Holistic medicine

Alternative cancer therapy: methods, dangers and deaths

Venus fly against cancer - when pseudomedicine kills

The “Biological Cancer Center Bracht” in the Netherlands hit the headlines in August 2016 after three patients died there within a week of treatment. The responsible minister Hermann Gröhe told the Rheinische Post: "The administration of substances that are not approved as medicinal products and that are only in an experimental basic research is not justifiable."

Biological cancer treatment?

A naturopath had treated the patients with an infusion of the preparation 3-bromopyruvate. This product is not approved in Germany and is even prohibited in the Netherlands. It was an "alternative cancer therapy". The idea behind this is that cancer cells have an altered sugar metabolism and 3-bromopyruvate can prevent cancer growth. So far, tests for the drug have only been available in petri dishes and animal experiments, so the studies are in their early stages.

The tumor cells should receive the information that they are adequately supplied with energy and should therefore stop growing. The problem is that if pyruvate gets into the cells in large quantities, it damages them.

The person in charge, Klaus Ross, studied biomedical engineering according to his own statements, then worked as a product manager for medical devices and obtained his license to practice medicine in Krefeld. In the center he headed, he had been offering “biological cancer treatment, pain therapy and detoxification” since 2014, the cost of which was around 10,000 euros in ten weeks.

Practice ban

After the deaths, the center was banned from practicing and the police sealed the front door. The official doctor in the district of Viersen filed a criminal complaint against the alternative practitioner. First of all, it was a matter of suspected failure to provide assistance: when the symptoms became apparent to the patient, he did not inform the emergency doctor but gave them vitamins. The Krefeld authorities investigated the naturopath in a total of 70 cases. The question was whether they died of cancer or the preparation 3-bromopyruvate.

The Dayspring Cancer Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona also relies on this “alternative therapy approach”, and in 2013 the American health agency approved a study on the effects of 3BP.

In contrast to Germany, the administration of alternative agents is strictly controlled in the Netherlands. In Germany, only prescription drugs are prohibited for alternative practitioners. Klaus Ross recognized this gap in the market and specifically promoted patients from the Netherlands.

Medical association alarmed

Eugen Brysch from the German Foundation for Patient Protection considered it urgently necessary to reform the training for naturopaths. He told the NOZ: "While there are no high hurdles for admission as an alternative practitioner in Germany, neighboring countries such as Austria and the Netherlands are taking a different route."

Above all, it is unclear what a non-medical practitioner is allowed to do and what is not: "Both for non-medical practitioners and for their remedies should no longer apply: Everything is permitted that is not expressly prohibited." Rather, the following must apply: "What is prohibited is prohibited . "

The President of the NRW Medical Association, Rudolf Henke, said that it was not justifiable that alternative practitioners would treat cancer patients.

Barbara Steffens is silent

The responsible health minister in North Rhine-Westphalia, Barbara Steffens, was silent about why Klaus Ross, based in Kleefeld, was able to pursue his life-threatening quackery in North Rhine-Westphalia without being disturbed.

The cloud of fog emanating from her was no accident. In a different context, she herself said: "The second is simply that I find it presumptuous that anyone thinks that science, disease processes and recovery processes could just as easily be explained scientifically."

The Minister Against Science

Matthias Schwab from Dr. Margarete Fischer-Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology in Stuttgart wrote to the minister: "Of course, it is simply not so easy to scientifically explain people (whatever one understands them), disease processes and recovery processes, which is why systematic, in-depth scientific work is involved of the matter is necessary to prove that pseudo-medical procedures endanger the patient more than can help. "

He gives the example: "If we had not generated scientific data on the treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the highest level in oncological research in the past 25 years, the chances of survival of these children would not be> 90% today."

In the Ross case, there was a fatal rendezvous between an anti-scientific minister of health and a quackery pseudo-healer. That cost people their lives.

