Can Nutrition Cure Cancer?

     Wouldn’t you like to know the truth about nutrition and cancer.  I knew several people who desperately wanted to know if nutrition could cure cancer.  We all want to know if nutrition can prevent cancer.  Cancer is the number two killer in this country.  It is second only to heart disease.  As a young man in my fifties, I am seeing more of my friends and relatives dying of cancer than heart disease.  So, pardon me for discussing nutrition and cancer first.  We will get to heart disease in due time.

     It is tragic to watch someone struggling with a cancer diagnosis, and then beginning to explore whether or not nutrition can help.  Is there a special herb, or herbal regimen, or vitamin regimen that will make the dreadful disease go away?  Of course there is.  There are hundreds out there.  They all claim to work.  They all have glorious testimonies from people who have been saved.  The problem is, this is me and my cancer, and I need it to cure my cancer and cure it now.  Time is short, and it is definitely running out.  You know the Charlatans are out there, and you know they only want your money.  They will promise you anything and give you hope until the end.  After that, they move on, and so must your family.  It is absolutely scandalous that some people can sell hope at premium prices and never cure anyone.  Yet, entire clinics thrive on this practice for decades.  They will take whatever you have and simply declare you as a poor responder to the treatment and have another regimen that is even more promising than the one before.  Of course, that regimen will be more expensive, and that is why they did not tell you about it to start with. 

     Nutrition based cancer treatments come with a detailed description of what is happening inside your body to destroy the cancer cells, while keeping your normal cells healthy.  It all sounds very exciting and hopeful.  Unfortunately, personifying the actions of herbs, or vitamins, does not make the actions occur.  In fact, none of the actions really happen.  They are just part of the marketing campaign to get you to buy into the treatment.



        The battle between nutrition and cancer starts with antioxidants.  Here is how it works.  Here is the story of what is supposedly going on in your body between antioxidants and cancer cells.

     Your body is made up of molecules.  Everything is made of molecules, and your body is no exception.  Molecules are made up of atoms and atoms have electrons spinning around protons and neutrons.  It is the electrons that are the problem.  Sunlight, pollution, and chemicals in our food, cause some of the electrons to break away of their atoms and shoot aimlessly through our bodies.  The molecule that is left is called a free radical.  The wayward electron, and the remaining free radical cause havoc in our bodies.  Many believe that this is what starts cancer.  Some believe that free radicals are the source of all disease in our bodies.  This is very convenient, because, if you can find something to combat the free radicals and stop them from forming, you can prevent all disease.  You can cure anything that ails you.  Does this sound familiar?  I hope so.  Some of the medicine men of our day, claim to be scientists and have the degrees to prove it.

     Enter the antioxidant.  An antioxidant is a chemical that either prevents free radicals from forming, or a chemical that puts the electrons back and converts the free radical into a normal molecule again.  Great! That’s exactly what we need.  If we could find such a chemical, we could cure, or prevent Cancer!

     That is exactly what you have in vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E.  It is also what you have in pomegranate, acia berry, spirulina, blue green algae, astaxanthin, and a multitude of other foods and herbs.  If you take plenty of these, your body will have all the ammunition it needs to combat cancer causing free radicals.  This sounds good, and we can all picture the antioxidants wrestling with the free radicals and nipping cancer in the bud.  This is all wonderful, but apparently exaggerated, if not just plain false.  People have been gobbling down antioxidants for years and they are still dying of cancer.

     Adelle Davis, who was a very prominent nutritionist in the 1970s, was a strong advocate for using nutrition to prevent and/or cure cancer.  Her books sold by the millions.  She had a very strong following, and many people followed her advice for achieving their highest health status.  Adelle Davis, unfortunately, died of cancer in 1974, at the age of seventy.  She was at the height of her popularity, but she was also at the height of her criticism also. (5) 

     In 1971, Adelle Davis was sued by the parents of a child who died because the parents were following the advice described in one of the Adelle Davis books.  Then again, after her death, parents successfully sued her estate for the advice they followed from yet another Adelle Davis book.  Adelle Davis is now seen for what she was.  She was a charlatan, making outrageous claims in order to sell books.  She made millions, and then died of the very disease her books were supposed to prevent. (5)

     Adelle Davis was the mother of modern day health food nuts.  I qualify this to separate her and her kind from the majority of the people in the health food industry.  Beware of the people who make outrageous claims and appear to have the exact answers you are looking for with all the trimmings.

