Jessica Ainscough is Going to Die

January 28th, 2012
submit to reddit Share

Jessica Ainscough is a model and fashion writer turned “wellness warrior.” She’s an Australian media personality who, in 2008, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that is slow growing but extremely prone to spreading and which doctors recommended be treated by amputating an arm, where the tumor was located. It’s understandable that someone would want to avoid such radical and disfiguring surgery, but for this type of cancer, such extreme measures provide the best long term prognosis. Ainscough elected to have intensive local chemotherapy instead, which eventually did eliminate all detectable cancer. Sadly, it recurred about a year later, as this type of cancer often does. At that point, her doctors advised her that amputation was the best option for treatment.

The story might have ended there and been the sad tale of a young lady who lost an arm to cancer. However, due to her poor choices, the story is much much sadder. Ms. Ainscough decided to decline further treatment. She instead opted for an organic diet, coffee enemas and various detoxification rituals. She believes she is “healing” her cancer and that this is an example of her taking responsibility and doing the right thing.

Ms. Ainscough looks pretty good and, according to her, she feels pretty good. That’s actually not too surprising. The cancer has invaded her soft tissues and is growing and spreading, but, at least from the sound of it, it has not become debilitating just yet. The sad thing is Ms. Ainscough seems to be very confident she is getting better because she lacks the most basic understanding of what the condition is and how it needs to be treated. It’s certainly true that surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are damaging, but that’s because they have to be. Cancer cannot be “healed.” It must be killed. Cancerous cells are damaged cells of ones own body, which grow out of control, due to a breakdown in the function of the mechanisms that control cellular growth. Cancer is a problem inherent to animal cell biology, it can happen in anyone, for any number of reasons, but usually with no single attributable cause, and when it does, the only way it can be cured is by destroying the cancerous cells.

Ms. Ainscough’s complete lack of even the most basic understanding of how cancer is treated is apparent in some of her statements, such as this one:

Drugs do not cure cancer. They just don’t. Every now and then, chemotherapy and radiation treatments may put a patient into “remission”, but this is not truly healing. This is certainly not a cure. Why? Because cancer is so much more than the tumour it shows up as. The tumours are merely the symptoms. And when you just target the symptom without dealing with the root cause, the disease is going to keep showing up. You can chase the disease around your body with surgery and radiation, and you can douse it with toxic chemicals, but this is not an effective long-term solution. This is why you here so often of people whose “cancer came back”. They didn’t do the work to truly reverse their disease. Cancer is nothing more than your body telling you that something has got to give. It is the result of a breakdown in your body’s defenses after it has endured years of abuse in the form of a toxic diet, toxic mind and toxic environment.

No. That’s not it at all. The tumors are the problem. The tumors are composed of the cancerous cells that are the root of the problem and the reason it often comes back is that it’s so damn hard to get every one of those cells, especially when they start spreading to different areas of the body. While cancer can be the result of carcinogenic chemicals, it can also be caused by heredity or by the random degradation of genetic material that happens as a result of cellular respiration.

Let me be blunt about the sad truth here. Jess Ainscough is going to die. I don’t mean in fifty years either. The cancer she has now is going to kill her. It’s too late for her to have a good prognosis, and if she continues without treatment, then the already poor odds are going to get worse. She may feel okay for the time being, but she will die. Her only hope is spontaneous remission, which in this kind of cancer is all but unheard of.

I should note that I am not a doctor and I do not have access to Ms. Ainscough’s complete medical information. However, what I do know is that she claims to have been diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma. If this is indeed true (and if it’s a lie then she’s downright evil), and if she is not receiving treatment by surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, then the cancer can be expected to be fatal. This has been confirmed by experts I have consulted before writing this. As one put it “Not treating epithelioid sarcoma is suicidal.”

The thing that really bothers me, however, is that she is working very hard to put out the message that her non-treatment is working and is the best course of action. She’s been embraced by the media and this idiocy could easily kill others who buy into it.

Via Dolly:

“I’m healing myself from cancer naturally”

In 2008, when I was 22 years old, I was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called epithelioid sarcoma in my left hand and arm.

I was living in Sydney at the time and working as the online editor for DOLLY magazine. I was living an ideal life for someone in their early twenties – burning the candle at both ends, paying no attention to how my actions could affect my health, but having a whole lot of fun while I was at it.

Everything was going exactly according to my life plan. Or so I thought.

On the 24th of April, 2008 I went to see my hand surgeon to have a cast removed, following an operation I had to biopsy some lumps that had been popping up all over my left hand and arm.

After taking the cast off, my doctor told me the news that would change my life in too many ways to predict. He said that I had cancer, and that the type of cancer I have is so rare that not many doctors know how to treat it.

Epithelioid sarcoma doesn’t respond to chemotherapy or radiation, and my only chance of prolonging my survival would be to have my arm amputated at the shoulder. But essentially, my condition was incurable.

None of this made any sense to me. I felt so healthy, and I looked healthy. I could not understand how my life had come down to a decision about whether to have my whole, fully functioning arm chopped off.

After so much anguish and being given no other options, I signed the papers and arranged to have the amputation. However, Baby Jesus, Buddha, Elvis – or whoever is up there – must have been looking out for me, because two days before I was due to have the operation, my medical team came to me with an alternative option.

They wanted to tie a tourniquet around my armpit so that an extremely high dose of chemotherapy drugs could be pumped through my arm. I spent eight days in hospital having the treatment, then a week at home recovering.

Following scans showed I was clear of cancer, but in 2009 – not even a year after going into remission – the cancer was back.

This time I was told that my only real chance of prolonging my survival would be to have my arm amputated at the shoulder, but that this would just be biding me time. My case was regarded as terminal.

Deciding this was not good enough, I took matters into my own hands. I refused their offers and began searching for natural, alternative cancer treatments.

The way I saw it I had two choices. I could let them chase the disease around my body until there was nothing left of me to cut, zap or poison; or I could take responsibility for my illness and bring my body to optimum health so that it can heal itself. For me it was an easy decision.

