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Herceptin hype: Big Pharma's new "miracle cure" for breast cancer is inferior to free, natural cures

Monday, March 13, 2006
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: Herceptin, breast cancer, women's health

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The drug industry is happily jumping up and down, shouting about what it considers to be a new, amazing, miracle-class breakthrough drug for breast cancer. The drug is called Herceptin, and the words being used to describe this drug include "amazing" and "unprecedented." It's even been called "a cure" for breast cancer. When it was presented at a medical conference last year, the attendees gave the presentation a standing ovation, and almost every breast cancer charity is now loudly screaming about how this drug needs to be prescribed to every woman who has breast cancer.

That's the level of hype surrounding Herceptin. These are the kinds of words that the medical industry always warns people against believing in the nutritional supplements industry. The medical industry says that when anybody says something is a "miracle" or a "cure," it's a red flag, and it should be avoided. And yet pushers of conventional medicine are now using these very same terms to describe their own drug.

But what's the truth about Herceptin? Is it really a miracle-class breast cancer drug? Is it the most amazing pharmaceutical breakthrough in a quarter century, as is being claimed by some people out there?

Big Pharma's "cure" vs. free, natural healing

Herceptin proponents claim clinical trials show a 46 percent decrease in recurring breast cancer when the drug is prescribed to late-stage breast cancer patients. That number, of course, is pure marketing propaganda and statistical spin. Consider the facts: One of the main studies being cited in support of Herceptin saw 34 deaths in the control group (2.0% of the participants) and 23 deaths (1.4%) in the group treated with Herceptin. This translates in a 0.6% absolute reduction in deaths. Hardly a miracle, huh?

But that doesn't stop drug proponents from hailing Herceptin as a bonafide miracle. As Ralph W. Moss explained in a recent critical commentary published in New Scientist magazine (March 4, 2006), one of the main cheerleaders for Herceptin is none other than Hortobagyi, a paid consultant of Genentech, who received somewhere between $10,000 and $100,000 from the drug company. He's one of the proponents who calls Herceptin a "cure." He probably even does it with a straight face.

Is a 0.6% reduction in deaths really such a big deal? The fact is that getting some regular sunshine and engaging in regular physical exercise has a far greater success rate of reducing the risk of recurring breast cancer. In other words, something you can do absolutely free of charge is better than the most advanced, most miraculous breakthrough the pharmaceutical industry has come up with in 30 years.

You don't see doctors jumping up and down about the healing benefits of sunshine. You don't see them shouting to the press that sunshine is a cure for breast cancer, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, depression, schizophrenia and can even help reduce obesity. All of those things are true, by the way. If sunshine were a prescription drug, it would be heralded as the most miraculous, amazing breakthrough drug ever invented by mankind. But sunshine cannot be bottled and sold to people. No one owns the patent on sunshine. So, instead, you hear about miracle cures from high-priced prescription drugs like Herceptin. Big Pharma hype masters are claiming that a 0.6% percent reduction in absolute risk is the best result in the universe.

I find that laughable, because when you look at the natural medicine world and natural healing, you find that a combination of natural sunlight, physical exercise, green tea, mineral supplementation, colon cleansing and avoidance of cancer-causing foods causes cancer rates to plummet far beyond 0.6 percent. In the world of natural medicine, we have natural strategies that are far safer and effective than the most miraculous cancer drug the pharmaceutical industry has ever come up with.

The people talking about this drug say it is amazing because it only kills cancer cells without damaging the healthy cells. So does vitamin B17. If you eat apricot kernels, you get the same thing. Apricot kernels contain a medicine (laetrile) that selectively poisons cancer cells. However, that's something you should talk to your naturopath about, because it does contain a form of organic cyanide that someone could overdose on it if they ate an entire bag of apricot kernels. I eat apricot kernels every once in while just to have a little variation in my diet, and you can bet I don't have any cancer tumors.

There are many foods that target cancer cells and don't affect healthy cells. Broccoli is one of the most powerful anti-cancer foods out there, and garlic even tops broccoli. If you eat garlic and broccoli both in their raw state, you are consuming one of the most powerful anti-cancer combinations known to mankind and nature. Those don't damage healthy cells, but they do in fact target cancer cells. In other words, these simple, everyday foods at the grocery store have a technology more sophisticated and more effective than the most highly hyped anticancer prescription drug ever invented by the pharmaceutical industry. They've spent 30 years and billions of dollars to come up with this drug, and yet a piece of broccoli and a clove of garlic can do better.

Big Pharma = Big Hype

You see what I'm getting at here? The pharmaceutical industry is really just about bad science and great hype. It's about keeping people ignorant of the natural and low-cost treatments for cancer, while funneling people into a corrupt system of medicine that traps them into dependence on high-priced, heavily hyped, toxic drugs and treatments.

Now, I don't know if Herceptin is a toxic drug. I don't think there's enough safety data on the drug yet to draw that kind of a conclusion, but I do know that many of the other cancer treatments out there are highly toxic. Chemotherapy is really poison. It poisons the whole body, too, not just the cancer cells. That's why people who undergo chemotherapy have such terrible life expectancy. Doctors and oncologists can claim that your tumor shrank, but what they don't tell you is that your heart, liver and kidneys were damaged at the same time. Now, you're going to need prescription drugs for the rest of your life. So chemotherapy actually creates new customers for Big Pharma. (Besides, shrinking tumors does nothing to solve the underlying systemic cancer problem in the first place.)

