Steve Jobs case reveals alternative medicine dangers in cancer treatment-Grace Gawler

 Biography reveals that Apple’s Steve Jobs refused potentially life-saving surgery on his pancreatic cancer because he felt it was too invasive. Nine months later, he got the operation but it was too late.

The next time you hear of an miraculous natural cancer cure remember the words of the late Carl Sagan – “Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence.” Personally after nearly 4 decades of working in strategies to manage and recover from cancer, I remain surprised and shocked at the numbers of  patients refusing surgery or valid treatments only to try some miraculous cure based on anecdotes and with little or no evidence. If patients really understood the nature of cancer and how it behaves and metastasizes (spreads through the body) – I believe they would make different choices. (More on this topic next blog)

Take the example of two patients who 9 years ago were diagnosed with the same type of breast cancer with the same hormonal status and one positive lymph node. One patient went the conventional route – surgery, chemo and a hormone blocking agent – she remains well and vibrant to this day.

Breast Cancer Cell

The other lady – like Steve Jobs, believed surgery was too invasive so she chose to keep her lump and node after a she received her biopsy result. Rather than booking in for the surgeon, she fled  to a well known cancer naturopath who advised to her to fast, juice and take a variety of herbs and supplements as well as other treatments such as Scalar energy. Her  treatments cost her a small fortune. Although she had massive tumour development by the time she found me, 7 years on…she believed that the tumours were resolving by  simply “coming out” of her body, a theory condoned by the naturopath concerned who also  that said all her ‘test’ results were excellent, therefore she must need emotional healing. This lovely lady had more secondary tumours than I had seen in my 4 decades of working in this field.

Stage 1V breast cancer

She passed away this year after a hellish battle for her life – her final months extended by compassionate conventional medicine.  By the time she realised what she had chosen was not working and that she had listened to the wrong people – it was indeed too late. There is a mantra repeated daily in my practice.. “I wish I had come sooner!”
Recently while in conversation with a friend – another most unfortunate story came to light; sadly it is also a story I hear all too often and it has the same tone as  Steve Job’s outcome and my above mentioned patient.

My friend related how his friend Mark had a lump on his  back  for some time – likely a skin cancer – but it was never biopsied or removed surgically; he did not believe in doctors. Instead – being a nature-cure type of person Mark explored the internet and found a old herbal remedy, ‘black salve’, a paste made from bloodroot and various other additives. He emailed a few friends and they told him glowing reports of people they knew who had ‘success’ with the paste.

Within hours Mark’s lump was painful ball of inflammation – a nasty black scab appeared on the surface and over many weeks the crater underneath healed.

Scab created by black salve

 He believed he had cured his lump whatever it was and went about sharing the wonders of this miracle treatment with all and sundry.  However, 18 months later Mark became quite unwell, so unwell that he eventually had to seek the advice of a doctor. Scans revealed secondary melanomas in his bowel liver and oesphagus

 The primary? Yes – it was the lump on his back he had ‘successfully’ removed with ‘black salve’ … that ‘successful removal’ had cost him his life – he was blissfully unaware of the insidious disease he had been harbouring in his body. He still refused convention interventions choosing more natural remedies and died within a month from a very aggressive melanoma! Had Mark had his original lump diagnosed when removed – the outcome may have been very different. He leaves behind a wife and 4 teenage children.

So… back to Steve jobs whose biggest legacy I believe is a big caution to patients who choose not to follow valid conventional medicine options first and foremost.  One has to ask the obvious question: Do you believe in something enough to play Russian Roulette with your one precious life? Are you following the ideologies of others rather than applying logic you your own situation? Are the cancer Gurus and entrepreneurs that you follow legitimate advisors or survivors?Can you place trust in their stories- so much so that you are prepared to risk your life?

Author Walter Isaacson talked to “60 Minutes” for the Sunday, Oct. 23 episode, telling host Steve Kroft that he was shocked about Steve Jobs’s decision to initially skip surgery while he experimented with ‘alternative medicine’ for his pancreatic cancer — that such a genius could make such a wrong decision about his own health.
“I’ve asked Jobs why he didn’t get an operation then and he said, ‘I didn’t want my body to be opened … I didn’t want to be violated in that way,'”said Isaacson.

“I think that he kind of felt that if you ignore something, if you don’t want something to exist, you can have magical thinking…. We talked about this a lot,” he told Kroft. “He wanted to talk about it, how he regretted it. … I think he felt he should have been operated on sooner.”

Visit:  www. – join the Survive and Thrive Club – free subscription – everything you can do as an adjunct to conventional cancer treatments – the best of both worlds yield the best results.

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  1. I am so happy to have found your website. I recently nursed my sister-in- law who needlessly died of breast cancer. She refused all conventional medicine and her family spent a fortune on alternate “cures”. I am so confused as to why intelligent people can believe in the “testimonial” “evidence” rather than scientific proof. They will, and do bet thier life on snake oil and the people that love them encourage it, only to discover that thier loved one dies and they either feel guilty forever or, and this is worse blame the patient for not administering the “treatment” correctly.Why do they want to believe in this over conventional science. I am still angry at the waste of a life, she was only 53yrs old but I want to understand why this happens so that maybe we can prevent others from the same seem to be able to discuss this topic whith out anger and that is what I need to learn, so I am reading everything I can find. This belief system also causes people not to vaccinate thier children causing more pain and suffering, when it is obvious that vaccines have rid Australia of polio for example, the evidence is obvious to me, why do they ignore it?
    My father-in-law recently donated thousands of dollars to a man who stated he had cured 75000 people in Africa of malaria, when I tried to show him it was a scam he became angry with me, none of this makes sense. Do you know the answer to this thinking ?
    Keep up the good work I have a lot of respect for you and your work. I am going to buy some of your books, I would love to know what to say the next time someone tells me they are going to ignore conventional medicine. I do also believe that your life style in food, environment and emotional well being is all part of the treatment. By the way I am a general trained Nurse of 20years so have seen a lot of cancer but I have in recent years home nursed quite a few people.

    • Hello Jenny – Thank you for taking the time to share your story. There is certainly a psychology that defies logic that goes with the alt/med movement. We are studying this quite extensively and will write more in the future on this topic. My sister too became involved in alt/med for many years – she died from advanced carcinoid of the liver – diagnosed far too late due to her beliefs. I am glad you responded. Warm wishes ..Grace

  1. November 13, 2011

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