Respectful Insolence

Over the last few days, it seems to me, I’ve been blogging so much about antivaccine lunacy that I was beginning to wonder whether I should rename the blog “Respectfully Insolent Antivaccine Slapdowns.” As good as it’s been to dwell on seeing the antivaccine movement suffer two major setbacks in 2009 even before we’ve reached the end of February, it’s time to move on for a while; that is, unless the antivaccine movement does or writes something stupid enough to tempt my attention back. In the meantime, as I get back into the swing of blogging again, I haven’t yet gone through my pile of papers that piled up in my absence to find if there is any there that I want to do more serious pieces about. But there are more than one kind of topics other than peer-reviewed papers to blog about that are serious. In fact, some are deadly serious. Some are even related to my area of expertise and make my blood run cold because they are a direct danger to and betrayal of patients.

I’m talking cancer quackery.

The other day I was made aware of a website that promulgates some of the most common (and worst) myths about cancer, coupled with misinformation about cancer and heapin’ helpin’ of unsupportable claims. It’s a book called 11 natural therapies to conquer cancer by a man named Robert Sopias. Naturally enough for such woo, it starts out with testimonials. I’m going to pick one that’s so typical that I blogged about similar ones very early on in the history of this blog. In fact, the reason I mention it is that it’s a variation of the one I discussed, one I haven’t seen before:

Back in early March I went for what I expected to be a routine mammogram. Instead, I needed more diagnostic tests done, which showed a total of six enlarged lymph nodes – three in each breast. I didn’t have enlarged lymph nodes anywhere else….the radiologist and doctor who read the mammogram confirmed that I didn’t have breast cancer, but they were quite concerned about lymphoma…particularly primary breast lymphoma. I had a full blood workup done. It was pretty normal with the exception of an elevated lactic dehydrogenase level (which is also an early warning sign for lymphoma) I was referred to an oncology surgeon who did an ultrasound and agreed I should have two of the largest nodes in the right breast biopsied. The first appointment I could get for the biopsy was five weeks later!!!!!

Of course, I was experiencing a great deal of anxiety over the whole situation. I began to look online for information on lymphoma, protocol for treatments, etc. I knew I wanted to also consider alternative medicine options as well before agreeing to kill my immune system with traditional chemotherapy if I was indeed diagnosed with cancer. That’s when I happened to find information on Enhanced Zeolite. It sounded too good to be true, but in theory, I liked the concept of how it worked and the testimonials were impressive. I ordered both Zeolite and Oxy E…the shipment was very prompt by the way. I started 15 drops 3Xs a day of Zeolite, and 10 drops 3Xs a day of Oxy E. Within 3 days, I noticed some changes…within 10 days, I was amazed at the major changes: Improved energy!!! I was able to do heavy duty yard work 6-7 hours a day and still feel good afterwards.

[...]

Now here’s the best part…..the day after Memorial Day I was back in the surgeon’s office for the biopsy. I was on the Zeolite for a full month and was very hopeful there would be some improvement. I asked for another ultrasound to see….the surgeon was a bit patronizing explaining that it was highly unlikely….he didn’t expect to see any change. I told him about Zeolite….he’d never heard of it and apparently didn’t want to either. But low and behold, the look on his face was priceless when he did the ultrasound. Out of six nodes, he could now only find one left, and it had gone down from 1/2 inch in diameter to 4mm…which he said was a normal size and not worth biopsying…..go figure! He said the difference in the ultrasound from five weeks earlier was incredible…. My husband was there with me and he asked what the surgeon thought happened. His explanation….hayfever!

Primary breast lymphoma is a very uncommon presentation of lymphoma. In my career, I’ve only seen it once. However, notice how there was never any tissue diagnosis. In the absence of tissue diagnosis, when you hear a story like this the explanation is that it was almost certainly not cancer. Also note that she said one of the lymph nodes was 1/2 inch in diameter. That’s only 1.27 cm, which is entirely within the range of normal size for intramammary lymph nodes. If such a mass were seen on ultrasound by one of our radiologists, my guess is that, absent any gross abnormalities in structure, a biopsy wouldn’t even be recommended. Of course, we don’t know how large the other five were, but if they were in the same range as the one she lists, I’d be skeptical whether they needed any workup at all other than a followup ultrasound in a few months. Be that as it may, this sort of story is typical.

But what about all the other testimonials? They’re all run-of-the-mill and very similar to pretty much every cancer testimonial in that there is never provided a sufficient level of detail to make any determination if they might be true. In any case, whenever I see a list of testimonials like this, I ask a very simple question: Where are these people? If they really had such miraculous results from this particular remedy, then I want to study them. The reasons are two-fold. First, I want to know if it’s really true. Second, if it is true, it would be worth studying to see if such results could be obtained for all cancer patients. Of course, when you look more closely at these anecdotes, you’ll almost always find that they aren’t as they seem at face value. Also remember that they exist not to demonstrate the efficacy of any cancer cure but rather to sell a product.

Much like this book, which is designed to sell something called Zeolite. But not just any Zeolite, Robert Sopias’ Zeolite:

For example, zeolite has proven to be an amazing cancer fighter. So now there are quite a few zeolite products on the market. They all sound good. However, energetically all but one of them test in a range of 40 to 60, the higher the better. This one specially developed zeolite has an energetic healing power of 5000 when I test it, many times stronger than any of the others.