This is one of the great cons of the medical industry -- prescribing one treatment to make you sick so that you need other treatments. Whether Herceptin will fall into this category or not remains to be seen. I don't know if it's going to be dangerous or safe. I guess we'll find out in the years ahead. One thing we do know about Herceptin is that it will be heavily hyped, marketed and advertised. There will be lots of newspaper and magazine articles written about this drug. We also know that it's no better than sunshine, exercise, broccoli, garlic, green tea and other common anti-cancer foods and health strategies.

In other words, this drug is ho-hum. There's really nothing exciting about this drug to anyone who knows anything about real healing. It's really only exciting to the people who can't wait to profit from it. The mainstream press will print this news far and wide, because the mass media is heavily funded by the pharmaceutical industry. It's a racket. The drug companies say, "You write news about our drugs to promote the drugs, and we'll give you money for advertising." The same thing is true for a lot of these anti-cancer non-profit foundations: "You promote our drug as part of your cancer prevention propaganda, and we'll be sure to donate lots of money to your non-profit organization." That's why many of these cancer organizations are really just front companies for recruiting cancer patients that generate billions of dollars in profits each year for the cancer industry.

The double standard with "cures"

I also find it interesting that this drug, Herceptin, is being called a cure for breast cancer with only a 0.6 percent reduction rate (absolute risk) in recurring cancer. If there were an herb that had better than a 0.6 percent reduction rate and you called it a cure, the FDA would jump all over you. The agency would say, "How dare you call it a cure -- there is no such thing as a cure for cancer!"

Apparently, the word "cure" is reserved exclusively for pharmaceuticals; it can never be used with herbs or other nutritional therapies. I find that to be an interesting double standard. There are herbs, by the way, that have a better than 0.6 percent reduction rate in recurring breast cancer. Many herbs from the Amazon rainforest are anti-cancer, most notably graviola and cat's claw, both of which have received some notoriety over the last couple years, and deservedly so, in my opinion.

With all this talk about Herceptin being the cure for breast cancer, it's funny that you don't see the FDA sending warning letters to the manufacturer of this drug, claiming that these third-party statements are in fact going to be used against them, because the FDA claims that third-party statements about nutritional statements can be held against the very manufacturers of those supplements, even when those manufacturers didn't make those statements. Yet the FDA is doing nothing to shut down this over-hyped, exaggerated miracle-class language being used to describe this prescription drug. It's a clear double standard, and it's just one more example of the duplicity of the Food and Drug Administration and its obvious attempts to promote prescription drugs while discrediting anything that competes with them.

Big Pharma = Big Money

It's hard to accurately describe the level of corruption in the drug industry today. The word "conspiracy" comes to mind, although I think a better term would just be "collusion" or perhaps "shared greed." Everyone who is involved is making money. Drug companies are making money. The doctors who serve on the decision panels that decide how these drugs should be used are on the take from pharmaceutical companies. They're receiving grant money, consulting fees and outright bribes. People at the FDA are raking in huge salaries and gaining political power, and they know that when they leave the FDA -- if they've made a lot of positive rulings in favor of drug companies -- they will be offered lucrative positions at drug companies. Hospitals are making a ton of money, and local retail pharmacies are also raking in cash from these prescription drugs.

Conventional medicine is a system of mutual greed. Everybody's raking in the bucks, except there's one problem: Nobody is fundamentally helped by this system. No one is healthier from being on a half-dozen prescription drugs for life. In fact, today we have the greatest rates of chronic disease ever observed in the history of this country. There has never been as much chronic disease as we are seeing now. So, even though all these profits are being generated, there's really no return for it. We're not healthier, and we're not happier. We are not more vibrant, lucid or free of pain and human suffering. In fact, the drug industry has worsened all of these things. We have more suffering now. We have less awareness and weaker nervous systems. We have degraded health across the board, and yet Big Pharma keeps promising that if we just continue to pay ripoff prices for their next wave of brand-name drugs that cause harmful side effects, they'll use that money to "find a cure" for what ails us. If that's not outright quackery, I don't know what is.

With Herceptin, the aim now is to try to get every woman on this drug whether she has breast cancer or not. That's probably going to end up being the strategy. They'll call it prevention, and they'll put women on it for a lifetime. Ten to 20 years later, we may find out that this drug causes liver or kidney damage. Or perhaps this will be a remarkably safe drug, but how much money will people spend on it over that time, when they could be preventing breast cancer for free? Simply avoiding red meat, sodium nitrite, hydrogenated oils and refined sugar probably reduces breast cancer by at least 50 percent, which is a better protection than the drug.

The solutions to health really are simple and readily available. Most of them are free of charge. That's information the drug industry absolutely does not want you to know. For you to realize those things would result in the loss of customers for the pharmaceutical industry, and that's why you're only going to get this information from champions of health freedom -- folks like me who tell it straight and have nothing to gain or lose from what we're saying. I have no financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry or the supplements industry, and I do not sell any such products or receive commissions on any such products. That's why my information is 100 percent unbiased and uninfluenced. It is the genuine truth about what's going on in the world in terms of prescription drugs, health, medicine and the real cures for cancer.

And in my opinion, Herceptin is pure hype, and the doctors and scientists pushing the drug are engaged in little more than scientific nonsense. There's just no credibility left in pharmaceutical medicine anymore.

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About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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