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

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

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

Today Tonight segment; Cancer ‘guru’ miracle worker?

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

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

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

To begin with there are two crucial points to address:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Regarding these points

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Ian Gawler ‘Cancer Cure’: report TB mimicks cancer Professor Alex Herzog – Grace Gawler comments

Professor Alex Herzog is recognised by most cancer patients who have researched integrative oncology or hyperthermia (oncotherm) in Germany. Professor Herzog’s paper “Dangerous Errors in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Bony Tuberculosis” describes a patient who was misdiagnosed with metastatic cancer when in fact he had TB of the bone.

Multiple foci TB spine compression fractures vertebrae

This case demonstrates that even today, misdiagnoses can be made.  Professor Herzog’s report, published in 2009, makes for fascinating reading in relation to the recent case of Ian Gawler.

Since the 31 st December 2011 when the Melbourne Age published the headline: Cancer experts challenge Gawler’s ‘cure’   there has been interest from cancer patients, the general public and some doctors, as to what happened in Ian Gawler’s case. How could TB be mistaken for cancer and the obvious question; why it has taken 30 years to explore an unexpected remission from Australia’s most famous cancer patient?

To answer the above as briefly as possible. No one questioned Ian Gawler’s diagnosis. It was presumed he had metastatic disease. There had only been one diagnostic biopsy in Ian’s medical timeline 1974 – 1978 and that was in January 1975. That biopsy positively identified as osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer), resulted in his right leg being amputated. From those times there is a lot of evidence in the medical literature, that amputation alone was a cure for some with this disease. 

Because Ian’s prognosis was thought to be poor (if in fact it had been bone cancer) very few medical practitioners became involved in his case during that period; we were mainly in charge of whatever resources we could muster! When Ian first consulted Ainslie Meares in December 1975, Meares also presumed Ian’s illness to be metastatic cancer. When he wrote his famous MJA published abstract in 1978, Regression of osteogenic sarcoma metastases associated with intensive meditation;  it is likely he had no idea Ian had suffered from TB, he certainly had little of the case history; Ian had only attended Meares groups for 6 weeks, stopping the sessions due to his rapid deterioration. His symptoms at that time were not typical of osteogenic sarcoma but with later knowledge were symptoms of TB. Unknown to Meares, Ian had practised a smorgasbord of techniques including imagery, yoga and Buddhist methods forbidden by Meares, as his method was based on stillness and silence. Without an adequate medical history and  background, as well as publishing copious errors of fact;  Ainslie Meares’ acknowledgement and endorsement of Ian Gawler, gave his ‘remission’ story great credibility and served as the fuel that fired an entire alternative medicine movement.

That credibility has never been questioned until now; Prof Haines and Lowenthal have come forward as the only two oncologists who had followed the story, throughout the decades suspecting error. My 2010 MJA letter addressing errors in the story provided them with a series of anomalies that they suspected existed, but were never able to track down.

Famous photos:July 1977 Advanced TB or cancer?

The question of timing – why now? Why explore a remission from 30 years ago? If Haines and Lowenthal are correct with their recent IMJ published hypothesis; and I believe from first-hand  being there experience, that they are; then the medical history books must be re-written and Ian must subject himself to appropriate medical scrutiny with regards to his history, presenting his samples for independent pathological examination. Cancer patients base their treatment decisions on Ian Gawler’s story; I hear it in my practise from people with advanced cancer at least 4-5 times per week – “Well if Ian did it , then so can I!” If it wasn’t secondary cancer that he had – cancer patients must know this fact.

This is a scan of a person with TB - mediastinal calcifications are evident

It is interesting to compare these two images. Above left Ian Gawler’s chest wall 7 July 1977. Left: Scan image of a patient with TB (not Ian Gawler) Note: tubercular adenopathy  – abscesses of the lymph nodes. These can become calcified abscesses.

