Friday, December 26, 2008

Casting the net wide...or, crackpots and kooks and quacks, oh my!

I am a big fan of Western medicine.

At the same time, I do believe that the mind and body are one, and that having a positive attitude will translate to a stronger body with which to fight this disease and contend with the side-effects of it.

I also don't want to become close-minded, so I've decided to explore alternative therapies. Obviously, staying reasonably fit and eating well will be of benefit regardless of anything else (although I can't exercise as extensively as I'd like given the bone situation). So I've looked into a couple of things here and there.

In particular, I looked into a group in Canada that suggests all illnesses are the results of body chemistry not working as it should. This group takes some of my blood, runs a massive protein analysis separating it into six million different proteins, compares that against an ideal profile, and then figures out how many things are wrong with me, from a couple of hundred to several hundred thousand. They then create a "neutraceutical" cocktail that I take which will correct those things at the amino acid level.

This organization is highly controversial. And yet Dr. BM's father, RM, had a friend JC who went to them for cataracts. He took the pills, the cataracts went away, and his eye doctor said he's never seen anything like it. So there's at least one case study of it working. Like myself, RM is a natural skeptic and a rationalist, so I went into this with a grain of salt.

I contacted the group and set up a call with the CEO, who called me last week. It started out fine, with him explaining how his treatment worked on myeloma, how it was a complement to traditional treatment, how people on his program that went through traditional treatment did better than those not on his program, etc. Then it took a turn for the strange when he told me unequivocally to stop taking Lipitor, and that Lipitor might have caused my cancer, and that Lipitor was being sued for causing cancer.

Sure enough, if one searches the web, one can find one or two obscure references to such a possibility -- but the medical establishment certainly doesn't accept it as a legitimate issue. This leads to the whole conspiracy theory about Big Pharma and Big Medicine working against alternative treatments, ignoring side effects in the interests of profits, etc. I'm not sure I'm prepared to sign up for that one.

I've asked PinnacleCare to do some research on this outfit. One would hope they have clinical studies to back up their claims -- although it's almost a given that they don't. As I said, they are controversial and were torn a new one by an investigative reporter in Canada on Canadian TV a few years ago (the group dismisses this as being without journalistic integrity and driven by a few crazies that have it in for them), and they also don't have any doctors on staff. I'm very suspicious...and I'd rule them out except for the fact that JC did have his cataracts cured. Granted, less was on the line in that situation than in my own.

The mother-in-law of a friend down the street happens to be the head of integrative medicine at Sloan Kettering in New York. This is great, as I can ask her advice about this group in particular and then in general get suggestions on how to help manage my myeloma. So that's a conversation I'm eager to have after the holidays.

1 comment:

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