Cancer Salves : A Botanical Approach to Treatment

Author: James Metz, MD
Content Contributor: OncoLink
Last Reviewed: November 01, 2001

Author: Ingrid Naiman
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 1-55643-270-4

OncoLink Rating:NOT Recommended

This book has been placed on the OncoLink NOT RECOMMENDED list for a number of reasons. It gives irresponsible advice and information that may be dangerous for those who follow the recommendations. The author, Ingrid Naiman, has never received any medical training but makes numerous recommendations in her text. Of course, in the beginning of the book there is a small statement that "this book is not intended to substitute for the services of a health care professional. Neither the author nor publisher is responsible for any consequences incurred by those employing remedies or treatments reported herein." She then goes on to insidiously attack conventional cancer treatments and encourage cancer patients to consider the "alternative treatments" outlined in this book.

The cover is colorful, the drawings are pretty, and the pictures are high quality, which make the book look professional. The author even places references throughout the text like a scientific journal, but these references mostly come from quotations of speeches and personal opinions. No reputable scientific studies are quoted. The author plays to the cancer patients' emotions throughout the book. She states conventional cancer treatments are "brutal medical procedures," "utilize bizarre technology," "mutilating," and "consider body parts expendable." She then tells readers that cancer salves "do not have harmful side effects," allow patients to maintain "wholeness" and avoid surgery, and are "far less invasive and mutilating than the methods that are today standard".

This book fulfills many of the criteria outlined in the OncoTip "Watch Out for a Hoax." It also gives incomplete historical information about many of the proponents of botanical treatments for cancer. In particular, the book lauds Harry Hoxsey's treatment for cancer and claims persecution by the American Medical Association and the National Cancer Institute. However, the author does not detail the well-documented investigations by these groups that led to the closure of the clinics run by Harry Hoxsey. Instead she chooses to misinform the reader by giving an incomplete account of the actual events and make Harry Hoxsey to be some sort of martyr for alternative medicine.

Cancer Salves: A Botanical Approach to Treatment is not recommended by the OncoLink editorial staff. It is irresponsible from start to finish, relays misleading information, and may be downright dangerous for those that follow the recommendations. Please visit the OncoLink Unconventional Medical Therapy Menu for important information about a variety of alternative and complementary medical practices.

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