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"God's Plan" for Cancer Patients


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Initial post: Jan 12, 2013 7:28:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 7:30:29 AM PST
ABC News reports that Heather Knies, 32, of Phoenix, Arizona, has made a recovery from cancer for which the word "remarkable" seems almost too light a word. Knies had been diagnosed at 24 with stage 4 glioblastoma, one of the deadliest cancers known and nearly always an automatic death sentence. Eight years later, she is not only still alive, with no evidence of a tumor on her MRI scan, she has become a parent--unlikely in itself, since the radiation and chemotherapy treatments necessary to fight such a cancer usually render the patient infertile.

To quote the ABC News article from a few days ago:

"Knies's doctors say that in rare instances, a patient can break the 'biological rules.' But most often in those cases, the initial pathology of the tumor was suspect.

"'In her case, the pathology was 'not controversial,' according to her surgeon, Dr. Robert Spetzler, director of the Barrow Neurological Institute at Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

"In his 35 years as a neurosurgeon in the United States, Spetzler said he has never seen such a triumph against a stage 4 glioblastoma.

"'It's one of the most malignant tumors there is,' he said. 'Invariably it will come back and pop up somewhere else in the brain and it's uniformly fatal.'

"'It's not unheard of that that a few survive -- it's a bell curve and there are outliers,' he said. 'But in her case, not only has she survived, but she is perfectly normal and there is absolutely no evidence of a tumor on her MRI scan.'

"Knies has a few of her own theories for why she is still alive today.

"'One, being God had a plan for me,' said Knies. 'I also had a great team of doctors and wonderful family and friends with a positive attitude.'

"'The mind is so much more powerful than anyone can imagine,' she said. 'People believe that when they get cancer, it will kill them. But I never once thought that.'"

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/mom-stuns-doctors-beating-deadliest-brain-cancer/story?id=18135106

When, as is so often the case, people *don't* recover from cancer, if there are religious believers around, one hears a lot of dancing around the question, in the form of the following:

1. God is not a magician, performing tricks at our request.

2. If the patient had had more faith, he might have lived.

3. God actually did heal the patient--by taking him to heaven.

4. Cancer and all other ills are the result of the Fall of Man. One day, in Heaven, all diseases will be merely a memory.

Or, as was the case when my little niece died of a brain tumor at age 4 some years ago, her Christian parents were anxiously consulting their pastor as to whether she had reached "the age of accountability" (meaning, could she have been "saved' and gone to Heaven, even though they had never actually heard her say she had "accepted Jesus in her heart").

Rather dismayingly to me, as an atheist, I have come to expect to hear, from some other atheists, thinking that is just as hackneyed and unoriginal, on the order of the following:

1. The doctors misdiagnosed her cancer to begin with. She never was as sick as they thought.

2. The tumor only appears to be gone. It will come back, and she will die.

3. People recover from cancer for all sorts of reasons.

4. You're probably a closet religious believer for even posting something like this in the first place.

In the present case, I would expect the religious person to say something like the following:

"You heard the doctor--she's not just cancer-free (and still fertile) but there's no evidence of a tumor, which he implies is unique. Only a supernatural healing could wipe the slate clean like that."

My answer as an atheist is

"That a flesh-and-blood tumor disappeared from a flesh-and-blood organism--a human body--is as much an argument that such events *are,* indeed possible in medicine, but by processes as yet unknown to scientists. To rule this impossible from the outset and place it 'across the line' in a 'spiritual world' by nature inaccessible to us is premature."

Finally, the whole thing reminds me of a question to which I posted an answer on Quora the other day. The question was "Will atheists start believing in God if God's existence is proven?" I wrote:

"Let's suppose that, contrary to atheists' belief, there really were a God, by which I mean:

"a) A being inherently above, beyond, and outside of the reality we know that consists of energy and matter, unmoved by that physical reality and yet able to pervade and affect it

"b) A being outside of time itself (which must follow from (a), since time is merely a physical dimension), such that linear time was, to this Being, like a thread running through the space inside a sphere

"c) A being possessed of the attributes of a mind, meaning that it had consciousness, intention, purpose, choice, etc.

