Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Cancer Act 1939

I've been aware of this piece of legislation for years. I don't know how or why it came to my attention but I was aware that it was illegal to market a cure for cancer. My Journey therapist puts out various pieces of marketing content and I've been helping her with this recently. A couple of times I've had to suggest she removes the word cancer for fear of official retribution.

Today I thought I'd look it up - now that you can look up anything on Wikipedia (what a brilliant resource!) And I'm amazed to see that it's not just that claiming a cure is illegal, there's a clause prohibiting taking any part in publication, except under specified conditions, of advertisements that "offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof".

There have been one or two tweaks to this legislation the citation says but intrinsically this is it. Obviously the medical professions, pharmaceutical companies, etc., are granted a waiver.

No doubt this is why Chris Woollams at
has prominent paragraphs on his web site which indicate that it is not providing advice or recommendations. In fact looking at his site it certainly makes an ass of the law. It seems to me that it's about time there was a complete review of the Cancer Act 1939 because things have changed a great deal in the seventy years since it was drafted.


  1. The 1939 cancer act has killed millions, those resposible for it's existence should be tried for murder.

  2. The Cancer Act was introduced to protect highly vulnerable people from quacks, frauds and charlatans. It does a good job, though now the Internet crosses borders you will find that people are targeted by shills selling such dangerous nonsense as "Miracle Mineral Supplement" and Gerson therapy.

    The problem is that all quack claims look the same to the reader. All are supported by a identical set of sincere assurances, white-coated "brave maverick doctors", tear-jerking testimonials, and heart wrending appeals against the evil conspiracy to suppress this wonderful cure.

    In reality there are so many actors in cancer support - including patient groups, charities, state-funded doctors and commercial researchers - that there is pretty much no chance at all of a genuinely promising cure being overlooked by the mainstream. Virtually everything promoted outside the mainstream is either discredited, unproven, or wildly exaggerated. The main reason you won't hear about this or that "alternative" cure from your doctor is that yoou doctor has seen the evidence and it doesn't hold water, because there is really no such thing as alternative medicine: there is what can be shown to work, known as medicine, and the rest.

  3. Hm - if complementary or alternative therapies are not dicussed or investigated, their effects will never be scientifically proven. I wish I had your confidence that there is "pretty much no chance at all of a genuinely promising cure being overlooked by the mainstream."