Now – back to Professor Herzog’s paper: This is a medical journal report that highlights the fact that TB can mimick cancer Please select the link to read the PDF: Herzog – Dangerous Errors in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Bony Tuberculosis

In brief: Prof Alex Herzog published a journal article about a patient with tuberculosis of the bone mistaken as metastatic cancer.
The patient had been in a University hospital in Germany and had started induction chemotherapy before he visited Professor Herzog who diagnosed that there was no metastatic cancer but tuberculosis. The patient received treatment and was cured with a combination of antibiotics over 2 years. The article can also be found on the public medical record at:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19890413  The message is clear – biopsies and accurate diagnostics are necessary when dealing with any cancer related situation.

 

 

Ian Gawler 'Cancer Cure': report TB mimicks cancer Professor Alex Herzog – Grace Gawler comments

Professor Alex Herzog is recognised by most cancer patients who have researched integrative oncology or hyperthermia (oncotherm) in Germany. Professor Herzog’s paper “Dangerous Errors in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Bony Tuberculosis” describes a patient who was misdiagnosed with metastatic cancer when in fact he had TB of the bone.

Multiple foci TB spine compression fractures vertebrae

This case demonstrates that even today, misdiagnoses can be made.  Professor Herzog’s report, published in 2009, makes for fascinating reading in relation to the recent case of Ian Gawler.

Since the 31 st December 2011 when the Melbourne Age published the headline: Cancer experts challenge Gawler’s ‘cure’   there has been interest from cancer patients, the general public and some doctors, as to what happened in Ian Gawler’s case. How could TB be mistaken for cancer and the obvious question; why it has taken 30 years to explore an unexpected remission from Australia’s most famous cancer patient?

To answer the above as briefly as possible. No one questioned Ian Gawler’s diagnosis. It was presumed he had metastatic disease. There had only been one diagnostic biopsy in Ian’s medical timeline 1974 – 1978 and that was in January 1975. That biopsy positively identified as osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer), resulted in his right leg being amputated. From those times there is a lot of evidence in the medical literature, that amputation alone was a cure for some with this disease. 

Because Ian’s prognosis was thought to be poor (if in fact it had been bone cancer) very few medical practitioners became involved in his case during that period; we were mainly in charge of whatever resources we could muster! When Ian first consulted Ainslie Meares in December 1975, Meares also presumed Ian’s illness to be metastatic cancer. When he wrote his famous MJA published abstract in 1978, Regression of osteogenic sarcoma metastases associated with intensive meditation;  it is likely he had no idea Ian had suffered from TB, he certainly had little of the case history; Ian had only attended Meares groups for 6 weeks, stopping the sessions due to his rapid deterioration. His symptoms at that time were not typical of osteogenic sarcoma but with later knowledge were symptoms of TB. Unknown to Meares, Ian had practised a smorgasbord of techniques including imagery, yoga and Buddhist methods forbidden by Meares, as his method was based on stillness and silence. Without an adequate medical history and  background, as well as publishing copious errors of fact;  Ainslie Meares’ acknowledgement and endorsement of Ian Gawler, gave his ‘remission’ story great credibility and served as the fuel that fired an entire alternative medicine movement.

That credibility has never been questioned until now; Prof Haines and Lowenthal have come forward as the only two oncologists who had followed the story, throughout the decades suspecting error. My 2010 MJA letter addressing errors in the story provided them with a series of anomalies that they suspected existed, but were never able to track down.

Famous photos:July 1977 Advanced TB or cancer?

The question of timing – why now? Why explore a remission from 30 years ago? If Haines and Lowenthal are correct with their recent IMJ published hypothesis; and I believe from first-hand  being there experience, that they are; then the medical history books must be re-written and Ian must subject himself to appropriate medical scrutiny with regards to his history, presenting his samples for independent pathological examination. Cancer patients base their treatment decisions on Ian Gawler’s story; I hear it in my practise from people with advanced cancer at least 4-5 times per week – “Well if Ian did it , then so can I!” If it wasn’t secondary cancer that he had – cancer patients must know this fact.

This is a scan of a person with TB - mediastinal calcifications are evident

It is interesting to compare these two images. Above left Ian Gawler’s chest wall 7 July 1977. Left: Scan image of a patient with TB (not Ian Gawler) Note: tubercular adenopathy  – abscesses of the lymph nodes. These can become calcified abscesses.

