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Paul Edwards

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This post is prompted by the much-publicised death of Jess Ainscough, the so-called “Wellness Warrior”, an advocate of natural healing, rather than conventional cancer treatment, and the allegations that Belle Gibson, the author of the Wellness Cookbook and App, had falsely claimed to have terminal brain cancer as well as cancer of the uterus, spleen and blood.


I like drinking coffee but I don’t believe that pouring it up my backside will cure my cancer.  Coffee enemas are one part of the Gerson Therapy.  Both Ainscough and Gibson were recommending Gerson Therapy to their followers.


Wellness and cancer cures have become lucrative business thanks to social media. 


In 2011 Ainscough undertook the B-School program –training by US business guru Marie Forleo in online marketing.  The Australian Newspaper reported Ainscough as saying “I earned six figures within a year of completing B-School and have doubled my income every year since,” and that the program had taught her how to “organically attract an amazing tribe of people who trust me”.


Dr Ranjana Srivastava is an oncologist who writes regular newspaper articles. Click here to read her recent article on alternative therapies.



The Cancer Council has a position statement on complementary and alternative therapies.  Click here to read the position statement.



Perhaps Mike Scott who manages the New Prostate Cancer Infolink website should have the last word:

“Over 25 years, I have never heard of a single case of metastatic prostate cancer that went into complete, long-term remission without serious medical intervention of a pretty aggressive type.”

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The key words are 'complimentary' and 'Alternative'. Dr Ranjana Srivastava seems to mix the two. Juicing is 'complimentary' and coffee enemas are 'Alternative'.

I think the whole misunderstanding between Drs, particularly Oncologists and their suspicions regarding ANY other treatments apart from their own speciality cause a lot of angst with patients. Patients are drawn to 'alternative' methods because oncologists are so dismissive of the alternative methods that patients feel that the Oncologists feel threatened by the alternatives.

Another reason patients go the alternative methods is because it makes them feel they are taking control of their treatment rather than following the Doctors blindly, never really feeling that the Doctors are treating them more than just as another statistic. Questions of how or why are brushed aside and you are expected to do whatever the Doctor says.

Having said that. I research and use 'complimentary' treatments to support my traditional treatments. I didn't start that until AFTER chemo. I use complimentary treatments to build up my body and get everything working smoothly and boost my immune system. My GP and my Oncologist know that I am doing that. I am a lot fitter as a result. My blood and some organs were a mess after chemo, but we built everything back up so that my body is working a lot better than it would have been prior to chemo.

I juice 4 days a week. I eat a lot healthier, I have more energy and I see this as supporting my traditional treatments, not in any way reducing them.

Have I considered Radio Wave Therapy? Yes, but with no data to support it I dismissed it. Johns Hopkins were testing the treatment 5 years ago and there is still nothing from them to say yes or no. I have emailed the Dr doing the testing, but haven't received a reply. Have I considered coffee enemas? No! Would I try an alternative treatment that meant I have to stop traditional treatment? No!

Would I eat healthier and avoid certain foods over another? Yes! Would I exercise? Yes.

But in my experience, Oncologists do not discuss diet or exercise, they have their eye on their particular treatment. The most they say is there is no data to support the idea that such and such works. Is there data that says it doesn't? No.

So please do not dismiss diet and exercise and support of a Naturopath as 'Alternative' it should be 'Complimentary'.


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