BBC Snooker Promoting Cancer Quackery


Snooker player, Peter Ebdon, has been appearing on the BBC Snooker Championships with a promotional logo for ‘Gerson Therapy; emblazoned on his waistcoat.

Gerson Therapy is a form a alternative cancer treatment offered by many quacks and supported by a US company, the Gerson Institute. People with cancer are persuaded that the diet should be used as an alternative to mainstream treatment. It mainly consists of eating huge quantities of fruit and having coffee enemas.

There is no evidence that it has any effect beyond removing large quantities of cash from its users. Indeed, users may be harmed by its insane dietary requirements and the needless and dangerous enemas. Of course, it also harms people by driving a wedge between them and their oncologists and GPs. Informed decision making can no longer take place if you are being lied to by a quack with promises of ‘natural cures’. In short, there is every reason to believe that Gerson diets kill people.

Ebdon is free to believe such nonsense, should he wish. But he should not be using his platform on national TV to promote such dangerous nonsense.

And the BBC itself may be breaking the Cancer Act of 1939 which prohibits the advertising of Cancer Treatments. The act is clear,

No person shall take any part in the publication of any advertisement (a)containing an offer to treat any person for cancer, or to prescribe any remedy therefor, or to give any advice in connection with the treatment thereof.

I would suggest the BBC is clearly taking part in advertising an offer to treat a person for cancer – a criminal act.

103 Comments on BBC Snooker Promoting Cancer Quackery

  1. Not a bad point, but there’s no such thing as the “BBC Snooker Championships,” it’s the “World Snooker Championship” and is broadcast on the BBC.

  2. Your anger is entirely justified, but I fear somewhat misdirected.

    The tournament in question is the World Snooker Championships, not the BBC Snooker Championships. The tournament is sanctioned by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association ( and not the BBC. I would very much doubt that the BBC has any control whatsoever as to who sponsors the players, and (as per its mandate as a state broadcaster) neither should it.

    In fact it rather looks like it’s Peter himself who has chosen to publicise the dodgy diet, if the origins of forum posts such as this one are genuine.

    In short, don’t shoot the messenger. They’re not going to have any influence over Peter Ebdon’s choice of sponsor.

    Instead, I would direct any campaigning towards Barry Hearn, the promotor and chairman of World Snooker. I think he would be seriously appalled to learn what Gerson Therapy is in light of Peter Ebdon’s promotion of it (my suspicion is that he currently is unaware of what it actually is and its actual harms).

    Indeed, Barry was on record earlier this week criticising a player (Mark Allen) for bringing the game into disrepute.

  3. I suppose if you are going to accuse the BBC of falling foul of the Cancer Act on this, how about the recent Horizon Programme that clearly show cased three cancer treatments being developed and used at the Royal Marsden hospital.
    In this programme it clearly led the public to believe that these cancer treatments would benefit them.
    So very direct promotion!

    • No one is stopping sensible discussion and documentaries about advances in cancer science. We are talking about a simple case of advertising and promotion.

  4. Your comments regarding Peter Ebdon seem suspiciously harsh, abrasive, and dismissive of diet with regard to health & thus Cancer survivability. If you dont eat you die. If you spent a week living only on doughnuts & Coke Cola you would know about it!, so how do you justify dismissing diet from Cancer therapy?. You need a functioning immune system to actually recover from Cancer,& how does that occur without nutrition?. Why do you seem so averse to health. Explain yourself please. You seem to have an agenda of sabotaging anything promoting empowering people to Health. Please phone me on 07815 930238

    • I do not dismiss diet as an important component of any cancer regime. I hope all patients have access to a registered Dietician so they can understand how best to eat well during their treatments. I do dismiss specific unevidenced and dangerous quack diets that risk harming patients and causing distress though highly prescribed nonsense regimes. I am not sure what calling you would achieve if you have not grasped my central point.

    • Nigel, you’re using a bunch logical fallacies. If any person doesn’t eat, they die, regardless of whether they have cancer or not.