Venus fly against colon cancer

Klaus Ross' patients are not the only ones who died as a result of "alternative cancer treatment". Penelope Dingle from Australia died of colon cancer in 2005. Her sister performed an autopsy. This showed that homeopath Francine Scrayen and a toxicologist from Perth were responsible for the death. They had prescribed homeopathic treatment for the patient combined with a vegetarian diet. Scrayen also recommended olive oil to the deceased.

An allegation was that the homeopath had no medical training and should have referred Dingle to a doctor immediately. Two “alternative doctors” also inspired the patient to treat her colon cancer with Venus fly extract and vitamin C.

The deceased also agreed with Francine Scryen that she would only be able to be treated with alternative medicine. Her husband, Peter Dingle, should then write a book about the disease after the suspected cure.
The only luck in misfortune: Penelope Dingle meticulously wrote a disease diary for this purpose, which Scryen proved as responsible for the death.

Pendulum against diagnosis

A woman from Carinthia contracted breast cancer. A naturopath from Germany noticed with his pendulum that the diagnosis of cancer was "wrong"; she had an inflamed chest. He "treated" the woman for years with "homeopathic remedies", earned 27,500 euros, and the victim died of cancer, which, according to the "healer", she did not have.

The bungler was tried for negligent homicide.

The wellness warrior

Jessica Ainscough was nicknamed "Wellness Warrior" in Australia and promoted, among other things, cancer therapies with carrot. In 2008, doctors diagnosed her with soft tissue cancer, which affects the hand, fingers, elbows and forearms.

She wrote on the online forum "MindBodyGreen": "After being told by doctors that my only real chance of long-term survival would be to have my arm amputated at the shoulder I decided to take matters into my own hands. I refused their offers of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and began searching for natural, alternative cancer treatments. ”

("After being told by the doctors that my only real chance of long-term survival would be to have my arm amputated at the shoulder, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I refused the offers from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation and started looking for natural, alternative cancer treatments. ”)

Missed the chance

She died of cancer. A cardiologist commented: “Jess Ainscough had a shot, one good shot. That's usually the case for most cancers; your first shot is your best shot, and we as cancer doctors need to make it count. She didn't take her first shot (…) Now that she is gone, what I want to know is this: Who are the quacks who enabled her and egged her on? "

("Jess Ainscough had a chance, a good chance. This is usually the case with cancer. Your first chance is your best chance and we cancer doctors have to take it. She didn't take her first chance. Now she's gone, I know want is: Who are these quacks who empowered and incited them? ”)

The Australian oncologist Ranjana Srivastava wrote about Jessica's death: "It will always attract unguarded patients who will cling to the faintest promise of recovery without associated harm. Whenever money changes hands and the premise sounds too good to be true, the motto remains: Caveat Emptor. "

("It will always attract unprotected patients to cling to the most vague promises of healing without any associated damage. Whenever money changes hands and the accompanying sounds sound too good to be true, the motto is: exclusion of warranty." )

"The cure of every cancer"

In 1997, an oncologist, Lucille Craven from New Hampshire, diagnosed a pea-sized tumor in the breast. The doctor recommended removal of the breast and nearby lymph nodes, plus chemotherapy.

She hid the meetings with the doctors and their diagnoses during this time from her family, she had previously said that if she had cancer she would not be "cut, burned or poisoned". In other words, she refused to cut out the tumor or have it dealt with medication.

Accompanied by another doctor, she went to a “naturopath” who claimed to be able to cure the cancer. He demanded an advance of many thousands of dollars and an agreement that all family members should release him from liability. The patient was obviously too untrustworthy.

Lucille now read books like "The Cure for All Cancers". One of these books was written by a chiropractor from a neighboring state.

Homeopathy and radiation

The patient visited his clinic regularly, even though it was 200 km away. He took blood samples and examined them under the microscope. Ultimately, he prescribed 714X, an injection medicine. She then injected herself with this medication. An on-site doctor prescribed her homeopathic remedies and performed radiation therapy.