"d) A being who was perfect in knowledge, wisdom, power, and the embodiment of whatever one took to be "the good"

"e) A being who, alone and unaided, and at its sole discretion, had brought into being the entire material universe that we know of

"Suppose such a being really existed. It is impossible for me to see how the existence of such a being could ever be *proven.*

"People who speak this way seem to have, at the back of their minds, the idea that if something is sufficiently amazing, 'well, then, if it's not done by human agency--it must be God!'

"But why?

"Suppose you met someone who said, 'You only exist in three dimensions of space and one of time, but I actually exist in five dimensions,' and he did something remarkable that you were convinced 'couldn't possibly' have been done 'by a human.'

"But suppose someone else walked up and said 'Don't listen to him; I exist in 10 dimensions,' and he suddenly did something even more remarkable, just as unlikely to have been achieved by 'mere humans.'

"And then suppose someone else walked up and said 'Those two are in kindergarten compared to me; I exist in 250 dimensions,' and he also did something unspeakably amazing.

"No human could have any way of judging between the claims of the three speakers since we only perceive in three dimensions of space and one of time. And these cases only suppose that a human is trying to distinguish the claims of beings still, like himself, within the bounds of the universe of energy and matter that we know.

"But suppose someone walked up to us and said 'I am an archangel, momentarily embodied; forget all this 'dimension' stuff; I am from a spiritual world above and beyond all 'dimensions.' The most advanced and complex creature in your physical universe is as an insect compared to me, and yet I am as a small child compared to our Father, the Creator of All.'

"Again, how could any human, or any sentient being within physical reality have any means of judging the truth or falsity of such a claim? There is none, that I can see.

"I think people talk this way because they've never really thought clearly about the implications of what they are saying."

Applying this to Knies's case, suppose the three people claiming to exist in 5, 10, and 250 dimensions walk up to us and each claims credit for her remarkable recovery. Suppose a fourth person walks up and says "Their claims are fraudulent. I am from the future, where we have discovered time travel and where treating even the deadliest of cancers is child's play. I came back to do this pro bono and to alert 21st-century doctors to what will one day be possible."

And then suppose the person claiming to be an archangel walks up and says "No, something like this could not have come from within the world of energy and matter; it was the work of our Father, who alone is capable of effecting such a healing work."

What basis would we have of judging among the five?

None.

That is why, as an atheist, I think it's best to stick with certain basic principles. One is that no matter how unlikely something may seem in the physical world, it is an unwarranted leap to decide, right now, that science will *never* be able to explain or duplicate it, no matter how much we might learn and that it must, consequently, be from a "spiritual" world "on the other side" whose principles we can only dimly grasp.

It's understandable that people might think that way, but still fanciful, for all that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:00:24 PM PST
IFeelFree says:
Michael,

This story illustrates that most of what religious people say is nonsense. A personal God who intervenes in one's life is the product of imaginary thinking. There is an element of life that is unpredictable and dangerous, and simply trying to console ourselves with comforting beliefs is nothing more than magical thinking and mood-making.

Most human suffering can be dealt with most effectively by science. Science has made great leaps in medicine, agriculture, transportation, reducing the burden of physical labor (through machines and technology), and generally improving the overall quality of human life on a material level.

That said, even when all of one's material needs and comforts are dealt with, there still remains -- according to many -- a kind of suffering, or dissatisfaction, restlessness, seeking, discontent. There is a feeling that there must be something more, something deeper to life, than simply following our instincts, and satisfying our material and intellectual desires. We may notice that satisfying our desires never leaves us fulfilled for very long. The seeking for something more is always there. When a person comes to this realization, he may begin to look inward in the quest for contentment and inner peace. Many such people fall into the trap of religion or cults, as if adopting a new belief system is going to make you happy. It won't, at least not for long. Belief is suppressed doubt, and in the end only brings frustration. Religious belief will not give you the living waters of truth.

I have felt since a young age that if there is anything true about religion or spirituality, it must have something to do with spiritual experience. After nearly 40 years of practicing meditation, I can say that I enjoy a blissfulness and inner peace that would not be attainable through material and intellectual pursuits alone. Meditation is not a cure for cancer (although it may help strengthen the immune system which might decrease my chances of getting cancer), but it has given me a sense of well-being that I would not have otherwise enjoyed. It has gotten me in contact with a deeper level of being, which is as much God as I need.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 12:38:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2013 12:39:19 PM PST
>most of what religious people say is nonsense

That is certainly the way I look at it.

