Action Plan Against Cancer — What to Do

There are literally hundreds of nutritional products and programs that have at least anecdotal evidence of effectiveness against cancer. You cannot take all the pills and try all the diets. For many people there is the problem of convenience, or ability to swallow pills, or swallow anything when you are feeling nauseated. Then there is the obvious dilemma of cost. Insurance companies are still reluctant to reimburse for these relatively inexpensive and non-toxic nutritional supplements. Hence, the patient is left with some very tough decisions: “If I can’t take them all, then which ones are most important?” For these people, I have rated the following supplements based upon the available scientific and clinical information.

1. BEST (THREE STARS***) are relatively inexpensive and easy to administer and are most likely to help all cancer patients.

2. VERY GOOD (TWO STARS**) may be very costly or inconvenient to administer, but may help many cancer patients. Use these if you have the money, inclination and time.

3. GOOD (ONE STAR*) means there is very limited data supporting the use of these products against cancer. Use them if you are willing to spend the money and time for what may constitute a “long shot” for most cancer patients.


WORLD CLASS GOURMET HEALTH FOOD CUISINE, delicious for most patients and acceptable for all. See the chapter with menu plan for examples. Calorie distribution:

  • 20% fat (low in omega 6, saturated & hydrogenated; high in omega 3 from fish, canola, flaxseed oils and olive oil)
  • 50-60% carbohydrate (low in sugar, high in fiber & vegetables)
  • 20-30% protein (low in fat, beef & dairy; high in soy & whey)

Food extracts

Daily blending (use the Vitamix, 800-848-2649) for juicing of fresh carrots, cabbage, or other fruit and vegetables: 2 eight ounce glasses to be taken with meals to avoid elevations in blood glucose levels. Mix 4 ounces of pureed veggies with 4 ounces of purified water for a pleasant meal time beverage.

Garlic: Kyolic 12 capsules, powder, or liquid equivalent. For a tasty and convenient way to eat more fresh garlic; place 6 garlic cloves unpeeled in 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and cover. Microwave for 20-30 seconds. Cloves easily slide out of their peeling and taste somewhat like cashews. Eat garlic often or take garlic supplements.

Shark cartilage (Cartilage Technology 914-939-9000). 60-80 grams powder (1-1.5 gm/kg body wt) either mixed in food or taken as retention enema. For those who would like to take orally, mix 20 grams of powdered shark cartilage in yogurt, apple sauce, pureed vegetable drink, or such. Do this 3 to 4 times daily, depending on your body weight and tumor size. For retention enema: mix 20 grams of shark cartilage powder in blender with 4 ounces of lukewarm water. Add to rectal syringe bottle (available at pharmacy). Lie on left side in bed with bed pan nearby. Follow directions from rectal syringe placing bottle higher and allowing gravity feed of solution into anus. The idea is to keep this solution in the colon for full absorption, which takes about 30 minutes. Try taking a nap. This procedure takes some adjusting, but the early data on shark cartilage is very encouraging.

Shark oil (alkylglycerols) as Ecomer. 2 caps three times daily for patients undergoing radiation therapy. Provides protection against radiation damage. Begin 2 weeks before radiation therapy and continue throughout therapy.

Greens: 2 tablespoons powder daily. The powdered essence of young green plants can be found in a number of products at your health food store. May be added as powder to your “Dragon-Slayer” shake in the morning or taken as pills. Chlorophyll, beta-carotene, potassium, glutathione and other nutrients are jammed into this wonder food.

Asparagus: 2 tablespoons powder

Mushroom extract: 6-12 capsules daily of Maitake (800-747-7418)

Soybeans: 1/2 cup daily of soy products like tempeh, or Haelan Soy Product 851 (504-885-2776) or Lumen Soy Products (800-256-2253)

Spirulina: 2 tablespoons powder, may be added to “Dragon-Slayer” shake in morning for protein component.

