Sickness in the Wellness Industry | a time for Truth-Telling and Common Sense | Grace Gawler

So – where are we at as cancer myth after cancer myth is dismantled and shattered. As Phillip Adams points out in his interview with the Australian newspaper’s Richard Guilliatt last Thursday night on Radio National “Late night Live”; the Wellness industry is well overdue for a makeover. Watch for Richard Guilliatt’s article in today’s weekend Australian newspaper magazine….” Wellness Inc”.

Part ONE: At the beginning of the wellness industry birthed during the 1970’s, one could not have foreseen the journey that lay ahead. Born during the freedom movement alongside the emerging hippie culture; the wellness movement had all the potentials to supersede the medical culture of the time that appeared to be struggling in one particular area – cancer treatment. At that time chemotherapy was crude as was radiation and surgery when compared to today’s medicine.

Me on my wedding day February 1976 when Ian Gawler was given 6 weeks life expectancy.
Me on my wedding day February 1976 when Ian Gawler was given a 6 week prognosis after Gerson diet and intensive meditation failed to impact his illness. TB or Cancer?

Diagnostic equipment was also basic; in particular those affected by cancer were looking for a new way forward. Others who had no apparent mainstream medical treatment options during the 1970’s, were willing to try whatever might help.   As mentioned by Richard Guilliatt in his interview with Phillip Adams; the history of Ian Gawler’s disease and highly likely misdiagnosis of secondary cancer, has been crucial to the birthing of the Wellness Movement both in the 70’s and today in 2015.

Listen now to the interview – live streaming on Radio National:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-wellness-industry/6367962

As we know, history and details often become confused as time goes by. At the end of 1975 Ian Gawler and myself were in a situation where there was no treatment on offer for him. Having had his left leg amputated a year prior in Jan 1974; what was thought to be development of a secondary cancer in November 1975; was not thoroughly investigated.  If the new bony lump in his groin was a metastasis of the original osteogenic sarcoma then according to his doctors, medical treatment was futile apart from some radiation therapy. The path and behaviour of this bony lump and other lumps that were to follow; with retrospective knowledge; were atypical of metastatic osteogenic sarcoma. The mere fact of his recovery should have demanded rigorous investigation and research when his “remission” was declared – but it did not! The story grew and morphed and has even been misreported in credible medical Journals.

The story of the man who cured himself of metastatic osteogenic sarcoma became famous worldwide – the story was largely anecdotal, complex and difficult to track over the years – this is how myth and folklore is born and how others are influenced to follow.

Here is what happened on The Gerson Diet & intensive meditation 1975-76:

After 3 months on the Gerson Therapy concurrent with intensive meditation sessions with the late Ainslie Meares; there was massive deterioration in Ian’s condition.

The Gerson Diet caused massive weight loss aided by horrendous night sweats and then immobility due to pain from nerve compression in the spinal column (caused by the rapid weight loss). Clearly, two of the mainstays diet and meditation that have been promoted as pivotal in “curing” Ian’s cancer; failed at the critical time when a solution was needed the most!  Yet somehow, the new breed of young 2015 Cancer Warriors and social media/internet entrepreneurs were under a misapprehension regarding the actual events of Ian Gawler’s recovery that took place between November 1975 and June 1978. Many have since built both lucrative businesses whilst jeopardizing their lives – based on incorrect information. The late Jess Aincough (Wellness Warrior) was quoted as saying at the Gawler Foundation’s Survivors Conference “If Ian Gawler did it – then I can do it too”. DOWNLOAD  JESS ainscough Gawler healthtalks

Gerson’s therapy appeared to have some scientific Basis – however in later years I read some of the early Gerson Material – A summary is included here: The claims for Cure being quite different that what is commonly thought of Max Gerson’s Diet and Research: pdf link included below

original MAX GERSON DIET SUMMARY gawler

So – where are we at as cancer myth after cancer myth is dismantled and shattered. As Phillip Adams points out in his interview with the Australian newspaper’s Richard Guilliatt last Thursday night on  Radio National “Late night Live”; the Wellness industry is well overdue for a makeover. Watch for Richard Guilliatt’s article in today’s weekend Australian newspaper magazine….” Wellness Inc”.

To listen to the interview select the audio file below.

OR go to the page at Radio National:

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-wellness-industry/6367962

DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL MAX GERSON RESEARCH INFO Gerson JOURNAL DietaryConsiderations

If Ian Gawler did it then I can do it too | The Painful Unraveling of False Cancer Cure Claims

“If Ian Gawler did it, then I can do it too” is a worrying phrase; yet it is almost an expected mantra from patients who pursue the alternate cancer path or who have read You Can Conquer Cancer and consider taking the same approach.

Part 1:  “If Ian Gawler did it, then I can do it too” is a worrying phrase; yet it is almost an expected mantra from patients who pursue the alternate cancer path or who have read You Can Conquer Cancer and consider taking the same approach.

As someone who was personally involved in the Gawler recovery story from the very beginning; I consider I have a Duty of Care to patients and the community at large to keep on telling the story in context and correct the many errors and omissions made over the years in reporting it; even in medical journals! Being an advocate for patient rights and speaking the truth has come at great personal cost. It is also unfortunate that the young people who have been swayed by the natural cancer cure meme have paid a greater cost – they have paid with their lives.

The Ian Gawler cancer remission phenomenon is very much related to what has been happening in the Cancer “cure” news since my last blog on Survivorship where I discussed Jess Ainscough – alias The Wellness Warrior who recently died from her advanced cancer. A passionate follower of the modern Gerson Diet regimen – Jess was perhaps too young and easily influenced in her choices by elders in the “cancer movement” who should have known better. The best advice would be if you want to follow the Gerson Diet, do it in combination with the best medical treatment you can find!

