Helping Patients Navigate the complex maze of claims of dietary cures for cancer

Whether or not you have cancer and searching for the diet that promises cure or if you are trying to be healthy and avoid cancer; there is one question that needs to be asked: Are You confused?

FAdDiet-BAd-DietWhether or not you have cancer and searching for the diet that promises cure or if you are trying to be healthy and avoid cancer;  there is one question that needs to be asked: Are You confused?

If you have answered YES – then you may be on the road to discovery by reassessing the loads of misinformation written and spoken about diet and cancer cures. Over 40 years in cancer medicine – I have seen most fads and “cancer cure diets”. Longevity in the field is a wonderful teacher as you have the luxury of seeing repetition over the years. What works and what doesn’t work!

I see “cancer cure diets” recycled each decade to a new group of enthusiasts who promote the very things that did not work back then but, they don’t know that and so they regurgitate the information to a new group of desperate patients seeking a cure. The newbie enthusiasts believe the old and tired hype and try to make it new and sexy. But as they say You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear!

So, if you are confused, I encourage you to develop your critical thinking skills and question the different ways that are promoted to help you beat cancer and especially to beat cancer naturally with diet and without the help of modern medicine. Most cancer patients believe that with a diet change you can do no harm; but they could not be more wrong!

All things in Balance - So important when dealing with cancer
All things in Balance – So important when dealing with cancer

 The list of “healthy diet health issues” is long…but perhaps the most recent destructive dietary change for cancer patients is the Vegan diet. Regularly in my practice I see patients who have lost 10-20 kg plus following a vegan diet because they went to a workshop program, read it in a book or found it on Dr Google. They have applied a one size fits all approach to their diet, not personalized. When we measure their blood – we find severe deficiencies in critical areas including immunity and vitamin B12 to name a few – the complete opposite of their goal- but often we also find dangerous levels of selenium, zinc, Vit D & A as they have tried to use supplements to adjust for dietary lack. Faecal retention and constipation is common on low fibre diets.

The natural therapies movement has convinced patients that their bodies can no longer be trusted to function and that they are toxic and must detox from very pore and orifice. As well they must do the same with their “emotional baggage”if they want to recover from cancer! This is a sad indictment of a supposedly health promoting profession.

Apart from diets where Juicing reigns supreme with 8- 10 juices a day; vegan and raw vegan seem to create the most most destructive side effects for cancer patients. Many patients who have written blogs and books on the subject have sadly died following the wrong dietary advice. Yes – patients die from cancer too….but in my experience those who engage in the fad cancer cure diets do far worse than those who just have medical treatment.

I was in a local Homestyle-Kitchen store recently and on the shelf I discovered several new copies of Jess Ainscough’s (Wellness Warrior’s) book – “Make Peace with your Plate”.  It is well documented – Jess and her mother both died by adhering to their singular dietary cure for cancer. The store concerned was not interested to know that Jess had died as a result of her choices.

If patients have delayed treatment or delayed seeking a proper diagnosis – the consequences can be horrendous. SEE Delayed treatment World Journal of Psycho warning graphic image in this Journal article.

One question to ask yourself is “Do I have time to experiment with this one one precious life?” All that myself and my colleagues can do is keep on educating cancer patients – but sadly by the time some patients visit – there is little than can be achieved.

A recent paper published in the MJA by Professor Ian Haines takes a look at this issue from the perspective of the oncologist. The paper is written to assist oncologists to develop better communication with patients who take the this  alt-med-dietary path to cancer recovery.

Resources – please pass on:

  1. See Prof Haines’ paper at: https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2015/203/4/negotiating-complex-maze-claims-dietary-cures-cancer   Also download the PDF version: ian haines mja aug 2015
  2. Visit my podcast website to hear my interview on BBC Bristol UK: http://www.navigatingthecancermazeaustralia.org/grace-gawler-bbc-interview-the-role-of-mind-body-medicine-in-recovery/
  3. http://www.gracegawlerinstitute.com/alternative-medicine-rescue/

Cancer Patients: If you need assistance with personalizing your diet or if you help due to delayed diagnosis – please contact me via the Contact page

Belle Gibson scratching the surface on cancer cure claims 60 minutes| Grace Gawler

60 minutes Channel 9 Australia: If you watched the almost painful interview with Belle Gibson and Tara Brown last night (Sun 28 June 2015), you probably came away shaking your head in disbelief. How could so many have been taken in by Belle’s cancer diagnosis followed by her cancer cure claims for so long.

