Cancer Deception with Dr. Michael B. Schachter and Elyn Jacobs
“Alternative treatment protocols have the potential to be competitive if not superior to conventional treatments. They should be considered as primary, not merely supplementary options for treatment.”
— Dr. Michael B. Schachter
This past June, Dr. Michael Schachter presented at the 2016 International Conference: The Latest Developments in Integrative Cancer Therapies, held in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. (He has been lecturing on this topic for years, throughout the United States and elsewhere.)
A major thesis of his presentation was that alternative treatment protocols have the potential to be competitive if not superior to conventional treatments. They should be considered as primary, not merely supplementary, options for treatment.
Losing the Cancer War
Dr. Schachter stated we are losing the “war on cancer” as declared by President Nixon in the early 1970’s, with little improvement in the death rate and higher incidence of many cancers. The reason for this is that the cancer effort was really misfocused from the start. One problem is that there has been an emphasis on trying to cure cancer rather than on preventing it. Another problem is that treatment emphasized patentable toxic drugs and radiation without paying sufficient attention to relatively non-toxic natural approaches like low dose Naltrexone, IV Vitamin C, salvestrols and others. Clearly, preventive strategies have worked for reducing the incidence and mortality of heart disease and stroke, but the medical establishment has put up severe resistance to the idea that we can best manage cancer by preventing it.
In fact, Dr. Schachter was quick to point out that despite the billions of dollars spent, there has been virtually no change in the death rates from cancer from 1950 to date. This is in stark contrast to the approximately 70% reduction in deaths from other conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
The Five Year Survival Yardstick
Certainly, the five-year survival rate for cancer has increased, but that number is misleading—it provides no clue as to how many survivors are free of their disease. Included in this number are hundreds of thousands of people who will battle cancer to the five-year mark and beyond, only to have endured one toxic protocol after another.
[Editor’s note: and frequently poor quality of life. Surviving is not the same as thriving!]
Furthermore, because diagnostic tests are finding more cancers at an early stage, more patients are being treated at an early stage. This translates to more patients making this five-year mark. However, this is at a stiff cost—for example, in the case of breast cancer, earlier benchmarking means more harmful testing and many unnecessary biopsies when something suspicious comes up on a mammogram. But a significant number of these early stage patients will be re-diagnosed as “late stage” six to ten years from their first diagnosis. And a patient who dies after a grueling six-year battle with cancer is nevertheless placed in the “survived” category because she has survived more than five years from the time of diagnosis. So you see, not only is the current standard of care not working, but the methodology of collecting statistics is flawed.
And although more patients are living longer today, only a small portion of that longevity has come from advances in conventional cancer treatment. Despite the endless procession of “wonder drugs,” the deadliest of cancers are still as deadly now as they were at the start of “the war.”
Limits of Drug Therapy
What the failure of the “war on cancer” implies is that pretty much every agent in the fight against cancer—those myriad compounds that have set the research community abuzz and which have generated billions of dollars in profits — have had only a modest effect on long-term patient outcomes.
The latest progress in anti-cancer drugs seems to be with targeted therapies. This approach uses patented medications to inhibit or block biochemical pathways that play a role in cancer growth and spread. Most generics of these medications end in “mab” (monoclonal antibodies) or “nib” (small molecules). Examples are: Herceptin = Trastuzumab and Avastin = Bevacizumab (monoclonal antibodies) and Gleevec = Imatinib and Tarceva = Erlotinib (small molecules). The problem is that because there are many pathways within a cancer, these drugs have only limited effectiveness, and they also have undesirable side effects. Furthermore, since these pathways are used for normal cell functions as well, strong inhibition of a cancer pathway may cause severe complications in healthy cells. Moreover, many of these cancer pathways can be blocked with natural substances with much fewer side effects.
The cancer industry wants you to believe that its drugs are useful, and oncologists are joyful when a patient’s tumor shrinks on drug treatment. The problem is that shrinking tumors has little to do with improving the long-term survival of patients. It is not the initial tumor that kills people
but rather the metastasis of the cancer cells. Aggressive cells break off from the primary tumor site and travel to the bones, brain, liver, lungs, or to some other vital area of the body. Even if an entire tumor is removed, and even if the nearby lymph nodes are negative for cancer, microscopic cells often recolonize elsewhere and are not found until later. According to Dr. Schachter, metastasis is what kills. [Editor’s note:
Most cancer patients do not die from their disease at all, but rather from malnutrition, toxemia, and/or infections.]
Unfortunately cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation do not target the very cells responsible for metastases — the cancer stem cells – and in fact may encourage them to grow faster.
This is one of the main reasons that conventional treatments like radiation and chemotherapy produce such poor results in the treatment of stage IV metastases (cancers that have spread to distant organs). A promising approach to this problem — though generally ignored by conventional oncologists — is the use of relatively non-toxic, anti-inflammatory herbs and nutrients. Substances that target cancer stem cells like black cumin, curcumin, broccoli extracts, vitamin D, and many others can play an important role. For more on this topic, please read Cancer Stem Cells and Progression of Disease: What You Need to Know Now.
Furthermore, we now know that conventional treatments sharply raise the risk for heart problems, stroke, and secondary cancers. Children are particularly at risk. Pediatric survivors have a six-fold greater risk of getting a second cancer, and adults face significant risk for complications as well.