Just as quickly as Social media viraling took patients like Jess to Facebook/internet fame – the materials and links associated with her Gerson diet cancer cure, have disappeared at the same light speed. I have just tried to download links to the following at: http://iangawler.com/youtube.html “A young person’s perspective- Interview with Ian Gawler by Jess Ainscough – Wellness Warrior: Jess chats on Skype with Ian informally about his experience with recovery and what was most important.” But – it has been taken down. The same of http://www.jessainscough.com/2013/03/healthtalks-speaking-at-ian-gawlers-surviving-cancer-event/ To read the actual PDF that has been removed: Select the following: JESS ainscough Gawler healthtalks

As you will read further in this blog, the same is happening with Belle Gibson Whole Pantry developer who claims she has had various cancers and, as a fundraiser, was supposed to donate large funds from her work to charity. Now the media has investigated her cancer claims – most of Belle Gibson’s 2010 – 2012 blogs are no longer available and a more in depth investigation is now underway.

Lantern Publishing stated that they published Belle Gibson’s recipe book in good faith without fact checking. For your interest, our own Grace Gawler Institute research into authors of natural cancer cure claims resulted in NOT ONE author who was able to substantiate their claims that they actually had cancer- although their books are written on how they recovered from it.  Astoundingly, no one could produce medical proof of diagnosis. There were a few others who claimed they had a natural cancer cure – but when there cases were examined  they had received medical treatments that they discounted as being helpful.

Maybe the dawn of ethics is upon us as we uncover the hidden truths about these people. Just check out the Lance Armstrong story to get a handle on that! Before publishing or promoting “stories” the media and book publishers surely have a duty to ensure that the “True Stories” they are publishing are indeed “true”.

Personally, despite the hype; in 40 years I have not seen the Gerson diet benefit cancer patients nor have I seen it create the remissions that are talked about and promoted. From personal experience; the Regimen is far too rigid and contains too many juices – I mean really; think about it –  is it natural to consume up to 9kg of vegetables in one day – juiced or otherwise?

Here is a brief summary of the story:
Early in Ian Gawler’s cancer diagnosis when it seemed that hope for his survival was exhausted; both he and I travelled the Gerson Diet path. I need to be clear that we did so because there was NO medical treatment on offer, so it wasn’t as if we had to choose one or the other……there was no other to choose from. It concerns me greatly that today cancer patients choose the Gerson Diet  INSTEAD of scientifically-based medicine.

My experience of The Gerson diet is best described in my Memoir Grace Grit and Gratitude: Contact me via the contact page and I will send you 2 free chapter downloads on this topic. We put a lot of effort into the Gerson Diet but Ian had a poor result. As Ian’s sole carer/girlfriend, at 21 years of age, it became my responsibility to organise the food and juices for him as he was too ill. It was the most stressful period of my life!

You can conquer cancer new edition
Me – Grace Gawler – disappointed with the new edition of You Can Conquer Cancer

As we progressed with the Gerson Diet and intensive Meditation that he practised according to the Meares method; his deterioration accelerated. He became bedridden. His weight peeled off day after day.  He experienced colic and severe pain with his condition deteriorating to such an extent that he was given a prognosis of 6 weeks. However, was his massive weight loss associated with his cancer? No: in reality it was a result of the Gerson Diet. We ceased the diet and over the coming months he gained weight although unknown to us at the time; he was carrying perhaps a far more silent and lethal killer than bone cancer; a condition that was to remain undiagnosed for the next 2.5 years!

To complicate things even further throughout the time of the Gerson Diet; there were other symptoms that were unaccounted for; massive night sweats, a productive cough and back pain, hydronephrosis; symptoms that were not medically related to Ian’s bone cancer. The fact is that Ian’s bone cancer diagnosis in 1975, proven by biopsy is likely unrelated to the development of the calcified masses in his groin, lung and on his chest that at the time were thought to be metastatic cancer.

Turn the clock forward to 2010, when two oncologists read my Correction of errors letter published in the MJA (Medical Journal of Australia). Once they knew there had been no biopsy for what was thought to be secondary cancer; the real diagnosis came to light. Amidst threats and controversy they eventually published their significant findings in the IMJ HAINES AND LOWENTHAL (2). What were the bony masses? They were calcified abscesses from Tuberculosis. The original TB remained undiagnosed for some time. The calcified abscesses were eventually dissolved by the body and the TB moved into his bones where it was diagnosed in 1978 and treated with conventional medicine.

I refer you to “Ian Gawler Cancer?” on the menu of this blog.

What really concerns me; I meet a lot a patients like Jess Ainscough who come to my practice with  the most horrendous of cancer conditions – mostly with weeping and  fungating tumours but also people ravaged by advanced cancer internally who have followed Gerson or similar to the exclusion of medical treatment.  Often they find me because of my “Gawler” name which I have kept intentionally to help put right the misconceptions about Ian Gawler’s recovery story. Because like Jess Ainscough they too believed they would be cured. They inevitably all say: “If Ian Gawler did it, then I can do it too!”

