It's always a bit weird to try to get back into the swing of things after even just a week off and even when during that week I didn't actually stop blogging but merely slowed down a lot and succeeded (mostly) in restricting what little blogging I did to brief posts. (Yes, I know there was one exception.) Even so, I did ignore a fair number of things that normally would have been either the subject of one of my scintillating detailed scientific analyses or the target of a heapin' helpin' of not-so-Respectful Insolence. Usually when I get back from a vacation I like to ease back into my routine. What that usually means is slumming for a day or two before taking on any sort of heavy-duty study or a heavy topic that takes a lot of work and thought. However, my "slumming" often produces some of my most entertaining posts. After all, no one can say it was hard to take on Rob Schneider or Jim Carrey's antivaccine nonsense, given how ridiculous and numerous the canards they laid down were. It sure was fun, though. Whether this subject will fall into that category, I don't yet know. There's only one way to find out, though.
When I go looking to deconstruct quackery, increasingly as I've been in the blogging biz longer and longer it becomes harder and harder to find a quack I haven't heard of before or to take on pseudoscience I haven't dealt with before. On the other hand, I see value in repetition sometimes, because the same sorts of "themes" keep popping up again in quackery and pseudoscience. In particular, when naturopaths want to try to convince the unwary that they are real doctors, that they can function as primary care providers, that their "discipline" is not a "one from column A, two from columm B"-style gmish of quackeries taken from virtually all woo known to human beings, all leavened with the occasional sensible advice (such as "exercise more"), I feel it's instructive to introduce a naturopath, particularly one I've never heard before. That almost never fails to disabuse people of the notion that naturopathy is anything other than a cornucopia of pseudoscience and quackery.
Enter Judy Seeger, ND (which, of course, stands for "not a doctor") and her website Colon Cleanse Camp. In particular, Seeger's been writing a lot about cancer, which is an extra special bonus, given how much naturopaths appear to want to create their own specialty of "naturopathic oncology." She's even been including a lot of videos, because, you know, everything's more convincing if it has a video to go along with it. YouTube is truth, after all. Everyone knows that, particularly quacks.
So who is Judy Seeger? Well, her bio describes her thusly:
Dr. Judy has been involved in the alternative medicine field for over 33 years. Starting out as a nutritionist, herbalist, consultant, workshop leader.
In 1996 she went back to school to become a traditional naturopathic physician and Natural Health Counselor, then continued learning from world renowned healers like Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. John Christopher, Dr. Joel Robbins, and many others.
She even has the chutzpah to call herself a "Natural Cancer Cure Researcher." It's a meaningless claim, of course. Real "natural cancer treatment" researchers are natural products pharmacologists, and there's no evidence that Seeger has any such scientific background. She does, however, have a veritable network of websites and webinars, such as the "ultimate cancer detox secrets," in which she promises to "eliminate deadly poisons...in less than 30 days." Then there's her Complete Health System, and many others. I could spend several posts going over these websites and videos, but I think I'll concentrate on the cancer-related ones for now. My attention was first drawn to a video and blog post entitled 5 Cancer Cures That Alternative Medicine Can Guarantee. Yes, any time an "alternative" medicine practitioner claims to be able to "guarantee" a cure for cancer, that will catch my attention. Here's the video:
The first thing I want draw your attention to is something that Seeger writes that I actually almost agree with. Or I could agree with it if she hadn't screwed it up so much. In fact, it's the closest thing to a scientifically accurate statement I've seen from a naturopath ever. It's buried in the text but so important that I don't want to just get to it in due course but rather emblazon a slightly altered version of it on every quack website. No, it's not a Quack Miranda Warning. Rather, it's this:
Complementary medicine is based on scientific knowledge whereas alternative medicine is based on clinical or anecdotal evidence.
So close, Ms. Seeger, but yet so far. Actually, "complementary" medicine is alternative medicine and is not really based on scientific knowledge; it's just alternative medicine "integrated" with real medicine, and you all know what happens when you "integrate" cow pie with apple pie. Here's a hint: It doesn't make the apple pie better. In actuality, Seeger's statement would be better if she had just rephrased it to say:
"Conventional" medicine is based on scientific knowledge whereas alternative medicine is based on clinical or anecdotal evidence.
There. That's better. It's true, too. That's the key difference between quackery and science-based medicine. Quacks rely on anecdotes to "prove" that their quackery "works." Real medicine relies on science in order to actually demonstrate that its treatments work. In fact, Seeger in essence admits that and then asks a pertinent question. At least, it would be a pertinent question if she actually tried to answer it. She didn't:
Why use alternative medicine for cancer cures? After all, its not be ‘proven’ by scientists so how do you know it works?
When you’re frustrated with throwing up from the chemo treatments, losing your hair, and feeling incredibly tired all the time…maybe its time to look at a different option.
The advantages of using Alternative Medicine:
- guaranteed safe NO side effects – no harm done
- guaranteed immune boosters
- guaranteed easy to use – comfort of your own home, no doc waits
- guaranteed more control of your health – can talk to practioners longer than 10 min
- guaranteed less invasive
Here are the alternative therapies I’ve used in my
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Colon Hydrotherapy
- Ozone Therapy
- Massage therapy
- Herbal Medicine
- Enzyme Therapy
- Nutrition/juice therapy
Notice how "Dr." Seeger asks a totally appropriate question about alternative medicine ("After all, its not be ‘proven’ by scientists so how do you know it works?") but then doesn't actually provide an answer to the question. In a classic bit of misdirection, she gives reasons why one might want to try her woo, but none of these reasons actually involve explaining the evidence that her methods work. Not one. Rather, she lists off a bunch of non sequiturs. Sure, there's little doubt that her woo has fewer side effects (although, given that she advocates colon hydrotherapy and "enzyme" and "nutrition/juice" therapy, which when you come right down to it, are basically variants of the Gerson/Gonzalez therapy), even that is arguable. It's also almost certain that naturopaths can probably see people faster, with fewer waits than real physicians, and most of what they do is probably less invasive.
Who cares, though, if little or none of it actually works? After all, naturopaths love homeopathy, and that's just water.
Not that that stops Seeger from waxing woo-ish about the various "specialties" of alternative medicine, ranging from the manipulative therapies to "energy healing" to herbs and the like and then bragging about how her "complete healing system" can include all of these. Apparently, she discusses her methods in a radio show with Ty Bollinger, Rashid Buttar, and a number of other "luminaries" of alternative medicine.
Then there's this video, How to shrink your malignant tumor:
It's all nonsense, of course. Seeger claims that vitamin B12 will shrink your tumor (but only "natural B12," not synthetic B12). So, apparently, will vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and several others. There is, of course, just one problem (well many problems, actually). Vitamin C doesn't work. It's no cancer cure. There's also no convincing evidence that any of these vitamins will actually shrink an existing malignant tumor in humans or impact the natural history fo cancer in any measurable way. True, there is evidence that low vitamin D levels might predispose to cancer, but there's no convincing evidence yet that adding vitamin D to cancer treatment increases survival. Even if it were to be shown that it can, the effect would likely be small. The same can be said about curcumin.
To Seeger, all of these are "natural immune boosters" (my favorite meaningless alt-med catch phrase). But most of all, according to "Dr." Seeger, you need an "expert"...like Dr. Seeger! After all, she's been doing this for over 34 years and can create "step by step" plan for you. Of that, I have no doubt. The problem, of course, is creating a plan that actually positively impacts the natural history of cancer in any meaningful way. Here's a hint: Food ain't gonna do it, no matter how much our friend waves her hands and claims that getting the "right nutrients" into cancer cells will stop them "dead in their tracks." Would it were so easy! If it were that easy, scientists would have cured cancer decades ago, and, no, it's not because scientists are too dogmatically wedded to chemotherapy and surgery as the "only" ways to treat cancer. Let's just put it this way. What's more likely? That a naturopath can teach you how to cure cancer in just 21 days using methods that scientists have not been able to discover—and that she can do it way cheaper, to boot, by designing a "personalized nutrition program," giving "natural therapy recommendations," and giving "specific supplement recommendations"? Or that what she's feeding you is pure black hole density crap?
I can't help but note that "Dr." Seeger claims to have "worked with thousands of people just like you" but doesn't provide survival statistics in her practice for specific cancers, which is the minimum data that one should ask of such a practice. Most amusing is that Seeger claims that she only works with those who are "serious" and "ready for their healing."
Perhaps the most disturbing video by Seeger that I saw (and, let's face it, most of them are disturbing on some level) is this one, Family Cancer: Is It Really Possible to Convince Them About Alternative Therapies?
Basically, it's a suggested strategy to convince a family member with cancer to try alternative therapy. She describes a family member calling alternative clinics in Mexico, "gathering information" the way antivaccinationists troll Google looking for "vaccine information," and giving all the information to the family member, only to be disappointed when the family member decides to stick with "conventional" therapy. Seeger then describes sitting down with "thousands" of cancer patients, looking at "all the options, both conventional and non-conventional," after which she asks the cancer patient, "Do you want to live?" For those who are tired of fighting, she advocates respecting their wishes. Fair enough. But for those who want to fight, she then asks a few more questions, finishing up by demanding of them whether they are completely committed to her plan. This is, of course, the favorite woo-meister technique that allows plausible deniability. If the patient follows the quack's treatment and dies anyway, obviously that person wasn't "dedicated" enough. She doesn't say it that way, of course. What she does say is that, in essence, it is entirely up to the patient and the family to do everything.
In a way, it's hard not to stand in awe at how someone like Seeger can believe so much nonsense. It would be amusing if it didn't endanger cancer patients. Nonetheless, it's all there, logical fallacies, pseudoscience, appeals to antiquity, relying on anecdotes instead of science, all sold by a naturopath who continually brags about 34 years of experience. Interestingly, Seeger no longer has a clinic, but only operates a consulting business, hence the need for the patient and family to do absolutely everything.
As I've said time and time again, science-based medicine has its flaws. It sometimes holds on to old treatments longer than it should based on evidence and sometimes leaps too quickly at new treatments based on insufficient evidence. It's expensive, and the system that has been built up to administer it is inefficient and unwieldy. Meanwhile pharmaceutical companies can have too much influence. However, the flaws in SBM do not mean that naturopathy or other "alternative" treatments work. If you want to get an idea of the difference between SBM and naturopathy, you need do no more than look at a naturopath like Judy Seeger, realizing that I've only dealt with the tip of the iceberg and that there is still at least one of her videos remaining that probably deserves its own post to deconstruct. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
- Log in to post comments
Is it me or are even the woo pushers losing steam and running out of fanciful ideas? They seem to be just rehashing the same old useless ideas. Still, I suppose if they can sell it why spoil it...
Are there any naturopathic treatments with any promise at all as supportive adjuncts?
I think one of the problems is that people assume that the solution to a health problem must be "out there" somewhere, that *somebody* *must* know the solution – at least that's what I thought before my chronic illness got noticeable worse. I thought it was like with any injury, you find a professional, who knows what it is, and what to do, and they fix it (or at least speed it along).
And maybe people think: "If 'school' medicine hasn't got the solution to cancer, somebody else sure has. One has just to find it."
IMHO, one of the worst mistakes one can make is to give the impression that one knows the answers to all questions in one area – especially when one doesn't know. I've seen this in debates with creationists and the like, with "electric universe" idiots. We don't know what causes the phenomena we call "Dark Matter" – yet. It may be some time until we know, maybe not in my lifetime. We don't know what causes all the different kinds of cancer, nor a foolproof way to cure them – yet. It may be some time until we know, maybe not in my lifetime.
The worst MDs can do is give the impression that they know everything and are infallible – because they aren't infallible. Yet, I have seen some of those "Demi-Gods in White" do exactly that.
In any scientific field, I have the biggest respect for people saying: "Gee, I don't know, I'm not sure what causes this – why don't we try to see what we can find out and how far we can come, shall we?" But these people are rare.
Good tear down as always. Thanks.
Wow, the guy that wrote this article is a complete idiot. There are many ways to heal cancer naturally and I have done it myself using ONLY nutrition. www.tamarastjohn.com If this guy actually did the research, he would have found out that Cancer has had a "cure" for years (scientifically proven) but Big Pharma, the medical establishment, and the government doesn't want you to know about it. Knowledge IS Power.
It depends what you mean by "promise". Contrary to the claims you may have read most alternative treatments should really be classified as disproven rather than unproven. There are a few alternative treatments that I personally wouldn't close the door on completely (for example IV ascorbate may possibly prove to have some benefits in cancer patients), but I tend to be more charitable in that regard than many. Alternative treatments may may people feel better - I see Judy Seeger offers massage for example - but there is very little evidence that they actually change the course of the illness.
I meant "may make people feel better".
I have always wanted to ask these people exactly how they plan to "boost" the immune system. Increase T-cell proliferation? Antibody production? Macrophage activation? And who do they feel this is always such a good thing, have they heard of autoimmunity or allergies? Unfortunately I don't think I get would get an interesting answer but I would love to see them come up with some kind of mechanism
I'm wondering whether any of these quacks talking about toxins accumulating in the body can actually name at least one of them. After all, the toxins must be chemical compunds, right?
Well all her "treatment success stories" are pulled from her website...and she has now moved her "camp" offshore from Florida to Panama.
Three thousand dollars is a mighty expensive tab for a 3 day/2 night juicing jaunt to Panama
I spent several years going from Dr to Dr (Allopathic - The REAL QUACKS) searching for answers to my health issues. Diagnosis of Depression, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Epsteinbarr, and eventually I would be on a 4 month waiting list to see the "MS Expert" due to going paralyzed, losing my vision etc. After leaving college with two semesters to go as a dance major, (I had a dream of dancing professionally but I was so weak my Dad had to carry me out to the car), I spent two years working with your so called "scientific experts" only to realize they were QUACKS. They have names for SYMPTOMS but do NOT treat the REAL Cause of Disease. TOXICITY and lack of NUTRITION...(It makes no money for the AMA (Dr's on the LOBBYING institution are also tied to the Pharmaceutical Industry). 100 years ago when the Rockefellers did away with natural medicine (not giving $ to hospitals unless they did away with the 'natural' cures) the focus turned to profit and not on the product and surely not on the benefit of the client. Isn't that always the case with INVESTORS?
