Investigate Minute: have they invented the cure for cancer?

The assumption that the cure for cancer has already been discovered is nothing unusual. It is present in bar conversations, messages via the app, chains, videos on the internet and even on news sites.

The main argument used by people who defend the thesis that the cure for cancer has already been discovered is that it would be financially more advantageous for the pharmaceutical industry to continue with conventional treatment, which can be costly and time-consuming.

In this case, if there was a cure for cancer, it would be much less profitable, as the patient would only need to be cured once and there would be no need to spend money indefinitely on medicines and treatments, which, in turn, would put the patients at risk. pharmaceutical industry profits on the ground.

To claim that a cancer cure already exists is a bold statement. That’s because cancer is a complex problem that affects the human body.

So, to know if the cure already exists and if it is being hidden from the general public, it is necessary to understand more about the disease itself.


What is cancer?

Cancer can be defined as the abnormal, accelerated and uncontrolled growth of a tissue or cell in the body. This uncontrolled growth generates a tumor, which is nothing more than a cluster of these cells.

Contrary to what people imagine, cancer is not a disease, but several diseases, which have differences, particularities and, more importantly, are treated in different ways.

That’s because tumors can happen in different areas of the body. Thus, each type of cancer has different symptoms, growth rate and treatment strategies.

Brain cancer is very different from skin cancer.

In the case of brain cancer, the patient may experience symptoms such as headache , changes in vision, syncope (fainting) and changes in memory and cognition. Skin cancer is another disease entirely, causing spots or spots and signs of skin to appear.

What the two diseases have in common is the tumor, the cluster of cells multiplying. Its effects on the human body and how to treat each one, however, differ greatly.

To give you an idea, there are more than 100 types of cancer and they can develop anywhere on the body, causing different symptoms and requiring different treatments.

Let’s use again the example of the brain tumor and the skin tumor. Using the same treatment for both diseases is not a good idea.

A simple tumor on the skin of the arm can be easily removed through non-invasive surgery. A brain tumor, on the other hand, depending on its size and where it is, requires other strategies, such as the use of chemo and radiotherapy.

The truth behind alleged cancer cures

There are several stories involving curing cancer. Many of them go into detail about the researcher’s life and how he was silenced by the pharmaceutical industry.

The big problem is that the stories told in the videos and texts lost on the internet vary a lot between themselves and tell inaccurate, incorrect details or otherwise manipulate the whole story.

Therefore, we decided to analyze the main claims of curing cancer and to clarify better what is true and what is not.

Rife and its revolutionary machine

Royal Raymond Rife and the microscope he patented

In the early 20th century, an American scientist named Royal Raymond Rife invented a machine named after him that would be able to send magnetic impulses into the body and kill cancer cells, as well as other diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.

Rife drew on the work of Dr. Albert Abrams, a well-known American doctor, famous for his inventions and for creating a machine that was supposed to be able to diagnose and cure all diseases – claims that were questioned from the start by the entire scientific community. .

Abrams believed that every disease had its own electromagnetic frequency. In this way, doctors would be able to kill diseases or cancer cells through electrical impulses identical to those of the disease, giving this “theory” the name ” Radionic Theory ” (free translation from Radionics Theory ).

We use the word “theory” in quotation marks, because the truth is that we cannot call the radionic technique a theory.

From a scientific point of view, for a hypothesis to reach the status of theory, it must be well-founded, that is, have a series of evidences that point to its veracity, which is not the case with the Rife machine.

In 1920, the renowned Scientific American magazine created a committee to investigate Dr. Abrams’ claims regarding “Radionic Theory” and concluded that the doctor’s results were not substantial.

Over the years, Rife’s machine fell into disrepute, as there was no scientific evidence of the scientist’s claims. However, in the mid-1980s, Barry Lynes, an American author, rekindled interest in Rife machines.

Lynes claimed that the American Medical Association (AMA), in conjunction with government agencies, was hiding evidence that the Rife machine actually worked.

Many people believed and believe Lynes’ claims to this day. The interesting thing to report is that, in the following decade, in the 1990s, Rife machines started to be sold in a multilevel marketing scheme, the famous pyramid scheme.

Salespeople at the time used anecdotal testimonies and evidence (isolated stories) to support claims that the machine cured cancer.

The truth is that Rife machines have not passed the same tests that other treatments for cancer have passed and, for this reason, do not have a scientific basis to prove their effectiveness.

Recently, some researchers have started experimenting with radio frequency and electromagnetic frequency for the treatment of cancer.

Research has concluded that low-frequency electromagnetic waves can affect the tumor and not impact non-cancerous cells.

