Preface to Cancer Therapy
© 1992 by Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

"I solemnly profess that I hate all pretences to secrets and I look upon the printed bills of quacks, who pretend to nostrums and private medicines, to be mere cheats and tricks to amuse the common people and to pick their pockets. But if any man can communicate a good medicine, he shows himself a lover of his country more than of himself, and deserves thanks of mankind."--Dr. William Simpson (1680 AD)

This book details nearly 100 non-toxic or less-toxic treatments for cancer. The effectiveness and safety of all of these methods are rigorously documented through nearly 1,000 references to the standard peer-reviewed scientiÞc literature. In this way it is demonstrated once and for all that non-toxic therapies, far from being Œquackery,¹ are in fact a most promising avenue for cancer research.

This book would not be necessary if conventional cancer therapy were generally successful. Unfortunately, it is not. While great advances have been made in treating a minority of cancers, the majority of people who get cancer today still die of their disease. And although many billions of dollars have been spent on cancer research, we must conclude that little progress has actually been made in treating this tragic illness.

Such statements may be surprising, since for more than 40 years the public has been þooded with stories of dramatic breakthroughs and incredible cures. We do not mean to diminish the importance of real advances. But the 'cure mongering' surrounding two experimental treatments, interferon and interleukin, are still fresh enough for us to remain skeptical of all exaggerated claims. In fact, ofÞcial records support this skeptical view: Þgures from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) reveal that there has been no substantial improvement in cancer cure rates over the last several decades (1).

Death rates for the major killers, such as lung, breast and colon, have remained essentially unchanged. The only substantial improvement has been for cancer of the cervix and for such relatively rare malignancies as choriocarcinoma, testicular cancer, lymphomas and childhood leukemias, when these are treated with radiation and/or toxic chemotherapy. However, even with such cures, there is a high incidence of delayed, or secondary, cancers due to the carcinogenic effects of the treatments themselves.

Cumulative Þgures from the US National Cancer Institute conÞrm the overall lack of progress. The Þve-year relative survival rates for cancer for all nationalities was 49 percent in 1974-75 and 50.7 percent in 1981-1986. This represents an improvement of only 1.7 percent in 13 years. The corresponding 'cure' rates for African-Americans in the same 13 year interval actually dropped from 38.6 percent to 38.2 percent (2).

Furthermore, even the tiny improvement in the overall cancer

'cure' rate may be little more than a statistical artifact, reþecting recent trends toward earlier diagnosis (3).

At the same time, cancer incidence is rising throughout the industrialized world. These increases are real and cannot be explained away by improved diagnosis or increased longevity. From 1947 to 1984, for instance, the overall incidence of cancer in the general US population increased some 40 percent. For more common cancers, such as those of the breast, incidence rates have increased by over 30 percent; for prostate and male colon cancers by over 60 percent. Increases for some less common cancers, such as malignant melanoma, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin¹s lymphoma and male kidney cancer, are around 100 percent. Similar increases have been seen in other industrialized countries.

Behind these Þgures lurks a human tragedy of almost unimaginable proportions. Every one of those millions of deaths is a human life wasted and often a family ruined. The Þnancial cost of this disaster is equally staggering. After years of underestimating the cost, in 1987 the US authorities admitted to a total annual expense of $71 billion for the nation as a whole. The Þgure today is probably well over $100 billion. Many individuals are bankrupted by the cost of such care and it contributes greatly to society¹s enormous medical burden. New high technology treatments, such as bone marrow transplantation, can cost well over $100,000 per procedure. One new drug called Neupogen, which is used only to counteract the toxic effects of chemotherapy, costs patients between $6,000 and $10,000 per year, according to the Wall Street Journal (2/22/91).

This is a situation calling out for radical alternatives.

For many years, however, the war on cancer has been dominated by powerful groups with closely interlocking professional Þnancial interests (4). In the US, the principal components of this 'cancer establishment[ are the NCI; the American Cancer Society (ACS); the twenty-odd comprehensive cancer centers, such as New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering and Boston¹s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; an extensive network of NCI and ACS contractees and grantees at most major universities; the leading pharmaceutical houses; and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates the marketplace on behalf of the very industries it is supposed to oversee.

Although most such organizations are non-proÞt, they generally follow the lead of the proÞt-driven industries. Thus, the hub of the cancer establishment is a highly proÞtable drug development system, led by chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

While it is in the interest of such companies to Þnd patentable cancer treatments, there is no corresponding incentive to develop non-patentable natural methods. Since it currently costs around $200 million to develop a new drug in the US, mainly to comply with Byzantine FDA regulations, the drug companies claim they must seek enormous proÞts from each and every drug. And such proÞts are generally only available through patentable drugs, with their 17-year legal monopolies.

Yet most of the methods discussed in this book are not patented or patentable. Most are in fact readily-available natural substances, such as foods or food components. There are proÞts to be made selling such items, but these are obviously far less than those for puriÞed, often toxic, pharmaceuticals. Thus there is a powerful economic rationale for favoring toxic treatments.

