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Editorial Issue 207

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 207 - June 2013

Positive Health PH Online readers appreciate how, in healthcare as in all other endeavours, our treatment approaches are influenced by our worldview - our education, training, beliefs, i.e. how we perceive and understand illness and how to optimize health. Evidently, how we have been brought up, how we view the world, what type of training and profession we have followed, will all ‘colour’ our worldview. This also extends to our every domain - politics, religion, economics, architecture, entertainment. Army generals generally see events on the ground differently than politicians or religious leaders or the people affected. These are self-evident truths.

This is equally true in healthcare: you would expect an acupuncturist to treat you with Chinese Medicine, a Nutritionist with Dietary and Supplements, a Herbalist with herbal remedies, etc. And you would expect a conventionally western-trained doctor to prescribe pharmaceutically derived medicines, antibiotics and analgesics.

This is also evident regarding cancer care: diagnosis, treatment options and most notably, the lack of treatment options other than those ‘recognized’ by oncologists, i.e. surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. And, as extensively reviewed in previous editorials, treatment options other than these ‘approved’ modalities, are proscribed by the draconian law of 1939 - the Cancer Act.

Moreover, and as also covered in numerous articles and book reviews throughout PH Online, there are a considerable number of cancer treatment approaches which are practised by holistic physicians, as well as ongoing biochemical and genetic research toward developing individual detection and treatment approaches to cancer.

  • Nutrition
  • Diet
  • Herbal and Ayurvedic Herbal Medicine
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Infusions
  • Hyperthermia
  • Stress Management
  • Mind-Body and Energy Therapies

Unfortunately, because these cancer treatments are not in the domain of officially sanctioned, recognized, cancer treatments, and because the majority of these treatments are in the realm of ad-hoc, individual case studies or are laboratory research rather than the hallowed ‘gold standard’ randomized controlled clinical trials, they are not acknowledged, recognized or even given credence by oncologists treating cancer patients.

Even some 40+ years since the War on Cancer was declared by Richard Nixon, during which time research information, data and techniques have exploded and are available to all who wish to research via the internet, it is evident that far from being won, cancer affects more people than ever and that more people are living and surviving cancer, not only through the conventional treatment approaches which are said to carry a significant mortality in themselves. Surely it is time to halt the war between the conventional and unconventional treatment approaches, to join forces, pool knowledge and fashion the best treatment approaches for each individual cancer patient?

In this Issue 207, a research update which was a revelation to me is published by Chen et al from Shanghai, China describing:

“…at the molecular level, the use of arsenic to treat and achieve complete remission and 90% 5-year overall survival  in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia…Arsenic had been used in treating malignancies from the 18th to mid-20th century...In the past 3 decades, arsenic was revived and shown to be able to induce complete remission and to achieve, when combined with all-trans retinoic acid and chemotherapy, a 5-year overall survival of 90% in patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia driven by the t(15;17) translocation-generated promyelocytic leukemia-retinoic acid receptor alpha (PML-RARalpha) fusion.”

Chen SJ, Zhou GB, Zhang XW, Mao JH, de The H and Chen Z. From an old remedy to a magic bullet: molecular mechanisms underlying the therapeutic effects of arsenic in fighting leukemia. Source Blood. 117(24):6425-37. Jun 16 2011.

Personally, I had no idea that arsenic had been used for centuries in the treatment of cancer. This illustrates that my upbringing and education and training hadn’t provided this knowledge. However, many others knowledgeable in the history of medicine and certainly these researchers, have finally started to solve the riddle about how this poison could be effective in treatment or leukemia.

This Issue 207 of PH Online published an array of editorial features illustrating the true meaning of ‘holistic’: articles about Meditation, NLP, Holistic Psychotherapy, Homeopathy, DNA Therapy, Wheat allergy, Immunity and Nutritional Support, Thyroid and Metabolism, Detoxification, Thai Massage and Our Body as Victim. A veritable feast from so many points of view:

It has always been my philosophy that medicine and healthcare cannot operate in two separate unique universes - like two solitudes. Vocabulary and terminology such as conventional, orthodox or alternative, complementary, holistic are fabricated, almost nonsensical inventions, as though treatment and healthcare are occurring in separate planets. We must accelerate efforts to join together for our optimal treatment and health.


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About Sandra Goodman PhD

Sandra Goodman PhD, Co-founder and Editor of Positive Health, trained as a Molecular Biology scientist in Agricultural Biotechnology in Canada and the US, focusing upon health issues since the 1980s in the UK. Author of 4 books, including Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art, Vitamin C – The Master Nutrient, Germanium: The Health and Life Enhancer and numerous articles, Dr Goodman was the lead author of the Consensus Document Nutritional and LifeStyle Guidelines for People with Cancer and compiled the Cancer and Nutrition Database for the Bristol Cancer Help Centre in 1993. Dr Goodman is passionate about making available to all people, particularly those with cancer, clinical expertise in Nutrition and Complementary Therapies. Dr Goodman was recently featured as Doctor of the Fortnight in ThinkWellness360.

Dr Goodman and long-term partner Mike Howell seek individuals with vision, resources, and organization to continue and expand the Positive Health PH Online legacy beyond the first 30 years, with facilities for training, to fund alternative cancer research, and promote holistic organizations internationally. Read about Dr Goodman and purchase Nutrition and Cancer: State-of-the-Art.  She may be contacted privately for Research, Lectures and Editorial services via:   and

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