Life Extension Magazine

Life Extension Magazine April 2010

As We See It

So Many Needless Cancer Deaths

By William Faloon

William Faloon 
William Faloon

One of today’s great misconceptions is how people die. Most believe disease to be the leading cause. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So Many Needless Cancer Deaths

Statisticians tabulate diseases that humans die from. Missing from the data is what enabled these illnesses to progress to the point of claiming the victim’s life.

Medical ignorance is the number one reason people die. This “knowledge deficit” is not limited to Western countries. By looking at the absurd ways people die in third world countries, you will understand the lethal consequences of medical ignorance.

In parts of Africa, for example, AIDS is not considered to be a viral disease.1 Instead, the belief is that one contracts AIDS by “thinking” they may contract AIDS. Therefore, according to this backward logic, to even “think” that practicing safe sex will prevent AIDS will result in one contracting the disease. The result of this fallacy is that HIV infection has reached epidemic proportions in Africa, as people freely engage in dangerous sexual practices while pretending there is no such thing as the HIV virus.2-4

In rural Afghanistan, people defecate outside whenever they feel the urge. The result of this unsanitary habit is that infectious diseases that were long ago eliminated in the Western world run rampant.5-7 Even when international aid organizations set up latrines and education programs to prevent the spread of disease this way, many rural Afghans continue to move their bowels in places that result in human feces being introduced into the water and food supply.8

It’s Just as Bad in the Western World

While examples of third world ineptitudes could fill a book, arrogant doctors in the Western world pretend that they have lifted themselves out of the sea of ignorance that has caused so many to perish in the past.

What these doctors fail to understand is that their own apathy and scientific unawareness is causing us to die in different ways today.

Needless Cancer Deaths

Cancer continues to inflict an epidemic of disability and death on the American population.9, 10 These tragedies are largely unnecessary.

It’s Just as Bad in the Western World

Surgical removal of the primary tumor is often the first of many toxic therapies inflicted upon a newly diagnosed cancer patient. While it may seem to make sense to quickly “cut out” the tumor, the harsh reality is that conventional surgery can enable a localized tumor to quickly spread throughout the patient’s body.11 As we meticulously described in the December 2009 issue of Life Extension Magazine®, unless specific pre-operative interventions are implemented, the surgical procedure itself can:

  1. Suppress immune function, thus making the patient less able to kill residual localized, circulating, and metastasized tumor cells.12-17
  2. Remove natural anatomical barriers that impede tumor growth, thus creating a opportunity for localized tumor recurrence.18
  3. Induce the body to produce growth factors to heal the surgical wound, such growth factors that also promote the proliferation of cell colonies that have spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body.19-23
  4. Induce angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth), thus providing residual cancer cells with new blood vessel infiltrative capacity to feed their rapid growth.19, 24-26
  5. Create a systemic inflammatory state that provides residual tumor cells with biological fuel used to stimulate rapid propagation.20, 27

Fortunately, therapies described in our cancer treatment articles (available at www.lef.org), when administered prior to surgery, can circumvent most if not all of these surgically induced side effects. Sadly, few oncologists prescribe these scientifically proven approaches prior to surgery.

One Overlooked Drug…Millions of Lost Lives

Cimetidine is the generic name of a once-popular heartburn drug called Tagamet®. It is so safe that it is now sold over-the-counter.

Just as the use of low-dose aspirin to prevent heart attack was overlooked by cardiologists for decades, so have the remarkable anti-cancer effects of cimetidine been ignored by the cancer establishment.

Not only does cimetidine have proven immune-boosting properties, but it specifically inhibits angiogenesis and can block the adhesion of certain tumor cells to blood vessel walls where they establish metastatic colonies.28-38

We first recommended cimetidine in 1985 as an adjuvant cancer therapy. Since then, a plethora of published scientific studies document remarkable survival improvements when patients with many kinds of cancer take this non-toxic drug.35,39-44

In a 1994 study, only 7% of colorectal patients given cimetidine (400 mg by mouth twice a day 5 days pre-operatively and IV 2 days post-operatively) died over a 3-year time period compared to a startling 41% in the control group (not taking cimetidine).40 In a 2002 study, 84.6% of cimetidine-treated patients afflicted with a common type of colon cancer were alive after 10 years compared to only 49.8% in the non-cimetidine group.35 The cimetidine dose given was 800 mg each night. Cimetidine should be administered at least five days prior to surgery and taken for at least one year thereafter.

