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

If you had told me 30-40 years ago I would be spending most of my working life shepherding cancer patients back into mainstream medicine; I would have thought it a ludicrous idea. But – this is what I do. The movement that I was a part of from the 1970’s forward was inclusive of conventional medicine. It was about improving lifestyle, good nutrition, stress reduction and how to develop strategies that work whilst you had mainstream medical treatments. The work then was a value add to to the best conventional medicine available.

 Part Two: In this Easter edition of The Australian Weekend  Magazine, (available online by subscription or in the Magazine) Richard Guilliatt in his article Wellness Inc. takes us on a journey of reality into the current day wellness industry. You can also try the following link to read this story.

Investigative journalist Richard Guilliatt writes for the Australian Weekend Magazine - Wellness Inc
Investigative journalist Richard Guilliatt writes for the Australian Weekend Magazine – Wellness Inc

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/belle-gibson-amanda-rootsey-jess-ainscough-and-others-fight-cancer-with-wellness/story-e6frg8h6-1227288347595

The Wellness Industry is laced with promises and certainty; New Age philosophies and platitudes. Which sounds lovely, but it is not a replacement for conventional medicine. Many young cancer entrepreneurs are following the premise popularized in the last decades–that the mind can change everything. Try focusing on a mole on your body for a day , week month or year and see what influence the mind can have? Let me know if it goes away because you asked it to!  You can change anything with your mind is a dangerous premise that has winded its way in the wellness movement. I have had patients who have believed implicitly in the power of the Course in Miracles and studied it intensely as the only treatment for breast cancer. Unfortunately like most patients who neglect medical treatment, they died due to painful, fungating tumours.

Then, there are young women who have had cancer and who claim to have had cancer.  One such newsworthy young woman Belle Gibson; who claimed to have had many cancers, when exposed now says she was misdiagnosed. In a strange way Belle has helped to lift the lid on the wellness industry that she desperately wanted to be a part of and is responsible for breaking the bubble of deception that cloaks the wellness movement.  All is not as it seems. The Wellness Industry is ill and for our physical and psychological wellbeing – we need to take a long hard look at the remedies.

If you had told me 30-40 years ago I would be spending most of my working life shepherding cancer patients back into mainstream medicine; I would have thought it a ludicrous idea. But – this is what I do. The movement that I was a part of from the 1970’s forward was inclusive of conventional medicine. It was about improving lifestyle, good nutrition, stress reduction and how to develop strategies that work  whilst you had mainstream medical treatments. The work then was a value add to to the best conventional medicine available.

Over the years the concept changed; influenced by idealism – not fact. Cancer patients were becoming vegan, raw vegan and juicing and green smoothies became fashionable, positive thinking, meditation, colonics and enemas were all geared at effecting the perfect remission from cancer as well as promises of “awesome wellness”.  Just when you think you have heard it all – “people are going bananas – literally!

Yes – you read correctly, people have started eating just one fruit, the return of the mono diet eg Freelee the Banana Girl http://abc.net.au/news/6360232 and then the banana runner who claims her diet and lifestyle influenced her cancer : Her book “Raw Can Cure Cancer” is a claim that must be substantiated along with her reported cancer-related medical history. If you feel tempted to try any of the whacky fad internet/book diets – Please take a look at the following site first – testimonials from folk who tried the whacky diets with dire consequences:   http://www.beyondveg.com/

Back to Richard Guilliatt’s article where he talks of young “life” coaches, meditation teachers and health and wellness bloggers within the Wellness mix. A harmless business? Far from it.

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

There are many more out there that would fit the bill for inclusion into Guilliatt’s news piece and no doubt there will be more revelations to come. Far from harmless; these sweet faced ill informed young women I’m sure, or at least I hope, have no idea of the influence and impact they are having on the lives of cancer patients. Their blogs tell similar stories; their cancer cure lifestyle changes sound so easy, so right and so non toxic; after all how can vitamins, attitudinal healing or a green smoothie harm anyone?

We live in times when anyone can make themselves famous without having earned their stripes, studied or even had a life long enough to be qualified to advise people what they should do with their lives.

