Daily Mail Nov 24, 2006
See: Fear of Quacks The Cancer Conspiracy
[This one takes the biscuit. Talk about seeing yourself in others! This is just an Allopath monopolist (they never have enough money, and they are afraid of alt med as it will eventually do away with chemo) slagging off the competition. It was strange that Caron Keating managed to avoid finding the hundreds of alternative medical doctors who treat cancer 1,000 times better than this Allopath (there are about 38 in the Goldberg book, also, just for starters), but if she had we would never read about it in the What To Think Network (for one thing they don't want you thinking about cancer doctors, they want you think you will be running about looking for this or that herb and self-medicating). The most you get is an article that slips out by mistake (see 1, 2, 3) and then they vanish out of sight. And the list offered of 'alternatives' is another piece of disinfo, two of the herbs mentioned, Slippery elm & Sheep Sorrel are just 2 of the 4 ingredients of Essiac (never mention that of course), and Shark cartilage isn't something anyone with any knowledge of Alternative med would use, not least for the moral aspects of using sharks, it is just an Allopathic way of doing medicine. To get a real picture of real vile and cynical exploitation and real snake oil medicine, see The Cancer Hoax, other Medical Hoaxes, Death by Medicine, how they Suppress alternatives, not forgetting Vaccine autism, and the millions addicted and damaged from Psychiatry, all Allopathic medicine that this quack is defending. You have to admire his brass neck though, but it is an excellent example of the disinformation put out by the medical mafia via the media, and (her) cancer was being treated by orthodox medicine.]
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Cancer patients are victims of 'vile and cynical' exploitation by the alternative medicines industry, claims a top specialist.
Professor Jonathan Waxman, of Imperial College London, is calling for legislation against 'the snake oil salesmen that peddle cures and exploit the desperate.'
• 'Patients with less glamorous diseases suffer over decision to fund Herceptin'
He says patients are being encouraged to try faddy diets and herbal remedies that don't work and may weaken them, sometimes delaying the use of scientifically tested conventional therapy.
Around four out of five cancer patients take a complementary treatment or follow a special diet in a bid to beat the disease.
But almost 60 trials have failed to show any benefit from different dietary regimes, said Prof Waxman, who is professor of oncology at London's Hammersmith Hospital.
Alternative therapies taken by patients include shark cartilage, blessed thistle, slippery elm, sheep sorrel and potentially toxic doses of vitamins, he said.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, Prof Waxman said patients were being offered false hope and could end up damaged.
He said "Some of these things do dreadful harm. Patients are made thin by their cancer, and then become thinner still because they follow diets that evidence shows cannot help their recovery.
"There is an entire planetary mass of information that shows Western diets are associated with an increased risk of cancer and vegetarian diets and traditional Eastern diets are protective.
"However we also know that once cancer has been diagnosed no change in diet will lead to any improvement in cancer outcomes."
Prof Waxman said Prince Charles's advocacy of complementary medicine had focused attention on treatments that some patients hailed for helping their recovery - while ignoring the chemotherapy which actually cured them.
He said: "How can it be that treatments that don't work are regarded as life saving? It isn't logical."
Among famous cancer sufferers who turned to complementary therapies were TV broadcaster Caron Keating and world motorcycle champion Barry Sheene.
Gloria Hunniford, in a moving account of her daughter Caron's battle with breast cancer, told how she fell under the thrall of alternative therapists - some of whom were charlatans.
She resisted medication while "straddling two worlds - orthodox treatment and complementary" before dying two years ago at the age of 41.
Barry Sheene who rejected chemotherapy, saying he could beat the disease with a diet of vegetables and fruit juice, died at 52 from throat and stomach cancer.
Prof Waxman said patients often did not know what they were taking, as some herbal remedies have been doctored with drugs or dangerous ingredients, that have led to public health warnings.
He said: "Why not subject the alternative medicines industry to the level of scrutiny that defines pharmaceuticals?"
Currently alternative treatments are not subject to pharmaceutical testing because they are classified as food supplements.
But Prof Waxman said these products - which get hyped on Internet sites - should be reclassified as drugs because they are being marketed with claims for efficacy.
"These treatments may often delay the institution of conventional therapy" he warned, adding "the claims made by companies to support the sales of such products may be overtly and malignly incorrect."
He also attacked the way in which patients are put under pressure by the complementary therapy industry, which comes to a head when treatments don't work.
"The pressure there is on the patient who has failed to be cured by the shark cartilage - because sharks allegedly don't get cancer.
"The patients has failed, not the alternative therapy, and the patient has let down the alternative practitioner and disappointed his family who have encouraged his treatment" he added.
A recent study found patients who follow alternative therapies can spend almost £200 a month, he said.
He said the EU was paving the way to bring in legislation to better regulate the alternative medicine market, which has an estimated value of £250m a year in the UK alone.
He said: "We need to protect our patients from vile and cynical exploitation whose intellectual basis, at best, might be viewed as delusional."
