3 Alternative Cancer Treatments

Some cancer patients wonder if there are other, less toxic options than the traditional paths of surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. There are; however, it can be difficult to separate and evaluate legitimate alternative therapies from shams. Furthermore, your oncologist (and well-meaning family and friends) will likely try to dissuade you from straying from conventional care.

The primary difference between conventional and alternative medicine is philosophy. Conventional medicine organizes around the theory of disease: people become sick because they contract a disease. Alternative medicine approaches sickness as a dynamic event in a person's life, a problem of balance between the person and her relationship to the environment. Most alternative therapies aim to restore this balance and boost the body's own healing powers.

You can uncover a plethora of alternative cancer treatments online. You'll also find extremely impassioned discourses for-and against-them. Here are just three of the many possibilities.

Gerson Therapy

This is based on the idea that we're exposed to many environmental toxins and they accumulate in our body. Treatment boosts the immune system with nutrients and eliminates toxins from the liver. Gerson Therapy patients replace missing nutrients through daily consumption of fresh, organic juices loaded with super doses of enzymes, minerals, and nutrients, which help break down diseased tissues. Regular enemas, meanwhile, eliminate toxins.


The macrobiotic view is that we are the result of, and are continuously influenced by, our environment, especially the foods we eat. Hippocrates coined the word macrobiotic; it comes from the Greek words large (macro) and life (bios). A macrobiotic diet consists primarily of whole grains, beans, sea vegetables, and fresh vegetables. Followers eliminate meat, animal fat, eggs, poultry, dairy, refined sugars, and processed foods.

Antieoplaston Treatment

In 1967, Dr. Stanley Burzynski discovered naturally occurring peptides (combinations of amino acids), which are part of the body's natural defense system. He believed cancer patients lacked these peptides, so he developed a treatment using peptides and amino acid derivatives to control cancer (without destroying normal cells). Antieoplastons turn off life processes in abnormal cells, forcing them to die. Dr. Burzynski's decades-long legal battle with the Food and Drug Administration is the basis of a new documentary, Burzynski The Movie: Cancer is Serious Business.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health) recommends you ask the same questions of alternative therapies you would ask of conventional treatment: what are the benefits, risks, side effects, and, if you wish to simultaneously pursue traditional therapies, will it interfere with treatment?

Gerson Institute. "Gerson Therapy" Web.  

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. "Cancer and CAM: At a Glance." Web. October 2011.

Burzynski Clinic. "What are Antineoplastons?" Web.

Kushi Institute. "What is Macrobiotics?" Web.