Chemotherapy Placebo Effect Study
The placebo effect is a study that investigates how the expectations of a drug affects the physiological response it causes in the body. It has been known for many centuries that we can heal the body by simply expecting the healing. This is probably the oldest example of modern medical science’s ability to treat and cure. For example, a patient who is critically ill and was taken off of chemotherapy would most likely not improve if he were to expect that chemotherapy was going to work. His body would simply shut down all other attempts to fight the disease and adapt.
Recently, scientists have found that the placebo effect may be responsible for chemotherapy patients’ increased survival rate. In this study, a group of patients who had recently been diagnosed with cancer were given a placebo. After one week, those who took the placebo showed signs of improvement, whereas those who took placebos did not. These results suggest that the placebo can actually trick our brains into believing that it is treating an illness when it is not. If this is true, then the placebo effect can explain why chemotherapy works for some people, but not for others. Although there are still many skeptics who believe that chemotherapy is not the answer to the treatment of cancer, these findings provide strong evidence to support the theory that at least some people will benefit from it.
This Study Comes As Major Breakthrough In Medical Research
Of course, scientists must confirm that the results they observed are truly due to the placebo effect and not because chemotherapy actually helped the patients. There are too many similarities between the two groups to believe otherwise. The same exact patients taking the placebo also took the same exact doses of the chemotherapy drug. The only real difference between the two groups was that the placebo group received a higher amount of the drug than the chemotherapy group. However, there is no way to tell how much of the drug actually worked, because the placebo test cannot verify whether the amount of the drug was enough to cause the effects.
This study comes as a major breakthrough in medical research. Even though it has long been suspected that the placebo effect may be in play in the treatment of cancer, it has only been recently that doctors have been able to confirm this through a placebo testing program. In fact, this study’s lead author, Dr. Samir Melki, is so sure of this concept’s accuracy that he plans to launch a large clinical trial involving thousands of patients. Once the test is positive and proven successful, it is believed that thousands of patients will be able to get rid of their cancer with chemotherapy treatments.
The Result Of The Test Has Created Controversy
How does this new proof of the effectiveness of chemotherapy work? To understand how it works, it is important to understand how cancer cells work. They reproduce rapidly, invading healthy tissue and overwhelming it before it is able to do any good. Once this happens, the survival rate of the cancer cells will be reduced dramatically, making it impossible for them to do their job as intended. This is essentially what happens when a patient has cancer: their cancerous cells overtake the healthy cells, stopping their ability to divide and stop the cancer process before it can start.
Through rigorous testing, Dr. Melki and his team have been able to identify what makes chemotherapy patients respond in different ways. Through repeated questionnaires of different types, they have been able to determine what sets some people off at the same time and why. Through the use of a standard procedure, they have been able to eliminate those factors which do not respond well from patient to patient and thus cancel out the placebo effect. This new procedure, they believe, will give people a better chance of beating cancer. With this knowledge and the success of the first pilot study, there should be no reason not to use these procedures on patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.
The results of the test have caused a lot of controversy since patients have been known to express doubts about the procedure. Even so, those who are skeptical should remember that there is no scientific evidence that the procedure is actually useless. On the contrary, it is widely believed that chemotherapy does work against some cancers. The placebo effect is just a manifestation of the power of human imagination and unfortunately, it does not reflect any true result. Nevertheless, more research is needed to confirm whether the results presented in the pilot study are correct and whether there really is something to fear about chemotherapy. The fear factor is the main deterrent for most cancer patients against any type of treatment.
The test has been criticized by a number of people claiming that it is a case of psychological projection. They claimed that it shows that chemotherapy is only effective in the mind of the patient and not in reality. However, others did agree that the test was a complete success and is the only way through which a doctor can establish the effects of chemotherapy without having to subject a patient to all the risks and side effects that usually accompany this treatment. The test thus proves that chemotherapy indeed works but only to a certain extent.