Cancer cure talk angers sufferers

Cancer sufferers criticized the government yesterday for not stepping in to stop television coverage of a highly publicized purported cure for the disease made from olive tree leaves. Last month, several chat shows, including on state television, said a thick green drink made from raw olive leaves and water, mixed in a blender, was doing wonders for cancer patients. Indicative of the strong demand that has arisen since is that several electrical appliance stores reported selling out of blenders. Health officials publicly warned patients that drinking the olive beverage would not only fail to help them but could also be harmful to their health. Zoe Bazou, a member of the Athens-Piraeus cancer victims group Kefi, told Kathimerini that the organization had been flooded with hundreds of phone calls enquiring whether they should try the drink. «We have examples of patients who have tired of powerful chemotherapy treatments or are being influenced by those only interested in making a profit and are taking alternative medicines. The result is death,» she said. Medical experts have warned against the drink, saying that there is no conclusive evidence that it can help save lives. «These people offer hope in vain to a person who not only suffers physically but mostly mentally,» added Bazou, as she called on the media to show more sensitivity to the issue.