Potential Tactics for Defeating Cancer — A Toolkit in 1,000 Words


(Photo: Irina Souiki)

I’ve wanted to publish this post for years.

It will propose a few simple approaches for minimizing the occurrence of cancer.

With 19 billion capillaries in our bodies, on average, virtually 100% of us have microscopic cancers by the time we’re 70 years old, more than 40% of us by age 40. There’s a good chance you have pinhead-size cancers in your body right now. These “cancers without disease” aren’t typically a problem, as they can’t grow larger than 0.5 mm without a blood supply.

But if cancer cells gets constant blood and glucose? That’s when you can end up dead.

That’s not where I want to be, and it’s not where I want you to be.

A Little Backstory…

While at the annual TED Conference in 2010, I learned that two close friends had been diagnosed with cancer. The year before, another friend had died of pancreatic cancer in his early 30’s.

This all made me furious and sad. It also made me feel helpless.

As luck would have it, TED in 2010 was abuzz about someone named Dr. William Li. His 24-minute presentation had introduced the crowd to “anti-angiogenesis therapy”: in plain English, how to starve cancers of blood. Dr. Li specializes in inhibiting cancer-specific blood-vessel growth, which ostensibly keeps abnormal growth in check. The simplest “drug” he recommended was tea. Drinking a daily blend of white tea (specifically Dragon Pearl jasmine) and green tea (Japanese sencha).

I started drinking the cocktail immediately, but it was just a first step…

In clinical trials, you see, anti-angiogenesis has been largely been unsuccessful. The father of the field, Judah Folkman, was brilliant, but his brainchild (Avastin) has been a disappointment. For about $100,000 a year of Avastin, one might extend lifespan by a month or so.

So, while I kept drinking my tea, I realized it probably wasn’t enough by itself. That said, it pointed me to new research.

I, for one, believe there are systemic causes of cancer with systemic treatments. This belief began with metformin experimentation in college (not recommended without doctor supervision), followed by reading the work and references of Gary Taubes, all of which has been reinforced by conversations with oncologists over the last decade.

All trails have led back to blood and glucose.

It’s also important to realize that killing cancer cells isn’t hard. Doctors have known how to do this for 100+ years. The real questions is: how do you exploit a weakness in cancer that is NOT a weakness in normal cells? Killing cancer is easy. Killing cancer while not killing non-cancer has proven almost impossible.

The below guest post is written by Peter Attia, M.D.. It explores a simple theory of cancer growth, which simultaneously shows how you can minimize it.

Peter is the President of the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI). Peter spent five years at the Johns Hopkins Hospital as a general surgery resident, where he was the recipient of several prestigious awards and the author of a comprehensive review of general surgery. Peter also spent two years at the National Institutes of Health as a surgical oncology fellow at the National Cancer Institute under Dr. Steve Rosenberg, where his research focused on the role of regulatory T cells in cancer regression and other immune-based therapies for cancer. Peter earned his M.D. from Stanford University and holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

This post is designed to allow you to skim…or go deep. Here are the options:

  • The quickie (10-15 min) – Read the post but ignore footnotes. Definitely a good start if you’re in a rush.
  • The weekend warrior (30 minutes) – Read the post and footnotes, which provide an excellent intro to the science.
  • The semi-pro (60 minutes) – Read the post, footnotes, and at least one top-10 suggested articles. This will give you more of a plan and put you ahead of 90% of the people who discuss cancer.

Enter Pete

One night Tim and I were having dinner and the topic of cancer came up.

Personally and professionally, I have a great interest in cancer, so when Tim asked if I could write something about cancer that was: (i) interesting to a broad audience, (ii) not technically over the top, (iii) not my typical 5,000 word dissertation, (iv) yet nuanced enough for his readers, I agreed to give it a shot, in about 1,000 words.

(Before reading this post, you may find some value in first reading a previous post which sets up the context for this one.)

So here it is, in roughly 1,000 words…


In 1924 a scientist named Otto Warburg happened upon a counterintuitive finding.

Cancer 1 cells, even in the presence of sufficient oxygen, underwent a type of metabolism 2 cells reserved for rapid energy demand – anaerobic metabolism 3. In fact, even when cancer cells were given additional oxygen, they still almost uniformly defaulted into using only glucose 4 to make ATP 5 via the anaerobic pathway. This is counterintuitive because this way of making ATP is typically a last resort for cells, not a default, due to the very poor yield of ATP.

This observation begs a logical question? Do cancer cells do this because it’s all they can do? Or do they deliberately ‘choose’ to do this?

The first place to look is at the mitochondria 6 of the cancer cells. Though not uniformly the case, most cancers do indeed appear to have defects in their mitochondria that prevent them from carrying out oxidative phosphorylation 7.