The Anti-Cancer Effects of Metformin

An enormous amount of published data documents the life-saving benefits of cimetidine against a wide variety of cancers. Yet here we are in the year 2010, and virtually no oncologist prescribes this safe and low-cost medication.

Colon cancer alone kills about 55,000 Americans annually.45 Just bringing this one piece of information about cimetidine to the public’s attention could save tens of thousands of lives every year in the United States! That is why the Life Extension Foundation® reminds members of the wealth of life-saving knowledge that is available to them. In many cases, the efficacy of these therapies was validated decades ago. The problem is pharmaceutical company control over academia, the media, and the FDA results in information about these low-cost life-saving therapies being suppressed.

The Anti-Cancer Effects of Metformin

Few doctors understood why we suggested that healthy people consider taking the anti-diabetic drug metformin in the early 1990s. Based on our review of published studies, metformin induced many anti-aging benefits including enhancing insulin sensitivity and assisting in weight loss.

An article published in the January 13, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association describes the anti-cancer benefits of metformin as follows:

“Metformin has been shown to have antitumor effects in vivo in animal models, and in epidemiologic studies, including an increased pathologic complete response rate in combination with preoperative chemotherapy in breast cancer patients…Bonanni and his colleagues are investigating the anti-proliferative effect and mechanism of action of metformin in a phase 2 trial in women with early breast cancer who are waiting for surgery.”46

We have long postulated that metformin’s anti-cancer effects are at least partially based on its ability to enhance insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing the amount of tumor-promoting insulin secreted by the pancreas to metabolize glucose.

Metformin is a safe and inexpensive generic prescription drug, yet its utility is ignored in the conventional oncology setting. I personally take 850 mg 2 to 3 times a day of metformin to reduce my risk of a host of age-related diseases, including cancer.

Travel to Live

You can pick up cimetidine at your local pharmacy. Nutrients and other therapies suggested in our cancer treatment protocols are readily available. For many cancer patients, however, traveling to clinics that offer advanced therapies may be their only chance to live.

Travel to Live

An example of this need for travel is an experimental immunotherapy for advanced melanoma being run at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Immune-enhancing approaches against melanoma in the past have been disappointing. Doctors at Northwestern University, however, are using a novel approach that has produced impressive results.

In this FDA-approved clinical trial, a topical cream (called imiquimod) is applied to the exposed tumor twice a day for a total of six weeks. At weeks two and four, the doctors expose the area to an infrared laser. The topical imiquimod cream binds with receptors on cancer cells and stimulates them to activate proteins that “broadcast” the presence of the tumor cells to the immune system. In essence, the patient’s own tumor cells become a unique anti-tumor vaccine. The laser portion of the treatment is designed to hyper-activate the imiquimod with the objective of inducing a systemic immune response against metastatic melanoma cells. Imiquimod is an FDA-approved drug and this is an FDA-approved clinical trial. To inquire about participating, call Stephanie St. Pierre, MD at 312-695-6786 or email s-stpierre@northwestern.edu. This study is referenced by the ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00758797. Study details can be found on the FDA-approved clinical trials Web site: www.clinicaltrials.gov.

You may not qualify to participate in this clinical study or may not want to be bothered with the bureaucratic red tape. Fortunately, this same protocol is being done in the Bahamas for melanoma, and a modified version is being studied to treat breast cancer. In order for this treatment to be administered, a tumor lesion must be present near the surface of your skin, such as a breast lump, a chest wall breast lesion, or a superficial melanoma tumor. To inquire about clinical programs being offered in the Bahamas, call the International Strategic Cancer Alliance (ISCA) at 610-628-3419 or log on to www.is-canceralliance.com.

ISCA is an organization that can refer you to specialized medical centers around the world that offer potential life-saving therapies. It is regrettable that so many cancer patients choose the “convenience” of their local chemotherapy ward and deprive themselves of non-toxic and possibly curative treatments available a plane ride away.