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.
Pregnancy and early-stage melanoma.
Daryanani D, Plukker JT, De Hullu JA, Kuiper H, Nap RE, Hoekstra HJ.
Daryanani D, et al.
Cancer. 2003 May 1;97(9):2248-53. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11321.
Malignant melanoma in Turkey: a single institution’s experience on 475 cases.
Tas F, Kurul S, Camlica H, Topuz E.
Tas F, et al.
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2006 Dec;36(12):794-9. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyl114. Epub 2006 Oct 23.
Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2006.
Follow-up recommendations for patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer Stages I-III malignant melanoma.
Poo-Hwu WJ, Ariyan S, Lamb L, Papac R, Zelterman D, Hu GL, Brown J, Fischer D, Bolognia J, Buzaid AC.
Poo-Hwu WJ, et al.
Cancer. 1999 Dec 1;86(11):2252-8.
Survival rates of sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma with the new AJCC staging system.
Lee CH, Hur DG, Roh HJ, Rha KS, Jin HR, Rhee CS, Min YG.
Lee CH, et al.
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Feb;133(2):131-4. doi: 10.1001/archotol.133.2.131.
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007.
Analysis of radiation therapy for the control of Merkel cell carcinoma of the head and neck based on 36 cases and a literature review.
Lawenda BD, Arnold MG, Tokarz VA, Silverstein JR, Busse PM, McIntyre JF, Deschler DG, Baldini EH, Kachnic LA.
Lawenda BD, et al.
Ear Nose Throat J. 2008 Nov;87(11):634-43.
Ear Nose Throat J. 2008.
See all similar articles
Incidence and Survival Rates of Cutaneous Melanoma in South Korea Using Nationwide Health Insurance Claims Data.
Kim T, Yoon S, Shin DE, Lee SC, Oh J, Lee SY, Kim DK, Kim S, Jung B, Kim M, Lee S.
Kim T, et al.
Cancer Res Treat. 2022 Jul;54(3):937-949. doi: 10.4143/crt.2021. 871. Epub 2021 Sep 30.
Cancer Res Treat. 2022.
Free PMC article.
Melanoma and brown seaweed: an integrative hypothesis.
Teas J, Irhimeh MR.
Teas J, et al.
J Appl Phycol. 2017;29(2):941-948. doi: 10.1007/s10811-016-0979-0. Epub 2016 Oct 11.
J Appl Phycol. 2017.
Free PMC article.
Living proof and the pseudoscience of alternative cancer treatments.
Vickers AJ, Cassileth BR.
Vickers AJ, et al.
J Soc Integr Oncol. 2008 Winter;6(1):37-40.
J Soc Integr Oncol. 2008.
Free PMC article.
Nutrition and cancer: a review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet.
Nutr J. 2004 Oct 20;3:19. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-3-19.
Nutr J. 2004.
Free PMC article.
Complementary or alternative? Stronger vs weaker integration policies.
Am J Public Health. 2002 Oct;92(10):1579-81. doi: 10.2105/ajph.92.10.1579.
Am J Public Health. 2002.
Free PMC article.
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
Detox: what is hidden from us
Before you start your post-Christmas detox, read our article. It is possible that it will save you not only time and money, but also health.
Author – Scott Gavura.
January 2, 2022.
Happy New Year everyone! In today’s post, we update old – but no less valuable materials.
The year 2022 has arrived. This is the third year of the pandemic, and you finally decided to take care of your health. Great idea.
Have you decided to “clean” the body and get rid of last year’s habits and food sins? Some even think that we need a detox after being vaccinated against the coronavirus. Supplements, tea, homeopathy, coffee enemas, ear candles, and foot baths all promise to improve your health. On Amazon, in the Supplements and Books sections, there are even entire categories of Detox and Body Cleansing. The descriptions promise that detox will allow you to get a healthier and “cleaner” body. Goop publishes detox recommendations every year (anyone want a $58 lip balm?). In recent years, senatorial candidate Dr. Oz has already approved several detox plans, although today it will take some work to find them. Surely your local naturopath will offer you detox protocols with vitamin drops and chelation products, and in the local pharmacy there will be a shelf with the appropriate name. Will wanting to clear 2021 be a good way to start the new year? Before we shop, let’s take a look at what detox product manufacturers prefer not to reveal.
Detox is a scam
“Detoxification” is a medical term that was taken as the basis for creating a marketing strategy and which is intended to treat a non-existent disease. In real medicine, “detoxification” means the treatment of dangerous severe poisonings with drugs, alcohol, poisons, heavy metals. Detoxification is a medical procedure and cannot be randomly selected from other options in alternative medicine or carried out by buying some jar in a pharmacy. True detoxification is done in the hospital when life-threatening conditions arise. This implies the presence of toxins that alternative medicine manufacturers claim their products manage to eliminate. Their kind of detox is just a speculation on the real term and an attempt to justify the use of useless products and services, which misleads consumers and makes them think that these claims are based on scientific evidence.
One of the most common beliefs about detox is that it helps cleanse the internal organs. Marketing promotes the idea that your liver and kidneys work as some kind of filters that physically capture and retain toxins. Marketers impose the idea that these organs need to be “washed” periodically, like a sponge or an air filter in a car. However, life, the liver and kidneys are arranged differently. In the liver, a series of chemical reactions occur due to enzymes that transform toxic substances into substances that are excreted through bile or kidneys. The liver cleans itself and functions normally. Usually, if you do not have liver disease, toxins do not accumulate in the liver. The kidneys excrete waste products in the urine; otherwise, the substances remain in the blood. The statement that any organ needs to be cleansed only shows a lack of understanding of biochemistry. Your organs can handle it without supplements, smoothies, or fad diets. Just leave them alone.