I began looking at the different ways I may have contributed to the manifestation of my disease and then stopped doing them.

I swapped a lifestyle of late nights, cocktails and Lean Cuisines for carrot juice, coffee enemas and meditation and became an active participant in my treatment.

This research led me to Gerson Therapy which ensures you have a perfectly balanced diet for optimum health, assisting your body to flush out nasties whilst feeding it with all the goodness it needs to flourish.

Epithelioid sarcoma is a relatively rare type of cancer of the soft tissues. It usually occurs in the extremities and is most common in young adults. The tumors are slow growing, but have an extremely high rate of recurrence. Whenever possible they are best treated by surgical removal. As with most cancers, the earlier the tumor is removed, the better and the lesser the chances of recurrence, but even when the entire tumor can be removed, it frequently recurs. Up to 77% of patients will have the cancer reoccur after it has been removed.

Amputation would seem to be an extreme step to take, but in the case of Epitheloid Sarcoma, it is often the recommended treatment that offers the greatest probability of long term survival. The cancer is prone to metastasis early in its development, which is what makes it so difficult to treat and necessitates radical surgery as the best means of avoiding recurrence. The cancer is most prone to “local metastasis” which is why operations to remove only the tumor are frequently unsuccessful. Operations to remove larger areas of tissue or amputate the entire limb have a much higher success rate. It’s hard to gauge the exact success rate because it depends very heavily on how early the cancer is caught and to what degree it has spread. If the entire region of the cancer is removed, metastasis is only 30%. Therefore, while amputation of a cancerous limb does not guarantee that the cancer is cured, but it offers the best chance for doing so. Even despite the disfigurement and lack of function, it is generally advised that such radical surgery be the primary means of treatment.

The condition becomes extremely difficult to successfully treat once it has begun to spread to more distant areas of the body. It does not respond well to chemotherapy some chemotherapy drugs do appear to have effect on large tumors, but the data is inconclusive due to lack of peer reviewed studies evaluating long term survival. Radiation, though helpful for local occurrences, is of limited value once the cancer begins to spread to multiple areas of the body. In some cases, aggressive radiation therapy does stack up favorably to amputation and therefore may allow for retention of a limb while still providing a similar success rates. Surgical removal of the tumor combined with radiation therapy in the area of the tumor is another option which offers relatively good success with the ability to retain the limb.

The fact that this type of cancer is not common makes it difficult to get good statistical data on the success rates of different treatment regimes. With aggressive treatment by surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, the overall success rate is, sadly, only lackluster. About 42-55% of patients treated will survive ten years or more, which is generally considered the benchmark for being “cured.” Ms. Ainscough, however, would have had better than average odds of survival, given her demographic. Women tend to have better survival rates than men, and younger patients tend to have better survival rates than older ones. In more favorable cases, the rate of successful treatment can be as high 80%.

It’s hard to tell what Ms. Ainscough’s prognosis would be, but it appears it would have been pretty good, based on her age, gender and general health. With aggressive treatment, she had a very good shot at beating the cancer, even if it may have cost her an arm. Regardless of her ultimate outcome, treatment could certainly offer Ms. Ainscough a longer life, even if it were not ultimately successful. In all likelihood, the aggressive chemotherapy she had early on has given her at least a year or more extra to live.

Unfortunately, it’s now probably too late. I asked a doctor about what would be recommended now, and he said it might be amputation, if the cancer is completely or at least mostly in one arm, but if it’s spread further, amputating the arm would not provide much benefit. If the cancer has moved beyond her arm, which it probably has, then there’s very little hope of a successful outcome. Once the cancer has reached widespread distribution, the likelihood of long term survival is small, although it is not impossible. Even if treatment could still result in a favorable outcome, it appears that Ms. Ainscough is not open to the possibility of reconsidering mainstream medicine.

The progress of this type of cancer is usually slow. Since it primarily affects soft tissues, it may be grow and spread for quite some time before presenting serious symptoms or life threatening complications. Soft tumors develop around the body, mainly in the deep subcutaneous tissues. They are slow growing and may or may not result in noticeable tenderness or discomfort. It can, in some cases, result in surface ulcers. The slow but aggressive cancer will eventually begin to impair normal functions as it invades lymph nodes and structures like the abdominal wall.

It can take some time for this form of cancer to become debilitating and even longer for it to kill. The most common way that this cancer kills is by infesting the lungs. It may take some time, but eventually the cancer will begin to impair lung function. Palative care may include supplimental oxygen, which can allow patients to live a bit longer, even as their lung function declines. Ultimately, this is the manner in which epithelioid sarcoma kills.

I really do not take any delight in saying this, but based on all the research I have done and the opinion of doctors in the field, if Jess Ainscough really does have epithelioid sarcoma and is not having it treated then she will almost certainly die in the near future. She may continue in relative comfort and appear healthy for the time being, but the cancer is only going to get worse. She will begin to suffer progressively worse symptoms and will die, although it may take anywhere from a few months to a few years for it to happen. She has missed the opportunity to have a reasonably good prognosis. If she were to start treatment now, her likelihood of living a full life would be low, but if she continues to forgo treatment, it will be even worse.

I really find it extremely sad. Ms. Ainscough is a twenty six year old lady who may be naive and has been very quick to embrace alternative medicine as a cure for a disease she seems to have no understanding of, but being naive hardly is grounds for a death sentence. Sadly it does not look like she is going to make it to thirty.

Now this is really going to sound terribly cold, but considering she is going to die and there’s not much to be done about that, part of me hopes it happens soon, because has long as she is alive (which isn’t going to be a whole lot longer, no matter how you look at it), she’s spreading this deadly misinformation. Maybe once she dies, her tragic case will make others wake up and realize they need to get their condition treated.

The ones who really should have to answer for this disgrace is not so much Ms. Ainscough, who is as much a victim as anything else. This poor woman is dying and does not even know it, because charlatans exploited her ignorance and lack of blind trust. Media outlets have given her a platform to spread it even further. In the end, she’ll be the dead one and they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.

Unless she’s lying about having this condition, in which case she’s just plain evil.