She kept hiding the "therapy" from her family and claimed that the change in her diet and homeopathic medicines were a change to a healthy lifestyle.

Her husband eventually realized that she was missing injections. She knew he was rigorously opposed to this self-treatment, as was her meeting with the chiropractor. The husband got smart and showed her article about the dangers of untested drugs.

Headlights against the tumor

The untreated cancer now broke through the outer skin of the breast. Her doctor (the cardiologist who advised her to avoid surgery) diagnosed the tumor as carbuncle. These are pus bumps that develop with infections and considered excessive lymph nodes to be the cause.

Her "self-treatment" was now even more extreme: she bought a device for several thousand dollars with two headlights. They should "speed up the lymphatic flow".

It had been two years since the first correct diagnosis. The tumor had grown and metastasized, causing lymph node swelling on the left arm to swell.

Too late

Now her husband urged her to go to the oncologist and she agreed to conventional treatment. But it was too late. The surgeon in charge and the radiologist present agreed that the cancer could no longer be treated. She died four months later.

Her husband has been clarifying quackery ever since. Lucille's early death (she died at 54) could very well have been avoided. A pea-sized tumor that has not spread, does not spread to the lymph nodes can be excised with a "generous" removal of the breast tissue - and the chances of a complete cure are high.

Government-level pseudomedicine

If pseudomedicine becomes an official policy, it can cost thousands of lives. South Africa's Minister of Health, for example, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, belonged to the AIDS denial scene after the turn of the millennium and was inspired by the German “healer” Matthias Rath.

The result: meaningful prevention programs such as information about the use of condoms only took place when this policy came to an end.

The Harvard School of Public Health found that 330,000 people died of AIDS between 2000 and 2005, which would have prevented prevention programs. AIDS deniers were also responsible for 35,000 cases of HIV in children because the government had ended child-rearing programs.

Why does pseudomedicine harm?

Pseudomedicine deaths are spectacular; Dieter Ratz, however, discussed that sham therapies also harm in a variety of other ways. The direct damage also occurs. For example, an Australian died in 2009 of MMS, which was regarded as a remedy for various diseases by esotericists.

However, damage is much more common because patients use pseudomedical "therapies" for serious diseases such as cancer. According to Ratz, cancer patients die every year with a good prognosis, after and because they switch to "alternative procedures".

Nocebo and false guilt

However, the loss of trust in scientific methods indirectly has a far greater impact. This can cause a nocebo effect, which acts like a placebo - only negative.

Those who are afraid of harmless ingredients suffer from scaremongering. Those who let themselves be fooled into unscientific panaceas lose the scientific understanding of understanding disease processes.

Even worse: He blames himself for the bad course of his illness because he believes he is wrong in the esoteric sense.

Apricot kernels for cancer

Apricot kernels also belong to the "alternative cancer drugs". They contain amygdalin, which, according to the theory, kills cancer cells in the body. A vitamin B17 contained in it is considered a miracle cure for cancer. In contrast, American studies show that vitamin B 17 is ineffective.

But eating apricot kernels can be life-threatening, because the kernels are in no way ineffective. They can cause poisoning because the body converts amygdalin to hydrocyanic acid, which prevents the cells from absorbing oxygen. Nausea, headache and paralysis are the result - in the end there can be death. Adults should therefore not consume more than two cores a day.

Since 2006, poison control centers in Germany have registered several hundred poisonings from apricot kernels. The German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg explicitly warns of "alternative treatments" with amygdalin.

Bob Marley and Steve Jobs

Reggae musician Bob Marley died of cancer in 1981 at the age of 36. In 1977, doctors found a small tumor in his big toe. His religious belief prohibited the Rastafarian from amputating. He tried "alternative methods", but the cancer spread in the body and killed him before his time.

Steve Jobs died of cancer of the pancreas and complications from a liver transplant. In 2003 he was diagnosed with a tumor in the pancreas. It was the better form to treat. Only 5% of the tumors in the pancreas belong to these isolated cell tumors.

