VITAMIN C - THE MASTER NUTRIENT
Preface | Foreword | Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Bibliography
Vitamin C and Cancer
Some two years ago, while visiting my family in Montreal, I had the devastating experience of witnessing my Aunt Kate's painful hospital ordeal with cancer. Subjected to cytotoxic treatments of radiation therapy, and dosed with narcotics to control the pain, poor Kate, always such a jovial and cheerful dear soul, appeared to wander in and out of consciousness. She finally died several months later, having been able to return home for a brief few months.
My family is very traditional and has absolute faith in the medical profession. In their opinion, if vitamins and diet could help, they would be prescribed by their doctor. To see someone I loved dearly, dying, and not be able to mitigate some of the toxic effects of the hospital/medical regime with immune-enhancing natural medicines and nutrients such as Vitamin C underscored for me how radically attitudes must change before our health care system freely and openly embraces the best of all traditions.
The so-called "war against cancer" has been an infuriating public relations research fraud which has drained billions of dollars, created false illusions of miracle cures in the public eye, while harassing and prosecuting those vanguard physicians courageous enough to discover, research or treat cancer patients with "non-traditional" medicines. I cannot adequately describe the rage and disgust I feel, after reviewing the so-called "progress" of the past few decades: the prosecution, in the U.S., of pioneering cancer giants such as Drs. Lawrence Burton, Emanuel Revici and and Stanislaw Burzynski(110); the subjection of nearly 50% of all cancer patients to toxic chemotherapy which has been shown to objectively help only 5%(56); the denial of research grants to study the action of alternative cancer treatments; the shoddy research which has been carried out by certain institutions to supposedly investigate the therapeutic efficacy of nutrients such as Vitamin C(166). This stinking morass of the cancer "establishment" has moved at least one group, Project Cure(172), to form an effective lobby to promote and advocate research and access to alternative cancer treatments.
Here are the plain facts:
1. 20 years ago, the chances of getting cancer were 1 in 6; now it is 1 in 3(56);
2. Traditional cancer treatments, ie. surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, which have improved the management and prognosis of certain cancers, have not measured up to expectations of affording a cure for cancer, and have often worsened the misery of cancer patients through their toxic effects(9,56);
3. Data is accumulating which shows that a high proportion of cancers are at the very least influenced or aggravated by environmental factors: stress, high sugar, high fat, refined diet, smoking, alcohol, pollution, and carcinogenic substances we ingest through the food we eat or the chemicals we handle in our work(56).
4. It is possible to positively enhance the quality of life and often our survival(154) with cancer, through the judicious use of positive mental attitude(100), a nutritious diet and exercise programme, and supplementation with high doses of certain health enhancing and detoxifying nutrients such as Vitamin C(40-44,154).
Vitamin C and Cancer
Vitamin C and its effects upon many types of cancer has been studied in animals and in humans over the past 30 years. The preoccupation of the medical research establishment with more high-tech and profitable treatments has not afforded the extensive research with non-toxic substances such as Vitamin C which could have been accomplished over this time period. There is, nevertheless, a respectable body of evidence which documents the therapeutic effects of Vitamin C and cancer, which are briefly summarized here:
1. Vitamin C delays the appearance of breast tumour formation in mice from 66 weeks to 120 weeks(165);
2. Plasma levels of Vitamin C are inversely correlated with incidence of gastrointestinal and cervical cancers(23,181,232);
3. Vitamin C detoxifies carcinogenic nitrites and nitrates(54,204);
4. Vitamin C acts synergistically with radiation treatment for cervical cancer(54,181,232);
5. Vitamin C prevents formation of bladder tumours(166);
6. Vitamin C inhibits the action of hyaluronidase, the enzyme found in malignant tumours, thereby slowing down the degradation of cellular tissues and invasion by cancerous growths(43,44);
7. Vitamin C controls pain in cancer patients, to such an extent that morphine and other narcotic pain-relieving drugs are often not needed(43,44) ;
8. Vitamin C increases the sense of well-being, and hence the quality of life of cancer patients(43,44);
9. A decrease in malignant cells shed from tumours is seen(166);
10. There is some reversal from hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver) and malignant jaundice(166);
11. There is a decline in the red blood cell sedimentation rate(166);
12. Vitamin C counteracts many of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy(43);
13. Vitamin C stimulates the production of phagocytic leucocytes, white blood cells active in engulfing and destroying cancerous cells(242);