If you are following or encouraging someone else to follow their unqualified information and lifestyle advice you will likely exacerbate illness. Their influence may even contribute to your death or the death of a loved one. If this occurs – will the blogger or author take responsibility for their poor advice? If this were your wife or husband or child or sibling – how would you feel? Cancer is complex. Conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers either – but early diagnosis and early treatment by conventional medicine clearly leads to life extension across many cancers. This I know having seen tens of thousands of cancer patients in my 40 year career who recovered from cancer following the middle-path approach. Holistic medicine in order to be ‘whole’ must be inclusive of Conventional Medicine.

We Pied-Piper-of-Hamelinare now seeing hundreds of Wellness “Cancer-cure” bloggers who can appear to have knowledge merely because they have had or still have cancer. Walking experiments themselves, they advise with surety gathering followers along the path like in the fairytale – The Pied Piper of Hamelin

 Richard Guilliatt poses the question – What do these people have in common – they are young, new age, savvy with the internet and social media and they are a  part of dangerous sisterhood peddling unqualified natural living and “cure cancer” philosophies to the online masses.

The message is clear for anyone dealing with cancer – Buyer beware! Be careful from whom you are taking advice. Where cancer is concerned – never compromise on qualified advice.

A more senior element quoted by Gulliatt, an elder of TV fame who has influenced many cancer patients to take the road to healing Cancer with the now illegal Black Salve – Tony Barry is one of those all Australian ‘larger than life’ fellows that has appeared on our TV screens for decades. He promotes the use of black salve and although he continues to have melanomas that he treats with Black salve, he is still singing the praises of it’s success as a cancer cure. The fact that he has had a leg amputated due the advancement of his disease seems to pass by as it was written in to the last TV series  screened on ABC TV: The Time of Our Lives. As the character Ray – a car on a wheel jack drops on his leg – and as a part of the show – his leg is damaged and he undergoes an amputation.

As Richard Guilliatt reports, the real story is that a fungating tumour (melanoma) the size of a mandarin, burst through the skin on his leg. Surgeon’s accordingly amputated the leg. At that time in 2013, for 6 years the actor had refused surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Is the melanoma being held at bay by applying Black Salve which apparently he still uses? I don’t know what Tony Barry’s brand of melanoma is – but all cancers are different and by nature – some grow slowly.  Superficial spreading melanoma; the most common type can be slow growing.

Superficial spreading melanoma is a form of melanoma in which the malignant cells tend to stay within the tissue of origin, the epidermis, in an ‘in-situ’ phase for a prolonged period (months to decades). At first, superficial spreading melanoma grows horizontally on the skin surface – this is known as the radial growth phase. The lesion presents as a slowly-enlarging flat area of discoloured skin.

An unknown proportion of superficial spreading melanoma become invasive, i.e. the melanoma cells cross the basement membrane of the epidermis and malignant cells enter the dermis. A rapidly-growing nodular melanoma can arise within superficial spreading melanoma and start to proliferate more deeply within the skin.   SOURCE: http://www.dermnetnz.org/lesions/ssm.html

bullshitLike Jess Ainscough (Wellness Warrior) whose slow growing epitheloid sarcoma progressed at the expected rate – so too melanoma’s follow a similar pattern. I have been to too many “Black Salve” funerals – including naturopathic practitioners, naturopathic teachers and integrative doctors who succumbed to its undelivered promises.

I have always liked Tony Barry as an actor. People with such a public persona have a big influence on society. His position as narrator in the DVD One answer to Cancer has influenced perhaps millions of people to use Black salve on cancers. Some may be benign whilst others have the potential to spread into the lower layers of skin and through the lymphatics. In the public interest questions must be asked about the efficacy of this treatment (developed would you believe out out an early Medical technique – Moh’s chemosurgery!!)

It was disappointing and to me rather obnoxious; that when questioned about Black salve Tony Barry’s response was that his survival shows that the “cancer industry” doesn’t have all the answers. “People need to take control of their lives” he says “Because if you put it in the hands of these buggers  ( meaning the medical profession); their model isn’t based on wellness – it’s based on sickness.”

With regard to Tony Barry, Jess Ainscough and others – If people wish to experiment on themselves – well it is their right even if misinformed. But when they peddle their “cures’ to the masses while still a  walking experiment themselves –  that I have a problem.

