INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is calling out 14 companies for making false claims that products can cure cancer. On Tuesday, the FDA announced they sent warning letters to the companies, demanding a response and to correct the violations.
The FDA posted the letters on their website, showing images of the products that violate the FDA's laws, by making false claims of curing, preventing, and treating different types of cancer. Some examples include a tea bag that can cure cancer, a cream that would make skin cancer disappear, and a pill that can help your body become resistant to the disease.
Many of the companies sell the drugs online and others even offer sales through social media. Drugs received through a doctors office or by prescription by a cancer doctor are not included in the FDA's report.
IU Health Director of Operative Services Dr. William Wooden said ads on social media are a new form of scamming.
"Social media is a whole new realm of phishing, so we have to be very cautious about that pop-up ad," he said.
Dr. Wooden said while the news is certainly disturbing, it's not surprising.
"It is predatory advertising to really present a false claim or present something that’s going to prey upon the fear of cancer or the reality of cancer in your family, that really is fairly unscrupulous and so yes, it’s a way for them to make money, but that’s not the way they should do it."
The best piece of advice, according to Dr. Wooden is to talk to your doctor before taking any over the counter medicines or products that claim to offer cures or treatments, especially for cancer. He said, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
"The claim of a magic bullet or magic wand, that just doesn't exist."
Click here to view the FDA's report.