This article is based on a lecture delivered at the Seventeenth Annual Convention, in Switzerland, of the International Society for Research in Nutrition, Vital Substances and the Diseases of Civilization, September, 1971.
That the problem of cancer is not lessening is now well known; indeed, the picture becomes steadily worse with each year. The latest figures show that in the United States the point has been reached where more than 300,000* lives are being lost yearly from this tragic body- and life-destroying disease, and still the end is not in sight.
In short, in spite of the vast sums of money that have been spent in the search for a cure; very little if any progress has been made towards finding the answer to this frightening affliction. It is because of this that many of our leading scientists are now beginning to wonder whether a cure for cancer will ever be found, and whether it would not be better to direct our major efforts towards prevention.
If we are to understand what can, be done to .solve this problem, it is necessary to know what the disease is, how it originates and what we must do to check its development. To begin with, it should be remembered that a cancer cell is a mutant. N normal cell changes and becomes a cancer cell not of its own volition, but because it has been- forced to adapt itself to certain stimuli or irritants, which may develop in the body as by-products of an abnormal or disordered metabolism, or be taken into the system from without in the form of drugs, chemicals, unsuitable foods, or other toxic substances.
When these stimuli or irritants threaten the life of the cell the latter either dies or succeeds in remaining alive by adapting itself to the changes in the environment, in which case, however, its whole character and nature undergo fundamental changes. The mutant cell is no longer a normal member of the community of cells to which it originally belonged, but has become an abnormal cell, a deranged cell a cancer cell.
Similar changes in nature can be observed everywhere. Benign or innocuous bacteria become virulent when the soil in which they live change from a healthy condition to an unhealthy condition. We notice similar changes when bacteria become drug resistant, and when the use of pesticides leads to the development of pests which become resistant to the chemicals that are used in an effort to destroy them.
These and other examples could be cited to illustrate how living entities adapt themselves to their environment in a desperate attempt at self-preservation; they exemplify the part played by the defense mechanism of the living organism.
Nevertheless, while certain cells, in their effort to adapt themselves to a change in their environment, become abnormal cancer cells, this does not mean that they are necessarily a threat to our life. It is well known that practically every human being, at one time or another develops cancer cells in his or her body, but when the latter is in a healthy condition, it can usually destroy these cells and so no cancer develops.
I could quote many noted cancer authorities who have observed what actually takes place in the healthy body when cancer cells are present. For example Dr. Cornelius P. Rhoads, one of the most renowned cancer authorities, when appearing some years ago before the Royal College of Surgeons in London, pointed out that “persons in normal health appear to have a natural defense against cancer and can throw off the disease after it attacks body tissue”.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (May 7, 1960) also explained that the body possesses the power to destroy cancer cells. Reporting what happens when, after an operation, cancer cells start floating freely in the blood stream, it was stated that “there is a time when they (the-cancer cells) do appear and are killed by the patient’s natural defenses, and a time when the patient’s resistance is low and these cells grow, metastasize and kill the patient”.
Still later, as reported in the New York Times (February 7, 1962), Dr. Harry Rubin, of the University of California, at a scientific meeting conducted by the New York Academy of Sciences, presented a dramatic series of photographs which showed how cancer cells are fought and ultimately destroyed by the defense mechanism of the body. The New York Times summed up what these photographs showed in the following words: “The photographs showed defense cells, called lymphocytes, attacking cancer cells, tearing holes in them and leaving them battered carcasses incapable of manufacturing more of the virus particles that turned them into tumors.”
The late Dr. Kasper Blond, a noted authority on cancer, presented another thought which explains how the body protects itself against cancer, when he emphasized that the liver is the key organ which protects the body against the onset of the disease, and stated that so long as the liver is in a healthy condition, it can protect itself against the onset of cancer.
All this clearly proves that the real answer to the problem of cancer lies not in the discovery of an elusive cure, but in prevention in the adoption of a way of living that keeps the body in a healthy condition.
Nevertheless the search for a cure for cancer continues unabated, and only recently the President* of the United States, in his message to Congress, requested that one hundred million dollars be allocated in any endeavor to find a cure for this dreaded disease.
This was not the first time that Congress had been asked to allocate funds for this purpose. In 1949, a spell-binding cancer researcher appeared before Congress and, in a most dramatic way, stated, “Give us the money and in ten years we will give you a penicillin for cancer.”