Explanation 1

Cancer cells, like any cells undergoing constant proliferation (recall: cancer cells don’t stop proliferating when told to do so), may be optimizing for something other than energy generation. They may be optimizing for abundant access to cellular building blocks necessary to support near-endless growth. In this scenario, a cancer would prefer to rapidly shuttle glucose through itself. In the process, it generates the energy it needs, but more importantly, it gains access to lots of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms (from the breakdown of glucose). The atoms serve as the necessary input to the rate-limiting step of their survival — growth. The selection of cancer cells is based on this ability to preferentially grow by accessing as much cellular substrate as possible.

Explanation 2

Cells become cancerous because they undergo some form of genetic insult. This insult – damage to their DNA 8 – has been shown to result in the turning off of some genes 9 (those that suppress tumor growth) and/or the activation of other genes (those that promote cell growth unresponsive to normal cell-signaling). Among other things, this damage to their DNA also damages their mitochondria, rendering cancer cells unable to carry out oxidative phosphorylation. So, to survive they must undergo anaerobic metabolism to make ATP.

Whichever of these is more accurate (a discussion beyond my word count), the end result appears the same – cancer cells almost exclusively utilize glucose to make ATP without the use of their mitochondria. The point is: cancer cells have a metabolic quirk. Regardless of how much oxygen and fatty acid 10 they have access to, they preferentially use glucose to make ATP, and they do it without their mitochondria and oxygen.

So, can this be exploited to treat or even prevent cancer?

One way this quirk has been exploited for many years is in medical imaging. FDG-PET scans 11 are a useful tool for non-invasively detecting cancer in people. By exploiting the obligate glucose consumption of cancer cells, the FDG-PET scan is a powerful way to locate cancer (see figure).

Cancer Blog Images

You can probably tell where I’m leading you. What happens if we reduce the amount of glucose in the body? Could such an intervention ‘starve’ cancer cells? An insight into this came relatively recently from an unlikely place – the study of patients with type 2 diabetes.

In the past few years, three retrospective studies of patients taking a drug called metformin have shown that diabetic patients who take metformin, even when adjusted for other factors such as body weight and other medications, appear to get less cancer.

And when they do get cancer, they appear to survive longer. Why? The answer may lie in what metformin does. Metformin does many things, to be clear, but chief among them is activating an enzyme called AMP kinase, which is important in suppressing the production of glucose in the liver (the liver manufactures glucose from protein and glycerol and releases it to the rest of the body). This drug is used in patients with diabetes to reduce glucose levels and thereby reduce insulin requirement.

So, the patients taking metformin may have better cancer outcomes because their glucose levels were lower, or because such patients needed less insulin. Insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) also appear to play an integral role in cancer growth as recently demonstrated by the observation that people with defective IGF-1 receptors appear immune to cancer. Or, it may be that activation of AMP kinase in cancer cells harms them in some other way. We don’t actually know why, but we do know that where there is smoke there is often fire. And the ‘smoke’ in this case is that a relatively innocuous drug that alters glucose levels in the body appears to interfere with cancer.

This may also explain why most animal models show that caloric restriction improves cancer outcomes. Though historically, this observation has been interpreted through the lens of less ‘food’ for cancer. A more likely explanation is that caloric restriction is often synonymous with glucose reduction, and it may be the glucose restriction per se that is keeping the cancer at bay.

Fortunately this paradigm shift in oncology – exploiting the metabolic abnormality of cancer cells – is gaining traction, and doing so with many leaders in the field.

Over a dozen clinical trials are underway right now investigating this strategy in the cancers that appear most sensitive to this metabolic effect – breast, endometrial, cervical, prostate, pancreatic, colon, and others. Some of these trials are simply trying to reproduce the metformin effect in a prospective, blinded fashion. Other trials are looking at sophisticated ways to target cancer by exploiting this metabolic abnormality, such as targeting PI3K 12 directly.

To date, no studies in humans are evaluating the therapeutic efficacy of glucose and/or insulin reduction via diet, though I suspect that will change in the coming year or two, pending outcomes of the metformin trials.

EDITOR’S NOTE:Though it might seem premature to some, let’s make this actionable. To reduce glucose, consider following a diet (way of eating, really) such as The Slow-Carb Diet, Paleo, or any diet that induces ketosis. Many of the most influential researchers in the US, in addition to following ketogenic diets, take slow-acting metformin as a preemptive measure. NOTE: This should NOT be done without medical supervision.


