Myth No. 2: Alternative cancer therapists are quacks unscrupulous, unlicensed, untrained in medicine, out for a fast buck.
In a 1984 study in Annals of Internal Medicine, Barrie Cassileth, Ph.D. and fellow researchers found that 60 per cent of the 138 alternative cancer practitioners they investigated were medical doctors. Of the remaining 40 per cent, many held doctorates in biology, chemistry, or other related sciences and had extensive research backgrounds.
The American Cancer Society's compendium of "Unproven Methods in Cancer Management" is the cancer establishment's chief tool to label some 72 alternative therapies as "pseudoscience," charges Ralph Moss, author of the hardhitting expose The Cancer Industry (Paragon House, NY, 1989). "Just including a scientist's name on the list has the effect of damning that researcher's work and putting the tag of 'quackery' on him," Moss adds. It can lead to loss of funding, great difficulty in publishing, rejection of testing applications and harassment by government and medical associations.
Moss's analysis of the unorthodox therapists whose names appear on the ACS Unproven Methods list reveals that 65 per cent of them were MDs, many from prestigious medical schools; an additional 13 per cent held Ph.D.s in medical or scientific disciplines.
One such scientist was Max Gerson, MD, hailed by Nobel laureate Dr Albert Schweitzer as "one of the most eminent medical geniuses in the history of medicine."
Myth No. 3: Patients who seek alternative therapies are driven by desperation. They're ignorant, gullible, or both.
Contrary to the stereotype, Cassileth's 1984 study found that patients using unorthodox cancer therapies were a lot better educated as a group than patients on conventional treatments only. Most of the patients paid less than $1000 for the first year of alternative treatment costs that are modest compared to expenses of $2,500 per day for conventional US treatments.
Myth No. 4: Alternative cancer therapies are "unproven", therefore untested and unscientific.
In his revealing analysis of the ACS blacklist Ralph Moss discovered that for 44 per cent of those condemned therapies, no investigation at all was carried out by the ACS or any other agency. In another 11 per cent, the investigations actually yielded positive results. Inconclusive findings were reported for 16 per cent. In the remaining cases (28 per cent), the ACS judges determined the methods in question to be ineffective, findings determined through second and third hand reports like magazine articles and foreign medical associations charges Moss.
Five unorthodox cancer treatments, once stigmatized by their inclusion in the ACS blacklist, were later removed from it and now form an accepted part of treatment.
How "Cancer Inc." Suppresses Promising Cures
Today's medical cartel is spearheaded by the American Medical Association with its extremely powerful lobby. The AMA has waged a campaign in Congress and state legislatures to push legislation that strengthens its grip on US health care policies. Over the course of its history the AMA has denounced midwifery, self care, optometry, homoeopathy, osteopathy, acupuncture and lay analysis as being dangerous, fraudulent, or both. In 1987 the AMA was found guilty of restraint of trade in a "conspiracy to destroy and eliminate" the chiropractic profession, a legitimate competitor. The AMA is appealing the case.