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Friday, 7 August 2009


Beating Cancer With Nutrition

There's a simple way to pass on seventy seven kinds of muddleheaded nonsense to cancer patients at a stroke. Simply recommend that they read one of the books which push quack treatments for cancer with lies, such as Patrick Quillin's " Beating Cancer with Nutrition".

Over on the What Now board "habubrat" has been ploughing this furrow for years without getting banned. Since they changed to rules of the site to disallow direct promotion of alternative therapies, she has started saying she doesn't believe that it's really about beating cancer, but just about healthier eating. Just another of her arsenal of quackery promoting tricks.

So what's wrong with her disingenuous claim? Just two things-the book which she recommends explicitly and repeatedly claims to be about curing cancer, and its recommendation do not constitute healthy eating.

Let's ignore for now the fact that anyone purchasing the book is essentially purchasing an extended advertisement for the author's "specially formulated" all in one quack supplement, and the fact that the book endorses a number of other cancer quacks as supposed "experts", whom it recommends the patient contacts for further information.

So how does Quillin claim to be able to cure cancer with nutrition? Basically, like all of these books, he lashes together some information on things which might help prevent us from getting cancer, with some things which looked promising but have have been proven subsequently not to help, and some utter nonsense from the lunatic fringe.

Mr Quillin's particular blend of bullshit is as follows:

Essiac tea cures cancer
Sugar causes cancer
Guided imagery can cure cancer
Probiotics/yoghurt can cure cancer
Positive mental attitude can cure cancer
Cancer is caused by unresolved mental traumas
Cancer is caused by yeast
High dose vitamin C can cure cancer
High dose vitamin E can cure cancer
Drinking only water purified using activated carbon or reverse osmosis cures cancer
Cancer is an anaerobic growth, breathing exercises can cure cancer
The following supplements cure cancer:
transfer factor
whey extracts
aloe extracts
mushroom extracts (Maitake D-fraction)
yeast cell wall extracts (1,3 beta glucan)
fish oil
primrose oil
flax oil
conjugated linoleic acid
shark liver oil

Oh, and of course-a daily bowel movement is essential, and laxatives to should be used if "necessary" to achieve this

There's the problem when someone persists in promoting a book like this to cancer patients. In order to show why this book is harmful nonsense, you need to write a post as long as this one to show why. Ignoring the fact that most people will stop reading before the case is fully made, let's have a look at these claims.

"Essiac is claimed to be a miracle cure for cancer. There have been reports over the years of cancers completely disappearing after taking Essiac. But in many cases, it turned out that either the diagnosis was wrong in the first place, or that conventional cancer treatment was more likely to have been the reason for the 'cure'. There is no scientific evidence to show that Essiac can treat, prevent or cure cancer or any other serious illness in humans". CRUK.

It is claimed by many in the field of quackery that sugar feeds cancer preferentially. This has no foundation in fact, but actually originates in an email hoax. A detailed explanation can be found here.

Guided imagery has not even been proven to help cancer patients feel better, let alone cure cancer. CRUK.

Yoghurt and probiotics are not proven to boost the immune system in any way (contrary to what you may have seen in adverts), and neither prevent nor cure cancer. Duh.

Positive Mental Attitude has no effect on cancer outcome. Sorry,hippies. Cancer is not caused by being on a downer, neither does pretending to be happy cure cancer.

Cancer has no connection to yeast. Quillin has borrowed the idea from Tullio Simoncini, convicted killer of cancer patients.

Can Vitamin C cure cancer? 'Fraid not. It can in fact block the effect of chemo and radiotherapy.

How about vitamin E? Half the dose suggested by Quillin at least did no active harm in studies. But it had no protective effect, and even if it had, that would have made it a preventive agent, not a cure.

Tap water does not cause cancer or any other illness, so further treatment is unnecessary. Suggesting to cancer patients that anything other than lab quality water may kill them and their loved ones is attempting to turn them into a paranoid crank. This does nothing good for their quality of life.

The "reverse osmosis" process actually removes
essential minerals from the water. In countries where they have to drink seawater purified by RO, they remineralise the water before sending to the consumer. Drinking such water exclusively may well be harmful.

"Cancer is an anaerobic growth". Oh no it's not. If this were true, cancer would be very easy to treat. All of our cells can live with limited supplies of oxygen. Increasing oxygen levels does not favour normal over cancer cells, and breathing exercises would not be the way to do it if this were true.

As well as being nonsense in itself, this falsehood paves the way for the more extreme beliefs of a large section of the quack community, namely hyperoxygenation therapy. The recent research which shows that keeping oxygen levels in treatment resistant tumours at normal levels with certain drug treatments removes their resistance to conventional treatment does NOT contradict this.

Calcium does not cure cancer, this is yet another quack's sales pitch which Quillin has borrowed.

Transfer Factor is the utterly ineffective basis of an internet pyramid sales scheme, subject of an FDA warning letter for misleading medical claims.

And all of those other supplements it recommends, as well as the claims I have not mentioned for specific foods? I could give details of how every single one of them has no proven activity, but you must get the idea by now, this book is basically a listing of every crank "cure" for cancer the author could find.

No medical professional would suggest that a cancer patient takes any supplements without discussing it with their medical team. CRUK.

This book is utter rubbish from start to finish. Untruths, half-truths, and harmful nonsense.

"Healthy diet advice", My Arse!

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What a Debbie downer. this book is for people who need second opinions and are optimistic about this horrible disease. it has recommendations but does state anything cures cancer but helps fight cancerous cells. Besides im sure you dont have the credentials to be able to make this ligit. your full of negative shit. I will pray for you. ~ambrlyn~
Thank for sharing, vinegar tits.

The book is nonsense from start to finish, and you are a moron who thinks that the claim that something might help fight cancerous cells is not a claim of medical efficacy.

I on the other hand am a University Professor - are those credentials enough for you?

Am I right in thinking that "I will pray for you" is American for "You, sir are a cunt"?

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