The problem with ‘alternative’ cancer treatment

Another day, another cancer-related health claim or crisis…

Amiright? It seems like we can’t get away from these headlines. On the news, on the radio, on Facebook and everywhere else on the internet, you can’t take two clicks without being informed of the latest doom and gloom cancer news.

The latest: vitamin B12, a shot that all of the adults in my life now swear by as a general elixir of energy, could be carcinogenic. This is just getting impossible to keep up with!


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Over the weekend, I heard about a friend of a friend who sadly passed away from bowel cancer. She was just 35 years old, and leaves behind two small children. Her story is unbelievably heartbreaking and at the same time, all too common.

And it makes these types of headlines all the more distressing.

To the content producers looking for leads to hang a story on, it’s just another statistic or bit of research. But to the people who are actually going through this, who have had their lives brutally transformed by cancer (are there many of us that haven’t these days?), these headlines can hurt.

They can somehow shift the blame, and make it seem as if we are, as individuals, culpable for our own cancer diagnosis.

“If I only I didn’t drink so much X, or eat so much Y, or spend too long/not enough time in the sun, maybe I wouldn’t be in this position…”

Just as prolific as the cancer-related headlines are the cancer-related cures. Google the words ‘healthy cancer cure’ and you’ll be treated to no fewer than 74 million search results online. Apricot oil! Cannabis oil! Raw juice! Coffee enemas! These are just some of the miracles being spouted by supposed ‘health advocates’.

I’m not suggesting they’re all bogus. However, I do think that anyone who is making money off their health claims deserves a health serving of scepticism.

My dad has stage 4 cancer. There is no doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t be here today without the very strong, very expensive, fully government funded chemotherapy he underwent.

I also think the thousands and thousands and THOUSANDS of dollars he has spent on healing magnets, oils, shakes and vitamins has helped him as well. However now that he’s run out money and he’s approaching the end, his health ‘guru’ doesn’t want to know him – perhaps because it would ruin his track record? (He claims he’s ‘never lost a patient/client’).

I find this appalling. What you put in your body absolutely impacts your health, however, to dangle hope in front of very desperate people – and worse, to profit off someone’s health woes – is a dog’s game.