hardest part of their profession? I had no preconceived notion as to a reply, but he said the hardest thing is when someone comes to him with a cancer that statistically he can cure in 80 or 90% of cases with radiation or chemotherapy.  But they decide instead to go for some ‘alternative’ treatment they’ve found.

Invariably that treatment fails, and they come back in 6 months or so when the cancer has grown significantly. They now have decided to do the original treatment offered by the oncologist.  However, because of the more advanced stage of their cancer, the chance of long-term survival has now been reduced from the 80 – 90% success rate to sometimes as little as 10-20%.

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We live in a society that distrusts doctors, and we come from a time when we saw the harsh results of pioneering chemotherapy and radiation treatments. But times have changed, and both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are now more refined and targeted.

Please consider carefully before you disregard proven treatments where a doctor can give you percentages of success, for something that comes from false hope and wishful thinking.

Many thanks………….Charles Robinson/Chaitanya das

9 thoughts on “IN DEFENSE OF THE ONCOLOGIST

  1. Good comments Charles ! An informed and thoughtful blend of conventional and alternative treatments may be the gold standard? What do you think? Good diet plus gentle exercise to support other treatments such as radiation and chemo. One helps the other. I have always considered cancer a ‘big’ disease which needs some big guns fired at it, plus the science of natural therapy(guided by a GOOD natural therapist , not a latest fad) to aid in the battle plan. I wish you (and all others) the best outcomes in the cancer journey. Thank you for the fantastic posts. Please keep them coming , it is interesting to read of your experiences and insights.

    1. Hi Jiva, I’m pleased you raised this point. I agree with you, alternative treatments if used in conjunction with Western medicine, and diet and exercise are so important. There are also natural supplements and vitamins that con only be of benefit in dealing with cancer. Maybe I’ll talk more about this is a later post. All the best, Charles

  2. Thank you Chaitanya das, very common sense. I have known people in the same situation you have described, throwing the Hail Mary that doesn’t work, then coming back to modern medicine when it’s too late. Gotta fight fire with fire!

  3. Thanks so much for your considered words here. Google research does not equal treatment for cancer. It saddens me when people start thinking they can cure cancer taking Epsom salts or smearing some questionable ointment over their bodies instead of taking the advice of highly trained professionals. Namaste, Helen

    1. Thanks Helen. Every body is different and it does not surprise me if some of those alternative treatments work on some people. But really who would know how effective they are? There is such a thing as spontaneous remission. There was one book I read that was touted as a cure for prostate cancer and I read it carefully. The treatment was mainly diet based which I am sure was only a good thing for general health. But tucked away in the text was a one sentence mention that he also had hormone treatment, which will reduce the prostate cancer quickly, but usually after months or years the cancer comes back. The book was written within about a year or less after that hormone treatment and healthy diet change but no credit was given to the hormone therapy, and for me it was too early to call himself ‘cured’. I tried to contact the author but all searches and emails to the publisher provided no satisfaction. Thanks again Helen . . .Charles

  4. Kind regards always to you, Caitanya das. I love your perspective & especially your experience. Sometimes we don’t appreciate till faced with a crisis, be practical & accept advice. I am naturalcare advocate for prevention, & it has helped. But, I embrace change & whatever works for serious conditions. Life is serious, so your care to others, including doctors who treat you, is only helpful.

  5. I want to say a super big thanks for putting this post up. There’s a few people in my close circles who are very “anti doctors/doctors are dangerous/corrupt/conspiracy theories” which can be a bit upsetting to see. I think your blog post it is a very valuable message to make. All the doctors who dealt with me were amazing and only had my best interest in mind – distrustful people not following advice must be really painful for them (on the flip side, not just being a passive patient and being genuinely informed and working with the doctor is of course most effective). Regards William.

    1. Thank you for the comment Wiliam. You make a good point that I probably should have addressed. That is, being pro-active by being informed, knowing your choices and asking questions of doctors can only be a positive when you are making decisions about treatment. To me that is the hard part, once a course of action is decided then it’s a matter of following it through and waiting for the results. Charles

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