Don’t waste your money on (or trust your life to) less effective supplements.

That’s right, our magic powder is better than anyone else’s magic powder using the same name and made of the same stuff. Why? Because it has an “energetic healing power” 100 times greater than theirs!

But what is Zeolite? Apparently it’s a compound that is derived from a volcanic mineral called clinoptilolite, and it’s sold as a powder or a milky suspension, and, as above, all sorts of claims are made for it. Of course, these claims are based on false understanding of cancer. Examples are numerous on this website. It’s all there, including the characterization of cancer as being due to all sorts of unnamed “toxins” and heavy metals, among numerous other bits of woo. Some of them were somewhat plausible but exaggerated beyond any reasonable extrapolation from science, such as the “EMF’s going to give us all cancer!” gambit. My favorite, I think, has to be this:

Geopathic stress has been implicated by many alternative health practitioners in Europe as a cause of cancer. Simply put, geopathic stress is unhealthy energy coming from the earth. One cause is underground streams that creates friction that produces the wrong type of energy.

Two developers of energized products both had cancer that would not resolve until they were told to check and see if they slept over geopathic stress. They did, changed their sleeping arrangements, and then were able to get well. A study in England noted that gypsies, even though their diets and smoking habits were poor, were not near as likely to get cancer because they were always moving so were not likely to have been sleeping in an area of geopathic stress for years at a time.

Now there’s one study that I’d really like to find in the medical literature! I suspect that it would be unlikely to have actually reported what Mr. Sopias claims it reported. But, hey, I do give him props for his blaming cancer on the evil energy emanating from the earth. I wonder what determines which areas give off more of this nasty geopathic stress energy other than underground streams? I mean, am I putting myself in danger when I hang out in Detroit? Is geographic stress different for different people? For instance, would I, a University of Michigan alumnus, suffer more geographic stress in Columbus than in Ann Arbor? What about all those times I was in Newark?

But I digress.

The other thing that’s really annoying about this is the low level of understanding of the specific cancers discussed. I choose as an example what the website says about inflammatory breast cancer. For those not familiar with it, inflammatory breast cancer is a nasty form of breast cancer in which the cancer cells get into the lymph vessels under the skin of the breast. The result is a red, inflamed appearing breast, usually associated with a large mass, hence the name. Such tumors tend to metastasize to the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm) early; so lymph node metastases are almost always present, and all too often distant metastases are present, making the disease stage IV.

What Sopias gets so utterly wrong is that he divides inflammatory breast cancer into “early stage” inflammatory breast cancer and “late stage” inflammatory breast cancer. Here’s a hint. There is no such thing as “early stage inflammatory breast cancer.” There just isn’t. By definition, inflammatory breast cancer is always–always–at the very least what we refer to as “locally advanced.” It is always at the very minimum stage IIIB. Indeed, these days inflammatory breast cancer is considered inoperable because the results of surgery alone are so dismal. That’s why the recommended treatment is now chemotherapy first, surgery after the chemotherapy is completed. Of course, it’s pathetically obvious that Sopias appears to have just cut and paste a lot of the same crap about “early” and “late” cancer into all the pages on individual cancers (for instance, look at his page on melanoma), regardless of the biology of the individual tumors. That he’s just too clueless to know that there is no such thing as “early stage” inflammatory breast cancer is revealed in his using the same boilerplate gibberish to discuss inflammatory breast cancer too.

But, hey, Sopias says he can cure even inflammatory breast cancer:

1 to 2 bottles Quantum X – Energy healing is age old in many cultures from around the world and has been achieved with various modalities.
What brings about dramatic healing with all of these energy healing modalities is the transfer of subtle energy to the cells that is guided by vibration. Vibration encodes how energy is used by the cells.Quantum X satisfies the ancient model of healing based on subtle vibration and energy to discharge patterns of disease. When this takes place the cells release their toxins and establish a new pattern of repair to bring about a healthy state on every level physical, mental and emotional.

And:

1 Elixir Combo All 13 for Advanced Stage Cancer – Based on Ayurvedic Traditional Medicine, these remedies are created by imbuing artesian waters with the energies and vibrations of special healing stones, gems and precious metals, establishing an energetic, vibrational message in the water that is transferred to the bodies cells, creating harmonic resonance and deep healing.

You know, if it’s my wife, mother, or sister, I think I’ll recommend to her passing on the whole quantum energetic healing energy sending vibrational messages to the cells thing. It’s not such a good idea; that is, unless one has a death wish. Cancers don’t listen very well to those vibrational messages, I’m afraid. Chemotherapy, followed by surgery and radiation therapy give the best chance of survival. In fact, there are two words for a woman with inflammatory breast cancer who relies on the sort of nonsense that Sopias is pushing: “dead” or “dying.” True, lots of women die of inflammatory breast cancer in spite of undergoing chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, but that’s because it’s an unusually aggressive form of breast cancer appearing at a late stage. More importantly, a significant number of women can be rendered disease-free by the treatment and live out their normal life span. Indeed, we know what the percentage odds are of curing this form of breast cancer are, thanks to science and clinical trials. In contrast, other than dubious “testimonials,” we have no idea if any woman has ever survived inflammatory breast cancer using some of Sopias’ woo instead of real medicine. I suppose it’s possible that Sopias’s “cleansing” and “healing” may have cured some woman somewhere, but knowing the natural course of untreated inflammatory breast cancer as I do, I consider it incredibly unlikely. Certainly there is nothing on either of his websites to show hard evidence that this has ever happened.

