Tag Archives: CANCERactive

Ask for Evidence on “miracle” cancer cures

Sense about Science are highlighting miracle cancer cures as part of their Ask for Evidence campaign.

This post aims to highlight the harm done by “miracle” cures and to suggest what evidence hunters can do to tackle this. It also gives examples of when action has had an effect and the ways those selling such treatments can wriggle out of trouble.

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Burzynski: the false promise of antineoplastons

With the support of their local communities, cancer patients are still fundraising to travel to America for antineoplastons, a reportedly pioneering treatment not available in the UK.

In fact this treatment isn’t available anywhere except the Burzynski Clinic, and only to patients who are already on it. Antineoplastons disappeared from the clinic website in January. It is believed that following a recent inspection, the US FDA have closed the “clinical trials” loophole that had been allowing Burzynski to sell these old, unproven drugs to terminal cancer patients.

If this is the case, it is not a fact anyone seems keen to share with families still hoping for a miracle cure. Patients are misled and misinformed at every turn – by the clinic themselves, by lazy and cowardly journalism, by conspiracy theorist cranks, and even by registered charities. Continue reading

Book Review: Everything You Need To Know To Help You Beat Cancer by Chris Woollams

This is billed as the most comprehensive anti-cancer book available, published by CANCERactive, a UK Registered Charity founded by the author, Chris Woollams. Their agreed aims are to inform and support cancer patients and to provide research into treatments.

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Having read the book, I can tell you that it does the very opposite of this. It misinforms, misleads and gives dangerously bad advice. It recommends unmanageably restrictive diet and lifestyle choices. It undermines medical professionals and leading cancer charities, spreading fear and mistrust. It encourages cancer patients to devote precious time, money and energy to dubious treatments known to do more harm than good. Woollams provides no research whatsoever into treatments, but instead appears to simply cherry pick studies, interpreting them to suit his arguments. He gives no references, or indeed any details of these, making it impossible to learn anything from his ‘research’.

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Chris Woollams, Golden Duck nominee

Chris Woollams is the UK’s number one cancer researcher and founder of Britain’s number one holistic cancer charity.

According to the CANCERactive website, that is – but don’t believe all you read on there. It gives favourable coverage to any unproven or disproven cancer quackery you care to name, complete with handy links to clinics in the UK and beyond. Continue reading

My Golden Duck nominees: an introduction

The 2012 Golden Duck from the Good Thinking Society is a lifetime achievement award open to British quacks of all disciplines – medical quackery, politics, business, TV and media and beyond.

After a couple of weeks mulling this over, I have been unable to settle on a single, favourite quack and have instead submitted a shortlist of eight. Continue reading

The Alliance for Natural Health lay into ‘skeptics’… including me!

In a strange piece entitled Scepticism and the natural medicine skeptics: not even distantly related, the ANH laid into critics of what they call ‘natural medicine’, even going so far as suggesting we are guilty of intellectual fraud.

When the fruits of the skeptic movement are intellectual fraud, thuggery and empty character assassination, can society be expected to take the movement’s views seriously?

It was a very odd, confusing post. I think there are two possible explanations for it: Continue reading

Bad advice from CANCERactive

I have some strong concerns about CANCERactive. I think some of the information on their website is inaccurate. Some is misleading. Some is dangerously irresponsible.

But who are CANCERactive?

In their own words,

CANCERactive is Britain´s Number 1 holistic cancer charity. (Some people call us an Integrative, or Integrated Cancer Charity).

They pride themselves on being the ‘Patient’s Champion’ and boast that they take no remuneration for the work that they do. They also point out that they

do not receive funds directly or indirectly from large corporations such as pharmaceutical companies, and so this site is truly independent with no vested interests and based on the research that is available, interpreted in a balanced way

They even claim to pride themselves on being evidence-based. Continue reading