Moving on from Jess – yet another cancer entrepreneur hits the spotlight today and yesterday: Today’s Australian newspaper has a front page article about Belle Gibson titled: “Mega-Blogger casts doubt on Cancer Claim” by Richard Guilliatt: “A MELBOURNE social media entrepreneur Belle Gibson, whose story of miraculous survival from terminal cancer helped launch a global “health and wellness” business, has admitted that her claim of suffering multiple life-threatening cancers may be false”.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/mega-blogger-belle-gibson-casts-doubt-on-her-own-cancer-claims/story-e6frg8zx-1227255933051

And…..Yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald also had an article – but the emphasis was different with funds to Charities not delivered by Bell Gibson:

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/charity-money-promised-by-inspirational-health-app-developer-belle-gibson-not-handed-over-20150308-13xgqk.html

In recent times social media has played a pivotal role in the promotion of non proven cancer “cure” cases. It has become a breeding ground for spreading false stories and raising funds. It makes it challenging for genuine people seeking funding for cancer treatment. How does one separate the wheat from the chaff?  You need to use critical thinking skills and ask trusted sources. You might not always like what you hear. It’s hard to believe that people cheat, lie, fabricate, self delude, deceive through omission etc when it comes to cancer – but they do and it is not new! They used to be called Snake oil salesmen and saleswomen.

The recent exposure of deception and fraud in natural cancer medicine serves an important community lesson – buyer Beware!

Other Links of Interest:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/first-wife-disputes-cancer-guru-ian-gawlers-survival-story/story-e6frg8y6-1225935666765

http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/too-good-to-be-true-20120420-1xcgn.html

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-advocates-of-alternative-therapies-are-gambling-with-patients-lives/story-fnihsr9v-1227252912780

Take care and be safe with your one precious life!

Grace

The Dangers of Meditation. Advice for Meditators. An interview with Leigh Brasington by Willoughby Britton.

Meditation can open a can of worms in our psychology. This is a surprise to many people. I have often asked my self the same question that is explored in the first paragraph of this blog. For people who are dealing with illness, such as cancer; care must be taken whilst developing a practice that will assist and not detract from their recovery. Many people around the Globe are turning toward Buddhist practices of meditation. This excellent blog brings to light something that is little discussed in meditation circles – the dangers and issues that can be associated with meditation.

Meditation can open a can of worms in our psychology. This is a surprise to many people. I have often asked my self the same mindfulnessquestion that is explored in the first paragraph of this blog (see below).

For people who are dealing with illness, such as cancer; care must be taken whilst developing a practice that will assist and not detract from their recovery.

Many people around the Globe are turning toward Buddhist practices of meditation.

This excellent blog brings to light something that is little discussed in meditation circles – the dangers and issues that can be associated with meditation. I also suggest that you read http://youreternalself.com/meditation.htm

Groundbreaking Immunotherapy Navigating the Cancer Maze Grace Gawler

Discovering intelligent, honest, evidence-based ways to manage and treat cancer in the 21st Century – Although it appears that there is independence and self empowerment in choosing alternative medicine to treat cancer – many patients are playing Russian roulette with their lives using unproven and poorly researched treatments including lifestyle-based treatments that have a one size fits all approach.

Discovering intelligent, honest, evidence-based ways to manage and treat cancer in the 21st Century- This program was late in being uploaded to Voice America – If you missed it – Please listen by selecting the link
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/72038/cancer-immunotherapy-ground-breaking-treatment-in-cancer-medicine

Why Science and Research is important as we look for ways of treating Cancer  There is a lot of confusion surrounding cancer cures in the world of alternative cancer medicine. The majority of my patients have used it exclusively and then when tumours have developed often to stage 4; they find their way to Germany looking for a less toxic approach than our standard systems of medicine can offer. At this stage many feel jaded, disappointed that the “natural way’ has let them down and sadly; many of those patients would have significantly extended their lives by being treated with conventional medicine. Instead they are now fighting to preserve their lives.

Although it appears that there is independence and self empowerment in choosing alternative medicine to treat cancer – many patients are playing Russian roulette with their lives using unproven and poorly researched  treatments including lifestyle-based treatments that have a one size fits all approach.

Patient with stage 4 head and neck cancer -2 years after alt med only.
Patient with stage 4 head and neck cancer -2 years after alt med only.

 I see many patients who mirror the famous; such as Steve Jobs and Athena Starwoman yet cancer patients keep on with treatments that cannot be substantiated. Many highly popular treatments cannot be backed up with research and many anecdotal cancer cure stories when examined don’t stack up with the claims. I have seen a lot in my almost 40 years of being involved with Cancer. Have I changed my views since co-creating the Gawler Foundation – Yes and no! Hope, inspiration, a health promoting lifestyle, faith and motivation are all important ingredients – but they need to be balanced with common sense, a discerning approach and smart conventional medicine.

While lifestyle changes assist with Wellbeing – the unwary cancer patient can be swayed into believing that this is connected with cancer cure. The theory sounds good but in practise falls short on delivery! This I know from very personal experience having been a part of a what is now a highly controversial and debatable “Cancer Cure” story.  http://www.smh.com.au/national/cancer-experts-challenge-gawlers-cure-20111230-1pfns.html and IMJ HAINES AND LOWENTHAL

The more I know about cancer at the molecular level – especially since spending the last 2 years learning about CTCs (circulating tumour cells) and  CTSS (Circulating tumour cells with stem cell like qualities) and, add to that the nature and behaviour of cancer – and it’s growth promoting factors …. The path of lifestyle medicine is simplistic at best and outright dangerous at worst if one believes it holds the cure to all cancers. Lifestyle medicine may help with prevention – but even that is now debatable. I urge you to not discount the scientific breakthroughs that are helping cancer patients to more effectively Navigate the Cancer Maze.

If you missed listening to my recent  and long awaited interview with researcher and the developer and creator of trifunctional antibodies Dr Horst Lindhoffer PhD – please select the following link.
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/72038/cancer-immunotherapy-ground-breaking-treatment-in-cancer-medicine

This more exacting method of treatment utilises the body’s immune system in a way that has never before been achieved. Immunology in the form of trifunctional antibodies is one of the most innovative and exciting cancer treatment breakthroughs in many years.

