Foundation for Advancement in Cancer Therapy
Non-Toxic Biological Approaches to the Theories,
Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Our 53rd Year

Ruth Sackman’s Notebook By Ruth Sackman

Interpreting Mammography

A few days ago I was glancing through Women’ s Health Watch, a publication from Harvard Medical School, when I was surprised to see an article titled Interpreting Mammography. It was about the errors of judgment which can easily be made by radiologists, each examining the same mammographies. For years, at every opportunity (articles, lectures, radio, TV), I have urged women not to trust a mammography or biopsy so completely as to start treatment without having a second and even a third opinion. Cancer treatment, today, is fraught with hazards and should only be undertaken if the circumstances make it an absolute requirement.

Herbert Denenberg, former head of the State of Pennsylvania Insurance Department, once said that when a doctor told some women to climb up on the operating table, they never questioned why.

Early in my service with FACT, what made me suspicious of the scientific accuracy of mammograms and biopsies was the typical comment by doctors that “it must have been a mistaken diagnosis” whenever we attempted to convince a skeptic of the merit of a sound biological program for the cancer patient

According to the study in Women’ s Health Watch by ten radiologists at Yale University, all board certified, the results of reading the mammograms they were asked to evaluate differed dramatically. They. didn’t differ greatly if the mammograms were very definitely either benign or malignant, but, in other instances, normal mammograms were interpreted as tumor and in some instances calcification tissue went unnoticed.

In spite of the fact that there is a controversy about how breast cancer diagnosis and treatment are handled today, some women accept the doctor’s evaluation and direction without any further thought. I hear them say, “My doctor said…” as though the pathologist’s report is infallible. Yet, many agencies urge women to get a second or even third opinion. Even some pathologists urge additional evaluations. This should apply to both treatment and diagnosis.

The protocol used today after breast surgery is to routinely use chemotherapy or radiation or hormone inhibitors, or a combination of all or some of them.

Dr. Eugene Robin, professor emeritus of the Stanford University Medical School faculty, wrote a series of columns for a West Coast paper in 1991 about the differences of opinion that exist in the medical community about routine use of mammography for detecting cancer. One was headlined, “Startling Rise in Breast Cancer Deaths.” He cited typical scientific research, which presented a positive picture of today’s protocols as well as scientific research which negated it. This should warn us not to assume everything labeled “scientific” is unquestionable. I am sure the studies were done carefully, but a cancer population has too many variables to have matched subjects and controls. And animal research doesn’t necessarily relate to humans. The final conclusion as to whether a system is good or bad has to be measured by long-term survival statistics not the artificial 5-year survival yardstick.

Dr. Robin criticized routine use of mammography as a flawed method for increasing the cure rate. He quotes an expert who said, “It is regretfully concluded that there seems to be a possibility that the routine use of mammography in screening asymptomatic women may eventually take almost as many lives as it saves.” I would like to add that routinely using chemotherapy after removing a small lump in the breast also may take many lives especially when “it is entirely possible that some of these are tumors that would never become invasive,” according to Dr. Larry Waterbury speaking at a regional meeting of the American College of Physicians.

All of the above treatments are hazardous; they pose a future risk. Tamoxifen can cause kidney damage and endometrial cancer, chemotherapy can cause leukemia, radiation can also cause cancer. If the diagnosis is inconclusive or mistaken, and that happens more often than the lay person realizes, then the patient may become the victim of cancer from the treatment

The doctor must offer the official protocol or he is vulnerable to a malpractice suit, but the patient can assume the responsibility of carefully checking all parameters and making the final decision relative to treatment or decide not to act on an inconclusive report. (In short, the responsibility for effective treatment lies much more with the patient than most patients are currently willing or conditioned to acknowledge.)

Soy Products Follow-Up …We See Some Terrible Effects

There are controversies in the health movement that never seem to be settled. Today there is a movement to push soy products as a tool to reduce tumors. The concept hasn’t had its day in court, i.e., a long waiting period to see if getting tumor reduction leaves a legacy of harm to the patient which is what occurs with most tumor destruction modalities.

I received a call from a young woman who knew my position on using soy products. She asked if she could set up a conference call with someone she knew who was writing a tofu (soy) cook book. She wanted me to give her our data on soy. I had no objection.