Of course, another common aspect of cancer quackery that’s in this book is the usual conspiracy mongering. Naturally, there’s the reference to Semmelweis and how dogmatic doctors supposedly are. (It’s obligatory.) But, more importantly, The Man is trying to keep the Natural Cures from you:

There was a woman whose daughter was in the advanced stages of brain cancer. She asked her oncologist if it was okay to give her daughter a superfood called blue green algae. Her doctor told her that it was no problem, that in fact a number of his patients had used that supplement with success in fighting cancer.

Naturally she wondered why he didn’t tell her about this product a year before when they came to him.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t tell her about this or any “natural or alternative health therapies” and stay employed. Insurance regulations would preclude such suggestions. And he could get into administrative trouble by recommending natural, non-drug treatments for cancer.

His advice is controlled by a large medical industry that makes mega money off expensive cancer fighting drugs and treatments. An industry that doesn’t look favorably on natural supplements or other cancer treatments as they cannot patent them to make high profits.

That’s right; doctors are keeping the cure for cancer from you because it’s all a plot. Of course, the real reason doctors don’t tell patients about these things is because there’s no science showing they work. At least, that’s what I like to think.

Four years after having started blogging and nearly a decade after having dived into discussions of cancer quackery on the Internet, I still manage to be depressed when I come across such blatant cancer quackery. Indeed, you know it’s bad when Sopias even mentions Ryke Geerd Hamer and the principle of the German New Medicine that claims that cancer is not a disease, but rather a symptom of some unresolved psychic conflict. It doesn’t get much quackier than that.

Unfortunately, there is probably nothing that can be done about this books. Clever quacks realize that the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech protects them as long as the author doesn’t try to treat patients. It’s the same principle that has let quackmeister Kevin Trudeau keep publishing book after book advocating quackery and, more recently, financial scams even after the FTC took action against him. It’s also the same thing that leads to the “quack Miranda warning” appearing on Sopias’ webpages:

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products and information contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or, medical problems. It is not intended to replace your doctor’s recommendations. The information is provided for educational purposes only. Nutritional benefits may vary from one person to another.

Yeah, right. I always find it amusing how quacks like Sopias can so confidently state that they can cure the most advanced cancers, ones that scientific medicine can’t cure, using nothing more than herbs, supplements, and volcanic ash, but they don’t have the strength of their convictions to eschew the quack Miranda Warning. Come on, Robert! Just come on out and say that you hope cancer patients will buy your book and use the “cures” within! You know they work, don’t you?

Well, don’t you?

Cancer is scary. There’s no getting around it. Worse, some of the therapies necessary to treat and, when we can, cure cancer are not pleasant. Surgery is not fun. Neither is chemotherapy or radiation. Naturally, it’s tempting to look for another way, particularly for patients whose cancer is advanced and for whom conventional therapy offers little hope of success. Still, if hell exists, there is a special place in it reserved for people pushing books such as this. Patients who believe it could very well pay for their mistake with their lives.

Comments

  1. #1 Mu
    February 25, 2009

    I think bad earth emanations that cause cancer have been called Radon by some people. But geopathic stress will do, as long as you get your foundation fixed (or move).

  2. #2 Ruth
    February 25, 2009

    I’ve seen zeolites being pushed to detox autistic children. It’s useless, but at least less harmful than Na(2)EDTA.

  3. #3 _Arthur
    February 25, 2009

    Theirs doesn’t go to 5011 ?

  4. #4 Sceric
    February 25, 2009

    ok, before anybody starts hitting on me. Zeolite is useless for actual cancer as it is using it for detoxing autistic children. But, zeolite has some interesting effects: it readily adsorbs ammonia, H2S, heavy metals (even lead or mercury e.g.: A. Chojnacki a, K. Chojnacka b,*, J. Hoffmann a, H . Gorecki, The application of natural zeolites for mercury removal:from laboratory tests to industrial scaleMinerals Engineering 17 (2004) 933–937 – which doesn’t help the autistic children one bit and so on (I can get a list of what it can adsorb as I’m working for a company having a mine and selling it to its industrial end uses). We even have some customers running experiments for it as a food additive at a university in Cologne/Germany. There is even an article for it in J Mol Med (2001) 78:708–720, Natural zeolite clinoptilolite: new adjuvant in anticancer therapy by Krešimir Pavelic´ · Mirko Hadžija, et.al. But, I’m an engineer and therefore have no clue if, what is said in that last article is from a decent analysis, or not.

  5. #5 Danimal
    February 25, 2009

    I wonder whether Californians have to worry about Geopathic stress given the earthquakes and such. Glad I do not have to worry about that.

  6. #6 Matthew Cline
    February 25, 2009

    Vibration encodes how energy is used by the cells.

