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Happy New Year!

To the Longevity of Smarter, Safer Medicine in 2014!As we reflect on another year of our "You Did What?" journey, we wanted to take a moment to express our appreciation for all of our readers/fans/followers. As we wrap up 2013, we're really excited about the plans we've been developing to expand our mission.  We'll be sharing a lot more in 2014, in particular here on our blog (which has been really quiet!). More writing, more original research (in particular about the breast cancer over-treatment epidemic), more information about smarter diagnostics (the time of diagnosis being the point at which most medical mistakes happen), etc.

And as always we wish you all the health you can possibly achieve in 2014 and beyond. The symbol in the image above is the Chinese character for longevity ("shou"). Here's wishing you all the longevity afforded by healthy medicine for cancer!






The Future of Cancer Treatment

There's a revolution underway in the treatment of cancer. Like most successful revolutions (as this one will surely be), it started quietly, and it's still mostly going unnoticed. Unless, that is, you're fortunate enough to have a cancer doc who's part of the movement. This revolution represents the future of cancer treatment. It's smarter, safer medicine and diagnostics. It's complete cancer care. Instead of a narrow focus on killing cancer, this approach is truly curative. It treats the "soil" of cancer, rather than just trying to eradicate the "seed" (which mostly doesn't work, is unnecessarily toxic and harmful, and in any case isn't fully curative and health-promoting). It orchestrates the "symphony of bio-mechanisms" that lead to the development of cancer, replacing the biochemical cacophony of cancer with the harmony of wellness.

As Dr. Mark Hyman has said:


In short, the future of cancer treatment entails declaring peace on cancer. And if you're (or your cancer doc is) interested in learning more, one of the best gatherings anywhere to be found is the Advances in Cancer Strategies Symposium. We spoke there ourselves last year, with Hollie sharing her story of how she embraced this integrative, "healthy medicine" approach for her Stage 2/Grade 3 breast cancer in 2002. The conference is a who's-who of leading practitioners and researchers of health-promoting and holistic cancer treatments. As a sign of the increasing attention that this unconventional medicine is attracting, best-selling author Dr. Bernie Siegel is the keynote speaker this time around. This year's conference is in Stamford, CT (links below).

Also, on Saturday evening of the conference, there's a fundraiser for the Mederi Centre for Natural Healing, the non-profit cancer clinic and foundation that treated Hollie in 2002. Comedian David Brenner is the emcee, and we'll be in attendance along with a host of friends of Mederi. 

Advances in Cancer Strategies Symposium, April 20-22, 2012
(Main conference website, including a list of speakers, and registration information.)

Complete Conference Guide - Advances in Cancer Strategies Symposium 2012
(PDF file)

(Mederi Foundation site, with a link to register for the fundraiser on Saturday night of the conference, and also with a personal invitation video from Donnie Yance, the founder of the clinic. Note: You don't have to attend the conference in order to attend the benefit. You can come to either one, or both.)

Please help us spread the word about the future of cancer treatment. We hope to see you there! 


[Video] Criticisms: A Summary

One of the clearest signs that the conventional-only approach to cancer is on the wane is in the form of its criticisms of its competing treatment approaches. When we wrote our book, a loud chorus of criticisms came from conventional-only medical circles about the treatment path that Hollie chose. Our response was essentially this—that's it? That's all that mainstream cancer medicine has to say in response to Hollie doing just fine, indeed thriving, after rejecting chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy (Tamoxifen) and extensive surgery for her breast cancer in 2002?

When we gave our talk at the Cancer Strategies Symposium in 2011, we summarized the various criticisms we received, and our good friends at The Healthy Medicine Academy, who sponsored the conference, gave us permission to post that section of our talk. (Thanks to Dr. Robert Zieve and Eve Greenberg!) See the video below for a summary of those criticisms, and of our responses.

Oh, and the success of last year's conference has led to an even more exciting event this year. Check out this link to learn about this year's conference, entitled "Advances in Cancer Strategies Symposium." We look forward to seeing you there!