When the surgeon who amputated Tony Barry’s leg below the knee read the Weekend Australian Magazine, he must have sat down shaking his head in disgust! Another doctor whom I know who featured in the DVD One Answer to Cancer lost his life to a brain tumour refusing conventional treatment with a belief that natural medicine would cure him. One answer to cancer doesn’t seem to have the answers to cancer.

Resources:

Read about the real origins of Black Salve  here on this blog site:

http://gracegawlermedia.com/2014/04/12/black-salveholistic-or-hole-istic-naturopathic-medicine-was-never-meant-to-do-this-grace-gawler/

https://www.tga.gov.au/community-qa/black-salve-red-salve-and-cansema

Weekend Australian:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/weekend-australian-magazine/belle-gibson-amanda-rootsey-jess-ainscough-and-others-fight-cancer-with-wellness/story-e6frg8h6-1227288347595

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

Grace Gawler Learning the Art of Survivorship | How to Navigate the Cancer Maze

The cancer journey begins with one step – diagnosis. Learn how to walk the path to Survivorship. Remember that there is no substitute for early diagnosis and intervention in Survivorship. The aim of today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio show is to help you find a path through the cancer maze by learning how to become an exceptional patient with the possibility of living through and beyond cancer.

The cancer journey begins with one step – diagnosis. Learn how to walk the path to Survivorship. Remember that there is no substitute for early diagnosis and intervention in Survivorship. The aim of today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio show is to help you find a path through the cancer maze by learning how to become an exceptional patient with the possibility of living through and beyond cancer. Like many of life’s major crisis events; cancer is a daunting prosjourney of a thousand miles begins with one small steppect. In order to survive and thrive; a cancer diagnosis requires you to learn & develop a new skill set; a new way of prioritizing self, time to deal with the trauma of diagnosis and what it might mean for you in terms of accepting change, being adaptable and flexible. Decisions can feel overwhelming because your life depends upon those decisions & the consequences of making them.
There is an immediate need to focus, plan, question, set goals, prepare for setbacks etc.

Whether or not you are first time cancer patient or dealing with a second or third recurrence, if you have been battling on your own – there can still be much to learn.

Find an experienced cancer navigator to help you along the way.

Be effectively  case managed and take the extra stress out of cancer.

FREE chapter download: As mentioned on today Navigating the Cancer Maze.
The Three Essential Stages of healing:  Select URL below for PDF
Insights of a Survivor who has known Survivors as mentioned on today Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio.

Defining Survivorship
Surviving cancer or “survivorship” can be defined in different ways. Two common definitions include:
• Being disease-free after the completion of treatment,
• Living with, through, and beyond cancer includes people who continue to have treatments to either reduce risk of recurrence or to manage chronic disease. By this definition, cancer Survivorship begins at diagnosis and survivorship is a state that continues throughout your life.
• Bernie Siegel described this group as EXCEPTIONAL Cancer Patients.

Because we are talking about the precious lives of cancer patients – as a part of today’s subject, I hasten to add here that it is important for those interested in surviving cancer that I discuss where NOT to put your energy if you want to be a survivor. Yes modern medicine is not perfect – but it is the best we have and it it is improving all the time.

If you are seeking Survivorship through and beyond cancer – please use every means possible from the best that conventional medicine has to offer in combination with the best of scientific complementary medicine and complementary therapies.

baby-bathwaterPlease “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”! Conventional medicine is a gift. Cancer is tricky – you can’t outsmart it with juices, meditation and positive thinking. How “you be” with a cancer diagnosis – i.e. – your attitude, strategies, will to live and will to heal – contribute tremendously – but you need to partner with the best that conventional medicine has to offer. If cancer patients understood the scientific basis of cancer – how it behaves and operates for it’s own survival; different choices might be made- conquering cancer is not that simple!

 I must mention Jess Ainscough here because of the influence she has had on cancer patients young and old in terms of promoting one type of Survivorship approach. Surviving through and beyond cancer is not the simple 123 steps that entrepreneurs such as Jess promoted.

