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60 pct of cancer patients try nontraditional med

Posted in News by Skepdude on June 8, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “YAHOO NEWS”

TAMPA, Fla. – With much of her lower body consumed by cancer, Leslee Flasch finally faced the truth: The herbal supplements and special diet were not working.

“I want this thing cut out from me. I want it out,” she told her family.

But it was too late. Her rectal cancer — potentially curable earlier on — had invaded bones, tissue, muscle, skin. The 53-year-old Florida woman could barely sit, and constantly bled and soiled herself.

“It was terrible,” one doctor said. “The pain must have been excruciating.”

Flasch had sought a natural cure. Instead, a deadly disease ran its natural course. And the herb peddlers who sold her hope in a bottle?

“Whatever money she had left in life, they got most of it,” said a sister, Sharon Flasch. “They prey on the sick public with the belief that this stuff can help them, whether they can or can’t.”

Some people who try unproven remedies risk only money. But people with cancer can lose their only chance of beating the disease by skipping conventional treatment or by mixing in other therapies. Even harmless-sounding vitamins and “natural” supplements can interfere with cancer medicines or affect hormones that help cancer grow.

Yet they are extremely popular with cancer patients, who crave control over their disease and want to do everything they can to be healthy — emotional needs that make them vulnerable to clever marketing and deceptive claims. Studies estimate that 60 percent of cancer patients try unconventional remedies and about 40 percent take vitamin or dietary supplements, which do not have to be proved safe or effective and are not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “YAHOO NEWS”

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