I just finished taking a two hour stroll through ASCO. Let’s see… Maybe I will stop and take in a nutritional presentation to help cancer patients live a better quality of life–and possibly live longer. How about a session covering spirituality, or exercise, or meditation, or natural chemotherapy alternatives?
NOT HERE! How is it possible–in a world of over 100,000 clinicians and researchers and physicians who all specialize in treating cancer–you can’t find any of that at ASCO?
MONEY! Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the other pharma companies don’t profit from cancer prevention or improving a patient’s quality of life. OK. To be fair, there are millions of dollars spent every year by drug companies on clinical studies to test a drug’s tolerability and potential side effects. Oncologists here are increasingly aware of ways to treat patients as gently and humanely as possible. (Sounds like I could be talking about a farm animal, doesn’t it?) But holistic and naturopathic medicine? Nothing–zip.
My wife Pattie and I have dedicated our lives to helping improve the lives of other cancer patients and caregivers. Knowledge is power, so I often post links to articles about treatment breakthroughs for a variety of cancers. But the primary purpose of our Help With Cancer site is to aid cancer survivors everywhere live better, more normal lives. I’m just sad that a mega meeting like this one–which is all about cancer–can’t even pretend to care about nutrition or improving a patient’s quality of life– other than trying to improve a drug‘s tolerability.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat.