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.

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.

  • 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

  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.

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. (

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.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



Until next time……

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



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!


Which Scan should I have – Navigating the Medical Imaging Maze

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Diagnosing NETS (neuroendocrine tumours).

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

Different types of imaging

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

Select the following URL to learn about the impact of radiation from Medical Scanning:

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

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

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

Until next Time….


Cancer Experts Discuss Cancer Vaccines and Immune Cycle Timing of Treatments in Brisbane

Cancer vaccines and immune cycle timing: Hear Prof Brendon Coventry and Martin Ashdown on 612 ABC radio Brisbane, Queensland with Steve Austin today 10.30am Tuesday 13 January 2015. State-wide broadcast. Listen or Download later as a podcast at:

Cancer vaccines and immune cycle timing: Hear Prof Brendon Coventry and Martin Ashdown on 612 ABC radio Brisbane, Queensland with Steve Austin today 10.30am Tuesday 13 January 2015. State-wide broadcast. Listen or Download later as a podcast at:


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

Australia & Immune Synchronisation of Cancer treatments is organised by my Institute. The Grace Gawler Institute is always looking for better ways to assist cancer patients to navigate the increasingly complex cancer maze.

We have invited a group of Medical scientists and clinicians to come together in Brisbane to discuss new ways to tackle the issue of improvements in the medical treatments of cancer. Conventional cancer treatments often get bad press, but the fact is they save lives, true not all lives; but significant enough particularly in some areas of medicine. As one solution to the growing swell of alternative cancer treatments; this group are looking at what can be done to improve conventional cancer medicine by extending the scientific knowledge of our immune system; utilising its inbuilt power and ability to “remember” pathogens, and invaders like cancer cells and proactively destroy them.

GG and Martin AShdown 31 Oct 14 interview  - Copy (2)
Martin Ashdown Melbourne University & Grace Gawler

Immune therapies and the discovery of the immune cycle in cancer patients to help better time delivery of treatments with potentially better outcomes and less side effects; is worthy of attention and research funding in the current climate.

Jeffrey Deslandes – recovered patient using cancer vaccines after 4th recurrence stage 4 lymphoma and now 8.5 years clear will also be in Brisbane this week. His book “From Cancer Good things Grow” tells his story of recovery using cancer vaccines made from his own tissue. All proceeds from the book go to research & Development and clinical application of cancer vaccines in Australia.

I will also be interviewing Prof Brendon Coventry on this weeks Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio show.
Stay tuned for more updates…..

Until next time…


Cancer Vaccines | A survivors story|From Cancer Good Things Grow Grace Gawler

I encored a recent interview with Jeffery Deslandes on my Voice America Internet radio show today for the Christmas period for a special reason. Because his story is both true and inspirational.

I encored a recent interview with Jeffery Deslandes on my Voice America Internet radio show today for the Christmas period for a special reason. Because his story is both true and inspirational. As Jeffrey quotes in his recently released ;  book; “From Cancer Good Things Grow”;  there are about 4,000 new cases of NHL each year in Australia. 1600 Australian die from NHL each year. If this were our road toll and there was an effective way of preventing deaths of even half of that number – there would be campaigns and lots of public and political interest. Why is there such little  interest in cancer immunotherapies? Jeffrey Deslandes is just one of many who have had success with vaccine treatments.

The questions begs – Have we become so conditioned to believing that cancer is a one-way ticket and there’s nothing we can do apart from try alternative medicine and throw out the “conventional medicine” baby with the bathwater?  Have we been convinced that conventional cancer medicine doesn’t work and that all big Jeffrey Deslandes Book 001pharma wants you to do is stay sick to garnish the pockets of doctors?  Have we bought into the rumour that the war on cancer is lost?  These are common statements from the Google cancer entrepreneurs whose aim is to convince patients to follow them, buy their “one size fits all” cancer products and……… take no responsibility for patient outcomes.

