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All I think about is CANCER…Challenges I’ll face studying “alt-med”…part 6 of 7

Quotes by Charlotte Gerson I read recently:

“You cannot heal the body with poison.”

“Dr. Gerson . . . with nutritional metabolic therapy . . . was able to return the body to full balance with complete mineralization, complete immune response, complete oxidation, and complete liver function. When all of these things work completely, there can be no disease. The body becomes capable of healing itself again.” (1981)

That said, I think I will face some challenges studying “alt-med” for cancer. Challenges, from what I’ve observed and read thus far, will likely include these factors:

1. Alternative clinics are dealing mostly with end-stage cancers. Time is not on the side of the patient. The patient has been several rounds with chemo and the immune system is all but destroyed. As previously mentioned, breast-cancer stats include very early detection, often followed by a mastectomy, and it counts in success statistics–the virtual opposite of what a natural practitioner experiences.

2. Studies performed well are not cheap, and without a drug company to pay for it, I doubt major studies have been done to test nutritional and supplement theories and practices. Even case studies can be and are called into question, especially by those inside the orthodoxy. (Did the person REALLY have cancer or was he misdiagnosed, etc.?)

3. Natural treatments are not codified, making them difficult to track. Five rounds of chemo using a very specific amount of very specific cocktails is different than half a dozen separate “natural” protocols that involve patient compliance at home, after the initial treatment period.

4. Patient compliance is low. It’s not that fun to drink carrot/celery juice. I will eat ANYTHING if it’s good for me, but I just about toss my lunch, drinking wheat grass juice. Actually I threw up a little in my mouth, just WRITING that, about wheat grass juice, remembering the taste of it from earlier today. My grandmother was HIGHLY compliant for a year after her diagnosis, and 80% compliant for a few years after that. I remember her 20 years later eating good stuff, but ice cream and bad stuff too. It’s easy to get complacent. The point is, people have to be highly motivated to give up their “food vices.” Not even a cancer diagnosis will do it for most, because they want to believe their doctor’s advice will save them from the worst-case scenarios.

5. Numbers of those employing the therapies are few. Very few people will do like my grandmother did: she listened to an M.D. Anderson doctor tell her the chances she’d live were 1% without chemo, and she walked out the door. And then she checked into a raw-food clinic in Jamaica and followed their recommendations and therapies to the letter. How many people are that gutsy? (Some would say reckless.)

6. Docs who practice in “alt med” have to constantly fear the loss of their medical license. Only non-practitioners like Charlotte Gerson have the legal distance to boldly speak the truth. One M.D. practicing “outside the box” with cancer patients, for decades, said to me today, “I don’t even care anymore. I want the truth told. The body has the ability to heal itself, and unnatural methods cannot restore natural balance. They can take my license. Count me in on your research.”

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