For me, the decision to use an alternative cancer therapy was an easy one. I'm often asked why and how I chose an alternative therapy, so, I thought I'd share my thoughts here. Almost any one of the concerns listed below would be enough to make me look outside of the conventional medical field; with so many, it was obvious I needed to explore my options.
The challenge, though, was that I didn't know anything about alternative cancer treatments. I knew that diseases that are considered incurable in the conventional world are often cured with alternative treatments, but I didn't know if that was the case with cancer.
As it turns out, there are a lot of alternative cancer therapies. I researched and considered therapies in Mexico, Venezuela, India, The Bahamas and Switzerland. Each of them, though, gave me cause for concern. For example, I spoke to a patient who had used a therapy in Venezuela. He swore that his myeloma was gone but his hemoglobin and total protein hadn't improved. Hhhmmm....not so good. When I researched a cancer clinic in Switzerland, the web site stated that "we don't know what causes cancer". I found this statement bothersome. If they don't know what causes it, then how can they fix it?
Below, I have listed my concerns with conventional cancer treatments and then I've listed how Dr. Gonzalez' therapy differs.
Concern #1: Conventional medical cancer treatments aren't working well enough for me to bet my life on them.
If conventional treatments were effective, we wouldn't be losing so many people to cancer. When I was first diagnosed, I was able to take a deep breath and think logically. I thought there had been tremendous progress made in cancer research and that I would likely be just fine. I was very optimistic and definitely naive. Imagine my surprise when I began to research cancer and learned that there has been very little progress in the last forty years. It's true that there has been some progress in a couple of the more obscure cancers.....but this progress is few and far between. In all of the major cancers (breast, colon, lung, pancreatic, etc.), there has been little or no progress. If there has been progress, then it is that the patients' lives may be extended by a couple months.
Multiple myeloma (my disease) is considered to be treatable but incurable. Patients take multiple drugs and when one quits working, they try another. They also undergo bone marrow transplants; sometimes, more than one. If I had followed the conventional path, it is likely I would've died of the disease in approximately 5-7 years. Knowing that there is no cure, it didn't make sense for me to start heading down the conventional path. The oncologist tried to scare me into it by saying "don't you want to be around to see your daughters get married?" but I knew better. My girls were two and four, if I only lived another 6 years then I wouldn't be attending anyone's wedding.
President Nixon declared the war on cancer 41 years ago. He said that if we put a lot of money into cancer research, we'd have a cure within five years. Forty-one years later, we've made little progress but there's no shortage of money. The American Cancer Society raises over $500 million per year, the NIH has an annual budget of at least $31 billion and the the NCI has a budget of $7 billion. I hear people complain about paying taxes and I'm wondering why we aren't raising hell about the fact that we have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in cancer research with so little to show? According to Dr. Gonzalez, "if a fraction of that money had been used to study Beard's theory 30 years ago, cancer wouldn't be an issue today."
In Suzanne Somers' book, Knockout, Julian Whitaker, M.D. states the following:
"Conventional cancer treatment is a search and destroy mission: find a tumor, cut it out, poison it with chemotherapy, or obliterate it with radiation.
If there is an approach to cancer that obviously isn't working, this is it. In spite of dramatic advances in these invasive procedures (if one could call them advances), the death rate for cancer has not budged over the last fifty years. In fact, it has increased. Yes, you may hear about cancer patients surviving longer today, but the reality is that we're talking months, not years, for most of the common types of fatal cancer.
Despite the fact that this approach doesn't work, it is nevertheless firmly entrenched and almost universally accepted. One reason is because physicians are notoriously resistant to change. Is is understandable. Oncologists spend three to five years in intensive training to ply their trade. Acceptance of alternative treatments would nullify those efforts"
One thing that really bothers me is the way the mainstream media leads the public to believe that the cure is around the corner. They have been telling us that for 41 years and we haven't made much progress in treating any of the major killers. I usually avoid watching the news on TV as it is so clearly biased, but it seems that every time I happen to have the TV on there is some new "exciting" news about cancer research. Meanwhile, we continue to lose so many people to this dreaded disease.
