with Nutrition in the
Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D.
ALIVE AND WELL by Philip E. Binzel, Jr., M.D. (split into chapters)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Photographs and charts removed to reduce file size
The Nutrition Connection
New Doc on the Block
Preparing for Battle
The Battle Begins
Laetrile and Cyanide
Debunking the Debunkers
The Joey Hofbauer Story
Re-Enter the State Medical Board
The Total Nutritional Program
Boring Statistics and Exciting Cases
The Quality of Life
Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom!
* * * * *
This book is dedicated to my wife Betty who stood by me
through all of the trouble she wouldn't have had in the
first place if she hadn't married me.
* * * * *
PhilipE. Binzel, a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, has been practicing medicine for over forty years. He is a graduate of the Medical School at St. Louis University in Missouri and did his internship at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1955 he entered Family Practice in Washington Court House, Ohio, where he currently resides.
In 1974 he began to investigate the role of nutrition in human disorders and came to the conclusion that this was an important field of knowledge. Cautiously, he began to incorporate that knowledge into his medical practice and, based on personal experience, developed a highly effective protocol for the treatment of a wide range of disorders, including cancer.
This led him into conflict with mainstream medicine which continues to remain oriented toward drugs, surgery, and radiation. He has been forced to fight for the right to practice medicine in accordance with his conscience. He has chosen to do what he feels is best for his patients, regardless of pressure to conform to the narrow limits prescribed by orthodoxy.
Dr. Binzel is now officially retired but occasionally consults with patients and their physicians, usually without charging a fee for his service.
* * * * *
ALIVE AND WELL
One Doctor's Experience with
Nutrition in the Treatment of
Here are the latest success stories of cancer patients who have used nutritional therapy. Many of them have been told by their doctors that their condition was terminal. Now, years later, they are alive and well!
Dr. Binzel has been using Laetrile and other nutritional therapies in the treatment of cancer patients since the mid 1970s. His record of success is astounding. He tells of his ongoing battle with the medical establishment, but this is primarily the story of his alive-and-well patients, many of whom did not expect to survive their disease. Medical case histories are included.
* * * * *
Lives of great men all remind us
That we can make our lives sublime
And departing leave behind us
Footprints in the sands of time.
Footprints that perhaps another
Sailing o're life's solemn main
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother
Seeing shall take heart again.
Published by American Media
PO Box 4646
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 94-079593
Manufactured in the United States
I am grateful to my six children for their support and generous help in so many ways: Mary Anne and Kathy for giving their time to take care of duties at home so that my wife Betty could be with me during my travels to interviews, hearings, and meetings; Nancy for her outstanding research paper "Nutritional Therapy" which was printed as a booklet for private distribution by my brother-in-law, Philip S. May, Jr.; Bill for his invaluable legal advice during a very serious time; Rick for giving me a computer and teaching me how to use it and for doing the statistical analysis; and my son Ed for being my number one fan.
And my deepest gratitude to the following:
Dr. Ernst Krebs, Jr., who with great patience, taught me everything I know about nutrition.
G. Edward Griffin: Without his urging this book would never have been started and without his encouragement would probably never have been finished.
First of all, please understand that all that follows is absolutely and completely the fault of Mr. G. Edward Griffin.
Those of us who have fought for so long to preserve the God-given rights guaranteed us by our Constitution have, for the most part, fought a losing battle. Big Government, with its hoards of bureaucrats, has beaten the "little man" into submission. He must comply with all of its regulations of his business and his life, or else! Usually, if he fights Big Government, he loses.
In my attempts to use nutritional therapy, which includes the use of Laetrile, in the treatment of cancer, I have often been confronted by the Food and Drug Administration and by the State Medical Board. I have fought and, through the grace of God, I have won. For several years Ed Griffin has been after me to write a book. As he put it, "We have won some victories and the people should know about them." So, this book is being written to tell about these victories (and to get Ed off of my back). If you don't like the book or any parts of the book, don't blame me. Blame Ed Griffin. He made me do it!
The facts in this book are true. The names are real (except where I say they are not). The dates may not be completely accurate, but they are as close as I can remember.
You are about to discover that the author of this book is no ordinary doctor. He is one of those rare birds that is able to leave the flock and fly alone. He has rejected the comforts and rewards of conformity and has chosen instead the hard path of integrity. In order to practice medicine as his conscience dictates, he has literally had to take on the entire medical Establishment. And, as you will see, it has been an uneven battle. The Establishment hasn't had a chance.
