My Malignant Melanoma

Seanty's experiences with Metastatic Malignant Melanoma. Part of Email us direct at

Sunday, 28 February 2010


Lodi et al- would you buy a used car from this man?

My Thomas Lodi post just keeps on generating ill-informed comments from altie morons. The latest tells me to read a couple of airport paperbacks called The China Study and Living Foods for Optimal Health (whose author Brian Clement is pictured) which are supposedly supporting evidence for a statement that Lodi is successfully curing cancer.

Sorry, these publications provide no supporting evidence for anything. They do nor even support their own conclusions.

They are baseless propaganda from vegetarianism/animal rights and naturopathy/macrobiotics activists respectively.

Their authors are simply plugging their self-interested agendas with no regards for the facts of the matter. These are political tracts, not valid sources of unbiased information.

Vegetarianism and macrobiotics (despite their repeated claims to the contrary) are not associated with lower rates of new cancers, neither are they associated with improved survival of cancer. The founder of macrobiotics, and several of his high-profile supporters themselves died of cancer.

Naturopathy is systematised quackery, whose "qualifications" are according to Quackwatch fiddled so that no-one fails. A "doctorate" in "naturopathic medicine" is not therefore even the equivalent of a first-aid certificate, as some people fail their first-aid certificates.

Lodi isn't curing anything other than any problems with his bank balance which might remain after his unsubstantiated past high-spending habits. As far as scientific evidence is concerned, he has published nothing at all of which I am aware.

A combination of mistaking wishful thinking for fact, and a lack of understanding of what constitutes valid evidence is seemingly the reason why so many are so confused. I'm not going to be cooperating with anyone's efforts to spread baseless propaganda for quacks or their fad diets to desperate people. No amount of airport paperbacks stacks up against a single peer-reviewed scientific paper.

Comments claiming miracle cures with no scientific evidence to support them are not going to be published on here. The comment has however persuaded me to revisit these baseless quack diet books for further comment at some point in the future.

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Saturday, 27 February 2010


Cancer Research UK Patient Involvement Day

Cancer Research UK is planning a patient involvement day in Birmingham in April to support our current policy work on promoting earlier diagnosis.

The Policy Team at Cancer Research UK are looking for people to take part in a discussion about how people are diagnosed with cancer and what we could be asking the Government to do to improve earlier diagnosis of cancer.

Cancer Research UK need patients and carers who live within easy travelling distance from Birmingham who have experienced the diagnosis of cancer in the last few years to come and share their story at a day-long event on 21st April 2010.

If you’re interested please email or call 020 7061 8360 to get more information on the day and how to apply.


Staging of Melanoma

Just heard that the evidence based gold standard AJCC melanoma staging system is to be updated soon. Details here.

Mitotic rate is to be used to differentiate between stage 1 melanomas, and all lymph node metastases, including those only detectable by immunohistochemistry are all going to be considered to make a patient stage III.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


Tullio Simoncini

Someone has written to me to suggest that the delusional quack Tullio Simoncini, convicted of the unlawful killing of one of his patients is "200% correct" in his assertions that cancer is a fungus. Here is the story of one of his patients. Judge for yourselves.

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Sunday, 14 February 2010


The Budwig Diet

Over on CRUK's cancer chat site, there's a muppet who is plugging the Budwig Diet to cancer patients. Here's what I had to say to him:

"A quick glance round the internet shows that people are using this diet instead of radio-and chemo-therapy on the advice of morons like you.

Thinking that the papers you linked to in some way supports the Budwig diet only confirms your scientific ignorance. None of the papers are about the Budwig diet at all.

As I said, science deals with evidence, and there is no evidence whatever for the Budwig diet. There's nothing more to say from a scientific point of view. I have an open mind-show me some evidence. Believing the unsupported word of an internet time-waster like yourself isn't open-mindedness, it's stupidity.

