(NaturalNews) In the previous installment of this multi-part series we looked at the relationships the American Cancer Society (ACS) has had with the Mammography and other industries that profit from cancer. Today we will take a closer look at the cozy relationship the ACS has had with the cancer drug industry.
The ACS and the Cancer Drug Industry
The close relationship between the ACS and cancer drug industry has been amply illustrated by the aggressive attacks the ACS has directed through the years at potential cancer drug industry competitors.
Similar to infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy`s "black list" and Richard Nixon`s "enemies list", the ACS maintained a "Committee on Unproven Methods of Cancer Management" for years, which periodically "reviewed" alternative cancer therapies. The committee was comprised of "volunteer health care professionals" who were carefully selected proponents of orthodox, expensive, and usually toxic drugs patented by major pharmaceutical companies. The members were also opponents of alternative or "unproven" therapies which are usually cheap and non-patentable.
To get an idea of the committee`s bias, it was originally named "The Committee on Quackery" when it was formed 50 years ago. In the 1950s, it became "The Committee on Unproven Methods of Cancer Management" and then several years ago, hard-liners pushed through to the last designation.
Periodically, the Committee provided statements on "unproven methods," which were then widely disseminated to clinicians, cheerleader science writers and the public. Once a clinician or oncologist was associated with "unproven methods," he or she was usually blackballed by the cancer establishment. Funding for the accused "quack" most often dried up followed by harassment.
The highly biased ACS witch-hunts against alternative therapies is in striking contrast to its highly publicized and uncritical endorsements of conventional toxic chemotherapy. Such mainstream cancer therapy endorsements have come in spite of a lack of objective evidence of improved survival rates or reduced mortality following chemotherapy for all but some relatively rare cancers.
In response to grassroots pressure from disillusioned cancer patients, 40 members of Congress requested the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) to evaluate available information on alternative innovative therapies in 1986. After initial resistance, the OTA eventually published a September 1990 report that identified some 200 promising studies on alternative therapies. The OTA concluded that the NCI had "a mandated responsibility to pursue this information and facilitate examination of widely used `unconventional cancer treatments` for therapeutic potential."
The ACS and NCI remained resistant, and in some instances hostile, to the OTA`s recommendations. In the January 1991 issue of its Cancer Journal for Clinicians ACS referred to the Hoxsey therapy, a nontoxic combination of herb extracts developed in the 1940s by populist Harry Hoxsey, as a "worthless tonic for cancer." However, a detailed critique of Hoxsey`s treatment by Dr. Patricia Spain Ward, a leading contributor to the OTA report, concluded just the opposite: "More recent literature leaves no doubt that Hoxsey`s formula does indeed contain many plant substances of marked therapeutic activity."
Hoxsey`s treatment is far from the only alternative therapy attacked by the ACS which was later found to be effective. Among the other alternative therapies, which have been attacked by the ACS and which were later found to have proof of effectiveness, are: hyperthemia, tumor necrosis factor, (originally called Coley`s Toxin), hydrazine sulfate, and Burzynski`s antineoplastons. Despite positive studies and wider acceptance of many alternatives to mainstream cancer drugs, thus far the FDA has still not approved a single non-patented alternative drug.
In the next installment of this series, we will examine the American Cancer Society`s questionable performance as a non-profit agency.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".