Dr. Binzel's motive for writing this book is almost unbelievable in today's world: he simply wants to share his knowledge so that lives can be saved. At the end of a long and successful career, he is not seeking to attract patients. In fact, he is now officially retired. He does consult with patients and their doctors from time to time, but usually at no charge. His present role is that of pioneer and teacher.
Binzel comes from the small town of Washington Court House, Ohio. He is a classical small-town doctor, and that's exactly the way he writes. But do not be deceived. He is at the cutting edge of medical knowledge, and there are few people from the scientific community — regardless of their impressive credentials — who are willing to debate with him a second time. His folksy style and genuine humility are refreshing, but he knows his craft exceedingly well.
The title of this book, Alive and Well, is appropriate for three reasons. First, there is the happy record of the patients who have received Dr. Binzel's care. Many of them previously had been told by their original physicians that there was no hope for survival, that their cancers were "terminal," and that they had, at best, only a few more months to live. To them, many years later, the phrase alive and well has a meaning that only those who have faced death can fully appreciate.
A second significance to the title is the fact that the use of Laetrile in the treatment of cancer is also alive and well—in spite of the fact that it has not been featured in the national news media since the height of its controversy in the late 1970s. Because it has not been on the evening news, many people have assumed that the treatment had been abandoned. As this story demonstrates, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
Finally, there is the fact that Dr. Binzel, himself, is alive and well in the sense that he has survived an incredible barrage of attacks from the medical Establishment. That, in fact, is an important part of this story. Until one understands the political power wielded by drug-oriented medicine and how that power is used against any physician who favors nutritional therapy, it is impossible to understand why nutritional therapy is not widely available to the general public.
Dr. Binzel does not use the word "cured" in describing the condition of his patients who have returned to normal life after treatment. That is more a question of semantics than substance. It is true that, once a person has developed full-blown clinical cancer — even after all their symptoms have vanished — they will have a greater-than-normal tendency to develop cancer again. That, however, assumes they return to their original life styles and eating habits. On the other hand, if they do continue to follow the dietary regimen described in this book, they will throw off that handicap.
So the question remains — are they cured? Who cares what word is used if the patient is alive and well? In orthodox medicine, they often speak of cures, but the patients are dead! According to the death certificates, they don't die of cancer, but of heart failure, lung failure, liver failure, or hemorrhage. But what caused these? They are the secondary effects of their treatments for cancer. "We got it all," is a common refrain. "I'm happy to report that we cured him of his disease — just before he died." This is not really a joke. It is the reality of orthodox cancer therapy.
What you are about to read is a radical departure from that scenario. Be prepared for a deep breath of fresh air.
G. Edward Griffin
It was early December, 1977. My office girl, Ruthie Coe, called me on my intercom to tell me that I had a phone call from a Mr. Robert Bradford in California. She wanted to know if I wanted to take the call now or to call him back. I had known Bob Bradford for about three years. He was the head of an organization known as The Committee for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy. I had done several seminars on nutrition with him. I told Ruthie that I would take the call now.
Bob told me that the Food and Drug Administration (The FDA) had filed suit in Federal Court to prohibit the importation of Laetrile into this country because it was toxic. He said that he had found an eminent toxicologist, Dr. Bruce Halstead, who was willing to testify against the FDA, but he also needed a practicing physician who had used Laetrile and wanted to know if I would testify. I told him I would. Bob told me that the hearing would be in Oklahoma City in the court of Judge Luther Bohanon in about ten or twelve days.
I called our local travel agency and asked them to get airplane reservations for my wife, Betty, and me. I knew without talking to her that Betty would not want to miss out on the fun! The girl from the travel agency called me back in a few minutes. She said that she had no problem getting us a flight into Oklahoma City, but a big problem getting us out of Oklahoma City. The hearing was, I believe, to be on a Thursday. I wanted to arrive sometime on Wednesday afternoon. Not knowing how long the hearing would take on Thursday, I thought that if we planned to leave on Friday morning, that would work out well. The problem with the airlines was that the University of Oklahoma and all the colleges around the area were starting their Christmas vacation on that Friday. There were no seats available on any airline going in our direction until the following Monday. The last plane leaving Oklahoma City going in our direction that had any space was a three o'clock flight on Thursday afternoon. I took those reservations.
