Wednesday, March 10, 2010

By Definition

What the fuck is wrong with First we have adults ripping on a 3-year-old's style, now we have a discussion of how laetrile cured a man of cancer.

Australian Paul Reid, who was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of the cancer lymphoma, says that apricot kernels, or seeds, helped to cure
him of his disease, the North Queensland Register reports.
Reid claims that the
seeds have cancer-fighting properties, and that eating them along with a
vegetarian diet, have allowed him to live for the past 13 years even though
doctors told him he only had five years to live.
Apricot kernels are high in
amygdalin (which some refer to as vitamin B17) – a nutrient that some believe
attacks cancer cells.

They don't use the word, but this is laetrile, which has a long and ignominious history in the treatment of cancer. The reason this article doesn't use the word laetrile is simple: laetrile is banned as a treatment for cancer in the US, and has been for quite some time. It is illegal to transport laetrile across state lines for the purposes of treating cancer. This is not mentioned once in the article.

Laetrile was banned for good reason: it doesn't work.

While the McNaughton Foundation was attempting to have Laetrile recognized
as a drug, Krebs, Jr., began claiming that it was a vitamin, which he called
B17. (It only took him about 20 years to come to this conclusion.) Krebs
apparently hoped that as a "vitamin" Laetrile would not be subject to the
"safety and efficacy" requirements for new drugs. He may have also hoped to
capitalize on the popularity of vitamins.

By 1974, Dr. Contreras stated that he was seeing 100-120 new patients
per month, with many more patients returning to obtain additional Laetrile.
Patients typically were charged $150 for a month's supply. Contreras
acknowledged that few of his cancer patients were "controlled" with Laetrile.
While admitting that 40% of the patients displayed no response, he claimed that
30% showed "most definite responses" to the drug. However, these statistics may
not be reliable. In 1979, he claimed to have treated 26,000 cancer cases in 16
years. Yet when asked by the FDA to provide his most dramatic examples of
success, Contreras submitted only 12 case histories. Six of the patients had
died of cancer, one had used conventional cancer therapy, one had died of
another disease after the cancer had been removed surgically, one still had
cancer, and the other three could not be located.

So, we have no mention of the fact that the treatment in question doesn't work and has been banned in the United States for decades, just one man's story with no evidence to back up his claims.

Reid, however, believes he has chosen a healthy alternative to standard
cancer treatments and says there's no harm in trying an organic diet.

"I don't think my journey has been unscientific, it's just that there's
been no science in a big way applied to it,'' he said.

Yes, Mr. Reid, by definition if something has not been investigated scientifically, it is unscientific. By fucking definition.

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