     Today, you need to beware of the antioxidant salesman.  They will tell you that their product is the most powerful antioxidant known to man, and that you need to take it to protect yourself from the ravages of pollution, pesticides, processing and chemicals.  They will tell you that cancer rates are sky rocketing and have reached epidemic proportions.  On the other hand, watch out for the healthcare professional that tells you about the advances in cancer treatments.  They want you to come to them to get the only legitimate treatment for cancer.  Who is right, and who do you follow? 

Incidence of Cancer

        The American public has been gobbling down antioxidant pills and guzzling antioxidant drinks for decades.  You would think that the incidence of cancer would be plummeting as a result.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Statistics clearly show that the incidence of cancer in all areas, has not changed since 1975.(3)  Some years it goes up, and some years it goes down.  Overall, there has been a 1% decline in the incidence of cancer.  This is hardly worth mentioning.    You could build a case for the idea that cancer would be sky rocketing if it weren’t for all the antioxidant therapy that was going on.  This could be the case, but I will leave that up to your own sense of reasonableness.  If we argue this point, are we not simply twisting the facts to fit the reality that we so desperately want.  The antioxidant producers wouldn’t do that, would they?   No, they would simply tell you that cancer has reached epidemic proportions and you have to get your antioxidants to protect yourself.  It is true that cancer is at epidemic proportions.  It is, and has always been, the number two killer in the United States.  You won’t, however, prevent cancer by taking antioxidants.  Statistics clearly show that antioxidants have had no effect on the incidence of cancer.


Cancer Survivorship

        Cancer survivorship deals with what you should do after you are diagnosed with cancer.  This is when it gets personal.  It’s your life.  Should you put it in the hands of conventional medicine, or in the hands of the nutritionists, or both?  
Consider the statement from the American Cancer Society.

     "Only a few decades ago, the prognosis (outlook) for people facing cancer was not nearly as favorable
as it is today. During the 1970s, about 1 of 2 people diagnosed with cancer survived at least 5 years. Today there are more than 11 million cancer survivors in the United States alone." (2)

     Is there something wrong with the above statement?  Of course there is.  They are side stepping the issue.  You cannot tell if the survivorship has improved or not.  Oh, these tricky charlatans.  I would never accuse the American Cancer Society of being a group of charlatans.  Of course not.  But, what are they hiding?   The statement was made in 2011.  So, how has the survivorship improved since the 1970s.  That is what they are hiding.  You can find the answer in the following statement from the Cancer Journal for Clinicians (3).

     In 2011 there were 1,596,670 new cancer cases in the United States.  There were also 571,950 deaths from cancer.   That is a one in three chance of survival.  So, after forty years of combating cancer, the healthcare industry has succeeded in improving your chances of survival from one in two to one in three.  You decide.  Do you feel safer?  If you were diagnosed with cancer, would you feel much better with the new odds?

     Be careful about statistics and how the charlatans use them to further their own agenda.  The healthcare industry will tell you that they have increased the survivor rate by 33%.  Therefore, you should stick with them, because they are your best hope.   That is a one in three versus a one in two survivor rate.  It still sounds very precarious to me.  Come to me when you have it up to nine out of ten.  Then we’ll talk.

     How are the nutritionists doing with their cancer survivor rates.  These are the alternative cancer treatment centers that specialize in the holistic, natural, nutritional approach to curing cancer.  Are they faring any better than the conventional healthcare industry approach?

