Book Review: Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable EpidemicHelke Ferrie November 1, 2007
Author: Liz Armstrong, Guy Dauncey, and Anne Wordsworth
Publisher: New Society
Publish Date: 2007
It doesn’t often happen that two books are published which absolutely must be read together! They were written and published simultaneously, and yet the authors do not know each other and had no idea that their books were being written in the same spirit. They perfectly enhance and complement each other and I doubt that they could have produced this marvellous coincidence had they tried to do so deliberately. I have been glued to both books every since they appeared in May. I keep them on my desk, in my briefcase, and even at the cottage, so I can immediately flip through both or either for some nugget of information or insight.
Charlotte Gerson has released a revised, expanded and updated version of her original 2001 bestselling book, The Gerson Therapy. She is the daughter of the great German doctor, Max Gerson, who in the 1920s developed the immensely successful detoxification and nutritional protocol that addresses most cancers and other chronic diseases. He then reported his stunning results before the U.S. Congress in the 1950s. Met with tremendous hostility by the medical profession whose members were enthralled by drugs, these treatment protocols would have been lost if Charlotte hadn’t made it her task to rescue this treatment from oblivion and make its existence known worldwide. Today, universities in Spain and Japan teach the Gerson cancer therapy and many more universities in Europe have validated their efficacy through research done, especially since the 1990s.
The Gerson therapy has a success rate, beyond the traditional five year survival, of over 40%, while standard medicine’s cut-burn-poison protocols (surgery-radiation-chemo) still stands at 2% and cannot get past its five year limit with most cancers. These are the stats of the cancer societies and the U.S. National Institutes of Health (see my review of Guy B. Faguet’s, The War on Cancer: Anatomy of Failure, Springer, 2004, in Vitality, July 07). In September it turned out that even that 2% is now in question because the U.S. Veterans Administration has been deliberately withholding its cancer incidence data, which means that annually about 70,000 newly diagnosed cases never made it into the databases, causing what the U.S. National Cancer Institute referred to as “uncorrectable bias” for all ongoing research efforts and currently available statistical analyses (read the whole story on cancerdecisions.com).
The new Gerson book updates and expands on the first one in every area, from research to recipes. I especially liked the care that was taken to explain in even greater detail the bio-chemical reasons for the treatment protocols. This is the point at which the book dovetails with Armstrong’s new book, Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic.
When Gerson informs you that life is only possible because of that 10 inch layer of soil that covers much of our planet, and that over our evolution “the human body has become a potassium animal needing some 90% potassium versus 10% sodium in its diet” to remain healthy, we can turn to the Solutions book and find out why things have come to such a pass that this life-nourishing soil is less and less able to maintain us, and why this potassium/sodium balance is so totally out of whack that cancer is now the leading cause of death.
Thus, among the 101 solutions to the currently escalating cancer epidemic, the authors show the direct relationship between agriculture that promotes and food production that prevents cancer – and exactly how this works. The soil is “our external metabolism,” as Dr. Gerson used to say; processed foods, for example, are so depleted in essential minerals that our immune systems starve, which sets the stage for cancer as well as most chronic illness. Similarly, we learn from both books – in terms of healing cancer in the one, and cancer prevention in the other, how our processed foods increase sodium and deplete potassium in direct violation of our physical requirements so that all cellular activity is chronically compromised. Both books show how eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) is dangerous to health and survival, one focusing on the diseased state and the dynamic intervention of healing protocols; the other by showing how our eating habits, toxic approach to hygiene, and political decisions are more often than not themselves carcinogenic patterns of behaviour.
In Canada, between 1975 and 2000, cancer increased 19.5% among women and 29.2% among men. Cancer among children under 15 years of age increased 27%. This appalling state of affairs led the authors of the Solutions book to examine what are the true, undeniable and scientifically verifiable causes of cancer and to examine how they might be preventable; it turns out that they virtually all are. The theme of the book is that “the cancer epidemic is being fueled by carcinogens in our air, water and food; by poor-quality processed food stripped of its protective nutrients and loaded with additives; and by an assault on our immune systems by toxic substances” – all of which are unnecessary, avoidable, and have safe alternatives.
What both books tell us is that the mystery of cancer is no more. There is nothing mysterious about cancer: its causes are known and those causes are under our personal and political control. What is so encouraging and astounding is that in most cases cancer becomes curable by paying attention to exactly those substances (poisons and foods) that caused it in the first place.
Most of us have lost loved ones to cancer, some readers have been diagnosed with cancer, and all of us are in danger of paying for our carcinogenic culture with our health and lives if we don’t force ourselves to awake from this nightmare. Everyone who would like to see a cancer-free world should read both these books and act upon the information they contain. The authors who gave us these books have done a great service to humanity.
Helke Ferrie is a medical science writer with a master's degree in physical anthropology. Her specialty lies in investigative research into ethical issues in medicine and the politics of health. She started her investigative journalism career in the mid-1990s, looking at issues of medicine and environment. She has been a regular contributor to Vitality Magazine ever since. Helke has also authored books on various subjects including: "Ending Denial: The Lyme Disease Epidemic", "What Part of No! Don't They Understand: Rescuing Food and Medicine from Government Abuse", and "The Earth's Gift to Medicine".