Irresponsible media story promotes mushroom extract as cancer cure

Mushroom extracts may have benefits for cancer patients | Portland.

Rob Nesbitt, who was a track star in high school, was affected by an aggressive form of brain cancer three years ago.

At 51, he started getting headaches and was complaining of stress and fatigue. He decided to go in and get checked out.

“They did the second MRI, and they came in and said we’re taking you to the emergency room,” Nesbitt said. “I had two tumors. One was about the size of a golf ball, the other one a little bit smaller.”

While Oncologists used chemotherapy to treat Nesbitt’s cancer, he turned to a naturopathic doctor to help keep his immune system strong. That’s when he started taking a series of supplements including mushroom extracts.

Tip: Kristen

Nesbitt took the mushroom extracts at the same time as undergoing chemotherapy. His health care staff noted that his condition during treatment was better than usual. Nesbitt believes the mushroom extracts helped him fight the cancer.

The obvious: these mushrooms have not been shown to fight cancer. No naturopathic remedy has. If it did, doctors would be using it and it would be standard medicine. However, chemotherapy HAS been show to shrink and destroy tumors. It works very well.

There was no control in this case, it was one patient, subjective “feelings” during treatment and a combination of a treatment that is known to work with a added treatment that is not known to work (and likely doesn’t do anything). So, conclusion? Conventional cancer treatment worked. Good for him and good that he was lucky to feel pretty good during treatment. There is NO justification that the mushroom extract and supplements did a darn thing but cost him money.

To say that non-standard treatments are beneficial is unjustified (because they have not been tested or tests show they don’t work) and potentially harmful to people who choose unconventional, UNPROVED treatments and risk their recovery from cancer. Dangerous.

Story tipper, Kristen, was enraged that the media would allow such a story to be aired. Naturopaths can be viewed as trying in good faith to help people. But for those desperate for a cure and help to recover, to give them hope with a nonsense treatment is unethical. People trust you as a professional, they think you have the evidence to back it up. You don’t.

Here is the video report:

  2 comments for “Irresponsible media story promotes mushroom extract as cancer cure

  1. Kristen
    September 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    My fear is for people who see something like this and choose to go with mushrooms over conventional treatment. People really need to look at these things with a critical eye, and see it for the snake-oil it is. That includes the journalists who promote it without asking any questions or doing any basic research.

  2. Danny
    September 23, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    The mushrooms definitely sound like a nonsense cure. However sometimes when people are sick they find a great deal of comfort and distraction from investigating and trying out these alternative therapies. When my partner was dying from cancer she spent a lot of time searching for cures. I could have spent the last years of her life telling her she was acting foolishly and wasting her time. But I thought it best just to keep my peace. I think it was the right thing to do. I think we are all different.

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