If Ian Gawler did it then I can do it too | The Painful Unraveling of False Cancer Cure Claims

“If Ian Gawler did it, then I can do it too” is a worrying phrase; yet it is almost an expected mantra from patients who pursue the alternate cancer path or who have read You Can Conquer Cancer and consider taking the same approach.

Part 1:  “If Ian Gawler did it, then I can do it too” is a worrying phrase; yet it is almost an expected mantra from patients who pursue the alternate cancer path or who have read You Can Conquer Cancer and consider taking the same approach.

As someone who was personally involved in the Gawler recovery story from the very beginning; I consider I have a Duty of Care to patients and the community at large to keep on telling the story in context and correct the many errors and omissions made over the years in reporting it; even in medical journals! Being an advocate for patient rights and speaking the truth has come at great personal cost. It is also unfortunate that the young people who have been swayed by the natural cancer cure meme have paid a greater cost – they have paid with their lives.

The Ian Gawler cancer remission phenomenon is very much related to what has been happening in the Cancer “cure” news since my last blog on Survivorship where I discussed Jess Ainscough – alias The Wellness Warrior who recently died from her advanced cancer. A passionate follower of the modern Gerson Diet regimen – Jess was perhaps too young and easily influenced in her choices by elders in the “cancer movement” who should have known better. The best advice would be if you want to follow the Gerson Diet, do it in combination with the best medical treatment you can find!

Just as quickly as Social media viraling took patients like Jess to Facebook/internet fame – the materials and links associated with her Gerson diet cancer cure, have disappeared at the same light speed. I have just tried to download links to the following at: http://iangawler.com/youtube.html “A young person’s perspective- Interview with Ian Gawler by Jess Ainscough – Wellness Warrior: Jess chats on Skype with Ian informally about his experience with recovery and what was most important.” But – it has been taken down. The same of http://www.jessainscough.com/2013/03/healthtalks-speaking-at-ian-gawlers-surviving-cancer-event/ To read the actual PDF that has been removed: Select the following: JESS ainscough Gawler healthtalks

As you will read further in this blog, the same is happening with Belle Gibson Whole Pantry developer who claims she has had various cancers and, as a fundraiser, was supposed to donate large funds from her work to charity. Now the media has investigated her cancer claims – most of Belle Gibson’s 2010 – 2012 blogs are no longer available and a more in depth investigation is now underway.

Lantern Publishing stated that they published Belle Gibson’s recipe book in good faith without fact checking. For your interest, our own Grace Gawler Institute research into authors of natural cancer cure claims resulted in NOT ONE author who was able to substantiate their claims that they actually had cancer- although their books are written on how they recovered from it.  Astoundingly, no one could produce medical proof of diagnosis. There were a few others who claimed they had a natural cancer cure – but when there cases were examined  they had received medical treatments that they discounted as being helpful.

Maybe the dawn of ethics is upon us as we uncover the hidden truths about these people. Just check out the Lance Armstrong story to get a handle on that! Before publishing or promoting “stories” the media and book publishers surely have a duty to ensure that the “True Stories” they are publishing are indeed “true”.

Personally, despite the hype; in 40 years I have not seen the Gerson diet benefit cancer patients nor have I seen it create the remissions that are talked about and promoted. From personal experience; the Regimen is far too rigid and contains too many juices – I mean really; think about it –  is it natural to consume up to 9kg of vegetables in one day – juiced or otherwise?

Here is a brief summary of the story:
Early in Ian Gawler’s cancer diagnosis when it seemed that hope for his survival was exhausted; both he and I travelled the Gerson Diet path. I need to be clear that we did so because there was NO medical treatment on offer, so it wasn’t as if we had to choose one or the other……there was no other to choose from. It concerns me greatly that today cancer patients choose the Gerson Diet  INSTEAD of scientifically-based medicine.

