Traditional Cancer Treatments Inadequate - Dr

Published: Wed 27 Oct 1999 03:27 PM
A leading cancer specialist with unconventional views on cancer treatment visits New Zealand next week to address public seminars in Auckland and Christchurch.
Dr Francisco Contreras, a clinical oncologist who trained at the University Hospital in Vienna, says traditional methods of cancer treatment are inadequate, and advocates an holistic approach that encompasses mental, physical and spiritual needs is required.
"Doctors have become sophisticated mechanics of the human body, and forgotten that a patient is an entity that has a mind, has emotions and has a spirit, and that all those realms need attention if we want to improve health," he says.
Over the past thirty five years, Dr Contreras, his father, Dr Ernesto Contreras, and their team have treated over 50,000 cancer patients at their "Oasis of Hope" Hospital in Mexico.
Despite over 90% of the hospitals' patients being in advanced stages of cancer when they arrive for treatment, its success rate is well above the national US average. While the national five-year cancer survival rate is between 11 and 17 per cent, patients at the Oasis of Hope have a five-year survival rate of 35 per cent.
While patients are treated with a combination of conventional and alternative therapies, the clinic operates according to two fundamental principles; first do no harm to your patients, and second, love your patient as yourself.
Dr Contreras says that for many chronic ailments the treatments are worse than the disease, and he and his staff have carried out extensive research into natural, non-toxic and non-aggressive therapies.
He says that each year, thousands of women with breast cancer undergo mastectomies unnecessarily, and has been an outspoken critic of traditional breast cancer treatments and the use of mammograms.
He also believes that doctors should be prepared to prescribe for their patients what they would prescribe for themselves or their families, and cites surveys in the US that show that the majority of oncologists would not be prepared to undergo chemotherapy, "yet they prescribe it every day."
A cornerstone of the treatment at the Oasis of Hope is nutrition, an area Dr Contreras says most doctors know nothing about. "We use diet as a therapeutic tool, not only to prevent cancers but to treat them as well."
The narrow view of the medical establishment toward alternative therapies is covered in his book, "Health in the 21st century - will doctors survive?" where he questions the future of conventional medicine if it is unable to work alongside other treatments.
"In the US more people are seeking advice from alternative practitioners than mainstream doctors," he says. "Doctors that promote natural therapies, and companies that produce nutritional supplements should be applauded; not ostracised and persecuted."
Dr Contreras is visiting New Zealand during the first week of November, at the invitation of nutritional supplement company Aim New Zealand, to speak about health and nutrition at public seminars in Auckland and Christchurch.
For further information contact Deborah Fritz, Executive Assistant, Aim New Zealand on (09) 300 3910.
Dr Contreras will be guest speaker at public meetings held at the Christchurch Convention Centre at 7.30pm on Tuesday 2nd November, and at the Downtown Convention Centre in Auckland at 7.30pm on Wednesday 3rd November.
Complimentary passes for media wishing to attend are available by contacting Deborah Fritz at Aim New Zealand, (specialists in nutritional products and supplements and sponsor of the meetings), Phone 09 300 3910. Time permitting, Dr Contreras may be available for interviews following the meetings.
Members of the public wishing to order a copy of Dr Contreras' book, "Health in the 21st century - will doctors survive?", or register for the seminars should contact Aim New Zealand on Freephone 0800 480 333.

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