Sask. Métis man uses traditional medicines to treat terminal cancer

A Métis man who opted to use Indigenous therapies for his terminal cancer instead of chemotherapy was initially turned down for followup care by a specialist, but the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency is now encouraging specialists to accept patients using traditional practices.

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  • Blind Druid

    All the Indians I know that had cancer and went with native medicine are dead. Just sayin’–

    • Watchman

      On the other hand, those treated aren’t suffering any more from cancer. Success! /sarc

  • Sharkibark

    Yeah, good luck with that. However, having known more than a few family and friends who went down the chemotherapy path I think I might just choose palliative care like many doctors do when faced with treatment choices. (Depending on the cancer of course! Many are quite treatable with good long term prognosis.)

  • Well, checking out of chemotherapy can be a rational choice. It’s a brutal treatment and might not be worth it, cost/benefit-wise. And if he wants to try some other stuff what’s the harm? Should that decision necessarily check him out of the medical system he’s been forced to pay for all his life? I’ve no axe to grind, I’m just curious.

    • Watchman

      I agree – if it’s terminal by any standards of modern medicine, the the end result is almost certain whatever you do. The big problem is those people who could have had cures but delayed seeking modern medicine until too late because they were assured by proponents of indigenous treatments that they would be cured by these treatments.

      • I think the problem is pretending that Stone Age philosophies are as valid as modern ones when they are clearly not is simply a thumb to the eye of Western culture. It’s one thing to weigh one’s medical options. It’s another to flaunt so-called remedies to prove one’s cultural credibility.

        • Alain

          I don’t see this as an attempt to prove one’s cultural credibility, only recognition that Western medicine is not the only valid treatment for all things. Not saying it is bad, as it has its place, but then so do other alternative treatments. None of them are the cure-all and be-all for everything.

          • I think this is. Often, people decide to buck a certain system just to be contrary. They are mocking a fairly proven system in a manner akin to an adolescent decrying parental authority even though it makes no sense to do so.

            Again, if Western medicine cannot help and someone chooses to go when it is time, that is one thing. Refusing surer bets to prove a point is foolish.

        • Sharkibark

          I think part of it is about hope. My mother died of cancer, and although she went the chemo route, she also did the mega-dose Vitamin C thing. Though her medical doctors didn’t say she shouldn’t, (they also didn’t confirm that she should) my own research on it found it to be a waste of time and money but I know she very much wanted to live and I was not going to be the one to dash her hopes.

          • I think some people will try anything. I don’t fault their feelings.

            Myself, I would go for a sure bet.

      • Alain

        I disagree about those who could have had standard treatment but opted for alternative treatment which in the end did not work, because they still should be free to make that choice. People make bad or wrong choices all the time, and the biggest problem I see is the government and busybodies (not referring to you here) interfering in the name of protecting them from themselves. Otherwise I totally concur with your take.

  • Frances

    There comes a point when one decides the cure is worse than the disease. This man could have reached that point; what’s the use of going through serious misery only to prolong one’s life by a few months. Better to forgo the treatment and the associated misery, and to have those few months quicker but without the prior misery.

    That being said, I am praying for a couple of tax clients (this happens on a regular basis). One client turned up last year saying had already outlasted doctors’ prognostications; looked really great again this year. Another client was a total surprise as cancer diagnosis after tax season. Didn’t look great, but spirits high. Keep them both in my prayers.

    • Alain

      I agree with you and know that I would likely make the same choice. In fact the late father of my son-in-law decided against the “cure” as it was and is worse than the cancer he had. He died in peace with appropriate palliative care, but his family was outraged that he had refused the ordeal of chemo. Having volunteered at a hospice where we had those who had opted for chemo without any tangible prolongement of life, I knew what I would decide for myself and could understand my son’s-in-law late father very well.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    For years, the pharmaceutical industry badmouthed Chinese herbal medicine as a superstition until they found that these cures worked. Since then, they have rushed to patent the effective ingredients. Folk cures often work, whether it’s chicken soup vapors relieving cold symptoms or bitter melons lowering blood sugar in diabetics.