As a young mother dies after refusing chemotherapy, how social media is fuelling the rise of fake cancer cures
I'm in no way judging what any person chooses to do or think... we all need to be comfortable with our own choices, advice and treatment paths we trust in following. I just found this article interesting and my heart goes out to Katie's family. I've lived since my diagnosis of 'everything in moderation' with the exception of smoking. If Haribo's or Pepperoni's are your culinary joy and make you happy, don't deprive yourself within a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.
The article in The Telegraph online written by Margarette Driscoll goes on to write:
Last week, at a converted 18th-century farmhouse near Derby, friends gathered in memory of Katie Britton-Jordan, who died recently after a valiant struggle against breast cancer. She was 38 and leaves a grieving husband, Neil, and Delilah, their five-year-old daughter. Neil, who announced his wife’s death on Facebook earlier this month, called for the event to be a celebration of Katie’s strength and resilience. He asked friends to “bring smiles, love, dancing shoes, bubbles and sparklers”.
By rights, should Katie still be alive? That troubling question is bound to ripple through the minds of her loved ones. When Katie’s stage 2a triple negative breast cancer was diagnosed in 2016, she was offered a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. But she rejected conventional therapy in favour of a vegan diet of mainly raw fruit and vegetables, supplemented with turmeric, seaweed and spells in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. She sought help at a clinic in Mexico, where therapies included placing her feet in a basin of water that supposedly drew toxins from her body.
Britton-Jordan was an intelligent woman with a long-standing interest in alternative therapies, who made a decision based on her beliefs. But doctors are becoming increasingly concerned at the targeting of vulnerable cancer patients by charlatans peddling well-meaning but useless therapies – a problem that is gathering pace thanks to the use of social media, and drawing parallels with the newly emboldened anti-vaccination movement.
Patients who refuse conventional treatment and opt for alternatives are two and a half times as likely to die within five years of being diagnosed. David Gorski, an American surgical oncologist who specialises in breast cancer, and a crusader against “quackery” through his blog, Respectful Insolence, is convinced that if Katie had opted for conventional treatment, she would still be alive.
“From what I’ve learnt about her cancer, I can say with confidence it was quite treatable,” he says. “It hadn’t gone to the lymph nodes. With a combination of surgery plus chemotherapy, she could have expected an 85 per cent chance of long-term survival. Yes, surgery is nasty. Chemotherapy is even worse, I get that. The alternative, however, is near-certain death.”
Please read the rest of the article on The Telegraph online here:
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