Concern over media coverage surrounding the Tronado microwave treatment of cancer

The Australian Medical Association (WA) today expressed concern over media coverage surrounding the Tronado microwave treatment of cancer.

"We want to send a very strong message to our patients that there is no evidence to show the treatment works and they must continue conventional treatment," AMA (WA) President Dr Paul Skerritt said today.

"Reports so far have failed to present a complete picture of the treatment and its history."

"The machine has been around for more than 30 years and has been subject to many evaluations and reviews around the world over that time."

"There has been no evidence that the treatment is effective in curing cancer," Dr Skerritt said.

"The treatment does not on its own attract a Medicare rebate for the patient unless it is used in conjunction with conventional treatment."

"Regretfully there is no published evidence that the treatment works."

"However, we strongly support the open-minded offer of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists to conduct an independent audit so that we can be better informed as to the efficacy of the Tronado treatment."

"It should be noted that there will always be a number of patients who will recover from illness without explanation and we believe it is irresponsible to present any treatment as a cure."

"It is the doctors and patients of Perth who will have to deal with unrealistic expectations that have been created long after the publicity has gone and the media has moved on to another miracle cure," Dr Skerritt said.

An email survey of Perth doctors by the AMA (WA) failed to produce any evidence the treatment works.

One Doctor responding to the survey said: "I am fully aware of the unrealistic expectations of patients re the Tronado Microwave Cancer Treatment. As a Radiation Oncologist working in Perth I am faced with these patients virtually every day, as are my colleagues.

"My major concern is that as an oncologist, we are striving to practice evidence-based medicine and that sensationalising treatments such as the tronado is counter to all of our efforts. "It is difficult for patients to understand the complexity of medical evidence and research which ultimately guide us in patient treatment and decision-making."

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