Respectful Insolence

Suzanne Somers = Mike Adams

i-dff030bb306ece0d96557361177b4888-somers.jpgThe other day, I ripped a certain woo-meister whom regular readers all know and most, if not all, regular readers mostly despise, Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com. As you may recall, a few days ago he slimed Patrick Swayze the day he died from pancreatic cancer, posting an article saying that Swayze was killed by chemotherapy and that he’d still be alive and Dirty Dancing today if he had only eschewed that horrible, evil Devil’s brew of chemotherapy and gone with all “natural” cures. It was simply a followup of an article he wrote back in January saying in essence the same thing, although Adams was clearly peeved that Swayze had dissed “alternative” cancer cures even as he faced death.

It looks as though a certain celebrity quackery promoter is saying the same thing:

Suzanne Somers, a cancer survivor herself, thinks Patrick Swayze was killed by chemotherapy. “They took a beautiful man” and “put poison in his body,” the “Three’s Company” star told columnist Shinan Govani at the party for Tom Ford’s movie, “A Single Man,” at the Toronto Film Festival. While Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts, Clive Owen and Colin Firth made chitchat, Somers, who has a book about cancer coming out next month, said: “Why couldn’t they have built him up nutritionally and got ten rid of the toxins? . . . I hate to be this controversial . . . but I have to speak out.”

No, Suzanne, what you said is not “controversial”; it’s idiotic, ignorant, and disrespectful.

It was not chemotherapy that killed Swayze; it was his pancreatic cancer, a deadly disease. When Swayze was diagnosed, his cancer was stage IV, with metastases to the liver. The usual median survival of such tumors is less than six months. Swayze survived nearly 20 months. We can’t say for sure that it was due to his chemotherapy, a less aggressive variety than usual of pancreatic cancer, or Swayze’s top physical condition. It was probably a combination of the three that allowed him to live for so long.

What we can say from evidence is that “detoxing” and nutritional therapy do not work and, in fact, may even be more harmful than no treatment at all. A regimen that sounds very much like the one you advocate, complete with colon cleanse “detoxing” and “nutritional” treatment was very recently shown to be far worse than chemotherapy and almost certainly no better than no treatment at all, which, as far as pancreatic cancer is concerned, is what it is. If Swayze had followed your moronic advice, chances are he would have died much sooner.

Finally, I guess I’m going to have to saddle up again. If Somers is putting out a book about cancer, I’m guessing it will require a heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence. I wonder if I can get her publisher to send me a review copy. After all, I don’t want to put any money into Somers’ coffers if I can help it.

Comments

  1. #1 Diane
    September 19, 2009

    I remember being stunned when I learned that Sommers had had surgery and radiation before doing her wacky nutrition thing. It’s incomprehensible that she can ignore that and declare that her made-up regimen is what saved her.

  2. #2 marcia
    September 19, 2009

    “Nice” photo of her in your post. However, I think she did a more recent photo shoot wherein she extolled the cancer treatment value of pectin as an intestinal regulator, immune modulator, and potent mutation alleviator.

    For Suzie, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, no matter the circumstance.

    http://static.squidoo.com/resize/squidoo_images/-1/draft_lens2293997module12712711photo_1227316397Wicked_Witch_-_Disney_Witch.jpg

    I wonder if she’d say what she said to Patrick’s wife’s face. Probably would.

  3. #3 JD
    September 19, 2009

    Paging Dr. McCarthy. Code blue. Gluten-free, texturized vegetable protein and some liquid calcium.

  4. #4 tim gueguen
    September 19, 2009

    Given the side effects of chemo on things like appetite a cancer patient probably gets a free “detox” anyways.

  5. #5 Clay
    September 19, 2009

    Listening to Suzanne Somers’ advice about cancer is akin to listening to Jenny McCarthy’s advice about autism, or Carrie Prejean’s advice about “opposite marriage”. These airheads should only be giving advice about exercise doo-dads or “cosmetic secrets”.

  6. #6 Scrabcake
    September 19, 2009

    I think I’m seeing a pattern here. Ms Sommers is not malicious so much as she’s dumb. She can get her head around toxins but not around cancer. It’s a dangerous combination of being dumb and being so puffed up by celebrity that she not only has absolutely no self awareness of being dumb but has the egotism to think her dumb opinion is right oppressed and deserving of attention.
    And oh yeah. Nice job the all natural is doing on your face there Suzanne. Rameses II has a nicer complexion than you do and he’s been dead for 2000+ years.

  7. #7 Kemist
    September 19, 2009

    Given the side effects of chemo on things like appetite a cancer patient probably gets a free “detox” anyways.

    Not always. My friend took up weight on chemo. Seems that it’s not at all rare – it depends on the chemo agent.

  8. #8 Janet Camp
    September 19, 2009

    I commented about this on your Mike Adams post. The comments to the original article where Somers made her remarks were scathing and I found that encouraging. The sad thing is that her books are best sellers and Oprah will probably have her on so she can spread her junk far and wide–she’ll surely be a guest on Jenny’s new show when it debuts. I think she has found a niche in the self-help market to capitalize on her dubious celebrity and as I said in the previous post: she’s way dumber than Chrissy Snow.

  9. #9 Uncle Dave
    September 19, 2009

    Somers;

    “They took a beautiful man” and “put poison in his body,”

    Urggggh!!! Again with the Screen Actors Guild bleeding heart appeal.
    The only silver lining here is that until I visited this website I had not heard of Somers comments about Swayze; so I am guessing (hoping) it didn’t get much media mileage?

