This treatment modality is used in place of conventional therapies to treat cancer. Seek advice from a qualified physician before replacing standard cancer therapy with chelation therapy.
What does chelation therapy involve?
Chelates are chemicals that are used to bind toxic heavy metals in the bloodstream and are later excreted in the urine. Chelation therapy is an accepted and FDA-approved therapy for lead poisoning. Recently, some alternative practitioners have promoted chelation therapy as an anti-cancer treatment. The therapy consists of an intravenous infusion of the chelating agent disodium EDTA given over a three and one half-hour period. Usually twenty to thirty treatments are given at the rate of one to three sessions per week.
How is chelation therapy thought to treat cancer?
Some implicate heavy metal toxicity as a contributing cause of cancer. Heavy metals propagate free-radical reactions and, as a result, may suppress the immune system. Chelation therapy is thought to improve circulation throughout the body, reduce misplaced soft-tissue calcification, reduce free-radical pathology and increase oxygen to cells by binding to toxic heavy metals. Proponents of chelation therapy believe that by reducing the body's free-radical load, chelation therapy enhances the immune system and the ability to fight cancer.
What has been proven about the benefit of chelation therapy?
No research to date supports chelation therapy as a treatment option for anything other than heavy metal poisoning. The American Cancer Society, FDA, American Heart Association, American Medical Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Osteopathic Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians have all endorsed this view.
What is the potential risk or harm of chelation therapy?
Reported side effects have included bone marrow damage, kidney failure, irregular heart rhythm, severe inflammation of injection sites, anemia and death.
How much does chelation therapy cost?
The average total cost of chelation therapy is about $3000 to $4000.
For additional information:
American Cancer Society
1599 Clifton Road, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: (800) ACS-2345
Web site: www.cancer.org
Note: Information about therapies is intended to help you make informed choices, not to endorse any particular therapy. The information is courtesy of "Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Cancer Patients," a handbook written as an independent study project by Heather Morein. For more information, see the full text of the handbook (PDF), including all references and appendices.