Alternative therapies: What’s the Harm? My response to Cancer Research UK


Here’s my response to a recent article entitled “Alternative therapies: What’s the harm?” posted on the Cancer Research UK Science Blog. And of course they use of photo of snake oil (originally posted to Flickr by Wesley Fryer).

In a nutshell, it’s just another weak attempt to create fear and doubt about alternative cancer therapies with tired old industry clichés, straw man arguments, and propaganda.

If Steve Jobs is proof that alternative therapies don’t work, than the 580,000 Americans who die of cancer every year are certainly proof that conventional treatments don’t work.

This was a fun one to dismantle.


Related links

My friend Dr. Veronique Desaulnier healed her breast cancer with black salve.
Watch our interview here 

Want to know more about B-17 Laetrile? Read this post

Dr. Patrick Vickers explains coffee enemas in detail here

How the cancer industry spins survival rates

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This Post Has 67 Comments

  1. Fully informed? They don’t want us to know what traditional treatments will do to us-INCLUDING give us cancer-

    1. Chris Wark

      Yeah that little bit of information is often left out of the oncology consult

  2. AF

    Super interesting! And I agree, I do not think natural therapies are likely to “cost” a reduced quality of life, ESPECIALLY if one compares such therapies to conventional therapies.
    However, I have noticed that we rarely, if ever, hear about people who die using the alternative therapies, such as Gerson. But, I often think that a fairly high percentage of people who use alternative therapies are the ones who are VERY sick and it might be a unfair to compare survival rates. It could be misleading. I suppose, generally speaking, perhaps more research and reporting could be done (on alternative tx’s) and would be appreciated….even if it was simple self reporting. I bet it would be more honest than what we get from the medical industry which seems to be bought by biased, self serving drug companies.
    .Interesting info. re Steve Jobs worsening after his Whipple procedure.
    I think many many many years ago there were more legit concerns about “snake oil” salesman and I’m sure there still is need to be careful. But, now we have more and more good evidence that some alternatives have worked and worked well. Instead of the medical establishment investigating this, they look the other way. A total lifestyle change…I’m working on it Chris, as a good preventative. Blessings!!!! :)

    1. Chris Wark

      There are certainly people who try therapies such as Gerson and are not helped, but in most cases they are already stage 4 and conventional treatment has failed them and destroyed their body. Nutrition and natural therapies work best when they are adopted first, not as a last resort. :)

      1. Truth59

        I try to tell people that but most people I know (especially the ones in my family) believe that only doctors, not NDs or nutritionists heal.

    2. poshest

      Cancer Healing And Research Trust is collecting medical data from patients using natural cancer therapies. If you’re a patient, you can contribute. They take into account stage the cancer was when each treatment was started, so it’ll be interesting to see what numbers they come up with about Gerson and other therapies.

    3. Michele West Ceron

      if you do conventional treatments first then go to alternative, you have a much less likihood of the alternative treatment to work. Reason being is that the conventional treatment has destroyed your body to such a point that even with the alternative treatment the burden is too great to bring the body back to health, it takes a lot more time and alot more of the supplements and nutrition to bring it back that sometimes people die before their body can restore itself. For instance, I had read before that chemotherapy completely destroys the lining of your small intestine, so much so that for up to 2 years after stopping the chemo, your small intestine is unable to absorb nutrients that you consume. 2 YEARS!!!!! 2 years of your body not being able to absorb and assimilate the nutrients from your food properly. And that is just the small intestine, not including all the severe damage it causes to your liver, your brain, and your other organs.

  3. Lisa

    Great post!
    Have you heard or know anything about Hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy?

    1. Chris Wark

      Sure! It’s a good thing. :)

      1. Grace

        Thanks so much, Chris! Love your very empowering and informative interviews as well! God bless you and your family! :D

  4. Bibijoux

    Thank you Chris. Just amazing…

  5. Jim Rajan

    I agree entirely about Cancer Research UK. They are an abomination. It is appalling how they are only pro-chemo and surgery. There is no research. All the money just goes in their pockets! I think your website is really great. Thank you Chris.

  6. Valerie

    Great response! Thanks for being a sound, informed mouthpiece for natural, non-toxic therapies. Love your videos and info. You are doing a superb job providing truth and hope in this fallen world! Bless you!

