Anaximperator blog

Blogging against alternative cancer treatments

Drinking baking soda does not cure cancer

arm-hammer-baking-sodaOn the internet there are claims that researchers at University of Arizona are planning clinical trials on the use of baking soda as treatment of cancer.

Here is the article that allegedly document this claim. But the article does no such thing. The article reports fundings to biomedical engineers who are working on a method to measure pH inside cancers.

Cancers are often more acidic than the rest of the body. How this comes about is described in this post. This may influence the efficacy of some types of chemotherapy. And it may also influence the cancers ability to spread.

There are two paragraphs in the article that may appear to support what the baking soda supporters claim. We will start taking a look at this one:

Drinking baking soda has been proven to reduce or eliminate the spread of breast cancer to the lungs, brain and bone, but too much baking soda can also damage normal organs.

These are the words of the journalist, not necessarily the words of the scientists involved and it may be rooted in the research done by one of the collaborators. The article mentions Ian Robey, assistant professor of research at The University of Arizona Cancer Center. His groups research has previously been misrepresented by followers of Tullio Simoncini.

But let us check a out for  ourselves if it has been proven that drinking baking soda reduces or eliminates the spread of breast cancer to the lungs, brain and bone.

mouseRobey and his group looked into what happens when experimental mice implanted with a cancer cell line are fed with sodium bicarbonate. Since mice are not men, one should always be cautious about concluding directly from such experiments to effects in humans; without experiments in humans it has not been proven to work in humans. However, the results of such experiments can still be informative.

Here is one research paper by Robey’s group  that we will take a look at. The main results were:

1) pH was raised in the tumour stroma, but not inside the tumour cells.
2) pH was unchanged  in normal tissue  (ie. the rest of the body).
3) There were fewer metastases and they were smaller.
4) Nothing happened to the primary cancer itself.

So this study does not prove that spread is eliminated by drinking baking soda.

Here is another interesting paper by Robey’s group. In this study they looked into DCA and sodium bicarbonate (separately and combined). DCA didn’t have any effect, but we won’t go into further details of that aspect of the paper here. Concerning sodium bicarbonate, the main results were:

1) Nothing happened to the primary cancer itself
2) The amount of metastasis were lower in mice treated with sodium bicarbonate. But the difference was too small to rule out that this observation was a play of chance (i.e. not statistically significant).

So this study does not prove that spread is eliminated by drinking baking soda. It doesn’t event prove that metastases are reduced.

Here is another paragraph in the article:

……Jennifer Barton, professor and head of UA biomedical engineering. “Patients can actually change their body’s pH to make their cancer drugs more effective — it can be as simple as drinking baking soda — but this process has to be carefully monitored.”

The critical word in that paragraph is “body”. In various fora where the article is presented as endorsement of Simoncini’s idea, we are told that a professor says it is easy to increase body pH simply by drinking baking soda.

The results of the mice experiments mentioned above show something completely different. There was an increase in tumour pH, but not of body pH.

Our guess is that this is a misquote that wasn’t caught at proof reading. Not only is it inconsistent with Robey’s results, it is also inconsistent with what we know about the normal systems that keep body pH within a very narrow range.We recommend that you follow these links if you want to understand the physiology of pH regulation in the body. But in short – The body is by nature slightly alkaline with a pH around 7,4. Various regulatory mechanisms in your body work to maintain a stable slightly alkaline pH. This is necessary for the body to function properly.

So to summarise:

1) The article is not about clinical trials on sodium bicarbonate as cancer treatment.
2) An increase in tumour pH does not destroy cancer, but it may enhance effects of chemotherapy.
3) The best explanation of the statement that drinking baking soda can increase pH of the body, is that it is a typo.
4) Reduction of amount of new metastasis by drinking baking soda seems like a possibility, but hasn’t been unequivocally proved to happen.

EDIT TO ADD:

The article this post is based on has been corrected. It no longer says that Drinking baking soda has been proven to reduce or eliminate the spread of breast cancer…..

Now it says:

Drinking baking soda shows great promise as a way to reduce or eliminate the spread of breast cancer…

The part where it says that drinking baking soda can change body pH remains uncorrected even though – as mentioned in the post – the referenced study demonstrated change in tumour pH an not body pH.

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79 responses to “Drinking baking soda does not cure cancer

  1. beatis May 30, 2013 at 8:10 am

    That article by Steve Delgado is an extremely muddled and confusing piece of journalism, thanks so much for sorting it out!

    I am amazed though that it completely seems to have slipped the ever-critical eye of James, our expert with over 30 years experience in medicine. :mrgreen:

  2. JLI June 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Well – If he was any good at researching, he would have known that the idea, that all cancers are caused by virusses was very much appealing to cancer researchers some 30-40 years ago, but disappointingly had to be abandoned as evidence showed otherwise.

  3. JohnMatrix June 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    >>>4) Reduction of amount of new metastasis by drinking baking soda seems like a possibility

    It sounds like it still may be a good idea to have a baking soda diet as a preventative measure for people who don’t have cancer.

  4. JLI June 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    It sounds like it still may be a good idea to have a baking soda diet as a preventative measure for people who don’t have cancer.

    No – there is nothing that indicates that it can prevent cancer. The acidic micrenvironment is a consequence of the cancer, not a prerequisite.

  5. Kim July 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I just had a good sized crusty, odd shaped mole fall off of my back after 10 days of applying a paste of baking soda / filtered water or baking soda / vitamin E oil, then covered with a band aid, twice daily. I have had the mole for a few years and it was starting to worry me because of the change in it. I was a bit concerned if it may have been cancerous.
    My son and sister were the only ones who actually knew I was “experimenting” and now that it is gone, they weren’t even able to see where the exact spot the mole was located.

    If it were me, I would drink baking soda / water several times a day if I knew that I had cancer tumors inside of me, as opposed to chemo or radiation for treatment.

  6. JLI July 31, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    @ Kim
    There can be serious problems with alternative cancer cure testimonials.
    The main points are:

    1) It might not even have been cancer
    2) The cancer may have been removed as part of the diagnostic procedure
    3) The alternative therapy may have been used alongside conventional treatment, which may be what actually delivered the cure. Even a biopsy may sometimes be curative.
    4) The cancer might not have disappeared after all
    5) The testimonial may be pure fabrication.

    I hope that 1) is correct solution, and I hope that 4) isn’t.

    To be blunt – Your experience does not support that drinking baking soda/water instead of having conventional treatment for cancer (Which for the most types of cancer is surgery) is a good idea. And as explained in the post – neither does biology of cancer.

  7. Kim July 31, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Of course, this website is only about bashing alternative methods for curing cancers.
    This happened to ME:

    1) It was not a normal mole (according to western medicine’s description)
    2) There was no diagnostic procedure!
    3)There was no other “therapy” used along with it, other than my believing in it. There was no biopsy.
    4) It is gone, vanished, fell off, not a trace remaining of a mole that was abnormal.
    5) This was MY testimony, I did not fabricate it.

    You are absolutely correct, It isn’t a testimony of drinking baking soda with water, however, if need be in my future, you can bet that I will “experiment” with that and be sure to broadcast my
    testimony to this website and all others that are non believing in alternative therapy.

  8. JLI July 31, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Of course, this website is only about bashing alternative methods for curing cancers.

    Anything that demonstrably cures cancer isn’t alternative – It’s mainstream. And if it doesn’t cure cancer it isn’t an alternative.

    1) It was not a normal mole (according to western medicine’s description)

    This doesn’t mean it was cancer. I examine non-cancerous moles on a daily basis that have been removed because they appeared abnormal. And I examine non-cancerous appearing moles that turn out to be cancer.

    You are absolutely correct, It isn’t a testimony of drinking baking soda with water,

    And it isn’t a testimonial of curing cancer because the diagnosis hasn’t been made by a reliable method.

    …if need be in my future, you can bet that I will “experiment” with that…

    I sincerely hope you will never need to be treated for cancer.

    …sure to broadcast my testimony to this website and all others…

    I trust you are an honest person. But please try to keep the first four points in mind:

    1) Make sure the diagnosis has been made by a reliable method (Self-diagnosis is not a reliable method).
    2) Explain in details how the diagnosis was made.
    3) Remember that surgical removal sometimes is curative – even if additional treatment is recommended.
    4) Make sure that the disappearance of the cancer has been documented by a reliable method, and has stayed away long enough
    to say that a recurrence is unlikely.

    You might also use the above as a checklist when evaluating cancer cure testimonials of others.

  9. Julius Loren Devere September 4, 2013 at 2:54 am

    this article is muddled and the author is confused in so many ways…as are the referenced studies that the author cites.

    pH is not the same as pHe (as was described in the studies).

    also, the studies cited did not administer enough baking soda (quantity), frequently enough (frequency), to maintain pH at a certain level for a proper period of time in order for the acidic cancer cells to die off completely.

    if you are going to critique simoncini and OTHERS, at least use the quantities and frequencies that they prescribe! it will make your article MUCH more effective.

    i see this as a simple attempt at criticizing the method of using baking soda to treat cancer (which i am ALL FOR by the way), but not thorough or logical at all, therefore this article is non-effective IMPROPER SCIENTIFIC ASSERTION…just bad science all around.

    try again please. I truly am still awaiting a proper and thorough critique of this method. (both with using sodium bicarbonate and/or potassium bicarbonate!)

  10. JLI September 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    pH is not the same as pHe (as was described in the studies).

    What do you imagine the difference between pH in the extracellular fluid and pHe is??

    also, the studies cited did not administer enough baking soda (quantity),….

    What mechanism do you imagine made the urinary pH go up, and why do you imagine the body has such a mechanism in the first place?

    if you are going to critique simoncini and OTHERS, at least use the quantities and frequencies that they prescribe!

    Have you missed/forgotten that Simoncini and OTHERS claim that these studies prove them right?? You are the first bicarbonate fanatic I have seen dissing these studies.

    …(which i am ALL FOR by the way)

    That I believe :mrgreen:

    it will make your article MUCH more effective.

    People like you will never be persuaded by facts.

    I truly am still awaiting a proper and thorough critique

    For you to be able to understand the critique, you need to understand a few things about pH regulation in the body. The last two links in the post will explain all you need to know. But if you want to deny reality there is not much that can be done about it.

  11. cougar September 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    He problem I am having with this, is that the experiment was not conducted properly. Jim Kelmun, aka “Dr. Jim”, the man who started the baking soda treatment, used it in a different way. You don’t simply just drink baking soda water, but you have to mix in maple syrup or molasses in with the baking soda. The syrup/molasses attaches itself to the baking soda, allowing it to be absorbed into the tumors. There are many testimonials from many people that this does indeed work. Science will never back it because a box of baking soda on average costs $2.00, while cancer treatments cost tens of thousands of dollars per individual.

  12. JLI September 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    The syrup/molasses attaches itself to the baking soda, allowing it to be absorbed into the tumors.