ALLOPATHIC THINKING: Why sell GOD MADE medicine when you can't make money off of it? Why not extract one or two components of an herb, a fruit etc. and PATENT IT!!! Discover what effects it has on the body. Then make more money prescribing drugs to counter the side effects!!! Brilliant!!! (NOT) Why not use the medicine GOD prescribed. "Let FOOD be THY MEDICINE".
The NATUROPATHS and CHIROPRACTORS are the real hero's. I am SO grateful I didn't take the myriad of drugs that were offered to me. You, dear Author, are THE ALLOPATHiC QUACK. What pharmaceutical industry is paying YOU to write this article?
I love what Dr. Judy Seeger teaches and I am proud of the Naturopath's who are brave enough to tell people the truth - FOOD DOES make a difference! Stop popping a myriad of drugs to treat the symptoms and get to the REAL issue. Stop feeding your body CRAP and you will stop feeling like CRAP.
"Quack Watch Guy"... where is YOUR Bio? Where did you get your expertise? Are you drinking a Dr. Pepper, eating your breakfast doughnut and trying to get close enough to your desk but can't because of your enormous middle?
Do some REAL research! Be brave enough to tell the TRUTH - like Dr. Judy Seeger!
"I’m wondering whether any of these quacks talking about toxins accumulating in the body can actually name at least one of them. After all, the toxins must be chemical compunds, right?"
Attending a lecture by someone who claims to be a "certified digestive health specialist and enzyme therapist" I asked her to identify the putative toxins she claimed were wreaking havoc with our health. All she could come up with was to say that they are the additives in our food - not, in my mind, an illuminating description.
At an earlier encounter with her, at an art fair where she had set up a booth to lure customers to her office, I mentioned to her that I had read on a scientifically legitimate source, that ingested enzymes pretty much pass through the intestinal tract and have little or no effect. Her comment: "Not the way I administer them!"
For a description of her take on enzymes I suggest reading the 2nd paragraph in the above link. In fact, read the whole page; it's a classic example of pseudoscientific nonsense.
As I've said for years, there are legions of quacks who play fast and loose with naive customers' health and wellbeing.
Interesting that you assume that I have not done "REAL" research and have simply come to a different conclusion. Apparently to you the "TRUTH" is only what fits into your quackery-laden fantasy world view.
@ Steffanie England: I'm really *interested* in your myriad medical and mental problems.
Who diagnosed your chronic fatigue syndrome and your Epstein Barr Virus?
What tests proved that you were indeed suffering from these two disorders...and how were they cured?
Just look at her impressive resume from LinkedIn:
TWO WHOLE YEARS OF COLLEGE...SPENT IN TWO DIFFERENT INSTITUTES OF HIGHER LEARNING!
Can any of you match her impressive resume? (I don't think so)
Orac - How much time have you spent talking to people who have cured from cancer naturally? How much time have you spent recovering from severe illnesses WITHOUT prescription drugs? How much time have you spent researching the history of 'Alternative' Medicine? How much time have you spent researching the powerful HERBS and FOODS Dr. Seeger teaches people about? Do you know of the incredible Dr's that ARE HEALING CANCER successfully? Have you watched http://www.yidio.com/movie/burzynski/35091?utm_source=Google&utm_medium… and watched how the FDA sued Burzynski, put him in jail and then how Dr. Burzynski sued the FDA and won? MY tax money was spent to put a so called 'quack' out of business that had better success rates at healing cancer than the AMA.
Have you watched how his 'Alternative' Methods work better than chemo? Have you seen his patients stand before judges testifying that Dr. BURZYNSKY is a hero?
Have you read about Max Gerson? Do you know he could not find a single 'fat' (other than flax seed oil) that he could use in his patients who had tumors? Do you know how the radio host was fired when he aired the miraculous healing Dr. Gerson was performing?
Have you ever talked to a Vegan (cancer survivor) and asked them if food makes a difference?
What I am saying is Dr. Judy is telling people to do something many are not willing to do. Curing cancer naturally requires many steps - not just one or two, and is brave enough to say FOOD MAKES a DIFFERENCE and was willing to help people in her clinics who were to weak or unable to do the treatments themselves until she realized it wasn't 'safe' to do business in the US due to people like YOU.
Judy also talks about the emotions behind cancer - like getting rid of anger. Can that be 'scientifically' proven? No, but it IS true!
You say my TRUST is in my 'quackery-laden fantasty world'....
Try having 4 kids, dancing professionally, and all of a sudden go from working out every day (two of those days with a personal trainer) to being afraid to drive anywhere because of fear of going paralyzed or going blind. How would YOU feel if you were being offered too look at life in a wheelchair? How would YOU feel if your kids would be cared for by someone because YOU couldn't?
See Dr. Whale's story of overcoming progressive stage 4 MS using REAL FOOD. Research all of the REAL PEOPLE (not quacks) who went through chemotherapy and radiation UNSUCCESSFULLY who were on their death beds who sought out ALTERNATIVE methods and were HEALED completely!
TALK to those people. Look into their eyes when they tell YOU their struggles and their TRIUMPHS and then you tell me who are the real quacks.
Yup. Not impressed, other than Burzysnki's ability to siphon hundreds of thousands of dollars from desperate cancer patients:
Gerson was a quack:
No, he is a surgeon and scientist who offers patients effective treatments for breast cancer, unlike the false hope and bogus treatments you are selling.
Is that the "cure" (interesting quotation marks, by the way) you sell on your website for $199? I suppose I have to pay you to see this scientific proof. By the way, Budwig (flaxseed oil and cottage cheese), laetrile (cyanide-rich apricot kernels), enzymes (that are broken down by your digestive system and not absorbed) and juicing greens (how is that natural?) do not cure cancer. They don't even prevent cancer. Also, the toxin theory of disease is nonsense, as are the kidney and liver cleanses and the pH balance claims you make on your website. You don't give any details of your breast cancer, what grade or stage it was, whether you had surgery or any conventional treatment, but you claim you had to choose between alternative medicine or death. I'm not American, but even without health insurance I don't believe you would simply be allowed to die of breast cancer without treatment.
There is a testimonial on your website, a woman whose breast cancer disappeared after surgery and hormone treatment, and you give the credit to the Budwig diet. Here's a testimonial for you: my mother-in-law refused even surgery for her breast cancer but did agree to estrogen blockers, and her tumors disappeared too. Maybe it was the whiskey and cigarettes she self-medicated with.
I listened to an ALLOPATHIC Cancer Dr. speak about how when she turned to 'Natural Medicine' and 'Alternative Methods' she went from performing several surgeries each week to surgeries a couple times a month to surgeries a couple times of year. THIS allopathic DR., I speak of, risks losing her title of MD because she is not fulfilling her 'quota' of surgeries. (Think about that when a Dr. tells you you need an organ removed). She said the more she learned of Natural remedies, the LESS she had to perform surgery. She did not go to school to learn what she did. Perhaps she sought out those Dr. Seeger did as well. I was very impressed this ALLOPATHIC DR took her own time to study natural methods. The individuals Dr. Judy Seeger trained with are INCREDIBLE natural healers. I personally applied the program Dr. Christopher teaches for the "Uncurables" and it is that and changing to food that is REAL and RAW that reversed my 'symptoms of MS' in FOUR months.
The AMA has come out and said if they could create a drug that could pass the blood-brain barrier, they would be able to cure MS, Alzheimer's, Schizophrenia, Dementia etc.
Well, guess what? PURE ESSENTIAL OILS CAN cross that blood brain barrier.
Guess what? Pure essential oils CAN stop the protein synthesis of viruses - yes VIRUSES (no need to 'wait it out' - you can use essential oils instead of antibiotics). Will your DR tell you that?
I could go on and on...
Allopathic - The AMA has stated that they treat the 'Symptoms of Disease'. While the so-called quacks say they will get to the root of the problem.
I suppose there's some comedy value in asking Orac to "do some REAL research", but Ms. England's screed does prompt a couple of questions:
- Is the etiology of chronic fatigue syndrome understood?
- Has "allopathic" (i.e., "real") medicine identified any effective treatments?
I'm not asking to be snarky, but out of genuine curiosity.
I think Orac has already written extensively about Stanislaw Burzynski, and the other quack you mentioned; trying keying in their names in the "search" field...upper right column of this blog.
Now about your mental problems and your CFS and EBV diagnoses.
Who diagnosed you with these two disorders?
What testing did you undergo to confirm these diagnoses?
Do tell us Steffanie, the name of the allopathic surgeon who is about to lose her medical license. Perhaps Orac, who has a wide audience could *assist her* to retain her license, by blogging about her.
Incredible. So basically you are saying that quacks are those who say that medicine GOD MADE doesn't work as well as the medicine man makes (that can be patented - with all of the side effects)? Yet man/women 'professionals' study God made material, extract one or two chemical components, try to make it 'synthetically' (it cannot cross the cell membrane to kill a virus or pass the blood brain barrier) but it should work better than a Godlike medicine that intelligently works to repair damaged DNA.
Why is it the woomeisters have to use ALL CAPS like that?
It only highlights how desperate they are to cling to their confirmation bias.
Ah, the joy of moderator privileges, Orac can make posts with more than three links;). STEFFANIE ARE YOU READING ALL OF THOSE POSTS? Be careful so, real science in there, you might get infected and lose the faith.
ORAC I checked out your site. Wow. Not impressed. Vaccines. That is another topic we could have a great debate about. RAW MILK. I would love to chat about that with you - what great conversations that would be!
As for giving the name of the Dr? Perhaps I will call the Dr. and see if she'd like her Bio next to Dr. Seeger's. You do such a nice job at telling the entire truth.
Perhaps you can send me a truthful documentation of all the income you have received from pharmaceutical, AMA or FDA interests who support your site. If you are not bias, perhaps I will consider giving you several names so you can get the truth out to those who are desperately seeking it.
Could ORAC turn 'alternative'. Perhaps someday you will be shouting out natural cures to the world because you were humbled to seek them out for yourself or for a loved one who desperately needed the help from someone...like Dr. Seeger.
I suppose if Orac would tell you something you wouldn't want to hear, you wouldn't accept it to be the truth.
I just couldn't resist watching the video (a marvel of propaganda) but I stopped it at the "...Lisa" slide. I did a capture of the "Lisa" image then dragged it into google images. It should come as no surprise that this purported person is a stock image. Another nail in the coffin for this person's (virtually non-existent) credibility!
Ah the arrogance of ignorance in glorious full flight yet again, from someone who clearly wouldn't recognize "the truth" it came up and bit her..
I see *Dr* Seeger is selling her hyperbaric chamber...now that she has moved offshore and only doing telephone consultations:
About your mental problems and your CFS and EBV diagnoses.
Who diagnosed you with these two disorders?
What testing did you undergo to confirm these diagnoses?
How's that dancing career working out for you, now that you are *cured*?
Wow. I just noticed from your website that you promote the Budwig Protocol, laetrile (how 1970s and 1980s of you!), "enzyme therapy," "detoxification" (including colon cleanses, candida cleanses, and coffee enemas), and a whole lot of other quackery.
"Perhaps you can send me a truthful documentation of all the income you have received from pharmaceutical, AMA or FDA interests who support your site. If you are not bias, perhaps I will consider giving you several names so you can get the truth out to those who are desperately seeking it."
Perhaps you could send us a truthful documentation of all the support you receive from public assistance, in Utah, Steffanie. Or, are you supporting yourself and your four children from the income you derive as a dancer?
I have a special loathing of cancer quacks. They suck up people's money, shower them in false hope, then cause patients to suffer, suffer some more, and then die. Then they blame patient for not doing it right. It sickens me.
Too bad I'll be offline for a day or two. I'll be missing all the fun on this thread.
Seen as you have insulted the writer and used this blog as a cheap plug for your unproven woo would you put your money where your mouth is? As the whole basis of your claim is that you cured yourself of cancer would you be prepared to provide any evidence of that?
Information we may find useful
1) Imaging, CT, PET, XRay etc from diagnosis and duration of your treatment
2) Biopsy results and any other pathology and subsequent staging of the cancer (i.e. lymph node involvement, metastases etc.)
3) A copy of any other treatments you received
4) Past medical history and surgical history
5) Imaging or other diagnostic tests that show that you are in fact cancer free
Would you kindly post these to your website so we might look at the data for ourselves?
Ms England is correct!
I am employed by the International Pharmatocratic Cartel
and Mssrs Murdoch and Gates to write in opposition to natural medicine, suppressing the beautiful truth- all of which I accomplish whilst eating bons bons and dressed in pale lavender Christian Dior undergarments.
Somebody has to do it.
Oh, my heavens.
Steffanie, I suggest you go back and read the last seven years of Orac's blogs before you go further.
Orac's regular readers have heard everything you have to say deconstructed and debunked, thoughtfully, authoritatively, sometimes hilariously, and always in detail -- over and over.
Orac's readership, collectively, brings to the table a huge amount of expertise and experience in science, medicine, and public health; they know a great deal about what's real and what's not, and how some people fool themselves into believing things that are not true.
I'm afraid that your posts show you to be in that last category.
I think it should be made known that Steffanie England has a vested interest in promoting quackery:
There's really only one response necessary to Steffanie:
Not entirely off-topic, since we're discussing fake doctors here: David Geier was fined $10000 yesterday for pretending to be a doctor. The story is at left brain right brain.com
And Steffanie, one minor point: Burzynski uses chemotherapy, and lots of it. And his patients keep dying, after he drains their family and their generous donors of all their money.
