The gerson therapy success rate: Five-year survival rates of melanoma patients treated by diet therapy after the manner of Gerson: a retrospective review
Five-year survival rates of melanoma patients treated by diet therapy after the manner of Gerson: a retrospective review
. 1995 Sep;1(4):29-37.
G L Hildenbrand
, L C Hildenbrand, K Bradford, S W Cavin
- 1 Gerson Research Organization, San Diego, Calif., USA.
G L Hildenbrand et al.
Altern Ther Health Med.
. 1995 Sep;1(4):29-37.
G L Hildenbrand
, L C Hildenbrand, K Bradford, S W Cavin
- 1 Gerson Research Organization, San Diego, Calif. , USA.
Compare 5-year melanoma survival rates to rates in medical literature.
Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico.
White adult patients (N = 153) with superficial spreading and nodular melanoma, aged 25-72 years.
Gerson’s diet therapy: lactovegetarian; low sodium, fat and (temporarily) protein; high potassium, fluid, and nutrients (hourly raw vegetable/fruit juices). Metabolism increased by thyroid; calorie supply limited to 2600-3200 calories per day. Coffee enemas as needed for pain and appetite.
Main outcome measure:
5-year survival rates by stage at admission.
Of 14 patients with stages I and II (localized) melanoma, 100% survived for 5 years, compared with 79% of 15,798 reported by Balch. Of 17 with stage IIIA (regionally metastasized) melanoma, 82% were alive at 5 years, in contrast to 39% of 103 from Fachklinik Hornheide. Of 33 with combined stages IIIA + IIIB (regionally metastasized) melanoma, 70% lived 5 years, compared with 41% of 134 from Fachklinik Hornheide. We propose a new stage division: IVA (distant lymph, skin, and subcutaneous tissue metastases), and IVB (visceral metastases). Of 18 with stage IVA melanoma, 39% were alive at 5 years, compared with only 6% of 194 from the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group. Survival impact was not assessed for stage IVB. Male and female survival rates were identical for stages I-IIIB, but stage IVA women had a strong survival advantage.
The 5-year survival rates reported here are considerably higher than those reported elsewhere. Stage IIIA/B males had exceptionally high survival rates compared with those reported by other centers.
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Malignant melanoma in Turkey: a single institution’s experience on 475 cases.
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Gerson therapy | Complementary and alternative therapy
Gerson therapy involves a specific organic vegetarian diet with nutritional supplements and enemas. There is no scientific evidence to use it as a treatment for cancer.
- Gerson therapy uses a specific organic vegetarian diet, nutritional supplements and enemas to treat cancer
- There is no scientific evidence that it can treat cancer or its symptoms
- Gerson therapy can have severe side effects
What is Gerson therapy?
A German doctor called Max Gerson developed Gerson therapy in the 1920s and 30s. He claimed that it helped cure his migraine headaches. So, he went on to use it to treat other diseases such as tuberculosis and cancer.
You might also hear Gerson therapy called the:
- Gerson diet
- Gerson regimen
- Gerson method
Followers believe that changes to diet and nutrient intake can help to treat cancer. They also think that cancer is a symptom of disease of the whole body.
It aims to rid the body of toxins and strengthen the body’s immune system. This way supporters say it can bring the body back to its normal metabolic state, and the body can heal itself.
The Gerson regime has 3 main parts:
- a strict organic vegetarian diet made up of fruit and vegetables high in potassium and low in sodium
- vitamin and mineral supplements, and specific enzymes
- coffee or castor oil enemas
Gerson therapists believe that people with cancer have too much salt (sodium) in their bodies. This is compared to the amount of potassium.
People following the therapy only eat organic, vegetarian food. This includes up to 13 glasses of fresh juices a day. It is believed that by doing so, it will restore the right balance. And that it will cleanse the liver.
Up to 5 coffee enemas a day are also given. It is believed that coffee enemas further help to excrete toxins from the liver and colon. And that taking certain supplements and enzymes help the body to get rid of cancer cells.
Scientific research does not support any of these claims.
Why people with cancer use it
They hope it will control or cure their cancer
Your doctor may have told you that conventional treatments cannot cure your cancer. This can be tough to accept.