Another reason is that toxic treatments require the supervision and intervention of medical professionals skilled to the highest degree. Toxic or high-tech treatments keep the focus on high-paid cancer specialists and well-funded medical centers. Natural, non-toxic methods, on the other hand, enable primary care health givers, or sometimes even the patients themselves and their family members, to administer care.

Such non-toxic methods are thus more readily accepted by doctors, nurses and other professionals who are closer to the patients, while despised by those at the pinnacle of the medical elite. Interestingly, in a recent survey the American Cancer Society found that the greatest single source of referrals to such non-toxic "questionable" treatments were the front-line doctors themselves (4).

As humble as they often are, these non-toxic treatments present a powerful competitive challenge to high proÞle toxic treatments, which happen to be hated and feared by most of their intended recipients.

The main argument used against non-toxic methods is that they are not supported by research in peer-reviewed scientiÞc journals and do not conform to the rules of scientiÞc evidence. Non-toxic methods are called questionable, unproven and unscientiÞc. Only orthodox cancer treatments--surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are 'scientiÞc, they say, and presumably not to be questioned.

I hope that this book will Þnally destroy the underpinnings of this fallacious argument. All the non-toxic and less-toxic methods in this book have been selected based on their appearance in the same selective journals that all doctors and scientists around the world depend upon. (In addition, I have added a small section of methods that are not yet documented in this way but bear further research.)

The obvious purpose of this book is to provide the person with cancer‹and all of us who fear we might someday become one‹with useful information on cancer alternatives. Its secondary purpose is to aid the patient to better exercise freedom of choice in medical care. Freedom of choice means that the major choices in cancer treatment belong to the patient, and no one else. The doctor is employed by the patient in what jurists call a 'Þduciary' role. This means that the doctor's interests in the treatment is less immediate and compelling than those of the patient, who has to bear the full consequences of the treatment decisions (5).

This principle of medical freedom of choice is rooted in the Hippocratic tradition, in the US Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789). It was Þrst explicitly formulated by the British philosopher John Stuart Mill more than a century ago, when he proclaimed that "over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign" (On Liberty).

Judge Benjamin Cardozo enshrined this principle in US law when he wrote, in the landmark 1914 case of Schloendorff v. Society of N.Y. Hospital, "Every human being of adult years and sound mind has a right to determine what shall be done with his own body." This judgment was supported by the postwar Nuremberg Code which held that every patient "should be so situated so as to be able to exercise free power of choice..." And it was most recently reafÞrmed by the Second Circuit US Court of Appeals, which wrote, in Schneider v. Revici (1987), that "we see no reason why a patient should not be allowed to make an informed decision to go outside currently approved medical methods in search of an unconventional treatment" (6). [See also our extensive selection of The Cancer Chronicles articles on medical freedom of choice.]

The history of non-toxic therapies has been a sad one. There has been repression and neglect on one side, wild claims and paranoid fantasies on the other.

But change is in the air. The formation of the Office of [Complementary and] Alternative Medicine (OAM) at the National Institutes of Health in 1992 signalled a major advance in the status of the types of treatments discussed in this book. There are now centers of alternative medicine at the medical schools of Harvard, Stanford and Columbia. A special center to study alternative treatments for cancer has been established at the University of Texas.

While these programs have been slow to begin, they are determined to give serious attention to some of the most promising approaches. There is thus realistic hope that alternative cancer treatments, properly investigated, will at last Þnd acceptance by the general medical profession and the general public. I hope that Cancer Therapy will continue to make a contribution toward that goal.


1. Cairns, J. The treatment of diseases and the war against cancer. ScientiÞc American 253:51-9;Nov. 1985.
2. National Cancer Institute, Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1987, NIH Publication No. 90-2789, Bethesda, MD, 1990.
3. Bailar JC and Smith EM. Progress against cancer? New Eng J Med 314:1226-1232, 1986.
4. Lerner IJ and Kennedy BJ. The prevalence of questionable methods of cancer treatment in the United States. Ca 42:181-191.
4. Epstein, SS. The politics of cancer. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1978 (Rev. ed. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1979).
5. Shultz MM. From informed consent to patient choice: a new protected interest. The Yale Law Journal 95:2, December 1985.
6. 817 Federal Reporter, 2nd Series: 987-996, 1987.

--Ralph W. Moss, PhD

Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D. is director of the The Moss Reports for cancer patients. Dr. Moss is the author of eleven books and three documentaries on cancer-related topics. He is or has been an advisor on alternative cancer treatments to the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the American Urological Association, Columbia University, the University of Texas, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the German Society of Oncology. He wrote the first article on alternative medicine for the Encyclopedia Britannica yearbook. He is listed in Marquis Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in the East, and Who's Who in Entertainment (as a film documentarian). This Web site does not advocate any particular treatment for cancer. We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems, especially cancer. Before consulting our site please read our full Disclaimer statement.

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