    Reality is a bit more complicated than that. Syrup/molasses cannot pass through the bowel wall and into the blood stream as such. It will have to be degraded into monosaccharides (glucose, fructose) first. The monosaccharides then enter the cells lining the intestines through channels that only allow these molecules – without attached bicarbonate. And on the other side of the cell it is transported into small capillaries that are part of the blood stream. There are other transport mechanisms for bicarbonate.

    If you think it over, this is a good thing. What do you imagine would happen if this sticky substance really could enter the blood vessels through the bowel wall?

    Sodium bicarbonate does not stick to the monosaccharides as they pass through the cells lining the intestine, and they do not automatically get together again after absorbtion and head for a tumour (which I assume you believe). The bicarbonate will be used by the body as described in the post, and the monosaccharides will be used by the body as explained here.

    There are many testimonials from many people that this does indeed work.

    Testimonials can seem very persuasive – especially if you don’t know what to look for.
    I will just sum up some major points on what can be wrong with them:

    1) It might not even have been cancer
    2) The cancer may have been removed as part of the diagnostic procedure
    3) The alternative therapy may have been used alongside conventional treatment, which may be what actually delivered the cure. Even a biopsy may sometimes be curative.
    4) The cancer might not have disappeared after all
    5) The testimonial may be pure fabrication.

  13. J October 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Reality is a bit more complicated than that. Syrup/molasses cannot pass through the bowel wall and into the blood stream as such. It will have to be degraded into monosaccharides (glucose, fructose) first.

    That’s why you heat the bicarbonate and syrup first.

  14. JLI October 6, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Heating syrup and bicarbonate will not change the fact that carbohydrates are absorbed as monosaccharides. And that monosaccharides and bicarbonate use separate transport systems to enter the blood stream.

  15. veeravs November 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    @Kim: “Kim July 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm
    “I just had a good sized crusty, odd shaped mole fall off of my back after 10 days of applying a paste of baking soda / filtered water or baking soda / vitamin E oil, then covered with a band aid, twice daily. I have had the mole for a few years and it was starting to worry me because of the change in it. I was a bit concerned if it may have been cancerous.
    My son and sister were the only ones who actually knew I was “experimenting” and now that it is gone, they weren’t even able to see where the exact spot the mole was located.
    If it were me, I would drink baking soda / water several times a day if I knew that I had cancer tumors inside of me, as opposed to chemo or radiation for treatment.”

    —> I’m sorry to say this, Kim, but it was a very unwise thing to remove a suspicious looking mole at home. You admit you were concerned it may have been cancerous. Malignant moles, such as melanoma, need to be surgically removed with adequate margins and YET, you may die of the same melanoma within a few years. Now that you’ve removed the mole, you have no way to prove this way or that. If it hasn’t grown back yet, it somewhat proves it was not malignant.

    When you DO get real cancer, please let us know how long you stay alive by drinking baking soda and not taking conventional treatments. But before drinking extensive amounts of it, I beg you to look into what it may cause to the rest of your body (the term is alkalosis). Thank you.

  16. anna November 29, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    5 million sites say it cures cancer and you appearently a pharma rat argues it doesnt! as if you know more than patients who are cured! me among! everybody can see you are a pharma rat that is interested people use only chimioshit and spent money on this shit and never cure! go to hell!
    i hope you get cancer and die!
    also people can see you make SEO that stupid people like you read this and dont use soda!
    but we do use it and it helped us! so go to hell!

  17. JLI November 30, 2013 at 10:06 am

    5 million sites say it cures cancer

    Hardly that many. But sadly there are people out there who are willing to exploit peoples fear of a terrible disease and its treatment, just to make money.See for instance this article. It is scumbags like that who often start such conspiracy rumours, and then explain that they have (and sell) the cure or a book that explains how it is done. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit, if you found your conspiracy theory on such a quack site.

    me among!

    1) What type of cancer was It ?
    2) How was the cancer diagnosed ?
    3) How was it established that the cancer disappeared?

    everybody can see you are a pharma rat

    I work as a pathologist in a tax payer financed health care system. I don’t treat anybody with anything for any condition. My paycheck stays the same regardless of the treatment used. I would love it if easy cheap cures for complicated diseases like cancers existed. It would be good for the patients and it would be good for the budgets.

    It is a shame that people who are dedicated to improve outlooks of cancer patients are being met with contempt because of belief in lunacy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/occams-corner/2012/dec/07/cancer-conspiracy-theories?fb=optOut

    i hope you get cancer and die!

    I hope you never get cancer. And I hope that you will never come near anybody diagnosed with cancer. The last thing anyone with cancer needs is advice from someone who uncritically believes in anything that a quackery salesperson says. It is painfully clear that you do not want to understand basic chemistry, basic physiology and basic cancer biology. Taking advice from you on how to treat cancer is downright dangerous.

    we do use it and it helped us! so go to hell!

    I do not for one second believe that you cured your own cancer by drinking baking soda. But I am willing to reconsider if you can provide proper documentation. If not then we have no choice but to discard your testimonial. Go in peace.

  18. Frankie December 13, 2013 at 12:17 am

    STOP!!!! Are you guys know actually what you are talking about???? Correcting the PH level is just for the one reason TO CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT IN THE BODY TO ALKALINE. Like a mold can not live in a dry, cold environment, a cancer can not live in an alkaline environment. Also, to inject cancer cells to a healthy mouse is totally pointless. If the body of the mouse does not provide an acidic environment, the cancer will not live. It is proven that humans with tumors provide a high acidic environment in the body ( the moist and warm environment the mold needs to grow) if this environment is changed to alkaline, the cancer can not live in the body and the tumor will shrink. This article/case study is a joke. Since 50 years there is a cure for cancer. But the sad thing is that the big business of cancer (the biggest in medicine history) needs every cancer patient to pay for the huge cancer centers and to make good commission at least for 5 years till the person dies because every single organ in the body got fried by chemicals. If you or I would invent a cure from water all these centers would go bankruptcy.

    The medical industry does not want you to wake up – since 50 years they are doing a perfect job to ‘proof’ that people who believe in integrated/alternative medicine are COMPLETE IDIOTS :) So…who is the idiot? The doctors? nope, because they know exactly what they are doing and they know that alternative/integrated treatments do not pay well. Unscrupulousness I guess its the English word for it. Maybe the patient? Nope, because first, most of the patients do not know about alternatives and secondary they are afraid to die.

  19. JLI December 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    Are you guys know actually what you are talking about????

    Yes.

    Also, to inject cancer cells to a healthy mouse is totally pointless. If the body of the mouse does not provide an acidic environment, the cancer will not live.

    The proponents of your favourite idea claim that these studies prove that ingesting baking soda is effective against cancer.

    if this environment is changed to alkaline, the cancer can not live in the body and the tumor will shrink.

    Experiments testing this show that the metastatic capability is reduced (not eliminated). Alkalizng the tumour microenvironment didn’t do anything to the cancer itself.

    This article/case study is a joke.

    you comment doesn’t com across as intelligent either.

    needs every cancer patient to pay for the huge cancer centers and to make good commission

    The writers on this blog live in countries where health care -including cancer treatment – is financed over taxes. The hospitals are free for the patients, and do not make profit.

    ….they know that alternative/integrated treatments do not pay well.

    This is demonstrably wrong. See for instance this article or this one. These people are making a lot of money doing what you (and of course they) accuse conventional doctors of doing.

  20. Renate December 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    The second article is a bit odd, I think. It bashes Mike Adams, for good reasons, but if you go to the homepage, they seem to be just as much in all kinds of woo.
    For instance they sell this:
    http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/521-video-the-cancer-report-documentary.html
    And they are very much into anti-vaccinism as well, judging from this:
    http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/346-how-to-cure-autism-and-the-time-bomb-of-mercury-poisoning.html
    or this:
    http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/635-the-shaken-baby-syndrome-lie.html

    The site looks as a really target-rich environment as Orac would put it.

  21. JLI December 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    You are right Renate. The site is as quacky as it gets. There is no way that it can be claimed that this critique of Mike Adams was planted by big pharma or an employee of conventional medical system.

    It rarely happens, but it does. Just as Tony Isaacs (Who really detests this blog) also has declared his opposition to Simoncini.

  22. Renate December 14, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    No, the site seems to be promoting some cancer-quackery as well. The alkaline stuff, that is torn apart here as well.

  23. JLI December 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I think you misunderstood me a bit, Renate. What I mean is, that the site criticising Mike Adams IS a quackery promoting site. No doubts about that.

  24. Renate December 15, 2013 at 9:15 am

    I did understand you. The only critisism one could have is that the site is made by someone, who has his own stuff to sell, so they are critisizing Mike Adams for some thing they do as well. One could say there are some sour grapes and it’s a way of damaging the competition.

  25. JLI December 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    True believers will always find excuses of why criticism is misplaced. I haven’t seen other alties/altie supporters expressing critique of Mike Adams. But it would certainly be refreshing if some of them would. Even if they advocate other bizarre ideas.

  26. Sarah December 16, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Regarding the initially cited study by Robey (Bicarbonate…Inhibits Spontaneous Metastases), you arrive at several conclusions including (quoting):

    3) There was a reduction in number and size of metastases
    4) Nothing happened to the cancer itself

    How do you reconcile these statements?? It certainly should go without saying that the metastases are part of the cancer and a significant factor in the deadly nature of the disease. That these were reduced most certainly does not constitute “nothing” and the contradiction between these statements is utterly absurd. You go on to proclaim that the study does not prove that the ‘spread is eliminated by drinking baking soda.’ Um, who says that it does? You clearly state in the preceding statements that there was a REDUCTION in the size and number of metastases.

    You make the same proclamation in the next study cited, which involves both bicarbonate and DCA. You are completely missing the point of this study, which is to observe how these substances in conjunction affect cancers. The purpose of the study is not to assess how bicarbonate independently affects cancer and any conclusions that may be drawn in this regard are irrelevant.

    Thank you for allowing me to make this statement of the obvious. I am interested in seeing whether it will appear in your comments section, but I kinda doubt it.

  27. JLI December 16, 2013 at 6:29 am

    How do you reconcile these statements??

    English is not my first language, so there may be slightly wrong use of words here and there. In this context “cancer itself” means the primary means the primary tumour. I am happy to edit this to make it clearer.

    Um, who says that it does?

    The journalist who wrote the article that inspired the post wrote:

    Drinking baking soda has been proven to reduce or eliminate….

    The article is used by proponents of the “Drinking baking soda cures cancer” idea as evidence that it works. So I find that mentioning this in the post is absolutely justified.

    You clearly state in the preceding statements that there was a REDUCTION in the size and number of metastases.

    I can see how this can be misunderstood. I have edited the post to make it crystal clear to those who do not follow links that a reduction of the number and size of metastases means formation of fewer and smaller metastases.

    The purpose of the study is not to assess how bicarbonate independently

    Have you read beyond the title of the article?? It seems as if you have completely missed that the study included a group that had been treated with sodium bicarbonate only. This is what was meant by

    …into DCA and sodium bicarbonate (separately and combined).

    I don’t know how to make it clearer that the effects of sodium bicarbonate alone is only a part of the study.

    Thank you for allowing me to make this statement of the obvious. I am interested in seeing whether it will appear in your comments section, but I kinda doubt it.

