When do you think we will find a cure for cancer? Five years? Ten years? More? In 1971, Richard Nixon declared a ‘war on cancer’, over 40 years ago Since then we’ve spent over 100 billion dollars or more searching for a cure. I recently saw this question on Quora: “When will all cancers be curable?” – What do you think?
Did you know that, today, no cancers are ‘cured’. None. That’s the official cancer statistic. You can Google cancer statistics easily, and there are no statistics for cancers cured. None. Not in the USA. None in Canada. None, on the planet earth. The Word Cancer Research Fund International has NO statistics for cancer cures. WHO, the World Health Organization, has no statistics about cancer cures and no intentions either. World Cancer Day, supported by the World Health Organization – is not about curing cancer, their web page says instead it supports the Union for International Cancer Control “to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer.” And the Union for International Cancer Control? Their name used to be “International Union Against Cancer”, they don’t say they want to ‘cure cancer today’, they want to ‘eliminate cancer as a life threatening disease for future generations’.
There are ‘cancer survivors’, people who had cancer, who might still have cancer, below the threshold of our tests. These people have, so far, survived their cancer. Many have also survived chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery – each of which can kill.
There are statistics for cancer incidence, cancer mortality, cancer prevalence, cancer survival, cancer treatments (only approved treatments) and lifetime risk of cancer. There are also statistics for deaths from chemotherapy, radiation, and cancer surgery – although these are often poor quality.
But, there are no statistics for cancers cured. There are no statistics for people who had cancer, and now are cured of their cancer. What happens when we don’t study the cases where cancer is cured? We don’t know. If someone cures their cancer tomorrow – we will see a flash of news, and then it will disappear. Because there are no statistics. If someone cured a cancer 10 years ago, we don’t know. We saw a flash of news, but there were no statistics. If some clinic in Mexico cures 1, 10, 100 cancers next year , or last year, or 10 years ago, – no-one will know, because there are no statistics. But that’s OK. It’s just a little clinic in Mexico – not important….
But wait, there’s more (or less depending on your viewpoint). There is no definition of ‘cancer cure’. Because ‘cancer cure’ is not clearly defined, it cannot be tested, and therefore, it cannot be attained. By definition (or by lack of definition): it is not possible to cure cancer.
How can we walk, talk, run, bike, swim, hike, and raise money for a cure, if we can’t recognize a ‘cancer cure’ when we see one? Or, have you noticed… We no longer walk, run, bike swim or raise money to cure cancer.
The American Cancer Society, for example, has a pop-up saying “Help today’s patients.
Find tomorrow’s cures.” What about today’s cures? What about last year’s cures? Today, there is little reference to a cure. Cancer societies offer to fight cancer, to try to prevent cancer, and to support people with cancer, but there is little mention of a search for a cure. The main fundraising projects speak about “making strides against breast cancer” and the “relay for life”. But there is little serious discussion of a ‘search for a cure”. Fundraisers have learned the hard way that searching for a cure does not hold up if you can’t actually find a cure. And you can’t find a cure, because no-one counts cures.
Our medical systems have defined cancers as ‘incurable’. They recognize that cancers treated with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, are not cured and might recur at any time afterwards. After cancer treatment, your doctor doesn’t say “you are now cancer free”, he says “we can’t find any more evidence of cancer” and “we need to keep checking”.
There are no statistics for cancer cures, because we don’t attempt to ‘cure’ cancers.
We work to ‘kill’ cancers, not to cure them. We treat cancer like a snake: “when you see a snake, don’t ask where it came from“. When we see a cancer, we don’t ask where it came from. We get out the snake poison, the snake guns, and the snake knives, and we kill them. And then we look for more. If we don’t find more, we relax. But if your city is infested with snakes – killing snakes does no good. Poisoning them, shooting them, cutting them, only results in a lot of dead snakes and new problems. Your city is an unhealthy dump. Earlier detection of snakes is not prevention, it’s a hunt for the symptom, not the cause. It results in more dead snakes – and more collateral damage, but not health. The only way to get rid of the snakes is to make the city healthier – and the snakes will fade away.
To understand why chemotherapy, radiation and surgery don’t cure cancers, we need only check the Hierarchy of Healthicine. Our health hierarchy rises from genetics and nutrients, through cells, tissues, organs, systems, body, minds, spirits and communities. Our medical systems treat cancers a disease of the cells. A bad cell is like a bad snake. But cancer is not a disease of the cells, cancer cells, like the snakes in a village dump, are only symptoms of the problem. The problem is the environment. And the environment for our cells is our tissues. If we want to cure cancer, we need to health tissues. When our tissues are unhealthy, we develop unhealthy cells, potentially leading to cancers. If we want to prevent cancers, we need to make our tissues healthier. If we want to cure cancers, we need to make our tissues healthier.
We know that chemotherapy, radiation and surgery do not make the tissues healthier, they make the tissues less healthy. Statistics have clearly shown that chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can cause the spread of cancers, and development of new cancers. There are statistics for those causes – even though there are no statistics for cancer cures.
