That's a partially tongue-in-cheek question, but also partly serious. What I really mean to ask is: is there a reasonably effective treatment for most forms of cancer that's already basically understood and available? And if so, why is it not in the mainstream? Whatever the reason, if indeed there is "a cure," could the blogosphere then act as the medium for wide distribution of the information, bypassing traditional outlets, until such point as so many anecdotes of successful control or eradication tip the balance?
Well, let's see. I don't have a whole lot to say, but others do, lots of them very smart people. If you take the time to get through it -- and you should, just on the reasonable chance there's something to it -- you're going to get quite an education on just what cancer is, how it grows, and thus, what might be the most effective way to combat it.
First, let me address the question of cancer quackery. It exists on the faulty premise that there is significant financial incentive to explicitly not cure cancer, but to keep it alive and well whilst developing drugs to manage it, hopefully in a manner that has patients ingesting drugs in perpetuity. There is never any shortage of anecdotes, i.e., people going into remission or seeing eradication of a cancer while on some sort of alternative treatment. But in addition to considering the cause & effect aspect of such anecdotes (cause or coincidence?) there is also the issue of proper diagnosis. When I was a kid, a friend of my mom's claimed to have been diagnosed with cancer, then cured by "Laetrile." I don't know if anyone really suspected it at the time, but later antics from that person convinced me that she never had cancer in the first place.
Here's the fallacy: there is an incentive to come up with drugs that manage the disease, all else remaining equal. That's one approach, and problems of the magnitude of cancer ought to be attacked from different avenues. People have been cured with chemotherapy who otherwise would have died. Lots of them. Mostly, that's due to earlier diagnosis. There's also incentive to cure it outright, to eradicate it. A drug company invents drugs. If a cure or treatment comes to light that's not a drug, well, that's out of the purview of a drug company and it's unreasonable to expect them to just abandon the approach they have taken and invested in. Others are sure to explore other paths, and methods that are truly effective will eventually rise to the surface.
Anyway, suffice it to say that I am always suspicious of "cancer cures," and I fully understand that anytime an intriguing anecdote comes to light, people immediately start searching for the magic bullet. What I have to present here -- work done by others; I'm just assembling -- is something that doesn't come under the magic bullet category, at least from my perspective. It's actually something our primitive ancestors were very familiar with as an aspect of their natural, every day, evolved existence. it involves two parts: very low sugar/carbohydrate intake (and no grains) and periods of moderate to heavy fasting (though they knew it as starvation).
So let's move on to the story of the lady from Australia whose 65-yr-old father is doing swimmingly 18 months after being diagnosed with lung cancer with metastasis. How? By getting in touch with Dr. Jan Kwasniewski in Poland and following a strict no-low carb, high fat diet.
Here's the link train.
- Kwasniewski and cancer. Peter calls attention to the woman's comment at another post, as well as to a few other things. Commenters then provide even more links.
- Cancer's Sweet Tooth. This one could make you a bit angry, especially if you've had a friend or loved one who died of cancer. You must read and understand this, and it will blow your mind because of the simple, Occam's Razor implications of the thing. Then, realize that much of this was known in the 1920s and a Nobel was given out for it in 1931. The article itself is from 2000.
- Can a High-Fat Diet Beat Cancer? The Time article that started the Aussie lady on her quest to get the word out.
- Cancer & Ketosis. Robb Wolf, who obviously knows a lot about current cancer treatments and the drugs involved, responding to that Time article. At the end of that post, you'll get a very real and tragic sense of the source of Robb's interest.
- What You Need to Know About Cancer and Metabolic Control Analysis (PDF). This is a Robb Wolf interview with Dr. Thomas N. Seyfried. One very interesting tidbit I didn't know is that fasting a mouse for 24 hours is about metabolically equivalent to a human fasting about a week.
- Effects of a ketogenic diet on tumor metabolism. A PubMed abstract.
- Kasha's story. The comment on Peter's blog that set this post in motion.
Now, keep in mind that I just posted about how fasting prior to chemo seems to protect healthy cells, and since chemo is a war of attrition against cancer, this makes perfect sense.
So, what do you make of all this? I'll tell you what I make of it, and it's simple. I know that for me, no-to-low carb with no grains or grain products or refined sugar is what I was built for. I have documented it going back months now. I'm off three medications I've been on for years. Fasting has also been tremendously helpful. Both will be integral to the rest of my life, because of how they make me feel, as well as watching, right before my very eyes, my own body transform itself into what it was genetically meant to be. I don't look upon it as a means of "preventing cancer." I look upon it as the way our human organism evolved, and unless cancer is a normal part of living in a normal way, in accordance with one's nature -- which we know it's not, from studying indigenous people who are virtually free of cancers and other diseases of civilization -- then it's only "preventative" in the sense that eating prevents starvation.
So, it seems to me that if one is unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with cancer, a three front assault would be to go on an 80/15/5 diet, i.e., 75% of calories from animal fat, 20% protein, and 5% cabs in the form of vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, conduct fasts of three to four days or more every few weeks, and at minimum 2-3 days immediately prior to chemotherapy.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out, and with the channels of communication I've established by virtue of the blogosphere, I'll surely be able to stay on top of it.