MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Few alternative remedies are more popular than colloidal silver, i.e. tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid, and few represent more irresponsible quackery. It is widely promoted as a veritable panacea. Take this website (one of thousands), for instance; it advertises colloidal silver in the most glowing terms:

Here are some of the diseases against which Colloidal Silver has been used successfully Acne, Allergies, Appendicitis, Arthritis, Blood parasites, Bubonic plague, Burns (colloidal silver is one of the few treatments that can keep severe burn patients alive), Cancer, Cholera, Conjunctivitis, Diabetes, Gonorrhoea, Hay Fever, Herpes, Leprosy, Leukaemia, Malaria, Meningitis, Parasitic Infections both viral and fungal, Pneumonia, Rheumatism, Ringworm, Scarlet Fever, Septic conditions of eyes, ears, mouth, throat, Shingles, Skin Cancer, Syphilis, all viruses, warts and stomach ulcer.In addition it also has veterinary uses, such as for canine Parvo virus. You’ll also find Colloidal Silver very handy in the garden since it can be used against bacterial, fungal / viral attacks on plants.It would also appear highly unlikely that any germ warfare agents could survive an encounter with CS, as viruses such as E Bola and Hanta are in the end merely viruses and bacteria.Colloidal Silver is non-toxic, making it safe for both children, adults and pets. Colloidal Silver is in fact a pre 1938 healing modality, making it exempt from FDA jurisdiction.

So why haven’t you heard of it? It’s suspected that the user friendly economics of Colloidal Silver may have something to do with its low profile in the media. Colloidal Silver shines a spotlight on the over expensive and deadly nature of the pharmaceutical industry, who are larger than the Pentagon economically.

That’s right, plenty of bogus claims (it goes without saying that there is no good evidence to support any of them) and, for good measure, some conspiracy theory as well – the perfect mix for making a fast buck!

But sometimes things do not work out as planned. The following text was recently published on the website of Essex County Council:

A man claiming to sell a cure for cancer has been fined £750 following an investigation by Essex Trading Standards. Steven Cook, 54, of East Road, West Mersea, was charged with an offence under the Cancer Act after suggesting Colloidal Silver was a treatment for cancer.

Mr Cook pleaded guilty at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Friday 12 September. Magistrates imposed a fine of £750 and ordered him to pay £1,500 costs. Cllr Roger Hirst, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: “Trading Standards’ advice to people who are considering whether to take any substance not prescribed for a medical purpose, either preventative or as a treatment, is to consult their doctor first.

“I hope the public feel safer knowing that Essex Trading Standards will take action where traders are trying to sell products which are neither medically proven nor safe.”

Mr Cook runs a website, www.colloidalsilveruk.com, selling various products containing silver. One of the products on sale was “Ultimate Colloidal Silver”, a liquid containing silver that Mr Cook made in his own home. Trading Standards said the website implied that the product can cure cancer – and this is an offence under the Cancer Act. Mr Cook has now updated the website and removed any claims that colloidal silver can cure some cancers.

So, there is some hope! Occasionally, fraudsters are being found out and punished. But the bad news, of course, is that this sort of thing occurs far too rarely and when it does happen, the punishment is far too lenient. Consequently, the public’s protection from fraudsters exploiting the most vulnerable patients is woefully insufficient.

23 Responses to Colloidal silver for cancer? No, it’s for enriching fraudsters!

  • This may seem like encouraging news but it is unlikely to make much of an impression on alt-med believers. Dr. Oz admitted before congress that he was promoting bogus diet aids. So far aside from momentary embarrassment no perceptible effect. The consumers of quackery are almost as deluded as those doing the selling. Reality does not seem to help.

  • Colloidal silver has proven germicidal effects as shown by research at Rice University, et al. It has a long history of use in medicine and industry. To ignore this and simply point to one person who ran afoul of the establishment demonstrates the author’s lack of honesty and diligence. We see this behavior and Modus Operandi from far too many self-styled authorities who present no evidence for their dismissals of an extremely safe, effective alternative to antibiotics and pharmaceutical drugs that have known harmful side effects and increasingly lowered efficacy.

    MDs have developed the ability to memorize information and do the bidding of Big Pharma. Unfortunately they have little ability to think critically or creatively. A real pity and a shame. It seems that more people have begun to question the accepted wisdom of these credentialled fraudsters. They can set broken bones and repair structural damage but have limited understanding to the human organism as a system.

