Alternative therapies - Cancer cures or quackery

Holistic Cancer Therapies

The Mind

Todays alternative cancer therapies - are they tomorrows cancer treatments?

I was asked to speak to Doctors at an NHS conference a few years ago. I chose the title Alternative Therapies - cancer cures or quackery? because there had been a lot of slightly idiotic press coverage on the subject of new, and alternative, cancer therapies in the preceeding weeks. So I put a number of Alternative therapies to the Doctors, complete with supporting research, and there was an overwhelming and positive response. Largely because one of my stances was that too many people in the health Industry from Complementary and Alternativeexperts, to Orthodox Medical Professors were just taking pro- or anti- stances, without due regard for research - or a lack of it.

I have often seen the argument in the National Press, usually from some aged oncology Professor, that Complementary and Alternative cancer therapies are useless (and even dangerous) and have no supporting research. Sometimes this is fair and correct. Sometimes it most definitely is not.

A core issue, of course, is that if you start asking an onccologist about a particular diet, or a vitamin like vitamin D, he is way beyond his training and expertise. Yet when it comes to cancer, he likes to think he is all-knowing. It is not surprising that he defends his lack of knowledge by dismissing the subject from discussion. Thats just human nature.

The problem is that the patient is trying to build the very best cancer-beating programme available. Dismissing Diet as a helpful weapon is unhelpful, and even mis-leading.

Mind over Matter

About 4 years ago American Time Magazine did a thorough 40-page review of How your mind can heal you and in it they produced overwhelming evidence that it could!!

But often when a Complementary therapy does help a patient, and learned experts know of no supporting evidence, these critics are quick to say that this is merely a Placebo effect taking place - your mind says the treatment will help, and so it does. Mind over matter.

Now the Professors are having to take a little of their own medicine - in Clinical Trials comparing drugs with a fake (a placebo) - a sugar pill designed to look like the real thing, people taking the fake are getting side-effects - and even improving survival times. So your mind really does control your health; side-effects included!

Take the issue of energy therapies. Poor oncologists again look vulnerable. These energy therapies are a load of mumbo-jumbo. Not to the Americans, where the National Cancer Institute devotes 36 web pages to them.

Mental State plays no part in the cancer process, says a top UK charity, saying there is no research. Actually there is an enormous amount, for example

        - that stress hormones like cortisol are linked to inflammation of cells and subsequently higher cancer risk

        - that depression is linked to lowered blood oxygen levels, and higher rates of cancer

        - that localised hormones called eicosanoids, which can be present in good or bad forms around every cell in your body, see more of the bad guys produced when steroids, cortisol and other negative hormones are at higher levels in the body.

I wont go on. A stressed brain makes for stressed breast cells, and anything you can do to break this link (and Sir John Vane won a Nobel Prize for telling the world almost 30 years ago) will help you in youtr fight to beat cancer. (natural compounds in aspirin, garlic, ginger, tumeric/curcumin, fish oils etc all help)

The key point is that many complementary therapies, including how the mind influences your health, just have not been properly, or fully studied yet. But this is no reason to dub them mumbo-jumbo or dismiss them out of hand. Todays alternative cancer cures, may well be tomorrows norms.

Killing cancer cells with heat

Several years ago, I received a letter signed by 7 Urology Professors. In it they asked that I would look into and cover in icon, the whole issue of HIFU (High Intensity Frequency Ultrasound) and the treatment of prostate cancer. The short version of it all was that they believed HIFU to be a revolutionary, although alternative cancer treatment where a prostate patient with a cancer localised in his prostate, could spend just a couple of days in hospital and have the ultrasound treatment for about 90 minutes. The ultrasound litterally heated up and melted the cancer cells, with much lowered levels of nasty side-effects, and an 87 per cent 5-year survival rate.

Worryingly they claimed that vested interests involved in cancer treatment would try to kill off this treatment - since the standard practice of surgery, followed by radiotherapy then testosterone curtailing drugs meant that 40,000 men per year were potential users of 13,000 worth of annual drugs - it is a 20 billion pound market that could fall to pieces if HIFU was widely used and successful.

When I looked into HIFU, I found that 61 centres in Europe were offering the treatment already, but that nowhere in the UK or America was even testing it. This has now changed with MD Anderson conducting tests in the USA and a hospital in Stockport doing so in the UK.

Open quotes HIFU was shown to have an 87 per cent 5-year survival rate against a UK average of 54 per centClose quotes

HIFU can also be repeated if necessary. And we have now (5 years on) had front page headlines in the UK Press - Braekthrough in Prostate Cancer Treatment.

