Cancer patients – Do you want to know the ‘real’ truth about cancer?
This is a huge page – a wealth of information about the misinformation impacting the lives of millions of cancer patients around the world.
In fact, most of the patients presenting to us, have been harmed or negatively impacted in some way by the pleasure of misinformation. So now let’s look at some facts…
Fact 1: The internet is a sewer of untreated, unfiltered information – especially when it comes to advertising – even more so in the ‘health & well being industry – and industry worth trillions of dollars.
Fact 2: Detecting fake cancer information is an essential survival skill. The patient needs to understand the harmful effects of false information – how to question and assess the reliability of information – how to understand cancer fact from fiction.
Fact 3: The internet, books, cancer entrepreneurs, seminars, cancer forums and leaders at cancer retreats often promote bogus, unproven or disproven cancer ‘cures’ or treatments.
Fact 4: The ‘cancer-cure’ world is laden with myths, anecdotal ‘cures’ not backed with evidence; fad ideologies and … just plain lies. Fake science trumps real science.
Fact 5: Patients need to ask questions, think critically and discern ‘hype’ with intelligence, logic and discernment.
Fact 6: If you are a cancer patient, you need truth about recovery methods, not just opinions from unqualified people. You need the truth because your life depends on your ability to make informed choices.
Here’s a thought! Please contemplate it. The real truth about cancer can be found in your tissues. In other words advanced genomic tests reveal the whole truth about your cancer in ways never thought possible. They inevitably point the way to treatments not previously considered – enabling better outcomes. PET scans can show where the cancer is located. CT DNA tests show circulating tumour cell counts. These are truth tellers.
Our short animation below will provide an insight into the complexity of managing cancer and the Grace Gawler Institute’s Cancer Navigation approach.
Successful outcomes are built on informed decisions. These require upon accurate information. It is your life at stake and often there is little room for error.
There is no one size fits all in cancer. On this page you’ll find no hype, no exaggerated claims. Learning about the extent of misinformation & pseudoscience may be confronting for patients who have been diligently practising complementary approaches they believed would help them.
The following video, called No Alternative to Cancer, supports our observations and experience obtained from 4+ decades working at the cancer coalface. The Cancer Council of Australia predicts there will be close to 50,000 deaths from cancer in 2017.
It is our experience that between 5 to 10% of these deaths may have been preventable had the patience not succumbed to misinformation leading to adoption of alternative cancer treatments. Included in this number are those patients whose use of complementary medicines clashed with their standard treatments.
The video: Every year, thousands of Australians are suffering and dying prematurely because of alternative cancer treatments, according to a special investigation by Dr. Paul Willis, director of The Royal Institution of Australia.
“We are able to say that in Australia, the drop-off rate for conventional treatment is between three-to-five per cent, averaging at four per cent of people who are diagnosed with cancer,” Dr Willis tells SBS.
“That figure represents the number of people who are diagnosed with cancer but do not follow through with conventional treatment like chemotherapy, radiation, surgery or a combination of all three when they opt for alternative medicine.”
Note: I have had a number of dialogues with Dr Paul Willis. Paul is a scientist and does not have clinical experience working with cancer patients for 42 years like our Institute director Grace Gawler has accrued. Even so Paul’s figure of 3 to 5% cancer patients turning to alternative medicine is alarming. From our experience we would not be surprised if 10% was more accurate.
The video features on the Australia Science TV site.
Your consultations with us are more productive if we focus on innovative solutions to your cancer diagnosis. Many questions about complementary approaches and myth busting are answered here – so we request you read this page thoroughly.
View our video selections and click links.
Be warned – some material may conflict with your beliefs – what you have read or been told or found on the internet. But remember – We are qualified to help you with 42 years experience – we’ve seen many fads come and go. Our aim is to help you get the very best outcome possible.
Why we developed this Fact Checker Page:
- With 42 year’s of experience in cancer supportive care medicine, we believe we have a duty of care to patients to inform them of the ‘real’ truth about cancer. During this time, although our skill set includes naturopathy and botanical oncology, we have never seen a natural cancer cure. NOT ONE!
- The escalating trend of fad diets, excessive supplementation, and anti-conventional medicine ideologies has led to a distressing increase in patients presenting to us with untreated advanced tumours; often metastasized to stage 4 cancer.
- We appreciate that our clients are someone’s wife, husband, brother, sister or daughter. We take that responsibility seriously. The life of a family member is indeed precious therefore we take the responsibility of presenting the truth about Cancer based on credible science
Example- the Alkalinity Myth:
The majority of patients who contact us have been influenced by cancer treatment myths such as alkaline water & food, molasses & bicarbonate of soda, excessive raw greens, juices & alkalising powders & extreme diets.
