The Patient Research Trap

As shocking as it sounds, it is virtually impossible for cancer patients to conduct worthwhile research to assist their cancer recovery. This also applies to doctors researching their own cancer treatments.

In 45 years of cancer service, cancer navigator and patient advocate, Grace Gawler, has not met one patient (in 20,000) whose research had significantly assisted their recovery. More often; patients harmed rather than helped their cancer healing.

Example 1. A highly qualified oncologist attached to reputable hospital is diagnosed with a brain cancer. He know the limitations of the treatments his hospital so he starts researching. After many months he will have acquired much conflicting information. However; he is still (like most patients) unable to discern just how effective any treatments he has found will be in reality. Like most patients he will not discover any ‘innovative treatment hubs’ because, whilst medically accepted in many countries overseas, they are not popular here in Australia or NZ.

Example 2.  Mary is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her local hospitals can offer brutal treatments with little guarantee of survival. She and her family begin ‘researching.’ They find a well known hospital named after a famous actor. It offers ‘complementary’ therapies along with state of the art conventional treatments. The hospital has a very effective PR program. From reading about it many patients decide its the way to go. In reality, most patients we know who received treatments there are disappointed.

Example 3. Many patients after hours spent on the web become convinced alternative or fringe cancer therapies are safer and more effective. Again; in 45 years of cancer service, Grace has never witnessed one single success from such regimes. Most claims from would be cancer entrepreneurs, such as ‘C beat Cancer,’ are not medically verifiable.

More coming soon – in the meantime you can contact our cancer navigator    Click here.