Kidney Cancer Snake-Oil

I admit it, I’m one of those people who is easily drawn into false promises of hope, heck I even failed to win the lottery last night!

Prior to my Nephrectomy I paced the floor endlessly panicking about what may or may not be, did I have cancer? didn’t I have cancer? As a computer geek I also surfed the web hour after hour looking for anything that could tell me that a) it wasn’t really true i.e. the doctors didn’t know what they were talking about and b) there’s a miracle cure out there, some sort of “magic bullet”. Blue Tongue skinks

I got suckered into 3 things


  1. Some sort of Chinese herbal remedy that was supposed to improve kidney function (maybe it did)
  2. Zeolites – Very expensive
  3. A drug called Graviola that was highly expensive and made me feel violently ill to the point I collapsed and threw up.


None of the above things that I tried had any clinical or scientific evidence to back up their claims, just anecdotal hearsay. What’s worse is they wrap up their sales patter with false claims about it being some secret that’s been deliberately hidden from us, basically because they have no scientific evidence themselves, so they have to have something to hook us in.

I’ve since learnt now that as with most things “if it sounds too good to be true, then it generally is”. I feel ashamed that I was drawn in to this stuff.

I do not hold that there is some conspiracy theory holding back a cancer cure fed the pharmaceutical companies desire for higher profit margins, and it disgusts me that there are those out there that feed off this and people’s vulnerability to sell them these snake-oil concoctions.

Some of these concoctions have been put on clinical trial and none of them have proved to have any efficacy for RCC. Kidney Cancer is also one of those highly resistant cancer’s that means things such as standard chemotherapy has little or no impact, which is why we’re left with a few very expensive treatments and drugs such as HDIL-2, Sutent, Nexavar,Avastin etc. Again none of these drugs boast a cure, they only proclaim to hopefully extend a person’s life and check the growth of tumours.

If these other remedies had any serious efficacy then I suspect they would have appeared on all of the worldwide Kidney Cancer forums that are patient and carer driven, such as ACOR which I use on a regular basis. Patients are not themselves driven by the government or pharmaceutical companies , they are driven by their disease. Any miracle cure would have surfaced by now and we’d all be popping whatever that pill is, crushing seeds, eating grass or standing on our heads with one arm behind our backs singing Alleluia whilst drinking red wine through a smelly sock; because basically I’d do anything not to get this cancer again.

That doesn’t mean that a cure wont be found, and maybe the cure will come from some natural source, however pharmaceutical companies look at thousands upon thousands of compounds each year to see which ones could be a basis for a cure, if these snake-oil substances had any validity behind them then they would have made a treatment from them already…. so to me, it’s not about money.


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