How much do you charge to "cure" celiac disease?
I still can't believe that people like Tamara & Steffanie here will advocate for frauds & charlatans like Ms Seeger (from the OP) or Burzynski.
The pharma shill gambit. Always a sign of desperation and abject cynicism. If you can't argue the science, make stuff up about his motivations.
Did it ever occur to you that Orac is sincere in what he says? Did it ever occur to you that people might sell products because they believe in those products?
Stupid questions. Of course not. You probably think of us as The Other, and The Other aren't really human beings with independent thought, emotions, and motivations; they're just one dimensional mustache-twirling caricatures doing it for the evulz. Because black-and-white fantasies are so much easier to accept than a complicated, uncertain reality.
"The individuals Dr. Judy Seeger trained with are INCREDIBLE natural healers."
Jolly good. As you clearly know so much about them, maybe you can give us their names? And, if they're such wonderful healers, why are they not busy actually healing people?
If I believed in hell, there'd be a place in it reserved for quacks who instruct family members in badgering cancer patients about changing their SB treatment plans.
In other news:
This week's TalkBack ( see show archives @ Progressive Radio Network) featured material on apricot pits and cancer.
Today (@ AoA), Mazurek et al is discussed because they will cite anything that vaguely resembles AJW's ASD- GI
hypothesis which was supported by fabricated data..
@ Thinking Moms' Revolution:
Ms Sugah offers a brief pictorial course in Parasitology- zapper and accupuncturist not included- but suggested.
@ Natural News:
Ethan Huff ( today) BabyJabs is ordered to remove anti-vax info in a "total assault on on health free speech".. Fascism reigns on both sides of the pond.
Mike Adams ( yesterday)** is asking for creative people to put together short "viral videos" that will be shown on his You Tube channel ( which, -btw- has more traffic than MSNBC and the BBC- at certain times). The videos should put forth his message that will inspire people in their "awakening from the matrix". He will provide technical assistance and compensation..
Any takers @ RI?
** notice how I saved the best for last.
I remember the topic discussed about 'welfare'. I didn't opt for that. Instead I chose to do away with anything (my love of dance and exercise) to support myself without assistance. I went from wanting to be the next Alvin Ailey white dancer to working a swing shift doing tech support to pay the bills. I never received assistance from anyone. Celiac Shack doesn't pay the bills. I do not make money off of the site at all. My passion is helping people to learn the simple truth that food does make a difference. I am most concerned about those who suffer from depression. It is true I haven't been following this blog for 'years' as stated by one of the readers. My blog is a hope that the things that helped me will also help someone else who may have similar struggles. So what is it that makes me a quack? I spent many years going to the Allopathic Dr's. I prayed for several years that they would find the answer to what "I had". It wasn't until I was so weak and so desperate that I hit the floor and prayed to God. "Help me have the desire to live". Once I directed my focus upward, I received the answers the very next day. That is my story.
Great as always. Love to read your de-bunks!
Your readers might want to see a bit about one of our more popular celebrity quacks, Dr Oz: http://www.michaelwosnick.com/dr-oz-a-case-of-celebrity-run-amok/
You keep talking about these "God made medicines"
Other stuff God made
2) Smallpox (defeated with man the evilz man made medicine)
5) THE DREADED MECURY
8) Radon gas
10) Dracunculus medinensis
11) Trypanosoma brucei
12) Onchocerus volvulus
the list goes on and on and on.
Is it me or is it almost like he wants us to be ill?
For reference, '8&£41;' works to avoid the accursed smiley.
Thanks sorry. Radon is pretty cool though. . .
G-d didn't say that.
Why is it that the woo-ers who try to drum up business on boards such as BCO and here say - once busted - that they aren't peddling their horsesh!t to make money, only to help people, at cost?
Who do you think taught your kids to read? Big Pharma!
I found this on Skeptical Raptor last week, and found it hilarious. It's called The Red Flags of Quackery, and it applies to this conversation as well as most subjects that Orac deals with:
I believe in the Becaump theory (Environment is Everything - Internal Environment). I believe that the body resists disease like an organic plan would that has all the nutrients it needs.
I believe sanitation eradicates disease (getting rid of the garbage internally as well as in our environments) that does the most good at getting rid of disease.
Mercury. Yes, so very toxic. Who ever thought up the idea to put it into people's mouths?
There are deadly toxic herbs and there are life saving herbs. Some are only distinguishable by a slight variance in color, shape of the leaf or texture of the stem.
Allopathic medicine and natural medicine - both have quacks.
Even essential oils (which I refer to a lot as 'God's Medicine') can be altered and can be produced synthetically without the ability to cure disease like the pure godlike, intelligent essential oil would.
True - I judged ORAC. I do not know the authors, the contributors or the investors.
I hope that your scientific minds (I like to refer to many in the Allopathic profession as Med Heads) are humble enough to consider that yes real, raw, non-denatured, unprocessed, food contributes significantly to cancer patients success. I remember reading a study that showed cancer patients had an 80% chance of survival if using natural methods in conjunction with their cancer treatments vs. a 15% chance of survival without alternative therapy. I have a ton to do today and 5 sweet kids to take care of. So I won't take much more time on this site.
Dr. Judy shows what foods are the most healing (in her opinion) as well as the herbs that are the most healing and the most destructive to cancer cells. I'm sure if I spent enough time researching each of the herbs she mentions I could find a lot of scientific research (probably outside of the US) to back those findings.
I attended a seminar where an Oncologist talked about broccoli, flax seed and I believe pomegranates having anti-cancerous activity. She then laughed and said "but who would want to eat 5 servings of broccoli a day". I stared at her in disbelief. Ummmmm If I had cancer (and if I want to prevent cancer) you can bet I am going to be using flax seed oil, eating plenty of broccoli and eating fruits like tomatoes and pomegranates and juicing fruits like lemons that help to detoxify the body and cleanse the cells.
If I had cancer, I would definitely be trying to breathe and absorb plenty of oxygen (hey the chamber you discussed might be a great idea) because cancer does not do well in an oxygenated environment.
I would be consuming essential oils that repair damaged cells and DNA that I know for sure are pure.
I would also be avoiding a lot of the toxic substances in the environment and in the water whether God or man made.
When I traveled outside of the US, I was angry with God for the health issues I saw in people that didn't have access to 'modern medicine' or 'modern dentists'. 12 years later, I believe the health issues were due to not eating foods as God made them.
I hope someone can get some good from all the quackerie I've discussed.
I don't really care what you believe I care about the evidence. Which you have repeatedly failed to provide.
So according to the Bechaump theory a bite to the face from a rabid dog would cause you no problems? And you need not worry about malaria prophylaxis when you go to a region where it is holoendemic.
"I’m sure if I spent enough time researching each of the herbs she mentions I could find a lot of scientific research (probably outside of the US) to back those findings."
You mean you haven't done it already? And you're willing to start dishing out advice?
"Cancer does not do well in an oxygenated environment"
Yeah that lung cancer people get's really pretty mild huh?
And how exactly do essential oils repair DNA?
Alas so much woo and so little substance
That's nice. You're wrong.
Oh my.... "Dr." Judy Seeger is still at it???
She's a perfect example of a quack going directly to a breast cancer patient support forum to drum up business! Go to community.breastcancer.org and do a search for user "judy88" and you'll see what I mean.
I posted on BCO back in 2010 about her "Cancer Cleanse Camp:" http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/79/topic/761997?page=1#post_212… , and the responses were so predictable.
With regard to treating CANCER, she says things like, "Its been proven scientifically that loving, kind, encouraging, motivating words can actually change the cells in the human body!"
She suggests that the three simple steps to curing your own cancer at home are 1)Alkaline water, 2)Vegetable juice, and 3) Dealing with your Fears. Gosh, who knew I had to do all that horrible slash/burn/poison stuff for my cancer, when I could have just had some water and juice and dealt with my fears! WTF??!!!
"Naturopathic oncology" (or naturpathic, naturalpath) is snake oil quackery. I'm disgusted that people like this are allowed to roam free. This kind of crap infuriates me to no end!
Which study was that, exactly? Be specific.
But if you didn't have cancer, you wouldn't also be trying to breathe and absorb plenty of oxygen? Am I reading you correctly?
Well, they do say laughter is the best medicine...
Steffanie: "I believe the health issues were due to not eating foods as God made them."
Enjoy your amanita mushroom, henbane and digitalis salad then. Since you are a germ theory denialist, being a natural toxin denialist is the obvious next step.
Tamara: "Cancer has had a “cure” for years (scientifically proven) but Big Pharma, the medical establishment, and the government doesn’t want you to know about it."
As always when I see this crapola, I must ask: since people who work in Big Pharma, the "medical establishment" and government all are susceptible to cancer, along with their loved ones, why is it you think they are suppressing a cancer cure? Are they all suicidal sociopaths? Explain.
Apparently Big Pharma didn't do a very good job with Steffanie's education, judging by the numerous shibboleths of the marginally literate in her posts. It's hard to take anyone seriously at all when their writing is full of grammatical, spelling, and syntactical errors, not to mention SHOUTING and other internet rudeness. That's without even getting into the absurdities in the content.
Given what she just said, I predict she'll be in full-on "witn/less" mode in 5, 4, 3...
This is my favorite part:
Steffi, if you were given 2 vials, one with syntehetic version of an essential oil and one with an analagous 'natural' essential oil, how would you be able to tell the difference?
What do you mean when you refer to an "intelligent essential oil"?
It's funny, Steffi, how you blindly assert your position to be true and lecture us about 'being humble.' Are you humble enough to consider that there's no evidence for your position at all?
Put up or shut up, Steffi. None of this "I remember reading a study that showed..." nonsense. Give us actual citations.
I sincerely hope that none of your "5 sweet children" ever have to face a serious illness such as cancer.
"Do some REAL research! Be brave enough to tell the TRUTH"
Good advice - I did some real research and found out that Judy Seeger is a quack. Do some real research and you'll find the same.
I see you like Dr. Burzysnki too - do you approve of the death threats that fans of Dr. Burzysnki sent to people who exposed his fraud?
who queries: how does she differentiate a synthetic from a natural essential oil in identical vials?
I'm joking but I might be right. It's happened before.
Woohoo - I just checked Google, and I'm sooooo very pleased that a search for "cancer cleanse camp" still shows my BCO post from 2010 on the first page of results!
Yep, I'm patting myself on the back, LOL!
"I believe sanitation eradicates disease (getting rid of the garbage internally as well as in our environments) that does the most good at getting rid of disease."
Hmmm. Yet another ill-informed citizen clinging to the belief that clean air and water miraculously stopped people from having all those nasty diseases like measles, whooping cough, mumps, chicken pox, etc. Pity none of them are willing to listen to those of us who grew up in the 50's and 60's enjoying clean air and water and measles, whooping cough, mumps, chicken pox, etc, until the appropriate vaccines came along.
It may be too much to ask of someone who is scientifically illiterate to understand some of the statements made here, but if he/she can read history ought to be within his/her grasp.
"If I had cancer, I would definitely be trying to breathe..."
So, since I don't have cancer, I shouldn't be trying to breathe?
Béchamp's ideas regarding the origins of diseases were found, on the evidence, to be unequivocally false.
The parasites which cause malaria, the viruses which cause measles, varicella, and Ebola, and the bacteria which cause pertussis & tetanus (to name a few) don't care what you do or don't believe about Béchamp.
But they do prove such belief is entirely misguided.
Obviously, you weren't following G-d's orders.
Given that Steffanie is signed up at the Independent American Party site, which has extremely close affinity with the John Birch Society (both the former and the Utah branch of the latter having sprung from the loins of John DeTar), I think you're probably being overoptimistic.
Steffanie England wrote:
That's interesting. Can you give us an example of an honest practitioner of natural medicine who is (or was) a "quack?"
And -- how was this discovered?
Keep in mind that EVERY medicine or therapy will have its advocates. You can find personal testimony supporting mainstream "allopathic" drugs or treatments, too -- including the ones you think are worthless and/or harmful. At one point in history people were swallowing radium pills and swearing up and down that it was removing 'toxins' and giving them energy. Apparently then you can discount some stories; not all individuals know what they're talking about when it comes to their own health.
So I would like to know HOW naturopaths figured out that some natural remedies don't work and shouldn't be used. Which ones? Which ones deluded their advocates?
I am a Homeopath, Nutritionist and Kinesiologist and I think that Burzynski is a complete fraud.
I also think that Budwig Diet is a joke.
BUT because there are quacks out there does not mean that we are all quacks.
Health Canada has certified over 2500 Homeopathic Medicines as effective.
The PubMed Database lists thousands of positive trials on Homeopathics.
There is so much scientific proof out there but the nay sayers choose to ignore it.
We even defeated the Million Dollar Challenge multiple times to show scientific proof and they would not pay which has now resulted in Law Suits against them.
How many Allopaths are charged with fraud every day?
Far more than all Natural Medicine Practitioners Combined.
I challenge you to call me out on this and I will list study after study after study that proves without a single doubt that Homeopathics work. And I will only list the studies that meet your scientific criteria.
Or you can just choose to go to PubMed and prove yourself wrong, but I am betting that even in the face of truth that you will keep your blinders on and deny it with no possible logical reason.
According to the above video " how to shrink your malignant tumor @2:17: Vitamin D was found by the media, and then used by alt med.
Sorry; I mistated that. Vitamin D has been used by alt med for years but recently has been discovered by the media.
Hi folks, been a while! You really have a couple of live ones. I will get my popcorn and sit back and watch.
I believe......I believe.......I believe. One can believe lots of things.....doesn't make them true. Just means that it satisfies some emotional hole in your head.
I love it when someone tells ORAC to "Do some REAL research!"....that's like telling Newton to "Study math!"
@tamara: if you need to post the following warning on your site, we can deduce how effective your "treatment" is.
