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

Giulia Enders Gut | The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Under-rated Organ|Grace Gawler Book Recommendation

Giulia Enders has been fascinated with the human digestive system and how its function affects all aspects of our health. In this extract of her newly published book, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Under-rated Organ,she discusses the surprisingly complex end point of digestion.

Giulia Enders, a young passionate medical PhD student has been fascinated with the human digestive system and how its function affects all aspects of our health. In her newly published book, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Under-rated Organ, she discusses the surprisingly complex end point of digestion. Did you know that 80% of your immune system is located in your GUT? It is not rocket science to make the link between having a healthy gut and good health and wellbeing! Giulia Enders brings this complex subject to an almost lighthearted but powerful narrative that is engaging, entertaining and incredibly valuable for anyone interested in improving their wellbeing. 

Listen to interview on Radio National Giulia Enders with Natasha Mitchell:

gut the inside story
Giulia Enders Book

From my personal viewpoint; I have always been fascinated by the gut and it’s workings. I became even more fascinated when I surgically parted with 10 feet of intestine (both small and large intestine) in a series of surgeries over a 13 year period. Re-framing the experience as a learning opportunity; a result of a  medical misadventure rather than disease; I was thrown into the fast track of helping to convince my body that less was now going to be more!

How would or could my gut adapt to such huge changes and what did I have to do to help the process. My gut became an intense “in house” study for me so when I heard this terrific interview on Radio National last week – I just had to share it with all of you who want to look after your health -including your inner gut health.
Read an edited extract of Giulia Enders book’ ‘Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Under-rated Organ’, published by Scribe. Select the link below to Radio National.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/how-does-pooing-work-and-why-thats-an-important-question/6580500

About the author Giulia Enders: When she was seventeen, Giulia developed a sore on her leg that stubbornly refused to disappear.Soon other sores appeared on her body and despite the efforts of a range of doctors and medications, nothing seemed to help them heal. So she did some research. She read about other similar cases that had followed courses of antibiotics. She began to make a link between her skin’s condition and the health of her intestines. Her fascination with the gut and how its function affects all kinds of aspects of our health continued, so she started studying medicine and continued researching for her PhD.

The result is a MUST READ for anyone interested in improving their health. An international best-seller: Gut: the inside story of our body’s most under-rated organ just published in Australia.

Once you read this book, I think you will appreciate your own inside story and, maybe even make some health enhancing “gut-sense” lifestyle changes!

Until Next time…Wishing you Good Gut Health!

Grace

Navigating the Cancer Maze Australia | New Podcast Grace Gawler Interviews The Australian’s Richard Guilliatt

To Launch our Australian Podcast site today – who better than Award winning Journalist Richard Guilliatt! Richard has been in the news recently for his controversial investigations of events in the cancer “cure” wellness Industry. After tuning in to his interview with Phillip Adams on Radio National’s Late Night I invited Richard as our first guest on the new Navigating the Cancer Maze Australia.

The Grace Gawler Institute is delighted to announce the launch of our own Australian Podcast website dedicated to helping cancer patients navigate the increasingly complex cancer maze:
www.navigatingthecancermazeaustralia.org

Grace Gawler interviews RICHARD GUILLIATT Walkley Award Winning Journalist & Staff Writer for The Australian Weekend Magazine
RICHARD GUILLIATT Walkley Award Winning Journalist & Staff Writer for The Australian Weekend Magazine

To Launch our Australian Podcast site today – who better than Award winning Journalist Richard Guilliatt! Richard has been in the news recently for his controversial investigations of events in the cancer “cure” wellness Industry. After tuning in to his interview with Phillip Adams on Radio National’s Late Night Live I invited Richard as our first guest on the new Navigating the Cancer Maze Australia.

Now with forty years experience in the field of cancer; I have had an opportunity to consult with and get to know thousands of cancer patients via consultations, workshops and residential programs. I get to know their children, families and friends. I attend funerals, hospital and hospice visits as well as weddings and birthdays. I get to hear first-hand about the choices that patient’s made ……….and the choices they wished they had made.

Many of those thousands of patients have shared with me how they made choices based upon unqualified advice given by cancer theorists and idealists; people who never see cancer patients one on one at the coalface. These patients relied on textbook, social media, cancer authors and Dr Google advisers with whom there is no relationship and an absence of duty of care. Some patients risked their lives by delaying appropriate treatments while others spent thousands of dollars on “one size fits all” treatments that simply don’t work.  How does this happen? After all it is unthinkable; who could possibly dupe a cancer patient?

The story that Richard Guilliatt brings to the table from his investigations, parallells my experience over the past 40 years!

About the Story: In 2012 Richard Guilliatt took an interest in the story of the late Jess Ainscough Wellness Warrior–and her mother the late Sharyn Ainscough who both decided to forgo conventional medical treatment in favour of the Gerson diet and meditation/lifestyle change to treat their cancers. Sadly, both are now deceased.

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

Both were thoroughly convinced that they would be cured by their radical lifestyle and dietary changes. Since their deaths, much of their history has been removed from the internet.

The Weekend Australian Magazine, 22 September 2012; published an article about the Aincoughs’ titled Holding out for a Miracle. The same article discussed the cancer cure promises of Dr Abdul-Haqq Sartori.

Richard also reviewed the cases of cancer patients TV Astrology personality, the late Athena Starwoman and Gemma Bond. Bond’s daughter, journalist Laura Bond is now a cancer blogger and self-styled “health coach” providing recycled advice to cancer patients. She is the creator of the misleading cancer info blog: “Mum’s not Having Chemo”.

