In WDDTY Vol 2 No 7 (Cancer: the better alternatives) your statement that "surgical biopsy may contribute to the spread of cancer" is too mild it most certainly contributes to its spread! Such a biopsy on a secondary tumour, which was diagnosed after a "local" needle biopsy, I consider responsible for the death of my beloved wife Jacquie at the age of 50.
Jacquie was then radiant, playing sports and active in the garden. She was also into alternative therapies and fighting her cancer magnificently.However, she was pressurized into that surgical biopsy by arrogant dismissals of our expressed fears and assurances that such a test carried no risk; the doctors stressed the need to locate the primary tumour immediately so that "urgent treatment" could start.
Tragically, medical dogmatism prevailed over our instincts and better judgement, and the biopsy took place. That biopsy caused the tumour (in her neck) to spread rapidly.
It was agonizing to witness. Just two months later, radium had to be prescribed to reduce its growth. From day two of the "treatment" Jacquie experienced abdominal pain. After its conclusion in September, her decline was precipitous.
On October 12, an emergency hysterectomy had to be performed to treat what was finally diagnosed as cancer of the ovaries.
Surgery could not extract all the cancer; what remained spread like wildfire. "Last ditch" chemotherapy was powerless to prevent it. Jacquie died on 23 November.
Twelve years ago, my father died within two weeks of a "routine morning biopsy test" on his lung.
I am now convinced there needs to be protective legislation against surgical biopsy on cancerous tumours.
Unless all the tumour can be removed it is a virtual certainty that the biopsy will cause it to spread. D J B, Co Cork, Ireland.....