I’ve been absurdly blessed to study this topic at the feet of legends, and to be crystal clear, not a single thought represented here is original work emanating from my brain. I’m simply trying to reconstruct the story and make it more accessible to a broader audience. Though I trained in oncology, my research at NIH/NCI focused on the role of the immune system in combating cancer. My education in the metabolism of cancer has been formed by the writings of those below, and from frequent discussions with a subset of them who have been more than generous with their time, especially Lewis Cantley (who led the team that discovered PI3K) and Dominic D’Agostino.

• Otto Warburg
• Lewis Cantley
• Dominic D’Agostino
• Craig Thompson
• Thomas Seyfried
• Eugene Fine
• Richard Feinman (not to be confused with Richard Feynman)
• Rainer Klement
• Reuben Shaw
• Matthew Vander Heiden
• Valter Longo

Further Reading from Tim — A Top-10 List

There is a deluge of writing about cancer.

Below, I’ve suggested a top-10 list of articles as starting points. Some are for lay audiences, some are technical, but all are worth the time to read. Here you go:

Looking for articles to pass to your parents, or to read as a lay person? Read these, in this order:
1. Non-technical talk by Craig Thompson, Pres/CEO of Sloan-Kettering
2. Science piece written about cancer (for non-technical audience) by Gary Taubes

Have a little background and want the 80/20 analysis, the greatest bang for the buck? Read this:
3. Relatively non-technical review article on the Warburg Effect written by Vander Heiden, Thompson, and Cantley

Peaking on modafinil during a flight to Tokyo? Want to deep dive for a few hours? Here are three recommendations, in this order:
4. Detailed review article by Tom Seyfried
5. Review article on the role of carb restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer
6. Talk given by author of above paper for those who prefer video

Want four bonus reads, all very good? As you wish:
7. Moderately technical review article by Shaw and Cantley
8. Clinical paper on the role of metformin in breast cancer by Ana Gonzalez-Angulo
9. Mouse study by Dom D’Agostino’s group examining role of ketogenic diet and hyperbaric oxygen on a very aggressive tumor model
10. Mechanistic study by Feinman and Fine assessing means by which acetoacetate (a ketone body) suppresses tumor growth in human cancer cell lines

Afterword by Tim

It’s my hope that this short article offers hope. Moreover, it’s intended to offer actionable directions for those dealing with cancer or fearful of it.

Note a few things:

  • I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the Internet. Make medical decisions with medical supervision.
  • This is a 1,000-word primer and therefore simplified. It’s not incorrect, but it is not comprehensive either, as it would impossible to digest for most people. Be sure to read the “further reading” above if you’re serious.

Have you stumbled upon any novel science/treatments related to cancer? Please share in the comments below, if so, as I’d love this post to become a living resource.

Many thanks for reading this far.



  1. A collection of cells in our bodies that grow at roughly normal speeds, but that do not respond appropriately to cell signaling. In other words, while a collection of ‘normal’ cells will grow and stop growing in response to appropriate messages from hormones and signals, cancer cells have lost this property. Contrary to popular misconception, cancers cells do not grow especially fast relative to non-cancer cells. The problem is they don’t ‘know’ when to stop growing. 
  2. The process of converting the stored energy in food (chemical energy contained mostly within the bonds of carbon and hydrogen atoms) into usable energy for the body to carry out essential and non-essential work (e.g., ion transport, muscle contraction). 
  3. The process of converting the stored energy in food (chemical energy contained mostly within the bonds of carbon and hydrogen atoms) into usable energy for the body to carry out essential and non-essential work (e.g., ion transport, muscle contraction). 
  4. A very simple sugar which many carbohydrates ultimately get broken down into via digestion; glucose is a ring of 6-carbon molecules and has the potential to deliver a lot, or a little, ATP, depending on how it is metabolized. 
  5. Adenosine triphosphate, the ‘currency’ of energy used by the body. As its name suggests, this molecule has three (tri) phosphates. Energy is liberated for use when the body converts ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate), by cutting off one of the phosphate ions in exchange for energy. 
  6. The part of the cell where aerobic metabolism takes place. Think of a cell as a town and the mitochondria as the factory that converts the stored energy into usable energy. If food is natural gas, and usable energy is electricity, the mitochondria are the power plants. But remember, mitochondria can only work when they have enough oxygen to process glucose or fatty acids. If they don’t, the folks outside of the factory have to make due with sub-optimally broken down glucose and suboptimal byproducts. 
  7. Aerobic metabolism is the process of extracting ATP from glucose or fatty acids when the demand for ATP is not too great, which permits the process to take place with sufficient oxygen in the cell. This process is highly efficient and generates a lot of ATP (about 36 units, for example, from one molecule of glucose) and it’s easy to manage waste products (oxygen and carbon dioxide). The process of turning glucose and fatty acid into lots of ATP using oxygen is called ‘oxidative phosphorylation.’ 
  8. Deoxyribonucleic acid, to be exact, is the so-called “building block” of life. DNA is a collection of 4 subunits (called nucleotides) that, when strung together, create a code. Think of nucleotides like letters of the alphabet. The letters can be rearranged to form words, and words can be strung together to make sentences. 
  9. If nucleotides are the letters of the alphabet, and DNA is the words and sentences, genes are the books – a collection of words strung together to tell a story. Genes tell our body what to build and how to build it, among other things. In recent years, scientists have come to identify all human genes, though we still have very little idea what most genes ‘code’ for. It’s sort of like saying we’ve read all of War and Peace, but we don’t yet understand most of it. 
  10. The breakdown product of fats (either those stored in the body or those ingested directly) which can be of various lengths (number of joined carbon atoms) and structures (doubled bonds between the carbon atoms or single bonds). 
  11. (A type of ‘functional’ radiographic study, often called a ‘pet scan’ for short, used to detect cancer in patients with a suspected tumor burden (this test can’t effectively detect small amounts of cancer and only works for ‘established’ cancers). F18 is substituted for -OH on glucose molecules, making something called 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG), an analog of glucose. This molecule is detectable by PET scanners (because of the F18) and shows which parts of the body are most preferentially using glucose. 
  12. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase, commonly called PI3K (pronounced ‘pee-eye-three-kay’), is an enzyme (technically, a family of enzymes) involved in cell growth and proliferation. Not surprisingly, these enzymes play an important role in cancer growth and survival, and cancer cells often have mutations in the gene encoding PI3K, which render PI3K even more active. PI3Ks are very important in insulin signaling, which may in part explain their role in cancer growth, as you’ll come to understand. 

