MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

‘Survive Cancer’ is a UK charity that promotes and researches orthomolecular medicine in the treatment of cancer, septic shock, mental health, and other illnesses. They claim to provide information about research and trials and a multi-pronged treatment approach for sufferers of cancer. Specifically for cancer, they recommend the following ‘top ten‘ so-called alternative medicines (SCAMs):

  • Gerson
  • Vitamin C therapy
  • Anti-angiogenic therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Photodynamic-/Photo-therapy
  • Melatonin
  • Bisphosphonates (for bone cancer)
  • Coley’s toxins
  • Salvestrols
  • Pain management

Interesting?

Yes, because it is misleading to the extreme. Here, for example, is what they say about an old favorite of mine (and of Prince Charles):

Gerson Therapy

Max Gerson was a German doctor who in the early twentieth century devised an anti-cancer diet and regime based on radically altering the sodium/potassium ratio in the body for the better, thus allowing optimal cellular functions, and nutrition, coupled with intensive detoxification through the use of coffee enemas.

Coffee enemas (see Detox, in First Steps, 5 Rs of Cancer Survival,) are a scientifically established, and medically accepted, way of stimulating the production of glutathione-s-transferases, a major liver detoxifying enzyme family. The diet is vegetarian, low in protein, with fresh organic fruit and vegetable juices daily, and certain specified supplements, such as potassium, niacin and vitamin C. At the end of his life Gerson testified before Congress with the details of 50 cases he had cured. His daughter, Charlotte, has continued Gerson’s work in the U.S. However, she has not made an attempt to integrate modern nutritional state-of-the-art knowledge into the therapy. This is being done by Gar Hildebrand. A retrospective study showed that the Gerson therapy is much more effective than chemotherapy for ovarian cancer and melanoma, both particularly aggressive forms of cancer. Gerson himself had notable successes with various kinds of brain tumour, even after some neurological damage had occurred. Orthomolecular Oncology suggests combining Immunopower with Gerson as an update. We can also cite a remarkable case of a 11 year remission in Multiple Myeloma, another fast-moving, relentless cancer without conventional cure, otherwise conventionally untreated, achieved through a combination of Gerson and modern orthomolecular approaches. Gerson is a powerful, comprehensive therapy, still capable of producing cures, even in its unmodulated form. However, it requires great discipline, time, and extra assistance. Read Gerson’s book and/or contact the Gerson Institute for further details.

One does not need to be a genius to predict that cancer patients following this sort of advice, will significantly shorten their lives, diminish their quality of life and empty their bank account. One does, however, need to be a genius to predict when the UK charity commission is finally going to do something about the many UK charities that prey on vulnerable cancer patients.

PS

I almost forgot: the patrons of this charity are:

8 Responses to Survive cancer, but not thanks to this charity called ‘SURVIVE CANCER’

  • Shocking!

  • Since I had immunotherapy yesterday (daratumumab), and I have just finished an infusion of a bisphosphonate this morning (zoledronic acid), I am curious to know what they have to say about those. However, a Google search on “survive cancer” unsurprisingly brings up other sites which are clearly not related to this organisation. Do you have a link to their web site?

    Photodynamic therapy has been used experimentally throughout my career, but so far nobody has solved the problem of getting enough light into the tumour, or of how to protect the patient from daylight once they have taken their photosensitiser, many of which take several weeks to wear off. Antiandrogenic therapy is another interesting area of cancer research, though I don’t know of any useful treatments that have made it into the clinic (I am getting a bit out of date, however, as it is nearly five years since I gave up medical practice).

    Pain management, of course, is an essential part of any type of cancer care.

    • ” Do you have a link to their web site?”
      please click on ‘top ten’ in the 1st paragraph of my post.

    • @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle

      Photodynamic therapy has been used experimentally throughout my career, but so far nobody has solved the problem of getting enough light into the tumour

      Some 6 years ago, I was hired by a doctor in internal medicine to work on this exact problem, and I devised a solution that was capable of delivering relatively large amounts of monochromatic light energy in a localized, controlled manner, without the problems associated with a laser as a light source.

      Unfortunately my relation with this person gradually grew sour when it turned out that the man had lied about his intentions, and refused to address my explicit condition that the apparatus I was building should be tested in proper clinical trials. In the end, he turned full quack, and started ‘treating’ people in haphazard ways that would not do any good. And unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to stop him from using the fruits of my work, as he had actually paid me for developing the system. At this point, I decided to stop all co-operation and support, and I haven’t heard from him since.

      But I still own the IP on the core technology, and I am working with someone to revive this project, this time making certain that no quackery is involved. Which is difficult, if only because this involves serious sums of money without any guarantee that it will actually work as intended (although the principle is sound, and that was also why I took it on in the first place). Then there is still the other problem you mention, i.e. getting the photosensitizer into patients in a safe and effective way, and that requires separate expertise (maybe vascular shunts can help to infuse particular tumours more effectively, just like with regular chemo IIRC).
      Also, this will probably take another year or so to get going again, as at the moment things are Not Good At All in the electronics industry due to extreme shortages.

      • I devised a solution that was capable of delivering relatively large amounts of monochromatic light energy in a localized, controlled manner, without the problems associated with a laser as a light source.

        That is very interesting, though even if it looks promising it can take many years for something like this to make it into clinical use.

        In the end, he turned full quack, and started ‘treating’ people in haphazard ways that would not do any good.

        Unfortunately these stories are all too common. In particular the nature of the US healthcare system means that cancer centres are in competition with each other, and are constantly looking for an edge to attract fee-paying patients. This has resulted in a great many new therapeutic techniques on offer, most of which work by local tissue ablation, not all of which have been subjected to any serious clinical assessment of efficacy or even safety. This has given us HIFU, cryotherapy, localised hyperthermia… and under the umbrella of radiotherapy we have SABRE, Cyberknife, Gamma knife, tomotherapy, proton beam therapy, neutron beam therapy and boron neutron capture therapy. Some of these are just different ways of achieving the same thing, and some require such esoteric equipment as cyclotrons and nuclear reactors adjacent to the treatment room, that they are only feasible where there is a cancer centre and a high-energy experimental physics facility situated on the same university campus. Some of them do have a unique role and have even become standard therapy for certain unusual tumours. But you will find them being offered (at a price) in situations where they are inappropriate or unnecessary.

  • It’s worth reading the whole page, eg “anti-neoplastons”: “In studies and trials over 40 years, Dr Burzynski has established that Anti-neoplastons can halt the spread of tumours and turn cancerous cells back to normal”. This is a lie. Burzynski kills people: https://theotherburzynskipatientgroup.wordpress.com/

    More on the useless Charity Commission here: https://majikthyse.wordpress.com/2020/11/23/selective-regulation/

  • Mr Peter J Gravett, MB, MRCS, FRCPath.

    Well somebody’s drumming up business. So what’s the rest’s excuses?

  • Thank-you.

    I have had a look at it. It is a strange mixture of unlikely or debunked alternative therapies, areas of current research that have not as yet led to a useful treatment and possibly never will, and treatments which have been routinely used in oncology for some time, with no attempt to distinguish between them. From what he has to say about the routine treatments it is clear that he doesn’t understand them, or have much idea either of their clinical role nor indeed of their side-effects. What he has to say about radiotherapy is particularly ill-informed.

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