I know of far too many  patients who are not here to be with their families this Christmas because they used “faceless” advice from books, CDs or the internet – leaving aside treatable and potentially curable treatments for their cancer until it became obvious that their attempts to replicate the “cures” they have read about; ultimately failed them. This year I have experienced a new phenomenon, receiving many emails from parents who have taken the natural cancer “healing” path with their children using bizarre nutritional regimens, GcMAF, Budwig and Gerson Diets to name a few – most read about these treatments on blogs. Some of these children have been 3 and 5 years of age.  I try my best to influence them towards excellent sources of conventional medicine – but after a few emails – I never hear from them again. This is truly exasperating!!

Genuine, well documented  stories of cancer treatment successes are much needed. Such is the story of how Melbournian Jeffery Deslandes recovered from Stage 4 recurrent lymphoma that had grown resistant to conventional treatment found his remission – now eight and a half years clear. Jeffery did not seek Alternative medicine treatments when his lymphoma recurred again and again; rather he looked outside the conventional box to see what else science-based medicine could offer.

By purchasing Jeffrey Deslandes book (soft Cover /eBook) – you can help to promote the immune therapy he had right here in Australia. All proceeds go toward making this treatment more available for those in our region. PLEASE spread the good news. Vaccine therapies as immunotherapies go wider than just lymphoma. Successes are appearing from many cancer types including melanoma, prostate cancer and many more. If these therapies can be investigated alongside immune cycle research; we may indeed have a two incredibly power non invasive cancer treatment allies. Scroll to end of blog to see the effect of melanoma vaccine.**

Excerpts from Jeffrey Deslandes book “From Cancer Good things Grow”.


Chapter 7 -The cancer Returns Again and Again

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a bit like buffalo grass; it is hard to get out all of the roots and it tends to grow back. I had been informed that my cancer was incurable. It was a real shock at the time.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is Australia’s fifth most common cancer, yet has a very low profile, compared to more publicised cancers such as breast, ovarian, bowel, melanoma and leukaemia. There are about 4,000 new cases of NHL each year in Australia, with about 1,600 deaths each year. That’s about the same as the National Road Toll in this country. Each year we spend billions trying to stop idiots killing each other on the road, yet comparatively little on a disease which is poorly understood. While Australia’s economy is soon to be taxed with the introduction of a Carbon Tax to combat Climate Change. Funny that, I have never known anyone who has died from Climate Change, but I have known scores and scores of people who have succumbed to cancer. We need Governments to spend serious money on cancer research.

After my cancer had returned for the fourth time in 2006, the next mainstream cancer treatment outlined by my specialist, was an autologous stem cell transplant. An autologous stem cell transplant, refers to your own body’s stem cells being first harvested, you are then given high-dose chemotherapy to hopefully kill all cancer in your body, and your stem cells

Jeffrey Deslandes
Jeffrey Deslandes

are then re-infused to build up your white cells, which have been decimated by the chemotherapy. The other option was an allogeneic stem cell transplant; the same procedure but the stem cells are used from a matched donor who is obviously free from cancer. However, for this we would need to find a matched donor, since my brother Ron was not a match, and other brother David was no longer with us. I decided not to take the recommendation of my highly trained lymphoma specialist. I decided that I would need to take charge of my treatment, and find something with a different mode of attack. If something is not working, you don’t keep hitting it with the same old stick! Read on,,,,,,,,

Chapter 8 – Vaccine Therapy–The New Beginning

Through my association with Lymphoma Australia, a fine not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness and supporting lymphoma patients, I became aware of work being done on vaccines for cancer treatment. This work was still experimental or being proven in clinical trials, but it was not quackery, it was being carried out by highly qualified haematologists and scientists.

My diseased lymph node, and my immature dendritic cells, were processed in the laboratory to manufacture a dendritic cell idiotype vaccine to fight the cancer. It is termed idiotype, because the vaccine is grown from my own cancer cells, and is thus specifically tailored to the idiosyncrasies of my cancer. It is worth noting that there are over 30 sub-types of lymphoma alone, and it is my understanding that each and every lymphoma is going to be somewhat different in its individual characteristics. By using my own lymphoma, we got a perfect match, the exact antibody to my cancer. The laboratory grew the vaccine formulation to make 33 doses of vaccine, which were stored at minus 196 °C in liquid nitrogen, and could be kept for perpetuity. Each dose of vaccine is about 1 ml, about a fifth of a teaspoon, but it contains about five million cells. Yes, that’s five million cells, each with a message for my immune system. The message was “this is what the cancer looks like, now do your job like you are supposed to, and go seek and destroy”.  Excerpt: “From Cancer Good Things Grow”

Help save a life ……… Readers of this blog – please help us to help others through cancer education. By passing on this blog or an episode from Voice America – you could also help cancer patients to re-frame their cancer experience and learn about the nature of cancer and how to outsmart it with science-based medicine.