Betty and I flew out of Columbus, Ohio to St. Louis. There we changed to a flight to Oklahoma City. On our flight to Oklahoma City (coach, of course), I noticed that there were only three men flying first class. At that time, I don't think the word "clone" had been invented. If it had, these three men certainly could have been described as clones of each other. They were all about the same height, weight, hair color, and all had the same haircut. They all had the same sallow complexion, wore the same black suits and maroon ties, and they all carried the same type of briefcase.
Early the next morning Bob Bradford, Dr. Halstead, Betty and I met with the attorney, Mr. Ken Coe, (no relation to my office girl, Ruthie Coe). I told Mr. Coe of our predicament with our airline schedule. He assured me that he would discuss this with the Judge and do whatever he could to help.
While we were sitting there, Mr. Coe received a phone call. It seems that there had been a young girl in New York who, some months before, had gotten hold of a bottle of Laetrile pills belonging to her father and had taken an unknown quantity of these. She was taken to a hospital and a number of blood tests were done over the next two days. The girl exhibited no symptoms, but, for whatever reason, on the third day the doctors decided to give her the antidote to cyanide. The girl died the following day.
From what I know, the FDA had contacted the girl's mother and wanted her to testify about the toxicity of Laetrile. She had refused but said, instead, that she would testify against the FDA. She had flown out of New York early that Thursday morning and was due to arrive in Oklahoma City about nine o'clock. It was she who was calling to let us know that about two or three hundred miles out of New York someone on the plane had a heart attack. The plane turned around and went back to New York. She was not going to be able to get to Oklahoma City. Mr. Coe said, "We'll go with what we've got."
We arrived in the court room shortly before nine o'clock. The first thing that I noticed were the three "clones" I had seen on the airplane the day before. They were the FDA attorneys. Why were there three of them? A friend of mine explained that to me sometime later. He said that, in case they lose, each attorney always puts the blame on the other two! The thing that bothered me the most was that Betty and I had to pay our own air fare, and we flew coach. My taxes were paying their air fare, and they flew first class.
Judge Bohanon entered the court room. Mr. Coe, as promised, immediately asked for and received permission to approach the bench. He explained to the Judge the problem that Betty and I had with airline reservations. Judge Bohanon very kindly agreed to change the usual procedure and to allow the defense to present its case first.
I testified first. Responding to Mr. Coe's questions, I stated that I had used Laetrile both by mouth and by intravenous injection on several hundred patients, and that I had not experienced any toxic reaction in any of those patients. On cross-examination the FDA attorney asked me if I was familiar with the term "agmpxyztpwrquos" (or something like that). I said, "No." He then asked if I was familiar with the term "mvchrtonlxty" (or something like that). Again, I said, "No." I was then dismissed from the witness stand. To this day, I do not know the meaning of the two terms. The FDA attorney never gave the definitions. I had never heard the terms before and have never heard them since. I am not sure that they didn't just make up two terms to see if I would bite.
Dr. Halstead then took the stand. He carried with him a book which he put in his lap. Under direct questioning from Mr. Coe, Dr. Halstead explained how all substances known to man can be toxic. He showed that while some oxygen is necessary to maintain life, too much oxygen can be fatal. He went through the same procedure with water, salt, and other substances. He then showed that aspirin, sugar and salt were, milligram-for-milligram, more toxic than Laetrile. He further pointed out that chemotherapeutic agents which are commonly used in the treatment of cancer are, milligram-for-milligram, hundreds of times more toxic than Laetrile.
On cross-examination, the FDA attorney asked Dr. Halstead to give the toxicity figure for some substance (I don't remember what the substance was). Dr. Halstead said, pointing to the book in his lap but never opening it, "On page 311, Table 2, in this book you will find that the toxicity of that substance is .... "(whatever it was). The FDA attorney then named another substance and asked for its toxicity figure. Dr. Halstead answered, "On page 419, Table 3 shows it to be .... "(whatever it was). The attorney tried a third time. Again, Dr. Halstead came up with the page number, table number and toxicity.
The three FDA attorneys-stared at each other for a minute, then one of them said, "How do you know all of this?" Dr. Halstead calmly replied, "Because I wrote the book." "Impossible!" yelled the attorney. Without saying a word, Dr. Halstead took the book from his lap and handed it to Judge Bohanon. The Judge opened the book to its first page and read the following, "Textbook of Toxicology, written by Dr. Bruce Halstead, as commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States." The Judge said to the FDA attorneys, "You fellows should have known that. You didn't do your homework very well." The FDA attorneys had enough of Dr. Halstead. They dismissed him from the stand.
