Letters to the Editor – September 2017

Antioxidants for Cancer Article Merits Reprinting

A friend of mine is undergoing chemotherapy for Multiple Myeloma and I wanted to give him Dr. Rona’s article in which he discusses the benefits of using vitamins while undergoing chemo. Dr. Rona said most oncologists aren’t up to date on vitamins. If you can tell me which month it was in Vitality, I would be most grateful.      

M. J. Holubik

(Later on:)
Hey Vitality, while further searching on your website, I found Dr. Rona’s article “Top Ten Nutrition Myths” archived in the May 2017 issue. Here is the relevant section, for those who missed it: False News #6 – Taking Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals Does Not Mix Well with Chemotherapy or Radiation Treatments for Cancer:

“I find Toronto area cancer specialists (oncologists) to be a rather dogmatic bunch, and that’s putting it kindly. In the past two years, the advice they have been providing about nutritional supplements is nothing short of scary. One of my cancer patients told me that his oncologist would refuse to treat him with chemotherapy if he took any antioxidants, especially high dose vitamin C. Another provided a 6-page hospital-endorsed instruction booklet censuring the use of any vitamin, mineral, herbal, or antioxidant supplement for any patient receiving chemotherapy. The rationale for this advice was that antioxidants “protect cancer cells” and cause their spread.

A third oncologist stated that intravenous vitamin C would offset the benefits of chemotherapy or radiation because the latter treatments are oxidizing while the former are anti-oxidizing (this despite many published articles proving that high dose intravenous vitamin C kills cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone).

Oncologists are quick to support their arguments by referring to a much criticized and poorly done study by the American Cancer Society’s Dr. Gabriella D’Andrea (“Use of Antioxidants During Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy Should Be Avoided”; CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2005; 55:319-321).

According to Ralph W. Moss’ books and recently published journal articles, the numerous factual distortions and unproven assertions made in the American Cancer Society’s position on the use of antioxidants have been exposed as nothing more than superstition. Without exception, the negative statements about antioxidants are myths based on faulty theoretical beliefs.

In fact, recent scientific evidence published in peer reviewed cancer journals concludes that the opposite is true. Antioxidants not only reduce the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy but they also make these mutilating treatments work much better in terms of enhanced patient survival.

One example of this is the landmark study in the May 2007 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Treatment Reviews, which concluded that there is no evidence that antioxidant supplements (vitamins A, C, E, selenium, zinc, coenzyme Q10, and others) interfere with the therapeutic effects of chemotherapy agents. Rather, they may actually help increase survival rates, tumour response, and the patient’s ability to tolerate treatment.  This study, conducted by Dr. Keith Block, Dr. Robert Newman, and their research group, evaluated 845 reports of clinical trials from five scientific databases that examined the effects of taking natural antioxidant supplements concurrent with chemotherapy. According to Dr. Block, lead author of the study and Medical Director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment:

“This review demonstrates that there is no scientific support for the blanket objection to using antioxidants during chemotherapy. In addition, it also appears that these supplements may help mitigate the side effects of chemotherapy. This is significant because it increases the likelihood that patients will be able to complete their treatment.”
And co-author Dr. Robert Newman, Prof. of Cancer Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center, stated:

“This study, along with the evolving understanding of antioxidant-chemotherapy interactions, suggests that the previously held beliefs about interference do not pertain to clinical treatment.”

Antioxidants are substances that are thought to protect healthy cells from being damaged by toxins. While it is true that antioxidants protect healthy cells from being damaged by drugs like those used in standard chemotherapy, they seem to attack or further damage the DNA of cancer cells. There is no evidence whatsoever that they protect cancer cells from being killed off by radiation or chemotherapy. The truth is that antioxidants support the cancer-killing properties of these mainstream treatments while preserving the integrity of healthy cells.

According to the September 10, 2007 issue of The New Scotsman, Dr. Chi Dang, a professor of medicine and oncology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, antioxidants appear to work in a way that undermines a tumour’s ability to grow under certain conditions.  The higher the dose of the antioxidant, the less the tumour thrives.  The specific mechanism of how this works is debatable.  Proponents of high dose intravenous vitamin C therapy for cancer believe that the mechanism operating here is vitamin C’s stimulation of the production of hydrogen peroxide, a substance lethal to cancer cells but harmless to normal healthy cells.