Royal bee jelly: 500 mg

Enzymes: Enzymes should be taken with a meal if the desire is to improve digestion, or on an empty stomach if the desire is to help fight cancer. For cancer support, take 15 Wobenzym (800-899-4499) first thing in the morning at least 1 hour before mealtime. Take 15 more Wobenzym last thing at night at least two hours after the last meal. Megazyme (5 pills in morning & 5 before bed) from Enzymatic Therapy is not enterically coated nor clinically tested on cancer patients, like Wobenzym, but is more concentrated. Bromelain is a vegetarian source of enzymes.

Rice bran, pressure cooked (rich in tocotrienols), 2-3 tablespoons daily or as much as you can eat.

Sea vegetables in soups and stews on a daily basis, or kelp tablets 6-12 daily depending on your thyroid function

Aloe vera extract, contains active immune stimulant ace mannan. Drink as liquid. Can be used instead of fruit juice for “Dragon-Slayer” shake, 2-6 cups daily from Royal Body Care (800-722-0444), which is one of the few companies that has painstakingly preserved the active ingredient.

Intestinal microflora. If you use the Perfect 7 product as outlined for the “Dragon-Slayer” shake, then you may not need these other items. Options include:

Broad spectrum Kyodophilus (lactobacillus, bifidus, streptococcus faecium) from Tyson (800-367-7744)

Milk-free lactobacillus from Klaire Labs (800-533-7255)

Perque Product from Seraphim (800-525-7372)

Intestinal cleansing/detoxification. Many aspects of cancer therapy, including chemo and radiation therapy, pain killers and sedatives, will reduce muscular contractions in the intestines, which then cause constipation. These detox and herbal purgative formulas will help most patients, but for some people, there may be a need for physical assistance. Using the flat side of your fist, create a gentle but deep massaging rocking motion from top to bottom that moves laterally across your intestines, pushing in about 1-2 inches. This method helps many people who are losing the muscle tone of youth that moves food through the intestines. Sick and older people often have weak or sedated muscles throughout the body, including the intestines. This massaging technique really helps.

Perfect 7: combined herbal GI cleanser, 2 teaspoons in “Dragon-Slayer” shake; contains psyllium seed, alfalfa, cascara sagrada, rose hips, buckthorn bark, lactopriv/B (a special non-dairy lactobacillus), bentonite, garlic, golden seal, capsicum.

Homemade fiber combination. Sesame seeds ground with flax seeds to form a “nut butter”. Use as a sandwich spread or to season soups.

High fiber supplement. Matol Fibre Sonic containing fiber from soy, gum arabic, cellulose gel, cellulose gum, apple, pea, corn bran, guar gum, locust bean gum, psyllium seed, rice bran, wheat bran, oat bran, rye, superbeet, xanthum bean gum, tofu (soybean), citrus pectin, prune, cellulose, barley, fig, beet, malted grain, pear, soy lecithin. 3 gm protein, 3 gm fat, 11 gm fiber per 8 ounce serving. From Matol, a network marketing group.

Broad Spectrum Food Supplement

For patients who cannot consume adequate calories via food, use 2-3 “Dragon-Slayer” shakes” per day as described in the recipe chapter.


Broad spectrum vitamin & mineral coverage. This is critical, since so many cancer patients experience a wide array of nutrient deficiencies, it is impossible to take a separate pill for each vitamin and mineral. Hence, this product is the “core” of the vitamin and mineral program, with additional supplements providing therapeutic doses of other nutrients. Find a multiple vitamin and mineral that is in capsule form, for enhanced bioavailability. Tablets are often compressed under 200 pounds per square inch of pressure, with a resulting “rock” that dissolves poorly or not at all in the GI tract. Match the following formula as closely as possible, or use one of the following multiples: Immuno Max from Optimal Nutrition Labs (800-795-9579) VM-2000 or VM-75 from Solgar (800-645-2246) Perque 2 from Seraphim (800-525-7372)

