As I finished the final edits to this book, the New York Times featured an in-depth article about the failure of conventional medicine to cure more cancers.
According to the New York Times, adjusting for the size and age of the population, cancer death rates dropped only five percent from 1950 to 2005.
What other technology has performed so miserably over this 55-year period? Would you accept a medical therapy that has not improved much since 1950?
In contrast, the death rate from heart disease dropped 65 percent in that time, and for flu and pneumonia it fell 58 percent.
The New York Times was especially critical of expensive conventional treatments that subject patients to much mutilation and suffering, yet yield survival improvements of only a few months.
Clearly, as the Times states, “we are not winning the war against cancer.”
This book is written to show another side of cancer treatment and what you can do now to prevent getting this dreaded disease.
As a reader you must know there are no guarantees. Cancer kills and continues to kill. Yet there are some who beat it. Some beat it with traditional methods, and some with alternative methods. No one can tell you what will work for sure. You need to gather as much information as you can and make your own decisions.
But there is hope, and this book offers new choices. It is important you know that there are more methods than traditional chemotherapy and radiation available, and these are what this book attempts to bring to you, my faithful readers. Although I have always leaned toward alternative medicine, the testimonials of the “cured” patients made a believer out of me.
It is a very brave choice to go against traditional medicine and embrace the alternative route. It’s easier to try the traditional route and then, if it fails, go to the alternatives, but often it can be too late. My friend Farrah—would she have made it if she had gone alternative first? There is no way of knowing.
When you receive a cancer diagnosis, you’re more vulnerable than at any other time in your life. I’ve personally had the experience twice, as you will read in this book, and my only hope for survival was alternatives. But that was my decision, what I thought best for me.
I cannot make up your mind for you. I can only offer you these incredible professionals who have chosen to go another way. Some are completely alternative, while some are more integrated, but all are having success, great success.
Does everyone survive, though? The sad answer is no. Having cancer is a lonely experience. It is the one time in your life that you cannot ask those closest to you, “What should I do?” It’s too heavy a burden to place on another person. This is your life, your decision, and cancer kills.
Read this book carefully. See and feel if the information resonates. I know that for myself, after having interviewed all of these incredible doctors, scientists, professionals, and patients, my choice overwhelmingly would be to use only alternative treatments regardless of what kind of cancer I contracted.
I am not a doctor or a scientist, but merely a passionate layperson, a filter, a messenger. I spoke with so many patients who are living normal, happy, fulfilled lives, and their enthusiasm and great quality of life convinced me that indeed you can live with cancer. You can manage cancer. You don’t have to be degraded by humiliating treatments and protocols. And in some cases, you can be cured of cancer.
It is with great humility I ask you to read these pages and then listen to your heart and choose what is best for you. Writing this book has taken away my fear of cancer. I hope reading it does the same for you.
Q: KNOCKOUT will forever change the way Americans view cancer care. How has writing the book changed you?
Suzanne: Writing KNOCKOUT has taken away my fear of cancer. If I were to contract cancer again, which I hope I don’t and am doing everything I know to prevent, I would know which doctor to go to and how I would treat it, depending on the type of cancer. For me, my choice would be to go non-drug unless the cancer was one of the three cancers that has been shown to be responsive to chemotherapy: leukemia, including childhood leukemia; lymphoma, including non-Hodgkin’s; and testicular, which of course wouldn’t apply to me.
Q: Tell us more about chemotherapy sensitivity tests. Why aren’t they used routinely and should cancer patients be asking for them?