Finally, in a highly unusual step, I wrote to Ms. Ainscough:

Dear Miss Aincough,

I am writing you because I have read your posts and articles about your battle with cancer and the actions you have taken to try to treat your condition. I am sure that you firmly believe that you are getting better and that you are doing the right thing to improve your health. You may even feel better and perfectly healthy at the moment. However, you have been had. You are taking advice from people who have no idea what they are talking about. If you continue to do so, it will likely kill you.

I am not a doctor, but I know when a doctor should be consulted and being diagnosed with cancer is most certainly a time when you need a doctor. Having read your accounts, I can understand why you feel they are not giving you the answers or advice you are looking for. The modern healthcare system often bounces patients between white coat-clad professionals who do extremely cold and clinical assessments and seem to take little interest in personal wellness. This is a symptom of doctors needing to treat many people and being forced to work within constraints. It’s a heavily regulated and impersonal system. That does not, however, mean they don’t know what they are talking about.

The doctors who treat cancer understand it very well. They have spent years studying it on a biochemical level, a microscopic level and on a whole-body level. They know how it works, how it progresses and how different chemicals interact with the cancer cells. Becoming a doctor is not easy and you’ll generally find doctors to be very smart people.

Despite what you might have heard, doctors are not in it just for money. Sure, a career in medicine pays pretty well, but it’s not as simple as that. Medical school is long, hard and expensive. Doctors have to spend years in low paying residency before they ever get the chance to make good money, and even then the salaries doctors get are good, but they’re not usually enough to become extremely rich – usually just upper middle class. They have to worry about things like malpractice and may be forced to be on call at odd hours. If a person only wants money, they’ll go into finance or become a lawyer. Doctors, on the other hand, may make good pay, but they are also motivated by the desire to help and the challenge of things.

I don’t think anyone is going to deny that cancer is a tough thing to treat. It’s not as simple as nutrition, and if it was, we would not be spending billions a year working on improving treatment. Cancer is a problem inherent to animal cells. Sometimes they break down and start to divide out of control. When this happens, there’s usually no attributable cause. It’s not your body reacting to something, but just a random error that causes the body to attack itself. This is why it’s so hard to treat and why the treatment can be so difficult.

I realize that losing an arm is something that anyone would want to avoid. Being young and healthy and suddenly hearing you’ve got to have your arm amputated to avoid dying from cancer must be a huge shock. However, I assure you that no competition medical professional would ever recommend such a thing unless they thought it was absolutely necessary and even then, they don’t take it lightly.

The reason you have heard things that you do not want to hear from doctors is that they are required by the ethics of their profession to be truthful. When they said you had to have an arm removed and that it would not guarantee that it would successfully stop the cancer, they were telling you the cold hard truth. When they say the disease could kill you and they can’t be sure they’ll be able to stop you, they are telling you the truth. It’s not the reality you want or they want, but it’s just the way things are. Those who tell you to drink juice and have coffee enemas can tell you much more positive and desirable things. They can tell you that you are being cured and will live a long healthy life with both arms and no cancer. They can tell you this because they lie.

One thing that is universal with cancer treatment is that it always is always more effective when started early. You have already waited some time and therefore, your odds of success are now lower than they had been. They are not zero and if you start treatment now, you have a fighting chance of beating the disease. If you want until tomorrow, they will be worse. The longer you wait, the worse the odds get.

I really do not expect you to listen to this, because I’m sure you have heard this all before, but I still felt ethically obligated to at least try.

Please consider seeking real medical treatment or you will almost certainly die. If you get treatment now, you might have a chance.

Regards,
Steve Packard


This entry was posted on Saturday, January 28th, 2012 at 11:18 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Quackery. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
View blog reactions



235 Responses to “Jessica Ainscough is Going to Die”

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 [5] Show All

  1. 201
    sciencejaney Says:

    Does not look good AT ALL. http://rosaliehilleman.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/how-not-to-do-transparency/comment-page-1/#comment-533


    Quote Comment
  2. 202
    Rose Says:

    I am saddened if this woman is not at least getting some palliative care. She has not posted on her website in five months and I worry that she is nearing the end. I also worry that she is surrounded by people who are enabling her and not encouraging her to get conventional treatment. I know that it may be too late at this point to offer much in the way of treatment, but Jessica could at least get something to help with the pain.

    I know her supporters come here and tell us we are all such big meanies, but I ask that any of them please put those feelings aside and for Jessica’s sake to encourage her to get proper medical care. I mean actual, real medical care instead of just sending beams of white light her way, or thinking positive thoughts about her. It seems that sort of silliness is no longer harmless at this point. I feel so sorry for Jessica Ainscough at this point. No doubt she is terrified but cannot seek conventional treatment without “betraying” her followers.


    Quote Comment
  3. 203
    DV82XL Says:

            Rose said:

    I feel so sorry for Jessica Ainscough at this point.

    Don’t. There is a world full of people suffering from things not their fault, in situations beyond their control, who will die horribly in an uncaring world and many of those will be innocent children. Jessica Ainscough won the lottery of life when she was born into White Western privilege and chose to throw that life away out of obstreperous stupidity rooted in a belief that she could manufacture a reality in which she need not suffer something unpleasant by the agency of simply not wanting to. Well reality bats last, and now it’s come to the plate – she is getting exactly what she has earned, and what she richly deserves.


    Quote Comment
  4. 204
    Rose Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Don’t. There is a world full of people suffering from things not their fault, in situations beyond their control, who will die horribly in an uncaring world and many of those will be innocent children. Jessica Ainscough won the lottery of life when she was born into White Western privilege and chose to throw that life away out of obstreperous stupidity rooted in a belief that she could manufacture a reality in which she need not suffer something unpleasant by the agency of simply not wanting to. Well reality bats last, and now it’s come to the plate – she is getting exactly what she has earned, and what she richly deserves.

