Alternative Therapy for Lung Cancer Gaffney SC
Medical School: Univ Of Santo Tomas, Fac Of Med And Surg, Manila, Philippines
Graduation Year: 1986
Hematology / Oncology
Medical School: Coll Med, Univ Jagiellonski, Krakow, Poland
Graduation Year: 1985
Hospital: Mary Black Memorial Hospital, Spartanburg, Sc
Group Practice: Cancer Center Of The Carolinas
Graduation Year: 2007
Medical School: Oh State Univ Coll Of Med
Year of Graduation: 1962
Accepting New Patients: Yes
5.0, out of 5 based on 1, reviews.
Oncology (Cancer), Radiation Oncology
Medical School: Univ Of Nc At Chapel Hill Sch Of Med, Chapel Hill Nc 27599
Graduation Year: 1976
General Surgery, Surgical Oncology
Too Close to the Edge?
By Catherine Guthrie
When Jim Hoeksema, a greenhouse grower from Portage, Michigan, found out he had lung cancer, he followed his physician’s advice and started chemotherapy—but he couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that there was something beyond the mainstream he should try. When a business acquaintance told him about a practitioner in Tennessee who claimed to cure cancer with magnets, Hoeksema thought this was his chance.
He contacted the practitioner, James Gary Davidson, who said he’d built a machine that used magnetic force to destroy cancer cells, which then left the body via the patient’s urine. Hoeksema cut short his chemotherapy, packed his bags, and drove with his wife to McMinnville, Tennessee. The treatment cost him $50,000, but it seemed a pittance to pay for his life.
For ten days, Hoeksema had magnetic treatments while his anxious wife paced the waiting room. Once, when the door opened, she saw what looked like a rickety contraption held together with duct tape. “My mother knew things weren’t right,” says Hoeksema’s 42-year-old daughter Lori, “but it was my dad’s last-ditch effort.”
At the end of the treatment, Hoeksema felt worse instead of better. But Davidson said that wasn’t surprising; the cancer was leaving his body and was bound to disrupt things in the process. To fully recover, he advised Hoeksema to spend time on the Florida coast with his wife and breathe the sea air.
The couple complied, but in Florida Hoeksema got even worse. So he returned to Davidson’s clinic in hopes that a second treatment would extinguish the cancer for good. During this visit, however, the force of the magnetic pull broke his thighbone, and he was rushed to the emergency room and later airlifted to a hospital back in Michigan. That’s when the doctors discovered the cancer had spread. Less than two months later, Hoeksema died.
Until a week before his death, Hoeksema continued to defend his decision to be treated at Davidson’s clinic. And it’s likely he would have died of the cancer anyway, since his original physician had told the family his chances were “pretty slim” under any circumstances, says Lori.
But in the end, he admitted to Lori that he thought Davidson was “a mad scientist.” Lori agreed, and after her father’s death, she and her family were instrumental in helping the government shut down Davidson’s clinic and put him behind bars, where he is currently serving a six-year sentence for mail fraud and money laundering. He even confessed in the course of his legal proceedings that he promised a cure knowing full well that his treatment wasn’t effective.
You may think something like what happened to Hoeksema could never happen to you, but how can you be sure? How can you tell if a therapy is safe, and a practitioner trustworthy? And how do you evaluate a practice that hasn’t been tested in scientific trials? Read on to find answers to these and other questions about the experimental edges of medicine.
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