Gonzalez Therapy: Dr. Gonzalez' efficacy rates are much higher than those of conventional treatments. To be specific, the vast majority of Dr. Gonzalez's patients have already tried everything that conventional medicine has to offer and have been sent home to die by their oncologists. Treating that population, he still has a 70-80% success rate. If a conventional doctor had the success that Dr. Gonzalez has, I'll bet that doctor would be headline news, pictured on the cover of TIME magazine, and nominated for a Nobel Prize.
According to Dr. Gonzalez, if the conventional world would embrace his therapy, "cancer wouldn't really be a big deal."
Concern #2: Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are toxic and dangerous.
According to my oncologist, the literal translation for chemotherapy is to "kill all" and that's what it does. The drugs are made using a variety of chemicals including toxins such as mustard gas and DDT. Damage to various organs can be irreversible and a cured patient will often live the rest of his life with permanent, serious health issues such as heart and nerve damage.
The other problem with conventional treatments is that they cause secondary cancers. Consider Revlimid, a "targeted" drug used for multiple myeloma that, according to my oncologist, "is not chemotherapy". Seven years after Revlimid was approved, doctors are now learning that patients are developing secondary cancers as a side effect. So, there's a lot of hoopla about targeted drugs and I'm supposed to be excited that a targeted drug won't cause me to lose my hair, but I might get another form of cancer, not to mention the fact that it can't cure the first one.
When I read Elizabeth Edwards' book, "Resilience", she explained her chemotherapy in a way that made the potency of the drug very real. She said that if a pharmacist was preparing her chemotherapy and dropped it on the floor, the pharmacist, by law, would have to wear protective gear to clean it up. Yet, she would sit in a chair with an IV while it pumped through her veins.
*The point here is that these drugs are damaging and there is always a downside.
As if the side effects aren't bad enought, Dr. Gonzalez says that chemotherapy only works for a few cancers such as childhood leukemia, some lymphomas, testicular (think Lance Armstrong) and Hodgkins. For the all the major killers such as metastatic breast, liver, prostate and pancreatic, chemotherapy doesn't do much, if anything at all.
Over the last couple years, I learned that chemotherapy does shrink tumors. When I first heard this, it sounded promising. But then I learned that when an oncologist tells a patient that he has an X% chance of his tumors responding to chemo, "respond" simply means that the tumor will shrink and regress for four weeks. If the tumor grows back in five weeks and the patient dies, the patient is still considered a "responder".
I was also surprised to learn that shrinking a tumor doesn't prolong life. When chemotherapy shrinks a tumor, it kills the weak cancer cells but the aggressive cancer cells remain and the patient's life is not extended.
I've heard oncologists in interviews say that they administer chemo, even though they know it doesn't help, so that patients will feel like they're "doing something". It seems that everyone has forgotten the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take to "first, do no harm"? If the oncologist is honest with the patient and tells him that conventional medicine can't help, the patient may start to research alternatives and go find something that will work. Instead, most doctors encourage desperate, needy patients to take chemo even when it can't help and say that alternative therapies don't work, when nothing could be further from the truth, at least when speaking of Dr. Gonzalez' therapy. When I first asked an oncology nurse practitioner about alternatives, she actually rolled her eyes and told me that, in her hospital, accupuncture and massage are offered as complementary services to conventional cancer therapies. I got the impression that she thought I was just one more naive patient who bought into the idea that alternatives might actually work. I was lucky to have very forthright conventional oncologists were honest and admitted they don't know anything about alternatives; I appreciated their truthfulness and candor.
Sadly, radiation is just one more therapy with dismal results. Although it works for some, most cancers don't respond all that well. I've met patients over the last couple years who have permanent damage to their intestines and bone marrow from radiation. One of the patients I knew couldn't digest her food and the other had a permanently weakened immune system. Both of these friends passed away and I've learned that this is often the sad reality of advanced cancer.
I spent three weeks in Mexico (while learning the Gerson Therapy) with several late stage cancer patients and everyone had a different story. One had been administered the wrong chemo, another an accidental double dose of chemo, another had the wrong breast operated on. Yet another had surgery for her cancer and the surgeon decided to remove her appendix although he didn't tell her until two months after the surgery had taken place. Several patients that I met had begun with early stage disease and had been assured they would be "fine" by their oncologist only to learn, a year or two later, their disease had returned with a vengeance.
