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Health & mental health across cultures

jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Some interesting information from the article I cited in the other mental health thread: The Americanization of Mental Illness:

Quote:

NOWHERE ARE THE limitations of Western ideas and treatments more evident than in the case of schizophrenia. Researchers have long sought to understand what may be the most perplexing finding in the cross-cultural study of mental illness: people with schizophrenia in developing countries appear to fare better over time than those living in industrialized nations.

This was the startling result of three large international studies carried out by the World Health Organization over the course of 30 years, starting in the early 1970s. The research showed that patients outside the United States and Europe had significantly lower relapse rates — as much as two-thirds lower in one follow-up study. These findings have been widely discussed and debated in part because of their obvious incongruity: the regions of the world with the most resources to devote to the illness — the best technology, the cutting-edge medicines and the best-financed academic and private-research institutions — had the most troubled and socially marginalized patients.

 

 

 

 


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RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007

It made me think of Oldgoat's comment in the Adam Giambrone affair that he may have been subconsciously sabotoging himself.  Any reading material would be helpful.

 

i read all 6 pages jas, very helpful, thanks.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

A little more from the same article:

Quote:

Trying to unravel this mystery, the anthropologist Juli McGruder from the University of Puget Sound spent years in Zanzibar studying families of schizophrenics. Though the population is predominantly Muslim, Swahili spirit-possession beliefs are still prevalent in the archipelago and commonly evoked to explain the actions of anyone violating social norms — from a sister lashing out at her brother to someone beset by psychotic delusions.

McGruder found that far from being stigmatizing, these beliefs served certain useful functions. The beliefs prescribed a variety of socially accepted interventions and ministrations that kept the ill person bound to the family and kinship group. “Muslim and Swahili spirits are not exorcised in the Christian sense of casting out demons,” McGruder determined. “Rather they are coaxed with food and goods, feted with song and dance. They are placated, settled, reduced in malfeasance.” McGruder saw this approach in many small acts of kindness. She watched family members use saffron paste to write phrases from the Koran on the rims of drinking bowls so the ill person could literally imbibe the holy words. The spirit-possession beliefs had other unexpected benefits. Critically, the story allowed the person with schizophrenia a cleaner bill of health when the illness went into remission. An ill individual enjoying a time of relative mental health could, at least temporarily, retake his or her responsibilities in the kinship group. Since the illness was seen as the work of outside forces, it was understood as an affliction for the sufferer but not as an identity.


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Thanks Jas......


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Thanks for checking it out, remind and RevPlease.

 


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Find all info on schizophrenia interesting, as IMV, it is misunderstood, misactioned, and misapplied in this western world


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Yes, well hopefully some of us can catch the broader inference that information like this suggests regarding the medicalization of illness in general, and how that approach--that we know as modern medical science--compares to other approaches cross-culturally, and how that way of looking at illness is not only actively and aggressively propagated, but also in conjunction with the negation, trivialization or outright denial of other approaches -- an attitude that certainly seems pestilent on Babble.


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

"an attitude that certainly seems pestilent on Babble."

 

....stock portfolios to protect and pension plan investments, perhaps.....

 

 


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007

I don't even think it's that nefarious remind.  They just want to live in their bubble and not be bothered to really educate themselves.


remind
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Joined: Jun 25 2004

Was at a North American or perhaps it was a world mental health conference  back in the early 2000's, can't remember now which it was as both were held here in BC that year.

There were 2 presenters of a work shop at the conference that held the position that schizophrenia. was actually PTSD undiagnosed in youth, that progressed without it being addressed, as people do/did not pay enough attention to how life traumas affects children.

 

What I found interesting in my reading of the links that Jas posted was the specialized "care" given to those who exhibited symptoms, as opposed to medications that are supposed to treat the symptoms but create a whole host of other side effects that require symptomatic treatment too. That this specialized care lessened or got rid of the schizophrenia was very interesting.

