Posted: Jun 02, 2012 10:42 pm
by StrangeLoop
Regina wrote:
Rachel Bronwyn wrote:Oh, goodness no! The amount of research going into the production of non-toxic chemo is enormous because it's so glaringly obvious that, even when this therapy works, it causes irreperable harm. We don't want that!

The notion your body can just heal from cancer is what's absolutely fucking ridiculous. Once you've got detectable tumours it's because your body has failed to destroy malignant cells and they are dividing. The likelihood of even a tiny breast tumour clearing on it's own is very poor.

Nope, surprisingly, it's not. At least not with breast cancer. But of course, that's NO argument against chemotherapy.

Frequency of spontaneous regression in cancer

It has long been assumed that spontaneous regressions, let alone cures, from cancer are rare phenomena, and that some forms of cancer are more prone to unexpected courses (melanoma, neuroblastoma, lymphoma) than others (carcinoma). Frequency was estimated to be about 1 in 100,000 cancers;[2] however, in reality this ratio might be largely under- or over-estimated. For one, not all cases of spontaneous regression can be apprehended, either because the case was not well documented or the physician was not willing or literate enough to publish, or simply because the patient did not show up in a clinic any more. On the other hand, for the past 100 years almost all cancer patients have been treated in one way or the other, such that the influence of treatment cannot always be excluded.

At least for small tumors the frequency of spontaneous regression most likely was drastically underrated. In a carefully designed study on mammography it was found that 22% of all breast cancer cases underwent spontaneous regression.[3]

Source: Wikipedia

About mammography : there is a huge controversy, there is 10% of false positive, which is an unacceptable rate, moreover mammography can CAUSE cancer (it exposes to radiation). The Cochrane analysis of screening indicates that it is "not clear whether screening does more good than harm". Maybe that among those 22% of regressive breast cancer, many weren't real ones.
The debate over mammography is really frightening, I think. Stat geeks are mad at physicians, who don't understand the proba and false positive rates correctly.

Edit : source : ... ammography
The review estimated that screening leads to a reduction in breast cancer mortality of 15% and to 30% overdiagnosis and overtreatment. This means that for every 2000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged. In addition, 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be diagnosed as breast cancer patients and will be treated unnecessarily. Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress for many months because of false positive findings.