Supplements and Spammers

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Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 7/5/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Remember this is my opinion, and my opinion usually get's me into trouble.  As a cancer survivor this stuff really get's my ire.  There are some obvious warning signs about supplements and spamming that I wanted to share with the membership.  While I was moderating I went after a few "members" for promoting products stating claims of cure or saying that their doctor said to not undergo treatment for cancer because a supplement is working better.  The fact is that there are legit supplementations to treatment but the jury is still out on virtually every supplement recognized.  Here are some guidelines I follow:
 
1. Never subscribe to a "cure" remedy posted here or anywhere else that isn't a nationally recognized institution.  If it's true, it would have recognition like penicillan does.
 
2. When a person claims to have such a cure but that there's a government, medical industry, or drug company conspiracy that is trying to "block this great news", I remember that there are other countries, companies, and doctors around the world that would stand to make a great deal of money promoting this cure for cancer.  This argument is an immediate warning sign for me to walk away.
 
3.  When a product being promoted is nothing more than vitamins and supplements, and is only available at one site, AND that site has no known street address or telephone number advertised on it ~ It's a fraud.  I NEVER enter my credit card information or electronically wire funds to any website like that.  A legitimate supplement company will proudly advertise their location and business information so that you can look into the veracity of there existince. They'll also want to accept checks and money orders and avoid those credit card fees when possible. 
 
4. I ALWAYS do a background check on the product, company, and the person promoting products.
 
5. When the promoting party uses studies, especially studies done in rats not humans, to promote the product ~ that's another warning sign.  Controlled studies in humans are the only ones I subscribe to.
 
6. Warning labels.  When a product says "not verified by the FDA" or similar ~ Get that stuff away from me.
 
7.  Again Warning labels ~ ALL supplements can have side effects.  They should be listed along with what to do when they become present.  (Some may just list a phone number for questions about the product and I'll make that exception.)
 
Remember that NO doctor ever will tell me "Hey that vitamin product is working.  Don't get treatment and take some more". 
 
When I see these obvious signs i get angry and I personally wish more of these jerks would be tossed in jail.
 
Just my opinion...
 
Tony

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 7/5/2008 11:05:35 PM (GMT-6)


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 7/5/2008 5:11 PM (GMT -6)   

Prostate Cancer After Herbal Supplements

Arnon Krongrad, MD - Jan, 05 2008

I received this email: “Stop scaring everybody. Tell us how to prevent prostate cancer.” This was in response to The Ghost of Larry Clark. In that piece, I described a selenium cancer prevention study and its aftermath. I concluded that we did not yet have scientific basis for prostate cancer prevention. I still hold this view.

Prevention comes in two varieties: things we can do to lower risk and things we can avoid to minimize risk. Selenium would fall into the former category. But there have always been suggestions of the latter, too. For example, we are told to avoid cadmium smelting and exposure to Agent Orange. Who do you know who smelts cadmium or bathes in Agent Orange, as some of my Veterans patients used to do? It’s good advice but it’s of little practical value.

Is there something we can avoid to which, unlike cadmium and Agent Orange, many men are exposed?

A report in Clinical Cancer Research tells the story of two Texas men who developed aggressive prostate cancer. Both had had normal exams not too long before and both had taken the same over-the-internet herbal supplement to enhance muscle strength and sexual performance. Investigators found out that the supplement contained undisclosed ingredients including testosterone, a testicular hormone that can accelerate the clinical course of prostate cancer. In the lab the supplement showed potent growth effects on prostate cancer cells. An adverse event report was filed with the Food and Drug Administration and the product was removed from the market place.

Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Not surprisingly, we have seen supplements cause harm from time to time. Ephedra and PC-SPES were taken off the market after their use was associated with death. Now an un-named herbal supplement has also been associated with death by prostate cancer.

Until we know how to actively prevent prostate cancer, maybe we can avoid some things that cause it. We already know about cadmium and Agent Orange. If the FDA would regulate supplements, we would also know which of them to avoid.

A final word …

I told a patient about this report about three months after he had prostate cancer surgery. He reacted in horror, confessing juvenile use of human growth hormone and testosterone. Ultimately, he blamed himself for his own prostate cancer. Given his family history of prostate cancer, he had plenty of theoretical reasons for having it and indeed had no basis to blame himself. Still, his reaction raises a question:

Have you taken supplements to strengthen muscles or sexual performance?

Write to me at ak@laprp.com 

AK

References:

Shariat SF, Lamb DJ, Iyengar RG, Roehrborn CG, Slawin KM. Herbal/Hormonal Dietary Supplement Possibly Associated with Prostate Cancer Progression. Clin Cancer Res 2008 14:607-611.

Kavanaugh CJ, Trumbo PR, Ellwood KC. The US Food and Drug Administration's evidence-based review for qualified health claims: tomatoes, lycopene, and cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007 99:1074-85.

