Daniel Hauser continues to do well

Remember Daniel Hauser?

He’s the the 13-year-old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who underwent one course of chemotherapy and then decided he wanted to pursue “alternative therapy” based on fear of chemotherapy and because of the influence of the faux Native American religion that his mother had taken up with. Ultimately, after a judge ordered Daniel’s parents to make sure that Daniel received the chemotherapy and radiation therapy he needed, Daniel and his mother Colleen went on the lam, but ultimately Daniel’s mother decided to turn herself in. As a result, Daniel began live-saving chemotherapy.

The good news is that Daniel has completed his induction course of chemotherapy:

Daniel Hauser, the Sleepy Eye teen who gained national attention for resisting court-ordered cancer treatment, has finished his chemotherapy and plans to celebrate with a pizza party at home with family and friends, a family spokesman said Friday.

Daniel is doing “very, very well,” and his parents are thrilled, said Dan Zwakman, a family friend. The 13-year-old completed his chemotherapy Thursday at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis and is scheduled to start radiation treatment in October.

“It’s really nice that he’s done,” his mother, Colleen Hauser, told the Associated Press. On Friday, Daniel was feeling a little sick after his final chemo treatment.

“He’s throwing up and stuff like normal, but we keep him occupied with things outside, and that helps a whole lot,” Colleen Hauser said.

Nausea is a small price to pay for surviving a potentially fatal cancer. Indeed, even at reduced doses, Daniel responded beautifully to the chemotherapy:

Since resuming treatment, Daniel was supposed to have 10 chemotherapy sessions, but eight eliminated the tumor in his chest, Zwakman said.

“From the beginning, his progress was so good, he came through absolutely wonderfully,” Zwakman said.

Indeed, this occurred even though Daniel had to undergo a dose reduction to approximately half the usual dose.

The only thing that throws a blot on this happy news is the attitude the Hauser family has:

Zwakman said Daniel’s parents also think that natural therapies practiced by the family helped weaken the tumor before chemotherapy resumed.

Um, in a word, no. The family tried a couple of months of “natural” therapies, and the tumor nearly doubled in size during that time. The woo that Daniel and his mother pursuing did not even put a dent in the tumor.

Unfortunately, for “alternative” medicine, it’s “heads-I-win-tails-you-lose.” If the patient lives, it’s always because of the “natural” remedies. However, if the patient dies, it was clearly the toxicity of the chemotherapy that killed him. Scientific medicine always loses in the minds of such people. That’s OK, though. We’ll tolerate it as long as science-based medicine keeps saving lives. Because of that nasty, reductionist “Western” medicine, a 13-year-old has a chance at living a long and happy life.