Sadly though some oncologists continue to ignore it. A friend - recently diagnosed with a very early stage prostate cancer, has been offered surgery, even though standard practice is now Watch and Wait - Active Surveillance. Something we have consistently argued for at CANCERactive since day 1.

When asked about HIFU, the oncologist said it had been Downgraded by NICE and that hed had to operate on 4 people who had had HIFU and it was a complete mess down there.

Presumably prostate surgeons fear redundancy coming if all you have to do is wave an ultrasound wand over a prostate. Certainly these comments are just tosh, judging by conversations with European experts!


I first wrote about Ultrasound, when reviewing the Work of a Doctor Holt in Australia. He is a Gamekeeper turned Poacher, if the authorities are to be believed. He went from the peak of orthodoxy, to his own practice where he used an Alternative cancer therapy called Hyperthermia, via Ultrasound, to heat cancer cells and kill them When Australian Broadcasting tried to do a documentary and rubbish him as a quack, they stopped their project as the majority of the 2000 or more patientts treated, had nothing but praise for Holt and his work


Another person who successfully treated cancer patients using an Alternative cancer therapy was Hoxsey, who used a varying combination of herbs, depending upon the cancer. His herbs were rubbished, but subsequently all have been individually shown to have cancer-killing abilities. One, Red Clover, has even come through trials at the Royal Marsden in Surrey as showing potential in hormonally driven cancers such as breast cancer.

This didnt stop Hoxsey being rubbished. A Journalist was sent to write a damaging article on his work, but became a convert and, instead, wrote a piece Hoxsey, The quack that cures cancer.

Royal Rife

Another Alternative cancer practitioner who was rubbished in his day was Royal Rife. He invented a supreme microscope which he claimed could see right into the nuclear material of a cell. He then discovered, when looking at 40 different cancers that there was foreign DNA present in all.

He then claimed that there was a Virus at the heart of every cancer, and developed a zapper which could change frequency according to the natural frequency of the virus and so kill it.

He and his work was rubbished. He was a quack. He laboratories were broken into several times, he was attacked and he died a pauper.

But here we are 70 or so years on, and modern science has improved so much that we are finding, yes, an increasing number of cancers do have a virus somewhere in their midst. This time we dont need cheap zappers, Instead we can develop jolly expensive vaccines.700 cervicakl deaths a year may be prevented in 20 years time if young girls are all vaccinated against the HPV virus, every 5-years.

Cancer cures, or quackery?

Changing Diet to beat cancer

But what of changing your diet, or even undertaking a Diet Therapy? One Professor was in the British Journal of Medicine saying that in over 50 studies where someone changed their diet, not one made any difference to survival outcome. Sadly he gave no references for this claim.

Let me be clear - I do not think any single substance is a cure for cancer - not vitamin D, nor curcumin, nor Herceptin, nor temozolamide. They all can play a part.

In The Rainbow Diet and how it can help you beat cancer I conclude there are about 17 steps in the process that is called cancer, and while curcumin or omega  3 might reduce inflammation, garlic might help prevent a blood supply forming to a tumour, and vitamin D does seem to be able to kill a cancer cell. But any one of these is not a cancer cure. You need to cover all the bases, be thorough and be disciplined. I have no idea what the 50 research studies used as a changed diet but I doubt it would constitute a thorough and disciplined approach by my definition.

Disciplined Diet Therapies

Oxford Don Michael Gearin-Tosh pushed the boundaries further. Facing Multiple Myeloma, he had doctors tell him he would be dead in a year if he didnt take the chemotherapy, whilst other doctors told him he would be dead if he did.

Hardly claims designed to lift a patients spirits! But Gearin-Tosh took his time and used his brain to find out the hard facts about all the options.

He ended up using The Gerson Therapy, the mere mention of this Therapy throws some orthodox UK Professors into a state of apoplexy. The truth is there are no clinical trials on this diet-based therapy, and precious little research.

However Gearin-Tosh lived almost 10 years before dying of something not related to his cancer at all. We also cover the story of Beat Bishop who has survived over 24 years since being diagnosed with melanoma. The elements used in the Gerson Therapy will reduce your blood oestrogen levels (if only because the organic food will have no pesticide xenoestrogens on board), reduce your sodium levels, increase your potassium and magnesium levels, so giving you a more alkaline body with cells functioning as near as they should, and a lack of saturated fats in the diet can help reduce inflammation.

