Respectful Insolence

An online summit of quackery

There’s a disturbance in the Force. Well, in the Dark Side of the Force, as in the Quack Side of Medicine. Basically, there’s a rumble in the quackosphere that reached me through three different quack mailing lists that I’m on for the purpose of gathering material for blogging, including–you guessed it–the mailing list of that One Crank To Rule Them All, Mike Adams. This disturbance?

The Healing Cancer World Summit. The promise?

In this unique program you’ll discover…

  • The therapies these doctors and experts are using that they say can prevent and even treat cancers naturally.
  • The cancer fighting herbs and supplements that are scientifically known to prevent cancer – many of which you can buy in your local supermarket (no matter where you live!)
  • Scientific and documented proof that natural cancer treatments work and why.
  • Learn how to detoxify and cleanse the body naturally… and safely.
  • Why many people have no idea these treatments exist and why these doctors are risking their careers to do help people heal.
  • Amazing stories of patients who have been healed naturally and are still thriving today.
  • How – in some cases – drugs, chemotherapy, surgery and radiation can cause side effects that may be worse than the cancer itself.
  • Simple and affordable ways to prevent cancer and many other diseases using natural, tested methods.
  • And much more!

Hmmmm. Should I register and listen in? I don’t know if I can spend that much time apoptosing my neurons from the waves of pseudoscience coming from the likes of Charlotte Gerson, Mike Adams, and other promoters of quackery. Maybe an application to capture streaming audio and let me check it out later.

Or not.

Comments

  1. #1 Kathryn
    October 25, 2011

    What a coincidence!

    Tonight I attended a meeting, and some of us stayed after to chat with the speaker. One of the attendees was a breast cancer survivor, and they both swapped stories about friends who had tried “holistic” methods and died horribly.

    They have no patience for quackery.

  2. #2 Kitto
    October 25, 2011

    What a shame, I’m doing my hair that date so I can’t attend.

  3. #3 MikeMa
    October 25, 2011

    Sounds like an appalling waste of time and electrons.
    The potential for delayed effective treatment is pretty appalling too. The fear that drives otherwise sane people to this kind of quackery needs treatment as well.

  4. #4 Upchuck
    October 25, 2011

    Wow…no one I know has ever died from conventional cancer treatments…….

  5. #5 Duh
    October 25, 2011

    When you find a treatment for cancer in which you are guaranteed to live, please let me know.

  6. #6 Mrs. Woo
    October 25, 2011

    I hate to admit this, but if I didn’t have a couple of relatives who SURVIVED chemo and traditional cancer treatments I would be someone who would be willing to at least consider woo (though probably too practical to do it without a doctor encouraging me and watching things). Both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer and dead within six months, and my father had a stroke before his third chemo treatment as a side effect of therapy.

    Please don’t start bashing me. I’m not advocating woo. I’m pointing out a patient viewpoint that would make a patient more susceptible to quackery. If you’ve seen conventional therapy fail more than once it’s harder to consider it effective. I know that most of the woo out there is ridiculous and would pursue conventional treatment now, especially as they find more effective treatments on a regular basis now.

    I just wanted to point out that some patients who have a family history and have seen nothing but failure could be easily manipulated. They don’t necessarily need “treatment for their fear” – they DO need a practitioner who invests a little more time with them possibly discussing that family history and what changes in treatment have happened since the death of those family members/friends they know who did not have a positive outcome from treatment.

  7. #7 MikeMa
    October 25, 2011

    @Upchuck: Logic fail.

    Do nothing (woo) and rely on your own system/genetic luck to beat cancer. Low percentage of success. Buy lottery tickets now.

    Investigate science-based cancer treatment options. Much higher rate of success although not perfect. Believe lottery tickets are a tax on stupid people.

  8. #8 Dangerous Bacon
    October 25, 2011

    I hope someone has a strong enough stomach to register for this online “summit” and share its gems with the rest of us.

