Michael Greger M.D. FACLM in his NutritionFacts.org blog shared this information from a case report to a randomized controlled trial, aloe is put to the test against cancer.
For a half-century, aloe vera “gel processors and distributors armed with biblical quotes and anecdotal testimonials…[have sought] recognition for their products”—too often, however, “accompanied by misinformation,” none more elaborate than promoting aloe vera for the treatment of cancer. As he discussed in his video, Can Aloe Cure Cancer?, there was a recent case report involving a 64-year-old Hispanic woman with a tumor on her eyeball, which, as you can see below and at 0:31 in my video, looked like a classic case of ocular surface squamous neoplasia (OSSN), a type of eye cancer.
Surgery was recommended to remove it, “but the patient declined it, and instead initiated the use of concentrated A. vera eye drops 3 times daily based on a friend’s suggestion.” She just used an off-the-shelf aloe vera gel product, and, to the doctor’s surprise, the “lesion showed significant improvement from only 1 month before….At the follow-up 2 months later, the patient’s lesion was noted to have dramatically regressed.” When the case report was written, “6 years since her initial presentation,” it appeared the cancer was gone and had stayed gone, as you can see in the video at 1:04.
Normally, you’d go in and cut out cancer with wide margins to make sure you got it all, because “despite the best efforts of the ocular surgeon…recurrence rates as high as 56% have been reported because of the presence of microscopic disease that is not clinically evident at the time of surgical excision.” In other words, little bits of cancer may be missed during surgery. In this case, though, a tumor disappeared without surgery.
Are we sure it was cancerous? The patient had refused a biopsy, so we don’t know for certain. However, it did have all the defining characteristics. So, to see the tumor disappear without any side effects and stay gone is pretty extraordinary. “Surgical resection still remains a very reasonable treatment option for many cases of OSSN,” but at least there’s an option for patients to try if they don’t want to go down that route.