By Kennedy Shelley
Rush Limbaugh recently announced he has stage 4 lung cancer.
While this is shocking news to him, millions of Americans each year learn they are also facing a battle with cancer.
When people are in the fight of their lives, they often start grasping at straws and buying any possible treatment based strictly on internet testimonials which is not a good way to make health care decisions.
But when you look at the track record of conventional medicine when it comes to the treatment of certain cancers you can’t say unequivocally they are always better than the alternatives.
A treatment of cancer is considered successful if the patient lives five years from the diagnosis, not if they lived to an expected life span.
This also does not take into account any diminishment in the quality of life that is lost due to the treatment.
So, what is the best thing for someone like Rush Limbaugh to do?
This is a difficult question to answer because many patients may pursue alternative treatments without telling their doctor because they are afraid the doctor will tell them they can’t do it.
And the answer also is complicated because different cancers progress at different rates.
A man with prostate cancer is more likely to die of a heart attack than the cancer because it grows so slowly.
Some cancers can kill quickly and need to be treated aggressively.
What Yale found in their 2017 study was those who just went the alternative medicine route and ignored all the conventional doctors died the quickest.
The study looked at 840 patients who had either breast, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers.
280 people chose to go 100% alternative medicine and the rest used conventional treatments.
Ignoring conventional medicine was the quickest way to die.
By far, these people had the worst outcomes.
The next worst group are those who only did what their doctor told them to do.
They didn’t question the doctor, didn’t try making lifestyle changes and they fared better than those who ignored conventional medicine.
But the group that had the highest survival rate were the ones the doctors hated the most.
They treated the doctors not as infallible beings, but as consultants.
They asked questions, made sensible use of alternative therapies including diet and lifestyle to augment conventional medicine.
Now, these were the slow-growing cancers. The patients had time to consider alternatives and didn’t rush into making a decision but instead thoughtfully considered alternatives.
In other words, what the Yale researchers showed was thoughtful patients who did their own research and sought out alternatives to the “one size fits all” style of medicine practiced by many doctors had the longest lives and had the highest rate of recovery.
That may be the answer to most medical issues, use doctors as valued resources, but don’t rely on them exclusively, always taking responsibility for your own health and look for good evidence to challenge their advice when you see better alternatives.
This is your best chance for survival.