Untruths About Cancer in the Failed “Quest for Cures”

 

By William M. London 

“The Quest for Cures…Continues” is a lengthy video documentary in eleven parts promoted at thetruthaboutcancer.com. I learned about it on October 13th when “The Food Revolution Network,” a chemophobia-promoting, veganism-hyping organization hosted by John Robbins and his son Ocean, recommended it to people on its email list. It turned out to be the kind of cancer pseudomedicine-promoting video I would expect Robbins père and Robbins fils to recommend.
 
  The email I received indicated that the documentary would be available only until October 24th and that I would need to sign up in order to watch it. After I signed up, I received 32 emails from “The Truth About Cancer” about episode availability through October 26th. The last five messages indicated that the time available to watch the videos was extended through the weekend. Several of the messages included links to buy various recordings and transcripts of the documentary.
 
 
As of November 11th, thetruthaboutcancer.com offers this message along with a six-minute trailer:
 
 
The 11 part docu-series is currently not playing. But there's good news, you can be first in line to watch it when it premieres again in late November. Simply enter your first name and email below to be first in line to watch all 11 episodes.
 
 
It will be at least the third online “premiere” of the documentary (which I guess is some kind of record for documentary premieres). I noticed by searching YouTube that several episodes that were posted in May and June are currently available and at least the first and second parts that I saw in October are still available.

  The top of the page at thetruthaboutcancer.com describes the docu-series this way:
 
 
28 Doctors, 11 Scientists, and 9 Survivors Break Their ‘Code Of Silence’ And Expose The TRUTH About Cancer And Exactly How To Prevent, Treat And Beat it 100% Naturally.
 
 
Here’s one of my skeptics’ rules of thumb:  When the word truth is the only word in a sentence with all letters capitalized, expect untruth; even truthiness is too much to hope for.

I can’t imagine that there was any actual code of silence for the people featured in the video. I’ve met, written about, or heard of eleven of the people interviewed in the first episode. That’s because they’ve been outspoken, not because they’ve had a code of silence.

Two disclaimers at the bottom of the page give us additional reason not to take the top of the page seriously. One is a slight variation to what Peter A. Lipson called the Quack Miranda Warning:

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. 

 
 
The other disclaimer is:
 
 
The content of this website is based on research conducted by TTAC Publishing, LLC, unless otherwise noted. The information is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe for any medical or psychological condition, nor to prevent, treat, mitigate or cure such conditions. The information contained herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a doctor or qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, this information is not intended as medical advice, but rather a sharing of knowledge and information based on research and experience. TTAC Publishing encourages you to make your own health care decisions based on your judgment and research in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
 
 
There wouldn’t be much need for these disclaimers if the “information contained herein” wasn’t arguably misinformation and the sharing of knowledge wasn’t actually sharing of unwarranted beliefs. 
 
  I’m not sure what TTAC Publishing consists of other than Ty Bollinger the host of “The Quest for Cures…Continues.” As described at cancertruth.net:
 
 
Ty Bollinger is a happily married husband and father, a CPA, health freedom advocate, cancer researcher, former competitive bodybuilder, talk radio host, and best-selling author.
 
 
Based on my viewing of episode 1 of his docu-series, I am convinced that Bollinger does have the cancer research skills one might develop in CPA training, a happy marriage, and from bodybuilding—perhaps supplemented by a “University of Google” degree like the one Jenny McCarthy told Oprah she has. The description of Bollinger continues:
 
 
After losing several family members to cancer (including his mother and father), Ty refused to accept the notion that chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery were the most effective treatments available for cancer patients. He began a quest to learn all he possibly could about alternative cancer treatments and the medical industry. What he uncovered was shocking.
 
 
A quest begun with a refusal to accept standard treatments as the best available looks like a quest to support a predetermined conclusion, not a quest to search for the truth based on an open-minded, unbiased analysis of the evidence. 
 
  Referring to a treatment as “alternative” does not make it a viable alternative. John E. Dodes and Marvin Schissel put it this way: “Erythromycin is an alternative to penicillin, but a pogo stick is not an alternative to an automobile.”
 
  I watched the 68-minute Episode 1 and noted numerous false and misleading assertions from the 25 featured doctors, scientists, and survivors. Most of the people interviewed for the 11 episodes of the docu-series appeared in Episode 1. The first episode includes unfair criticisms of modern medicine, medical education, and the pharmaceutical industry; promotion of homeopathy; misinformation about the nature and causes of cancer; misinformation about cancer morbidity and mortality trends; and the misleading health freedom argument. Do I really need to watch more of these episodes? 
 
  In Part 2 of this essay, I’ll discuss the backgrounds, activities, and propaganda of at least some of the people interviewed in “The Quest for Cures…Continues.”