The Cancer Act

The UK has legislation that prohibits mentioning cancer and cure in the same sentence. It’s the Cancer Act 1939. The act was originally brought into law to secure finances for treating cancer with radiotherapy. It made it an offence to suggest that anything other than radiation could cure cancer. Over the years, it has mostly been superceded by the NHS act, but what is left is Clause 4. This prohibits the publication of advertisements that contain an offer to: “treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy thereof, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof.” It goes on: “In order to avoid conviction, you must prove that an advertisement was published only so far as to bring it to the notice of a member of either House of Parliament or of a local authority or of a governing body of a voluntary hospital, a registered medical practitioner, a registered nurse, a registered pharmacist or persons undergoing training with a view to becoming registered medical practitioners, registered nurses or registered pharmacists.”

In other words, cancer and cure may only be discussed by the government and the civil service. Which means that any UK-based alternative medicine practitioner who advises on cancer may be breaking the law. Cancer is one of the major health issues and needs public awareness. More treatments need to come to the fore. Yet the Cancer Act 1939 prohibits research and free speech on the subject. It should be repealed.

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