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CAM & Life Style > A - E > Detoxifying as Cancer Treatment?

(Mercury Amalgam Removals)

Last update: 07/09/2012

"Toxins cause cancer, therefore removing toxins can cure or reverse cancer." 
So goes the reasoning, which appeals to common sense, but ...

Environmental toxins do increase the risk of developing cancer. We agree with advocates who work to reduce toxins in our environment. And we support the idea of making healthy life style changes - eating better, becoming more active, and avoiding chemical exposures, such as from cigarette smoke and other pollutants. 

But we have found no scientific evidence (in test tubes, or animal studies) to suggest that measures taken to reduce toxins in the body, such as chelating therapies, or the removal of mercury amalgam fillings, or enemas, can reverse or cure an existing cancer - or that either practice can improve one's general health unless used to  address abnormal levels of toxicity, or specific sensitivities to the toxin.  

Consider that cancer cells will do well - as well as normal cells - when removed from the body and cultured in toxin-free Petri dishes.  Toxins can cause cancers, but removing toxins is not a plausible treatment for cancer.

Mercury amalgams and cancer?

The obvious place to look for associations between cancer and mercury is in the population most exposed to mercury vapors: that would be dentists. We did that and found nothing to support the theory that mercury exposures increases cancer risk. (See related PubMed articles.)

Our conclusion is that we ought to be skeptical of those who promote extreme measures to detoxify the body unless there is a clear medical finding that one needs to do so.  It is important that a credible doctor - not the practitioner who sells detoxifying services - has tested you and has found that you have abnormal levels. 

Finally, even when toxins exist in high levels, it's unlikely that reducing or eliminating the toxins would reverse an existing cancer.  For example, consider that quitting smoking, while very good to do, is not going to reverse or even slow down a lung cancer.  


Note: We have opted to query PubMed, instead of selecting a specific study, to avoid selection bias.

Occupational exposure to mercury in dentistry and dentist mortality - Related PubMed articles

Mercury concentrations in blood and urine and amalgams - Related PubMed articles

The effect of dental amalgam restorations on blood mercury levels - Related PubMed articles

Evaluation of Risks Associated With Mercury Vapor from Dental Amalgam
Prepared by the Subcommittee on Risk Assessment
Committee to Coordinate Environmental Health and Related Programs
November 7, 1991 (revised August 28, 1992)

bullet Mercury Fillings: They're Not Risky   ~ WebMD Medical News Dec 2004
Mercury Vapors Not Easily Absorbed by Body


Respectful insolence:  Your Friday Dose of Woo: Gonna wash those (heavy metal) toxins right out of your blood! -


Disclaimer:  The information on is not intended to be a substitute for 
professional medical advice or to replace your relationship with a physician.
For all medical concerns, you should always consult your doctor. 
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