Cassie's Cancer Gift

Our daughter Cassie was born with cancer. She didn't have the disease herself, thank goodness. Yet, since Hollie was 38 weeks pregnant with Cassie when diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, Cassie has been around cancer since the day she was born. But for Cassie there has been one very dramatic difference from the typical experience of a "cancer child." Namely, she never had to witness her mother go through conventional treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. Our hearts ache for the generations of people who've suffered the side effects of these treatments, often unnecessarily, and for the loved ones who've had to witness it all.

We're appreciative beyond words to have found a more healthful, safer way to deal with breast cancer. And so is Cassie, now that she's more able to understand the very different treatment paths available. Cassie recently expressed how she feels by doing a mini-fundraiser for the non-profit Mederi Centre for Natural Healing, where Hollie was treated. Mederi practices what we consider to be complete cancer medicine, which sometimes uses tools from the conventional toolbox, like chemotherapy, when necessary, along with of course lots and lots of herbal and nutritional and other safe medicines. When they do draw upon chemotherapy, they do it in such a way as to minimize the brutality experienced by so many patients.

Cassie made the letter below and sent it to Mederi along with the funds she raised. If you share our passion for smarter, safer cancer treatments, or if perhaps, like us, you're ready to see an end to the grim war on cancer, then we encourage you to donate to Mederi, too:

Cassie's Gift to Smarter, Safer Breast Cancer Medicine



Which Breast Cancer Group Are You In?

We're in the midst of an epidemic of over-treatment and mis-treatment of breast cancer. That's the good news. The bad news is that this information is almost entirely hidden from view, lost in the fog of war. They say that truth is the first casualty of war, and basic truths about cancer treatment, and especially breast cancer treatment, are missing in action, or dead.

The most startling truth that we uncovered was this: If you receive standard-of-care conventional-only treatments for breast cancer, you're in one of the following groups:

  1. You don't need the treatments, but get them anyway.
  2. The treatments aren't going to work, only making you sicker while your cancer gets worse.
  3. You benefited or were "cured" by the treatments. (We'll explain a bit later why we put the word cured in quotes.)

It's our belief that the typical patient doesn't understand things this way, because the typical doctor doesn't explain things this way. But if you piece together the information that's available from honest doctors who aren't caught up in polarizing war-think, these simple truths will shine through the fog.

Speaking of conventional cancer treatments in general, here is what one cancer expert had to say recently:

"People have known for years that we give treatment and it is only going to work for 20% of people..."

—Harpal Kumar, Scientist, CEO, Cancer Research UK, August 22, 2011

Looking at how this applies to breast cancer more specifically, Dr. Susan Love is one of the world's foremost experts (perhaps the leading expert) on conventional breast cancer science and treatments. In 2002, when Hollie was diagnosed with her Stage 2/Grade 3 breast cancer, Dr. Love's Breast Book was one of the many books we read. Here's what she had to say back then:

"Unfortunately, we are left guessing on the basis of probabilities that are not individualized. This usually means that we overtreat, fearing that we might miss someone who could benefit."1 

Our conventional oncologist in Los Angeles confirmed this, and she actually drew a diagram (similar to one shown in Dr. Love's book) showing that for perhaps as many as 90% of women who received standard-of-care treatments, those women either didn't need those treatments, or, their cancer was going to come back anyway, meaning they only got sicker while their cancers got worse. She explained that perhaps as few as 10% of all women who received conventional treatments were "cured" by them (which she defined as "the cancer was likely to come back, but was prevented from doing so by the treatments themselves).

And this bad news from conventional oncology has remained consistent. More recently, in 2010, in a long and excellent article at, Dr. Love confirmed that this terrible problem still exists:

"At the moment, we do not know how to figure out which ones are which. So we treat them all. Then we congratulate ourselves at how well all the patients have done—when many of them would have done just as well if we had done nothing."

So what we discovered in 2002 is still true today—most women are guinea pigs in a grand experiment whose goal is the glorification of the conventional cancer establishment. Too harsh? Here are some more comments from Dr. Love:

"In a recent study looking at screening programs internationally, the authors were able to estimate that 30% of breast cancers found on mammography screening overtreated and would go away by themselves if left alone and therefore could be considered overtreated."


