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Does it make sense to undergo Chemotherapy just in case you have cancer?


Dear Doc,

I read an article whereby a world leader stated that he was receiving Chemotherapy just in case he had a cancer. Is that possible? Does it make sense?{{more}}


Dear Michael,

Anything is possible and with influence and money persons can get most anything done. The truth is that it does not make sense to offer chemotherapy to someone who has not been diagnosed with cancer. Even if there is suspicion of cancer, it does not help to simply start treatment of any kind.

Like all medical management, a diagnosis must first be reached at a before appropriate treatment is initiated. Specific diseases require specific treatment in the same way specific cancers require the appropriate mode of treatment. In preparation for cancer treatment, it is necessary to know what is the appropriate drug to use, as all cancers don’t respond to as the same treatment; this is referred to as looking for ‘cancer markers’.

It is irresponsible for influential persons to make statements which have no scientific reasoning or clinical data to support them, on a public platform. The listening public can be made to believe that such practice is acceptable and thus make unwarranted demands on the medical system. More persons are diagnosed with non-cancerous tumours than cancers and if these people demand chemotherapy by virtue of the prevention it will cause unnecessary demands on the medical system.

Chemotherapy should only be administered when there is confirmation of a cancer and that the appropriate marker has been identified, so that the treatment used is most effective. Money and influence must never change established and proper medical practices.


SVG Cancer Society,
P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.
Email: [email protected]