I am a long-term recovered cancer patient. I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and Bone Cancer in1978 (at age 28) and regained my health using a metabolic/Biorepair program, as supported for over 4 decades by F.A.C.T. (Foundation for the Advancement in Cancer Therapy) based in New York City.
Let me begin with a very brief overview of the Biorepair-type approach. (An in- depth treatment of the subject can be found throughout the F.A.C.T. website, www.rethinkingcancer.org, and particularly in the books, Rethinking Cancer by Ruth Sackman and my book, Cancer – A Rational Approach to Long-Term Recovery.)
The conventional view of cancer holds that tumors are the cancer. Therefore, the goal of treatment is to destroy cancer cells – using surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and/or hormone therapy – before they can propagate. Many of these procedures are invasive, toxic, damaging to the immune system and only address symptoms – manifestations of the disease. This approach can cause irreparable harm to healthy cells and does nothing to address the main problem, which is the body’s generation of abnormal cells. All these protocols can do is buy time since they do not offer any intrinsic healing properties and do not address root causes. This is one reason cancer often reasserts itself after conventional treatment is complete and the patient is declared “cancer- free”.
Conversely, F.A.C.T. sees cancer as a breakdown in body chemistry, brought on by a multiplicity of causes including poor diet, stress, devitalized and adulterated foods, lack of exercise, carcinogens, pollution, heredity, constitution, etc. When the body is continually subjected to abuse and is inundated with metabolic wastes, drugs, poisons, carcinogens, additives, preservatives, etc., the bloodstream becomes polluted and unable to deliver proper nutrition to tissues. Without proper nourishment, and overburdened with waste products, organs and endocrine glands become sluggish and unable to function adequately. Poor organ function, in turn, leads to a further buildup of toxicity in the bloodstream, setting up a vicious, dwindling spiral. Unable to eliminate the overload, and in an effort to avoid dangerous toxicity levels, the body is forced to store this waste deep within our tissues. When the body’s level of toxicity and reduced organ function reaches a crisis point, it loses control over the vital metabolic processes of life. The organs and immune system, drastically compromised, toxic, and overworked, are no longer able to maintain balance and health. This is the root cause of most degenerative diseases. In cancer, this manifests as abnormal cell production.
The metabolic/Biorepair approach to cancer is designed to break this downward spiral and restore healthy cell production. It cleanses the system of toxicity (metabolic wastes, stored chemicals, drugs, additives, preservatives, carcinogens, etc.), provides superior nutrition, exercise, supplementation and organ support. Put simply, it is designed to “get the bad stuff out, and the good stuff in”. Given a chance, our bodies can effect remarkable comebacks and will reestablish normal balance to the system, as evidenced by thousands of successful case histories. Pure blood and lymph systems, strong immune systems and properly functioning organs, acting in balance and harmony, will not tolerate the presence of cancer.
The above is a brief prelude to set the stage for the main theme of this article. The process of reestablishing health takes a LOT of time, effort and perseverance. The body, if assisted diligently and intelligently, will gradually discard its storehouse of metabolic wastes, toxins, carcinogens, drugs and inferior cells. Our cells, if provided superior fuel and nutrition, will exchange good for bad, slowly dumping foul material into the blood and lymph systems for final elimination from the body via the colon, kidneys, lungs and skin. Healthy organs, especially the liver, assist in this process. However, if the blood and lymph systems remain seriously polluted, the body wisely retains wastes in storage to prevent autointoxication. Elimination of wastes can be uncomfortable, or even dangerous, if the levels of toxicity in our bloodstream are too high, so the body wisely cleans house gradually. It should be obvious that we need to do everything possible to cleanse our blood, lymph and eliminative channels so that the process of detoxification can proceed. We also want to support our organs and endocrine glands, which will help bring our systems and blood chemistry back into normal balance.
As we detoxify, a proper protocol (including correct diet, body cleansing, supplementation, exercise and attitude) gradually rebuilds healthy cells and tissue, normalizes body chemistry, improves immune response, bolsters organ function, etc. This breaks the downward spiral and reverses course. It takes many cancer patients 2-3 years to fully normalize body chemistry, cleanse toxins, rebuild organs and immune response, and reestablish good health. In some cases, organ function may never come back to 100%, depending on the severity and extent of the damage, but if we can achieve adequate baseline performance, we can get well and remain well over the long-term.
Needless to say, the above constitutes a major effort. Having been there, I know the work and determination required to regain one’s health, but it’s worth the effort. It demands lifestyle changes, as well as changes in one’s thinking and actions. I don’t want to make it sound like years of drudgery, because that is not the case – I enjoyed the process of taking charge of my health and my life, learning about nutrition, and seeing my results pay dividends. I learned to love new tastes and to appreciate wholesome foods. It worked well for me, as it has others, and saved me from undergoing the ravages of conventional treatment.
