MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

Tomorrow is WORLD CANCER DAY. To mark this important occasion, I intend to publish not just one but two posts. Today’s post discloses one of the more sickening alternative cancer scams I have seen for a long time (tomorrow’s post will be a lot more encouraging): baking soda as a cancer cure. Here is what some charlatans tell the most vulnerable of our patients.

START OF QUOTE

Even the most aggressive cancers which have metastasized have been reversed with baking soda cancer treatments… Doctors and pharmaceutical companies make money from it. That’s the only reason chemotherapy is still used. Not because it’s effective, decreases morbidity, mortality or diminishes any specific cancer rates. In fact, it does the opposite. Chemotherapy boosts cancer growth and long-term mortality rates and oncologists know it…

Studies have shown that dietary measures to boost bicarbonate levels can increase the pH of acidic tumors without upsetting the pH of the blood and healthy tissues. Animal models of human breast cancer show that oral sodium bicarbonate does indeed make tumors more alkaline and inhibit metastasis. Based on these studies, plus the fact that baking soda is safe and well tolerated, world renowned doctors such as Dr. Julian Whitaker have adopted successful cancer treatment protocols as part of an overall nutritional and immune support program for patients who are dealing with the disease…

When taken orally with water, especially water with high magnesium content, and when used transdermally in medicinal baths, sodium bicarbonate becomes a first-line medicinal for the treatment of cancer, and also kidney disease, diabetes, influenza and even the common cold. It is also a powerful buffer against radiation exposure, so everyone should be up to speed on its use. Everybody’s physiology is under heavy nuclear attack from strong radioactive winds that are circling the northern hemisphere…

The pH of our tissues and body fluids is crucial and central because it affects and mirrors the state of our health or our inner cleanliness. The closer the pH is to 7.35-7.45, the higher our level of health and wellbeing. Staying within this range dramatically increases our ability to resist acute illnesses like colds and flues as well as the onset of cancer and other diseases. Keeping our pH within a healthy range also involves necessary lifestyle and dietary changes that will protect us over the long term while the use of sodium bicarbonate gives us a jump-start toward increased alkalinity…

Basically, malignant tumors represent masses of rapidly growing cells. The rapid rate of growth experienced by these cells means that cellular metabolism also proceeds at very high rates. Therefore, cancer cells are using a lot more carbohydrates and sugars to generate energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). However, some of the compounds formed from the energy production include lactic acid and pyruvic acid. Under normal circumstances, these compounds are cleared and utilized as soon as they are produced. But cancer cells are experiencing metabolism at a much faster rate. Therefore, these organic acid accumulate in the immediate environment of the tumor. The high level of extracellular acidity around the tumor is one of the chief driving force behind the metastasis of cancer tumors. Basically, cancer cells need an acidic environment to grow and spread rapidly…

One does not have to be a doctor to practice pH medicine. Every practitioner of the healing arts and every mother and father needs to understand how to use sodium bicarbonate. Bicarbonate deficiency is a real problem that deepens with age so it really does pay to understand and appreciate what baking soda is all about.

END OF QUOTE

I am sure you agree: this is not just unethical and irresponsible; it is vile!

There are far too many falsehoods in this text (and most of them are too obvious) for me to even begin to correct them.

Why do I post this just before WORLD CANCER DAY?

Because I believe that cancer patients need to be protected from people and institutions who tout dangerous nonsense. Sadly, in the realm of alternative medicine, there are many of such charlatans.

29 Responses to This must be the most sickening cancer scam I have seen for a while

  • “The closer the pH is to 7.35-7.45, the higher our level of health and wellbeing”

    This is unarguably true – and if it strays outside those limits you will have acidosis or alkalosis and be very sick.

    Fortunately, evolution has equipped us with a sophisticated biofeedback system which regulates bodily pH within precisely those limits. Which is why we don’t die when we eat an orange.

  • I could not find any contact details for this site, other than the domain registrant who appears to be in Vietnam. The ad links to energiseforlife.com which is a British site, so subject to UK consumer law. There is a long list of references which I will try to get checked, as I suspect they don’t support the claims at all. Does anyone want to help me with this?

  • ….and the first thing I find is that Dr Joe Pizzorno, corresponding author on the first paper cited, is a naturopath and affiliated with the Institute of Functional Medicine, and a founder of the quack Bastyr University. This is the paper which the site claims is `research’ from the `prestigious Cambridge University’ It isn’t, it’s a review paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition, which is published by Cambridge University Press. Goodness, this is going to be fun.

  • Definition of a SCAM:

    “An illegal plan for making money, especially one that involves tricking people”

    You are again making a serious allegation without supporting evidence!

    • SCAM = A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.
      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/scam

    • I RECOMMEND SULFUR 30C
      but watch it: you might have an aggravation!

    • Instead of ‘scam’, he could have just called it ‘a pack of lies’ – would you be OK with that, Colin?

    • “[Colin] You are again making a serious allegation without supporting evidence!”

      A scam is generally considered to be the promotion of a product or a service that itself lacks adequately supporting evidence. Therefore, requesting evidence of its lack of evidence is both: a pathetic attempt to shift the burden of proof; a pathetic attempt to despise anyone and everyone who dares to either critique it, or dares to request from the vendor adequately supporting evidence!