  10. #10 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 19, 2009

    “They took a beautiful man” and “put poison in his body,”

    As opposed to taking a “beautiful” woman and putting poison in her face?
    http://cosmeticsurgerytoday.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/plastic-surgeons-review-suzanne-somers%E2%80%99-procedures/

    I think the term “celebridiot” is most appropriate here.

  11. #11 Marcus Ranum
    September 19, 2009

    That’s one of the worst jobs of taxidermy I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. #12 Chris Lundy
    September 19, 2009

    Today,in a small shop,the woman waiting on me asked if I thought her children should receive the flu vaccines. I gave a yes answer with a bevy of reasons why. Her mother had said she shouldn’t, and mother promptly appeared to defend herself. She heard it was bad on a Spanish language talk show. The Oprah effect indeed.

  13. #13 FfreeSpeaker
    September 19, 2009

    I was in Barnes and Noble the other day. I usually look at the health section to see if Paul Offit’s book is on the shelf. I found it hiding behind two boobs: Suzanne Somers and Jenny McCarthy.

    Can someone do a study of why bleach blondes seem to lose their minds?

  14. #14 Donna B.
    September 19, 2009

    Without the horridly colorful makeup, Suzanne might not look so bad. I suspected recent attendance at a Mary Kay party (obviously hosted by rodeo clowns) gone horribly wrong, but then I remembered that she has her own line of cosmetics.

    Not that mean to disrespect rodeo clowns in any way.

  15. #15 JM
    September 19, 2009

    Suzanne Sommers had a lumpectomy and radiation therapy demonstrates that she had a stage I-II breast cancer – with mastectomy/lumpectomy+radiation that she had a treatable cancer with at least a 70-90% 5 year survival rate. The surgeons (and therapeutic radiation oncologists) saved her life and she gives all the credit to the woo-meisters.

    That she thinks this makes her qualified at all to comment on Stage IV pancreatic cancer is sheer arrogance. Especially considering that the average survival time of optimally treated (Whipple’s + chemo) pancreatic cancer is less than 3 years.

    Gotten rid of the toxins… yeah right, she should have forgone the lumpectomy if she really believed that.

  16. #16 Phoenix Woman
    September 20, 2009

    “They took a beautiful man” and “put poison in his body”

    Oh, the woo is strong with this one:

    http://www.ahealth.com/content/education_research/published_excerpts/ageless.php

  17. #17 Phoenix Woman
    September 20, 2009

    Oh, and she’s a fan of the gross misuse of chelation therapy:

    http://fistfulofscience.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/what-distinguishes-ray-kurzweil-and-susan-sommers/

    What Ms. Somers apparently doesn’t know is that chelation therapy, when misused like this, has killed people:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11640868/

  18. #18 Pareidolius
    September 20, 2009

    What’s with the stretched, upholstered looking faces lately? What are they injecting in there for that tuck and roll effect? And what is natural about having a smooth, youngish face and the 60ish crepe paper neck? Last but not least, the telltale hands will always give your age away, ask Madonna.
    Somers quotes (or misquotes) big university studies while decrying “big science”. She tries to anecdotally back up her quackery with statements like “I’ve talked to all the doctors . . .” Really? All of them? Well, evidently none of the ones I know.

  19. #19 Beatis
    September 20, 2009

    Well, people like Suzanne Somers do provide comfort of some sort. We all get depressed about our looks from time to time, but when I look at Suzanne Somers and think of all the things she has to do to look the way she does, I don’t feel so bad after all. With all her hard work, she still looks like a middle-aged women, albeit one who had a lot of work done to her.

  20. #20 pinky
    September 20, 2009

    Looks like Patrick Swayze was nutritionally sound and in good shape before the cancer. Why would more nutrition help a person who already is in good shape? Makes no sense.

    What worries me the most is that there seems to be no end to celebrity’s playing Doctor these days. And folks are buying the books. How did it come to this? It boggles the mind.

  21. #21 Louise
    September 20, 2009

    What does Suzanne Somers have to say about Michael Landon? Didn’t he use the Gerson Therapy, with the coffee enemas and all that, for his pancreatic cancer? I think he lived like three months after his diagnosis.

  22. #22 D. C. Sessions
    September 20, 2009

    All of those nasty comments about her appearance, and you’re all missing the point. She’s an actress, after all — just look at that smile. With Keith Leger dead, someone is going to be picked for the next Joker.

  23. #23 Arnold T Pants
    September 20, 2009

    “After all, I don’t want to put any money into Somers’ coffers if I can help it.”

    One of my favorite things about public libraries is that they provide a great way to read a person’s book without contributing to them financially.

  24. #24 Anthro
    September 20, 2009

    Pinky: Swayze’s physical health at the time of his diagnosis is questionable. He was a heavy smoker and drinker. On balance, he was a dancer and so had lots of exercise. I read that he felt that the smoking and drinking may have contributed to his getting cancer. This is not to say that I think he would have benefitted from anything Somers has to say! Good nutrition and freedom from tobacco are standard medical advice after all.

  25. #25 Orac
    September 20, 2009

    Smoking is definitely a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, drinking not so much, except that chronic pancreatitis (which drinking is a risk factor for) increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.

  26. #26 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 20, 2009

    Re Anthro’s comment:
    Mr. Swayze was right. Smoking doubles your risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Heavy alcohol use also increases risk. In addition, hepatic cirrhosis and pancreatitis (both alcohol related conditions) also increase your risk.
    Nutritional factors also play a role. It’s quite simple – high fat and meat consumption increase risk, high fruit and vegetable consumption decrease risk. However, that advice won’t sell books.

