Hope for Sale.
People tend to look first to the medical community for cures to their diseases. When doctors fail, desperate patients seek hope in the form of quackery. Because it was so frightening and because medical researchers were frustrated in their efforts to find a cure, cancer attracted an unusual share of fake healers.
Coal Miner's Recipe.
Among the most persistent was Harry M. Hoxsey, a coal miner who began selling liquid medicines and pills in 1924, promising miracle cures to cancer victims. According to his own account, Hoxsey's cancer medicine included licorice, red clover, burdock root, stillingia root, barberis root, poke root, cascara, prickly ash bark, buckthorn bark, and potassium iodide, an old family recipe. His grandfather developed the medicine to cure horses. The Food and Drug Administration ruled that Hoxsey's pills were useless for humans and maybe even promoted the growth of cancer....
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