Nutrients Amount


A palmitate 5000 iu
A beta carotene 15,000 iu
D 400 iu
E succinate 300 iu
K 1000 mcg
C 250 mg
B-1 (thiamin) 25 mg
B-2 (riboflavin) 25 mg
B-3 (niacin) 100 mg
B-5 (pantothenate) 100 mg
B-6 (pyridoxine) 25 mg
B-6 (P-5-P) 5 mg
B-12 100 mcg
folic acid 800 mcg
biotin 300 mcg
bioflavonoids 100 mg


calcium (citrate) 250 mg
magnesium (citrate) 200 mg
iron (glycinate) 18 mg
zinc (picolinate) 30 mg
copper (gluconate) 3 mg
manganese (gluconate) 5 mg
molybdenum 100 mcg
iodine 150 mcg
chromium (picolinate) 200 mcg
selenium (methionine) 400 mcg
tin 10 mcg
silicon 10 mcg
vanadium 10 mcg
nickel 10 mcg


Fat soluble
A: retinyl palmitate 300,000 iu. While vitamin A can be valuable for many cancer patients, it is also one of the more potentially toxic nutrients. There are clinics in Europe and Mexico that use 1.5 million iu of vitamin A daily, though I do not recommend these levels without medical supervision. Dry skin, headache or weak hand shake is an early warning that vitamin A toxicity is being reached. There is some preliminary data showing that vitamin A toxicity can be reduced when taking high doses of vitamin E at the same time. The theory is that peroxides, or “rusted” versions of vitamin A create the toxicity, not normal vitamin A. Taking 3200 iu of vitamin Ewith the 300,000 iu of vitamin A would lower the risks for toxicity of A.

Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize the potential for toxicity in this nutrient and to have continuous medical monitoring if you are using it. Normal fat soluble vitamin A is quickly removed from lymphatic circulation and stored in the liver. Yet emulsified vitamin A will make several passes through the bloodstream in its water soluble form before being removed by the liver. Emulsified A (from Naturally 800-899-4499) is more likely to benefit the cancer patient.

Beta-carotene: 100,000 to 500,000 iu of liquid beta-carotene in soft gelatin capsule from Betatene of Australia. This product is based on a blue green ocean algae (Duneliela) and has been shown to be selectively toxic to tumor cells in animal studies.

E: Mixed natural tocopherols (to stimulate immune functions) at 400 iu per 40 pounds of body weight. Hence, a 160 pound person would need 1600 iu.

E succinate (to selectively kill cancer cells). Take 1600-3200 iu per day, based upon body size and aggressiveness of tumor. Total vitamin E intake should not exceed 5000 iu per day.

K: 25-75 mg K-1 in liquid form from Scientific Botanicals (206-527-5521). This nutrient is particularly valuable when taken in conjunction with high dose vitamin C (10-20 grams) two weeks prior to beginning chemo or radiation therapy. K seems to potentiate the tumor kill rate from chemo and radiation.

D: 400-1000 iu orally. There is some encouraging evidence that topically applied vitamin D as 1,25 dihydroxycholecalciferol may soon become a potent cancer fighter. This product has shown promise, but must be used judiciously by experienced physicians due to possible toxicity.

Coenzyme Q-10: at 200 mg from Biotics (800-231-5777), Metabolic Maintenance (800-772-PURE), or Seraphim (800-525-7372). Cancer is clearly an anaerobic cell growth. CoQ augments aerobic metabolism and immune function. CoQ also blunts the toxicity on the heart from various chemo agents.

Water Soluble
C: 12-20 grams of potassium ascorbate as Emergen-C from Alacer (800-854-0249), or buffered C from Seraphim (800-525-7372), or C with bioflavonoids from Bronson (800-235-3200).

A special note on vitamin C, since this nutrient was one of the first nutrients suspected of altering cancer outcome. Below you will find a chart that neatly describes the functions, toxicity, deficiency symptoms and intake levels for C as part of cancer treatment.