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    September 20, 2009

    Arggghhhh! Somers,*maitresse de wu*,has a website(suzannesomers.com):read and weep!

  28. #28 Jeff Knapp
    September 20, 2009

    Aaaarrgh! You scared me with that picture, ORAC! Now I have no appetite for lunch. She kind of looks like one of the characters from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, that weird painted plaster look.

  29. #29 Adorable Girlfriend
    September 20, 2009

    I love those who haven’t been to medical school, haven’t treated patients or practiced at the bench lab, tell those of us who did, what we need to do with cancer patients. I truly <3 it.

  30. #30 Pablo
    September 20, 2009

    Looking at Sommers’s comment, I think we find the source of the problem:

    “They took a beautiful man” and “put poison in his body,”

    To finish: and after they were done, he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

    See, that’s why chemotherapy is bad, while something like botox isn’t. Chemo makes you look bad. It makes you skinny and frail, and your hair falls out. That’s bad. Botox, however, makes you look good, so that is not “poison” or toxins.

    By this simplistic, shallow approach, even cancer isn’t that bad because it doesn’t make you look bad (although that is because no one with cancer allows it to progress that far).

    While I say this somewhat in jest, it is not completely that way. There is a lot of attitude out there of “what you can’t see won’t hurt you,” as if cancer doesn’t exist if you can’t see it

  31. #31 Phoenix Woman
    September 20, 2009

    What does Suzanne Somers have to say about Michael Landon? Didn’t he use the Gerson Therapy, with the coffee enemas and all that, for his pancreatic cancer? I think he lived like three months after his diagnosis.

    Ah, but the coffee-enema crowd say that he was doing fine until he was shamed into ditching the Gerson protocol for actual medicine.

  32. #32 Louise
    September 21, 2009

    Right, that’s why it’s impossible to reason with these people. Any improvement is always credited to the woo, and any negative outcome is always because the lifesaving woo was somehow negated by actual medicine.

  33. #33 Jeff Read
    September 21, 2009

    All of those nasty comments about her appearance, and you’re all missing the point. She’s an actress, after all — just look at that smile. With Keith Leger dead, someone is going to be picked for the next Joker.

    That’s Heath Ledger. And Suzanne would make a terrifying Harley Quinn, out to avenge Mr. J’s death.

  34. #34 Karl Withakay
    September 21, 2009

    “I wonder if I can get her publisher to send me a review copy. After all, I don’t want to put any money into Somers’ coffers if I can help it.”

    You could always try the public library.

  35. #35 nitramnaed
    September 21, 2009

    @#26 “Nutritional factors also play a role. It’s quite simple – high fat and meat consumption increase risk, high fruit and vegetable consumption decrease risk. However, that advice won’t sell books.”

    Yup. That advice couldn’t possibly be true you would only use one paragraph.(snark-snark)………and the best fishing is always on the other side of the lake.

  36. #36 kelly
    September 26, 2009

    Have you ever seen a patient after his or her chemo? Ever wonder why they need to REST after chemo? Ever wonder why balding of hair is called treatment??

    Cancer sufferers were able to survive 5, 10, 20 years WITHOUT chemo because they either can’t afford it or they refuse it.

    Even if you think that detoxing and nutritional therapy is crap to you, these are what I think killed Pat Swayze:
    1. he breathed fuel gas (from vehicles)
    2. he smoked
    3. he had 20 months of chemo that did not even work
    4. up to the last minute he was breathing he was not feeling himself right HOW IS IT THAT ANYONE CAN BATTLE CANCER WITHOUT LIVE HEALTHY CELLS TO FIGHT CANCER CELLS? Where do you think human cells get their SUPER POWER to fight? From chemo that kills healthy human cells to kill just one cancerous cell??

    Google for Billy Best who ran away from chemo for 16 years. Without chemo and he is still alive!

    It’s not idiotic what Suzanne Somers said. Mike Adams is not idiotic either. Your eyes are not yet OPENED but I will refrain from calling you an idiot.

  37. #37 Todd W.
    September 26, 2009

    @kelly

    Let’s see. Average survival length for Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer: 4 months.

    Patrick Swayze’s survival length using chemo: 20 months.

    Yeah, chemo couldn’t possibly have done anything but shorten his lifespan.

    In next week’s math lesson, we show how 3 is bigger than 500.

  38. #38 T. Bruce McNeely
    September 26, 2009

    I googled Billy Best. Lots of verbiage by Mike Adams, the Health Deranger. I wouldn’t trust Mike Adams to tell me the time of day.
    Before starting to evaluate this case, I would want to know:
    – what his diagnosis was – type of Hodgkin’s, stage, etc.
    – what the pathology report said. Ideally, the slides used to make the diagnosis.
    – what treatment he had before he “ran away”
    Every one of these cases of “miracle cures” that I know of has one or more of the following problems:
    – incomplete diagnosis – biopsy not done or not open to scrutiny
    – some degree of treatment by conventional means (i.e. Suzanne Somers)
    – the patient is in fact dead, or has eventually turned to conventional treatment
    – the story is completely fictional

  39. #39 Bob
    September 26, 2009

    re: #6 “I think I’m seeing a pattern here. Ms Sommers is not malicious so much as she’s dumb” I sat next to her for the first part of a trans-continental flight a long time ago and can confirm that I came to the same conclusion in a short while.