Posted on: January 28, 2014.

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224 comments on “Potential Tactics for Defeating Cancer — A Toolkit in 1,000 Words

  1. Great article Tim! This is excellent and accurate information to give persons of interest a jump start on research. I had colon cancer surgery just over a year ago and have adopted a clean diet void of refined sugar, gluten, and excess sodium. My hats off to the author and also recommend Max Gerson and Norman Walker as additional resources.


    • Hi Todd,
      It’s great that you recovered from Colon cancer with a clean diet! I have some friends who have done a similar thing. Did you drink tea as well why you did it? A few friends of mine drank zen green tea matcha from Japan which is really concentrated green tea ( you consume the whole tea leaf). They keep drinking it now as a preventative! I’d be interested if you tried this or other tea’s?


    • Awesome Todd! Keep it up. You are on the right track with the Max Gerson and Norman Walker approach. Overdose on fruits and veggies my man! I refused chemo after surgery and did the same thing 10 years ago for colon cancer. :)


  2. I had prostate cancer. After going to a seminar from Don Tolman he advised me to eat oats with flaxseed, lemon and wheatgerm oil for breakfast for 90 days ( I have it every morning now for past 18 months…love it) lots of brocolli and brazil nuts and Cabala juice (Carrot, Apple, Beet, Apple, Lemon, Apple)

    I now have a clean bill of health and ran my first half marathon on the Gold Coast in Australia last year and have never been fitter or healthier.

    Juicing, fasting and whole foods, fruit, veggies, nuts and grains etc have been my medicine along with plenty of water, sunshine, fresh air and exercise. I healed my body with natures own plant life…


    • Great work Kevin! Happy for you mate, glad to see you’re doing so well now. Don Tolman and his son Tyler Tolman are full of wisdom and really do share the truth about healing disease in the body.

      Don’s explanation of cancer makes more sense than any other that I’ve heard on the planet.

      After researching several ideas/methods around healing cancer over the last few years, I believe theirs is the most holistic approach.

      Tim – Thank you for posting this.

      Don Tolman and Tyler Tolman are definitely the go to guys on this subject.

      Phillip Day, founder of Credence Health, is also another great one – he has debunked and exposed several healing methods and uses a science-based approach to find what really works to heal cancer. He has a book called ‘Cancer: Why we’re still dying to know the truth’ – highly recommended for those interested in this topic. It’s an eye-opener.


      • Hey really intestine to read your threads… my father has been diagnosed with prostate cancer… I’ve been following Tyler and now Don and have seen the Oats etc which I am slowly getting him onto…. but I would love your thoughts as Phillip Day, said NO wheat including oats at all as it raises blood sugars….they both help so many people yet such big view on oats? Is tricky to know which way to go!


    • I have three friends with almost identical stories to yours, Kevin.

      So pleased to hear of another success, good for you!

      Possibly the most simple and effective method is the one that gets overlooked the most!

      The problems of the world can be solved when we turn to nature.


      • It’s simply because there isn’t any money in a solution of juicing, fasting and whole foods, fruit, veggies, water etc…

        However, those chemo pills do make people wealthy. Just on the wrong side of the table.