Cancer entrepreneurs like Jessica Ainscough AKA The Wellness Warrior has influenced thousands, maybe millions to take the alternative path to cancer healing. Sadly it all went wrong for her mother who had breast cancer. She died last year. Jess remained struggling with advancing fungating cancer until this week when she died from her epitheloid sarcoma. Sadly I see patients like Jess every week. I conduct an Alt med cancer rescue practice with my Specialist GP colleague Dr Whelan. We see so many scales-of-justicepatients influenced to take the natural path to cancer recovery – influenced by Dr Google and the plethora of misleading books by cancer entrepreneurs.

Jess became a crusader for the Gerson diet and might I add, was also influenced by my ex-husbands ‘cancer recovery’ story. During the past few years his story has been challenged by myself and more recently; by two Melbourne oncologists who published their findings in the internal Medicine Journal. Once they discovered there was no biopsy performed for Ian’s condition at the time which was thought to be secondary bone cancer they began an independent investigation into why he recovered. In 1978, here was no other explanation offered and to all and sundry it appeared as though the impossible had been achieved – a full remission from metastatic osteogenic sarcoma. However with a thorough review and missing pieces of the Gawler healing puzzle put in place – a new diagnosis was suggested.  IMJ HAINES AND LOWENTHAL

Jess Ainscough’s approach to her cancer was clearly influenced by Ian Gawler’s recovery, the diagnosis which was highly likely to have been advanced TB with calcified abscesses – not metastatic bone cancer as had been reported over the decades. (see the menu for more on this subject).

The late Jess Ainscough wellness warrior gawler gerson
The late Jess Ainscough wellness warrior

 Importantly –  If that is so – then the basic premise and promise upon which Jess Aincough based her recovery from cancer plan was false. Jess was quoted as saying: ” Ian Gawler was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right leg was amputated in 1975. However, the disease recurred later that year and began ravaging his body. Ian’s story of recovery, employing an integrated approach driven predominantly by dedicated meditation, is truly remarkable. It was my anchor to a future the doctors had pretty much ruled me out of having. I thought, If Ian can do it, so can I. His book, You Can Conquer Cancer, was my Bible”. Source:  JESS ainscough Gawler healthtalks;

Clearly patients like Jess are looking for options and they will often choose the seemingly softer options that the one size fits all alternative approach offers. Cancer education is imperative and sadly lacking in the patient world. Cancer is not a generic disease that can be simplistically tackled with food and copious juices. I think this is a very sad indictment of what true Survivorship is really all about. Like many of the patients I see in my practice, Jess Ainscough only embraced conventional medicine when the path she had followed failed her.
It is my hope that Jess Ainscough’s story and life serves as a teaching story for all who want to walk the path to cancer Survivorship – please use critical thinking to assess information on the internet and consider a best of both worlds approach for best outcome.

More on Wellness Warrior: ORAC ( Oncology surgeon) – Science based Medicine Below:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/12/16/jess-ainscough-finally-admits-her-condition-is-deteriorating/

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2013/10/17/sharyn-ainscough-dies-tragically-because-she-followed-the-example-of-her-daughter-the-wellness-warrior/#comment-297256

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2015/02/27/the-wellness-warrior-jess-ainscough-has-passed-away/

The following Survivorship links will be helpful:

 http://www.cancerbridges.ca/

http://www.amazon.com/Survivorship-Living-During-After-Cancer/dp/1938170350

SURVIVOR TRAINING COURSE: Queensland

http://www.gracegawlerinstitute.com/survivor-training/

Listen to Navigating the Cancer Maze – Today’s show.
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/83721/learning-the-art-of-survivorship-how-to-navigate-the-cancer-maze

Until next time – Be safe in your choices – cancer is a tough opponent- choose your course wisely!

Grace

Truth in cancer cures holding out for a miracle

Cancer cures Holding out for a miracle

The Weekend Australian Magazine Richard Guilliatt

Source ‘The Australian’ newspaper or online at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/holding-out-for-a-miracle/story-e6frg8h6-1226476739168  You can take advantage of the Australian’s free offer for one month’s digital access to read the entire article.