    I suspect that not only will one’s neurons be bombarded with waves of apoptosing quackery, but also with messages encouraging the purchase of massive amounts of supplements supposedly needed to help one’s body “heal naturally”. Registrants might also risk getting on truly abominable spam e-mail lists. But I’m sure Orac would make this sacrifice for us!

    One name I don’t see on the list of Doctors who will tell us about their fabulous cures is Joe Mercola. Did Joe miss out on this opportunity somehow?
    Curiously, one of the holistic docs who did make the cut, Leigh Connealy, has a rant posted on her website by a seller of “alkaline water” (good for what ails ya), denouncing Mercola as a sellout for criticizing this brand of woo. It makes amusing reading.

    Connealy by the way, seems to be one of those wooists who started respectably and then went off the rails into homeopathy and other nonsense and now runs an alternative “cancer center”, as well as pushing a line of Natural Products. Surely she’ll have lots of fantastic testimonials to present at the summit.

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    October 25, 2011

    On a lighter note:

    Today @ NaturalNews, Mikey incites the “Second American Revolution”!

    Not content to rest upon his alt med laurels- after all, he is amongst the leaders of the Scientific Revolution- Mike appeals to both Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street types. All institutions are criminal! Lookit at those “Science whores”! Obama is the great Dark Lord of Re-distribution of Wealth or Wall Street!Choose one! ( the last is mine )
    ( -btw- the other idiot is similarly calling for a great uprising by the People)

    @ Orac: about listening to Mike’s Summit of Dreck- you, like me, could probably *produce* screeds that would fit right into the mix ( albeit with decent spelling, grammar, and internal consistency despite their tongue-in-cheek demeanor) which leads me to an idea- first suggested by one of my many evil cousins/ friends-

    Mike calls for “citizen journalists” to grace his People-powered enterprise-
    Wouldn’t it be hilarious if readers/ commenters from RI “applied for the job” ( not me, I have too many irons in the fire already) and produced either:
    1. Over the top nonsense that would be apropo for its surroundings-perhaps even indistinguishable from it or,
    2.Reasonable SB information presented in a woo-ish language and style.

    See how long it would take before the “spy in the house of woo” was discovered and banished forever to a life and reason and meaningful work.

  10. #10 Edith Prickly
    October 25, 2011

    @Mrs Woo – that is a valid point and I don’t think anyone will bash you for bringing it up. Most commenters here understand how average people can be taken in by the false promises of the cancer quacks. I save my contempt for the hucksters and frauds who take advantage of desperate sick people by scaring them away from conventional medicine and selling them useless/dangerous treatments, and the media outlets *cough* Huffpo! *cough* who give the quacks a platform to peddle their misinformation.

  11. #11 Dangerous Bacon
    October 25, 2011

    I hope someone has a strong enough stomach to register for this online “summit” and share its gems with the rest of us.

    I suspect that not only will one’s neurons be bombarded with waves of apoptosing quackery, but also with messages encouraging the purchase of massive amounts of supplements supposedly needed to help one’s body “heal naturally”. Registrants might also risk getting on truly abominable spam e-mail lists. But I’m sure Orac would make this sacrifice for us!

    One name I don’t see on the list of Doctors who will tell us about their fabulous cures is Joe Mercola. Did Joe miss out on this opportunity somehow?
    Curiously, one of the holistic docs who did make the cut, Leigh Connealy, has a rant posted on her website by a seller of “alkaline water” (good for what ails ya), denouncing Mercola as a sellout for criticizing this brand of woo. It makes amusing reading.

    ht_p://www.perfectlyhealthy.com/ViewArticle.aspx?A=76

    Connealy by the way, seems to be one of those wooists who started respectably and then went off the rails into homeopathy and other nonsense and now runs an alternative “cancer center”, as well as pushing a line of Natural Products. Surely she’ll have lots of fantastic testimonials to present at the summit.

