Evidence based medicine doesn’t protect patients – it just prevents them getting unpatentable treatments


Leafing through the New Year papers I was struck by the similarity between the housing crisis and the diabetes/obesity epidemics. In one case rapidly inflating prices pushing virtually all properties out of reach of anyone on an average wage, in the other a relentless expansion of supermarket shelving devoted to refined carbohydrates, driving insulin resistance and an inexorable inflation of the nation’s waistlines.

In fact, as will become clear, there is also a similarity between the solutions on offer to diabetics – the number has just topped four million – and the options open to cancer patients.

Both the diabetes and the property crises were entirely predictable. For years experts in both areas had been warning that current policies were likely to create a disaster. If you sell off houses in the public sector and forbid the income to be used to build new ones, the affordable housing stock will shrink and prices will rise. 

Allowing an uncontrolled expansion of processed food and clinging to the belief that fat would make you fat, long after it was clear this was a dangerous fallacy and a recipe for obesity, has been equally disastrous.

Evidence based medicine: supposed to be above ideologies

Yet in both cases those in the driving seat ignored their critics. That’s to be expected in the case of the housing crisis which resulted from a combination of ideology and market forces – in other words politics and business as usual.

But decision-making in the medical field is supposed to be above ideologies and vested interests. When it comes to treatments, however, both diabetics and those with cancer are being fobbed off with options that are closely intertwined with vested interests..

For years we have been assured that medical treatments are approved on the basis of evidence gathered impartially from research and clinical trials. This is evidence based medicine and without its approval any treatment is dismissed as probably worthless and possibly dangerous. 

It’s now very clear, however, these trials can be highly unreliable and partial. The statin saga, extensively covered on this site, shows clearly how commercial interests can seriously and dangerously distort what counts as evidence.

Scientific medicine: commercial rather than curious

Less well-acknowledged but just as damaging are the trials that are not run.  A proper evidence gathering system would be unflaggingly curious about any promising treatment.  Instead unless they come with the promise of a patent they are ignored and possibly outlawed. What we actually have is commercially based medicine.

But recently the chorus of disapproval at this corporate capture has been growing louder. A grass roots rebellion fueled by the internet is underway. Increasing numbers of diabetics have been treating themselves with an unpatentable low carb high fat diet in defiance of officially recommended carbohydrate levels and reporting weight loss and a reduction in the need for drugs. A few pioneering doctors are now documenting similar benefits.

Yet there has been no “how interesting” response from those at the wheel while the epidemic of metabolic diseases ballooned. Their testing system is nowhere to be seen, instead they have responded in an older prescientific way, with vilification and banning. The Alzheimer’s establishment has been doing something similar despite the total failure to develop a drug.

In the case of cancer treatments, the topic of this week’s post by the rising star of cancer writings Sophie Sabbage,  the oncology establishment has long circled its waggons around just three types of treatment, literally outlawing any other approaches on the grounds that they have not passed their  evidence tests, the financial costs of which are impossibly high.  

Just as diabetes patients declare themselves furious at the years wasted by following high carb diets when a low carb approach has put some on a path that looks very like a cure and transformed the way they feel, so Sophie has been moved to shout for an outbreak of sanity on the attitude to unofficial cancer treatments and an end to their vilification and banning.

(Jerome Burne – Editor)

The Cancer Warriors

By Sophie Sabbage

Okay, so now my blood is up. I’ve been trying to get some rest after the most intense year of my life, but some things just require a girl to blog. Rant. Shout. Petition. Mobilise. Incite. Send out a rallying cry for some semblance of sanity to prevail when it comes to alternative healing for people living with cancer. 

Within a few weeks of my own diagnosis I became aware of the restrictions, prohibitions and sheer censorship of alternative cancer treatments. In order to access these treatments you need to join an underground movement of cancer warriors who share vital information and help each other navigate a network of brave arse-on-the-line practitioners, including qualified doctors and nurses, who are engaged in covert operations to save lives.

Much as I would love to disclose copious details of this network to all the cancer peeps who read my blog it would be unwise for me to do so. But I can tell you this:

  • I own a Rife machine* (banned by the FDA in the USA but shipped to me from that country), which uses resonant sound to break down tumours and destroy cancer-feeding parasites.
  • I have mega-dose Vitamin C infusions – a well-regarded cancer treatment in other countries that is essentially prohibited (or at least seriously frowned upon) in the UK because it isn’t approved by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) – at least once a month in a London clinic.
  • I regularly receive two other illegal remedies I prefer not to name, both of which are natural and administered legally in other countries that recognise their efficacy. One of these is supplied to me by a qualified nurse and the other prescribed to me by an oncologist abroad.