            DV82XL said:

    Don’t. There is a world full of people suffering from things not their fault, in situations beyond their control, who will die horribly in an uncaring world and many of those will be innocent children. Jessica Ainscough won the lottery of life when she was born into White Western privilege and chose to throw that life away out of obstreperous stupidity rooted in a belief that she could manufacture a reality in which she need not suffer something unpleasant by the agency of simply not wanting to. Well reality bats last, and now it’s come to the plate – she is getting exactly what she has earned, and what she richly deserves.


    Quote Comment
  5. 205
    Rose Says:

            DV82XL said:

    Don’t. There is a world full of people suffering from things not their fault, in situations beyond their control, who will die horribly in an uncaring world and many of those will be innocent children. Jessica Ainscough won the lottery of life when she was born into White Western privilege and chose to throw that life away out of obstreperous stupidity rooted in a belief that she could manufacture a reality in which she need not suffer something unpleasant by the agency of simply not wanting to. Well reality bats last, and now it’s come to the plate – she is getting exactly what she has earned, and what she richly deserves.

    DV,

    The reason I feel sorry for Jessica (though I am more angry with her than anything) is because I think that when you are 23/24, it is still common to not have processed the fact that you are going to die someday. Jessica did not win the lottery of life – she got an illness that is terminal if left untreated. However, she was certainly lucky enough to have been born in a country with first class medical care. I think Jessica is just one of those people with a huge ego who cannot handle it when something is out of her control. She probably was baffled when the doctors told her that her only option – amputation – was something too horrible to possibly happen to a person like her.

    Let’s face it, Jessica is just a naive mouthpiece for a bigger entity – the Gerson scam. She was an easy dupe because she was young and pretty and her cancer was naturally slow-growing. Thus, she looked healthy and radiant and like she had “survived” cancer because she still looked good many years after being diagnosed. Most people who get cancer and turn to Gerson are middle-aged or older. They do not look good and they die very soon after completing Gerson (or during). They make poor spokesholes for the “treatment”. Jessica, on the other hand, was the perfect person for this crap. No doubt the Gerson people had no problem massaging her ego over the years. Jessica certainly thinks very highly over herself. I mean, she constantly writes about how she alone is capable of healing herself. Her biggest downfall was hubris, which no doubt took a huge hit when her mother died. I could follow her decline on her blog since that event. She has now gone nearly six months without a post. Despite her desperate attempt to appear positive, I would be shocked if she were not in a horrible place right now.


    Quote Comment
  6. 206
    DV82XL Says:

    @ Rose – Foolish young people destroying their lives with bad decisions rooted in ignorance and hubris is unfortunately too common an occurrence and yes there are those that will take advantage of them because of this – every bloody war, which are always fought by the young is testament to that. However the issue from the beginning here on these pages, was the fact that she used the bully-pulpit of her fame to suggest to others they should follow her, and in doing so gave up any call on our sympathy, not because she was wrong, but because it is necessary to emphasize just how wrong she was to try and undo the damage to others her actions may have caused. It’s not enough to say she is young and stupid – that would have not been an acceptable excuse if she had committed murder outright – and it’s not an excuse if she has done it by proxy.


    Quote Comment
  7. 207
    Rose Says:

            DV82XL said:

    @ Rose – Foolish young people destroying their lives with bad decisions rooted in ignorance and hubris is unfortunately too common an occurrence and yes there are those that will take advantage of them because of this – every bloody war, which are always fought by the young is testament to that. However the issue from the beginning here on these pages, was the fact that she used the bully-pulpit of her fame to suggest to others they should follow her, and in doing so gave up any call on our sympathy, not because she was wrong, but because it is necessary to emphasize just how wrong she was to try and undo the damage to others her actions may have caused. It’s not enough to say she is young and stupid – that would have not been an acceptable excuse if she had committed murder outright – and it’s not an excuse if she has done it by proxy.

    I actual do not excuse her; I simply can see how her age and background made her the perfect Gerson dupe. She has not posted on her blog in nearly six months, which leads to believe that she is in the end stages of her cancer and probably regretting not amputating her arm at this point. For now, though I feel a bit sorry for her, I am simultaneously enraged that she has not come clean that Gerson very obviously did not work for either her or her mother. I am angry when I think about all the people who listened to her nonsense and died of a treatable cancer. Look at back at her blog from a couple years ago. Sometimes people used their full names when commenting about treating their cancer with Gerson. At least three are dead that I can find, but I wonder how many who did not post under the full names are dead too.

    As far as I can tell, Ainscough does and says absolutely nothing original. Everything she is about is regurgitated content from someone else. She is an excellent mouthpiece for these people because she looks great and has a journalism degree (though personally I find her writing to be sloppy and amateurish, but apparently it resonates with a lot of people). I am a few years older than Ainscough but I have seen a lot of women like her in my life – they are the type who were raised on steady television and movie diet and somehow got it into their heads that fate and destiny are real things that can be controlled by really, really, REALLY wanting something badly enough. They also cannot fathom anything go very badly for them unless their is some conspiracy against them. It’s like if you do not internally accept something, it means that it will not happen. For example, there is a blog called writtenoff.net. The author was a woman in her 20′s with breast cancer. She did conventional medicine but eventually her condition was terminal. The theme of the blog was that she was not going to accept the fact that doctors had “written her off” and she was going to have her dream wedding anyway. She died before her wedding just a little after what the doctors predicted her life expectancy to be. It turned out that real life was not a Hollywood movie. The doctors were not writing her off; they were simply being ethical and telling her the truth about her condition. Apparently the cancer also did not get the memo that it was supposed to wait until after her dream wedding to kill her.

    The woman from that blog was a very sympathetic person who seemed very sweet so my point is not to be too critical of her. I use at as an example of modern thinking – that somehow if you put it out there that you will cure yourself with Gerson or plan to have your wedding after your predicted life expectancy that it will of course work out that way. I can easily see a privileged woman in her early 20′s like Ainscough getting caught up in this sort of magical thinking, and the Gerson people exploiting it to no end.


    Quote Comment
  8. 208
    DV82XL Says:

            Rose said:

    The woman from that blog was a very sympathetic person who seemed very sweet so my point is not to be too critical of her. I use at as an example of modern thinking – that somehow if you put it out there that you will cure yourself with Gerson or plan to have your wedding after your predicted life expectancy that it will of course work out that way. I can easily see a privileged woman in her early 20′s like Ainscough getting caught up in this sort of magical thinking, and the Gerson people exploiting it to no end.

