Category: Cancer

Alternative medicine scams

True believers, entrepreneurs, and scammers in alternative medicine

In the online echo chamber promoting alternative medicine, there are varying degrees of deception. There are true believers (who are often victims), entrepreneurs (who are often true believers who found a profitable business), and scammers. The categories are not mutually exclusive.

/ February 19, 2018
Gardasil

Death by Gardasil? Not so fast there…

There is a type of "vaccine injury" story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call "death by Gardasil." The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can't help but feel incredible empathy for the parents....

/ February 5, 2018

Cancer quack Colleen Huber sues Britt Hermes over criticism

Naturopathic cancer quack Colleen Huber is attempting to silence criticism of her practices by suing Britt Hermes. Help Britt fight back with a donation to help defray legal expenses.

/ January 18, 2018

Cancer Deaths Continue to Decline

Overall cancer incidence has been stable in women and declining steadily in men. Changes in specific cancers reflect known risk factors and the effect of screening methods. What is not seen in this data is any mysterious increase in any specific cancer or cancers overall. 

/ January 10, 2018

Snake-Based Medicine? Another Salmonella Infection Linked to Rattlesnake Pills

Rattlesnake pills, another entry in a long line of bogus cancer cures, have been linked (again) to a potentially deadly Salmonella infection.

/ December 29, 2017
National Cancer Institute

The integration of mysticism and pseudoscience with oncology continues apace in NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers

Last week, I commented on the inability of the Society for Integrative Oncology to define what integrative oncology actually is. This week, I note the proliferation of the quackery of integrative oncology in places that should be rigorously science-based, namely NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers.

/ November 27, 2017
Definition

What is “integrative oncology”? Even the Society for Integrative Oncology doesn’t seem to know for sure

Last week, the Society for Integrative Oncology published an article attempting to define what "integrative oncology" is. The definition, when it isn't totally vague, ignores the pseudoscience at the heart of integrative oncology and medicine.

/ November 20, 2017

Why do some women refuse treatments for their breast cancer?

Adjuvant therapy after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy, has contributed to a 39% decrease in breast cancer mortality since 1989. Unfortunately, a significant number of women decline evidence-based adjuvant therapy. A recent study suggests that distrust of the medical system plays a significant role in such refusal.

/ November 13, 2017

Complementary and Alternative Medicines and Cancer

Does complementary and alternative medicine offer any meaningful benefits to cancer patients?

/ October 5, 2017

Rigvir strikes back, or: A conversation with a Rigvir flack

My skeptical analysis of Rigvir, a "Virotherapy" from Latvia being promoted by alternative medicine clinics as a cancer cure, caught the attention of the International Virotherapy Center (IVC). The result was a long and very telling e-mail exchange between its Assistant of Business Development and myself. I post it because the arguments used in the discussion are very telling about where the...

/ October 2, 2017