Can iridology detect susceptibility to cancer? A prospective case-controlled study

J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Jun;11(3):515-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.515.


Objective: This prospective case-control study aimed to investigate the value of iridology as a diagnostic tool in detecting some common cancers.

Subjects: One hundred ten (110) subjects were enrolled in the study: 68 subjects had histologically proven cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, prostate, or colorectum, and 42 were control subjects.

Methods: All subjects were examined by an experienced practitioner of iridology, who was unaware of their gender or medical details. He was allowed to suggest up to five diagnoses for each subject and his results were then compared with each subject's medical diagnosis to determine the accuracy of iridology in detecting malignancy.

Results: Iridology identified the correct diagnosis in only 3 cases (sensitivity, 0.04).

Conclusion: Iridology was of no value in diagnosing the cancers investigated in this study.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Complementary Therapies / standards*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / standards*
  • Disease Susceptibility / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Iris / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prospective Studies