07 April 2012

The Spanish Inquisition comes to A Current Affair

Channel 9’s A Current Affair has chosen Good Friday to air the program they recorded featuring myself, Prof Ray Lowenthal and two wonderful women who are currently attending a cancer group I facilitate at the Gawler Foundation. Many thanks to Sandy Dean and Ruth McGowan who communicate very well.

On the program, Lowenthal claims there is no evidence at all that I had secondary cancer. That is an extraordinary and outlandish statement given all the clinical evidence and medical investigations carried out at the time, and imaginably it is deeply disturbing to my treating doctors who did all that was necessary at the time to investigate, confirm and help treat my cancer. Lowenthal was not one of my treating doctors, nor did he speak with them or examine their original records. What a cheek !

Lowenthal claims my recovery 35 years ago, from what by any estimation was a major, life threatening illness, was due to the fact that I had TB, not cancer, and that the TB was successfully treated with anti-TB drugs. However, as well as completely disregarding the evidence of my diagnosis, he also knows I definitely did have chemotherapy. He seems to overlook the fact that chemotherapy is seriously immune suppressive, and if I only had TB, the chemotherapy would have caused me huge complications and almost certain death. By contrast, I had no significant adverse reaction to the chemotherapy and clearly am still alive. Being a chemotherapist himself, I wonder why Lowenthal has overlooked this fact as well.

But Lowenthal does reveal a disturbing possibility. Unfortunately, there may still be sections amongst the oncology world that are antagonistic to patients being self-empowered and using self-help techniques. Lowenthal obviously prefers to attack me personally rather than accept the fact that many cancer patients, like myself are really interested in and committed to what is best described as Lifestyle Medicine.

Lifestyle Medicine is not about giving herbs or charging large fees, but focuses on empowering people and helping them to mobilize their own healing resources through things like good nutrition, exercise, healthy emotions, positive thinking and meditation. These things are clearly low cost, non-patentable and readily available.

Lifestyle factors are recognized as being therapeutic in heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes, and we have recent groundbreaking published evidence of their major benefit in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Why are they not commonplace in cancer medicine?

Lowenthal’s claims are dangerous as they have the potential to turn needy people away from significant benefits.  That is why I agreed to appear on this particular TV program.

Lowenthal’s attitude is disappointing in that I have been committed to this work for over 30 years, and I had hoped that by now the integrative approach that is observable in many aspects of modern medicine, would have been more fully supported in cancer medicine.

Is Lowenthal alone in his views, or is he representative of a deeper issue? Many doctors I know have told me they have been embarrassed by him. However, maybe the discussion he is provoking will lead to better clarity around these issues, and some real progress. Maybe we will even get some research into long term cancer survivors and the methods they use. Now that would make for a good program!

For more explanation from me re these extraordinary claims, click on the relevant recent blogs:

1. Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

2. And another thing

3. More on the Inquisition

3. MS – can you believe this?

To check the ACA program Click here. Please consider leaving a comment – both on the ACA website and on the Comment section below.


  1. Ian, I've just come across this saying and it applies to you!

    'Sometimes, even the flight of an angel hits turbulence.'

    Best wishes.

  2. Hi Ian.
    I met you many years ago at one of your awe inspiring, life changing seminars at Albury. As you know, it's all about Big Pharma, mainstream medicine and The Cancer Industry. There are cures out there that work but there is too much invested in the Industry to ever allow these to be recognised. Do many of doctors go the Radiation Chemotherapy Road??? Keep up the great work.

  3. ACA is outrageous journalism - it's barely even worth talking about - you are brave to have gone on the program Ian - you are damned if you do and damned if you don't - good on you for trying anyway - the truth in the end is always revealed - but the worst impact will be on those in need who may now turn away !

  4. oh well, he is very shallow minded and you have helped so many hundreds of people live a better quality of life that you are a special soul who can brush him off and keep going with your fantastic work.

  5. Hi Ian,
    What a shame such narrow thinking has an avenue to be married with such poor, sensationalist journalism. I've read your books and attended your workshops and what was so powerful for me what that you actually helped me to embrace Western medicine rather than pursuing only the 'alternative' path. You did this be helping me to understand the concept of 'complimentary' and 'integrative' approaches as opposed to alternative medicine. This has allowed me to make the best choices for myself rather than viewing Western medicine as something that should be avoided at all costs (as perhaps I had in the past). I agree with your statement that perhaps this can be viewed as a platform to create more clarity and discussion around these issues. Well done and thank you for the amazing contribution you have made to all those whose lives you've touched in the same profound way you have touched mine. Blessings, Sarah

  6. Don't worry about him. You're a legend.



  7. Hi Ian,

    "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win".

    This quote - attributed to Gandhi - keeps appearing in my mind every time I hear about what you're experiencing.

    Thanks for all your wonderful and inspiring work.

    All the best.


  8. You are not alone. Einstein said "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
    Dispute with Lowenthal gives opportunity to once more demonstrate your resilience. IF you did have TB AND survived chemo doesn't that broaden the application of your strategies for healing? Did you have an opportunity to point out the significant iatrogenic death toll or the clause in the Hippocratic Oath “I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug?