May your Christmas season be filled with joy, love, passion and compassion….

Until next time….


**Warning:  Below – graphic image melanoma – positive results from repeated vaccine cancer treatments.

Conclusions: Prolonged, repetitive VMCL vaccination immunotherapy appears to be a clinically effective means
of generating relatively high CR rates, useful clinical responses and long-term survivals, with little toxicity, but
remains notably under-explored. Successive immunomodulation might explain the results. Closer analysis of
repetitive dosing is required.

Melanoma vaccines
Successful application of repeated dosing with Melanoma vaccines. Research- Brendon Coventry

Cancer Doesn’t Stop for Christmas | Dealing with the Challenges-Grace Gawler Voice America

Navigating the Cancer Maze represents the culmination of my 40 years experience working at the coalface of cancer in what I call cancer supportive care medicine. As a young girl of about 8 years of age – I had two ambitions in life; to research cancer or become a veterinary surgeon. The universe works in mysterious ways. In 1976 I married a veterinarian who had cancer.

Click headphones to listen to today’s show at Voice America

Today’s Navigating the Cancer Maze, covers several areas important to Cancer patients.

In addition to this blog – gracegawlermedia – on Sunday 21st December 2014 – I will be launching a new blockbuster or should I say myth-buster blog – Grace Gawler Blog: The Thinking Person’s Guide to the Truth behind Common Cancer Mythology.

Navigating the Cancer Maze represents the culmination of my 40 years experience working at the coalface of cancer in what I call cancer supportive care medicine. As a young girl of about 8 years of age – I had two ambitions in life; to research cancer or become a veterinary surgeon. The universe works in mysterious ways. In 1976 I married a veterinarian who had cancer.

It happened just a few days before Christmas in 1974 – 40 years ago when I had just turned 21. Suddenly I became a carer of a cancer patient who was my boyfriend and employer.

My wedding day 28 Feb 1976 - 21 years and full-time carer
My wedding day 28 Feb 1976 – 21 years and full-time carer

 Like many today I had no experience in how to cope personally or how to help the patient who was my charge. I had to improvise and learn along the way. Added to this, my boyfriend, who later became my husband when he was given a prognosis 6 weeks to live; was an amputee. He had lost his leg to bone cancer just after Christmas, January 1975. He survived, we had 4 children and now 4 grandchildren. I learned a lot during that “hands-on period” that added to later qualifications. My story of those times is recorded in my Memoirs: Grace Grit and Gratitude. (2008 – eBook available)

See You tube: Grace Grit and Gratitude  Also visit on the menu of this blog –  “Ian Gawler Cancer?”

Moving forward to 2012 I realised that consulting with patients and public speaking was not enough. With cancer incidence rising, what I had learned needed a Global voice; an opportunity to take what I had learned so far and add medical expertise in current cancer treatments and research combined with patients’ experiences.

Available eBook - buy soft cover Australia only
Available eBook – buy soft cover Australia only

Patient’s need reliable and genuine information when they are in the fight for their lives! 2014 marks 2 years on air with Voice America’s Health and Wellness Channel hosting ‘Navigating the Cancer Maze’. We want as many people as possible to know about Navigating the Cancer Maze internet radio because my Charity The Grace Gawler Institute sponsors this show to provide education and information free to all in need. Please visit the Website for our Christmas Fundraiser to support the show for 2015: “Move the World with Grace”

On this week’s pre-Christmas show I discuss key issues for cancer patients that have been highlighted by our guests on Navigating the Cancer Maze throughout 2014; a year of challenges and excitements in the Global Cancer Community. We will take a look at the impact of some of cancer’s entrepreneurs Including Wellness Warrior-Jess Ainscough, who has influenced many patients to follow the natural path to cancer healing, albeit encouraged by the Ian Gawler recovery story, which as you know, was highly likely to have been a misdiagnosis.