*Royal Rife was using this technology to cure cancer in Germany in the 1950s, but his laboratory was razed to the ground (‘by whom?’ you might well ask) and he was witch hunted as a ‘quack’ until he lost his mind.

Clinic shut on flimsy pretext

So what’s got my blood up enough to write this blog on New Year’s Day?

Ten months after travelling as far as Mexico for hyperthermia, which uses heat to attack tumours and boost the immune system (as happens when you get a fever), I was delighted to find two clinics offering this treatment on my door step in the UK.

It has been a long search, despite the fact that this has been standard treatment for cancer in countries like Germany for over thirty years.

No sooner had I checked out their credentials with other cancer patients, who were extremely positive about their experience, than I heard they had both been shut down by the CQC (Care Quality Commission) citing ‘poor management’.

Reasonable as it may sound, this nebulous explanation is simply code for ‘we-don’t-control-this-so-you-can’t-have-it’ to us more seasoned cancer peeps. We just roll our collective eyeballs as another one bites the dust.

The next thing to outrage me was this: a fellow cancer blogger called Fiona Shakeela Burns, who used natural methods to cure herself after being given a few months to live – and who happens to be a medicinal herbalist – recently received a call from Trading Standards instructing her to take down her blog about her personal story because it is “not allowed”. 

I repeat. The blog she has written about how she healed her own cancer naturally (an outcome ascribed to “spontaneous recovery” by her bewildered oncologist) is not allowed.

Not. Allowed. 

A decision that would beggar belief

Seriously. I am this close to speechless. Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! It’s insane. Barking. Nutty-nut-nut. Do-bloody-lally. I would laugh it is wasn’t so tragic. People are dying. Many unnecessarily. And Trading Standards wants to deny them a bona fide story of hope? It would beggar belief if we couldn’t make cold, depressing sense of it:

Firstly, there is the 1939 Cancer Act to contend with. With the exception of radioactivity and ionizing radiation this Act prohibited advertisements or publications that “offer to treat any person for cancer, and to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof.”

As of December 2014 this is the sole remaining provision of the Act and, because of it, fines and prosecutions for blogs like Fiona’s still take place. Which gets my revolutionary goat.

Secondly, conventional cut-it, burn-it, poison-it cancer treatment is a multi-billion dollar industry and that is a multi-billion reasons not to cure this devastating disease. Furthermore, you cannot patent herbs, heat or vitamins – which is exactly what Big Pharma are now pushing for because even they recognise the healing power of nutrients and natural substances.

I object to the patronising, largely inexcusable shrinking of options

Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating the purely natural approach or joining the anti-pharmaceutical brigade, which tends to see evil stalking the halls of the whole industry. That is neither my position nor my point. I have always adopted an integrated approach, combining low dose targeted chemo and selective use of radiation (to a tumour threatening to paralyse me) with a variety of other drugs and natural treatments.

I don’t think the stand-off between these paradigms is helpful to cancer sufferers and firmly believe in the power of collaborative dialogue over self-righteous advocacy in just about any disagreement I can think of.

However, what I do object to – fiercely, deeply and judiciously – is the obscuration of valid treatments or real examples of recovery that offer hope to the hopeless and healing to the desperately sick.

  • I object to the closure of clinics offering an effective heat therapy with no serious side effects when radiation therapy has been causing secondary cancers, and significantly increasing the death toll, for decades.
  • I object to high doses of vitamin C being withheld on the basis they might be harmful when one of the most harmful toxins known to man, chemotherapy, is administered as a matter of course. 

  It. Makes. No. Sense.

  • I object to drug companies paying people to look for and block information about how to actually heal cancer (yes it happens). 
  • I object to the unnecessary and unjustifiable censorship of someone brave, caring and generous enough to share her personal story of healing with the world. 
  • I object to needing to travel abroad, at significant expense after I had to stop working, to receive the infusions, vaccines, metabolic protocols and immunotherapy treatments that have undoubtedly extended my life, as well as improving its quality, since I was diagnosed.
  • I object to the staggering lengths some people have to go to, not least the parents of children with cancer, to access potentially life-saving treatments.
  • Most of all I object to the calculated, patronising, largely inexcusable and ultimately fatal shrinkage of our options when we need them most. 

So, if you share my objections or have had similar restrictive experiences as cancer patients, please comment below. Perhaps, if there is enough of a ground swell, I might shout louder and more publicly. I might do more than whine about it on my blog. I might start yelling from the rooftops. I might start kicking up a right royal stink. 

