Quackery is a sham, a scheme designed to fool consumers into buying something they don’t need and that doesn’t work contrarily to the seller’s claim, out of greed. Snake oil is another favorite term conventional medicine proponents use to describe this phenomenon. In this perspective, conventional oncology experts, both in medical schools as well as in the public, warn the world about the alleged quackery of alternative, integrative and holistic cancer treatments. However, this obsession to find fault in different alternative schools may be a cover-up of allopathic medicine and conventional oncology’s own weaknesses. In fact, medical error (1) from the conventional medical system is now the third leading cause of death in the USA (Source). (See also Exhibit A) Other studies say it’s the first cause of premature death and collective suffering. (2) (Source)
In this analysiss, I will first look at a few testimonies from prestigious scientists about their expert experience with mainstream science and medicine in general (Section A) and thereafter, I will focus more on cancer research and conventional oncology (Section B)
Expert Testimonial Evidence on Conventional Medicine’s deep-seated Flaws
“In summoning even the wisest of physicians to our aid, it is probable that he is relying upon a scientific ‘truth,’ the error of which will become obvious in just a few years’ time.” Marcel Proust
John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford University School of Medicine published one of the most widely accessed article in the history of the Public Library of Science (PLoS) entitled Why Most Published Research Findings Are False. In the report, he stated that most current published research findings are false.
“There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research” (Source)
This piece was published in 2005. Fast forwarding to 2015 where a more recent corroboration of this claim was made by Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet. He stated that half of all the published literature could be false. (source)
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. (source)
Many other well respected scientists, who are definitely in a position to know about this type of thing, have made similar statements. For example, Dr. Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor in Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is considered to be one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, said that:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgement of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal Of Medicine”. (source)
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On the Limitations of Conventional Medicine