The first thing we need to understand is that, despite what naturopaths and other alt-med practitioners will tell you, cancer is not a single disease with a single cause or treatment. In fact, there are over 100 different types of cancer. The one thing all cancers have in common is that normal cells begin to grow and multiply in abnormal ways.
This was a quick comment as a lead in to a web page by a naturopath who has some deadly ideas for the causes and treatments of cancer (in his mind a monolithic disease).
Eugene Quan at Western Naturopathic is dangerously misleading patients with his ideas:
The general knowledge of cancer is that has no cure. That is wrong. There is a cure. The cure is within ourselves and its cause comes from the lack of energy which is caused by chronic mental and emotional stress.
The medical model which includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiation has a low success rate.
Some cancers are highly treatable and even curable, although mostly we see a standard of 5 year survival rate as it can be difficult to determine if all of the cancer cells have been destroyed. Survival rates are dependent upon such factors as the type of cancer, stage of diagnosis, and the age and overall health of the patient.
Dr. Eugene Quan is always researching and looking for better ways that will increase the health of his patients. He is studying the works of Dr.Hamer and Dr. Coldwell. Dr. Hamer, the man behind German New Medicine has a success rate of 92% in 21,000 patients. Dr. Coldwell has 93% success rate with over 35,000 patients.
Hamer is the man behind German New Medicine, and he preaches that all disease is caused by emotional disturbances. Coldwell adds detoxification to his emotional treatments in what he calls Instinct Based Medicine—the exact opposite of what those of us who want science and evidence in our medicine. Claims for those levels of success rates, without defining the type and stage of cancer are worse than meaningless. They are misleading to the point of outright lying. Are these even cancer?
Quan’s treatments consist of:
A. Finding the cause of the cancer which in most cases is stress related
NO, NO, and NO again. The 100+types of cancers have a myriad of causes, some of which are very well known to everyone, although rather than causes the more appropriate term is risk factors. Smoking cigarettes leads to lung cancer. Poor diet and sedentary lifestyle lead to colorectal cancer. HPV leads to cervical and penile cancers. The list goes on.
I’ll just quote David Gorski on this:
Unnamed, unknown, undefined “toxins” are the new evil humors and miasmas, and detoxification is the newest fashionable form of ritual purification.
Robert Carroll at The Skeptic’s Dictionary also has quite a lot to say about detoxification.
C. And to increase the pH of the body to 7
Alan W. Grogono, Professor Emeritus, Tulane University Department of Anesthesiology has a website that offers some detailed descriptions of the body’s acid-base balancing act. On that site he explains how acid-base physiology, and most importantly to this discussion, what are the differing pH values and ranges for the various fluid components of our bodies. There is no single body pH.
D. IV Vitamin C
From the American Cancer Society:
the few studies in which vitamin C has been given as a supplement have not shown a reduced cancer risk.
This suggests that the activity of fruits and vegetables in preventing cancer is due to a combination of many things such as vitamins, fiber, and other phytochemicals and not to vitamin C alone (see Phytochemicals). Clinical trials of high doses vitamin C as a treatment for cancer have not shown any benefit. High doses of vitamin C can cause side effects in some people.
E. Poly MVA
This technical sounding acronym stands for Minerals, Vitamins, and Amino Acids. Again, from the American Cancer Society:
Available scientific evidence does not support claims that Poly-MVA is effective in preventing or treating cancer. The makers of Poly-MVA claim it has a history of “over forty years of laboratory research and testing and fifteen years of clinical use.” However, reports of Poly-MVA’s effectiveness are anecdotal or small studies that have not been confirmed or published in scientific journals.
No studies of Poly-MVA in humans have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Thus far, the only study published in a peer-reviewed journal was an animal study using gerbils, which explored the possible effects of Poly-MVA in protecting nerve cells from lack of oxygen.
It is important to note that this product, marketed as a food supplement, is not required to be tested under either Health Canada or FDA regulations.
How does Quan know whether you have cancer in the first place? He uses something called a Vega Machine and claims that he can identify cancer “two years in advance”. In advance of what, he doesn’t explain. This machine supposedly combines acupuncture theory and homoeopathy, and is most commonly used by alt-med practitioners to test for food sensitivities, but in the hands of a master, can diagnose almost anything that can provide profit for the user.
If you use a useless device to diagnose diseases that no one else is able to detect, it can be pretty damn easy to generate ‘cure’ rates that are impossible by legitimate means. When visiting a Naturopath, it is always important to remember that everything they recommend as a treatment is designed to move money from your pocket to yours. Total avoidance of quacks is your best route to health.