Idealistic Diets for Cancer Healing – Who can you believe?

By Pip Cornall

Would you take advice from an ‘expert’ who had not succeeded in his/her field?

Yet, crazy as it seems, driven by a sense of urgency and fear, in recent years, cancer patients are doing just that. They’re flocking to buy the latest books and DVDs from ‘dubious’ entrepreneurs in the cancer healing industry—and a huge industry it is with cancer affecting one in three—predicted to be one in two within a decade.

Naively, I thought people in the healing industry would be scrupulously honest but I was wrong. I’ve found that lies, hidden motives and agendas exist right across the healing spectrum. On top of that there is misreporting, urban myths and premature conclusions drawn from scant evidence.

In cancer, making the right decisions based on truthful, accurate, tested data is crucial—for patients it can be a matter of life and death.  So please check your sources thoroughly. Check out people’s credential. Be wary of false titles. I know of people in the industry who call themselves doctors when they are not medical doctors at all.

There are people who claim to have cancer and ‘cured’ it who never had medically verified cancer at all. There are cancer experts who claim to have taught at prestigious universities but this can’t be verified.

There are books filled with stories of patient’s miraculous cancer healing when a follow up investigation reveals many are dead some years later. The list of bogus cures and miracle remedies is endless but if cancer could be cured by grape fasting or eating purple frog dung alone then we’d all know about it and there would be no need for hospitals.

As I’ve mentioned before, the movement to nature diets and nature cures is  fast gaining momentum. Proselytizing the ideal may come from good intention ( I too was a zealot) but ‘veterans’ of the movement (as Grace and I are today) who are honest will reveal the many problems for long term natural food regimes – at least for some people.

I’ve just come across a website with lots of valuable information regarding the secretive even ‘invisibilised’ side effects of raw food, vegan/vegetarian diets. The following is and extract which resonates with what I’ve seen in the cancer healing industry – it is by Ward Nicholson – see

“The development of emotional attachments to philosophies underlying such diets can often end up becoming far more important for some individuals than the results they obtain–or fail to. One result has been widespread refusal in the alternative diet community to face health and behavioural problems that may arise on these diets. A common thread is that a kind of subjective, “blinded naturalism” has become more or less endemic in the vegetarian, raw-food, and alternative diet movements, which can lead to serious health troubles.

I learned plenty about this, of course. However, what surprised me–at first, anyway–is that I have learned far more instead about what I call “the psychology of idealistic diets.” I discovered that a sizable proportion of Hygienists are experiencing problems and disappointing results–even pronounced problems–on the diet, often in spite of adhering faithfully to the Hygienic program over considerable periods of time (many months or a number of years).

Not everyone does well on raw and/or vegan diets (“failure to thrive”). So the first thing I would say here to set the stage for discussing the psychology of an idealistic health and dietary system is that in Natural Hygiene’s case, while it certainly works well for some people, it just doesn’t for others, regardless, apparently, of the time span. Yet you don’t hear about this in mainstream Hygiene–not from the ANHS or in the books and magazines that are sold anyway. There is a real see-no-evil, hear-no evil, speak-no-evil syndrome. ”

I advise you to check out the beyond veg website (url above) for it contains some very sensible discussions on the topic.  Ultimately it’s about commonsense balance mixed with some science and a dash of integrity. Remember if you spread nature cure myths that are not medically verifiable you may be helping some cancer patients make life threatening choices – we have seen that to be the case.

There are skilled professionals who can guide people to successful outcomes in cancer; it’s just a matter of making sure you screen who you work with and what you believe. Grace Gawler in her 35 year career working with cancer patients has worked hard to sort out the myth from the fact and has a network of trusted integrative medical practitioners in Australia and across the globe.

Grace’s new integrative cancer solutions centre will expand upon the work she has been doing by training assistants to standards of excellence in all aspects of cancer support.