    For more examples of medical incompetence, fraud, and malpractice, look into the use of statins and their unforeseen negative consequences, as well as numerous other wrong turns taken by our esteemed MDs.

    Q. What’s the difference between God and a doctor?
    A. God doesn’t think He’s a doctor.

    • very good!!!
      yes, it has germicidal and other effects ex-vivo. that does not mean that it works when taken by mouth by sick patients [bleach is also not clinically effective]. if you know of clinical trials that show clinical efficacy of colloidal silver, please tell us.

      • This article came just on time. A member of a family I have – in vain – attempted to protect against fraudsters for years, just asked me if I knew anything about colloidal silver. Of course I did. I have forwarded the link to this article. Although I no longer have high hopes, maybe it will do what I failed to do.

        As for bleach, I disagree. In true quack-reasoning, bleach is eminently effective against any and all diseases. Of course, it kills the patient in the process, but we will forget to mention that insignificant detail in our next wish-based study. A beaker of bleach for eternal health! ^_^

    • @Abraham
      You are also wrong about this factoid:

      Q. What’s the difference between God and a doctor?
      A. God doesn’t think He’s a doctor.

      It applies only to surgeons (like me), not all doctors 😀

    • “It has a long history of use in medicine and industry.”
      So did mercury, bloodletting, and leaches but, when they were found to be dangerous, they were discontinued. Colloidal silver is in that category too, except that alt. “medicine” doesn’t test for dangerous or deleterious side-effects.

      “Q. What’s the difference between God and a doctor?
      A. God doesn’t think He’s a doctor.”
      A doctor is real and can keep you healthy, if possible. God, on the other hand, ………………………………………..

  • Some years ago I met a fellow who was convinced that the fungus Candida albicans was slowly taking over and destroying the human race. He regularly swallowed colloidal silver to counter this imaginary menace, so his skin had a dreadful blue-grey pallor over his whole body. He looked desperately ill but was proud of it. You can see similar examples here: https://www.google.co.uk/search?newwindow=1&biw=1708&bih=1032&tbm=isch&q=colloidal+silver+blue+skin&revid=197017558&sa=X&ei=-2_jVIuoLc_jao7cgPgE&ved=0CCMQ1QIoAA
    @Abraham B. Doya: if you really like a therapy with the side effect of making you look like a walking suit of armour, please do consume all the colloidal silver you want.

  • Colchester Magistrates seem to have taken a very light view of this serious offence. The fine is piffling and will not dent this man’s profits very much. It should be possible to put someone as dangerous as this out of business – a dirty restaurant can be closed down immediately but not apparently a crook conning the vulnerable and desperate. It certainly isn’t a penalty which will deter many others from following in this man’s footsteps.

  • The website listing all the ailments colloidal silver can treat (first link) has a disclaimer page absolving them of any responsibility if people take their advice. They refer visitors to a 547 page book, The Ultimate Colloidal Silver Manual by Steve Barwick. The book is published by the Life & Health Research Group, whose CEO is Steve Barwick. His education is a PhD from USB, which he explains on his online CV as Piled Higher & Deeper with Life Experiences from the University of Steve Barwick. https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevebarwick
    He, surprise, is a supplement distributor, former political hack, and direct marketer.

  • What an echo chamber of nonsense. Firstly – Talens and CRISPR are the best things science is working with against cancer and sugar (white flour included) and environmental exposures are the leading cause – but, back to the point————– Firstly, read this on CS and breast cancer:

    https://goo.gl/jeeyfS

    Secondly, to the person who said chemo doesn’t kill people – in a quick look, I found a study proving it does (not a perfect example, but does glean over the cytoxic effects of chemo which lead to death):

    https://goo.gl/c8GJ8q

    The author of the case report suggests that cannabis oil needs to be explored further because there is potential that cannabinoids might show selectivity when attacking cancer cells, thereby reducing the widespread cytotoxic effects of conventional chemotherapeutic agents.

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996348

    There’s a cash study. Come on people, do your own research.