As of this writing, I have been a recovered cancer patient for 34 years. I stuck with my program devotedly for many years and regained my health. Over time, I relaxed my program, which is a normal response. A healthy person doesn’t have to resort to the more austere, emergency measures required of a cancer patient in a crisis situation. But, relaxation can be a slippery slope, and there is a fine line between responsible relaxation and abandonment of the principles that made us well and cancer-free.
I spent all of my career in sales and marketing, did a lot of travel, attended meetings and conferences and entertained clients at fancy restaurants. Relaxation of my diet gradually led to breaking important dietary rules. I always loved food and was a good cook before I got cancer, so it was all too easy for me to gravitate to my previous eating habits, especially now that I was feeling so well. I introduced an occasional coffee here, glass of wine there, a little white bread, large steaks, heavy sauces, sautéing foods in oil, French fries, etc. I still ate better than the average American, but it wasn’t a healthy diet. Over time, these occasional breaches became the mainstream part of my diet. That was bad enough, but eating these unhealthy “foods” replaced eating the healthier foods that healed me. If I was having a latté in the morning, it replaced my glass of carrot-celery juice. Exercise declined, then stopped, because I was “just too busy.” I even stopped taking my supplements, since the crisis was behind me. The one thing I continued, fortunately, was my regular use of enemas for detoxification. Pretty soon, I had turned back the clock to before I was diagnosed with cancer.
Twice since my original cancer recovery, I have felt poorly after a prolonged lapse of dietary control. Each time, my health gradually and slowly declined, almost imperceptibly (just as recovery is a slow, gradual improvement). We don’t get healthy or sick overnight. When I began to experience some of my previous cancer symptoms, I knew that my health was approaching a serious fork in the road and I had done it to myself. Testing confirmed what my body was telling me. Both times, I got back on my original program for an extended period and regained my health. The good news is that I have more confidence than ever in my program, gained by repeated successes.
The other message, however, was equally clear: Long-Term Recovery requires Long- Term Vigilance. For whatever reason, my body cannot tolerate abuses that healthier people seem to take in stride. Perhaps this is due to heredity, my constitution, what I ate as a child, exposure to carcinogens, weak organs, excessive x-rays, lack of exercise, stress or other influences. All I know is that after three whacks on the side of the head with a 2-by-4, I have finally learned my lesson. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that habitual lifestyle and diet abuses have repeatedly led to poor health, and that three times I have recovered my health after re-implementing my healthy program. That simply defies the odds.
I have witnessed this same pattern repeating itself with many other cancer patients. An occasional cheat too often turns into unhealthy new habits and complete abandonment of life-saving principles. Some people have recovered after getting back on their programs, and sadly some have died after cancer reestablished itself and reasserted its hold with a vengeance. Some have returned to their health restoring program, and amazingly, others seem to have forgotten the program that worked so well for them previously. I’ve become convinced that recovered cancer patients must be more vigilant than others if they wish to stay well over the long term. The health we have won with such effort should not be squandered for momentary gratification. Once healthy, occasional breaches can be tolerated, but it is far too easy for many of us to revert to our unhealthy habits, and continued indefinitely; bad habits can kill.
For myself, I have made the following rules to live by in the future.
- Avoid coffee, alcohol, white flour, sugar, white rice, cakes, pastries, white pasta, adulterated cereals, etc.
- Avoid cooking with oils. Instead, steam, bake, or broil.
- Avoid preservatives, additives, color enhancers, stabilizers, pesticides and herbicides as much as possible.
- Strive to make my diet 50% raw fruits, raw vegetables and freshly made juices, preferably organically grown.
- Eat whole foods, not foods that are stripped, denuded, polished, bleached, preserved or fortified.
- Eat only organic meats; eat ocean fish (no hormones or antibiotics) as a small portion of overall food intake.
- Continue my supplements and detoxification (at reduced levels once healthy).
- Aerobic exercise 3 times per week for 30 minutes.
- Be positive, proactive and enjoy life.
Once healthy, our bodies can tolerate occasional indulgences. It’s the regular, long- term habits that can be dangerous. More disciplined people will not need to make such stringent rules, but I’ve proven to myself that I am one of those people who tend to backslide for years once I tread that slippery slope. If you do cheat once in awhile, enjoy it, but please get back on a healthy program and don’t let an occasional slip degenerate into a slide toward increasingly unhealthy habits. It could be deadly.
Lou Dina is one of the long-term recovered patients featured in our film, Rethinking Cancer. He is also author of Cancer – A Rational Approach to Long-Term Recovery..