>A personal God who intervenes in one's life is the product of imaginary thinking

Well here, I have to risk the appearance of a quibble. I agree that to believe in a God at all is imaginary thinking, but if you believed in a God that was actually some sort of Supreme Being who was "out there" and separate from each of us, would you find it intrinsically meaningless or incoherent that such a Being might, for its own reasons, choose to intervene in individual circumstances?

>Most human suffering can be dealt with most effectively by science.

In that regard, I can only hope that scientists are already hard at work studying Knies's DNA, just as, so I have read, scientists have previously studied the genetic makeup of gay men who were very active in the "Saturday night bath house scene" but never contracted AIDS.

>After nearly 40 years of practicing meditation, I can say that I enjoy a blissfulness and inner peace

I have never managed to be very consistent in attempting meditation, though I have observed, especially in the last 4 weeks, during a period of unemployment, when I made a point of walking 13 miles a day, which takes 4 hours, doing so alone with my thoughts, that whether or not I made my small and fitful attempts to practice mindfulness, that somehow, the experience itself seemed to be gradually "scouring me out" on the inside, so that I am beginning to feel much less attached to things that might have mattered a great deal before.

I am curious, if you care to share: do you feel that you have achieved the condition of samadhi--or, if not continuously, at least for discrete periods?

>[Meditation] has gotten me in contact with a deeper level of being, which is as much God as I need.

I am curious about that as well, based on comments you have made on other threads. You have spoken of "encountering a presence," but I get the feeling you actually mean that what you are "encountering" is not really something "outside" or "other than" your own mind but simply some deeper level of yourself--is that correct?

Or do you feel that you are encountering something like Brahman, believed to be the foundation of all else though not identical with your own self?

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 1:17:45 PM PST
blueskies says:
There are a certain number of cases of cancer and other diseases that go into spontaneous remission. No one knows for certain why that occurs. Some people survived the bubonic plague epidemic in the middle ages, and later it was found that they had a specific antigen in their blood which allowed their survival. It was rare, but it did occur. There may be an unexplained reason for this remission. Further study is warranted but the answer may take years to obtain. That's why scientific research is so important but sometimes yields results many years after the initial study.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 2:26:10 PM PST
IFeelFree says:
MH: ...if you believed in a God that was actually some sort of Supreme Being who was "out there" and separate from each of us, would you find it intrinsically meaningless or incoherent that such a Being might, for its own reasons, choose to intervene in individual circumstances?

IFF: I don't know. It's difficult for me to put myself into the mindset of someone who believes this. It appears to me that, for many religious true believers, God is a kind of internal friend who is always with them to comfort them and direct them in their life. I honestly believe that this kind of connection with God is imaginary.

MH: I have never managed to be very consistent in attempting meditation, though I have observed, especially in the last 4 weeks, during a period of unemployment, when I made a point of walking 13 miles a day, which takes 4 hours, doing so alone with my thoughts, that whether or not I made my small and fitful attempts to practice mindfulness, that somehow, the experience itself seemed to be gradually "scouring me out" on the inside, so that I am beginning to feel much less attached to things that might have mattered a great deal before.

IFF: The next step is to drop thought altogether. This often happens during mindfulness practice, or in sitting meditation. There may simply come a moment when there is an expansiveness, inner silence, absolute stillness. Of course, you don't conceptualize what has happened until after the experience has passed (or, alternatively, the silent awareness remains in the background *along with* thoughts). This experience of no-thought is more likely to happen when you are in a surrendered state -- meaning that you are simply and effortlessly allowing everything to be exactly as it is. Sometimes it happens spontaneously, but many people do some kind of formal meditation practice in which this experience of "transcendence" may occur regularly. (Also, there are degrees of silence such that thoughts may become quieter, more subtle, more vague, even if complete transcendence doesn't occur.) Sometimes the experience is followed by a period of "purification" or stress release, as unconscious thought patterns and emotions are uncovered and relaxed.

MH: I am curious, if you care to share: do you feel that you have achieved the condition of samadhi--or, if not continuously, at least for discrete periods?

