Skeptic News: The real Cancer Industry

From: The Province

When it comes to cancer, the Internet is a minefield of unproven cures. Well-meaning friends and kin send along links for dubious products or practices that promote a “cancer-free life” by using laetrile, coffee enemas, shark cartilage, rattlesnake powder, and copious amounts of juiced vegetables, bark tea and mistletoe extract.

At the 2012 World Cancer Congress — a major gathering of international cancer specialists to be held at the Palais de Congrès in Montreal this week — experts say there are no credible alternatives to science. If coffee enemas or other quack practices could prevent, attenuate or cure cancer, the medical industry would have already found a way to market them en masse.

dubious therapies foster false hope and cause unnecessary pain and suffering, Franco said. Among proponents of quack therapies, some are charlatans while others truly believe they’ve found a solution, Franco said.

But beware of stories of miraculous cures, because even with the most lethal of cancers, statistics show that some individuals do survive, he added.

Alternative cancer cure claims fail to hold up to the rigours of evidence-based medicine, whose cornerstone is the double blind, randomized trial. That’s an experimental design where neither researcher nor subject are aware of who is the control with the sugar pill and who is getting tested with the real molecule or product. Instead, they are hyped with anecdotes of survival and patient testimonials.

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