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

Readers of Cancer Forum probably know that FACT is extremely careful before adopting new ideas until we feel secure that they have been used widely and for a considerable length of time. Since cancer patients don’t have much leeway to experiment with new claims of success, it is important that we know with as high a degree of certainty as possible that a new claim works in a biologically sound way that will cause no harm to the patient now or in the future. It is not as though there is a shortage in the supply of quality material that has to be filled, therefore, it is certainly not worth taking a risk on something new. To err on the side of caution is the better choice.

There are so many so-called “alternative” items that are being offered in the marketplace as though they are superior to what we are already using and as though they have some magic ability to cure cancer. Some of them are useless, some are harmful and some are simply mediocre. The health industry is so different today than it was even thirty years ago when you could depend upon the careful attitude on the part of the people owning the stores to serve as the gatekeepers for the consumer.

There was very little money to be made in those days, so owners ran their health food stores because they had a commitment to an ideal. Only those items that had a safe track record were sold. Anything new that was offered had to measure up to their established standard. Today most of the new breed of stores sells everything that is widely advertised and requested by the consumer. This is not meant to be a criticism. It is just the way the health food store business is run.

There are some specific items sold in health food stores that I would like our readers to be careful about using. I have commented about them in past issues of Cancer Forum, but I would like to do so in one article especially for our new readers:

Canola oil: Why this oil has received so much attention in such a short period of time is something I would like to understand. And why it is assumed that it is superior to the oils we have been using for

a long time, such as, sesame, safflower, olive, corn, and others, is another thing I would want to understand. Canola oil has replaced the customary oils in baked goods found in health food stores and seems to be the oil of choice of many nutritionists.

Canola oil, unlike the customary oils which are made from edible seeds, is made from rape seed which is a poison. The seeds were genetically engineered to lessen toxicity and the oil is now offered as a health item. Firstly, we need to avoid geneti3a11y engineered items as they are not organic which must be our yardstick as much as possible for maintaining health. After all, the reason we shop in health food stores is because we want natural, whole, unadulterated, uncontaminated products. Secondly, canola oil has created problems for some of its users and those problems have been serious and very difficult to overcome. One example is a young woman, Darleen Bradley, who used canola oil because she had heard that it was beneficial. After a year of use, her cholesterol level shot up to 250. Even after she discontinued using the canola oil, it took 5 years for her to restore her cholesterol number back to a normal position. Another person developed loose teeth, gum problems, numb hands and feet and joint pain. This is certainly not a health product.

Calcium: Magazines, television, radio, all contain advertising touting the great importance of adequate calcium intake along with the calcium supplements they want us to buy. Yes, we need calcium, but do we need it in a tablet made from some inedible source, such as, chalk, eggshells, dolomite, or any chemical that is not synergistically sound? If it is not synergistically sound, it is not metabolized competently by the body’s system; therefore, it is just wasted. But that is not the only problem with taking calcium in an inorganic form. In a previous issue of Cancer Forum I wrote an article about an item that appeared in Medical World News about a surgeon who found a calcium settlement that appeared on an x-ray as though it was a malignant mass. Can you visualize an individual mistakenly undergoing surgery unnecessarily? Calcium also combines with cholesterol, to form plaque on the arteries.

Calcium is one of the most prolific elements found in the food chain. Because of its great need, Nature in its typical wisdom has provided it in multitudes of foods–fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, etc. Sesame seeds are very high in calcium. With the abundant calcium in food there should be no need to take calcium in tablet form. Furthermore, if there are signs of osteoporosis, the problem could be an inability to metabolize calcium due to a weakness, for example, in the thyroid gland. So calcium deficiency may not simply be a result of not enough calcium, but rather a problem in some aspect of the metabolizing process. If the problem is metabolic then, correcting metabolism would be what is indicated, not additional calcium. Even if calcium tablets were used, they probably could not be metabolized, anymore than any of the other sources of calcium if the thyroid function is too weak.

Soy: This has been a very serious problem. The hype about soy, based on some mediocre research, that was never extended over a long enough period of time, has been phenomenal in its acceptance by doctors, government agencies, patients, nutritionists, writers and anyone else with an interest in health. Most of the promotion has been spearheaded by people who produce soy products. FACT has been aware of the negative aspects of soy from the very beginning of its existence. Dr. Max Gerson found soy unacceptable in his clinic practice and today the Gerson Institute is constantly warning their patients to avoid soy. This conclusion was based on experience, not merely theory. The problem with soy is that complications do not appear immediately but tend to occur with time. Soy is an enzyme inhibitor and enzymatic function is crucial to metabolism.

Complications are not evident in the limited use of soy as orientals use it. It is the overuse which is of special concern. When people use soy consistently as a breast cancer preventative, it becomes a real concern. There are other minor problems with soy but the greatest harm is enzyme inhibition. Enzymes are the catalysts that make available nutrients from all ingested food to be converted into cells, energy and whatever the body requires.

Green tea: As many of our readers know FACT suggests using herbal teas instead of the conventional pekoe tea. Green tea is the same tea as conventional tea. The difference is that the conventional pekoe tea is roasted and the green tea is boiled. It contains the same caffeine, fluoride, aluminum, and selenium which we try to avoid by using herbal tea. Herbal teas also contain many valuable nutrients which add to our nutritional intake.

Distilled water: This has been a controversy from the time of FACT’s inception. Even some of our respected physicians still suggest that patients use spring water because spring water contains minerals which are essential for normal life. The minerals in spring water come from stones which are inorganic and, therefore, not as well metabolized as minerals from food. But the real problem, unfortunately, is that spring water also contains chemical contaminants that are polluting the wells and aquifers that are the source of the spring water. Some of the pollutants are difficult to detect as the methods of detection are not as yet even available.

