Leukemia Treatment Online Cures

Health scams are common on the Internet, including purported “cures” for leukemia. At best, these fake cures trick people out of their cash. At worst, quack cures prevent people from seeking leukemia treatment they need, leading to increased suffering and possibly death.

Why Do People Try Online Cures for Leukemia?

People fall for cancer cure scams for many reasons. Some cases of leukemia require chemotherapy or radiation treatment, which can cause unwanted and uncomfortable side effects. Online “cures” for leukemia claim that such treatments are unnecessary or not as effective as natural cures.

Some leukemia patients may be suspicious of conventional medicine. Alternative medicine is popular, and con artists may capitalize on this popularity, making claims for their leukemia “cure” that cannot be scientifically proven. In addition, leukemia treatment is expensive. People without health insurance may look for cheaper alternatives when faced with financial hardship.

Finally, some cases of leukemia resist medical treatment. Faced with the possibility that the disease is incurable, patients (or the parents of children with leukemia) are sometimes willing to try anything that offers a cure. Sadly, all too often the “miracle” cures offer nothing but false hope.

Identifying Fake Cures for Leukemia

Online health scams tend to use the same tactics to lure victims. Signs that an online health product is a scam include:

  • Demonizing Conventional Medicine: Health scammers often suggest conventional medicine is ineffective, run by major pharmaceutical companies and populated with doctors whose only concern is making money. A popular scam tactic is to advertize the treatment as “The Cure Doctors Don’t Want You to Know About! ” The implication is that members of the medical profession are hiding the true cure for leukemia (or another disease) to fatten their wallets. On the other hand, the providers of the “cure” are risking everything to bring it to patients.
  • Cure-all Treatments: Every cancer is unique, with its own symptoms and specific treatments. Health scams often claim to cure multiple types of cancer, or refer to cancer as if it were a single condition. The goal is to attract as many potential victims as possible. A scam that advertizes a cure for leukemia won’t attract as much interest as one that makes a more general “cure for cancer” claim.
  • Natural Cures: Leukemia and other fake cancer treatment scams often claim their products are safe because they are natural cures. Being natural does not automatically make something safe: nightshade and tobacco are both natural products, but both are toxic. A natural “cure” can interact negatively with chemotherapy drugs and other medication.

Diet as a Cure for Leukemia

Diet is often touted as a natural cure for leukemia. By “diet,” health scams may imply that a patient should purchase their nutritional supplements of questionable purity and/or make other dietary changes. While a healthy diet is important, diet alone is not a cure for leukemia. Like other natural “cures,” vitamins and nutritional supplements can interfere with medical treatments.

Be particularly cautious when pursuing alternative treatments for diseases such as cancer. Some of these “cures” can be harmful, and in the worst cases may even cause death. Talk to your doctor or another medical professional before changing your cancer treatment regimen.

Resources

Federal Trade Commission. (n.d.). Signs of a scam. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/curious/signs.shtml.

Jarvis, W. (n.d.). How quackery harms cancer patients. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/harmquack.html.

News-Medical.Net. (2008). FDA targets cancer cure ‘scammers’ online. Retrieved March 16, 2010, from http://www.news-medical.net/news/2008/06/17/39302.aspx.