      Diet does not determine cancer prognosis any more than it does for a flu. Diet is related to general health, and those who are ill will benefit more by having a good diet. That’s the extremity of it. Eating a ton of apples will not rid you of cancer, however many you eat.

      You may find this useful:

      • So called “healthy diets” in cancer patients are often not so healthy after all. What cancer patients need is a balanced diet but above all lots of calories to counteract the catabolic stae induced by the tumour. The Bristol diet a few years ago was supposedly healthy and an alternative approach to cancer therapy but when they audited the outcomes patients didn’t survive for as long as those on a more normal diet.

    • The immune system cannot attack cancerous cells as they are not foriegn objects, they are ‘self’.

      QED diet will not help you recover. Any ‘normal’ diet will suffice.

      Besides, any claims on diet are imagined unless there is clear medical evidence to PROVE its effectiveness.

      Somebody correct me if I’m wrong?

      • The immune system can and does take out cancerous cells naturally, it can also be taught to do so vis a treatment for skin cancer in the clinic now. Many cancers are caused by translocations where sections of chromosomes are rearranged. These then produce aberrant hybrid proteins, also cancerous cells can also rearrange the genome. Chromosomal rearrangements are in fact one of the diagnostic criteria for some cancers. These hybrid proteins are presented on the cell surface as part of the normal cellular machinery for cell monitoring by the immune system and if they are different enough from what the immune system has learned as ‘self’ the cell will be attacked.

        It is estimated that a good healthy immune system keeps many people free of cancer all unknowingly by taking out small cancers before they can grow. One major strand of cancer research is to figure out both how cancers that do grow evade the immune system and what might go wrong in the immune system to allow them to grow.

        Disorders of the immune system are known to increase your cancer risk such as Karposi’s sarcoma in people with HIV/AIDS.

    • Amen !!!! Well said and I know personally a Gerson survived terminal in 1999 took it on and here today. If it’s so useless what’s the fear over ???

  5. It would seem that you consider yourself the authority on ‘sensible discussion’ What might be called advertising is also up for discussion!
    I would consider that men in white coats talking about cancer treatments as if theirs is the only way at present and the most advanced, is very much promotional and advertising for the Royal Marsden as well. I’m sure many would have contacted the Marsden after the programme who would want these treatments, so that is very effective advertising.
    The cancer act of which you are so fond of quoting, seems to apply and not apply at will.
    Much it seems depends on the treatments being discussed and your personal take on it as to whether you want to use the act or not.
    I intend to speak with Andrew Lansley, who just happens to be my local MP on this.
    There are many examples where the act could be used and it isn’t, such as literature and radio broadcasts etc all flout the act in the way you interpret it!
    Maybe this law is out of date!

    • There is a difference between a documentary or television show that is about discussing various cancer treatments and a company paying money to put their name on somebody’s clothes. Yes, they both give exposure to a particular brand of treatment, but they’re not comparable.

      • The Cancer act, of which was muted, makes no reference to whether money changes hands for advertising or not, it simply states that you can not promote treatments for cancer to the public!Promotion or exposure – as far as the cancer act goes – may be you need to get it qualiifed before using this act as a ‘threat’.

    • ‘Much it seems depends on the treatments being discussed and your personal take on it as to whether you want to use the act or not.’

      You might have said ‘critically discussed’.

      Any worker in mainstream medicine and research is prepared to have their work critically discussed in detail. They would be prepared to have their results and conclusions scrutinised. Indeed that is exactly what happens.

      Which advocate of non-evidenced medicine ever wants that to happen?

      • There are many studies for your so called ‘non evidenced medicine’ they just are chosen to be ignored by the ignorant.
        Lets not get to into ‘scientific testing’ if it was so exact and infallable why are we seeing an alarming increase in drug recall VIOXX to name just one of the many recents.
        I’m sure it was tested to the hilt????

      • Hi there Sarah,

        To target the whole of evidence based medicine on the basis of a few failures is a faulty generalisation, specifically Cherry Picking, a tactic favoured in analyses of literature of altmed.