But it was a young woman by the name of Belle Gibson who captured the interest of Richard Guilliatt. That interest was eventually responsible for lifting the lid on the business of wellness, false claims and “cancer cures”. Belle’s story has helped to lift the lid on what is going on in the Alt-Med Biz-World of cancer cures. Our attention is often drawn to “Big Bad Pharma” – but until now, to my knowledge, no journalist has looked at the big biz of “Alt-Med!” . And yes you heard that from someone who is qualified at distinction level in the naturopathic, botanical sciences and who sees cancer patients daily. What we do need is qualified and experienced complementary medicine practitioners who are trained and who work in liaison with the medical profession. Possible you ask? Yes! Take a look at www.drbrucewhelan.com to see an example of the new model of care.

As I have said before on this blog we must not throw the baby out with the bathwater but rather take a baby-bathwatermiddle path – best of both world’s approach when dealing with cancer. Well – the proof of the pudding is always in the eating – After listening to Richard Guilliatt’s interview, the next time someone offers you unqualified cancer advice – how will you react – what will you do? Will you think more critically about your choices?   I hope so!

Richard authored his most recent article Wellness Inc in the Australian Weekend Magazine 4 April 2015 as a continuation of his investigation into cancer fraud.

By the way – let us not forget the story of Penelope Dingle “Desperate Remedies” as seen on ABC’s Australian Story back in 2011. Despite the National showcase of this very sad story – It seems that little has been learned or much has been forgotten, or both are true. But stories like Penelope Dingle’s often  fade into the background and eventually disappear from the Internet. Penelope Dingle has in fact left us a powerful teaching story about the importance of the choices made in cancer treatments. Unlike many of the entrepreneurial cancer social media biz folk promoting the latest fad cancer diets – Penelope Dingle travelled her road as an individual although heavily influenced by the ideals of her husband and her homeopath. She did not take her personal choice to the world saying “This is how you cure cancer- Follow me”! But – like many before her, when she realised she was on the wrong path and natural therapies had failed her – it was too late to turn back!

Individuals have a right to choose their cancer treatments – but they need to do this in light of sound information and not influence others to join in their personal experimentation.

The video Desperate Remedies makes for compelling viewing for anyone considering taking the solo alt-med path to curing cancer.

When you select the following URL www.navigatingthecancermazeaustralia.org – here is what you will see in the image below: Interviews are live streaming – download for free and send to a friend. You will also be able to listen to some of our most popular and informative interviews from our previous Voice America Recordings. Please share via social media using the Share button. By selecting Read more you will learn more about the episode on my guest.
Navigating the Cancer Maze Australia podcasts for cancer patients

Each week we will feature a new interview. The show is designed to help you make informed choices and to give you access to world experts in oncology, cancer immunology and cancer research that you may never had heard about. As well you will hear interviews from cancer treatment innovators, patients and caregivers, nutritionists, complementary cancer medicine practitioners and researchers, cancer imaging experts and a few celebrities. These pod-casts represent the Australian version of my Voice America weekly show Navigating the Cancer Maze which has successfully been on the airwaves for 2.75 years. Stay tuned – Vodcasts will be coming soon…….

There will be some crossover with guests – but the American version of the show will also continue in its own right with different guests and with sponsorship. To produce and broadcast our Voice America internet radio show in total costs our charity around $30,000 USD per year including the 10+ hours each week involved in time and some travel. To put the show to air we fundraise via the Grace Gawler Institute (a registered not for profit Health Promotion Charity). We see this radio show as a special service and a significant part of our Cancer Awareness and Education Programs.

We believe that cancer patients deserve to know about the innovations in cancer medicine and the potentially life-saving information that we provide at no cost. Feedback on how the show has helped patients find techniques and surgeries that have saved their lives is both heart-warming and uplifting and has inspired this latest Australian podcast site .

We believe that this form of media is imperative for cancer patients who are seeking second opinions, guidance or maybe just simply knowledge about cancer. If you or someone you know would like to consider sponsoring our USA based version of Navigating the Cancer Maze – please contact me via the contact page  or or go the website

http://www.gracegawlerinstitute.com/move-the-world-with-grace/

Please remember to visit our new podcast website and spread the knowledge and uplifting news about Navigating  the Cancer Maze Australia.

Until next time……

Grace

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

Imported Berries and the Source of Your Food | What you Need to Know to stay Healthy with Grace Gawler

The food we eat, lifestyle and it its impact on health remains controversial and confusing. Recent media exposure of some of the entrepreneurs of dietary approaches for cancer has brought even more confusion. What can you do realistically to improve health through nutrition? Can diet prevent cancer and more importantly can it impact growth of cancer once it has proliferated. I will be exploring these questions over the coming weeks.

The food we eat, lifestyle and it its impact on health remains controversial and confusing. Recent media exposure of some of the entrepreneurs of dietary approaches for cancer has brought even more confusion. What can you realistically do to improve health? Can diet prevent cancer and more importantly can it impact growth of cancer once it has proliferated. I will be exploring these questions over the coming weeks. Through our health promotion not for profit charity; and a series of informative blogs, my internet radio show “Navigating the Cancer Maze” and seminars; over the next few months we will be helping you navigate the complex cancer and nutrition maze.

Fresh Produce from the Sunday Farmer's Market Gold Coast Racecourse
Fresh Produce from the Sunday Farmer’s Market Gold Coast Racecourse

 The aim is to help you make better choices, become more connected with the food you eat and to buy and prepare food wisely. The latest food “wake-up call” for Australian consumers has been initiated by the Hepatitis A Berry debacle.

