Canada cracks down on cancer cure scams

March 13, 2008 at 4:16 PM

TORONTO, March 13 (UPI) -- Canada's Competition Bureau announced it had convinced about 90 operations advertising cures for cancer to stop or change wording in their ads.

Bureau spokeswoman Andrea Rosen told Canwest News Service such products included devices, pills, teas and ointments, none of which had any curative abilities.

"People are clinging to any hope they can possibly grasp," she said of the people buying such products. "You are talking about people who are desperate and people who are preying on the desperate."

The bureau began targeting Canadian Internet sites advertising such cures last fall as part of "Operation False Hope," Rosen said.

Dr. Robert Buckman, a medical oncologist at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital told the news agency as many as 80 percent of cancer patients use unsubstantiated, alternative cancer treatments along with conventional therapy but some give up proven science altogether for the Internet variety of care.

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