    Guh. *holds head in hands*

  7. #7 Paul
    February 25, 2009

    I don’t suppose it will ever be possible to make attacks on the truth like this against the law or at least actionable as a civil matter? Objective truth really should be able to be considered an injured party; quacks hiding bald-faced lies behind disclaimers that desperate people ignore are bereft of morals.

  8. #8 Karl Withakay
    February 25, 2009

    Where does one buy an energetic healing power meter?

    RE: “the wrong type of energy”
    Which wrong type of energy are we talking about, Potential, Kinetic, Thermal, Electric, Chemical, Nuclear, or Surface energy?

    RE: “geopathic stress is unhealthy energy coming from the earth”
    I am surprised they don’t mention laylines. It sounds like cancer victims must be living in the wrong locations on the island from Lost. Maybe they should go to the Orchid station and move the island.

  9. #9 roddg
    February 25, 2009

    “Where does one buy an energetic healing power meter?”

    Doesn’t Fluke make a meter for that?

  10. #10 Bill H
    February 25, 2009

    all but one of them test in a range of 40 to 60, the higher the better. This one specially developed zeolite has an energetic healing power of 5000 when I test it, many times stronger than any of the others.

    I don’t mind Sopias leaving the units off these measurements. Isn’t it obvious he’s using AQUs? (arbitrary quack units)

  11. #11 D. C. Sessions
    February 25, 2009

    Ah, Earth radiation!

    Check out John Scudamore’s whaleto site for more of that particular mishegoss.

  12. #12 TechSkeptic
    February 25, 2009

    “I’ve seen zeolites being pushed to detox autistic children. It’s useless, but at least less harmful than Na(2)EDTA. ”

    I am not surprised.

    I have often used zeolites in for wet chemistry projects. What they are is very, very simple. A zeolite is a material with lots of little holes in them. These holes may be as small a 3 angstroms in diameter. So, for example, if you buy say, methanol (CH3OH) it will have some water in it (even if you buy anhydrous). Drop some zeolites in it…BAM, you have true anhydrous MeOH.

    So what they are good for is, when the pores are sized appropriately, it to remove one liquid that is mixed with another.

    The are also used to stiffen or change transport properties of membranes. Many fuel cell membrane suppliers have tried sticking zeolite into their membranes to provide better strength, separation factor improvement and other reasons.

    OK, thats my Zeolite lesson. Note: something the size of a blood cell wont go into a zeolite. By comparison, they are huge.

  13. #13 Clare
    February 25, 2009

    I’m glad you used the term “magic” to talk about Sopias’s cures because if you look at magic, sorcery, shamanism around the world and in history, the tactics are all the same. All that’s different here and now is the co-option of the language of science to make the magic appear as though it’s something else. ‘Woo’ is a great word, I agree, but perhaps it’s necessary to use the tried and tested vocabulary of magic to get people to realize how different these “treatments” really are from science. (I suppose the problem is that some idiot will say that science is just “magic” itself, but I hold out hope because the fact that would-be magicians use the language of science is because people still do think that scientific arguments are compelling, even if they are often ignorant about what that exactly means).

    So thanks for this, but on the autism/vaccine front, you should probably know that Kennedy and Kirby are at it again at the Huffpo (no surprise there, I guess). Oh and Kirby has a new “theory” of vaccine-autism causation (to talk once again about the inappropriate co-option of scientific language).

  14. #14 MissyMiss
    February 25, 2009

    One of the main uses of zeolite is in cat litter.

    http://www.zeoliteproducer.com/catlitter.html

  15. #15 Cathy
    February 25, 2009

    Robert Sopias’ website was one of the many things my well-meaning relatives dug out of Google and offered to my mother, who is on her second recurrence of stage IV ovarian cancer. The other things they offered to her were typical products of Google University: supplements, “miracle” cures, etc. I understand they worry about her and want to do something to help. That’s why this kind of quackery survives.

    Mom, thankfully, contacted me with a link to the website and asked me to “check it out” for her. I did some poking around and determined most of the information was likely to be bunk, and the information that was true was likely to be of no use.

    I got pulled into the hype surrounding DCA as a tumor-shrinker early after Mom’s diagnosis. Allegedly, there are human trials of DCA’s effectiveness against certain cancers going on in Canada, though the last I heard on this was in 2007. Do the trials run a long time, or did this one fade into obscurity without producing any results?

  16. #16 Epinephrine
    February 25, 2009

    Gotta love vibrations and energy. Makes for good healin’.

    The woman who shills skin creams at http://www.aromacrystal.com/index.php?page_id=62 allegedly manages to make tendonitis, disk problems, fibromyalgia and sciatica vanish with a skin cream. If only she’d put her mind to it I bet she could cure cancer with her “energetic intent and vibrational tools.”

    Just disgusting. The moment anyone opens their mouth and spouts off about “healing energy” and “crystal vibrations” I want to haul off and slug them. Charlatans. And those preying on desperate cancer patients are among the lowest of the low.

  17. #17 Dangerous Bacon
    February 25, 2009

    “A study in England noted that gypsies, even though their diets and smoking habits were poor, were not near as likely to get cancer because they were always moving so were not likely to have been sleeping in an area of geopathic stress for years at a time.”

    Actually, it’s the gypsy dancing that relieves geopathic stress.

