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

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

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

Bell Gibson Tara Brown 60 minutes
Belle Gibson – Cancer Hoax

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

Select the following video link to see Tara Brown’s response to the interview:       To watch the entire interview:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until Next Time – Stay safe in cancer care….


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

Belle Gibson cancer entrepreneur | “I would say that it was more of a misdiagnosis than completely fictional.”Grace Gawler

My internet Radio show from the Voice America network; I encored a very relevant interview with Dr Julie Crews – who takes an investigative look through the magnifying glass to examine new scales-of-justicetrends in cancer entrepreneurship where patients who are either still in recovery themselves or who claim they have beaten the odds without medical evidence, are influencing the treatment choices of millions of other cancer patients around the globe.

On Today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze – My internet Radio show from the Voice America network; I encored a very relevant interview with Dr Julie Crews – who takes an investigative look through the magnifying glass to examine new scales-of-justicetrends in cancer entrepreneurship where patients who are either still in recovery themselves or who claim they have beaten the odds without medical evidence, are influencing the treatment choices of millions of other cancer patients around the globe. Another group of patients influencing choices are those who have had adequate medical treatment for their cancer, but then champion their ‘cure’ to the use of dietary regimens, alternative medicine, meditation and other healing forms.This was recorded last year – but is very relevant in Today’s Media.

To listen to the interview – select the URL:

Please see also the following link from Today’s Australian re Belle Gibson – written by Richard Guilliatt. This is a brilliant article that points out all the warning signs when examining anyone promoting a natural cancer cure.

Note- You may have to subscribe a fee to view the above article online – or purchase today Australian Newspaper to read.

What Questions should the Cancer consumer be asking and why? What action can you take.
1. The first question is for consumers to carefully look at what the person is saying and promoting – look at the language the person is using and the claims they are making – a big one is they put down their cancer as a lesson….the fact is cancer does not discriminate. It affects good people who live healthy lives – It can affect anyone.
2. What is the background of the person(s) offering the cure-all?? Qualifications? Institutions?
3. If a person is claiming to have cured their cancer naturally, ask to see their medical records from diagnosis to recovery – remission. Ask to see medical verification. After all “Exceptional Claims require exceptional evidence” said Carl Sagan. Anecdotes and stories should not too be mistaken for truth.
4. If I follow this person’s advice – will they have any responsibility regrading my outcome? As happens in the medical profession or other qualified professional health fields- Will their insurance cover me in case of failure? (Not likely)!
3. If they are promoting products which cost money, are they receiving a ‘kickback’ or indeed do they have shares in the company?
4. What do they do when people ask questions and it challenges things they may promote? The more they have invested in the promotion the more they have to lose and will fight very hard to discredit anyone who may disagree with them.
5. Check out what they do if someone posts something that doesn’t maintain the image they are promoting!
6. Email them and ask questions and see what responses you get.
7. If they do speak of ‘medical’ doctors, they may use terms like ‘intuitive practitioner’ ‘integrative practitioner’ – the thing is, you only get THEIR version of their disease – it could be wrong…… and often is!

More in next blog



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: “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 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”.

And…..Yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald also had an article – but the emphasis was different with funds to Charities not delivered by Bell Gibson:

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:

Take care and be safe with your one precious life!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More on Wellness Warrior: ORAC ( Oncology surgeon) – Science based Medicine Below:

The following Survivorship links will be helpful:


Listen to Navigating the Cancer Maze – Today’s show.

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


Alternative medicines and cancer-Grace Gawler in conversation with Sloan Kettering’s Dr Barrie Cassileth

This week on Navigating the Cancer Maze- Voice America and WorldTalk radio, I am in conversation with Dr Barrie Cassileth founder the Integrative Medicine Service at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center New York.

Navigating the Cancer Maze: The role of Complementary Therapies in Cancer Care
Grace Gawler in conversation with Memmorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Dr Barrie Cassileth PhD on VoiceAmerica and WorldTalk Radio.
Broadcast times: USA Friday 22 March 2013 from Arizona live at 12 noon.
Saturday 23 March – Australia available after 8 am – listen streaming or download MP3 or  download on itunes. Available to listen as a streaming audio anytime after the 29 March
Note: Facebook link is broken on my Voice America Page:

In about 30 minutes from now I will broadcasting from Germany – to Voice America Arizona with a show guest from New York – A truly geographically challenging show today!
This week on Navigating the Cancer Maze I am in conversation with Dr Barrie Cassileth founder the Integrative Medicine Service at theMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, (MSKCC) where she remains the chief, and holds the Laurance S. Rockefeller Chair in Integrative Medicine.

Dr Barrie Cassileth PhD
Dr Barrie Cassileth PhD

Dr Cassileth has been involved with the psychosocial aspects of cancer care for more than 25 years and also founded the Society for Integrative Oncology, which publishes a medical journal. She has just released a new book, The Complete Guide to Complementary Therapies in Cancer Care. MSKCC’s Integrative Medicine Service’s Web site, offers evidence-based information about herbs, vitamins, and unproved cancer treatments at no charge to professionals and the public.

The Service’s research includes studies to evaluate the ability of specific complementary therapies to reduce important symptoms associated with cancer treatments and the investigation of botanicals for potential antitumor effects.