These studies are still in the early stages and there have been no tests on humans to date. It is worth noting, too, that these researchers achieved such results using different radio frequencies than those generated by the Rife machine.

The conclusion we can draw is that there is no evidence that Rife machines are effective in treating cancer.

Still, there are alternative treatments that can help to alleviate the side effects and symptoms of the disease.

Synthetic phosphoethanolamine

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Phosphoethanolamine is a recent and very controversial topic. For this reason, it is important to state what is true and what is not true about this substance.

The whole history of phosphoethanolamine begins in the 1980s, when chemist Gilberto Orivaldo Chierice, from the São Carlos Institute of Chemistry (IQSC-USP), started producing and distributing the compound free of charge to the university for patients seeking complementary treatments or alternatives.

The chemist continued with his activities normally until, in June 2015, the University of São Paulo (USP), interrupted the distribution of phosphoethanolamine, which caused patients who used the substance to go to court to request access to the capsules.

In October 2015, the Federal Supreme Court authorized the distribution of the substance to the people who filed the request in court, which led USP, at the same time, to manifest itself through an official statement.

In the document, the university claimed that the substance could not be characterized as a medicine, as it was studied at USP as a chemical product and, therefore, there would be no demonstration that it had an effect against cancer.

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), in response, partnered with six pharmaceutical laboratories to further study phosphoethanolamine.

At the same time, the scientific journal Nature launched an editorial warning about the dangers of distributing this compound.

Even so, five hospitals in the state of São Paulo, including the Cancer Institute of the State of São Paulo, announced that they have begun to conduct clinical tests to prove the effectiveness of phosphoethanolamine.

In March 2016, the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that allows the manufacture, distribution and use of phosphoethanolamine in the national territory.

By the bill, all those who have a medical report that proves the diagnosis of cancer can use the drug. In addition, the proposal also allowed the manufacture of the compound even in places without health registration.

In the same month, researchers responsible for carrying out the first clinical tests with phosphoethanolamine released an opinion stating that the medication was low in purity and that it showed little or no effect on tumor cells.

A comparison was also made between phospho and the other more traditional substances, and the performance of the compound was unsatisfactory.

This did not prevent the bill that regulates the production and distribution of phosphoethanolamine from being approved in the Senate and, later, sanctioned.

As a reaction, the Brazilian Medical Association (AMB), filed a direct action of unconstitutionality (ADI) with the Federal Supreme Court, challenging the law that allows the use of synthetic phosphoethanolamine.

According to the AMB, the pill had not undergone clinical tests on humans, which violates the guidelines of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).

In May of the same year, the STF suspended the law referred to in April, in addition to suspending judicial decisions that obliged the government to supply the substance. A month later, in June, the Center for Innovation and Pre-Clinical Trials (CIEnP) concluded new tests with synthetic phosphoethanolamine.

The organ carried out analyzes on cells of the pancreas, lung and skin, in order to check the ability of the substance to fight cancer.

The tests concluded that phosphoethanolamine was not effective against a pancreatic or skin tumor, but that in the lung, the substance managed to reduce cell viability by 10.8% and tumor proliferation by 36.1%.

This apparently positive result, however, for scientists, seems to be more related to the pH change produced by the addition of the substance, which raises yet another doubt about the effectiveness of phosphoethanolamine.

Cetogenic diet

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The ketogenic diet aims to eliminate cancer through food. The whole idea revolves around the fact that cancer cells need simple carbohydrates and sugars in abundance to grow.

Thus, when adopting a ketogenic diet, the patient would be removing the “food” from the cancer cells, killing them with hunger.

The diet consists of 10% to 15% of carbohydrates, 50% of fats and 30% of proteins , and it is forbidden to eat simple carbohydrates (easy to digest), such as white rice, white bread and sugar.

The big problem is that this diet involves some risks. A diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein can have undesirable effects, such as heart problems and obesity .

The truth is that this method has been widely studied as an adjunctive treatment in the control of seizures in children with epilepsy and has been studied since 1990 with a focus on patients who have cancer.

So far, studies done to prove or disapprove the effectiveness of this diet, however, are very limited. Most of them were analyzed only patients with tumors of the Central Nervous System (CNS) and the research is limited to descriptions and case reports.

For the hypothesis of the ketogenic diet to be confirmed or denied, it is necessary to conduct a large study comparing a population that did the diet with a control group that did not do the diet.

In this study, it would still be necessary to monitor patients for several years in order to have a real sense of the impact of this practice in the treatment of cancer.

In other words, even if there is an anti-cancer potential in this technique, it is necessary to incorporate it gradually, primarily as an adjunct treatment to the standard treatment, without ever replacing it, as the consequences can be dangerous.

