Medical advice
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03-04-2014, 06:40 AM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 10:07 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  Let me take this opportunity to once again introduce quackwatch.com to the TTA community. It's a comprehensive database of questionable medical practices, maintained by Stephen Barrett, MD, an unsung hero of the skeptic community.

Maybe also check out http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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03-04-2014, 08:24 AM
RE: Medical advice
(02-04-2014 09:36 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(02-04-2014 02:09 PM)War Horse Wrote:  I'm still waiting for one of the Doc's to tell whats up the charred meat.

I BBQ at least twice a week so......

I figure at my age and that I drink and smoke to much, the charred meat is the least of my problems, but if theres something going on with this, I'd like to know.

Please read the following. It's written buy Udo Erasmus, one of the world's foremost authorities on fats and diet in general. Your question is answered about 2/3 of the way through, but please read the whole article...it is gold....

http://www.udoerasmus.com/articles/udo/f...to_fit.htm

Doesn't look like a credible source. Opinions by someone who is selling something.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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03-04-2014, 02:50 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 11:48 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 11:33 AM)evenheathen Wrote:  I'd be interested to hear if you have any knowledge or opinions of IPT (Insulin Potentiation Therapy). It's listed under the quackwatch site, however I have a friend who's wife had a small melanoma who sought out this treatment. The firsthand accounts of those from the clinic who had been on IPT after traditional treatments had failed them were pretty amazing.

Also, to my uneducated mind, the science behind it seems simple and logical. Thoughts?

Evenheathen,

I would avoid this. The "science" behind it is highly doubtful to say the least. The supporters claim that inducing a low blood sugar with insulin "opens up the receptors" on cancer cells and make them more sensitive to chemotherapy allowing doctors to use lower doses of medication, with less side effects as a consequence.

There is no scientific basis for this claim. Moreover, the side effects of hypoglycemia can be dangerous, occasionally even fatal.

Here's the American Cancer Society's stand on the treatment, "Despite supporters' claims that insulin potentiation therapy has been well researched, no scientific studies that show safety and effectiveness have been published in available peer-reviewed journals. These claims cannot be verified."

Hope that helps!

Doc

There is this paper which claims "promising results and this gives us hope and expectations for future"
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357525/
Quote:Published online May 8, 2012. doi: 10.5402/2012/140182
PMCID: PMC3357525

Low-Dose Chemotherapy with Insulin (Insulin Potentiation Therapy) in Combination with Hormone Therapy for Treatment of Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Christo Damyanov et al..


However the study is very small and not clear what previous treatments these people had - so its not really a good paper. Realistically this need to be directly compared to drugs like Abiraterone or Degaralix (or other hormone therapies for prostate cancer) and compared to non hormonal chemotherapy such as docetaxel & mitoxantrone.
At least in this study people tolerated the treatment without dangerous hypoglycemia.
I would not recommend such therapies precisely because there is little research showing efficacy and what is highlighted from the paper I posted was it is certainly no miracle cure - median survival was 11 months.

Interestingly metformin has been shown to reduce cancers in a number of studies - this was actually incidental when realizing diabetics on metformin had less incidence of some cancers and there are a few mechanisms suggested. However I would not recommend these for acute cancer treatment due to lack of evidence and neither for prevention due to other side effects which one has to deal with (risk-benefit ratio doesn't seem to justify its use)

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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03-04-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 01:15 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 12:03 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  My understanding is that it works just like a PET scan does. Cancer cells love sugar, so why wouldn't it work similarly?

From here, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154877.php


If you can target cancer cells with a radiotracer by manipulating glucose levels, why wouldn't it also work with chemo?

(I'm not advocating this treatment, BTW. Just interested in a solid viewpoint having listened to my friend rave on about it for a while now)

Evenheathen

It is true that neoplastic cells are more glucose avid than normal cells. In fact, they are more resource hungry than normal cells overall which is how cancer kills. I still fail to see the rationale. Insulin drops glucose levels. Are they trying to starve the cancer cells? If so, it won't work. The body has mechanisms like neoglucogenesis or glycogenolysis that will release glucose in an emergency. Any blood sugar low enought to kill cancer cells would likely kill the host as well.