    • I don’t have time to read the whole post yet because I am about to leave for work, but wanted to comment on this, as I don’t know when I will be able to get back on. If this is already mentioned in the post or comments, ignore my reply, but if it isn’t: Has anyone ever read into the Gerson therapy? I’ve watched several documentaries on it, including The Gerson Miracle, The Beautiful Truth, and another one that I can’t think of at the moment, but they’re all on Netflix. It’s all based on using natural fruits/vegetables to cure cancer and other ailments and has a ton of success stories and testimonials. Again, if this was already mentioned, ignore this, I will be back to finish reading the article sometime soon. Tim, sorry for the loss of your friend. Take care, everyone!


      • I am currently doing Gerson Therapy for my cancer. The first two times I had surgery to remove my cancer with clear margins. The third time it came back. I said bugger conventional therapy and I went natural. It was the best thing I’ve ever done. Whilst the Gerson Therapy is definitely the right therapy foodwise and detoxwise for cancer. It has definitely made a significant impact on my tumour markers for the better, and they are almost at normal healthy levels. (no chemo, radiation or surgery).

        I look a picture of health and to be honest have never felt better. My doctors thought I was an idiot when I told them what I was going to do. However, when my blood tests kept coming back with significant improvement, they didn’t say a thing and refused to give me a print out of my results until I persisted.

        They will now no longer offer me blood tests. I’ve countered this by going to different doctors and trying my luck. Luckily I have found a not very bright doctor who I’ve got two blood tests from so far, and will get as many as I can before the auditors get onto them to force me to see an oncologist in order to get more blood tests and ‘advice/bullying’

        Tumour wise. The therapy for me whilst it certainly is having a positive impact on my tumour. However, I am having to add in other therapy’s such as Paw Paw tea, and powerful proteolytic enzymes to break down the tumour, as well as homeopathic drugs to stimulate and boost my immune system. The regime is tough, but totally worth it. When you have random strangers walk up to you and comment on how well you look its definitely a boost. The therapy is based on starving the cancer with nutrition and rebuilding the body and the immune system and detoxification of the body.

        I want to make something clear. Having a ‘tea’ here or there or a juice here or there Will not work for you if you go natural. You have to constantly be juicing and shoving raw nutrients into yourself every chance you possibly get as well as detoxing. Cut out all refined salt, refined sugar, meat and dairy. They are all cancer promoters and extremely bad for you.

        I recommend googling ‘chris beat cancer’ and watch the videos from dr Vickers. it will explain a lot. As well as youtubing charlotte gerson and the gerson therapy. On the Chris beat cancer website there are numerous testimonials of people who have beaten their cancer through nutrition.

        on google there is a lot of conflicting results on gerson therapy. You need to make up your own mind what you want to do with your cancer. I personally will never go conventional therapy again as this diet has healed all of my ailments.

        It is very difficult to maintain a natural treatment plan, as your friends/family will cast you off as a goner for not going conventional treatment. You have to be prepared to sacrifice relationships if you need to. You will find that everyone is an ‘expert’ at telling you what to do even though they have never suffered the disease themselves…

        I will say this however. I have been ‘untreated’ for a whole year and 2 months… My health has improved exponentially in all facets and continues to improve, and there has been no metastases.

        Also… think about this… We are told to stay away from radiation because it causes cancer… So why would you get radiation therapy to ‘cure’ your cancer if it is responsible for causing cancer in the first place?

        We are told to stay away from poisons. Yet, with chemotherapy the people who administer this product have to wear two pairs of gloves, a special apron, goggles and a facemask to pour it into your veins… If they spill any of the solution on the floor, there is a special clean up kit that they have to use. Do you really think that this stuff is going to rid you of your cancer?

        There are articles out there that specify that these treatments are responsible for secondary and more aggressive cancers. These can be found on google. Make up your own mind.

        The object of my post is to think about your treatment plan. There are always options. I’m not saying what I’m doing will cure you of disease. I’m not saying that conventional treatment is ineffective. There are pros and cons to both.This is entirely your decision to make. I recommend thoroughly doing your research first and choose a plan that is right for you. Talk to doctors/onoclogists, research on google. Talk to others who have had cancer and see what they did with their treatment plans.

        Doctors will have you panicked into going into treatment straight away and time is of the essence and yes it is. However, It takes a few years for the tumour to become noticeable. Just because you suddenly become aware of it doesn’t mean it happened over night. Take a week out to research and make up your mind on YOUR treatment plan.

        Good Health people.


