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Editorial Issue 40

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 40 - May 1999

Penny Brohn, internationally renowned campaigner for holistic cancer treatment and co-founder of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, died late last year following a 15-year battle with cancer. Penny Brohn's tremendous contribution in increasing awareness about the needs of cancer patients among healthcare professionals, oncologists and legions of cancer sufferers will be a lasting testament to her beautiful and valiant spirit. She will be sorely missed by her friends, family and the wider communities of Cancer and Complementary Medicine.

Cancer has now assumed epidemic proportions; lifetime cancer risks now approach 50%. In the UK, over 20% of people now alive can expect to die from cancer; in the US in 1998, nearly 1.5 million Americans will have been diagnosed with cancer and 750,000 will have died of the disease. Far from winning the war against cancer, the global epidemic of cancer is escalating, while the ability to treat and cure many cancers remains much the same.

The environmental and political causes of the cancer scourge and blight have been exquisitely and extensively documented in a devastatingly authoritative book – The Politics of Cancer Revisited (East Ridge Press, USA 1998, Fax: 914 887 5982) by Dr Samuel Epstein, renowned international expert in toxicity and carcinogenesis. Not for the fainthearted or feeble-bodied, this 800-page tome, weighing 1kg, sequel to The Politics of Cancer (1978), contains 50 pages of references, and is a scathing indictment of the collective failure of government, the medical and cancer establishments to take action against many of the major causes of cancer, especially occupational and environmental carcinogens.

Dr Epstein further confronts and challenges the major cancer regulatory bodies, including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Cancer Society (ACS), and in the UK, the labyrinthine fragmented array of disconnected regulatory bodies, including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Health and Safety Commission (HSC), and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) accusing them of indifference to cancer prevention, political regulation of research grants, misleading the government and the public regarding its funding policies, and being strongly influenced by the pervasive interests of the cancer pharmaceutical and other industries. Not content merely to block research funding for non-toxic alternative cancer treatment, these institutions have systematically harassed proponents of non-toxic cancer treatments, and proceeded to promote highly toxic and largely ineffective drugs developed by the multi-billion cancer industry.

When I ventured sidewise from molecular biology research into health research, compiling literature reviews for books and later on databases relating to Nutrition and Cancer, I (the naïve research scientist that I was) couldn't understand why there was such absolute silence and nothingness from the medical profession regarding nutritional approaches to cancer prevention and treatment, in light of the tens of thousands of published research articles attesting to the therapeutic effects of almost every nutrient against virtually every type of cancer. Over the past 15 years, I have finally wised up to the conspiracy to marginalise and/or ignore or denounce such non-drug treatment methods for cancer as well as just about every other type of illness.

We need to ensure that we are starting to see the beginning of the end of the conspiracy of silence among entire industries regarding the carcinogenicity of many common items used in our daily lives, including tobacco, chemicals such as benzene in solvents, pesticides such as DTT, carcinogenic ingredients in foods such as lindane and nitrites, cancer-causing agents such as talc, quaternium-15 and diethanolamine (DEA) used in toiletries, and orthophenylphenol (OPP) in household cleaning products.

Maureen Usher, former President and Chairman of the Association of Reflexologists, shares her own hair-raising yet inspiring story about cancer of the kidney, puzzling out the environmental and medical causes of her illness, while implementing her unique holistic strategy for all levels of her body/mind/spirit. Maureen Usher makes a well-reasoned and fervent plea to each of us to protect ourselves against carcinogenic exposure, as well as to work within our communities and organisations to lobby for a safer environment. Because the toxins in the environment are the cause of the cancer epidemic.


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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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