  40. #40 Brenna
    September 26, 2009

    hmmmm @kelly, I’m sorry, but you didn’t mention where you got your medical degree from? Either
    a) you don’t have a clue how cancer works
    b) you don’t have a clue how chemo works
    c) your an ignorant jack ass or
    d) all of the above.

    I think I’m going to have to go with “d.” As a cancer survivor myself, I can tell you that chemo saves lives and so can over 80% of my fellow Hodgkin’s survivors. Seeing that cancer is estimated to hit 1 in 3 people, maybe someday you will be facing your own treatment decision. Are you going to go for the treatment that gives you a high cure rate administered by doctors with years of medical experience backed by thousands of scientific studies, or are you going to believe your own (unstable) cock and bull advice?

  41. #41 UK Visitor
    September 27, 2009

    I confess I was a bit shocked by this. It fits with other stuff that’s going on, like a new film denying that HIV causes Aids. As I looked further (morbidly fascinated?) I found a lot of this on The Huffington Post site, e.g.

    Kathy Freston – A Cure For Cancer? Eating a Plant Based Diet

    Part of me still can’t credit how much ignorance can be stuffed into one article. But there was one reference in it I wanted to search out – the article doesn’t do it – and I wondered if anyone here would know how to track it down:

    One study on melanoma has been published in the peer-reviewed literature that shows convincing evidence that cancer progression is substantially halted with this diet.

    I assume this too is bollocks (or at least the article’s interpretation is) but I’d like to see if there really is peer-reviewed study on diet and melanoma out there. How would I go about finding it?

  42. #42 Colleen Travis
    September 30, 2009

    Humm, the columnist here didn’t seem to do his homework and Cleary doesn’t know anything about true nutrition. Its just as idiotic for you to say that detoxing can actually be bad for you! That’s like saying eating an apple is bad for the body, absolutely unbelievable that some of you may want to rage against Suzanne Somers but she is right on… so are the thousands of Dr’s that agree with her and have proven to cure cancer and other diseases by healing the body naturally. I’m a living example and the natural health center and Dr. I go to has millions of testimonials. The only ignorance here is the article written in attempt to shoot down Suzanne Summers. Please dont knock what you dont know.

  43. #44 Militant Agnostic
    September 30, 2009

    Everyone who has given me $20,000 has been cured of cancer.

    I have millions of testimonials – millions I tell ya.

  44. #45 Joni
    February 2, 2010

    The only words I am reading are negative. You all call this quackery. Do you have a son that had a convulsion after a DPT vaccination and has never been the same? Well, I do! Have you ever tried alternative medicine? There is a balance to all of this, indeed, but your opinions are arrogant. If you say these awful things about Suzanne Somers be prepared to have opinions maliciously thrown back at you … right or wrong. You speak as though you have God given proof that you are right.
    You all must be very healthy!

  45. #46 Chris
    February 2, 2010

    Joni, have you ever tried reading with comprehension?

    Actually, my first born had non-stop seizures as an infant, and spent a week in the hospital. Then he had another major seizure while ill with a now vaccine preventable disease.

    You could try providing evidence for your assertions. Let us start with:
    Encephalopathy after whole-cell pertussis or measles vaccination: lack of evidence for a causal association in a retrospective case-control study.
    Ray P, Hayward J, Michelson D, Lewis E, Schwalbe J, Black S, Shinefield H, Marcy M, Huff K, Ward J, Mullooly J, Chen R, Davis R; Vaccine Safety Datalink Group.
    Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2006 Sep;25(9):768-73.

  46. #47 Antaeus Feldspar
    February 2, 2010

    If you say these awful things about Suzanne Somers be prepared to have opinions maliciously thrown back at you … right or wrong.

    So, let me get this straight.

    If we say that Suzanne Somers is an irresponsible peddler of dangerous quackery, and she is, you are promising to throw opinions at us maliciously? Even if we are completely right, and Suzanne Somers is exactly as bad as we’re saying she is, and all we’re doing is warning people of the truth, you’re still going to hurl malice at us?

    Tell us, Joni – what other kinds of truth do you punish people for telling?

  47. #48 Kris
    March 9, 2010

    I completely agree that celebs should keep most of their opinions to themselves. But still I am amazed at all you (so-called) experts here discounting nutrition as a means to fight Cancer. Trust me I had most of the same view points as the majority on this forum. But this past year has made me take another look. I’ve decided to educate myself as much as I can. Can I tell you (for sure) if ever faced with this “Gut-wrenching” decision the path I would choose ? Not yet. But what I can tell you is I won’t be blindsided either.

    -Kris

  48. #49 Chris
    March 9, 2010

    Then try reading this again only with comprehension. This primer on cancer might be of a form you can understand.

  49. #50 Calli Arcale
    March 9, 2010

    I’ll believe it when I see the science, Kris. So please, show it to me! I’d love to see it.

    So far, all I know is that diet can influence your risks of getting various cancers, but doesn’t do a whole heck of a lot once you’ve got cancer (assuming, of course, that you’re getting adequate nutrition — sometimes being sick with cancer makes that difficult, and then you’ve got a whole ‘nother problem on top of the cancer itself).

    I’m certainly not going to follow Somers route and give myself massive fungal infections while injecting myself with hormones likely to cause her breast cancer to recur, just because I think I have a right to be 20 years younger than I am, and feel like a “maverick” with the right to be right even when I’m not. She is treating herself not in the absence of information but in *defiance* of the available information, and that just strikes me as stupid.