Unfortunately, but as expected; Jess’s Epithelioid sarcoma, a cancer that moves slowly has now progressed to a serious degree. Her mum recently died from breast cancer doing the same regimen. Entrepreneurial patients like Jess Ainscough have a huge influence on cancer patient’s treatment decisions. I truly despair at these stories. I hear from cancer patients like Jess daily and see them in my practice with the most horrendous fungating cancers that one would would expect to see in a third world country. I am passionate to educate cancer patients about the dangers of taking the 100% natural therapies approach. As a trained naturopath and herbalist-I am horrified by what I see hear and read about natural cancer cures!
More on this visit-Science -based Medicine Blog and See  Jessica Ainscough Wellness Warrior

Finally….Cancer Doesn’t Stop at Christmas:While for some this is a happy time of year – for others Christmas and New Year celebrations can be very a difficult & emotional time for those currently dealing with life challenging illness, including patients’ families. Also challenging is the person who may be missing from this year’s Christmas table. Please see helpful resources below – also listen to today’s show for helpful tips
Many of my Guests on Navigating the Cancer Maze have authored some fine books. I have listed them below. These are books of substance that contain valid and useful information for patients and families. Recommended for Christmas gifts or personal reading

Resources/Books mentioned on today’s show from my 2014 Guests:

  1. From Cancer Good Things Grow Jeffrey Deslandes – 8.5 year survivor of stage 4 lymphoma after failed treatments – 4 recurrences. Success with Dendritic cell vaccines. Pub  Balboa Pressall proceeds go to R& D Of DC Vaccines.
  2. “Three Months: A Caregiving Journey from Heartbreak to Healing” by Dietrich Stroeh Buy at Amazon
  3.  Recent Release-” Survivorship: Living Well During and After Cancer” by Dr Barrie Cassileth –
    Buy at:
  4. “Bad to the Bone: the True Story of David Tuccaro, Jr” – by David Tuccaro, Jr successful leukemia treatment- Buy at Amazon
  5. “Lead With Your Heart: Creating a Life of Love, Compassion, and Purpose”  by Regina Cates Buy at Amazon
  6. “The Man who Saved a Million Lives” – by Prof Ian Frazer Buy at Amazon
  7. Spontaneous Remission: An Annotated Bibliography by Caryle Hirshberg and Brendon O’Regan – Access this via IONS- Free chapter downloads:


Debbie Franke Ogg had a Hollywood Movie made about her life and recovery from Stage 4 Lymphoma. It starred Sam Neil and Anne Archer. First titled “A Leap of Faith” – the movie was later titled a “Question of Faith”. Debby is perhaps one of the few of millions who had a spontaneous remission from her cancer without medical treatment. The movie can be found online by typing the title into Google. Now a therapist in NY USA – Watch Movie online   Contact Debby.

Cancer Doesn’t Stop at Christmas: Help for those who may have lost a loved one this year. Resources provided by Beth O’Brien: a guest on this year’s Navigating the Cancer Maze.
BOOK recommended by Beth:
Dying to be Free: A healing guide for families after a suicide (Beverly Cobain, Jean Larch) buy at Amazon
The Grief Recovery Handbook: The action program for moving beyond Death, Divorce and other losses by John W James and Russell Friedman Buy at Amazon

Listen to today’s show at

Join Voice America for free:

OR Join this blog for weekly updates delivered to your email box.

Until next time – Compliments of the Christmas Season


From Cancer Good Things Grow – A Survivor’s Story|Grace Gawler Interviews Jeffrey Deslandes

Jeffrey Deslandes thought he had it all. The father of five children, he had his whole life ahead of him. But on one fateful day in 1999, he believed it was all over when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He was wrong. His life had just begun!

from cancer good things growA true story of survival: Share the good news. Listen to Navigating the Cancer Maze: From Cancer Good Things Grow.  If you know someone with lymphoma, leukaemia, melanoma or other cancers – you need to tell them about Jeffrey Deslandes and how he survived and thrive thanks to cancer vaccines. They need to read his story.

Jeffrey Deslandes thought he had it all. The father of five children, he had his whole life ahead of him. But on one fateful day in 1999, he believed it was all over when he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He was wrong. His life had just begun!