'She fought to the very end'
Herbalist Jan de Vries tells Judith Woods how he helped Caron Keating to battle breast cancer
The naturopath and herbalist Jan de Vries vividly remembers the day he discovered that television presenter Caron Keating had breast cancer. They had just appeared together on This Morning when Keating, Gloria Hunniford's daughter, told him she was worried about a medical matter. She asked him to step into her dressing room.
"The lump in her breast was visible," recalls de Vries. "I told her she needed to see a doctor immediately, which she did."
That she should consult de Vries about her fears comes as no surprise. Since his regular appearances on Hunniford's Radio 2 show in the Eighties and Nineties, de Vries has become both the veteran broadcaster's health adviser and a family friend. In 2002, the pair wrote a book, Feel Fabulous at Fifty.
But over the past seven years, de Vries's role evolved, as he became a source of support and advice to Hunniford's daughter. It was over this period that the mother of two was treated for the illness that killed her, aged 41, last month.
"People ask me about Caron all the time," he says, with great sadness. "And even though I'm not one of her family, I still find it difficult to come to grips with her loss. She was a beautiful, talented, young woman, who had so much to offer the world and I valued her friendship enormously."
From the outset, Keating followed the suggestions de Vries gave her regarding diet, vitamin supplements and herbal remedies. Although the cancer was being treated by orthodox medicine, she sought to give her immune system the best fighting chance by using alternative therapies, detoxifying her body and taking the herbal medication he recommended.
"The fact Caron lived for seven years with a disease that was very aggressive is a testament to her positive, open-minded attitude," says Amsterdam-born de Vries, who is based in Scotland. "She was very positive and never once did I hear her protesting or getting angry about her condition – she focused on what she could do to try and beat it. She had a strength of character that went far beyond the image people saw of a good-looking television presenter."
A qualified pharmacist, de Vries is also a trained homoeopath, herbalist, osteopath and acupuncturist. Many of his patients are, like Keating, women with breast cancer. After seeing 13 such patients one day, he decided to write a book to help a wider audience. Female Cancers: A Complementary Approach, out next week, addresses how women can reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease and explains what sufferers can do to improve their chances of recovery.
"Cancer is warfare between an army of degenerative cells and regenerative cells. Conventional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy destroy both types of cell, so you have to make the army of healthy cells as strong as you can," he says. "I'm not in the business of giving false hope. What people seek from me is practical help, and I would never claim that I've cured anybody – but I have healed them. Healing is about influencing a person to heal themselves."
When Keating's cancer was diagnosed in 1997, shortly after the death of her father, to whom she was very close, and the birth of her second son, she turned to de Vries for advice and help. As did her mother, who, he says, was "utterly broken-hearted" about the terrible disease her daughter faced.
"While her cancer was being treated with orthodox medicine, she wanted to take responsibility for herself and do what she could to help her body cope," says de Vries. "She was very strict with her diet, eating organic food, and I gave her supplements of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, which often get very depleted when a person is being given radio- or chemotherapy. I also gave her a lot of enzymes, which help the body's cells function better."
He also recommended daily doses of IP-6, a component of fibre found in wholegrains and legumes, and insitol, a natural substance that is part of the vitamin B group. It is thought that together, these two cause tumour suppression by significantly reducing cancer cell replication.
De Vries also taught Keating breathing exercises and visualisation techniques, which she used throughout her illness. In 1998, she took a year off work, and when it seemed that the cancer was in remission, she returned to programme making. But, late in 1999, she learnt that the cancer had returned. She gave up work and, with her husband, showbusiness agent Russ Lindsay, and their two sons, moved to Cornwall.
From there, she travelled to Tuscany, Switzerland and Australia for therapy. She visited spiritual healers and pursued every avenue she thought might be effective. But two years on, she suffered another relapse. For the last two years of Keating's life, the family lived in Byron Bay, an area well known for its spiritual retreats and yoga therapy for cancer patients.
"When Caron moved to Australia, her care was out of my hands," says de Vries, "But she still followed the advice I gave her. She was living on borrowed time and I would say that seven years is a long time for a cancer patient."
Some of de Vries's beliefs are viewed with scepticism by the medical establishment. For example, his conviction that emotional trauma can play a key role in triggering cancer – he feels the death of Keating's father played a crucial part – is disputed by the CancerBacup charity. In Female Cancers, he expresses the controversial opinion that cancer will not develop if a person's immune system is functioning well.
"Cancers are developing in our bodies most of the time – a healthy immune system will easily keep the cancer cells in check and destroy them," he writes. "Cancer is a condition that only gets out of hand when the immune system is in poor working order."
Yet, although doctors may not necessarily share his philosophy, conventional medicine is increasingly welcoming practitioners such as de Vries, who can often improve a patient's quality of life.
Keating was in Switzerland and about to receive three weeks' treatment at a Zurich clinic when she realised the end was near. She asked her husband to drive her back to England to see her mother. She arrived at Hunniford's home in Sevenoaks, Kent, at 1am on April 16 and died a few hours later, surrounded by her family.
Tears well up in de Vries's eyes as he talks about Keating's courageous struggle with cancer.
"Human beings have a tremendous capacity to heal themselves," he says. "But I believe that when your time is up, it's up. At the end of the day, the body always has the last word."