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Patients Against Lymphoma


About Lymphoma > What is true?

Last update: 05/19/2016


Yogi Berra when asked by his teacher if he "knew anything," replied:
"No teacher, I don't even suspect anything! 

It's very challenging to develop effective treatments for cancer.  When tested in people, the study agents having biologic activity and effects on abnormal cancer cells will also have off-target effects - side effects. 

Initial successes in treatment cancer have been for blood-cell cancers, because blood cells are inherently sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation. Our normal blood cell counts drop rapidly when exposed to such agents, but not most other cell types.  Hodgkins has a very high cure rate today.  Lymphomas of various kinds can be cured or managed well.

Cancer is not one disease, but many - about 200.  (See NCI for types)  Some types of cancer can be cured at an advanced stage.  Many types of cancer remain challenging to manage especially when wide spread (metastatic). 

What all cancers have in common are defects or mutations in the DNA of the cells that cause the cells grow too fast or to persist too long.  The cells accumulate to form tumors that can obstruct normal bodily functions. 

Cell culture and animal experiments are starting points only in the quest to find treatments for cancer.  Cancer cells can be difficult to keep alive in a culture outside of the body it arose in.  Cell culture studies cannot inform about the dose that is needed to have a similar effect or if the compound is safe to take at that dose.  Cancer cells implanted in animals are very different from the cancer cells that arise in our bodies. Animals also metabolize drugs differently.

The study of any new drug in people begins with testing of safety of the drug at different doses.  The question what is the optimal dose that has acceptable side effects and is also potentially active against the tumor.   Please note, the anti-tumor effects may or may not be lasting and clinically meaningful.  The side effects may offset the good effects.  The first steps in drug testing is not to determine efficacy. 

Here we provide resources on how to identify reliable science-based information on treatments for cancer.  The bottom line being, it's not enough to have a theory about a treatment - you must prove it by testing it in patients with the disease.  Without evidence-based standards we'd have billions of choices but no way to identify which really works; we'd have medicine based on sales pitch.

Hallmarks of science | Science or not? http://bit.ly/1T67x9r

Snip: Science quantifies the uncertainty in its data and conclusions.
Every scientific measurement must include an indication of its margin of error.
Science red flags | Science or not? http://bit.ly/1Oi68jq

Snip: Confusing correlation with causation: rooster syndrome This is the natural human tendency to assume that, if two events or phenomena consistently occur at about the same time, then one is the cause of the other. Hence “rooster syndrome”, from the rooster who believed that his crowing caused the sun to rise.
Conspiracy by Big Pharma?  PAL
Red flags and "free speech" - Red Flags and Free Speech
PDF Printable Brochure
RED flags for medical claims:
It cures ALL cancers (as if it was one disease) and other diseases.
It’s natural; has no side effects.
A conspiracy explains why it isn’t prescribed by your doctor
It’s only available in a country that lacks medical regulations.
You can buy it online - without a doctor's prescription.
There’s only one group or person promoting it.
The evidence is based on test tube / animal experiments
The claim has not been tested in people – in an adequately sized or controlled clinical trial.
It is said to “boost the immune system” (without defining this or
providing clinical evidence showing this is effective)
It relies on testimonials
The problems with Testimonials  Slide

Here we explain the reasons a testimonial is not reliable as evidence.
PAL: Strategies for Evaluating Online Medical Information  PDF   

Gilda's Club Delaware Valley, April 2006
Disclaimer:  The information on Lymphomation.org is not intended to be a substitute for 
professional medical advice or to replace your relationship with a physician.
For all medical concerns,  you should always consult your doctor. 
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