His diagnosis, B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, follicular mixed small and large cell, Stage IV, with bcl-2 gene translocation, with spleen and bone marrow involvement. His prognosis; poor.

His is an inspiring, positive, and true story about surviving cancer—and the things it teaches you. You grow as a person. You learn what is really important in life. You discover who your true friends are. Listen to my interview with Jeffrey on Voice America’s Health & Wellness Channel – Navigating the Cancer Maze: From Cancer Good Things Grow.  (Note: The show is sponsored by the Grace Gawler Institute. Free to listen – live stream on demand – select link above or download and listen another time – share with friends and fellow patients. Live broadcast 12 noon Friday – USA time(PST) – Australia – 6 am Qld time.

After traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy, failed to control his cancer, Jeffrey started looking for emerging therapies. When he learned of an experimental treatment involving a personalised vaccine protocol, he pursued it. It is now feasible to have something good—a personalised cancer vaccine—created from something bad—your cancer. This one-of-a-kind vaccine reeducated his immune system so that it could identify and destroy his cancer.

Jeffrey’s story is not a gloom-and-doom tale of yet another poor soul enduring cancer treatment. Instead, he shares his story in the hope of reaching and inspiring other cancer patients who may have given up. Some of the stories in this book come from his deep spiritual core, but he is not a “religious” man. He doesn’t require you to believe these stories, only to know that everything detailed in this book is true.

See Press pass info – share this link to others.

ABOUT Jeffrey Deslandes: Jeffrey is a native of Melbourne, Australia. He has a Masters in Engineering Science, and is a Doctor of Philosophy, attained at the University of Melbourne. He has been married twice and has five children.  His is an inspiring, positive, and true story about surviving cancer—and the things it teaches you. You grow as a person. You learn what is really important in life. Compelled to write about his experience. “From Cancer Good Things Grow” was published recently. Available as ebook and soft cover.(Balboa Press) BUY online at: Balboa Press:

All proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to cancer vaccine research in Brisbane where Jeffrey had his treatment. He wants more people to know about his doctor and the the hope that vaccines bring for recovery. For more information about Jeffrey’s treatment – please contact me via the contact page on this BLOG or via

Note: Dendritic cell vaccines are highly technical and need rigorous quality control and expertise. Ask me for further information on how to access this treatment.

VOICE AMERICA LINK to listen to audio:

Until next time…… Grace

Options, Choices and Treatments for Cancer Recovery| Navigating the Cancer Maze

New cancer treatments are always controversial; BUT – this method is not a treatment. It’s a smart approach. A Smart approach that utilizes all that we know so far about cancer. It works because ultimately; our innate immune system knows what to do.

Options, Choices and Treatments for Cancer Recovery: De mystifying the oscillating the immune cycle.

When my ex husband and I had the idea for starting support groups for cancer patients in the early 1980’s. cancer organizations, patients and doctors were initially not supportive. In fact they were skeptical. They could not see any possible therapeutic benefit could come from people attending a support group.  How wrong they were! Move forward Body rhythms diagram40 years! Yes this December marks my beginning working with cancer patients 40 years ago in a time when there was no support in the health system and no support groups. Now, the benefit of patients attending structured supports and the well being benefit is indisputable.

There are still many new areas to explore, which leads me to discussing the immune cycle. It would seem that during 2014 on Navigating the Cancer Maze – we uncovered and delivered some significant “missing” pieces of the cancer treatment puzzle. It is my hope that as 2014 comes to an end – that 2015 will truly usher in a new paradigm in cancer treatments. The foundation has been laid, extensive research already done, the concept has been introduced worldwide – the  immune cycle measurement is here – NOW!
Now it is up to cancer patients to prove Martin Ashdown and Brendon Coventry right….or wrong. I liked it when Martin Ashdown said – “We believe this is so, a breakthrough – but we are open to being proven wrong!” As in the early days of my first charitable  foundation – it was people power – patient power that made a difference to the success of the Cancer Support Group Movement. Once told there would likely be a measured benefit from attending a support group – the press broadcast the news and the patients came on board en masse!

