Cancer: No Shark for You!
Shark cartilage is being used to treat cancer? Who prescribes that, a witch doctor? “Take two eye of newt and a shark fin and call me in da’ mornin’ mon.” But unfortunately for witch doctors and shaman, a new study shows shark cartilage is no help against lung cancer. Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:
Shark cartilage products have been marketed for years as "alternative" products by several firms, and one Canadian company, Aeterna Zentaris Inc., had been developing one such product as a licensed pharmaceutical.Don’t worry. You won’t find Dr. Fuhrman consulting the stones and bones for magic remedies. He’s doesn’t believe the hype surrounding shark cartilage on bit. From Ineffective Anti-Cancer Remedies: Shark Cartilage:
But the large study, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, showed definitively that the product did not work, experts told a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago…
… The study fits in with several others that have been published in recent years showing that various shark cartilage products do not help cancer patients live any longer, or help ease their symptoms.
"I would like to hope, I would like to pray, that this would put this sort of therapy out of business," Dr. Nancy Davidson, an oncologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who is about to become president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said in an interview.
This is a perfect example of how a good story can sprout a billion dollar industry. After the book Sharks Don't Get Cancer aired on television, showing cancer patients using shark cartilage apparently doing well, millions of cancer sufferers took (expensive) shark cartilage for years, until the first well-designed study followed cancer patients over time and found the shark cartilage had no discernible effect. Since then, manufacturers have stopped claiming that shark cartilage has any beneficial anti-cancer properties.Why do I hear the Jaws theme song all of a sudden? Ah!
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