Committee on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the American Public. Complementary and Alternative Medicine In the United States. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. The National Academies Press 2005


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 7/5/2008 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   

The USTOO national prostate cancer support organization, and my doctors recognize Arnon Krongrad as one of the top prostate cancer authorities.  He writes many articles, like the one above, and chairs many seats in the urology and prostate cancer arenas.  If you search his name in google or yahoo, you'll get the point.  I've met him recently on the internet and he is very close to the patients, and a very delightful man.  Something I was skeptical of at first, but not anymore.  He is one sharp cat.  He has started with Mike Scott, a Brit, dedicated to consulting the medical industry, two new and interesting websites for prostate cancer patients.  Like www.Yananow.net, this site compliments this site quite well. 

www.prostatecancerinforlink.net ~ The New Prostate Cancer InfoLink.  Blogged daily by Scott and other reputable authorities.

www.prostatecancerinfolink.ning.net ~ This is a interaction site.  You can find my pretty face on it.

I think these links should be added along side Yana in our welcome script.  Mods, if you want me to do it, since I still have the magic power at the moment I will be glad to.

 

Tony

 



Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007 @ The City of Hope
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (May 9 '08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Years in Remission (3/23/07): 1
Visit my Journey at:
And at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!
 
 

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 7/5/2008 11:02:38 PM (GMT-6)


livinadream
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1382
   Posted 7/5/2008 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   
this is a great subject Tony. I am thankful the hospital I go to has a naturopath on staff that prescribes a vitamin regimine to build the immune system, however they do not claim that any supplement will cure cancer. I agree that there are some quacks out there that prey on people at their most vulnerable moments. I hope everyone reads this and I also hope there are more responses.
Dr Krongrad is awesome for those that have not read his work.

peace and love
Dale
My PSA at diagnosis was 16.3
age 46 (current)
My gleason score from prostate was 4+5=9 and from the lymph nodes was 4+4=8
I had 44 IMRT's
Casodex
Currently on Lupron
I go to The Cancer Treatment Center of America
Married with two kids
latest PSA 5-27-08 0.11
cancer in 4 of 6 cores
92%
80%
37%
28%
 


Piano
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 847
   Posted 7/6/2008 12:26 AM (GMT -6)   

Tony, I agree wholeheartedly with you.

There are no doubt people selling supplements who sincerely believe they do some good. But also many fraudsters eager to take advantage of us. If someone is making extraordinary claims, they had better have extraordinary evidence to back them up -- sadly, such evidence is always lacking.

The placebo effect is a very powerful one. Worthless products can have many genuine "satisfied users". And occasionally, as in your posts, we hear of products that instead of doing us good, actually do harm. 

The best policy, I believe, is healthy eating -- and of course regular exercise. Unless your doctor recommends them, skip the supplements. Eat a wide variety of foods with plenty of McDonald's fruit and vegetables. And save some money at the same time.  :-)


Age 63. Other than cancer, in good health; BMI 20
Pre-op: No symptoms; PSA 5.7; Gleason 4+5=9; cancer in 4 of 12 cores
7 March 2008, RRP, non nerve sparing
Two nights in hospital; catheter and staples out after 7 days
Continent, no pads needed from the get-go
Post Op: Stage pT2 M- N-; clear margins and lymph nodes; Gleason 4+4=8; prostate weight: 37gm
6-week PSA: 0 


James C.
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 7/6/2008 5:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Tony, Do it while you still have the ability... tongue
James C.
Co-Moderator- Prostate Cancer Forum

Age 61
4/19/07 PSA 7.6, referred to Urologist, recheck 6.7
7/11/07 Biopsy- 16 core samples, size of gland around 76 cc. Staging pT2c
7/17/07 Path report: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe , GS 3/3:6.
9/24/07 (open) Retropubic Radical Prostatectomy performed
9/26/07 Post-op Path Report: GS 3+3=6 Staging pT2c, 110gms, margins clear
10/15/07 ED- begin 50mg Viagra and Vacurect pump nightly, Fully continent
1/14/08 Caverject started/stopped, aching. 2/24/08 .5ml Bimix started-success
7/4/08 ED- Viagra, pump continues, no response- Trimix .10ml x 2 weekly continues
Post Surgery PSA's:  3 mts-0, 6 mts.-0


Tony Crispino
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 8128
   Posted 7/6/2008 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Fernc,
Don't post on my threads you are advertising again. I read the contents of your Prostate-C and Breast-C you were attempting to peddle to a stage 4 breast cancer patient yesterday, and no doctor would tell you to forego treatment for prostate cancer, like you stated there, because you took Vitamins and Selenium, Soy and Lycopene. In addition, Get a spell checker. That site has bad grammar and many mispelled words. Sounds quite reputable. You are either a fool or an advertiser. I can guarantee that either way you are not good for this site. Since I am a Moderator in retirement, I still can take care of you posting in my threads.

Users ~ Never send money to ambiolife. If you want supplements try your local pharmacy chain.

Tony


Age 46 (44 when Dx)
Pre-op PSA was 19.8
Surgery on Feb 16, 2007 @ The City of Hope
Post-Op Pathology: Gleason 4+3=7, positive margins, Stage pT3b (Stage III)
HT began in May, '07 with Lupron and Casodex 50mg
IMRT radiation for 38 Treatments ending August 3, '07
Current PSA (May 9 '08): <0.1
I will continue HT until May '09. 
Years in Remission (3/23/07): 1
Visit my Journey at:
And at:
 
STAY POSITIVE!
 
 

Post Edited (TC-LasVegas) : 7/6/2008 6:37:21 PM (GMT-6)

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