Re: [MOL] Doctors & neg. messages/ Interesting Book [00624] Medicine On Line


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Re: [MOL] Doctors & neg. messages/ Interesting Book



Hello All, and thanks for the wonderful notes.

I am reading an interesting book called "Remarkable Recovery" by Hirshberg &
Barasch (1995).  It seems to fit well with the philosophy of this outstanding
forum of  Mol - Angels.  I thought someone may be interested in my preliminary
summary and review (I'm not quite done with it yet). I've done an awful lot of
reading lately, I usually stop at night when my eyes can't stay open anymore.

By "Remarkable Recovery" they don't necessarily mean complete curing but
include such conditions as: spontaneous remission, unexpected remission,
growth equilibrium, delayed progression and unexpectedly long survival, etc.
In the book they recount dozens of representative cases that they have come
across.

The general premise is that while not enough is known about cancer, many
factors that may help us learn about certain mechanisms of recovery are
virtually ignored.  Unfortunately doctors tend to keep records on only certain
"medically measureable" items such as blood count, size of tumors, number of
months, etc.   Intangible human elements such as personality, attitude,
spirituality, etc. are virtually ignored and are not recorded.

When the not so uncommon event of remarkable recovery occurs, doctors cannot
explain it, tend scratch their heads and write it off as a "statistical blip".
The human factors which may have contributed are never documented in the
medical records and therefore cannot be learned from.

The writers set off to find and research these remarkable recoveries to see if
they could find some common denominators threading together their cases.  They
studied interesting factors in various cases which seem to have contributed,
including:

Biological Factors  - Our miraculous bodies may well have the mechanisms to
fight almost anything including cancer, but the body needs a jumpstart to turn
on those genes.  (i.e. remissions that occurred after a extremely high
prolonged fever turning on the immune system / or immune system jumpstarted
after injection of other viruses)

Mind/Body Interactions  -  Visualization of the body and drugs physically
attacking the cancer cells and winning.  Effects of hypnosis.  Suggestibility
and placebo effects.  Persons who differentially focused on the good.

Miraculous Events  -  Studying events at Lourdes, etc.    Effects of one's
religous beliefs and spirituality, etc.  Effects of prayer, etc.

Recovery Prone Personalities  -  Searched for underlying personality traits
that are common with cases of remarkable recovery.  Including:  Congruence -
being able to be true to oneself in the midst of crisis.  Fighting spirit in
lieu of rolling over and losing hope, etc.

The Social Connection -  Documentation that people with social ties, strong
families, supportive friends, places to vent, and/or support groups etc.
perform better than those who are cut off and isolated.

Purpose  -  Unexpected longevity of those who have found a purpose to live:
writing a book, raising children, working on a special project, etc.

Activity and Health  -  Benefits to those who try to stay as active as
possible, have good nutrition, etc.

I haven't finished the book yet so therefore I have not reached their
conclusion.  I think its a good guess that they do not have an answer except
that the evidence regarding the above mentioned factors is too much to be
ignored and the medical profession may be missing many natural clues that are
under their noses.  By no means is it an anti-doctor or anti-medicine book,
but it is definitely a eye-opener.

Enough with my version of "Cliff 's Notes".  I hope this was of some interest.

Steve

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