IFF: I have had many experiences of samadhi, or bliss consciousness, during meditation. What happens is that over time this begins to "spill over" into one's normal active life so that one becomes aware (either suddenly, or gradually, as in my case) of a background of silent awareness that seems untouched by whatever events are occurring. It varies in intensity, particularly the mode in which my attention is functioning. When I'm most relaxed it often tends to be a blissful awareness, a sense of ease and peacefulness. At any moment, I can intentionally turn my attention to this inner silence, and I immediately feel more at peace.

MH: I am curious about that as well, based on comments you have made on other threads. You have spoken of "encountering a presence," but I get the feeling you actually mean that what you are "encountering" is not really something "outside" or "other than" your own mind but simply some deeper level of yourself--is that correct?

IFF: Yes, I believe that if God exists, it is yourself. That's my experience -- when I turn my attention within, there is a presence, a "spirit", silent awareness, bliss consciousness, call it what you will. It is not separate from me, but rather what I am at the core of my being.

MH: Or do you feel that you are encountering something like Brahman, believed to be the foundation of all else though not identical with your own self?

IFF: The ultimate realization is that Atman and Brahman are one. I cannot claim that this is my realization, but I have had glimpses of this in the sense of experiencing a profound sense of oneness with all beings and all things. It is feeling intimate with everyone, and with all of nature. I call it "impersonal love".

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 3:20:38 PM PST
>There are a certain number of cases of cancer and other diseases that go into spontaneous remission.

Yes, and it's important to remember that.

>Some people survived the bubonic plague epidemic in the middle ages, and later it was found that they had a specific antigen in their blood which allowed their survival.

How was it possible to verify this? Do you mean that actual corpses of plague victims from the Middle Ages were identified and DNA samples collected? I remember reading a few years ago that the remains of Sir Mark Sykes, a British diplomat who died in the influenza epidemic of 1918, would be exhumed to study the disease.

>scientific research is so important but sometimes yields results many years after the initial study.

Yes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 5:32:08 PM PST
Bubba says:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death#DNA_evidence

" Their surveys tested for DNA and protein signatures specific for Y. pestis in human skeletons from widely distributed mass graves in northern, central and southern Europe that were associated archaeologically with the Black Death and subsequent resurgences."

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 8:16:53 PM PST
Thanks. That section also had new information on another point. I had always thought the Black Death entered Europe through the port of Genoa, but the article says Marseilles.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013 10:21:52 PM PST
tokolosi says:
"God's plan" for cancer patients (in 2013): The vast majority will die from the most aggressive types regardless of treatment; a significant percentage will survive less aggressive types if treated early and properly; the vast majority will survive the more 'benign' forms of cancer if treated early and properly.

This means that occasionally, someone will beat the odds.
And, occasionally, the odds will beat someone.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2013 10:25:48 PM PST
Agreed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 3:11:20 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 4:39:26 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 4:42:18 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 5:23:01 AM PST
Spinoza says:
Wintrickscifi says:

Cannabinoids are the cure for cancer. The American Medical Association says they cure cancer ten times out of ten. Why is it illegal? The big drug companies pay our congressmen and senators to keep it illegal, because the big drug companies make their most money selling pain killers to people who are dying of cancer.
Best Selling Author Ronald Wintrick

Spinoza says:

Cannabinoids DO NOT cure cancer.

There is much evidence, both anecdotal, and in research, that cannabis itself can reduce the pain of chemotherapy and radiation treatments used in cancer treatment, and to improve the appetite of cancer patients.

Malnutrition is common in cancer patients because therapies used cause nausea and vomiting. Cannabis stimulates appetite and reduces nausea and vomiting.

THAT is why cannabis should be accepted as a treatment to relieve pain, nausea, vomiting, and malnutrition in cancer patients, AIDS patients, and anyone else suffering from a disease or treatment that causes these symptoms.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 5:54:18 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 7:05:44 AM PST
>Cannabinoids are the cure for cancer.

That's a vast oversimplification. If that sentence were literally true and known to be true, there would be no continuing cancer research; the problem would already have been solved.

>The American Medical Association says they cure cancer ten times out of ten.

Statements like this suggest to me why it's just as well that you have "scifi" as part of your screen name!

"Can cannabinoids treat cancer?

"There is no doubt that cannabinoids - both natural and synthetic - are interesting biological molecules. Hundreds of scientists around the world are investigating their potential in cancer and other diseases - as well as the harms they can cause - brought together under the blanket organisation The International Cannabinoid Research Society.

