While chemotherapy is the treatment of choice for those with cancer, a former doctor from the Charing Cross Hospital in London has stated that it does very little to help those with advanced cancer and does not improve their survival rates.

Instead, it only offers an expensive and particularly uncomfortable treatment.

Peter Wise, the expert discussing chemotherapy, states that it can also provide unrealistic expectations and false hope for those who will inevitably die from their disease.

Will some patients with advanced cancer benefit from chemotherapy and radiation, it only extends their life expectancy by a few months at most.

Wise also thinks it is not a particularly good idea to spend the money on patients who will not benefit from the therapy. In the United Kingdom, the government pays for the treatment, which can be in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the United States, because of the burden of payment falling upon the sick person, this can mean going into severe medical debt for the same outcome.

While cancer survival rates have increased in recent decades, not much of this can be attributed to cancer drugs, which are still expensive and not properly targeted. Instead, much of the increased survival rates can be attributed to prevention and early diagnosis, which can help the drugs work better than if done once the cancer is advanced.

Wise also says of the drugs:

“Many drugs approved on the basis of better progression-free survival have been subsequently found not to produce better overall survival than the comparator drug.”

He also states that they often overlook the horrendous side effects of the drugs which can often be debilitating and lead to a lower quality of life.

Wise also stated:

“Many irregularities and competing interests – in pharma, in trials, in government approval, and in the clinical use of cancer drugs – impact ethically on the care and costs of patients with cancer.

Non-representative clinical trials with imprecise endpoints and misinformed patients with unrealistic expectations compel interventions that are mostly not in their best interests.

Spending a six figure sum to prolong life by a few weeks or months is already unaffordable, and inappropriate for many of the 20% of the (Western) population who will almost inevitably die from solid tumour metastases.”

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