How effective is Chemotherapy as a treatment for Cancer?
Posted by Vincent Banial
Chemotherapy can be an effective treatment for Hodgkin’s disease (HD) – a type of lymphoma, which is a blood cancer. Chemotherapy can also be an effective form of treatment for Testicular Cancer.
What about other Cancers?
A study was published in the Dec 2004 issue of the Peer Reviewed Journal called Clinical Oncology, which addressed that question.
The following is taken from the abstract of that research Study :
“The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.”
The conclusion as found in the abstract was:
“it is clear that cytotoxic chemotherapy only makes a minor contribution to cancer survival. To justify the continued funding and availability of drugs used in cytotoxic chemotherapy, a rigorous evaluation of the cost-effectiveness and impact on quality of life is urgently required.”.
Found a link using a web search. The link is below ( you have to copy and paste the URL if you wish to visit their site – as you would from a web search):
Basically that is supposed to be a PDF of the results from that study published on Dec 2004 in Clinical Oncology. It lists over twenty different Cancers and the percentage increases in 5 year survival rates for those patients who received Chemotherapy treatment for said Cancer.
Clinical Oncology had also published another research study in November 2004. You can view an abstract at nature.com by clicking on this line.
The following was the conclusion of the Nov 2004 published in Nov 2004:
“Adjuvant chemotherapy after potentially curative surgery can improve 5-year survival by 4% in patients with early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC, stages IB–IIIA).”.
So after surgery, Chemotherapy may increase the 5 year survival rate in about 4% of the patients. Yes, only 4%.
Using the above quoted studies and being overly generous, in my opinion it may seem that Chemotherapy does not increase the 5 year Survival Rate for about 85% of patients with many forms of Cancer. The exception is that yes it may be a form of effective treatment for Hodgkin’s Disease and for the treatment of Testicular Cancer.
With some Cancers the study chart (see the link to the PDF above) shows Chemotherapy to have zero effect on 5 years Survival Rate.
That leaves the question: Why is Chemotherapy being given to Cancer patients?
Disclaimer: The above is posted for information purposes only. I am not giving Medical Advice. If you have a medical issue please consult with your Licensed Medical Doctor, Specialist or other Medical Professional.