    If your product has an energetic healing power of 5000, what units is that in? Wavelengths of pure credulity? And wouldn’t it be something if it turned out that chemtrails are composed of zeolite, and the government has been plotting to make us well all this time?

  18. #18 I am so wise
    February 25, 2009

    What is amusing about a lot of this is the fact that much of what is peddled as natural cures are in fact human devised technologies. Just because it has a natural component- like water in homoeopathy- does not make it any less of an invention.

  19. #19 Tricia
    February 25, 2009

    zeolite is also sometimes part of the mixture in the chemical stage of an aquarium filter, along with carbon granules. Therefor cancer is caused by fish poo toxins in your blood. How did they get there? Who cares. Clearly it’s all about the fish poo.

  20. #20 snerd
    February 25, 2009

    Which wrong type of energy are we talking about, Potential, Kinetic, Thermal, Electric, Chemical, Nuclear, or Surface energy?

    Vacuum

  21. #21 mandydax
    February 25, 2009

    Ok, I’m sorry, but I can’t resist; it’s too ridiculous…

    Quacka: “SOPIAS! What does the scouter say about its energetic healing power level?”

    Sopias: “IT’S OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!” *crushes scouter*

    Quacka: WHAT?! NINE THOUSAND!?

    I really needed a laugh after reading about this charlatan.

  22. #22 DLC
    February 25, 2009

    Some people will take anything, so long as some charlatan says it’ll heal them.

  23. #23 LC
    February 26, 2009

    I mean, am I putting myself in danger when I hang out in Detroit?

    Ah, now I see why Dr. Khlans punishment in “A Fistfull of Yen” was so terrible. It’s the negative [geopathic] vibes man! ;)

    Dr Khlan: So, the CIA thinks they can inflitrate the mountain of Dr. Klahn
    CIA Agent: You don’t scare me — you yellow bastard
    Dr Klahn: Send him… TO DETROIT”!
    CIA Agent: No! NO!! Not Detroit! NOOOO!!!!

  24. #24 tim gueguen
    February 26, 2009

    Crap, beaten to the Vegeta thing.

  25. #25 Tracy W
    February 26, 2009

    However, energetically all but one of them test in a range of 40 to 60, the higher the better. This one specially developed zeolite has an energetic healing power of 5000 when I test it, many times stronger than any of the others.

    Normal central heating systems produce room temperatures of between 20 and 30 degrees celsius (68 to 86 fahrenheit). But our specially developed central heating system produces room temperatures of 5000 degrees celsius (9032 fahrenheit). Get one installed in your house now!

    How are we producing hordes of people who don’t know that adding more energy is not necessarily a good thing?

  26. #26 Tracy W
    February 26, 2009

    I should say that I don’t believe that Robert Sopias has ever measured the “energetic healing power” of Zeolite, or indeed even has the foggiest idea what energy actually is.

  27. #27 Militant Agnostic
    February 26, 2009

    Cathy – As far as I know research into DCA is continuing at the University in Alberta. For some reason the populations two small towns in Alberta (Peace River and I don’t the other one) have become involved in fund raising to support DCA research. One of the fundraising auctions in Peace River had anmong the donated items a truckload of gravel and an entire bison (cut and wrapped – not a live animal).

    The major proponent of DCA research at the U of A is on record as telling people not to use it at this time.

  28. #28 Christophe Thill
    February 26, 2009

    “Based on Ayurvedic Traditional Medicine, these remedies are created by imbuing artesian waters with the energies and vibrations of special healing stones, gems and precious metals, establishing an energetic, vibrational message in the water that is transferred to the bodies cells, creating harmonic resonance and deep healing.”

    But… he forgot something ! What about sticking labels with loving messages on the bottle, according to the Emoto method ? And playing music, too ? If you don’t do this, it won’t work !

    “The information is provided for educational purposes only.”

    What kind of education is this ? Shouldn’t he have written “for entertainment purposes” ?

  29. #29 hat_eater
    February 26, 2009

    I wonder what precautions do the extreme quacks like this one (or the infamous Hamer) take to go unharmed by the relatives of their victims. After all, if someone I love chose alternative therapy over chemotherapy or surgery, I wouldn’t hesitate to take out my anger on the quack. And I’d probably hurt him. A lot. And I’d do the time with my conscience clear.

  30. #30 Richard Eis
    February 26, 2009

    I love how “Quantum X – Energy healing” is considered ages old, when the term quantum is barely out of nappies in the history of science.

    Must have been those damn altlantians again.

  31. #31 rb
    February 26, 2009

    just saw this news item on huffington post:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/nih-agency-head-vaccine-a_b_170034.html

    doesn’t sound pretty, It begins:
    A major health official within the United States Government today endorsed more research into possible links between vaccination and autism, saying that such studies are “legitimate.”

    The official, Dr. Duane Alexander, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), an NIH agency, said scientists must investigate susceptible subpopulations of children, including kids with mitochondrial disorders and those who have trouble metabolizing mercury.

  32. #32 catgirl
    February 26, 2009

    This one specially developed zeolite has an energetic healing power of 5000

    This reminds me of the Spinal Tap amplifier that goes up to 11.

