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Editorial Issue 71

by Sandra Goodman PhD(more info)

listed in editorial, originally published in issue 71 - December 2001

Robert Charman (see Letters) has got it absolutely right. Looking at the recent BBC1 series Living with Cancer, Monday evenings at 10.35pm, one might get the impression that all there is in cancer treatment is "…chemo, radiotherapy and surgery. There was nothing else. It was as if all the CAM literature on approaches to cancer treatment and centres such as the BCHC didn't exist. Your excellent September issue might just as well not have been published… The Consultants live in a world of hi tech medicine and specialist journals…"

I frequently feel as if all the good work done by tens of thousands of complementary clinicians, the thousands of research studies validating the clinical efficacy of complementary therapies, the tens of thousands of books on the vast array of subjects, are invisible, marginalized, deliberately ignored and appear to count for nothing by the people at the helm of the medical profession.

Looking through my many Editorials for Positive Health, this is a familiar theme, with many varied specific examples. Twenty years ago, I may have been happy to have been a good little researcher and I spent years researching complementary medicine, writing up results for publications, writing books, summarizing the clinical literature, particularly in nutritional subjects. In 1995 in the first edition of my book Nutrition and Cancer: State of the Art, I write in the Introduction: "…nutrition is consistently ignored by the majority of cancer specialists, whose opinions and views often expressed to their patients range from patronizing… to vociferous and over-zealous protestations of the worthlessness and quackery of nutrition in cancer treatment…"

However, today in 2001, having ourselves posted several thousand peer-reviewed research summaries, along with many fully referenced clinical features about complementary cancer treatments in Positive Health magazine and internet site alone, many of them regarding cancer treatment, I am no longer prepared to be side-stepped and marginalized.

The article Vitamin C and Cancer - Storm of Controversy by Nicholas Calvino DC and Stephen Levine PhD, which explores the facts, myths and misinformation about Vitamin C in cancer treatment, is about as authoritative an article which could possibly be written on the subject, with chapter and verse and all the scientific research to date on the many aspects of this huge battle between giants such as Linus Pauling and Charles Moertel. Read this article, remembering that in mid-2001, the tabloid headlines screamed out that vitamin C actually caused cancer!

Indeed, cancer is not the only serious and terminal condition in which complementary approaches can be life-saving. Goldhamer et al, (See Research Updates) describe a clinical treatment programme using medically supervised water-only fasting, with 174 hypertensive patients, all with blood pressure (BP) measurements in excess of 140/90 mm Hg. Their results, following a 2-3 day pre-fasting period, following by water-only fasting for 6-7 days and a re-feeding period of 6-7 days, were quite astonishing: 90% of patients achieved blood pressure less than 140/90 mm Hg, the average BP reduction being 37/13 mm Hg, with the greatest decrease seen in those with the most severe hypertension. In fact, patients with stage 3 hypertension (systolic BP>180 mm HG, diastolic BP >110 mm Hg) had an average reduction of 60/17 mm Hg at the end of treatment!!

Having searched the internet and my medical manuals for the standard medical treatment for hypertension, in which the serious side effects of the diuretics, ACE inhibitor and beta blocker drugs were discussed as not being panaceas for hypertension, I did not come across a single reference to fasting with water. Surprise, Surprise!

Re the non-action of implementing complementary approaches into mainstream healthcare, I paraphrase Dr Dorothy Rowe's "…an individual's ideas do determine what that person does, but ideas without action cannot affect events in the world" (see her review of The Magic Genie) to "a million published research studies or books are as nothing if nobody hears of them, reads them, or teaches their content to medical students, GPs or Consultants."

It is mind boggling that even with HRH The Prince of Wales as Patron of the Bristol Cancer Help Centre and the Foundation of Integrated Medicine, that complementary medicine, with all of its nutritional, herbal and healing approaches, has not even got a look-in where it really matters – for patients diagnosed and dying of terminal cancer. It is high time to spread the word further and influence the higher ups to protect the health of us all.


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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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