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The truth about 'miracle' cures

Special diets, faith healing et al do work as miracle cures for terminal disease patients, say researchers.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 20:40 IST

The time has come for all those non-believers who thought that alternative treatments such as special diets and faith healing was all a bit of jibberish to eat their hats, for researchers can now provide statistical evidence that such treatments do in fact work.

The research, led by Michael MacManus, a consultant radiation oncologist in Melbourne, studied 2,337 patients with incurable lung cancer whose disease was too advanced for curative treatment, and found that with alternative medicine 25 people had survived five years and while 18 had achieved 'an apparent cure'.

Dr Macmanus said that the data showed that a chance for survival and complete recovery existed for about 1 per cent of the patients who underwent alternative treatment.

"Our data indicate that a chance for prolonged survival and possibly even cure exists for approximately 1 per cent of patients with non small cell lung cancer who receive palliative radiotherapy. It is important that the frequency of this phenomenon should be appreciated so that claims of apparent cure by novel treatment strategies or even by unconventional medicine or 'faith healing' can be seen in an appropriate context," the Independent quoted him, as saying.

Unorthodox cancer cures have included vitamin C, laetrile extracted from apricot stones, and the Gershon diet of raw vegetables.

The findings of the study are published in the online edition of Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society.