cancer development

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

cancer development
Here is the final part 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 | Part Three

We touched above on the staggering numbers involved in the replacement and renewal of all our cells in any 18-month period, but have not yet discussed the problem of removing the hundreds of billions of cells that die each day. The cells that expire are almost always part of the matrix of a structure or gland that needs to keep on functioning as the repair work is being done. If the dead cells are not removed, they will constitute a diffuse mass of carrion that cannot be good for us on any level. Trash collection and removal is a critical, if unglamorous, function, it is true, but woe is the city (or body) that goes without it even for a few days!

One of the effects of not removing dead cells is that the surrounding matrix is the recipient of by-products of the decaying matter. Whether they are normal cells that have simply died as part of their normal life cycle, or cells that have died due to injury or toxicity, or if they are cancer cells that have died because they cannot survive an alkaline environment, or if they are pathogens and antibodies that have carried on their battle in the structure is immaterial. This necrotic material will further acidify the environment, and will further poison the patient if it is not efficiently eliminated.

The way the necrotic material is normally handled is by the proteolytic enzymes that should be perfusing the entire body and digesting dead cell matter for removal by the blood stream. If there is a shortage of proteolytic enzymes in the environment due to their use by the digestive system (to metabolize meals of animal protein, for instance), or if the environment is so acidic that the required enzymatic action is deactivated, the enzymes cannot perform their critical functions, the dead material is not removed, and the local environment becomes ever sicker and more acidic, and less conducive to healing and a healthy metabolism.

To put a more vivid image to this problem, imagine carrying an empty backpack around, and every day placing a single quarter-pound (115g) raw hamburger patty into the top. If the backpack is never emptied, it will not be very long before the backpack with several pounds of rotting carrion becomes the major issue in your life, yet the daily addition of more carrion continues. Essentially, this is the process that goes on inside our bodies when the proteolytic enzymes that should be dissolving and carting away the waste are disabled.

The Gerson therapy, as well as the Kelley protocol further developed by Gonzalez, both provide copious amounts of supplemental proteolytic enzymes to the body. Gonzalez describes in Trophoblast how he has researched the potency and production of pancreatic enzyme supplements, and developed what he considers the optimal supplement to supply his patients. To date, Gerson practitioners and patients have been using commercially produced enzymes, some manufactured in Europe, but they are now preparing to test Gonzalez’ preparation for any improvement in results it could bring.

In both therapies, supplemental proteolytic enzymes are a critically important element of the regime. It is certainly clear, at least to this author, that the enzyme- enabling alkaline environment is also of critical importance to the removal of masses of dead cells every day. Both important elements are partially or completely negated by a diet high in animal protein due to the use of the enzymes to digest the animal protein-rich meal and their resulting unavailability for other critical functions, and the neutralization of remaining enzymes due to the acidifying influence of the ash remaining after animal protein metabolism, among other causes.

The Gerson Therapy remedies at least one of the conditions that enable cancer formation and survival through its vegan diet (almost no animal protein) and juicing program (13 8-ounce glasses of fresh-pressed, organic vegetable and apple juices daily). The high vegetable intake quickly changes the body’s metabolism from acidic to alkaline, often in a matter of days, an oxygen-rich environment not conducive to the survival of cancer cells.


We have attempted to extend the rationale of the Gerson Therapy to the cellular level by explaining, with the help of Dr. Gonzalez’ work on trophoblasts and proteolytic enzymes, how stem cells developing into differentiated cells, and the removal of dead cells in our structural matrix need adequate levels of proteolytic enzymes, plus the proper pH levels for them to function. The Gerson Therapy has for over 80 years succeeded in preventing and reversing chronic or “incurable” diseases in part because it quickly adjusts the pH levels in the internal environment to an alkaline level using nutritional input as the prime means of manipulation, and restores the pancreatic enzyme levels and functionality to normal levels.

For those who are interested in this shift in understanding about how cancer develops, I highly recommend in addition to the work of Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Burzynski and Gerson Media a book by a mainstream author who does not hail from the natural medicine crowd: T. N. Seyfried was a cancer researcher at Yale University and is a professor of biology at Boston College; he has more than 150 PubMed-indexed scientific research papers to his name. His new book is entitled Cancer as a Metabolic Disease and published by Wiley 2012, available on

About the Author

Howard Straus is the grandson and biographer of Dr. Max Gerson, MD, and the son of Charlotte Gerson. He is a 1964 graduate of MIT (Physics), founded the Gerson Healing Center in Sedona, Arizona, and founded Cancer Research Wellness Institute, a non-profit educational agency. He lectures around the world on the Gerson Therapy and often appears on radio and Internet interviews. His wife recovered from her third occurrence of cancer using the Gerson Therapy during their engagement and wedding 21 years ago.

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