  7. Tracy Barrette

    Love it! I love your sarcasm “Don’t JAM it in there”!!

    1. Michele West Ceron

      also dont put the coffee in you while it is still scalding hot! hahaha

      1. Chris Wark

        Haha! Yeah I should’ve mentioned that too. ;)

  8. ChilePowered

    Other candidates for your sort of reply in this regard are the drug commercials on TV. Every time I hear one I cringe that in a 30 second commercial 15 seconds are devoted to all the possible, and many horrifying, side effects to be aware of and “let your doctor know” if you experience any.

    Thanks for ALL YOU are doing!

    1. Michele West Ceron

      I know, I laugh my ass off every time I hear the side effects and then I say “yup I want to get in line to have some of that!” I often wonder if the tv drug adverts are actually backfiring for the drug companies. Because the people watching the commerical are actually HEARING the side effects out loud, instead of trying to read the very small print in a magazine or on a drug insert, is that diswaying more people away from a drug therapy instead of convincing them they need it? To me I hear the side effects and I immediately think “absolutely fucking not!”

      1. AutismDad

        But do you see/ hear their tactic of trumpeting the so-called benefits while whispering and QUICKLY speaking about adverse effects? In magazines the full page ad is at the front. Adverse effects are buried at the back, and font could fit on the head of a pin, so few can or will read them.

  9. Jeanne Newberry

    Bam! That was great!! Great passionate rebuttals!

  10. Carla Soroka

    this was great! i did have to laugh – a lot! but additionally Chris’ arguments were so well presented: easy to follow, well researched. very handy to know those arguments!

  11. Jim Hogan

    Hi. I,m Jim and from the UK. On March 8Th, 2014 I was rushed into an emergency bowel cancer operation, I woke up later in intensive care with pipes of all sorts sticking out of me, I had lost a stone on the operating table and looked like death. My family were very upset when they saw me laying there. On the 12Th March, I was discharged and went home. I was very sore and weak but gradually pulled myself back to health over the weeks. I was offered chemo but, after hearing the toxic side effects refused it. I went on the Budwig protocol (5 tablespoons of organic flaxseed oil blended with 5 tablespoons of cottage cheese) I also mixed in blueberries and grapes with it as it tastes awful. 16 months later and I’m still cancer-free and getting better and better all the time. I do some weights and walk a lot.
    To God be the Glory (I’m 73 by the way)

    1. Michele West Ceron

      congrats Jim!!!!! So glad for you!

      1. Jim Hogan

        Thank you, Michele. That chemo would have killed me. A friend of our had the same operation around the same time, took chemo, suffered much and died two months ago.

    2. Pam

      So happy for you Jim. What Stage of cancer were you diagnosed with? I am so glad you avoided Chemo and healed yourself. Pam

    3. Pam Larson

      Great job Jim. Did your doctors try to say you were doomed w/o chemo? So glad you stayed on your protocol!! Pam

      1. Jim Hogan

        Hi Pam. My surgeon was very understanding and did not push it on me. The chemo doctor did try to urge me to take it and did not seem too pleased when I refused. The cancer had not spread to the Lymph nodes or kidneys which would have been more serious still. The week before I went to the hospital I developed very severe pain and would lie on he bed shaking uncontrollably. They took away half my colon, seem to have done a good job. I firmly believe the chemo would have killed me. It would have been every day for 6 months. No thanks!

    4. jane hand

      hi I refused standard of care but did do a lessor surgery and am doing natural treatments.

      .I agree budwig mix taste terrible. I could barely choke it down after blended.

      Maybe not healthy, but have taken to adding organic kethup and then cucumbers/pickles and it i pretty good.

      it was smart to add grapes and blueberries as both of these along with many other berries kill cancer stem cells whihc are the only cancer cells that spread..about 1% of the cells in a tumor are cancer stem cells. chemo and traditional
      treatment do not kill these cells which are the only cancer cells that can spread to distant sites and cause mets

      Other things thast kill cance stem cells outside of berries/grapes are broccoli and brocoili sprouts, turmeric, resveritrol (red skins of grapes), metformin low dose, bitter melon, bormelian (in pineapple) and black pepper. Also anything with ellagic acid kills cancer stem cells.

      ellagic acids sources ==Ellagic acid is found in oaks species like the North American white oak (Quercus alba) and European red oak (Quercus robur).

