Medical practice the Mayo Clinic writes: “Sugar doesn’t make cancer grow faster. All cells, including cancer cells, depend on blood sugar (glucose) for energy. But giving more sugar to cancer cells doesn’t speed their growth.”
Ellen has seen patients try to eradicate sugar based on false beliefs. “There’s no way you can take sugar out of your diet completely,” she said.
Vitamin C cures cancer
Ellen said: “I had a call once where a couple had been to a clinic and paid lots of money to be treated with vitamin C, which they were told could cure cancer.”
The trips abroad to the clinic cost them their life savings and provided no benefit.
“The man was so upset. He wished he’d used whatever savings they had for a better quality of life. And that decision is with them forever,” she said.
Only old people get cancer
Ellen said there is a belief that only the elderly get cancer “because it’s more common as they get older”.
Ellen said: “Coffee enemas were popular for a while. Sites were coming up advertising that they could do something to the make-up of the bowel and that would cure cancer.”
In fact, Cancer Research UK writes: “Coffee enemas have been linked to serious infections, dehydration, constipation, colitis (inflammation of the colon), and dangerous electrolyte imbalances or even death.”
Ellen said the myth led many people to travel long distances to special clinics “being charged lots and lots of money”.
It’s a modern disease
“There is the idea that it’s a man-made modern disease,” says Ellen. “But it isn’t – it’s been found in Egyptian mummies.”