  12. #12 anarchic teapot
    October 25, 2011

    Dear Duh

    1) Bowen’s disease (in self). Removed by surgery in 30 seconds. Cured.

    2) Mole degenerating into future melanoma in daughter. Removed by surgery in 45 minutes. Cured.

  13. #13 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    Although you may have a specific gene for cancer, that gene may never express itself. What can you do as a preventative measure? Remove your breasts? Gallbladder? Prostate? Dietary and lifestyle changes will help as shown with this study on heart disease: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/235809.php

    You can sit back and play the “it’s in my family” card or you can go out and make changes to help prevent many of these diseases and cancer. Will these changes prevent all cancers and diseases? Probably not, but you’re giving your body a damn good chance. Please go out and read all the studies about how we rank amongst developed nations regarding health care, diabetes,etc. What has the standard American diet done for you?

  14. #14 Naj
    October 25, 2011

    Well said dooffus!!

  15. #15 Beamup
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus:

    You do realize that diet having an impact on heart disease is a completely different statement than it having an impact on cancer, right? You might as well claim that antibiotics are good for strep throat, therefore they’re also an effective treatment for a gunshot wound.

  16. #16 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    Beamup, he probably thinks that just like all cancers are the same, that heart disease must be the same thing too! He is using the ‘nym “Dooffus.”

  17. #17 Beamup
    October 25, 2011

    Beyond that, I wonder whether “Naj” is a sockpuppet. A reasonably quick followup with no substance other than enthusiastic agreement with a very poorly-argued post? Certainly not conclusive evidence, but it’s suspicious at the least.

  18. #18 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    If you guys continue to believe the medical propaganda regarding health, I feel sorry for you. Do you really think cholesterol causes heart disease? Do your research! How many men on cholesterol lowering drugs are also taking meds for erectile dysfunction? Also, do some research regarding gene expression and diet/lifestyle changes with regards to cancer:http://www.pmri.org/publications/Lifestyle_Changes_and_Prostate_Cancer.pdf

  19. #20 lilady
    October 25, 2011

    Hey Dooffus/Naj: There is a difference between cardiovascular diseases and cancer…doh.

    What would be your recommendations for my friend who required surgery, radiation and chemotherapy for two different types of breast cancer…in both breasts…twenty years apart. She had a combined hysterectomy/oophorectomy at age 39. (She also has a genetic BRCA gene defect that caused the death of her only sister and her mother)

    Last spring she thought she was finished with treatment, but then her surgeon and her oncologist both recommended elective bilateral mastectomies with reconstruction. Due to the enormous amount of breast and abdominal scar tissue from multiple surgeries a simpler tunneling of adipose abdominal tissue was not possible. She underwent a GAP flap procedure on each breast (the donor adipose tissue was removed from her bottocks). So after two twelve hour surgeries 6 weeks apart, we are hoping she will live out her life, in spite of this devastating genetic defect.

  20. #21 Mrs. Woo
    October 25, 2011

    Edith @10:

    Thank you – I cringe sometimes posting with this but it is fitting – I married Woo, big time. I have an incurable and difficult to treat illness and I have watched DH spend hundreds of dollars at a time buying another “guaranteed cure.” Sadly, when people are in those kinds of situations they actually will pay ANYTHING to try something and when it fails, instead of lodging any kind of complaint or even asking for their money back, they will just go to the NEXT cure and try again.

    I’m sure that he’s wasted at least $2000 on cures, some of which actually made me sicker, some where I read the ingredient list and refused to even try it. ~shakes head~

    I am so ANGRY at alternative medicine practitioners at this point – though I believe some might actually be “true believers” I actually honestly wonder if more are charlatans who are now attempting to hide behind religion to make themselves (I really hope the government continues persecution/prosecution of such “religions”) less subject to prosecution on grounds of “religious freedom.” – Jim Humble, anyone? That one is obvious.