The following video is valuable because the interviewer once promoted alkaline water in his books. The interview highlights how wrong many alternative medicine entrepreneurs have been, providing a rational conversation about acidity & alkalinity in the body.
Common Myth Busters
Cancer Myth Buster – Cancer Research UK – 10 Popular Myths Busted
Tackling cancer treatment myths, from clean eating to cannabis – The Guardian Jan 2017
Of Concern: A polished American video – The Truth about Cancer, by Ty Bollinger, takes alternative medicine hype to a new level, with 2.4 million YouTube views and growing fast.
Sadly, there is little truth in the video but in typical Hollywood-style, people without medical training will be seductively drawn in.
Bollinger’s video fails to stand up to the most basic medical science or current medical practice. He denigrates medical science but fails to provide any scientific argument.
He tries to back up his unfounded statements by impersonating science (pseudoscience) – using its language, terminology, concepts and techniques.
If you look at his list of “experts” who support him, you’ll find the usual list of scam artists and non-scientists: folks from natural news, Mercola, Burzynksi (who has a long-running fake cancer centre down south), but he has contacted no one who does valid research biological sciences, or is involved in actual authentic research.
Why we know the video is weak on truth? Our institute’s director, Grace Gawler, with 42 years’ experience at the cancer coalface, and extensive experience in naturopathy, botanical and nutritional oncology, has never seen protocols like those promoted in the video achieve successful outcomes – not in any of the 17,000+ patients she has worked with.
What is our Credibility? 17,000 patients 52 years experience. As husband and wife team we have 52 years cancer experience (Grace 42 yrs Pip 10 yrs)
AND: If we were oncologists entrenched in the medical system, you might consider us to be biased towards ‘big Pharma.’
However our training in naturopathy, our ownership of 4 organic farms, a health food shop, training in yoga therapy, founding & directing two cancer charities & authoring 4 books on the topic, we hardly fit a ‘Big Pharma’ profile.
Unique & Trusted Perspective: We have an added advantage. Our work of bridging the gaps between botanical medicines and oncology means we have sat with patients in oncology consultations all around the world.
We worked in German Integrative Cancer Clinics (3 years) We have high level collaborations & partnerships with some of the leading oncology doctors, teams and clinics on the planet; but being outside the medical systems – we are not bound by their ‘in-house’ politics and protocols.
Daily Proof: As part of our work, we look at patient’s genomic tests, blood tests, scans, x-rays, & medical reports. Many had visited ‘reputed’ cancer naturopaths, integrative doctors and/or clinics in Australia & Overseas.
BUT: From their records, it was apparent that none of the practitioner’s protocols (diets, supplement regimes) had slowed their cancer – often the opposite had happened.
Our mission: is to help patients Safely Navigate the Complex Cancer Maze.
Treatments that appear to work, we explore further. If they meet our stringent scientific criteria, we will recommend them.
We are not paid or funded by any of the hospitals, medical systems, or integrative clinics we work with. Therefore we are free to choose the very best treatments for our patients.
Clinical Experience: As mentioned from our clinical experience we have never seen protocols like those from the Truth about Cancer video work successfully for anyone.
Many of the fads have been around for decades. In our experience – while patients experiment with alternative treatments, their cancers continue to grow. This is the tragedy of Dr Google.
Patients who experiment with alternative medicines will all die in cancer hospitals. It places an enormous emotional, physical, and financial burden on families and the state. Tragically, many of them had cancers with good cure rates, especially if treated early.
It’s Your Life: Before trusting your life in the video’s advice or believing the testimonials, you need credible evidence.
Many of our patients were entranced by the Truth about Cancer video, many have been bombarded by ‘friends’ who fervently promote the video. It sounds good but fails to deliver credible fact.
It is concerning that so many people place their faith in an American Hollywood style production over credible science; especially when it is produced by a man with no medical training or clinical cancer experience.
We believe ‘friends’ of patients who promote unproven or disproven alternative medicines, should be prepared to become full-time caregivers – supporting the patient financially when these protocols fail.
Australian Cancer Entrepreneurs:
In Australia we have seen the rapid rise and fall of cancer entrepreneurs. The danger is that before they are exposed or die from their cancers many patients follow their suggestions.
Wellness Warrior: In her short time in the spotlight Jess Ainscough became an overnight cancer authority. She convinced thousands that she was curing her cancer naturally. Proper medical tests would have shown she was not cancer free as she claimed; however she refused these.
