cancer development

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

cancer development

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1,658,370 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2015. In their Cancer Facts & Figures Report for 2015, “about 589,430 Americans are expected to die of cancer, or about 1,620 people per day.” Cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths, making it the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease.

So, how did this disease become the number two killer in the US? To help shed some light on how cancer and other chronic diseases develop in the body, we will be publishing a four part series covering Howard Straus’ incredibly enlightening lecture that was originally delivered at the Cancer Control Society in Japan in July 2009.

Get started here with part one…


The Gerson Therapy is a holistic, nutrition-based detoxifying therapy for chronic, degenerative diseases with an over 80-year track record of success with ailments as different as migraine and advanced melanoma, Fibromyalgia and tuberculosis, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Developed in the early part of the 20th century by Dr. Max Gerson in response to his excruciating and debilitating migraines, he found that it also reversed first skin tuberculosis, then other types of tuberculosis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and eventually cancers of many different types. He did not approach this problem from a theoretical basis; instead, the treatment evolved empirically from his clinical experience and experimentation. The theory followed from both successes and failures; that which worked was retained, that which failed was analyzed, explained and discarded as an element of the therapy.

The Gerson Therapy is based on Gerson’s observations and deduction that chronic disease is caused by two major factors: nutritional deficiency and toxicity, and that when these underlying causes are remedied, the body’s own powerful immune system can repair virtually any ailment, often with startling speed. There is no need to “stimulate” the immune system, as many immune therapies today attempt to do; the immune system is designed and optimized to repair any dysfunction on its own. The reason that diseases manifest is not due to the immune system “ignoring” a threat, it is much more due to the immune system lacking the wherewithal to combat the disease, much as a splendidly trained army is not much use against an attacker if the troops do not have the proper armament, ammunition, food, shelter and clothing. Once the proper support is supplied to the immune system, it awakens and acts with awesome speed and power. Stimulating immune system response without providing it with the energy and fuel to respond can be likened to beating a nearly-dead horse: some temporary results may be observed, but they will use the very last of the body’s reserves, with catastrophic results.

The basic elements of the Gerson Therapy, in very simplified form, are:

Flooding the body with high-quality, complete nutrients to replenish the nutritional deficiencies of a lifetime.

Detoxifying the body from decades of toxic abuse, and continuing to detoxify the body as it ejects the byproducts of healing and the inescapable toxins to which we are all exposed supplementing the foods and juices with vitamins, minerals and enzymes to restore the body’s natural biological and chemical balance. All supplements are substances that are normally found in a healthy body.

The Gerson Therapy is a carefully thought-through and integrated medical system, and should not be used piecemeal, as elimination or isolated use of any one of the elements can actually be dangerous to the patient. The Therapy is rigorous, demanding of dedication and hard physical work (preferably by someone other than the patient) seven days a week for its nearly two-year duration. However, when used correctly and consistently, this therapy has produced excellent results for over 80 years.

A report in Alternative Therapies in September, 1995 was a retrospective analysis of all available data on Gerson melanoma results, and showed a great advantage over conventional approaches in five-year survival, with the greatest advantage being in the later stages of the disease.


In a lecture in Tokyo in 2009, we spoke about the importance of proper pH (acidity) in the blood stream, and how it powerfully affects the transport of oxygen by the blood, with an improper pH (too acid) providing the ideal conditions for generation of cancer. In the past year, we have developed our understanding of the influence of pH considerably, and present that below.

In 2010, Nicholas Gonzalez, MD, Ph.D. and his partner, Linda Isaacs, MD published The Trophoblast and the Origins of Cancer. When we read this volume, it stimulated many questions and led to a spirited and highly illuminating discussion with Dr. Gonzalez.

Clearly, since the Gerson Therapy has been producing excellent results with chronic and degenerative diseases over the past eight decades, its practitioners’ understanding and explanation of the causes of cancer and other ailments must have some basis in reality. Unlike the highly manipulated data of chemotherapy manufacturers, the Gerson Therapy has always produced long-term recoveries from “terminal” cancer measured in decades, not weeks or months. But there is always room for improvement. It was clear that Trophoblast had the seeds of a fuller understanding of the origins of cancer, and of chronic disease in general, based in part on the brilliant work of John Beard, a late 19th and early 20th century researcher and professor of comparative embryology at the University of Edinburgh, who was later nominated for the Nobel Prize. Active and Passive Immune Systems

Our body has numerous defenses against attacks by pathogens of all kinds. Some of these defenses are active, some passive. The difference is analogous to a high stone wall or a castle moat, as opposed to a troop of soldiers. Neither is absolute proof against attack, but the defenders’ effectiveness is magnified many-fold by the presence of powerful defensive fortifications. In the case of our own immune system, the active immune systems consist of miniscule warriors, such as white blood cells, that can seek out and destroy threats to the body. Similarly to an army, active systems must be constantly maintained by a logistics train, typically an expensive exercise. A passive system, however, such as a high and thick stone wall, once constructed, requires minimal maintenance and care, and acts to discourage any potential attacker, while offering the active force a powerful strong point in any conflict.

We should like to concentrate here on the passive systems that are the legacy of our genetic code.

Nature always favors efficiency in any system. Immunity is no exception: Nature gave us highly efficient passive immune systems, with active immune systems to supplement them.

One of the most important factors in our passive defensive system is the maintenance of a proper level of alkalinity. We shall discuss below the ramifications of letting this factor slip out of balance, since several of the other systems depend entirely on the proper pH of the body’s environment.

Every cell in our body depends on a steady and plentiful supply of oxygen for its very survival. This supply is vital to the survival of every cell in every structure of our bodies. We shall show that adequate and properly distributed oxygen supply is dependent on a proper, slightly alkaline blood pH.

Proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes, produced by the pancreas, suffuse our body fluids and structures, and act as an important element of our immune system, regulating the growth and development of replacement cells in every one of our physiological structures. The adequate supply and overall distribution of these enzymes is critical to maintaining the orderly function of repair and replacement of our cells, and the removal of cells which have reached the end of their useful existence, or have met their demise by injury, disease, or pathogen. Proteolytic enzymes require an alkaline environment (pH > 7.0) to function, and are neutralized, or deactivated by an acidic environment (pH < 7.0).

Every cell in our bodies, with a few notable exceptions, is replaced about every 18 months, some considerably faster, others slower. When cells die after their normal lifespan, a process is triggered that generates a replacement cell on an almost precisely one-to-one basis. This means that we are constantly being repaired, replaced and tiny portions of us removed and disposed of, so that the average age of all the cells in our bodies is approximately nine months. Since our cells are constantly being replaced, any chronic disease that lasts more than eighteen months is the result of something we are doing to keep that disease in our bodies. Failing that, the complete replacement of any structure would dispose of and replace the sick tissue with new, healthy cells in 18 months or less.

Putting the above notions together yields an extraordinary opportunity for healing.

Continue reading…
Part Two
Part Three

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