There is a great deal of confusion regarding the efficacy of vitamin C for cancer patients. Max Gerson, MD used high doses of vitamin C in the 1950s to treat cancer patients. Ewan Cameron, MD and Linus Pauling, PhD published several studies in the 1970s showing that therapeutic supplements of C provided improvement in the quality and quantity of life for cancer patients. Then Charles Moertel, MD of the Mayo Clinic conducted a study which found that vitamin C did not help cancer patients. Unfortunately, with all the prevailing evidence in favor of using C, this one study by Moertel sticks in the minds of physicians, who consider the case closed. Actually, the case is quite open and encouraging.

The chart below shows the bulk of data pointing toward C as both protective and therapeutic against cancer. This chart also summarizes the conflict between Drs. Pauling and Moertel. Moertel did not replicate Pauling’s study. Pauling’s cancer patients were on 10 grams of vitamin C for up to 12 years, while Moertel’s patients were on 7.5 grams of C for only 2.5 months, during which no cancer patient died until the C was stopped. The average intake of vitamin C in the “control” group for Moertel’s study was 2.5 grams, since end-stage cancer patients were unwilling to be the placebo group. In Pauling’s study, cancer patients on high dose C lived an average of 257 days beyond the point of being “untreatable”. None of Moertel’s patients, who were all heavily pre-treated with chemo and radiation and considered “end-stage, terminal”, died while on the vitamin C therapy.

Since this controversy, Pauling and Hoffer have shown a dramatic improvement in quality and quantity of life with cancer patients who received a good diet coupled with therapeutic levels of various nutrients, including 12 grams of vitamin C. A 1990 symposium on vitamin C and cancer held at the National Institutes of Health further exonerates vitamin C as a true champion in the war on cancer.

Bioflavonoids: 1 gram daily of quercetin (with bromelain for absorption) from Allergy Research (800-545-9960), or from Enzymatic Therapy (800-783-2286), or BioQuercetin from Seraphim (800-525-7372).

Anti-oxidant formula from Enzymatic Therapy (800-783-2286), including 1 gram potassium ascorbate, 400 iu vit. E acetate, 20,000 iu beta-carotene, 400 mcg selenium (from selenomethionine), 30 mg zinc (from picolinate), 12 mg riboflavin, 30 mg manganese, 200 mg N-acetyl cysteine, 200 mg curcumin, 100 mg procyanolic oligomers (bioflavonoids), 200 mg green tea extracts, 200 mg cabbage extract, 200 mg deodorized garlic extract, 200 mg Klamath blue green algae, 200 mg ginger extract

B-3: niacin 2 grams from niacinamide, or inositol hexaniacinate from Enzymatic Therapy, KAL or Twin Labs

B-6: pyridoxal with pyridoxal-5-pyrophosphate (P-5-P), total 250 mg. May be particularly helpful in reducing damage from radiation therapy and slowing cancer growth from polyamine synthesis of the tumor. Becomes a three star for melanoma patients who need to apply a B-6 ointment to their surface tumor as well as consume 250-1000 mg orally.

B-12: 3-5 mg as sub-lingual tablets or nasal gel form at your health food store, or B-12 hydroxycobalamin from Seraphim (800-525-7372). B-12 dramatically augments the tumor kill of vitamin C.

Potassium & magnesium. Potassium and magnesium are among the more crucial minerals for cancer recovery. Magnesium helps to stabilize cell membranes and elevate immune activity while potassium plays a critical role in membrane permeability.

Liquid K Plus with 99 mg potassium and 100 mg magnesium per teaspoon from Twin Labs (800-645-5626). Take one tablespoon per day.

Herbal K from Enzymatic Therapy with 718 mg potassium per 2 tablespoons. Take 2 tablespoons daily.

KM from Matol with 585 mg potassium per 2 tablespoons. Take 2 tbsp. daily.

