Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Wakeup Post

Dear Malaysians,

According to the National Cancer Society Malaysia, it is estimated that one in four Malaysians (1:4) will develop cancer by 75 years old.

That's scary isn't it. Sorry to spoil your Sunday. Somebody's got to wake you up.
Prevention is the cure! Cancer treatment will bankrupt you of your entire savings. Change your lifestyle before it's too late.

Alpha Radiation Treats Prostate Cancers
I picked the above news from BBC about a trial of a new cancer drug, which accurately targets tumors, has been so successful it has been stopped early. Doctors at London's Royal Marsden Hospital gave prostate cancer patients a powerful alpha radiation drug and found that they lived longer, and experienced less pain and side effects. The medics then stopped the trial of 922 people, saying it was unethical not to offer all of them the treatment.

In 90% of patients with advanced prostate cancer, the tumor will have spread to the bone. At this stage there are no treatments which affect survival. The study looked at patients with these secondary cancers, as the source of radiation - radium-223 chloride - acts like calcium and sticks to bone.

Half were given the radium-223 chloride drug alongside traditional chemotherapy, while the other patients received chemotherapy and a dummy pill. The death rate was 30% lower in the group taking radium-223. Those patients survived for 14 months on average compared to 11 months in the dummy group.

The trial was abandoned as "it would have been unethical not to offer the active treatment to those taking placebo", said Dr Parker.

While I agree that an extension of three months of life is good for cancer patients, I wonder why conventional doctors claimed this to be "so successful". I wonder how much more money the pharmaceutical company is going to make from the patients for the radium-223 chloride drug to experience less pain and side effects and live three months longer?

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