      • My mother did Gerson, spent her almost every waking moment juicing or doing something. Spent 150k plus on treatments, started in on the tea at the end. Did everything you mentioned. I have mixed feelings about the therapy, in some cases I think the treatment is worse than the disease. My mother died of breast cancer that metastasized to her liver in the end, she lived 5-6 years and beat the odds. The cancer wasn’t what killed her in the end she picked an extremely rare blood infection from the Gerson clinic in Bountiful, UT. And then after 3-4 3 hour IV antibiotic treatments a day her liver was fried and she died just a couple of months later. She did Laetrile treatments which are no different from chemo. Just another poison that will kill cells. The diet low protein low cal, lots and lots of juicing. So I don’t keep rambling, there probably is some merit to Gerson, but I think it would work much better in combination with non alternative treatments. My mothers markets did not exist either, they had to use multiple markets to even get a baseline because it was far below a healthy person. All I can say is don’t get too caught up in the treatment, remember to live life. When every moment becomes the treatment, its not much of a life at all. Good luck hope you beat it.


      • My wife has stage 4 metastatic, invasive breast cancer. What helped us slow then at least partially reverse her downhill slide (see my response to Tim’s post) was Life Over Cancer by Dr. Keith Block. He has dealt with advanced cancers over 32 years and the book is well reviewed by 16 professionals (including one from MD Anderson Cancer Center).

        You might want to look up a brief video by Dr. Michael Greger at his nonprofit website nutritionfacts.org. Go there and type Gerson Therapy into the search box. Dr. Greger is not “conventional” (he is a vegan) but the studies he talks about on Gerson will be an eye opener.

        Nutrition Facts is a nonprofit that exists on donations. He has produced over 800 mostly brief videos on a wide variety of health topics. Dr. Greger pores over the over 6,000 nutritional studies done each year and brings the usable essence to people through his videos and brief blog posts.


    • Hey Kevin that’s fantastic. Cheers! From one fellow natural survivor to another. I’m also a fan of Don Tolman “The whole food medicine cowboy”. His Farmacist Desk Reference is an awesome resource.


    • Did you have an operation or did you cure the cancer only by dieting? I have been diagnosed with a mild form of prostate cancer. The doctor seemed to recommend postsponing the operation as it could have a pretty bad effect on my quality of life.


  3. Thank you for sharing, Tim. Sorry for the loss of your friend. With everything you’ve accomplished, if you decide to tackle cancer, my money will be on you.


  4. I recently attended a doctors’ convention where there was talk of 2-methoxyestradiol as an antiangiogenic treatment for breast cancer. I thought it was interesting that it is a naturally occurring metabolite of estrogen that is not usable as a supplement since it has an IND filed on it as Panzem.
    What are your thoughts on drugs that increase IGF-1? We so often hear about increasing IGF to increase muscle mass, under HRT or other areas. Is this also increasing risks of cancer?


  5. My initial question is for both Pete and Tim regarding the new “fad” that this seems to relate to. Being a newbie to the depths this topic reaches and then some it’s with a bit of trepidation that I submit this question, but here goes!

    I recently have looked into the whole white mulberries thing since a coworker friend has them growing in their backyard and has offered them up come the season. With the leads that seem to be apparent in this post and the research referenced would it follow that the 1-deoxynojirimycin contained in the white mulberry, and its leaves, provide not only a believed benefit of aiding and preventing diabetes but also, potentially speaking, the spread or manifestation of cancers?


  6. Sugar or glucose make the body more acid, terminal cancer patients have elevated acidity in their bodies, cancer cells thrive in acidic environment but die in a basal environment. Don’t look at sugar itself, look at it’s effects on the ph of tge bidy. There lies the key.


    • Blood PH is altered just by breathing, I am not a believer in alkaline water, I have a biology degree. Water is water, magnets wont change it. And if you go into alkalosis, or acidosis. You die. Your body has a very simple and easy way of dealing with PH, it does not let it vary much otherwise you die. You can drink an acid or a base, your body will adjust.


      • To James Hall,

        “Electrolyzed reduced water” has been used in Japanese hospitals for over 35 years. It has been shown to inhibit tumor angiogenesis.
        Here is another article showing electrolyzed reduced water and glutathione helped kill leukemia cells.

        This type of water is produced through electrolysis, by running water over platinum-coated titanium electrodes charged with electricity. Kangen water is the registered name of electrolyzed reduced water that is made by a machine that is certified as a medical device by the MInistry of Health of Japan. These machines are small counter-top machines that are now available worldwide.

        Yes, your body regulates the pH of your blood, however the fluid in and around the cells fluctuates according to what you ingest, the accumulation of acid waste etc. When you say your body will adjust to drinking an acid or a base, yes your body will adjust and that includes the manifestation of different symptoms as a result of low oxygen levels and toxicity caused by too much acidity.


  7. Hi,

    I’ve heard about this before.

