Scour the internet or social media sites and you will be sure to find some products that claim to cure cancer. Nicole Kornspan, M.P.H., a consumer safety officer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), believes that the number of such products is very much on the rise.
Kornspan believes that these new products continue to sell because they play on the fears of people who are dealing with cancer personally, or helping a friend or family member suffering from the disease.
In order for a cancer-treating drug or device to be deemed legitimate, it must first receive approval or clearance from the FDA before going to market. The FDA goes to great lengths to ensure that products are safe and effective before being released to the general public,
There are plenty of products that slip through the cracks, though, which is why the internet is teeming with capsules, powders, pills, teas, creams, oils, and treatment kits, all of which claim to be the cure for cancer.
Manufacturers of these products as natural treatments, whilst also claiming that they are dietary supplements. These methods are used to make it seem as though the products are safe, but all that really happens is that cancer patients avoid legitimate treatment in favor of a “miracle cure.”
A product that does not have FDA approval may be one that contains unsafe ingredients.
Not only are humans at risk, pets are, too, as manufacturers target both. Kornspan says that there are a growing number of products out there that are sold as effective cancer treatments for cats and dogs. Vet bills can be expensive, which is why so many pet owners are drawn to the cheaper, albeit bogus, alternatives.
The FDA recommended that people steer clear of products not approved by them. They also advise that you should talk to a licensed health care professional about treatment options.
Red Flags to Watch out For
The one thing that most bogus products have in common is that they all use a specific vocabulary. Kornspan says that consumers should be on the lookout for the following phrases, which should be regarded as red flags:
- Treats all forms of cancer
- Miraculously kills cancer cells and tumors
- Shrinks malignant tumors
- Selectively kills cancer cells
- More effective than chemotherapy
- Attacks cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact
- Cures cancer
It is very often those statements, a well as a few others, that clearly show that a supposed cancer-curing drug is in fact fraudulent.
This is not to say that there are not investigational cancer treatments out there, but patients should talk to their doctor about the options as opposed to hitting the internet in search of a cure.