"Researchers first looked at the anticancer properties of cannabinoids back in the 1970s, and many hundreds of scientific papers looking at cannabinoids and cancer have been published since then.

"But claims that this body of preclinical research is solid 'proof' that cannabis or cannabinoids can cure cancer is highly misleading to patients and their families, and builds a false picture of the state of progress in this area."

http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/07/25/cannabis-cannabinoids-and-cancer-the-evidence-so-far/

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 7:09:20 AM PST
>Here are two daft sentences, and and they are both in the same post :

>1) "Belief is suppressed doubt*, and in the end only brings frustration."

I have no doubt that some religious belief is genuine (though, in my opinion, mistaken nevertheless), but I also know it is possible, whether professing religious belief or any other strong belief, to continue to claim that one believes something even in the face of growing inner doubt. In this case, the more the person doubts, the more he may claim to believe. Again, this is not unique to religion; I suspect it happens a great deal in marriage!

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 7:19:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 10:05:49 AM PST
An example of God's plan for cancer patients with a truly haunting twist:

Memphis businesswoman June Bonnin, 47, who, with her husband Max, operated an elegant bed and breakfast,the Bonne Terre Inn, in Nesbit, Mississippi had endured 6 years of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. She had refused chemotherapy because of her religious faith, preferring to resort only to prayer. In early 1999, she discovered that her cancer was in remission and attributed this to God.

To celebrate, she took her daughter, granddaughter, and several of her granddaughter's little friends to Chicago, traveling on Amtrak's "City of New Orleans" train, which runs regularly between the two cities; she took the girls shopping in American Girls store, so they could buy the then-popular American Girls dolls and accessories.

Traveling back to Memphis on the same train and having settled down in the sleeping car a short time before, Bonnin was aboard when the train slammed into a stalled truck and derailed. Fuel from a punctured engine started a fire, and Bonnin, trapped in the twisted sleeping car, burned alive. Her heartbroken husband closed their inn the following spring.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,21781,00.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Bourbonnais,_Illinois_train_accident

I'd say that was a plan and a half on the part of the Deity, and it shows that he definitely plays for keeps!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 7:47:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 7:48:01 AM PST
Thank you for your reply, Michael.

To my knowledge, true believers (in the free will they possess in that believing) stay that way, and only "half-hearted from the outset" ones drift off. (I am excluding those who follow their parents' religion, who can go either way on reaching adulthood.)

I cannot equate this to marriage. One loves, or doesn't love, or gets to the point of not loving, a marriage partner, but that is nothing to do with belief.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 7:52:27 AM PST
>true believers (in the free will they possess in that believing) stay that way, and only "half-hearted from the outset" ones drift off

It sounds to me as if you don't believe that people can change their minds on important matters.

I've actually heard the same from some atheists: "There is no such thing as a 'former' atheist. If someone says he used to be atheist but is now religious, he never was a 'true' atheist at all." It seems to me that either way, such a belief is limiting and can fail to account for a part of human behavior.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 7:57:40 AM PST
Michael,

I stay with my conviction that a *true* believer has his/her religion as part of his/her identity.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 8:40:38 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 8:43:27 AM PST
This is an excerpt from the link you showed above.
scientists have discovered that various cannabinoids (both natural and synthetic) have a wide range of effects in the lab, including:

Triggering cell death, through a mechanism called apoptosis
Stopping cells from dividing
Preventing new blood vessels from growing into tumours
Reducing the chances of cancer cells spreading through the body, by stopping cells from moving or invading neighbouring tissue
Speeding up the cell's internal `waste disposal machine' - a process known as autophagy - which can lead to cell death
All these effects are thought to be caused by cannabinoids locking onto the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. It also looks like cannabinoids can exert effects on cancer cells that don't involve cannabinoid receptors, although it isn't yet clear exactly what's going on there.

So far, the best results in the lab or animal models have come from using a combination of highly purified THC and cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants that counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. But researchers have also found positive results using synthetic cannabinoids, such as a molecule called JWH-133.

It's not all good news though, as there's also evidence that cannabinoids may also have undesirable effects on cancer.

For example, some researchers have found that although high doses of THC can kill cancer cells.....