        To specifically counter your example of Rofecoxib (marketed by Merck & co as Vioxx), I would just like to point out that it is in fact an exceedingly good NSAID, being a COX-2 specific inhibitor (similar to Celecoxib/Celebrex), which has the wonderful result of avoiding the side effects caused by inhibiting COX-1, which results in generation of stomach ulcers, due to a reduced mucus covering as the prostaglandin-based synthesis is not supported.

        Rofecoxib, in fact works perfectly as described, however, it was pulled (as you rightly mention) due to its cardiovascular side effects. These side effects are actually common to the entire NSAID line (though we don’t really know why – please correct me if someone does!), the reason Rofecoxib was withdrawn is that Merck concealed the cardiovascular side effects which were noticed in the trials in their recommendations to the FDA to get it approved. Its rather unfortunate as its actually a very good drug.

        There are many examples of drugs being pulled due to incomplete or new evidence, but I would argue that this is in fact a good thing, as it keeps the field of therapeutic pharmacology healthy and responsive to research.

        Sorry this has been quite long, and do shout if you want a condensed version.

        source: i’m a just finishing my MVST 1B course, which involves ALOT of pharmacology….

  6. Thanks for your comments guys about my defence of Ebdon promoting Gerson Therapy. Let me clarify my point; Nobody will have a magic single bullet for a Cancer patient because you have a number of factors coming together usually for Cancer to evolve, in addition you have an individual to address with all the mental, emotional, feeling aspects interplaying on their body. So my point regarding Nutrition is where it can aid in reversing the conditions of neglect in nutrition that let the Cancer rats in initially, that with optimising nutrition it is at least one area that can be controlled in aiding health!, and thus supporting the patient during the entire Cancer treatment regime adopted. My analogy to eating to prevent death by starvation is to point out what we all know; the food you eat affects you differently. Thus the Gerson Therapy should be a serious option to those looking to address toxicity in the body, nutrition, and considered for many Cancers – not all – that people have contained or eradicated by outrageously simple lifestyle changes. Please encourage patient involvement in there treatment. that way they may avoid the death by treatment scenario of poisoning methods lining the drugs companies pockets, where avoiding doctors and hospitals would of extended there life. Gerson, a proponent of Organics and Biodynamics, a woman to admire and encourage…..and investigate constructively.

    • Shorter Nigel: cancer patients bring the cancer on themselves by poor diet. Gerson is about changing your diet, therefore it is the cure.

      I think in Nigel’s mind that may pass for logic.

      • I need to add that Gerson therapy is based on diet but they also use supplements such as iodine, natural thyroid, Vitamin b12, liver extract, niacin(vitamin b3), digestive enzymes etc. The patient drinks 13 vegetable/apple/carrot juices a day. Gerson therapy asserts cancer is result of deficiency and toxicity. Juices and diet addresses the deficiency, coffee enemas, castor oil treatments are used to eliminate toxins from the liver. Dr Gerson was a scientist who based his treatments on observation and included all the components of the therapy on the results he got.
        There are lots of videos on youtube if you want to find out more.
        To the owner of this website: please don’t even try to dismiss Gerson therapy as some quackery as it would be a great insult to people who have used it succesfuly and who serve the public by trying to educate them about true health.
        If you want to be really respected via this website you need to stop trying to find quacks everywhere where there isn’t one. Do your research before you label anything. You seem to be against anything outside the mainstream which is quite sad. If it’s your personal need to do that I understand, but it -fourtunately- doesn’t make you right.
        Ps. I have not been a cancer patient and don’t have any relation to Gerson therapy in any way. I have had reason to research it and am very grateful for it.

      • Whenever people have no argument, they whimper, “show me the evidence”. There is an inordinate amount of evidence. Perhaps you need to get out of your sofa more often.

      • Whenever people have no evidence they always say “there is an inordinate amount of evidence.”. “Just google it”

    • “Cancers that people have contained or eradicated by outrageously simple lifestyle changes.”

      Nigel, what you wrote is mostly rubbish, but the above statement is in a different league. If it was so simple, do you really think that that hundreds of millions of pounds a year would be spent on much more sophisticated reasearh, developments and treatments? Can you cite one piece of evidence to support your claim?