  • I am currently researching alternative cancer treatments in order to prove or disprove what is commonly posted on the internet. As we all know, there are thousands of articles that state, one way or the other that “something” is the “miracle cure”.
    What I find incredibly ignorant is that in order to prove or disprove something, there will always be someone who says that it is quackery. Now I have found things that work and I am sure that there are most if not all of you that will say I am full of it.
    As for cancer, here’s what I have seen work.
    Stage III cervical cancer – with HPV in a single, 25-year-old Caucasian female, 5’5″, 135 lb., in above average health, never had children or been pregnant. She was diagnosed by her family doctor, verified diagnosis was conducted by a board-certified Oncologist.
    The individual was faced with a treatment plan of complete hysterectomy, with standards of care consistent to current medical practices. (Chemo, Radiation)
    The individual decided to use a natural process which consisted of taking 4500 mgs of Vitamin C daily orally, the supplements AHCC and Beta-Glucan. Both of these are taken using weight dependent values. 1 500 mg capsule for every 55 lbs. per supplement. The Beta-Glucan is taken daily first on an empty stomach with 16-24 oz of water. 30-35 minutes later the AHCC is taken. The individual would wait an additional 60 minutes before consuming any food.
    The next thing that was done is that the individual made suppositories from organic virgin coconut oil, soft melted by placing it in the sun next to a window with clear plastic wrap prevent contamination. The individual then placed 20 drops of Lemongrass oil and 15 drops of Lemons Essential Oil into the coconut oil and mixed them using a non-metal or wood spoon. A sterile syringe was used to extract the liquid and place it in a synthetic candy mold. The candy mold was then placed in the freezer for 2-3 hours and the solids were extracted into a glass jar that was boiled for 15 minutes. A layer of clear plastic wrap was placed over the jar and a ring was screwed on to secure the plastic, then placed in the refrigerator for cold storage. These suppositories were placed into the Vaginal cavity, just before the individual going to sleep and only used every other day.
    The person I am describing stated that she had seen this on “YouTube” and asked me if I thought it would work. I had not reason to believe either way and expressed my position.
    This individual used this protocol for 47 days and Oncologist stated that she had no signs of cancer.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————Second person I witnessed was a 55 year old white male, smoker, average health, 5’10”, 185 with stage II bladder cancer. The individual was diagnosed through the same process as above.
    This individual has a family history of cancer. Mostly lung and colon cancers. So, during a routine physical, his urine sample came back with noticeable blood counts, and he was subsequently diagnosed.
    This individual used a protocol of Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, AHCC, Beta-Glucan, added to a juice of fresh organic, “known Source” Carrots, Apples, Celery, Beets and local raw honey from a known source.
    The recipe was 1 2” piece of Raw Turmeric Root, 1 slice of Ginger Root approximately 1” long, (peeled), 1 Clove of Garlic, 8 Carrots, 3 stalks of celery, 1 red delicious apple, unpeeled and un-cored and half of a beet. This was all run through a juicer and drank 3-5 times a day. He stopped consuming processed sugars of any kind and also quit smoking during this time. He went in for his Oncology appointment 28 days after starting this protocol to complete his PET scan and get his PICK line set.
    The oncologist approached this individual after the PET scan was completed and stated that the “machine was broken” as they could not detect any cancer tumors.
    Last one folks – This was a 49-year-old, 5’3” 107lbs, white female, divorced, heavy smoker, heavy drinker. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 b, terminal Small Cell Lung Cancer with metastases in the though several organs including 2 tumors in her brain. This individual was given 60-90 days to live. This individual expressed a will to live and was willing to do whatever it took to survive even though no traditional treatments were provided.
    This individual changed her entire life. She went on a complete diet of Crucifer Greens that basically contains them all, stopped smoking completely, stopped drinking completely and gave up the prescription pain pills. She began started eating fresh organic veggies, spices and fruits.
    From the time she started in Oct 2016, she was told to set an appointment with her oncology doctor in April of 2017, she did and they asked why!!! She said, “just have the time available, I will be there”. In April 2017, she walked into the Oncology office on her own and had managed to put on 9lbs in weight and was now walking 3 miles every other day. By Oct 2017 she had gained and additional 11lbs and walking 5 miles a day.
    In Jan of 2019, she declared cancer free and was told to keep up the good work!
    She passed away in June 2019 from complications from the treatment of the flesh-eating bacteria she contracted while vacationing in Florida. While in the hospital, the MD’s provided her medical treatment that interacted with some of the supplements she was taking and she had several small strokes that lead to her having a massive stroke and then cardiac arrest from the stroke. Though I was very aware of her treatment of cancer, I was not informed on the cause of her passing.

    • the plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not evidence.