"This website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a qualified licensed medical professional. This site offers people medical information and tells them their alternative medical options, but in no way should anyone consider that this site represents the "practice of medicine." This site assumes no responsibility for how this material is used. Also note that this website frequently updates its contents, due to a variety of reasons, therefore, some information may be out of date. The statements regarding alternative treatments for cancer have not been evaluated by the FDA."
Wow, Steffanie's blog is a goldmine of crazy. Lots of different flavors, too...antivax, 'wellness' quackery, Big Pharma conspiracy mongering, germ theory denialism, etc. etc.
This is one of my favorite bits, an anecdote about her proselytizing:
Not only does the magic oil heal, it provides 100s of 'side benefits' too! Like how the oil causes your money to just disappear right out of your wallet...
Of course, said warning could more honestly be restated as "I have no clue whether anything I'm claiming on this site is actually true or not."
A bit off topic but Dr. Sears has a write up my local alt paper. The flying monkeys are out in force. Massive infestation. Any help shooting them down would be appreciated.
Oh, there is nothing news under the sun. It's all hip and buzz and fashion.
When I mention the woo du jour I just read about to my mom, it will occasionally remind her of some other alt-med or hippy stuff sold during her teenager years...
Wow...an MBA in accounting and finance makes you an expert in how to treat cancers? I need to tell my nephew he's not doing god's work and should change his direction immediately.
If I had cancer, I would definitely be trying to breathe and absorb plenty of oxygen (hey the chamber you discussed might be a great idea) because cancer does not do well in an oxygenated environment.
Do you take anti-oxidants with your extra oxygen?
How do you report Tamara for practicing medicine without a license?
Health Canada has certified over 2500 Homeopathic Medicines as effective
I was going to call B.S. on this, but alas Tim is right: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-prod/lnhpd-…
Oh, my aching brain....
Just two for me, please. I'd like to see the two best studies you can reference that show sillyopathy has any significant effect. Two studies published in the most prestigious peer reviewed journal you care defend.
I don't doubt you can C&P a list as long as my arm, but just your two best, please.
About that claim that Health Canada has certified homeopathic medicines as "effective" - here's a quote from the website for Marketplace, a CBC consumer advocate program:
So basically Health Canada is rubber-stamping what the homeopaths tell them about magic water.
On the topic of sanitation versus vaccination, I'm curious what specific sanitary actions caused specific diseases to greatly lower in incidence at different times, corresponding with vaccines for those specific diseases being released for public use.
I'd also like to know what the explanation for decreases in vaccination rate generally coinciding with outbreaks of diseases specific to those vaccines. Is there some coincidental laxity in sanitation every time?
One thing I tend to see in germ theory denial is that it blames the disease on the patient: They weren't sanitary enough. They weren't eating the right foods. Whatever happens, they must have done something to "deserve" getting sick. It's a variation on the Just World Hypothesis, where anything bad that happens to you must ultimately be your fault, and it's arrogant to assert that you're an okay person who doesn't deserve whatever horrors befall you. It starts with the "punishment" and then looks for a crime deserving of that punishment where there may be none.
Germ theory and other established medical theories undermine that illusion of fairness and the marketing gimmicks built on it. While unsanitary conditions and poor diet are contributing factors to many diseases, the chief responsibility is often on the germ, beyond human control. In the case of cancer, it's often on a lot of factors also beyond human control, like background radiation. In effect, real doctors are willing to accept the possibility that the patient is innocent instead of assuming guilt from the start.
Even if you scrub your home clean, eat a balanced diet, and keep up on vaccinations, there's no guarantee that you won't get sick. It's unfair, and that's what many alties can't seem to accept: That life is unfair. Bad things happen to good people. The universe is not a safe place, and there's no magical, perfect way to protect yourself from the dangers. There's always going to be factors beyond our control. Blaming the victim with an ad hoc hypothesis when a false guarantee fails is one way to maintain an illusion of certainty and control.
I second Johnny's request--rather than playing a numbers game (look at all of these) instead provide what in your opinion are the two strongest pieces of evidence that homeopathy is effective at curing illnesses.
And note I'm asking for evidence of cures--evidence that homeopathc treatment results in demonstrable physiologic change impacting pathology--rather than patient testimonies simply reporting how pleased they are or how homeopathy has made them feel better despite no measurable improvement in disease progression. We're looking for evidence of something beyond mere placebo effects.
It hasn't been raised by the proponents here yet, but one of the arguments I often see in favor of naturopathy is that it is so much cheaper than science-based medicine!
Oh my aching brain, is right.
Got any double-blinded, randomized clinical trials, with objectively measured endpoints; on medical conditions that are not self-limiting?
@Tamara St. John,
You say you cured yourself of breast cancer with Budwig therapy, laetrile, enzyme therapy, and juicing greens, with no conventional therapy at all? Really?
You offer a "personal consultation to DEFEAT CANCER NOW," which includes a 36-page report with an 8-step plan to defeat cancer naturally.
Yet your disclaimer says "...but in no way should anyone consider that this site represents the "practice of medicine," and "....I have spent thousands of hours in research regarding healing cancer naturally, but since I am NOT a medical doctor, I cannot legally answer personal questions regarding your health for fear that I may be sued by the government , Big Pharma, or the like, for practicing my freedom of speech. "
Are you freakin' serious??? How is selling consultations to teach someone how to cure their own cancer NOT practicing medicine?
Somebody above asked how to report you and your site. Here is a good resource, and I encourage anyone who finds your ignorant quackery dangerous, to join me in reporting your site.
Honestly, I'm not sure whether reporting does any amount of good, but it's not for MY lack of reporting!
I third (or fourth, or fifth) Johnny’s request–rather than playing a numbers game (look at all of these) instead provide what in your opinion are the two strongest pieces of evidence that homeopathy is effective at curing illnesses.
Two muffins are baking in an oven. The first muffin says, "Hot enough in here for you?"
The second muffin replies "Holy crap a talking muffin!"
Sorry, Tim, but you're just another muffin.
"We even defeated the Million Dollar Challenge multiple times ..."
Say what??? Amazing (no pun intended) that no one has picked up on this yet.
I've seen countless bullshit claims over the past three decades from various quacks, charlatans and flimflammers but I can't recall such a blatant, out-and-out lie. Ever!
Tim should be awarded the million smackers for sheer chutzpah! What in hell has this guy been ingesting????
I guess cancer cells are feeling suicidal, then, because they keep trying to get more blood vessels irrigating the tumor.
Re: side-effects of medical procedures. It took me until recently, and a few years of reading this blog, to understand that if some substance or procedure is able to have a biological effect, then it will necessarily have side-effects (hopefully minors, but unfortunately not always).
It's like clockwork: a living organism is a complex machinery where many processes are crosswired, and when you poke at one gear, you have a good chance of influencing other gears.
not only an MBA! she also has "thousands" of hours of cancer research and has done experiments that increased her learning curve! all this since 2009, when she was diagnosed with cancer.
Vithoulkas? No, sorry. In fact, it appears that the royal you haven't even managed the $100 challenge.
Kelly M. Bray -- Did you notice that the author of the syncophantic Sears piece is Ms. Woo?
Steffanie England & Tamara St.John have evidently never heard of Pablo's law:
But of course, heeding Pablo's law would deprive the rest of us much-needed entertainment.
Although there would presumably also be a federal element of wire fraud, I'd probably ask either the Medical Board of California or the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office.
Here's a more in-depth interview with Tamara St. John (great porn star name!) in some online rag called Holistic Diva (maybe thenewme knows about this?) In any case, here's a sample below.
I always call BS on people who claim "thousands of hours of research" in a year or so. One year only has 8760 hours, and that's assuming time needed to sleep, eat, perform personal grooming, etc. Even if someone is not working fulltime, the number is unbelievable.
The full gag-inducing interview:
That's what's known as the Quack Miranda Warning. My good bud Peter Lipson coined the term.
Liz Ditz - amazingly, as I just jumped in the shower after reading much of this thread (but not your comments), I was thinking of Pablo's Law (a great illustration here), and I was thinking about how I know there is a resource to find it on-line, and I thought, "I think Liz is the one who saved that."
Seriously. I must be psychic!
One line from that article:
"You can alter your genetic code through the way you eat."
Physicians and researchers on this forum, what say you?
Tamara, you found your lump in April 2009, it spread in May of 2009 to the lymph nodes under both arms after you lost your job?
I've lost more than one job in my 50+ years. I had cancer in BOTH breasts (one ILC and one IDC), but positive lymph nodes on only one side. How can I tie this to my employment history so I can explain it to my oncologist and HR department? If I remain employed, will I remain cancer-free?
What type, stage and grade was your cancer? Hormone and HER/neu positive or negative?
...and it's like I've never been away. Amazing how Orac can put up a post about a cancer quack and within hours 2 more quackettes show up to defend her and push their own equally ineffective "treatments". If Tamara and Steffanie really want to help other people they should stop pretending to be health professionals and either get proper qualifications or find another line of work.
once i ate the wrong food and changed my genetic code--i into a newt.
but i got better.
This isn't really true per se...diet can't directly alter the actual bases of DNA. However, there are several examples in nature of diet affecting epigenetic markers; that is, modifications (such as methylation) to different locations on the DNA itself and its associated proteins.Here's my favorite example in non-humans There are a few well-studied examples of this in humans (look up how Folate got started as an additive sometime) but not many. The heritability of such diet-induced epigenetic modifications is also a hotly debated topic in genomics right now.
I'm guessing we won't be hearing from Tamara or Steffie again. They descended here thinking they'd find some sympathetic ears. Once the commentariat started calling them on their BS and saw they'd find no sales here, they moved on to a more receptive band of suckers.
Tamara kind of shoots herself in the foot with respect to the Quack Miranda with this one.
"You can alter your genetic code through the way you eat."
What's the right diet to make me tall and blonde?
The sky today was a nearly unvariegated shade of pale pearl grey only intermittenly broken by a shard of deeper silver, neither bright nor dark; a few lonely raindrops broke through and escaped into the misty damp stillness that was barely stirred by a breath of breeze: the entire scene might be considered subtly beautiful if I were not feeling so morose and...
Oh pardon me, it's been a very, very long day...
@ Bronze Dog:
re Epigenetics and Blaming People for their Illness
I've been hearing a great deal about this courtesy of the Progressive Radio Network where Bruce Lipton is a fave ( many appearances archived @ PRN).
The woo-meister at large believes that poor diet leads to genetic changes causing disease and that a perfect diet/ supplement regime can change the genes back and cure the illness.
So if a person has cancer or any other serious illness you can rest assured that they somehow 'brought it on themselves' by eating a poor diet, drinking alcohol or coffee, smoking, eating meat, dairy, wheat, sugar or un-organic vegetables, not de-stressing, not exercising, not being spiritual or having bad thoughts et al.
Yes, it was all their own faults says the scold who characterises himself as a compassionate humanitarian.
"When you’re frustrated with throwing up from the chemo treatments, losing your hair, and feeling incredibly tired all the time…maybe its time to look at a different option."
After several months of FolFox for stage 4 colorectal cancer, I still have my hair, I rarely have nausea (I had one bad bout probably due to a secondary infection) and I have missed no work to tiredness.
I do get a bit tired in the evenings, but I may just be using it as an excuse to not do the dishes. 8^)
So not all modern chemos are that debilitating, and every person has a different set of reactions.
“You can alter your genetic code through the way you eat.”
By now my genetic code is 90% black pudding.
I'm somewhat tall and blonde and have always eaten chicken, yoghurt and drank tea. Hope that helps.
I would like to know how the intelligence test for essential oils was devised.
@ herr doktor bimler:
That explains everything.
I'm quite happy to state she's a fraud and a dangerous halfwit.
I'm also quite happy for her to sue me in any English court for libel.
I've got sod all money to give to her so, even should she win it'd be a pyrrhic victory.
So here we go;
You and your friends are liars.
Steffanie: " real, raw, non-denatured, unprocessed, food contributes significantly to cancer patients success"
Oh, Steffanie, honey, you're not a cow! None of us are cows! Humans (primates) are omnivores: we can't get sufficient energy or nutrition out of un-cooked plant material to live because we only have one stomach.
Not to mention that humans have been cooking our food for tens of thousands of years. (How's that for an argument from antiquity?)
What TBruce said and Health Canada will probably follow the lead of the NHS by dumping homeopathy.
An appeal to authority of sorts. Positive studies are of low quality; the shear number of publications is worthless.
<blockquote.There is so much scientific proof out there but the nay sayers choose to ignore it.
Where? Citations are always welcome.
We even defeated the Million Dollar Challenge multiple times to show scientific proof and they would not pay which has now resulted in Law Suits against them.
What a load of bollocks; you did no such thing.
How many Allopaths are charged with fraud every day?
Far more than all Natural Medicine Practitioners Combined.
Ya sure about that? When considering the ratio of conventional medical practitioners to sCAM artists, I know that for chiropractors, at the very least, you are wrong.
Bruce Lipton is another one who apparently started off as a reputable scientist and somehow slid down a rabbit-hole of woo. He claims that our beliefs directly affect our gene expression through some sort of quantum jiggery-pokery that he never really explains. I wasted several hours a few years ago trying to get my head around his belief-system, but in the end I concluded that it wasn't too complex for me to understand, it was simply gibberish. For example (from an interview I downloaded, source unknown):
No additional comment required.
Lipton is often a guest of the * ne plus ultra de woo* @ PRN.
I do believe that that quote you cite succinctly illustrates Walter's Law wherein I hold that:
If you dig deep enough into woo, you'll eventually uncover soul, spirit and other supernaturalisms that serve as explanatory principles.
"cancer does not do well in an oxygenated environment."
This belief explains why some devotees drink concentrated hydrogen peroxide. No, really.
Gullible users think 35% hydrogen peroxide is intended for consumption (IV or orally) since it's termed "food grade" H2O2.
