Are reports of “natural cancer cures” scams?

I, as have many other oncologists, occasionally encounter patients whose cancers go away without conventional therapy.

Sometimes these events are the invention of a con artist. You might remember the case of Belle Gibson, who tried to get rich by “recovering” from a cancer she never had. Others downplay or go mum on the conventional therapy they freely used, and give all the credit to an alternative treatment.

A few cases report on the disappearance of unbiopsied abnormalities that were never confirmed as cancerous.

However, when unexpected recoveries are properly diagnosed and rigourously documented, they are acknowledged and labeled “spontaneous remissions.”

Even with the legitimizing label attached, these very special events are ignored by most cancer researchers. However, these are not “spontaneous” remissions, events that occur without cause. There are solid, scientifically-valid reasons for these occurrences. We just don’t know what they are.

What caused the cancer to simply disappear in these cases? Genetics? Diet? Herbs? Supplements? A combination of the above? An infection? (Yes, certain infections have been observed to reverse some cases of cancer!)

If only we knew what caused this rare and happy event, recovery from cancer without conventional treatment, how many other people with cancer might benefit!

Ask your legislators to support government-sponsored research into unexpected or “spontaneous” cancer remissions. Here is one such case several colleagues and I published in a peer-reviewed journal recently.

Here is one such case recently published in a peer-reviewed journal.