From the nutritional viewpoint, there is strong scientific evidence that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes. (ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)

Phyto-chemicals in berries help increase brain function. Some top brain surgeons are now recommending increasing berries in your diet if you have a brain tumour.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307145825.htm

Nannas raspberries
Fresh homegrown raspberries

 High in antioxidants and  pigments beneficial to health; berries have always been a food that increases and value-adds to various functions within the body. During the past few years berries like so many other “what used to be called food that that was good for you”, have been elevated to celebrity status as “Superfoods”! The “Superfood” label has been a very successful marketing ploy that has convinced consumers to eat exotic foods grown in far away lands (Goji berries-Grown in China-imported to Australia, Chia seeds Grown in India/South America – imported to Australia and so on etc).

We need to heed the wake-up call re imported foods and education is pivotal to avoid health problems particular in those who are immune compromised through cancer or other illnesses.

Another recent example of an outbreak of symptomatic hepatitis A virus infections was in May 2013. The virus spread across 10 US states and was associated with imported frozen pomegranate arils imported from Turkey and manufactured in the USA by an organic group.  These were identified as the vehicle early in the investigation by combining epidemiology—with data from several sources—genetic analysis of patient samples, and product tracing. There were 165 cases known to have been affected. Hepatitis A is spread when human feces contaminate food or when an infected food handler prepares food without using proper hygiene. Human feces are expected as the cause of the outbreak, according to the Wall Street Journal.
http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/2848/20130708/fecal-matter-pomegranate-seeds-linked-hepatitis-outbreak-southwestern.htm

  • No matter how “Super” a food is – our foods are still subject to spoilage, issues form light exposure, contamination from bacteria, viruses, environmental pesticides and in some countries of the world – even parasites; useful information when traveling, especially in parts of Asia.
  • Most people believe that home grown or organically farmed food is best and has superior taste – which is true; but it is not only the nutritional value of fresh food; food handling knowledge and storage is still important.
  • Just as important a question as what is in your food – is the question who has been handling your food before you?
  • Even though you may purchase beautiful produce from a Farmer’s market which I do – Cleaning, washing  and storing your fruit and vegetables appropriate is essential for good health. Proper food handling is a science in itself and by not adhering to basic principles; you can put your health at risk whether you are a cancer patient or not. Here is an example of poor food handling: Note the Farmers Market image top left top of page – THis is produce I bought last Sunday  – I washed all the produce – with the exception of potatoes. Note the dirt is still on the potatoes and they have direct contact with the lettuce leaves.  Given that the potatoes are grown organically contaminants from the dirt from animal/human faeces or other pathogens can easily migrate to to the lettuce which will be eaten raw.  Poor food handling method!
  • I have a great deal of healthy respect for the microscopic world- these humble little bugs; some which are good and some that are not good can quickly disable us and compromise health. Last year one of my cancer patients who was very pro raw produce had a significant life threatening incident when eggs from a local supplier had been contaminated with Clostridium. Within 10 minutes of ingesting his raw eggnog – he collapsed and within hours he was on life support in hospital. He recovered but the damage to his muscles and neurological system was extensive – he later died as a result of the bacterial onslaught. Another patient was making yoghurt from raw milk, warmed but not pasteurized, and almost lost their life due to bacterial contamination in the milk – a similar incident occurred when someone passed on to my client; a “special” yoghurt culture that had been made with raw milk – they became very ill and their cancer treatment was set back months due to the severity of the infection.
  • Prevent and know about food borne illness Download this excellent PDF Bacterial Foodborne Illness

External contaminants: About the safety of frozen berries – in particular Raspberries:

Cancer patients often use frozen berries as a tasty key ingredient to make their nourishing and ” bowel-friendly” smoothie drinks. So what the problem with eating frozen berries?

Frozen raspberries
Imported frozen raspberries

It all sounds as rosy as the berry’s colour itself; but for two facts – Hepatitis A contamination recently discovered in frozen raspberries imported from China; and in addition, high levels of pesticides and fungicides used on these foods.
Download the PDF;
“Know what’s in your frozen berries”: Brands under the microscope
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php

  1. Hepatitis A How did it get into frozen berries? Hepatitis A is transmitted by the “faecal-oral” route and is the only common food-borne disease preventable by vaccine. It is one of five hepatitis viruses that infect the liver. While hepatitis B and C can turn into chronic hepatitis, hepatitis A generally does not; although it can lead to liver failure and death.

People who have contaminated hands can transmit the virus. Hepatitis A is a contagious disease. It travels in faeces, and can spread from person to person, or can be contracted from food or water. In cases of contaminated food, it is usually the person preparing the food who contaminates it. The food handler will probably not know they have the virus, since the virus is most likely to be passed on in the first two weeks of illness, before a person begins to show symptoms.

So the infection that appears to be linked to Nanna’s Berries could have been spread by someone working at the processing plant, who was infected with hepatitis A and did not wash their hands properly before handling the berries. Alternatively, because the virus is excreted in stool, it could also be that a water supply that’s been contaminated with sewage containing hepatitis A virus has been the problem. Water from that source could have been involved in the processing. Human excrement deposited in a field could also be a source.
Freezing and the viability of the Hepatitis A Virus:

While the virus does not grow in the frozen food, but rather it remains suspended state. Even so, it remains infectious and is essentially preserved during transport.  When the food starts to thaw, the virus becomes active again. It’s not just viruses, like hepatitis A, but the bacteria we associate with food-borne illnesses, like salmonella, e- coli, listeria, these all can survive freezing temperatures.

Does cooking kill the hepatitis A virus?