My experience of The Gerson diet is best described in my Memoir Grace Grit and Gratitude: Contact me via the contact page and I will send you 2 free chapter downloads on this topic. We put a lot of effort into the Gerson Diet but Ian had a poor result. As Ian’s sole carer/girlfriend, at 21 years of age, it became my responsibility to organise the food and juices for him as he was too ill. It was the most stressful period of my life!

You can conquer cancer new edition
Me – Grace Gawler – disappointed with the new edition of You Can Conquer Cancer

As we progressed with the Gerson Diet and intensive Meditation that he practised according to the Meares method; his deterioration accelerated. He became bedridden. His weight peeled off day after day.  He experienced colic and severe pain with his condition deteriorating to such an extent that he was given a prognosis of 6 weeks. However, was his massive weight loss associated with his cancer? No: in reality it was a result of the Gerson Diet. We ceased the diet and over the coming months he gained weight although unknown to us at the time; he was carrying perhaps a far more silent and lethal killer than bone cancer; a condition that was to remain undiagnosed for the next 2.5 years!

To complicate things even further throughout the time of the Gerson Diet; there were other symptoms that were unaccounted for; massive night sweats, a productive cough and back pain, hydronephrosis; symptoms that were not medically related to Ian’s bone cancer. The fact is that Ian’s bone cancer diagnosis in 1975, proven by biopsy is likely unrelated to the development of the calcified masses in his groin, lung and on his chest that at the time were thought to be metastatic cancer.

Turn the clock forward to 2010, when two oncologists read my Correction of errors letter published in the MJA (Medical Journal of Australia). Once they knew there had been no biopsy for what was thought to be secondary cancer; the real diagnosis came to light. Amidst threats and controversy they eventually published their significant findings in the IMJ HAINES AND LOWENTHAL (2). What were the bony masses? They were calcified abscesses from Tuberculosis. The original TB remained undiagnosed for some time. The calcified abscesses were eventually dissolved by the body and the TB moved into his bones where it was diagnosed in 1978 and treated with conventional medicine.

I refer you to “Ian Gawler Cancer?” on the menu of this blog.

What really concerns me; I meet a lot a patients like Jess Ainscough who come to my practice with  the most horrendous of cancer conditions – mostly with weeping and  fungating tumours but also people ravaged by advanced cancer internally who have followed Gerson or similar to the exclusion of medical treatment.  Often they find me because of my “Gawler” name which I have kept intentionally to help put right the misconceptions about Ian Gawler’s recovery story. Because like Jess Ainscough they too believed they would be cured. They inevitably all say: “If Ian Gawler did it, then I can do it too!”

Moving on from Jess – yet another cancer entrepreneur hits the spotlight today and yesterday: Today’s Australian newspaper has a front page article about Belle Gibson titled: “Mega-Blogger casts doubt on Cancer Claim” by Richard Guilliatt: “A MELBOURNE social media entrepreneur Belle Gibson, whose story of miraculous survival from terminal cancer helped launch a global “health and wellness” business, has admitted that her claim of suffering multiple life-threatening cancers may be false”.


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!


How Surgeons Can Help You Navigate the Colorectal Treatment Maze| with Grace Gawler

Discussion around Pelvic floor dysfunction and its consequences has suffered from the elephant in the living room syndrome for far too long. Today’s interviews with Dr Lim Jit Fong and Dr Francis Seow Choen on Naviagting the Cancer Maze, have a broader reach to anyone interested in their healthcare.

How Surgeons Can Help You Navigate the Colorectal Treatment Maze

Discussion around Pelvic floor dysfunction and its consequences has suffered from the elephant in the living room syndrome for far too long.

Today’s interviews  with Dr Lim Jit Fong and Dr Francis Seow Choen have broader reach to anyone interested in their healthcare. In the last session of the show you will hear part of an interview with Dr Seow Choen. The rest of this highly informative interview will be featured in next weeks show….Don’t miss it!

