Cancer Treatments, Biological

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Cancer treatments, biological


Biological cancer treatments, also known as metabolic treatments, work by detoxifying and strengthening the body so that it can overcome cancer cells and metabolize them. This is almost always done nutritionally, possibly with the aid of nutritional supplements and/or herbs, or by employing detoxification procedures such as enemas and colonic irrigation .


It is thought that Paracelsus and Hippocrates cured cancer with biological cures (through food) but it is difficult to verify that they were actually treating cancer, which is commonly regarded as an affliction of modern man. Modern biological cancer therapies began to appear at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Dr. Max Gerson's therapy is probably foremost among the early ones, although he had some equally eminent contemporaries. However, there are now many alternative health practitioners specializing in the treatment of cancer to be considered, although success varies.


Biological cancer treatments are non-invasive and do not have the drawbacks associated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Unlike biological treatments, both deplete or completely destroy the body's immune system and can leave patients in a very weakened state.

Biological treatments work by actually strengthening the immune system so that it can overcome any abnormal situation. A successful biological cancer treatment will leave patients feeling better than they did before they became ill, with all bodily functions effectively harmonized and energy levels raised.


All biological cancer therapies focus on strengthening the human organism so that it can kill the cancer, rather than focusing on the cancer alone, as is the case with allopathic medicine. Therefore, all these therapies have in common that healthy lifestyle must be practiced. In particular, this means abstaining from processed, denatured foods, and ensuring the absence of pollution and toxins from diet and living environment.

Natural hygiene and other alternative therapies prescribe fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance. The Gerson therapy uses fresh juices from organic sources. Especially in the beginning a vital aspect of the treatment is detoxification. This is the process of encouraging, and sometimes forcing, the body to eliminate toxins stored in the body cells and gastrointestinal tract. In the case of cancer patients, this can involve a considerable quantity of toxic waste that must be flushed out of the system.

Concurrently with the detoxification process the treatment will aim to provide the organism with plentiful supplies of fresh enzymes and nutrients that will allow the body to rebuild itself, and renew systems such as the endocrine system and immune system.

When treating most disorders and diseases with natural therapies, the patient is encouraged to undertake a program of exercise to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment. This is not so in the case of cancer patients, however, as generally they may not be strong enough for such activities, and as their bodies will need every ounce of strength to fight the cancer. Instead, they are advised to undertake an exercise program once they are well enough.


All the practitioners who have been successful with the treatment of serious disease, particularly cancer, have a reputation for being very tough on their patients, in fact some have been described as Hitler-like in their attitudes. When questioned, many say that unless a cancer patient is prepared to tackle the problem of detoxification seriously and follow the diet without diversification, then there is little hope that they will be able to overcome the disease. Often patients who are in a weakened state of health need the support of a therapist who is prepared to be firm with them.

DR. MAX GERSON (?1959). Dr. Gerson's therapy probably can be considered the original biological cancer treatment. In his book entitled A Cancer Therapy, Results of Fifty Cases, Gerson documented 50 successfully treated cancer patients. He explained to readers that the cases in his book were the most extensively documented and therefore most suitable for the purposes of demonstrating his cure.

This therapy relies mainly on fresh organic juices, but includes supplements and strict instructions for lifestyle. A vital aspect of his treatment are the coffee enemas he devised to achieve thorough detoxification.

DR. LINUS PAULING (19011994). Nobel Prize laureate, Dr. Linus Pauling, researched the properties of nutritional supplements in treating disease for many years, and he is generally accepted as the foremost authority on the subject. In 1979, he published a work with co-author Ewan Cameron titled Cancer and Vitamin C. Pauling advocated supplements, in particular megadoses of vitamin C , for the treatment of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

DR. ANN WIGMORE (19091993). Wheatgrass juice and sprouts are the basis for Wigmore's regimen, which she originally devised to cure her own chronic diseases including cancer, and has been successfully helping people for decades. The Wigmore diet focuses primarily on live foods. Wigmore felt that raw vegetables held more nutrition than when cooked and were without the chemical additives that processed foods hold. Her therapy is still practiced at the Hippocrates Institute and has been adopted by a number of alternative health care practitioners as the basis for their treatment.

DR. RANDOLPH STONE (18901981). Stone developed a system known as Polarity therapy during his career, which spanned 60 years. He felt that health should be measured by an assessment of the human energy field. This is affected by daily life, nutrition, exercise, touch, sound, etc. Stone recommended a comprehensive regimen consisting of touch therapy (where the practioner's hands are conduits of energy), diet (a vegetarian diet is emphasized because foods collected in a non-violent way hold more energy), and yoga (to tune the patient into his or her own body). This will balance health, and so produce satisfactory energy fields.