      I suggest that you properly study what constitutes medical fraud.

      • Criminals claim they do not commit burglaries, murder or fraud because they are sociopaths and narcissists. The recently popular and fraudulent “alkaline diet” must have “metastasized” from this “baking soda treatment.”

  • I’ve realised that the energiseforlife.com ad is an automatic one, but I’m grateful to the mighty Google for pointing me to what is undoubtedly a scam. So far none of the references supports any of the claims. It is clearly illegal, at least in the UK, to make health claims without evidence, and especially to solicit payment.

  • Gee, isn’t Tulio Simoncini in prison for killing people exactly this same way? He would inject baking soda (BS!) directly into breast tumours. All his patients died, of course, and he was stripped of his medical license and thrown in jail in Italy.

    Let’s not forget Robert O. Young, who got rich selling his entire pH quackery to vulnerable, desperate and misguided patients. He’s also in jail, for pretending to be a doctor.

    Funny that uber-quack Julian Whitaker is cited. He’s an anti-vax, anti-psychiatry “detox” advocate and loon. Unfortunately he’s a real MD, which brings a certain implied (and undeserved) credibility.

    For a few years Whitaker served on the board of a scientology front group called the Citizen’s Coalition for Human Rights (CCHR), a militant anti-psychiatry organization. Their motto is “Psychiatry: an industry of death.” I didn’t know he had bought into the whole baking soda scam.

    Whitaker has also tangled with Orac and there’s a very amusing video of this crackpot showing graphs that make no sense.

    • Oh, and stupid me, I forgot the best part! Whitaker is also one of the few doctors on the planet willing to speak on behalf of Stan Burzynski. That alone tells you all you need to know about his level of credulity.

      He sells a ton of supplements, anti-aging potions and other garbage on his website too, like all good quacks.

      • Are you talking of Burzynsky who has been acquitted again quite recently, and who has a spectacular cure record, and hundreds of cured patients testifying and gathering at the court? I bet you also think Hillary is a virgin.

        • So this is Burzynski’s spectacular cure record?

          https://theotherburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com/

          30+ years, 60+ `trials’ and still no product licence? Your level of debate does you no credit.

        • Burzynski has been researching these since the 70s. He’s conducted many trials (64), but never managed to produce any credible evidence that they work for any type. Not only that but when others have tested them they can’t either https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4366171/ In my view they have been sufficiently studied and now should be regarded as a disproven treatment.

        • Burzynski has not been “acquitted”, there are findings against him despite the court being swayed in a way they really should not have been by emotional appeals. The TMB would yank his license in a heartbeat if they could. The FDA inspected several times, and found massive violations every time.

          Burzynski has no credible evidence to support his treatments. He’s been selling them for decades, latterly under the pretence of clinical trials. At no point has he produced a single publication in a credible journal that gives any reason to suppose his treatment works.

          The Houston cancer quack is probably the most unethical doctor still licensed to practice in the US.

  • And speak of the devil. This was published a week ago:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/alkaline-ph-diet-founder-arrested-2017-1

    The BBC reported that Young advised a woman who was dying from breast cancer, British army officer Naima Houder-Mohammed, to pay him thousands of dollars for his alkaline treatment, which predominantly consisted of baking soda administered intravenously. According to the BBC, Houder-Mohammed and her family ended up paying Young more than $77,000 (£62,700) for the treatment and his advice.

    Houder-Mohammed stayed at Young’s facility, the “pH Miracle Ranch,” for three months, according to the BBC, until her condition worsened and she was taken to the hospital. She died at age 27.

    In 2011, the Medical Board of California began an investigation at Young’s ranch, where it discovered that none of the 15 cancer patients Young treated there outlived their prognosis. One woman died from congestive heart failure after being given 33 intravenous sodium bicarbonate drips over 31 days at a cost of $550 each, according to the BBC.

  • Bicarbonate “deficiency”? My fridge had one the other day, so I opened a new box of baking soda and put it in.

    Good on you, Les Rose. It would be interesting to see who started this nonsense and why.

  • The site mentions that a certain Mark Paget at the University of Arizona received a grant of $2 million to conduct a study of baking soda in cancer patients. That study has been completed, but the results have not been posted.

    • It will be interesting to see the results of this study and if positive, what will be posted on this blog!

      • as you seem to be a bit slow on the uptake, let me explain this to you:
        even if the study turns out to be convincingly positive, the claims I exposed in this post are bogus and irresponsible, not least because they were made before clinical trials were available.
        got it?
        somehow, I doubt it!

        • Your original post would have been more acceptable if you had made reference to this study and that the outcome is still to be published. All I am suggesting is a more balanced approach on your behalf. As a professional investigator I believe that all the known facts should be presented in any report so that balanced and informed choices and decisions can be made. Call that delusional if you will!

  • It appears to me that, given the focus of Dr. Paget’s previous work, his study on oral dosing of sodium bicarbonate has more to do with imaging tumors and revealing their pH in an effort to develop more effective cancer chemotherapeutics than anything else. Given the acidic environment of the human gastrointestinal tract, it will be surprising if even that works. As near as I can tell, the idea of treating cancer patients with baking soda is based on tumor inhibition in rodents. But just because something seems to work in rodents doesn’t mean that it will be effective in humans.

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