September 22, 2012

In Today’s Australian newspaper weekend magazine Richard Guilliatt has travelled to the world of alternative versus conventional treatments for cancer patients. The alternative medicine trend has been gaining momentum around the world as more self proclaimed cancer entrepreneurs don the mantle of promised ‘cures and personal remissions.

Guilliatt’s well crafted article highlights areas not previously discussed in the world of alternative versus conventional and that is the many cancer patients are lulled into a false sense of security by the alt-med treatment regimens in the belief that they will cure themselves. He quotes me as saying:

“I do see that people can get increased levels of wellbeing from alternative treatments, but that can also be a problem – because people can feel well and think their cancer is getting better, when in fact their cancer is rocketing along in ways that medical science would have expected. And by the time they have secondary tumours in their liver or their lymphatic system, it’s too late.”

In addition patients who choose the alternative to mainstream approaches to cancer treatment often do not know the walkway and behaviour of their particular cancer. When they begin to feel well, through some type of lifestyle or diet change they often believe that because they feel well they are well. Scans, X-rays or measurements of circulating tumour stem cells that can identify how the cancer is behaving at the DNA level are most times declined with patients preferring to believe that all is well.

So – declining a monitoring process for cancer regression or progression is where much of the real trouble begins for many patients.

 As a health practitioner I have a duty of care that I take seriously to provide patients with the best possible advice. True it is their choice what they do with that advice – but equally on the other side of the fence there are the many cancer entrepreneurs, including some natural therapists with little experience of cancer; or the online cancer charlatans advising “go natural” from an unqualified position. By qualified I mean more than “paper qualifications”; that is having worked with many hundreds or thousands at the coalface level for many years getting a real appreciation of the consequences of poor choices.  I have seen enough in 38 years and if patients could see my album of “alt med casualties”, and realise the pain and disfigurement these patients endured, they might think differently in this 21st century of modern medicine. I have had many patients who refused all pharmaceuticals – preferring the pain because of an idealogy.  Cancer Patients often have no idea of the game of Russian roulette they are playing.

Guilliatt’s article is written with a view from both sides and demonstrates the level of psychological/emotional commitment to an ideal. It opens a previously closed door of why people become so committed to an ideal that they ignore this one precious life. But that is it – an ideal. Would one trust losing their life for an ideal that was borrowed from someone else? How many more Steve Jobs, Athena Starwoman and the many unnamed thousands do we have to see or read about before we get the message: Middle path is best. Best of conventional and best of complementary medicine = better outcomes. The equation is not difficult. Personally when I go to the horse races I take each way bets – it is no different with health and survival.

Having been in a similar situation when I had to deal with real physical issues after nerve damage complications from routine surgery in 1997 – left me without bowel function. After an horrendous 13 year period and 21 surgical procedures it was a breakthrough bionic surgery that gave me back the life that had been taken. If anyone should be anti conventional medicine it should be me – however if I was to find my solution, it was not going to be an alternative medicine solution as was suggested by many of my colleagues.

At the time when I was going through that experience my only sister who had believed in natural medicine and who had not disclosed her health problem; died from a liver treatable cancer that was treatable. Like Steve Jobs had it been found and treated early she would not have succumbed to it.. By the time she asked me to be involved, her liver was 5 times its normal size. I set about advising her on tests and getting a proper diagnosis. It was devasting to discover what she had and she too felt let down by a system she had believed in.

Guiliatt  also writes a poignant piece about Athena Starwoman; what I would call yet another teaching story for the alternative medicine people to take on board.  “

In the New Age firmament, few shone more brightly than Athena Starwoman, the Australian spiritualist who built a global business as an astrologer and author. When she died of breast cancer in 2004, at 59, her fans were shocked, for she had given no hint of her illness. Earlier this year her closest friend, Deborah Gray, revealed that Starwoman in fact died after rejecting medical treatment in favour of “mind-body” healing, a decision she profoundly regretted at the end of her life.

Gray says she tried and failed to dissuade her friend from taking the non-medical path. After seven months of using herbal remedies, meditation and other alternative techniques, Starwoman was suffering such unbearable pain that she had to admit herself to hospital, and her condition was by then untreatable.