Expert opinion

Medical experts are usually categorical about curing cancer. A single functional cure for all types of cancer is scientifically impossible.

We talked to two experts in the field about each of the issues raised in the text.

One of them is the technical director of Hospital Erasto Gaertner, a center in Paraná that is a reference in oncology, Dr. William Itikawa. We also spoke with the oncologist at Hospital Marcelino Champagnat, Dr. Maria Cristina Figueroa Magalhães. Check out:

Is the pharmaceutical industry hiding the cure?

For both experts, the answer is categorical: no !

Dr. Itikawa explains that “it is not possible to have a single drug capable of curing all types of cancer, since tumors are extremely variable and have different behaviors”.

For the doctor, the claims that the cure for cancer is being hidden from society is unfounded, since “ annually, billions of dollars are invested in research in search of new treatments for cancer ” and this demonstrates, for the Dr., “A whole investment behind the development of these drugs ”.

In other words, the claim does not make sense, after all, why would the pharmaceutical industry continue to invest so much money in possible cures, if it already exists and must be kept under wraps?

For Dr. Itikawa, it makes no sense to talk about a cure for cancer, but in the different cures of this class of diseases. ” Currently, there is an increasing talk about target therapy, that is, treatment developed for a specific genetic mutation of the tumor cell .”

So, while it makes no sense to talk about a single cancer cure, it is also wrong to say that there is no cure for cancer.

“ There are more than 100 types of cancer, affecting several types of cells and different areas of the body, thus being a pathology that is difficult to manage and cure. [Therefore] the cure of cancer is possible in many situations, but, for this, an early diagnosis is essential. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the greater the chances of a cure ”, defends Itikawa.

Dr. Maria Cristina Figueroa Magalhães, on the other hand, argues that “[cancer] is not something unique, so mathematical for people to go there and just kill. There are several ways that the tumor can be resistant to a treatment and grow despite what we think is essential for a cell to proliferate. That is why it is so difficult to find a cure. ”

The idea that the cure is being hidden by the pharmaceutical industry is also not on the mind of the doctor, who says that “oncology is renewed every year, protocols are renewed every year. (…) It is not something that is hidden under lock and key, because tumors have a certain ‘intelligence’ and depending on the environment they are able to structure themselves or restructure themselves to grow again ”.

Does the Rife machine have a scientific basis?

Regarding the Rife Machine, he, Dr. Itikawa says that “ this theory has never been scientifically validated, and there is no scientific evidence in favor of using the Rife machine. 

Dr. Maria Cristina supports a similar opinion, arguing that “there are very few studies that show that the Rife machine will have any benefit in relation to killing cancer cells”.

Is phosphoethanolamine potential anticancer?

Regarding phosphoethanolamine, Dr. Itikawa says that ” there is no significant evidence to justify the use of phosphoethanolamine as a cancer medicine “, in addition to criticizing the way the history of this substance in Brazil developed.

“ The episode of phosphoethanolamine helped the country to demonstrate [its] fragility in the regulation of medicines, as well as in the ethical issues involving clinical tests on human beings. The proper development of a substance (…) goes through several phases, which were not respected in the episode of phosphoethanolamine ”, he argues.

Dr. Maria Cristina pointed out that, even at the moment when this topic was on the rise, there were no serious studies that proved the substance’s effectiveness. Such studies need to meet several criteria, such as a randomized and double-blind population.

In other words, it would be necessary to divide patients into two groups, drawing which ones would receive and which ones would not receive phosphoethanolamine. In addition, the healthcare professional who administers the medication to the patient cannot know whether the medication is phosphoethanolamine or a placebo.

“We had a study done by the Cancer Institute of the State of São Paulo being carried out to prove or not the effectiveness of this medication and it was proved that it is not, it is not effective, it is not a miraculous treatment for cancer and it should not be used until the contrary is proved ” , he explains.

She also says that the big problem of administering phosphoethanolamine without having studies like this can be dangerous, because “we do not know how much she (phospho) may have of drug interaction with standard chemotherapy (…), which has great support in literature ”.

That is, administering phosphoethanolamine without being based on serious studies can be dangerous, as the substance can reduce the effectiveness of treatments already consolidated.

Does the ketogenic diet kill tumor cells?

Dr. Itikawa is categorical with regard to the ketogenic diet and as to what the measures and the posture of the patients should be:

“ The best diet [for a cancer patient] should always be guided by the oncologist and multidisciplinary team, who accompany the patient, being able to verify the patient’s real need, depending on several personal factors, as well as the type of cancer that the patient has. patient presents ”.

As for the scientific evidence for this type of diet, he argues that, in fact, “ there is research in rats that demonstrate an association between the ketogenic diet and decreased growth of some tumors, but this should not be seen as a reality for humans. ”.