    • You have not made it very clear whether these three patients received any standard treatment or refused it. You have also not said how the diagnosis was made, how the staging was done and how thoroughly they were investigated afterwards

      With regard to your first case, I should point out that suppositories are administered rectally, and drugs placed in the vagina are known as pessaries. I don’t know what an oncologist was doing diagnosing her, as that can only be done by a gynaecologist (I speak as an oncologist myself). If she did have radiotherapy, I would strongly advise against concurrent vitamin C as its antioxidant effect could interfere with the effectiveness of the radiotherapy (which works by generating free radicals from oxygen). I would also advise against putting anything potentially irritant into the vagina or rectum, which could greatly increase the mucosal reaction to radiotherapy. Cervical cancer in a 25-year-old is often very aggressive and there is usually only one chance to cure it. She may have had nothing visible in the cervix following her treatment, but cancer cells are so small that you need 1,000,000,000 of them together to form the smallest detectible tumour and that is very different from saying that she is cured. How was she examined afterwards? Was it a proper examination under anaesthetic or simply an internal examination in the clinic? Did she have any follow-up scans?

      With regard to your second case, bladder cancer is most commonly confined to the lining of the bladder and the initial treatment is TURBT (essentially shaving it off in bits). If the pathological examination of the tissue afterwards shows invasion of the muscle of the bladder wall, then it becomes stage II and requires either radical cystectomy or radiotherapy, usually in combination with chemotherapy, but at that point there often isn’t any visible tumour. In any case PET scans are not very good at visualising cancer within the bladder as the urine itself concentrates the tracer and masks uptake in the bladder wall. The PET scan is to look for spread beyond the bladder, in order to avoid radical treatment that has no chance of working. Bladder cancer, too, is usually aggressive once it has started to invade the bladder wall, and again the patient has a relatively narrow window for treatment ifhe is to have a good chance of long-term cure.

      Two-and-a-half years is good survival for a small-cell tumour, though there is a wide range and I have had patients who have lived much longer than that against all expectations. I am surprised that she was not offered treatment, however, as she was young and you state that she was willing to do whatever it took to survive. Perhaps she refused as no conventional treatment would be expected to cure her and her oncologist would have made this clear. However, with chemotherapy (e.g. carboplatin and etoposide, which is well-tolerated) together with whole-brain radiotherapy there would have been a reasonable prospect of improving her survival and quality-of-life. Also, you haven’t mentioned anything that she was taking that might have been expected to react with treatment for a serious bacterial infection, nor whether the strokes could have been caused by bleeding into brain tumours, which is quite a common event. Though strokes are a recognised complication of serious infection in any case. Did she have a post-mortem examination?

      All oncologists have had patients who have done much better than expected. I have certainly had a few who seem to have been cured by what was intended to be palliative chemotherapy, and others where the cancer has simply stopped growing or spontaneously regressed, even for a few years. There is a lot of research now into why this can happen, as if the mechanism could be identified and harnessed it would lead to a completely new approach to treatment. Probably the immune system is involved, and indeed immunotherapy of various kinds has become standard in the treatment of some tumours (e.g. checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab, monoclonal antibodies of various kinds and CAR-T therapy for certain leukaemias). There is even some evidence now that in metastatic prostate cancer irradiating the prostate can trigger an immune response that helps to control the secondaries.

      When you say that these three cases illustrate treatments that you have seen work, do you mean that they are cases that are known to you personally, which you have followed up from the time of diagnosis? Alternatively, are they people that you have seen after they have reached the point where they consider themselves disease-free, in which case, of course, they are a self-selected group as all the others who followed the same route but with less success would be dead? Or are they case histories from the medical literature (published to make people think, not as data)? Or are they unverified and unverifiable reports? In any case, do you have any reason to suppose that they are different from anybody else on the tail of the survival curve, and if so, how?

      It is important to realise that most people who pursue these lines of treatment do not have such a good outcome, nor is there any evidence from trials that these sorts of diets etc. influence the natural history of cancer, nor is there any known biological mechanism by which they might do so.

      Your stated aim is to prove or disprove what is posted on the Internet with regard to alternative cancer treatment. In order to do this you have to be familiar with the behaviour of cancer (and how variable this can be) and also with the behaviour of random numbers (which most people are not, including many oncologists). There is also a lot out there that is complete fabrication, but I am sure you already know that.

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