  7. I’m just curious, as a North American, and not much of a snooker fan, I’ve never heard of Peter Ebdon. Is he known to have any brains, or is he a moron? Can he be reasoned with and explained why he should ran as far away as he can from Gerson?

    I read his own blog post that someone linked to above, and it seems as if he really believes this Gerson nonsense. So it might be too late to try to get through to him, however.

    A star hockey goalie here in Canada endorses Boiron Oscillo for the flu, so I know how susceptible athletes are to woo, especially anything health-related. But I’d hardly call a snooker player an athlete.

    Oh, and Nigel Astell just doesn’t get it.

    • “Is he known to have any brains, or is he a moron?”

      From wiki, “He started his career while at Highbury Grove School, resulting in him not taking his O levels – a decision he now regrets.”

      ‘O’levels were exams taken at age 16. I’d say he’s just the man for the job of promoting an alternative cancer treatment.

  8. Just to be clear Nigel. Gerson therapy iisnt merely a diet, you have coffee shoved up your arse.

    Even if it were merely a diet you will be able to find no evidence that it either cures cancer or even prolongs life better than a normal well-balanced diet.

  9. Well i think you sceptics of health, & restoring ones depleted immune systems, the only way – i say again – anybody can recover from Cancer, should step out for a moment from the multi billion dollar/pound Cancer failure, and read a book like Philip Days ‘Cancer…why we are dying to know the truth’. having lost both parents and an uncle to Cancer, i know they were never advised heat above 41oC, Alkaline diet, and oxygenation therapy. Any medical scientist cannot deny these Cancer enemies,so why the delay. Its free!!!!!!. So theres the stumbling block to addressing most Cancer. We only need a revolution guys, so come on. Get down to the Cancer Conference in Birmingham in October. its a start,

    • I have a rather nice bridge here, yours for a mere ten thousand, cash of course. It can be delivered to anywhere you like.

      It’s been on the market a while but it needs someone of your special discernment to properly appreciate it, hence the bargain price.

  10. I think you are all missing the point that Nigel is making here.
    If you are going into any treatment for cancer, then you must surely want to go into it with the best immune system you can have and that requires a healthy diet. Now if that is the Gerson Therapy or any other diet that is putting high nutrition foods on the menu, why would you argue against that?
    Coffee up your A**e, is there a need for such language! The medical profession use the enema technique for many things and coffee enemas have been shown to work. Enemas are also given to help breathing conditions – and that is in the medical field!
    let food be thy medicine! is that not from one of the great medics in its early days?
    When a oncology nurse tells a patient that during treatment it is the best time to eat poor nutritonal food so that the cell walls are less strong to allow the chemo to enter the cells, you truly have to wonder what the logic is. I would quite like the healthy cells to remain juat that!
    Having seen what cancer patients are served up in hospitals, its hardly a diet for health or restoring health.
    So what is to be feared from a healthy diet.
    What an odd lot of people who would advocate something else.
    heaven help those that want good, fresh, vibrant food.
    Should you ever have the misfortune of a cncer diagnosis, don’t forget to gorge out on junk food, as the chemo nurse in a top hospital told my client.

  11. Sarah,

    Do you have even the remotest idea of what the Gerson “treatment” is all about?

    It’s not just a healthy diet: it’s force-feeding the patient 20 pounds of fruits and vegetables a day.

    It’s having to drink a glass of fresh juice 13 times a day, once each hour.

    It’s having up to five coffee enemas a day, to ‘detoxify” the liver (which is scientific nonsense in the first place, and why coffee?)

    It also means having to buy all kinds of equipment and detox garbage from Gerson.

    And the worst thing is they tell you this torturous regime will cure your cancer by itself, not in conjunction with real medicine. So the poor victim wastes time and money while they could be seeking REAL treatment.