60 minutes Channel 9 Australia: If you watched the almost painful interview with Belle Gibson and Tara Brown last night (Sun 28 June 2015), you probably came away shaking your head in disbelief. How could so many have been taken in by Belle’s cancer diagnosis followed by her cancer cure claims for so long.

Bell Gibson Tara Brown 60 minutes
Belle Gibson – Cancer Hoax

Tara Brown certainly had the most challenging of interviewees in Belle Gibson as we watch story afterstory spun by Belle pulled apart and dismantled by Brown only to see each time, justification by Gibson as to why she lied and how she is the victim and not the people she duped. No one likes to witness a public shaming – there is something about it that makes us cringe; but as painful and unpleasant to watch as it was – it was perhaps a necessary story to further shine a questioning light on the burgeoning wellness-cancer cure industry and the entrepreneurs with cancer cure stories that don’t quite add up.

Select the following video link to see Tara Brown’s response to the interview:
http://www.9jumpin.com.au/show/60minutes/       To watch the entire interview:
http://www.9jumpin.com.au/show/60minutes/stories/2015/june/the-whole-hoax/

There was nothing new in the interview as The Australian weekend magazine journalist Richard Guilliatt had already exposed Belle Gibson in his article 14 March 2015 A healthy dose of scepticism about Belle Gibson and the 4 April Belle Gibson, Amanda Rootsey, Jess Ainscough and others fight cancer with ‘wellness’

However, for me the visual; seeing Belle’s almost unwavering face when constantly challenged with proof of her lies, was a dangerous indictment of the conviction and surety of today’s self-made cancer cure entrepreneurs. It is a hook that pulls cancer patients into a web of destruction.
Listen to my fascinating interview with Richard Guilliatt re Belle Gibson on Navigating the Cancer Maze Australia

However – the unfortunate truth is that Belle Gibson is not alone as a cancer fraud and one hope I have is that Belle Gibson can leave a message for all of us, not only cancer patients; as Mass Destruction Cartoonto who we take advice from when it comes to a serious illness like cancer. As Tara Brown points out towards the end of the interview; how many people turned away from conventional medicine based on her message?

40 years ago – I played a significant part of the new frontier in cancer medicine. We created the cancer support group movement, taught patients about very basic nutritional changes (basic compared with today) – but more importantly, we helped patients build and re-build their psychological structure after the shock of a cancer diagnosis and the ensuing PTSD. A formula that still helps my patients today. But we have come a long way from those days.

Longevity in the world of cancer is a valuable tool to look back and see the trends and changes. Having experienced a very personal cancer story when my partner was diagnosed with bone cancer in the mid 1970’s (another story entirely- see http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/too-good-to-be-true-20120420-1xcgn.html); I watched aghast in the 1980s and 90’s as a new breed of cancer entrepreneurs were born – many of them had visited our Centre or attended seminars and workshops; books were written and exaggerated claims made. This also became an international trend! Then, cancer became designer, trendy almost sexy and the approaches to treating it in the  alternative world became more simple – verging on ridiculous.

The new breed of cancer entrepreneur emerged – young social media entrepreneurs – most who have never worked with cancer patients or studied diet – became instant experts on instagram and Facebook.

One of our institute’s researchers has contacted and examined the stories of many cancer entrepreneurs and yes – like Belle Gibson – not one could corroborate or medically verify their public cancer cure story. Unfortunately – placebo medicine aside – these people, whether well meaning, ignorant , self deceptive or just plain scammers, lead cancer patients down a muddied road in the cancer maze leading to a dead end & a lot of wasted time getting back on track again.

My GP colleague and I, at the Gold Coast conduct a specific practice – “Cancer Alt- Med Rescue” for patients who have been ill-advised & suffering tremendous consequences as a result. We see a lot of rectal obstructions, fungating tumours (tumours that have been active for so long – they ulcerate and break through the skin) and even brain tumours that naturopaths have suggested to patients; can be treated naturally. We see horrendous injuries and amplified pain and suffering and often – horrible deaths.

SEE article PDF:  Consequences of Delayed treatment early breast cancer – warning graphic image.  It is is not uncommon to see this type of breast lesion in our Practice.

Every week we see patients who have delayed conventional treatments that have a good track record for cure or buying time; preferring to take a chance with their life with advice from unskilled, fraudulent internet websites or those cancer entrepreneurs I spoke of above.

In recent times we have had some very public stories in the media about the exclusive use of Alternative

Mother and daughter The late Jess and Sharyn Ainscough Holding out for Miracle 2012 The Australian Weekend Magazine - Richard Guiliatt
Mother and daughter The late Jess and Sharyn Ainscough Holding out for Miracle 2012 The Australian Weekend Magazine – Richard Guiliatt

Medicine in cancer  and its consequences – the death of Jess Ainscough – alias ‘Wellness Warrior’ – her mother; the patients of Dr Satori and if you ever want to be convinced to NOT try alt med for bowel cancer – check out the sad and chilling Penny Dingle Story on Australian Story.

