I’ve written a bit about “integrative” veterinary cancer care previously and how it is often marketed with claims that are unsupported by evidence. A recent example of this is a post on the Huffington Post blog in which a prominent CAVM advocate suggests that his conversion from skepticism to belief in alternative medicine is due in part to his realization that a therapy he judged to be quackery actually works. In reality, the therapy is still unsupported by anything stronger than anecdote and personal opinion.
Such unproven therapies are often marketed on the basis of claims that conventional therapies for the same problems are useless, or do more harm than good, and so it makes sense to try alternatives even if they don’t have good evidence behind them. This is an argument commonly made about chemotherapy and alternative cancer therapies, and it is made explicitly in the comments following the HuffPo article.
Fortunately, today Dr. David Gorski at Science-Based Medicine has posted a thorough and cogent response to the bogus claim that chemotherapy is useless. He does a great job of explaining both the value and the limitations of chemotherapy as well as pointing out the weaknesses of the evidence CAM advocates use to support their claims about chemotherapy. I encourage every to have a look at Dr. Gorski’s article.