Magnesium: get 400-800 mg daily as aspartate, citrate or orotate

Zinc: 30-100 mg zinc picolinate

Selenium intake should not exceed 2500 micrograms (2.5 milligrams) per day. Immuno Max contains 400 mcg. Take additional selenium as sodium selenite liquid from Allergy Research (800-545-9960) or selenomethionine from Metabolic (800-772-PURE)

Selenium merits a footnote since it helps beat cancer on many different fronts: bolsters immune function, improves detoxification, directly toxic to tumor cells and may be a valuable anti-proliferative factor. Below you will find the functions, toxicity symptoms, deficiency symptoms and intake levels for selenium along with a separate chart summarizing the many links between selenium and cancer, including 10 years of unpublished clinical work by R.C. Donaldsen, MD of the VA Hospital in St. Louis. Throughout the 1970s, Dr. Donaldsen used varying levels of oral selenium supplements to improve the outcome of most types of cancer. Selenium is on the “first assault team” in my cancer battle plan.

Chromium as picolinate, an additional 400-800 mcg.

The other relevant essential minerals are already found in therapeutic doses in the multiple vitamin and mineral formula described above.

Fatty acids (as liquid or capsule)

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) from fish oil has been well proven to slow metastasis. Take up to 6 grams in conjunction with GLA in a 5:1 EPA to GLA ratio. Make sure that you take adequate vitamin E (at least 1000 iu) to prevent the formation of “rusted fat” or lipid peroxides from the fish oil. Best form is OmegaSyn liquid as mentioned in the “Dragon-Slayer” shake, or Omega Syn capsules (6 per day) from BioSyn (800-346-2703). Remember the intricate “dance” between fatty acids and hormones. Control blood sugar and less of these fatty acids become far more potent against cancer.

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA): up to 1.5 grams. Taken separately as oil from borage, evening primrose (plants native to cold climates) or black current seed.

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) from flaxseed oil. Use cold-pressed flaxseed oil that is in the refrigerator section of your health food store. Take 1-2 tsp. daily.

Wheat germ oil. Use cold-pressed oil from refrigerator section of health food store. Take 1-2 tsp. daily.

Organ replacement
Natural dessicated thyroid, 2-5 grains as a prescription item, if morning basal temperature is below 97.8 F. If you need thyroid, then this is a crucial supplement and becomes . You may try “jump starting” your thyroid gland with non-prescription nutrition factors first: including 6 tablets of dried ocean kelp, or Liquid Kelp from Hickey Chemist (800-724-5566), or Thyroid Herbal Tonic from Natural Herbal Extracts (718-638-7889). Other nutrition factors that help to elevate basal metabolism include MCT oil, chromium picolinate (400-600 mcg), L-carnitine (200-1500 mg), certain herbal combinations (like Escalation from Enzymatic Therapy 800-558-7372), exercise and exposing skin surface.

Thymus 1-2 tablets from Enzymatic Therapy or Thymex from Standard Process Labs. The thymus organ is considered the master gland of the immune system and often atrophies with age. Thymic extract has been shown to help people with hepatitis viral infections through “jump starting” the immune system. Prevents leukopenia atrophy from chemo and radiation. Initially, you may need to take much larger (up to 20 tablets daily) amounts of thymus to get a therapeutic effect.

Amino acids

L-Arginine as pill or powder (very bitter flavor) up to 12 grams daily. Patients who are subject to herpes simplex should note that arginine may accelerate cold sore growth.

L-Glutamine: up to 5 grams. Most likely to help patients who have GI problems, like diarrhea or cramping.

L-Carnitine: up to 1.5 grams. Most likely to help patients who are on a lipid-based parenteral formula to help prevent fatty build-up in the liver.

N-acetylcysteine 1-2 grams or 200 mg glutathione to bolster glutathione peroxidase (GSH) activity. Most likely to help relieve the toxicity of chemo and radiation therapy when taken one week prior to and during therapy.

Herbs are best if used in standardized herbal concentration. Enzymatic Therapy (800-783-2286), Eclectic Institute (800-332-4372) or Min Tong (800-562-5777) are reputable manufacturers.