70-90% of the treated patients survive the first five years, many even ten or more years longer - since the cancer mainly occurs in advanced age, lifetime research beyond the first five years is scarcely fruitful, since many sufferers also die elsewhere .

The most important treatment is surgical removal of the tumor, the chances of recovery depend heavily on how early the carcinoma is discovered - especially that the cancer is cut out before it metastases.

Diet instead of surgery

Jobs would have had a good chance: his tumor was isolated, at an early stage, and the prognosis to remove it was very good. In 2004, he had the pancreas and parts of the gastrointestinal tract removed in a Whipple operation. The operation takes its name from the doctor Allen Whipple, who invented it. This intervention in the upper abdomen is very complicated and only a few special clinics are able to do this.

Could jobs still be alive?

In 2009, the American entrepreneur had a liver transplant, probably to prevent the cancer from coming back. This year he also underwent hormone treatment in Switzerland.

Jobs was a Buddhist and vegetarian and was skeptical of conventional medicine. He hesitated nine months before undergoing surgery. He first tried alternative methods and went on a special diet.

When he underwent surgery in 2004, the cancer was more advanced and may have metastasized - at least that's likely because doctors removed parts of the intestine and stomach. Would early surgery have saved him? There is no guarantee, but his chances of recovery would have been much better.

Dead children

The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne investigated 39 deaths from children who had previously received alternative treatment. In 30 of them, the study found a relationship between treatment or refusal to prescribe medication.

Damage caused by wrong therapy or refusal to receive professional treatment included: constipation, infection, epileptic seizure, bleeding, pain due to allergic reactions, oral ulceration, vomiting, growth disorders and malnutrition.

Septic shock by "alternative means"

Four children died because the parents refused medical treatment, one infant died of septic shock as a result of a "naturopathic rice milk diet". Another child died after several epileptic seizures after the parents stopped taking the anti-epileptic drugs and used "alternative means" instead. A fourth child died of bleeding because the parents rejected anticoagulant medication.

A boy in Austria suffered from the SCID immune disorder. The parents had taken him to a clinic for a bone marrow transplant. The responsible expert Kurt Widhalm saw a 95% chance of recovery. However, the parents took their son home before the procedure, refusing to undergo further exams, and refusing to test drugs. Instead, they had his family doctor treat him with homeopathic drugs.

The doctor didn't even give antibiotics, and the boy's condition worsened. The child eventually died of blood poisoning (sepsis): one of his ear canals decomposed and his lungs were overgrown with inflammation. He was also malnourished.

Sick children belong to the doctor

A seven-year-old in Canada contracted a bacterial infection. Within ten days, the symptoms got worse. The mother did not go to the doctor, but gave the patient homeopathic remedies.

After ten days, she called the emergency doctor because the boy's heart stopped beating. The boy was dead. Police spokesman Michael Cavilla said, “It should be a warning to all parents. If your child is sick, take them to the doctor. "

The English website "What's the harm" lists approximately 18,000 cases of children who died as a result of pseudomedicine, religious beliefs, rejection of vaccinations and evidence-based medicine. “Alternative medicine” mainly includes children who died of cancer, among other things because the parents refused effective chemotherapy.

Negligent homicide

Diabetes is not immediately fatal, provided the disease is treated in the way that is possible by today's medical standards.

However, a seven-year-old girl in Bad Säckingen fell into the wrong hands. The child was originally treated by naturopaths for language difficulties. But in October 2006 it turned out that the student from the western district of Waldshut had diabetes.

"Diabetes can be cured without insulin"

The naturopath told the mother that diabetes can be cured without insulin. In November the sickness values ​​of the little ones rose rapidly. On December 3rd. the alternative practitioner visited the girl in the morning, but did not think of having her taken to the hospital. Later in the day, she came to the intensive care unit at Uniklink Freiburg, near loss of consciousness.