  33. #33 jwalker
    May 31, 2009

    Thanks for saving me from being the next fool to part with lots of their money. My search has also led me to Shelley Penney. Can you give me any input on her line before I fall for it? Thanks

  34. #34 jwalker
    May 31, 2009

    Thanks for saving me from being the next fool to part with lots of their money. My search has also led me to Shelley Penney. Can you give me any input on her line before I fall for it? Thanks

  35. #35 Dedj
    May 31, 2009

    rb said:

    “just saw this news item on huffington post:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kirby/nih-agency-head-vaccine-a_b_170034.html

    doesn’t sound pretty, It begins:…….”

    I’ll say it doesn’t sound pretty.

    You have a major player in the NIH saying that “No clear evidence yet exists to implicate a specific relationship”

    and “In other instances a given environmental exposure may have an adverse effect only on a relatively few people who have a variant genetic constitution that leaves them susceptible to adverse consequences from an environmental exposure; these are difficult to detect, especially if only a few people have this genetic variant that makes them susceptible”

    and “In this instance, large numbers of individuals need to be studied to find enough people with the rare variant”

    If I was an anti-vaxxor right now, especially a “ZOMG! vaccines = autism epidemic!” vaccine skeptic, the last thing I’d want is a major player saying “There’s no evidence” and “There may be so few susceptible people, we might need to study 100k just to find a handful”.

    If I believed 1 in 150 had autism because of vaccines, I’d want to keep his comments as quiet and hush-hush as I could.

  36. #36 Cindy Womack
    January 13, 2010

    Thanks for the comments and information on Zeolite and Mr Sopias claims! I am currently in chemo for stage 3 ovarian cancer and OF COURSE looking for information to help control the return of this disease (if possible). As I suspected it is snake oil as is the majority of alternative medicines seem to be. But, when you are struck with this disease you want to cover your bases!

  37. #37 jeff rozendal
    February 21, 2010

    I just read your article and I was disappointed in your attitude and the things you addressed.
    I never heard of Sopias until after I read the “Cancerfightingstrategies.com” info. I thought some of the info was good especially when he could point to a Nobel Laureate in Medicine to tie in what he had to say. You did not address that stuff which would have been helpful.
    Your attitude makes you less respectable. I had a brother in law until last October. He died of cancer that was treatable. He went on Chemo and eventually bone marrow transplants, then he died. Was that quakery or just bad luck? I have a sister in law who has been fighting breast cancer for about 7 years now. Lots of Chemo which has apparently now damaged her spinal column. She’s 39 with two little girls. The doctors do not have an answer but they keep giving her the chemo. In other words, they’re guessing now. But they are not quacks. I also have a 13 year old niece who is undergoing chemo now. They are not sure what will cure her, but they are trying! We don’t call them quacks even when they fail.

  38. #38 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 21, 2010

    We don’t call them quacks even when they fail.

    Yes, it would be quite mistaken to do that; frankly, it would mark an individual as being mentally underdeveloped if they were to declare all mainstream oncologists “quacks” when someone loses a fight with cancer. It’s like a very young, or emotionally stunted child, who loses at a game and declares “you cheated!”

    Not getting the results you wanted in a particular instance doesn’t mean that the opponent was cheating or that the particular doctor who prescribed chemotherapy was a quack. It certainly doesn’t support an implication that chemotherapy itself is quackery.

    I never heard of Sopias until after I read the “Cancerfightingstrategies.com” info. I thought some of the info was good especially when he could point to a Nobel Laureate in Medicine to tie in what he had to say. You did not address that stuff which would have been helpful.

    António Egas Moniz was a Nobel Laureate in Medicine, too. The people who award the Nobel Prize are not omniscient; they have presented the award for work that later turned out to be harmful rather than helpful; probably more often they have presented the award to someone who had gotten something important correct, who then went on to pursue some very incorrect avenue. So even if everyone that Sopias claims was a Nobel Prize winner actually was one, it would not mean that everything claimed to be a result of that person’s research was automatically valuable information. But as it happens, Sopias falsely describes one of the biggest cancer quacks of the 20th century as a Nobel Prize winner. William F. Koch was never a “well known Nobel Prize winner of that period” as Sopias claims. It would have been “helpful” if you had addressed why Sopias couldn’t even do the minimal research necessary to find out that, far from winning a Nobel Prize, Koch only barely avoided conviction for medical fraud.

  39. #39 jr
    February 23, 2010

    Antaeus,
    Sopias had some things to say that I do not believe, and I am not interested in them. The things that are of interest are things like the oxygenation of cells. The nobel winner, Warburg. Is flax seed or oil good for this? Or, how about acid levels vs. alkaline in cells and their relationship to oxygenation, if any? Or, methylglyoxal, i.e. nobel winner Szent-Gyorgi, which also was the same article about Koch, but I don’t care about Koch, what about the stuff being talked about in the so-called strategy?!

  40. #40 Midwestern Fool
    March 31, 2010

    After reading all of these posts, I am disappointed at the lack of openness from the people. I guess being an advocate of all things natural I am mostly suspect of allopathic medicine and the pharmacy companies.

    I don’t know Robert Sopias but much of the things I read on his site rang more true to me because I believe the body is designed to heal itself. Any kind of doctor just knows what he/she knows. I’m quite sure it is difficult enough keeping up with their own field of expertise much less other alternatives. And let’s not forget it is ALL for profit. Oncologists, hospitals, natureopathics, etc., so profit is not a dirty word. I wonder how many people would be more open to other treatments if their insurance covered it.

