2 thoughts on “Mark Hancock

  1. Is this mistletoe optional for any metastatic carcinoma? I was diagnosed in 2014 with Hurthle cell carcinoma, had 2 surgeries, 2X RAI, just recieved US report last week, shows metastatic level II jugulodigastric lymphnode 1.4 cm. Really curious if it is possible for all variants. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hello Wendy,
      I’m sorry to hear about the recent news. You ask an excellent question. Naturally I can’t give you medical advice over the internet but in general I look at the multiple modes of action of mistletoe and the track record of synergies with other conventional treatments. There are case reports of rare and aggressive cancers going into remission after mistletoe treatment and these are tumors that conventionally have a difficult prognosis- though case reports are typically looked at as almost anecdotal in terms of evidence. I like to see things in a risk versus benefit scenario. On the one hand, might this intervention help? How will it likely make me feel? On the other, what more do I need to do in my busy life- whether expense, or time, or invasiveness with injections? And what are the potential side effects. If we are not substituting one therapy that is not entirely proven for a more proven therapy this gets easier. Can we eat organic and avoid pesticides? Avoid sugar? There are still very rare diseases that “conventionally” treatment is based on expert opinion and I have treated patients and navigated decisions like this with them. And there are certainly valid reasons people wish to avoid conventional therapies that I respect- though I always try to make it more clear and conscious: if conventional treatment yields survival in the 90%+ and someone wishes to forgo that and substitute some other therapy then this takes a bit of time and effort to explore. I do this in the hospital with Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusion (probably the scenario most analogous). The difference is that we can’t kick a bleeding Jehovah’s Witness out of the hospital but I do occasionally see oncologists kick patients who have religious or strong philosophical beliefs against their treatments out of their care. This is unethical. As physicians we have the obligation to all of our patients to do the best we can do respecting the framework of their belief system.

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