    I can’t understand why they believe they should be allowed to take advantage of innocent people making a ton of money by selling them nothing but lies and misplaced hope. In cases like mine they probably go to sleep at night assuring themselves that at least they aren’t “hurting anyone” with the junk they sell.

  21. #22 Lawrence
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus – good name, fits your intellectual capabilities.

  22. #23 Bronze Dog
    October 25, 2011

    What’s the point of bringing up the average American diet? Medical science has known for a long, long time that the average American eats too much fat, doesn’t get enough fruits and vegetables, and so on. Every competent doctor will tell these people to eat right and point out the risks if they don’t. Just because many mainstream Americans fail to follow this advice doesn’t mean that “mainstream” medicine is at fault.

    So many propagandists for quackery try to create this false idea of a popular, monolithic evil. They act like there’s a conspiracy involving an Inner Circle of Burgermeisters deliberately planning to fatten people up. Just like they pretend there’s a giant conspiracy of pharmaceutical companies and regulatory watchdogs preventing altie gurus from succeeding. Because both groups are “against” the altie gurus, they must be colluding, says a paranoid mind. It also helps spread the word because it’s easy to ridicule someone on the internet for allegedly being a fat American sheep, and such ad hominems serve to help alties flatter themselves and feel superior for possessing what is really very common knowledge derived from science, not the magical thinking common to alties.

    The world doesn’t work the way alties try to depict it.

    Triple Baconator Burgers sell because humans naturally crave fat and sugar (an old instinct from the wild made dangerous by the abundance of fatty and sweet foods in industrialized nations), and each fast food franchise makes bigger and tastier burgers because they’re trying to outdo each other for short-term quarterly gains. Greed and short-sightedness are what’s at work, not the scientific community being ignorant of healthy eating.

    Regulatory bodies and skeptics go against alties (often toothlessly, in the regulators’ case) not because there’s a conspiracy, but because alties refuse to play by the rules of science. Every argument I get in with an altie about the efficacy of their product reads like a plea to be treated as inherently superior to the rest of humankind, rather than do the hard work to earn our scientific trust. If alties want to sell medicine, they should play under the same rules we demand for the pharmaceutical companies. No special privileges.

  23. #24 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    Nice post Lawrence. Did anyone read the previous posts?

    It is much easier for a doctor to prescribe drugs than to give dietary/lifestyle advice.

  24. #25 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus, a glaring gap in your logic was pointed out to you. Your argument amounts to:

    1) Evidence shows that a good diet can significantly reduce one’s chances of getting heart disease.
    2) ? ? ?
    3) Therefore a good diet can significantly reduce one’s chances of getting cancer.

    The glaring gap is of course premise 2. You have provided no claim that would make the required connection, much less any evidence that would lead us to believe that claim.

    Would you mind addressing this glaring hole in your existing arguments before making more of your generalized, vague accusations against the medical profession?

  25. #26 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus:

    It is much easier for a doctor to prescribe drugs than to give dietary/lifestyle advice.

    So what? The thing is that doctors are always giving dietary/lifestyle advice. Whether or not the patient takes it is another factor.

    You are conflating multiple things to “diet/lifestyle” but are only referencing news reports. They same type of news stories that attempt to define food by “what prevents cancer/heart disease/etc” and “what causes cancer/heart disease/etc.”

    If you wish to be taken seriously you would not make errors like claiming diet works to counter a gene that increases the chances of specific cancers by posting an article on diet and a specific genetic heart condition.

    Speaking of genetic heart conditions, how about you go and find me a good dietary therapy to prevent the abnormal heart muscle growth that happens with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. One of my kids has that, and every single one of his cardiologists include dietary/lifestyle comments in every single one of his appointment.

    Now go and tell us exactly what diet prevents change in heart anatomy due to genetics. No news articles on cancer or other heart conditions, just peer reviewed literature specifically on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    Remember it is not cancer, nor is it caused by a variation on the 9p21 gene.