  9. Hi Ian,

    It's upsetting, unsettling and unprofessional that Dr Lowenthal opposed and challenged your case without referring to your previous medical or clinical evidence thoroughly (as any serious investigation demands.) But, just like you, I am hoping this may well raise deeper questions and more people can come and second your voice. Thank you for standing up to your approaches, as some of us have benefited immensely at many levels with our without cancer.

    Keep going.

  10. Dear Ian

    You are the most inspirational person on my own cancer journey...
    from the moment I read your book 'you can conquer cancer', straight after the diagnosis of secondary breast cancer...
    You are amazing, with your power and abality to empower and fill people up with hope...

    Here's what I wrote in response to the ridicilous segment from ACA

    Thank You for everything


  11. Dear Ian, as a sufferer of the medical mafia and a media that relies on distorting the truth for their own vested interests I know what it is like and what you are going through.
    What you do is fantastic. There is now a growing body of evidence to show that it works. I hope you have seen the work of Prof Dean Ornish, first in the 90's he reversed the atherosclerotic plaque when everyone said it was not possible, then in a study in 2005 he reversed all the indicators of prostate cancer. Simply by changes in lifestyle and diet.
    Best wishes and all our support.

  12. Hello Ian, I've never met you, nor heard of you before now, but I HAVE encountered the benefits of the work that people like you have championed. Without your brave and open battle of bigotry, idiotry, and hatred of things unknown, so many more people would not only die early, but not be blessed with the power to heal their hearts. Thank you for what you do.

  13. Hello Ian - I recently saw the report on Nine's A Current Affair featuring yourself and a Dr Lowenthal, an oncologist. I have to say that I was dismayed and appalled at, as I understood it, the lack of understanding for all that cancer patients can do for themselves beyond allopathic medicine. When I was diagnosed over 3 years ago with systemic metastatic renal cell carcinoma, I felt very much in an information vacuum. Treatment options open to me included neither surgery nor radiotherapy, and whilst chemotherapy had in the past shown mediocre success with mRCC, a relatively new drug, Sutent, was showing promise.

    Allopathic medicine offered no advice of integrative therapies, of the importance of taking control, emotional health optimization (especially combating fear), the importance of relaxation techniques, meditation, healing visualization/imagery, exercise and breathing, spiritual connection, vegetarian & optimization of diet (beyond a 'balanced' one - whatever that is??), nutritional juicing, eradication of toxins (dietary and emotional), consultations with empathetic 'holistic' GPs, positive hope (in recognition of the real evidence of many thousands of 'spontaneous' remissions of diverse cancer types and stages within Australia and around the world), and the valuable literature and audio bank out there describing how greatly cancer patients can assist themselves! I had to find that out myself over the past 3+ years. I began my quest with your own program and follow it to this day, plus some refinement appropriate to my personal circumstances.

    I cannot fathom the purpose of detractors of integrative treatment models. Bolstering public faith in traditional allopathic medical treatments? Pointless, unless cancer patients are voluntarily opting out, which, since options are limited and their hopes are sky high, would not be so. Dismantling 'false hope'? No such thing. So why deny cancer sufferers tentatively hopeful confidence invested in an integrative treatment model. Why discredit your work and its proven benefits, and, thereby, that of others like you (witness the books, 'Surviving Cancer - Inspiring Stories of Hope and Healing'; 'You Can Conquer Cancer'; 'You Can Beat The Odds'; 'Living Simply with Cancer'; 'Life, Happiness and Cancer' and many other survivors' accounts - in which the common theme is patient willpower, control, determination, open-mindedness, and, ultimately, success!). Allow us the hope, if not of complete remission, if not of tumour regression, if not even of stability, at least allow us the hope of the human spirit in trying!

    Neither oncology, not its allopathic god, indeed nobody, yet has a cogent answer for the occurrence of so-called 'spontaneous' remissions. That traditional allopathic medicine could be still so rigidly shackled to its marvellous yet limited science, and allow absolutely nothing beyond it (actually, I suspect many allopathic practitioners are swaying toward integrative mind-body wisdom) including by cancer patients themselves, is more than, as you said in the ACA report, 'disappointing', it, in my opinion, is disturbingly myopic. Certainly, it is terribly disheartening to vulnerable cancer sufferers needing to, with great hope, courage and determination, put all options, allopathic and otherwise, 'on the table' for intelligent scrutiny. Easily accessible patient information is vital.
    Cancer treatment, it seems to me, needs to go beyond the current traditional linear model of assessment–diagnosis–treatment–outcome. A more collaboratively linear/lateral approach, embracing integrative treatment strategies would actually support conventional treatment models and, more importantly, would markedly benefit patients.

    So, thank you, Ian. Thank you for your insight, your generosity, your compassion, your courage, your persistence in bringing hope and healing to people facing cancer. Please keep up your fine, and so very crucial, work.

    Best wishes,