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Jackie Sherwood February 25, 2013 Choose Chemotherapy, Choose Life Cancer has been prevalent in my family.

My grandpa had cancer in his mouth, and my uncle had cancer in his liver. They were about the same age when they were diagnosed; my uncle sought out chemotherapy and radiotherapy while my grandpa chose to let the disease run its course because he did not think therapy would be helpful. My uncle was completely cured of his cancer, and is alive and well today. My grandpa, however, died in 2001 because the cancer began to spread. It was one of the worst experiences of my family. We saw the strong man whom we loved break down and become a person we barely recognized. If he were well, he would not have wanted anyone to help him or see him the way he was, but he was not well and did not have any choice but to depend on his family for his daily activities. What brought the most sorrow upon my family was that my grandpa knew he had cancer but never told anyone because he did not want to undergo treatments. The survival rate for people with mouth cancer is 89%, and his chances of beating it were especially strong. In the past 20 years, the number of cancer incidences has been rapidly rising due to the common presence of carcinogens in our food, medicine, and technology. Everybody knows someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, but not everyone knows about the different therapies available for treating the disease. Chemotherapy is a type of treatment that is often used to treat cellular diseases, such as cancer. The degree of effectiveness of these treatments varies in each patient and ranges from easing certain symptoms to completely curing the disease. While there are several risks and precautions to chemotherapy that may cause discomfort and other health concerns, the

pros outweigh the cons. Ultimately, innovative medical technologies, such as chemotherapy, are more essential to cancer patients survival and worth the assumed risks as opposed to non-treatment and naturalist approaches because of the specialization of care, the ease and duration of regimens, the potential to provide a lasting cure, and the higher success rates. Chemotherapy treatments, also known as chemo, are different for every patient and changes on a case-to-case basis. There are about 50 different chemotherapy drugs that can be used to stop or slow cancer cells from growing and spreading and shrink the size of cancer. The medication can be administered by injection, through a catheter, through a port, intravenously, topically, or orally (Chemotherapy). Naturalist methods, such as acupuncture and fasting, are also specialized in the way that they are based on self-healing, but I would argue that the premise of natural healing does not give the patient any guideline to follow and therefore may not be as effective as chemo because the patient will not properly understand the steps they must take (Naturalistic and Homeopathic Treatments for Cancer). Chemotherapy on the other hand, while having many options, still gives the patient rules that they must follow and it is something more substantial for those who do not fully understand what they are doing. Due to the variation of chemo treatment type for each patient, the duration of treatment also varies. The length of chemotherapy varies based on the type of cancer present, which chemo drugs are taken, how the cancer responds to the drugs, and how the treatments are affecting your health. In most cases, chemotherapy lasts between 4-6 months, but can last up to a year in more severe instances. The patient will have a set cycle for the drug administration that can be daily, weekly, or monthly (How Long Is Chemotherapy

Given?). While this may seem like an extensive treatment time, it is short in comparison to naturopathic medicine, which requires more of a permanent lifestyle change than a treatment. For example, a natural method would be to cut out most animal fat consumption, which is found in many of our daily meals. Studies show that the consumption of animal fat is directly related to the presence of colon cancer, intestinal cancer, and even breast cancer. Not eating it will reduce the chance of getting cancer, while eating grains and vegetables can reverse the risks. While many of us would like to believe that we could make such a drastic change to better our health, most of us find it too difficult and end up returning to previous habits. Chemotherapy is a better option than naturopathic medicine because it is easier to achieve and does not require drastic lifestyle changes, while having greater effectiveness. Chemotherapy has the potential to completely cure cancer, rather than just easing symptoms or elongating life expectancy. Since chemotherapy treats the whole body rather than just one part of it, it destroys cancer cells that have spread through the body. This cures the cancer, in turn relieving the symptoms, as well as preventing the return of cancer in the future. The American Cancer Society states, available scientific evidence looking at [naturopathic] methods such as homeopathy and colonic irrigation has not shown them to be helpful for cancer or any other disease (Naturopathic Medicine). Chemotherapy, on the other hand, has success rates ranging from 3% to 75%, depending on the type of cancer. Chemo has higher success rates than naturalistic methods for curing cancer and relieving patients of symptoms. Since the introduction of chemo, cancer survival rates have rapidly increased. The 2012 Cancer Facts & Figures booklet states that all cancer

patients diagnosed between 2001 and 2007, had a 67% survival rate. This is a sharp increase from the rate between 1975 and 1977, which was 49%. The difference stems mainly from the new biotechnologies that are helping to cure people of cancer. Treatments are becoming more effective, are being combined for more substantial results, and are becoming more obtainable. Many families do not consider chemo because they assume that the costs are unreasonable, but there are many ways to cover these expenses and find funds. Many insurance providers contribute and some completely cover the cost of treatments and doctor visits. There are also supplemental insurance plans, such as the Aflac cancer insurance that covers deductibles, experimental cancer treatments, out of network specialists, travel and lodging when treatment is far from home, child care, and normal living expenses. There are also other alternatives for making treatments affordable, which include loans, fundraisers, charities, and scientific research funds for newer treatments (Cancer Treatments: Chemotherapy). Considering the available financial assistance, there is no reason a cancer patient would not seek therapy. Some naturalists might argue that chemotherapy is one of the most invasive procedures one can endure, and I would agree that it has the potential to cause bodily harm, but it is also the best chance for survival. Chemotherapy used to be extremely invasive, sometimes requiring the insertion of a port by surgery and hours of IV chemo infusions, but now there are chemotherapy pills that target the cancer cells. These pills can be taken at home with no additional surgeries or time spent in a doctors office. These pills also have less side affects, and prevent the patients hair from falling out. While many naturalists believe that herbs and other natural cures can eradicate the

cancer, the truth is that in most cases, these natural remedies are only strong enough to win the battle, not the war. Chemotherapy is a great treatment for cancer patients, and is comparatively more efficient and successful than naturopathic methods. It gives patients many options for therapy, and is specialized for each patient while providing substantial results. Patients and others affected by cancer need to consider the many alternatives of cancer treatment, paying special attention to chemotherapy because it can make the difference between life and death.

Sources Cited "Cancer Treatments: Chemotherapy." Living Well With Cancer. 28 Feb. 2013. <http://www.livingwellwithcancer.com/english/pdfs/factsheets/chemo.pdf>. "Chemotherapy." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. 23 Feb. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemotherapy>. "Chemotherapy Uses, Side Effects, Types, How It's Given, and More." WebMD. 23 Feb. 2013. <http://www.webmd.com/cancer/questions-answerschemotherapy?page=2>. "How Long Is Chemotherapy Given?" The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://chemocare.com/chemotherapy/what-ischemotherapy/how-long-is-chemotherapy-given.aspx>. "Naturalistic and Homeopathic Treatments for Cancer." MentorMob. 23 Feb. 2013. <http://www.mentormob.com/learn/i/naturalistic-and-homeopathic-treatmentsfor-cancer/naturopathic-history>. "Naturopathic Medicine." American Cancer Society. 27 Feb. 2013. <http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalt ernativemedicine/mindbodyandspirit/naturopathic-medicine>.