While cooking can kill the virus, the food needs to be thoroughly heated to above 85 degrees Celsius. If you heat food for a minute or two at that temperature, you should kill hepatitis A; however if you heat it to a lower temperature than that, then it can still survive.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
1. BERRIES- What can you do apart from discarding or returning any frozen berries? Berries are not the only culprits when it comes to health threats. Make a decision for you and your family’s health – eat local fresh foods in season – buy organic where possible especially the foods that that you consume the most and the ones known for pesticide contamination. Wash in vinegar solution, rinse and  dry off before storing. (http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php)

2. Discover the location of your local Farmer’s Market – buy direct from the growers and following handling and storage rules.

3. Avoid consuming imported produce from unknown sources or countries known for using pesticides not permitted here: for example: FROM The Sydney Morning Herald (Feb 21 2015): consumer group Choice commented: The outbreak has highlighted concerns about country-of-origin labelling on food. Choice has tested 55 packs of frozen mixed fruits and mixed vegetables and found nearly half the labels on the packs had “vague” or “unhelpful” information.  Choice said some of the worst claims included “Packed in New Zealand”, “Packed in Chile from imported and local ingredients” and “Processed in Belgium”. (GG added –  But grown where?)

4. The case against raw food for cancer patients:

As per my example re raw eggs and raw milk – Consuming your vegetables raw can cause you to ingest bacteria or food borne illnesses that can actually be detrimental to your health. Understanding the risks associated with consuming raw vegetables will help you learn the importance of cooking your food thoroughly – yes “cooking foods” so you can avoid coming in contact with substances that may be toxic. Washing well may not always rid the produce of contaminants. For a healthy person – this might not be a problem – but for the immune compromised – it can be really serious.

You may be able to impact bacterial and pesticide/fungicide residues and viral contaminants by using good old fashioned vinegar. Professor Peter Collignon, infectious disease physician at the Australian National University’s Medical School, was asked about the value of vinegar for cleaning. I use it on all vegetables and fruits that I buy from the Market.
http://www.abc.net.au/health/talkinghealth/factbuster/stories/2012/02/02/3407024.htm

I shop each week at the Farmers Market – as soon as I unpack the produce at home, I soak all my produce in a vinegar solution – then rinse and dry and place if fridge. I keep soil contaminated produce away from other foods.

Please let me know if you have found this information helpful – Feedback helps me to know what you want to Know. If you have a question or topic you would like addressed on this blog or on my radio show from an expert in the field – please write to me via the contact page on this blog.

Until next time….Wishing you good health

Grace

Navigating the Vascular maze in Cancer Medicine | A Vascular Surgeon’s Experience | Clotting Risks and What You Can Do

According to Jean Connors, MD and medical director of Anticoagulation Management Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Cancer patients are at a higher risk than the general population of developing serious blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs or pulmonary emboli in the lungs, which can be fatal.

Navigating the Vascular Maze in Cancer Medicine – Interview with vascular surgeon (now retired) Dr John Singe. To further this conversation I have added a number of resources and what I believe is very helpful information for anyone interested in health and wellbeing and disease prevention.

According to Jean Connors, MD and medical director of Anticoagulation Management Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Cancer patients are at a higher risk than the general population of developing serious blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs or pulmonary emboli in the lungs, which can be fatal.

 DVTheart_dvt1“Of all the blood clots detected, 20 percent of them are detected in people who have cancer,” She says. Individuals over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of developing blood clots.

“There is a balance in the body between pro-clotting and anti-clotting activity,” says Connors. ”Cancer skews the balance in terms of pro-clotting, increases inflammation, and compresses blood vessels, all risk factors for developing clots.”
As well as a tendency to coagulate or clot; treatments for cancer or blood disorders can also affect the balance of pro and anti-clotting factors.
Immobility and increased bed rest during treatment also enhances a patient’s risk of developing a hyper coagulant state this is why many hospital patients are treated with heparin or some form of anti-coagulant medicine. When seated in a car or aeroplane for long periods of time, it is important to change position, take short walks when possible to keep your blood flowing and practice the simple exercise talked about in today’s interview on Navigating the Cancer Maze Select the title to be redirected to my internet radio show on Voice America’s Health and Wellness Channel. (Free to listen live streaming or to download on itunes.)
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/84200/special-encore-presentation-navigating-the-vascular-maze-in-cancer-medicine-clotting-risks-for
Patient risk of DVT and embolisms increases enormously with air travel to overseas cancer clinics and in my experience; the issue is often not addressed with diagnostic measures or treatment at these clinics. Unfortunately I have seen this scenario many times including when cancer patients are informed of the risks but are dedicated to a “natural cancer therapies” approach. These patients left their Clexane injections in their luggage to be considered for use at a later date. Cancer did not take their lives. Too many died as a result of DVT and resultant embolisms.

Of course if you have had DVT, embolisms or blood coagulation issues in the past it is essential to inform your treating doctor or oncologist. This is also a trap for patients being treated overseas where their complete medical history is not made available or where there are language and translation issues.

Formation of vascular blood clots is also a leading cause of death in cancer patients because cancer cells create blood_clotting (4)conditions that favour clotting. We know that patients diagnosed with pancreatic, lung cancer, multiple myeloma, or hematologic malignancies are more likely to develop blood clots than other cancer patients due to cancer-specific factors, including their treatment regimens. These patients should receive particular attention in terms of preventative anti-coagulation therapy to decrease risk of events that could be fatal.

Dr Connors states that 10 percent of people diagnosed with DVT who do not have a known cancer will be diagnosed with cancer as part of the clot evaluation or in the next year to two years!
PREVENTION AND AWARENESS:
Having seen so many patients with blood coagulation, DVT and embolisms; it serves as a warning sign that blood should be checked for coagulation problems as a part of wellness and disease prevention program. Did you know that egardless of cancer, if you are over 50; the greatest threat to your continued existence is the formation of abnormal blood clots in your arteries and veins. Even athletes and those who are physically fit can be at high risk.