Linus Pauling's ideas on dietary Vitamin C and cancer were tested and are nonsense (We might note in passing that he actually died of cancer)

The research you refer to is about intravenous vitamin C rather than dietary Vitamin C, in mice rather than people, and is far from conclusive. Linus Pauling won the Nobel prize for work on the nature of the chemical bond. He had neither training nor any research background in Medicine, or any biological science.

Your logical error is called the appeal to authority. Linus Pauling also had strong political opinions. Should we remake society in line with them because he won a Nobel Peace Prize? It does not logically follow that being right about chemical bonds makes you right about cancer, politics, or indeed even reliably right about some other aspect of chemistry. (Even Budwig's supporters claim that she was nominated for the peace prize rather than the prize for medicine, incidentally)

Bring some real evidence to back your assertions, or shut up. Since you clearly wouldn't know evidence if it was tattooed on your forehead, it's going to be a long wait. That's evidence that the Budwig diet is helpful for the outcome of all cancers which I'm talking about, as this is the claim that is being made.

The most impressive of the papers you linked to concludes that one component of the Budwig diet MIGHT be worthy of further investigation for some prostate cancer patients.

1. It does not study the Budwig diet at all, but a simple low-fat diet with flax seed oil. Budwig made strong claims that organic flaxseed oil must be mixed with organic cottage cheese to be effective, and that either component taken separately would have the opposite of the desired effect. The study you quote does however pertain to this claim. It tends to disprove it, as no excess deaths were recorded in the patients as would be expected from Budwig's claims.

The Budwig Protocol is actually a complete lifestyle, which besides flaxseed oil/cottage cheese includes a number of elements. It includes a vegetarian diet, flaxseeds, fruit juices, vegetable juices, sauerkraut, sunshine, "emotional and spiritual peace" "stress control", "avoiding negative energy" from a variety of sources in synthetic clothing, bedding, etc. in your immediate environment. and so on...

2. It only studies one sort of cancer. Things which help with one sort of cancer can harm in the case of another. For example testosterone is required to allow prostate cancers to grow, but it may inhibit breast cancers.

3. It does not study the post-treatment period when people seem most likely to be conned into the Budwig diet.

4. It does not conclude that the diet helps in any way, but that it MIGHT be worth looking into. Since the paper dates from 2008, it seems that they have not cured cancer in the meantime, or I would surely have heard about it.

5. The study does not actually look at survival or any real-world end-point at all, but biochemical changes which they believe might be associated with a better outcome.

Advising anyone to even consider the Budwig diet on the strength of this research is highly irresponsible. But of course your ideas on the Budwig diet come from internet quack sites, not scientific or medical research. These are the only places where this diet is promoted. You are just parroting quack propaganda.

Might I suggest that you, and anyone else like you, who want to play scientist/doctor based on tripe they read on the internet, who think that any study of a field implies scientific endorsement, and doesn't understand what the resulting papers mean refrain from giving unqualified medical advice to cancer patients?"

Obviously it would be better if people like this were split, salted and nailed to a fence, but we do what we can.

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Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Turmeric II- this time it's personal

I was recently showered with increasingly offensive emails by someone who thought that turmeric can cure cancer, and that I was highly irresponsible to say on this site that it doesn't.

So I had a look to see if any new evidence had come to light since I last looked into it. No new favourable evidence, but as ever, even more hucksters plugging alternative medicine. No wonder people get taken in, if they don't understand that being on the front page of Google isn't anything to do with accuracy of content.

CRUK have a page on turmeric, which I referenced in my previous post on the subject. It says that there is some anti-cancer activity in the test-tube, but that trials showed that it is so poorly absorbed from the gut that it is useless for anything other than gut cancers. It also cautioned against internet turmeric supplements, which have been shown to contain dangerous drugs.

Pretty much everything, including paracetamol has anti-cancer effects in cell culture or lab mice. It doesn't mean a damn thing.

The ranter also insisted that if he spoke to his doctor as I suggested, that his doctor would be struck off or even jailed if he were to agree that turmeric cured cancer. There is no conspiracy to suppress the truth about cancer treatment, other than the one perpetrated by the commercially motivated snake-oil merchants. You've been had, friend.

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