We all have a pelvic floor and when something goes awry with it  – it can create horrendous  physical suffering, social isolation and psychological trauma. You won’t hear this discussed very often because it is an area that suffers from the stigma of Silence! We tend to only think about pelvic  floor issues in women – but men can have just as many issues with their pelvic floor. Yes – I can’t say it too many times – I have a mission to break the silence that surrounds pelvic floor issues. If my problems had early intervention, my life would have been very different. So I figure we should all use what we have been given in life as teaching stories to educate and help others to access good information and therefore make informed choices to improve health and life! 

The interviews you will hear on navigating the cancer maze radio today were recorded live in Singapore whilst here for surgical procedure # 22! The majority of those surgeries were performed prior to my undergoing interstim treatment; first in the Netherlands with Dr Rudd Schouten and pelvic floor specialist  Marijke Sleiker ten Hove  – this was  in 2002, 2003. I was the “first” at that time for Medtronic interstim to work for my condition. It was verified that innervation to my rectum had been grossly disturbed during a routine surgery in 1997, making bowel function impossible; faecal impaction followed and  colon was removed whilst the cause – nerve damage; remained.

Dr Lim Jit Fong
Dr Lim Jit Fong

  Although the surgeons who performed procedures saved my life several times; for which I am grateful, I remained frustrated because the caused was continually bypassed and my issue became shrouded in Silence. I began to to study sacral nerve function and the pelvic floor. I was told it was impossible that any form of restoration existed!  The longer my problem existed the worse it got so by the time I found a possible solution with interstim; I had a lot of internal and external damage, hernias from “bags”, burns from ileostomies, further proplapses in my already damaged pelvic floor. Life quality became far too compromised Now 2 devices replaced – one in 2009  and now another in 2014  – both performed in Singapore with the surgeons I interview today. Guess what – the procedure is till off label around the world for my condition!! It is available but you need to find those skilled in this area and you need to pay for it. – no insurance. But what is a life worth I keep asking myself? In Singapore I felt understood and listened to as I had been in with my first Dutch Surgeons – when my procedure was purely an experiment. Now, to Singapore……

Dr. Lim is very passionate about improving the quality of his patients’ care. In caring for his patients, Dr. Lim has always maintained a steadfast principle, “Make decisions for your patients as if they are your loved ones. If your decision is not good enough for your loved one, it is not good enough for your patient.” For his dedication toward patient care, he has received numerous awards for excellence in patient care through the years. When I read this I knew I was in the right hands.

Medtronic's interstim snm device
Medtronic’s interstim snm device

Improving patient care is not from the service aspect alone but also involves improving the quality of care through research and educating a new generation of doctors” says Dr Lim. Dr. Lim has authored numerous scientific research articles in various colorectal surgery topics and these have been published in various peer-reviewed medical journals worldwide.

CLICK HERE       To read more about Dr Lim Jit Fong

CLICK HERE      To read more about Dr Francis Seow Choen

Dr Francis Seow Choen Fortis Surgical Hospital Singapore
Dr Francis Seow Choen Fortis Surgical Hospital Singapore

For more information about procedures for incontinence for bladder and bowel or to inquire about any colon issues including constipation and feacle obstructive syndromes: Please inquire via the contact page at http://www.fortissurgicalhospital.com


Next week on Navigating the Cancer Maze – more from Dr Francis Seow Choen


LISTEN TO AUDIO QIMR berhofer QldListen to audio interview at:

Introducing Health Intelligence Australia-A new Model of Healthcare Grace Gawler and Dr Bruce Whelan

On this week’s Navigating the Cancer Maze on Voice America radio, I presented an encore broadcast of a special interview with my colleague GP Dr Bruce Whelan: “Spinning Gold from Straw: How trauma transformed a Doctor’s Life and Practice”. This year, Dr Whelan and I have forged a very special medical partnership to help patients Navigate the Cancer Maze – Health Intelligence Australia.

