Home / Culture and Society / Health and Fitness / A Cure for Cancer: One Man’s Quest to Change Cancer Treatment, Part 2

A Cure for Cancer: One Man’s Quest to Change Cancer Treatment, Part 2

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In Part 1, I discussed some of the problems that currently exist in the practice of alternative medicine vis-a-vis the US health care system. Part 2 will look at some possible solutions.

There are several motivating factors that encourage medical practice professionals, insurance companies, and the pharmaceutical industry to stick with conventional medical procedures: profit, lack of good research studies about many alternative practices, and the rising costs of their malpractice medical insurance are a few. NPR’s Scott Horsley noted that “The Congressional Budget Office concluded that fear of liability is only one reason doctors sometimes perform unnecessary procedures. Their own income is also a factor.”

To encourage more research studies, one solution could be to have the alternative health care industry collectively fund a health care lobbyist to provide the inertia for change, demanding that research scientists do more testing of alternative medical procedures. “More than 1,500 organizations have health-care lobbyists, and about three more are signing up each day. Every one of the 10 biggest lobbying firms by revenue is involved in an effort that could affect 17 percent of the U.S. economy.”  Lobbying health professionals (who do not represent the alternative health industry) accounted for $70,610,873 in 2007, with the total number of lobbyists reported as 870. The alternative health care industry needs to be less fragmented and develop similar procedures to champion their causes. Of the 870 health care lobbyists in 2007, not one advocated for alternative health practices and scientific research.

Scientifically tested alternative practices that proved to be effective could drive down procedure costs for patients and insurance companies, and also reduce tax spending on those people who arrive at the emergency room who cannot afford conventional health care coverage.

One government agency, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is the Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. Its most recent clinical trial results included: acupuncture for chronic low back pain; "the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory"; "Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention"; whether echinacea is effective in preventing and treating colds in adults; the use of red yeast rice for patients with high cholesterol who can't take statin drugs; whether cranberry juice interferes with two antibiotics often taken by women for recurrent urinary problems; and other non energy healing studies. What's missing?  Studies involving energy healing relating to cancer treatment and other medical problems, although there was a study about the effects of Reiki; this “laying on hands” healing technique is mainly used for relaxation, stress reduction, and symptom relief, in efforts to improve overall health and well-being.

An outspoken advocate of alternative medicine has been Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who has stated that “It is time to end the discrimination against alternative health care practices." It is time for America’s health care system to emphasize coordination and continuity of care, patient-centeredness, and prevention. “And it is time to adopt an integrative approach that takes advantage of the very best scientifically based medicines and therapies, whether conventional or alternative."

In part three of this series on alternative medical practices, I'll talk about my interview — and an interview Dr. Mehmet Oz (known to many from his his appearances on Oprah and more recently as the host of his own TV show) had in 2009 — with Dr. William Bengston, who has dedicated his adult life to the research and practice of energy-based healing. He has a remarkable success rate of 90 to 100 percent in breast cancer cell clinical trials in a controlled laboratory environment.

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About Peter Sabbagh

Peter Sabbagh, is a Digital Producer and Strategist at Blue Sky 365 Digital Strategy. He has traveled extensively implementing marketing campaigns in the United States, United Kingdom, Africa, Pacific Basin and Asia. He passionate about producing unique and effective digital content and drives innovation. He is a writer for the following online communities: http://blogcritics.org/author/Peter-Sabbagh/ Ezine Writer Expert @ http://bit.ly/ayXTFy Find Peter also on - Web Site: http://Bluesky365.com Linkedin: http://linkd.in/aNoOdV Facebook: http://on.fb.me/LXVq1y Twitter: http://bit.ly/AAG7tK
  • Effie Starr

    I’m quite certain that if Energy Healing had any significant benefit to a patient, it would already be practiced in hospitals around the country.

  • As an alternative health care practitioner I have had some success dealing with cancer. Some of my clients are completely into remission for over a decade now and they all say it was my work that swung the balance. I read somewhere that 100 years ago McKenzies, the baking soda manufacturer, used to give a remedy for breast cancer on their packets of bicarb. It went on to say that many women reported success. Bicarb is a zillion times cheaper than standard medicine.

  • shark

    Effie Star — please don’t confuse the issue by making thoughtful, intelligent, rational statements!


    My comments about this series are in part 6

  • Thornton Prayer

    Actually, energy healing is being used by hospitals in the form of Qigong and Tai Chi based methods. My previous HMO, among others, had specific classes for these two areas. Just because a particular approach is not well-publicized does not mean it is not being used at all or that it doe not work.

  • peter sabbagh

    Thornton, I am happy to hear that you have experienced some success with an insurance carrier covering alternative methods of medicine, let’s hope others follow.

  • Kat Kirkwood

    Peter – do you know if there have been alternative health care lobbyists since 2007?

  • peter sabbagh

    Hello Kat – I do not know of any lobbyists at the Federal level currently supporting alternative/integrative medical testing and/or practices. If you follow this link you will find some independent efforts that are active in this practice area.

    The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council has created an organization that oversees practitioners in this specialization.

    “The main purpose of the CNHC is to establish a national register of alternative health practitioners. The idea is that the register then becomes a handy tool for consumers – if your alt med quack is on the OfQuack register then he’s okay, if not then he might be a bit fishy. Quacks who fail to meet certain standards get struck off the register, a bit like real doctors do. It all sounds fairly reasonable on the surface.”

    Hope this helps….