You see it in newspapers and websites across the ‘net: People insisting that 13-year-old “John” must be injected with chemotherapy in order to “save his life,” and that anyone refusing to go along with that is a criminal deserving of arrest and imprisonment.
What’s most astonishing about the mainstream reaction to the forced chemotherapy of a child suffering from cancer is not merely that they believe states now own the children, but that they believe in the entire world there exists only one single treatment for cancer, and it happens to be the one that makes pharmaceutical companies the most money. The arrogance (and ignorance) of that position is mind boggling.
As the second leading cause of death among Americans, cancer has impacted nearly everyone in some shape or form.
Cancer rates could further increase by 50% to 15 million new cases in the year 2020, according to the World Cancer Report, the most comprehensive global examination of the disease to date. However, the report also provides clear evidence that healthy lifestyles and public health action by governments and health practitioners could stem this trend, and prevent as many as one third of cancers worldwide.
Yet despite the statistics – the very topic of cancer still remains a sensitive topic for many, which at times can hinder or even halt the flow of information. On top of that, unless someone has personally experienced cancer treatment, it’s easy to confuse what the best defenses are for fighting it. This is especially true when it comes to chemotherapy and radiation.
When Your Child Is Dying, You’ll Do Anything
On Friday, a mother in Britain, who was so desperate to stop her cancer-stricken son having to undergo conventional medical treatment that she went into hiding with him, lost a court battle to prevent him receiving radiotherapy.
Roberts wants to try alternative treatments first, including immunotherapy and photodynamic therapy for her son Neon. She has been told the boy needs treatment fast but fears the side-effects of conventional medicine.
Are her fears are legit? I think so.
The history of chemotherapy started with scientists examining the effects of military weapons. Chemotherapy is basically a poison for the body. Managing the side effects became an important part of the treatment.
Very shortly after the European discovery of X-rays and radium in 1895 and 1898, scientists observed the effects of hair loss and skin damage from their rays. Both agents were then tried experimentally to treat superficial skin diseases and unwanted hair. X-rays quickly found use by physicians for diagnosing broken bones and locating foreign bodies (e.g. bullets). Radium appeared to have no other practical value until it was used to make luminous paint for time pieces and military vehicles in World War I.
Like most treatments, Chemotherapy and radiotherapy has the power to heal but also to harm.
The main difference between chemotherapy and radiation therapy is the fact that chemotherapy is a systemic treatment and radiation is a local treatment. In this sense radiation is similar to surgery and would only address the area which is receiving radiation. With chemotherapy, once it is injected into your blood stream, it goes everywhere in your system. That is like a double-edge sword though because often it affects organs which do not necessarily need to receive chemotherapy such as your hair, your nails, your bone marrow, or kidney etc
A century ago radioactivity was new, exciting and good for you—at least if you believed the people selling radium pendants for rheumatism, all-natural radon water for vigor, uranium blankets for arthritis and thorium-laced medicine for digestion (you don’t even want to know about the radioactive suppositories).
While it’s true, humans, animals and plants have been exposed to natural radiation since the creation of life; Life evolved in a radiation field that was much more intense than today. The annual effective radiation dose from natural and man-made sources for the world’s population is about 3 mSv, which includes exposure to alpha radiation from radon and its progeny nuclides. Nearly 80% of this dose (2.4 mSv) comes from natural background radiation, although levels of natural radiation can vary greatly.
And, despite global efforts to minimize harm from Chemo and radiotherapy, cases where patients have been harmed in apparently similar circumstances are reported. This is corrosive to public trust and confidence in services and undermines the credibility of professionals who provide health care.
In the 2000 report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), it was stated that medical applications of ionizing radiation represented by far, the largest man-made source of ionizing radiation exposure.
One of the statutory objectives of the Agency is to seek “to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to … health… throughout the world”. The Agency pursues that objective through, in particular, the Human Health programme of its Major Programme, “Nuclear Techniques for Development and Environmental Protection”.
A great deal is known about health effects caused by large doses of radiation received in a short period of time. Because of the hazardous nature of radiation, an extensive framework of protocols, standards, and legislation is in place to protect patients and healthcare workers.
At high radiation doses, a human cell can be damaged so severely that it will die. At lower doses, the cell can repair the damage and survive. If the repair is faulty, however, the cell could give incorrect information to the new cells it produces.
