The Cancer Scam: Part Two

I started this series with hemp because ingredients found in hemp have been proven to work against cancer both in laboratory experiments and by hundreds if not thousands of individuals who have been brave or desperate enough to try it. Even the National Cancer Institute seems to be coming to the party, grudgingly admitting that THC and CBD “may be useful in treating the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment.” The same article later says that:

Studies in mice and rats have shown that cannabinoids may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells.

It goes on to cite other examples of the efficacy of cannabis in treating cancer and other diseases, but the article lacks the enthusiasm it should rightfully contain. If studies on mice have been so positive, why shouldn’t more studies on humans be carried out? A recent article in Medical News Today, Cannabis reduces cancer growth in study, sounded positive, but issued this warning:

“Our research uses an isolated chemical compound and using the correct concentration is vital. Cancer patients should not use cannabis to self-medicate, but I hope that our research will lead to a safe synthetic equivalent being available in the future.”

Why create a “synthetic equivalent” when natural compounds show so much promise? The answers that come to mind (the profit motive?) are disturbing, to say the least.

The Origins of the Cancer Scam: Suppression of Natural Remedies

It all began in 1908, when the Carnegie Foundation commissioned Abraham Flexner, a professional educator with no medical training, to draft a study of the state of medical education in the United States and recommend changes to admission standards and curriculum in U.S. medical schools. The book-length document Flexner wrote recommended strict adherence to the methods and protocols of the emerging field of biomedicine (theoretical medicine) within the university system.

The Flexner Report showed a clear bias towards upper income, white males and denigrated “folk medicine,” female physicians and African-American physicians. Half the medical schools in America closed as a direct result of the report, including the oldest four year medical school in the country, the Leonard Medical Center. While it can be argued that the intent of the report was to improve and modernize the education of doctors, it clearly drew a line in the sand between traditional medicine and modern medicine. The entire medical profession began to be trained to practice medicine using only laboratory manufactured drugs and eventually it became illegal for doctors to prescribe any plant based remedies to their patients, even if they believed them to be effective.

In 1994, New York passed the Alternative Medical Practice Act, which was designed to protect doctors who recommended what had become known as “non-conventional” medical treatments. It didn’t help much, though. Three New York MDs were prosecuted even after the enactment of the Act and their careers were ruined, even though the treatments they recommended to their patients were not proven to be harmful.

Snake-Oil-SalesmanThe definition of medicine is, “the science of diagnosing, treating, or preventing disease and other damage to the body or mind.” The definition of alternative medicine, according to Princeton University, is to practice medicine without using drugs.The medical establishment, probably influenced by pharmaceutical corporations (read this and this), has managed to legally redefine medicine as something akin to “the science of selling and administering pharmaceutical drugs that may or may not be effective in treating or preventing disease to the body or mind.” Isn’t it time all medicines were treated alike and studied on their merits? Any rational and compassionate society would welcome a cure for cancer and other diseases, regardless of the profits they may or may not generate for pharmaceutical companies and the medical establishment.

From an early age, we are taught to trust authority figures rather than think critically. This seems to create a Catch 22 situation. We trust authority figures until something happens that makes us doubt them. Then we look for alternative authority figures to believe in. Scams can happen on both sides of the divide. In Part Three, we’ll take a closer look at alternative therapies and their merits and demerits.

Further reading:

The Cancer Scam: Part One

The Cancer Scam: Part Three