 

As the care outlined is a type of cognative therapy actually, which indicates to me again, or further, there was/is much validity in the 2 therapists claims within the workshop.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

The Role of Medical Language in Changing Public Perceptions of Illness

Quote:
This study demonstrates that the use of medical language in communication can induce bias in perception; a simple switch in terminology results in a disease being perceived as more serious, more likely to be a disease, and more likely to be a rare condition. These findings regarding the conceptualization of disease have implications for many areas, including medical communication with the public, advertising, and public policy.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Quote:
....Most of the explanations sanctioned by medicine are basically that you have a "chemical imbalance" and that is very deflating. In another society, you might be told that you have had a significant religious experience, and even though you might still need to get some help, there might be something to valorize what's gone on for you. That tradeoff is harder in a very scientistic culture. Of course, even in our culture, where people are very secular and talk about things in scientific terms, there are still a lot of moral ideas about the person and about self-control.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Quote:
Globalization has increased the pace of cultural confrontation, challenge and change. The contemporary world presents us with a new situation in which the coherence of traditional systems of healing and their links to an underlying culture and worldview are challenged and strained. Systems of healing that were rooted in a particular cultural tradition, community and way of life, have been uprooted, packaged and made available in a global marketplace. This has important implications for the efficacy, ethics and politics of healing practices.

To the extent that a healing practice depends on a shared cultural background or acts through communal networks, its efficacy may be reduced. ...[However] People are increasingly encouraged to adopt new values and approaches to health, both because of the novelty seeking and acceptance of the "new and improved" that are part of consumer capitalism and, ironically, because disaffection with contemporary institutions leads to a romantic idealization of the exotic as "traditional" and "holistic" and hence, as able to restore lost values af harmony and community51.

In traditional healing, healers are part of small communities and their credibility and reliability is judged by others close to them. When healing practices are divorced from the local communities or cultural systems in which they developed, the communal methods of regulating the authority and practice of the healer are replaced by the dynamics of the marketplace or by struggles for power among professional guilds. This raises unsolved problems of regulation and public safety.

- emphasis mine.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005
Selling sickness: the pharmaceutical industry and disease mongering

Quote:

Inappropriate medicalisation carries the dangers of unnecessary labelling, poor treatment decisions, iatrogenic illness, and economic waste, as well as the opportunity costs that result when resources are diverted away from treating or preventing more serious disease. At a deeper level it may help to feed unhealthy obsessions with health,3 obscure or mystify sociological or political explanations for health problems,4 and focus undue attention on pharmacological, individualised, or privatised solutions.3 More tangibly and immediately, the costs of new drugs targeted at essentially healthy people are threatening the viability of publicly funded universal health insurance systems.5 

Briefly touches on the marketing of "problems" such as male baldness, erectile dysfuction, osteoporosis, and "social anxiety disorder".

For me, the marketing of depression that began in the 1990s comes to mind, as well. I remember at that time seeing depression "screening" clinics set up in, of all places, the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, the university, and other locations.


G. Muffin
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Joined: Sep 28 2008

I'm right on the border (Oak Bay/Victoria) and have some interesting experiences I'd like to share.

First, I have to do some drugs, though.


G. Muffin
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Joined: Sep 28 2008

Oh, that's better.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Just wanted to add this link before I lose it. Mentioned by remind in a different health thread.

Tibetan medicine

 

[Edited January 25, 2013: new link: The Blue Buddha: Lost Secrets of Tibetan Medicine. Don't know whose site this is.]

 


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Bumping to provide a vehicle to share or discuss alternative and non-western traditional approaches to health and mental health.

This is a somewhat parallel topic to this topic: Call Out: PsychOUT: A Conference for Organizing Resistance Against Psychiatry but with a slightly different and more positive focus on non-pharma, non- or pre-western approaches to health. 


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

There's a cluster of emotional and personality disorders that can't be diagnosed in a definitive way. As I wrote before, you can't define sanity, or the lack thereof without a yardstick. That yardstick will vary from one culture to another, one individual to another.

I'm getting into relativism here.  Some thoughts?,


Goggles Pissano
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Joined: Nov 19 2012

I had a cousin that died in Thailand last year, very young.  He was very sensitive growing up, and I believe, but cannot prove that there were deeper mental issues going on.  In university, he got involved with Buddhism. It totally changed his life.  Just before he died, his mother went to Asia to visit him, and she said that she had never seen him happier in his life.

It is not just Buddhism. Yoga, has wonderful benefits as well. I'm just not the knotty type.

There are some western doctors who have found a direct link between stress and mental health on a biological level.  Too much stress like from a major trauma, childhood trauma, or ongoing abuse, or high stress jobs,  throws the stress hormones into over-production, and over time, the body loses the ability to synthesize that imbalance, and illness settles in.  What I personally like about this medical model from western sources, is that it explains and validates peoples' real life experiences, especially when no one listens to them or belives them, such as children who are being abused.