The Gerson Therapy has two elements - both of which have to be employed simultaneously. The idea is to use nutrition to stimulate the bodys natural metabolism and then its own defences will kick out the cancer. However, as this process starts to work and break down the tumour it causes lots of toxins to be released, and these have to be removed by detoxification. Coffe enemas aided by castor oil are employed to help.

The Gerson Therapy was first developed in the 1920s as a treatment for TB but has since been used for a variety of diseases including cancer. The originator, Max Gerson MD was described by Dr. Albert Schweitzer as "one of medecines most eminent geniuses". There is no doubt Gerson was ahead of his time in his belief that you had to attack the cause not the symptoms, and that you should be stimulating the bodys own metabolism to do it (whereas anaesthetic, radiotherapy and chemotherapy all diminish the bodys natural immune system).

The nutritional programme aims to flood the body with natural nutrients and enzymes. Thirteen specially prepared, organic juices are consumed throughout the day at hourly intervals, along with supplements made from organic vegetables and fruits - and digestive enzymes. Juices like this are easy to digest and are packed with nourishment.

Open quotesJuices like this are easy to digest and are packed with
Close quotes

The very use of this pure diet causes a re-balancing of the bodys hormones as the the meals are consumed evenly throughout the day. The detoxification process will anyway flood the blood stream with toxins from the cellular tissue, and the expectation is that, with the immune system boosted by the sudden influx of nutrients, the pH balanced towards cellular and the imune system peak performance, the body will start to heal itself and break down the cancer cells.

This causes a flood of toxins and dead cells into the liver, which is anyway polluted and overworked in the cancer patient. Normally the liver processes these wastes and passes them, via the bile, into the intestine. The juice treatment is coupled with coffee enemas, which directly cause the liver to detox, and the bile ducts to dilate. Sometimes castor oil enemas are also used to ensure the toxic waste is passed from the body - rather than being re-absorbed into the blood stream. You could go to a Gerson Clinic for this treatment, or like Gearin-Tosh, you can even do it at home!

But the Gerson Therapy takes a lot of time and effort. One coffee enema can take one and a half hours, and you need 4 to 5 per day. And then you have to prepare the juices. It is also a major decision to set aside treatment recommended by the medical profession, in favour of Gerson.

The diet probably does cover all the necessary bases, and if The World Health Organisation is going to tell us that more than 50 per cent of cancers are caused by poor diet, wouldnt it be logical to expect that at least some of them might respond to a good diet?

When Prince Charles dared to tell Doctors in a speech that a lady friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer had survived 7 years on just the Gerson Therapy, he was roundly attacked in the press. Actually all he asked was that we researched these treatments so that everybody could know the truth.

But there is this Orthodox view that Diet Therapies have no Clinical Trials or proper research behind them. And this just isnt true. The main criticisms come from a small group of so called quack busters who like to poke fun at, and even slander any one who offers any alternative to their died in the wool orthodoxy. Frequently they ignore the very research standards they openly state they are there to uphold, and too often sound like a rabble of giggling school boys behind the cycle sheds at school. They just allow themselves to be the mouth piece for vested interests from drug companies to mammogram makers. And the only person who really suffers is you the patient with an open mind. I call it the arrogance of ignorance.

Diet Therapies get clinical trials

Professor Ben Pfeifer has Swiss Clinical trials on his Diet Therapy for prostate cancer, and he is currently working on a similar therapy for breast cancer. 

But one of the most major pieces of alternative thinking in cancer started in 1911 with John Beard, a Scottish anatomist and embryoligist.

A foetus in the womb initially grows at an extremely rapid rate. The first cells in this growth pattern are called stem cells. They move out round the early foetus to various extremities where they differentiate into eye cells, lung cells or breast cells.

Around day 56 this rapid growth suddenly stops and the baby and the afterbirth then proceed to grow at a normal rate. What causes this sudden control? The theory is that stem cells originate in the pancreas, and the pancreas has a factor in it that exerts this control. If the control mechanism doesnt kick in, a terrible cancer of a most rapidly growing nature results.

In the normal human, day in, day out, your cells die off - to be replaced by new ones. These new ones are formed and differenciated from stem cells. Cancer cells are however not differenciated. They do not resemble normal lung, eye or breast cells. So something in the metabolic process is failing to control their development.

Cancer cells themselves are different. Their mitochondria (the energy generating stations inside the cell) cannot use oxygen, and produce energy by a system called glycolysis. In fact, the only cells like these are found in organisms living in extreme areas of no oxygen. Oxygen kills these cells.

Open quotesYour metabolism caused the problem, so clean up your metabolism and your own body will correct the problem itselfClose quotes

So cancer is a product of an unusual metabolic process. Ways of attacking this are called metabolic therapy. Your metabolism caused the problem, so clean up your metabolism and your own body will correct the problem itself. Well thats the theory.

