Victimizing Cancer Patients

"Evil" is a hard word to define and a strong word to use, but it’s hard not to use it to describe people who prey on the vulnerable or helpless, from babies, to puppies, to people suffering with a potentially terminal illness.

Last night I was appalled to learn there is an entire industry that exists for the sole purpose of taking advantage of cancer patients.

I was reading Quackwatch, a highly-praised, nationally-acclaimed website dedicated to debunking pseudoscientific health claims. Quackwatch is pretty much Snopes, but for health information, and it’s run by an actual credentialled doctor. It is highly reputable.

This page, "A Special Message to Cancer Patients Seeking "Alternative" Treatments," filled me with disgust, and additionally, made me want to cry and/or break somebody’s knees. The list of questionable cancer treatments alone, some of which claim they cure 100% of all cancers, is horrific. And considering some of the "treatments" can not only not cure your cancer, but can burn off your nose (warning: ghastly, ghastly photos in this link!) or break your bones? I hesitate to use the word "evil," but surely, surely this type of quackery is it.

The worst danger in quackery, however, is that a practitioner will convince you not to use conventional medicine such as radiation, chemotherapy or surgery to fight your cancer. Some practitioners will not just give you treatments that do not work; they will actively attempt to persuade you not to use treatments that are proven to work, using arguments like these. Some of them will even claim there’s a conspiracy to suppress cancer cures.

Some of these people actually believe in their therapies and remedies, but others do not and are simply out to make a fast buck by taking advantage of people in desperate, terrifying circumstances.

If you or a loved one has cancer, concerns about immunization, or even if you simply wish to be well-informed about alternative medicine (which is good, which is bad and which is neither), please check out Quackwatch. You could save a life, or even just a nose.