Empower yourself to beat cancer

Lift yourself above the norm - how self-help can aid your cancer survival

Survival rates for cancer have two problems associated with them. They concern themselves with 5 year survival and most people with cancer would like to live a lot longer than that. And they portray a statistic for the average person with that disease.
By using the CANCERactive web site, we hope that you will cease to be the average person with that cancer and lift yourself above the statistical norm. We want to increase your personal odds of survival - and we think we really can help.

Open quotesIt is said the time between diagnosis and treatment has actually risen not fallen for nine common cancersClose quotes

Empower yourself

In a Holland and Barratts magazine (2003), there was an article entitled Are we winning the fight? about Breast Cancer, in which three significant points were made. Firstly, that the disease is at record levels (bad news); secondly, that the death rate is in decline with 21% fewer than 10 years ago (good news); and thirdly, according to the charity Breast Cancer Care, both are due to better screening and earlier detection. Meanwhile Cancer Research UK attributes the fall to "promising new drug treatments like Tamoxifen". Frankly, nothing has changed. In the icon editorial for October 2009 the same rubbish was being turned out - We are beating cancer - and its all down to better drugs, and earlier screening. 

The fact that, over the last 20 years we have witnessed a humungous growth in cancer information and therefore Self-empowerment on the internet, cancer charities as sources of information abound, three out of four patients now take a supplement or use at least one complementary therapy, and Care-in-the-Community complementary  centres (more often than not funded privately) like Maggies, the Haven, The Butterfly etc abound.

Well, according to CRUK and the powers that be, THIS COUNTS FOR NOTHING.

Go to the US web sites and you will find 36 pages of Energy Therapies on the National Cancer Institute web site. The MD Anderson Cancer Center openly says that beating cancer as far as it is concerned involves using Integrated Therapies. I could go on.

In the UK, as a cancer patient all you will ever here from officialdom is Surgery, Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy. If we catch it earlier, youll live longer. And complementary therapies are a non-sense without supporting research and clinical trials.

This is the mythology of cancer care in the UK.The fact is that if two identical women develop their first cancer cell on the same day and each lives for 7 years, the one who had a mammogram after 1 year will be a success by living 6 years; the one who has her mammogram after 4 years will be a failure, as she will live just 3. Now you understand why the Health Authorities want you screened earlier - it will look like you have lived longer even if you havent.

The Conservative party have come up with another observation -  since 1999, the time between diagnosis and treatment has actually risen not fallen for nine common cancers. Professor Karol Sikora of Hammersmith Hospital has confirmed this, commenting that "The whole NHS system lacks capacity - its terribly frustrating for doctors and awful for patients."

A study published in the British Medical Journal confirmed this worsening of our services. So much for the Governments extra funding! But then, unlike the politicians who believe you simply drop extra money into the NHS and expect instant results, at icon we know that it takes seven years to train a doctor and three to train a radiotherapist.

Furthermore, the upbeat tone of the Cancer Charities is also not borne out by cold data.

The Eurocare-3 study, presented recently in Copenhagen at the European Cancer Convention showed that England has a 73.6% rate for breast cancer 5-year survival (Scotland at 72.3%, Wales 69.5%). Sadly this compares with a European average of 76.1%, and with countries like Sweden (82.6%), France (81.3%), Holland (78.2%). So we are 9 points worse than the best (or about 10.5% worse).

Open quotesWe are below the European average on survival rates for all cancersClose quotes

Taking prostate cancer, our survival rates are even more adrift at 53.8% compared with a European average of 65.4%. Austria tops that table at 83.6%, with Iceland, Germany and France (76.2%, 75.9% and 75.2% respectively). We should be ashamed. This shows we are about 25% worse than the best!

Worse, the truth is that we are below the European average on survival rates for all cancers. Men (England 37.1% - Europe average 40.5%) and Women (England 50.8%; Europe 53.6%).

Not only are the figures lower in the UK than the average, we find only countries like Slovenia, Estonia and Poland below us! Worse, the upbeat and euphoric way certain major UK charities present the "were beating cancer" story is downright untrue.

The official focus of attention in rationalising those terrible figures was that stage at diagnosis, access to optimal treatment and investment in healthcare were all areas the UK fell behind on. In common English this translates to: lack of facilities and lack of doctors, officially. (Elsewhere on this web site you will find the results of Eurocare 4, showing the UK has improved in the 7 years between the two, but that we still lag our European neighbours). So much for the British Medical expertise.

We cant help but notice that countries like Sweden spend a lot of money studying cancer and its causes in a general way, without trying to make square drugs fit round holes as the UK, like America, is focussed on doing, whilst countries like Austria use a lot of complementary therapies and well-researched herbal remedies, and in Germany if orthodox treatment doesnt work doctors are required by law to look at alternative therapies. Many are also trained homeopaths.

The Bristol Cancer Help Centre have stated that building a full complementary therapy programme around your orthodox treatment can give you a 60% advantage over the norm.

Professor Julian Peto at the Cancer Carers Annual Conference even went as far as saying that the sheer volume of new drug research was actually preventing good UK doctors doing other non-specific-drug research that they felt was essential.

Open quotesBuilding a full complementary therapy programme around your orthodox treatment can give you a 60% advantage over the normClose quotes

Maybe there are factors at work other than the official view of poor spend on facilities and doctors. After all the USA, that country whose methods and drugs we so like to copy so much has just been listed by the WHO as number 37 in the world in terms of the health of the population.

Do we really want to ape the healthcare of copy the thirty-seventh best country in the world?

This CANCERactive web site sets out to help you increase your personal odds of beating cancer. One way you will do that is by keeping an open mind. Dont merely accept that age old wisdom that Doctor knows best - sadly Doctor has become formulaic in the UK when treating cancer.

Do seek to empower yourself with knowledge. Do look into new therapies, complementary therapies, supplements, diet and the rest.

If you want somewhere to start - read our ACTIVE8 Programme guide - by clicking here.

You can be so much more than an average statistic.

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