They seem unable to grasp that "food grade" is a term used to describe usage in food processing - but definitely NOT as an indication that something is safe to consume by itself (severe internal damage may result).
Waiting anxiously for Tim to cite "study after study that proves without a single doubt that Homeopathics work."
He describes a very attractive kind of utopia; if only the world actually worked like that. It really is a shame it's such utter bollocks.
If you dig DEEPLY enough into woo....
I apologise for that grievous error: it's been a long day.
@Marc Stephens is Insane,
OMG, no - I hadn't seen the "Holistic Diva" Wordpress site, but the site owner, Cassandra (Casey) Deehring Alls is clearly just another quacky lunatic. Check out her impressive (not!) credentials empowering her to offer cancer treatment advice to patients:
Looks like I may have to add the "Holistic Diva" to my increasingly long Report-a-Quack list.
Jeez, i would have to go a dairy farm to find that much s**t, I mean diva.
Or in the case of Steffanie who went straight to "GOD GIVEN" almost from the get go, not so deeply.
I was once subjected to a Bruce Lipton DVD by someone who thought I would be interested in it because it was so "scientific". I think I managed about 15 minutes before my bullsh*t allergy forced me to give up. From what I saw and heard, the use of the term "Newtonian" as a pejorative is as much of a red flag as is the (mis)use "Quantum".
August 14, 5:21 am
I think one of the problems is that people assume that the solution to a health problem must be “out there” somewhere, that *somebody* *must* know the solution – at least that’s what I thought before my chronic illness got noticeable worse. I thought it was like with any injury, you find a professional, who knows what it is, and what to do, and they fix it (or at least speed it along)."
You allude to one of life's unpleasant secrets, revealed when we are forced to see the facts our eyes have tirelessly presented.
"...We even defeated the Million Dollar Challenge multiple times to show scientific proof and they would not pay which has now resulted in Law Suits against them..."
The Queen called. Her English wants its Capital Letters back.
Coming to terms with the fact that doctors don't have all the answers can be quite hard. Such as one of the current ALLCAPS lot whi were complaining that doctors couldn't do anything about the diagnosis of CFS. A diagnosis of exclusion that may be several similar things that there is no real understanding of or test for, yet. Although we do seem to have ruled out XMRV.
Sorry, CFS is my pet pain in the energy levels.
I don't suppose Tamara will be back either, but in case she's sneaking peeks:
Tamara I noticed, as others have, that you don't give any details about your breast cancer - grade, stage, er/pr status, her status, # of lymph nodes involved if any. I've never met another person who has/had breast cancer who didn't give those details when telling their story.
But it was only on a second look when I noticed you didn't say 'I ws diagnosed with breast cancer'; you said
'I discovered I had breast cancer'.
Important difference as it turns out...
I picked one of the articles on your site at random; "Tamara's Story" in Nutricula Magazine.
You listed a number of symptoms you had - hair loss, tiredness, sore throat etc - none of which are symptoms of breast cancer - and a breast lump.
At a later date, you decided you 'would have to fight my breast cancer' using alternative treatments.
Nowhere do you mention actually being diagnosed with breast cancer.
It's hard to avoid the conclusion that, like many people who claim to have 'healed' their cancer with alternative treatment, your cancer was in fact self-diagnosed and that you are giving 'therapies' that are at best useless and at worst dangerous the credit for healing a cancer you never actually had.
Oh, and Steffanie -
''Have you ever talked to a Vegan (cancer survivor) and asked them if food makes a difference?''
Hi Steffanie, I'm a vegan cancer survivor (I hate the term 'survivor' - and all the other battle metaphors associated with cancer - but that's another argument for another day).
Yep, a vegan cancer survivor - a juice-guzzling one too. Grade 3, stage 3 er+ breast cancer with 13 lymph nodes affected
Know how I survived cancer? Determined to avoid harsh treatments, I read up on every alternative cancer treatment I could find; researched them day and night.
Then I had surgery. Then I read up on alternatives some more, visited a nutritionist and homeopath, and tried even Gerson briefly.
Then I came to the inescapable conclusion that no 'alternative cancer treatment' had ever been effective against cancer, came to my senses and had the chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment advised by my medical team
Almost nine years after diagnosis, I'm in complete remission - fit and well with no sign of cancer.
I was vegan for years before my cancer diagnosis, and I still am. If a vegan diet prevented breast cancer, I'd still have two breasts. If I'd relied on my healthy vegan diet to cure my cancer, I'd be dead
Let me see. I was 19 when a doctor found a cyst (mass) in my breast. He gave me advise about diet. (avoid caffeine.)
I for one believe that what Tamara reports about a doctor giving her diet advice when she had a mass in her breast at 25 is true. That is common when a cyst is found. She was probably told to come back if it did not go away as her menstrual cycle progressed. That is a far cry from having cancer.
It trivializes a life-threatening disease to say that there was a lump, it went away therefore I cured my cancer.
Sorry, advice, not advise. I do know the difference.
I delve into Tamara's story (among other things and other woo peddlers) a bit more in today's post:
This is a really good point. A couple of weeks ago, I had my first mammogram and an ultrasound; I likewise had discovered a lump, fairly high up. Doc didn't think it was cancer, but due to its location wanted to rule out cancer. (I did have an aunt die of breast cancer at a young age, after all.) It was ruled "lymph node", and as one would expect for a lymph node, has been shrinking of its own accord as it stops doing whatever it had been doing. (I hadn't been sick or recently injured, so it's a mystery why it was enlarged. But sometimes they do that.) If I were a more credulous sort of person, or more into martyrdom, or more prone to drawing conclusions, I might think I had cancer but attribute its remission to whatever recent changes I'd made in my routine. Maybe it was the trip to Montana; good clean air to clean out my lungs. Maybe it was the baby octopus at the Chinese buffet. Who knows? Or maybe I didn't have cancer at all; I had seriously considered not getting the scan and just waiting to see what it did, but I'd also injured my foot and that had conveniently exhausted my deductible for the year. So I went ahead and got the scan, and lo and behold, I would've been fine waiting. But it's good to know.
It's safe to say that those who think that drugs are the only way and those who think that natural means are the only way both have their heads in the sand. It's a shame that their are not more practitioners of integrated medicine these days. As an aside, an oncologist at a major cancer hospital in NYC acknowledges that more than 50% of cancers are preventable.
 that "integrated" medicine improves on real scientific medicine.
As goes the immortal quote, integrating cow pie with apple pie does not make the apple pie taste better.
Why is it "safe to say" this? On what are you basing this conclusion?
You're committing a classic False Compromise Fallacy.
To Tamara, who covered two bases at once: insulting the author and then spamming the page.
You, lady, must have come out from under a rock. Your website is a joke and you need to either come down off your meds or up them, I'm not sure which.
Your naive-yet-dangerous thought processes are so incoherent as to almost approach Scientological. You need to be shut down and banned from commenting on websites such as this. Please go shake your beads and rattles and peddle your amulets and potions somewhere else.
Leave the thinking to people with brains.
jake: "As an aside, an oncologist at a major cancer hospital in NYC acknowledges that more than 50% of cancers are preventable."
The exact percentage is debatable, but yes - lifestyle changes including smoking cessation and losing weight will prevent a lot of cancers.
On the other hand, eating raw food and taking coffee enemas like your naturopath might recommend...not so much.
You are exactly the type of person that I'm talking about. By the way, how does the sand taste!!!
Sir, have you noticed that by your definition of "quacks" you are one as well? You did not provide any relevant evidence to support why you think different then Dr. Seeger. You did the same thing you are saying she did "quack" and provided no real answer. People have the right to believe anything they want. The right to choose what is best for them, weather is conventional medicine or alternative. So just like conventional medicine advertises their ways, alternative medicine is doing the same. Actually, Dr. Seeger provided a lot more information than any cancer center advertisement I have seen on TV.
@ Dangerous Bacon:
Yes, the % is debatable, some say as much as 75%!!! Eating raw food would certainly seem to help in prevention. Doing coffee enemas?....maybe, maybe not....I've never seen an analysis of it's benefits....I've only heard that it was in the Merck Manual 30-40 years ago.
" Eating raw food would certainly seem to help in prevention. "
'Eating raw food would certainly seem to help in prevention.'
I think the 50% is a huge exaggeration. - straying into the same 'blame the victim' territory that today's 'altmed and religion' post explores ...
I'm not seeing citations like Beamup asked for, jake. All I see is a very, very vague and out-of-date reference that you apparently haven't even looked at for yourself.
Wouldn't it be better if you gave us something that we could look up and think about for ourselves, rather than berate people for not blindly and naively trusting you to handle the information for us?
I have a few questions for you. What parts of integrative medicine do you believe are useful, and what evidence do you have for believing that? Homeopathy? Acupuncture? Aromatherapy? Something else? You accuse those of us who don't believe in integrative medicine of having our heads in the sand. That implies that we are willfully ignoring evidence. Where exactly is this evidence we are ignoring? The large majority of the evidence I have seen strongly suggests that none of those modalities are more effective than a placebo. Why are you ignoring that evidence? Could it be that you have your head in the sand?
@Bacon - Yum. Drinking peroxide and shooting bleach up their ar$es. They've crossed the Woobicon.
As for breathing to cure cancer, I'm miffed. I've presumably been wasting my time, breathing unnecessarily, for 35 years.
A specific thing Steffanie referred to repeatedly some posts up really baffled me... She claimed that only natural (not synthesized by humans) compounds are capable of crossing the blood brain barrier. Of course, this would result in (for example) only morphine isolated from opium being a narcotc; all synthetic opioids including morphine would never work as central painkillers! Likewise, synthetic antidepressants and all other psychoactive substances would have only peripheral effects. My brain...
The crtical difference being, of course, that conventional medicine 'advertises' treatments that have been demonstrated to be effective at treating the illnesses they're approved for, while proponents of alternative medicine advertises treatments that have either not been shown to be effective or in many cases have actually been shown not to work.
''As for breathing to cure cancer, I’m miffed. I’ve presumably been wasting my time, breathing unnecessarily, for 35 years''
I breathed both in and out throughout my cancer treatment; can't believe I've been giving the credit for my 8 years remission (so far) to conventional cancer treatment!
Just one more thing...
Would you agree that proponents of alternative medicine impair the general public's ability to make informed choice s about what's best for them, when they aggressively promote false information ("Childhood vaccinations cause autism!", "MMS is not a bleach!"; "Homeopathy has been proven to work!")?
lo_mcg - I know, right? You could have sequestered yourself on a beach, drink in hand, and respirated the cancer away!
Actually, if you read the post carefully, you'd notice that Orac uses Seeger's own words regarding the scientific method as evidence that she's a quack.
I have a question for you, Janiris. I was wondering how you'd respond to Judy Seeger's own question:
So, how do you know it works?
If a vegan diet prevented metastatic colorectal cancer, my best friend wouldn't have been placed in a box in the ground at age 40.
So because I don't mindlessly accept whatever unsubstantiated assertions you choose to spout, I have my head in the sand?
One would almost think you didn't actually have any evidence to back up your claims, and were just engaged in that time-honored tradition of Making Stuff Up.
The idea that cancer cells are killed by physiological oxygen concentrations is persistent, and wrong. For example, here's a study that found that:
HeLa cells are human carcinoma cells, though I'm sure most people reading this already know that. You can breathe as much as you like but you will have difficulty getting your blood oxygen partial pressure above that of air. The same can be said of the idea that high pH kills cancer cells, when the evidence, again for HeLa cells, says that:
Maintaining your blood pH at over 7.87 is not recommended, unless you enjoy muscle cramps and unconsciousness I suppose.
I missed offthe link for the reference to HeLa optimum oxygen concentration.
@ lo_mcg, Bronze Dog:
Why would raw food help in preventing cancer?
Ummm....common sense, looking back at the history of cancer, recommendations by the US dept of health. Do you really need a study that shows the % of people that got cancer, those on a diet with a certain amount of raw food vs those on a diet with no raw food??? I think not. We know that in many cases raw foods contain more of the nutrients they possess than they would if cooked, no??? I'm not talking about a completely raw food diet. I'm talking about a high quality diet that includes a large % of raw food.
@Krebiozen: Integrative Medicine: This is woo too? Tell that to Sloan Kettering where they do have these services.
The body can actually absorb the nutrients in some veggies like broccoli and carrots more efficiently if they're lightly cooked.
''Do you really need a study that shows the % of people that got cancer, those on a diet with a certain amount of raw food vs those on a diet with no raw food??? ''
I don't think there is any "common sense" reason to think raw food is good for us, unless you are suggesting there is some mythical life energy that is killed by cooking. Raw food is more difficult for our bodies to extract nutrients from than cooked food. You might find reading some results of the EPIC study on diet and cancer of interest. In particular, I think it is interesting that neither breast cancer nor prostate cancer are associated with fruit and vegetable consumption.
I'm disgusted that respectable hospitals offer nonsense like homeopathy and acupuncture, and I do my best to make people aware of just how nonsensical these ideas are.
Regarding accupuncture: Here is one study:
Regarding accupuncture: Here are 2 studies http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21977863
Yes, jake, I absolutely do need a study that shows raw food helps prevent cancer before I'll buy that. I don't mind eating raw food; I've had steak tartare, I've had sashimi, and of course I *love* me some crudités. It's good stuff. But I would not want to make medical claims about such a diet without more evidence. How much does it reduce the risk? And what is the certain percentage of the diet that must be raw? Are some foods good raw, and others better cooked (in terms of cancer prevention)? Food is a very complex thing, a huge pile of different chemicals in a bewildering number of combinations. And of course some food is actually bad for you raw -- don't eat raw taro, for instance, or raw cashews. So it can't be as simple as "eat lots of raw veggies". Some food will be more healthful raw, and some more healthful cooked, and some will be healthful in both ways, but for different things. It's just not as simple as "raw is better", unfortunately. I personally think the best strategy is variety -- cover your bases.