  26. #27 lilady
    October 25, 2011

    @ Dooffus/Naj: I provided you with a real live personal case history at # 20 above…and asked you what change in diet would have prevented her two different type of breast cancers.

    We really want to know what type of diet you would “prescribe”…or are you and your sock puppet just idiotic trolls?

  27. #28 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    Previous posts on genetics and prostate cancer and msnbc article.

  28. #29 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    Previous posts on genetics and prostate cancer and msnbc article.

  29. #30 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus, now you need to provide the actual scientific literature that shows what diet prevents the abnormal muscle growth and mucking up of cardiac electrical signals that happen with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. You seem to have all the answers, you should know exactly what that is.

  30. #31 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    Previous posts on genetics and prostate cancer and msnbc article.

  31. #32 Lawrence
    October 25, 2011

    Yep, a real doofus.

  32. #33 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 25, 2011

    I miss the days of trolls who could at least communicate their thoughts in complete sentences.

  33. #34 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011
  34. #35 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    Love all the name calling.

  35. #36 Prometheus
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus,

    The article you cited is about dilated cardiomyopathy complicating coeliac disease. You do realise that this isn’t terribly relevant to the “average” person’s cardiac health, don’t you?

    Prometheus

  36. #37 Narad
    October 25, 2011

    Love all the name calling.

    If you continue to play your cards “right,” you may find yourself with a expert in this specialty on your hands. Hawking up a single N = 3 article dealing with celiac patients isn’t exactly impressive. Remember, being a grinning idiot doesn’t make you less of a proper idiot.

  37. #38 lilady
    October 25, 2011

    Idiotic Troll and Sockpuppet: You provided a PubMed citation for Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy….do you even know what *”idiopathic” means?

    *(Hint) Idiopathic does NOT mean the idiots in pathology don’t know what the cause is.

  38. #39 lilady
    October 25, 2011

    Dumb lilady meant to add to the posting above “Apologies to our brilliant pathologists who post here and to every other pathologist”.

  39. #40 Antiquated Tory
    October 25, 2011

    That prostate cancer article doofus linked might be more interesting, though I’m not sure what it really shows. Also it seems to indicate that lifestyle and dietary changes are already being advised for early stage prostate cancer. Of course, this is specific to one stage of one cancer.

  40. #41 Reuben
    October 25, 2011

    @lilady

    Glad you clarified. That said, though, there are some idiots in pathology.

  41. #42 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus, I asked for study on how to prevent the abnormal anatomy from manifesting in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The heart muscle is enlarged, not the heart chambers. They are different.

  42. #43 Dooffus
    October 25, 2011

    The research is out there. Just do a google search and plenty of articles will come up. As with any disease or cancer, my point is to do your research and explore ALL options.

    Peace and love!

  43. #44 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    Sorry, Dooffus, you made claims so you must support them with real evidence. You must be a newby, because there is not much respect for the University of Google here.

  44. #46 Mrs. Woo
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus, I am going to violate most of other people’s “post a study” thing because I am a regular person who can only get to abstracts. I would argue, though, that the reason “take a pill” is so popular is NOT because doctors advocate for the “SAD” diet. Rather, they have patients who are difficult (if not impossible) to have be compliant with lifestyle and diet changes (better diet, regular exercise at regular intervals) and getting them to take a pill and have it treat the results of their excesses to keep them from dying from them.

    When faced with allowing them to kill themselves with their habits or treat what they can, it’s better to treat what they can.

    No one here is going to argue with you that dietary changes wouldn’t improve health. They already know that a good diet means a healthy person.

  45. #47 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    Dooffus, that paper says “They report that mice fed a soy diet exhibited significantly worse HCM than mice fed a soy-free (milk protein) diet.”

    So the only thing you have is to do is avoid soy. Big deal.

    Actually, you might actually try reading the studies before posting them. What you need to learn is that you cannot extend broad statements about diet on “cancer”, “heart disease” or any other health condition. There will always be exceptions, because biology is just a bit more complicated than you think.

