Lymph Node Study Shakes Pillar of Breast Cancer Care

Posted by on Feb 9, 2011

For about 20 percent of breast cancer patients, removing cancerous nodes, a painful measure that can cause complications, does not improve survival or prevent cancer recurrence, researchers say.

A new study finds that many women with early breast cancer do not need a painful procedure that has long been routine: removal of cancerous lymph nodes from the armpit.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/health/research/09breast.html?hp

According to this article, for 100 years western medical surgeons have been doing a procedure on millions of women because they BELIEVED it would prolong women’s lives.

God bless them, they were well meaning, if sometimes over aggresive (especially with women’s bodies–like the gazillions of women who used to be given full hysterectomies in their 20’s, or the thousands of unnecessary ceasarians performed because of lack of birthing skill or doctor’s schedules), but I would like to make the point that Western Medicine often uses surgical procedures and even drugs (so called “off label” use of anti-convulsents like gabapentin for neuralgia and depression, for example) that have not been tested for efficacy. They use them because of belief, not science. The gold standard for science is reproducability in controlled experiments, not old fashioned case studies which are full of bias.

This is exactly why I find it so galling when western medicine folk issue patronizing proclamations about how “we don’t know if Chinese Medicine works…”

Not that traditional natural med should not be studied. By all means. But lose the high and mighty attitude in the meanwhile….

Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diegohttp://www.bodymindwellnesscenter.com

2 Comments

  1. Ah, but according to what you wrote, 80% of women who get this surgery do have their lives prolonged.

    My mother has a masectomy in 1981, plus other treatment for the cancer. Something worked for her, because she lived until late last year.

    However, she did pass away from a tumor located in another part of her body, and it was very difficult. Maybe if she'd encouraged to eat better, she'd have lived even longer. I don't know. I once tried to get her to take some supplements, but it didn't work. Maybe if a doctor had told her, she would have listened.

    I do believe that in the not too distant future, our current practice of medicine will look nearly as barbaric as using leeches does to us. Much of it simply shuts down symptoms.

  2. You are quite right Richard, in my zeal i did not express myself accurately. My point was just that Western Medicine often uses surgical procedures and even drugs (so called "off label" use) that have not been tested for efficacy. They use them because of belief, not science.

    I will now correct the post, thanks to you! Thanks for taking the time…

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