Cancer Cure Exposes The Cancer In Our Institutions
June 14, 2011 9 Comments
I have no way of knowing whether the cancer treatment that is the subject of this documentary works. (HT Seth Roberts) I do know that it’s impossible to watch that documentary all the way through – which I did – without feeling infuriated and disgusted. But most of all, helpless.
The long and the short of it is that a doctor in Texas has been using some chemicals to treat cancer, based on his own theories (and patents), and has undeniably found some success where others have not. So – of course – the full force of the government has been thrown against him. The government filed patents on the same substances, and not so coincidentally over the course of decades has attempted to have him suspended, prosecuted, thrown in jail. Partnership with pharmaceutical companies is involved, the FDA is involved, the NCI is involved….
As the documentary mentions, pharmaceuticals are a huge business – perhaps the biggest – and cancer is a key driver. But it’s not just pharmaceutical companies; you can’t blame this all on Big Pharm. Consider all the doctors, clinical instructors, textbook writers, sales representatives, receptionists, MRI techs, linear accelerator techs, CT techs, chemo techs, postdoctoral researchers, therapeutic medical physicists, diagnostic medical physicists, nuclear medical physicists, medical dosimetrists, radiation safety officers, field service technicians, electrical engineers, nuclear engineers, government safety inspectors, fund-raisers, pink-clothes-wearing Walkers, trade-fair girls who hand out pens and fridge magnets, hot redhead radiation oncology residents, hot Serbo-Croatian Medicare code-entry clerks, hot half-Asian nurses, hot…erm, sorry, as usual started to get too specific there…anyway, just consider the huge army our society has currently mobilized that are in some way involved in the business/assembly line we know as “cancer treatment”. A business which, as it is currently constituted, consists primarily of repeatedly squirting poisonous chemicals, radioactive rocks, and/or beams of ionizing radiation into peoples’ bodies, and simultaneously (no less an undertaking) filling out forms for “reimbursement”.
Yeah, so this guy’s approach doesn’t use any of that machinery. He makes some stuff out of urine & blood plasma, and that’s what he uses. So, like, all you folks busily working on getting your paper published on (or trying to sell high-priced gadgets for) high dose-rate brachytherapy, or the latest and greatest chemotherapy, or proton therapy? If his thing works then…nevermind. Go find some other career.
Which would all be well and good, you might say, because can’t a Merck or Pfizer just pivot and devote all their machinery to pushing that stuff, if it really works? What do they care what gunk they are pushing, they can still just give it a dumb-ass made-up name and sell it for thousands of dollars a course, like they do everything else. Well in this case they can’t do that, you see, because he owns the patent on this particular gunk. They don’t.
This documentary makes it starkly obvious that an individual guy with a medical patent is a pariah, a menace who just doesn’t really fit into our system. That’s why he must be either crushed, or his method discredited. At least until a big pharm, or better yet the US Government, can patent it themselves. So what is the root of the problem here. First, it is the FDA. Second, it is the patent system.
And the frustrating thing is, once you have those two forces in play, the rest of it plays out in an entirely predictable fashion. Of course pharmaceutical companies would want to discredit a new treatment unless/until they could co-opt it. Of course those in responsible roles in government would have temptation to be bought out by corporations with big pockets. Of course the FDA’s role as drug-gatekeeper would be harnessed by the existing treatment establishment to quash new treatments. None of this is at all surprising.
Nor does it even require malice or malevolence on the part of most people involved. The vast, vast majority of folks working in this area – like in most areas – are decent people doing an honorable job at what they’re tasked with. Existing rules and structures are all undoubtedly well-intentioned. Nevertheless something about the institution of government, or regulators, or corporations, or all the the above conspires such that the result is pure malevolence grown out of control. From all these good intentions and hardworking smart people, outrage and crime results. The most apt metaphor that comes to mind, in fact, is cancer itself.
One thing that does seem required are the Smart People. The Smart People peppered throughout all these institutions seem to act simultaneously as the dupes and the enforcers of the greedy and venal who would use these institutions, and their power, for personal gain. For every time a treatment like this is said to be discredited or unproven because it ‘needs to go through a randomized controlled trial’ (that the FDA will not allow to proceed in good faith), there are a thousand Smart People out there to nod their heads, because that’s exactly what they Smartly learned in their Smart schooling.
Again, though, I do not say I know much about this treatment. I will say though, that having seen radiation therapy in action, if I had something like brain cancer I’d much rather cast my lot with this doctor than to go through the external-beam/chemo/repeat assembly line.
But maybe I’m just not so Smart.