@ Marc Stephens Is Insane: I've heard about that with carrots but haven't heard about that with broccoli. Should I be like some of the others on here and ask for the publication that you got this from ???? No I won't.
@Krebiozen: So cooked apples and oranges and avocados and peppers and bananas and cucumbers would be just as good for you as the raw ones? Get real!!!
Hopefully there will come a day when oncologists recommend a sugar-free, low carb diet to cancer patients, citing the ongoing studies/successes of the ketogenic diet.
Both the studies you refer to compared acupuncture to standard treatment in conditions where standard treatment is not very effective and in which placebos have a significant effect. I'm not impressed, especially as modern acupuncture was invented in the 1930s and previously was very similar to medieval European bloodletting.
That had me worried, having just finished eating a salad containing large amounts of raw cashews (and other raw food as it happens). Are you thinking of something else or am I in imminent danger of sudden death?
And why would they not?
sure, people have a right to believe what they want. but when they believe demonstrably stupid things, they don't have the right not to have their views questioned.
Get real? OK. Cooking these foods might reduce the vitamin C content, but other vitamins and nutrients are largely unaffected by normal cooking,. and cooking breaks down the cellulose cell walls of plants making their contents available to be absorbed by our digestive system. Few people in the developed world are deficient in any vitamins and the best argument for eating raw food (apart from the pleasure of it) is that it is more difficult to consume too many calories than eating cooked food.
The value of a ketogenic diet in cancer is far from certain.
@ Calli Arcale: Absolutely true that some foods are better cooked than raw. I'm not advocating a 100% raw diet, just saying that it is much better to feed our bodies with high quality foods with lots of nutrients, including lots of raw foods. There have been studies about the anti-cancer properties of berries, apples, garlic, broccoli, etc. So many cancers are lifestyle related and generally, we decrease our chances of getting it or postponing it by choosing high quality diets, sufficient sleep, limited stress, etc.
Kreboizen -- the cashews you ate were not raw. ;-) Cashews that you buy in the store have usually been roasted, although there are some other methods of processing them that don't use heat but also remove the urushiols on them. (I wouldn't call them "raw" at this point anymore.) It probably won't kill you, but can cause a rash similar to poison ivy anywhere it touches. The reaction is pretty fast; you'd know about it right away.
As far as the value of a ketogenic diet, I know it's touted for weight loss (it is, after all, burning fat), I have my doubts about its safety -- it is a starvation diet, really, and the body isn't operating under normal parameters when it's starving. As far as it's value for cancer treatment, I'd be pretty darn shocked if it was at all useful -- go look at people dying of cancer, and you'll see that most of them are skin and bones. They're undergoing ketogenesis, as their bodies waste away, and it doesn't seem to be helping cure their cancer at all.
OK, fine, some cancers are lifestyle related. I've never seen a doctor who doesn't recommend a better diet, sufficient sleep, and less stress. What does this have to do with cancer treatment though? What unique aspects of 'integrated medicine' do you think are particularly beneficial for treating cancer patients?
You are quite right, as usual. It was the prominent label saying "Raw Cashews" that confused me, but I see that they are cooked to remove them from the poisonous shell, but are raw in that they haven't been roasted after that. With Eid approaching there are many South Asian foods marked down in my local stores that I have been sampling recently, the "raw" cashews among them.
"The value of a ketogenic diet in cancer is far from certain"
And quite difficult to maintain for a lot of people. It has shown to be quite effective in some individuals with epilepsy but getting children to follow the diet proves to very challenging. One candy bar and everything goes to hell. The lab I worked at in undergrad had a part in developing a drug to mimic the ketogenic diet, or at least, trick the brain into thinking it is getting a ketogenic diet (in rats). I think phase I trials are nearing completion actually.
@ Krebiozen and Beamup: In most cases, but not all, you optimize your nutritional benefit by eating fruits and vegetables raw. You cited lost Vitamin C by cooking. I'm sure I could find other lost vitamins due to cooking. Also, true, the value of the ketogenic diet is not proven yet, but tell that to the people that were helped by it (child with brain cancer, wurzburg study).
@ AdamG: I can take you to many doctors, including oncologists, that never mention a word about diet, sleep, and stress. Regarding integrative medicine, reiki, accupuncture, yoga, massage are all helpful in making one feel better....hopefully to help the immune system recover from the side effects of the cancer drugs.
Good stuff regarding reiki:
@ Beamup: Here is some good info....it may help you to live longer. lol
Why would raw food help in preventing cancer?
I cannot speak for Jake's common sense, but mine tells me that plants and fungi have evolved *not to be eaten* and tend to contain toxins in the raw state, some of them carcinogenic.
@ Beamup: Here is some good info….it may help you to live longer. lol
@herr doktor bimler:
Yes, common sense would tell you not to eat poison ivy leaves in a salad!!!
So, jake, do you believe in reiki?
@ AdamG: Have had it done to me. Most, but not all, of the time, I felt better after it. Don't know if was just putting me in a relaxed state, or if the "directed energy" as they say, was helping me feel better.
I don't dispute that selling pseudo-science to sick people whom it may kill is nauseating. The problem I have with trying to tear down all natural remedies and building up conventional care is that the conventional "unnatural" remedies seem almost as shoddy:
"In March, Lee Ellis of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and C. Glenn Begley, the former head of global cancer research at Amgen, reported that when the company's scientists tried to replicate 53 prominent studies in basic cancer biology, hoping to build on them for drug discovery, they were able to confirm the results of only six."
That's from Reuter's, hardly a bunch of New Agers by any stretch. The problem is that desperate people have big targets on their backs and I'm not convinced conventional therapy is any less profit driven. Essentially it's buyer beware on EVERYTHING. Getting an honest answer from anyone is like pulling teeth and everyone including this blogger has an axe to grind and is looking to make the facts fit their argument.
Sure you do. One option simply invokes the placebo effect. The other breaks the laws of the universe.
Did you skeptically analyze the claims and sources in that reiki article, or just take what it says at face value?
In Soviet Russia, stress choose you. Oddly enough, it does pretty much everywhere else, as well. If the assertion is merely that everyone should ply a trade throwing clay, making mandalas, and so forth, and hope for the best, it's not particularly helpful.
@ Narad: I am talking about mental stress and everyone has control over that. If you take the Jamaican attitude of "don't worry man", you have less stress!!! If your mind is thinking that every little "bump in the road" is tragic, you will have lots of mental stress.
@AdamG: The only thing that I took at face value was that those hospitals mentioned were indeed using reiki.
jake, what is that link supposed to prove? You've already made this point, and Krebiozen already provided you with an appropriate response:
I also notice that you completely failed to answer my question. Did you skeptically analyze the claims and sources in that reiki article, or just take what it says at face value?
Raw-foodism isn't actually paleo, according to the folks who really know paleo. Paleontologists are certain that cooking predates modern homo sapiens 200 000 years ago. There's good evidence of cooking going back a half-million years, and some rather debatable evidence pushing that back as far as two million years ago to our distant homo erectus ancestors.
For humans, cooking is as natural as walking upright and spoken language..
PS: There's also plenty of fossil evidence of cancer in dinosaurs. Stick that in yer pipes and smoke it, woo-peddlers.
jake, am I correct in saying that your argument amounts to 'integrative medicine is effective because Sloan-Kettering offers integrative medicine?'
Have you by any chance ever seen The Harder They Come?
Lots of things can make us feel better and help us relax, including a walk in the sunshine, listening to music or having a massage. My objection to acupuncture, homeopathy and reiki is that they pretend to work through supernatural processes that large amounts of scientific evidence tells us do not exist. The meridians and chi of acupuncture are imaginary, as are the powers of infinitesimally diluted homeopathic remedies and the healing energy of reiki. I think it is dishonest of people to use treatments that we know are bogus, and I think it is unhealthy to encourage people to believe in things that are not true. By all means destress, but why do it by getting someone to stick needles in you when we know that getting some gentle exercise works just as well? I suggest you read 'Trick or Treatment' by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh which effectively demolishes most of alternative medicine.
I used to work with people who had a serious illness, I can assure you that you can easily learn efficient methods of calming down and dealing with stress by simply reading a few articles or listening to a few tapes that will do as much ( or more) as reiki: no magic involved and you control it.
Sometimes just being in the same room as another person or having someone talk to you sympathetically is helpful.
Sounds to me that's what he's trying to say. I suspect he still naively thinks this is a conflict between altie authoritarianism versus the fictional authoritarianism he projects onto science.
Maybe they don't trust you to follow their advice on lifestyle changes. Many patients don't. Starting with my dad, and I guess myself, if you want to go anecdotal.
Did you only try to bring the topic up?
Also, if you go see a oncologist for a cancer you have, it's a bit too late to talk about preventive lifestyle measures - the fox is already in the henhouse.
There are some more urgent topics to address and it may not look like the best of time to stress/culpabilise the patient by telling him/her it's his/her fault for eating too much/not sleeping enough.
Except, of course, when there is a clear and immediate correlation, like lung cancer and smoking.
Ideally there are topics to address sooner than later, I agree on this.
Tim above stated:
Tim, consider yourself called out. If you've got that information, I for one would love to see it. So far, the studies I've read have been far from supportive.
Tim also stated:
That may very well be true. In my view, you're not a quack if you stick to claims backed by good solid evidence, and show yourself able to correct your activities in response to new evidence. So, Tim, can you do that?
Reading comments and had a moment of panic - I in no way support Dr Bob Sears suggestions one iota (except maybe in a way to get a parent who would otherwise not vaccinate at all to vaccinate). I realize that Liz said "Ms" Woo... but still worried about some kind of guilt by association. Yikes!
There was what seemed like magical treatments at our local Accident and Emergency hospital last night, where I was taken after eating bad seafood (perhaps not cooked enough, Jake). The nurse pumped some anti-cramping meds into the IV and popped an anti nausea pill under my tongue and within minutes I stopped dwelling on what felt like my impending death. Considering the other patients I saw there, such as a little girl with pneumonia, and a young woman in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace, it's hard to see a place for woo. Medicine, rest and a bit of empathy (the latter the staff had in spades) are magical enough when you're unwell.
In the realm of anecdata, my husband's oncologist did mention diet, exercise and sleep. Diet: try to eat a healthy, balanced diet but, as the side effects grow, just make sure you eat. (As he grew thinner, I was more than happy to run out for cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Cholesterol be damned.) Exercise: do exercise but lower the intensity and listen to what your body is telling you. Instead of training for that marathon, maybe just run for fun (um, who does that?). Sleep: get enough. (As parents of 10-week old twins, we assumed that this was a laugh line. It wasn't.)
The problem for the woo-ridden is that this is not the "right kind" of advice on diet, exercise and sleep. Simple common sense doesn't meet the bar and thus we hear that "oncologists don't talk about diet, exercise, or sleep."
When dealing with the terror of a stage 4 diagnosis and the following reality of chemo, I'll take real world, empathetic advice over eat broccoli (cooked, wait raw, wait cooked) five times per day. I think his oncologist got it just right and, having talked to a number of people now that we are "in the club," a lot of doctors do.
As someone who deals with the vagaries of chronic illness I can assure anyone that things that help you calm down reduces much of the discomfort associated with illness. When things get "ramped up" in my body, one of the things I try to find most is rest, and if I'm really lucky, a nice, long, nap.
Strangely, no one considers that especially alternative. I'm sure that "nap therapy" could be really big with some.
@jake - as a Mrs Woo, my most consistent observation of the mister is that he wants to believe. He loves the feelings of secret knowledge, even hopes to secret power (for him it is prayer and healing, not Reiki, but same thing, really, when boiled down). There is a very human attraction to having special ability - we all sometimes have secret fantasies of being Harry Potter (or someone similar).
Even I, the ying to Mr Woo's yang, so to speak, sometimes would give anything to have a special healing touch. Strangely, I don't care about it for myself (though my family would prefer that) - I just can't stand to see another person struggle or be in any kind of pain, and would love to have the simplicity of walking over to that person, loving them a moment with all my heart, touching them gently and taking away their hurt forever.
Integrative medicine is not offered because it does physiological healing. It is offered, in part, because patients increasingly demand it, and because it has been shown to cause some improvement in feelings of well-being, relaxation, etc. It's more of a "it can't hurt them, so if it makes them feel better, then let them have it."
It's sad, in a way, because it allows the patients to waste money on unproductive choices (and in cases of insurance or Medicare, etc., then it costs everyone else as well in the form of increased premiums and/or taxes).
Just because something is offered at a hospital does not necessarily mean it is medically proven. I think they sell candy, flowers and balloons in the gift shop, for starters...
I have many times mentioned on a certain breast cancer support website that three doctors had given me advice about diet ( the number is now up to four) but careri is right, this was not the right advices, according to to woo peddlers.
They could hardly believe that it was doctors and not dieticians who had given me that advice. To them a dietician does not give correct advice, it must be a nutritionist. I know what a registered dietician is but am unclear as to what qualifications make a nutritionist better, except their seeming readiness to absorb woo like a sponge.
@Steffanie, August 14, 11:55 am
I wasn't aware that tech work payed all that much more than cast. I'm in a different country than you, but I know enough about the arts in the USA to know that that statement is highly improbable. Since when was a low-paying entry-level arts job enough to pay high medical bills? In the USA of all places?
Jeez, either you lot in the USA make a lot more than my local arts minimum wage (which I highly doubt since my country has twice the minimum wages in general of US people), or you're full of it.