Astragalus (radix), **Echinecea (augustifolia), *goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and **liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) are immune stimulants that can be taken as dried root in tea (1-2 grams/day), or freeze dried root (500-1000 mg), or tincture (4-6 ml or 1-1.5 tsp), or powdered solid extract 250-500 mg daily. Super-Immuno Comp from Enzymatic Therapy is a combination herbal product.

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosis) is an adaptogen, which helps to rectify abnormal cellular metabolism. Daily intake of 2-4 grams of dried root, or 10-20 ml (2.5-5 tsp) tincture, or 100-200 mg pills in greater than 1% concentration.

Ginkgo biloba at 120 mg daily has been shown to dramatically improve peripheral circulation, and hence may slow cancer through oxygenation.

Milk thistle (silybum marianum) is a potent liver protector and detoxifier. Take 70-210 mg silymarin concentrate as pills 2-3 times daily.

Pau D’Arco (LaPacho or Tabebuia Avellanedae) is a likely cancer fighter with initial favorable studies from the National Cancer Institute. LaPacho has an ingredient, a quinone, that is similar in structure to vitamin K and may well attack the tumor in a similar fashion to K. Take as 1 cup of bark boiled into decoction and taken 2-8 times daily, or more precise lapachol content (active ingredient) at 1.5-2.0 grams daily from pills or powder.

Australian tea tree oil (Leptaspermum and Melaleuca) is showing early promise as an anti-fungal agent for the common fungal infections that coat the mouth, teeth and probably other areas of cancer patients. Remember that half of all fatal infections in cancer patients are caused by fungus. Take 1-2 drops of concentrated oil in a small glass of apple juice, rinse around the mouth and swallow.

Japanese Green Tea from Tyson (800-367-7744).

Topical application of herbal combination. Use as an escharotic, or corrosive ointment to burn away unwanted skin, as in basal cell, or squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma. Use Cansema from Applied Botanical Research (800-256-2253)

Enteral Formulas

hen the GI tract is working but the patient is not voluntarily eating, then enteral formulas may solve the riddle of getting adequate nourishment into the patient. Patient tolerance varies widely when nasogastric tubes are inserted into the nose and down the esophagus. Impact, available from your pharmacist, is the best formula, but has an awful taste that must be disguised (see suggestions below) and is very expensive.

Impact is fortified with fish oil, arginine, and nucleic acids for enhanced wound healing and immune stimulation. Good studies on animals and early work with humans shows an anti-cancer activity. Can be used in an oral drink flavored as follows. Recipes created by Alfred Hinga, chef. Full therapeutic benefit obtained at 6 cans per day.

Orange Impact:

4 ounces Impact (1/2 can)
8 ounces orange concentrate or 3 whole peeled oranges
1 teaspoon lemon extract (hides fish flavor)
emulsifier to bind water & fat soluble fractions together (1 teaspoon of lecithin), or Thicken Up from Sandoz

Combine ingredients (except lecithin) and mix in electric blender for one minute, then slowly add lecithin.

Pineapple Impact

4 ounces Impact
8 ounces diced fresh pineapple, plus pineapple extract if desired
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Follow same directions as above, combining lecithin last and slowly.

Raspberry Impact

4 ounces Impact
8 ounces organic raspberry popsickle or 6 ounces cranberry juice
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lecithin

ImmunAid, by Kendall McGaw, is fortified with gamma linolenic acid, glutamine and protein. May help the cancer patient without the tolerance problems of arginine and fish oil that are found in Impact.