Alternative Cancer Treatments

        We are in the thick of it now.  This is a major area of controversy, and has been since the 1930s.  Are the Alternative Cancer Treatment centers just selling hope, or are they actually curing people?   Hope is very, very expensive, if that is all they are selling.

     It is extremely difficult to get any sort of data or information on the success rate of centers using the “natural” approach to heal cancer.  You will find all sorts of scenarios regarding detoxification, and processes which attack cancer cells, but their literature is completely void of success statistics.  Buyer beware.

     The most you can hope for will be individual testimonies from people treated at the center.  These are usually wonderful, glowing testimonies, but remember, they are assembled by the treatment center.  They are biased, edited and incomplete.   Did the person actually have cancer in the first place, or were they led to believe they did, and then it was miraculously cured.

     Since you will not get very much objective information from alternative cancer treatment centers, we will need to focus on actual treatments and/or treatment regimens in order to provide some sort of guideline for evaluating alternative methods for preventing and/or treating cancer.  We have already discussed the antioxidants and how they have not borne out to be very effective at all.  They do not prevent cancer, nor do they cure it.

     There are, however, other cancer treating elixirs and concoctions.  Pardon my bias in this area.  I have seen too many claims and heard too many promises.  Does it cure cancer or not.  That is the question.  If you can’t show me the answer, then stop dancing around the issue and let me be on my way to find something that does help.

     Elixirs to cure cancer go as far back as the 1920s.  It all started with Hoxsey’s elixirs and pastes for treatment of internal and external cancers.(7)  The elixir was developed by observing Hoxseys horse in the pasture.  Hoxsey assumed his horse was sick with cancer, and he noticed the horse began feeding on certain plants and herbs.  When the horse recovered, Hoxsey got samples of all of the plants and went to work on his cancer elixir. 

     Soon, Hoxsey made a major discovery.  He had a cure for cancer.  He began opening clinics and treating people.  Soon, he was boasting about the wonderful results and all the people he had cured of cancer.  His clinics flourished from the 1930’s to the 1950’s.  Then, the government stepped in and started shutting down his clinics.  Hoxsey said he was being picked on, and that the government did not want a cure for cancer.  There is too much money in the treatment of cancer, and it was a government conspiracy in conjunction with the drug industry to hide the Hoxsey cure from the public. 

     Yea, Yea, it was a government conspiracy.  However, with all of Hoxsey’s clinics, he could not come up with one verifiable cure.  He could not prove that he had cured one person, let alone thousands.  Now, who was after the money; Hoxsey, or the Government and Drug Companies?

     Eventually, all of Hoxsey’s clinics were closed in the United States.  Hoxsey moved across the border and opened his last clinic in Tijuana Mexico.  When Steve McQueen had cancer, he went to Tijuana for his experimental cancer treatment.  It didn’t work for him, and it probably never worked for anyone else either.  Clever marketing of hopes and dreams just doesn’t hold up against the reality of the ravages of cancer.  Beware of the hope peddlers.


Alkaline Treatment for Cancer

        It has been said that cancer cells cannot survive in an alkaline environment.  This is true, but neither can any other cell.  What’s more, the alkalinity (pH) of your body’s fluids is one of the most regulated characteristics of your body.  The normal body pH is around 7.4.  Neutral pH is 7.0.  Acid is less than 7.0 and alkaline is above 7.0.  Your body maintains a strict pH balance that is slightly alkaline.  It is vital that it remain around 7.4.  If you consume too much acid or alkaline foods, the pH of your fluids may shift slightly and very temporarily.  Your body then makes immediate adjustments to make sure the pH remains constant.  The only thing that you can influence is the pH of your urine.  This has nothing to do with the pH of the fluids inside your body.  Therefore, it is pure quackery to suggest that you change the pH of your body’s fluids and you will therefore stop/cure your cancer. 

     So sorry, so sad.  This is not an avenue for the treatment of cancer.  You will hear about the alkalinity treatment of cancer as a simple means to effectively treat cancer.  They will also include the usual conspiracy theory that the government is in cahoots with the drug companies to suppress the cure, so that they can continue to bilk you with the huge charges for chemotherapy treatments. 

