You may have heard about an aggressive new cancer treatment that more and more hospitals are using.
It’s an ultra-invasive form of chemotherapy that some doctors are calling…the hot “chemo bath” therapy.
But patients who have tried it liken it to “being filleted, disemboweled and then bathed in hot poison.”
And many credible doctors are warning that it’s a painful and deadly procedure.
Dr. Alan Venook says at least two of his patients who tried it “died miserable deaths.” He’s a colon cancer specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
“One lost much of her abdominal wall to infection,” says Dr. Venook, “and just died in misery.”
And other doctors warn that the procedure is untested…so there’s no way to know if it even works.
“We’re practicing this technique that has no basis in science,” says Dr. David Ryan. He’s the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
Dr. Barron Lerner agrees.
“Although it has given some patients hope, there is almost no evidence that the treatment is effective,” he says.
Dr. Lerner practices medicine and teaches medical ethics at Columbia University. He’s been awarded many awards for his works on cancer treatment.
“Heated chemo is the latest in a long list of toxic treatments used by cancer doctors,” he says.
So if there are so many credible experts opposed to this therapy…why are some surgeons promoting it?
So How Does the Therapy Work?
Its official name is Hipec. That’s short for hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemo.
It combines ultra-aggressive surgery with super-heated drugs. And after patients finish with the new therapy…they often continue with regular chemo.
The theory behind it is simple. You have to slice out as much cancer as you can. Then blast the organs with heated chemo. And doctors hope that will kill cancer cells…and not healthy ones.
As bizarre as that may sound, it’s catching on.
So how does the therapy actually work?
A surgeon begins by splitting open your belly. He removes your organs. And snips off every piece of cancer visible to the naked eye.
Then he stuffs your organs back in. A machine pumps heated chemotherapy into your abdominal cavity for about 90 minutes. After that, nurses shake and jiggle your bloated belly so that the poison can spread around.
The whole thing takes about eight hours. And because it’s so invasive, patients take up to six months to recover.
The treatment is used mainly for people with aggressive cancers that affect the abdominal cavity. But now doctors are looking to apply it to colorectal cancer.
Why? Some experts think it comes down to money.
New Therapy Offers Hot Benefits
Dr. Ryan says the medical industry is keen to increase the therapy because “you can’t make a living doing this procedure in appendix cancer patients.”
Certainly the new therapy is a costly one. The hospitals that are promoting it estimate it can cost up to $100,000.
And part of that cost may come directly from you. That’s because medical insurers only pay for the surgery. So patients may have to pay for the heated treatment themselves.
But money seems to be on the minds of the doctors behind this therapy. They’ve done a lot of thinking about the financial bottom line. And they think patients may be able to get this cost covered if it’s described simply as chemo.
They’re also thinking about all the new patients they can treat with it. They currently treat about 1,500 patients each year. But they’re hoping that 10,000 patients may opt for it next year.
So…do doctors have other reasons to support this therapy?
Supporting the New Therapy
Dr. Paul Sugarbaker thinks so. He’s a surgeon at Washington Hospital Center.
He describes the therapy as “maximally invasive.” And believes it’s much better than standard chemo.
In fact, when the New York Times interviewed him, he said regular chemo is pretty much useless.
“There are no long-term survivors with systematic chemo,” he says.
How many people did he say are saved by chemo?
“Zero,” he says. But he’s sure that the new chemo will do much better.
And that’s odd…given that there’s very little research on it. In fact…there’s only one study…and that’s 10 years old. And those results are quite disturbing.
“One small trial in the Netherlands did show a benefit,” says Dr. Lerner. “But (some) of the participants died from the procedure itself.”
What the Hot Chemo Bath Study Showed
A group of researchers tested the therapy over four years. They took 105 patients and put them into two groups. One group got regular chemo. The other group got the new hot chemo. And then they continued with their regular chemo regime.
After about two years, the researchers had some pretty good news.
They found that people taking regular chemo survived for about a year. But the people in the hot chemo group survived for about 22 months. In other words…an extra 10 months.
But the bad news is that this group spent about six of those months recuperating from the devastating effects of the therapy.
And the really bad news is…that almost 10 percent of the hot chemo group died – directly from the treatment.
This doesn’t surprise experts like Dr. Lerner. In fact he says it’s nothing new. It’s just the latest untested medical therapy to catch on…and one that medical experts suspect is ineffective and dangerous.
Conventional Cancer Therapy: A Historical Pattern of Risk and Failure
“Well-meaning cancer doctors have confused doing more for patients with doing what is best for them,” says Dr. Lerner. “History tells us that this “more is better” dictum is rarely true.”
Doctors have treated cancer aggressively for over 100 years.
Here’s a quick snapshot of conventional cancer treatments…that did more harm than good.
- In 1882, Dr. William Halsted tackled breast cancer by removing the breast, chest muscles, and nearby lymph nodes.
- In 1946, surgeons had taken this surgery further…and were also removing the sternum and rib cage. If cancer spread to the arms, they removed the entire shoulders. If cancer spread to the legs, they removed part of the pelvis and leg.
- In 1948, Dr. Alexander Brunschwig tackled pelvic cancer by removing a woman’s gynecological organs, bladder and rectum.
“The problem was that none of these procedures had been tested in controlled clinical trials,” says Dr. Lerner. “By the 1960s, it had become clear that they were of no benefit, while causing patients disfigurement and suffering.”
And the trend continued. By the 1980s, oncologists tackled breast cancer with toxic and expensive chemo, followed by bone marrow transplants.
“Again, early data proved misleading,” says Dr. Lerner. “Women who received this treatment turned out to live no longer than those getting standard chemo, and many died from the high doses or the side effects of the transplants.”
That could almost apply to this latest cancer therapy. At least according to the one study done on it. That’s why Dr. Lerner says further testing must be done.
“Hospitals should offer heated chemo – and insurance companies should pay for it – only after controlled trials have proved its effectiveness,” he says.
Seeking Out Safer Alternatives
Many experts agree: more research needs to be done on this therapy. For now…the best chance you have of surviving cancer is to take your health into your own hands.
There are many all-natural solutions you can turn to. We’ve told you in the past about a German physician. His name is Dr. Max Gerson. He’s come up with a two-step process. He says you should detoxify your body. And eat only organic foods rich in antioxidants.
It’s best to go with colorful, raw vegetables. And make sure you get lots of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
The Institute for Natural Healing (INH) is committed to uncovering effective cancer treatments. Recently, our researchers tracked down a simple blood test that discovers deadly cancer cells up to 19 months before conventional screening tests. And if you catch it early, you may be able to help beat cancer with natural supplements and immune boosters. You can get all the details about this highly accurate test by joining our monthly health advisory service right now. Learn more by watching this short video.