When ShopNBC’s Suzanne Somers appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” Friday, she defended her controversial new book on holistic treatments for cancer. The book is called “Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, And How To Prevent Getting It In The First Place.”
Somers, under heat from the American Cancer Society, mentioned that even The New York Times had written about how the war against cancer was being lost. She was critical of chemotherapy, saying it does not have a good success rate.
The blonde has a big bone to pick with the medical community. On the King show, Somers said that last November several doctors had misdiagnosed her and said she had full-body cancer. She thought she was going to die. Prior to that, in 2001, Somers had breast cancer, and survived without chemotherapy. She had the lump on her breast removed, did radiation and turned to alternative treatments.
We had missed the Times’ stories Somers referred to, and wondered what she was talking about. But Sunday The Times had a very moving Page One story about a Houston hospital that only handles cancer patients. Patients, and doctors and nurses who themselves have cancer describe how difficult it is to endure treatments, how devastating the disease is and how hopeless they feel.
All the stories on The Times “Fourty Years War” cancer series can be found here.
We’re not advocating that cancer patients forego conventional medicine, and we have not read Somers’ book, but The Times’ stories do seem to lend some credence to her questioning the success rate of traditional treatments like chemotherapy.
In point of fact, we know women whose lives have been saved by chemotherapy, so we certainly are not knocking it.
But Somers is raising some legitimate issues about how difficult the fight against cancer is, as The Times has chronicled. Anyone who has lost a loved one — who was in remission after treatment, only to have their cancer return and kill them — knows how tough some cancers can be to beat.