Myths and pseudotherapies in the treatment of cancer

| |

Bach flowers would work the emotional field of people to restore the immune system and health.

Each year, 200,000 new cases are diagnosed in Spain Cancer and according to the forecasts of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), the real figures have exceeded the estimates: in the coming years one in two men and one in three women will suffer cancer.

Despite being the disease that causes more deaths in Spain after cardiovascular diseases (which cause almost 30 percent of deaths), there is still a large social ignorance about the disease.

Precisely, the fear of death when a patient is diagnosed with this disease, causes it to have a great impact on society and favors the appearance of false beliefs and myths about cancer, as well as alternative therapies that promise to end it in a “natural” way .

From Seom remember that the patient should always consult reliable information, backed by associations and official medical institutions, and understand that the case of each patient is different, so you can not believe that what happens in particular situations is applicable to yours .

The Society also points out that having cancer is not signing a death sentence. Thanks to the evolution in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in recent years, more than half are cured and survival is increasing every time, as is the case of breast tumors, which in some cases diagnosed in time, the cure reaches 98 percent.

Other associations such as Gepac, warn that more and more myths or legends are born around cancer and attribute it to an infinity of unfounded causes. In the same fog of uncertainty and suspicion, there are pseudoscientific therapies whose therapeutic value has not been proven and which may even interfere with medical treatments. “Some of these promise almost miraculous cures that have taken the lives of many patients to follow them”, denounced from Gepac, in the framework of the eleventh Congress of Patients with Cancer.

Alternative therapies to cancer

On the occasion of this meeting, this association has prepared the publication 'Myths and pseudotherapies', with which it tries to banish the myths about cancer and report on the false therapies that are now offered to patients. Apart from the risks to health, these alternative cures usually mean the disbursement of thousands of euros without any endorsement of effectiveness. These are some of them, collected by Gepac:


It is a therapy that says cure diseases such as AIDS or cancer by applying magnets in different parts of the body. This therapy is based on the fact that a more alkaline or more acidic pH is the cause of the diseases. Its creator was the Mexican doctor Goiz Durán, in 1988, who holds academic degrees as a doctorate in “Bioenergetic Energy” by the International University of Oxford, which is not Oxford University English. Several medical colleges filed complaints for fraud and illegal exercise of the profession.


It is a therapy that is based on the fact that diseases do not exist and are the biological response to a psychological conflict. Its defenders (there is no single creator) claim that the key to healing is to seek the unconscious emotion that causes the disease and modify it. There is no proof that BioNeuroEmotion works or has ever cured a person. In addition, their statements contradict the criteria of the medical community and call into question the knowledge of science.

Alkaline diet

It proposes that the pH of food affects the individual and the cure of pathologies such as cancer. These diets defend that the ingested food can change the acidity or alkalinity of our body altering health. They recommend consuming 80 percent alkalizing foods. The reality is that alkalinity varies a lot from one body to another and there is no evidence that “alkalinity” corresponds to “health”: that we have more acidic or alkaline environments does not cause or predispose to any disease, only ensures that basic functions essentials are developed normally. This therapy argues that cancer cells grow in acidic environments, so reversing the acidity of these environments would help healing. Numerous studies have shown that cancer cells proliferate equally in alkaline environments and there is no link between acid diet and cancer.

Bach flowers

They are prepared brandy, mineral water and floral essences that would acquire their power of healing thanks to sun exposure and after being diluted. According to its proponents, most diseases come from negative emotional states that weaken the immune system and make the body sick. Bach flowers would work the emotional field of people to restore the immune system and health. Although it is true that the mood of the people affects their state of health, it would never be the source of a disease such as cancer. Therefore, these postulates that have no scientific basis, would serve as a placebo effect.


This therapy, which has a large number of followers, states that a lower amount of compound in a solution is more effective, reaching its peak when no molecule of the active principle remains. Its postulates are that “the similar cures the similar” and that “the dilution increases the power”. According to this, homeopathic active ingredients are selected in small quantities and diluted with water to make them more potent. This process is repeated many times until there are no molecules of the active principle. This is the point of disagreement between modern science and homeopathy. When the German Samuel Hahnemann invented it in 1796, the existence of molecules was not known. The science maintains that a “medicine” that does not present any molecule (since these can not be diluted infinitely) of active principle can not function more than as a placebo effect. The homeopaths do not deny the absence of the active principle, but affirm that “water has memory” (something that has no physical basis) and that somehow remembers that it was in contact with the “active principle” and cures. This mechanism of action is an impossible budget from a scientific point of view and homeopathy has never proved its validity in clinical trials, beyond its placebo effect. Although its use in itself does not hurt, replacing it with real medicines in the fight against cancer can have lethal consequences.


It is an alternative therapy that is based on the belief that nature has the healing power necessary to end illnesses. Defend healing through natural practices that balance the patient's energies, since, according to naturopaths, diseases arise when the individual does not follow the basic healthy rules (rest, healthy eating, physical exercise …). The natural therapies consist of the administration of plants, therapies of cold, heat, humidity, dietetic advice, homeopathy or acupuncture. This type of therapy proliferates especially in underdeveloped countries, with poor rural areas with a lack of medical personnel, such as India, where many of these therapies that try to prove their effectiveness through unclear studies, published in magazines of dubious credibility. The problem with these therapies is that the naturopaths maintain that the plants can only help and not harm. Although many natural compounds can serve as active ingredients, others are highly toxic. Naturpathy is a diffuse practice, poorly defined, that resorts to immaterial concepts, such as the balance of energies, and that does not have a standardization that makes it have a specific methodology.

See also:

Myths and truths about things that could give cancer

Nearly half of Spaniards will suffer cancer

Liquid biopsy, the future revolution to fight cancer


Osvaldo Batocletti, legend of Tigres, dies

Bacterial resistance could overcome cancer as a cause of death by 2050