In mentioning “penicillin,” which at that time was considered to be one of the major breakthroughs in medicine, he sought to dramatize the fact that if Congress, would only provide enough money for research, a cure would be found.
Now, 20 years later, and after more than two billion dollars have been spent in an effort to find a cure for this baffling and life-destroying affliction, what have we accomplished? As I have already pointed out, the mortality from this disease continues to mount from year to year, and we have now reached the point where more than 300,000 American lives are: being lost yearly to this ruthless killer.
A publication recently issued by the U.S. Government illustrates how serious this problem has become when it points out that of the 200 million Americans now living, “50 million will develop cancer … and 34 million will die of this painful and ugly disease.” It further stresses that this disease “causes more deaths among children under age 15 than any other disease”. I do not know the exact situation in other parts of the civilized world, but the picture is undoubtedly very similar.
This explains why many of our most noted cancer authorities are finally beginning to wonder whether a cancer cure will ever be found, and whether research should not be directed primarily towards prevention.
There can be little doubt where the responsibility of the present-day physician lies. He should begin to re-evaluate his approach to his patients’ health problems, and make sure that he takes care of them in conformity with the more fundamental concepts of health-restoration. He must take care of the whole person, the whole human being, discontinue his dependence on symptom-relieving drugs, and once again become the teacher who explains to his patients how they can protect themselves against the onset of these dangerous diseases.
THE ONLY WAY
This can, in fact, be accomplished very simply. Our efforts to induce people to discontinue smoking constitutes one step in the right direction, and we must also discourage the use of all toxic and carcinogenic drugs and chemicals. In addition, we must do everything possible to clean up the pollutants which poison the environment we live in, and adopt a way of living that will keep our bodies strong and healthy, since this is the only way in which we can make certain that they will be able to defend themselves against any of the influences which threaten their existence not only against the foreign and health threatening substances which find their way into our bodies from without, but also against the toxins which develop as end-products of our body metabolism.
Where our feeding habits are concerned;, this means avoiding all refined and processed foods, discontinuing the use of cakes, pastries, ice-cream, and all kinds of denatured sweets, eliminating coffee, tea and chocolate, omitting heavily seasoned foods, and controlling the intake of the rich and heavily concentrated foods. It also means keeping the body fit by providing it with sufficient rest and sleep, adhering to a well-planned program of physical exercise and healthful outdoor activities, the development of emotional control and peace of mind, and a discontinuance of all senseless and health-undermining practices such as the use of drugs, chemicals, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
Next to the diseases of the heart and the circulatory system, cancer is one of our major life destroying ills. This is why a statement issued recently by a team of internationally renowned scientists is of special significance. It warned against the effects of our present day unhealthful practices, .and stressed the harm that results from the “internal pollution” that is brought on by drugs, chemicals, the wrong kind of food and wrong living habits, and warned that an entirely new approach is needed if mankind is to be saved from continuous deterioration and maybe even total extinction.
THE BASIS OF HEALTH
The findings of these scientists were published in the June 15, 1971, issue of Experimentia a scientific journal published in Switzerland and as I kept thinking about their conclusions, I could not help realizing how close they have come to what the natural health movement has been stressing during all these years. They reiterate that the only way we can save ourselves from cancer or any of the other serious or life-threatening disorders is by changing from our present-day unhealthful living habits to a healthful way of living. They reiterate also what some of the most noted authorities in health education have emphasized constantly namely, that internal cleanliness is the basis of all health.
The seriousness of this disease cannot be minimized, and it may be some time before we are able to understand all the facets which contribute to its onset. It should be apparent, however, that the best protection against its development is a way of living and care that keeps the body in a healthy condition. Nevertheless, even where the disease has already made its inroads, our best hope for its remission or control lies in the adoption of the kind of regimen that has been advocated as a preventive measure, provided that the body’s healing powers have not yet broken down to the point where a reversal is no longer possible.
Reprinted from Health For All, December 1971.
Editor’s note: The reason for printing this article by Dr. Max Warmbrand is because it is as applicable today as it was in 1971. It is a concept that must be applied by the medical establishment if cancer is ever to become routinely controllable and curable. The article recognizes the role of the body’s defenses (immune system) in protecting the patient, something which was not readily understood and accepted in 1971. The use of the concept is also important in helping cancer patients avoid recurrences by supporting the body’s own ability to protect itself.