The Health Danger Rides Again!

by endlesspsych

By Keir Liddle

Had I more of a religious outlook, I might want to declare that there is a special place reserved in hell for Mike Adams – the self appointed “Health Ranger” – and his ilk. I’ve previously blogged about my distaste for Adams and his crusade against modern medicine and “big pharma” here.

I was prompted to write about Mike Adams because of the ghoulish and opportunistic manner in which he uses celebrities contracting cancer and other diseases as a means to hock his alternative medicine wares – particularly when he used the death of Patrick Swayze as detailed below:

Beloved actor Patrick Swayze died yesterday evening after a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Having put his faith in conventional chemotherapy, he largely dismissed ideas that nutrition, superfoods or “alternative medicine” might save him, instead betting his life on the chemotherapy approach which seeks to poison the body into a state of remission instead of nourishing it into a state of health.

Citing Bernie Mac, Michael Jackson and Heath Ledger as some examples of such celebrities to have been sacrificed to the altar of modern medicine, rather than getting well by trusting in traditional “medicine”, Adams goes on to declare:

Could Patrick Swayze have saved his own life with natural medicine? Absolutely. Without question. Even late-stage pancreatic cancer can be reversed (yes, reversed) with full-on naturopathic treatments involving Chinese herbal medicine, deep body detoxification that includes sweat saunas and colon cleansing, radical changes in diet from “dead” foods to “live” foods, a healthy dose of vitamin D and the daily consumption of raw anti-cancer living juices made from fresh, organic produce like cabbage, broccoli and garlic.

So why dredge all this up again now? Well,  it seems the Health Danger is at it again. This time he’s trying to “save” Michael Douglas.

One by one, celebrities with cancer are killed off by the cancer industry and its extremely toxic (even inhumane) treatments of chemotherapy and radiation. The next potential victim is actor Michael Douglas, who recently revealed he is suffering from stage 4 throat cancer. While Douglas has the courage to admit his cancer was likely caused by his “smoking and drinking,” he hasn’t yet found the courage to question the toxicity of conventional cancer treatments. So he’s undergoing several weeks of chemotherapy and radiation “treatments” (if you can call them that).

Mike makes a couple of claims regarding chemotherapy:

chemotherapy and radiation never “cure” cancer — they only temporarily shrink tumors while increasing the risk of cancer throughout the body.

One of the most prominent side effects of chemotherapy is, in fact, cancer! The same is true for radiation. These are both cancer-causing interventions in human biology. Instead of boosting immune function, they compromise it. And while they may temporarily shrink cancer tumors, recent research reveals that they don’t eliminate cancer tumor stem cells that can easily re-grow the tumor once the treatments are finished.

Chemotherapy is, essentially, the treatment of disease with chemicals, and it is generally used to kill micro-organisms or cancer cells. Chemotherapy generally attacks the processes which cells use to divide and proliferate – processes which are out of control in cancer – and it is through this action that it “shrinks” tumours. It is also by this process that cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances can be damaged or killed by chemotherapy, and this can lead to some of the common side effects of chemotherapy: there are numerous side effects of chemotherapy — fatigue, nausea, vomiting, immune-suppression and hair-loss. It is also true that there is an increased risk of cancer after some chemotherapy but the alternative to not have chemo is, in all probability, death. In that scenario (in most cases) does an increased risk of cancer seem worth rejecting treatment for?

I therefore contend that at best Adams is being ignorant and at worst, the HealthRanger is being disingenuous and alarmist in order to promote his despicable crusade against evidence based medicine.

Mike then goes on to prescribe the course of action he believes will “cure” cancer:

The only sure way to stop a cancer tumor from growing back is to change its environment by altering your exercise, diet and intake of anti-cancer foods, superfoods and medicinal herbs. By flooding your body’s cells with anti-cancer nutrients such as vitamin D, selenium, vitamin C and plant-based nutrients, your risk of growing cancer tumors is greatly decreased.

Here, Mike describes several treatments that are untested or have been shown not to work.

Take superfoods as one example (covered more fully here). There is no evidence that the various anti-cancer foods or anti-cancer diets that are the stock and trade of certain woo merchants work. Indeed, in terms of cancer prevention, it was found that individuals eating 100-200g more than the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables were only marginally less likely to suffer from cancer – roughly 3% less than the average risk.

Or, if you prefer, look at the evidence (or lack thereof) that vitamin C or D can “cure” or “prevent” cancer — it’s on similarly shaky ground. As Cancer Research UK point out:

At the moment there is no reliable evidence that any type of dietary supplement can help to prevent cancer

The Cochrane collaboration, which conducts meta-analytical studies of medical research, concludes time and again that vitamins should not be prescribed to treat or prevent cancer, as there is no evidence to suggest they are beneficial.

It is my belief that Adams, by continuing to spread misinformation based on poor evidence and anecdote, is a danger to public health and the wellbeing (and wallets) of those people with cancer, who have become desperate enough to try anything.

We wish Douglas well in his fight and anyone else who is currently battling against cancer.