On 9 January 2009, the cancer site of Cancerstory.com became dormant.
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Cancer "Entrepreneurs" and Their "Magic bullets"

"I feel sorry for cancer patients and their families, forking out large sums to buy the elusive magic bullet that claims to cure cancer. Cancer patients, desperate for a cure, are vulnerable to extravagant claims and marketing strategies that claim to promise cures."

I am deeply saddened by people who are eager to make money from desperate and vulnerable cancer patients and their families. Since the launch of CancerStory.com, many cancer "entrepreneurs" have approached me to promote their "magic bullets". If their products can really cure cancer, why not make them known to the world? They would have saved many lives.

Many of these products claim to be backed by scientific researches carried out in-house, and with some favourable testimonies (though we are not sure if they are real). In reality, how many cancer patients are completely cured, especially those in the late stages of cancer? In addition, taking dietary supplements is not risk free - researchers are finding that many nutrients can be toxic when consumed in large amounts for a period of time, or in combination with other substances.

Very often, many cancer patients and their families do not mind trying and paying for these expensive stuff as long as they can afford them. Certainly, they make their own choices - a commercial deal involving a willing buyer and a seller.

I would like to share one of my encounters with a cancer "entrepreneur" on 30 July 2003 at CancerStory's Resource Centre, Humanity & Golden Kids (illustrated by the below comic strip). Through this real-life incident, I would like to remind cancer patients and their families to exercise their judgment carefully before buying the "magic cure". I implore cancer "entrepreneurs" to search their souls and conscience when making money from cancer patients. Ill-gotten wealth will repay its own debts. In most teachings, we must always make a decent living and be truthful and kind to our fellowmen. Bear in mind that we come naked and will leave empty-handed. Undoubtedly, the concept of the business model, and common phrase such as "No Free Lunch" is common in Singapore. But this does not mean that one will be a stupid fool if he or she adopts a different attitude and mindset. A kind soul will live meaningfully and peacefully.

Indeed, cancer "entrepreneurs" are creating a "global plague" that seek out their prey, cancer patients and their care givers, in almost every corner of the world. So, the next time a "money-digger" tells you about a dietary supplement that sounds too good to be true, you might want to visit the web site hosted by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City (http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/11570.cfm). Its "AboutHerbs" web page is frequently updated with reliable information on dietary supplements and herbs.

The incidence of cancer is rising in Singapore and perhaps it is time for local cancer centers and hospitals to include compulsory nutritional counseling to ensure that cancer patients ultimately receive the nutritional care they need as a component of true comprehensive cancer care and at the same time make them less vulnerable to the cancer "entrepreneurs". In the process of Remaking Singapore, qualified dietitians of local cancer medical institutions/centers and hospitals should take time to provide cancer patients with pro-active, individualized, and in-depth nutrition information that they will need during cancer treatment and recovery.

Posted on 28 September 2003



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