Suzanne: My late friend Farrah Fawcett called me last summer saying she had been given three grueling rounds of chemotherapy and yet the cancer had returned with a vengeance. She asked me if I knew anything about German medicine and I mentioned the clinic in Germany where she ultimately went for treatment. While there, her doctors conducted a chemosensitivity test and found that the chemotherapy she had been given was absolutely ineffective for the type of cancer she had. So it begs the question, why aren’t chemosensitivity tests being given to every patient considering chemotherapy? Why throw chemo at a patient without even knowing if it is the right “fit.” KNOCKOUT provides information on how to access these tests. Dr. James Forsythe, featured in my book, routinely sends his patients’ blood work to Germany and Greece for analysis, so the patient who does undergo chemo is assured that he or she is receiving a treatment that at least has a chance of working. Patients need to know chemosensitivity tests exist and ask for it if they are facing the prospect of chemotherapy. Q: What information most surprised you as you conducted your in-depth research with today’s cutting-edge Western-trained doctors?
Suzanne: That cancer is manageable. That if you deprive cancer of what it wants, by proper nutrition, avoiding toxins, avoiding chemicals and pharmaceuticals, sleeping well, eliminating stress, and balancing hormones with natural bioidentical hormones, you have a real shot at keeping your cancer at bay. In this way, you are managing your cancer. I interviewed many patients who are living with serious cancers and leading normal, healthy, happy lives. It was inspiring to say the least. This is a new approach, a new paradigm, as opposed to treating with harsh chemicals and drugs.
Q: What is the key message you took away from your conversations with these top physicians?
Suzanne: That the “war on cancer” is a dismal failure. That there has been no progress in curing cancer in conventional medicine for fifty years. The standard marker for success in conventional cancer treatment is gauged by what is called the “surrogate end point,” which is when a tumor shrinks after four weeks, even if the patient dies in week five. Even if the patient dies! There are only three cancers for which chemotherapy is effective. Certain types of cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, do not respond at all to chemotherapy, yet patients are routinely given this drug. The cancer drug Adriamycin, which I turned down, has been proven ineffective in up to 92 percent of the women to whom it is given for breast cancer, yet it is still being administered. The conventional treatment of cancer is big business—a $200 billion a year industry—and conventional chemotherapy yields a two percent response rate; contrast this with the doctors I am featuring in KNOCKOUT, such as Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who is actually achieving higher response rates against glioblastoma, the most common and most aggressive of the primary brain tumors, yet these doctors have been persecuted mercilessly by our government. We, the patients, need to know about options, so we can make an informed choice regarding our treatment. KNOCKOUT will be an eye-opener and, regardless of what treatment one chooses—conventional, integrative, or alternative—at least you will have been exposed to all aspects and will be able to make a more informed choice for yourself or a loved one.
The main revelation for me is that there are other options. I have been diagnosed with cancer twice, and no option other than standard of care was offered.
Q: You write about prevention as the best course. Tell us why nutrition, lifestyle, and dietary supplementation plans help protect us from getting cancer in the first place.
Suzanne: According to the doctors I interviewed, cancer has exploded due to the chemicals we are consuming and being exposed to from all directions. Cancer is preventable if you take lifestyle and diet seriously. I now eat as though my life depended on it, and it does. I eat organic food and if I can’t get access to it, I take antioxidants to offset the free radicals. Sleep is essential, as are eliminating stress and balancing your hormones with real natural bioidentical hormones taken in the right ratios prescribed by a qualified physician. If you take these life choices seriously, you can have a real shot at living cancer free.
Q: You write about an alternative therapy that is showing promising results: replacing certain peptides that cancer patients lack—a combination of amino acids called antineoplastons—to kill cancer cells without killing healthy cells. Tell us about that.
Suzanne: Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski discovered many years ago that people with cancer are always missing a certain peptide or amino acid in their bodies; people who don’t have cancer have this peptide. The peptide is produced in the liver and is responsible for inhibiting cell multiplication. Without it, there is no control over cell multiplication and cancer can run rampant. Dr. Burzynski has devoted his life to reproducing this peptide, synthesized in a lab as antineoplastons. When he gives this supplement to patients with certain types of cancers, their cancer goes away. The cancers do not only shrink, they are not only in remission, they disappear. He has achieved a very high response rate with the toughest brain cancers. He has passed through Phase II clinical trials and is now entering Phase III to comply with the FDA. This is an amazing, lifesaving breakthrough that does not degrade the body like harsh chemotherapy. People on antineoplastons can go about their normal lives. I believe one day Dr. Burzynski will be in the same category as Louis Pasteur and other great scientists of the ages.
