In news that probably has scientists muttering “I told you so!” into their lab coats, researchers from Yale University have conducted a decade-long study into whether alternative therapies can, in fact, treat cancer. Their findings? The complete opposite.
The scientists zeroed in on 10 years’ worth of records from the National Cancer Database, ranging from 2004 through to 2013, analyzing 281 patients who had been diagnosed with early-stage breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers.
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And, according to Science Alert, when these 281 patients were compared to 560 others who were faced with the same diagnoses but chose conventional treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, the results were alarmingly stark.
Compared to the conventional treatment group, the alternative medicines group were found to be two-and-a-half times more likely to die within a five-year period.
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Breaking it down by the type of cancer, lung cancer had a rate of 2.17 times, colorectal cancer came in at 4.57 times, while, shockingly, breast cancer patients were 5.68 more times likely to pass away in five years compared to their conventional-medicine counterparts.
"Anytime we do these types of retrospective studies, we worry about selection bias," James Yo, who helped facilitate the study, said. "In this study, all the biases were in favor of alternative medicine, in that the cohort was younger, more affluent, and had fewer comorbidities. These patients should be doing better than the standard therapy group, but they're not.”
"That's a scary thing to me," he continued. "These are young patients who could potentially be cured, and they're being sold snake oil by unscrupulous alternative medicine practitioners."
Back in 2003, Apple visionary Steve Jobs was diagnosed with what experts argue was a very treatable form of pancreatic cancer. As a strict vegetarian and practicing Buddhist, Jobs went on to receive nine months of alternative therapy to treat the cancer, only to then opt for more conventional treatment in 2004.
This post was written by Ellie McDonald. For more, check out our sister site Now To Love.