In this situation, many people look for alternative therapies, including diets such as Gerson. But there is no scientific evidence that the Gerson diet works. It may cause serious health problems and make you feel worse.
The Gerson Research Organisation published a study in 1995. It looked at people with melanoma skin cancer who were doing the Gerson regime. It found that people on the diet had higher survival rates. This was when compared to rates that were published in other scientific studies.
But a review study in 2014 found that the 1995 research was not accurate. It also did not use a single classification of tumour staging. Tumour staging means the size of a cancer and how far it has spread. The researchers said that they couldn’t say whether the Gerson regime worked.
Gerson therapy is popular with many people who have advanced cancer. But we need more scientific research before it can be used as a treatment for cancer.
Diet may play an essential role in helping to prevent cancer. But there is no current evidence to say that drastic diet changes will kill cancer cells.
Talk to your doctor before making any decisions about following an alternative diet.
To feel more in control
Some people use alternative or complementary therapy to feel more in control of their cancer and its treatment.
To boost the immune system
Some people believe that Gerson therapy boosts their immune system. By doing so, it helps to fight their cancer.
There is no scientific evidence to prove this, partly because of lack of research. We, need more research to have proof. Only then can we say with certainty that Gerson therapy affects the immune system.
How you have it
The Gerson diet is a strict low salt, organic fruit and vegetable diet.
Each day you will need to:
- drink 20 pounds (about 9 kilos) of crushed fruit and vegetables (one glass of juice hourly, 13 times each day)
- have up to 5 coffee enemas and perhaps also castor oil enemas
- take potassium and other supplements, including vitamin B12, pancreatic enzymes and thyroid supplements
You can have Gerson therapy by staying in a clinic, or you can do it yourself at home.
The Gerson Institute refers people to clinics licensed by them. Their most popular one is in Mexico and there is also one in Hungary.
Gerson therapists advertise their clinics as very safe, relaxing and caring. But it is worth finding out if they have the medical facilities needed if any emergencies arise.
People who go to these clinics sometimes say that they feel better psychologically. These places might be very relaxing and caring places to be. But the possible side effects of Gerson therapy are a cause of concern.
You might stay at the clinic for a couple of weeks and then go home to continue the treatment. Or you can order a home therapy deal on the internet.
Treatment can continue for a few months to a few years. Having this therapy at home takes a great deal of time, energy and commitment. It can be almost a full-time job.
In some situations, the Gerson diet can cause severe side effects. Some are potentially harmful. Speak to your doctor first if you are thinking of using the Gerson diet.
Coffee enemas remove a lot of potassium from your body and have been known to cause:
- salt and other mineral imbalances in the body
- heart and lung problems, even death
- constipation and inflammation of the bowel (colitis) from regular, long term use of enemas which can weaken the bowel muscle
Other reported side effects include:
- loss of appetite
- diarrhoea and sickness
- abdominal cramps
- aching, fever and sweating
- cold sores
- dizziness and weakness
Research into Gerson therapy for cancer
There is no evidence to prove that Gerson therapy works as a cure for cancer. We need more research to compare it with accepted and proven treatments within properly organised clinical trials.
The National Cancer Institute in the USA did a review in 2010. They found no evidence that it helped people with cancer.
Researchers in the UK did a study of 6 patients in 2007. They found that this type of therapy seemed to help people feel better emotionally. It also reduced their need for painkillers. But this number of patients is very small, so these findings are not reliable. The researchers suggested that a clinical trial is necessary. This way it will be possible to see if Gerson therapy works as a cancer treatment.
A review study in 2014 looked at 13 different cancer diets. The researchers looked at all the previous research on Gerson therapy. They found that none of the previous reports on Gerson therapy proved that it was effective.
A study looked at the 5-year survival rate of 153 cancer patients. They found that there were higher survival rates in patients with melanoma, ovarian and colorectal cancer, who were undergoing Gerson therapy. This was compared to patients having other therapies. However, this study was done by the Gerson Research Organisation. The method they used is not reliable and flawed. A further review found the evidence and study unreliable.
It is difficult to be sure if there is any benefit in using Gerson therapy from the research so far.