On this week’s Navigating the Cancer Maze  on Voice America radio, I presented an encore broadcast of a special interview with my colleague GP Dr Bruce Whelan: “Spinning Gold from Straw: How trauma transformed a Doctor’s Life and Practice”. This year, Dr Whelan and I have forged a very special medical partnership to help patients Navigate the Cancer Maze – Health Intelligence Australia.
Last week a patient asked me what makes Dr. Bruce Whelan unique in terms of the type of medicine he practises? The answer came Health intelligence australiaeasily. In the past 10 years Bruce has become involved with and specialized in management of addictions, mental health and severe and chronic pain as well as general medicine. These are also all important aspects of cancer management. They are the areas of medicine that tend to be under-serviced by GPs due to time constraints or lack of training. But there is more that makes Dr Bruce Whelan uniquely suited to the new Health Intelligence Australia group.
Another area of Dr Bruce Whelan’s expertise is in the area of trauma. He knows a lot about trauma at a very personal level because in 2002 he was summoned to Bali from Sri Lanka, where he was working.  He was given the unspeakably grim task of identifying bodies after the bombing at the Sari Club in Bali. His task was made even worse when he spent two days unsuccessfully trying to find and identify the body of his son-in-law Shane – killed in the bombing along with a partner of his daughter’s friend. As luck had it the girls were going to be late getting to the Sari Club that night. But lucky as they were to escape; the trauma of the incident lived on and shaped their future.
When Bruce graduated  from the University of Queensland in 1967, like many of us, he had no idea what life had in store for him. As a doctor, Bruce Whelan had already seen lot of suffering, but the post-traumatic stress affect that the Bali incident produced, had long lasting effects. The product of uninvited change!  Bruce fought a battle he could not win; to have bodies quickly identified, stored appropriately and repatriated to Australia.

Dr Bruce Whelan
Dr Bruce Whelan

This intensified the trauma, grief and loss experienced by many. However, being a resourceful doctor, eventually he was able to spin gold from straw as they say, and today, 14 years later; the experience brings with it a man who is the wounded healer who serves his patients with a rare quality of directness and authenticity. He is someone who deeply understands trauma and depression in another human being.

There is no substitute for this type of life experience. This type of experience can’t be learned in any university except in the university of life!
It is recognized by psycho-oncologists that a diagnosis of cancer is also a traumatic event and many patients experience PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) that often remains undiagnosed and untreated throughout the course of the illness. Some patients have experienced trauma before diagnosis and it may not have been dealt with. Unrecognized trauma can play a complicated role in the ongoing management of illness. Major life traumas can  impact every treatment approach that a cancer patient will try during their recovery….. it can even affect patients who are survivors of the physical illness, but who did not have the opportunity to deal with the psychological impact of the illness at the time.  This often plays out as depression, memory loss or dissociative disorders.
To make an appointment for a consultation to see either myself or Dr Whelan, or for a team consultation,  please visit:
RESOURCES:   Check out the following resources to understand more about PTSD and the brain:The Biology of Trauma           http://www.natal.org.il/english/?CategoryID=232
Article Psychology Today:   The Anatomy of Post traumatic Stress Disorder
Listen to interviews with Dr Bruce Whelan on Voice America – at http://www.drbrucewhelan.com/about-dr-bruce/

Learning from True Survivors|Marala Scott Oprah’s Ambassador for Hope and David Tuccaro Jr.

We can learn from true survivors. It does not have be a cancer crisis – any crisis will do! When we learn from true survivors; we make deposits into our “Life Bank Account”. When in “credit” we have either acquired or learned skills as resources to help us navigate life’s crisis maze. Marala Scott is a storyteller and recently she authored the story of David Tuccaro Jr in Bad to the Bone whom I interviewed on Navigating the Cancer Maze Voice America Radio. Marala Scott has also shared her unimaginable life story to help others learn to forgive, accept challenges and adapt to changes in life, chronicled in her bestselling memoir, In Our House: Perception vs. Reality (an Amazon Best Seller).

What can we learn from true survivors? It does not have be a cancer crisis – any crisis will do!