    I agree one should not be too harsh on the type of person you described. In the end her actions is no different than someone turning to religion in the same circumstance in the hope that submission and prayer will grant you a miracle through divine intercession. Planning her wedding may have been fooling herself, or she may have been using the process to keep from needing to think about her own demise – a way of coping, and nothing more, and while it’s not the kind of thing I would do, I understand. But I still contend that if someone uses their public position to foist quackery on the public we have a clear duty to oppose them regardless of any sympathy that person’s situation may warrant.

    In the end, we are Skeptics, and this a skirmish in battle of a war we are fighting on several fronts, and in several domains. We just cannot afford to give someone a pass just because we might understand how and why they came to their delusions if they have taken it upon themselves to try and convince others to follow them.


    Quote Comment
  9. 209
    Rose Says:

            DV82XL said:

    I agree one should not be too harsh on the type of person you described. In the end her actions is no different than someone turning to religion in the same circumstance in the hope that submission and prayer will grant you a miracle through divine intercession. Planning her wedding may have been fooling herself, or she may have been using the process to keep from needing to think about her own demise – a way of coping, and nothing more, and while it’s not the kind of thing I would do, I understand. But I still contend that if someone uses their public position to foist quackery on the public we have a clear duty to oppose them regardless of any sympathy that person’s situation may warrant.

    In the end, we are Skeptics, and this a skirmish in battle of a war we are fighting on several fronts, and in several domains. We just cannot afford to give someone a pass just because we might understand how and why they came to their delusions if they have taken it upon themselves to try and convince others to follow them.

    I agree that we need to fight Ainscough. I see no contradiction in feeling sympathy for someone dying from a terrible disease before they are 30, and also thinking that person needs to stop spreading deadly misinformation. I do not give Ainscough a pass at all, but I also feel comfortable calling out the head bad guys in all this – namely the Gerson people. Ainscough did not invent Gerson therapy. In fact nothing she peddles is something she came up. I would have zero sympathy for Ainscough if she did not have cancer and was still spreading this nonsense, but I still must have some sympathy for her because in many ways she is a victim of this crap just as much as the people who follow her are. Ainscough simply fell for the scam that is Gerson and took it to another level. I think that she genuinely believed that she was curing her cancer for a time there. Anything that looked like the cancer getting worse, was explained away to her by the Gerson people as being a “flare-up” or a “healing reaction”. This is what makes Gerson so dangerous. Who would not want to believe that? Plenty of people fall for this scam. Ainscough stands out because she is very good at spreading her message. Her background of working at a women’s fashion magazine no doubt gave her excellent skills at making everything sound fantastic. She also was lucky to come of age at a time when lots of people are interested in home gardens and healthy eating.

    However, now that she is aware that Gerson did not work and that she is succumbing to her cancer, it is unethical of her to go into hiding. She needs to be transparent about her disease at this point. She has too many people out there who listen to her and who believe that she cured herself of cancer.


    Quote Comment
  10. 210
    Sandy Says:

    I realize it has been almost three years since this blog posting was made, but I’m sorry to say I do not think it will be three years more before it comes true.

    I have some mutual friends and people I have heard things from. Jessica is not doing very well. She has not posted on her blog in months but apparently she still does he circuit sometimes and does fb posts. She is just not very well.

    Her arm is in bad shape. Swollen, stuck, not much use to her and I think it is causing her pains now. I do not think that there is much problems in her body besides her arm yet. It is moving slowly to the extent that her cancer is mostly in her arm. I think she is going to hold on for a while because it does not seem like the cancer is spreading into her body quickly. It does sound to me like that is inevitable, sadly.

    I think this might be her last Christmas. If it is not, then it will be the second or third to last. She won’t have a whole lot more left. :-(


    Quote Comment
  11. 211
    DV82XL Says:

    <a href="http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/12/16/jess-ainscough-finally-admits-her-condition-is-deteriorating/&quot;Jess Ainscough finally admits her condition is deteriorating

    Via:Respectful Insolence


    Quote Comment
  12. 212
    drbuzz0 Says:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/12/16/jess-ainscough-finally-admits-her-condition-is-deteriorating/


    Quote Comment
  13. 213
    Shafe Says:

    So will she change her name from Saul to Paul and re-brand herself as a champion of science-based medicine?

    Sounds like she’s ready to accept some actual medical treatment, which is sure to inspire backlash and raised hackles among Wellness Warrior die-hards.


    Quote Comment
  14. 214
    DV82XL Says:

            Shafe said:

    So will she change her name from Saul to Paul and re-brand herself as a champion of science-based medicine?

    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on that. The fact that she hasn’t had the arm removed yet seems to indicate that she is still in some denial, or the cancer has spread past the point where it can be excised surgically – either way she has more immediate concerns than posturing for the public I would think at this point.


    Quote Comment
  15. 215
    drbuzz0 Says:

    I am not an expert, but from what I understand, she is at the point where she still stands a fair chance of survival, if she starts aggressive treatment now. She would have to lose that arm and have a fair amount of tissue excised from her shoulder. It might work, it might not. But, since it has not invaded her major organs, there still could be hope. This is a very slow moving cancer.

    I’m not making light of the loss of an arm. It’s still a huge deal and would be debilitating for life, to have to live with one arm or one arm and a prosthetic. I get that.

    In my opinion, and I think, most would agree, life without an arm still beats death. Plenty of people have lived happy, productive lives without an arm.

    I really do wish no ill upon this woman, naive and uninformed that she may be. I hope that there is still time to save her, and I hope, very much, that she will recognize her condition and turn to some actual science-based treatment.


    Quote Comment
  16. 216
    Rose Says:

    You would have to be crazy to prefer death to losing an arm. Obviously it would suck to lose an arm, but you would make your adjustment. You could still participate in A LOT of activities and have a full life.

