No evidence supporting ‘toxic heavy metal removal’ treatment

Keith Roach, M.D.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a middle-aged woman, who has just today, as a result of a breast biopsy, been diagnosed with breast cancer (ductal carcinoma). Although I haven’t yet seen the surgeon, I know that chemotherapy will be offered to me after surgery.

I know chemotherapy is one of the usual treatments for most kinds of cancer, but I also know that it is very toxic, destroying some healthy cells along with the cancerous cells, and that it can cause other cancers to develop months or even years after a person has been exposed to it. I personally know a couple of people who have refused chemotherapy and instead chosen to see a naturopathic physician. They obtained successful treatment from alternative methods, without harm to the healthy cells in the body and, after many years, remain cancer-free. One of the features of this kind of treatment involves ridding the body of all toxic heavy metals. Supposedly, they contribute to the development of cancer.

Could you please advise me if this is a safe and wise alternative to consider? If so, how does a person go about locating an expert in the field of alternative medicine? I am desperate for an unbiased answer and don’t know where to turn. I will have to make a decision soon, so I would very much appreciate your opinion. — Anon.

ANSWER: I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis, and would urge you to carefully consider your options, do a lot of reading and talk to your oncologist and surgeon before making any decision.

Chemotherapy is designed to kill cancer, not healthy cells, and over the years it is slowly getting better at doing so.

You certainly may get a long-term response without chemotherapy, and you might not get one even if you do take it. The addition of chemotherapy to a treatment plan is made only when it improves the odds, but there are no guarantees.

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