If it were that simple, there would be no evidence to show that other diets can also have positive effects, after all, as the doctor himself says, ” some studies show that low-fat diets reduce the risk of recurrence of some types of breast cancer .”

Dr. Maria Cristina argues that it is complicated to arrive at an answer as to what is the best diet for cancer patients, because “it is very difficult to have a homogeneous enough population in terms of diet to be able to evaluate whether food A, B or C can make a difference in cancer prevention or treatment . 

According to the doctor, what today’s evidence shows is that the method that comes closest to a diet with the potential to protect against cancer and reduce recurrences is the Mediterranean diet, which is based on eating lean and high meats. fruit and vegetable content (fiber).

This is because studies show that “what makes a difference is the patient does not gain weight and perform physical activity”.

The doctor also makes an addendum to be careful with foods that are proven to be carcinogenic, such as sausages (sausage, bologna, etc.) and meats with a high fat content.

At the same time, it also shows that there are foods that can help patients protect themselves from cancer. “There are some foods that are protective, like oilseeds (nuts, chestnuts, etc.). We saw in a study published in January this year (2018) that if a person ingests one serving a day of an oilseed he can reduce the chances of cancer in the intestine ”.

Why is it so difficult to find a cure for cancer?

As we saw earlier, cancer does not refer only to one disease, but to a set of diseases, which manifest themselves in different ways, in different tissues causing different symptoms.

For this reason, it makes sense to talk about a cure for cancer, but about the cancer cures.

What all cancers have in common is precisely the uncontrollable cell division, caused by a sudden genetic mutation. It turns out that each cancer is caused by a different set of genetic mutations.

Genes are nothing more than a sequence of DNA, and each sequence is a set of chemical bases called nucleotides, which are organized in a very specific way. Together they tell the cell how to make proteins.

Mutations change these instructions and that is where cancer can arise. Currently, it is known that cancer is usually caused by mutations of two types of genes, called oncogenes and tumor suppressors.

An oncogene is usually a normal gene, which encodes proteins that send signals for the cell to grow. Most of the time they are inactive, as cell growth is not always necessary.

However, a single mutation in one of these genes is sufficient to accelerate it, and the problem is that when it does, it is not possible to inactivate it.

Thus, this previously normal gene turns into an oncogene and continuously sends instructions for the cell to continue growing and dividing indefinitely.

Some of the most well-known oncogenes are RAS and MYC. They are powerful growth genes that appear in many types of cancer.

Most of the time, it is the RAS gene that undergoes a mutation that changes the shape of the protein it produces. The altered protein gets stuck in a position where it always signals to the cell that it needs to grow.

Because of its new format, proteins that previously deactivated RAS no longer recognize it, making the cell never stop receiving the signal to grow and divide, which leads to the appearance of the tumor.

Tumor suppressors, on the other hand, are the opposite of the oncogene. As the name implies, tumor suppressors have the function of preventing the cell from growing and multiplying uncontrollably.

These “anti-tumor” genes can also mutate, which can lead to cancer.

The problem is that these mutations can happen in millions of different ways, which makes each case of cancer develop in a unique way.

Another factor to be added is the fact that, when they become cancerous, the cells still undergo more and more mutations, one on top of the other. These chair mutations can end up making cancer more aggressive, making treatment more difficult.

For these reasons, a treatment that worked for one person may not work for another, even if the cancer is similar and affects the same region of the body. Thus, it is very difficult to come up with a cure that treats all cancers.

False or true?

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After understanding what exactly cancer is, say categorically that the answer to the question “Have you invented a cure for cancer?” false or true is a complicated task.

It is not possible to say that the cure for cancer has already been discovered, simply because there are many types of cancer (more than 100) and a single cure would not work for all of them.

Some types of cancer, however, are curable. The prostate cancer , thyroid, the melanoma and breast cancer are examples. But again, this is not true for all other cancers.

So, if on the one hand we can say that the claim that they have already invented the cure for cancer is false, since there is not only one type of cancer, on the other hand we cannot exclude the fact that many cancers are curable.

If the patient is attentive to his own health, having regular consultations with the doctor and, with this, discovering the cancer at an early stage, his chances of cure are even greater.

In summary, the earlier a cancer is discovered, the greater the chances of a cure. This, of course, if the patient follows the medical recommendations and does not adopt alternative measures without the knowledge of this professional, as some of them can cause damage to health and, consequently, to treatment.

However, alleged cures such as the Rife Machine, phosphoethanolamine and the ketogenic diet have not been proven to be true, so they can be considered false.

The claim that the pharmaceutical industry is hiding the population’s cure to profit from conventional treatments is also false.