Our medical systems do not recognize ‘cancer cures’ from the standard treatments, but they also do not recognize any other cancer cures. You might have seen a web-page, book or magazine article claiming to cure cancer, or claiming “I cured my cancer!” But there are no statistics.
Did they cure their cancer? Did they really have cancer, or was it a mis-diagnosis? Are they really cured, or is their cancer in remission? We don’t know. No one checks them. No-one counts them on a case by case basis. Cancer cures are ignored – and we are ignorant of them.
We, and our medical systems, are also ignorant of the difference between treatments that make our tissues healthier, and treatments that make our tissues less healthy. Health is not considered relevant when treating cancers. Treatments that aim to improve health of the tissues are considered irrelevant, not studied, not counted, not discussed – simply ignored.
If you have a cancer, and you cure it – there is no-one to report to. If the cancer is gone, the medical systems are not interested. There is no incentive for follow-up. If you have a cancer, and you decide to treat it on your own – no-one will track your statistics. If you have cancer, and you undertake the recommended treatments, and also change your diet, or take other actions at the same time, actions designed to increase tissue healthiness – that information will not be tracked. Such actions will often be actively discouraged.
If you want to find a clinic that claims to ‘cure cancer’, you have to go south. It’s not legal to claim to cure cancer in the USA. If you have a cancer, and you go to a clinic outside of the country – whether you die, or your cancer goes into remission, or you are cured, there will be no statistics about your treatment, its success, or failure. The statistics are filed when you were diagnosed, when you take an ‘approved treatment’, and when you die. No-one keeps statistics on cancer cures, because officially, they do not exist.
If your cancer is cured, there is no ‘box to check’ that says CURED.
But, it’s worse. Cancer is a chronic disease.
A chronic disease is a disease that, by definition, cannot be cured. There is a long list of chronic diseases. And it’s a growing list. From arthritis. to Chron’s, to multiple sclerosis, to depression, paranoid schizophrenia and panic attacks and eventually, for many of us, to macular degeneration, dementia or Alzheimer’s. There are no cures for chronic diseases. There are, therefore, no statistics for cures of chronic diseases. If you have a chronic disease, and you are cured – there is no box to check. No-one tracks ‘cures’ for chronic illness. Many people are searching for cures, but there is no box to check. If a cure is encountered – it is not counted. Cures are allowed to happen, but they are not counted. They don’t count.
Strangely enough, this is not a problem for doctors, for the medical profession or for the drug industry. Just the opposite, it has become a huge advantage. If an illness cannot be cured, then it is completely acceptable (and very profitable as well) to make money treating symptoms, as the patient gets worse and worse. If the patient gets worse from the treatment – who can tell? It’s a chronic, progressive, incurable disease. We can design and sell newer medicines, to treat the progressions, without worrying about the cause, or the cure. And the advantage of treating chronic illness? When you treat a normal illness, it goes away. You work yourself out of a job. But, when you treat a chronic illness, an illness that cannot be cured, you have a repeat customer – even if your treatments actually make him worse in the long term.
When will this end? When will we learn to ‘cure’ chronic illnesses?
When we begin to count cures. Only then will we recognize that the cure for most chronic illness is simply: Health.
Health is the opposite of chronic illness and it is the cure for many chronic illnesses.
When will cancers be cured?
Cancers cannot be cured until we have a clear, useful definition of ‘cancer cure’. Today, all cancer treatments aim for long term ‘remission’, not cure.
How should ‘cancer cure’ be defined? Merriam-Webster defines cure as “something (such as a drug or medical treatment) that stops a disease and makes someone healthy again”, and as “the act of making someone healthy again after an illness”.
If you have gangrene in your leg and the doctors remove your leg, they didn’t ‘cure’ your gangrene. Your illness is gone, but your health is not restored. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery do not remove the illness, they only attempt to kill the symptoms- the cancer cells. Then the medical system goes into ‘watchful waiting’ mode – waiting for the recurrence. Scientific evidence is becoming more and more certain that it is not possible to restore the health that is lost as a result of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
Healthicine defines cancer cure as: “removal of the illness and restoration of health“.
Cancers will be cured when we work to cure cancer – not just to ‘kill’ it. Cancers will be cured when we learn to health cancer. Most cancers, are caused by unhealthy tissues. Until we learn to make unhealthy tissues healthier, we cannot prevent cancers, and we will not cure them either.
Cancers will be cured when we learn to track, and keep statistics on cancer cures.
Is it possible to health tissues that are ‘cancer unhealthy’? How is it done? How long does it take? We have no idea, and no-one is studying these questions.
We study illness to death, but no-one studies healthiness to health. To cure cancer, we need to replace cancerous tissues with healthy tissues. To cure cancer, we need to study healthiness and unhealthiness as thoroughly as we study illness today. To cure cancer we need to fight for health, as strongly as we might fight illness today.
We can only learn to fight this unhealthiness we call cancer, when we begin to study health.
to your health, tracy
Author: Introduction to Healthicine: Theories of Health, Healthiness, Illness, and Aging