This is because:
- record keeping during studies has been quite poor
- it is a complex therapy that can go on over months or years
- we can’t know what other factors might or might not affect the outcome during this time, including the environment or other treatments and diets
- some promoters give only anecdotal evidence, meaning that they use an example of an occasional person getting better as evidence
How much it costs
Gerson therapy can be costly. Do consider the ongoing cost of the treatment before you start.
You will need to buy special equipment if you are thinking of having Gerson therapy at home. Buying organic fruit, vegetables, coffee and supplements will also be an ongoing cost.
You will have to pay for flights and accommodation if you are going to a special clinic in another country. This will be on top of the treatment. Depending on the treatments involved, the cost can be thousands of pounds.
A word of caution
Some elements of the Gerson diet are healthy. For example, eating low fat food and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
But it is not healthy if you are eating vast quantities of one food group in a certain way (juicing) without balancing it with other food groups. It can be harmful to people who are already weak and ill. There are also many possible side effects some of which can be severe.
Most Gerson therapists encourage people not to have chemotherapy while having their therapy. This is because they believe that chemotherapy damages immunity. They say that radiotherapy is more compatible with Gerson treatment.
It is up to you to decide whether you want to use any alternative therapy. Stopping your conventional cancer treatments and methods of symptom control can be harmful.
Talk to your specialist about any alternative or complementary therapies that you want to try. Find out all you can about the therapy before deciding to use it.
Many websites are advertising or promoting Gerson therapy. But reputable scientific cancer organisations do not support them. Do not believe information or pay for alternative cancer therapy over the internet.
Oncology (Williston Park). February, 2010. Vol 24, (2):201.
Surviving Against All Odds: Analysis of 6 Case Studies of Patients With Cancer Who Followed the Gerson Therapy
A Molassiotis and others
Integrative Cancer Therapies, March, 2007. Vol 6, (1), 80-88.
Counseling patients on cancer diets: a review of the literature and recommendations for clinical practice.
J Huebner and others
Anticancer Research. 2014 January; 34(1):39-48.
The information on this page is based on literature searches and specialist checking. We used many references and there are too many to list here. If you need additional references for this information please contact [email protected] with details of the particular issue you are interested in.
11 Oct 2022
Next review due:
11 Oct 2025
Gerson Cancer Therapy: Advantages and Disadvantages | Health
90% of cancers are caused by external circumstances, unhealthy diet and unhealthy lifestyle. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help prevent cancer.
This therapy was developed by Max Gerson (1881-1959) over seventy years ago. Dr. Gerson has treated hundreds of cancer patients with great success, he claims. All of his discoveries and recommendations are collected in the book A Cancer Therahy: Results of Fifty Case (1958). The Gerson Therapy is based on the method of restoring a diseased body by providing cells with essential nutrients.
A large percentage of the nutrients come from fresh fruit, vegetable and raw juices, as well as from cooked foods. The foods recommended for this diet should be organic to maximize the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Gerson claimed that lack of oxygen in the blood is responsible for causing cancer , and nutrition should be aimed at oxygenating the blood and, as a result, cells.
When Gerson first introduced the world to his insight about the influence of diet on the occurrence and progression of cancer, no one attached any importance to this, but today we know that 90% of cancers are due to external circumstances, unhealthy diet and unhealthy lifestyle, and that with a diet filled with vegetables and fruits, cancer can be prevented .
Gerson did not have these data, but he turned out to be a visionary and used the tools given by nature to treat cancer patients who were abandoned by official medicine. At 19In 1958, he was the first to suggest that cancer is influenced by the sum of many different, unrelated factors. Gerson highlighted some of them.
Now the scientific community has accepted this concept, but then he was rebuffed by his medical colleagues. The list started by Gerson is replenished, every day more and more new substances with carcinogenic potential are discovered.
IMPORTANT! Gerson Therapy is focused on stimulating the metabolism and immune system, eliminating toxins, improving the cleansing function of the liver and kidneys. It is aimed at restoring the work of all organs and debugging the physiology of the patient.
Gerson claimed that his method has a beneficial effect on the treatment of any pathology and is much more effective than chemotherapy.
How did it all start?