    Ainscough is obviously grooming her herd for the news that she is going to go through with the amputation. What is interesting to me is that a lot of people with cancer who went to Jessica for advice over the years were likely at the stage she is at now, and she convinced all those poor people to stick with Gerson.


    Quote Comment
  17. 217
    Alberto Vela Says:

    Today is January 18, 2015. Jessica Ainscough is still alive, her voice is sound and she looks great.


    Quote Comment
  18. 218
    Rose Says:

            Alberto Vela said:

    Today is January 18, 2015. Jessica Ainscough is still alive, her voice is sound and she looks great.

    Jessica Ainscough is currently very sick with cancer. Her armpit has been bleeding non-stop for a year. She has been bed-ridden for months, and her cancer is “aggressively flaring up.” She has now returned to conventional medicine and is seeing an oncologist. Her cancer is progressing EXACTLY as this article predicted.

    If you do not believe me then check out her website. Everything I have said about Jessica comes entirely from her own mouth.


    Quote Comment
  19. 219
    drbuzz0 Says:

    Yeah I read that.

    I have no idea if it is possible, at this point, to save her life through surgery and aggressive chemotherapy.

    If it can be, I would be very happy to hear that she had turned to conventional medicine and that she would survive because of it.

    I don’t want to see this woman die. I’d rather she open her eyes and see the truth before it’s too late (which it may already be).


    Quote Comment
  20. 220
    Rose Says:

    So far at least she claims that the cancer is still confined to her arm which means that she might be able to survive if she gets the amputation. Again her cancer is progressing pretty much as one would expect. She has spent these past months out of the public eye and had been very miserable – exactly what one would expect. Her thing about joy and serenity and stuff is all just a lie to help market her brand.


    Quote Comment
  21. 221
    Rose Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    Yeah I read that.

    I have no idea if it is possible, at this point, to save her life through surgery and aggressive chemotherapy.

    If it can be, I would be very happy to hear that she had turned to conventional medicine and that she would survive because of it.

    I don’t want to see this woman die. I’d rather she open her eyes and see the truth before it’s too late (which it may already be).

    Maybe you could write another post about this case. Ainscough did just as I thought she would: she went into hiding and then returned to conventional medicine. I believe she is “preparing” her tribe for her upcoming amputation.


    Quote Comment
  22. 222
    DV82XL Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    I have no idea if it is possible, at this point, to save her life through surgery and aggressive chemotherapy.

    You also have to wonder if she is having trouble finding practitioners in conventional medicine that will take her on as a patient at this point. She has poisoned the well to the degree that it might be seen as a real risk to one’s career to be the attending physician, or surgeon if she does die.


    Quote Comment
  23. 223
    Rose Says:

            DV82XL said:

    You also have to wonder if she is having trouble finding practitioners in conventional medicine that will take her on as a patient at this point. She has poisoned the well to the degree that it might be seen as a real risk to one’s career to be the attending physician, or surgeon if she does die.

    Fortunately for Ainscough, conventional doctors are much more compassionate than the flingers of woo and will help her. She had been seeing a real oncologist for many months now.


    Quote Comment
  24. 224
    drbuzz0 Says:

            DV82XL said:

    You also have to wonder if she is having trouble finding practitioners in conventional medicine that will take her on as a patient at this point. She has poisoned the well to the degree that it might be seen as a real risk to one’s career to be the attending physician, or surgeon if she does die.

    I think that she will be able to find one. From the doctors I know, many hold their duties in the highest of regard and would feel that they had no choice but to treat a woman for cancer, if they were her best hope of survival. It would be unethical not to.

            Rose said:

    So far at least she claims that the cancer is still confined to her arm which means that she might be able to survive if she gets the amputation. Again her cancer is progressing pretty much as one would expect. She has spent these past months out of the public eye and had been very miserable – exactly what one would expect. Her thing about joy and serenity and stuff is all just a lie to help market her brand.

    From what I have been told this is not necessarily the case. It may be true that the cancer has not spread past her arm, but it could also be that it has spread into the rest of her body, but has just not developed into any obvious tumors yet.

    For her sake I do hope it is still confined to her arm, but a cancer doctor who I asked about this told me that it is very concerning that the cancer has had such a great deal of time to spread without anything at all to suppress that.

    We really don’t know what is going to happen to her. Only her doctors, who have examined her and have her records and test results can really give a prognosis. The amount of time this has been festering really does not bode well, however.


    Quote Comment
  25. 225
    DV82XL Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    I think that she will be able to find one. From the doctors I know, many hold their duties in the highest of regard and would feel that they had no choice but to treat a woman for cancer, if they were her best hope of survival. It would be unethical not to.

    I wouldn’t be so sure. Ethically it very appropriate for a surgeon to decline to operate on a patient who has problems they believe is beyond their level of skill. There are several stories out there of people having a hard time finding someone to treat them because the procedure is the doctor’s opinion too risky, or too difficult. Even if Ainscough does find a oncologist willing to take her as a patient, they may not be willing to treat her as aggressively given she waited so long as they might have earlier. Point I was trying to make is that her past public stand may well have a effect on the quality of the treatment she gets now, and there are all sorts of ethical-sounding excuses a doctor could make.


    Quote Comment
  26. 226
    Rose Says:

            drbuzz0 said:

    I think that she will be able to find one. From the doctors I know, many hold their duties in the highest of regard and would feel that they had no choice but to treat a woman for cancer, if they were her best hope of survival. It would be unethical not to.

    From what I have been told this is not necessarily the case. It may be true that the cancer has not spread past her arm, but it could also be that it has spread into the rest of her body, but has just not developed into any obvious tumors yet.

    For her sake I do hope it is still confined to her arm, but a cancer doctor who I asked about this told me that it is very concerning that the cancer has had such a great deal of time to spread without anything at all to suppress that.

    We really don’t know what is going to happen to her. Only her doctors, who have examined her and have her records and test results can really give a prognosis. The amount of time this has been festering really does not bode well, however.

    I suppose that makes sense otherwise her first oncologist would not have been so insistent on an early.amputation. could chemo help at all I wonder?