David Tuccaro Jr and Marala Scott Oprah's Ambassador for Hope
David Tuccaro Jr and Marala Scott Oprah’s Ambassador for Hope

When we learn from true survivors; we are enabled and empowered to make deposits into our “Life Bank Account”. Crises can occur at any time in our life. We are often unprepared. When our “Life Bank Account” is in “credit”; we have either acquired or learned skills that we can access and utilize as resources, if and when we need to navigate life’s crisis maze. Without these skills, crises can become deep seated traumas that affect quality of life.

Marala Scott is a storyteller and recently she authored the story of David Tuccaro Jr in Bad to the Bone. If you missed the interview with David on Voice America Radio CLICK HERE TO LISTEN:

Marala Scott is a Multi Award-winning Author, Motivational Speaker, Ghostwriter and Oprah’s Ambassador of Hope who shares powerful words of inspiration wherever she goes.

Marala has shared her unimaginable life story to help others learn to forgive, accept challenges and adapt to changes in life, chronicled in her bestselling memoir, In Our House: Perception vs. Reality (an Amazon Best Seller) and Surrounded By Inspiration. The newly released book, Bad to the Bone: The True Story of David Tuccaro Jr. (an Amazon Best Seller) is a heart-wrenching story that inspires you to believe when there is no evidence of hope.

Marala Scott speaks from the heart with her life-changing words of faith and strength. Her efforts caught the attention of Oprah Winfrey, who honored her as one of her five Ambassadors of Hope in 2009 and stated, “A childhood of abuse almost kept Marala Scott from a life of happiness…until she discovered how to use her story to help others.” Ms. Scott is also a recipient of a Congressional award, among many others, for her humanitarian efforts for sharing her prolific life story in efforts to help and inspire others. Ms. Scott is a widely sought after Ghostwriter at Seraph Books that helps share the inspiration others have experienced with their power and passion.

More about David Tuccaro Jr’s Story: http://www.davidtuccaro.com/#



Voice America Grace Gawler

Raw Versus Cooked for Cancer Patients with Gastrointestinal Cancer| Grace Gawler

It is not only what you eat; but what you can absorb. Is raw food better than cooked food? Is vegan better for cancer patients than fish and meat? What about raw vegan? Extreme diets often pair with extreme supplementation to make up for what’s missing…so how safe is that approach? What about juices and their value? What is the truth about diet and Cancer?

Navigating the Cancer Diet Maze Special needs for Colon and Liver Cancer

Listen on Voice America Health & Wellness Channel – free to download or available on streaming

It is not only what you eat; but what you can absorb. Is raw food better than cooked food? Is vegan better for cancer patients than fish and vegraw veganvegetarian? What about raw vegan? Extreme diets often pair with extreme supplementation to make up for what’s missing…so how safe is that approach? What about juices and their value?

Having gained a distinction in nutrition plus assisting cancer patients for 40 years has given me great insights….there is not much I haven’t seen cancer patients try with regards to dietary regimens and alternative medicine during those decades. Most often, the outcomes have been far from ideal. Maybe short term dietary experiments are OK if you are not ‘relying’ on the diet for curing cancer – but the main issue goes way beyond symptoms, such as rapid weight loss, because the most important thing is that cancer is time sensitive – you don’t have time to wait and see if the diet works in 3 or 6 months. The wait and see mentality is heavily criticized in conventional medical systems – but clearly it exists on both sides of the healing divide.

  • We live in an age where fashion fads and dietary fads change like the wind. With lifestyle medicine a cultural trend; a lot of long term dietary experimentation is going on at the cost of lives. Cancer patients often get swept up in the winds of dietary fads and before they know it, they are inside a culinary tornado that offers more stress; less peace of mind, confusion, social isolation, unnecessary weight loss and nutritional deficiencies…all from a so called nutrient dense diet that many cannot absorb.
    This I know from experience; in fact from 3 different roles in my life.:
    as carer of a cancer patient
    a qualified health professional
    and then as a patient
    Many others have experienced this – this website is a fascinating read!
    Resource # 1:  http://www.beyondveg.com/

So where does the truth lie for people just want to eat well? I think it lies in the middle of the road approach!

Cancer patients need to be careful that they are not buying in to an someone else’s ideological dietary regimens.

