Cancer politics, early detection, and alternative treatment options

A few months ago I attended a conference where one of the speakers was Charlotte Gerson, daughter of the late Max Gerson, MD. Though Charlotte is now 85, you would never guess it by looking at her or listening to her speak. She walks erect, with no hesitation in her step and talks with the clarity and lucidity you would expect in a forty-year-old.

We could say that Charlotte is living proof that her father’s therapy works because she has been implementing it for decades.  Dr. Gerson’s story is well worth summarizing here.

When Max Gerson, as a young man, attended medical school in his native Germany, he suffered from debilitating migraine headaches. That was the turn of the century, before the development of the modern arsenal of drugs. Today he would be prescribed a drug or combination of drugs that might leave him feeling like a zombie, but would control the pain.

At the time medicine had nothing to offer him. Though he went to all the top specialists of his day, he was always told the same story: nothing could be done but by the time he turned fifty the headaches would moderate.  Not a very appealing prospect for a man in his twenties!

Young Max Gerson could not accept the thought that medicine had nothing to offer him and he continued to see all the specialists he could find until a small-town doctor handed him a diet and told him there was no assurance of it working, but if he wanted to try it he could because some people had recovered on it. Max Gerson immediately went on the diet and the migraines stopped completely, never to recur!

I am not sure of the specifics of the diet was given, but this story doesn’t surprise me at all. After years of practice I can say with confidence that migraines resolve completely or lessen substantially with diet change. In my experience the specifics of the diet vary from person to person, but a methodical investigation will reveal individual food sensitivities in almost all migraine sufferers. When these foods are identified and eliminated the headaches stop.

Max Gerson did not forget this diet and continued to refine it and, once he opened his medical practice, he offered it to all migraine sufferers who sought his help, generally with good results. At one point, a lady reported that the diet had not only cured her migraines, but also a disfiguring form of skin TB she had that was a common and dreaded disease at the time. Dr. Gerson could not bring himself to believe that a diet could cure TB. After all, it had been clearly established by then that TB was a bacterial infection, though antibiotics had not yet been discovered. Yet the facts were impressive: the woman had had this form of TB, and all signs of it were gone after she went on his “migraine diet.”

Today we may ask again how could a diet cure an infectious disease, and yet we should not be surprised to find out that it can. Although infection is apparently a result of bacteria, the same type of bacteria is often present in people without any sign of illness. It takes the bacteria plus something else – such as a weakness of the body’s defenses – to trigger full-blown illness, and improper diet is a major cause of weakened defenses.

This also speaks to the many parents whose children are repeatedly ill and who are repeatedly prescribed antibiotics by their pediatricians. When they ask for my advice I always emphasize the need to change their children’s diets to break this cycle. Repeated courses of antibiotics don’t stop illness!

Over time Dr. Gerson started recommending the diet more and more often, refining it all the time, and he discovered that it could help – alone or in combination with other treatments – in a variety of different conditions. One of the patients for whom he recommended the diet was the famous humanitarian and Nobel Prize-winning physician Albert Schweitzer, MD.

Dr. Schweitzer had been forced to retire from the work he loved because of complications from adult-onset diabetes. After implementing Dr. Gerson’s program for only a month, Dr. Schweitzer was able to get off insulin and eventually he went back to his humanitarian work in Africa. He later wrote of Dr. Gerson: “I see him as one of the most eminent medical geniuses in the history of medicine” (quote from “Outsmart Your Cancer” by Tanya Harter Pierce).

It was only a matter of time until Dr. Gerson applied his approach to the illness of the century: cancer. By that time Dr. Gerson had moved his practice to New York City, and there he started to accept and treat cancer patients only if conventional medicine could no longer offer them any hope.

In time Dr. Gerson became famous for his mostly vegetarian diet, fresh vegetable juices, and coffee enemas. He also came to be known as the doctor who brought desperate people back to health. Unfortunately the story does not end here. Mainstream medicine did not appreciate his unconventional methods and started to attack him methodically, labeling him a quack and accusing him of secrecy and falsehood. An investigation of these charges performed after his death found that they were not only untrue, but that Dr. Gerson had actually spent years trying to interest medical authorities in researching his therapy to no avail.

In time Dr. Gerson lost his hospital privileges, then lost his license, and was forced to relocate to San Diego first and then to Tijuana, Mexico. Though Dr. Gerson passed away in 1959, his clinic is still running in Mexico, and still performs miracles under the capable direction of his daughter Charlotte Gerson and a team of physicians.

Unfortunately the Gerson therapy is difficult to implement. Just adhering to the diet, juicing and other requirements is a full-time job and people on the program often need to hire help just to keep up. On the other hand it cannot be denied that it is completely non-toxic, drug free, and is backed by thousands of successful recoveries.

Aside from the Gerson therapy there are many other natural cancer treatments available, which I discussed briefly in a previous article I wrote on this topic in July 2007 entitled “An Epidemic of Cancer” (search for keyword “cancer” in my newsletter archives.

Considering the number of options available, it always surprises me that, in the vast majority of cases, even people who normally choose alternative medicine feel they have little choice when the diagnosis is cancer. In part this may be because people don’t spend much time researching alternatives for cancer and, when such a serious diagnosis hits, time seems short.

It may also be partly a result of modern diagnostic practices. Although medicine has made a significant effort to achieve earlier diagnosis and to educate the public of its importance, the diagnostic process is divided along specialty lines and only provides early diagnostic tools for certain types of cancer.

For example, women who have annual mammograms for early detection of breast cancer may still wake up one day to be diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer because no early diagnosis program for ovarian cancer is offered. When such a diagnosis is received time may seem too short and the situation too critical to start looking for options. At the same time people who do benefit from early diagnosis may find it hard to walk away from the medical system that made those procedures available and that might already have saved their lives just by making the early diagnosis.

It has long puzzled me that no one in the mainstream medical community ever mentions the one test that can – with a single vial of blood – detect any type of cancer anywhere in the body up to two years earlier than other diagnostic tools can find it, and with more than 99% accuracy.

If you think I must be dreaming and this test cannot possibly exist, I have written about it before.  The test not only exists, it is performed at a licensed US lab and was approved by the FDA. It is called the AMAS test and you can read about it at

At first I found it odd that few doctors ever mention this test, but then it occurred to me that the test is just about as close to a medical nightmare as you can get. It doesn’t tell doctors where to look for cancer, and the diagnosis occurs so early that even if they looked in the right place, they might be years away from being able to find anything.

Given that conventional cancer treatments are all specific for a type of cancer, just knowing that there is cancer somewhere in the body is simply of no use to mainstream doctors. In contrast to this, all alternative treatments are targeted towards the individual, not the type of cancer he or she has.

This makes the AMAS test ideally suited for people interested in the earliest possible detection and those who would consider an alternative approach to treatment. The test not only provides this early detection, it also can be repeated periodically to monitor the effects of any treatment program.

In providing this, the test makes this dreaded diagnosis seem less threatening because it can be achieved so much earlier when there is not such great pressure to act immediately. It also opens up the field of natural non-toxic treatments, including the Gerson therapy, for people to try as a first-line approach, and then consider the more drastic conventional methods later if the natural ones don’t produce results in a reasonable time.

The test is available to patients who are interested in having it performed. For more information please call my office.

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