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[PART THREE] How Do Cancer & Other Chronic Diseases Develop?

cancer development
Here is part three of our series covering Howard Straus’ incredibly enlightening lecture that was originally delivered at the Cancer Control Society in Japan in July 2009. If you missed our previous posts you can find them here:
Part One | Part Two


An adequate level of proteolytic pancreatic enzymes in the developing cell’s environment is also critical to its proper development, as is a pH level high enough (alkaline) to allow enzymes to function properly. At one of its earliest stages, the developing stem cell is nudged in one of two directions by the level of proteolytic enzymes in its immediate vicinity. This, of course, translates into the requirement for an adequate amount of proteolytic enzymes in the entire body environment and a concurrent global alkaline pH, since the development of stem cells occurs billions of times daily in every nook and cranny of our structure.

The choice between the two directions in which the stem cell might develop is between metamorphosis into a normally-developing differentiated adult cell (with enough functioning proteolytic enzymes), or into a trophoblast (in most cases, the seeds of cancer).

We have seen the enormous flood of creation and renewal that occurs within a normal body on a daily basis, with nearly 200 billion cells a day being created and 200 billion cells a day dying and being removed. If the environment is a normal, healthy [alkaline] one with adequate and active proteolytic enzymes, the process runs smoothly, as intended. But lacking adequate levels of enzymes in the overall system, some of these billions of cells are going to be nudged down the wrong development path, into nascent cancer cells.

If even one tenth of one percent of these cells develop into trophoblasts, that means that there are 200 million new cancer cells being born every day. While our immune systems should be able to handle that, the fact that these cells are being created implies a serious depression in those functions, too. It does not require many surviving cancer cells being created every day to start or restart cancer, and their location in the body is almost irrelevant.

When a cancer patient is subjected to tumor removal surgery, and nothing is done about his overall internal environment, the very environment that gave rise to cancer in the first place, the daily processes in his body, when operating in the same environment, will continue to create cancer cells at an enormous rate, some of which will result in additional cancerous lesions. The insult to the body of surgery, of course, will accelerate the process.


Since the body’s pH level is so critically important in both oxygen transport and stem cell development, it becomes precisely that important to our overall health, cancer prevention, and even cancer reversal. We must work to maintain a nutrient input that keeps nudging us towards an alkaline pH.

But when we look around us, and analyze the Standard American Diet (SAD), we see all too many foods, substances, drinks that tend to push our body pH lower, towards dangerous acid levels. Chief among these influences, especially in the United States, is the amount of animal protein in our daily intake. However, there are many others, including coffee, pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, recreational drugs, many fats and oils, fast foods, processed foods and refined flour products, all of which tend to acidify the body. Considering the percentage of the foods that Americans consume daily that are acid-forming, it constantly amazes us not that there is so much chronic disease in our culture, but that there is so little.

It is no surprise that as we age, the pH levels that we have cultivated over our lifetimes start to drop below 7.0. Most elderly people carry around pH levels of 6.5 or lower, and by the time cancer manifests as an identifiable disease (tumor, lesion), that level has dropped even lower. Topical or local solutions (surgery) for such a global problem are doomed to failure from the start. Likewise, poisoning various important physiological processes using targeted chemicals (pharmaceuticals) adds to the problem, rather than alleviating it. The dismal record of standard cancer treatment in the United States is mute testament to the above statement.

The only way to restore sanity to the sick body’s environment is to raise the pH level to its normal 7.35 or 7.36. Otherwise, we are “cleaning the carpet in a rainstorm, while ignoring the gaping hole in the roof.”


In general, just as animal protein based food is acid-producing after metabolism, the ash remaining after the metabolism (digestion) of plant-based foods, with some exceptions, is alkaline producing. With the high volume of plant-based food and juices given daily on the Gerson Therapy, the patient’s pH is raised fairly rapidly, in the order of days rather than weeks. With the restoration of the pH to an alkaline level, the blood stream’s oxygen carrying capacity is restored, the blood thinned, the patients’ overall well-being and mental function are improved and pain levels significantly lowered, although he/she still has a long road ahead.

All structures and organs function better with oxygen, the brain being one of the primary ones, since it is one of the largest users of oxygen in the body. Optimism and a sense of hope return. Skin begins to regain its tone and color, since it is now being supplied with oxygen and oxidation enzymes from the copious input of fresh, organic fruit and vegetable juices.

When the pH level is restored to alkaline levels, the all-important proteolytic enzymes are reactivated and resume their functions of directing the proper sequence of events in the replacement and renewal of expired cells, and the removal of the dead material, including the now-dying cancer cells, which no longer are receiving the nutrients or environment that cancer needs to grow and flourish.

This is by no means a claim that the patients are “cured.” One cannot possibly recover in a matter of days from a disease that took years, even decades to build, and is the result of an overall collapse of so many parts of the conglomerate system we consider “immunity”. But the rapid response of the body is not imagined or theoretical; the patient experiences it as a significant reduction in pain, a return of energy, a noticeable sequence of “healing reactions” (sometimes known as “homeopathic reactions”), and a much more positive outlook. Since cancer pain is often very intense, the rapid reduction in pain for most patients should be enough to justify use of the Gerson Therapy simply on compassionate grounds.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of our four part series where we cover proteolyitic enzymes and the removal of dead cells.