DR. MICHIO KUSHI. Microbiotics is the belief that people are influenced by everything around them, including the environment, foods they eat, and even where they live. Promoting a positive lifestyle is also encouraged in order to keep a good outlook and mental attitude. Possibly the most famous teacher of macrobiotics in the United States, Michio Kushi, in collaboration with Alex Jack, wrote The Cancer Prevention Diet in 1993. It is a comprehensive guide to the prevention and treatment of cancer with a macrobiotic diet .


BOTANICAL MEDICINE. There are several different therapies that fit into this category, which encompasses general herbal medicine, Chinese herbalism and several other ethnic herbal disciplines.

NATURAL HYGIENE. Natural hygiene practitioners have a long history of successfully treating such serious diseases as cancer. This diet is a vegetarian diet focused around maintaining a healthy and happy out look. Rest, fresh air, grains, fruits, and vegetables are encouraged. The American Natural Hygiene Society is a good source of information regarding treatment and practitioners.

AYURVEDIC MEDICINE. This centuries old system of natural medicine originated in India. Arvada has a concept of life force, which is similar to the Chinese chi. It aims to purge the body of undesirable matter, and then rebuild it with good nutrition, while at the same time attending to all aspects of the patient's life both physical and spiritual. This system is recognized by the World Health Organization.

MACROBIOTICS. A diet of largely whole grains and vegetables, combined with a unique philosophy is the essence of the macrobiotic diet. Classes are available lasting a weekend, one week, or one month, costing $350, $1,250, and $2,900 respectively.

In general, the charge for various clinics and practitioners varies widely, so it is essential for the patient to discuss fees with the practitioner before treatment.


Without exception, the above practitioners advocated the use of fresh natural produce, preferably organic, for cancer patients and anyone else who wishes to improve their health. Where herbal remedies or other supplements are prescribed, it is important to ensure that the original formula is purchased, and not just a copy. Unscrupulous individuals have been known to pass off unauthentic remedies using the names of well-known practitioners.


None of the therapies will be effective if the regimen is not followed in its entirety. No matter how good the quality of organic produce, no benefits will be felt if the patient is still being exposed to environmental pollution, or if detoxification procedures are inadequate. It is for this reason that most practitioners recommend that a cure be taken in the setting of a clinic, because all of these details can then become the responsibility of the staff, freeing the patient to concentrate on the business of becoming well.

In fact many practitioners who treat cancer take their cure so seriously, that they will refuse to treat patients who are not prepared to take all the necessary steps and truly commit themselves to becoming well. They warn that natural cures for cancer are not easy, cancer is a sign that the integrity of the body system has been seriously compromised, and nothing but the strictest regimen is likely to facilitate a return to health. Even so, these therapies are very experimental and there are no guarantees of a cure.

Side effects

Side effects associated with natural therapies are very mild compared to those commonly experienced with allopathic treatments. Cost is one of the main inhibitors of these treatments.

However, in the case of cancer treatment, a healing crisis can be an unpleasant experience. Alternative medicine practitioners believe that all illness is a result of a toxic condition in the body, and cancer, being one of the most serious conditions, is an indication of more serious levels of toxicity. This means that when the body starts to throw off these toxins, the blood system becomes overloaded and the patient will experience headaches, fevers, nausea , and in some cases extreme sensitivity to stimuli such as sound and light. It is highly advisable to seek a practitioner to help with detoxification therefore.

Research & general acceptance

Treatments for cancer are one of the areas where allopathic medicine disapproves most strongly of alternative medicine, and consequently these natural treatments are the subject of much adverse publicity. Alternative practitioners assert that cancer patients should at least have the option of choosing a biological cure for their illness.

Many alternative medicine practitioners recommend that patients compare statistics when deciding on the mode of treatment that is best for them, and ask to see documentation.

Training & certification

All of the above practitioners hold medical qualifications, some of them to an M.D. or Ph.D. level. The organization People Against Cancer ; specializes in helping people find suitable practitioners and therapies. They also provide practical help regarding the implementation of therapies, can advise on books and so on.



Gerson, Max, M.D. A Cancer Therapy, Results of Fifty Cases. Del Mar, California: Totality Books, 1977.

Jensen, Bernard, M.D. Foods That Heal. Garden City, New York: Avery Publishing Group, 1993.

Shealy, Norman, M.D. Alternative Medicine, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. Shaftsbury, Dorset: Element Books, 1996.


American Holistic Medicine Association.

The American Natural Hygiene Society. P.O. Box 30630, Tampa, FL 33630. (813)855-6607. [email protected] ANHS.

American Polarity Therapy Association. P.O. Box 19858 Boulder, CO 80308. (303)545-2080. [email protected].

Kushi Institute. P.O. Box 7, Becket, MA 01223, Tel.: (413) 623-5741. [email protected].

Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University 571 Weniger Hall Corvalis OR 97331-6512. (541)737-5075. [email protected].

Max Gerson Memorial Cancer Center.

People Against Cancer. 604 East Street, PO Box 10, Otho, IA 50569. (515)972-4444. [email protected].


Dr. Govallo. Holistic medicine website.

Patricia Skinner