But these are the stories that make it to press; there are many thousands that go unnoticed and not reported and that simply go down in the records as a cancer death without investigation. I estimate that cancer deaths due to delayed diagnosis or delayed treatment due to giving alt med a try; or by taking a total alt med approach, is likely to account for at least 30% of cancer deaths in Australia. That is a huge figure – but I am in a unique position to see these patients – often in the clusters of areas such as Cairns-Atherton, Sunshine Coast, Byron Shire, to name but a few; areas where alternative medicine populations are dense.

But – it is not only mortality – morbidity caused by delayed treatment that can grossly impact well-being and life quality. Over the past few weeks I have had several clients who almost certainly would have had tumour eradicating surgery and a temporary colostomy – but due to delaying by months or, in some cases years of  naturopathy, Dr Google and or integrative medicine; their pain and suffering is far amplified and the prognosis poor.  The same can be said of head and neck tumours where early surgical intervention could have saved disfigurement and reduced damage from radiation therapy in 3 recent patients.

Keep your Fraud-o-meter active and Alert!
Keep your Fraud-o-meter active and Alert!

In summary – Belle Gibson brings a significant and timely reminder for you to question the quality, reality and authenticity of your cancer advice. Too many patients are dying prematurely due to believing in a  “natural therapies” idealogy towards treating and curing cancer.

As a comedian once said –  “a grizzly bear is natural – but would you stand in front of it believing it would heal you?”

Please spread the word and help others to question and think critically about the source of cancer advice. People’s lives – maybe your life depends on it!

Remember Carl Sagan’s famous quote : “Exceptional claims require exceptional evidence”.

Until Next Time – Stay safe in cancer care….

Grace

Please contact me via the contact page if you need help as a cancer patient who has tried and failed with alternative medicine.

Cancer Doesn’t Stop for Christmas | Dealing with the Challenges-Grace Gawler Voice America

Navigating the Cancer Maze represents the culmination of my 40 years experience working at the coalface of cancer in what I call cancer supportive care medicine. As a young girl of about 8 years of age – I had two ambitions in life; to research cancer or become a veterinary surgeon. The universe works in mysterious ways. In 1976 I married a veterinarian who had cancer.

LISTEN TO GRACE GAWLER  VOICE AMERICA AUDIO
Click headphones to listen to today’s show at Voice America

Today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze, covers several areas important to Cancer patients.

In addition to this blog – gracegawlermedia – on Sunday 21st December 2014 – I will be launching a new blockbuster or should I say myth-buster blog – Grace Gawler Blog: The Thinking Person’s Guide to the Truth behind Common Cancer Mythology.

Navigating the Cancer Maze represents the culmination of my 40 years experience working at the coalface of cancer in what I call cancer supportive care medicine. As a young girl of about 8 years of age – I had two ambitions in life; to research cancer or become a veterinary surgeon. The universe works in mysterious ways. In 1976 I married a veterinarian who had cancer.

It happened just a few days before Christmas in 1974 – 40 years ago when I had just turned 21. Suddenly I became a carer of a cancer patient who was my boyfriend and employer.

My wedding day 28 Feb 1976 - 21 years and full-time carer
My wedding day 28 Feb 1976 – 21 years and full-time carer

 Like many today I had no experience in how to cope personally or how to help the patient who was my charge. I had to improvise and learn along the way. Added to this, my boyfriend, who later became my husband when he was given a prognosis 6 weeks to live; was an amputee. He had lost his leg to bone cancer just after Christmas, January 1975. He survived, we had 4 children and now 4 grandchildren. I learned a lot during that “hands-on period” that added to later qualifications. My story of those times is recorded in my Memoirs: Grace Grit and Gratitude. (2008 – eBook available)

See You tube: Grace Grit and Gratitude  Also visit on the menu of this blog –  “Ian Gawler Cancer?”

Moving forward to 2012 I realised that consulting with patients and public speaking was not enough. With cancer incidence rising, what I had learned needed a Global voice; an opportunity to take what I had learned so far and add medical expertise in current cancer treatments and research combined with patients’ experiences.