  50. #51 Kris
    March 10, 2010

    I agree with you Calli about Somers. I think she’s fallen off the deep end. My only point I was trying to make is that I think people should not label nutrition (as a means to helping fight Cancer) as quackery. I know there are quite a bit of nutrition quacks out there which makes the argument lose credibility. But to me in only makes sense that if you supply your body with optimal nutrition then your odds are greatly improved preventing or dealing with the dreaded disease.

  51. #52 Orac
    March 10, 2010

    And who has said that nutrition is all woo?

    No one.

    I call straw man argument.

  52. #53 LC
    June 2, 2010

    Michael Landon was indeed on the Gerson Therapy and while on the Johnny Carson show spoke of te therapy and how well he felt. After the show he was pressure by his doctors to stop and take a new treatment they just developed. He even called his friends that told him about the Gerson therapy and told them that he knew he was gonna die because he shouldn’t have stopped the Getson Therapy.

    Intelligent people should keep an open mind and search out both sides. Instead you all are like sheep following the media and hanging on their every word. I have studied alternative cancer treatment for over 3 years and am amazed that people are being healed from terminal cancer and yet people still believe it is just quackery. The cancer field has an extremely poor survival rate yet many are surviving cancer on alternative cancer treatment. Open your eyes people and do your own research instead of believing everything the money hungry cancer institute is feeding you!!

  53. #54 Chris
    June 2, 2010

    LC:

    I have studied alternative cancer treatment for over 3 years and am amazed that people are being healed from terminal cancer and yet people still believe it is just quackery. The cancer field has an extremely poor survival rate yet many are surviving cancer on alternative cancer treatment.

    Oh, please do share what actual evidence you have that those alternative therapies work. And it must be real scientific evidence, not a bunch of testimonials.

  54. #55 Pablo
    June 2, 2010

    Chris – I know one woman and all the doctors told her she was going to die. Then she went to Cancer Centers of America and the doctor said, “Peggy, I didn’t see an expiration date on your foot.”

    Take THAT!

  55. #56 LC
    June 3, 2010

    “Success of most chemotherapy is appalling…There is NO scientific evidence for its ability to extend in any appreciable way the lives of patients suffering from the most common organic cancer…chemotherapy for malignancies too advanced for surgery which accounts for 80% of all cancers is a scientific wasteland.”—Dr Ulrich Abel

    “Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy… Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade. Yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumors… Women with breast cancer are likely to die faster with chemo than without it.” – Alan Levin, M.D.

    “I look upon cancer in the same way that I look upon heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, or even obesity, for that matter, in that by dramatically strengthening the body’s immune system through diet, nutritional supplements, and exercise, the body can rid itself of the cancer, just as it does in other degenerative diseases. Consequently, I wouldn’t have chemotherapy and radiation because I’m not interested in therapies that cripple the immune system, and, in my opinion, virtually ensure failure for the majority of cancer patients.”—Dr Julian Whitaker, M.D.

    “….chemotherapy’s success record is dismal. It can achieve remissions in about 7% of all human cancers; for an additional 15% of cases, survival can be “prolonged” beyond the point at which death would be expected without treatment. This type of survival is not the same as a cure or even restored quality of life.”—John Diamond, M.D.

    There is a fifty page article by Hardin Jones of National Cancer Institute of Bethesda, Maryland. He surveyed global cancer of all types and compared the untreated and the treated, to conclude that the untreated outlives the treated, both in terms of quality and in terms of quantity.

  56. #57 Orac
    June 3, 2010

    Abel’s crappy study answered, as well as a some other claims about chemotherapy:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/02/andreas_moritz_legal_intimidation_in_the.php

    (Ulrich Abel did a crappy pseudostudy and has been quoted by quacks ever since, even though to this day he continues to do chemotherapy clinical trials.)

    http://www.users.on.net/~pmoran/cancer/hardin_jones_and_cancer.htm

    (Hardin Jones based his observations on chemotherapy of 54 years ago. No wonder he concluded that it didn’t work. A lot has happened since then.)

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/07/the_ghouls_descend_upon_the_corpse.php

    (In the context of answering the quack Mike Adams, an example of one area where chemotherapy greatly extends life in patients with metastatic cancer.)

  57. #58 Just sayin'
    June 3, 2010

    I’d just like to point out that LC (the one warning people not to be “like sheep”) essentially copy/pasted all of this from that bastion of brilliance, whale.to.

    So un-sheeplike is LC that s/he will parrot these things directly and won’t even think slightly critically about the relevant context. Let’s take one example from this post above:

    There is a fifty page article by Hardin Jones of National Cancer Institute of Bethesda, Maryland. He surveyed global cancer of all types and compared the untreated and the treated, to conclude that the untreated outlives the treated, both in terms of quality and in terms of quantity.

    A simple google search found the exact phrasing used here. [*COUGH*Scopie’s Law*COUGH] It also revealed an important detail: the quoted Prof. Jones. was published in the 1956 Transactions of the N.Y. Academy of Medical Sciences, vol 6.

    1956.

    Cancer treatment from 1906 through 1956 probably wasn’t much better than no treatment durring the majority of that period. In fact, Watson and Crick didn’t publish their DNA structure paper until 1953, so we didn’t know jack about what caused tumors.

    Did you ever think about that, LC? Did it ever cross your mind that quoting this is at the very least incredibly ignorant? Do you think there has been no advancement in medical science since 1956, which by my calculations was approximately the late Jurassic in terms of medicine? I mean, Taxol was discovered in 1967 and that was a natural product that, you know, actually worked to treat cancer.

    Are you certain you’re not the sheep, LC?