Website: www.gracegawlerinstitute.com
www.germancancerteatments.com
www.germancancertreatments.org.uk

Contact: navigatingthecancermaze(at)gmail.com

TB or not TB? A second opinion on Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘cure’

TB or not TB? A second opinion on Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘cure’

Today Tonight segment; Cancer ‘guru’ miracle worker?

It is hard to believe that one year on from http://www.smh.com.au/national/cancer-experts-challenge-gawlers-cure-20111230-1pfns.html that Channel 7’s Today Tonight (TT) recently chose to run a story that yet again smokescreens the actual question of TB or not TB-in other words; a diagnosis of secondary bone cancer or TB?  Writing recently in “The “Conversation”online Prof George Jelinek and Guy Allenby
author of Ian Gawler’s Biography – The Dragon’s Blessing made a creative play on those famous words from Hamlet….To be or not to be with their TB or not TB.

[ ‘The Conversation” is an online independent source of analysis, commentary and news from the university and research sector viewed by 550,000 readers each month.}

I had decided that I was not going to write on this subject on my blog again, however TT and the Conversation both appeared to misrepresent Ian Gawler’s recovery story Haines Lowenthal 2012 IMJand promote the implication yet again “If Ian did it I can do it too” theme. This in combination with TT”s cursory glance at a well written hypothesis by eminent professors of Oncology that lasted but a few seconds, left many wondering what the segment was trying to achieve. Anyway the segment concerned me so deeply that to end 2012 –  I thought it necessary to make what I hope is a final comment on this subject.

To begin with there are two crucial points to address:

  1. TT gave neither professor a right of reply to address their reasons for the hypothesis they published. Rather we see Prof Ian Olver from the Cancer Council making an unrelated comment about the use of alternative medicine!
  • In the TT interview Ian Gawler states: “It is clearly a personal attack on his story and his Integrity.”

If patients could access the 2012 IMJ Haines and Lowenthal Hypothesis – They would find in fact that Professors Haines and Lowenthal approached Ian Gawler and his story in a  somewhat kindly and dignified manner. Certainly not a Spanish Inquisition or a personal attack as has been claimed! It is on the record in fact that Prof Haines politely asked to review Ian Gawler’s case – and as should have happened in such a public health matter, Ian Gawler accepted then withdrew and the matter was in the hands of a litigator. The Hypothesis paper was then forwarded to the Internal Medicine Journal who appropriately believed it to be in the public interest to publish. Surprisingly, there had never been a medical investigation into the reasons why Ian Gawler recovered.

To quote from Haines and Lowenthal’s controversial IMJ Hypothesis:

“In presenting this hypothesis, we emphasise that we are not in any way criticising the patient’s medical attendants who unquestionably acted fully in accordance with the standards of the time. Indeed, the need to consider obtaining histological confirmation of presumed metastatic disease is only now becoming part of standard oncological practice. We note that one of the leading textbooks of oncology states in its latest edition in relation to possible cancer recurrence: ‘Whenever possible, tissue acquisition for diagnostic confirmation . . . should be considered.’

Whatever the correct diagnosis, we acknowledge the courage and determination of the patient that allowed him to recover from a prolonged and very debilitating illness. We especially note the psychological resilience that enabled him to overcome the dire prognosis he was given that fortunately turned out to be inaccurate.

Nonetheless, there is an aphorism, attributed to the late Carl Sagan, that exceptional claims require exceptional evidence. We contend that unequivocal evidence that the patient was cured of widespread metastases is lacking, and that the unusual treatments that were employed in this case cannot be held out as an example of a path to be followed by other patients with metastatic cancer.” Continue reading “TB or not TB? A second opinion on Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘cure’”

Gawler MJA a personal perspective on programs and what were the dates of those famous chest wall photographs?

Gawler evidence and errors highlight the fact that more investigation is needed….

Since 31 December 2011 the Australian public has seen an unprecendented series of quality news articles questioning Ian Gawler’s cancer remission in 1978. Professionals and patients are now asking why it has taken so long to fact-check the most famous cancer recovery story in Australia and perhaps – the world. With new evidence, researchers have now gone beyond anecdotal storyline to a view of the science of what actually occurred in Ian’s case.  A recent MJA article has some sensible dialogue around these important cancer survival issues – although the author psychiatrist Tanya Hall steers clear of the misdiagnosis issue, she discusses an important perspective regarding psychological impact that the Gawler program can have on cancer patients. “Healed or Hungry – a personal perspective on the Gawler program” was published in the MJA last Monday 21 May 2012.

It is a pity that this article is not available to be read outside of MJA subscribers. Tanya Hall tells us that she attended the 12 week support group and a 3 day Ian Gawler meditation program & she read You Can Conquer Cancer.  She eloquently discusses the issues with guilt, the vegan diet, (which Ian never followed) and a litany of issues that the program brought up for her as a doctor and patient. A few of Tanya Hall’s perceptive comments are outlined below :

1. “…. My concern is that in my opinion the Gawler program goes too far, making far reaching suggestions that do not appear supported by evidence….”

2.  “….Of most concern to me was hearing our program leader state that there was no evidence that chemotherapy was effective. This was nothing less than astonishing, patently untrue, and highly disrespectful to those of us undergoing chemotherapy….”

3.  She says of the programs “… In fact while criticism of conventional medicine is noticeable, there is an almost complete lack of critical analysis among participants of Gawler’s methods — which are supported in a quasi-religious fashion. There seemed to be a worrying tendency to unquestioningly quote Gawler as though his words were above scrutiny, and certainly carrying more weight than the views of any number of esteemed oncologists.

