Is Cancer Quackery Dead?

The amount of money wasted on cancer quackery is unknown but probably exceeds one billion dollars per year -- the amount spent for cancer research.

According to Dr. Jarvis is Professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, Loma Linda University, and President of the National Council Against Health Fraud, some of the worst quackery-related tragedies result from delay or failure to act. An example of a needless death involved an Oregon man who treated his basal cell carcinoma of the mouth with a mail-order remedy for 15 years. What makes this case especially tragic is that since this type of cancer almost never metastasizes, he had many years in which to correct his folly. Although badly disfigured by the growing tumor, he continued self-treatment.

Overreliance upon dietary treatment is a common means by which indirect harm kills cancer sufferers. A health food store owner discovered a lump in her breast. After diagnosing it as cancer, she boasted to her health food friends that she was "going to prove once and for all that diet cure works!" Unfortunately, although at least 80% of self-discovered breast lumps are benign, hers was cancerous. Her husband looked after her for more than a year before the lesion became so gross and her pain so unbearable that she asked to be taken to a doctor for the first time. She died five days later.

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