When Mr. Coe informed Judge Bohanon that the defense had concluded its testimony, the Judge turned to the FDA attorneys and said, "The court is now prepared to hear your witnesses and view your evidence." One FDA attorney replied, "Your Honor, we don't have any." The rest of the dialogue went like this:
Judge: "You are telling me that you have filed suit in this court that Laetrile is toxic, and you don't have a single witness or a shred of evidence to support such a suit?" Attorney: "That is correct, Your Honor." Judge: "Then why have you filed such a suit?"
Attorney: "Because, Your Honor, Laetrile may be dangerous."
Judge: "Dangerous to whom?"
Attorney: "Dangerous to the Federal Government, Your Honor."
Judge: "How could Laetrile possibly be dangerous to the Federal Government?"
Attorney: "Because, Your Honor, the Government may lose control."
With this the Judge, now obviously angered, slammed down his gavel and said, "Case dismissed!"
As Mr. Coe, Dr. Halstead, Bob Bradford, Betty and I left the court house, we saw a six-foot by four-foot poster on the wall in the lobby. It read in large letters, "BEWARE OF LAETRILE! IT IS TOXIC!" At the bottom, in small print, was the statement, "Must be posted in all Government buildings by order of the Food and Drug Administration of the United States."
Is it possible that the FDA was lying to the people?
The Nutrition Connection
So, how did a Family Physician from a small town in Ohio ever get involved in a conflict with the FDA in the first place? If you read the Preface, you already know the answer. It was the fault of Mr. G. Edward Griffin.
In 1973 I was in the family practice of medicine in Washington Court House, Ohio. I had graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine in 1953. I did one year of internship and one year of Family Practice residency at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati. In 1955 I began my private practice as a Family Physician in Washington Court House. I was very content with what I was doing until the day a friend of mine, Mr. Charles Pensyl, invited me and a number of others to his camera shop to see a new film that he had just gotten. The title of the film was World Without Cancer.
World Without Cancer ran about fifty minutes. It was about a substance called Laetrile and what this substance could do to help people who had cancer. I took a very dim view of this movie because I felt that it made many statements for which there was no supporting medical evidence. The film was produced and narrated by G. Edward Griffin.
This caused an immediate problem. As a long time member of the John Birch Society, I had read almost everything that Ed Griffin had written. I had read his book, The Fearful Master, A Second Look at the United Nations. I had read numerous articles written by him in the magazine American Opinion. He had produced some films, The Grand Design and More Deadly Than War. All of these, I knew, had been researched extremely well.
To compound the problem, I knew Ed personally. From 1968 through 1972, I served as the doctor for the John Birch Society Youth Camps in Michigan and Indiana. Betty was my assistant. In the first camp that we did, Ed Griffin was the closing speaker. He was to speak on Friday night. He came into camp on Thursday. The staff of the camp was housed in one building. It was the custom of the staff to get together after "lights out" for the campers to discuss the various "opportunities" that had presented themselves that day. (Please note that there was no such thing as a "problem." These were "opportunities.") Ed Griffin attended both the Friday night and Saturday night sessions. I got to know him very well and was impressed with his depth of knowledge on a wide range of subjects.
So, you can see my problem. I didn't think the film Worm Without Cancer was medically accurate, but it was produced and narrated by a man for whom I had the highest respect. I had the feeling he knew something that I didn't know. I felt he would not have produced the film if there was not a great deal more behind this than he was able to show in a fifty-minute film. For three months I vacillated, being sure one minute he was wrong and suspecting the next minute that he just might be right.
Finally, I decided that this mental turmoil had to be resolved. I had a good friend, Steve Michaelis, who was a pharmacist. I called Steve to see what he knew about this "Laetrile." He was far ahead of me. He told me he had done an in-depth study of Laetrile some months earlier and was convinced that it had merit. He suggested that I contact a group known as The Committee for Freedom of Choice in California. I did. I told the young lady who answered the phone about my doubts about this whole thing, but, if there was information available, I would study it with an open mind.
