Choosing your treatment

A cancer diagnosis usually comes with a sense of urgency, confusion, medical advice, and lots of people telling you lots of different things. It’s a stressful time when no one has all the answers for you. Piece by piece, you start paving your way to a treatment plan. Traditional treatment of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery comes with knowing what to expect, and hope. If you decide to try a different treatment to begin with, your path may feel less certain and is usually without the approval of your medical team – a mentally tough road to go down.

Unless it’s super-urgent that you begin treatment right away, gathering information will help you to develop a sense of how you would like to go about your treatment. Most of the time, people do have time to take a look around and consider their treatment options.

There are many non-traditional, scientifically verified cancer therapies available, but it is generally impossible to have the confidence to know where to start.

Firstly, inform yourself. Cancer Tutor, is a free, 44 page pdf document that offers simple information on diet and simple strategies you can start while deciding where to from here. Being informed helps to support you in mind and body until you settle on a treatment you are happy with.

Too often, people think that if they want to go ‘natural’ they don’t need medical supervision. It is important that any treatment for serious illness is managed by a medical practitioner, who can measure and monitor your progress. There are integrative medical associations online. In Australia and New Zealand, they are the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) and the Australasian Integrative Medical Association (AIMA).

While you are sifting through practitioners and information, you can start on a diet with plentiful vegetables, fresh fruit, preferably vegetarian and sugar-free. It has been well known since the 1930s that sugar stimulates cancer growth and vegetarian diets are of benefit to people who have cancer.

One of the many therapies available for treating ‘terminal’ cancer patients is Gerson Therapy, developed by doctor Max Gerson (1881-1959). Doctor Max Gerson recovered from severe migraines after using special diets on himself. He developed his dietary therapy to successfully treat skin tuberculosis. His work was published in medical journals around the world. Then from 1938-1958, he treated hundreds of cancer patients in the USA who had been told they were beyond help. In 1958, he published A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases, where he documents the details of his treatments along with lab reports. This therapy is rigorous, and requires support from your family/network.

Today, there are two clinics in the world where people can receive treatment; Mexico and Hungary. The Gerson Institute website has all the information that you need to know about the therapy. It is not necessary to go to one of these clinics to receive treatment though, as there are trained Gerson practitioners all around the world. Some people just start the programme themselves, but having a practitioner is important. There is a story of one woman who cured herself from lymphoma, with supervision from a trained Gerson therapist in Good News for People With Bad News.

The mind-body connection in all illness has compelling scientific evidence that this approach has the ability to heal serious disease. The documentary The Connection – Mind Your Body shows scientists and researchers speaking about their work on this fascinating phenomenon. There are interviews with people who have recovered from bone cancer, multiple sclerosis and melanoma. Taking a look at this approach is something that you can start right away to help with getting some perspective and alleviating stress.

A key element recognised in cancer survivors is that they decide upon their own treatment, and manage their illness supported by their health professional over time, rather than going through intense bouts of treatment.

Many cancer therapies are based on the fundamentals of nutrition and mental/emotional balance. Whatever treatment you choose, you can implement the key elements of these treatments right away, while you learn more and work out what the best path is for you.

There are some cancer recovery stories in my book of patient interviews Good News for People with Bad News. The survivors describe in detail their experience of their chosen treatment(s), sometimes in conjunction with traditional medical therapies.