    I don’t find it shameful to declare myself as standing corrected if I make mistakes. Somehow I doubt that you will be prepared to declare yourself as standing corrected.

  28. Sarah December 16, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you so much for adding my message to your comments board and thank you for taking the time to respond.

    I certainly respect the fact that English is not your primary language. However, this is a blog which may help inform cancer patients’ decisions regarding treatment options. It is therefore utterly irresponsible to publish articles (presumably unedited) authored by someone without a full command of the English language. Further, you have not merely made a grammatical error, you have fully differentiated “cancer” and “metastases” (a school child will understand that these are associated and not distinct entities) and boldly state that cancer was unaffected, which is a patently false and misleading statement.

    Regarding the article on which inspired your commentary, I will concede that it mentions the elimination of of metastases. To quote the article again:

    “Drinking baking soda has been proven to reduce or eliminate the spread of breast cancer to the lungs, brain and bone.”

    It does NOT categorically state that consuming baking soda eliminates cancer. It says REDUCE ***OR***ELIMINATE. In fact, Robey’s study demonstrates:

    “Bicarbonate therapy led to significant reductions in the number and size of metastases to lung, intestine and diaphragm….and visceral organ…and mesenteric metastases…”

    You are correct in saying that the second study involved a bicarbonate only group and the results involving this control group are discussed in the paper. Specifically, the paper states that the results are CONSISTENT WITH PREVIOUS WORK (i.e that reductions in metastases were observed).

    Your logic is terribly flawed. You erroneously cite published work and attempt to manipulate it to support your arguments.

    I am trying to understand why someone would be so adamantly close-minded about alternative cancer therapies. I do not know if baking soda, vitamin c, or eye of newt has any therapeutic value in cancer patients. I do know that the current conventional therapies are woefully inadequate in the treatment of cancer and there is little to be lost in examining novel, non-toxic options.

    I am not making any accusations, but I do have to wonder about the motivating factors of anyone that does not wish to pursue or evaluate scientific evidence in an honest and objective manner.

    I look forward to receiving your response.

  29. JLI December 16, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    you have fully differentiated “cancer” and “metastases” (a school child will understand that these are associated and not distinct entities) and boldly state that cancer was unaffected, which is a patently false and misleading statement.

    Well you are the first commenter who misunderstood what it meant.

    It says REDUCE ***OR***ELIMINATE.

    Yes – And eliminate is wrong. Just as it said.

    “Bicarbonate therapy led to significant reductions in the number and size of metastases to lung, intestine and diaphragm….and visceral organ…and mesenteric metastases…”

    I think I can explain what you are getting wrong.

    You seem to think that the experiments went like this:
    Mice are injected with cancer-> Mice develop metastasis-> Mice are given sodium bicarbonate/not treated -> It is recorded how many of the metastases disappeared or decreased in size.

    If you read the articles again you will find that the following happened:
    Mice are injected with cancer -> Mice are treated with sodium bicarbonate/not treated -> The number and size of metastases are recorded.

    You erroneously cite published work and attempt to manipulate it to support your arguments.

    Try and read it again – but with an open mind.

    I do know that the current conventional therapies are woefully inadequate in the treatment of cancer

    Cancer is a collective term for approximately 200 different diseases. Every cell type in your body can (in principle) develop into its own type of cancer. On top of that individual cancer cells in every cancer are also different from one another. On top of that, the cancer cells interact in very complex ways with the surrounding normal cells. So it is not all that surprising (to me) that we don’t have, and most likely won’t find a single easy-to-do cure for all cancers.

    That being said, many cancers are cured on a daily basis. Most of them through surgery, but some of them are treated with additional radio-/chemotherapy. And some cancers are cured by chemotherapy alone. Overall cure rate is approximately 60%, so it is more likely that someone diagnosed with cancer will be cured than not. And outlooks are still improving – all thanks to scientific research.

    ….and there is little to be lost in examining novel, non-toxic options.

    It can cost the patient his/her life. Beatis explains very well what inspired her to start this blog:

    This blog

    During my treatment I coulnd’t help thinking of two women I had known with early stage cancer who had decided to forgo standard therapy to treat their cancer with alternative therapy and had suffered a horrible and untimely death.

    Conventional cancer treatment isn’t perfect, but it is the best option.

    ..but I do have to wonder about the motivating factors of anyone that does not wish to pursue or evaluate scientific evidence in an honest and objective manner.

    I believe I have been objective and honest about what the scientific evidence is. And I have provided the sources making it possible for readers to do fact checking for themselves – Which I encourage you to do. And if you find that I am right, I hope you will begin to wonder about the motives alternative practitioners have when they claim that studies such as these prove that drinking sodium bicarbonate cures cancer.

  30. Sarah December 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    First of all, thank you again for your response. May I compliment you on your improved elocution!

    You argue that the difference between the terms “cancer” and “metastases” are insignificant because it was not mentioned by nine commenters (not including the moderator and myself). Surely a scientific mind would not assert that this sample represents the entire population of people who read this article (and perhaps wondered how metastases could be reduced while the cancer remained unaffected!)

    I am curious why you are so stuck on the term “eliminate.” The fact remains that the reduction in metastases led to increased survival (this is clearly stated in Robey’s study). How about we look at that? This is good news! This suggests that consumption of bicarbonate may increase survival. Scientific progress, woo-hoo!! Going back to the much-loved term “eliminate,” a perusal of the conclusions of Robey’s study reveals that, while the control group exhibits significant lung lesions in fluorescent imaging, the bicarbonate group demonstrates “little if any pulmonary fluorescence.” Huh. Are they saying that the pulmonary lesions are eliminated? Check out figure two. I don’t see any pulmonary fluorescence in the bicarb group. Do you?

    You suggest that I am misunderstanding the methodology of the procedure in that I believe the metastases are allowed to form before the bicarbonate is administered. Ok.

    Cancer –> Baking soda (or not) –> # and size of mets are recorded

    I’m on board. The # and size of the mets are reduced or eliminated in the bicarbonate group. Yay for scientific progress!

    You claim the cure rate for cancer is 60%. I am glad to hear that, I thought it was much worse. I am curious where you get this information and how one defines “cure.”

    You say that cancer is a collective term for 200 diseases. I am not sure of the veracity of this statement but I do find it a little odd that we approach 200 different diseases with the same three
    therapies: chemo, radiation and surgery. Maybe baking soda would work great for one type and vampire toenails for another. Notwithstanding my poor attempts at humor, maybe we could save a few lives.

    To reiterate, I previously mentioned that investigating novel approaches might not be a half-bad idea. Your response is that doing so may cost cancer patients their lives. Hmm. Clinical trials routinely include terminally ill cancer patients who die in spite of their participation. Perhaps some patients would volunteer to participate in trials that do not involve toxic substances being injected into their already ravaged bodies. Or, we can gather further data by using animal subjects, which perhaps could help inform future applications.

    You claim the founder of this blog “explains very well” her inspiration for starting it. She does not in fact explain it very well. She was inspired to start it because of two cancer afflicted women she knew pursued unconventional therapies and died. That is all the information we have. I don’t know what alternative therapies they pursued or if they rigorously adhered to recommended protocols. Surely you’ll agree that two women who chose alternative cancer treatments and unfortunately died are not representative of the world’s population of cancer patients who pursue unconventional treatments.

    Thank you again for your time.

  31. bnkazak December 16, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    You write “Mice are injected with cancer -> Mice are treated with sodium bicarbonate/not treated -> The number and size of metastases are recorded.”
    ========================================
    The man was not injected – he GOT cancer. He treated himself with sodium bicarbonate – I have no reason to distrust his story. He tells the story itself, gives links to exact protocol and to responses from other people. This seems much more convincing than your over-the-board denial.
    and
    Wish you health and happiness. Keep your eyes and your soul open…

  32. JLI December 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

    You argue that the difference between the terms “cancer” and “metastases” are insignificant because it was not mentioned….

    I argue that it is insignificant because it is. You can have cancer without metastasis (but not the reverse). You may choose to disagree, and so be it.

    I am curious why you are so stuck on the term “eliminate.”

    Because that is what a cure aims at. And this is what people are told all over the internet that drinking baking soda can do.

    This suggests that consumption of bicarbonate may increase survival.

    Okay imagine you have just been diagnosed with cancer, and you are given the following choices:

    1) You may drink baking soda, which has been shown to reduce the rate of metastasisformation in mice, thus possibly prolonging survival compared to doing nothing. However it will not do anything to the (primary) cancer itself.
    2) You can have the conventional treatemnt, which will remove the primary cancer completetly, and with a probability of 60 % you will never experience a recurrence. There is a risk of side effects, but evidence is, that this risk is outweighed by the benefits.

    I do find it a little odd that we approach 200 different diseases with the same three therapies: chemo, radiation and surgery.

    This is because you know very little about modern cancer treatment. There are more tretament types than these three (althoug some of the other types resemble chemotherapy). And chemotherapy is not one thing either. I don’t have the exact number, but there are approximately 100 different chemotherapies. Different types of cancer respond to different types of chemotherapies (if at all). There is great variation in side effects. If you are genuinely interested in knowing the basics of moderne conventional cancer treatment, this site is recommended.

    Maybe baking soda would work great for one type…

    Oncologists already have experience with sodium bicarbonate. It is useful as treatment of tumour lysis syndrome. When cancer cells have been destroyed, there is a risk that metabolic products of nucleic acids will precipitate in the kidneys. Sodium bicarbonate helps keeping these products dissolved, so that they can be eliminated with the urine. If sodium bicarbonate had an effect on its own on cancer, it would have been known.

    Perhaps some patients would volunteer to participate in trials that do not involve toxic substances being injected into their already ravaged bodies.

    There have indeed been such trials involving substances claimed by the alt med industry to be non-toxic. I’ll leave it to you to think about why alt med sites do not inform their readres about them.

    Surely you’ll agree that two women who chose alternative cancer treatments and unfortunately died are not representative of the world’s population of cancer patients who pursue unconventional treatments.

    Sadly they are. This is not only the experience of oncology wards. It is also the findings of follow up studies as explained in a previous comment. It is your choice if you want to believe websites promoting alternative therapy for cancer or websites critical of them. And if you have doubts about the motives of the authors on this blog, then so be it.

  33. JLI December 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Testimonials on the internet sound persuasive, because that is what they are meant to. For some reason many people are higly critical of conventional medicine, but have complete trust in people who want to sell books or other products (or believe in people who do).

    There are plenty of things that can be wrong with such testimonials. Sometimes it can be very hard to spot – especially if you don’t know what to look for. Here is a good article explaining what to look out for: http://www.users.on.net/~pmoran/cancer/how_to_read_a_testimonial.htm
    I’ll sum up a few main points:

    1) Sometimes it isn’t even cancer.
    2) Sometimes the cancer has been removed as part of the diagnostic procedure.
    3) The advocated therapy may have been used in addition to conventional treatment.
    4) The cancer might not have been cured after all
    5) It may be pure fabrication

    Wish you health and happiness. Keep your eyes and your soul open..