Q: What do you say to someone who wants to stay with the “standard of care” treatments for cancer—surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and after-care drugs?
Suzanne: I know from personal experience that cancer is a frightening, debilitating diagnosis. I understand and respect any decision patients choose to make for themselves regarding their personal health. We all have to make the choice that is right for us and for our bodies. If someone chooses the traditional standard of care, I would suggest they read the chapter in KNOCKOUT by Bill Faloon, cofounder of the Life Extension Foundation. Bill and his scientific advisory board have research-based information on complementary drugs and supplements that can be taken in conjunction with chemotherapy to lessen its harsh effects and make the chemo more effective. This is a very important chapter.
And, it is essential to know that cancer kills, that there are no guarantees. Cancer is sometimes so virulent and forceful that no treatment can save the patient. Everyone with cancer has to recognize the seriousness of this disease and respect it. We are all different. Some people are reluctant to try alternatives. In that case, the section on integrative doctors will be most helpful. Some people like me would only try alternative treatments and in that case I would go to Dr. Burzynski or Dr. Gonzalez. My oncologist has helped me to keep my cancer at bay by prescribing bioidentical hormones in the proper ratios. Hormones keep cancer-fighting genetic switches turned on, so to speak, and are an important element in my treatment of my cancer.
With this book, I sincerely hope to help people. KNOCKOUT allows you to make an informed choice to save your life. Although I realize it is controversial to go against the standard protocol of cancer treatment, I found these leading doctors and spoke with them for hours; I spoke with their patients and walked away impressed and no longer afraid of this demon. After reading this book, I hope that you come away feeling more informed about and open to your options, knowing that you have some power over this horrible invader and can direct your disease treatment. Then it is up to you to choose what is best for you.
So what was the purpose? Why are we sent these things in life? Where was the good?
And then it came to me so clearly: we could all benefit by this experience. The ray of light, the hope, in that hospital room was the knowledge that I had been compiling—information on doctors who were curing cancer. Knowing that these doctors existed and were having success gave me a reason to look forward. I held on to that, and I realized that this is what we all need in our darkest hours: hope and belief that there is a way out.
In this experience I found out who I was. I am a person who loves deeply. I cherish those in my life who love me, and I know that I am deeply loved. Because of this, I feel my life is a success. I now have the chance to apply those feelings and live my life accordingly. It is only about love.
I am not a victim. I used this opportunity to grow spiritually and emotionally. I made it work for me, and so it became my opportunity.
Thankfully, I dodged this bullet, but you, my wonderful readers, might one day be in this same situation. Remember what you have learned from this book: there are doctors who are healing in another way. And maybe, just maybe, if you are ever in this horrible situation, these doctors might give you the hope, comfort, and healing that I was able to garner when I thought my life depended on them.
I cried a lot writing this book. Every patient who told me his or her story brought me to tears. Each doctor moved me deeply with his or her passion, dedication, and courage. I learned a tremendous amount from all these conversations, and now, as a result, I am armed with the knowledge if I were ever to find myself diagnosed again, I would know what to do; I wouldn’t be afraid. I now know I can manage cancer and that I can possibly be cured of cancer.
In the meantime, I worship the health I am enjoying. I care for my body with all the tenderness and consideration that any precious object would require. I am healthy; it is the greatest gift I have given myself. I now know with certainty what it feels like to think health is gone and life is almost over, and there is nothing more important than health and taking care of this body that houses me.
I hope you have gotten comfort and important knowledge as a result of reading this book. It is an honor to bring this information to you, and I am grateful that I had this experience. Thank you for spending this time with me, and I am glad to know you are now armed with choices that could save your life.
“Reprinted from KNOCKOUT by Suzanne Somers. Copyright © 2009. Published by Crown, a division of Random House, Inc.