...Actually, are you referring to work a tech job, or dancing as a *swing*/chorus performer? I went and looked up the pay rates via Actor's Equity in the USA. I chose Disney as there was no immediately obvious overview guide... Disney's rates per hour for swing PERFORMER is $5 as of 2011. This is about 1/5th of what Australians earn doing the same job. As a stage manager, it looked like it was $2717 as of 2010 (dramatic; for musicals it's a little less). It doesn't outright say, but I'm guessing this is per week. I couldn't find any useful info on how many hours an actor/crew must do in order to calculate the per/hour rate of a stage manager. But assume they do the same number of hours - stage manager is usually the first one in and the last one out. From a rough guess it looks like a stage manager earns twice as much as a performer - and a stage manager usually earns more than the lowly technicians anyway.
If anyone can provide an easy overview of American rates for both performers and crew, let me know.
By the way, I picked Disney since it is a company that's more likely to stick to expected/negotiated rates, and is a place most likely to have regular employment available for the foreseeable future. This assumes Steffanie was employed in a similar situation.
Also, to those not aware: working tech is about as physically demanding as being a dancer. You're just using different muscles. Also, people tend not to hire dancers as swing techs. Swing tech would require a different kind of training/experience and potentially a licence.
I find it incredibly unlikely that Steffanie was able to support herself whilst having cancer by working tech in a theatre somewhere. Even part-time hours would be a hell of a lot of stress.
This is to say nothing of the fact that most artists here in Australia can't afford medical attention at the best of times, and it's lucky we have universal health care so we don't have to worry too much about it.
Speaking as both an artist and a mentally ill person: please go do some peer-reviewed research before repeating ad nauseum all the usual logical fallacies and selling some bullshit remedy to people who are vulnerable.
Also, as an atheist, it impresses me not at all that you keep invoking god. Am I ill because I just don't believe hard enough?
And we all know how reliable anecdotes are... *roll eyes*
@Steffanie, August 14, 12:43 pm
This is where you go off the rails. Poor people are not buying preservatives from the local supermarket. They're eating off their farm lands. It's as 'organic' as you can get. And yet somehow, they're also not eating right?
Wow, that's some cognitive dissonance you've got there.
I have a long comment in moderation re: Steffanie. In the meantime...
@thenewme, August 14, 12:59 pm
Ugh, I think I threw up a little there.
@Shay, August 14, 1:40 pm
I find it odd that woomeisters never point their fingers at Big History. Surely they're in on it too? But they never get tarred with it for some reason...
That's an article aboot a local homeoquack and his list of favourite favourable studies. The poor lass had to wade through all of them and found, quelle surprise, they don't support homeoquackery.
the quack also has Shang et al - http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2805%296… - listed as a near favourite and which concludes:
"Biases are present in placebo-controlled trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine. When account was taken for these biases in the analysis, there was weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions. This finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects."
Psst, Flip, a "swing shift" refers to type of hours worked, not type of job done -- it refers to rotating hours, where one shift you might work 7AM-3PM, and the next 3PM-11PM, and so on. She's also apparently working IT technical support, ie. phone monkeying, which probably does pay quite a bit more than working an artistic job, although last I heard, the going rate around here was about $12/hr with no benefits (I'm also not American, but at least have the advantage of being on the same continent).
Sheesh, talk about people separated by a common language!
FWIW, I hope I'll never get her if I call tech support for anything, for reasons I elaborated above. I don't trust someone who writes like an uneducated person to be able to solve technical problems I can't solve. Then again, considering that I work in high-end IT and can build computers from the components up, I'm not likely to call tech support any time soon...
flip: I took her statement to mean she left the arts altogether; I read "swing shift doing tech support" as meaning that she was working in a call center providing technical support (possibly for an internet service provider or other such company) on a swing shift, which usually means working the wee hours of the morning.
Yes and no.
I know what "swing" shift means. However, in the theatre, "swing" often refers to someone who is operating a fly system (ie. when Peter Pan wants to fly, he is attached to a rig/fly system. Someone who bases or holds the safety line for the thing is called a "swing").
However, when browsing Disney's info on the Equity site, I noticed the term "swing". It implied a regular chorus dancer.
Funnily enough, it could be "swing" as refers to riggers may be a local thing. It's not listed at the above site (it does refer to understudies and choruses though), and a quick google shows the term referring to stages but not in reference to crew. I've heard it used to refer to crew though, so like I said, it could be a local thing.
Like science and most other things, the arts has its own terminology and I'm very familiar with this one. It has a number of meanings, which is why it would be a good idea for Steffanie to turn up and explain which one she meant.
IT is similarly better paid here. Like most other areas, we Aussies simply have a higher minimum wage. I'd also point out that most unemployed/employed performers work in a variety of IT roles and customer service: mainly because it's flexible and doesn't require a lot of training. The old standard of actors who wait tables is not so true anymore...
This is why I assumed she meant a tech role. See above comment as to the various meanings of "swing" in regards to theatre.
But yes, looking at it again, it's most likely I've just confused myself and my hubris over knowing arts terms is getting to me ;)
Again, it's up to Steffanie to clear it up, because I for one would like to know if she's just muddying the waters. Dancing as a swing performer, or working swing tech, is quite different to working a swing shift in IT support... particularly if she's using it to say that getting through cancer was easy doing either of the first two options.
I can sit here and list undeniable proof all day long while you skeptics only resort to name calling.
You are all typical skeptics ... when faced with proof you resort to name calling, in order to justify your false beliefs.
Here are a couple of documented studies and reports but there are thousands if you are brave enough to go to the PubMed and search "Homeopathic".
And for the Gal that disputes Health Canada Testing and Certifying the efficacy, are you smoking crack? You are claiming that Health Canada themselves, has weak testing and review methods? It is hilarious that when faced with such proof, you choose to believe that you know more than an entire countries Health Scientists. :)
Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Homeopathic Trial
Scientists Confirm Medicinal Properties in Homeopathic
Proof that Homeopathics can regulate Gene Expression:
Homeopathy beats the The Evil Gingival Fibroblasts :)
And here is the proof that James Randi and his bogus Million Dollar Challenge was defeated and Law Suits are stacking up against him because every time proof was shown, he changed the criteria.
Want me to list about 1000 more for you? :)
Now, I have people to heal with Homeopathics ... sorry, I do not have time to sit here and debate with people who ignore facts and well documented proof, just to fool themselves into believing that they are more intelligent than they really are. :)
I gotta admit folks ... I really feel sorry for many of you. Such denial in the face of the undeniable equates to arrogance that will one day likely consume you.
Is that you, tim bolen?
Using the bolen report as "evidence"? What a laugh.
Yawn. Barely achieves significance, with a small patient population. Can't say more without access to the full text, but even if it was impeccable in all respects (which I doubt, since Boiron was apparently directly involved) it's far from impressive.
This description of the paper is a straight-up lie. Some lines were observed in the emission spectrum. Not even the vaguest attempt was made to determine whether there was any significance whatsoever, and it was completely uncontrolled.
In-vitro results don't even begin to justify the claims of homoepathy.
Boo hoo, they don't instantly accept my proposed protocol without question. No basis for a lawsuit, much less proof of anything about homeopathy.
I looked on PubMed and found this systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy which concludes:
So much for "undeniable evidence".
This study is laughably awful. Behold, their mighty conclusion!
This is far, far from "Proof that Homeopathics can regulate Gene Expression."
@tim: And how's that lawsuit going? That was back in May, surely you've gotten somewhere by now.
Referring to, say, homeopaths as quacks, frauds, and mountebanks is accurate description of their activities first, name-calling second.
Don't like it? Tough.
If so, I'm disappointed that he didn't deploy his trademark adjective "homoskeptical."
Here is something regarding these "woo" remedies. Keep your heads in the sand, folks!!! Lol
from the HHS review:
Keep your head in the sand, jake!!!
I do find it amusing when a homeopath accuses skeptics of ignorance, I always suspect a Poe. In particular I found this accusation of drug abuse amusing:
It doesn't take long browsing the Health Canada website to find that their efficacy testing and review methods for honeopathic medicines are essentially non-existent. All that is required for "natural health prodiucts" is evidence that there is traditional use going back 50 years, and even that is not necessary if the homeopathic dilution is high enough and no specific indications are given. It would seem that "an entire countries Health Scientists" [sic] know precisely nothing about the efficacy of the homeopathic medicines they license.
To summarize those results, acupuncture=placebo. Manipulation=ibuprofen for uncomplicated back pain, placebo otherwise. This latter point makes it utterly hilarious to claim cost-effectiveness as a benefit; a visit to a chiropractor is hundreds of dollars vs. a few cents for an ibuprofen.
Wow, I'm really impressed.
I guess I have to post all of:
According to a recent review published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the benefits of complementary and alternative therapies for back and neck pain—such as acupuncture, massage, and spinal manipulation—are modest in size but provide more benefit than usual medical care. While these effects are most evident following the end of treatment, the authors of the report noted that very few studies looked at long-term outcomes. Back and neck pain are important health problems that affect millions of Americans, and back pain is the most common medical condition for which people use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Researchers at the University of Ottawa Evidence-Based Practice Center reviewed the scientific literature on the efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture, spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage techniques for the management of back, neck, and thoracic pain. The researchers reviewed a total of 270 studies in adults aged 18 years and older. General findings from the analysis include the following:
CAM therapies tended to reduce pain and/or disability more than usual medical care (such as anti-inflammatory medications and exercise), physical therapy, or no treatment.
Acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction in chronic low-back pain intensity compared with placebo, but only immediately after treatment.
For chronic neck pain, acupuncture did not result in any different benefits compared with placebo (simulated acupuncture), pain medication, mobilization or traction, or laser therapy for reducing pain or disability after treatment.
Spinal manipulation was significantly more effective than placebo, or equivalent to pain medication, for reducing the intensity of low-back pain.
Mobilization was better than placebo for reducing acute or subacute neck pain, but not for chronic neck pain. Mobilization did not result in any different benefits compared with placebo in reducing low-back pain or flexibility after treatment.
Massage significantly reduced the intensity of acute or subacute low-back pain, but not chronic pain, compared with placebo.
Based on the analysis, there is some evidence showing that acupuncture was more cost-effective compared with usual care for patients with chronic back pain. The authors concluded that acupuncture is a viable option for the treatment of acute, subacute, and chronic low-back pain (specific or nonspecific cause). The one study investigating the cost-effectiveness of massage therapy found that the therapy was associated with higher costs for low-back pain compared with usual physician care. While the review found that serious adverse side effects of the three CAM therapies were rarely reported, the authors noted that definitive conclusions cannot be made, as information on side effects was not collected in a systematic manner. They noted that more well-designed studies are needed to draw more definitive conclusions regarding the benefits of CAM therapies for pain.
jake, we read that. Then we went to go read the actual study on which that summary was based
That's where we're getting our quotes from, the study authors themselves. Perhaps you should read the study yourself instead of citing someone else's summary of it.
Adam: The summary was from the nih.....did they err????
jake, I don't think that summary accurately reports all of the findings of that study. Why don't you read the study yourself and then we can discuss whether or not he summary is complete. Otherwise your argument is essentially 'it's on a section of the NIH's website so it must be true!' which is a blatant argument from authority.
See, look, I can play this game too!
did they err????
To summarize those results, acupuncture=placebo. Manipulation=ibuprofen for uncomplicated back pain, placebo otherwise. This latter point makes it utterly hilarious to claim cost-effectiveness as a benefit; a visit to a chiropractor is hundreds of dollars vs. a few cents for an ibuprofen.
You are providing a gross distortion.
It is CLEAR that these therapies helped in several instances. This is fact. Stop spreading lies.
THIS IS NOT A FACT. The authors themselves state the following:
You are the one who is distorting the findings jake, unless you want to show me where in the original report they stated unequivocally that these therapies helped.
id they err????
Jake has a point there. If the authors of a paper say one thing, and a summary of that paper says the opposite on a website tasked with promoting woo, then it must be the authors who erred. We should trust the anonymous publicist to sum up what the authors really meant to say.
From the authors themselves:
Acupuncture for chronic nonspecific low back pain was associated with significantly lower pain intensity than placebo but only immediately post-treatment (VAS: -0.59, 95 percent CI: -0.93, -0.25).
For both low back and neck pain, manipulation was significantly better than placebo or no treatment in reducing pain immediately or short-term after the end of treatment.
Massage was superior to placebo or no treatment in reducing pain and disability only amongst subjects with acute/sub-acute low back pain. Massage was also significantly better than physical therapy in improving back pain (VAS: -2.11, 95 percent CI: -3.15, -1.07) or disability.
What that study shows is that standard care for neck and back pain isn't very effective, and that placebos have a significant effect on painful conditions, which is well known. Show us a study on acupuncture that found it performed well for an objectively assessed condition that doesn't have a variable course and isn't self-limiting and we might be impressed. Good luck with that.
So sticking needles in people stimulates endorphin release that has a temporary effect on pain perception. So does stomping on someone's foot. That is really not very impressive.
Also from the authors:
"The benefit of CAM treatments was mostly evident immediately or shortly after the end of the treatment and then faded with time."
Keep your head in the sand!!!
re your last quote:
that's also true for gin, wine, beer et al.
We are not just talking about accupuncture here. The study considers accupuncture, manipulation, and massage and it describes where people benefited from these therapies.
Define immediately in your last post????
@ Denice Walter: True statement but we are not talking about those therapies here!!! Lol
Jake, compulsively tacking "lol" onto the end of your comments is the rhetorical equivalent of emptying a compost bucket onto your head.
@Narad: Keep attacking.....with your head in the sand.
I don't think anyone would argue against manipulation and massage being beneficial for musculoskeletal disorders, there is good evidence for this which is why they are part of standard care. Acupuncture, on the other hand, appears to be a particularly effective placebo that possibly stimulates endorphin release, as does any painful stimulus, but its theoretical basis of meridians and chi is simply bogus.
"immediately or short term after the end of treatment" is you quoting the study's authors in one of your previous comments, and surely doesn't need to be defined. If something offers only immediate or short term benefits it means its effects don't last very long.
