In August 2001, Sylvia Millecam died of breast cancer at the age of 45.
Millecam was a famous Dutch comedienne and had been voted the most popular woman in the Netherlands many times. Her death came all the more as a shock when it was revealed that her chances of recovery were good in the early stages of her illness. At the start of her illness in 1999, more than 30(!) different physicians – the majority of whom were alternative practitioners – were involved in treating her. Many of the practitioners, including a Dutch faith healer known by her stage name ‘Jomanda’, repudiated the diagnosis of breast cancer. They referred to a ‘bacterial infection’, ‘fibrositis’ or a ‘reaction to silicone breast implants’. These ‘therapists’ then provided her treatments such as salt therapy, electro-acupuncture and magnetic field therapies. These all failed to produce results, resulting in a medical event and death which an oncologist described as ‘mediaeval’.