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Saturday, May 18, 2013

I saw a YouTube video about an Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma wearer curing their cancer through macrobiotic diet

First, so very glad to hear another ACC wearer has had a baby after treatment, and isn't he such a cutie! Also glad that mom is doing well, cheering very loudly for that! Her choice of not doing radiation is an option everyone has - I chose to do the radiation in 2006 based on my age and relative health. If I had been older, probably wouldn't have chosen it, either.

Second, glad to hear that the macrobiotic diet is keeping her life healthy-I have heard that type of diet (after they expanded from just brown rice and water, back in the old days) was one to follow if one wants to be vegetarian. 

Third, I could just as easily say that me eating chocolate pudding 'cured' my cancer, as I have been "no evident disease' (the official term) since 2007. Am I cured? Doubt it - ACC doesn't leave that easy - that isn't its style.  Nothing I can do at this time to keep it away, either - no matter how much tumeric or juice well-meaning people have told me to eat, nor midnight animal slaughters, nor negative vs. positive thinking, nor yearly scans. The company's logic doesn't make sense when they imply that following the macrobiotic diet is what has kept cancer from returning. No way of knowing that. Just saying. 

However, there are ample opportunities to conduct clinical trials to prove alternate therapies work to cure cancer.  A 2012 meta-analysis of the medical literature conducted to search for research on German cancer diets (published in German, but an English abstract is in this PubMed link: ) concluded -

"The most often mentioned "cancer diets" are Budwig diet, Gerson's regimen, lowcarb dietcancer cure of Breuß and macrobiotic diet. These diets can be classified according to the principle idea of carcinogenesis as follows: cancer as a lack or abundance of a substance or as a consequence of pathological metabolism of cancer cells. Staying in line with a specific diet the patients are thought to be able to cure themselves or at least substantially contribute to cure. However, we did not find any scientific publication of a clinical study which describes positive results regarding survival. On the contrary, data show malnutrition and side effects."

That is great news for companies such as Cancer Compass-An Alternate Route (the author of the blog is unnamed; I couldn't find out who the individual is, even when visiting the About page: ), or Denny Waxman, the macrobiotic counselor featured in the films (, as proponents of alternative and complementary therapies have a wide-open field to run actual trials to test out these therapies against traditional treatments, and see how things shake out. Run the study, and alert the world with the findings! I would sign up for a macrobiotic study, and I bet there are other ACC patients that would be interested, too. Checking today (5/18/13), I only located one study that had the keyword 'macrobiotic' in it when I searched the Clinical Trials database (, completed in 2006 - no results published (personal comment: aw c'mon guys, really? give us some results!). 

I know there is great interest on curing or preventing cancer through our own actions, through diet, exercise, moving to a safer neighborhood, changing jobs, whatever. Believe me, if I could point out something that brought on my own cancer, I would be telling EVERYONE how to avoid what I experienced and continue to experience. (And I wouldn't be making money on the news, either. Again, just saying.) 

After reading the comments on a recent story about an actress making a decision to adjust her chances of having a BRCA gene-related cancer, I know there is much more scientific work needed to address the discussion of alternate/complementary vs. traditional treatments. (By the way, I entered a comment on that story that said people can increase their own health information literacy by asking questions through their local library that serves consumer health information - let me know if that comment showed up.)

Finally, I sure hope they paid her (the ACC wearer in the films) well for showing up and telling her story, and I wish her years of happiness ahead. 


Anonymous said...

Dear Teresa,

As always, you did a brilliant job of analysing and explaining how each body is different and how there is no really 'one size fits all formula'. There is no real clinical evidence that macrobiotic diet would work for all ACC patients. To be fair, there is no counter-evidence either. It might work on ACC or all cancers for that matter! Your call to gather such scientific evidence is commendable. Being an ACC fighter, I am happy to be participate in the trial.

Separately, given your medical experience and knowledge and particularly your experience with ACC, I would encourage you to publish a piece on your blog listing down 'foods'that help fight/prevent cancer. There is way too much clutter on the internet. Some makes sense, some simply doesn't. Sugar or no sugar, wheat or no wheat, dairy or no dairy? It may seem like a request for obvious, basic information, but is very very critical. I have seen many cancer patients self-starving themselves in the hope of spontaneous remission. Looking forward to your insights on this.

Teresa Hartman said...

Thank you very much for your comments - I welcome them gladly!
I have had to search nutrition and cancer (not for myself, but for work - I ask other librarians to do searches on my own questions, since I am way too close to the need), and will post such a discussion of what is currently being studied, and what has shown effect, as well as what hasn't yet shown effect. Wouldn't life be great if we had the answers now?? I would gladly find another vocation, if no one needed questions answered anymore.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Teresa. Such a post will be very useful indeed.

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