"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Suzanne Somer's comments on Patrick Swayze's passing

I've already gotten a couple emails this morning from blog readers asking if I had seen this article in the NY Post (I had, it came across my newsfeed yesterday). Suzanne Somer's is quoted as saying that Patrick Swayze was killed by chemotherapy, not pancreatic cancer.

I'm not a medical professional-----I have never claimed to be, and my primary role with this blog, as well as the email exchanges that I have had with nearly 300 women in the last 6 months, is about empowering women with the information to make informed choices about bioidentical hormone therapy. I post articles that I think will be of value to women who are suffering from hormonal imbalances, and I also include articles on related health topics of interest to peri/menopausal women. I have learned so much by reading the articles that I screen and post, and I am so heartened by the stories that women tell me about doctor's experiences (good and bad), how BHRT has helped them, and how women have found the courage to think outside the box and expore the possibilities of an admittedly still somewhat controversial medical protocol. I have been vocal in support for my own hormone physician, Dr. John Carr in Southern CA, his dedication to his patients and his efforts to make bioidentical hormone therapy available to women of modest means makes him one of the "good guys" in medicine. I am so pleased that I have been able to send him several new patients this year, and I look forward to his new website being up soon (he tells me no later than October 1).

I have said time and time again: I admire Ms. Somer's advocacy for these past years in making the general public aware that there are alternatives to synthetic hormones, and empowering women to challenge their physicians about the best alternatives for their particular case. I am on a milder protocol of hormones than Ms. Somers, and I certainly do not down 60 supplements a day. I know without a doubt I do not eat as healthy as she does (I admire her discipline), and while I exercise every day, I do not stand on my head in an organic vegetable garden and practice yoga. She looks great for her age, and I take her at her word that she feels great too.

All that being said, here is my take on her comments about Patrick Swayze-----she blew it. I'm not taking a stand on whether she is right or wrong, although I have read the news coverage of Ms. Swayze's death, I only know that he died of pancreatic cancer, and my limited research indicates this is a cancer that has a survival period of generally less than two years. He admitted as much in an interview aired earlier this year. For Ms. Somer's to come out with her statements within 48 hours of Patrick's passing is insenstive and disrespectful to Patrick's family and colleagues. I strongly suspect her comments were intended to generate buzz for her upcoming book on alternative cancer treatments (the book is due out in October, so she's likely to be popping up on a TV near you)-------and I think it did, as the Internet is full of articles and commentary on what she said about Swayze. I hope that she offers a sincere, remorseful apology to the Swayze family, and until she does, I have lost nearly any respect I had for her. I know that many of my blog readers are fans of Ms. Somer's books, and I invite anyone to leave a comment, agreeing or disagreeing, with either Ms. Somer's, or my comments about her. Enjoy the rest of your day.

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