     Conspiracy theories make sense for people trying to promote their own agenda.  If you are promoting the alkaline treatment as a cure for cancer, the obvious question is ….

     “Why isn’t every cancer patient using the treatment?”

     If you want to sell your program, or regimen that is supposed to cure cancer, you had better have an answer to the above question.  Enter the conspiracy theory.  Now, you not only have a determined cancer patient, you have an advocate, an activist, a person who will sing your praises from the mountain top.  That will work well for you until the patient realizes that they are a poor responder to the treatment, or that the cancer is not localized enough for the treatment. 

     “We just didn’t catch it in time.  If only you had come to us sooner.”

     The above declaration will be given to you after you have paid thousands of dollars, and before they present you with the next alternative treatment to try.

 Graviola Tree Extract

     You could try the Graviola tree extract.  This is a tree that grows deep in the forest of the amazon, sothern Africa, and in the jungles of Southeast Asia.  Of course you cannot obtain any portion of this tree by yourself.  It requires an “Indiana Jones” type person to go and fetch it at great expense.  Once again, the very existence of this tree is being suppressed by the Federal Government in order to allow the drug industry to flourish.  However, the Natural Cancer Treatment Center has connections, and they can supply you with this wonderful extract.  It will be expensive, you understand, but what is money when you are fighting for your life.

     Soon, you are running down another path of hope, in desperation for a cure.  This is why the government shuts down these clinics.  If they see too many people being diverted from conventional treatments that actually help, they will shut the clinic down.  When you have cancer, time is of the essence.  If you put off traditional chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery for herbal medicines that only work in theory, you are wasting valuable time. 

     We do not have a cure for cancer.  There is no magical pill, or herb, or alkaline state that will stave off the threat of cancer.  This is why cancer is such a deadly disease.  The healthcare industry may want you to think that they are more successful in treating cancer than they really are.  The health food industry may want you to think that antioxidants are needed to protect you from the spiraling cancer epidemic.  But, nothing measures up to the “natural” cancer clinic that only sells promises and cannot even help your situation.  They can only take your money and give you a false peace of mind.


Anecdotal Evidence

       Anecdotal evidence is just that.  It is only one persons story and their method of beating cancer.  Other people have tried their method and are no longer with us to testify as to the inadequacy of the regimen.  These methods include positive thinking, vegetarian diets, special enemas, and other concoctions that these survivors swear by.(10)  Unfortunately, they are not cures.  They offer little hope, and absolutely no explanation as to why they would or should work for you. 

     Natural food advocates are constantly emphasizing the need to eliminate all processed foods, meats and/or sugars in your diet in order to combat your cancer.  These so called experts, have far less success than any physician, but they are very quick to rattle off their pocket full of success stories.  The simple facts are that sugar does not feed your cancer cells and red meat avoidance will not extend your prognosis one day.  For every success story, there are thousands of individuals who tried the same regimen and died of cancer anyway.