Hate to play devils advocate. But gate control theory could provide a scientifically plausible explanation for efficacy of acupuncture. I mean that's what I was taught in medical school but perhaps our understanding has moved on?
I believe Krebiozen was quoting the study. You might want to look at what they meant by immediately. I don't think it will support your expectations.
That will teach me to refresh my browser when reading a long thread.
I think gate control theory has been superseded by theories that I don't pretend to understand. However, explanations for how acupuncture works seem to me to be a bit redundant, when well-designed studies comparing it to sham acupuncture seem to indicate it doesn't actually work better than placebo. My earlier suggestion about stomping on someone's foot working as well as acupuncture was only partly facetious.
So Judy Seeger has now created web TV show to help spread her mass media advertising for her miraculous cancer cure! Hoo boy, hang onto your hat: http://canceranswers.tv/
Oh, and be sure to note her "cancer cure experts!" Looks like quite a coalition of quackery to me!
Dr. Rashid Buttar, MD
Stephanie Buist, ND
Susan Silberstein, PhD
Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, DC
Dr. Thomas Lodi, MD
Keith Scott Mumby, MD
I see our old friend Ms.Veronique Desaulniers is on the list of "experts". I call her Ms. because she is not a doctor, but insists on calling herself "doctor". Check out NaturalNews--"Dr. V" has a cover story there right now about the benefits of regular coffee enemas as a cleanse and to prevent disease.
Nuh-uh! No way, not a chance, MSII! Hehe, I'll just take your word for it!
It's quite a list of woosters, though, isn't it?
May I borrow that? I might add hornswoggler. I asked a question of an editor on a political blog using almost your very turn of phrase. How to separate the wheat from the chaff.
The editor replied evidence via the scientific method.
We ended up on this topic because the original post used Fortean evidence to hang the lack of aboriginal authors in the NYT best seller list on the gaps in science and how it silences dissenting voices like Fort's.
Anyhoo, the editor opens with 'dogs hear real good. Therefore it is arrogant to think there aren't psychics or that people get taken by confidence men all the time.'
Some even pay for a nice parchmemt from accredited institutions and play doctor.
The editor had already stated doing a clinical trial couldn't yield valid reliable results as fact. I've been in two, the second worked.
Later he goes on to state there's no evidence for relativity, none.
Turns out, he's a lawyer. Evidence?
Then his co-editor writes a front page, at the time, ad hom attack on me. I'm so proud.
That website Ilinked to had a video of the Coren Show on CTStv. He did a show on alt med. Two skeptics from that site and two naturopaths
Oh ya, been a long day. One naturoquack is the dean of the 2nd year curriculum at their Ontario Hogwarts. Moxi-bustion, seriously?
They both throw homeoquackery under the bus with the host, lumping it in with chiropractors and crystal healers. Host had a bad experience with one spinal cracker.
They all laughed.
There is little chance Randi is involved in the setting of the protocol, which is always agreed to prior to taking the challenge. He has minions.
Of course, when the subject inevitably fails, few take it gracefully and the tin foil is unrolled.
Here's another person who claims she self-cured herself of breast cancer with diet and IV vitamin C. Don't hate me for linking to Mike Adams's cesspool, but I know you "collect" these stories.
Make sure you read the comments on the Natural News story. Our friend Tamara St. John pops up there, but apparently "a lot of people" have cured themselves by eating right.
@MSII, are you trying to see my head explode ;-D ???
I looked at Jessica Richard's story and, of course it's woo and more woo!
The source for the NN article is "The Sun," which appears to be an online UK version of The National Enquirer! The page is full of celebrity gossip and cheesy bikini photos, haha - a real legitimate medical information source, right?
Anyway, Ms. Richards was evidently treated by a Dr. Andre Young Snell from www.visionofhopeclinic.com, where they use "Metabolic Protocols, we can therefore offer Nutrition, Ozone, Hyperthermia, Life Coaching, NLP, Hypnotherapy and more." Give me a break.
Just like so many of these "miraculous cancer cure" stories, there are so many gaps in her information and basically no medical terms that indicate that she really even HAD breast cancer, much less cured herself of it.
I have to admit though, I did end up laughing out loud about her accounts of adventures with self-treatment of various other disorders:
I'm still chuckling thinking of her sitting in the dark flicking a torch up at her eye over and over!!! What a NUTJOB!
In England a "torch" is a flashlight. She was probably trying to trigger some reaction in her eye with light. Apart from making her pupil dilate and then contract over and over, I don't see the point. But those last five words apply to a lot of the stuff I read on quackpot blogs.
I never understood what NLP had to do with healing, but it pops up on many of these quack wellness sites. I know about NLP as a form of "hypnosis": taught to men to help them seduce women. I guess in the healing context it involves some sort of positive thinking, or self-hypnosis. Because we all know we can "think" disease away.
I have fibromyalgia, which is close enough to CFS and about as well understood. The "allopathic" (that is real) doctor who diagnosed me and is managing my treatment, suggested yoga, meditation, massage and dietary methods as part of my treatment - as well as the superstrong pain killers to allow me to function, and anti-depressants to equalise the serotonin.
I also have Crohn's Disease, and the "allopathic" (that is real) doctor who is currently overseeing my treatment is currently working with me to figure out what foods set the Crohn's off... as well as prescribing medications to help manage the symptoms because diet alone so often isn't enough. The "allopathic" (that is real) doctor who diagnosed me with the Crohn's, and performed the 2 bowel resections, was also a strong advocate of diet, so long as it was used in conjunction with medication where necessary.
Actually, that something is working after the end of the treatment is reason for suspicion. It could be a delayed effect, or as likely it could be the feelings of relief at knowing the ordeal is over triggering a big placebo effect.
Especially if the treatment is tasting bad.
When my mother was being treated for cancer last year, no, the oncologist didn't talk to her about diet and exercise. The oncologist was focussed on getting rid of the cancerous cells, because that was her area of expertise.
She left the talk about the diet and exercise plans to the dietitian and physical therapist in the cancer management team, because that was THEIR area of expertise.
Went to state fair with Mr Woo yesterday and was absolutely shocked at the stuff they were selling there (I really should have taken more pictures). It included special foot massagers that can cure diabetic neuropathy and other diseases, "Himalayan salt crystal" lamps, special portable massagers, etc., etc.
It was a woo-lover's paradise. I think the only thing that kept him from buying the foot massager was that I might have insisted on the steam mop for equal treatment.
@thenewme - seriously? I find it ironic that the most adamant "I cured myself" people are usually also never diagnosed. Currently in a support group I run there is a woman like that - she has severe health anxiety issues. I often wonder if many of the "I cured myself" people are the same ones who feel an ache and are convinced it is bone cancer, develop allergies and are sure it is pink eye, etc.
To go back to the immediacy of relief provided by scam treatment, I believe this is what keeps patients going back over and over again to these quackmasters. If you are living with chronic pain, some relief may seem better than no relief. However, what irritates me is that most quackmasters do not try and teach people how to take care of themselves (no money in that) so they engender reliance on the quackmaster. This is how you get people to come and see you for years, convince them you are the only one who can provide relief, even if it is only for a couple of hours.
Surprise, surprise (NOT!) Judy Seeger is an affiliate marketing scammer in addition to being a fraud! It seems a very popular way to get other quacks to recommend your woo! She makes it so easy to get rich by sharing her miraculous cure, and even provides you the canned text to plaster the internet with! Ack.
Teach a man to fish, and he'll never buy fish from you again. Rule one of those sort of healing cons: never let the mark realize they can do it just as well themselves.
Jake, I don't believe you've actualy read the Feng paper you cited re: accupuncture for depression. Here's their methods section:
I'm sure you can see the glaring error in their methods section: absolutely no attempt is made to control for placebo effects by including a faux accupuncture group, or for confounders like regression to the mean, etc., by including a group receiving no treatment whatsoever. They simply compared a group receiving 'genuine' accunpuncture to a group receiving of a serontonin re-uptake inhibitor.
Also note they don't tell us when the Prozac group began receiving the drug (it can take weeks for SRI's to begin affecting) and state that all of members of the Prozac group received the same dose (20 mgs/day) : 20 mgs/day is the recomended initial dose for SRI therapy but SRI's need to be individually titrated over a period or weeks, increasing the dosage gradually over a period of weeks, until an effective tolerated dose is identified (it can be as high as 80 mgs/day).
If the 'control' group started receiving prozac at the same time as the accunpuncture began receiving treatment, and if no attempt was made to titrate each control subjects' effective tolerated dose, even if accupuncture did work other than as a placebo treatment comparison to this control group won't generate any rmeaningful conclusions.
Are the other papers you've cited of teh same quality? For taht matter, have you actually read them? I'm wondering if it's worth my time tracking them down.
I never understood what NLP had to do with healing, but it pops up on many of these quack wellness sites.I have found some useful ideas in NLP, especially the early stuff, but it appears to have been largely appropriated by narcissists and nutjobs. If you accept the idea that all illness is caused or prevented from healing by inner conflict, it makes a sort of sense that you could use psychological approaches to cure it.
Damn, I don't know how that happened. That first sentence was a quote from Marc Stephens Is Insane.
LOL Ms England is a hoot. People like her make me angry as a rule but this little gem is the exception. Hard not to call POE on this one, she invoked god early on in the thread
Preying on the sick and vulnerable when you have nothing to offer except BS and magical thinking should be a crime and you Ms England should pay the price with a jail term.
You keep posting Ms England. you are in the company of intelligent people and the laughs keep coming :)
Anyway its off to our cancer forum where we show people like Ms England the door, followed by a not so gentle push.
Hey! Orac got BoingBoinged by Xeni Jardin (who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer):
BoingBoing is a daily read for me. Highly recommended.
I guess the bullies won again. Somebody (!) over at BCO really, really didn't like me posting about "Dr." Judy Seeger's nonsense, since they managed to delete a bunch of posts and have the thread locked and me put on restriction (again). It's really sad that they feel so threatened by evidence and information that they resort to silly censoring games, and it's tragic that the mods there allow it.
Re: Xeni Jardin's assessment of snake oil salesmen, I couldn't agree more! Nice article on BoingBoing, and best of luck with your breast cancer treatment. I hope you're doing well!
With all their post deleting, I have to say I'm shocked that the BCO mods left my post up quack sites breastcancerchoices.org (aka breastcanceralternatives.org) and www.annieappleseedproject.org ! Talk about Woo Extraordinaire! I'd love to read Orac's take on these someday!
I tell you, when people say right off the bat that they "had cancer" but never mention how it was diagnosed, that should raise dozens of red flags. Unfortunately, it doesn't for most people.
I found a couple of large lumps in my breast. I got a mammogram. They were cysts. Doctor said I needed to cut back on the soy products and get more protein from animal products. They shrank. If I had found them and diagnosed them myself as "cancer" and kept on eating my healthy vegan diet, they would have gotten bigger.
Years later, when all the lumps in my body were expanding from fibroids and cysts in my uterus and ovaries, those same cysts got really large. After the complete hysterectomy, the various lipomas and cysts didn't shrink, so I had the biggest lipomas surgically removed, and the cysts aspirated. It was unquestionably a faster and more effective resolution to the problem than any kind of "alternative" treatment would have been.
And now it turns out that I have an intraosseous meningioma that explains perfectly why I'm having some issues with expressive aphasia. I could pick a nice, side-effect-free "natural" treatment and wait until the pressure completely destroyed the language processing areas of my brain, or I could go see a neurosurgeon. Thinking it over, well, I'm off to the neurosurgeon next week.
It's a lot better to be diagnosed by a professional and treated by a professional specialist. We let professionals design our roads and buildings and power plants and water supply systems, and we let licensed, professional contractors build and repair them. If we can't do all that by ourselves with information we find on Google, what makes anyone think we can practice medicine using the same level of knowledge?
@ AlisonM: Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Look at this I found a new website, Neuro Wiki:
@Alison M - seconding what lilady said sending best wishes for your recovery and imagining what a bridge built by Mr Woo might look like (and how long it would stand up to traffic before collapse).
I think the answer to that in most people's minds would be that a road isn't your body. Add in some special snowflakes to the recipe and "medicine for you" makes more sense than "medicine produced for statistically average people".
PS. I also wish you good health!
Alison M: "We let professionals design our roads and buildings and power plants and water supply systems, and we let licensed, professional contractors build and repair them."
Sometimes we forget that lots of people don't do these things. They think they can do it themselves and they are burnt, crushed, electrocuted and poisoned every year. Not every single person but enough to be notable.
and I too wish you good health
I liked this from Xeni Jardin
You guys are WAY too nice to this lady. Seriously. A few comments in and it's clear she is nothing more than a religious nutjob who can't reason or read, and believes her insane anti-science woo as if it is divine.
After the posts providing links demonstrating her kitchen sink of Woo is bullshit, she should simply be called a moron and then banned.
Letting her continue just makes the thread too long, and permits her to spout off continued non-sequiturs. It reminds me of those horrible HIV bbs message boards back in the early and mid 1990s that were taken over by Deusberg-fueled wackos who believed HIV did not exist.
I personally know two people who, only after deciding chemo-therapy was killing them, they decided to try the natural route. They have been cancer free for over the bullshit standard five year mark the medical doctors refer to as success. there is no money in the cure and that is why there isn't one. welcome to america where money is god.
Hi, Johnny. I'm glad your two friends are okay.
I will note that your logic "they did this, and they came out okay, and that proves that's the way to do it" is the same logic numerous drunk drivers use to justify their DUI. "I drive home drunk a lot and I haven't crashed yet, so that proves driving drunk isn't dangerous and the authorities who say it is are lying! In fact, since they're lying, the truth is probably that drunk driving is *better* driving!"
It doesn't work that way. Personal anecdote doesn't outweigh science.
The most likely explanation is that conventional treatment cured them, but the "natural route" got the credit. The "natural route" never cured anyone.