A self-proclaimed “tumour research institute” in China is under investigation after a woman exposed how her cancer-stricken mother was duped into paying a staggering 200,000 yuan (approximately Rs 22.76 lakh) for treatments that include bloodletting and even applying cement to her skin.
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), the woman, surnamed Wang, learned that her mother had been diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer at the end of 2021. Soon after diagnosis, the two women were introduced to a traditional Chinese medicine doctor in Wuhan, who claimed to specialise in treating cancer. They travelled to meet the man, surnamed Yu, at his Dongyusanbao Tumour Research Institute, where he told them he had invented a medicine that could kill cancer cells.
According to Ms Wang, Mr Yu went to great lengths to convince the two women, showcasing what appeared to be credible patent documents and prestigious awards certificates for his cancer treatment.
Filled with hope, Ms Wang’s mother immediately purchased the first batch of liquid medication from Mr Yu at a cost of 20,000 yuan (US$2,700), which he assured was a simple oral remedy. Over the course of a year, Ms Wang said she and her mother flew to Wuhan from their home in northeastern Liaoning province six times. This journey took a severe financial toll, with the total expenditure racing over 200,000 yuan.
Moreover, in addition to giving the elderly woman oral medication, Mr Yu also made dozens of injections into her breasts to make her lose blood, Ms Wang said, as per the outlet. He bizarrely also told the woman to apply a mixture of cement and lime skin under her armpits, claiming that it would aid in shrinking the cancerous lumps.
“He told my mother to apply cement mixed with lime on the skin under her armpits, saying this could help shrink lumps. My mother followed his instructions but her skin festered after doing it for two months,” Ms Wang said.
However, in April this year, Ms Wang’s mother’s condition deteriorated and local doctors told her that the cancer cells had spread across her body. But Mr Yu insisted that was normal and even told them not to worry. He even convinced the woman to continue drinking his medicine. However, this ultimately led to the mother’s death in June, Ms Wang said.
According to SCMP, Mr Yu later confessed that neither he nor his institute have any medical qualifications. “I am not practising medicine. I just sold them health-enhancing products. My method of bloodletting is aimed at promoting good health, it is not acupuncture,” Mr Yu said. He also confessed that the certificates and documents he had shown the two women were, in fact, bought online for a few thousand yuan. The authorities are now still investigating the bizarre case.