The claimed rationale is that low sugar levels "open up" the chemoreceptors on cells and make them more sensitive to chemotherapy drugs and I fail to see how that could happen.

Do you know of any citations that support the claims? Let me know.

Doc

At least for prostate cancer there may be something to the insulin potentiation therapy - but hardly enough to recommend this as a treatment, just further investigation.
Here is another paper which is useful as a background:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324133/
Quote:Adv Urol. 2012; 2012: 248607.
Published online Apr 3, 2012. doi: 10.1155/2012/248607
PMCID: PMC3324133
The Interactions between Insulin and Androgens in Progression to Castrate-Resistant Prostate Cancer Jennifer H. Gunter et al

Again, metformin is mentioned and it would be interesting if the mechanisms are similar - due to metformin being shown to have anti-cancer properties for a number of different cancers.

However - as a warning, I did a pubmed search and it was remarkably lacking any evidence for IPT published in any quality journals for treating cancer. Beware of the quacks.

As for my previous post - the low dose IPT and hormone therapy has 11 month median survival for a small study
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357525/

These are NOT impressive results for IPT (and definitely no miracle cure)
The second paper without IPT and using standard hormone therapy (androgen deprivation therapies) shows average of 18-36 months until uncontrolled progression for HR prostate cancer.(based on reviews and meta-analysis from other studies)

Quote:Most patients initially respond to ADT; however, after a median 18–36 months patients recur with rising PSA levels despite castrate androgen levels in the serum.

Based on the above - my conclusion is this IPT is unlikely to be beneficial.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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03-04-2014, 03:28 PM (This post was last modified: 03-04-2014 03:37 PM by Baruch.)
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 11:17 PM)Anjele Wrote:  I fit only one of the main causes of breast cancer. Though my mother also had it, genetic testing showed that I do not have the marker...good news for my kids.

I'll read more on the selenium. I see there is a lot about how it is good for chemo patients. I suppose I am not your typical person with breast cancer. I just went straight for the mastectomies and removal of sentinel nodes and said no thank you to any chemo or rads. I was also one of the 'lucky' ones to be diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. That was fun, since there was little on line for me to read up on other than the statistics for survival weren't real spiffy.

I was told that TNBC will usually kick your butt in three years or your risk level will drop at that point much more so than with other breast cancers, as far as recurrence rates. The first oncologist I saw was ready to pump me full of chemo without giving me options, so I found a breast cancer researcher. So far my CA 27-29 tests every six months have been really good and well below a concern level. Oddly the first oncologist told me there was NO blood test available and I therefore had no choice but to start chemo.

My thought process was that if I only had three years left I didn't want to spend it bald and with no fingernails to drag myself up out of the toilet with as I puked my way up to a strong potential of chemo-induced leukemia followed by a wasting death.

Though I give tons of credit to my medical team, there were suggestions made all along the process that I didn't feel good about...one would have meant a complete misdiagnosis and I would probably be dead now because of it. I trusted my gut, did my research, and didn't let anyone with a lab coat bully me into thinking I wasn't in charge of my own health. I finally was able to put together a team to try to get me through this...the problem has been the continuing pain.

Tomorrow it will be four years since I had my expanders removed and my implants placed. What a long strange trip it's been!

Cue Girly...

Breast cancer treatment with chemotherapy has improved remarkably over the last 30 years - I work in this area and most people survive without too many side effects which dont last too long.(in the grand scheme of things)
At least in the neo-adjuvant & Adjuvant setting.

Sad to say the metastatic setting is still appalling - even though I know some metastatic patients who are doing well on Herceptin for over 4 years after good chemo response.
....I said some.