    Same to you.

  34. Bobba December 17, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I have a friend who is convinced that hemp oil will treat his lung cancer. He considered the baking soda/maple syrup, however he found that on Dr. You Tube, more positive results with hemp oil. We should thank Dr. You Tube and Dr. Google for the great medical cures that evidence based medicine fails to uncover.
    My friend is now at stage 4 in paliative care unit and Dr. You Tube has him convinced that in 6 weeks he will be cured. Maybe he should of choosen the other alternative cures, or maybe he did not follow the direction properly. Can anyone explain why we have so many alternative cures and yet only medical evidence based diagnosis?

  35. Sarah December 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Thank you once again for taking the time to respond to my comments.

    You mention that the difference between cancer (I am assuming you refer to the primary tumor) and metastases are insignificant. Yikes. While they are indeed part of the same malignant entity, they are clearly not one and the same. A mass without metastatic potential is relatively innocuous while a mass that is experiencing uncontrolled spread is clearly a deadly threat. You also state that you can have cancer without metastasis but not the reverse. Hmm, let’s ponder that for a second. A primary cancer can exist without metastases if it has not begun to spread. Right on. Metastases without a primary tumor now…what about if the primary cancer is surgically removed and metastases/micrometastases remain. Why I do believe this would entail a situation where metastases exist in the absence of a primary tumor.

    Next, let’s revisit the concept of a cancer cure (i.e the “elimination” of cancer). This would be great and we would have one in a perfect world. As this is not the world we live in, let’s put on our realistic pants and focus on progress in the field of cancer treatment in terms of decreasing or halting metastatic spread without introducing radioactive poisons into the body (fun fact: chemo was developed from chemical warfare!) If baking soda, essiac, b 17, low dose naltrexone, vitamin c, the budwig protocol, etc. and so forth can do this to any degree, I think we have our selves something to celebrate! And if websites want to proclaim that any of these are THE CURE, we can criticize them but just like it is your prerogative to express your views in this blog, that is their prerogative. Thanks 1st amendment!! My personal concern is not to declare that they are right and you are wrong or vice versa, I am merely trying to arrive at the truth.

    So you propound a hypothetical scenario in which I myself have contracted cancer. My options are a) guzzle baking soda and b) receive conventional treatment (and deal with the side effects like, um, cancer) and party like it’s 1999 with my buddies in the lucky 60%. Oh, that reminds me, I had asked you where you are getting this number and what our definition of cure is, perhaps you could provide this info?? Anyway, back to my cancer :-(. Well I guess I would have that bad boy surgically removed and then toast the new millennium with a yummy baking soda spiked beverage!

    You state that I know little about modern cancer treatment. You may be correct in this regard, although the consensus seems to be that it blows. I do think it’s interesting that you distinguish between 200 different kinds of cancer and 100 different kinds of cancer treatment. So in my hypothetical first-hand experience, I am not going to get cancer and receive chemo/radiation, I am going to get cancer and receive chemo/radiation. Whew, I was scared for a second there.

    So thanks for referring me to Cancer Research UK. I am actually interested in cancer treatments in the US, as I am not a mouse in Britain. Thanks.

    Anyhoo, you also mention that there have been trials which assess the efficacy of non-toxic potential cancer treatments and you imply that “altie” websites omit mention of these. You suggest that I contemplate why this is the case. Having experienced a great deal of mental strain in this attempt, perhaps you could refer me to the studies themselves. Thanks. Hey, did you get a chance to check out Figure 2 in Robey’s study? I put my glasses on and still couldn’t see anything. Let me know what you think.

    So, in conclusion, I am really glad I have stumbled across your blog, I have found it very interesting and look forward to reading more of your articles. I did want to mention that the the subtitle of your blog, “blogging against alternative treatments” may be a bit misleading. If, hypothetically, some smarty-pants unaffiliated scientist were to come across a viable, unpatentable, effective treatment for cancer which would by definition be “alternative” until it was accepted by the medical community, you wouldn’t want to blog against that. Now would you?

  36. JLI December 17, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Sorry to hear about your friend.

    Youtube videos can be very persuasive – in particular those with testimonials. As explained above, there are several things that can be wrong with testimonials. For example it can be very difficult to spot, that the patients in the Rick Simpson video (Which I assume was the one your friend found) also had conventional treatment.

    Other convincers are results of laboratory experiments. There have been conflicting results from studies on cancer cell lines cultured in dishes or implanted in experimental genetically modified mice. Cancer in a patient is not the same as a cancer cell line grown in a dish or implanted in a mouse. We know from experience that you can’t conclude directly from effects in such experimental studies to effects in humans. There is no way around studies in actual cancer patients.

    Here is one such study.9 patients with progression of a brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme was treated. It wasn’t a controlled study, so we can’t know if the benefits that were observed was an effect of cannabis or an effect of the natural history of their cancer. The bottom line is, that all nine patients died within a year. Not a single patient was cured.

    There are currently ongoing clinical trials that aim at answering if Cannabis will be useful as part of treatment of some cancers. The fact that anti-cancer capabilities of cannabis is being researched proves that it is not being suppressed. Here is a balanced, honest and up to date review of the results of cannabis research, and the conclusions that can be drawn from it.

  37. JLI December 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Thank you once again for taking the time to respond to my comments.

    Well – This will be the last time. It is obvious, that you are not really here to seek information or provide constructive feedback. And I really have other things to do than arguing over semantics with you.

    they are clearly not one and the same.

    You know perfectly well what I meant. No reason for me to comment.

    what about if the primary cancer is surgically removed and metastases/micrometastases remain.

    You know perfectly well what I meant. No reason for me to comment.

    If baking soda, essiac, b 17, low dose naltrexone, vitamin c, the budwig protocol, etc. and so forth can do this to any degree, I think we have our selves something to celebrate!

    No objection from me. And if it could, it would be in use.

    …..that is their prerogative. Thanks 1st amendment!!

    Cancer and its treatment is something that is very scary to most (all??) people. I despise those who prey on people who has been diagnosed with cancer. I wouldn’t feel that anybody’s rights would be unjustifiably violated if their scam operations were made illegal. And lets not forget that they time and again attempt to silence their critics. It is repulsive that they try to deny other the freedom of speech that they claim gives them the right to do what they do.

    I had asked you where you are getting this number and what our definition of cure is,

    From the official statistics. How this is computed is difficult to expalin in a comment, but I can recommend this excellent explanation of how we know this.

    I guess I would have that bad boy surgically removed and then toast the new millennium with a yummy baking soda spiked beverage!

    Fair enough. Surgery is the most important part of the treatment – Perhaps the only one needed. In the adjuvant setting (given in addition to the surgery) the contribution of chemotherapy to survival is highly variable – and is certainly not given to all patients.

    I am actually interested in cancer treatments in the US, as I am not a mouse in Britain. Thanks.

    As far as I am aware the treatments are the same. I am sure there are reader friendly American websites about cancer too.

    perhaps you could refer me to the studies themselves.

    I suppose I could list a few examples:
    Pancreatic proteolytic enzyme therapy (Gonzales)
    Gerson therapy
    “B17″ – A review of 36 clinical trials. The library may be able to get it for you for free.
    DCA And here is a fairly detailed analysis of that study.
    Shark cartilage

    These are only a few examples. There is a lot of evidence of absence out there.

    Hey, did you get a chance to check out Figure 2 in Robey’s study

    Yes- but I think the rest of the article is far more interesting: The report of fewer and smaller metastases in the sodium bicarbonate group. The figure shows fluorescence photos of 5 treated with sodium bicarbonate without fluorescence, and 5 untreated with varying degrees of fluorescence. In the other article there is a fluorescence photo of a lung metastastasis from a sodium bicarbonate treated mouse resembling one of the untreated mice in fig.2.

    I have found it very interesting and look forward to reading more of your articles

    You are welcome, but as I stated above, I have no more time to argue over semantics with you.

    smarty-pants unaffiliated scientist were to come across a viable, unpatentable, effective treatment for cancer which would by definition be “alternative” until it was accepted

    Not necessarily. There are interesting ideas, and then there are crackpot ideas that are dismissble right away. I know it can be difficult to understand how we can know that crackpot ideas are what they are. I can try and illustrate it with an analogy I think you can follow:

    Someone launches an idea that it is not the heart that is responsible for blood circulation. It is the liver. Circulatory disturbances are easily cured by not drinking alcohol – and it is all described in a book that you can buy over the internet. The big pharmers try to suppress this information (alcohol is basically an agricultural product). Advocates of this nonsense will persuade people into not taking their heart medication.

    To people who understand cancer biology, this example is no more absurd than many cancer crackpot ideas.
    If you are interested in how and why new treatments should be tested, I can recommend this freely downloadable book. It is not about alternative therapy. It is about learning.

  38. Sarah December 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Ok, I get it. You don’t like me because I’m calling you out on your flimsy arguments and make-believe conclusions. You either avoid legitimate scientific inquiry or make nonsensical irrelevant counterpoints that would easily confuse and mislead the scientific layperson. You dismiss any rational commentary that does not align with your a) fanatical or b) incentive-driven beliefs. I thought maybe it was just personal, but I checked out some other comments on the board. There’s lots among the moderators kissing each others you-know-what, some from like-minded delusional people, some from people that are just trying to educate themselves and still more from people who are simply trying to express a different point of view. It is this last group that concerns me the most. I am sure you are glad you have washed your hands of him, but SoulSearcher stood out to me as being particularly sincere and concerned, both for his wife and other cancer sufferers. His heart was obviously in the right place and he did not have a hidden agenda. You respond in a cold and unsympathetic manner as is your practice with those that hold views that differ from yours. This is what makes me most question the motives behind this blog. People have suffered terribly from this disease and you demonstrate zero empathy and compassion when they reach out to you. The majority of these people seem much nicer than I am and you still treat them with such callousness.

    I am not trying to argue with you, I am merely stating my observations. You will not publish this not because I am trying to engage you in a squabble over semantics or because I am taking up an inordinate amount of your time. You will not publish it because it is true and quite frankly, you feel threatened by my statements and willingness to express them.

    You may not even read this.
    I am writing it because sometimes you just have to do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

    All the best,
    Sarah C.

  39. JLI December 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Ok, I get it. You don’t like me because I’m calling you out on your flimsy arguments and make-believe conclusions.

    Drop your persecution complex. I have no sentiments concerning you.

    You either avoid legitimate scientific inquiry or make nonsensical irrelevant counterpoints that would easily confuse and mislead the scientific layperson.

    That’s not a fair comment. I have gone at lengths addressing your scientific inquiries, and spend considerable time finding links that would further explain these things to you. But if your hatred at me blocks you from accepting that perhaps you did get it slightly wrong, there is not much to be done about it. Anyway – The explanations, original papers and links to further details have been presented for everyone to see.

    You dismiss any rational commentary

    I do no such thing. I think I may have seen you accepting bits of what I have said here and there. But in general it is you who dismiss rationality.

    People have suffered terribly from this disease and you demonstrate zero empathy and compassion when they reach out to you. The majority of these people seem much nicer than I am and you still treat them with such callousness.

