Black salve 'cure' has no scientific backing

GLADSTONE resident Barry Thompson swears by a salve used in bush medicine for many years to fight skin cancers, known as black salve.

"I have had quite a bit of success with the salve, using it to remove small skin lesions from my skin - none of them have come back," he said.

"However, I don't know if they were actual cancer."

However, Gladstone Medical Centre doctor Stephen Rigby is worried that there is no science to back up its stated medicinal qualities.

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"The problem is that it has never had any scientific analysis," he said.

"The patient is the one who is deciding what a lesion might be, and my concern is that there is no examination of what has been removed by the salve to see what has been removed, or if enough has been removed.

"The one big thing is that there is no tumour to analyse, so there is no histological information or proof that it's helpful," he said.

"I think some people use it because of the fear of having surgery, but they could well be doing themselves a disservice."



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