    Quote Comment
  27. 227
    Rose Says:

            DV82XL said:

    I wouldn’t be so sure. Ethically it very appropriate for a surgeon to decline to operate on a patient who has problems they believe is beyond their level of skill. There are several stories out there of people having a hard time finding someone to treat them because the procedure is the doctor’s opinion too risky, or too difficult. Even if Ainscough does find a oncologist willing to take her as a patient, they may not be willing to treat her as aggressively given she waited so long as they might have earlier. Point I was trying to make is that her past public stand may well have a effect on the quality of the treatment she gets now, and there are all sorts of ethical-sounding excuses a doctor could make.

    according to her she has found a “non-judgemental” oncologist, though I’m sure that her former oncologists were not.judgemental but simply professionals who were imploring her to get proper medical care. Again to avoid any sort of criticism ainscough makesit seem that it was judgmental doctors who drove her to Gerson.


    Quote Comment
  28. 228
    pip Says:

    Every day at our institute we meet new patients influenced by people like Jess Ainscough. Many exhibit 3rd world symptoms from experimenting with alternatives.
    But there are many like Jess. Ian Gawler was Jess A’s hero and has had a far wider influence – lasting 35+ years- 300,000 copies of You can Conquer Cancer – based around his successful cancer alternative med healing story – yet his bone cancer primary was cured by amputation – his supposed secondaries were likely TB which was cured by medical drugs.
    But he managed to get published in the MJA even though he can’t prove he had secondary cancer.
    Adelaide born Laura Bond is another clone. No experience of cancer, no medical training, but her blogs – ‘Mums not having chemo’ have led to a book – a client practice and speaking tours – much of what she writes about is pre-scientific BS – BUT and this is a big BUT – patients coming to us have bought into this BS and spent huge amounts – delay or abandon conventional treatments. Their desperation and bad experiences in our medical systems feds into them making poor choices.
    Dr Google and the ‘fake’ cancer entrepreneurs have a lot to answer for.
    I think the ‘fake’ cancer entrepreneurs should be brought to account! How do we achieve this? But there is much rotten in the natural medicine field! Most of the supplements sold in chemists are just as bad!
    Each week I see so much suffering and death caused by poorly informed choices. I despair and I’m very angry. I work hard to extend the lives of many patients who made poor choices. I get close to them. Some die. I’m saddened and angry.
    I now think ‘fake’ cancer entrepreneurs are like drug dealers.
    Here take some smack, cocaine or ice – it won’t hurt you.
    Well its the same type of thing… Here have some coffee enemas, meditation, vegan hamburgers, raw vegan, etc – these will cure your cancer – don’t see the doctor – they only treat symptoms – not the cause – big bad pharma wants to keep you ill – black salve, marijuana oil – that’s they way to go and also – Buy my books. Tapes and T-Shirts
    Thank heavens for rational thought – see – http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/07/25/cannabis-cannabinoids-and-cancer-the-evidence-so-far/


    Quote Comment
  29. 229
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Rose said:

    I suppose that makes sense otherwise her first oncologist would not have been so insistent on an early.amputation.

    could chemo help at all I wonder?

    Well I can tell you what I know of it, but obviously I don’t know all the details.

    No competent doctor would recommend something as radical and life altering as amputating an entire arm if they didn’t think it was truly the best therapeutic option.

    In the case of Jessica Ainscough, when she was diagnosed, amputation was considered the standard treatment, but the doctors did try another option for treatment and attempting to preserve her arm. They did surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible, while sparing the arm. They then treated it with a course of highly concentrated localized chemotherapy.

    Apparently it seemed like it worked, at first, because there wasn’t any detectable cancer immediately after the treatment and they hoped they had gotten it all, but it ended up coming back. At that point, the only option left was to go back to amputation.

    From what I am told this cancer is especially difficult because it is actually a slow growing cancer. Chemotherapy works by targeting fast growing cells. Most cancer cells grow faster than other cells. Because this cancer slower than most, it makes it harder to get good results with chemotherapy.

    I don’t want to diminish the significance of having one’s arm amputated. I am not writing off how traumatic and difficult a thing that is. I broke my shoulder a while back and had no use of one of my arms for a couple of months. It’s really a big deal to only have one functional arm. I can’t imagine facing a lifetime like that.


    Quote Comment
  30. 230
    Rose Says:

    I do not think that anyone diminishes that having an amputation of an entire limb would be a horrible thing. I would not wish that on anyone. It is just that we are comparing it to giving up your life. Once you’re dead, that’s it! I would give up both arms in order to live. And you can still do a lot with just one arm. I have a second cousin with one arm. He seems pretty happy to me. He likes going to poker tournaments, and manages to play cards quite well with one arm. I guess what I am saying is that he has a perfectly normal and fulfilling life. I get the feeling that Ainscough likes having a purpose and feeling important. I dunno, could she start a charity that supports children who lost a limb? I feel badly for Jessica in some ways because I think her career at a women’s magazine was detrimental to her self-image. Okay, EVERY woman likes looking pretty, but most women are pragmatic enough to understand that life without an arm is still better than no life at all. And my cousin with one arm is married to a great and lovely woman. Bethany Hamilton (soul surfer) has only one arm and she has a very handsome and nice husband. Life does not end because you lost an arm. It keeps going, and you can still get married, have children, travel, exercise, look beautiful, etc.

    Jessica just sent the wrong message. Losing an arm is obviously horrible but dying from cancer before the age of 30 is so much worse.


    Quote Comment
  31. 231
    Claire Says:

    I stumbled across these blogs this morning and WOW. This is just sad on so many levels, the biggest one being that there are people who have made treatment decisions based on Jessica Ainscough’s blog and will pay with their lives.

    People are body-minds; western medicine is finally coming back to that reality. This does not mean there is not a place for western medical treatment, it means that an integrated approach is beneficial and I am so glad we are finally “getting” that.

    In my years in oncology I have seen many people who finally present to the oncologists office after their disease has progressed to the point it can no longer be ignored (and the affected limb cropped out of photos). The stench of draining untreated cancerous tissue is indescribable and is a mess, to say the least.

