I wish I had $1 for every time I have heard someone say that cures for cancer have already been developed, but pharmaceutical companies are preventing them from being marketed. A limo driver once told me this. I took the duration of the limo drive to explain to him how the process of new medicine development works. He thanked me, and I hope stopped spreading that conspiracy theory after that encounter.
Some people believe that there is a conspiracy against the cure of cancer. The conspiracy sometimes even consists of physicians who have developed cures for cancer, being murdered or prevented from treating cancer patients with their effective “cures”.
These statements are made by people who are well-meaning, but who have no knowledge of how the drug development process works. They are unaware that there are regulations and guidelines that anyone who wishes to develop a new treatment for any disease, including cancer, must follow. This is important especially for cancer patients, who are extremely vulnerable because their disease is life threatening. Otherwise, anyone could claim to have a cure for cancer, and vulnerable cancer patients would request treatment with these “cures” and avoid the treatments that have been tested and proven to provide some benefit/extension to life expectancy.
What should anyone who believes they have a cure for cancer do? Any physician who has a “cure” for cancer, has to follow the same guidelines as any pharmaceutical company. They must run clinical trials that rigorously evaluate their treatment approach. The approach used to test the approach must be scientifically sound according to major regulatory authorities and scientists. Why? Many diseases, even cancers can spontaneously resolve themselves. Without a scientifically rigorous evaluation, the stories are only spurious and anecdotal (difficult to prove).
I would hope that any physician that wants to test their approach would do so in a way that is scientifically valid and open to scrutiny. Their approach can then be evaluated by others who treat cancer patients. Patients can then be protected from claims of “cures” that have no basis in truth or reality.
Such stories can take on a life of their own on YouTube. Let’s face it anyone with a camera and a laptop can create a documentary and upload it to YouTube. It garners thousands of views and it is now “news” and in many peoples’ minds, fact.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Have you heard these conspiracy theories? Do you believe them?
Lorna Speid, Ph.D.
Founder and Chair of the Board
Putting Rare Diseases Patients First!(R)