New evidence confirms that chemotherapy is one of the worst forms of cancer treatment there is, primarily because of the horrific chemicals involved, but also because it is simply an agonizing way to kill.
According to a newly published study in the British Medical Journal, more than half of end-stage cancer patients are given chemotherapy during the final few months of their life, and those who received such treatment were much more likely to die uncomfortably: in a hospital intensive care unit hooked to a ventilator, rather than at home as they wanted.
In addition, the study found, patients were not as likely to have discussed their end-of-life wishes with their oncologist, compared to other final-stage cancer patients who chose to discontinue their chemotherapy treatments.
The researchers went on to report that physicians tend to have a difficult time beginning conversations with their patients over such care, especially those who are stricken with, and dying from, metastatic cancers.
'Doctors are human beings, too'
Dr. Alexi Wright, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the study's lead author, told The Boston Globe, "There's a subtle dance that happens between oncologist and patient, where doctors don't want to broach the subject of dying, especially in younger patients, because it makes those patients think we're giving up on them."
Wright and her research team studied 386 terminally ill cancer patients, discovering that the 56 percent of them who had chemotherapy tended to be younger, more educated and more optimistic about their prognosis. All of the patients died within an average of four months after participating in the study.
Of the participants who took chemotherapy, only 65 percent died in their preferred place, compared to 80 percent of those who chose to end their treatments.
Researchers found that patients undergoing painful, uncomfortable chemotherapy treatments were more likely to die strapped to medical equipment while lying in a hospital intensive care ward, rather than in the comfort of their own home surrounded by family and friends. These patients were also much more likely to be on a ventilator; most were referred to hospice within a week of dying.
"Doctors are human beings," Wright said. "And sometimes we fail to have the clarity to determine when our patients are dying. And even when we do, we may not want to give up on treatments as this study suggests is the case."
She says she hopes that the study will make more doctors understand that patients who receive chemo could get a false sense of hope and thus be denied a more peaceful death.
There is another way
In an August 2013 piece, Natural News founder and editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, offered advice on an emerging body of knowledge serving as an alternative to painful, deadly chemotherapy: probiotics.
"Breakthrough new science conducted at the University of Michigan and about to be published in the journal Nature reveals that intestinal health is the key to surviving chemotherapy," he wrote.
Continuing, Adams parsed the study's scientific-ese into a simpler understanding of the findings:
Chemotherapy is deadly. It is the No. 1 cause of death for cancer patients in America, and the No. 1 side effect of chemo is more cancer. But certain mice in the study managed to survive the lethal doses of chemo. How did they do that? They were injected with a molecule that your own body produces naturally. [Its] production is engineered right into your genes, and given the right gene expression in an environment of good nutrition (meaning the cellular environment), you can generate this substance all by yourself, 24 hours a day.
The substance is called "Rspo1" or "R-spondon1." It activates stem cell production within your own intestinal walls, and these stem cells are like super tissue regeneration machines that rebuild damaged tissues faster than the chemotherapy can destroy them, thereby allowing the patient to survive an otherwise deadly does of chemo poison.
As the study showed, 50 - 75 percent of the mice who were given R-spondon1 survived the fatal chemotherapy dose!
"Oncologists need to consider the risks and benefits of postponing chemotherapy in patients who are simultaneously taking antibiotics. The combination may be deadly. Conversely, they need to consider the benefits of encouraging chemotherapy patients to take probiotic supplements before beginning chemotherapy treatment," he wrote as one of the key takeaways from the research.