Complementary Health Approaches

Frequently Asked Questions

28. What do I need to know about cancer treatments sold over the Internet?

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have warned the public to be aware of fraudulent cancer treatments. Cancer treatment frauds are not new, but in recent years, it has become easier for the people who market them to reach the public using the Internet.

Some fraudulent cancer treatments are harmful by themselves. All of them -- even the ones that seem harmless -- can be dangerous if people use them instead of getting proper medical care.

The companies that sell fraudulent cancer treatments often market them with claims such as “scientific breakthrough,” “secret ingredient,” or “ancient remedy.” The advertisements may include personal stories from people who have taken the product, but such stories aren’t reliable evidence that a product is effective. Also, a money-back guarantee is not proof that a product works.

If you’re considering using any cancer treatment that you’ve seen in an advertisement, talk to the health care provider who’s treating you for cancer first.