Dietary management and adjustments can help reduce risk – as well as some plant-based phyto-chemicals that have been proven to decrease blood viscosity. However – self diagnosing blood coagulation problems and taking supplements for “blood-thinning” or even taking excessive amounts of foods known to help “thin the blood” is not recommended.

Could you possibly eat all this in one sitting if it wasn't juiced? Imagine this amount 6 or more times daily!
Could you possibly eat all this in one sitting if it wasn’t juiced? Imagine this amount 6 or more times daily!

Recently I had a patient who experienced massive bleeding during a biopsy procedure. Her surgeon had told her to avoid aspirin and fish oil for 5 days before her procedure – which she dutifully did. However she was juicing large amounts of fresh ginger daily as well as turmeric root and she was making a juice from cabbage, mustard greens and turnip greens broccoli, asparagus an apple.
She almost bled out on the operating table and has had a long recovery due to excessive blood loss. It is not hard to see why specialists say to cancer patients when asked if they can have certain foods and supplements – “TAKE NOTHING – AVOID SUPPLEMENTS AND DON’T CHANGE YOUR DIET TOO MUCH”.

When the famous Hippocrates said “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food” he did not mean juicing a wheelbarrow load of fruit and veges every day!!!

It is useful to know that several herbal preparations ( natural and supplemental) interfere with the anti-clotting activity of blood thinners and can increase bleeding time or your risk of bleeding. Garlic, ginger, celery seed, ginseng, curcumin and aniseed all carry coumarin effects (meaning that they can prevent your blood from clotting…. the opposite coagulation focussed on in this article.). (NOTE: Avoid combining tumeric (active ingredient curcumin) with anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet drugs. If you take blood thinning medication

  • Due to “blood thinning” side effects of turmeric; cease to take it at least two weeks before any surgical procedure.
    Two other helpful suggestions about taking Tumeric ( cucumin)
  • Caution with Diabetes. Turmeric may lower blood sugar. Avoid turmeric if you take diabetes medications, since turmeric could cause your blood sugar to fall even further. This could result in hypoglycemia.
  • Caution with Gallbladder. The NIH recommends avoiding turmeric if you currently have problems with your gallbladder. If you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction, turmeric may cause your condition to worsen.
    Foods rich in vitamin E are also natural blood thinners.

Botanical Science and nutritional science knowledge tend to be little adhered to by the current fad that more is better whether in juice, smoothie or supplement. People are flocking to buy machines that will pulverise 10 carrots and 4 blocks of tofu along with bunches of kale and spinach etc in the pursuit of “health and wellbeing”!

In fact these approaches can really have a negative impact of health and wellbeing which I am already seeing in my Practice.
Case managing patients who wish to use complementary medicines and nutritional approaches alongside conventional medicine – presents a challenging management situation to health practitioners.

In our practice I do my best alongside my colleague Dr Whelan to gain patient’s trust in advising on what to take as supplements and foods. With 87 years experience between us – we try to educate and advise simplicity as a targeted approach – rather than trying to “hit a mosquito with a shotgun” – the one size fits all approach. We know they will be tempted and influenced by fellow patients and incorrect information in books and approaches generated by faddist cancer entrepreneurs as well as Dr Google. Experience tells us that our educated patients do very well indeed.

  • As another example of the importance of botanical science knowledge and how a simple food might heal or hinder. While research suggests that tangeretin in mandarin oranges may help prevent cancer, people who already have cancer may not reap any benefits. In fact, a diet rich in mandarin oranges may provide counteractive results in these people as tangeretin appears to interfere with metabolism of some drugs, including the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen. Mandarins and grapefruit are just two of many foods that should be avoided due to interactions with life-saving pharmaceutical treatments.

ASK A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL WHO IS QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED IN CANCER AND HERB/NUTRITIONAL DRUG INTERACTIONS TO DESIGN A PERSONALIZED HEALTH RESTORATION PROGRAM FOR YOU.

Realise that your situation will change as response and treatments change. This is why regular communication and case management is imperative for every cancer patient.

For those cancer patients who live in Queensland – you might like to visit our Gold Coast based consulting rooms where Blood tests and other checks can be organised to increase your wellbeing and lower risks of blood disorders and assist with your cancer management program. More information? Email me via the contact page on this blog or visit www.gracegawlerinstitute.com or www.drwhelan.com

Recommendation – Ongoing Management:
If you are diagnosed with a blood clot, be sure to complete all age-appropriate cancer screenings, including mammograms, Pap smears, and colonoscopies, among others, to evaluate your cancer risk. If all tests are negative, implying no cancer is detected, then it has been recommended that the basic clinical evaluation is repeated every 6 months in the 2 years after the clot occurred. In this way, it is likely that most cancers, if they occur, will be promptly detected. If you know someone who has had DVT without a known cause – please direct them to the following video. We all know that early detection of cancer means better outcomes.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZmT0xgv2Z4&w=560&h=315]

RESOURCES:
http://www.stoptheclot.org/
http://www.stoptheclot.org/documents/fam_test.pdf
http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/84200/special-encore-presentation-navigating-the-vascular-maze-in-cancer-medicine-clotting-risks-for
www.gracegawlerinstitute.com
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/facts.html
http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/diagnosis.html

Until next time……
Grace

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

Which Scan should I have – Navigating the Medical Imaging Maze

Each week in my team consultation practice with specialist GP Dr Bruce Whelan; we hear grave concerns from patients about the radiation risks from diagnostic scans. Unfortunately many cancer patients say no to two imperative diagnostics tools; biopsies and scanning procedures.

