G writes in:
Any idea that rodent tuba can cure cancer?
Thanks for asking, G
If you Google around you will find Rodent tuber claimed as a “natural cancer treatment” in alternatives to medicine websites.
Here are some basic principles you should be aware of
1) Cancer is not one disease. Different cancers are different diseases so any treatment which claims to be able to “cure” all sorts of cancers should raise a red flag of quackery
2) There is no doubt some plants have chemicals which can kill cancer cells in the laboratory (indeed some modern chemotherapy agents are derived from plants e.g. vinca alkaloids and cisplatinum).
3) The “evidence” in many of the alternatives to medicine websites refer to these in-vitro studies but they are not clinical studies which are needed to show whether something works in humans or not.
3) Lots of things can kill cancer cells in the laboratory but it does not mean they will automatically translate into clinical benefit nor does it mean they are not harmless just because they are “natural”
4) It could well be if you ingest these plants with chemicals which kill cancer cells in the laboratory, you are basically ingesting “chemotherapy in a raw form”, in an uncontrolled and unregulated fashion.
5). Being raw and natural does not mean it is better. It could well mean a weak anti-cancer effect (unlikely to “cure” any cancer as claimed) or no anti-cancer effect at all.
6) Being raw and natural does not mean there are no side effects. In this web site there is the caution:
Two days after consuming you may feel stomach problem, little diare (sic), faeces turn black and body feel fatigue. Sometimes patient may vomit after consumption, if this symptoms happened stop taking the capsule ,when you feel better, you can continue taking the capsules but reduce the dosage or consult with your medical practitioner.
These symptoms basically sound like chemotherapy side effects. Faeces turning black is somewhat alarming as it could mean upper gastroinestinal bleeding. If it is a “raw form” of chemotherapy, the website rightly cautions against pregnant women ingesting it. There is no data what it will do to your blood counts, how it will interact with other anti-cancer agents or other drugs, or any other documented side-effects, so caveat emptor.
Once again, just because something is “natural” does not mean it cannot harm or kill you.