Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cancer Answers - Treatment Options For Fighting Cancer

The word cancer makes anyone stop dead in their tracks and shudder, literally, especially when this word comes from their doctor. Cancer is devastating. It's feared. It's deadly. It changes everything in life for the individuals affected by it as well as their family and friends. A number of questions follow for everyone involved.

How bad is it? Is it terminal? How long do I have to live? Will I suffer the whole time? These are just a few questions many people have when facing this horrible disease. But probably the biggest question everyone has after the initial shock wears off is - What do I do now?

The majority of people immediately dread the thought of weeks or months of chemotherapy and radiation that carry a myriad of awful side effects with their use. Many wonder - are these the best options available or are there any alternatives? If so, which ones work best for the specific cancer at hand? What are the safest and most cost effective options available?

It is these questions and more that I hope to give you some direction with. I've been a practicing clinical pharmacist for over a decade now working in both the retail and hospital sectors of the medical field. For most of my life and all of my career my goal has been the same - to find the safest, most effective, and least costly treatment options for those looking to regain their health regardless of whether or not it involves medications. For cancer patients, I have found two invaluable resources that achieve this goal. They are both listed below. I encourage anyone suffering from cancer to take the time to research, study, and investigate both sources as if their life depended on it; because in all reality, it probably does.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI)

The National Cancer Institute has done an outstanding job of compiling a comprehensive database on many known cancers. The NCI's database is broken up into sections for healthcare professionals and a section for patients. They include a detailed overview of each cancer along with various treatment options. The database also includes cancer prevention strategies and information on supportive care during cancer treatment for any caretakers involved.

The National Cancer Institute focuses primarily on conventional treatment options (chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery). They do an excellent job of providing the most up to date scientific and medical evidence for various types of cancers in this regard. They also offer some information on alternative treatments but the extent of this information is rather brief and is not as thorough or accurate as it could be. This is especially true in regards to information on nutrition and cancer. For more on this topic l invite you to look into some short videos by Dr. Michael Greger on NutritionFacts.org.  Nonetheless, the NCI database is a wonderful site that is available free of charge to both medical professionals and the lay public. Everyone should take advantage of this site.

NCI's Patient focused webpagehttp://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/Cancernet/pdqpt.menu.html

NCI's Physician focused webpagehttp://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/Cancernet/pdqphy.menu.html

NCI's comprehensive webpage (includes everything) - http://www.meb.uni-bonn.de/Cancernet/gesamtliste.html

Cancer Man - Dr. Ralph Moss, Ph.D.

I also encourage you to visit Dr. Ralph Moss's site. For nearly 40 years Dr. Moss has extensively investigated and written about cancer research and treatment options. He is the author of 12 books and 3 documentaries about questions relating to cancer research and treatment. He was also the former science writer for one of the most prestigious cancer treatment centers of the world - Memorial Sloan-Ketterling Cancer Center located in New York, New York.

Dr. Moss's research has not only taken him all over the United States, but also all over the world searching for answers on the most effective and safest treatment options for many of the most common types of cancers that affect patients today. He is one of the leading experts in the field of cancer because of this extensive background. He discusses the claims of both conventional and alternative treatment options on over 20 types of cancers in detailed reports called The Moss Reports. These reports are made in easy to read format so that the lay person can understand the complex science behind them.

Dr. Moss has earned a great deal of respect from people working in the healthcare field as well as individual patients for his unbiased, evidenced-based analysis of ALL available treatment options for various cancers. He holds no allegiance to either side - conventional medicine or holistic medicine. If chemotherapy and radiation is the best option then he'll tell you. If alternative therapy is the best option then he'll tell you. Likewise, if these forms of treatment options have not been proven safe and/or effective then he'll be very forthcoming with this information as well. Dr. Moss's one and only goal is to help patients and their healthcare providers understand ALL available options based on the most current data available in the scientific and medical literature.

This is one of the biggest reasons I recommend that others look into his work. He is fair and honest and is able to provide the BIG picture when it comes to treating cancer. Often, if you go to a conventional medical oncologist they have a very good understanding of conventional treatment options but may not be aware of the data on alternative therapies. Similarly, if you go to a complementary or alternative medicine doctor they may have a good understanding of alternative treatment options but may not be familiar with conventional treatment options. Dr. Moss does an excellent job bridging the gap between both fields as he has spent his entire career studying both sides extensively.

Since Dr. Moss makes a living by sharing his expertise in his reports (The Moss Reports) they do cost money. Most reports are available for around $300. I find that very reasonable. After all, the decision on how to approach treating cancer is often a life and death decision and you can't put a price on that. I will also note that I do not in anyway make any referral fees by sharing Dr. Moss's information. I'm just sharing what I've found to be a valuable source of information when it comes to finding treatment options in the fight against cancer.

Dr. Moss's websitehttp://cancerdecisions.com


Photo credit (cancer lab research): National Institutes of Health
Photo credit (microscope): Freedigitalphotos.net

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by Dustin Rudolph, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

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