William Kelley, an American, was originally a dentist, but worked on the view that the pancreas was the primary cancer-fighting organ of the body. He also believed that each one of us has our own personal metabolism, a personal metabolic code. His aim was to find this and stimulate it, whilst using pancreatic enzymes to try and re-exert some control on the cancer cells. (It is interesting to note that whilst pancreatic enzymes do have an effect, a greater effect is obtained by using suspensions of the whole pancreas, indicating that there is definately something unique in the pancreas).

Kelley theorised that the formation of cancer was clear and that it progresses because of a lack of cancer digesting enzymes in the body. So his solution was to get pancreatic enzymes to the cancer site and stop the growth, but then to control the detoxification rate, or toxins could flood the body and cause problems elsewhere.

Kelleys treatment was divided into 5 parts:Almonds

1:NUTRITIONAL THERAPY - mega vitamins, minerals, high dose vitamin C, bioflavenoids, coenzymes, raw almonds, amino acids and raw beef formula with pancreatic enzymes.

2:DETOXIFICATION - laxative purges, Epson salts, fasts, lemon juice, coffee enemas (for anything up from three weeks to twelve months).

3:DIET - at the outset he advocated a strict vegetarian diet, but modified this as he identified different individual types. In all he ended up with 10 different diet types and 95 variations. All diets forbade processed foods, pesticide residues, refined foods, peanuts, milk etc. It allowed almonds, low protein grains, nuts, organic raw fruits and vegetables.

4:NEUROLOGICAL STIMULATION - for example using osteopaths, chiropractors or physiotherapists. A modern equivalent might be the use of a cranial osteopath to manipulate not just the skeletal structure, but the free-flow of body energy.

5:SPIRITUAL - Kelley urged patients to trust in God, to read the bible and to pray.

Kelley monitored a patients progress using his own Kelley Malignancy System. He reportedly treated 455 patients with 26 different cancers, and claimed excellent results across a 20 year period.

Dr Nicholas Gonzalez is a New York immunologist who has a clinic with Dr Linda Isaacs. Gonzalez and Isaacs have refined and added to Kelleys work.

Open quotesDr. Gonzalez himself has been working on cancers since 1981.

Dr. Gonzalez himself has been working on cancers since 1981. The results of his first clinical trial were published in June 1999, and his work on pancreatic cancer is currently being evaluated in a large-scale study. The clinic treats all cancers, although it is best known for pancreatic cancers, and also covers a number of other illnesses from chronic fatigue to multiple sclerosis.

The Gonzalez regime has just three basic units - each modified for the particular individual being treated.

Red meat

1:DETOXIFICATION - involves procedures such as coffee enemas (twice per day) to clean, purify and re-energise the liver. This in turn clears toxins out and improves the efficiency of the whole system.

2:DIET - individually designed diets using organic foods are used. Refined foods (sugar, flour grains) are avoided, as are all processed and synthetic foods. Whilst using patients are on vegan diets using high levels of raw foods, others might be allowed 2 to 3 helpings of red meat!

3:SUPPLEMENTS - large doses of vitamins and minerals are used, including trace elements. Plus concentrates from glands, and antioxidants and pancreatic enzymes, which whilst working as digestive aids, he believes also also represents the bodys main cancer defence system.

It is not unusual for a patient to take 150 - 180 supplements along with 45 gms of pancreatic enzymes spread throughout the day.

Gonzalez believes that pancreatic enzymes actually liquefy tumours, and in his early work extensive studies showed 50 patients are all alive ten years later.

Open quotesGonzalez believes that pancreatic enzymes actually liquefy
Close quotes

Over the last five years, in side by side tests on patients with pancreatic cancer, the leading drug gave a life expectancy of just months, whilst Gonzalez has patients alive after two and a half years. It is this that has prompted proper trials to take place under the supervision of the two leading American cancer charities.

Alternative Therapies - cancer cures or quackery?

In this article, all I have tried to poiint out is that there are alternative therapies available to the cancer patient, and on some there actually is quality research available. I also hope I have shown that sometimes todays altternatives are going to be tomorrows norms. Photo-dynamic Therapy (PDT) could well be anothing coming cancer cure. But, of course, cancer patients are vulnerable and I can tell you now that Coral Calcium, bottled shark cartilage, mangoustein and B-17 are not cures for cancer. 

All features relating to this article can be found on our web site under Complementary and Alternative Therapies, in the Cancer Treatments section. (Click Here to go straight there)

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