    Asking for proper documentation of miraculous cancer cures is not lack of empathy. Things aren’t always as obvious as you think.

    You will not publish it because it is true and quite frankly, you feel threatened by my statements and willingness to express them.

    I do not feel threatened. It saddens me that your hatred blocks you from thinking about the explanations given. But your tone is certainly close to be in violation with the comment rules of this blog.

    All the best

    Same to you.

  40. Sarah December 23, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    JLi

    It is good to hear from you, I have so missed our chats! First, let me apologize. I am indeed a flawed individual as you point out. I appreciate you trying to provide some insight into my psyche, but my last eval didn’t mention anything about a persecution complex…
    I kid! I struggle with sarcasm (total defense mechanism) and I am trying to work on this, so please bear with me if I slip here and there.
    In all seriousness, I harbor no ill will towards you and quite enjoy our animated tete-e-tetes. I admire your convictions but I don’t necessarily agree with some of them. Further, I do not randomly take up causes (although it is much more fun than I would’ve thought! sorry… slip) I am just a person concerned about someone who has cancer and took the trouble to look into the facts.
    So, having said that, I do have have a background in science and I am able to independently investigate your assertions (this is how I found out what a persecution complex is hee-hee). Now I myself enjoy reading scholarly scientific articles from time to time, but I could totally see someone wanting to pursue more stimulating activities, say, staring at a wall.
    So, in essence, someone may be looking to you as an “expert” to interpret this snooze-inducing data. So it is not really me that I am worried about, it is the people that may not question your biased or straight-up wrong commentary.
    Let’s take an example. If I recall correctly, we were discussing the significance of the fluorescent imaging in Robey’s initial study involving bicarbonate (NOT the other one which I know you like to bring up). Let’s break it down:

    Fluorescence=cancer
    No fluorescence=no cancer

    Kapisch?

    No bicarbonate=fluorescence=cancer

    Yes bicarbonate=no fluorescence=(drum roll please)=no cancer!!!

    This, again, is illustrated in figure two and refers to pulmonary findings only. So again, to simplify again:

    Yes carbonate=no cancer

    See? I just don’t want anybody to be confused about the study or it’s findings, so I am trying to be as clear as possible.
    And yes, I have agreed with you in some instances. I do not think you are 100% wrong, nor do I think I am 100% right (or vice versa). But you seem to think I am 100% wrong 100% of the time even when I am calling a duck a duck (see example above).

    I am very glad that you don’t dislike me and we are working things out. I look forward to speaking to you again.

  41. JLI December 24, 2013 at 11:06 am

    ……..significance of the fluorescent imaging in Robey’s initial study involving bicarbonate (NOT the other one which I know you like to bring up).

    But reproducibility is a mainstay of science. Here is an article from Nature discussing the magnitude of this problem concerning preclinical research.

    The bicarbonate group in the second article underwent the same procedure as the bicarbonate group in the first article. So it should be taken into consideration in the context of the first article. But okay – I’ll stick to the first study from now on.

    Let’s break it down:

    Fluorescence=cancer
    No fluorescence=no cancer
    Kapisch?
    No bicarbonate=fluorescence=cancer
    Yes bicarbonate=no fluorescence=(drum roll please)=no cancer!!!
    This, again, is illustrated in figure two and refers to pulmonary findings only. So again, to simplify again:
    Yes carbonate=no cancer

    It is a bit more complicated than that. The photos shown in the article are compressed versions of photos used for data analysis. Try and compare file size to the photos in the article with the file size in a photo taken with your own digital camera. In this type of experiments file size matters, because “fusion of pixels” can obscure smaller details. So no visible fluorescence in the photo in the article may very well mean very little fluorescence in the microscope/original image used for image analysis.

    This is what is shown in figure 3A. The image analysis software detected fluorescence in the metastases in various locations – including the lungs. There was less fluorescence, but not absence. The way this is interpreted by the researchers themselves is that the metastases in the bicarbonate group were fewer and smaller – Not absent.

    I am very glad that you don’t dislike me and we are working things out. I look forward to speaking to you again.

    Likewise.

  42. Sarah December 24, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Thanks, JLI, that means a lot to me :-)

    As you know, these two research projects that we are referring to test two different hypotheses and one is not being conducted in order to reproduce the results of the other. I am not sure why I have to spell that out, one does not have to read past the title to see this (yes, I did read past the title in both of them).
    In point of fact, two experiments were performed within the confines of this study, one involving a 30 day growth of the primary tumor, the other involving 60 day growth. ****”Both experiments showed dramatically fewer lesions in the bicarbonate-treated group…the bicarbonate group had little, IF ANY, fluorescence…”****

    JLI, I am not sure why you are thinking in such absolute terms. I will just ask you point blank: If you were a mouse, would you rather be in the control group or the bicarbonate group? Notwithstanding the knowledge of your imminent demise, of course. I would bet the farm on you wanting to be in the bicarbonate group and party hearty with your whiskered friends.

    Perhaps you would choose door #3, where we find ourselves in the chemotherapy infusion ward, where we will also experience reduction in tumor/metastasis size. Hair loss, weight loss, fingernails falling out, nausea, and a long list of other and more unpalatable side effects are also on the menu, with a secondary cancer being the soup du jour. As you so astutely point out, bicarbonate does NOT induce a bodily elevation in pH, thus alkalosis is not even a real risk.

    I look forward to your response.

    I just have to mention that the article that you initially cite by Steve Delgado is a publication of the University of Arizona. Steve is not a journalist. This is not a piece of journalism. This is a clipping from a college newspaper by someone who may or may not have been at a 5 kegger the night before.

    Not that you implied this, but I am not a fanatic. I am not sure what Simoncini is smoking. But even if he is not out in left field and cancer is a fungus, the fact that sodium bicarbonate will kill it, or reduce its malignant potential is really the most important implication.

    Cheers!
    [EDIT by JLI: I took the liberty to ammend your following comment to this one assuming that it was meant to be part of this one]

  43. JLI December 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I look forward to your response.

    Door #3 (given that evidence exists that chemotherapy has an effect on this type of cancer). Not everyone experiences all these (transient) side effects. I have been told by friends who had cancer, that the chemotherapies they underwent were absolutely doable. Here is a video of an elderly gentleman telling about his experience.

    Steve is not a journalist

    I did not know this. Steve’s misunderstandings are used by alt medders as evidence that drinking baking soda can cure cancer.

    the fact that sodium bicarbonate will kill it, or reduce its malignant potential is really the most important implication.

    Slowing down progression is not the same as killing the cancer or reducing its malignant potential. Telling people that it is possible to get rid of cancer (Even at stage 4) simply by drinking sodium bicarbonate is wrong. And claiming that it is at least as/more effective than available conventional treatment is equally wrong.

    Given that sodium bicarbonate is in use by oncologists, it is fair to say that it is not the wonder substance we all wish was available.

  44. Sarah December 27, 2013 at 12:07 am

    Thank you JLI.

    I respect your hypothetical decision to undergo chemotherapy. If I had a lymphoma or testicular cancer (presuming of course, that I was appropriately endowed), I would probably make the same choice. Should the winds of fate blow some other cancer my way, however, I would seriously consider my options. Our fundamental disagreement, l think lies in the ostensible degree of efficacy of baking soda versus chemotherapy. This systematic study appearing in Clinical Oncology seeks to isolate the survivorship rate attributable solely to cytotoxic chemotherapy:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/15630849/

    It concludes that the “overall contribution of…cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5 year survival,” in Australia and the U.S is 2.3 and 2.1%, respectively and chemo “only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival.”
    Of course, if someone kicks the cancer bucket at 5 years and one day, they are considered a success story.
    Perhaps non-Hodgkins lymphoma and testicular cancer contribute to these not very sunny statistics, making the outlook for other cancers yet more bleak.
    If there is a snowball’s chance in hell of being cured after paying Big Pharma hundreds of thousands of dollars to be poisoned, why, I’d rather take my chances with Arm and Hammer and keep my dignity and self-respect.

    7.6 million people die from cancer each year, not including the number that die from seconday causes such as infection due to a severely compromised immune system. I am under no delusions about the efficacy of chemotherapy (or lack thereof). Just like any other business, the pharmaceutical companies operate in their own best financial interests, incentivizing the overuse of chemotherapy. As you probably know, oncologists receive a huge kickback for prescribing chemotherapy, essentially buying at wholesale prices and selling at retail. Please see:

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2013/10/25_edmond-j-safra-center-for-ethics-fellows-jlme.html

    You mention acquaintances that have not found chemotherapy to be particularly unpleasant. a) these experiences are quite subjective and b) you yourself essentially dismiss any “testimonial” as lacking credibility. Further, I omitted an extensive list of possible side effects in my previous comment; lung damage, heart failure and death are not “transient.”

    Chemotherapy has been established to reduce the size of tumors and 5 year survival may be incidental to this in some cases. In most cases, it does not cure cancer as it does not address the root causes.

  45. Sarah December 27, 2013 at 4:04 am

    P.S James Randi is anything but a joe-blow average “elderly gentleman.” He is a celebrity magician and “professional skeptic” who appeared multiple times on the Johnny Carson show and was besties with Carl Sagan. His experience with chemotherapy is not representative of the rest of the population. He routinely took a cost-prohibitive drug known as Emend which acts to alleviate some of the side effects of chemo. Interestingly, this drug has been shown to have some anti-cancer effects.

  46. JLI December 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    It concludes that the “overall contribution of…cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5 year survival,” in Australia and the U.S is 2.3 and 2.1%, respectively and chemo “only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival.”

    I am very familiar with this study. An analysis of this study is one of the most read posts on this blog. Others have blogged about it too.
    To summarise a few important points:
    Chemotherapy may be used in the following situations:
    1) As the only treatment: Chemotherapy contributes 100% to survival
    2) As an addition to surgery. Contribution to survival is highly variable (a few percents or maybe as high as 30%)
    3) To relieve symptoms in highly advanced cancers. Chemotherapy contributes 0% to survival.
    So depending on how you select the groups you analyze, you can get anything from 0% to 100% contribution to survival.

    Of course, if someone kicks the cancer bucket at 5 years and one day, they are considered a success story.

    It is a bit more complicated than that. The longer time that passes without a recurrence, the greater likelihood that the patient will never experience a recurrence. For some cancers, the 5 year survival rate is a relevant (but not perfect) measure of success. For others it is not a good measure.

    I’d rather take my chances with Arm and Hammer and keep my dignity and self-respect.

    That is what Big Altie wants you to believe is a good idea. They earn big money too remember. And in the context of cancer they do so by scaring people away from conventional treatment. And persuasively claim that they have an-easy-to-do-highly-effective-cure.

    As you probably know, oncologists receive a huge kickback for prescribing chemotherapy, essentially buying at wholesale prices and selling at retail.

    Not in my country. As a pathologist I participate in multidisciplinary cancer conferences. We discuss each and every patient. Chemotherapy isn’t given nilly willy. We assess carefully if chemotherapy is relevant in each and every case (ie if the benefits are greater than side effects). Oncologists actually spend quite some time with patients explaining to them why chemotherapy should not be given in individual cases.