Each week in my team consultation practice with specialist GP Dr Bruce Whelan; we hear grave concerns from patients about the radiation risks from diagnostic scans. Unfortunately many cancer patients say no to two imperative diagnostics tools; biopsies and scanning procedures. Usually this is a result of consulting the doctor who never sees a patient and offers a one size fits all approach – yes it’s Dr Google! It is true that medical scans are a source of radiation – however the Health intelligence australiabenefits of knowing as much as possible about your cancer and where it might be located in your body far outweigh the risks. Death from Cancer is not such a great option either I tell my clients.

This is why I interviewed Dr Nevil Chimon on Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio Select this link to listen

Dr Nevil Chimon researches and develops radio tracers for medical imaging. The science, processes & advances of imaging techniques, & the radio-pharmaceuticals that magically make our inner parts visible to doctors for more accurate diagnosis; is the topic for today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze. Dr Nevil Chimon shares his passion and invaluable information for cancer patients about the different types of cancer & the best medical imaging to assist diagnosis. This is information that you need to know! All patients become intimately involved with the process of cancer imaging, & the relationship often lasts for 5 or more years.

BIOGRAPHY:  Dr Chimon is a medical science graduate of UCLAN, BSc (Hons), Manchester University, MSc & NUS, PhD, with Post-Doctoral training in Molecular Imaging & Radiochemistry completed at the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research & Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre, UK. Nevil has over 10 years of experience within the pharmaceuticals industry. Holding positions of increasing responsibility within MNCs and SMEs has provided him with broad exposure to projects involving drug discovery & imaging diseases, including cancer & dementia. Strategically, he recognizes an opportunity exists to leverage on molecular imaging technology to both accelerate drug discovery and improve the healthcare of patients by using PET-CT and PET-MRI multi-modality imaging.

Dr Nevil Chimon BSc (Hons), MSc and NUS, PhD,
Dr Nevil Chimon BSc (Hons), MSc and NUS, PhD,

During his 7-years based in Singapore, Dr Chimon has established the first Preclinical CRO imaging facility, obtained GMP licensing for the RadLink cyclotron facility, performed the first clinical trial with a proprietary radio-tracer for Bayer Pharmaceuticals, & manufactured new tracers to detect cancer. To Listen to my interview with Dr Nevil Chimon: CLICK HERE

As a Cancer Patient – You need to Know your imaging options so you make an informed choice:

Different imaging methods use different technology and provide different types of images. This means they have different benefits for showing what is happening inside the body (e.g. for showing bone, soft tissue or tumours). Imaging methods also have different potential advantages and disadvantages, including exposure to radiation.

Here are just a few of the New Scanning devices and procedures  you need to know about:
Prostate CancerPSMA (Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen) PET-CT – A PSMA study, also called a ProstaScint® scan, is an imaging test to locate and determine the extent of prostate cancer. PSMA studies are performed on newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients to determine if the disease has spread to pelvic lymph nodes. The study is also performed on patients who have had their prostate gland removed (prostatectomy) and have an increase in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood levels.

The study involves a special molecule called a monoclonal antibody developed in a laboratory and designed to bind to the prostate-specific membrane antigen on cancer cells. This antibody is paired with a radioactive material called Indium-111 that can be detected by a gamma camera. When injected into the patient’s bloodstream, the radioactive antibody travels and attaches to cancer cells. The gamma camera then produces three-dimensional images of the tumor and its location inside the body. This study is performed over as many as three days. On the first day, the patient first receives an intravenous (IV) injection of the radioactive antibody. Imaging is performed in two sessions, separated by 24 or more hours. Each imaging session will last between two and four hours. The camera rotates around the patient, who remains still.

  • Molecular imaging and prostate cancer? Molecular imaging is used to:
    stage treatment: by determining the exact location of a tumor, the extent or stage of the disease and whether the cancer has spread in the body and plan treatment by selecting the most effective therapy based on the unique molecular properties of the disease and of the patient’s genetic makeup
  • Choline C-11 PET scan is an imaging test used to help detect sites of prostate cancer that have returned despite treatment (recurrent prostate cancer). It may be used when other imaging has not been helpful. Choline C-11 PET scan is a positron emission tomography (PET) scan that uses a special chemical tracer called Choline C-11 Injection.
  • Valuable links:
    11E_The use of Choline PET_CT in prostate cancer imaging_Tara Barwick
    SCANNING FOR PROSTATE CANCER

    Targeted therapies offer new options for prostate cancer treatment
  • Breast Cancer:  MRI:  Some women, particularly those under the age of 50 and who are at high risk of developing breast cancer due to a strong family history or a genetic mutation, are encouraged to undergo annual breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as part of their regular screening routine. MRI is sometimes a more effective screening tool for younger women, especially those with dense breasts. MRI scans are very expensive — up to $700 AUD per scan. There is a Medicare rebate for women at high risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Mammograms A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast and is the most common form of breast imaging. There are two types of mammogram — screening and diagnostic.
    Screening mammograms: Screening mammograms are used for women who do not have any symptoms of breast cancer and who have not had breast cancer in the past. If you are aged 40 or over, have never been diagnosed with breast cancer and currently have no symptoms of breast cancer, you can be screened free of charge at a BreastScreen Australia clinic.
    Diagnostic Mammograms Diagnostic mammograms are recommended for women who have a previous history of breast cancer or who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. Several X-rays are taken in order to obtain views of the breast/s from different angles. You will need a referral from a doctor for a diagnostic mammogram.
  • More info at http://www.bcna.org.au/living-breast-cancer/follow-care/breast-imaging

Diagnosing NETS (neuroendocrine tumours).