"The consequences of this overtreatment with surgery, radiation and chemotherapy can be significant, from heart failure to second cancers caused by the therapy."

But this 30% over-treatment statistic is only from one study, and only for breast cancers found via mammograms. Many are not, and most of those are over-treated as well. In fact, Dr. Love's own overall summary of aggressive screening, and the over-treatment that results, is really nothing short of shocking:

"...for every 2,000 women screened for 10 years, one will have her life prolonged [by conventional treatments]. At the same time, 10 healthy women, who would have not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be diagnosed as breast cancer patients and treated unnecessarily."

In short, for every 1 woman helped by conventional breast cancer treatment, 10 times as many are given toxic treatments that are unnecessary. If this were a crime-prevention program, it would be the equivalent of arresting everyone in a certain neighborhood, on the logic that you'd end up arresting at least some criminals along with all the innocents. We can do so much better than this.

Dr. Joseph Mercola reports a very similar statistic in his review of related research:

"Among the 2,500 screened at least 1,000 will have a false alarm, 500 would undergo an unnecessary biopsy, and 5 or more would become treated for abnormal finds that would never become fatal, i.e. their lives will be shortened due to medication/surgical/stress-induced adverse effects."

And while it's bad enough that tens or hundreds of thousands of women every year are given devastatingly toxic treatments they didn't need (group 1), the second group identified above is actually much worse off. These are the women who get once-size-fits-all treatments that were never going to work on their cancers in the first place. This is the worst possible double-whammy with cancer--your body gets sicker and weaker, while your cancer gets worse. Group 2 women have serious cancers, and they can't afford to waste time with ineffective and toxic treatments. Most of these women will die, when they might otherwise have lived if treated with customized, health-promoting integrative medicine. And then there's the all-too-often-overlooked discussion about quality of life. Even assuming these patients in group 2 could not have been saved by "healthy medicine," they nonetheless could have foregone the standard-of-care, conventional-only treatments that were never going to work for them, and lived the rest of their days with a higher quality of life. These are the sacrificial lambs of the war on breast cancer.

As for the third group, we ask--were there other, less-toxic, less-costly treatments that would have "cured" those women? Remember, Hollie was told strenuously that she needed chemotherapy, radiation, hormone treatment (Tamoxifen) and, according to some surgeons, extensive additional surgery beyond her lumpectomy and sentinel node removal/biopsy. She didn't. Aggressive but safe herbal and nutritional medicines have been enough to keep her healthy for nearly a decade, and have delivered numerous other health benefits as well. She got healthier during treatment, and healthier still afterwards. How many other women might have this option?

Another reason we put the word cure in quotes above is that conventional treatments eradicate cancer, they don't cure it. Does eradication work sometimes? Sure. Is it necessary sometimes? Yes. But calling it a cure is dishonest, and we believe that's intended to distract from truly curative treatments. A cure is something that reverses the processes that led to cancer in the first place, and eliminates it from the body, and/or prevents its return. And in our opinion it should be as natural and non-toxic as possible. This is what Hollie did. People do it all the time. But the treatment options you're given in a conventional cancer treatment setting don't even acknowledge it. We ask: Is this right?

When you put all of this together with the fact that conventional oncology practices make the vast majority of their money from the profits from re-selling chemotherapy drugs, it's clear that we have a very broken system. The conventional breast cancer treatment industry is: 

  1. Treating large numbers of women who don't need it, and taking credit for "curing" them. 
  2. Giving ineffective treatments  to women with serious cancers, such that their cancers only get worse, thereby robbing them of a chance at life.
  3. Continuing to pass off "eradication" as "cure," and in the process hiding smarter, safer medicine from legions of patients.

It's time for change. We've seen this smarter, safer medicine of which we speak, and it's the future of treatment for cancers of the breast and others, and it's a future that doesn't look anything like the grim, wartime present. It's a future where we make peace with cancer, and reverse its course through the best combination of old and new medicines available. Most importantly, it's a future that's here, now. We encourage you to embrace it.


1 Susan M. Love, M.D., Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book, Third Edition, Fully Revised (Cambridge: Perseus Publishing, 2000), 388.