Jess had no medical training. It was sad but inevitable that both she and her mother (breast cancer ) should both die from their cancers because they put their faith in protocols like the Gerson method.
Laura & Gemma Bond: – of Mum’s not Having Chemo fame (blog & book) Gemma Bond also died in 2016. Her daughter, Laura Bond, has made a career promoting the book and now consults cancer patients. After a lot of global PR, Gemma Bond fell silent, at which time we suspected she was in ‘trouble.’
There are many other Australian wealthy cancer entrepreneurs whose miraculous cancer cure claims have never been verified. The list is too long to mention here. Upon scrutiny most of their stories lack proof. Needless to say, patients must demand credible evidence before trusting cancer testimonials.
Dr Harriet Hall: To help patients develop methods to enable them to critique cancer cure claims, I refer below to an excellent 10 part video series produced by Dr Harriet Hall.
Hers is no slick polished production that plays to our emotions – just science, logic and facts. Dr Hall points out that when alternative medicine promoters make extraordinary claims about their cure for cancers, they must be backed by extraordinary evidence.
She notes that before science, human beings learned from personal experience and from others. But much of what they were told was incorrect; for example the earth is flat.
In cancer medicine, we seem to be at the same point again. Large numbers of our society believe stories because they feel good even when not backed by credible science.
The scientific method, while not perfect, is the best tool we have for evaluating cancer claims.
For example: There are many claims made for marijuana oil as a cure for all cancers, but science has not verified this. Marijuana may contain ingredients that have medical potential, but we’re not there yet. To get consistency, reliability, to produce a product that is contaminant free, it would have to be produced in the laboratory.
Tools for Critical Analysis of Cancer Cure Claims:
I hope you enjoy Dr Harriet Hall’s video as much as we did. It really challenged me to look at where my beliefs come from. In our survivor courses, we teach that critical thinking is one of the primary tools for the survivor Toolkit.
Dangers associated with Supplement Intake
Compiled by the Grace Gawler Institute for the safety & well-being of cancer patients – 2016
For many decades, Grace Gawler, founder of the Grace Gawler Institute, has been warning patients of dangers associated with their herbal & nutritional supplements. With 35 years’ experience in botanical medicine and research pertaining to cancer, Grace Gawler endorses the following articles.
Grace says, “Natural’ does not mean supplements are superior or even safe. Secondly there is no one size fits all in curing cancer – all treatments, including supplements must be individualised. Above all they must be coordinated with medical treatments.
At least 90% of the patients I see harm their health or impede their cancer medicines from working. In 4 decades with cancer patients, I’ve seen 1000s of examples consistent with the articles below.”
- LATE-stage cancer patients could be thwarting their own treatment by taking multi-vitamin pills containing antioxidants, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist James Watson has warned. In a new paper, he claims that the reason late-stage cancers often become untreatable is that they produce high levels of antioxidants which stop treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy from working. http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/vitamins-can-harm-cancer-patients-scientist-20130109-2cgrc.html
- ABC’s Four Corners – PBS Frontline investigation – exploring the complex issues surrounding supplements in North America. It’s an eye-opening report that details a web of lobbying and legislation designed to protect the industry, but which ultimately leaves consumers at risk. https://theconversation.com/supplements-are-an-expensive-and-potentially-toxic-lucky-dip-59249
- Curtin University, Murdoch University, University of Adelaide used sensitive analytical techniques to screen a set of traditional Chinese medicines available in Australia. Nearly nine in ten of these medicines had some form of undeclared substance in them as either adulteration or contamination. Sixteen of TCM’s had more than one contaminant or adulterant. https://theconversation.com/whats-in-your-herbal-medicines-52144
- Using a test called DNA barcoding, (genetic fingerprinting), Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular supplements. They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labelled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice. The research provides more evidence that the herbal supplement industry is riddled with questionable practices.
- Herbal products available to consumers in the marketplace may be contaminated or substituted with alternative plant species and fillers that are not listed on the labels. According to the World Health Organization, the adulteration of herbal products is a threat to consumer safety. http://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-11-222
- Dietary supplements, over-the-counter multivitamins, do “more harm than good” and can increase the risk of developing cancer & heart disease, according to research in the US. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/21/vitamin-supplements-increase-risk-cancer-heart-disease-research
- Men have been warned not to take a pair of popular vitamin and mineral supplements after research showed they can dramatically increase the risk of life-threatening prostate cancer. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/22/vitamin-supplements-raise-risk-cancer-men
Copyright – the Grace Gawler Institute 2016