      The macrophyte Myriophyllum spicatum produces ellagic acid.

      Ellagic acid can be found in the medicinal mushroom Phellinus linteus.

      elagic acid highest in blackberries, cranberries, pecans, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts, wolfberries, and grapes.It is also found in peach and other plant foods.

      Blueberries have already been found to cause programmed cell death (apoptosis) within in the significantly more virulent triple negative breast cancer cell lines and an accumulating body of research reveals that the blueberry phytocompound resveratrol has the ability to kill dozens of lethal cancer types, including targeting the cancer stem cells within them.

  12. LinusandSnoopy

    Chris, this is one of the most awesome commentaries I’ve heard from you. Thank you so much for speaking so clearly about the ridiculous arguments presented in this paper you’re addressing. Bravo to you! I was diagnosed with T-Cell Large Granular Lymphocyte Leukemia last year. I began an organic vegan diet with very minimal supplementation of D3 and B-12 as well as daily using turmeric, chili powder, and black pepper in salads. One year later, my blood work is better than it’s been in four and a half years. I am so excited about the simple reality that our bodies are beautifully designed for health. They are actively pursuing health at every moment and it’s our job to feed them nature’s best, organic vegan food. If it’s not food, it shouldn’t be swallowed. :)

    1. Chris Wark

      Super Awesome!!!

  13. Corinne Lopez

    I have an aunt and uncle who were diagnosed, went through the conventional therapies, became deathly ill, and died anyway. That was enough to convince me that I’d rather take my chances with alternative therapies than spend my last months or years on earth in pain and sick.

    1. Michele West Ceron

      me too!

  14. Monica

    You are great Chris. I “met” you with Ty Bollinger program and liked your approach. Please continue!

  15. Judy

    You always have the right answers! Thank You Chris

    1. Chris Wark

      My wife would disagree with that… LOL! :)

  16. Judy Epstein

    Thank you Chris!!! Well done! Call a spade a spade!!

  17. Kelly Western

    Thank you Chris! You are awesome for putting your energy into getting the word out. You have helped me to get healthier and every time I need inspiration I look to your site. It makes me sad that the people I know who have cancer don’t want to know anything about alternative therapies because we are brainwashed to believe what the doctors tell us we have to do. Why are people so scared to use nutrition to help their bodies heal? It should be our first line of defense in all disease.

    1. Michele West Ceron

      because people are brainwashed to not think or question or research for themselves, just to do and believe what the gods in the white lab coats tell them! It is extremely sad.

      1. Chris Wark

        Yep. We’ve all been subjected to a lifetime of conditioning that pharmaceutical medicine is the only way to treat disease.

  18. Duane Combs

    Go get em Chris

  19. Duane Combs

    The quality of life goes down from conventional forms of treatment. I have seen it with four members of my own family. All of them suffered greatly and went down hill rapidly. All of them would have a much more meaningful life if they would have done nothing at all.

    My long lost mother lived only a few miles from the Great Dr, Kelley of Grapevine, TX. Unfortunately we did not know of him. Had we known then, she would likely be alive and well today.

    I have cancer too, but I will go the the natural route, and here I am four years later and feeling fine.

    Keep it up Chris.

    1. southvalley

      There’s another doctor in Texas who has had very good results treating cancer. His name is Stanislav Brzynski ( close). His is an approach using the patient’s own DNA to treat the cancer. I know of no one who has been to see him, but I know from documentaries that the cancer establishment and the FDA/AMA have been hassling him for years, trying to put him out of business, making him do extensive, expensive reviews and research that they don’t require of Big PhRMA. The more successes he has the more virulent the propaganda has become.
      There’s a new documentary about him out now. He gets death threats and all sorts of wonderful things from the trolls who would like not alternative to their poisons at all out there
      I recommend Barbara Ehrenreich’s book called “Bright-Sided” about the positive thinking movement and ho it is joined at the hip with treating any disease, but esp cancer. A lot of good stuff in there.

