Woodford Files — Can Alternative Cancer Treatment Get Us Better Patient Outcomes?

The recent passing of NDP leader Jack Layton left me aghast – he was a great man who died much too soon. And I couldn’t help but wonder if alternative cancer treatment might have kept him alive longer than the cut, burn, and poison approach used by western medicine. Call me cynical, but I have lost several friends to cancer, all of whom followed their doctor’s orders to the letter. Evidently, following the doctor’s orders is no guarantee of a cure, and yet the protocols of conventional medicine are deeply entrenched here, in spite of the fact that these treatment methods have less than impressive cure rates for chronic disease.

This month we bring you a report by the author of Defeat Cancer: 15 Doctors of Integrative and Naturopathic Medicine Tell You How. In it, Connie Strasheim lists ten alternative cancer therapies currently used around the world in less restrictive jurisdictions than our own. Some of these therapies will be familiar to Vitality readers: Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez has a cure rate of about 50 percent (even with pancreatic cancer) at his clinic in New York and Dr. Burzynski is getting an 85 percent “positive response rate” using antineoplastons to cure breast cancer. (For more on this, read Knockout: Interviews With Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer, by Suzanne Somers.)

Whatever your preferences are in health care treatment, whether conventional or ‘alternative,’ shouldn’t your tax dollars buy you the freedom to choose between ALL available healthcare options? Right now we are denied that choice by political and medical regimes that harass doctors interested in new frontiers of disease treatment, and strip them of their licenses if they dare to step outside the boundaries of orthodox medicine. A recent case in point is Deborah Drake, author of the feature in this issue: Good Medicine for Your Guts. After 26 years as a physician, she came under intense scrutiny by medical authorities and her licence to practise was challenged in February for daring to treat intestinal parasites using unconventional medicine. Never mind that her patient outcomes were excellent.

In his final statement to the public, Jack encouraged us to envision how we would make the world a better place. Well, in my better world, he would have had more OHIP-funded options to treat his prostate cancer, options such as nutritional medicine to strengthen immunity, acupuncture to remove inflammation, and mind/body therapies to reduce the harmful effects of a stressful campaign. Fortunately, these therapies are all available through health professionals in the community, but you won’t find them in most doctors’ offices. It’s time that “Integrative Medicine” took its rightful place in our health care system, so that improving patient outcomes is front and center in the war on cancer.

Looking forward, we are pleased to be participating in numerous events this fall which bring healthy choices to the community: Feast of Fields on Sept. 11th brings together farmers, brewers, winemakers, and chefs for a day of indulging in all the best organics; on Sept. 13th we’ll be at the GreenZen Lounge at the Toronto International Film Festival; and on November 25 to 27 we’ll spend the weekend at Whole Life Expo (www.wholelifexpo.ca), Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and alternative medicine. For details on all the great events coming up this season, see our Fall Calendar in this issue.

Julia Woodford, Editor ~ Vitality Magazine