Available eBook - buy soft cover Australia only
Available eBook – buy soft cover Australia only

Patient’s need reliable and genuine information when they are in the fight for their lives! 2014 marks 2 years on air with Voice America’s Health and Wellness Channel hosting ‘Navigating the Cancer Maze’. We want as many people as possible to know about Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio because my Charity The Grace Gawler Institute sponsors this show to provide education and information free to all in need. Please visit the Website for our Christmas Fundraiser to support the show for 2015: “Move the World with Grace”

On this week’s pre-Christmas show I discuss key issues for cancer patients that have been highlighted by our guests on Navigating the Cancer Maze throughout 2014; a year of challenges and excitements in the Global Cancer Community. We will take a look at the impact of some of cancer’s entrepreneurs Including Wellness Warrior-Jess Ainscough, who has influenced many patients to follow the natural path to cancer healing, albeit encouraged by the Ian Gawler recovery story, which as you know, was highly likely to have been a misdiagnosis.

Unfortunately, but as expected; Jess’s Epithelioid sarcoma, a cancer that moves slowly has now progressed to a serious degree. Her mum recently died from breast cancer doing the same regimen. Entrepreneurial patients like Jess Ainscough have a huge influence on cancer patient’s treatment decisions. I truly despair at these stories. I hear from cancer patients like Jess daily and see them in my practice with the most horrendous fungating cancers that one would would expect to see in a third world country. I am passionate to educate cancer patients about the dangers of taking the 100% natural therapies approach. As a trained naturopath and herbalist-I am horrified by what I see hear and read about natural cancer cures!
More on this visit-Science -based Medicine Blog and See  Jessica Ainscough Wellness Warrior

Finally….Cancer Doesn’t Stop at Christmas:While for some this is a happy time of year – for others Christmas and New Year celebrations can be very a difficult & emotional time for those currently dealing with life challenging illness, including patients’ families. Also challenging is the person who may be missing from this year’s Christmas table. Please see helpful resources below – also listen to today’s show for helpful tips
Many of my Guests on Navigating the Cancer Maze have authored some fine books. I have listed them below. These are books of substance that contain valid and useful information for patients and families. Recommended for Christmas gifts or personal reading

Resources/Books mentioned on today’s show from my 2014 Guests:
BOOKS

  1. From Cancer Good Things Grow Jeffrey Deslandes – 8.5 year survivor of stage 4 lymphoma after failed treatments – 4 recurrences. Success with Dendritic cell vaccines. Pub  Balboa Pressall proceeds go to R& D Of DC Vaccines.
  2. “Three Months: A Caregiving Journey from Heartbreak to Healing” by Dietrich Stroeh Buy at Amazon
  3.  Recent Release-” Survivorship: Living Well During and After Cancer” by Dr Barrie Cassileth –
    Buy at:  http://www.cancercarestore.com/survivorship-living-well-during-and-after-cancer
  4. “Bad to the Bone: the True Story of David Tuccaro, Jr” – by David Tuccaro, Jr successful leukemia treatment- Buy at Amazon
  5. “Lead With Your Heart: Creating a Life of Love, Compassion, and Purpose”  by Regina Cates Buy at Amazon
  6. “The Man who Saved a Million Lives” – by Prof Ian Frazer Buy at Amazon
  7. Spontaneous Remission: An Annotated Bibliography by Caryle Hirshberg and Brendon O’Regan – Access this via IONS- Free chapter downloads:
    http://noetic.org/library/publication-books/spontaneous-remission-annotated-bibliography/

Movies:

Debbie Franke Ogg had a Hollywood Movie made about her life and recovery from Stage 4 Lymphoma. It starred Sam Neil and Anne Archer. First titled “A Leap of Faith” – the movie was later titled a “Question of Faith”. Debby is perhaps one of the few of millions who had a spontaneous remission from her cancer without medical treatment. The movie can be found online by typing the title into Google. Now a therapist in NY USA – Watch Movie online   Contact Debby.

Cancer Doesn’t Stop at Christmas: Help for those who may have lost a loved one this year. Resources provided by Beth O’Brien: a guest on this year’s Navigating the Cancer Maze.
http://seasonsofgrief.com.au/about-beth/
www.australiancelebrations.com.au
http://deathcafe.com/
https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
http://www.livingisforeveryone.com.au
http://suicidepreventionaust.org/resources/
BOOK recommended by Beth:
Dying to be Free: A healing guide for families after a suicide (Beverly Cobain, Jean Larch) buy at Amazon
The Grief Recovery Handbook: The action program for moving beyond Death, Divorce and other losses by John W James and Russell Friedman Buy at Amazon

Listen to today’s show at
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/82356/cancer-doesnt-stop-for-christmas-dealing-with-the-challenges

Join Voice America for free: http://www.voiceamerica.com/member/register

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Until next time – Compliments of the Christmas Season

Grace