DOCTORS AND NUTRITION

Doctors & Nutrition

Dr. Philip Binzel in Alive and Well asks:

Is there any hope that nutritional therapy will ever be accepted by the
medical profession? In my opinion, it is not a matter of “if”, it is only a
matter of “when.” As a patient of mine said to me several years ago,
“If doctors in this country don’t start going to nutrition, the patients are
going to stop going to the doctors.” The use of nutrition in the
prevention and treatment of disease will come from the ground up,
not from the top down. People are getting more nutritionally oriented
and are going to insist that their doctors do the same.

In regard to the treatment of cancer with nutritional therapy, before
this comes about, two things are going to have to happen:

  1. The medical profession is going to have to realize that they have
    been treating the wrong thing. They are going to have to realize that,
    as long as they continue to treat just the tumor alone, they are going
    to continue to get the same poor results that they have always had.
  2. The medical profession is going to have to accept the fact that the
    quality and quantity of life for the cancer patient obtained through
    nutritional therapy is far superior to anything available through our
    present modalities. In simpler terms, these people on nutritional
    therapy feel better and live longer.

I, most certainly, do not want to leave the impression that everything
about nutrition that can be known is now known. The very opposite is
true. We have only just begun to scratch the surface of our
understanding of the relationship between nutrition and disease. It is
my opinion that we must first understand the defense mechanisms of
the body. Why do these defense mechanisms respond so rapidly in
some situations and so slowly in others? What systems of the body
are involved in the defense mechanisms? In what order do they
respond? Once we have the answer to these questions we can then
determine what nutritional ingredients are necessary to keep those
systems of the body functioning normally.

The fact that we do not have the answers to the above-stated
questions does not mean, however, that we should not use the
information that we do have to its fullest extent. The pure medical
scientist will not use any form of treatment until he fully understands
why it works and how it works. The good practitioner, on the other
hand, will use any form of treatment that works, even if he does not
understand exactly why and how it works.

There are many examples of good practitioners in the annals of
medical history. Dr. Semmelweis, in 1860, insisted that all doctors
wash their hands before delivering a baby because, by so doing, it
eliminated “child bed fever.” He knew it worked, but he did not know
why or how it worked. He was removed from the hospital staff and
ostracized by the medical community. It was not until about the time
that Dr. Semmelweis died in 1865 that Dr. Lister discovered bacteria.
Dr. Lister was able to prove that Dr. Semmelweis was right and why
he was right. I doubt that Dr. Fleming in 1925 knew why he could
cure pneumonia by giving his patients moldy bread. He knew it
worked, but he did not know why or how it worked. It wasn’t until
some time later that he discovered a fungus in moldy bread that could
kill certain bacteria. This fungus eventually became known as
penicillin. Dr. Fleming was ridiculed by the medical profession for his
work. It would be another fifteen years before penicillin came into
use. By then, thousands of patients had died from pneumonia.

So it is with nutritional therapy in the treatment of cancer. I hope in
this book that I have been able to present sufficient evidence to show
that it works, even though at this time we do not know exactly why
and how it works.

After all is said and done, the true measurement of a good physician
is not necessarily how much he knows. It is, instead, how willing he is
to search for, find and then use whatever forms of treatment, which in
his opinion, will give his patients the very best chance to remain…
ALIVE AND WELL.

Tumor management and Nutritional therapy

Also from Dr. Philip Binzel’s last chapter of Alive and Well: One Doctor’s Experience with Nutrition in the Treatment of Cancer Patients (1994) :

Nutritional therapy treats the defense mechanism, not the tumor. I do not want anyone reading this book to think, “If I get cancer, I’ll go on a nutritional program, and my tumor will magically disappear.” No, it won’t. I am sure that there are still some of you who are concerned about “What are you going to do about the tumor?” There are only three times when I am concerned about the tumor:

1. If the tumor, because of its size or position, is interfering with some vital function, you have to deal with the tumor by whatever means are best available.

2. If the tumor, because of its size or position, is causing pain, you have to deal with the tumor by whatever means are available.

3. If the presence of the tumor presents a psychological problem for the patient, have it removed.

In general, if the tumor is easily accessible and if the patient wishes to do so, I like to have the tumor removed. Not all doctors doing nutritional therapy agree with that. I feel that by removing the tumor the body has one less thing with which to cope. If the tumor is remote, not causing any problem and the patient agrees, I leave the tumor alone. Again, I stress the fact that the tumor is merely a symptom, not a cause. If you take care of the body, the body will take care of the tumor. That doesn’t mean that the tumor will go away, but it is unlikely to cause a problem.

I am not opposed to the use of radiation. I am not opposed to the of chemotherapy. There are times when a small amount of radiation for a short period of time can relieve pain and/or be life-saving to a patient. There are times when a small amount of chemotherapy for a short period of time can do the same. It is not the use of these that I so vehemently oppose, it is their abuse. The theory used in this country is that, if a little does some good, a whole lot more will do a whole lot better. Patients are getting radiation and chemotherapy who
do not need it. Those who do need it are often getting far more than they need, thereby doing them much more harm than good.

The ultimate question is, “Does nutritional therapy work?” That depends on how you define “work.” If you are tumor oriented and are looking for something to make the tumor magically disappear, no, it doesn’t. If you are looking for something that will prevent the disease from spreading and save the life of the patient, yes, it does. I have not said anything about the cost of nutritional therapy. I have no way of knowing what other doctors charge for their services. I do know the cost to the patient for their vitamins, enzymes, and Laetrile. I do know that for my patients their total cost for one year, including my services, is about one-half the cost of one radiation treatment and about one-third the cost of one chemotherapy treatment.

“Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom”

Dr. Philip Binzel in the last chapter* of his book, Alive and Well: One Doctor’s Experience with Nutrition in the Treatment of Cancer Patients (1994) :

The most logical question for anyone to ask at this point is, “If nutritional therapy is as successful as you say, why isn’t every doctor in this country using it?”

Is there politics involved with cancer therapy? I have every reason to believe that there is.

Is money a factor? For some doctors it may be. There is a lot of money to be made in surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. …simply putting a patient on a good diet, giving them some vitamins, enzymes, etc. and checking on them from time to time does not produce much revenue.

More importantly, I am convinced that most doctors in this country are dedicated individuals. They will do anything that they think will help their patients. However, the problem with most of the doctors is that they are “tumor-oriented.” They have been trained to be “lump and bump” doctors with no concept of how nutrition relates to disease.

Here’s what I mean. When a patient is found to have a tumor, the only   thing the doctor discusses with that patient is what he intends to do about the tumor. If a patient with a tumor is receiving radiation or chemotherapy, the only question that is asked is, “How is the tumor doing?” No one ever asks how the patient is doing. In my medical training, I remember well seeing patients who were getting radiation and/or chemotherapy. The tumor would get smaller and smaller, but the patient would be getting sicker and sicker. At autopsy we would hear, “Isn’t that marvelous! The tumor is gone!” Yes, it was, but so was the patient. How many millions of times are we going to have to repeat these scenarios before we realize that we are treating the wrong thing?

In primary cancer, with only a few exceptions, the tumor is neither health-endangering nor life-threatening. I am going to repeat that statement. In primary cancer, with few exceptions, the tumor is neither health-endangering nor life-threatening. What is health-endangering and life-threatening is the spread of that disease through the rest of the body.

There is nothing in surgery that will prevent the spread of cancer. There is nothing in radiation that will prevent the spread of the disease. There is nothing in chemotherapy that will prevent the spread of the disease. How do we know? Just look at the statistics! There is a statistic known as “survival time.” Survival time is defined as that interval of time between when the diagnosis of cancer is first made in a given patient and when that patient dies from his disease. In the past fifty years, tremendous progress has been made in the early diagnosis of cancer. In that period of time, tremendous progress had been made in the surgical ability to remove tumors. Tremendous progress has been made in the use of radiation and chemotherapy in their ability to shrink or destroy tumors. But, the survival time of the cancer patient today is no greater than it was fifty years ago. What does this mean? It obviously means that we are treating the wrong thing! We are treating the symptom — the tumor, and we are doing absolutely nothing to prevent the spread of the disease. The only thing known to mankind today that will prevent the spread of cancer within the body is for that body’s own defense mechanisms to once again function normally. That’s what nutritional therapy does. It treats the defense mechanism, not the tumor.

The woman with a lump in her breast is not going to die from that lump. The man with a nodule in his prostate gland is not going to die from that nodule. What may kill both of those people is the spread of that disease through the rest of their bodies. They got their disease because of a breakdown of their defense mechanisms. The only thing that is going to prevent the spread of their disease is to correct the problem in those defense mechanisms. Doesn’t it seem logical then, that we should be a lot less concerned with “What are we going to do about the tumor?” and a lot more concerned about what we are going to do about their defense mechanisms?

After Surgery, Chemotherapy and/or Radiation, WHAT NEXT?

Dr. Philip Binzel, in his book, Alive and Well (1994), states:

There is nothing in surgery that will prevent the spread of cancer. There is nothing in radiation that will prevent the  spread of the disease. There is nothing in chemotherapy that will prevent the spread of the disease. How do we know? Just look at the statistics! There is a statistic known as “survival time.” Survival time is defined as that interval of time between when the diagnosis of cancer is first made in a given patient and when that patient dies from his disease. In the past fifty years, tremendous progress has been made in the early diagnosis of cancer. In that period of time, tremendous progress had been made in the surgical ability to remove tumors. Tremendous progress has been made in the use of radiation and chemotherapy in their ability to shrink or destroy tumors. But, the survival time of the cancer patient today is no greater than it was fifty years ago. What does this mean? It obviously means that we are treating the wrong thing! We are treating the symptom — the tumor, and we are doing absolutely nothing to prevent the spread of the disease. The only thing known to mankind today that will prevent the spread of cancer within the body is for that body’s own defense mechanisms to once again function normally. That’s what nutritional therapy does. It treats the defense mechanism, not the tumor. (page 69)

I am not opposed to the use of radiation. I am not opposed to the use of chemotherapy. There are times when a small amount of radiation for a short period of time can relieve pain and/or be life-saving to a patient. There are times when a small amount of chemotherapy for a short period of time can do the same. It is not the use of these that I so vehemently oppose, it is their abuse. The theory used in this country is that, if a little does some good, a whole lot more will do a whole lot better. Patients are getting radiation and chemotherapy who do not need it. Those who do need it are often getting far more than they need, thereby doing them much more harm than good. (page 71)

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Nutritional Cancer Therapy

Here, Dr. Philip Binzel recounts the influence of G. Edward Griffins and the Committee for Freedom of Choice in California, his shift from the comfortable and safe practice of traditional Family Medicine to the unconventional Nutritional Cancer Therapy which consequently got him embroiled in the politics of cancer (Alive and Well, Chapter One:  Case Dismissed)

Chapter Two: The Nutrition Connection

So, how did a Family Physician from a small town in Ohio ever get involved in a conflict with the FDA in the first place? If you read the Preface, you already know the answer. It was the fault of Mr. G. Edward Griffin.

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