From injecting bee venom to drinking urine: the viral remedies to cure cancer that science has not proven to work

Read these bullet points if you only have a couple of seconds:

  • There is no evidence that soursop, garlic, or any other food cures cancer. 
  • Bee venom, urine, and baking soda have shown not to be effective in treating this disease as well. 
  • Instead of trying remedies that are not scientifically backed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises discussing treatment options with a health professional. 

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. On social media, multiple alleged remedies circulate that are supposed to work as a treatment for this disease, such as injecting bee venom, drinking urine or eating garlic. But as of now there is no scientific evidence that any of these methods work as a treatment or cure for cancer. 


Remedios que NO sirven, según la ciencia, para curar el cáncer.

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“Anyone who has cancer or knows someone who does understands the fear and despair of this cause,” says Nicole Kornspan, consumer safety agent for the FDA -the Food and Drug Administration-. While this situation may tempt you to “grasp anything that seems to offer a chance of a cure.'' The FDA advises always discussing treatment options with an accredited healthcare provider.

It is important to keep in mind that it does not make sense to talk about a single remedy or cure for cancer when the disease can take multiple forms (there are many different types of cancer).

There is no evidence that injecting bee venom works to treat cancer

Some content is circulating indicating that injecting venom is used to treat cancer. However, to date there is no evidence that this is the case.

Research published in the journal NPJ Precision Oncology indicates that bee venom and its main component, melittin, induce cell death in some types of breast cancer.

It is important to note that this study was done in vitro (outside of a living organism). As Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez (known as Dr. Mau, on social networks), specializing in internal medicine, indicates on TikTok, no studies have been carried out on humans: “Do not Inject bee venom,” he advises.

In fact, the study authors themselves insist that the molecular mechanism of action of honey bee venom and melittin has not been fully investigated to date.

Alex Swarbrick, an associate professor at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, told the BBC that it is “too early” to know whether bee venom could be used in people to fight cancer.

“Many compounds can kill a breast cancer [cancer] cell in a dish or in a mouse. But there is a long way to go from those discoveries to something that can change clinical practice,” he explains.

There is also no evidence that soursop or any other fruit (or food) cures cancer.

There is also content circulating stating that soursop (a fruit also called graviola or soursop, in English) can “cure cancer and kill cancer cells”. But, there is no evidence that this is the case, as we have already explained to you in Factchequeado.

Despite the fact that there are studies in vitro (with cells grown in the laboratory) and in animal models in which the components of soursop can attack some types of cancer cells (liver, breast and prostate, among others), yet its safety and efficiency is far from certain in humans.

These studies investigate, above all, acetogenins, organic compounds present in annonaceous plants, such as cherimoya (custard apple), on which it is studied whether they have anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antinociceptive (against pain) and hypotensive.

Despite the fact that there are scientific reviews that conclude that soursop could have therapeutic properties, there is a lack of human studies that analyze whether it is a safe fruit (without adverse effects or health risks) and whether it is used to treat any disease.

In short, there is no evidence that soursop or its components can cure those who suffer from any type of cancer.

Neither lemon nor lemonade cures cancer, according to evidence

Several WhatsApp chains claim that lemon water can cure cancer. Although the messages are not always the same, and sometimes the recommended lemonade is hot, others on an empty stomach and others with more or less additions, the bottom line is always the same: a doctor who ensures that lemon water is all that is needed to cure cancer. This is not true.

Yes, there are some studies that suggest that some components of citrus fruits could have anticancer properties (here, an example and here, another). But, be careful, there are preliminary studies (which are far from “proving” that lemonade works to cure the disease) made with cancer cells in a laboratory. More research is needed to know if the same phenomenon is observed, first in animals and then in humans.

There is no evidence that drinking urine works to treat cancer

Some content indicates that injecting or drinking urine is used to treat cancer. But, in reality, there is no evidence that this is the case.

Urotherapy has been promoted for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including cancer,” states the American Cancer Society. The agency explains that its defenders propose different methods: from drinking it to injecting it directly into the bloodstream or into tumors.

However, there is no scientific evidence that drinking urine or engaging in any other urine therapy has benefits, as explained by Christian Moro, Associate Professor of Science and Medicine at Bond University, and Charlotte Phelps, PhD candidate at the Research Center in Urology from the same university, in The Conversation.

Urine, according to Moro and Phelps, "is waste and must be left excreted from the body." The American Cancer Society does not list urotherapy among effective procedures for treating cancer.

"In all modern contexts, there are more hygienic and effective solutions than urine therapy, regardless of the ailment or problem being treated," they say. From, co-founder of Factchequeado, they have also explained why it makes no sense to apply urine on the skin to combat acne.

Baking soda doesn’t cure cancer either

Neither have water with bicarbonate for breakfast nor add lemon. None of this prevents or cures cancer. No test. It all started with the former Italian doctor Tullio Simocini. This former oncologist maintains, without any scientific backing, that all cancers are caused by a fungus, Candida albicans.

The Italian justice system withdrew the license of this professional for applying various dangerous and unproven treatments, as explained in this article in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

There is no evidence that garlic is "capable of killing more than 10 types of cancer"

There are also contents circulating that affirm that garlic "is capable of killing more than 10 types of cancer", but that is not true either. To date, according to the evidence we know of, there is no evidence that garlic is capable of curing any type of cancer, and although there is speculation about its ability to prevent it, there is not enough scientific evidence to support this idea either.

The origin of this misinformation comes from some epidemiological scientific studies (which consist of observing a large population group and analyzing what types of diseases or pathologies are observed in it, as well as different behaviors and lifestyles that can influence your health). These studies have found a possible relationship between the consumption of garlic and a lower risk of suffering from some types of cancer, such as colon or breast cancer, among others.

However, the evidence is limited. With the scientific studies carried out to date, it is not possible to say with certainty that garlic is what prevents cancer. After analyzing all the available evidence, the Nutrimedia project of the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona (Spain) in collaboration with the Cochrane Library and the Spanish Science and Technology Foundation (FECYT) concluded that "no relationship can be established between the intake of garlic and decreased cancer risk”.

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