Apparently the company ‘An Oasis of Healing‘ has written to the excellent My Malignant Melanoma blog – asking that a blog about Thomas Lodi is removed and saying they will be “forced to take legal action” if the post is not removed. It therefore seems like a good time to look at some of the claims made by An Oasis of Healing (founded by Lodi).
The company claims to help “cancer patients and their families learn to re-establish health”. The first of the ‘three pillars’ of this is to “Stop Making Cancer“. On a fairly random basis, I’ll look at the evidence-base for their first five “Treatments that we use to help you Stop Making Cancer”:
- “Living Foods”. Not particularly useful for cancer. Living foods like sprouting beans get killed when you chew them, swallow them and they go into your stomach and get digested. They may be nutritious (and tasty), but so are lots of other foods. Certain parasites like threadworms can survive inside us, but I wouldn’t call them living foods – and one would generally not eat them deliberately.
- “Juicing”. Not particularly useful for cancer. Juice can be a nutritious and tasty drink, but it has no special anti-cancer properties. We’re all for a healthy diet, but juice can be included or not depending on personal preference.
- “Oral & IV Supplements”. It’s possible that supplements might be helpful if a patient is not getting the nutrients they need through diet etc. There is also some interesting evidence on IV vitamin C for cancer – though any such “activity is almost certainly quite modest at best, and to achieve even such modest antitumor activity definitely requires incredibly high doses of ascorbate”. In other words – possibly of some use, but treatments like IV vitamin C have not been incorporated into evidence-based cancer treatment because the evidence isn’t there yet.
- “Chelation Therapy”. The evidence indicates that this is worse than useless for cancer. As the University of California, San Diego Medical Center notes, there is not good evidence for chelation therapy “as a treatment option for anything other than heavy metal poisoning.” There are also significant risks to chelation therapy: “Reported side effects have included bone marrow damage, kidney failure, irregular heart rhythm, severe inflammation of injection sites, anemia and death.”
- “Colon Hydrotherapy”. This is a joke, right? Having water pumped into your bum is about as effective against cancer as one might expect: useless. Also, as Quackwatch notes, this procedure “has considerable potential for harm. The process can be very uncomfortable, since the presence of the tube can induce severe cramps and pain. If the equipment is not adequately sterilized between treatments, disease germs from one person’s large intestine can be transmitted to others. Several outbreaks of serious infections have been reported, including one in which contaminated equipment caused amebiasis in 36 people, 6 of whom died following bowel perforation. Cases of heart failure (from excessive fluid absorption into the bloodstream) and electrolyte imbalance have also been reported. Direct rectal perforation has also been reported.” Ouch.
This post has analysed five suggested ways to ‘stop making cancer’ from Lodi’s ‘An Oasis of Healing’. Two of these are worse than useless while two are potentially part of a healthy diet (though I don’t know why there is this focus on juice and living foods). IV vitamin C has some interesting evidence relating to its use, but the effects (if any) don’t seem that great and there’s certainly not enough evidence for this to be described as an evidence-based treatment.
Not good. Maybe the company’s time would have been better spent on putting together some evidence-based suggestions for cancer patients, rather than threatening a cancer patient?