To listen in to the show – select the link below:
About Dr Barrie Cassilieth:
Founding President of the International Society for Integrative Oncology and founding Editor-in-Chief of its journal, Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology, Dr Barrie Cassileth has a truly holistic approach and is known as one of oncology’s most ardent advocates for treating the “whole” patient. At MSKCC  she has been the principal investigator of many research studies. The Botanical Center investigates immune-modulating botanical supplements by composition, mechanisms of action and clinical value. She has published 158 papers and 60 books and textbook chapters for physicians, patients, and families. A new edition of The Alternative Medicine Handbook is underway, and the second edition of MSKCC’s  Herb-Drug Interactions in Oncology is now available. Dr Cassileth has researched and promoted proven complementary therapies used along with mainstream care to improve quality of life and to help sustain healthy survivorship.

Please pass this blog address on to friends and colleagues and especially cancer patients. My Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio show is free to air and free to download as an MP3. Any questions – contact me:

The Grace Gawler Institute is a not for profit registered health promotion charity providing access to invaluable information for cancer patients as a value add to conventional care

Why a brave mum said no to chemotherapy – Grace Gawler comments to the editor – Adelaide Now

To the Editor-Adelaide Now This blog was written due the abscence of correspondence or comment from Adelaide Now or from freelance journalist Laura Bond – who is promoting her views on mums not having chemo.

Dear Editor I am alarmed at the content of the article dated October 29, 2011
published on online “Adelaide Now” and titled “Why a brave mum said no
to chemotherapy” and the blog  I believe your newspaper has a public duty of care to present the other side of the issue as to what happens to cancer patients who choose alt/med exclusively forgoing chemotherapy and other conventional treatments.  I note that the online article lists no author – however it becomes obvious when you read through the material; who has written it; freelance  journalist Laura Bond whose mum has chosen not to have chemo.
Cancer patients may die unnecessarily by taking the ‘seemingly legitimate’
advice which is actually regurgitated from the usual poor science found on the  internet.
Recently it became public that Apple’s Steve Jobs turned his back on surgery in favour of alternative medicine; that choice cost him his life. His type of tumour was treatable with conventional medicine. Inherent dangers exist in advising cancer patients against conventional medicine. Will we next see a blog “Why a brave mum said no to chemotherapy for her leukaemic child!” …. because that is the obvious extrapolation! Such an article carries with it a huge public duty of care and responsibility. Continue reading “Why a brave mum said no to chemotherapy – Grace Gawler comments to the editor – Adelaide Now”

Steve Jobs leaves a teaching legacy for all cancer patients says Grace Gawler

Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs recent death from neuro-endocrine pancreatic cancer has once again highlighted the need for more public awareness surrounding issues of alternative medicine and the role of belief systems in cancer treatment choices i.e. alternative versus conventional medicine – when ideologies take over, negating logic and scientific evidence. Steve Jobs was not alone; our institute is very concerned at the large numbers of cancer patients trying alternative medicine as their first-line treatment option.

I say this with respect – but the question begs – what drove a man like Steve Jobs to believe he could beat operable cancer by using the same “alternative” tools he had been using for most of his life? Albert Eistein said: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” In my clinic I  see many patients who have been loyal to an alternative lifestyle ) including alt med, for most of their life and when they get cancer diagnosed – they simply do more of it in pursuit of a cure! Almost a pray harder mentality.

Apparently, even a close friend with prostate cancer who was in remission, advised Jobs not to take the alternative medicine path – yet at great personal risk, he refused surgery to experiment with natural therapies. Natural Health News editor – Mike Adams was quick to gain kudos and write about Job’s death on October 5 stating that he died because of conventional medicine – however information released from Apple Corporation soon revealed a very different story – Adams had incorrectly reported the story – indeed it was quite the opposite. Continue reading “Steve Jobs leaves a teaching legacy for all cancer patients says Grace Gawler”

Survive and Thrive One Day Intensives – an Antidote to Alternative Medicine – Grace Gawler Institute

What is the best path for cancer patients?   The new Grace Gawler Institute’s Survive and Thrive One-Day Intensives are designed to streamline the cancer experience, take away the confusion and replace it with confidence by learning the “How Tos” of being a successful patient. Being a Successful patient is not always about conquering cancer – sometimes it is living well with cancer while extending life that exudes good quality – while other times it may be an unexpected remission or partial remission. One thing that experience tells me  is that 99% of patients will benefit enormously from the Grace Gawler Institute’s approach.

I believe that with good oncological advice/treatment in combination with support and skilled psycho-oncology, that patients give themselves the best chance. With modern advances in cancer medicine – the longer you live with it and manage it, the greater the chance of a new breakthrough treatment. For example, if you did not see last Monday’s Australian Story – I recommend you view this inspiring documentary about two Australian scientists and their quest for one of medicine’s holy grails  – finding a way to treat cancer without the side effects.

The  two scientists epitomise care and compassion in what can appear to be a heartless and mercenary profession.  I believe it is essential that we rise above the old negative paradigms of conspiracies about research and ‘big bad Pharma’ and embrace the true holistic model of medicine. It is hard to imagine where we would all be without modern medicines assistance. This is true complementary medicine and in the true sense of the word; it is holistic medicine. To not include conventional medicine as a part of a holistic medicine model (i.e. truly treating the whole person) is quite ludicrous in 2011. Body, mind, emotion and spirit all need attention. If a cancer is ravaging the body – doesn’t it make sense to treat the body and all its compartments and psychology by the best means possible? Continue reading “Survive and Thrive One Day Intensives – an Antidote to Alternative Medicine – Grace Gawler Institute”