Within a week, I received a package of material about six inches thick from The Committee for Freedom of Choice. It contained reprints of articles published by Dr. Ernst Krebs, Jr., Dr. Dean Burk of this country, Dr. Hans Nieper of Germany, Dr. Ernesto Contreras of Mexico, Dr. Manuel Navarro of the Philippines, Dr. Shigeaki Sakai of Japan and others. Most of these articles had been published in foreign medical journals and had been translated and reprinted. Some of these articles dated back to the early 1950's. It took me eight months to go through and fully understand the significance of what these men had done.
From the time that cancer was first diagnosed (some three hundred to five hundred years ago) to the present, most members of the medical profession have treated this disease using the theory that the tumor is the disease. This theory said that, if you can remove the tumor or destroy the tumor, you will cure the disease. Drs. Krebs, Burk, Nieper, and others said in essence, "Wrong!" These men had seen thousands of cancer patients die. They realized that ninety-five per cent of these patients had their tumors treated with surgery, and/or radiation, and/or chemotherapy. It was obvious to them that, if removing the tumor or destroying the tumor cured the disease, ninety-five percent of these people would be alive and well. It was, therefore, equally obvious to them that removing the tumor or destroying the tumor did not cure the disease. This meant, of course, that the tumor was not the cause of the disease but was merely a symptom of the disease.
Let me compare this with appendicitis. The patient with appendicitis complains of pain. The pain is a symptom of this disease. I can give that patient enough morphine or Demerol to stop the pain. Do I then say to the patient, "Your pain is gone. You're cured!" No! I know that the pain will come back, because I have done nothing to correct the condition within the body that is causing the pain. I have to remove the infected appendix in order to treat the cause. These researchers used this same line of reasoning — they said, if you just remove the tumor and don't treat the condition within the body that allowed the tumor to develop in the first place, the tumor will come back. Of course, they are right! The tumor almost always comes back.
These men dug deeper. While each was working independently, they were all happy to share any of their findings with anyone who would listen. One would find something and send it to the others. One would add something to that and send it on. The result of all of this work was that these men found that the body does have a normal defense against cancer, and they were able to describe how that defense mechanism functioned.
They found that the cancer cell is coated with a protein lining, and that it was this protein lining (or covering) that prevented the body's normal defenses from getting to the cancer cell. They found that, if you could dissolve the protein lining from around the cancer cell, the body's normal defenses, the leukocytes (white blood ceils), would destroy the cancer cell. They found that the dissolving of the protein lining (or covering) from around the cancer cell was done very nicely within the body by two enzymes: trypsin and chymotrypsin. These enzymes are secreted by the pancreas. Thus, they said that the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin formed the body's first line of defense against cancer.
What's an enzyme? I just knew you were going to ask! An enzyme is a catalyst. What's a catalyst? Back in your high school chemistry you were taught the definition of a catalyst. I'm sure that none of you have forgotten that definition. Just in case that definition has (only momentarily, of course) escaped your memory, it is as follows: A catalyst is a substance which causes a chemical reaction to take place without, itself, becoming a part of that chemical reaction. See, I knew you would remember! There are numerous enzymes within the body that are responsible for the hundreds of chemical reactions which must take place in order to keep the body functioning normally. You have now completed Physiology 101.
In addition to finding that trypsin and chymotrypsin formed the body's first line of defense against cancer, Dr. Krebs et al. found that the body has a second line of defense against this disease. This second line of defense is formed by a group of substances known as nitrilosides. The cancer cell has an enzyme, beta-glucosidase, which, when it comes in contact with nitrilosides, converts those nitrilosides into two molecules of glucose, one molecule of benzaldehyde and one molecule of hydrogen cyanide. Originally, it was thought that only the hydrogen cyanide was toxic to the cancer cell. Recent evidence has shown that, while the hydrogen cyanide may exert some toxic effect, it is the benzaldehyde that is extremely toxic to the cancer cell.
What is so significant about this is that this is a target-specific reaction. Within the body, the cancer cell and only the cancer cell contains the enzyme beta-glucosidase. Thus, the benzaldehyde and the hydrogen cyanide can be formed in the presence of the cancer cell, and only the cancer cell. Thus, they are toxic to the cancer cell and only the cancer cell. The normal cell contains the enzyme, rhodanese, which converts the nitrilosides into food.
These researchers found that all of us probably have cancer many times in our lives. If our defense mechanisms are functioning normally, the body kills off the cancer cells, and we're never even aware that it happened. If, however, there is a breakdown in that defense mechanism when the cancer cells appear, there is nothing to prevent the growth of those cancer cells and soon there is a tumor.
