The Place Of Radiation In Cancer Treatment – According To Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee is an oncologist and author of the best-selling history of conventional oncology, The Emperor of All Maladies. In that excellent book he looks at surgery and the development of drug approaches to cancer. But he hardly mentions radiation at all! This is really very odd given how central radiation therapy is within the conventional cancer treatment field. It suggests a certain disquiet. Why else would he almost completely avoid discussion of this area? How central is radiation therapy to the practice of oncology? Well, in Britain oncologists are trained at the London College of Radiation & Oncology (previously this had been just the London College of Radiation) – initially all, or most, British oncologists started out as radiologists. So we can see that radiology is at the heart of cancer treatment – at least in Britain.
Mukherjee is of course writing from an American perspective but in the two or three pages that he does devote to radiation, Mukherjee leaves no doubt as to its dangers. He doesn’t try to sell radiation in the least – and if he does not quite bury it, one does get the impression that this is not a real answer to cancer.
Here is his summary: “The complex intersection of radiation with cancer – cancer-curing at times, cancer-causing at others – dampened the initial enthusiasm of scientists. Radiation was a powerful, invisible knife – but still a knife. And a knife, no matter how deft or penetrating, could only reach so far in the battle against cancer.”
I have since heard that cancer surgeons in the USA often refer to radiologists as radio-terrorists. Hmmm!
If anyone reading this should be about to embark on a course of radiation all I would say is read my discussion in The Cancer Survivor’s Bible and proceed cautiously with open eyes.
The place of radiation in Cancer Treatment may not be as standard as it once appeared!