Crazy Sexy Cancer?

In light of my recent colon cancer diagnosis, a number of readers have recommended Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Cancer books. She also has a DVD.

So, I checked out her Crazy Sexy Diet book. Endorsed by Dr. Oz (not necessarily good), Oprah Winfrey (ditto), Marianne Williamson (seriously?), Rorey Freedman (Skinny Bitch lady), as well as Glamour, I had to wonder why any of the national cancer organizations remained mum on the incredibly exciting situation.

Carr espouses a vegan diet, meditation, and exercise to keep cancer at bay. Not too controversial, but the vegan element to her claim seems to rub some people the wrong way. More specifically, it’s her implied claim that a vegan diet can cure cancer.

Bold claim, not exactly supported by science… yet. The American Cancer Society touts the benefit of a vegetarian diet in aiding cancer prevention and such, but no such claims for veganism. Which brings me back to Carr’s book.

Sitting on Amazon with 263 five star reviews and only 7 one star, it has to be a winner, right?

Well, Nellie, it’s time to hold our horses because I found a couple things.

Lisa Roney at Daily Kos has this to say:

On Carr’s website she calls her illness merely “a rare and incurable stage 4 cancer.” This sounds dire indeed and is the one and only credential that has given her the right to tell millions how to live. Yet, after the original film, we find in her work very little discussion of the cancer she has: epithelioid hemangio-endothelioma. Her focus is all on nutrition, yoga, support groups, and can-do attitude. However, H.E.A.R.D., a support group for this and other vascular cancers, notes on its webpage that, due to the variable rate of tumor growth in this cancer, “Some cases are totally asymptomatic (no adverse symptoms) for more than 15 or 20 years,” and “some cases … have been known to go into spontaneous remission.”

Hmmmm. The plot thickens.

But for her to claim that she cured her own cancer, and for her to note that, “I created the ultimate blueprint for a healthy and happy life, and I want to share my secrets with fabulous you!” is a grotesque trickery. Her blueprint for life dumbs down illness experience and panders to the desperate masses over any kind of integrity and truth-telling. In the film, her own father tells her that he caused her cancer by putting stress on her during high school. Who can take this seriously? It is magical thinking, no matter that there are even physicians, supposed men and women of science, who participate in it.

Woah. Rather harsh. What about fact checking?

The variable progression of Kris Carr’s disease has little if anything to do with whether or not someone takes up a macrobiotic diet and takes to meditating. It is simply a variation in the disease. If I can find this out with a few Google searches, why don’t the journalists and physicians who promote this woman bother? How can they not know that this woman is a sham? Or do they know and simply decide that her “positive” message is more important than what ails her or doesn’t? Why would that sort of misrepresentation seem worthwhile to them?

I found this paragraph interesting:

When Kris Carr suggests that you interview your doctor as you would someone you were hiring at your corporation, she breezes over the fact that many health care plans don’t allow such options. I’m all for patients being active participants in their own care, but those who don’t have top-of-the-line insurance and a ton of money in the bank can’t turn their cancer into a full-time “self-transformation” project.

Hehehehe… interview my docs. Truth is, I was diagnosed and the tumor was removed within 12 hours. I didn’t have time to breathe, let alone interview. They wanted the tumor out, I wanted it out, I got who I got. Luckily, I really like all my docs. 🙂

Part two with an MD’s perspective coming up tomorrow…,

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  • Jenn

    Once again, I love this post! I went down the Kris Carr bandwagon–not for cancer, more out of curiosity about her whole food, vegan diet and all the buzz surrounding her in the blogosphere. And my conclusion is that she is selling pep and enthusiasm more than anything else. (Reading her newsletters make this crystal clear.) She may be passionate about food, but she’s selling a lifestyle product, like Martha Stewart. Her cancer diagnosis seems almost coincidental.

    • Hey Jenn, thanks for your insight. I appreciate your POV and will have to check out her site a little more thoroughly. 🙂