Mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the lining of the lungs and other organs. Because mesothelioma generally has a poor prognosis, doctors often recommend patients take part in clinical trials. While doctors may recommend some alternative and complementary medicines for mesothelioma sufferers, others may do more harm than good, and can be quite dangerous. The most famous example of such a dangerous alternative treatment is “laetrile.”
Laetrile is a compound derived from the seeds of almonds and apricots, popularized as an alternative cancer medicine by the actor Steve McQueen, who claimed it had cured him of cystic mesothelioma. This claim was later disproved when McQueen’s cancer worsened, resulting in his death.
The damage had already been done, however, and laetrile gained popularity as an alternative cancer treatment. The US Food and Drug Administration actively prosecute those who market laetrile, calling it a “highly toxic product that has not shown any effect on treating cancer.”
Laetrile: Not Just Ineffective, But Also Dangerous
Although some limited studies have been conducted to evaluate its effectiveness, laetrile has been determined to have no benefit in fighting cancers, including mesothelioma. In addition to not having any beneficial effect, laetrile and similar compounds may cause significant harm, because they contain potentially toxic levels of cyanide. Some of the patients in the laetrile clinical studies were found to have potentially lethal levels of cyanide in their blood stream.
While doctors do often recommend alternative therapies for mesothelioma victims in addition to conventional cancer treatments, not all alternative therapies are safe. When faced with a devastating diagnosis, it is natural to turn to anything that sounds promising, but take the time to carefully research any alternative medicines, and take them only under the supervision of your doctor.
Mesothelioma Victims: Legal Help is Available
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for compensation. Mesothelioma is strongly linked to asbestos exposure. The legal system has held asbestos product manufacturers and other companies responsible for failing to protect the public from toxic asbestos fibers.
Contact an experienced asbestos litigation law firm today, to discuss your options. Bergman Draper Oslund is the only law firm in the Pacific Northwest devoted exclusively to serving asbestos victims like you. Call us today, for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.