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What you Need to Know About Cancer Treatments

Updated on November 19, 2014
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code | Source
CC BY 2.5
CC BY 2.5 | Source

What you should know about new cancer treatments before you try them.

You probably heard or read somewhere about a new cancer treatment or a new medical option. You may even be at odds as to why your doctor has not told you about this new source of hope.

Before you go and start putting your hard earned dollars to use and desperately seek these new treatments out, do some research. There is probably a very good reason why this new treatment has not taken the world by storm . More than likely the answer is that it has not yet proven itself as the "cure".

Keep in mind that some of these new treatments may, in the long run ,end up causing more harm than good. In best case scenarios, this new cure is already being tested on people just like you. If this is the case, then finding more reliable information is much easier.

One of the first things that you need to research is if this new treatment option is designed for your particular type of cancer as different options abound for each type.

Be aware that a large portion of these new treatments are not new, but originate from traditional "self-healing" techniques put into practice for quite a long time, and are now possibly being looked at by modern science to treat this deadly disease.

They could also be old treatments that due to new discoveries or techniques are being given a second shot.

While it used to be that there were few studies that looked at these methods, doctors are now researching more of them in the same ways that they study other more traditional treatments and medicines.

Whatever new medical "breakthrough" has caught your attention and offers hope, please research, research and research some more.

One of the first things that you need to analyze is the source of this new information. If it comes from a medical authority, then it is probably a good idea to look into it further. If it comes form an infomercial, then taking a much closer look is warranted.

The second thing to closely monitor is at the science that has brought this new medical option to the forefront. Tests conducted on only animals may show promise. But as you know animal anatomy is much more different than ours. If the treatment has commenced on human patients then that is always a good indication and the treatment has the potential of showing promise.

"Try to learn if the study stage of this treatment option is or was done in a blind study; "A blinded study is one in which the patients did not know which treatment they got. This helps avoid responses that are based on what was expected. Sometimes people who think a treatment is going to work will appear to do better over the short term......If the patient knows which treatment he or she is getting, the study is called an open label study. Or a controlled study; Did the study have a control group? If it did, it means that those taking the test treatment were compared to people who took a proven treatment (or a placebo, a sham treatment, if there’s no standard treatment available). This helps researchers find out if the people who get the new treatment do better, live longer, or have fewer symptoms than those who got the old treatment or the placebo. A study that has a control group is called a controlled study." cancer .org

Another key factor to pay attention to is the time that it has taken from development to trials or testing. The general rule is that it takes some time for a new medicine or treatment to be proven effective.

The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) as well as most health governing bodies in other countries take a long serious look at any new medical treatment and just like in the United States, will not release it for human testing until all possible side effects, possible harms and benefits have been evaluated as being safe to people.

above all, you must do all that you can to learn as much as you can before becoming a "guinea pig" of sorts. If you are going to give a new untested treatment a shot, then at least go in with all of the information that you can accumulate so that you can make an educated decision in regards to your health or the health of a loved one.

Always consult with your primary physician. Take his or her advice seriously as they most always have your best interest in mind.

(CC BY 3.0
(CC BY 3.0 | Source

© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      tamron: Thank you

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 5 years ago

      I agree you should always do research on any treatment or medications. I look for reviews on any medicine my doctor prescribes before I buy it. You can do a search on database for medical treatments or drugs and get research studies and doctors notes as well.