Exposure to radiation may lead to different health effects. The type and probability of the effects produced generally depend on the radiation dose received.
This could result in health problems for the exposed individuals or in genetic defects that may show up in their descendants.
When a cell loses 60% of its oxygen it is considered cancer. The statement that “cancer has gone into remission” is an absolute falsehood and misleading. If cancer is in the blood stream, it is all over the body. The cancer just doesn’t decide to go to sleep. Many people die unnecessarily because they believe their cancer is in remission, or as the doctor says “we got it all.” Cancer, like all other diseases, is the body’s way of fighting back against disease. It is fighting to be well. You either have cancer or you do not. In order to get rid of cancer, you must treat the cause, not just the symptoms. You must treat the whole body. Chemotherapy and radiation have devastating side effects that often do more harm than good. They destroy the good cells as well as the bad ones.
Americans today receive far more medical radiation than ever before. The average lifetime dose of diagnostic radiation has increased sevenfold since 1980, and more than half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy.
Regulators and researchers can only guess how often radiotherapy accidents occur. With no single agency overseeing medical radiation, there is no central clearinghouse of cases. Accidents are chronically underreported, records show, and some states do not require that they be reported at all.
Patients often know little about the harm that can result when safety rules are violated and ever more powerful and technologically complex machines go awry.
To better understand those risks, The New York Times examined thousands of pages of public and private records and interviewed physicians, medical physicists, researchers and government regulators.
The Times found that while this new technology allows doctors to more accurately detect tumors and reduce certain mistakes, its complexity has created new avenues for error and when those errors occur, they can be crippling.
I commit to you, and as I promised Scott, everything we learned about the error that caused Scott’s injury will be shared across the country, so that nobody else is ever hurt in this way.
As Scott Jerome-Parks lay dying, he clung to this wish: that his fatal radiation overdose — which left him deaf, struggling to see, unable to swallow, burned, with his teeth falling out, with ulcers in his mouth and throat, nauseated, in severe pain and finally unable to breathe — be studied and talked about publicly so that others might not have to live his nightmare.
A New York City hospital treating him for tongue cancer had failed to detect a computer error that directed a linear accelerator to blast his brain stem and neck with errant beams of radiation. Not once, but on three consecutive days.
It helped diagnose his disease. But also inflicted unspeakable pain and ultimately, death.
Today we know that exposing yourself to radiation is a bad idea. Even when radiation is used to treat cancer, its deadliness is what does the work, killing cancer cells at a slightly higher rate than normal cells.
But imagine yourself 100 years ago, before many of the first researchers studying radioactivity had died of cancer or other radiation-induced causes. Electricity had been discovered relatively recently, and it turned out to be perfectly safe in moderation, so why not radiation?
As the industry developed, it gave birth to the inevitable wave of fraudulent products—fraudulent in the sense that they did not emit the high levels of radiation they claimed to. This led to a couple of the more surreal aspects of the whole episode: advertisements that positively guaranteed that a company’s products exposed you to the full dose of radiation promised, and instances of the government shutting down companies selling perfectly safe phony products instead of the real (deadly) items they claimed to be offering.
The radium mania was a crazy little episode in the world of medicine, but it was not at all out of the ordinary. Pain and suffering have always helped foster an uncritical market for remedies and preventatives. Profiteers are quick to pick up on the latest discoveries and promote them to the desperate-for-a-cure market, regardless of how remote the connection between the discovery and any likely health benefits might be. Irradiating yourself in the hope of feeling better was no nuttier than, say, drinking a few teaspoons of plain water as medicine, which is called homeopathy and is extremely popular today.
It is never lawful or just for a government to kidnap children at gunpoint, to imprison their parents and injected their children with toxic chemicals merely because those parents seek more natural healing modalities.
Technically, any citizen who is subjected to such tyrannical treatments has every right, under the U.S. Constitution, to defend their family members with the use of lethal force against such intruders. Just because those intruders happened to be on the state payroll does not make them any less criminal in their actions.
These issues have nothing to do with the health of our children. It has everything to do with monopolizing the medical industry, putting fear into the minds of parents, and continuing a tradition of outright quackery that sells poison to patients while calling it “treatment.”
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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