      And good for you, Duane, for not falling for the toxic treatments established capitalistic medicine wants to subject us all to. I’d do the same thing. Good luck to you.

  20. Duane Combs

    Curcumin. Right on. Not only good in the fight against cancer, but also good to prevent Altzheimers. In countries that use a high rate of Curcumin…..guess what?
    Low cancer and Altzheimer rates.

  21. Duane Combs

    I want you on my debate team!

  22. Obedyahoo

    i have been diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoma (Steve Jobs Disease). They found a golf ball sized tumor in an abdominal lymph node. Where can I find information about alternative treatments for this disease? I had not heard anyone even mention it until this video. I’ve started juicing, eating salads, taking herbs and supplements. I don’t know if this is effective against this type of cancer, but I don’t want anything the doctors have to offer. Who can I talk to?

    1. Michele West Ceron

      contact one of the gerson clinics in Mexico

    2. Immanuel Christian

      All cancers are parasite and fungal infections which can be effectively treated with 6g/day potassium iodide crystals (ebay), 5000mcg/day sodium selenite (Life Extension), 3g/day niacin, 40g/day ascorbate and 2ml/day frankincense oil.

  23. Michele West Ceron

    The Steve Jobs argument is hysterical!!!!! No one knows how compliant Steve was to his treatment, how much he stuck to the protocal, he may not have been. And the conventional surgical treatment failed him miserably!!!!

  24. Michele West Ceron

    no evidence? How about Dr. Gerson’s book Cancer Therapy: A Study of 50 Cases

  25. Michele West Ceron

    what cracks me up is that allopathic medicine “admit” that cancer can be cured spontaneously, they think THAT is a real thing, a real possibility, but giving your body the nutrient dense food that it NEEDS to build and repair its tissues and organs? Nope, that cant possibly cure cancer or cure any other disease. Seriously, I dont even understand how these doctors can either stupidly believe that, or know that it is wrong but seriously try to fool everyone else so they can continue to make their huge salaries with other people’s blood on their hands? It is just purely mind blowing!

  26. Alan Walker

    Hi Chris,
    Wonderful information. You are doing a great job of spreading the word on the great alternatives to the big 3. Please keep up the good work. Alan

  27. Kate

    I am a huge fan of alternative treatments. But did you know that what works for one patient may be ineffective or even harmful for another? Before blindly embarking on alternatives, you can have your cancer cells tested through a simple but rather expensive blood test, which will indicate which alternatives and conventional treatments will be effective against your tumor. It’s an investment, but saves valuable time. Research Biofocus.

  28. Al McCraw

    Garlic Kills Cancer….That’s what caught my attention. I was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme Level 4 Brain Tumor on July 29th 2013. Had surgery August 13 followed by Chemo and Radiation. Then I found this on the Internet “Garlic Kills Cancer” I have 3 MRI’s since the first showed it was in remission, the second showed it was completely gone and the third one prompted the Doctor to say whatever you are doing keep it up. It took exactly one year to be pronounced Cancer free

  29. T.J.

    the article was as slanted againist CAM as Chris’ replies are against pharma; unfortunately both are seeing the other as “opposition” instead of working alongside. The oncology field is undergoing a significant revolution away from chemo that will drastically change the way pharma treats cancer in the coming decade. rather than *both* sides spitting out “tired cliches and propaganda” I would encourage the UK Cancer Research blog and ChrisBeatCancer to take an objective look at the progress the other “side” has made in advanced cancer treatments. There is a ton that Chris and other CAM supporters can bring to the oncology field if the preconceived notions by both parties are dropped. Immunotherapy and holistic healing can and will be working together to heal the body from cancer; it’s just a matter of how many people will die unnecessarily before that win-win can occur – both from not embracing diet/lifestyle changes, and by not pursuing immunotherapy options in favor of alternative ones.

    1. Chris Wark

      Immunotherapy has a LONG way to go. If it works for more than just a handful of people that the industry and media have overhyped then it will certainly be a much better option than chemo and radiation.