3. “….Reading some of the testimonials, it struck me that those participants whose outcomes were poor still wrote positively about the program. It puzzled me as to why this was so; if anything, Gawler’s program seems to me to invite what may be irrational hope and promise far exceeding what most oncologists would offer…”

From its inception in the early 80’s until 1996 when I resigned from the organisation, the Gawler approach mirrored what we had done to help Ian recover. As a co founder, it was sad to see the emphasis and the story change – accelerating after I left. Just to complicate the issue,  new theories suggest there is a high probablity that Ian had TB in December 1975 and not secondary bone cancer. At 21 years of age I was the sole carer/nurse for Ian. He was very ill that is true – but with current knowledge there was certainly not enough tumour load at the time of his major demise Feb-March 1976, to produce the symptoms that he had…..symptoms that were not congruent with osteosarcoma but were very congruent with a diagnosis of TB. (He was treated medically for TB July 1978 for one year).   There was no biopsy to prove secondary cancer so with new information and this – can you believe it – first investigation of this famous remission, we cannot say with any certainty, that it was cancer that almost killed him.

It is I believe no one’s fault – misdiagnoses happen frequently – even in medicine today, but I am left with Carl Sagan’s quote ringing in my own ears – “Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence”. While evidence has been building supporting a paper published in the IMJ (Internal Medicine Journal 2011/12) there have, I am pleased to say, been notable positive changes with doctors and patients questioning Ian’s recovery in an unprecedented manner.

There have been however, some quite bizzare claims and “faceless” cowardly personal email attacks on me since the science of Ian Gawler’s remission has been questioned; this includes a recent Facebook comment by a pro-Ian Gawler supporter,  unfortunately a patient with stage IV breast cancer whose comments were so damaging as to cause legal intervention. Unbelieveable!! The last thing anyone wants! It seems emotions are running high in the face of facts and science.

Now to patient’s questions this week….

There is one question that I am repeatedly asked…What about the disputed date of Ian Gawler chest wall photographs? Why are these dates so important? To answer this I will refer  to: Continue reading “Gawler MJA a personal perspective on programs and what were the dates of those famous chest wall photographs?”

Too Good to be True? Meditation's role in cancer recovery…Grace Gawler comments

Grace Gawler is a prominent advocate for helping guide patients through the cancer maze by assisting them to create a health restoration plan that teaches patients how to access the best of conventional medicine while using complementary medicine as an adjuct to their compassionate care.

Meditation or I prefer to use the name relaxation can be a useful adjunct to a health restoration plan; however many patients expect more from meditation or relaxation than it can deliver.  The Grace Gawler Institute assists cancer patients to discover and take advantage of authentic cancer therapies i.e. the best of conventional medicine whilst using proven complementary medicine. Relaxation methods are a helpful aaddition to a patient’s recovery program. Please pass on this blog’s URL address on so that we can spread the word about helping cancer patients.

Each week, large numbers of clientele approach the Grace Gawler Institute for help after they have taken an exclusive Alternative Medicine role; sometimes for years, in order to treat their cancer. As a result,we see some horrendous cases of physical tissue destruction; where self-help and self empowerment in combination with the internet, books or workshops including the thought that meditation alone can cure their cancer; has led to self destruction.

By that stage often afraid to visit a doctor/oncologist, these patients often fall though the gaps in all systems of care and spend their final moments in palliative care, often in pain, isolated from friends or family and wondering where it all went wrong for them. People often ask me if working with cancer patients is sad or depressing – I have always said an emphatic no! However during the past 10 -12 years with the tremendous shift in how patients choose to treat their cancer & information available to them, I have found new feelings arising. Not depresssion – but anger towards  those who  influence patients down such a self destructive path in the name of healing. Yes – anger is an appropriate action- even for a meditator!

This brings me to the subject of today’s blog which is dedicated to the subject of the role of meditation in cancer recovery. In response to patients questions on my email since the Melbourne Age’s recent article “Too Good to be True“- that challenged the fact that Ian did not have secondary cancer; primary bone cancer yes…but secondary cancer no!  I offer the following which will answer the majority of questions.
For several months now I have been trying to convince a woman from the Sunshine Coast to seek a surgical solution for her advancing breast cancer. We have never met, but she maintains contact and occasionally sends a photograph of her suppurating breast: swollen, red, about to fungate and as tight as a basketball; she has had faith for 2 years that meditation in particular, and alternative medicine will cure her. Sadly she has reached a point where she can no longer cope with the pain! As well the cancer has likely spread internally.

Why do some cancer patients make ideological choices that override rationale? Many patients tell us they are inspired by the late Ainslie Meares work with cancer patients and most patients who come to see me believe strongly in Ian Gawler’s story – of how he conquered his cancer using meditation, diet and positive thinking. But patients do not know the necessary details of this now famous story. So they can make wise choices about what meditation or relaxation can achieve in reality; it is important to examine Ian’s case history – first published by Meares in an October 1978 MJA Abstract, 1978 Meares article  Although the article launched the idea that intensive meditation could influence the growth of cancer – the information that Meares published was severely flawed. He may not have been aware of this when the article went to print.