    You mention acquaintances that have not found chemotherapy to be particularly unpleasant. a) these experiences are quite subjective and b) you yourself essentially dismiss any “testimonial” as lacking credibility. Further, I omitted an extensive list of possible side effects in my previous comment; lung damage, heart failure and death are not “transient.”

    Side effects occur. Even serious side effects. It is important not to confuse deaths due to adverse events with preventable deaths. For example, failing to treat curable cancers with chemotherapy would reduce the number of deaths due to complications of chemotherapy. But the number of deaths due to cancer would rise, and those people who did not die from a chemotherapy related complication will still die.

    In most cases, it does not cure cancer as it does not address the root causes.

    Beatis came up with this analogy: There are lots of things you can do to prevent a fire in your house. But if the fire breaks out, none of this will put it out. You need to do something more drastic. Similarly you can’t cure a cancer by stopping to do something that can cause it. Besides cancer isn’t caused by sodium bicarbonate deficiency, so it doesn’t address the root cause either.

    His experience with chemotherapy is not representative of the rest of the population. He routinely took a cost-prohibitive drug known as Emend which acts to alleviate some of the side effects of chemo. Interestingly, this drug has been shown to have some anti-cancer effects.

    In my country drugs that alleviate side effects of chemotherapy are used on a routine basis. Are you sure that is not the case in the US as well?

  47. Sarah December 27, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    JLI,

    So. This study is flawed and you make several points contradictory to its findings. You insinuate that chemotherapy as the single mode of treatment can claim a 100% cure rate. In what version of reality is this actually the case?
    You claim adjuvant therapy can improve survivorship. How are we to know whether or not survival is attributable solely to surgery?
    You state that the chance of recurrence is reduced with time and 5 year survival is indicative of this. I’m sure the guy that relapses and meets the Big Guy a day after his 5th anniversary is not very impressed and is a little ticked that he’s on the survivor list. Moreover, survival time also correlates with an increased probability of developing a secondary cancer.
    There are always opportunistic people that will exploit the vulnerable for their own financial gain. If this is someone’s true motive, however, they would be well-advised to join the ranks of Big Pharma. Nobody’s getting rich off of baking soda at what, a dollar a pop? Of course, they are now recommending you replace your baking soda every 30 (60?) days, so perhaps they are trying to boost profits…
    I am truly impressed with the multidisciplinary approach to chemotherapy in your country. As you know, this is not the case in the good ol’ US of A, where there is little communication among doctors and chemo is prescribed almost indiscriminately. So perhaps chemotherapy has a better track record where you hail from. It is established that chemo is effective in testicular cancer and some lymphomas. But of course we cannot extrapolate this to include all cancers. So if the meta-analysis I referred to in my last comment is not credible, to what shall we refer?
    Beatis’ analogy about preventive measures being useless after a fire has broken out is somewhat apt. My contention would be well, you can’t fight fire with fire which is essentially what you’re trying to fight cancer with a carcinogen.
    Some would say poor diet is the root cause of cancer and adhering to an anti-cancer diet will resolve the problem. This theory is related to the alkalinity theory of cancer. So, baking soda could possibly jump-start an alkaline diet, which would be aided by the consumption of anti-cancer foods. So the cancer does not arise from a lack of baking soda, but a lack of alkalinity, which the baking soda can provide.

  48. JLI December 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    So. This study is flawed and you make several points contradictory to its findings. You insinuate that chemotherapy as the single mode of treatment can claim a 100% cure rate. In what version of reality is this actually the case?

    No – I said that some cancers are treated with chemotherapy only, and in these cases chemotherapy contributes 100% to survival meaning that those who survive do so because of chemotherapy. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is an example.Untreated it is universally lethal. 5 year survival rate for children who get ALL is 88%. Chemotherapy contribute 100% to the 88% 5 year survival rate.

    You claim adjuvant therapy can improve survivorship. How are we to know whether or not survival is attributable solely to surgery?

    We can’t on an individual basis, but we can by collecting data on large number of patients. Let’s take a concrete example. A 60 year old in average health for her age diagnosed with a grade 2 Estrogen receptor positive breast cancer measuring 3.5 cm. And with metastasis to 5 lymph nodes. In this situation statistics say that 48.3 patients will still be alive in 10 years after surgery, 42.6 will have died of cancer, and 9.1% will have died of unrelated conditions. If hormonal therapy and modern chemotherapy is given 69,4 % will be alive after 10 years. So adding hormone an chemotherapy to surgery results in an improved 10 year survival of 21.1%. The contribution of hormone/chemotherapy to 10 year survival in this case is 21.1/69.4 = 30.4% (there are also data on hormone therapy alone and chemotherapy alone).
    But again – It is not possible to point out on an individual basis which patient in this scenario would have survived for at least 10 years with surgery alone.

    You state that the chance of recurrence is reduced with time and 5 year survival is indicative of this. I’m sure the guy that relapses and meets the Big Guy a day after his 5th anniversary is not very impressed and is a little ticked that he’s on the survivor list. Moreover, survival time also correlates with an increased probability of developing a secondary cancer.

    On the other hand, the knowledge that having passed the 5 year (or 10 year) mark means that the risk of a recurrence has decreased considerably is a positive thing. The risk of a secondary cancer is certainly there. And this is taken into consideration when deciding if a treatment will be beneficial or not. Here is a document by the American Cancer Society on this.

    There are always opportunistic people that will exploit the vulnerable for their own financial gain. If this is someone’s true motive, however, they would be well-advised to join the ranks of Big Pharma. Nobody’s getting rich off of baking soda at what, a dollar a pop? Of course, they are now recommending you replace your baking soda every 30 (60?) days, so perhaps they are trying to boost profits…

    They don’t have to sell sodium bicarbonate to make money on the idea. I have previously mentioned Mercola and Mike Adams as examples of this, and they are not the only ones.

    So if the meta-analysis I referred to in my last comment is not credible, to what shall we refer?

    We have to accept that cancer biology is very complex. And that cancer chemotherapy is also a collective term for approximately 100 different treatments (some are associated with increased secondary cancer risk, others are not). Here is an example of a meta-analysis of pros and cons of chemotherapy for colorectal cancer. I can also recommend the Cochrane database of systematic reviews. But even systematic reviews may be imperfect.

    Some would say poor diet is the root cause of cancer and adhering to an anti-cancer diet will resolve the problem. This theory is related to the alkalinity theory of cancer. So, baking soda could possibly jump-start an alkaline diet, which would be aided by the consumption of anti-cancer foods. So the cancer does not arise from a lack of baking soda, but a lack of alkalinity, which the baking soda can provide.

    The association between diet and risk of cancer is an area of active and ongoing research. There is no evidence that an alkaline diet really makes a difference in terms of curing cancer. I’ll give you an example. Here is an article where a celebrity explains that alkaline diet cured her of cancer. In another article it is explained that she had the full packet of conventional treatment as well. From other studies we learn that replacing conventional treatment with alternative therapies (including dietary strategies) reduces the chances of survival.

  49. Lee Olson December 29, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Sarah is right on. How anyone can defend Chemo is a complete mystery to me. My first wife, 5 other relatives and very close friends all died within about 2 years or so using chemo. Another close friend was supposed to die within 3-4 months after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and a tennis sized tumor on his lung, He went with a Rife machine and supplements(ambutose I believe). I have followed his journey all the way. He is still alive and sings karaoke 2-3 times a week.

  50. Sarah December 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I am not disputing that certain forms of cancer warrant the use of chemotherapy, specifically lymphomas and testicular cancer. If I had either of these conditions, I would likely agree to chemotherapy.

    It is the OTHER cancers that I am concerned about, ones in which the use of cytotoxic therapies are more dubious. You mention adjuvant chemotherapy and hormone therapy in the context of breast cancer. Robey’s study was conducted using this type of malignancy and was found to be effective in reducing and/or eliminating metastases (and prolonging survival) which we have explored ad nauseum. I would be interested in the statistics involving chemo and hormones alone, as this is more relevant than their effect in combination.

    Here is a article regarding the inappropriate use of chemotherapy from a legal perspective. It illustrates a top-down profit motive that clearly overrides any interest in providing patients with optimal care. Pharmaceutical companies have paid out millions in settlements for their corrupt practices. It is absolutely obscene and unconscionable. I am not interested in the likes of Mercola and Mike Adams. These are small-time players whose alleged profit motive is laughable when compared with the despicable greed and corruption that is integral to the pharmaceutical industry structure.

    Here is an interesting study involving the mechanism involved in rendering a cancer less susceptible to chemotherapy:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22863786/

    It is this possibility of chemo-resistance that makes me wary of post-operative adjuvant therapy. If the cancer comes back stronger and yet more virulent after one has dutifully gone through the recommended chemotherapy radiation, what then? Whether it is the recurrence of the same cancer or the induction of a secondary cancer, are we not jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

  51. Sarah December 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    My first link seems to be absent in my comment, my apologies. Again, it is

    http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/anemia/anemia-overuse-01828.html#.UsBhVaa9LCS

    The article is called Cancer Industry Fights to Keep Obscene Profits: Part I and appears on lawyersandsettlements.com

  52. Sarah January 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    JLI,

    I hope you have had a happy new year. I am a little disappointed I have not received a response from you yet! Of course, we have had our differences in the past, but I have tried to be as civil as possible and have refrained from being “personal or offensive.” I have great respect for this blog in that it allows “critical or controversial” commentary, regardless of whether or not it is in accord with the writers’ beliefs. I find it commendable that you consistently stand by your convictions and have always a) printed my comments and b) responded to them in a critical yet objective manner. This has made your position somewhat more credible, at least in my estimation. Simply disregarding a legitimate comment (with compelling data to support it) which may be difficult for you to refute casts great doubt on your credibility and legitimacy. It is my suspicion that the following statement is in part responsible for the lack of response:

    “The obscene profits made off chemotherapy override any incentive to find a cure or better treatments.”

    I understand that this statement and the article in question may be very challenging for you to discredit. However, if you truly believe what you profess, you will attempt to do so and not simply disregard it. I’m sure you will agree that a lack of response may be indicative of an erroneous viewpoint and conscious dissemination of false information. I certainly hope this is not the case and look forward to hearing back from you soon.

  53. beatis January 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    (…) Another close friend was supposed to die within 3-4 months after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and a tennis sized tumor on his lung, He went with a Rife machine and supplements(ambutose I believe). I have followed his journey all the way. He is still alive and sings karaoke 2-3 times a week.

    Was this the only treatment he had?

  54. beatis January 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    P.S James Randi is anything but a joe-blow average “elderly gentleman.” He is a celebrity magician and “professional skeptic” who appeared multiple times on the Johnny Carson show and was besties with Carl Sagan. His experience with chemotherapy is not representative of the rest of the population. He routinely took a cost-prohibitive drug known as Emend which acts to alleviate some of the side effects of chemo. Interestingly, this drug has been shown to have some anti-cancer effects.