These western medical researchers believe that this change in chemical synthesis is the body's natural way of slowing itself down, when critically high levels of stress has been reached.  They consider it to be a life preservation mechanism built into us all.

If anything, meditation if practiced faithfully, teaches the mind to slow down and uses mental means of correcting hormonal imbalances in the body by learning how to deeply relax and to give the brain a rest from the stresses of everyday life.

That's my opinion anyway.


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Rebecca West wrote:
There's a cluster of emotional and personality disorders that can't be diagnosed in a definitive way. As I wrote before, you can't define sanity, or the lack thereof without a yardstick. That yardstick will vary from one culture to another, one individual to another.

I'm getting into relativism here.  Some thoughts?

As you suggest with regard to a definition of sanity, to use the term "disorder" suggests that there is some "order" we are subscribing to. An order that reflects a reality about which, as Jenny Holzer puts it, "much was decided before you were born."


jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Reposting from this thread.

In a search for stats regarding cancer chemotherapy vs. no treatment I found these quotes: 

Quote:
“The majority of the cancer patients in this country die because of chemotherapy, which does not cure breast, colon or lung cancer. This has been documented for over a decade and nevertheless doctors still utilize chemotherapy to fight these tumors.” 
(Allen Levin, MD, UCSF, “The Healing of Cancer”, Marcus Books, 1990).

“If I were to contract cancer, I would never turn to a certain standard for the therapy of this disease. Cancer patients who stay away from these centers have some chance to make it.” (Prof. Gorge Mathe, “Scientific Medicine Stymied”, Medicines Nouvelles, Paris, 1989)

“Dr. Hardin Jones, lecturer at the University of California, after having analyzed for many decades statistics on cancer survival, has come to this conclusion: ‘… when not treated, the patients do not get worse or they even get better’. The unsettling conclusions of Dr. Jones have never been refuted”. (Walter Last, “The Ecologist”, Vol. 28, no. 2, March-April 1998)

“Many oncologists recommend chemotherapy for almost any type of cancer, with a faith that is unshaken by the almost constant failures”.(Albert Braverman, MD, “Medical Oncology in the 90s”, Lancet, 1991, Vol. 337, p. 901)

“Our most efficacious regimens are loaded with risks, side effects and practical problems; and after all the patients we have treated have paid the toll, only a miniscule percentage of them is paid off with an ephemeral period of tumoral regression and generally a partial one” (Edward G. Griffin World Without Cancer”, American Media Publications, 1996)

“After all, and for the overwhelming majority of the cases, there is no proof whatsoever that chemotherapy prolongs survival expectations. And this is the great lie about this therapy, that there is a correlation between the reduction of cancer and the extension of the life of the patient”.(Philip Day, “Cancer: Why we’re still dying to know the truth”, Credence Publications, 2000)

An investigation by the Department of Radiation Oncology, Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, Australia, into the contribution of chemotherapy to 5-year survival in 22 major adult malignancies, showed startling results: The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.” [Royal North Shore Hospital Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2005 Jun;17(4):294.]

“Several full-time scientists at the McGill Cancer Center sent to 118 doctors, all experts on lung cancer, a questionnaire to determine the level of trust they had in the therapies they were applying; they were asked to imagine that they themselves had contracted the disease and which of the six current experimental therapies they would choose. 79 doctors answered, 64 of them said that they would not consent to undergo any treatment containing cis-platinum – one of the common chemotherapy drugs they used – while 58 out of 79 believed that all the experimental therapies above were not accepted because of the ineffectiveness and the elevated level of toxicity of chemotherapy.”(Philip Day, “Cancer: Why we’re still dying to know the truth”, Credence Publications, 2000)

Doctor Ulrich Able, a German epidemiologist of the Heidelberg Mannheim Tumor Clinic, has exhaustively analyzed and reviewed all the main studies and clinical experiments ever performed on chemotherapy .... Able discovered that the comprehensive world rate of positive outcomes because of chemotherapy was frightening, because, simply, nowhere was scientific evidence available demonstrating that chemotherapy is able to "prolong in any appreciable way the life of patients affected by the most common type of organ cancer." Able highlights that rarely can chemotherapy improve the quality of life, and he describes it as a scientific squalor while maintaining that at least 80 per cent of chemotherapy administered in the world is worthless. Even if there is no scientific proof whatsoever that chemotherapy works, neither doctors nor patients are prepared to give it up.(Lancet, Aug. 10, 1991). None of the main media has ever mentioned this exhaustive study: it has been completely buried” (Tim O’Shea, “Chemotherapy – An Unproven Procedure”)

“According to medical associations, the notorious and dangerous side effects of drugs have become the fourth main cause of death after infarction, cancer, and apoplexy” (Journal of the American Medical Association, April 15, 1998)


jas
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jas
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Joined: Jun 6 2005

Conventional cancer treatments: if they don't kill you directly, they will make it easier for something else that will.

