Amazon is selling bogus ‘cancer cure’ books that wrongly tell patients to drink carrot juice, take CBD oil or adopt an alkaline diet
- Cancer experts have accused the retail giant of preying on the vulnerable
- More than 3,000 titles are listed on the site under the term ‘cancer cures’
- Some were results listed under the wrong section, or harmless notebooks
- But other results were books that endorsed unproven CBD oil and carrot juice
Retail giant Amazon has today come under heavy fire for selling scores of books promoting bogus cancer cures.
Cancer experts have today accused the billion-pound company of preying on the vulnerable who are desperate for a remedy.
More than 3,000 titles are listed on the site under ‘cancer cures’, including ones endorsing unproven CBD oil and carrot juice.
One author – a herbalist who claimed to cure Michael Jackson of his addiction to painkillers before his death – wrote how an alkaline diet could help.
Amazon’s content guidelines say that some of the books it sells may be ‘objectionable’ to some customers and a spokesperson added the company had the right to ‘provide access to a variety of viewpoints’.
Another book – Dr Sebi Cancer Cure – promoted a form of an alkaline diet that the author claimed can ‘reverse cancer’ (left). The Doctor Who Cures Cancer (right) was one of the highest-listed products. The Revici Method – quackery first floated in the 1930s – revolved around the theory cancer is cured by a chemical imbalance.
Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head information nurse, told MailOnline: ‘If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
‘When people are in desperate situations, they will often go online and come across stuff that makes claims that perhaps we wouldn’t agree with.
‘And because they’re in a vulnerable situation, they want to believe that.’ He added that it’s a ‘bit unreasonable’ for firms to make money of cures that don’t work.
Mr Ledwick said: ‘One of the worries sometimes is that someone might be talked out of having a treatment that does work.
‘If anyone is considering any unconventional treatment, they really ought to talk to their doctor about it. Often these things just don’t work. But sometimes they might just do harm.
‘It’s important to understand what you’re taking, [some things] may possibly interact with conventional treatment you are taking in a bad way.
‘Just because something is described as natural doesn’t mean it is harmless – there’s lots of substances in nature that are toxic.’
MailOnline did not examine all 3,000-plus listings.
Children’s book author Ann Cameron was told she had just three years left to live when doctors found the killer disease had spread in November 2012. She adopted a carrot juice diet
Michael Jackson was being treated for drug and alcohol addictions by a witch doctor called Alfredo Bowman, also known as Dr Sebi (pictured), it was reported in 2004
The Revici Method – quackery first floated in the 1930s – revolved around the theory cancer is cured by a chemical imbalance (pictured, Emanuel Revici)
Curing Cancer With Carrots details the story of Ann Cameron, a woman who claims she cured her stage four colon cancer with carrot juice (left). The Definitive Guide On The Management And Cure Of Testicular Cancer Using CBD Oil details how the cannabis-based product ‘fights cancer cells’ (right)
But 24 of the books sold on the first three pages, which list 16 at a time, contained false information about unproven cures.
Other results included notebooks with cancer-fighting mottos on the front, or books that had been wrongly listed under ‘cancer cures’.
The Doctor Who Cures Cancer, 402 pages dedicated to the controversial Emanuel Revici, was one of the highest-listed products.
Its sales blurb on Amazon read: ‘This is the true story of the greatest medical scientist who has ever lived.
‘Find out what happened to Dr Revici and find out how you can use the principles of his discoveries to reverse even advanced cancers…
‘You’ll meet patients with all kinds of cancers have been healed and cured with the Revici Method.’
The Revici Method – quackery first floated in the 1930s – revolved around the theory cancer is cured by a chemical imbalance.
However, the theory is wrong. The book’s own blurb admits The American Cancer Society ‘blasted him time and time again’.
Professor Edzard Ernst, a leading researcher in complementary medicine at Exeter University said: ‘There is no good evidence that it is effective.’
Another book – Dr Sebi Cancer Cure – promoted a form of an alkaline diet that the author claimed can ‘reverse cancer’.
Dr Sebi, real name Alfredo Bowman, spoke of curing dozens of patients with his diet, which included a plant that works as a laxative.
WHO IS DR SEBI? AND DID HE TREAT MICHAEL JACKSON?
Michael Jackson was being treated for drug and alcohol addictions by a witch doctor called Alfredo Bowman, it was reported in 2004.
The controversial healer – known as Dr Sebi – was brought in to help tackle Jackson’s pain so he wouldn’t need painkillers any more, a source said.
The Honduras-based healer, who died in 2016, claimed that he could cure arthritis, asthma, cancer, Aids, and a variety of female and male problems.
In the 1980s, he took out newspaper advertisements professing his ability but was ordered to stop by the New York state attorney general’s office.
His previous clients are said to have included Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, of the hip-hop girl group TLC, who died in a car crash at the age of 30.
The theory is that tumours thrive off acid, and that eating more alkaline foods – such as fruits and vegetables – could change the pH levels of blood.
But no food or drink can cure cancer. And no studies have ever shown the pH level of the blood can be altered through diet.
Experts warn links between the alkaline diet and fighting cancer is likely down to the fact it cuts out red meat and encourages fruit and veg.
Curing Cancer With Carrots details the story of Ann Cameron, a woman who claims she cured her stage four colon cancer with carrot juice.
The children’s book author was told she had just three years left to live when doctors found the killer disease had spread in November 2012.
Rejecting chemotherapy, she opted to try drinking 5lbs (2.26kg) of carrot juice every day after stumbling across claims online it could help.
In August that year Ms Cameron was told she had ‘no evidence of cancer’. Her book details how carrots can restore the body’s natural power to kill tumours.
The Definitive Guide On The Management And Cure Of Testicular Cancer Using CBD Oil details how the cannabis-based product ‘fights cancer cells’.
But experts ridiculed both claims made, declaring any suggestion CBD oil or carrots could help fight any form of the disease as being totally unproven.
Mr Ledwick told MailOnline ‘there is a lot going on about CBD oil’ at the moment, but added: ‘There is no evidence that it’s going to help you.
‘We know some components of cannabis can be useful in treating cancer but taking cannabis oil that you bought off the internet is not going to do anything.’
Professor Ernst said it would be a ‘step in the right direction’ if Amazon donated some of its profits to cancer charities researching cures.
And he argued that most cancer scams trick readers with scientific language, in a deliberate attempt to mislead them.
An Amazon spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Our content guidelines for books address content that is illegal or that we otherwise prohibit. As a bookseller, we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints.’
It is not the first time Amazon has been accused of behaving irresponsibly for selling dubious products said to improve health.
In July, MailOnline also revealed customers in the UK and US could buy pills said to contain saliva from a dog infected with rabies.
They were also able to purchase other tablets claimed to be made using the urethral discharge from men infected with gonorrhoea.
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