Thursday, February 10, 2011

Looking over an MMS study

I've been having some debates with folks about MMS on youtube. I was sent a link to the results for a "study" conducted on using MMS to treat cancer. I read the results, and sent the following reply to the person who had sent it to me:

"I know its not rigorous"

The sample size was only 24 people. This is tiny, too small to be considered anything other than a "pilot study." In real medical research sample sizes this small are never used for anything other than determining if a larger study is justified.

According to the section "Drawbacks of MMS Cancer Patient Study" there was no verification of ANYTHING the subjects reported. It was all self-reported.

There was no placebo and no control. Placebo and control groups are tough in cancer treatment, but generally the control consists of people taking a different medication or following an alternate treatment plan.

There was no consistency in the cancers being treated or the conventional treatment methods involved. If they wanted results worth publishing they should have stuck to people with similar cancers and similar treatment regiments. It looks like easily treated cancers were mixed in with difficult to impossible to treat cancers.

Despite claiming a measly 2 positive results out of a sample of 24, if you read the actual analysis of the "positive" results only 1 person actually recovered. The other "positive" result was that the person wasn't dead yet. We have no medical data on the "positive" respondent's claims about the nature of their cancer or the actual recovery. What's more, the one positive result stated "The original surgeon thought this was a 10-12 year tumor growth before diagnosis." That sounds more like a benign (non-cancerous tumor) than cancer. The study MADE A POINT of stating that the remission had not been confirmed, only that the patient "Believed" the tumor to be gone. With only one success, and a dicey one at that, we can't rule out spontaneous remission or the patient merely being in denial or mistaken about their cancer, if they even HAD cancer to begin with.

The claimed number of cures is identical to the claimed number of deaths. Given the mixed bag of cancers involved this is not surprising,

No effort is made to compare the results to the survival rates for people with similar cancers undergoing similar conventional treatments. This means the "results" are offered in a vacuum. There's no baseline for comparison. It's like saying "Michael is 1.4 Smoots tall" without providing any frame of reference for how big a "Smoot" is.

Even IF the results could be extrapolated for the entire population, saving 1 life out of 24 for a mixed bag of random cancers isn't exactly newsworthy. For comparison take a look at this chart of cancer survival rates by cancer type:

The chart is not as detailed as I would like. Detection stage is averaged, so early detection cases with higher survival rates are averaged in with late stage cancers. The aggressiveness of treatment is also averaged. Earlier detection is considered one of the reasons breast cancer and prostate cancer survival rates are going up.

The only actual recovery listed in the MMS study was a breast cancer case. Breast cancer had an 80.4 survival rate from 1983 to 1990. This puts conventional medicine at a significant advantage over MMS. Many of the cancers on that list have survival rated in the 80% to 90% range, most are at least over 50%.

This means, if you use the results from the MMS study and compare it to the actual five year survival rates for cancer patients in the real world, it's one of the WORST cancer treatments out there!

I recommend checking out this Mayo Clinic article on what cancer survival rates MEAN for a person's prognosis:

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