  1. A important timeline had been reversed – an error 19 months in the clinical timeline gave an impression that the patient, Ian Gawler had more disease than he actually had. When he “first saw Meares”- Dcember 1975 – there were no visible tumours as had been reported in the MJA – these “bony lumps” were in fact in line with the date on “famous chest wall photos” photographs published for the first time in the same article and labelled July 7 1977. Meares did not mention that at that stage Ian had advanced TB-likely he did not know or thought it incidental or post chemotherapy immune deficiency as Ian had not formerly had sessions with Meares since February 1976.
  2. This error – obvious if you do the maths; has never been challenged but has dangerously been a factor in creating the myth that meditation was a pivotal factor in Ian’s Gawler’s cancer being cured. The Meares Abstract title “Regression of osteogenic sarcoma associated with intensive meditation” says it all. This has had a huge influence in promoting unrealistic benefits of meditation. No wonder patients not privy to Ian’s actual story have been misled – believing if Ian can do it then they can do it too!
  3. Only recently (published in the Australian Doctor), did Ian agree that Meares had indeed been wrong with timelines and that he saw no need to correct it!
  4. Has anyone thought to ask that if Ian Gawler actually had lethal secondary bone cancer… and it went away…then why didn’t the meditation also influence the TB to disappear?
    Even a quote in A Dragon’s Blessing – Ian’s Biography-Page 164 states that when he had his “all clear” – June 1978, when the TB was first discovered; that the TB was visible on x-rays for at least 2 years prior! i.e it was at least visible June 1976 – meaning Ian would have definitely had TB before his chemotherapy which began in October 1976. Now IMJ 2012 Haines and Lowenthal, two oncologists suggest that there was no secondary cancer – just advanced TB creating calcified abscesses mimicking bone cancer. With no biopsy- they are likely right! Many health professionals now have no doubt including prof Alex Herzog from famous integrative oncologist from Germany.

Too Good to be True? Meditation’s role in cancer recovery…Grace Gawler comments

Grace Gawler is a prominent advocate for helping guide patients through the cancer maze by assisting them to create a health restoration plan that teaches patients how to access the best of conventional medicine while using complementary medicine as an adjuct to their compassionate care.

Meditation or I prefer to use the name relaxation can be a useful adjunct to a health restoration plan; however many patients expect more from meditation or relaxation than it can deliver.  The Grace Gawler Institute assists cancer patients to discover and take advantage of authentic cancer therapies i.e. the best of conventional medicine whilst using proven complementary medicine. Relaxation methods are a helpful aaddition to a patient’s recovery program. Please pass on this blog’s URL address on so that we can spread the word about helping cancer patients.

Each week, large numbers of clientele approach the Grace Gawler Institute for help after they have taken an exclusive Alternative Medicine role; sometimes for years, in order to treat their cancer. As a result,we see some horrendous cases of physical tissue destruction; where self-help and self empowerment in combination with the internet, books or workshops including the thought that meditation alone can cure their cancer; has led to self destruction.

By that stage often afraid to visit a doctor/oncologist, these patients often fall though the gaps in all systems of care and spend their final moments in palliative care, often in pain, isolated from friends or family and wondering where it all went wrong for them. People often ask me if working with cancer patients is sad or depressing – I have always said an emphatic no! However during the past 10 -12 years with the tremendous shift in how patients choose to treat their cancer & information available to them, I have found new feelings arising. Not depresssion – but anger towards  those who  influence patients down such a self destructive path in the name of healing. Yes – anger is an appropriate action- even for a meditator!

This brings me to the subject of today’s blog which is dedicated to the subject of the role of meditation in cancer recovery. In response to patients questions on my email since the Melbourne Age’s recent article “Too Good to be True“- that challenged the fact that Ian did not have secondary cancer; primary bone cancer yes…but secondary cancer no!  I offer the following which will answer the majority of questions.
For several months now I have been trying to convince a woman from the Sunshine Coast to seek a surgical solution for her advancing breast cancer. We have never met, but she maintains contact and occasionally sends a photograph of her suppurating breast: swollen, red, about to fungate and as tight as a basketball; she has had faith for 2 years that meditation in particular, and alternative medicine will cure her. Sadly she has reached a point where she can no longer cope with the pain! As well the cancer has likely spread internally.

Why do some cancer patients make ideological choices that override rationale? Many patients tell us they are inspired by the late Ainslie Meares work with cancer patients and most patients who come to see me believe strongly in Ian Gawler’s story – of how he conquered his cancer using meditation, diet and positive thinking. But patients do not know the necessary details of this now famous story. So they can make wise choices about what meditation or relaxation can achieve in reality; it is important to examine Ian’s case history – first published by Meares in an October 1978 MJA Abstract, 1978 Meares article  Although the article launched the idea that intensive meditation could influence the growth of cancer – the information that Meares published was severely flawed. He may not have been aware of this when the article went to print.

  1. A important timeline had been reversed – an error 19 months in the clinical timeline gave an impression that the patient, Ian Gawler had more disease than he actually had. When he “first saw Meares”- Dcember 1975 – there were no visible tumours as had been reported in the MJA – these “bony lumps” were in fact in line with the date on “famous chest wall photos” photographs published for the first time in the same article and labelled July 7 1977. Meares did not mention that at that stage Ian had advanced TB-likely he did not know or thought it incidental or post chemotherapy immune deficiency as Ian had not formerly had sessions with Meares since February 1976.
  2. This error – obvious if you do the maths; has never been challenged but has dangerously been a factor in creating the myth that meditation was a pivotal factor in Ian’s Gawler’s cancer being cured. The Meares Abstract title “Regression of osteogenic sarcoma associated with intensive meditation” says it all. This has had a huge influence in promoting unrealistic benefits of meditation. No wonder patients not privy to Ian’s actual story have been misled – believing if Ian can do it then they can do it too!
  3. Only recently (published in the Australian Doctor), did Ian agree that Meares had indeed been wrong with timelines and that he saw no need to correct it!
  4. Has anyone thought to ask that if Ian Gawler actually had lethal secondary bone cancer… and it went away…then why didn’t the meditation also influence the TB to disappear?
    Even a quote in A Dragon’s Blessing – Ian’s Biography-Page 164 states that when he had his “all clear” – June 1978, when the TB was first discovered; that the TB was visible on x-rays for at least 2 years prior! i.e it was at least visible June 1976 – meaning Ian would have definitely had TB before his chemotherapy which began in October 1976. Now IMJ 2012 Haines and Lowenthal, two oncologists suggest that there was no secondary cancer – just advanced TB creating calcified abscesses mimicking bone cancer. With no biopsy- they are likely right! Many health professionals now have no doubt including prof Alex Herzog from famous integrative oncologist from Germany.