What causes a breakdown in that defense mechanism? Suppose you have an individual who is eating large quantities of animal protein. It takes large amounts of the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin to digest animal protein. It is possible that this individual is using up all, or almost all, of his trypsin and chymotrypsin for digestive purposes. There is nothing left over for the rest of the body. Thus, this individual has lost his first line of defense against cancer.
Suppose this individual has little or no nitrilosides in his diet. This is quite possible. Millet, which is very high in nitrilosides, used to be the staple grain. We went from millet to wheat, which contains no nitrilosides. Our cattle used to graze and eat large quantities of grasses, which are high in nitrilosides. Now we grain-feed our cattle. There are no nitrilosides in the grain.
So, you now have an individual who, because of his high intake of animal protein, has lost his first line of defense against cancer and who, because of his low intake of nitrilosides, has no second line of defense against cancer. Should cancer cells appear at this time, there is nothing to prevent their growth. The results? Tumor!
As Krebs et al. then pointed out, you can remove the tumor, but, if you do not correct the defects in that individual's defense mechanisms, that tumor will come back.
This means that you must markedly reduce the intake of animal protein in these people and replace it with vegetable protein. Vegetable protein requires nothing in the way of the enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin for digestion. Thus, you can free these enzymes from being used up for digestive purposes, put them back into the body and re-establish the body's first line of defense against cancer.
It means that you must also restore the body's second line of defense against cancer by establishing an adequate level of nitrilosides in these individuals. While there are some 1,500 foods that contain nitrilosides, the researchers found that the most rapid way to build up the nitriloside level was by the use of Laetrile. They did not proclaim Laetrile as a "miracle drug" or a "cancer cure" but merely described it as a concentrated form of nitrilosides, which was able to rapidly raise the nitriloside level and to re-establish the body's second line of defense against cancer.
Perhaps the thing that impressed me most in this large volume of material that I was trying to assimilate, was that all of these researchers stressed the point that cancer was a multiple-variable disease. One of the problems with those of us in the medical profession is that we are used to looking at chronic metabolic diseases (diseases which start within the body, such as diabetes, scurvy, pernicious anemia, pellagra, and cancer) as single-variable diseases. For example, in diabetes, the single-variable deficiency is insulin. In scurvy, it's Vitamin C, and in pernicious anemia, it's B12. Cancer is a multiple-variable deficiency disease.
These researchers showed that there can be a number of deficiencies within the cancer patient. This, they said, did not mean that all cancer patients had all of these deficiencies, but that any given cancer patient could have six, or eight or ten of these deficiencies. They found, for example, that zinc was the transportation mechanism for the nitrilosides. They found that you could give Laetrile until it came out of the ears of the patient, but, if that patient did not have a sufficient level of zinc, none of the Laetrile would get into the tissues of the body. They also found that nothing heals within the body without sufficient Vitamin C. They found that manganese, magnesium, selenium, Vitamin B, Vitamin A, etc., all played an important part in maintaining the body's defense mechanisms. The most important thing they stressed was that, unless you correct all of these deficiencies, you are not going to help that patient. Thus, they were talking about a total nutritional program. They were talking about a program that consisted of diet, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and Laetrile.
New Doc on the Block
After having spent those eight months studying all of the material sent to me by The Committee for Freedom of Choice, I still was not completely convinced that this nutritional approach to the treatment of cancer would actually work.
I called my pharmacist friend, Steve Michaelis, and learned that Lawrence P. McDonald, M.D., in Atlanta, Georgia, was actively using this form of treatment. I did not know Larry McDonald at that time, but I knew of him. I knew that he was a member of the National Council of the John Birch Society and was a renowned urologist in Atlanta. (This was, of course, the same Rep. Lawrence P. McDonald, Member of Congress, who was on the KAL Flight 007 when it was shot down.) Steve Michaelis knew him very well. Steve called him to let him know that I would be calling.
When we finally talked, Larry could not have been nicer. We discussed at some length the program that he was using. My final question was, "Does it work?" Larry's reply to me was, "If it didn't work, I wouldn't be using it!"
While Larry certainly gave me a push in the right direction, my final decision did not come until I could answer the question, "If I had cancer, or my wife had cancer, or one of my children had cancer, how would I have this treated?" I realized that my answer was, "I'd go with nutritional therapy." It was at that point that I decided to treat my patients with the same method.