Now – back to Professor Herzog’s paper: This is a medical journal report that highlights the fact that TB can mimick cancer Please select the link to read the PDF: Herzog – Dangerous Errors in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Bony Tuberculosis

In brief: Prof Alex Herzog published a journal article about a patient with tuberculosis of the bone mistaken as metastatic cancer.
The patient had been in a University hospital in Germany and had started induction chemotherapy before he visited Professor Herzog who diagnosed that there was no metastatic cancer but tuberculosis. The patient received treatment and was cured with a combination of antibiotics over 2 years. The article can also be found on the public medical record at:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19890413  The message is clear – biopsies and accurate diagnostics are necessary when dealing with any cancer related situation.

 

 

Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ – Grace Gawler comments

Visit:  https://theconversation.edu.au/coffee-enemas-dont-cure-cancer-reviewing-the-remarkable-claims-of-ian-gawler-5242

Hopefully this series of blogs will answer the many questions that cancer patients and the public are asking about how Ian Gawler might have been misdiagnosed?

After Meares and Gerson diet: Mid March 1976 – Ian Gawler

 After all, we would normally think of TB being associated with a ‘shadow’ on the lung, not large calcified lumps such as the those photographed on July 7 1977 – Ian’s chest wall…(below left).
In my next blog we will look at how misdiagnosis can happen and how TB can mimic even bone cancer. The following will form a background and framework for what has happened and make sense of this complex story.

Famous photos:July 1977 Advanced TB or cancer?

 I was once quoted as saying “I would rather be married to a live anecdote than a dead statistic.” At that stage I had no idea that our story would become so famous and that people would try to emulate what we did throughout the course of Ian’s illness. I had neither the maturity nor expertise to tease apart various medical incidents that had always left me wondering.

Now in 2012, having walked in the world of cancer medicine for 38 years; by logic, you would have to think that I have seen a thing or two! Add to that my experience as sole caregiver/partner for Ian Gawler throughout his illness; first in 1974 as girlfriend when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma; then supporting him throughout his assumed recurrence; marrying him when he’d been given a few weeks to live, and following through with support until he returned to full health. Given that background, you would have to think that I know a thing or two!

Coming back to current time, Ian Gawler and supporters mistakenly believe they are at war with the medical profession who are simply out to discredit because he recovered from secondary bone cancer despite them. This debate has reached the heights of blind emotionalism fanned by Gawler’s blogs calling it the Spanish Inquisition! Rather than welcoming enquiry, the Gawler Foundation has published links to these emotive blogs on their front page! Has anyone from this group stopped for moment to consider why, as an ex wife I would expose myself to public and medical scrutiny by correcting errors of fact about Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ in a medical journal? We separated long ago – so although it makes for exciting press, there are no duelling Mrs Gawler’s as has been implied. I have been preoccupied since 1997 with a medical condition myself and family responsibilities, so could well do without the hassle. We should also ask why two eminent professors of oncology would risk their reputations publically and medically by investigating Ian Gawler’s recovery 30 years on? Bringing a tone of logic to the matter, it is recommended that Ian Gawler’s supporters read the evidence as written in the IMJ report before making assumptions about wars and conspiracies. Haines and Lowenthal’s report is well written and scientifically intelligent and for me who was intimately involved in Ian Gawler’s recovery; in 2012 ‘science-speak’ – it sure makes a lot of sense!

We must remember that medicine was a very different entity in the 1970’s. Sophisticated scanning wasn’t around and diagnostics were perhaps more dependent on the patient’s reporting of symptoms. There were very few medical practitioners involved in Ian Gawler’s case; they were not of long duration and, as well, we had much geographical relocation during his illness. No one picked up the symptoms of TB, no one knew of the BCG vaccines he had used as immune stimulants and no one knew of the tuberculin he used for TB testing cows in veterinary practice in those days. No one asked if indeed there had been a biopsy performed 11 months after amputation when a bony lump appeared in his groin. No one asked about biopsies for the duration of his illness; it was presumed they had been done. Maybe this assumption was due to the fact that Ian Gawler was a Veterinarian who would know these things. In a nutshell, this is how much of his story/history, simply passed under the medical radar without questions and eventually became a well reported ‘anecdotal cure.’

