This week, The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) announced that it had charged five companies with making false and misleading claims for indicating their product could cure cancer. In addition, the FTC had reached settlements wit six other companies. According to Lydia Parnes, director of the FTC, "As long as products have been sold, there has been somebody out there selling snake oil to consumers." 
The FTC provides signs of whether a product is a scam:
- No one treatment works for everyone. If the website or ad suggests everyone will be cured or helped by a product, it is a warning sign.
- Natural is not always better. Because many people believe that if a product is "all natural" it is safe and effective, manufacturers will use this language to help sell their product. Natural, however, does not always mean safe or effective. Some products can interfere with other treatment or can be harmful for you.
- Personal stories and testimonials do not make up for lack of scientific data. Although personal stories and testimonials may sound good, supplements are not regulated by the FDA (Federal Food and Drug Administration) and therefore do not need to have scientific studies to back up their claims.
- Medical terminology can be impressive but does not prove effectiveness. Manufacturers sometimes fill their advertisements with medical terminology and jargon, but if they do not have medical studies and research to back up their claims, these are just words.
- Offering money back if not satisfied does not mean a product is effective. Beware of ads without scientific data and evidence to back up their claims.
Before taking any "cancer cures" talk with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure the product will not interfere with any current treatment. In addition, it is not recommended for anyone to put off a legitimate treatment in order to try a "cancer cure."
If you believe you have been the victim of a company offering a bogus cancer claim, you can report the company to the FTC.
 "FTC Warns Consumers About Bogus Cancer Cures", 2008, Sept 18, Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press
Published On: September 19, 2008