CANCERactive claim to be in their own words
“Britain´s Number 1 holistic cancer charity. (Some people call us an Integrative, or Integrated Cancer Charity).”
They promote a range of alternative cancer therapies including Dr Burzynski and his antineoplasteons, Gerson Therapy and anthroposophic and homeopathic approaches to cancer treatment. This post by Josephine Jones highlights some of the concerns skeptical critics have levelled at Chris Woolams and CANCERactive in more detail.
CANCERactive also seem to believe that Skeptics are part of a “Big Pharma” conspiracy to spread disinformation about alternative treatments for cancer operating on two levels:
1) The ´we believe we´re do-gooders´: the several hundred foot soldiers who meet in pubs and tweet under bizarre, often childish, monikers; they frequently sound like mid-life crisis sufferers yearning for the days back behind the cycle sheds poking fun at school prefects and teachers alike. They can be anything from pathetically puerile to downright abusive, even publically swearing at people in tweets. Their communications often contain not one scintilla of science. But then, that isn´t the issue. They are frequently just being ´used´ by……
2) The ´Placements´: The other end of the spectrum – the few ´opinion former/leaders´, most usually, directly or indirectly, funded by Big Pharma, Big food, mobile telephony companies or whatever, allowing vested interests to drive their opinions. (In our investigations, two of them we found had started their ´sketicism´ when they perceived they had been ´wronged´ in their acedemic posts by ´complementary medicine´ and its advocates!)
So far it’s a pretty standard quack defence: the Big Pharma shill ad hominem “There is little or no evidence for the treatments we promote therefore those who point this out are in the pocket of the pharmaceutical industry”. It’s as utterly untrue as it is boring and distracts from the very real issues of the lack of evidence of efficacy and safety of many of the treatments promoted by CANCERactive.
If Chris Woolams or CANCERactive would care to provide high quality peer reviewed evidence of all the treatments promoted on their site skeptics would welcome this. The sad fact is that belief, no matter how strong, in an alternative medicine or complementary therapy doesn’t make it work.
Without submitting these therapies to rigorous scientific investigation, or checking to see if this has been done, CANCERactive not skeptics are confusing patients and potentially putting them in harms way by promoting treatments with little or no reliable scientific evidence base.