When Ainslie Meares reported Ian’s story in 1978 in the MJA – there was one missing piece to the puzzle – Meares did not know Ian had been diagnosed with advanced TB in June 1978. Meares had written and submitted the abstract when the calcifications on Ian’s Chest disappeared – he too presumed the growths had been metastatic cancer – in the absence of knowledge about Ian’s TB. He also inverted Ian’s medical timeline which has helped fuel the current confusion in terms of what happened when?

The ‘Dragon’s Blessing’, Ian’s biography was published October 2008. Dr Alistair Robertson is quoted in the book. He had reviewed Ian Gawler’s case in 1978 and made the diagnosis of TB.  This was the first time Ian had consulted him, so he had little or no background about the case. He looked at x-rays from previous years; back to 1976 and compared them with the current-time June 1978 films.  Robertson said: “TB had been evident for at least two years” however, the lung ‘shadow’ was evident early in 1976 on x-ray. I remember asking Ian’s radiation oncologist about it in February 1976 but I had never seen TB; as a veterinary nurse in wasn’t in my repertoire. Continue reading “Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ – Grace Gawler comments”

Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler's 'remission' – Grace Gawler comments

Visit:  https://theconversation.edu.au/coffee-enemas-dont-cure-cancer-reviewing-the-remarkable-claims-of-ian-gawler-5242

Hopefully this series of blogs will answer the many questions that cancer patients and the public are asking about how Ian Gawler might have been misdiagnosed?

After Meares and Gerson diet: Mid March 1976 – Ian Gawler

 After all, we would normally think of TB being associated with a ‘shadow’ on the lung, not large calcified lumps such as the those photographed on July 7 1977 – Ian’s chest wall…(below left).
In my next blog we will look at how misdiagnosis can happen and how TB can mimic even bone cancer. The following will form a background and framework for what has happened and make sense of this complex story.

Famous photos:July 1977 Advanced TB or cancer?

 I was once quoted as saying “I would rather be married to a live anecdote than a dead statistic.” At that stage I had no idea that our story would become so famous and that people would try to emulate what we did throughout the course of Ian’s illness. I had neither the maturity nor expertise to tease apart various medical incidents that had always left me wondering.

Now in 2012, having walked in the world of cancer medicine for 38 years; by logic, you would have to think that I have seen a thing or two! Add to that my experience as sole caregiver/partner for Ian Gawler throughout his illness; first in 1974 as girlfriend when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma; then supporting him throughout his assumed recurrence; marrying him when he’d been given a few weeks to live, and following through with support until he returned to full health. Given that background, you would have to think that I know a thing or two!

Coming back to current time, Ian Gawler and supporters mistakenly believe they are at war with the medical profession who are simply out to discredit because he recovered from secondary bone cancer despite them. This debate has reached the heights of blind emotionalism fanned by Gawler’s blogs calling it the Spanish Inquisition! Rather than welcoming enquiry, the Gawler Foundation has published links to these emotive blogs on their front page! Has anyone from this group stopped for moment to consider why, as an ex wife I would expose myself to public and medical scrutiny by correcting errors of fact about Ian Gawler’s ‘remission’ in a medical journal? We separated long ago – so although it makes for exciting press, there are no duelling Mrs Gawler’s as has been implied. I have been preoccupied since 1997 with a medical condition myself and family responsibilities, so could well do without the hassle. We should also ask why two eminent professors of oncology would risk their reputations publically and medically by investigating Ian Gawler’s recovery 30 years on? Bringing a tone of logic to the matter, it is recommended that Ian Gawler’s supporters read the evidence as written in the IMJ report before making assumptions about wars and conspiracies. Haines and Lowenthal’s report is well written and scientifically intelligent and for me who was intimately involved in Ian Gawler’s recovery; in 2012 ‘science-speak’ – it sure makes a lot of sense!