  58. #59 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 3, 2010

    @LC:

    Quoting Julian Whitaker for support? You’ve got to be kidding!

    http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.901/healthissue_detail.asp

  59. #60 T. Bruce McNeely
    June 3, 2010

    @LC:

    Quoting Julian Whitaker for support? You’ve got to be kidding!

    http://www.acsh.org/healthissues/newsID.901/healthissue_detail.asp

  60. #61 LC
    June 3, 2010

    There are plenty of doctors who worked in the field of medicine for years and then decided to study and practice alternative medicine and as soon as they do you critics call them quacks. It’s quite sad.

    Chemotherapy has made VERY FEW achievements in treating cancer BUT it has not been successful in treating the MOST common forms of cancers. I see no need to celebrate folks.

    I personally have seen 9 people in my life die of cancer because chemo and radiation are ineffective. Losing those people is what sparked an interest in alternative cancer therapies. I knew there had to be something out there that was more effective and there is! You all don’t have the balls to go to an alternative cancer center and see for yourself. They have decades worth of recorded cases that include test results, lab work, MRIs, x-rays etc. They invite the doubtful but they won’t come!

  61. #62 Antaeus Feldspar
    June 3, 2010

    There are plenty of doctors who worked in the field of medicine for years and then decided to study and practice alternative medicine and as soon as they do you critics call them quacks. It’s quite sad.

    Uh, yeah. Just as there are plenty of politicians who have (to anyone’s knowledge, anyway) served their country honorably for years and years, and then when it turns out they’ve been chasing underage pages we call them perverts instead.

  62. #63 Chris
    June 3, 2010

    LC, you were asked to present real and valid evidence for your claims. And the only thing you came up with was a cut and paste from whale.to? Major fail.

    Let us introduce you to Scopie’s Law (referenced in a muffled cough by “just sayin'”):

    In any discussion involving science or medicine, citing Whale.to as a credible source loses you the argument immediately …and gets you laughed out of the room.

    By the way, your last comment was a toothless “appeal to authority argument.” Plus your stories about friends dying from chemotherapy are anecdotes. The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data. Your statements of what you believe is not data. Again, a major fail.

    You are going to have to try better for some original material. Many of us have battled with Scudamore on Usenet starting over a decade ago. Do try harder. And by that I mean, present some real evidence, not more repetitive comedy.

  63. #64 Militant Agnostic
    June 4, 2010

    There are plenty of doctors who worked in the field of medicine for years and then decided to study and practice alternative medicine and as soon as they do you critics call them quacks. It’s quite sad.

    Uh – maybe because they are quacks who discovered that they could make a lot more money by selling woo than by practicing science based medicine. There is a lot more money to made fleecing the wealthy worried well than working within a provincial health care system or the British NHS.

  64. #65 eatchemo
    July 14, 2010

    Are most of you on the take from big pharma, or just the quack writing this trash?! Talk about a bunch of moron sheeple who bow at the altar of the sickness industry! I can almost hear that conversation years ago…Gee, the war is over, what do we do with all this left over mustard gas? I know lets call it medicine, charge boocoo bucks for it, and give it to cancer patients who are gonna die anyhow! News flash, cancer has been cured…but with over 200 billion dollars a year involved, the law remains: cut, drug, and radiate. You are pathetic!

  65. #66 Travis
    July 14, 2010

    Leading with the pharam shill gambit. Classy. Anyway, maybe someone else will comment but there is too much concentrated stupid in this one. And eatchemo is probably just a drive by troll anyway.

  66. #67 Jaime
    November 13, 2010

    To Louise who mentioned that Michael Landon was doing Gerson and was looking great when he did his last television appearance on Johnny Carson…Whats on record, Michael Landons words is that his “doctors’ persuaded him to go off Gerson to chemo..he regretted making that decision and that cost him his life

  67. #68 Chris
    November 14, 2010

    Jaime, you are using argument by assertion. On what evidence do you base that quote?

  68. #69 W. Kevin Vicklund
    November 14, 2010

    The claim first appears in a review of a DVD put out by Gerson (“The Gerson Miracle”):

    Then there is Pat, a woman with pancreatic cancer which had spread to her liver, gall bladder, and spleen. Throwing up blood, she was diagnosed at age 46, and given 3 months to live. That was in 1986. Pat’s bleeding and pain stopped in 10 days of Gerson therapy. After two years of Gerson, a CAT scan showed that the cancer was gone. Pat is now 65.

    Hollywood star Michael Landon was similarly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He, too, had been given three months to live, and he likewise tried the Gerson therapy. Landon appeared on the “Tonight” show, looking hale and hearty after only a short time on the Gerson program. Immediately afterwards, the narration says, Landon was warned off of the Gerson diet by his physicians. He abandoned it, and his condition promptly worsened. He later personally telephoned Pat and told her that he “should have stayed with the Gerson therapy.” Michael Landon died in 1991.

    Standard “deathbed conversion” story. While it’s true that Landon started an experimental chemo regimen after appearing on Carson, it was after his condition worsened. Standard disease progression for pancreatic cancer w/ liver metastases. It’s not until the final 6 weeks that a patient gets really sick – Landon appeared on Carson 7 weeks before death, and would be expected to be in fairly good health.

  69. #70 Pam mcDermott
    August 17, 2011

    Orac, I’d like to see what YOU do when you have cancer……. and all of the other people who have commented on the traditional (sic) method for treating cancer as being valid, as opposed to the alternative methods (which, by the way have been squelched and invalidated as much as possible, thanks to the tremendous efforts of the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry).