    I had Emend too during my chemo, as well as a number of other anti-nausea drugs, as Emend didn’t work very well for me. Drugs to alleviate the side effects of chemo are prescribed as standard procedure in my country, we are given what works and the costs are covered by our health insurance.

  55. beatis January 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    @ Sarah

    “The obscene profits made off chemotherapy override any incentive to find a cure or better treatments.”

    This contradicts the statement made many times on this blog, that more people die of chemo than of cancer. The statement is incorrect btw, but still, it seems rather stupid that Big Pharma would invest all their energy in finding treatments that only succeeds in killing their favourite cash cows.

  56. Sarah January 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    Beatis,

    I am delighted to finally make your acquaintance.

    James Randi himself mentions his good fortune in being able to have access to Emend due to his considerable wealth, while others had to go without because they were not as fortunate. Randi himself recognizes that his relatively positive experience with chemotherapy may have, in part, been due to his financial advantage. I am frankly not very familiar with drugs administered to treat the side effects of chemotherapy or insurance companies’ coverage policies regarding them. I was just repeating something Randi had said that may have colored his experience, especially as it related to others’ experience.

    The more important issue here is why JLI would refer me to a very charismatic performer (and professional debunker!!) to demonstrate a first-hand experience with chemotherapy, rather than someone the average cancer-patient can relate to. He/she simply refers to Randi as an “elderly gentleman” and this is grossly misleading (not to say he’s not…). He is a performer; how are we to know this is not a performance? He is a professional debunker. By professional debunker, I mean someone who receives renumeration for debunking. How are we to know this is not the case here?

    JLI has made it abundantly clear that testimonials are worthless. I assume this is because they are inherently subjective. How does JLI justify posting such a testimonial (which clearly may be very biased) from such a high-profile individual who is obviously not even close to being representative of the chemotherapy-receiving population?

  57. beatis January 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    @Sarah

    James Randi himself mentions his good fortune in being able to have access to Emend due to his considerable wealth, while others had to go without because they were not as fortunate.

    That may be the case in the USA – that has an appalling health care system imo – but it is not the case in my country, where every prescription related to cancer is fully covered by our health care system.

    The more important issue here is why JLI would refer me to a very charismatic performer (and professional debunker!!) to demonstrate a first-hand experience with chemotherapy, rather than someone the average cancer-patient can relate to.

    What would such a someone be like?

    It’s obvious you are not familiar with chemotherapy: during the treatment, patients are interviewed on a regular basis about their experiences, in view of side effects. This gives important information about the effectiveness of medication to alleviate side effects, such as antiemetic drugs.

    He is a performer; how are we to know this is not a performance?

    Huh?? Am I to understand that you think performers are habitual liars?

    JLI has made it abundantly clear that testimonials are worthless. I assume this is because they are inherently subjective. How does JLI justify posting such a testimonial (which clearly may be very biased) from such a high-profile individual who is obviously not even close to being representative of the chemotherapy-receiving population?

    See my previous remark.

  58. beatis January 3, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    @Sarah

    The article is called Cancer Industry Fights to Keep Obscene Profits: Part I and appears on lawyersandsettlements.com

    What’s your point?

  59. Sarah January 3, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    Beatis,

    First, thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments.

    You address the statement “the obscene profits made off chemotherapy override any incentive to find a cure or better treatments.” I want to emphasize that I mention this in the context of the article by Evelyn Pringle, and would ask you and readers to refer to said article.

    I have no idea how this is contradictory to the claim that more people die of chemotherapy than cancer and I am expressing no opinion on this statement. I am interpreting your response to mean that chemotherapy would be unprofitable if everybody dies from chemotherapy (please correct me if I am wrong). You fail to take into account two very obvious facts. a) cancer is being diagnosed in new patients every day and b) chemotherapy does not normally kill instantly; if one is making this allegation it is understood that this occurs over a period of days, weeks, months and years. Profits accumulate over the relative period of time.

    You say that it would be stupid for the pharmaceutical companies to “invest all their energy in finding treatments that only succeed in killing their favorite cash cows.” I am confused as to whether you are referring to chemotherapy or chemotherapy patients. I will assume chemotherapy, but again, please correct me if I am wrong. I think you are saying that it would not be in the industry’s best interest to seek better cancer treatments because this would render chemotherapy obsolete. Are we in agreement here? I think you are reiterating that profits override any incentive to find a cure or better treatment?

    Or are you assuming that the pharmaceutical industry is indeed investing all their energy in finding better treatments even though this is essentially financial suicide, as we established above? The only reasonable conclusion is that they are not investing said energy in finding better treatments. They are investing all their energy in uselessly spinning their wheels and laughing all the way to the bank.

    Again, please do correct me if I am wrong.

  60. Sarah January 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    With all due respect, I couldn’t care less about your opinion about healthcare in different countries. I am simply making the point (again) that Randi’s experience was not necessarily consistent with other cancer patients’ at that time. The difference in care may have been responsible for a better experience and thus, account.

    I never suggested that performers are habitual liars LOL, I am saying they are able to put on a performance, nothing more and nothing less.

    You ask me “what’s your point,” when I cite an article and the website in which it appears. Huh?? I am not making a point, I am simply referring you and readers to an article.

    Again, I ask you: Huh??

  61. beatis January 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I have no idea how this is contradictory to the claim that more people die of chemotherapy than cancer and I am expressing no opinion on this statement. I am interpreting your response to mean that chemotherapy would be unprofitable if everybody dies from chemotherapy (please correct me if I am wrong). You fail to take into account two very obvious facts. a) cancer is being diagnosed in new patients every day and b) chemotherapy does not normally kill instantly; if one is making this allegation it is understood that this occurs over a period of days, weeks, months and years. Profits accumulate over the relative period of tim

    How is this “understood”? With a few exceptions, chemotherapy is not given over the course of years, and many cancer treatments do not involve chemotherapy. I have RA, for which I take medication. I have to take this medication during the rest of my life, which gives me a good chance to live to a ripe old age in relatively good condition, allowing Big Pharma to spin their profits all those years.

    You say that it would be stupid for the pharmaceutical companies to “invest all their energy in finding treatments that only succeed in killing their favorite cash cows.” I am confused as to whether you are referring to chemotherapy or chemotherapy patients. I will assume chemotherapy, but again, please correct me if I am wrong. I think you are saying that it would not be in the industry’s best interest to seek better cancer treatments because this would render chemotherapy obsolete.

    No, I am not saying that, I am quoting what others are saying and wondering why apparently hardly anyone finds this illogical.

    you are reiterating that profits override any incentive to find a cure or better treatment?

    No, I’m not.

    Or are you assuming that the pharmaceutical industry is indeed investing all their energy in finding better treatments even though this is essentially financial suicide, as we established above?

    “We” have established nothing of the kind. I also disagree that finding better treatments would be financial suicide, because better treatments have been found and are being used.

    The only reasonable conclusion is that they are not investing said energy in finding better treatments.

    The facts contradict your conclusion.

  62. beatis January 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    With all due respect, I couldn’t care less about your opinion about healthcare in different countries. I am simply making the point (again) that Randi’s experience was not necessarily consistent with other cancer patients’ at that time. The difference in care may have been responsible for a better experience and thus, account.

    (My bold) Good medication ensures better well-being for cancer patients during chemo. James Randy’s story proves this: he could afford the best of care, including effective medication for treating side effects. We know that these medications work, they diminish side effects often to a great degree and it is a shame that so many people apparently don’t have access to these drugs.

    I never suggested that performers are habitual liars

    You implied the trustworthiness of his testimony might be doubtful because he is a “performer”. It’s called poisoning the well and it’s a particularly lame form of logical fallacy.

    I ask you again: what is your point in referring us to this article?

  63. Sarah January 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Chemotherapy is administered over a period of time i.e days, weeks, months or years. I don’t know what is difficult to understand.

    Regarding the statement that it is stupid for pharmaceutical companies to “invest all their energy in finding treatments that only succeed in killing their favorite cash cows,” you say I am not understanding your point. Ok. Please explain it.

    If better treatments have been found and are being used (as you state), um, why are people still getting chemotherapy?

  64. Sarah January 3, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    James Randi is a less credible source of information about chemotherapy than the average cancer patient because it is more likely that he would receive renumeration for his testimony. His ability to “perform” is greater and thus more believable. I am not accusing Randi or his fellow performers of anything, except being better at performing than the layperson. Regardless of whether medications did/ did not help Randi and whether is telling the truth/ is not telling the truth, it is the experience/ alleged experience of one person and is not necessarily representative.

    I refer to the article Cancer Industry Fights to Keep Obscene profits because a) this is a blog about cancer treatment, b) you dispute the efficacy of alternative cancer treatments c) you suggest profit is a motive in promoting alternative treatments and d) I am suggesting that profiteering is a driving force behind the pharmaceutical industry, even at the expense of finding/promoting more effective (and less expensive) cancer therapies.

  65. beatis January 4, 2014 at 8:24 am

    James Randi is a less credible source of information about chemotherapy than the average cancer patient because it is more likely that he would receive renumeration for his testimony. His ability to “perform” is greater and thus more believable. I am not accusing Randi or his fellow performers of anything,(…)

    Yes you are.

    I refer to the article Cancer Industry Fights to Keep Obscene profits because a) this is a blog about cancer treatment, b) you dispute the efficacy of alternative cancer treatments c) you suggest profit is a motive in promoting alternative treatments and d) I am suggesting that profiteering is a driving force behind the pharmaceutical industry, even at the expense of finding/promoting more effective (and less expensive) cancer therapies.

    I have no objection to profit, I object to making profit by selling useless therapies.

  66. JLI January 4, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Lots of things to address.

    Writing on this blog including responding to comments is something I do in my spare time. I have a family too. So I really can’t and shouldn’t devote all my spare time on a computer.

    That a law firm tries to make their opponent stand in as bad a light as possible is not unusual. It is true, that new drugs are often very expensive. It would be refreshing if the regulators would just say no sometimes. They actually did that in the UK a while back. They refused to accept the costs of a new drug that had effect against melanoma. And they succeeded in getting the price down. I’d love to see more of that.

    But it is not true that these drugs are ineffective. And it is not true that the pharmaceutical companies do not continue to develop new and more effective drugs.

    There are good incentives to want to improve cancer treatments. Owners/employees (And their love ones) of pharmaceutical companies suffer from cancer too. Pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t lose money for finding a cure or just a major breakthrough – They would increase their income considerably.

    It is an undeniable fact that outlooks for cancer patients have improved considerably in the last few decades. And it is my prediction that they will continue to do so. You might like to take a look at how progression has been made in the treatment of childhood cancers. Children are not part in screening programs, so what you see is not just a consequence of earlier detection.

    Figure 2 in this article also illustrate this point.

    In the context of having had treatment for cancer James Randi IS an ordinary person. That someone tells us that he/she underwent chemotherapy for cancer and found it to be doable is plausible. And it is consistent with what is reported in the scientific literature as well as what other cancer patients say.