In Suzanne Somers book, Knockout, Dr. Gonzalez says "The fact of the matter is that 95% of the patients who call my office have been brutalized by the orthodox system. They have had regimens that never offered any change of working: chemo, radiation, all kinds of grotesque surgical procedures. A lot of these people are actually very debilitated by the time they even call my office, and sometimes my staff just sits there dumbfounded by their stories, story after story, over and over again. Every day."
Gonzalez Therapy: The main anti-cancer element of the Gonzalez Therapy is pancreatic enzymes. I take seventy capsules of them a day. It's completely safe and non-toxic. I take no drugs whatsoever. Honestly, it's so simple and effective it seems hard to believe that more people don't know about it.
Concern #3: Many of today's cancer treatments are not proven to be safe and effective.
In the case of multiple myeloma, the main cancer killers are Revlimid and Dexamethasone. Although the oncologist assured me that "you have nothing to worry about. These drugs are safe and have been used on thousands and thousands of patients", I did my own research and found out that I do have things to worry about. First, revlimid can cause blood clots, pulmonary embolism (a blockage to a lung artery), liver toxicity, and bone marrow toxicity. It can also increase the risk of developing Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a life-threatening condition that effects the skin. And that's just a few of the side effects and just one drug. I could fill a page or so listing all the drugs and all the side effects. And who knows all the side effects of using all those drugs together? Interestingly, I decided not to take Revlimid in 2009 (it had only been available since 2004) and in April of 2011, the FDA issued a warning that patients who take Revlimid may be at a risk for developing new types of cancer. So much for having nothing to worry about.
During my appointment where we discussed my treatment, the oncologist began the appointment by saying "we're not going to put you on a trial drug quite yet". I found this interesting because so many of us assume that treatments used by doctors are effective and proven when that is simply not the truth. Until a cure is discovered, cancer patients will continue to be the guinea pigs for trial drugs. A trial drug may work but it usually doesn't, and no one has any idea what the long term side effects may be.
Gonzalez Therapy: Unlike conventional cancer treatments, the Gonzalez Therapy is safe and effective. Dr. Kelley first created the therapy 60 years ago when he cured himself of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Gonzalez has been using the therapy on patients out of his office in New York for 24+ years. It works on all types of cancers, even the really rare ones and the ones that conventional medicine can't cure (which is most of them). The only side effect is optimal health.
Concern #4: I don't have faith and confidence in the healthcare industry.
It's no secret that big pharma controls the healthcare and cancer industries. There are a thousand drug industry lobbyists in Washington; two for every senator and congressman. These lobbyists work full time to ensure that their drugs gain approval; whether they are safe or effective is not the priority. How often do you hear about drugs being taken off the shelf, years after they've been available and done their damage? How about the polio vaccine that caused polio? It seems the primary job of the FDA is to support big pharma rather than protect the public.
Big pharma funds the medical schools and cancer research and, therefore, influences what information is dispersed. It also funds the American Cancer Society, NIH, NCI and all the breast cancer groups with the exception of Breast Cancer Action (bcation.org) out of San Francisco.
According to Breast Cancer Action, "the cancer industry consists of corporations, organizations and agencies that diminish or mask the extent of the cancer problem, fail to protect our health, or divert attention away from the importance of finding and working to prevent the disease. This includes drug companies that, in addition to profiting from cancer treatment drugs, sometimes produce toxic chemicals that may be contributing to the high rates of cancer in this country and increasing rates throughout the world. It also includes the polluting industries that continue to release substances that are known or suspected to be dangerous to our health and the public relations firms and public agencies that protect these polluters. The cancer industry includes organizations like the American Cancer Society that downplay the risk of cancer from pesticides and other environmental factors, and that historically have refused to take a stand on environmental regulation."
Breast Cancer Action is famous for its' "think before you pink" campaign. The organization is raising awareness about the fact that the very organizations who sport the pink ribbon, like Revlon, Estee Lauder and Avon, and claim to want to cure breast cancer, are producing products that cause breast cancer. According to Stacey Malkin, a contributor at CrazySexyLife.com, "Revlon makes more than 20 hair dyes that score a 10 (for most toxic) in the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database. Just one hair dye product, Revlon Colorist Expert Color & Glaze system, contains more than a dozen chemicals linked to cancer! Avon and Estee Lauder make products containing PEG compounds that undergo a process called ethoxylation which uses ethylene oxide (a known breast carcinogen) during processing and often leaves products contaminated with 1,4 dioxane (a carcinogen and serious groundwater contaminate)."