New cancer treatments are always controversial; BUT – this method is not a treatment. It’s a smart approach. A Smart approach that utilizes all that we know so far about cancer. It works because ultimately; our innate immune system knows what to do. It is just in temporary overwhelm. So doesn’t it make perfect sense that to find the best time to work in synch within the cycle of each person’s immune system to add the best chemotherapy or monoclonal antibody or other targeted treatment. Isn’t this the personalized approach we have been searching for? We all thought it would come in a pill – not an approach and that’s a paradigm shift that some in the world of science and medicine are struggling with.

measuring immune cycleKnowing how one’s immune cycle oscillates holds a clue, “the missing link” that can direct doctors to seek the best time to treat patients in their personal window of opportunity. Then within the parameters of what we know they will have the best chance of a good response or complete response to treatment. (CR)

When cancer cells challenge us – they are also smart. They are a part of us created by our internal systems. You could define cancer as an internal systems error!  These cancer cells cleverly recruit our intelligent mechanisms using them for their own growth and survival. It seems a bit crazy that something that wants to survive – kills its host. But – that’s life! To listen to the latest Voice America related to this blog visit:

So – I believe as do Ashdown and Coventry – that if there is enough of the immune response left in a patient – that the cycle can still be measured and timed so administer the right treatment at the right time. It is simple enough – the only real cost being a series of blood tests. Then finding a doctor who will look at the science and research and say yes – they administer treatment during the 12 hour window of opportunity. The Grace Gawler Institute is keen to let you know and experience the immune cycle for yourself. Please Read more below or join the immune cycle registry at: also see our Next “Survivor Academy” Course!

Martin Ashdown and Brendon Coventry have built upon earlier excellent work in the study of chronobiology: Below are references given on Navigating the Cancer Maze today: I have provided abstract content as well as links.

Until next time……Grace

  • Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2010;50:377-421. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.48.113006.094626.
    Circadian timing in cancer treatments.
    Lévi F1, Okyar A, Dulong S, Innominato PF, Clairambault J.
    Author information
    The circadian timing system is composed of molecular clocks, which drive 24-h changes in xenobiotic metabolism and detoxification, cell cycle events, DNA repair, apoptosis, and angiogenesis. The cellular circadian clocks are coordinated by endogenous physiological rhythms, so that they tick in synchrony in the host tissues that can be damaged by anticancer agents. As a result, circadian timing can modify 2- to 10-fold the tolerability of anticancer medications in experimental models and in cancer patients. Improved efficacy is also seen when drugs are given near their respective times of best tolerability, due to (a) inherently poor circadian entrainment of tumors and (b) persistent circadian entrainment of healthy tissues. Conversely, host clocks are disrupted whenever anticancer drugs are administered at their most toxic time. On the other hand, circadian disruption accelerates experimental and clinical cancer processes. Gender, circadian physiology, clock genes, and cell cycle critically affect outcome on cancer chronotherapeutics. Mathematical and systems biology approaches currently develop and integrate theoretical, experimental, and technological tools in order to further optimize and personalize the circadian administration of cancer treatments.
    [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Ann Pharm Fr. 2008 Jun;66(3):175-84. doi: 10.1016/j.pharma.2008.05.003.
[The circadian-timing system: a determinant of drug activity and a target of anticancer treatments].
[Article in French]
Lévi F.
Author information
Cellular proliferation and drug detoxification are controlled over the 24h by the circadian-timing system, whose disruption can favor malignant processes. Thus, prolonged shift work appears to increase the risk of breast, colon or prostate cancer. Alterations in circadian physiology and/or molecular-clock genes accelerate cancer progression in experimental models and in cancer patients. In addition, anticancer treatments can also dampen or reinforce the circadian-timing system, as a function of dose and time of administration. The adjustment of anticancer-drug delivery to the circadian-timing system (chronotherapeutics) has allowed to reduce five-fold the incidence of severe adverse events as compared to constant rate infusion or wrongly-timed chronomodulated delivery in cancer patients. In experimental models, the best antitumor efficacy is usually obtained following treatment delivery near the least toxic time, a statement that also seems to apply to patients. Dedicated technologies include programmable in time pumps and rhythm monitors and are required for chronotherapeutics. Recent results have revealed that the optimal chronotherapeutic schedule could differ as a function of gender and circadian physiology. In conclusion, the circadian-timing system was shown to negatively control malignant proliferation via partly identified molecular mechanisms. The components of the circadian-timing system thus constitute new potential therapeutic targets in oncology. Mathematical models help toward a better understanding of the role of variability for the determination of the optimal chronotherapeutic schedule and constitute useful tools for the personalization of cancer chronotherapeutics.

Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2013;(217):261-88. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-25950-0_11.
Cancer chronotherapeutics: experimental, theoretical, and clinical aspects.
Ortiz-Tudela E1, Mteyrek A, Ballesta A, Innominato PF, Lévi F.
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The circadian timing system controls cell cycle, apoptosis, drug bioactivation, and transport and detoxification mechanisms in healthy tissues. As a consequence, the tolerability of cancer chemotherapy varies up to several folds as a function of circadian timing of drug administration in experimental models. Best antitumor efficacy of single-agent or combination chemotherapy usually corresponds to the delivery of anticancer drugs near their respective times of best tolerability. Mathematical models reveal that such coincidence between chronotolerance and chronoefficacy is best explained by differences in the circadian and cell cycle dynamics of host and cancer cells, especially with regard circadian entrainment and cell cycle variability. In the clinic, a large improvement in tolerability was shown in international randomized trials where cancer patients received the same sinusoidal chronotherapy schedule over 24h as compared to constant-rate infusion or wrongly timed chronotherapy. However, sex, genetic background, and lifestyle were found to influence optimal chronotherapy scheduling. These findings support systems biology approaches to cancer chronotherapeutics. They involve the systematic experimental mapping and modeling of chronopharmacology pathways in synchronized cell cultures and their adjustment to mouse models of both sexes and distinct genetic background, as recently shown for irinotecan. Model-based personalized circadian drug delivery aims at jointly improving tolerability and efficacy of anticancer drugs based on the circadian timing system of individual patients, using dedicated circadian biomarker and drug delivery technologies.

