Category: Cancer

Rigvir

Rigvir: Another unproven and dubious cancer therapy to be avoided

Alternative cancer clinics have always claimed that their therapies "boost the immune system" to fight cancer. Recently, the Hope4Cancer Institute, a quack clinic in Mexico has added a treatment known as Rigvir to its other offerings. But what is Rigvir? It turns out that it's an import from Latvia, a purported oncolytic virus with a mysterious history that targets cancer specifically for...

/ September 18, 2017
WatsonJeopardy

IBM’s Watson versus cancer: Hype meets reality

Five years ago, IBM announced that its supercomputer Watson would revolutionize cancer treatment by using its artificial intelligence to digest and distill the thousands of oncology studies published every year plus patient-level data and expert recommendations into treatment recommendation. Last week, a report published by STAT News shows that, years later, IBM's hubris and hype have crashed into reality.

/ September 11, 2017
vitamins and supplements

Cancer, vitamin supplements, and unexpected consequences

Not only do B-vitamin supplements not protect you from lung cancer, they may significantly raise your risk of cancer.

/ September 7, 2017
Colleen-Huber-cancer-quack

Naturopathic Cancer Quackery

Naturopaths treat cancer with an array of implausible concoctions that are not based on clinical science, and then defend themselves with cease and desist letters.

/ September 6, 2017
snake-oil

Naturopathy vs. patients: Patients lose

Over the weekend, there was a news story describing two cancer patients treated by naturopaths in New Zealand. Both died, one almost certainly unnecessarily, the other after enduring more suffering than she likely had to. These tragic cases and others reminded me of why it is so appalling that so many physicians are "integrating" naturopathy into "integrative medicine." In reality, they are...

/ August 28, 2017
A field of blood cells. The bi-concave disks are red blood cells or erythrocytes. The white cell with the dark purplish, multi-lobed nucleus is a neutrophil, a type of white blood cell or leukocyte. The smaller spikey objects are platelets. (photo and text from NCI Visuals Online Library image 3696, created by Donald Bliss.

Myeloproliferative neoplasms – an overview and my experiences

In 2014 I was diagnosed with a type of myeloproliferative neoplasm. Since that time I have sought many treatments, and experienced many setbacks. Science-based medicine has kept me alive to write this post. Here I pass along some of my knowledge and experience regarding these rare cancers.

/ August 18, 2017
Chemotherapy Patient

Alternative medicine kills cancer patients

By definition, alternative medicine has not been shown to be effective or has been shown to be ineffective. Thus, alternative medicine is ineffective against cancer and can best be represented as either no treatment at all or potentially harmful treatment. It is thus not surprising that cancer patients who choose alternative medicine have a higher risk of dying from their cancer. A...

/ August 14, 2017
Right-to-try

The cruel sham of “right-to-try” takes a giant step towards becoming federal law

So-called “right-to-try” is a cruel sham that holds out the false hope of survival to terminally ill patients and their families. In return, all they have to give up is patient protections and agree to pay to be guinea pigs to test a drug company’s product. The product of an ideology that uses the terminally ill as shields to hide the ideological...

/ August 5, 2017
Cancer cell extravasation

Does chemotherapy cause cancer to spread?

Earlier this month, a study was published in Science Translational Medicine that showed how chemotherapy before surgery can stimulate breast cancer invasiveness and invasion under certain circumstances. Not surprisingly, alternative cancer cure mavens everywhere are spinning the study as "proof" that chemotherapy has no benefit and causes only harm (and so you should buy their nostrums instead). Unsurprisingly, the actual results are...

/ July 17, 2017
Cassandra Callender in 2015.

The sad but unexpectedly hopeful cancer saga of Cassandra Callender

I've frequently discussed the stories of teenagers with cancer who either refuse chemotherapy or whose parents refuse chemotherapy for them. The case of Cassandra Callender is the same, yet different, from many of these unfortunate and sad sagas in that she was older when diagnosed with cancer and that she realized her mistake. I can now only hope that it's not too...

/ June 19, 2017