Malignant Melanoma, Treatment Scores, and Drinking Your Own Urine

There is a woman who drinks her own urine to treat her cancer. I saw her on the television show “Tosh.0.” She has also been on “Strange Addiction.” Her name is Carrie and she says she started drinking her own urine after being diagnosed with melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

Carrie says on video that she underwent surgery, had 16 lymph nodes removed, and three of the lymph nodes had cancer in them.

According to the information given, her cancer was melanoma stage 3, which is also known as “malignant melanoma,” because it has spread to her lymph nodes. Any cancer that has spread to a new location (metastasized) is more serious than one that has remained localized.

A tumor is malignant if it has the capacity to spread locally or to other parts of the body.

In one video I saw, Carrie seemed to point under her arm as the place where the lymph nodes were removed. So one might assume that the original melanoma, if the diagnosis is correct, was somewhere near that area of her body. I have no access to any medical records, I only know what is reported on the Internet and on these TV shows.

Science-based medicine means going to the medical literature and seeing what it says. I want to know the Treatment Score for treating stage 3 malignant melanoma by drinking your own urine. The Treatment Score represents the net treatment benefit for the patient that can be seen in the existing medical literature.

Is drinking your own urine crazy? Is drinking your own urine supported by the Bible? What are the opinions of some alleged experts? These questions would all make for interesting essays, but science-based medicine is about the existing facts.

I produced a list of 8 potential treatments for stage 3 malignant melanoma. I started with surgery, surgery plus lymph node dissection, and surgery plus adjuvant therapy. Then, as the 4th potential treatment added “drinking your own urine.” I also added some more recently developed treatment possibilities such as: melanoma vaccine, Yervoy, Keytruda, and Opdivo.

My immediate goal is to come up with the Treatment Score for “drinking your own urine.” I started the process like any physician does when they do Journal Club. I searched PubMed, the Internet, and I searched the Trip Database, which is one of my favorite search engines.

Drinking your own urine, by the way, is also called: urgophagia.

The Treatment Score I came up with for drinking your own urine is zero. Or perhaps more accurately “no data.” There are no studies in human beings that I could find. I would summarize the situation like this:

Diagnosis: Melanoma stage 3
Treatment: drinking your own urine
Follow-up time: any
Treatment Score: No Data

Drinking your own urine falls under alternative medicine. Sometimes alternative medical treatments have data to support them and sometimes they do not. Science-based medicine does not reflexively condemn anything, the scientific method is to do studies (if ethical and feasible) and see what they say. In this case there do not seem to be any clinical studies that support drinking your own urine for malignant melanoma stage 3.

There is the possibility that “drinking your own urine” could have a negative Treatment Score, because it could be harmful. There are potential side effects. Drinking your own urine, which contains concentrated waste and minerals, could dehydrate you. In theory, it could cause kidney stones. Drinking your own urine, if it is infected, could expose you to the intake of bacteria, which could be dangerous. However, I could not find reports or studies that these side effects had actually happened when urine was used for the treatment of cancer.

For the time being, drinking your own urine as a treatment for malignant melanoma stage 3 is neither supported or refuted by the existing medical literature, but everyone should review the medical literature on their own in case I missed anything. Those who think drinking one’s own urine has potential merit, need to do clinical studies, and perhaps even before that need to find any potential mechanism of action that would support doing such studies. It may work or it may not work. The data do not seem to tell us one way or another at this point in time.

Treatment Scores are the future of medicine. When you get a diagnosis you need a list of treatments for that diagnosis and the Treatment Score for each one of those treatments. Your treatment list should include all Western medical treatments, all Eastern medical treatments, all herbal medical treatments, and all other alternative medical treatments.

Once we have medical treatments organized into lists of treatments with Treatment Scores, we will finally be able to make sense of the millions of medical studies that already exist. Big data, medical informatics, and clinical analytics will finally come together to do something vitally important that patients need right now. (See the disclaimers below.)

Strange Addiction. Nov 8, 2012. Carrie's strange addiction is drinking her own urine which she believes will maintain her health. Accessed April 29th, 20016.

Nina Mandell. Woman drinks her own pee. New York Daily News, 03/16/2012. Accessed April 29th, 2016.

Tosh.0 TV Show. Celebrity Profile. PEE LADY. Season 8, Episode 8. 03/29/2016.
Daniel sits down with a woman who believes that drinking and bathing in her own urine is the key to good health. (8:55) Tosh.0.

MARCH 26, 2011. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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