Terrible news: Your doctor tells you have cancer. The disease can't be cured but with major surgery followed by aggressive chemical and radiation therapy you might be lucky, ending up "free" of cancer, at least for the moment. Of course, it's also possible that the toxic chemicals and radiation will cause a secondary cancer. A second opinion confirms that there are no medical options: You must be sliced and diced, poisoned to within an inch of your life and irradiated.
Rather than jump straight into conventional treatment you use the Internet to investigate possible options, to your surprise and joy discovering not a quack but a real medical doctor offering hope.
Dr William Barnes is the founder of the Resort to Health Clinic in Fremantle. Over the past 20 years Dr Barnes has researched many alternative cancer therapies and now offers patients therapies which may extend their life expectancy considerably. The non toxic biological stabilization of cancer enables the patient to move towards developing a deeper understanding of their illness and experiencing a permanent healing outcome.
The clinic's website offering the prospect of a virtually painless "cure":
Resort to Health is an alternative natural cancer treatment centre based in Fremantle, Western Australia.
We at Resort to health have been researching a non toxic herbal and nutritional treatment, as an alternative treatment for cancer for twenty years. Our alternative nutritional therapies involve the use of both oral and intravenous treatments. In advance cases, to get sufficient doses of our herbal therapies, we administer them as intravenous therapies.
Our natural cancer treatment protocols, both oral and intravenous, use green tea polyphenals, genistein from soy beans, curcumin from turmeric, quercetin, vitamin C and selenium. Together with these natural anticancer herbs we prescribe individualised programs with mineral replacement after assessment with hair analysis.
With our alternative natural cancer treatments we have achieved cures in early stage cancers.
Amongst the glowing patient testimonials:
I would like to take this opportunity to enlighten you to why I have been a patient with you and the wonderful outcome of my treatment. Thank you most sincerely for everything you have done for me Dr Barnes. I know I still have to continue my medication for a further 3 years, but just to know that in your option that my cancer seems to be cured is enough for me.
There is catch, however: Dr William Barnes is cited as one of two physicians seeing Penelope Dingle, now very much dead, having shunned conventional cancer treatment. According to news reports Dingle's other doctor – it's always wise to have a second opinion – was Igor Tabrizian, proprietor of Nutrition Review Services, which coincidentally lists Dr William Barnes as an associated practitioner. Tabrizian is reported to have provided nutritional supplements for Dingle.
According to testimony at the inquest Barnes did not actually treat Dingle:
Dr William Barnes said he advised Mrs Dingle on April 9, 2003, to have the surgery but she said it was a last resort. "She didn't want to lose her uterus," he said. "She was frightened off by the extent of the surgery."
The inquest was told Mrs Dingle paid a $2000 deposit to Dr Barnes for an eight-week course of vitamin C and Carnivora - a herbal extract made from the venus flytrap plant.
He said he believed Carnivora would stop the tumour growing but that only surgery would remove it.
The coroner was nonetheless asked to refer both Barnes and Tabrizian for investigation by the Medical Board. Dingle's husband and a homeopath are accused of playing roles in her untimely death at only 45:
Counsel assisting the Coroner, Celia Kemp, said Mrs Dingle played a part in the "misadventure" that led her to forgo conventional treatment and accept the homeopathic treatment of Francine Scrayen. She said Mrs Dingle did not make the choice alone but with the influence of her husband.
"Dr Dingle's strong anti-conventional views would have influenced his wife," she said.
She said it was likely Dr Dingle, who holds no medical qualification, advised his wife against surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
She said Ms Scrayen should have referred Mrs Dingle to a doctor as soon as she was told of rectal bleeding and that Ms Scrayen's advice had a key role in Mrs Dingle's decisions.
Dr Kemp said if Mrs Dingle had undergone surgery in 2001, there was a strong possibility she would be alive.
It does seem odd that Penelope Dingle developed cancer so young, married as she was to self-proclaimed lifestyle guru Peter Dingle – surely she would have heeded her husband's advice on healthy living.
There are, unfortunately, lots of "experts", many with seemingly impeccable credentials, hoping to profit by selling dubious adivce to the gullible. Even worse are those who prey on others made vulnerable by confrontation with unpalatable medical reality.