There is no cure cancer diet that I know of….and there is no one size fits all in the world of diet! But if you are a cancer patient and particularly if you have  colorectal or a gastrointestinal cancer – you need to be even more cautious.
What is the best way of eating for this specialised group?
The only way is to access a health practitioner who can help you with a personalised diet  based on results of functional pathology stool tests. Yes – your own stools hold the secret answer as to what you should eat and what you can absorb! Makes sense doesn’t it!

The best type of tests are those that require a stool sample collected over a 3 day period…
Why a 3 day period? As well as examining all the digestive functions and our end products…the 3 day test is far more accurate for detecting any parasite eggs from unwelcome intestinal hosts…this problem is more common that most people believe.

Some cancers such as cancer of the bile duct  (called cholangiocarcinoma)  is one example of a cancer known to be caused by a parasite – in this case – Chinese Liver fluke.
Resource # 2: Chart and references:  Parasites and Pathogens associated with cancer

Resource # 3: In Australia – to source a test ask your health practitioner to organize a Healthscope functional pathology test for digestion including a 3-day parasitology test. They have an excellent series of different tests – your practitioner can advise which one is best for you..

For stool testing in the USA & internationally – CONTACT

It is almost a given that patients with colorectal cancer will have had surgery to remove a segment or segments of colon affected by cancer. Depending on the length of the segment removed  –  type of diet and quantity of food should be adjusted accordingly.

Excess fibre and raw seeds and nuts and even raw foods  can become indigestible irritants causing inflammation and bloating to the patient who has had colorectal surgery….it can especially be a problem for the patient who loses a  significant portion of small intestine. Yours truly in one of those people!

Prior to my own surgery losing 5 ft of large colon and the same amount of small intestine; I was a prolific salad & raw food consumer – but I also ate a great deal of cooked vegetables and seafood – I think you would call me a Pescetarian…I had a diet that contained a good deal of dietary fibre- a good balance of cooked and raw foods. However after my surgeries– my gastro – intestinal tract was clearly traumatised and it took years to recover to a satisfactory degree.

Remember the saying………… it is not only what you eat – but what you can absorb…..this statement becomes a simple rule to live by and is especially important for those dealing with or those who have had colorectal cancer.

Now back to diet….. cooked vs raw…

Now I am interested in the work of primatologist Richard Wrangham…. his research claims that learning to cook food was the hinge Catching_Fire_-_How_Cooking_Made_Us_Human_(Profile_books)on which human evolution turned. Eating cooked food, he argues, enabled us to evolve our large brains, and cooking itself became a primary focus of human social activity — in short, cooking made us the social, intelligent, and sexual species we are today.

His book –  Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human is available on Amazon..

From the book’s promo:
Contrary to the dogmas of raw-foods enthusiasts, cooked cuisine was central to the biological and social evolution of humanity, argues this fascinating study. Harvard biological anthropologist Wrangham dates the breakthrough in human evolution to a moment 1.8 million years ago, when, he conjectures, our forebears tamed fire and began cooking.

Starting with Homo erectus—who should perhaps be renamed Homo gastronomicus—these innovations drove anatomical and physiological changes that make us adapted to eating cooked food the way cows are adapted to eating grass. By making food more digestible and easier to extract energy from, Wrangham reasons, cooking enabled hominids’ jaws, teeth and guts to shrink, freeing up calories to fuel their expanding brains. It also gave rise to pair bonding and table manners, and liberated mankind from the drudgery of excessive chewing (while chaining womankind to the stove). Wrangham’s lucid, accessible treatise ranges across nutritional science, palaeontology and studies of ape behaviour and hunter-gatherer societies; the result is a tour de force of natural history and a profound analysis of cooking’s role in daily life. More than that, Wrangham offers a provocative take on evolution—suggesting that, rather than humans creating civilized technology, civilized technology created us.

Listen on Voice America Health & Wellness Channel – free to download or available on streaming

Thanks for visiting…..More on this thought provoking topic in next blog-soon: Enjoy!  Grace