No great insight is required to see that that our cancer-strategy is flawed. The ultimate problem lies in the cancer culture itself.
Challenging Traditional Views of Cancer
Surprisingly, decades ago some scientists viewed the cancer mechanism differently from the vast majority of cancer theorists. In recent years, the theory of cancer as outlined by Otto Warburg in the 1920’s has become more widely accepted. According to a written statement by Dr. Warburg,
“But nobody today can say that one does not know what cancer and its prime cause [are]. On the contrary, there is no disease whose prime cause is better known, so that today ignorance is no longer an excuse that one cannot do more about prevention. That prevention of cancer will come there is no doubt, for man wishes to survive. But how long prevention will be avoided depends on how long the prophets of agnosticism will succeed in inhibiting the application of scientific knowledge in the cancer field. In the meantime, millions of men must die of cancer unnecessarily.” [i]
— Dr. Otto Warburg, Medical Nobel Prize winner, Lindau, Germany, 1966
In 1986, John Bailar, a National Cancer Institute (NCI) statistician, also had the nerve to question the progress in the war on cancer, although he was severely ridiculed and shunned for doing so. In his 1986 paper “Progress Against Cancer?” Bailar argued that cancer research focuses too much on treatment and not enough on prevention, which would be far more effective. Then in 1997 in his paper “Cancer Undefeated” he concluded that “the effect of new treatments for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing.”[ii]
In 1996, Michael Sporn, in an article printed in The Lancet, declared the war on cancer a failure. [iii] He predicted that the NCI would not achieve its stated target of a 50% reduction in cancer deaths by the year 2000. Sadly, he was right. Sporn believed that cancer could be chemically stopped, slowed, or reversed in its earliest pre-invasive stages. He even coined the widely used term chemoprevention to distinguish cancer intervention from treatment. His was a truly radical idea in the cancer community.
Sporn’s goal was to dislodge the theory that cancer is something that just happens suddenly, that it is even a disease state. He did not subscribe to the idea that one either has cancer or not. Oncologists treat cancer, but logically, cancer is not an event of any kind. It does not suddenly happen upon diagnosis. It comes from years of dis-ease—it is a process. It begins when normal differentiation of a cell fails, when proper communication halts, and when the environment encourages cancer development. Long before cancer is detected, cancer is brewing—through a process known as carcinogenesis. It is nonsense to believe that the process has not been under way for many years.
Time for Change
Thankfully, our understanding of the nature of cancer and cancer treatment are in the process of undergoing major changes — though for economic and social reasons, there is tremendous resistance to these changes. Resistance comes from pharmaceutical companies, organized medicine, insurance companies, institutes of medical education, and the media. But if the path to cancer is something we can understand, why not treat it that way? It would be prudent to address the smoke before the fire burns down the house—to heal the patient at the very first signs of disease.
What if we could look at risk factors and markers, use diet instead of drugs, and use targeted supplements to prevent the development and progression of cancer? What if we were to heal the person with the cancer instead of just targeting the cancer? Surely we would then stand a greater chance of winning the war. What if treatment for cancer patients started with a focus on lifestyle and nutritional changes? Considering that in many cases poor nutritional and lifestyle choices have contributed to the development of cancer, it would seem prudent to address such issues. Rather than just focusing on toxic conventional treatments, we could use various nutrients, herbs, and other non-toxic supplements in a synergistic way to improve the results with conventional treatment or, in some cases, instead of conventional treatment.
For sure, it is time to question the cancer strategy. It’s time for change.
For More Information
To view slides and notes from Dr. Schachter’s recent lectures, visit this link: http://www.schachtercenter.
You may also want to view these two papers by Dr. Schachter:
“Integrative Oncology for Clinicians and Cancer Patients,” accessible at http://schachtercenter.com/
”Integrating Nutrition and Selected Controversial Nutritional Supplements into a Cancer Treatment Program,” accessible at http://schachtercenter.com/
Dr. Michael B. Schachter is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College and Columbia P&S Medical School in NYC. He is also a Board Certified Psychiatrist and a Certified Nutrition Specialist. Dr. Schachter has been involved with nutritional and integrative health care for over40 years. A leader in alternative cancer therapies, EDTA chelation and orthomolecular psychiatry, he is a past president of the American College of Advancement in Medicine (ACAM). He has authored numerous articles and was a major contributor to Burton Goldberg’s 1997 classic Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Cancer. In 2010, Dr. Schachter received the Humanitarian Award from the Cancer Control Society in California. He is the director of the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine in Suffern, NY.
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor and holistic cancer strategist who helps people make better, healthier, non-toxic choices. She specializes in understanding the role of estrogen in breast cancer and emphasizes the critical nature of addressing the root cause of cancer rather than its presenting symptoms. Elyn is a Contributing Editor for The Truth About Cancer and was creator and host of the Survive and Live Well Radio Show on the Cancer Support Network. Certified as a holistic cancer educator through BeatCancer.org, she serves on its Medical Advisory Board as well as on the Advisory Board for the Radical Remission Project. Elyn was formerly Executive Director of the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation.
 http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/12-quotes-from-medical-doctors-that-the-cancer-treatment-industry-doesnt-want-you-to-read/ ; Dr Otto Warburg’s Cancer Research Papers
 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199705293362206#t=article; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8637346