“Athena was very logical, she was very practical, she was not a hippy-dippy dropout,” Gray tells The Weekend Australian Magazine. “But I think what happened to her is what happens to a lot of people who get diagnosed with cancer: she went into shock. And rather than face up to what can be a very long and arduous treatment which can make you feel very sick and is very frightening, she lost her sense of what to do. She didn’t regret her beliefs, because she used her metaphysical training to face the end in an amazing way. The regret she had was that she didn’t try everything, including standard medicine. She knew that was a mistake.” Read more at the Australian Weekend Magazine.

www.gracegawlerinstitute.com

Ian Gawler Melbourne Age… Cancer experts challenge Gawler's 'cure' – Grace Gawler comments

December 31, 2011 – Chris Johnston senior writer and Julia Medew Health Editor have written a well considered article about Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘remission’ in today’s Age newspaper. Having been Ian’s 24-7 carer and then his wife who saw him through his entire illness, I can only agree with the findings of the two professors quoted in the Age story. Retrospective views in combination with current knowledge must lead to a view that considers scientific knowledge and clinical facts in the absence of hard data. It is important not become focused on an ideology & be open to accepting new evidence and critique…Carl Sagan quote: “Exceptional claims call for exceptional evidence.” is very appropriate. Professors Haines and Lowenthal have indeed presented exceptional evidence in this case.

Grace Gawler – First wife disputes….The Australian Oct 2008

The article is gaining media momentum around the country. For those of you who are regular subscribers to this blog; you are no doubt aware that the Medical Journal of Australia published a refute letter authored by me in 2010 as a response to an inaccurate review of Ian Gawler’s remission story titled “True Stories” MJA Dec 11 2008. The authors of the published manuscript, Dr Ruth Gawler and Professor George Jelinek had reported a previously incorrect clinical timeline, with incorrect dates  along with serious errors and omissions. The famous photograph of Ian’s chest wall  was incorrectly dated – I have the originals. After many attempts to open a dialogue, the authors failed to respond…there was a ‘cocoon of silence’!  Unfortunately, my refute letter was smoke-screened and deemed by media as “quarrels between ex wives” in The Australian newspaper (Oct 2008) while the Australian Doctor reported the published letter quoting the “Duelling Mrs Gawlers”. These were the only 2 follow up articles at the time. A surprise for a subject so important in the public interest and given Ian Gawler later admitted in the Australian Doctor that he knew Ainslie Meares had the timeline of his story wrong – an error of 19 months! Later on his personal blog – Ian Gawler cleverly worded that he had never followed a vegan diet. However, cancer patients in the public domain were never privy to the disclosures.

The real true story therefore did not get to the most important group of people; cancer patients who should know the facts before making informed decisions about what treatments to take on board. Fortunately, my letter alerted two prominent oncologists who took my refute letter seriously and followed their investigations through to today’s exclusive press release to the Melbourne Age which reads:

“AN EXPLOSIVE new medical report has cast doubt on whether Melbourne alternative therapies guru Dr Ian Gawler ever suffered the secondary cancer from which he has claimed for 30 years to have cured himself.

The online report in the Royal Australian College of Physicians’  Internal Medicine Journal says Dr  Gawler, Australia’s most famous cancer survivor and founder of the Gawler Foundation, had advanced tuberculosis rather than the secondary bone cancer he was told he had in the late 1970s….Read more by selecting the link to the Melbourne Age:
http://www.theage.com.au/national/cancer-experts-challenge-gawlers-cure-20111230-1pfns.html

To read more about this intriguing story select the following link. http://gracegawler.com/Institute/?page_id=3454

My Memoirs – ‘Grace, Grit and Gratitude’ – was published (self published) October 1st 2008 after Curtain University’s Black Swan Publishing lost funding for the project. They had listed it for their Blockbuster Christmas release a couple of years prior. The book had been in process for about 8 years and unlike The Dragon’s Blessing, Ian Gawler’s Biography authored by Guy Allenby; Grace , Grit & Gratitude covers areas Allenby omitted and gives a open and frank discussion about the role that TB had likely played in Ian’ Gawler’s recovery. Anomalies and the atypical pathway of his metastases was always a question for me – I knew that his TB diagnosis had  something to do with this extraordinary remission  – but there was non one willing to entertain or discuss the issue. At last – entering 2012, there are some answers for this atypical medical case in which I was so intimately involved.  Grace, Grit and Gratitude is available in soft cover or as a downloadable eBook.