  70. #71 sandi
    December 19, 2011

    I lost both parents to cancer. My father at 49 yrs., got prostate/stomach cancer a yr. after starting on saccharin tablets. He had a history of overeating, and took the fat off everyone’s steak at the table, and everyone’s leftovers;
    so it wasn’t a shock to me when he got sick. They chemo’d and cut him to pieces, gave him a colostomy too. He turned from a 230 lb guy into the monster-old-aged man from the original 2001: A Space Odyessey in short order. After kidney failure and coma, Drs. revived him and cut some more (that was the colostomy). My mom and me begged him to stop, but he refused to listen to anyone but Drs. and suffered horribly for 3 full yrs before he died, at 52. Mom got a brain tumor, which I believe resulted from STRESS after losing her husband that way, and an 18 y.o. daughter. I am the survivor of this tragic family of four. She said immediately after the news: Then lets go home I will die in my own GD BED! Mom died just 7 days after diagnosis of inoperable brain tumor. I believe cancer occurs from smoking, heavy meat and processed food diets, environmental factors, and stress. If I get cancer I will do as my mother did and refuse all treatment. Her death was quick and painless, while my father’s was a nightmare of nightmares. By the way, since we’re all doomed anyway, I could do without all the apathy, judgment, hatred people.
    Be kind to one another, we’re all in the same boat! We’ll all die sooner than we think.

  71. #72 Ellie
    January 16, 2012

    For all of you that actually believe that there hasn’t been any other cures for cancer, you’re trying to tell me that our “advanced” medical society, and billions upon billions of dollars has not found a cure within the last century? You’re trying to tell me that out of the foods we eat, meds we take, genetic studies etc….we still have not found a cure for cancer and what it is linked to? If that is the side you take, then I feel embarrassed for you.

    I drove through a physicians parking lot today, and it was loaded with many nice, expensive cars, and thats just ONE hospital in MN. If a natural inexpensive cure for cancer were to be found, THINK about what would happen to the medical communities wealth! All of those lifestyles would not exist anymore! In addition, I do not have cancer, but I have practiced Gerson therapy, and I can say that once you have tried it, you will be so shocked at the results and how good you feel. And Yes, I know that the debate here is does it actually cure cancer or not…But you will feel so great afterwards, you will seriously question the medical community.

  72. #73 Chris
    January 16, 2012

    Ellie, could you please be more specific about which cancer you are talking about? It is a name that is attached to dozens to hundreds of diseases, so there will never be “one” cure. You certainly don’t think pancreatic cancer and breast cancer are the same.

  73. #74 Chris
    January 16, 2012

    Though the next question is why it took you over two years to come up with that comment.

  74. #75 lilady
    January 16, 2012

    “In addition, I do not have cancer, but I have practiced Gerson therapy, and I can say that once you have tried it, you will be so shocked at the results and how good you feel. And Yes, I know that the debate here is does it actually cure cancer or not…But you will feel so great afterwards, you will seriously question the medical community.”

    Yes, we know about the Gerson Therapy…supplements and juicers. Here is the list of “other” supplies recommended and available for purchase through the Gerson Therapy website:

    New Life Supplies
    Gerson Therapy Starter Kit
    Other than the juicer and supplements, the Starter Kit includes the essential components for someone to effectively begin the Gerson Therapy. It includes: The most popular food mill, the best heat diffuser, organic chamomile flowers, organic coffee, organic flax seed oil, a natural-bristle veggie brush, a non-petroleum lubricant, unbleached cheesecloth, a digital and washable timer, montmorillonite clay, organic castor oil, wool flannel, castile soap, an amber bottle for the potassium solution, two enema buckets, one catheter, absorbent pads and practical instructions.

    I love my fresh brewed coffee in the morning via the normal route…sipping it slowly in a coffee mug.

  75. #76 Jerry
    January 17, 2012

    I will visit with and pray for a chemo-shunning friend in the morning. She is dieting fanatically but obviously dying. Would she live longer with chemo? She’ll never know. I’m disappointed. Her husband is distraught. Thank you for your site. Jerry

  76. #77 lilady
    January 17, 2012

    Jerry, I am so sorry for you, your friend and her family. It is so difficult to handle an impending death…more so when there might have been a cure based in science.

  77. #78 McM
    February 4, 2012

    If anyone connected to this post doesn’t think some medicine could be viewed by Suzanne Somers as poison read the following from Wikipedia:

    Development of the first chemotherapy drug

    As early as 1919 it was known that mustard gas was a suppressor of hematopoiesis.[25] In addition, autopsies performed on 75 soldiers who had died of mustard gas during World War I were done by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania who reported decreased counts of white blood cells.[22] This led the American Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) to finance the biology and chemistry departments at Yale University to conduct research on the use of chemical warfare during World War II.[22][26] As a part of this effort, the group investigated nitrogen mustard as a therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other types of lymphoma and leukemia, and this compound was tried out on its first human patient in December 1942. The results of this study were not published until 1946, when they were declassified.[26] In a parallel track, after the air raid on Bari in December 1943, the doctors of the U.S. Army noted that white blood cell counts were reduced in their patients. Some years after World War II was over, the incident in Bari and the work of the Yale University group with nitrogen mustard converged, and this prompted a search for other similar chemical compounds. Due to its use in previous studies, the nitrogen mustard called “HN2″ became the first cancer chemotherapy drug, mustine, to be used.