Chronobiol Int. 2002 Jan;19(1):1-19.
From circadian rhythms to cancer chronotherapeutics.
Lévi F.
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Mammalian circadian rhythms result from a complex organization involving molecular clocks within nearly all “normal” cells and a dedicated neuroanatomical system, which coordinates the so-called “peripheral oscillators.” The core of the central clock system is constituted by the suprachiasmatic nuclei that are located on the floor of the hypothalamus. Our understanding of the mechanisms of circadian rhythm generation and coordination processes has grown rapidly over the past few years. In parallel, we have learnt how to use the predictable changes in cellular metabolism or proliferation along the 24h time scale in order to improve treatment outcome for a variety of diseases, including cancer. The chronotherapeutics of malignant diseases has emerged as a result of a consistent development ranging from experimental, clinical, and technological prerequisites to multicenter clinical trials of chronomodulated delivery schedules. Indeed large dosing-time dependencies characterize the tolerability of anticancer agents in mice or rats, a better efficacy usually results from treatment administration near the least toxic circadian time in rodent tumor models. Programmable in time multichannel pumps have allowed to test the chronotherapy concepts in cancer patients and to implement chronomodulated delivery schedules in current practice. Clinical phase I and II trials have established the feasibility, the safety, and the activity of the chronotherapy schedules, so that this treatment method has undergone further evaluation in international multicenter phase III trials. Overall, more than 2,000 patients with metastatic disease have been registered in chronotherapy trials. Improved tolerability and/or better antitumor activity have been demonstrated in randomized multicenter studies involving large patient cohorts. The relation between circadian rhythmicity and quality of life and even survival has also been a puzzling finding over the recent years. An essential step toward further developments of circadian-timed therapy has been the recent constitution of a Chronotherapy cooperative group within the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer. This group now involves over 40 institutions in 12 countries. It is conducting currently six trials and preparing four new studies. The 19 contributions in this special issue reflect the current status and perspectives of the several components of cancer chronotherapeutics.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Cancer Causes Control. 2006 May;17(4):611-21.
Chronotherapeutics: the relevance of timing in cancer therapy.
Lévi F.
Author information
Cell physiology is regulated along the 24-h time scale by a circadian timing system composed of molecular clocks within each cell and a central coordination system in the brain. The mammalian molecular clock is made of interconnected molecular loops involving at least 12 circadian genes. The cellular clocks are coordinated by the suprachiasmatic nuclei, a hypothalamic pacemaker which also helps the organism adjust to environmental cycles. The rest-activity rhythm is a reliable marker of the circadian system function in both rodents and man. This circadian organization is responsible for predictable changes in the tolerability and efficacy of anticancer agents, and possibly also in tumor promotion or growth.
Expected least toxic times of chemotherapy were extrapolated from experimental models to human subjects with reference to the rest-activity cycle. The clinical relevance of the chronotherapy principle, i.e. treatment administration as a function of rhythms, has been demonstrated in randomized multicenter trials.
Chronotherapeutic schedules have been used to safely document the activity of the association of oxaliplatin, 5-FU and leucovorin against metastatic colorectal cancer and to set up a new medicosurgical management of this disease which achieved unprecedented long term survival.
The chronotherapy concept offers further promises for improving current cancer treatment options as well as for optimizing the development of new anticancer or supportive agents.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Mol Med. 2012 Dec 6;18:1249-60. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2012.00077.
Circadian rhythm disruption in cancer biology.
Savvidis C1, Koutsilieris M.
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Circadian rhythms show universally a 24-h oscillation pattern in metabolic, physiological and behavioral functions of almost all species. This pattern is due to a fundamental adaptation to the rotation of Earth around its own axis. Molecular mechanisms of generation of circadian rhythms organize a biochemical network in suprachiasmatic nucleus and peripheral tissues, building cell autonomous clock pacemakers. Rhythmicity is observed in transcriptional expression of a wide range of clock-controlled genes that regulate a variety of normal cell functions, such as cell division and proliferation. Desynchrony of this rhythmicity seems to be implicated in several pathologic conditions, including tumorigenesis and progression of cancer. In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) categorized “shiftwork that involves circadian disruption [as] probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A in the IARC classification system of carcinogenic potency of an agent) (Painting, Firefighting, and Shiftwork; IARC; 2007). This review discusses the potential relation between disruptions of normal circadian rhythms with genetic driving machinery of cancer. Elucidation of the role of clockwork disruption, such as exposure to light at night and sleep disruption, in cancer biology could be important in developing new targeted anticancer therapies, optimizing individualized chronotherapy and modifying lighting environment in workplaces or homes.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Chronobiol Int. 2012 Apr;29(3):227-51. doi: 10.3109/07420528.2012.658127.
Clock genes and clock-controlled genes in the regulation of metabolic rhythms.
Mazzoccoli G1, Pazienza V, Vinciguerra M.
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Daily rotation of the Earth on its axis and yearly revolution around the Sun impose to living organisms adaptation to nyctohemeral and seasonal periodicity. Terrestrial life forms have developed endogenous molecular circadian clocks to synchronize their behavioral, biological, and metabolic rhythms to environmental cues, with the aim to perform at their best over a 24-h span. The coordinated circadian regulation of sleep/wake, rest/activity, fasting/feeding, and catabolic/anabolic cycles is crucial for optimal health. Circadian rhythms in gene expression synchronize biochemical processes and metabolic fluxes with the external environment, allowing the organism to function effectively in response to predictable physiological challenges. In mammals, this daily timekeeping is driven by the biological clocks of the circadian timing system, composed of master molecular oscillators within the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus, pacing self-sustained and cell-autonomous molecular oscillators in peripheral tissues through neural and humoral signals. Nutritional status is sensed by nuclear receptors and coreceptors, transcriptional regulatory proteins, and protein kinases, which synchronize metabolic gene expression and epigenetic modification, as well as energy production and expenditure, with behavioral and light-dark alternance. Physiological rhythmicity characterizes these biological processes and body functions, and multiple rhythms coexist presenting different phases, which may determine different ways of coordination among the circadian patterns, at both the cellular and whole-body levels. A complete loss of rhythmicity or a change of phase may alter the physiological array of rhythms, with the onset of chronodisruption or internal desynchronization, leading to metabolic derangement and disease, i.e., chronopathology.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]