  • Ga68 DOTATE is a somatostatin receptor agent used in the imaging of well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours. For poorly differentiated neuroendocrine tumours; standard F18 FDG-PET remains the imaging of choice for diagnosis. Dr Nevil Chimon discusses NET imaging options and the latest developments in my interview with him on Voice America.

Different types of imaging

  • X-rays (plain radiography) – Uses X-rays to show images of bones, tumours and other dense matter
  • Advantages: Quick, non-invasive and painless
    Can help diagnose various diseases and injuries, including broken bones, cancer and infections
    Disadvantages: Very small increased risk of cancer in future from exposure to ionising radiation (x-rays). Risk is greater for children
  • Computed tomography (CT scans) Uses multiple X-rays to produce cross-sectional layers that show detailed images inside the body, including bones, organs, tissues, and tumours.
    Advantages*Quick and painless
    *Can help diagnose and guide treatment for a wider range of conditions than plain X-rays
    *Can detect or exclude the presence of more serious problems
    *Can be used to check if a previously treated disease has recurred
    Disadvantages*Small increased risk of cancer in future from exposure to ionising radiation (X-rays). Risk is greater for children
    *Uses higher doses of radiation, so the risks (while still small) are in general greater than other imaging types
    *Injection of a contrast medium (dye) can cause kidney problems or result in allergic or injection-site reactions in some people -Some procedures require anaesthesia.
  • Nuclear medicine imaging including positron-emission tomography (PET) Involves injecting, inhaling or swallowing a radioactive ‘tracer’. The gamma-rays emitted by this material are used by the scanner to show images of bones and organs:
    Advantages*Usually painless
    *Can help diagnose, treat, or predict the outcome for a wide range of conditions
    *Unlike most other imaging types, can show how different parts of the body are working and can detect problems much earlier
    *Can check how far a cancer has spread and how well treatment is working
    *Involves exposure to ionising radiation (gamma-rays)
    Disadvantages A PET scan can take 3 to 4 hrs from arrival to departure
  • *Radioactive material may cause allergic or injection-site reactions in some people
    *PET scanners cause some people to feel claustrophobic, which may mean sedation is required
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) Uses magnetic fields and radio waves to show detailed images of organs, soft tissues, bones, ligaments and cartilage
  • Advantages*Usually non-invasive and painless
    *Uses no ionising radiation
    *Can help diagnose and guide treatment for a wide range of conditions
    *Can provide similar information to CT in some types of investigations
    Disadvantages*Can be a lengthy and noisy procedure
    *Slight movement can ruin the image, requiring retesting
    *Can make some people feel claustrophobic
    *Sedation or anaesthesia may be required for young children or others who can’t remain still
    *Injection of a contrast medium (dye) if needed can cause kidney problems or result in allergic or injection-site reactions in some people
    Can’t be undertaken in some situations (e.g. when a heart pacemaker is present)
  • Ultrasound Uses high-frequency sound waves to produce moving images onto a screen of the inside of the body, including organs, soft tissues and bones
  • Advantages*Usually non-invasive, safe and relatively painless
    *Uses no ionising radiation
    *Does not usually require injection of a contrast medium (dye)
    *Can help diagnose a range of conditions in different parts of the body, such as the abdomen, pelvis, blood vessels, breast, kidneys, muscles, bones and joints
    Disadvantages*Quality and interpretation of the image highly depends on the skill of the person doing the scan
    *Other factors can affect image quality, including the presence of air and calcified areas in the body (e.g. bones, plaques and hardened arteries), and a person’s body size
    *Use of a special probe (e.g. for the oesophagus, rectum or vagina) is required in some ultrasounds
    *Special preparations may be required before a procedure (e.g. fasting or a full bladder)
  • Bone scan? A bone scan is a diagnostic imaging test used to determine whether cancer has spread to the skeleton. A tiny amount of radio-tracer is injected into the patient’s bloodstream and accumulates predominantly in the bones where it can be detected by a specialized imaging device called a gamma camera. The resulting two-dimensional or three-dimensional images can reveal various processes such as bony fractures, infection or inflammation or the likely presence of cancer cells.

Select the following URL to learn about the impact of radiation from Medical Scanning:
http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/safety/?pg=sfty_xray

Medical imaging and Theranostics (developing molecular diagnostic tests in tandem with targeted therapeutics) are medical sciences that are moving forward at a rapid pace.  Ask your oncologist/radiologist for the latest information about new  scanning machines and techniques for your particular type of tumour.

We see many patients who have foregone critical diagnostic scans due to fears about radiation from scanning devices; mainly after reading  poorly researched information on Dr Google. All cancer situations need proper diagnosing and monitoring. Most medical scans carry a small long term risk from radiation exposure – but to not know about a burgeoning cancer is a far greater risk to life and longevity.

If you need assistance and case management – you can consult with myself and specialist GP Dr Bruce Whelan in a team consultation at our Gold Coast, Qld Practice. I am also available for Skype consultations for distance Clients – We are able to offer world-wide referrals. To Contact myself and Dr Whelan:  Email institute@gracegawler.com

Until next Time….

Grace

How to ride the new wave of immune therapies | Prof Brendon Coventry and Jill O’Donnell-Tormey PhD Show the Way

Good news on cancer: There is a definite change in the wind! The face of oncology is changing. Both cancer patients and oncologists are undergoing a cancer metamorphosis. Treatments are moving – albeit slowly from a killing cancer focus to a focus on retraining the body’s own immune system to seek and destroy cancer cells.

Good news on cancer: There is a definite change in the wind! The face of oncology is changing. Both cancer patients and oncologists are undergoing a cancer metamorphosis. Treatments are moving – albeit slowly from a killing cancer focus to a focus on retraining the body’s own immune system to seek and destroy cancer cells.

