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My Answer to Cancer

Get Lost!

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Iâ??m not the kind of person who likes to talk about himself. So, when I was asked to write an article about my experience with cancer, I felt quite uneasy, as Iâ??m afraid that people will try to copy what I have done as though it were a magic recipe.

I’m not the kind of person who likes to talk about himself. So, when I was asked to write an article about my experience with cancer, I felt quite uneasy, as I’m afraid that people will try to copy what I have done as though it were a magic recipe. We are unique individuals who respond in unique ways because of genetic, congenital, acquired, sociological, psychological and cultural variations. The objective of this article is to give you encouragement should you or a loved one be faced with the life threat that is cancer.

If you have cancer or support someone who does, never forego the help of a competent health professional. If you can, get the collaboration of an oncologist (the cancer specialist) and a naturopathic doctor or holistic medical doctor. Please bear in mind that the cancer patient is ultimately responsible for the therapies she decides to use and don’t dismiss the fact that an incredible number of scientific studies have demonstrated the essential role of lifestyle in preventing and recovering from cancer even with conventional medical treatments.

My Story

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer nearly 20 years ago. For reasons probably related to pride, I hid the fact from my immediate family and friends. (Don’t do that. You will need the nurturing support of loved ones as you go through your cancer. And, if you’re supporting someone who has cancer, don’t overindulge or pity them.) After the diagnosis I was offered the usual conventional medical treatments: chemotherapy and possible surgery. While I was reflecting on whether to use them I remembered how my father used to shop in health food stores as early as the mid 60s. He’d buy vitamin E, lecithin, linden bark and whole wheat bread. This was unusual in the late 60s. I decided to visit a health food store myself.

I went to a small local health food store, the kind that many of us remember. Old wooden floors, the constant and varying scent of herbal teas, bulk bins and an old peanut mill in the far left hand corner of the store. The clerk was very attentive to my comments, criticisms and scientific superiority. When I finally admitted I had cancer, she didn’t laugh at me or look at me in a condescending way like I expected. She gently but firmly suggested that I might need to change my lifestyle–dramatically. Gently, yet still firmly, she placed a book in my hands. The book was about a cancer cure used in the clinic of a bona fide medical doctor in Scandinavia. The doctor’s name was Kristina Nolfi and the book Raw Food Treatment of Cancer. Dr Nolfi had studied with German healer Rudolf Breuss.

My Eyes Were Opened!

I read Nolfi’s book. No, I devoured it. Nolfi suggested that a very restrictive diet made up exclusively of non-cooked, vegetable-based foods and vegetable juices could give the body the chance to cure itself of cancer. It made so much sense that it hurt. It hurt because none of this was being taught in our meccas of learning, the North American universities. After Nolfi, I read a book by an obscure health professional–obscure to me but not to health food enthusiasts–Paavo Airola. How to Get Well made incredible sense. Here at last, common sense was being used to interpret reality. I had to get to the bottom of it.

It took me a week to digest Airola’s book and to start what Airola called a vegetable juice fast–exactly what Nolfi and her mentor Breuss had been recommending. (By the way, you can’t imagine the pleasure I had when alive books decided to publish an English translation of Breuss’ cancer cure program in 1995.) Airola recommended vitamin and mineral supplements as well as fasting and dietary change. Since I was studying biochemistry, and since the man considered the "father of biochemistry" was Dr Linus Pauling, the great promoter of vitamin C, I felt I could contact Dr Pauling for information. To my surprise, he returned my call! (Imagine, a two-time Nobel Prize laureate!) Later he sent me a box full of scientific studies showing the role of vitamins and minerals–in doses higher than the recommended daily allowance–in preventing cancer, as well as studies suggesting the role of vitamin and mineral supplements in helping the body fight cancer cells.

The bottom line is that I changed my diet radically to adopt a vegan lifestyle. I added amounts of vitamins and minerals that at the time some would have considered highly toxic. And, I went through phases of juice fasting–at least one week out of four–in order to help my body fight the cancer cells on its own terms. I took fresh vegetable juices daily. I also decided that cancer could be cured and that I was in control, not the cancer. A most important decision for anyone afflicted with this disease.

A year and a half after my initial diagnosis, the cancer was no longer detectable. My energy level was higher than it had ever been. Almost 20 years later I’m still in excellent health, the father of four small children and very active in lecturing, researching and teaching. I realize that the principles the health food retailers, magazines like alive and holistic physicians like naturopaths and herbalists have been teaching are far more solid in their reflection of reality than most of the drug protocols developed in research laboratories.

Follow These Guidelines

The protocol I now recommend for cancer patients, whether they decide to undergo conventional cancer therapy or not, is based on my personal experience with the disease and over 15 years of clinical experience. This is a general regimen that may need to be adjusted to the individual needs of those persons:

  • Follow a vegan diet (no animal products or byproducts) as much as possible.

  • Avoid all the "artificial additives"–colourings, sweeteners, flavours, stabilizers.

  • Avoid all refined and processed foods as much as possible.

  • Exercise daily and according to your capacity.

  • Consume one to two tablespoons of cold-pressed flax seed oil from organically grown flax seed.

  • Freshly extracted vegetable juice should be consumed at least once daily and ideally two to three times.

  • Garlic should be consumed daily. The use of "odourless" garlic such as aged garlic extract is highly recommended. (Aged garlic supplements should always be taken with chemo or radiation therapy.)

  • Detoxification using herbs and dietary modifications should be undertaken if there is enough vitality.

Certain vitamins and mineral supplements help the body in its healing process. These include:

  • Vitamin C–1,000 mg or more according to the need (see alive #220).

  • Vitamin E–ideally with mixed tocopherols--400 IU or more daily. Care should be taken with persons suffering from hypertension or on blood thinning medication.

  • Beta-carotene–with other carot-enoids if possible (not necessary if one or two glasses of carrot juice or a green food supplement are used daily)–25,000 IU two or three times daily.

  • Selenium–200 mcg daily.

  • Zinc–25 to 50 mg daily.

  • The daily use of a green food or superfood blend is an excellent adjunct to the nutritional and supplement approaches. A green food should always be taken when chemo or radiation therapy are undertaken.

  • If chemo or radiation therapy are used, an alkyl glycerol supplement is very useful.

  • Drink high quality water, either spring, filtered (reverse osmosis) or distilled.
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