    I am not convinced chemo/radiation does anything except kill everything in its path, including the host. And I do know people who have never had such treatment whose cancer was CURED, not managed. They are walking around years after being diagnosed and don’t even think about cancer.

    I wish you all the best and keep your options open. There is a big planet out there and the US does not have all answers medical.

  41. #41 Midwestern Fool
    March 31, 2010

    After reading all of these posts, I am disappointed at the lack of openness from the people. I guess being an advocate of all things natural I am mostly suspect of allopathic medicine and the pharmacy companies.

    I don’t know Robert Sopias but much of the things I read on his site rang more true to me because I believe the body is designed to heal itself. Any kind of doctor just knows what he/she knows. I’m quite sure it is difficult enough keeping up with their own field of expertise much less other alternatives. And let’s not forget it is ALL for profit. Oncologists, hospitals, natureopathics, etc., so profit is not a dirty word. I wonder how many people would be more open to other treatments if their insurance covered it.

    I am not convinced chemo/radiation does anything except kill everything in its path, including the host. And I do know people who have never had such treatment whose cancer was CURED, not managed. They are walking around years after being diagnosed and don’t even think about cancer.

    I wish you all the best and keep your options open. There is a big planet out there and the US does not have all answers medical.

  42. #42 John Gaydon
    May 25, 2010

    A very interesting article on the cancer fighting strategies ebook.

    As someone who has been recommending and using Natural Cellular defense, the original lliquid zeolite that most of the fuss is about for nearly 4 years, I know that it works for me. I conducted hair analysis on myself before and after taking the product and this proved it does what is claimed. Unfortunately, others ahve made their own zeolite products which are inferior and used lots of smoke and mirrors to make them look good.
    It is irresponsible to claim anything including surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can cure cancer. When my father in law contracted Non Hodgkins Lymphoma I did my research and survival was 20%. He spent 3 miserable years with the medical system and died after suffering mainly from the treatment! It is no wonder people are looking for alternatives.

    Mr Sopias operates out of Alaska where I assume he is untouchable, and although I am very familiar with vibratory medicine, I doubt that frequency enhancement can be measured, let alone remove the toxins that cause disease from the body. There are many products and substances that have helped cancer sufferers. While the pharmaceutical companies have a hold on health, we will never know the truth. If I ahd cancer I would definitely be taking Natural Cellular Defense to counter the toxic treatments of doctors and remove the toxins that cause cancer in the first place. It would be ashamed for the skeptics to again put fear into people so they miss out on something that just might save their life! The one thing we do know is that Zeolite is harmless.

  43. #43 NJ
    May 25, 2010

    Lessee, a short list of the wacko in #42 must include:

    “original liquid zeolite” (They are aluminosilicate framework solids)

    “vibratory medicine” (hmmm, that could get you a soliciting charge)

    “frequency enhancement” (insert another obligatory sex joke here)

    “toxins that cause disease” (approaching critical woo now)

    “Natural Cellular Defense” (helper T-cells?)

    “The one thing we do know is that Zeolite is harmless.” (Bzzzt! http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060320213802.htm But thanks for playing)

  44. #44 Irina
    February 1, 2011

    Guys, I don’t know who is writing all those bad things about Robert Sopias and about the whole alternative medicine. And why you are writing this all. I personally know a few people (including my own husband and my school friend) who cured themselves using an anti-cancer diet and supplements (and liquid zeolite, too). And I know several people who did not believe “the alternative quackery” and trusted their oncologists. Some of them have already died, and some are very weak, cannot walk, etc.

    “The 11 strategies” book by Robert Sopias is one of the best reports on cancer that I’ve found in the internet. It is very clear and it really explains step by step all causes of cancer and the ways to cure it. Of course, his supplements are too expensive, but you can always find similar ones. It is the report that I like so much and that was my first tutorial.

    My other “best friend and teacher” is site “Cancer Tutor”, and the best is Bill Henderson’s book “Cancer free” that I recommend to everybody.

  45. #45 Irina
    February 1, 2011

    Guys, I don’t know who is writing all those bad things about Robert Sopias and about the whole alternative medicine. And why you are writing this all. I personally know a few people (including my own husband and my school friend) who cured themselves using an anti-cancer diet and supplements (and liquid zeolite, too). And I know several people who did not believe “the alternative quackery” and trusted their oncologists. Some of them have already died, and some are very weak, cannot walk, etc.

    “The 11 strategies” book by Robert Sopias is one of the best reports on cancer that I’ve found in the internet. It is very clear and it really explains step by step all causes of cancer and the ways to cure it. Of course, his supplements are too expensive, but you can always find similar ones. It is the report that I like so much and that was my first tutorial.

    My other “best friend and teacher” is site “Cancer Tutor”, and the best is Bill Henderson’s book “Cancer free” that I recommend to everybody.