Heavy doses of insulin no longer helped: she died on December 4, 2006. The (un-) alternative practitioner was sentenced by the district court Waldshut-Tiengen to 7500 euros fine and eight months probation for negligent killing, mother and father were found guilty of the same crime.

Maple syrup for meningitis

Ezekiel from Alberta, Canada, nine months old, was breathing heavily, his body was becoming stiff, and he was troubled by a bad cough. A fever broke out. The 35-year-old mother saw no reason to see a pediatrician, but treated him with "natural means" such as maple syrup and olive extract. The boy died two weeks later: it was viral meningitis that could have been treated well.

Opponents of vaccination

The (non-) treatment was logical: the parents come from the conspiracy fan palpation and anti-vaccination milieu. You run a company for natural remedies and declare yourself innocent. The public prosecutor, on the other hand, sued them for negligent homicide. If found guilty, they can go to prison for five years.

Cause of death: globules

In the United States, ten children recently died from taking globules. Homeopathy is criticized in scientific medicine - partly because it dilutes components so much that they no longer contain any detectable molecules of the original substance, meaning that this substance no longer exists scientifically.

Some doctors have an ambivalent attitude towards the so-called globules, sugar globules onto which liquid with the chemically undetectable substance is dripped. They think that the globules do not work, but they also do no harm.

Teething tablets with deadly cherry

Sometimes the globules contain an effective amount of the original substance, and that was fatal in the USA. "Teething tablets" contained the poison of the black belladonna, and the ten children ingested this poison with the globules.

The atropine contained in the tablets should help teething. Investigated cases in the United States showed severe side effects in approximately 400 cases, which, as described, led to death in ten children.

Common symptoms of the affected children were convulsions, tremors, shortness of breath and fever. These are all typical symptoms of atropine poisoning. Paralysis, coma and death follow in higher doses.

"Germanic medicine"

Ryke Geerd Hamer was born in 1935 in Mettmann, Hesse. He is a conspiracy fantastic and anti-Semite. Since 1981 he has "practiced" the "Germanic New Medicine" he invented. In 1986 he lost his license to practice in Germany and was often imprisoned - mainly because of fraud and illegal practice.

A deadly anti-Semite

His treatments are believed to account for 80 deaths. In 1995, for example, six-year-old Olivia Pilhar suffered because her Hamer-believing parents refused real therapy. Guardianship rights were revoked from the anti-Semites and evidence-based treatment saved the girl's life.

Critics now assume over 150 people who died as a result of Hamer treatment. The number of unreported cases could be three to four times as high. In incurable patients, Hamer made suffering worse by telling them that if they took painkillers, they would die immediately.

Görlitzer Hans-Ulrich L. died in 2015. He suffered from a malignant lymphoma, which doctors had discovered early on, and which could have been removed with an early operation with a favorable prognosis for complete recovery.

Cancer as a mental conflict

The "Germanic doctor" lulled the sufferer that cancer was due to an "undigested mental conflict", the conventional therapies were nothing but "exorcism". Instead of an operation, the patient should hear a song "Mein Studentenmädchen", which Hamer had designed himself.

He should be healed by the "vibrations". Now the piece of music was playing continuously, just before the person concerned died at 66, he switched off the music. At the funeral, the daughter of the victim of "Germanic New Medicine" carried a sign with the inscription: "Thanks to you, Ryke Geerd Hamer".

The deadly guru of "Germanic medicine" has now fled to Norway. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Society for the Scientific Study of Para Sciences e. V .: The Golden Board in front of the head (accessed: 11.09.2019), gwup.org
  • Humanistic press service: Deadly hocus-pocus with the blessing of the Minister of Health (accessed: 09/11/2019), hpd.de.
  • Anke Steckelberg, Julia Lühnen, Martina Albrecht: Evidence-based health information, German Network for Evidence-based Medicine e.V. April 2018, ebm-netzwerk.de
  • Homeopathy information network: science and studies in medicine and pseudomedicine (accessed: 09/11/2019), etzwerk-homoeopathie.info

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