As if it isn't bad enough that the pink ribbon companies are producing carcinogenic products, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization has now commissioned Promise Me, a perfume riddled with carcinogenic chemicals such as galaxolide and toluene. Breast Cancer Action contracted an independent lab to analyze Promise Me and discovered that the chemicals, which are regulated as toxic and hazzardous, are in the Promise Me perfume. Interestingly, the Susan G. Komen organization didn't include these chemicals on the ingredient label. How convenient.
One of Breast Cancer Actions priorities is to "Create awareness that is it not just genes, but social injustices - political, economic and racial inequalities - that lead to disparities in breast cancer outcomes. Discussions of the social determinants of health are beginning to emerge in a number of health fields, but the cancer world still focuses on genes and differences in screening patterns. So, while many people in public health understand that we can reduce the burden of asthma by focusing on the physical environments in which people live, the conversation in cancer focuses on the biological differences between people or differences in access to breast cancer screening. We know there is more to it than this."
Amen! Sure, you're genes play a role but your genes are not your destiny. While the conventional world continues to build its' fancy new cancer wings complete with rocking chairs and pianists, all in an effort to give patients the impression that they are getting the latest and greatest treatments, I feel the industry is stuck in the dark ages using barbaric therapies. They continue talking about genes (which is totally disempowering) while Dr. Gonzalez continues to reverse late stage cancer consulting patients to eat organically and detoxify.
While your genes play a role in cancer, they don't play nearly the role that we think. Your diet and environment play huge roles in cancer, maybe we should focus on the things that we can change? Thirty years ago, the cancer rate was one in eight. Today, it's one in three and in ten years it's expected to be one in two. The world continues to get more and more toxic and the quality of our food continues to diminish. If Dr. Gonzalez can reverse late stage cancer with nutrition and detoxification, then clearly, it's not just about genes and early detection.
If you'd like to understand more about how the industry works, you could start by watching "Burzynski The Movie". It's available on Netflix or you can view it for free:
You could also read Suzanne Somers' Knockout book, check out naturalnews.com, sign up for the electronic newsletter at http://www.mercola.com/, or listen to Dr. Mercola's interview with Dr. Gonzalez and learn how a study that was being funded by Nestle and NIH, to compare the Gonzalez Therapy to chemotherapy, was sabotaged in an effort to make Dr. Gonzalez' therapy seem ineffective.
You can listen to Dr. Mercola's interview with Dr. Gonzalez here:
*I think it's important to note that I'm not suggesting a conspiracy. It seems that the scientists and oncologists I've met with sincerely believe that the conventional therapies are the best treatments available. They simply don't know what's available in the alternative world and some of the doctors I've spoken to readily admit that.
Gonzalez Therapy: There's nothing corrupt about Dr. Gonzalez. This is an extremely rare man who stands up to the industry, his peers, and the media to practice the truth.
Concern #5: Conventional treatments simply suppress symptoms rather than treating the cause of disease.
It's near impossible for me to prioritize my concerns but, for me, this may be the biggest one of all. This is why even a curative drug that is targeted and non-toxic would still not be as exciting to me as it would be to the rest of the world. For me, just getting rid of the disease isn't enough. I want to do more than survive; I want to thrive.
Our bodies are amazing, self healing, triage machines. We are wired for health and can experience perfect health if we nourish and detoxify. A symptom, whether it be a headache, high blood pressure or cancer is simply our bodies' way of screaming out for help. It's a clear sign that something isn't working right and needs to be addressed. But if we take an aspirin for the headache, a beta blocker for the high blood pressure and chemo for the cancer, we've never addressed why we got the headache or the hypertension or the cancer in the first place.
This idea of suppressing symptoms without addressing the cause is something that has always bothered me and is why I've been a long time proponent of alternative therapies for the treatment of chronic disease. As long as the conventional world continues to suppress symptoms without addressing the cause of the disease, we will never experience our full potential.