Too Good to be True-Melbourne Age: Grace Gawler Answers Readers Questions

The Melbourne Age has alerted Cancer Patients patients across Australia and around the globe that Ian Gawler likely had TB and not secondary cancer during the 1970’s. Patients are confused, shocked, alarmed and asking questions about the recent controversy

The Melbourne Age has alerted Cancer Patients patients across Australia and around the globe that Ian Gawler likely had TB and not secondary cancer during the 1970’s. Patients are confused, shocked, alarmed and asking questions about the recent controversy. Does Ian Gawler’s ‘cancer-cure’ program work or not?
gracegawlermediablog readers have emailed a number of  questions which I will answer during the next week…..

Mary writes: I attended early groups at the Gawler Foundation; the diet was really helpful to me ,but it seems that at some point, the thrust of the Gawler message changed. I did not have a vegan diet but found the relaxation good. Grace, I am struggling to understand what has happened and why?

Hello Mary….The work of Ian Gawler, myself and the Foundation we co founded in the early 80’s; set a precedent in the way that lifestyle factors could be incorporated into a cancer recovery program. During those early days, the majority of our patients were having conventional therapy or had completed conventional therapies; adding our lifestyle changes as an adjunct to treatments.  Patients were assisted by stress reduction strategies, sensible changes to diet i.e. lowering saturated fats and processed foods, increasing fruit & vegetable consumption and fibre, while lowering red meat & increasing fish consumption. Basically a mediterranean style diet.  We made no claims that the lifestyle cahnges in themselves could or would cure cancer.
I eventually qualified in nutritional studies at distinction level in 1986 and had significant input into the diet presented  at our  residential programs during  the  founding years and up until I resigned in 1996.

At our residentials, a lacto-ovo vegetarian style diet was utilised for convenience- some people on chemo were sensitive to cooking smells such as fish so we did not include it. However a vegetarian diet was recommended as a short-term option for those whose diet was sub optimal before attending a program. I counselled patients in one on one sessions about how they could individualise their diets for optimum help when they returned home. I also referred patients to oncologists, radiation therapists, endocrinologists and GPs recognising they would likely need ongoing assistance and monitoring.

 I resigned in 1996.  In 1997 I was occupied with my own survival and recovery from complications associated with a routine surgery that had left my entire pelvic area and colon paralysed. During the following years significant changes had occurred that deviated from our original story –  the things that Ian and I did to help keep him alive and bring about his recovery had been changed.

A 2008 MJA “True Stories” article was reproduced on the Gawler Foundation website. A former patient alerted me to anomalies in the story and suggested I should investigate. Although I was in recovery from my last surgery performed in Singapore, I researched the article and was shocked by what I read. I wrote to the MJA and suggested they had to correct the errors in the story – lest it become an inaccurate record thereby negatively influencing choices that desperate cancer patients might make. The premise of the article was that:

1. “…Meares and the patient attributed the remarkable recovery to intensive meditation….” 
2. “…He still regularly meditates and teaches others with cancer to do so. His fastidious adoption of the Gerson diet for 3 months, followed by adherence to a plant-based wholefood ‘vegan diet’ may also have played some part. Such a lifestyle approach, incorporating meditation and a vegan diet, has recently been shown to cause significant modulation of gene expression and biological processes associated with tumour growth…”

Regarding these points

1: As a result of my refute letter MJA 2010 – Ian admitted that Meares published incorrect timelines in his 1978 MJA abstract that implied Intensive Meditation had been associated with his remission. The timelines were inverted making it appear that Ian had more ‘tumours’ than he actually did when he first saw Meares. Please refer to Ian Gawler Cancer “Cure’  on the main menu. This fact significantly alters the entire history. It also appears Meares was not informed of Ian’s TB diagnosis in 1978 and the fact it had been present for more than 2 years  as he did not mention it in his abstract. Thirdly, Ian attended Meares sessions for just 6 weeks and could not continue as meditation had not helped his condition-in fact his deterioration caused us to move on from Meares. Against Meares specific advice; Ian experiemented with imagery, mindfulness and many forms of meditation….yet claimed Ian’s recovery was associated with his style of meditation.
Relaxation is very helpful for cancer patients – but I do not believe it to be in any way curative for cancer.

2. Ian never had a vegan diet during the time of his recovery 1975-1978….through until 1997. I pointed this out in my refute letter published in the MJA September 2010. Ian has  since conceded in one of his blogs, that he has never had a vegan diet.

3. His adherance to the Gerson diet played no part in his recovery…he lost weight and deteriorated to the point of being immobilised while on the diet. following our experience, in the early days Ian and I strongly advised cancer patients not to follow the Gerson Diet Regimen.

Meryn writes: Did Ian really have TB or are these oncologists out to get him?

Hello Meryn – I am pleased you asked this question. I am the only living person who was present 24/7 for Ian throughout his illness and so the only one that can truly speak to this controversy. First of all –  It was presumed Ian had secondary cancer- but there were not proper investigations – no biopsy, but his condition was deemed at the time as “not typical of secondary osteogenic sarcoma“. Back then – this was no one’s fault – biopsies weren’t as routine as they are now.