Parenteral Formulas

Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) should be reserved for clinically malnourished patients and must be administered by a physician. For less severity in cachexia, use oral “shakes” or enteral formulas, or J tube (into jejunum) enteral feedings. The TPN formula must be disease-specific to fight cancer:

  • High in protein (at least 100 grams/day); >30% kcal
  • Little or no dextrose; 0-40% of kcal
  • Balance of calories from fat, preferably monounsaturated oleic acid and medium chain triglycerides (MCT); >30% kcal. Take L-carnitine orally (1-2 grams) to help minimize fatty accumulation in the liver.
  • 10-50 grams of buffered ascorbate intravenously, whatever intake is necessary to achieve 50-80 mg/dl serum C concentration
  • High dose of broad spectrum vitamin/mineral supplementation, given at 4 times RDA levels.
  • 400 mcg selenium
  • 4-5 grams L-glutamine taken orally to reduce bacteria crossing the intestinal barrier to create infections in the blood, called bacterial translocation.
  • 1-2 grams L-carnitine to augment fat metabolism
  • Flow rate (cc/hour) varies according to patient tolerance, beginning at 75 cc and progressing up to 160 cc/hour. Start slowly, build up to 160 cc if possible, then gradually reduce flow before disconnecting.
  • Daily blood values need to be monitored and changes made in formula to reflect deviations in pH, blood urea nitrogen or blood ammonia values.

Healing the Mind & Spirit

Ventilate emotions and forgive. Some people may need professional help for purging deep seated negative emotions of anger, hurt, depression and low self-esteem.

Healing the “child within”. A suppressed immune system can stem from the trauma of an abusive or neglected childhood. There are programs to help people recover from these fundamental emotional problems; including PRIMAL THERAPY (Janov), MAKING PEACE WITH YOUR PARENTS (Bloomfield) and HOMECOMING (Bradshaw).

Guided imagery to assist the immune system in attacking the tumor. Picture your immune factors as sharks, white knights or Rambos zapping cancer cells. See CREATIVE VISUALIZATION (Gawain) or YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE (Hay).

Spend some time daily in play therapy or right brain fun time, including clay sculpting, artwork, photography, music, singing, kite flying, etc. See THE HEALING JOURNEY (Simonton).

Be here now. Live for today. “Suck the marrow out of life” said David Thoreau.

Self analysis. Since few people have spent time introspectively, this exercise is designed to help the individual better understand his or her goals, priorities, fears, limitations, etc. Keep a journal.

Establish a link between yourself and a Higher Power. This pursuit can be non-denominational and outside of organized religion. Hans Selye, MD, father of the theories of stress, found that humans have a need to rely on a Higher Power. Spiritually based people are happier and healthier than their non-spiritual counterparts. Humans are created with a God-shaped void which needs filling.

Fighting spirit. Dr. Bernie Siegel found that cancer patients who are assertive and determined to “beat this thing” have a better chance of recovery. It is the uncooperative patient, not the docile patient, who does better in fighting cancer.

Bereavement. While most cultures around the world accept death as a part of life, Americans have become emotionally constipated about grieving. Grief unexpressed will result in some mental or physical malady. Many people are chronically depressed since they have not expressed the grief of losing a loved one, a job, a home, a phase of life, etc. Find coaching in fulfilling the needs of the grieving process.

Be yourself. Too many of us in modern society bend to the pressure of others and spend our lives in “quiet desperation” to quote David Thoreau. What would you like to do if you had only 6 months to live? Do it! Dr. Bernie Siegel has found too many cancer patients who enjoyed doing one thing, but entered a completely different profession to please a mate or parents or to make more money–and their health suffered for it. Dr. Siegel asked a young breast cancer patient: “What have you always wanted to do?” She replied, “Be a violinist. I went into law to please my family.” She quit law, became a concert violinist, and lost 75% of her income along with her cancer.

A similar story comes from the files of Yosemite National Park. Galen Clark came to Yosemite Park at age 42 in 1856 to die. Coughing up blood from end-stage tuberculosis, Clark first carved his own tombstone, then proceeded to protect and beautify this valley that he loved so much. Death did not come 6 months later, as the doctors had predicted, but rather 54 years later when he was just shy of his 96th birthday. If your life is a lie, then it will probably be shorter and less enjoyable. Make your life a masterpiece painting, and you will probably get more life in your years and more years in your life.

