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March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
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March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
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Clearing the Five-Year Insurance Hurdle
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Making Lemons into Champagne
March 16, 2007 – Kathy LaTour
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Targeted Strike
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
The National Cancer Institute's CAM Agenda
March 16, 2007 – Jeffrey D. White, MD
Physical Activity and the Cancer Patient
March 16, 2007 – The American Cancer Society
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March 16, 2007 – Lori Hope
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What Five Years Really Means
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The Weight Gain Mystery
March 16, 2007 – Noble Sprayberry
Deadly Accuracy
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Surfer Wisdom
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Letters from Our Readers
March 16, 2007
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Breast Cancer & Liver Cancer
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Liver Cancer: A Global Epidemic
March 16, 2007
A History of Alternative Cancer Cures
March 16, 2007
Guys with Gumption
March 16, 2007 – Marc Silver
What is a Proton?
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Web Exclusive: The Biology of Cancer and Aging
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Web Exclusive: Can Liver Cancer Be Found Early?
March 16, 2007 – The American Cancer Society
Currently Viewing
Web Exclusive: Protection from Health Fraud
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March 16, 2007 – Charlotte Huff
Dangerous Exposure
March 16, 2007 – Jennifer M. Gangloff
An Integrative Plan
March 16, 2007 – Jo Cavallo
Medical Miracle or Spontaneous Remission?
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Resources: Guys with Gumption
March 16, 2007 – Marc Silver
Clearing the Five-Year Insurance Hurdle
March 16, 2007 – Curtis Pesmen
Making Lemons into Champagne
March 16, 2007 – Kathy LaTour
Heart Health for Childhood Cancer Patients
March 16, 2007 – Jamie Spencer
Targeted Strike
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
The National Cancer Institute's CAM Agenda
March 16, 2007 – Jeffrey D. White, MD
Physical Activity and the Cancer Patient
March 16, 2007 – The American Cancer Society
What Really Helps
March 16, 2007 – Lori Hope
The Age Factor
March 16, 2007 – Charlotte Huff
Men Behaving Boldly
March 16, 2007 – Marc Silver
Liver Cancer: More Cases, More Causes
March 16, 2007 – Jennifer M. Gangloff
Report Incites Controversy After Breast Cancer Decline Linked to HRT Use
March 16, 2007 – Emma Johnson
Prescription for Trouble
March 16, 2007 – Jo Cavallo
What Five Years Really Means
March 16, 2007 – Curtis Pesmen
Hazardous to Your Heart
March 16, 2007 – Jamie Spencer
The Weight Gain Mystery
March 16, 2007 – Noble Sprayberry
Deadly Accuracy
March 16, 2007 – Katy Human
Surfer Wisdom
March 16, 2007 – Mark Lawless
Letters from Our Readers
March 16, 2007
Message from the Editor
March 16, 2007 – Melissa Weber
Having a Ball
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Help Me Live: 20 Things People with Cancer Want You To Know
March 16, 2007 – Kathy LaTour
www.komen.org
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Stowe, Vermont
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Survivors at Risk for Cognitive Dysfunction
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Q&A: Functional Imaging
March 16, 2007 – Anna D. Barker, PhD
Evista vs. Femara in Breast Cancer
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
New Role for Dempsey; Rest in Peace, Molly
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
Patient Congress
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington
The HPV Debate
March 16, 2007 – Elizabeth Whittington

Web Exclusive: Protection from Health Fraud

Cancer patients are warned to avoid “cancer cures” that seem too good to be true. 

BY Elizabeth Whittington
PUBLISHED March 16, 2007

The evolution of the Internet has spawned thousands of online and mail-order businesses that specialize in so-called cancer cures. The anonymity of the Internet and the sheer number of fraudulent businesses has left the legal system unable to prosecute most of them. In addition to the Internet, consumers must also be wary of any print advertisements, mail-order products and home- or store-based businesses that look suspicious.

A general rule is anything that looks too good to be true probably is. Warning signs include a product touted to cure or treat multiple diseases in a short amount of time and personal stories without scientific evidence. If “studies” are given, experts recommend researching the information yourself through well-known medical journal libraries, such as www.pubmed.gov and talking with your doctor. Identity theft is also something to consider. A company should not ask for personal information, such as a social security number, when ordering anything over the phone or on the Internet.

Two government agencies share the responsibility of investigating fraudulent companies, and only a couple of hundred are prosecuted each year because of the effort and time involved in each case. The Federal Trade Commission (877-382-4357) is charged with regulating advertising of products and to prevent fraud and deceptive business practices. The FTC works with Canadian and Mexican officials to shut down deceitful businesses across the border. The Food and Drug Administration shares the burden of protecting consumers by regulating and ensuring the safety and efficacy of cosmetics, medication and food.

Contact the FTC with questions about a company advertising a suspicious cancer treatment or if you’re a victim of health fraud. On a state level, you can contact your Attorney General's office, FDA office, department of health or consumer protection agency. The more complaints filed against a fraudulent business, the greater chance the government will investigate.

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