    While oncologists may have an opinion about what methods have previously been employed in dealing with the cancer, the medical/nursing professions are pledged to alleviate suffering and all resources are utilized. In our practice the person would be seen by medical, surgical and radiation oncologists to determine the safest method(s) of controlling symptoms and disease to the greatest extent.

    If the person is healthy enough to tolerate chemotherapy, that is employed to shrink the tumors as much as possible to make the person a candidate for surgery. Radiation is usually not helpful at this point as the area needing treatment is too large and if surgery is hoped for, radiation creates tissue changes that make it more difficult for the surgeon to operate and can have negative impacts on healing.

    Isolated limb chemotherapy is most likely out of the question given that Ms. Ainscough apparently has open, draining wounds in her armpit (axilla).

    The old adage applies: “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t”. Unfortunately, Wellness Warrior is a perfect example of this.


    Quote Comment
  32. 232
    DV82XL Says:

            Claire said:

    People are body-minds; western medicine is finally coming back to that reality. This does not mean there is not a place for western medical treatment, it means that an integrated approach is beneficial and I am so glad we are finally “getting” that.

    It’s not that this is wrong on its face: it is not, there is no question that a positive attitude in a patient is correlated with a greater likelihood of a positive outcome. I’m all for a broad approach to medical treatment if it doesn’t interfere with the ‘medicine’ part and if nice smells and prayer helps someone face unpleasant choices then it is very appropriate. The larger problem is that there are those that would place far more weight on these than they warrant and suggest that they are a viable replacement for more ‘technical’ (as it were) treatments.

    In Ainscough’s case this factor should have been in the form of physiological intervention back when amputation was being first considered to help her accept it, and I will bet you dollars to donuts there was none. Surgeons and oncologists are, after all, surgeons and oncologists, and while they should have some training in bedside manners, they cannot be expected to provide the sort of support a trained psychologist could have especially one that was part of a team in a cancer treatment unit that would be dealing with this regularly.


    Quote Comment
  33. 233
    Rose Says:

    I do think that alt med people are successful because they are very good at making cancer sufferers feel like there is hope. The problem is that often times cancer is terminal and can only be treated to a certain extent. The reason that real doctors do not give the patients hope is because there is none to be had. A 22-year-old with cancer ABSOLUTELY should see a psychologist or a counselor. My grandfather just died from cancer at the age of 84. Of course he did not want to die, but he accepted it. He was old and had lived a long life. But someone like Ainscough was naturally incredulous that at her age she should lose an arm or die from cancer. Personally, I would just want a good oncologist; I do not need a doctor with a good bedside manner, but I respect that most people are not like that.

    And I have always held that eating well, meditating, exercising, getting fresh air, etc is fantastic, and surely every cancer patient should do those things, but they do not CURE cancer.


    Quote Comment
  34. 234
    Janny Says:

            Claire said:

    I stumbled across these blogs this morning and WOW. This is just sad on so many levels, the biggest one being that there are people who have made treatment decisions based on Jessica Ainscough’s blog and will pay with their lives.

    People are body-minds; western medicine is finally coming back to that reality. This does not mean there is not a place for western medical treatment, it means that an integrated approach is beneficial and I am so glad we are finally “getting” that.

    In my years in oncology I have seen many people who finally present to the oncologists office after their disease has progressed to the point it can no longer be ignored (and the affected limb cropped out of photos). The stench of draining untreated cancerous tissue is indescribable and is a mess, to say the least.

    While oncologists may have an opinion about what methods have previously been employed in dealing with the cancer, the medical/nursing professions are pledged to alleviate suffering and all resources are utilized. In our practice the person would be seen by medical, surgical and radiation oncologists to determine the safest method(s) of controlling symptoms and disease to the greatest extent.

    If the person is healthy enough to tolerate chemotherapy, that is employed to shrink the tumors as much as possible to make the person a candidate for surgery. Radiation is usually not helpful at this point as the area needing treatment is too large and if surgery is hoped for, radiation creates tissue changes that make it more difficult for the surgeon to operate and can have negative impacts on healing.

    Isolated limb chemotherapy is most likely out of the question given that Ms. Ainscough apparently has open, draining wounds in her armpit (axilla).

    The old adage applies: “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t”. Unfortunately, Wellness Warrior is a perfect example of this.

    Dear Madam,
    Regarding your very first paragraph……
    Well, people pay with their lives (every day) who go the chemo/radiation route. Do your research….please. Everyone hear is so ONE sided, it’s amazing and from where I’m standing….. very *sad*—- Western medicine has been pumping the poison mustard gas into people’s bodies for over FIFTY years even though BILLIONS have been raised for the “cure.” Well, guess what? A cure ain’t coming. If western medicine was so fabulous, how is it possible that these “scientists” are completely lost after SO many years. People are so delusional. Perhaps Jessica did research on the traditional method and decided she HAD TO do something else. Have you seen this? Does this woman look like she did OK? Shouldn’t there be some amount of quality of life? Some?????? http://www.viralnova.com/wifes-cancer/


    Quote Comment
  35. 235
    DV82XL Says:

            Janny said:

    Do your research….please.

    Guaranteed whenever someone commenting here tells us to “do some research” they have no real idea of what the term ‘research’ really means. Despite what you might think, it does not mean sifting through the Web looking for sites that back up your beliefs. Rather its a process where all information on a subject is gathered, pro and con, vetting each for things like the authority of the authors, how much support their views are given in the broader scientific community, and how reliable the sources are that are quoted, among many other other things. Then the material that is left is weighed, one against the other, to see if a logical conclusion can be drawn.

    That is what it means to research something, what you do is nothing compared to it, so do not presume to instruct us to ‘do the research’ – we have done it – and garbage like this has been found wanting. How anyone so obviously lacking in understanding or knowledge of a subject can arrogate themselves to lecture those that have spent the time and made the effort to get real educations is beyond me.


    Quote Comment

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 [5] Show All

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *

Please copy the string l81IGU to the field below:

Protected by WP Anti Spam