    Here’s the Gerson “therapy” page if you don’t believe me:

    • Force fed??? Slightly odd way of putting it! I suppose people enter into this particular way of altering the body chemistry as they do a chemo route, so do you then use the same language for that.
      I’m sure the medics would not like to think they are forcing chemo onto someone, but when they present it as the last chance, it is fear based forcing is it not?
      If we don’t start looking at integrative medicine, we are doing everyone a disservice. One approach doesn’t fit all as cancer develops for many different reasons in the individual.
      To the person who feels that the body doesn’t have the ability to change its PH level, what do think they use clini sticks for!!
      Ask any woman who has had a urine infection if here body isn’t acid up and the physical effect of that.
      I agree, the liver doesn’t need to detox, it does it all the time.
      It can be supported though!
      Re the NSAIDS, yes they do all have cardiovascular problems connected with their long term use, so caution needed and how naughty of MERCK to hide those findings in VIOXX. If that was an alternative therapy doing that, all hell would be let loose, not just a mild comment on ‘cherry picking’ hardly cherry picking! when i could have quoted many drugs that have data hidden and later revealed and pulled from the market!
      When drugs are proven to be at fault, the consequences can be severe or fatal, so lets not forget the seriousness of that!
      So given the inaneness of the comments and remarks back, and lack of medical knowledge shown by some respondents. This is my final contribution on the subject!

      • Sarah:
        “Force fed??? Slightly odd way of putting it!”
        Hardly. Fruit and vegetables are very filling, which is why slimming diets like Weightwatchers tell you to eat as much as you like. 15-20 lbs per day is extremely hard to manage. You really would have to force that amount down.

        “If we don’t start looking at integrative medicine, we are doing everyone a disservice.”
        Which is why so-called ‘integrative’ (i.e. fringe) therapies are evaluated by real scientists. If they are shown to work, they ARE integrated. Into medicine. Anything still left in ‘integrative medicine’ is best described as Mostly Worthless.

        “One approach doesn’t fit all as cancer develops for many different reasons in the individual.”
        Doctors are, in fact aware of this. That is why you should never give your leftover medicine to someone else: the treatment is tailored to your needs,and yours alone.

    • Have you ever been force fed chemo drugs and steroids via a pic line.The Gerson Therapy sounds delicious.Do some research,your ignorance shows!

  12. Nigel,

    Philip Day has been discredited many, many times. He has absolutely no medical or science background. His background is in marketing; he is nothing more than a salesman. He is the primo quack of quacks when it comes to cancer quackery. Or can someone with no medical or science background even be called a quack? He is a con man and a fraud.

    His claim to fame is promoting laetrile, which has been proven over and over again to be useless, if not downright dangerous (it is cyanide, after all. But it’s NATURAL, so it’s OK, right?)

    Of course the crook has a website where he sells dozens of useless, overpriced or dangerous junk.

    So Gerson and Day are both full of crap. That would be the takeaway message here.

    Alkaline diet? There’s no such thing. The body regulates its own pH. Nothing you eat or drink can alter your body pH.

  13. This is for Nigel: Since you have no conception on the causes of cancers – which are the result of mutations in specific genes – I think that refrain from putting your belief in cancer therapy in terms of diet and effects on the immune system. The only means of therapy is knocking out the cells carrying the mutated gene, hence radiation or chemotherapy.

  14. Thanks again Mark for your comments, however i would like to point out that Philip Day is a collator of data regarding health issues, and works on evidence not hearsay. I rank him alongside nutritionist Andrew Saul in the states.
    let us consider the Himalayans, they have to counter the laxative effects of all the fibre ingested in the Fruit Kernel flesh from the cyanide Kernels consumed. they are Cancer free!. Have you looked at the Okinawan diet?…..they are cancer free. Other lifestyle factors implicated i have no doubt, and thats the point to be looking at isnt it. Incidentally, the body does regulate its own P.H true, but it is diet/nutrition which regulates the state of the body in that process. just cite the case of the highest consumer of Dairy/Meat product in the world; the States, and you see the highest proliferation of osteoporosis from Calcium depletion in the bones. Yes! the body regulating its P.H balance desperately. Moderation & attunement to the needs of the individual again. I go for health,health,health every time thanks. give the Medical ‘professionals’ a wide birth when it comes to Disease avoidance or treatment. Lastly, i suggest you visit a Philip Day convention. You can address your concerns personally. Cheers…..