    Here is a link to the man doing the actual research:
    (edit: I see Dr Seyfried is already on the list)

    And here is a link to the blog article that lead me to the above link:

    What’s interesting about the blog article is that he mentions people who have followed this course of action. I would love to see those verified too.


  8. This is compelling stuff.

    One of the miracle cures that I always thought had promise on the internet was concentrated hash oil. Wasn’t really ever sure how it cured cancer, but perhaps it does so by lowering glucose levels in the blood?

    In any case, great read.


  9. My friend has pancreatic cancer. She is getting treatment, and has survived longer than expected. Bitter melon is what she eats a lot of. Apparently this acts like insulin and reduces blood sugar. Just skimmed article, but seems to jive with the general outline.


  10. Great read and info for follow up investigation Tim.

    I have become interested in the subject lately from another angle. I was doing a bit or research on anti-aging supplements and stumbled upon telomers (the end tips in our DNA) and the role of Telomerase in slowing down & reversing aging. There is also a definite link to cancer prevention as well.

    On you question about what works in cancer treatment/prevention, telomerase is found naturally in astragalus extracts which have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

    I’m not an expert by any means but the science is fascinating. Here are a couple links to get anyone interested started:





    • Hey Jeff,

      I got excited about Astragalus also – in the context of fighting my mother’s blood cancer. I got advice, however, that activation of telomerase may help cancer cells survive; this came from Dr. Rhonda Patrick of foundmyfitness. com (excellent site). I suggested, my mother discontinue use.

      Cheers, Jesse


    • Hey Jeff, on the Telomerase note I’d echo the potential downside Jesse Freitag pointed out. In a recent interview with Aubrey de Grey, he pointed out the same issue – that increasing telomerase, as is now getting popular in the anti aging world, may increase cancer risk by encouraging cancer cell longevity.


  11. Hi Tim and Pete,
    What an excellent article for a non medical background person such as myself I did get the message quite easily. Now if this was a post about php, mysql and html5 then I would of left you guys a pretty indepth comment on the subject, However I do with to leave you with a short story of a friend of mine and I too wish this had been published a few years back as well as recently I lost a good friend and client of mine Yvonne to cancer.

    I came to know Yvonne and her husband Mike after they hired me to develop a website for their new bushiness “The Holistic Practice”. The two of them purchased the building next door to my office here in Sutton Coldfield with an idea to help the locals of Sutton with holistic therapies and treatments.

    Yvonne was a picture of health after beating cancer the previous months before their new venture. Yvonne did not smoke or drink, kept fit and active and was full of life. Yvonne was someone who could bring joy to anyone she met including myself however my favourite memory of her is the questionable language and words she used in virtually every sentence uttered.

    Things were looking good for Yvonne and Mike as they loved the shiny new website I had built for them and the opening well really well employing our local member of parliament to open it while he was in the national news at the time for allegedly calling some police officer a name while leaving downing street one night but that’s an entirely different story anyway.

    A few months after the opening of the business Yvonne’s cancer came back and this time it was terminal. I remember attending her funeral last year and was amazed at how many people had turned up there literally was hundreds. It’s not fair that fit healthy and happy people like Yvonne who has touched the hearts of hundreds if not thousands of people should be taken away from us and unfit and unhealthy people like myself should remain (Well I am not that unfit now but I could be better).

    This is an excellent post guys and I will make sure that my good buddy Mike gets to see this. i just wish this was published a wile back as well. Still lets hope it brings hope to all those other people suffering with Cancer at this moment!

    Thanks for letting me leave this comment I really do appreciate it.
    Have a great day guys.
    – Phillip Dews


  12. Hello Tim,

    I have been a big fan for a long time. Thanks for the post!

    I recently lost 22 kg through intermittent fasting. One of the reasons for starting on this diet regimen was to lower/control insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1). According to a BBC Horizon show “Eat, Fast and Live Longer” presented by Michael Mosley a reduction in IGF-1 puts the body into “heal” mode. This looks like it could be related to the affect of lower glucose.

    I don’t necessarily want to live longer but to live more healthily for the time that I do have.



  13. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a famous Russian writer, was cured from cancer by Dr.Maslennikov. And this is despite having severe metastases. He was using chaga mushrooms (inonotus obliquus).

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote a howto in 1974. You may read it in Russian http://imgur.com/qr5HE0h

    Chaga extract was produced in USSR under the name ??funginum.


      • Hey I have about 100 lbs of Chaga have an Aunt that collects it, sure she would sell it all to you. As far as a cancer treatment I don’t believer there is a single legitimate study out there. Just my two yen, worth less than a penny.


  14. “The semi-pro (60 minutes) – Read the post, footnotes, and at least one top-10 suggested articles. This will give you more of a plan and put you ahead of 90% of the people who discuss cancer.”