Gonzalez Therapy: Dr. Gonzalez says that I got cancer because I am genetically too alkaline. He said that my DNA has been damaged from environmental toxins which caused my immune system to go into overdrive. With the diet, I am working to create an acidic environment so that my myeloma will die off. In addition, we are rebuilding my DNA and killing off the cancerous cells which will bring my immune system back into balance. I am also doing lots of detoxification to remove the toxins that caused my disease in the first place. We are addressing the causes and reasons that I got the disease so that I don't get cancer again.
Concern #6: The medical system is the third leading cause of death in the country.
Have you noticed how it's "normal" to be sick? Everyone has something and usually multiple issues....asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, depression, idigestion, migraines, heart disease, cancer. Several of my friends have had their gallbladders, thyroids or partial pancreas removed. The list goes on and on. We're now seeing diseases in children such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, that used to be reserved for adults. I think it's fair to say that what we are doing is not working.
I once asked a local pediatrician why so many children now have allergies. She shrugged and said, "I don't know, maybe the soy formula?" So I asked if she still advises parents to feed it to their infants and she said "yes". Interesting.
I've also asked a couple pediatricians about vaccines. They are 100% sure that vaccines are not a problem, yet they don't know why so many young children now have such serious health issues such as asthma and allergies, not to mention diabetes and cancer. Hhhhmmmm.....
In 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published an article stating that doctors/the healthcare system are the third leading cause of death in the country. The article pointed out that in the previous year:
1. 12,000 died from unnecessary surgery.
2. 7,000 died due to medication errors in hospitals
3. 20,000 died due to other errors in hospitals
4. 80,000 died due to infections in hospitals
5. 106,000 died due to non-error, negative effects of drugs
I could fill a few pages with meaningful statistics but, for now, I'll just share a few I recently read on Mercola.com:
1. The number of people having in-hospital, adverse drug reactions to prescribed medications medications is 2.2 million
2. Tens of millions of unnecessary antiobiotics are prescribed annually for viral infections. For example, one local pediatrician prescribes an antibiotic every time a child has an ear infection, even though they know that 7 out of 8 childhood ear infections are viral and, as a result, an antibiotic will not help.
3. The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million.
4. One in nine patients develop a hospital-acquired infection.
5. The incident rate of medical harm occurring is estimated to be over 40,000 each and every day according to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
6. A mere 6% of adverse drug reactions are properly identified. Most side effects are instead mistaken for new disease symptoms, leading to further drugging and unnecessary medical procedures, increasing the risk of death even further.
I could go on but I suspect you get the point. If you want to see more statistics, go to mercola.com and search on "death by medicine".
Gonzalez Therapy: There are no drugs or surgery or hospitalization involved in the Gonzalez therapy so I don't have to worry about becoming one of those statistics. Dr. Gonzalez' empowers me to take control of my own health.
Concern #7: Taking control of my health is my passion. I would not want to live a life with lots of doctors appointments, drugs and surgeries, giving my daugthers the impression that it's okay to give control of my health to someone else. It's too personal and too important!
Dont' get me wrong. I see the enormous value of conventional medicine when it comes to emergencies or acute illness. I know that antibiotics can be life saving. However, when it comes to chronic disease, I believe that a patient has to take control of his own health and address the cause of the issue.
Doctors don't go to school to learn how to optimize your health. They go to school to study medicine, that's why it's called "medical school". There, they learn how to diagnose disease and then suppress symptoms using drugs and surgery. But, you see, a body that is symptom free is not necessarily healthy. When your body is properly nourished and detoxified, your organs, glands and systems work together synergistically in the way that God and nature intends. Cancer and other chronic diseases simply don't live in this type of environment. Good health is more than a lack of symptoms. Let's use doctors for those occasional times when we need a drug and take it upon ourselves to address our chronic health issues. If you'd like to use a good naturopathic doctor, you could go see Dr. Gonzalez in New York.
The idea of setting an example for my girls where I give control of my health to someone else is unimagineable to me. I want them growing up knowing that they know what is best for their bodies.
You've probably got the picture now. I would use conventional treatments if I had to but, for me, they are a last resort.