  15. Reuben….
    did you say “the only means of therapy”, i think you may want to contemplate that comment further. Have you investigated why those Genes mutate? We have been deceived for too long on this issue. Mutation is reversible. Do you work for a Chemo/Radiotherapy practice?.. They dont tell you that there..N.H.S ? My e mail is [email protected]

  16. “Mutation is reversible”

    I can only assume you buy a lottery ticket every week.

    The vital question is whether a large volume of coffee up your bum can help those odds as well. It’s about as likely as the Gerson therapy reversing oncogenic mutations.

      • genes respond to environment, quicker than you currently believe.

        Nope. The genes you start with are the ones you keep. All the environment does is to reduce the frequency of certain genes in a population by killing off their owners more rapidly than it kills of the owners of more successful genes.

  17. “If we don’t start looking at integrative medicine, we are doing everyone a disservice.”

    No, Sarah, if we integrate rubbish with real medicine and nursing support you do everyone a disservice. Your defence of Gerson and similar therapies is simply an appeal to incorporate disproven nonsense into medicine, as a pointless sideshow, at best, or as a dangerous diversion, at worst.

    You may not yourself have the ability to identify effective from ineffective treatments, but the sellers of quack remedies will not help you make the right choices. They are only after your money.

    Obviously Big Pharma wants to make money as well, but it does offer treatments that have some hope of being effective and with a reasonable balance of risk to benefit due to the range of regulatory controls applied to them. Quackery is all risk and no benefit serving only to line the pockets of whichever huckster seems the most convincing.

    Sarah,, you are their perfect mark.

  18. Well, I guess the good news is that Ebdon was forced to remove the Gerson logo, so all’s well that ends well…for now.

    I’m sure he won’t keep his mouth shut about it, however, which will somehow bring even more attention to Gerson than the logo might have. Can he talk about the clinic in news conferences and blogs and not be in violation of the Cancer Act?

  19. No Nigel I do not/did not work as a chemo/radiotherapist. I am a retired molecular biologist and have some knowledge of how cancers occur. You, on the other hand, appear to have no knowledge or understanding of the subject or what is the immune system. You just re-work the half-baked pseudo science of medical quacks.

  20. Reuben, a molecular biologist! Excellent. You can maybe enlighten us on the scandal of Statins, that Flu jab! Why Vaccinations dont work. Have work to do on the scandal of incoming G.M Gardasil Vacccine. What is the N.H.S THINKING? Bizarre. Merck were goona get you!I’m on [email protected]. Back to Cancer……
    The phrase pseudo science is a pejorative term exchanged amongst Medical and Health fraternities sustaining a disappointing polarity. This largely egotistically driven stand off has broken down the communication chain for an Holistic approach to multi faceted illnesses such as Cancer. Fortunately the Cancer Act 1939 has been rendered ineffective and archaic, thenceforth information is ‘out there’. Health support seems to be the absentee in standard treatment plans. It is self evident that big money now influences the bias within conventional healthcare, simple job protection is a force for tyranny. Has anybody spotted how Cancer seems impervious to the billions spent on ‘research’ and allopathic drugs, while nil to low cost non patentable practices are attacked. In summary, the patient is often steam rollered in one path only, as i bear witness, when mostly it would be rational to say from our understanding now of the human ‘being’, survivability would improve with an honest, ego removed, convergence of all the tools available, then tailored, be they Pharmacological, Invasive. Nutritional, Complementary, and ‘other’ Lifestyle. Well done Ebdon for speaking up.
    Patients may research beyond world of Doctors prescribing ONLY profit….

    • Nigel, none of your blether makes the Gerson Therapy work. It’s fairly clear that it does not.

      Are you commercially associated with its promotion?