We must remember that medicine was a very different entity in the 1970’s. Sophisticated scanning wasn’t around and diagnostics were perhaps more dependent on the patient’s reporting of symptoms. There were very few medical practitioners involved in Ian Gawler’s case; they were not of long duration and, as well, we had much geographical relocation during his illness. No one picked up the symptoms of TB, no one knew of the BCG vaccines he had used as immune stimulants and no one knew of the tuberculin he used for TB testing cows in veterinary practice in those days. No one asked if indeed there had been a biopsy performed 11 months after amputation when a bony lump appeared in his groin. No one asked about biopsies for the duration of his illness; it was presumed they had been done. Maybe this assumption was due to the fact that Ian Gawler was a Veterinarian who would know these things. In a nutshell, this is how much of his story/history, simply passed under the medical radar without questions and eventually became a well reported ‘anecdotal cure.’

When Ainslie Meares reported Ian’s story in 1978 in the MJA – there was one missing piece to the puzzle – Meares did not know Ian had been diagnosed with advanced TB in June 1978. Meares had written and submitted the abstract when the calcifications on Ian’s Chest disappeared – he too presumed the growths had been metastatic cancer – in the absence of knowledge about Ian’s TB. He also inverted Ian’s medical timeline which has helped fuel the current confusion in terms of what happened when?

The ‘Dragon’s Blessing’, Ian’s biography was published October 2008. Dr Alistair Robertson is quoted in the book. He had reviewed Ian Gawler’s case in 1978 and made the diagnosis of TB.  This was the first time Ian had consulted him, so he had little or no background about the case. He looked at x-rays from previous years; back to 1976 and compared them with the current-time June 1978 films.  Robertson said: “TB had been evident for at least two years” however, the lung ‘shadow’ was evident early in 1976 on x-ray. I remember asking Ian’s radiation oncologist about it in February 1976 but I had never seen TB; as a veterinary nurse in wasn’t in my repertoire. Continue reading “Out on a limb – the importance of re-examining the cause of Ian Gawler's 'remission' – Grace Gawler comments”

Professor Ian Haines co author Gawler ‘cure’ challenge also a survivor – Grace Gawler

Unless you are Melbourne based, you may have missed an amazing story that precedes the publication and release of  a medical journal article report that offers a likely hypothesis for the recovery of Ian Gawler – Australia’s most famous recovered cancer patient. The report was reviewed and published recently in the Melbourne Age.  
Professor Ian Haines, a co author with Professor Ray Lowenthal, recently turned the worlds of complementary & alternative medicine upside down when they reported that their research unequivocally found that in Ian Gawler’s case evidence of widespread secondary cancer was lacking, suggesting that based on reviewed evidence not previously available, that the patient Ian had advanced tuberculosis mimicking cancer. (supported by past medical literature searches).

Professor Haines recently experienced his own exciting story of survival.  The e-published Internal Medicine Journal  article may not have had one of its authors alive to discuss the importance of the report to cancer patients because just as Professor Haines was driving out of the Melbourne Cabrini Hospital carpark in late November 2011, on his 57th birthday, he had a cardiac arrest and was clinically dead.
Watch video interview with Professor Haines Channel 7 Melbourne: Click here

Fortunately, Dr Peter Jenkins followed by orderly & CPR expert Jonathon Cooper came to the rescue and in an intense 7 mins effort, Ian was brought back to life – a second chance and a miraculous recovery event. A long time advocate for cancer patients and well published researcher, Professor Haines is now a survivor in his own right. I was thinking about survival yesterday as it was the 10 year anniversary of my own survival when I travelled to the Netherlands to have my “world first” bionic colon implant  – a miraculous surgery that saved my life and gave me back life quality. The lower end of my colon had been paralysed – an unexpected post surgical complication following a hysterectomy in Dec 1997. I am eternally grateful to the researcher/colo-rectal surgeon who took a chance and gave me a second chance at life and a return to my career.

Like Professor Haines – if not for modern medicine, neither of us would be here to continue my work and assist those with life challenging illness.

www.gracegawlerinstitute.com  E- institute@gracegawler.com