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Editorial Issue 29

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 29 - June 1998

Shakespeare may have said that music has charms to soothe the savage breast, but this savage breast is not soothed by the enormous amount of misinformation about, especially regarding the efficacy of conventional medical treatment for serious conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease and cancer.

As a hardworking bright young scientist, I believed, as do many researchers, that what science and medicine was looking for is the Truth. That the goal is to discover an effective treatment, an important regulatory gene, or an improvement to an existing technique and publish the data in a peer-reviewed journal. It then follows that this new knowledge will be welcomed by the medical community and applied toward improving the health and lives of ordinary, suffering people such as you and I.

That was perhaps true in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, but not today, when cancer charities are seriously funded by grants from the lottery, private medical foundations and pharmaceutical companies and donations from the public. We are witnessing a palpably great increase in the incidence of cancer and large numbers of women, men and children are dying from cancer despite reassurances that the prognosis for cancer sufferers is improving.[1] It almost sounds like the crime statistics which supposedly indicate a decline in crime, while we recognise that crime occupies a serious place in all of our lives.

Cancer experts and the media report upon discoveries of new cancer regulatory genes which may lead to effective gene therapy for cancer treatment within a decade or so; however, the research demonstrating that simple nutritional measures such as eating fruit and vegetables, taking supplements or having more exercise may prevent cancer or prolong survival, is often downplayed or even ridiculed as advice from the Food Police. How many relatives in your family have died from cancer? This is not a trivial issue!

Even holistic cancer organisations are guilty of giving their patients erroneous advice, in their efforts not to rock the boat with the medical establishment, which is now using all the techniques originally developed by these centres, such as diet, relaxation and imagery. One flagrant example is the edict from several prominent cancer centres that their cancer patients not take vitamin C supplements while on methotrexate chemotherapy. The origins of this bit of misinformation was a paper originally published by Sketris & Farmer in 1984[2] putting forth the theory that vitamin C might interfere with the elimination of methotrexate. The authors conducted a one-patient study in which they monitored methotrexate excretion with and without vitamin C on separate occasions. The result – no difference. Thus the correct conclusion is that vitamin C does not interfere with methotrexate. Instead, cancer patients are being told not to take vitamin C. This information is further promulgated in books being written in 1998[3] by cancer patients who have been to these centres, and who are trying to help other cancer sufferers survive their ordeal.

Another item guaranteed to frazzle my unsoothed breast is the discovery that apparently neutral organisations dispensing vitally important health information to women regarding effective treatment and lifestyle options for the menopause are in reality funded by pharmaceutical companies selling HRT. We are constantly being told that HRT saves women's lives by preventing cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis, when in reality oestrogen is a cancer promoter, causes aortic arteries to spasm, contributing to heart attack and does not reverse osteoporosis (see account of Dr John Lee's talk, page 51).

What I am really pleased to announce is the welcoming to Positive Health of our new bodywork columnist Joël Carbonnel, who will endeavour to de-mystify stale and untrue myths about muscles and skeletons.


1. The Ecologist. Vol 28 No. 2 Mar/Apr 1998.
2. Sketris & Farmer. Effect of Vitamin C on the excretion of Methotrexate. Cancer Treatment Reports 68(2). Feb 1984.
3. Breast Cancer by Kathy Jones. Ariadne 1998.


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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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