Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Guest Editor | Only hope for cancer is alternative medicine, says naturopathic doctor

Published:Monday | October 2, 2017 | 12:00 AMNadine Wilson-Harris

The value of the complementary medicine industry is growing annually and so, too, are the offerings for those who want to fight debilitating diseases like breast cancer.

From using herbs and potions to artificial intelligence, Jamaica is not short of those willing to help cancer patients wage war against the disease at a cost - of course. Policymakers have been hard-pressed to put a monetary figure to this growing industry, but worldwide, the nutraceutical industry, which is just one component of complementary medicine, is estimated to value billions. Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) estimated in 2015 that its value would reach US$424 billion by this year.

One local naturopathic doctor told The Gleaner that several of his clients are outside of Jamaica. The doctor, who wishes to remain anonymous says that more and more, he is being approached by those with cancer and many have declared healing after sticking to his programme.

"We do have a reputation associated with cancer, but we don't treat cancer. We use highly intelligent computer software to find out what is wrong with the body at a scientific level, and we simply correct that, and the people who do that, they cure their own cancer," said the naturopathic doctor, who has been in the industry for more than 25 years.

As far as he is concerned, "The only hope for cancer is alternative medicine."

"When you look at the medical texts, the scientific literature, what is used, the chemotherapy and the radiation, they cannot cure cancer," he said.

Through artificial intelligence, he said that he simply teaches people how to heal. Clients are hooked up to a computer that reads their body and gives a printout of what needs to be done to correct the abnormalities.

"It looks at the abnormalities in the energetic pathways, abnormalities in nutritional status, and abnormalities in the toxic load of the body and how much it can carry. Once these things are identified and you actually put the patient on a path, they go out and heal themselves. I have nothing to do with it," he said.

Once diagnosed, not advisable to use complementary medicine only

Many are going back to the earth to find solutions to treat breast cancer, and enterprising individuals have capitalised on this by manufacturing teas and other such commodities, which claim to provide healing. Then there are those offering other avenues to reversing the disease. These avenues include detoxification programmes, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and iridology.

Across the island, naturopathic and other such practitioners are establishing health and wellness conglomerates to facilitate the treatment of conditions such as cancers. Even some traditional doctors are gradually incorporating elements of alternative medicine when treating patients.

General practitioner Dr Derrick Jarrett admits that traditional doctors, like him, who practise alternative medicine are, for the most part, in virgin territory, so there is still a bit of caution.

"We try to prevent cancers using complementary medicine, but once it crosses over into malignancies, I don't believe that we should use only complementary. We should seek the traditional physicians first, and if you want, you can continue using your complementary medicine on the advice of your physician," he said.

"Once they have been diagnosed, I immediately move over into my traditional role and refer them to the surgeon and the usual traditional way of treating it," he explained.

He has noted that breast cancer patients have, in recent times, placed more confidence in naturopaths than their traditional doctors, but as one of those smacked right in the middle, he has his concerns.

"The studies have shown that those who have been diagnosed with cancers and do only complementary medicines, their survival rates haven't really been increased," he said.

"If you have breast cancer, surgically remove the breast or the lump and then you can seek your complementary (medicine) with your chemotherapy or your radiography," he advised.