WAS reported in Lianhe Zaobao (Sept 6) that a Taiwanese
'detoxification guru' was sentenced to seven years' jail after being
sued by a breast-cancer patient.
In this case, the patient thought that she found the magic cure
after reading a book written by the accused. She opted out from
mainstream treatment and embarked on the healing programme
recommended by the accused. She paid a handsome sum for the health
supplements, and gave testimonies on TV programmes and publicity
Two years later, in 2006, her medical examination showed that her
cancer cells have spread to her lymph nodes.
In 2003, many local cancer patients came to know of this healing
programme because the accused gave talks in Singapore. Some patients
shared with me about it, and I recalled one happy patient who
claimed that her cancer 'disappeared' after embarking on the
programme. She opted out of radiation therapy. As I have lost
contact with her, I am not sure if she has suffered a relapse.
In April 2007, I attended a cancer talk and noticed that the
speaker presented a 'negative picture' of chemotherapy. Being an
advocate for comprehensive cancer care, I felt uneasy with his talk.
To me, complementary treatment is a safer bet for early stage cancer
which is treatable by conventional treatment.
People having rare cancers are still unable to get the best
cancer care from Western medicine. When these cancer patients
decided to give up on mainstream treatment and opt for alternative
treatment, their decisions are often seen as risky and irrational.
warned patients not to 'waste' money on alternative treatment. Sadly
many people have also spent a large amount of money on Western
medicine and yet they cannot be 'saved'. Quite often, other people
will also make similar comments - why 'waste' money on palliative
I urge patients with rare cancers and late-stage cancers to face
the hard reality and accept the limitation of medical science, and
move on to do their own research on their particular type of cancer.
If alternative treatment can provide you with a second chance at
living life within your means, give it serious thought.
Cancer patients and their families must 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. We must always make a decent living, and
be truthful and kind to our fellowmen.
Lee Soh Hong (Miss)