Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NewAgers, Alternative Medicine And Cancer: There Ain't No Way To Hide Your Lying Eyes

"I conclude that there is,...no compelling evidence for a significant survival benefit due to any 'alternative' therapy, nor is there even good evidence for significant treatment effects,...at best the vast majority of alternative therapies are either useless, no more than placebos, or that some of them might even be harmful. That is why they have no role in science-based medicine at present.

...As I frequently put it: There is no such thing as 'alternative' medicine. There is medicine that is effective, medicine that is not, and medicine that has not been tested yet. Nearly all of so-called 'alternative' medicine falls into one of the latter two categories, and those that have not been tested yet nearly all fall into the category of being so wildly improbable that testing them without more positive evidence makes no sense. In any case, as a cancer surgeon, I don't care where a therapy came from. I really don't. If someone could show me that
reiki or homeopathy cures cancer, I'd use either. In the meantime, I will continue to argue that the very concept of 'alternative' medicine is a false dichotomy. Unfortunately, it's a false dichotomy that can kill."

-- Orac, letting a little (dark) sunshine in on cancer care, otherwise known as Respectful Insolence.

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