The Leukaemia risk from Breast cancer chemotherapy is very low, I would not use this as a scare tactic. In 10 years I have come across two cases. Sadly it is a hard Leukaemia to treat and pretty diabolical outcome, both are dead after more chemo (and quite quickly) - sadly the chemo was almost the same stuff that cured their breast cancers, so its hardly the most logical approach to treatment.

It was actually very sad, because the patient with Leukaemia secondary to breast cancer treatment was in a side room next to another Leukaemia patient with spontaneous AML Leukaemia (unknown cause). The prognosis for 5 yr survival for the patient who had breast cancer was about 5% and the other patient over 70% - and both have the same treatment !

My grand mother had breast cancer in the 1950's with SAVAGE treatment (High dose Gamma radiation, super aggressive surgery and chemical weapons) She did survive until her late 80's but I think the psychological trauma made her very bitter towards life and others. However, today I have met many people with breast cancer and conventional treatments carry on with pretty normal life - even going to work between chemo regimen courses. The anti emetics (anti-sickness meds) have also improved in the last 15 years with the introduction of ondansetron like drugs and aprepritant etc making side effects less of a problem than they used to be.

Then again, I am not minimizing the issue - it is still a tough treatment and not all people respond and some have a horrible 6 months or so. At least 6 Months of a nightmare is worth it if the prognosis is >70%. ....but then 5-10% dont respond very well after going through hell and its just a rollercoaster towards death.

It would be great if genetic/molecular testing improved to predict which people respond well and which dont to chemotherapy (this has already started - but much more work needs to be done)

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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03-04-2014, 03:30 PM
RE: Medical advice
Any advice for someone with hypoglycemia? I manage fine most days its just sometimes work tends to interfere with my eating schedule.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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03-04-2014, 03:39 PM
RE: Medical advice
(15-03-2014 03:19 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  
(15-03-2014 03:09 PM)QUELSQUELS Wrote:  My husband recently discovered ping pong ball sized lumps behind his ears near the bottom of his jawline and is worried that it is something serious... but I cant get him to go to the doctors.

That sounds like swollen lymph nodes and he should see a doctor.

Definitely agree on this.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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03-04-2014, 03:40 PM
RE: Medical advice
(03-04-2014 03:30 PM)Blackhand293 Wrote:  Any advice for someone with hypoglycemia? I manage fine most days its just sometimes work tends to interfere with my eating schedule.

? Taking any meds.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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03-04-2014, 03:43 PM
RE: Medical advice
(15-03-2014 09:24 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 08:11 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  So I ,take a shitload of supplements, not vitamins and minerals other than D3, but resveratrol, curcumin, niacinamide, NAC, chanca piedra, silymarin and hydergine and piracetam along with metformin, simvastatin and lisinopril for the prediabetes and seroquel for sleep. Am I wasting my money? I'm liking the hydergine and piracetam mixed with some choline from lecitihin capsules and the liver really likes the NAC.

Girly, barring Vitamin D, it's very unusual to be deficient in any vitamin, trace mineral or nutrient on a Western non-vegetarian diet. Please check out the following:

Office of dietary supplements

I don't know if the supplements you're taking are harming you but by the same token, I'm not sure if they are helping you. Why did you pick those particular supplements to take?

Doc

Yeh - often all these extra vitamin pills just lead to expensive urine.
I also recommend vitamin D as deficiency is very common in the non sunny regions. UK is so cold and cloudy for most of the year.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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03-04-2014, 03:48 PM
RE: Medical advice
(03-04-2014 03:40 PM)Baruch Wrote:  
(03-04-2014 03:30 PM)Blackhand293 Wrote:  Any advice for someone with hypoglycemia? I manage fine most days its just sometimes work tends to interfere with my eating schedule.

? Taking any meds.

meds no, Low G.I. diet and avoiding to many processed carbohydrates if I can help it.

The requirement of evidence to back your claim does not disappear because it hurts your feelings, reality does not care about your feefees.
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