                                                 The Unheard Testimony

     “Mr. and Mrs. Jones, I’m sorry but I have some very bad news.”  Dr. Smith said to the elderly couple as he helped them to their seats in front of his desk.
     “Yes.”  Mrs. Jones said with trepidation in her voice.
     “I’m afraid Harry has colon cancer.”  The physician said as he turned to face Mr. Jones.
     “Me?”  Mr. Jones said quietly in disbelief.
     “I’m afraid so, Harry.  The tests are conclusive.”  Dr. Smith said softly and then waited for the news to begin to sink in.
     “What can we do about it?”  Mrs. Jones finally said.  By now she was shaking and tears were rolling down her face.
     “How long do I have, Doctor?”  Mr. Jones asked.
     “If we do not begin treatments now, you will probably not live longer than another six months.”  Dr. Smith informed them.
     “Ahhhh!”  Mrs. Jones inhaled involuntarily and pressed her fist to her mouth.  Mr. Jones leaned over and put  his arms around her and tried to comfort his wife while he desperately fought the urge to cry himself.
     “What sort of treatments?”  Mr. Jones blurted out angrily.
     “We will start off with surgery and then follow up with radiation therapy and then a series of chemotherapy treatments.”  Dr. Smith informed them.
     “How much time will that give me?!”  Harry said with anger once again.
     “You will probably live at least another year or two, maybe longer.”  Dr. Smith said.
     Mrs. Jones began to cry and wail uncontrollably.  Mr. Jones was confused.  He had never heard his wife sound like this before.
     “Now, Now, honey.  We’re going to beat this thing.  I promise.  Cousin Jerry can help us out.  He knows all about that healthy diet stuff and he owns that wellness center in California.  He’ll fix something up for me.  I’ll be better before you know it.”
     “Mr. Jones.  This is not the time to be trying to cure yourself.  This is serious.  I’m telling you that we need to do the surgery immediately.”
     “Enough!”  Harry yelled as he raised his right hand high into the air.
     “Very well.  Mr. and Mrs. Jones.  I will give you my card in case you change your minds.  Please call me as soon as you do.  Time is of the essence here.  If I may be as bold to say, you are making a big mistake.  Nutrition cannot cure cancer.”
     “Thank you, Doctor.  We will see ourselves out.”  Harry said as he helped his wife out of her chair and slowly walked her out of the office.
     Dr. Smith watched as the loving couple made their way out of the office.  He knew he could not cure Harry’s cancer, but he could do so much for him.  Dr. Smith shook his head slowly and the couple closed the office door behind them.
     Cousin Jerry got Harry and Maude all worked up with his razzle dazzle theories of how his herbal potion was going to fight the cancer.  In Jerry's mind, he was finally going to cure someone of cancer. Sure, he had bragged about curing people before, but that was all for show. Now, he had his chance to finally do some good.
    Jerry stripped poor Harry of all that was pleasurable in his diet.  There was no more sugar of any kind.  Meat was not allowed, period.  He ate raw “living” vegetables until he felt like a cow grazing in a pasture all day long.  He cut out all milk and dairy.  Caffeine was strictly taboo, as was soda, tap water, and processed foods.  He was supposed to feel much better, but he didn’t.  His weight loss was attributed to his new diet, but he knew better.  Harry was dying and he knew it.  He took care of his affairs when his wife was not looking, and maintained a positive attitude, even though he was scared to death.  Harry died in five months from the time he left the doctor’s office.  Dr. Smith was right, but Harry never pointed that out to his loving wife.


      We do not have a cure for cancer.  It is as plain and simple as that.  Traditional cancer treatments offer some help, but not a cure.  The healthcare industry is making very slow progress in the fight against cancer, but they are making progress.  The health food industry may be able to offer you some protection with antioxidants, but not much.  I definitely do not recommend alternative cancer treatments to the exclusion of traditional treatments.  At best, natural cancer remedies offer additional treatments to the traditional measures.  In the future, we may find the magic pill, elixir, extract or herb.  But, as of today, that remedy does not exist, no matter who is boasting about it. 

    Show me the cures, and I will believe.

Reference Links:

1.) American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevalence in 2007
Prevalence of Cancer

2.) American Cancer Society, Cancer Survivorship
Cancer Survivorship

3.) Cancer Stats 2011, CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
Cancer Statistics

4.) Oxford Journal of the National Cancer Institute
The Oxford Study

5.) Wikipedia-Adelle Davis
Adelle Davis

6.) Hoxsey Alternative Cancer Treatment
Hoxsey's Cancer Treatment

7.) Gabe Mirkin, M.D., Quackwatch
Alkaline Cancer Treatment

8.) Guyton, Arthur C. Textbook of Medical Physiology, 8th ed., pp. 331, 340, 711.
Human Body pH

9.) The Fraud of Chemotherapy
The Fraud of Chemotherapy

10.) Four Cancer Survivors Who Used Natural Cancer Treatments
Cancer Survivor Testimonials