Starting his medical career, Gerson suffered from migraine attacks that lasted for several days and unsettled him. None of his colleagues could offer him effective treatment. Then Gerson took up the study of the connection between his illness and nutrition and was convinced that this connection exists.
At first he tried to eat exclusively dairy products, but the migraines did not go away, but when he started eating raw and baked apples, the migraines went away.
From that moment he began to introduce new products and trace their effect on headaches. If Gerson experienced discomfort from the product, then twenty minutes later he began to have a migraine.
Having cured himself through nutrition, he began to observe the response of patients to a change in diet and discovered that Nutrition based on fruits and vegetables can treat almost any disease .
Gerson Therapy Basics
- Offers a diet program low in fat and salt and enriched with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Meat and dairy products are prohibited in the first weeks of treatment, and subsequently allowed, but in minimal quantities.
- Recommends consumption of thirteen glasses of fresh vegetable juice per day, that is, a glass of juice every hour. Juices should be of three types: apple + carrot, orange; vegetable juice from lettuce, chard, beetroot, watercress, Lombard cabbage, chicory and curly lettuce + apple.
- Includes a large number of organically grown fruits and vegetables.
- Prefers the consumption of raw foods.
- Introduces daily consumption of creamy vegetable soups without salt, like the famous Hippocrates soup created by Max Gerson.
For a deep cleansing of the body, the Gerson Therapy offers daily coffee enemas. Enemas are used to remove harmful products accumulated in the body and to detoxify the body. Caffeine given rectally, according to Gerson, stimulates the liver, increases bile flow, and opens up the bile ducts so that the liver can easily remove waste. Coffee enemas serve both to prevent and treat cancer and to relieve pain caused by tumors.
According to Gerson, these enemas are most effective for the treatment of so-called aggressive tumors: cancer of the ovaries, lung, and melanoma and lymphoma .
In addition to coffee enemas, Dr. Max Gerson offers certain nutritional supplements: thyroid extract, potassium iodide, porcine liver extract, vitamin B12, pancreatic enzymes, and vitamin B3.
How to make coffee enemas?
To make a coffee enema, you need to buy an enema (Esmarch mug) in a pharmacy, prepare filtered water and buy organic unroasted coffee.
Preparing. Boil one liter of filtered or mineral water. Add three tablespoons of ground coffee and boil for three minutes; then leave on low heat for fifteen minutes. Cool to body temperature (37 ° C), filter through gauze and pour into a syringe.
How to use? Lie on the floor with a towel or mattress. Through online stores, you can get a special trestle bed for enemas. You need to lie down on your right side in the fetal position, after hanging the enema to a height of 50 cm. You can hang it on the door latch. Then you need to insert the tip into the anus, open the tap and let the fluid freely enter inside. It is ideal to keep the liquid inside for twelve minutes.
Foods PROHIBITED from Gerson Therapy: alcohol, avocados, berries, dairy products, sugar, sweets, ice cream, carbonated and sweetened drinks, cucumbers, wheat, fish, eggs, mushrooms, coffee, tea, vegetable oil, pineapple, spices (black pepper and sweet pepper), soy, meat, water from under the tap, fats and dry fruits.
Disadvantages of Gerson therapy
- Following the proposed regimen requires the patient and his attendant great effort and full dedication: preparing juices, enemas, food, looking for fresh food, etc.
- Supplements are difficult to obtain and of dubious quality.
- Coffee enemas are not easy for all patients. And some studies have shown that coffee enemas are not always reliable and can even lead to the death of patients.
Benefits of Gerson Therapy
IMPORTANT! The Gerson Therapy is a diet rich in organic vegetables and fruits with a preference for raw foods. Provides vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients with anti-cancer properties.
The regimen I maintained has a lot in common with the Gerson Therapy, as you’ve probably already seen, but I stopped supplementing.
Gerson therapy today. Clinical Data
Max Gerson’s daughter, Charlotte Gerson, has now analyzed and expanded on his legacy so that updated information on this method can be found in her book The Gerson Therapy: A Nutrition Program to Save a Life.
American National Cancer Institute qualifies the Gerson method as unscientific .
