Patrick Swayze on quack cancer cures
Actor Patrick Swayze spoke about his battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer in a recent interview with Barbara Walters. This type of cancer is universally fatal.
Walters asked the actor whether the was taking any kind of alternative medicine for his condition. Swayze volunteered he was taking a few Chinese herbs, but..."If anybody had that cure out there like so many people swear to me they do, you'd be two things: you'd be very rich and you'd be very famous--- otherwise shut up ."
Speaking of untested and unregulated remedies, a Missouri woman is suing a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine for allegedly failing to meet accepted standards of care:
“Defendants knew, or by using ordinary care, should have known that said Chinese herbs caused unreasonably dangerous risks and serious side effects of which the general public would not be aware,” Drury alleges in a complaint filed Dec. 31 in Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court.
Damn right it challenges the notion that TCM products are side-effect-free. If it's medicine, it can have side effects, whether that substance came from a pharmacy or a forest.
Many of the key drugs in modern medicine were developed from plants and fungi (e.g., morphine, aspirin, penicillin, cyclosporin, Taxotere, etc.). Often, scientists think to study a plant because it's already being used by traditional healers. Point being that effective natural remedies work because they contain powerful chemicals, not some harmless touchy-feely positive energy.
Just because something's herbal or natural doesn't make it safer.