Woodford Files: Jack Layton; Defeat Cancer: Good Medicine for Your Guts

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 per cent (even with pancreatic cancer) at his clinic in New York; and Dr. Burzynski is getting an 85 per cent “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 licences 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 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 centre in the war on cancer.

Julia Woodford, Editor ~ Vitality Magazine


Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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