Antioxidants play a positive role in destroying diseased cells such as the ones that occur in cancer. As is now very obvious from peer reviewed scientific studies, antioxidants are a must for any cancer patient, especially for those who are being treated with either radiation or chemotherapy.”

Dispatches from the (South)western Front

For several years I have helped with the distribution of Vitality and occasionally I write an article. Thus it is exciting to get feedback about how great Vitality is.

Last month I was at one of my favourite coffee places, called “1018”, in Old East Village in London. While I was waiting for a friend I picked up a magazine to read, which turned out to be the current issue of Vitality. Someone noticed my surprise and said: “I love that magazine so I grabbed a couple from Ivanopoblano to bring here as I thought the clientele would enjoy it.”

A couple of weeks later I was at a community yard sale. I walked up to the house and the homeowner was reading Vitality. I commented, and her response was: “I had to go to Western Fair Market early this morning to get a copy to read while I am waiting for customers.”

On August 20, I was at “Back to the Garden,” an art/music festival. I and another co-author had set up a table to promote our book The Fur-Bearing Trout … and Other True Tales of Canadian Life along with Chicken Soup for the Soul – The Spirit of Canada. I had an extra bundle of the May issue of Vitality left over from a previous delivery; it contained an article I wrote on “Deck Gardening”.  My friend said “You have a story in there, let’s put these on our table.” By the end of the day, the bundle of 20 was gone and several people asked where they could pick up a copy in the future.  (By the way, our books are available at Attic Books, Chapters, Oxford Books, Amazon, and the library.)

It is great to see so much interest in Vitality in the London area! Keep up the great work!

Nancy Loucks-McSloy
(Vitality’s Southwestern Ontario Circulation Manager)

Government Ignores Dangers of WiFi Radiation as People Get Sicker

I was so happy to see Letters to the Editor in Vitality’s June and July/August issues on the dangers of wireless radiation.  No one seems to talk much about this and it needs more attention to inform people of the dangers. Wifi is almost everywhere – numerous gadgets are wireless as part of the internet of things and the latest technology in new vehicles emit more EMF / RF radiation (hybrid batteries, bluetooth, WiFi capabilities, push button start, and collision avoidance radar) than their predecessors.

There may soon be more to be concerned about with a proposal by Industry Canada to consider 5G technology that could see the installation of antennas on residential streets.  Our exposure to radiation is increasing exponentially and the impact has been identified by doctors at the Environmental Health Clinic in Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, where they treat people with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. (Visit:http://tinyurl.com/y7hdxkg6)

Concerns about RF radiation were reviewed by a panel of experts as part of a House of Commons Standing Committee that made a number of recommendations for the Minister of Health in June 2015; the report is posted online at http://tinyurl.com/y8n4wrwh

They concluded that the exposure to RF fields represents a serious public health issue that should be brought to the attention of Canadians (PDF file, pg 32 / pg 22 of report).  Unfortunately our Minister of Health ignored the report and implemented none of the recommendations.

Workers with concerns about on-the-job radiation exposure are not protected because employers rely on Health Canada’s Safety Code 6, which sets parameters for radiation exposure.  The code is outdated with no apparent updates in sight to reflect the technology in use today.

Radiation is the new tobacco and I see our unwilling exposure to it as a violation of our civil liberties. It would be nice if the people in power proactively implemented controls to protect the public from radiation.

I’ve relied on sources like www.c4st.org, www.magda havas.com, and www.emfanalysis.com for information.  I hope the discussion will continue and that one day soon, radiation will be treated the same as tobacco.  Thank you Vitality for helping to spread the word and for continuing to be a resource for people to improve their health.

Debbie B., Toronto

Email: letters@vitalitymagazine.com to have your say, or write a letter to: Vitality magazine, 356 Dupont St., Toronto, Ontario M5R 1V9

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