    A testimonial of a miraculous cancer cure is a completely different thing. You can compare it to the following:
    If someone says they have an apple tree in their garden, we have no reason to disbelieve it. Apple trees grow in many peoples gardens – It is absolutely plausible. If another person says that he/she has a unicorn in the garden, it is fair to meet this person with disbelief. Making us believe this statements requires a completely different level of documentation.

    And a few remarks about having adjuvant chemo therapy and development of resistance. The smaller the number of tumour cells there are, the easier it is for the chemotherapy to mop up them all. The risk of chemoresistance becoming a problem is smaller in the adjuvant setting compared to treatment of a recurrence.

    And then there was the question of chemo/hormone treatment alone in the example mentioned:
    Chemotherapy: 10 year survival = 61.8% => Contribution of chemotherapy: 21.8%
    Hormone therapy: 10 year survival = 58.9% => Contribution of hormone therapy: 18%

    But the combination is relevant, because this is how patients are treated.

    It is my impression that you think the alt med industry are small players without relevant financial interests. This is demonstrably incorrect. They have managed to prevent legislation they were against by political lobbying, recruitment of celebrities and organizing bullying of opponents. They have managed to ensure a court room decision to let a quack treat a 10 year old by with an early stage lymphoma to death despite three appeals from the authorities (This was back in the 1970’s, and would probably not happen today). The altmed industry is a big money spinner.

  67. Sarah January 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    @ Beatis- I am the world’s expert on who I am/am not accusing; you are not.

    @ Beatis and JLI- could you tell me again what these “newer and better” treatments are? Wait, let me guess, CHEMOTHERAPY?!

    @ JLI- Good to have you back, girl!
    Just to get you up to speed, I have cited an article entitled Cancer Industry Fights to Keep Obscene Profits Part I. I know you’re busy, but maybe check it out when you have a moment. (Hint: it is about the systemic corruption of the pharmaceutical industry, not a law firm putting their opponent in a bad light-good guess though !)
    The article essentially confronts the issue of pharmaceutical fraud, specifically “marketing the spread” which involves aggressive campaigning for the over-prescribing of lucrative pharmaceuticals by bribing health care providers. It’s pretty shady stuff; please check it out so we can discuss it some more.

    Childhood cancer “survival” has improved. Survival is not living to the ripe old age of 99. It is living 5 years beyond a cancer diagnosis. Sounds pretty good if you’re attending your 80th or 90th birthday party. But tell the parents of a 2 year old cancer patient that their little peanut has an excellent chance of making it to the ripe old age of 7. What’s that, parent of 2 year old cancer patient? You want to know if junior will make it to 8? 20? 65? Who cares?! We don’t have those statistics and even if we did, you sure as hell wouldn’t want to see them!!!

    Ok, so the statistics for childhood cancer survival may just a little deceiving. Perhaps the lucky grown-ups with colorectal cancer fare a little better. Figure 2 hmmm…there it is. Ok. If I was on 5 FU (standard of care for 40+ years) I’ve got…let’s see…14-15 months. Ooh, that’s not too good. Let’s check the newer treatments…it looks like I could live 20-21 months!!! Wait that’s not good either. Wtf?

    Can you really tell me (with a straight face) that this is a “considerable improvement” in the outlook for cancer patients?? Please please please tell me you’re kidding.

    I was going to make a joke about a horse with a brain tumor, but I won’t even go there…

  68. beatis January 4, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Yep, they were treated for cancer and after 5 years they all died. Are you really that stupid? *sigh*

    For every ten children diagnosed with cancer, almost eight (78%) will survive for five years or more, compared with just three in ten (28%) in the late 1960s. Doctors use five-year survival rates because they give a good indication of long-term survival. Long-term survial does not decrease greatly beyond five years and the vast majority of these children will be cured of their cancer and can live to a ripe old age.

    I don’t know of any alternative treatment that can achieve this, but perhaps you do?

    BTW, jli is not a girl.

  69. JLI January 5, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Beatis and JLI- could you tell me again what these “newer and better” treatments are? Wait, let me guess, CHEMOTHERAPY?!

    Chemotherapy and biological treatment may look the same, but they are different things.

    We don’t have those statistics and even if we did, you sure as hell wouldn’t want to see them!!!

    One only needs to take a look at figure 3.1 to see how wrong this statement is. I think it is cruel to refuse treatment of children just spare them for some possible side effects.

    …it looks like I could live 20-21 months!!! Wait that’s not good either.

    Increasing survival for patients with stage 4 (ie. metastatic) colorectal cancer by almost 2 years is signifcant improvement. This type of treatment actually does something to cancer cells. Remember that sodium bicarbonate (the subject of this post) would be useless to these patients, because the survival benefit in mice were attributable to delay of spread – Not destruction of cancer cells.

    Can you really tell me (with a straight face) that this is a “considerable improvement” in the outlook for cancer patients??

    Yes. Replacing this with sodium bicarbonate is a huge step in the wrong direction.

  70. Ripley February 18, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I have been following the discussion between Sarah and JLI, also beatis, and would love to see the follow up. As I see it, alternative and mainstream cancer treatment proponents often have “a sin” – pro-alternative are often ignorant and pro-mainstream arrogant. This particular discussion would benefit much from not patronizing people with different views (eg “It’s obvious you are not familiar with chemotherapy” or “This is because you know very little about modern cancer treatment. “). Sarah’s comments are not pro-alternative, she is just pointing out the reality. Science is fantastic and we, as a humankind, are making constant progress, also in healthcare, thanks to it. I cannot imagine the world without Imatinib. But this is the only miraculous drug, and other chemotherapeutics are not as effective. We still have a long way to go. Also, the research progress in cancer biology/therapy that does not excuse the attacks on “alternative” treatments. If proper, scientific research shows something works, why exclude it? The metastasis were smaller and fewer, if that concerned a drug, we would be all happy. Why such opposition? On the other hand, if clinical trials with an “alternative treatment” is performed and fails, that should be known and accepted as well. I have always thought science is about finding out what is true and what is not.

  71. JLI February 18, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I have been following the discussion between Sarah and JLI, also beatis, and would love to see the follow up.

    There really isn’t anything to follow up on. She disagreed with the analysis presented in this post, and nothing could convince her that she got it wrong.

    ….This is because you know very little about modern cancer treatment…..

    Stating facts is not being arrogant. You could say that her attitude towards cancer patients who go through chemotherapy was arrogant and patronizing.

    …. she is just pointing out the reality

    No – She was arguing over semantics, and refused to accept what was being explained to her.

    I cannot imagine the world without Imatinib. But this is the only miraculous drug, and other chemotherapeutics are not as effective.

    Even Imatinib is not effective against each and every cancer. And it is not without possible serious side effects either. And those tumours that are responsive can also develop resistance. As to improvements of the efficacy of other treatments I will remind you of the improvements in survival of childhood cancers (which was also shown to Sarah).

    We still have a long way to go

    This is not an excuse to blindly accept alternative therapy.

    If proper, scientific research shows something works, why exclude it?

    Exactly. If proper scientific research shows something works, it will become mainstream. And if it works better than current standard treatment, it becomes the new standard treatment. We see it all the time.

    The metastasis were smaller and fewer, if that concerned a drug, we would be all happy.

    No – We would not be happy with a drug that was unable to destroy the cancer cells. Especially since we already have drugs that kill cancer cells and slow down progression this way.

    I have always thought science is about finding out what is true and what is not.

    One of the characteristics of alternative (to) medicine is, that scientific evidence of absence does not dissuade its practitioners from using it. If you want a deeper understanding of how and why clinical trials should be done, I can recommend the book “Testing treatments”, which can be downloaded for free here.

  72. Vetus Notus March 1, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    The finding that the “reduction in metastases [...] led to increased survival” may be the most significant one (or at least the easiest to pragmatically contemplate) in the study “Bicarbonate Increases Tumor pH and Inhibits Spontaneous Metastases” by Robey et al.

    In the study, 80 percent in the bicarbonate group survived for 120 days after implantation, whereas well below 30 percent in the control group survived for the same period of time – a highly significant difference.

    Cancer treatments are about the *survival* of the affected individuals, after all.

    Btw, here are high-resolution images of the lung metastases (click “plus” for full resolution) in the bicarbonate and control groups:

    http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/69/6/2260/F2.large.jpg

  73. JLI March 2, 2014 at 7:32 am

    The finding that the “reduction in metastases [...] led to increased survival” may be the most significant one (or at least the easiest to pragmatically contemplate) in the study “Bicarbonate Increases Tumor pH and Inhibits Spontaneous Metastases” by Robey et al.

    It is an interesting study, which is why it was published. But reduction in metastases [...]is not the same as making a metastasis that was already formed go away.A very important thing is, that the results weren’t reproducible (the second article by Robey’s group discussed in the post).

    Cancer treatments are about the *survival* of the affected individuals, after all.

    Yes-But given the choice between something that destroys cancer cells, and something that slows down its progression, I think the former is preferable.

  74. Vetus Notus March 4, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    It is not the same thing, but ultimately it is the survival rate that counts. That is not very high in many traditional cancer treatments. Cancers often kill precisely through active metastasing! Of course, I understand that further research is needed.

  75. JLI March 5, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Overall survival rate of cancer treated the conventional way is now approximately 60%. So it is more likely that someone diagnosed with cancer will survive than not.

    The best way to prevent metastasis really is to have the cancer removed – Not just slow down the metastatic process.

  76. Vetus Notus March 9, 2014 at 8:07 am

    However, sometimes it is not possible to remove the *primary tumor* (“the cancer” as you call it above), eg due to a person’s age or the location of the primary tumor. (Also, in many cases the primary tumor is not even found.) All ways to increase survival need to be researched.

  77. JLI March 9, 2014 at 8:52 am

    But Sodium bicarbonate will not make metastasis that have already been detected go away. At best it may only slow down formation of additional metastasis.

    A drug that can destroy cancer cells stands a much better chance of being successful as a survival increaser.

  78. Jim June 2, 2014 at 12:13 am

    It’s funny that they never mention how much baking soda was given to the mice during the trial and so the fact that their tissue pH did not rise says nothing. There are people, including me, who have used baking soda successfully to reduce a tumor and so how do pundits against the use of baking soda explain this?

  79. JLI June 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    It’s funny that they never mention how much baking soda was given to the mice…

    Not only did they mention how much sodium bicarbonate (SB) the mice had. They also mention how much such doses in mice correspond to doses in humans. And they also mention how much SB is needed to outbalance the acid produced by 1 cubic milimetre of tumour tissue.

    people, including me, who have used baking soda successfully to reduce a tumor and so how do pundits against the use of baking soda explain this?

    Without any documetation your claim is worthless. There are plenty of things that can be wrong with anecdotes.

    I’ll sum up a few main points:
    1) Perhaps it wasn’t even cancer.
    2) Perhaps the cancer was removed as part of the diagnostic procedure.
    3) SB may have been used in addition to effective conventional treatment
    4) The cancer might not have been cured after all
    5) It may be pure fabrication

    Given documented experiences of others as well as results mentioned in the acticles you misread, there are good reasons to doubt that you have successfully treated your own cancer with SB.

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