We believe there are natural treatments for cancer that work.
So why isn't everyone using them, and why aren't they widely known? Here's some of the reasons we think that's the case
Poor information: There's LOTS of information about natural cancer treatments. A quick Google search proves that. The trouble is finding information you can trust. Conventional medicine is somewhat trustworthy, because there's a system in place designed to filter out the bad information and bad treatments and promote the good ones.
Poor incentives to prove efficacy: The conventional medical system is largely driven by the research and development powerhouses of the global drug companies. Those companies make much of their money because they are allowed to protect their treatment methods with patents, which rewards their expensive research efforts. Natural based treatments typically can't be patented, so there is no incentive for the corporate research engine to do the necessary trials.
Poor reputation: For people who believe in the healing power of nature, this is not an issue, but if you consult most conventional doctors, you'll find a heavy bias against natural remedies because most of them are unproven, and those doctors are quite-rightly trained to help you avoid those. But then, in the area of cancer, many of the conventional therapies also have dubious efficacy. See Morgan et al. 2004. The difference between the two modalities can therefore often come down to the relative marketing, public relations and government lobbying clout.
Stakes are too high: If you had a fungal infection in your toenail, maybe you'd be prepared to try something other than the more heavy-hitting drug-based treatment. But this is cancer. When the doctor tells you it's cancer, the stakes are suddenly raised. Now, they're "life or death" stakes, and you don't want to mess with that right? Are you going to do what the man with the qualifications tells you, or try something different? It takes a brave person to take an alternative path.
Too often the last resort: Many cancer sufferers turn to "alternative" approaches after the conventional medical system has told them there's nothing more they can do. Those natural treatments have in some cases provided miraculous recoveries, but most often times, they don't. The fact that conventional medicine had already failed is forgotten, and the natural treatments get a bad name, even though they were never attempted at a time when the patient was in the early stages.
The CHART solution
CHART is building programmes that aim to change all of this, starting with the new Medical Log.
Reliable information: With the Medical Log and your help, we are creating a natural cancer healing information resource that you can trust. Patients who contribute their experience using our Medical Log will report to us the outcomes of using natural and other treatments. We will report back to our community what we're finding works and what doesn't. The bottom line is, CHART will soon have the best information available on the effectiveness of natural remedies.
Technology to prove effectiveness: Until recently, it has not been possible to conduct medical trials cheaply. CHART aims to change that by connecting communities online and systematically capturing patient experiences. The Medical Log can be run at a fraction of the cost of a medical trial, and could be as effective if the community gets behind it.
The power of social networks: Nothing breeds success like success. When a therapy begins to stand out ahead of others, more patients will naturally use those, and combine them with other therapies. The word will spread. When we identify treatments that work, we expect you and everyone touched by CHART to shout it to the world. To help others with the information we've discovered together.
Lowering the stakes: The more people that share their story using our Medical Log, the more we can publish on what works. We'll share all of it with you. There's nothing that re-assures more than evidence. With your help, we can to raise awareness that some natural approaches can be effective and safe. We will also be able to identify natural treatments that don't work. CHART's aim is to provide information to patients so that natural approaches will be a less daunting choice.
Encouraging early stage sufferers: With better information, we expect that increasing numbers of patients with early-stage cancer will give natural treatments a chance, perhaps seeing conventional treatments as a "plan B". As we gather more data, and as results for some natural therapies improve, confidence in those treatments will improve, and more people will be prepared to give them a chance. A positive reinforcement cycle will generate the best natural healing knowledge for the benefit of all of humanity.
What do we mean by "natural" therapies
By natural therapies, we mean the use of substances that occur in nature and physical, mental and spiritual practices that are non-invasive and non-damaging. For example, we regard herbal and food extracts as natural, but molecules modified in a laboratory, such as those used in chemotherapy are not. Also, we regard sunlight, meditation and positive thinking as natural, where radiation and surgery are not.
Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe. By safe, we mean that the treatment does not compromise the long term health of the patient. For example, the substance may have some short term side effects, but leaves no lasting damage.
Although we are mainly concerned with finding safe effective natural treatments for cancer, we are also interested in natural treatments used in combination with conventional treatments, and natural therapies that either enhance the overall treatment effectiveness or reduce the harmful effects of conventional therapy.
A hard scientific approach to natural therapies
CHART aims to draw attention to those treatments that stand up to scientific and clinical scrutiny, and also identify those that are NOT effective. We will look critically at the existing science and the clinical work that supports a particular therapy. Together with Medical Log data, we will compile evidence that confirms both effectiveness and safety.
Find out more about the CHART Medical Log...