    Actually, that paper had an interesting twist. They thought soy would be better, but it made the HCM worse. It was a surprise. So, Dooffus, I would suggest that to get better acquainted with the issues and how there are no simple answers that you get a copy of Ben Goldacre’s book Bad Science.

  46. #48 Chris
    October 25, 2011

    aargh, I hate when I do a quick edit while waiting for daughter to get ready to go.

    I meant: So the only thing you have to do is avoid soy. Big deal.

  47. #49 Sandi
    October 27, 2011

    I found your interesting site today, relieved to see SBM conversation. My eldest child had brain cancer (medullablastoma) at age 5, went on to be a highly productive young man (engineer) and was struck down with a rt medullary infarct at age 29.(possible radiation damage) We have been approaching recovery with an open mind, however, some of the crap that now even Dr. Oz is promoting is…well crap. I listened in on the Healing Cancer Summit, and quite frankly was not impressed. I find that the folks that follow the diet extremes, David Wolfe, Gerson, Adams, Mercola, are buying into an idea that has little science to back it up. We eat well, take just a few supplements and are seeking to be involved in longterm cancer study. almost 27 years surviving brain cancer!

  48. #50 lilady
    October 29, 2011

    Hi Sandi: Your comments present a very interesting case of your son who had a cancerous tumor removed 24 years ago. He seems to have made an amazing recovery, but for the right medullary infarct that he experienced recently.

    We are so glad that you find this blog of interest…a port within the storm of disinformation on the internet. And, it is nice to share our life experiences and our involvement in modern medicine.

    I wish you and your son well as you now embark on this journey of recovery. Please come back and post again.

  49. #51 Rintal_P
    January 6, 2012

    Thank you – I cringe sometimes posting with this but it is fitting – I married Woo, big time. I have an incurable and difficult to treat illness and I have watched DH spend hundreds of dollars at a time buying another “guaranteed cure.” Sadly, when people are in those kinds of situations they actually will pay ANYTHING to try something and when it fails, instead of lodging any kind of complaint or even asking for their money back, they will just go to the NEXT cure and try again.

    I’m sure that he’s wasted at least $2000 on cures, some of which actually made me sicker, some where I read the ingredient list and refused to even try it. ~shakes head~

  50. #52 Vicki
    January 6, 2012

    Rintal_P:

    My sympathies. Can you approach your husband from the angle that it’s your body, and thus the decisions on how to treat it are yours? His job is to support you in that, and that might include taking you to appointments, doing research, or shopping for things you’ve decided you want, but you decide whether to see a given doctor or take a given medication or “supplement”.

  51. #53 crystal x
    January 7, 2012

    thanks

  52. #54 LW
    January 7, 2012

    Rintal_P is a spambot that copied from a real post by Mrs Woo.

  53. #55 Rudy
    January 8, 2012

    Major thanks for the article. Will read on…

  54. #56 Makeyourownbeerkit
    January 10, 2012

    One of the most effective cure for cancer is laughter. It’s very simple, just laugh yourself silly. I find myself astounded at the quackery and what I am hearing everyday in the world of medicine and they say we are making progress. Call me when you have a better cure for cancer other than what I suggested above.

  55. #57 TBruce
    January 10, 2012

    One of the most effective cure for cancer is laughter. It’s very simple, just laugh yourself silly.

    Well, beerkit, you’re getting us off to a good start.

  56. #58 lilady
    January 10, 2012

    “One of the most effective cure for alcoholism is making your own beer. It’s very simple, just poison yourself with your own brew.

    Call me when you have a better cure for alcoholism other than what I suggested above.”

  57. #59 stuart
    January 30, 2012

    thank you.

  58. #60 paddleo
    March 13, 2012

    Cancer is difficult to cure, but does not mean that it cannot be. If you always think that you are dying, then you are telling yourself you are dying, So, be happy and forget about your cancer.

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