 

ETA: Of course, if Chavez had undergone naturopathic treatment, our defendants of "evidence-based" medicine here would be blaming that - and suggesting that his family sue the practitioner!


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008
Rebecca West wrote:

There's a cluster of emotional and personality disorders that can't be diagnosed in a definitive way. As I wrote before, you can't define sanity, or the lack thereof without a yardstick. That yardstick will vary from one culture to another, one individual to another.

I'm getting into relativism here.  Some thoughts?,

sanity/insanity is non-medical

Goggles Pissano
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Joined: Nov 19 2012

jas wrote:

Conventional cancer treatments: if they don't kill you directly, they will make it easier for something else that will.

 

ETA: Of course, if Chavez had undergone naturopathic treatment, our defendants of "evidence-based" medicine here would be blaming that - and suggesting that his family sue the practitioner!

I was thinking exactly the same thing. I always wished that I had the opportunity and ability to convince him to examine the role of anti-oxidents and a nutritional approach to fighting his cancer battles.

see below.  Orthomolecular Treatments for Cancer. by Dr. Abram Hoffer.  Here is an anecdote, his first pertaining to cancer recovery, and the first of many...

Quote:

"In 1960 a retired psychotic professor was admitted to our psychiatric department at University Hospital in Saskatoon. He had a bronchiogenic carcinoma of the lung and when he became psychotic it was concluded he had secondaries in his brain. He was placed on terminal care, expected to die in a month or so. Earlier he had been discharged to the care of his wife and a nurse but after several weeks had to be readmitted since they could not cope with his behavior. As soon as I discovered he was on our ward I had his urine collected and we tested it for the factor. He excreted copious quantities which we were able to use to help us identify the substance. I then advised his resident to start him on niacin 1 gram after each meal and on ascorbic acid 1 gram after each meal. By then I knew that this combination of vitamins used in megadoses was very helpful in treating any patient with this factor in their urine no matter what they were diagnosed. Fortunately for this patient the resident accepted my advice (the patient was not under my care but I was Director of Psychiatric Research at the hospital). He was started on the two vitamins on Friday afternoon and he was mentally normal by the following Monday. I knew this patient before he became ill as I had treated his wife. After he had recovered I advised him to remain on these two vitamins. In 1960 our research unit was the only one in Canada, and perhaps in the world, where 500 mg tablets of these vitamins were available. They were specially made for us. If smaller tablets were used in these large doses they would make our patients sick because they contained so much filler. I told him that if he would pick up a supply each month I would give it to him free. This meant he had to see me each month and this gave me the opportunity of assessing his psychiatric state.

I did not expect he would recover from his cancer. He had been told of his dismal prognosis and I did not contradict that. To my surprise he kept on coming back. About 12 months later I had lunch with the Director of the Cancer Clinic which had been following his case. He told me that the tumor had become less and less visible with each X ray every three months and that it was now no longer present. He lived about 30 months after he was diagnosed terminal. I had hoped that when he died he would be autopsied at University Hospital. Unfortunately he died at another hospital and I did not hear this until several days later. He did not die from his cancer."

 

There are other similar anecdotes in this article for those who wish to read it.  By simply using a change in diet and the implementation of certain nutrients, this man not only recovered from cancer, but he recovered from cancer induced psychosis as well.

(edit)...

For those wishing to debunk this as a bogus claim, please note that this anecdote has been circulating for over 50 years and has never been challenged as a bogus claim. Also note that there were NON-orthomolecular physicians and specialists involved in the case.

1. The resident doctor, who listened to Dr. Hoffer's directives.

2. The oncologist.

3. The Director of the Cancer Clinic.

4. The man was a retired university professor.

5. Dr. Hoffer treated him for his psychosis only, from which he recovered.


Goggles Pissano
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What really really really agrivates me is that mainstream psychiatrists can only tell you that a person who is suffering from mental issues has a chemical imbalance.  That is so general and incomplete an explanation that it doesn't even qualify as a legitimate scientific response. They have had over 60 years to come up with a proper explanation and they haven't.  They have had the money to pay for the research, but have failed to deliver.