14. Vitamin C destroys free radicals, which have been seriously implicated in cancer formation(7,161,182).
The Clinical Evidence
Dr. Ewan Cameron, Senior Consultant Surgeon in Vale of Leven Hospital, Scotland has been treating "hopeless", "terminal" cancer patients for over 15 years with Vitamin C, 10g or more per day(40-44). With his growing experience with hundreds of such patients, whose lives have been extended and improved, he has accumulated considerable evidence of Vitamin C's efficacy against cancer. Due to his self-professed "bias" that Vitamin C definitely prolongs the life of cancer patients, Dr. Cameron has shunned, on ethical grounds, the conducting of double blind, placebo controlled trials, because he would not want to deny a single cancer patient the option to take Vitamin C just for the advancement of research. However, Dr. Cameron has in fact conducted several trials in which he has compared the treatment of 100 Vitamin C cancer patients with 1000 matched controls – that is, patients of the same age group, cancer type, treatment, diet, everything, that is, except Vitamin C.
In one such study by Dr. Cameron, published in 1976, ALL 1000 control patients had died, while 18/100 of the Vitamin C-treated patients were still alive(41). In fact, the Vitamin C-treated patients lived 300 days longer than the controls! In 1978, a similar study divided the patients into 9 groups of different types of cancer: ovary, rectum, bronchus, stomach, colon, bladder, kidney and breast. The Vitamin C group lived from 114-435 days longer than the control group. 8% of the Vitamin C patients were alive, while NONE of the controls were(42).
The Mayo Clinic "carefully controlled trials" of 1979 and 1985(61,153), which, amidst considerable publicity, refuted any therapeutic claim for Vitamin C and cancer, was seriously flawed in several respects:
1. Most of the Mayo patients had received cytotoxic chemotherapy for their cancer prior to Vitamin C. Chemotherapy drugs destroy the immune system, thereby making it more difficult for immune-enhancing agents such as Vitamin C to act;
2. The "control" group of Mayo patients were taking Vitamin C in not insignificant dosages, invalidating this group as a control;
3. The Vitamin C group only received Vitamin C for a short time – 2 1/2 months, after which time, the treatment was suspended. Dr. Cameron's patients took Vitamin C every day for the rest of their lives.
The Epidemiological Evidence
A Johns Hopkins study conducted by Wassertheil-Smoller(232), with 169 women investigated for cervical dysplasias (abnormalities) indicated that women with low plasma levels of Vitamin C stand a 10-fold increased risk of cervical dysplasia. Another American study conducted by Romney et al(181) found low Vitamin C levels in asymptomatic women with cervical carcinomina in situ.
A Norwegian and American study conducted in 1973 and 74 by Bjelke(23), surveying 30,000 people, showed a negative correlation between Vitamin C and gastric cancer. A more recent study by Stahelin et al(197) corroborated this inverse correlation of Vitamin C with gastric cancer, and furthermore documented that Vitamin C appears to act synergistically with other factors, most notably smoking and alcohol in its action against cancer. Vitamins A, E and other antioxidants also show an inverse relationship with gastric cancer.
The Role of Vitamin C in Cancer Treatment
Vitamin C is recommended as an adjunct and integral component of any cancer regime, not as the sole treatment for cancer. Vitamin C has been shown to enhance and potentiate the effects of traditional cancer treatments, including radiation and chemotherapy. Since every cancer is unique, an individualised treatment programme, incorporating the mind and spirit (stress reduction, positive imaging), and the body (nutrition, supplements, medicines) will have the greatest successful effects in the treatment of cancer.