    Dude, you are so hardcore hahahaha


  15. Honestly, I have no guts in reading this post, Tim. But many times even I feel that with such a progress in Science and Technology such diseases should be curable. They try to cure it through Chemotherapy which is not suitable to most of them because if the disease doesn’t kill people then the side effects from such treatment do as it took life of my aunt. She got so depressed that she took her own life. So there are healing therapies as Ayurveda and Japanese Healing treatment Reiki which provides much relief to the patients with their other treatments. The links don’t work here but the articles are worth reading. http://www.jiva.com/ayurveda/about-ayurveda/102.html

    Recently Steve Jurvetson shared future predictions of Ray Kurzweil as there is a fire side chat asking people as to which of the predictions to probe. Inspite of being an all through Management student, now already MBA, I love reading Artificial Intelligence whenever I get time because it always speaks about the future which fascinates me the most.

    So I comment on Steve’s post: “I think human intelligence can make most of the above possible but the 2020 about fat cells and last 2040 are rather challenging. A field of study Transhumanism which is a part of AI says that science and technology can overcome all human physical and intellectual limitations where aging is one of the criteria. If one day AI can cure Cancer or other such diseases that would be real futuristic achievement.”

    Later what his reply seems an obvious answer to any cure of cancer.
    He said:
    “One of his (Ray Kurzweil) cool ideas – finish the evolutionary transport of the single-stranded mitochondrial DNA to a double stranded copy in the nucleus (there are just 13 more genes to go) since there is no error correction in the mitochondria and mutations build up as we age. He also has a cancer therapy focused on the RNA-DNA duplex (with its unique polymerases) found in fetal stem cells (after organogenesis, they are no longer needed and can become the source of cancer that survives chemotherapy). As for AI, he’s all over it, and we’ll be talking about that. It’s all part of the Google Master Plan.”

    I think this is a part of Genetic engineering or genetic modification. Always wanted to ask Tim if he has heard about Reiki and its benefits since it originates from Japan?


  16. I have 4 small children and have recently stepped up to be the house cook because of my wife’s work commitments. I’m a poor cook but have been doing my best to cook healthy food for them. I want to introduce more veg to their diet as they eat anything and I am health conscious. I came across this video yesterday and it blew my mind. We feed our kids so much carcinogenic foods and the world governments generally promote this so that politicians can get finance from the big corporations (my opinion). Take a look at the video to learn how diet can totally improve our health. The number of diseases that are simply cured by diet is astounding!


    • Another important factor is water, which arguably is even more important since it makes up 75% of our body! Check out Kangen water, which is tap water that has been first filtered, then split into alkaline and acidic streams using electrolysis. The alkaline water is called Kangen water and it is richer in oxygen, is very antioxidant and is more hydrating (better absorbed) than regular tap, filtered or bottled water.

      This type of water has been used in Japanese hospitals for over 35 years and there are many scientific studies on it. Its scientific name is “electrolyzed reduced water”.

      The quality of the water we drink affects the nutrient absorption and utilization from your healthy diet! And also the ability of the body to neutralize toxins and excrete them.

      feel free to contact me for more info.


  17. I have recently been researching and reading testamonials on a natural medicine originally from Native American medicine called, Black Salve, and or Cansema made primarily of Bloodroot. There are negative comments and quack watch types that poo poo this, but after reading the blogs and then asking around, many people I have met say it works. It is used primarily in skin cancers, but I have also read of people taking capsules internally, and or applying the salve on the outside of body such as on the location a breast tumor, or pancreas and it coming out through the skin. It is a dramatic medicine, a corrosive and drawing nature can make for a spectacle, however many are opting for this instead of MOHs surgery. In fact, after reading the doctor that created MOHs also used Cansema to locate the skin cancer’s boundaries then removed them. But many testimonials from various cancer sites say this stuff works, and some even take internally. Check into it, it is fascinating.


    • I used bloodroot extract on a raised freckle that I had near my neck. People were telling me to check it out for cancer. I went to a dermatologist in a hospital where they scared the heck out of me and told me I should have a biopsy immediately and that it was probably melanoma.

      It turned out in the end that it was nothing, just caused by my rubbing vitamin E oil on this mishaped freckle, plus friction from my saxophone strap (I am a saxophonist and used to practice a lot wearing a strap to hold my saxophone). Anyway, I read about bloodroot in Dr. Alexander Weil’s book called “Spontaneous Healing”, He mentions that it is said to remove tumors, and I believe he tried it on his dog and some other friend tried it successfully. So anyway, I found a tincture of it, and started applying it to this raised freckle of mine, and in two weeks it was gone! It did bleach the skin there, so it doesn’t tan evenly with the rest of the area…