Riding the wave of new immune therapies. Pic: ABC News
Riding the wave of new immune therapies. Pic: ABC News

Last week on Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio Prof Brendon Coventry spoke about cancer vaccines and in particular about his success treating advanced melanoma.

He also spoke about the importance of measuring a patient’s immune cycle as a new approach to that value-adds to the “New Wave” of immunotherapy treatments against cancer.

Click here to listen to that interview if you missed it – (live streaming or download on itunes to listen later at no cost).

Questions from cancer patients clearly demonstrate a thirst for knowledge about immune therapies.

Therefore – today – I have replayed my interview from mid last year(2014) with Cancer Research Institute’s CEO Jill O’Donnell-Tormey PhD.  Click Jill’s name to be redirected to the interview on Voice America internet radio. In this interview Jill provided a clear picture of where immune therapies are headed and what they actually do and where you can find trials and treatments.
VISIT:  http://www.theanswertocancer.org/

Jill talks about the new immunotherapy pharmaceuticals – an innovative class of drugs that block PD-1.  (Stands for programmed cell death protein 1). PD-1 inhibitors, activate the immune system to attack tumors and are therefore used to treat cancer.  These drugs have complex names such as nivolumab successfully used in non-small-cell lung cancer, melanoma, and renal-cell cancer; Pembrolizumab; intended for use in treating metastatic melanoma; to name but a few. Then there are CTLA-4 antibodies such as Ipilimumab; a fully human, monoclonal antibody that overcomes CTLA-4–mediated T-cell suppression to enhance the immune response against tumors.

Anti-PD-1 and Anti-PD-L1 Antibodies – Unlike CTLA-4 antibodies, the PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies aim to potentiate the antitumor T-cell response at a tumor-specific level, by impairing the interaction of the inhibitory receptor PD-1 on T cells with PD-L1 expressed on tumor cells

Cancer patients as well as doctors and oncologists are having to learn a new language and a new way of thinking about cancer. The process is slow – but the most important people in cancer medicine –  patients; need to know the basics and what to ask of their oncologists because these new immune drugs, cancer vaccines and immune timing of treatments, appears to hold the key to curing cancers.

As I see it – the only caution right now is that patients may be rushing to overseas alternative clinics who promote the new elaborate cocktails of immune therapies. Skill and experience is required in using these new immune treatments- best to ask an expert.

Now – back to Prof Coventry and Martin Ashdown’s work for some additional information….
There are many studies that demonstrate that conclusions made by Prof Brendon Coventry and Martin Ashdown that propose that our immune system has a rhythm that can be measured especially when a patient has advancing cancer.

T lymphocytes (orange colour) assembling to kill cancer
T lymphocytes (orange colour) assembling to kill cancer

 It is known that Cytokines (cell signalling molecules that aid cell to cell communication in immune responses and stimulate the movement of cells towards sites of inflammation, infection and trauma), are crucial mediators for shaping immune responses. Cytokines are important regulators of both the innate and adaptive immune response.

The following from the Journal of Immunology Research 2014 – states that Several parameters of the immune system exhibit oscillations with a period of approximately 24 hours that refers to “circadian rhythms.” Such daily variations in host immune system status might evolve to maximize immune reactions at times when encounters with pathogens are most likely to occur. However, the mechanisms behind circadian immunity have not been fully understood. Recent studies reveal that the internal time keeping system “circadian clock” plays a key role in driving the daily rhythms evident in the immune system. Importantly, several studies unveil molecular mechanisms of how certain clock proteins (e.g., BMAL1 and CLOCK) temporally regulate expression of cytokines. Since cytokines are crucial mediators for shaping immune responses, this review mainly summarizes the new knowledge that highlights an emerging role of the circadian clock as a novel regulator of cytokines. Continue reading “Review Article
Temporal Regulation of Cytokines by the Circadian Clock” at: http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jir/2014/614529/

Research such as the above; should encourage us to support the important work on immune synchronization and timing of cancer treatments recently pioneered by Prof Brendon Coventry (and Martin Ashdown) as featured on my internet radio show: Navigating the Cancer Maze 23 January 2015; please see interviews and links below.

Biological_clock_human_svgProfessor Coventry’s first interview listed on the Science show with Robin Williams was broadcast : Saturday 17 April 2010 !! At last there is an intervention that can positively impact outcomes of treatments and that is relatively non invasive (apart from a series of blood tests over a 2 week period).

The information graphed from results can tell you when your window of opportunity for optimum response from your cancer treatments will be. It is my hope that patients will take the time to read and understand the research on both the immune system and immune synchronization of cancer treatments and its exciting implications and begin to ask for their immune systems rhythm to be measured and evaluated.

Prof Brendon Coventry Adelaide, South Australia
Prof Brendon Coventry Adelaide, South Australia

Prof Brendon Coventry says immune system rhythm, may be a fundamental discovery. Implications are better health and reduced costs for the health system. A survey showed that tumours disappear completely in just 7% of patients when treated with chemotherapy. Did the time of administering chemotherapy have an effect? Daily blood measurements show fluctuation in inflammatory markers in the blood. A cycle emerged. It’s now thought the immune system is being regulated, being switched on and off against the tumour. The periodicity is roughly 7 days. This matters, as hitting the immune system with chemicals when it isn’t receptive might be ineffective.

For more information visit the following URLs

Melanoma Study:

http;//www.immunotherapyofcancer.orgcontentpdf2051-1426-2-9.pdf

Immune System pulsing – Timing of Treatment

Martin Ashdown Window of Opportunity1

Be a particicipant in the medicines and approaches that could save your life!

until next time…..
Grace