  46. #46 Vic
    October 8, 2011

    I don’t know about the product you mention, but it seems your objection is based more on skepticism and conjecture than anything else. It just isn’t so because it just can’t be so because it’s too ridiculous. I can only tell you this: My wife had (and I have the documentaion to prove it) 1st stage invasive breast cancer. It’s gone. At UCSD medical center in San Diego, they finally had to admit that it was gone. They couldn’t find the tumor. She took a a combination of approaches, including homeopathic medicine from a German company called Heel. What on earth makes you think that for something to work it has to be synthetic and broken down to only a few ingredients? The only reason pharma doesn’t do natural is because there’s no money in it for them. Not to research, develop, or market. So, whenever someone proves them wrong, they’ll say, “not enough evidence, dosage is not established, sponatneous remission”. A skeptical friend with gout took vinegar and banished the pain in his joints after years and thousands upon thousands of useless pharma products.Alternative medicine works, it’s just not what they’ll teach you in Med school because it’s big pharma who tells you what you should prescribe. Nothing intentionally sinister, it’s just a business.

  47. #47 Narad
    October 8, 2011

    A skeptical friend with gout took vinegar and banished the pain in his joints after years and thousands upon thousands of useless pharma products.

    There are thousands upon thousands of pharmacological gout remedies now? What a time to live in.

  48. #48 Chris
    October 8, 2011

    Vic:

    , but it seems your objection is based more on skepticism and conjecture than anything else.

    Possibly more on the fact that the author is a surgical oncologist and researcher specializing in breast cancer.

    So, Vic, why did you decide to grace us with your evidence-free anecdotes on an article that is over two years old? Weren’t the cancer articles posted in the past month on this site sufficient for your offerings? Was it because you had never heard of Zeolite? Or did you think you would be ignored like poor little Irina (who also thought it was a good idea to post fact-free bits on an old article)?

    Truly, really, why, Vic? Weren’t the articles an Abraham Cherris, Steve Jobs and “2% chemotherapy gambit” articles good enough?

  49. #49 Vic
    October 8, 2011

    I don’t think doctors are all conspiring against us. Not at all. It would be impossible to keep that a secret. I think doctors do what they are taught and push the products the pharmaceutical industry tells them to with studies to back them up. It takes over a billion dollars to “prove” a drug works. Alternative medicine can’t afford that. I don’t even think the pharmaceutical industry is necessarily malicious, though I’m sure there are a few bad apples. It’s just not good business for them to research or develop anything they can’t patent and process added value into the product to justify their charging enough for a drug. This is one of those situations where gvt is needed to step in. Gvt involvement is a necessary evil in some instances.

  50. #50 Vic
    October 8, 2011

    Why is everybody so sure these alternative remedies don’t work? Just because it’s too incredible? The doctor goes on about how there are flaws in the descriptions of cancers and the procedures, but maybe there are other explanations. I doubt the alternative drug pushers hired hordes of people to work full time just making stuff up to sell more alternative cancer medicine. But of course, big Pharma would never do that. Why the hell not? Turn on your TV.

  51. #51 Narad
    October 8, 2011

    It takes over a billion dollars to “prove” a drug works.

    The depredations of the so-called “War on Gout”: Over $1 quadrillion and counting. Can’t you see what’s going on, people?

  52. #52 TBruce
    October 8, 2011

    My wife had (and I have the documentaion to prove it) 1st stage invasive breast cancer.

    Stage 1 breast cancer (I assume that’s what you mean by !st stage) is an invasive tumor less than or equal to 20 mm in size. That’s less than 1 inch, a small tumor. I expect that it was diagnosed by an excisional biopsy, in other words, the entire tumor was removed. You wouldn’t be able to diagnose Stage 1 otherwise.

    It’s gone.

    I’m not surprised. It did get excised, didn’t it?

    At UCSD medical center in San Diego, they finally had to admit that it was gone. They couldn’t find the tumor.

    They should have called the pathology lab. It was sitting in a bunch of paraffin blocks.

    Read some of the other entries in this blog and you may learn that surgery is still the mainstay treatment of breast cancer. Chemo and radiation are used to lessen the chance of recurrence and metastasis, and they do a pretty good job. This is backed up by a lot of scientific evidence, not advertising and marketing. Nevertheless, appropriate surgery alone has a good chance of curing Stage 1 breast cancer.
    Homeopathy etc. is backed up by nothing but testimonials, dogma and marketing. It is contradicted by scientific evidence.

    I doubt the alternative drug pushers hired hordes of people to work full time just making stuff up to sell more alternative cancer medicine.

    No, they were too busy doing research and writing papers for the peer-reviewed literature to do that. That’s why there’s so much scientific evidence for alternative therapies…uh, wait a minute.

  53. #53 Militant Agnostic
    October 8, 2011

    Why is everybody so sure these alternative remedies don’t work? Just because it’s too incredible?

    Since incredible comes from not credible, yes in part. The other reason is the lack of credible evidence.

    I doubt the alternative drug pushers hired hordes of people to work full time just making stuff up to sell more alternative cancer medicine.

    No, they just rely on common flaws in people’s thinking such as the post-hoc fallacy (demonstrated here) and the sunk costs fallacy.

    In case you think TBruce is talking out of his ass, you should be aware that he is pathologist and knows whereof he speaks with regard to the current location of the tumor.

  54. #54 Chris
    October 8, 2011

    Vic, have you even read this blog? Did you even read my questions? Why are you gracing us with your pontifications on a two year old article and not the more pertinent cancer articles posted less than a month ago?

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