Several weeks before I had reached that decision, a very good friend of mine had asked me if I would be willing to give Laetrile to his sister-in-law. This was a hopeless case. The woman had cancer of the breast. In spite of, or maybe because of (depending on your point of view), all the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy that had been done to this woman, she had developed metastases to the liver, lungs and brain. She had been sent home from a Columbus, Ohio hospital and told that she would die within a week or two. She became my first patient. I wish I could say that she lived happily thereafter. She didn't. But she did live for about four months with a minimal amount of pain and suffering.
Within a week after I started treating this first patient, I began to get calls from cancer patients all around this part of the country asking if I would treat them. To this day, I have no idea how those people knew that I was involved in nutritional therapy. I never asked, and they never said.
Most of my first patients were those who had all of the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy they could tolerate and their tumors were still growing. I did for these patients the best that I knew to do.
My biggest problem at this time was understanding nutrition. In four years of medical school, one year of internship and one year of Family Practice residency, I had not had even one lecture on nutrition. How to use the Laetrile, the vitamins and the enzymes was no problem. How to instruct these people on proper nutrition was a big problem. If you know very little about nutrition yourself, how are you to instruct your patients? Simply giving them a diet sheet and saying, "Eat this, but don't eat that," doesn't work. In my years of working with patients with weight problems, I had learned that you never hand a patient a diet sheet. You must explain to the patient why it is necessary to eat certain things and to avoid other things. Once the patient understands this, you then have the patient's full cooperation.
After a few months of using this nutritional program, I was invited by The Committee for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy (and I have no idea how they knew I was using nutritional therapy) to participate in some seminars on nutrition. It was hem that I first met Dr. Ernst Krebs. After listening to him for a few minutes, I realized that this man knew more about nutrition then anyone I had ever met.
To say that I presumed on this man's good nature would be the under-statement of the century. I told him what I was doing and how little I knew about nutrition.
These seminars usually lasted for three days and two nights. Dr. Krebs invited me to his room after the first evening's meeting. I was them until the wee hours of the morning and there again until the wee hours of the following morning learning about nutrition. When I think back on all of the stupid questions that I asked, I cannot understand why Dr. Krebs did not bodily pick me up and throw me out of his room. But, I was beginning to learn nutrition.
The second seminar was only a few weeks after the first. Betty was with me on this trip. We started somewhere in the Cleveland area and then flew to St. Louis to do another. Each night Betty, Dr. Krebs and I would get together in Dr. Krebs' room and my education of nutrition would continue.
These seminars went on for several more months. Through the great patience of Dr. Krebs, I became much more comfortable in trying to explain good nutrition to my patients.
When I started using this nutritional approach, I had no preconceived ideas of whether it would or would not work. I went into it with a completely open mind. I had decided to try it for one year. If it worked, fine, I would keep it up. If it didn't work, I wouldn't do it any more.
The first thing that I became aware of was that, within a matter of a few weeks, many of the patients were "feeling better." They had less pain and were eating better. While I was not sure that the treatment had added anything to the quantity of the life of these patients, I was sure that it had added something to the quality of their lives.
Some of the most beautiful letters that I have received have come from the relatives of patients who have died. They described how wonderful it was that their mother (or sister or brother or wife) had been free of pain and had been able to die comfortably at home rather than in a hospital.
That was encouraging, so I continued. Toward the end of that first year I noticed something else. I realized that a number of the patients that I had seen, who were supposed to die within a few months, were still alive. True, they still had their disease, but they were still alive! Some of them were now up and around and participating in family activities. Some were, once more, working in their flower beds. So, again, I continued.
At this point let me interrupt the story and define the terms "primary cancer" and "metastatic cancer." Primary cancer is cancer in one place in the body. The usual progression of this disease is that it spreads into other areas of the body. When the disease spreads from its primary site into other areas, it is called metastatic cancer.
Sorry about the interruption, but it was necessary. Now, back to our story.
My biggest surprise came at the end of my third year. At that time I sat down and went through all of the records of all of the patients that I had on this nutritional program. To my amazement, I found that not one single one of the patients that I had seen with primary cancer had developed metastatic disease. With "orthodox" treatment, by this time, most of them should have. This was when I knew that I had something!
You would think that a small town doctor working with a few cancer patients and a relatively new approach to the treatment of cancer, would be ignored and left alone. Right?