      1. T.J.

        Chris I know you have beliefs based on personal experience and talking with other cancer survivors who used natural treatments. Our beliefs are less far apart than it may appear, but I urge you to drop some of the rhetoric and generalizations. Immunotherapy is in trial for nearly every solid tumor type; the combinations are showing astronomical survival rates. I know this because I am one of them, because I talk with hundreds of other patients (just in melanoma alone) who are surviving on these treatments, and I have talked with the researchers who are administering them. We both know the media slants things for a story; I can tell you from listening to the research presentations at AACR, ASCO, and other conferences (AND from the many patients on PD-1 alone that are surviving with NED or stable disease) that checkpoint inhibitors are leading the way for a complete paradigm shift in oncology treatment, one that very much aligns with your preferred treatments. It will take the world some time to realize that these drugs are not curing cancer; they are *enabling our immune system* to beat cancer. which, when you break it down, is pretty much the same thing you preach to others. it will take a lot of big pharma to concede this, but patient advocacy organizations are already pushing this message. It is only a matter of time before the CAM world intersects with the immunology one. I just hope both sides realize they are better off helping one another instead of fighting to show which one is “better” by dismissing the other.

        1. mike

          Well formatted T.J.

  30. Rosie

    The medical establishment in the UK is blinkered and full of ignorance with regard to nutritional therapy and alternative therapies. The arrogance which accompanies this ignorance is typical of the ‘power over’ tactics used to suppress the, ‘common man/woman/child’ – Chris’s comeback is brilliant – of course ‘they’ are not going to take any notice .we sit before our oncologists, we write to them, we bring them our research and our ideas for treatment – they smile in our faces whilst uttering yet another phrase that basically means ‘no’ …. as in ‘No I am not going to take any notice of you …… you are sick, you’re gonna die – the best we can do is lead you down that path so shut and take the medicine – there’s a good gal/chap’!

  31. fuji

    chris wark’s comedy hour — you are the BEST, chris, thank you for your never-ending service to the masses.

  32. Giovanni

    Since Dec 2012 I consume 10 apricot seeds (laetrile-amygdalin) every day in addition to consuming 500 mg of amygdalin. I have yet to see any problems or side affects. I also do a couple of quarts of Rene Caisse tea every other month. This I have done since April 2013 again no side affects or problems. This plus diet cured my cancer.

  33. Giovanni

    I forgot to add, look at the work of Dr. Ernest T Krebs on laetrile.

  34. Mario Zacchini

    Great video, Chris.

  35. Rachy Baker

    Chris, you are a force for good in this sick world. Thank you for all the time you spend encouraging others.

  36. Paul Waddell

    I have been trying the apricot seeds, and feel very weird when taking them, even when I drop to 1 a day, I think this is strange and need to know if it is normal and I will grow out of it. If so I will continue, thanks for all the information here, been following you for quite a while now.

  37. Kasy Houghton

    Hi, I’m Kasy from the UK & was diagnosed with stage 3 endometrial cancer in March this year. I had a total hysterectomy in April, & am now 6 weeks post op. It was recommended that I had a course of chemotherapy, when I saw the oncologist she told me of the possible side effects -which I already knew!!- & she seemed quite stunned when I refused it. I’d had an MRI scan in March & that only showed the one area of cancer, that was completely removed, plus some health tissue when I had my op, so I was certain there was nothing else lurking around. The Dr said 1 cell may have escaped & that’s why chemo was being recommended, I still said no, but did agree to a CT scan which I had 2 weeks ago, I saw the Dr yesterday, & she told me that it was completely clear, & if I still felt the same she would respect my wishes, & she would still support me. I’ve agreed to see her every 3 months, & have the odd scan every now & again, & contact them if I get any unexplained pains or feel ill for no apparent reason. In the meantime I’m exercising, & want to go down the alternative therapy route to keep my body well & cancer free.

  38. Mary Strutt

    Hi Chris! Please help me! I’m a 25 year old girl who recently had a quadrantectomy for a tumour in my breast. Four years ago I was ran over by a truck and it was a miracle I survived, but I think this tumour may have been caused by that trauma. I live in Italy and am having a hard time finding a good naturopath. (Right now I refused chemo and radio but am on hormone therapy due to the level of hormone receptors and how aggressive this is, but have lost my sense of smell and have other side effects) Can you suggest any European clinics to me? I would be soooo grateful. mi*********@ya***.uk

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