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CA Cancer J Clin. 1991 Sep-Oct;41(5):310-9.

Questionable cancer practices in Tijuana and other Mexican border clinics.

[No authors listed]


Tijuana, Mexico, has become a refuge for cancer patients who have been convinced that they may be cured of their terminal illness by unconventional, unproved, and disproved methods offered in the border clinics. About a dozen United States promoters have joined with Mexican colleagues to offer a variety of treatments. Some patients are diagnosed using standard methods prior to arrival at the clinics, but many healthy individuals are misdiagnosed as having cancer or "precancer" and are then treated there. Others are told they have been cured or are improving even though they still have active disease. The modalities and regimens used are often referred to as "metabolic therapy" and, for the most part, are either not based on sound scientific principles or have been shown in controlled clinical trials to be useless or even dangerous. A basic metabolic regimen consists of three phases: detoxification with fasting and bowel cleansing, strengthening the immune system with numerous "supplements," and attacking cancer with "natural and non-toxic" chemicals. Popular treatments include injections of hydrogen peroxide, large quantities of pressed liver and carrot juice, coffee enemas, infusions of Laetrile mixed with massive doses of vitamins and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), special diets, and a host of other pseudoscientific regimens. Unfortunately, no evidence exists that any of these modalities is more effective than no treatment at all. Patients traveling to the Mexican border clinics for metabolic therapy are subjecting themselves to costly and hazardous regimens, especially if they forgo responsible medical care in the process. The American Cancer Society, therefore, strongly urges individuals with cancer not to seek treatment with metabolic therapies in the Mexican border clinics.

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