I told the author we had learned that it interfered with enzymatic function which was a serious handicap for good metabolism. I also said that we objected to high protein for the cancer patient and did not like the fact that some tofu was processed with Epsom salts. It was my feeling that she was just about ready to deliver her manuscript to the publisher and nothing negative was going to interrupt her deal.

Fate in her strange way appropriately delivered the Gerson Healing Newsletter the very next day with an article entitled Soy Products Follow-Up by Charlotte Gerson. It is reprinted in its entirety as it is based on irrefutable clinic experience:

In our last issue of the Gerson Healing Newsletter, Vol. 11, No. 5, we presented important information about the dangers of eating soy products. We are beginning to see how very important this article was, especially in view of how many people we are seeing who have been seriously damaged by eating soy products.

One patient at the Gerson Hospital was not suffering from cancer, but was in deplorable condition. She was in her middle forties and was deeply disturbed about her many health problems. “I don’ t understand why I am so sick. I have been a vegetarian for over ten years,” she complained. Upon further questioning, and since we had just completed our research for the article about the dangers of soy products, she confirmed that she had been consuming aver), large proportion of her food in the form of soy products: tofu, soy milk, soy cheese, etc. She was suffering from severe osteoporosis with pain in most of her bones; she had many allergies and infections (both stem from immune deficiency); she was anemic and had no energy, had sleeping problems and more. All these difficulties could be ascribed to her inability to absorb nutrients, the very problems caused by soy products: blocked absorption of minerals, vitamins and enzymes.

This patient responded rapidly and beautifully to the Gerson Therapy with the high nutrient content of the 13 juices and organic meals, now easily absorbed and assimilated since she no longer blocked her system with the toxic soy.

Another patient was a long-term recovered “Gerson person.” Carl K. originally came to the Gerson Therapy hospital suffering from widespread melanoma. All his tumors disappeared rather rapidly except one. After many months on strict Gerson Therapy, that one tumor was still very much in evidence, loose and movable, but present. Finally, after almost a year, Carl had that tumor removed surgically. It was easy: a small incision in the skin of his leg and the tumor lifted right out. It was encapsulated and not attached. Carl has been well ever since and said that he had not seen a doctor in 14 years.

Just this week we had a call from him: he had begun to have new problems. He had pressure pain in his buttocks, first in his left one, then running up his leg toward his pelvis, then the other buttock also hurt, but only when he was sitting. X-rays and scans didn’ t show anything. But his blood test was surprising: he had a cholesterol level of 2 10. Worse, his urinalysis showed keytones kidney damage. I could only guess that he had gone off the therapy and was eating excess meat or cheese. But, as it turned out, he didn’ t do that, he had remained on a vegetarian diet. However, on further questioning, he said that he was taking fairly large amounts of soy protein supplements as well as consuming tofu and other soy products! Worse, though still a member of the Gerson Institute receiving our Healing Newsletter, he admitted that he had not read the last issue, and didn’ t realize that soy products were dangerous. But he promised to change his ways.

I hope and trust that most of our members do read the Healing Newsletter and that our warnings are not in vain. Our recovered patients are some of our most valuable assets; we are very upset when they get into new trouble.

On my recent trip to Seneca Falls to the New York Chiropractic College, there was another situation almost certainly caused by soy products. A very nice lady, a student at the college who had already done a good deal of nutrition counseling, offered to drive me back to the airport in Syracuse, almost an hour’ s drive. I was rather uneasy when I studied her appearance. She was pale, with almost sunken eyes, sallow skin tightly drawn across her cheekbones. I also hesitated to confront her with my concerns about her health, but I did ask her: “Are you healthy?” Then she told me her story: she is four and a half months pregnant, generally vegetarian, but.. she eats a good deal of tofu and other soy products! She actually seemed to be starving, so I had to assume that the soy products were blocking her nutrient absorption. I supplied her with our last Healing Newsletter and urged her to cut out all soy products immediately.

This article needs some qualifying comments to show that there is a difference between eating soy occasionally and using it to replace all of one’s protein by using it for breakfast instead of eggs, in salad instead of cheese, as a base for soup, and using soy milk instead of liquid in cooking or drinking. Certainly this is overdoing the intake.

Eating tofu and other soy products does not have a negative effect on people from the Far East as they do not use it as a substitute for their protein intake and their systems are more accustomed to soy. Our bodies tend to adapt to our environment so we are more likely to find soy less digestible than the oriental community.