A book that inspires the best in us – whatever the circumstances.

Ian Gawler Melbourne Age… Cancer experts challenge Gawler’s ‘cure’ – Grace Gawler comments

December 31, 2011 – Chris Johnston senior writer and Julia Medew Health Editor have written a well considered article about Ian Gawler’s cancer ‘remission’ in today’s Age newspaper. Having been Ian’s 24-7 carer and then his wife who saw him through his entire illness, I can only agree with the findings of the two professors quoted in the Age story. Retrospective views in combination with current knowledge must lead to a view that considers scientific knowledge and clinical facts in the absence of hard data. It is important not become focused on an ideology & be open to accepting new evidence and critique…Carl Sagan quote: “Exceptional claims call for exceptional evidence.” is very appropriate. Professors Haines and Lowenthal have indeed presented exceptional evidence in this case.

Grace Gawler – First wife disputes….The Australian Oct 2008

The article is gaining media momentum around the country. For those of you who are regular subscribers to this blog; you are no doubt aware that the Medical Journal of Australia published a refute letter authored by me in 2010 as a response to an inaccurate review of Ian Gawler’s remission story titled “True Stories” MJA Dec 11 2008. The authors of the published manuscript, Dr Ruth Gawler and Professor George Jelinek had reported a previously incorrect clinical timeline, with incorrect dates  along with serious errors and omissions. The famous photograph of Ian’s chest wall  was incorrectly dated – I have the originals. After many attempts to open a dialogue, the authors failed to respond…there was a ‘cocoon of silence’!  Unfortunately, my refute letter was smoke-screened and deemed by media as “quarrels between ex wives” in The Australian newspaper (Oct 2008) while the Australian Doctor reported the published letter quoting the “Duelling Mrs Gawlers”. These were the only 2 follow up articles at the time. A surprise for a subject so important in the public interest and given Ian Gawler later admitted in the Australian Doctor that he knew Ainslie Meares had the timeline of his story wrong – an error of 19 months! Later on his personal blog – Ian Gawler cleverly worded that he had never followed a vegan diet. However, cancer patients in the public domain were never privy to the disclosures.

The real true story therefore did not get to the most important group of people; cancer patients who should know the facts before making informed decisions about what treatments to take on board. Fortunately, my letter alerted two prominent oncologists who took my refute letter seriously and followed their investigations through to today’s exclusive press release to the Melbourne Age which reads:

“AN EXPLOSIVE new medical report has cast doubt on whether Melbourne alternative therapies guru Dr Ian Gawler ever suffered the secondary cancer from which he has claimed for 30 years to have cured himself.

The online report in the Royal Australian College of Physicians’  Internal Medicine Journal says Dr  Gawler, Australia’s most famous cancer survivor and founder of the Gawler Foundation, had advanced tuberculosis rather than the secondary bone cancer he was told he had in the late 1970s….Read more by selecting the link to the Melbourne Age:
http://www.theage.com.au/national/cancer-experts-challenge-gawlers-cure-20111230-1pfns.html

To read more about this intriguing story select the following link. http://gracegawler.com/Institute/?page_id=3454

My Memoirs – ‘Grace, Grit and Gratitude’ – was published (self published) October 1st 2008 after Curtain University’s Black Swan Publishing lost funding for the project. They had listed it for their Blockbuster Christmas release a couple of years prior. The book had been in process for about 8 years and unlike The Dragon’s Blessing, Ian Gawler’s Biography authored by Guy Allenby; Grace , Grit & Gratitude covers areas Allenby omitted and gives a open and frank discussion about the role that TB had likely played in Ian’ Gawler’s recovery. Anomalies and the atypical pathway of his metastases was always a question for me – I knew that his TB diagnosis had  something to do with this extraordinary remission  – but there was non one willing to entertain or discuss the issue. At last – entering 2012, there are some answers for this atypical medical case in which I was so intimately involved.  Grace, Grit and Gratitude is available in soft cover or as a downloadable eBook.

A book that inspires the best in us – whatever the circumstances.