Unfortunately, we are forced to address the same issue again, despite that we and readers have a lot to do to help their clients and patients. Apparently, our initial article and response to Ms. T. Walton’s critique shook her system of beliefs to such a degree that instead of embracing clinical data from the rare study of impact of MT on cancer patients, she spent the time to write another critique of 7 pages which she published in the January issue of Massage Today. Here we go again.

            For those who are not familiar with the subject of this response and would like to examine the history of this debate please click here and you will find all needed links:

https://www.scienceofmassage.com/2018/01/jms-response-to-tracy-waltons-critique-published-in-massage-today/

            Ms. Walton arranged her new response in three arguments, which she considers enough to dismantle results of the study conducted by world respected oncologists (Wang et al, 2014) despite that she should embrace such data since she is a national authority in Oncology Massage. Technically speaking, she argues with us while we (unfortunately) are not the authors of the study which is widely known in the medical community. However, we completely agree with its results since we carefully examined each word in this paper with intentions to warn therapists including Ms. Walton. Apparently, she refuses to accept hard medical data and here are her three arguments:

 

Argument One

            Ms. Walton is completely correct when she mentions that we suggested that the application of massage between newly diagnosed cancer and the beginning of the oncology treatment puts patients at risk of the cancer metastasizing. Surprisingly enough, she twists our words again and starts to discuss what direction of massage strokes we suggested during an Oncology Massage session.

            Ms. Walton doesn’t seem to want to process the info in our article. No one talked about the direction of strokes to or from the tumor. All of that is completely unrelated to the subject of discussion. The critical point is that therapists must stop ANY therapy before oncology therapy starts. We simply don’t know how else we can deliver this very simple message to Ms. Walton. We are not talking about direction of the strokes. We are talking about entire MT stopped before oncology therapy is initiated!

            Ms. Walton again raised the argument about exercise. In the previous response she cited several references which she believes support her point of view. In contrast to Ms. Walton, we didn’t read the abstracts since for $40 we bought full access to the articles she cited and studied them. In these articles authors clearly state that the correlation between exercise and metastasizing MUST be examined further for the sake of the patients. Despite that, Ms. Walton continues to raise the same argument, which may mean that she feels she already knows the answer, while the authors she cited are still examining possible correlations.

 

Argument Two

            Ms. Walton wrote we believe that once oncology treatment starts fear of cancer spread goes away. 

            To read this is simply shocking. Where did Ms. Walton get that? We said that the risk of the metastasizing INCREASES. Unfortunately for patients, the oncology treatment is no guarantee to stop metastases spread. However, it is medically irresponsible to additionally jeopardize oncology treatment, and seriously affect patients’ lives just because Ms. Walton said so and despite that medical science shows completely opposite data.  

            We have combined 40 years of experience in medicine and one of us (Dr. Ross Turchaninov) has a PhD in medicine which includes rehabilitation of patients after bone cancer, including application of Medical Massage. Thus, we never stated the nonsense Ms. Walton attributed to us.

 

Argument Three

            We claimed that some of Ms. Walton’s views on this part of Oncology Massage are her own opinion. 

            Yes, we did and we continue to do so! In her new response we expected her to find a number of medical sources to prove to everyone that her views indeed are based on science, rather than her own opinion. To our complete disbelief she didn’t provide any medical source which may counter Dr. Wang and his colleagues’ findings. Thus, Argument Three proves that in the subject of our discussion, Ms. Walton indeed relies only on her own opinion while she refuses to accept medical data which she MUST embrace.  

 

REFERENCE

Wang, J.Y., Wu, P.K., Chen, P.C., Yen, C.C., Hung, G.Y., Chen, C.F., Hung, S.C., Tsai, S.F., Liu, C.L., Chen, T.H., Chen, W.M. Manipulation therapy prior to diagnosis induced primary osteosarcoma metastasis–from clinical to basic research. PLoS One, 2014 May 7;9(5):e96571.

 

OPEN LETTER TO Ms. WALTON           

We think that to end this discussion we will write open letter to Ms. Walton.

 

Dear Ms. Walton,

            Unfortunately for your students but more importantly your patients, nothing can apparently change your erroneous views. We would like to point out one more time we are not talking about your entire Oncology Massage program. We are talking about the latest clinical and scientific data which indicate that MT must be stopped between newly diagnosed cancer and the beginning of oncology treatment to DECREASE the chance of metastases.

            We don’t think you are fully grasping the gravity of the situation created by the results of Dr. Wang and his colleagues’ study. It doesn’t matter how many arguments you produce. It’s scientifically a done deal! Period!

            At this point all your useless fighting is a waste of yours, ours and other therapists’ time. The current situation can be changed ONLY if you conduct your own study which proves that the results obtained by Dr. Wang are wrong or you provide results from another scientific study on the SAME subject which has a similar approach to the medical science and it proves that Dr. Wang and his colleagues were biased. In all other scenarios your views have nothing to do with medical science and they are just your personal opinion. 

            If you are able to produce sound scientific data, we will be the first who will embrace your views, of course after very careful analysis. Until this happens you don’t have the moral right to spread erroneous views among therapists who are stepping into the lives of very sick people with good intentions but equipped with an erroneous mindset you placed into their heads. This is simply unacceptable!

            In review, you mentioned our remark: “If there is a 1% chance that cancer cells will spread (metastasize) after MT while the patient is not undergoing oncology treatment yet, such therapy must stop, until the treatment is well established.”

            In our original quote we also mentioned that we took 1% as a minimum example. You consider our statement overly cautious and you are completely correct. We are overly cautious because we practice medicine while you are practicing Ms. Walton’s personal opinion, and these are two completely different things. 

            We will continue to inform oncologists who oversee treatment of cancer patients about the results of Dr. Wang and his colleagues’ study. We will contact every hospital where Oncology Massage is practiced and encourage physicians who make clinical decisions to read the full paper and make necessary corrections to the massage therapy program you are suggesting. 

Sincerely,   Dr. J. Cullers, DC, CMMP

Dr. Ross Turchanoinov, MD


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