It cannot be said that there are many scientific studies studying this therapy. I found only one paper that compares the survival of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer who received a standard course of chemotherapy and patients who refused it, preferring Gerson therapy. The survival rate of the first group was three times higher than the one that followed only the Gerson therapy.
When comparing the results of combined treatment ( surgery plus Gerson therapy ) and treatment with surgery alone, it turned out that the first group had a significantly higher survival rate and quality of life. A small study of six cases shows that patients who take Gerson’s therapy have a better survival rate than those who take standard treatment.
The survival results presented by the Gerson Clinic are very impressive, but when analyzed, it becomes clear that the studies are poorly designed and the data obtained are insufficient. If the studies had not been so sloppy, and the data had been obtained according to all the rules, then most likely the results would have been different.
In my opinion, the Gerson diet can be beneficial for cancer patients when standard treatment is combined with diet therapy. Of course, one cannot abandon conventional therapy and follow exclusively the Gerson therapy with coffee enemas and supplements. I think that this is not the best choice.published econet.ru
HEALING BREAST CANCER WITHOUT CHEMOTHERAPY. THE STORY OF KELLY BENKOSKI.
In January 2012, Kelly Benkoski was diagnosed with triple negative invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast (invasive ductal carcinoma). Surgery to remove the tumor was scheduled for January 30th. Since Kelly knew nothing about cancer, she agreed to the therapy suggested by her oncologist – aggressive follow-up chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
2 days before the left lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy, Kelly and her husband came across the movie Forks and Knives and watched it. This documentary completely turned their minds and, as a result, their whole lives. The film is about healthy eating and lifestyle. From this film, Kelly and her husband learned about Dr. John McDougall, and for the first time heard the story of the healing of Ruth Heydrich, whom he helped to recover from stage 4 breast cancer with an anti-cancer diet and exercise.
The next day, Kelly’s husband wrote to Dr. MacDougall and received a reply from him the same day. Correspondence ensued in which Dr. McDougall advised not to rush conventional therapy ( chemotherapy, radiotherapy ) after surgery and sent them medical articles and scientific studies that were intended to help the couple make an informed decision about future treatment.
Neither Kelly nor her husband Sean had ever heard of diet and exercise related to breast cancer . Moreover, when Kelly asked her surgeon why she needed aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy , the surgeon told her, “We don’t know what causes cancer, and we can’t say if you will relapse in the future.” Oncologist Kelly confirmed the words of the surgeon. And when asked if she should review her diet during treatment, she replied: “You can eat absolutely anything you want.” The oncologist also added that Kelly should see a cardiologist for an echocardiogram to make sure her heart can handle chemotherapy and medication.
After the operation, Kelly and her husband thought for a long time and finally decided to forego chemotherapy and radiation, and instead attend Dr. McDougall’s 10-day program, becoming his patient . In those 10 days, Kelly’s cholesterol dropped 23 points, her glucose improved, and she lost 2kg without feeling hungry. Kelly’s overall health improved and she was able to do more exercise.
Eighteen months after starting Dr. McDougall’s program and walking for 30 minutes a day, Kelly’s tests showed that she no longer had cancer, her cholesterol level dropped another 27 points, she lost 15 kg (she was overweight). She felt healthier, more energetic and stronger.
Kelly’s husband Sean supports his wife in everything, he also now eats only plant foods, does not eat animal proteins and does not use any vegetable or animal oils. Sean also lost 15 kg, looks and feels great, he no longer needs allergy medication, his joints have stopped hurting, he no longer takes the medication he could not live without.
Kelly is grateful for the movie Forks and Knives, Dr. McDougall, and the cancer diagnosis she once received. The diagnosis turned out to be a blessing in disguise that completely changed her life – she gained new health, changed her lifestyle, gained new knowledge and amazing acquaintances, and began to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Anti-Cancer Diet – Eating only whole plant foods can cure many diseases. The anti-cancer diet is the basis of the treatment of any kind of cancer, 50% of success, the foundation without which any treatment will not have long-term results.
The story of Ruth Hendrik , which became an example for Kelly, is proof of this, read it if you have breast cancer and see how boldly people live, how boldly they are healed contrary to public opinion by alternative methods. At one time, her story made a lot of noise and was written about in many newspapers.