  78. #79 Gary Pavlak
    February 12, 2012

    I suggest to anyone that thinks that Alternative Medicine is Quackery to watch the following movies…The Gerson Miracle and Burzinsky, which are both on Netflicks. Dr.Burzinsky was curing cancer and wanted to start clinical trials but was met with major resistance from the the FDA for some strange reason,hmmm I wonder??? Some other good movies that might open your eyes to the fact that nutrition matters and as the old saying goes “you are what you eat” remember your Grandmother telling you that… Fat,Tired and Nearly Dead and Food Matters…after watching theses you may think twice about your position on Alternative Quackery,after all Susan Summers is still alive isn’t she,food for thought!

  79. #80 Orac
    February 12, 2012

    I’ve already seen the Burzynski movie:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/burzynski_the_movie_subtle_its_not.php

    And, although I haven’t seen the Gerson Miracle, I have seen a movie about Gerson much like it:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/11/the_notsobeautiful_untruth.php

    I’m guessing the Gerson Miracle isn’t much different, but maybe I’ll take a look sometime. Actually, at the time I wrote that post I hadn’t seen the entire movie, mainly just clips. Since then, I have seen the whole movie, and, if anything, it’s even worse than the clips suggest.

  80. #81 Narad
    February 12, 2012

    Dr.Burzinsky was curing cancer and wanted to start clinical trials but was met with major resistance from the the FDA for some strange reason,hmmm I wonder???

    Beg pardon? Everything that Burzynski does is in the guise of one clinical trial or another.

  81. #82 Lawrence
    February 12, 2012

    As long as he can keep the clinical trial gravy train going, why in the world would he want to report actual results?

    None of his supporters seem to have a problem with their hero charging hundreds of thousands of dollars for these treatments / trials & also over-charging for simple chemo drugs, requiring his patients to buy from his pharmacy.

  82. #83 Chris
    February 12, 2012

    Mr. Pavlak, you posted your suggestion on a very old article. Plus you did not know that both of those cancer cures have been discussed often on this blog, some in just in the last few weeks.

    So explain to us why we should care about what you think.

  83. #84 lilady
    February 12, 2012

    Are We talking about Dr. Suzanne Somers here…the respected cancer researcher…or Suzanne Somers the has-been actress who has carved out a new career as a celeb author of alternative cancer cures? The has-been actress had a readily treatable Stage I breast cancer, which was removed by a cancer surgeon and also treated with radiation. Her “alternative” additional treatment of her cancer with mistletoe extract “chemotherapy” is pure bunk. See survival rates for Stage I breast cancer that has been surgically excised and treated with radiation:

    http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/early-stage-breast-cancer.cfm#ff

    Mr. Pavlek, you would do well to not rely on these self- promoting movies to understand why the Burzynski and Gerson treatments for all types of cancers are considered to be junk science treatments that offer false hope, while draining the patient of all their financial resources.

  84. #85 Preston
    February 15, 2012

    lilady,

    Why do “conventional only” medical treatment proponents site the profit motive as proof that Gerson and other treatments are a scam? I guarantee that conventional cancer treatment is many multiples more expensive than Gerson therapy. The issue is that insurance pays for conventional treatment but won’t pay for a stay at the Gerson institute.

    Are all of you people on this site medical school students? Seems that you’re in the midst of that college brainwashing that our govenrment loves us and would never hurt us and that our corporations feel the same.

    What about all those patients in the Gerson Miricle movie with documented diagnoses and patients that are now alive. What about the Japanesse doctors creating Gerson clinics in Japan?

    It’s also about medical freedom. Why is our govenrment forbidding such treatments? I should be able to pursue any treatment for myself that I wish.

  85. #86 Teirza
    March 1, 2012

    to whomever wrote this post and everyone who commented backing him, The only “idiotic, ignorant and disrespectful” person(s) are YOU. WE have choices living in America and quite frankly unless you are a doctor you have no business commenting on what treatments people choose. Food is somthing we all put in our body daily and it does not take a brain surgeon to know what is WRONG and RIGHT and that what we eat is black and white it WILL HARM or HEAL.. Only PURE IGNORANCE would lead you believe otherwise.

  86. #87 AdamG
    March 1, 2012

    Teriza, you do understand that many of us here at RI (including the author of this post) are in fact doctors, don’t you?

  87. #88 Beamup
    March 1, 2012

    As you’d know if you spent five seconds looking, Orac is indeed a doctor. As are many of the commenters here.

    But what does that matter? When people are factually wrong, why should anyone be barred from pointing that out?

    Food is somthing we all put in our body daily and it does not take a brain surgeon to know what is WRONG and RIGHT and that what we eat is black and white it WILL HARM or HEAL.. Only PURE IGNORANCE would lead you believe otherwise.

    [citation needed] that diet can cure pancreatic cancer.

  88. #89 Chris
    March 1, 2012

    Preston, there is a handy dandy search box on the left side of this page. Try searching for the word “Gerson” and see where it was discussed here. And if you want us to learn about the “doctors creating Gerson clinics in Japan” you must provide the data. And you must also provide the scientific literature to back up your statements.

    Teirza, if you look at the far upper left hand side of this page you will see a little blurb on who and what Orac is: a surgeon/scientist. You would have even learned more if you had clicked on the blue letters spelling “here.”

    I suggest that before you criticize what he wrote, that you come up with exactly what he wrote was wrong, and provide actual scientific cites to support your statements. Both Teirza and Preston have shown is a severe lack of reading comprehension, science education and permanently closed minds.

  89. #90 novalox
    March 1, 2012

    @preston & @teirza

    Thanks for the unadulterated stupid. I had a good laugh at your utter ignorance.

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