The Suzanne Somers Vanity Calamity, part 1: "Full-Body Cancer"

Actress Suzanne Somers is making the rounds right now publicizing her latest book, Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, and How to Prevent Getting it In the First Place. Like her previous books, this one is drawing ire from the 'mainstream' medical community.

One of the terms she uses is "full-body cancer." I found several references in her book to this horrific-sounding cancer; most often, she'll phrase it like she does on one page, writing:

  • "Four doctors plus the emergency room doctor and the radiologist have diagnosed me with full-body cancer."

If you've never heard this term before, don't worry—you are not alone. For all intents and purposes it appears Somers made it up, and that she uses it as a device to simplify the idea of metastasis.

What's not clear is the metastasis from where, although one might assume it's from her previous bout with breast cancer. In this book she claims to have gone to an emergency room in November of 2008, where she is told in no uncertain terms that a cancer has spread to her lungs, liver, and heart, and that she has so many tumors in her chest that the doctors couldn't count them all. An oncologist even tells her that he's "never seen so much cancer."

In the end it turns out she doesn't have cancer at all, making the issue of metastasis immaterial—although it doesn't quite explain why she chose to invent the term.

In this narrative Somers uses cheeky, juvenile names for the physicians treating her, like 'Dr. Surgeon', 'Dr. Oncologist', and 'Dr. Infectious' (infectious diseases, that is). This, coupled with her ridiculous assertion that a handful of licensed, US physicians actually diagnosed a person with "full-body cancer" all contribute to a sense that her audience isn't as bright as she is, and that she feels the need to talk down to them.

More on her book and the claims she makes to come ….

Link to Part 2
Link to Part 3
Link to Part 4
Link to Part 5

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