Many people use distilled water without suffering from any mineral deficiency because the best minerals are derived from our food supply. Minerals from food are efficiently metabolized and absorbed by the body. I have been using distilled water for at least thirty years. Dr. Norman Walker, author and scientist, used distilled water from a very early age and died at the age of 117. So I am sure you can feel secure that you will not suffer from a mineral deficiency by using distilled water.

Kava Kava:All you need to conclude that this is an item that should be avoided is to be alerted to the warnings about kava kava. With all the following caveats, this cannot possibly be biologically sound, safe and useful. Here is a partial list of the warnings of adverse effects of kava kava:

  • Do not use if pregnant, nursing or being treated for depression.
  • High doses or long term use can lead to hypertension.
  • Can cause reduced protein levels.
  • Can create blood cell abnormalities.
  • Can cause liver damage, muscle weakness, shortness of breadth, visual impairment, dizziness and dry scaly skin.
  • Do not take kava kava and drive.
  • May worsen Parkinson’s disease.
  • Kava kava creates euphoria somewhat similar to a narcotic.

Vitamin C: Do we need vitamin C? Yes. Do we need vitamin C in doses as high as 30 grams? No! That is the amount proposed by Dr. Linus Pauling, a biochemist and Nobel prize winner.

Dr. Leo Roy, a physician and surgeon, in a talk at a FACT convention stated that high doses of vitamin C would deplete the body’s enzymes as the high dose was too much for a normal body to metabolize. Dr. Roy’s statement is logical and biochemically correct.

Since 30 grams cannot be utilized, it burdens the elimination system to rid the body of the excess. This is the same system that has the responsibility for eliminating the daily waste from our food intake, dying cells, chemical pollution, etc. Do you realize the handicap under which the body is placed with the extra burden of Vitamin C megadoses which need to be discarded?

Unfortunately, Dr. Pauling became a prostate cancer patient himself even though he had vitamin C ‘available and no doubt used it. Instead of being able to recover with his own concept of high doses of vitamin C, he had to resort to flutamide, a conventional cancer drug and ultimately succumbed from cancer. This is certainly not a reassuring example that high doses of vitamin C are an effective cure for cancer.

There are some practitioners who might claim that vitamin C has some merit and might be preferable to chemotherapy. That is possibly true, but it would only apply if the choice was between chemotherapy and vitamin C. If the patient is on a carefully designed metabolic program, then vitamin C megadoses would create a biochemical imbalance that would cause the metabolic program to fail. We need to be eternally vigilant about the food we ingest. It is our source of life.

Vegetarianism: For some people vegetarianism seems to be a universal truth. Personally, I would prefer to be a vegetarian as I feel a gut sympathy for animals, but I have to face the reality of my years of experience at FACT which have brought me into close contact with so many patients and clinicians. Some patients regain their health as vegetarians and others cannot. Should those who require meat protein jeopardize their health for ethical feelings about the slaughter of animals? I think we have to adjust to the circumstances of life and choose what is indicated for each individual.

The claim by vegetarians that the design of the human body (teeth and digestive system) is equivalent to that of vegetarian animals seems to be logical but if it is not applicable to the individual, can we support it for each person? It is my view that the human system adapts to its environment over generations, thereby rendering some people omnivorous. Nature has the wisdom to make this adjustment in order to sustain life. The offspring of generations of meat-eating ancestors have evolved into omnivorous entities and now require meat in small amounts in order to maintain homeostasis.

The following example of research conducted by Robert Good, M.D., may give some insight into vegetarianism for the cancer patient.

Dr. Good., who, at one time, did immunology research at Sloan Kettering, conducted a research project when he was at the University of Minnesota to determine the effect of a no-protein diet on mice bred to produce cancer. The results were most interesting. Initially, the tumors were reduced. But, when the mice were deprived of protein over a long period of time, the tumors regrew. There is a logical explanation for this phenomenon.

The body, when it is deficient in some element which it needs for metabolism, attempts to recreate the necessary balance for metabolism by taking it from places which we call storage. If it needs calcium in the blood stream, it takes it from the teeth and bones. In this instance it would seek protein from either the muscles or the periphery of the cells where excess protein is stored. As long as the protein is available, the body maintains normal function (homeostasis). But when the stored protein is depleted and can no longer provide enough to correct the imbalance, the body function goes awry. When there is a biochemical imbalance, the body is then vulnerable to the production of abnormal cells. For cancer patients this can be deadly.

The only reason that this final chapter of Dr. Good’s study is available is because the project was extended long enough to see the actual results of protein deprivation. Most cancer research is discontinued too soon. Adequate time should always be an integral part of cancer research as immediate results, which may manifest in tumor reduction, cannot reflect the more usual picture of cancer’s history. I have been constantly critical of the FACT that, more often than not, the cancer research projects are not extended long enough to accurately reflect the condition of the human species. Cancer is a slow-growing disease and just achieving tumor reduction is not a conclusive indication of a cure. Tumors are cut out and discarded, reduced by chemotherapy or radiation, yet too often there is a recurrence.

If flesh protein needs to be included in the diet, it should be from organically-fed animals, which, of course, means free of contaminants. The items used in producing much of the meat today remind me of a laboratory with a mad scientist mixing the concoction: hormones which can upset hormonal balance, antibiotics which kill good intestinal flora, road-kill as feed which can cause mad cow disease. There are probably other components which we don’t even know about, though these three are more than enough to cause havoc.