Having read the May 11 article (Seeking out an alternative: Local man opts for unusual cancer treatment”) about a man seeking alternative methods of treatment for a potentially lethal rectal cancer, I offer the following comments:
I am an internist with subspecialty training in gastroenterology. When I came to Ithaca from Downstate a year ago I was amazed at the massive public interest in alternative medicine.
I agree that every patient should be able to choose his method of treatment — having been fully educated as to the pros and cons of alternative vs. conventional methods. What is lacking here is the dim statistical possibility of cure when going the alternative route as first treatment.
I feel that Bert Scholl should see a competent oncologist locally or at one of the large cancer centers in Buffalo, Rochester or New York City. The bold statistics for both methods should be given to him so he won't go off blindly to Mexico for unproven care that, except for anecdotal vignettes, has been proven most dismal.
It's a relief to read a sensible, informed opinion about this treatment, rather than the credulous account provided by the Ithaca Journal reporter.