Dr. Michael Partipillo, both a psychologist for cancer patients and a cancer victor himself, says that he views cancer “as a starting point–not the beginning of the end.” For more inspirational and educational books on the spiritual aspect of cancer, see the appendix.


Lie on your back on the floor with a book on your stomach. Begin inhaling by trying to push the book up with your stomach muscles. Once you have fully oxygenated the lower lungs with diaphragm breathing, then finish inhaling by expanding your chest fully. Hold your breath for a count of 5, then slowly exhale and give a final “puff” as you breathe out that last air. This deep breathing method will help to fully oxygenate your tissue, even if you cannot do any exercise.


Whatever you can do will be helpful. Our hospital has an indoor track where we take patients to walk laps accompanied by their IV chemo poles. Exercise elevates immune functions, stabilizes blood sugar levels, oxygenates tissue and improves mental functions.


Stop taking in toxins by drinking purified water and getting organic produce or thoroughly washing your produce. If the air in your area is questionable, then you may need to seal up your house and install a special air filter system–or move to a cleaner area.

Help the body to purge accumulated poisons by:

  • drinking enough water that your urine is light in color and odor
  • eating enough fiber and plant purgatives to maintain regularity and discharge poisons through the colon. Enemas may help some cancer patients.
  • soak for 20 minutes in a hot tub each day, then cleanse the skin with a natural sponge and soap.

Spinal Alignment

All organs and glands are very dependent on nerve stimulation. All nerves throughout the body radiate from the spine. Yet, due to sedentary lives, poor posture, the constant pull of gravity, and lack of muscle development to keep spinal vertebra in alignment, many people suffer indirect illness as a consequence of back problems. Doctors of chiropractic (DC) or osteopathy (DO) have been trained to restore spinal alignment, which can oftentimes boost immune functions.

By reading this far, you have already empowered yourself to make a difference in your cancer outcome. You are the pro-active and assertive cancer victor. You have been through some or all of the phases that come with the disease: anger, denial, rejection, isolation, withdrawal and more. While the bulk of this book is spent providing nutritional facts to change the biochemistry of your body, my final parting comments are directed more at your soul. Because cancer is a disease of the mind, body and spirit.

I believe that cancer is far more than an individual physical disease that can be expunged from the body with strong drugs, surgery or radiation. Cancer is also a symptom of modern society that is organically unsound; that needs metabolic healing. In every era, we try to identify the outside enemy. But we have met the enemy-and it is us. Today, we wage full scale chemical warfare on ourselves with potent agricultural and industrial carcinogens, while stripping our once benevolent food supply of any vestige of nutritional value. We are subjected to intolerable stress from work and dissolving family structures, thousands of murders per year on TV and movies, and an endless procession of gut-wrenching stories on the nightly news.

This book is written for you, the cancer patient and soon-to-be victor. But it goes one step further. Since you are reading this section, we can safely assume that you have a mission on earth that is not yet accomplished. Once you beat your own personal cancer, you may find a strong sense of purpose in spreading what you have learned or even addressing the “cancers” in society.

From my cancer patients I have learned of the incredible tenacity of the human body and spirit; of the immeasurable dignity and generosity that is waiting to be expressed by all of us; of the undying passion and commitment shown by a dedicated mate when a loved one is failing; and above all-of the preciousness of life. In our increasingly callous world, it is easy to drift away from the true pleasures in life: love, enthusiasm, laughter, freedom, meaningful work, skills developed, helping one another and savoring the beauty in this emerald paradise planet. For many people, cancer has become the ultimate “truth serum” in helping to establish real priorities.

Nourish your body, mind and spirit. Take every opportunity to say: “I love you”. Give away smiles with wreckless abandon. Practice random acts of kindness and beauty. Savor each day as though it may be your last, because the same holds true for all of us. You have the opportunity to be born again with a renewed vigor and purpose in life.

My prayer for you is the same thought that began this book; that you will soon be able to say: “Cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me.” Since you have cancer, you might as well turn this ultimate challenge into the ultimate victory: to make your life and that of others into a masterpiece painting.

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