No one is doubting Ian had primary osteogenic sarcoma- he may have even had TB in his bone way back then as we had lots of exposure to Tuberculin, used in our veterinary work to TB test cows. He was likely cured by his primary treatment – leg amputation. Many people were cured by leg amputation in the 1970’s and before that time. But when someone has such an influence on thousands maybe millions of cancer patients saying:  “If I can do it you can do it to…” and… if there is reasonable doubt that the diagnosis even 30 years on was incorrect – this becomes an important public health matter.

There is one way to solve the issue but unfortunately Ian has refused to have the “bone spicules” he coughed up during his recovery, examined. He also has a remaining calcified lymph node in his groin – the first ‘bump’ to appear  in November 1975. This could be biopsied – plus his actual history from the 1970’s could be examined if he wanted to set the record straight.  The latter day accounts of medical interventions that Ian is quoting as proof of his illness are of little relevance to what happened during the 70’s as he had no bony deposits in his lung or chest from 1978 until he left our marriage  in 1997.

In my practice I see a large number of patients who present with horrendous tumours. They have tried meditation, veganism, positive thinking and alternative medicine instead of conventional medicine. Many have spent tens of thousands of dollars on alt med supplements and infusions. Many die as a result of their choice – we help them where possible- but many become palliative patients. This is very sad as some of them would have high potential to be cured by conventional medicine instead of the pain, depression and misery that often results.
As an original inspirer and founder of the Gawler Foundation and the person who assited Ian throughout his illness – I have a public duty of care to raise concerns should any new and plausible view of Ian’s condition be put forward as has been done by Haines and Lowenthals IMJ paper.

Read more at http://gracegawler.com/Institute/?page_id=3454
The Gawler Story is recorded in my Memoirs:  Grace Grit and Gratitude – a self published book.  You can read most of this book online for free via Google books. It is also available from Brumby books Melbourne or via my website Bookshop.

 

 

Too Good to be True? Ian Gawler ‘Cure’ Mebourne Age today: Grace Gawler

Too Good to be True? Ian Gawler ‘Cure’ Mebourne Age today: Grace Gawler comments
http://www.theage.com.au/national/health/too-good-to-be-true-20120420-1xcgn.html

http://www.theage.com.au/national/health/too-good-to-be-true-20120420-1xcgn.html

Following on from “Cancer cure” claim – Ian Gawler – A Current Affair, Good Friday;  http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8447811/cancer-cure-claim
this week saw the Melbourne Age newspaper publish not one, but two articles on the controversial subject of Ian Gawler’s remission from bone cancer in 1978.

On Monday 16 April, Dr Rod Anderson, a Melbourne GP said “…he had supported Dr Gawler since he read You Can Conquer Cancer, in which Dr Gawler tells of how he survived secondary cancer, despite being given just months to live. Among other things, Dr Gawler, a veterinarian, says meditation, coffee enemas and controversial alternative healers in the Philippines and India helped cure his cancer. Having been diagnosed with melanoma, Dr Anderson said he wanted to know that there was another option if he ever suffered advanced cancer, but had changed his attitude towards Dr Gawler’s story since he studied the tuberculosis hypothesis.”
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/gawler-did-not-have-cancer-gp-20120415-1x1vi.html

Today the Melbourne Age published their third article; an in depth feature story about the likelihood that Ian Gawler suffered from advanced TB and not cancer. Gathering more support from various doctors including the eminent integrative  oncologist Prof Alex Herzog from Germany who has revealed a similar case of advanced TB masquerading as bone cancer that he also published in Medical journal said: ”It was clear from the beginning the Gawler case was TB. This was a misdiagnosis.” Herzog said “Gawler’s patients may have been ”misled” into believing they too could be cured by alternative means.”

http://www.theage.com.au/national/health/too-good-to-be-true-20120420-1xcgn.html

Today’s article provides several opinions that lend weight to the fact that Ian Gawler was critically ill with advanced TB and not cancer. Although I was involved with Ian Gawler’s case first hand/24/7, a fact which many seem to ignore; I have always suspected that TB played a role in his recovery. In these early days there was no internet – so research had to be carried out in libraries. I have always been interested in the science aspect of healing and recovery and thrived on the teachings of Prof Julius Sumner Miller’s TV program ‘Why is it so’ when I was in primary school.

I have always asked this question around Ian’s recovery. This whole scenario began without intent to mislead anyone. Misdiagnoses happen all the time – it’s a fact of life. But when we know or suspect there has been an illdocumented case- it is a serious matter…. especially if it becomes famous.
The case demonstrates why I practise the way I do today.

1. Ongoing collaboration between treating practitioners is essential
2. Accurate case notes and records of scans etc need to be catalogued
3. Second or third opinions need to be sought after if any doubt re diagnosis
4. Biopsies must be used to rule out other conditions especially in difficult cases
5. Patient authenticity and disclosure is essential for best results
6. Conventional and complementary treatment concurrently is essential.
7. Consistent monitoring and follow up is necessary – wishful thinking that all is well – is dangerous

As stated before – this is not an attack, not a Spanish Inquisition, not a personal issue from a past marriage breakdown – this is a much overdue scientific appraisal of an issue that affects the decsion making of  the cancer public. In my practice – 4-5 times each week I hear patients saying ” If Ian did it – then I can do it too.” Well – if Ian was misdiagnosed – then surely this has to be the public health issue of the century. The Melbourne Age with true investigative journalism has done a valuable service in letting the public know. More on this in next blog.

You can read the majority of my self-published  memoirs Grace, Grit and Gratitude online at google books for free It is also available from Brumby books Melbourne or on my website in hard copy or e-Book at www.gracegawlerinstitute.com  Email : institute@gracegawler.com