There is no evidence…



Posted July 24th, 2009 by Jane

Strangely in the 10 months I’ve had this site I’ve not written yet about ‘alternative’ approaches. On other websites I find myself often repeating the words: ‘There is no evidence.’ Whether its challenging the myth of stress causing breast cancer, or of misletoe being a viable treatment, or the alleged benefits of a dairy free diet, or knocking coffee ememas and arnica, I’ve always presented myself as a scientific kind of person, a fan of John Diamond and Edzard Ernst.

And now there is the TENS machine which I have knocked in an early post last September about morphine. Desperate in the hospice, I agreed to try the TENS machine (and the doctor who suggested it also said ; “And there is no evidence.”). There are four electrodes stuck to my back and connected to a little cassette sized machine which sends electrical pulses to the nerves causing pain…I think thats the theory. TENS machines took off in late 1970s and 80s at a time when ‘alternative’ treatments were starting to gain populartity and credibility in the wasteland of Thatcher’s Britain.

But there is no evidence that TENS machines work because there aren’t any properly designed double blind randomised trials to show how effective they actually might be. I wore the machine for a couple of days and yes it did seem to help the pain…despite my heavy scepticism and denial. And I’ve been in pain today..no TENS machine fitted.

Watch this space though because in the main there truly is no evidence for so many crackpot idea about the causes of breast cancer, and the way to treat it.