P.S. Since Fiona is still waiting for a formal letter telling her to take the blog down, I am sharing it now in solidarity for as long as the link is live: Cancer-U-Can

You may also want to read this moving blog by a fellow cancer warrior about the “medical tourists” who make their way to Mexico because they can’t find the treatments they need at home: A month in a Mexican cancer clinic

And if you are up for signing a petition to repeal The Cancer Act you can do so here. It needs a much bigger ground swell of support: Cancer Act petition

This blog is reblogged with permission from Sophie Sabbage’s bloghttp://sophiesabbage.com/the-cancer-warriors/

Sophie Sabbage

Sophie Sabbage

Sophie Sabbage is a writer, inspirational speaker and facilitator of mindset transformation. Having led a successful consultancy called Interaction for twenty years, she has now reshaped her vocation in response to her diagnosis of stage four lung cancer in October 2014. She is now focusing her energy and talent on helping other cancer sufferers find their way through the terror and grief of their experience while radically shifting the conventional narrative about this disease. Her book ‘The Cancer Whisperer: How To Let Cancer Heal Your Life’ was published on 6 October 2015 on the Amazon Kindle platform. | sophiesabbage.com


  • Sarah, I do share your objections, but how do we keep options open and protect people from cynical fraudsters selling pyramids and goodness knows what else?

    Excuse my lack of knowledge if this is a stupid question, but can’t you get vitamin c in whatever quantities from the supermarket or chemist?

    I’m guessing that you’re aware of the work of Professor Thomas Seyfried, who puts the lack of interest in his work down to the fact that there’s little money to be made from a ketogenic diet that removes fuel from cancer.

    I’ll be taking a look at Fiona’s story and thank you for your insights into these problems

    • Hi Stephen T I think the answer about protecting the public from fraudsters is that the system as it stand exposes them to a monstrous level of fraud that would be impossible without it. The system itself was built by fraudsters, trying to capitalise on fear of disease and quackery in the early 20th century.

      Since then the public have faced fraud about sunshine, salt, fat, exercise, nutrition to name a few, all thanks to a weird perversion of science called evidence based medicine.

      For example it is complete fraud to tell somebody regular mammogrammes will save her life while then claiming lack of evidence about better, safer, cheaper, earlier detection systems that actually DO save lives, such as thermography. A mixture of the Cancer Act AND scientific research being bought by the highest bidder allows such frauds to persist, nay become state-funded industries. Evidence-based medicine is the mantra that makes it seem right when it is wrong.

      Meanwhile, the public are protected from exercising their choices in health and their own right of informed consent in healthcare not just by rules but by blatantly skewed propaganda about the risk/benefit profiles of all kinds of things, from vitamins right on through. They are protected from knowledge that could actually save their lives on a pretence that everything is under control, thanks to this kind of ‘science’.

      The fact is there is fraud and misselling in ALL fields, and consumer law covers this already. We do not need to hide the truth and the science from the public in order to protect them, and certainly not ‘for their own good’. That is the language of totalitarian systems, not of enlightened societies.

  • Sophie, not Sarah. My sincere apology.

  • Sophie,

    I wonder if Fiona Shakeela Burns has thought of sending all her information to WikiLeaks? After that, hopefully it is out there for good!

  • so agree with you Sophie

  • Definitely agree you should take it further and I’ll sign the petition. My father was elderly but I still can’t understand why, when they had successfully reduced 90% of his cancer using low dose chemo for 6 months that they then stopped it for 6 months before starting him on a much higher dose which nearly killed him. They then said that it was untreatable and basically discharged him from their care and responsibility. I believe they deliberately changed the treatment as they didn’t want to fund the care of an elderly man. Why else stop treatment which is working?

  • I agree completely. I hate that kind of “paternalistic” approach which usually is expressed by mainstream medics and so called sceptics. Come on! I am 40, I know my body, I have the brain to be able to choose myself. And if that will be a mistake, then be it. But that will be then my mistake.
    And by the way, can anyone give me 100% guarantee on anything (apart from the fact that I will die)? We are so afraid of making any mistake. But that is already a mistake. If you are human being, then you will make mistakes.
    The only regulations, what I find reasonable, is that there is guarantee that there is actually vitamin c in that bottle of vitamin c etc. I would admit that some kind of certification of, for example, homeopath is useful as well, but not mandatory (just because I cannot imagine how you can certificate healers).
    Conventional medicine is clear monopoly, and now we pay the price for that literally and implicitly

  • Stephen T good question about vitamin C. The stuff you buy in the chemist is one thing, for cancer sufferers a more sophisticated approach involving intravenous infusions is often used, due to superior effectiveness than oral use. This requires proper medical administration. Mainlining ascorbic acid from the local shop would be fatal.

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