Dr. Abram Hoffer and his team, 60 years ago, conducted the only research ever into finding a cause for schizophrenia.  They isolated the very chemicals that were involved in the psychotic processes and they tested and retested these chemicals to determine the exact chemical makeup of mental illness.  They discovered the chemicals (Nutritional based) that counteract these bodily reactions, and have been able to successfully reverse schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders ever since.

It has everything to do with stress.  Stress includes childhood traumas and post trautmatic stress disorder etc.

It makes me very angry that I know what those exact chemical reactions are which take place in the body, but psychiatrists can only tell people that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain, and that they don't know, and they don't feel that they have to know.  They simply do not care.


Goggles Pissano
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This post discusses the issue of fraudulent claims made by mainstream medical professionals about vitamins in order to discourage their usage.

From the same website on Orthomolecular Medicine for Cancer

I mentioned on other threads that the methodologies used to perform repeat independent studies that debunk the effectiveness of vitamins on health are fraudulent. This is what Dr. Abram Hoffer writes about Dr. Linus Pauling's experiences with his research being criticized by the mainstream medical community... (Note that the studies he is referring to pertain to the use of high levels of vitamin C for the treatment of cancer)...

Quote:
" At that meeting Dr. Linus Pauling delivered a vigorous and careful critique of the Mayo Clinic's attempt to repeat the studies he had done with Dr. Ewan Cameron in Scotland. The Mayo group claimed they had exactly repeated these studies but it was clear on reading their paper that they had not. Dr. Pauling did not object to their negatives findings. He objected to their statement that their conclusions resulting from a different method of administering the vitamin C were used to condemn his and Camerons findings. In other words no scientist can claim to confirm or deny any study unless they really have repeated the original work as described by the original authors."

Here is a quote from the very same website written by Dr. Linus Pauling about the intentional misrepresentation of facts about vitamins made by the mainstream medical community...

Quote:
"So the other day I got a book published by the National Academy of Sciences on control of diseases. It mentions practically nothing about vitamins and their usefulness but it does have something about common colds. A statement that 16 control trials have been turned out, every one of which showed that Vitamin C has no value in controlling the common cold, preventing or controlling the common cold. They didn't listen, but I'm sure they're the 16 control trials that I discuss in my books, where I give the amount of decrease in illness. Every one of these shows that Vitamin C has value, not that it doesn't have value. That's perhaps a minor misrepresentation.

A couple of years ago, I got two or three letters from people who sent me clippings from a magazine. One of them said he had stopped taking his Vitamin C because of the statement in this magazine. It was a quotation from the Professor of Medicine at Yale University Medical School. I had mentioned, three or four weeks ago, while speaking in Yale University Medical School, his statement that you shouldn't take as much as even one gram of Vitamin C per day because it will damage the liver.  So I wrote to him and said that I read the literature on Vitamin C to the extent that I can, and there are a couple of thousand new papers published every year about Vitamin C, but I missed the meal. Would you please send me the references to the work done on the damage done to the liver. Well, he was a gentleman, which you'd expect at Yale Medical School and often when I write letters like that I don't get an answer from them. He wrote back saying oh, that was just a mistake. That was the end of that. So far as I know he didn't write to the magazine and say that was a mistake, but he did say it to me. And there are lots of mistakes of this sort about vitamins that perhaps sometimes intentionally misrepresent the facts. For some perhaps there is a reason an economic, financial reason, that there is so much opposition in the medical establishment against improving your health by taking vitamins."

 

 


DaisyQ
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Joined: Mar 17 2013

Goggles,

I have a lot of problems with what you have posted.  Are you trying to make the exraordinay claim that there is a CURE for cancer and that the medical profession is conspiring against it?  What would be the point?  Are you saying that all people who consume vitamin C are not going to get cancer?  Are you saying that all people who have cancer and take vitamin C are going to be cured?

There may be people reading this who have cancer and you are trying to get their hopes up with your snake oil remedies!

STOP IT.


ryanw
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Joined: May 24 2012

rats that aren't under stress don't erupt with tumours


Timebandit
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Joined: Sep 25 2001

Daisy, it's pointless.  These people are deep into the woo and cannot be convinced.  They are True Believers and evidence, reason and reality have no place in their heads. 


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