Presumably as the result of in-depth clinical trials (how else would they know that their treatments can cure so many severe and varied diseases and conditions?) the experts at the Correactology Centres (which I have discussed before) have removed “cancer” from the list of “ailments” that Correactology can treat. A quick scan from an archived version of their “Ailments Treated” page from 4th November 2007 shows 127 ailments, but that list on the current version of the page is only 126. In case you are wondering whether I am serious, I want to be absolutely clear that a PubMed search for “Correactology” produces zero results. The removal of cancer from the list was an edit to the website, rather than a contribution to scientific research. There have been no trials. There are no datasets. There are anecdotes and testimonials that score very low on the evidence pyramid. Nevertheless, Correactologists take money from patients, claiming to be able to treat all kinds of diseases. I will leave you to browse their (wish) list at your leisure, but I wanted to highlight a couple that are particularly unpleasant:
All of these (ALS and Lou Gehrig’s Disease are the same condition) are incurable and untreatable. I don’t think I can stress strongly enough how reprehensible it is to be claiming to be able to treat conditions that utterly destroy lives, and taking money for the service. There are some interventions that can slow the progress of these conditions, but there is absolutely no evidence that Correactology is one.
For some reason autism crops up a lot in alternative medicine, probably because of the kerfuffle over vaccines and autism that has been raging in the press and certain special interest groups (but not in the scientific community) for the past decade. Autism is not one ailment but a spectrum of “disorders”, making it difficult to diagnose and monitor. There is no known cure, but some children can recover.
This is classic alt-med territory. The common cold is a catch-all term for the symptoms caused by a range of viruses. Since symptoms are usually mild, and antiretroviral drugs are expensive, doctors often tell patients that they will not prescribe anything to treat the condition apart from bed-rest and plenty of fluids. This often leads to conflict with patients who demand treatment regardless of efficacy (antibiotics won’t work on viruses), and it has contributed to massive over-prescription of antibiotics which, in turn, has likely contributed to the current problem of multi-drug resistant bacteria. Meanwhile patients visit alt-med clinics, are prescribed placebos, and appear to get better as a result, ignoring the fact that colds resolve themselves.
Similar in some ways to the degenerative diseases discussed above, Crohn’s is often a lifelong affliction that has serious implications for patient quality of life. However, it is associated with only a small increase in mortality (largely due to colorectal cancers). The symptoms of Crohn’s can vary in severity, giving the illusion of successful treatment which is then shattered by subsequent recurrence. A friend is writing about her experiences with Crohn’s (and hopes to write a book if she can get a small amount of support) to help raise awareness of what is often a taboo, hidden condition.
To claim to be able to treat communicable diseases is another faux-pas (a little bit of Francais pour nos amis Quebecois at the Correactology Centres). It is an obligation to manage your lifestyle if you know that you are carrying a disease, even if it is just a bad cold. To undergo “treatment” from alt-med practitioners and be under the impression that you are cured could prevent you from taking appropriate precautions. This is a particularly significant risk with STDs.
In summary, Correactologists are making dangerous claims about their capacity to treat communicable diseases that endanger the health of Canadians. Correactologists are selling treatments for incurable, untreatable and degenerative diseases to desperate patients without evidence for the efficacy of those treatments. However, Correactologists are no longer claiming to treat cancer – I look forward to seeing their ailments list shortened considerably in the future!
Card image is from http://www.someecards.com/workplace-cards/its-the-small-victories.