.....so no it isn't a de-facto cure but it has been proven that canabinoids kills cancer. so why can't they be prescribed? Because the big drug companies make money selling pain killers to people who are dying of cancer.

Posted on Jan 13, 2013 8:55:29 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 8:57:10 AM PST
Here are some other excerpts from the same article:

"It's not all good news though, as there's also evidence that cannabinoids may also have undesirable effects on cancer.

"For example, some researchers have found that although high doses of THC can kill cancer cells, they also harm crucial blood vessel cells, although this may help their anti-cancer effect by preventing blood vessels growing into a tumour. And under some circumstances, cannabinoids can actually encourage cancer cells to grow, or have different effects depending on the dosage and levels of cannabinoid receptors present on the cancer cells. [Edited for clarity and to add reference - KA 27/07/12]

"Others have discovered that activating CB2 receptors may actually interfere with the ability of the immune system to recognise and destroy tumour cells, although some scientists have found that certain synthetic cannabinoids may enhance immune defences against cancer.

"Furthermore, cancer cells can develop resistance to cannabinoids and start growing again, although this can be got round by blocking a certain molecular pathway in the cells known as ALK.

"And yet more research suggests that combining cannabinoids with other chemotherapy drugs may be a much more effective approach. This idea is supported by lab experiments combining cannabinoids with other drugs including gemcitabine and temozolomide.

"Clinical research

"But that's the lab - what about clinical research involving people with cancer? Results have been published from only one clinical trial testing whether cannabinoids can treat cancer in patients, led by Dr Manuel Guzman and his team in Spain. Nine people with advanced, terminal glioblastoma multiforme - an aggressive brain tumour - were given highly purified THC through a tube directly into their brain.

"Eight people's cancers showed some kind of response to the treatment, and one didn't respond at all. All the patients died within a year, as might be expected for people with cancer this advanced.

"The results from this study show that THC given in this way is safe and doesn't seem to cause significant side effects. But because this was an early stage trial, without a control group, it's impossible to say whether THC helped to extend their lives. And while it's certainly not a cure, the trial results suggest that cannabinoids are worth pursuing in clinical trials.

"A handful of other clinical trials of cannabinoids are currently being set up. One early-stage trial testing a synthetic cannabinoid called dexanabinol in patients with advanced cancer will be recruiting here in Leeds and Newcastle, through the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) Network funded by Cancer Research UK and the devolved Departments of Health. [Edited to add more information about the trial - KA 22/08/12]"

>it has been proven that canabinoids kills cancer

As I said previously, that's a vast oversimplification, as the rest of the article shows.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 8:58:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 13, 2013 11:08:56 AM PST
Spinoza says:
Wintrickscifi says:

.....so no it isn't a de-facto cure but it has been proven that canabinoids kills cancer. so why can't they be prescribed? Because the big drug companies make money selling pain killers to people who are dying of cancer.

Spinoza says:

For many reasons, even if what you say is true.

The main reason is because cannabis is still erroneously and incorrectly classified by the Federal Government as a Schedule 1 substance, which means the Federal Government considers cannabis to be dangerous to human health, to be highly addictive, and to therefore have a high abuse potential, and to have no recognized medical use.

Herbal cannabis is a naturally occurring substance AND is illegal in the US, which is why it can't be patented. There is no financial incentive to market and sell such a ubiquitous, non-patentable substance for profit by the pharmaceutical industries.

Cell apoptosis in vitro is not sufficient evidence that cannabis does likewise in vivo, or that smoking or ingesting it orally or by injection has this effect.

Finally, because of the nature of cannabis' legal status, it is nearly impossible to do the kind of double-blind tests that would be necessary for any pharmaceutical company to get FDA approval for the use of cannabis as an oncological treatment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:34:46 AM PST
A Customer says:
As someone who's had the person I care about more than anyone in the world get cancer *twice*, and beat it twice, I do not believe she was saved simply because prayers for her were heard while those for others were not. Why some die of cancer and others beat it is a mystery. All we can do as humans is to do all in *our* power to fight it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2013 9:40:03 AM PST
>All we can do as humans is to do all in *our* power to fight it.

Agreed. I sometimes refer to my family as "cancer central." Not only do we get cancer but the people we marry get it as well. I stood and watched my father die of it at 49, and my niece died at 4. My brother's wife, on the other hand, is actually a three-time cancer survivor.
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