But what about toxins?
There’s a reason why detox marketing can work—it feels like we’ve been programmed to believe we need it. It is possible that this is due to the general human susceptibility and belief in sympathetic magic. Purification rituals have existed since the earliest periods of known human history. The idea that we poison ourselves in some way and therefore need purification seems to be an integral part of human nature, which partly explains why it is still present in most of the world’s religions. However, it is not miasms or sins that concern us today. With the accumulation of knowledge in the field of biology, the fear of “autointoxication” began to manifest itself, which was required to be treated with the help of tonics and laxatives. The theory was: flush the intestines and you will cure any disease. Science abandoned the idea of autointoxication by 1900s, when humanity deepened knowledge in anatomy, physiology and the true causes of the origin of the disease. However, the term is still used today as a marketing slogan. Today’s version of autointoxication is that our environment is extremely toxic, which is why we get sick. Man-made chemicals are indeed present in the environment, and the rationale logically develops the idea that their use must cause disease. Depending on who you ask, you will get a variety of answers to the question of what causes the body to accumulate toxins. Among them will be various combinations of nutritional supplements, salt, meat, fluoride, prescribed drugs, smog, vaccine ingredients, GMOs, no “clean eating” or no Paleo diet. So what are “toxins” and how do they imperceptibly harm the body? Detox kits and products never name the toxins they remove because scientists have proven they don’t.
The alkalinity of the body is also a scam
The idea that we need to control and regulate the acidity of the body is constantly promoted by representatives of alternative medicine. This very tenacious belief says that everything that increases the acidity of the body is bad, and everything that is neutral and alkaline is good. But all this is nonsense, aimed at confusing you in the basic concepts of biochemistry. The pH scale is a measure of the acidity of a liquid. pH 7 is a neutral indicator. Anything lower is considered acidic, and anything higher is considered “basic” or alkaline. The pH value is a logarithmic scale, i.e. 1 pH difference is 10 times the difference.
The pH level of the blood is 7.4, which means that this indicator is either neutral or slightly alkaline. Enzymes that facilitate chemical reactions in cells work only in a narrow pH range. Any major change almost certainly means certain death. A number of buffers and compensatory mechanisms ensure the safety of the pH level in the blood and try to keep deviations within 7.4. Since blood constantly circulates throughout the body, it can compensate for any pH changes in any of the organs (for example, in the muscles during intense exercise). The most common acid in our body is carbon dioxide (CO₂), which is a product of cellular activity. The blood carries CO₂ and removes it from the lungs. The lungs, in turn, play a major role in removing acid from the body.
Everything we eat is broken down by stomach acid. The pH level of our stomach is 3 and it is a very acidic environment. This is due to the production of hydrochloric acid. Everything that is thrown into the intestines from the stomach is immediately neutralized by digestive fluids and enzymes. As a result, everything we eat or drink will have the pH of our gut. Nothing eaten or drunk will affect the pH of the food by reaching the intestines and subsequently dissolving. Therefore, claims that acidity is the root of disease without any justification, speaks of a poor understanding of the basics of physiology and biochemistry. If they promise that a detox will restore your acid-base balance or add “alkalinity” to you, then this is a sure sign of a scam.
What about coffee? No, this coffee is not drunk
Coffee enema – almost like tea, but completely different.
For most people, coffee consumption is safe and even beneficial. Be that as it may, there is a fairly common belief in alternative medicine that the true benefits of coffee appear when it is administered rectally. Despite their wild popularity, coffee enemas are considered unsafe, and doctors recommend avoiding them. They sometimes have serious side effects such as septicemia (bacteria in the bloodstream), rectal perforation, and electrolyte imbalances. Deaths have been reported as a result of the use of coffee enemas.
Coffee enemas were born from the Gerson Therapy for Cancer Treatment, which was developed by physician Max Gerson in the 1940s. His prescriptions included coffee enemas, nutritional supplements, juice, and calf liver injections. Studies were conducted on this technique, and in the end it was found to be useless in the treatment of cancer. Some advocates of coffee enemas believe that the chemicals in coffee stimulate liver and gallbladder function. There is no reliable evidence of this or the need for such manipulations.
There are no quick fixes
There’s a reason we all fall for detox marketing tricks – there’s a belief in our firmware that we need it. Purification rituals are described from the earliest periods of known history. Apparently, it is in human nature to think that we somehow poison ourselves and therefore we need purification. The popular idea of detoxing and cleansing the body has no foundation. There is no published data to state that treatment through detox, kits, or rituals in any way affects a person’s ability to effectively eliminate waste products. “Detox” focuses on minor issues, giving the impression that you can correct the effects of long-term habits through quick fixes. Herbal tea, homeopathic solution or coffee enema has not been proven to have a positive effect on health. But bad habits such as an unbalanced diet, lack of exercise, smoking, lack of sleep, alcohol or drug use cannot simply be washed away or scrubbed away. Our kidneys and liver do not need detoxification. If someone promises to detox or cleanse your body, remember that they are trying to sell you a marketing fiction from a non-existent disease.
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 – an aggressive follow-up chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
2 days before having a 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. McDougall 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 breast cancer being related to diet and exercise . Moreover, when Kelly asked her surgeon why she needed aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy , the surgeon told her, “We don’t know why 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 products, 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 – A diet of whole foods, plant-based 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.