When Healing Becomes a Crime:
The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies
In 1924, Harry Hoxsey claimed a cure for cancer, herbal formulas inherited from his great-grandfather. Thousands of patients swore the treatment cured them; but the medical authorities branded Hoxsey the worst quack of the century. So began a medical war continuing to this day.
Hoxsey’s alarming scenario may make you angry, but most of all, Hoxsey offers hope.By the 1950′s Hoxsey’s Texas clinic was the world’s largest, with branches in 17 states. Two Federal courts upheld his treatment’s “therapeutic value.” Even his archenemy, the American Medical Association, admitted it does cure some cases. Yet organized medicine banned the therapy, exiling it to Mexico where it claims an 80% success rate today.
Why won’t medical authorities investigate the treatment? Hoxsey charged a “conspiracy” to suppress alternative therapies. Was Hoxsey a hoax? Or was he “The Quack Who Cured Cancer”?
The award-winning tale of medical politics and systematic suppression of a promising alternative health therapy by the institutions charged with preserving our nation’s health.
The Hoxsey Therapy
The Hoxsey Therapy, a mixture of herbs, was first marketed as a purported cure for cancer in the 1920s by Harry Hoxsey, a former coal miner and insurance salesman. Hoxsey himself traced the treatment to his great-grandfather, who observed a horse with a tumor on its leg cure itself by grazing upon wild plants growing in the meadow. John Hoxsey gathered these herbs and mixed them with old home remedies used for cancer, Among the claims made in his book, he purports his therapy aims to restore “physiological normalcy” to a disturbed metabolism throughout the body, with emphasis on purgation, to help carry away wastes from the tumors he believed his herbal mixtures caused to necrotize.
Hoxsey initially opened a clinic in Taylorville, Illinoisto sell his treatment, one of 17 clinics that he would eventually open. Dogged in many states by legal trouble for practicing medicine without a license, Hoxsey frequently shut down his clinics and reopened them in new locations. In 1936, Hoxsey opened a clinic in Dallas, Texaswhich became one of the largest privately owned cancer centers in the world. At one point in the 1950s, Hoxsey’s gross annual income reached $1.5 million from the treatment of 8,000 patients.
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