Dr. Nagourney's Blog

In Cancer Medicine, the Most Dangerous People Are Often the "Experts"

By Robert A. Nagourney, MD

Many people may be aware of the controversies surrounding micro-nutrition, diet and lifestyle, vitamin supplementation and other "holistic" approaches to health that have been denigrated and criticized by the scientific community for decades.

Vitamin C and Cancer

Some years ago, Linus Pauling suggested that vitamin C might have anticancer properties. He and Ewan Cameron published a study of survival advantage in terminally ill patients who received supplemental Vitamin C (Cameron, E and Pauling, L PNAS, 1978), only to be castigated by the experts.

Bruce Ames, perhaps the world's greatest living biochemist and formerly of the Department of Biochemistry at Berkley has long suggested that micro-nutrients with a particular focus on vitamin C have important health benefits.

Again, the experts question the reasoning and consistently criticize the use of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, supplements, lifestyle or dietary interventions.

More Research on Vitamin C and Cancer

Now a study published in NATURE from UT Southwestern, raises questions about the wisdom of those experts’ opinions. Using a mouse model, these investigators showed that Vitamin C regulates a tumor suppressor known as Tet2.

In the absence of Vitamin C, Tet2 function was lost, leading to acute leukemia. 

As Tet2 cooperates with a potent oncogene, FLT3, to drive leukemia cells, these findings suggest that people deprived of adequate Vitamin C might be at greater risk for AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia), one of the most lethal forms of blood cancer in adults.

Linus Pauling is probably turning over in his grave while members of the contemporary scientific community continue to cling to their dogma and remain unwilling to consider anything that veers off their beaten path. One can only wonder how many of these experts are now supplementing their own diets with extra vitamin C.

More “Expert” Opinions

Where else might we find examples of the experts being so wrong?

One need only look at our current dietary guidelines from the U.S Department of Agriculture, the so-called food pyramid (now called MyPlate) that promoted high carbohydrate intake and the avoidance of fat.

We now recognize that carbohydrates are largely the culprits in our health problems and that fats can be very good for us. It is the lay public who came to realize this through their own reading of the literature and examination of the data. Again, it was not the experts.

A corollary is the long-standing recommendation that people avoid the consumption of nuts, as they were known to contain fats and fats, according to the experts, are bad for us.

Yet, the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology was brimming with reports that the regular consumption of nuts in the American diet could profoundly reduce the incidence of colon cancer.

A Look at Vitamin D

Supplementations of vitamin D can be traced to your grandparents who recommended cod liver oil. "Tsk, tsk" would say the scientists, "absurd, unnecessary, excessive." 

Yet today, we realize that appropriate maintenance of vitamin D is protective against skin, colon, breast, prostate, lymphoma and many other cancers. Why, we might ask, do the experts eschew simple vitamins?  That begs a more important question.

Why do we listen to experts?

The Human Factor in Medicine

The practice of medicine is part and parcel of all human behavior.

Doctors and scientists are driven by the same motivations as businessmen, realtors, salesmen and lawyers. While doctor and scientist couch their arguments in lofty terms, the motivations are no more noble.

Scientists and doctors are invested in their own fields.

They gain respect, support, financial sponsorship and recognition by publishing in their fields of expertise. That which rocks their boat is bad, whether it is right or wrong is immaterial.  

There are dozens of examples of errors in experts’ reasoning, yet, as experts, they’re rarely questioned.

Example:  A Failed Breast Cancer Treatment Approach

One need only look at the use of bone marrow transplantation for the treatment of breast cancer patients.  

This abject failure led thousands of women to undergo punishing and sometimes lethal therapies at the hands of medical experts whose unwavering adherence to the now discredited principle of dose-intensification left these unsuspecting women to become victims of their physician’s expertise.

Might there be other areas where these so-called experts have exceeded their expertise?

Cancer Testing and Treatment

One need only examine the field of human tumor studies for the selection of drugs and drug combinations.

With literally thousands of published clinical correlations, a long track record of success and an unimpeachable basis in scientific principles, life-saving techniques like the EVA-PCD platform go grossly underutilized based upon the so-called experts’ inexpert opinions.

Is it not time for cancer patients to break free from these experts and make choices that can save their lives and the lives of their loved ones? 

From what we have seen with the benefit of hindsight, for Vitamin C, Vitamin D, diet, lifestyle and so many other interventions that might have saved so many patient’s lives, it might be best and safest for all involved if when the experts speak that we take their opinions with a grain of salt (and some Vitamin C, D, and a few nuts).

As always, I appreciate your thoughts and comments.

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