  21. No commercial interest. I support Ebdon for expanding peoples knowledge on Disease management, treatment, and cure.
    Struggle with the hypocrisy of our current mainline restricted approach to Medicine, Health, and it education. Keeps the profits up though. Look at Statins for an of example of ignorance dependence, disempowerment, and Medical neglect. Drug companies hate me. I talk health. They don’t.
    P,S. I need help to address Quackery gone mad in the form of G.M Gardasil Vaccine hitting our shores in Sept. I want smart science, not corrupted science. [email protected]

  22. “Drug companies hate me.”

    You reckon?

    You’ve not meaningfully addressed the evidence-void that represents Gerson Therapy. I don’t think you’re much of a threat to Big Pharma if your performance here is typical.

  23. “Vaccinations dont work.”

    And that ticks another box. You evidently believe the complete set of counterfactual tropes. 

    It’s a familiar sight. Well-fed wealthy Westerners who live lives largely free of preventable disease thanks to the scientific advances of previous generations, but who smugly abuse that freedom to prance around in public spaces shouting, “Look at me, sheeple, I know how the world really works.”

    It’s actually quite funny. As funny as smallpox. 

    • Intersting comments Badly Shaved Monkey. Has all the sinister undertones of somebody entwined within the ‘lets keep people in awe at the Western Medical saviour of the 20’s onwards that has seen Health decline where its intervention has touched us. Just the smart medical science for me please, not the corrupted version that optimises profit through health aversion. Vaccinations creating illness in time for exhausted incidence of regular illnesses manageable with Organic Health policy.
      Gerson is one of many a tool available for Disease counter measures, it goes with sunlight, alkalinity, [you already displayed ignorance on the P.H subject], NUTRITION with LAETRILE yes, oxygenation, heat therapy, detoxification, and stress management. So you would tell a Cancer sufferer to avoid all that and go straight to the Chemo/Radio shop with a few Carcinogenic drugs added for good measure???…see my point finally. Smart science is a proponent of these but not patentable as you know!!
      If you ever have somebody suffering from Cancer, member of the family?, we’ll see how we get on together on this one. No, no charge. Providing they want to live that is! [email protected] I am contacting the B.B.C to push for an expansive debate on Cancer Treatment and Prevention. We can inc Gerson then. This is a subject with a protectionist, crusty, and miserable record in mainline media. I would welcome your assistance on this….next will be Vaccinations, then Statins. Maximum transparency….a challenge for mainstream media. Come on Quackometer site.Help. Where’s your balls!!!!!!.

  24. Nigel, I am pleased you found my comments interesting. 

    “Come on Quackometer site.Help. Where’s your balls!!!!!!.”

    In the marquee on the croquet lawn. Black tie, only. 

    Unfortunately, you do not have a ticket. 

    P.S. I have not commented on “P.H.”, but if you mean pH  then your typography certainly indicates you are pretty ignorant on the subject. But do not let that stop you bringing some reliable evidence to the discussion. 

    For family members with cancer, would I like to see them take good nutritional advice from someone well-qualified to give it? Yes I would. This would form part of a genuinely holistic approach to cancer treatment. Would I encourage them to turn their lower bowel into a coffee urn for the financial benefit of crooks? No, I would not. Would I encourage them to add the toxicity of cyanogenic plant products that have had no demonstrable effect on cancer survival? No, I would not. I’m sure they would have enough to contend with without adding useless quackery to their lives. 

    Good luck with the B.B.C. 
    I believe the well-established convention is that all your communication with them should be handwritten in green ink on pages torn from a school exercise book. 

  25. I’m very sure that those going down the route set for them, will, as you say ‘Have more than enough to contend with!’
    After all enduring Chemo,Radiotherapy and possibly an op, is certainly more than flesh and blood can stand! So I totally agree with you…more than enough!
    In fact I guess we are doing rather well, spending all this money and yet even those in the industry know that we are still far from getting on top of the cancer situation – we are doing very well!! Excellent! If this was a private industry, heads would have rolled by now, but it is a bottomless pit, kept open by the fear to look outside of the box and consider options that people try and have success with, even if that means along side some of these wonderfully successful methods currently employed by the NHS!!
    Having watched people ‘contend’ with these NHS methods, they certainly put up with enough, so much so their bodies couldn’t take it and they didn’t even make the magic 5 year ‘survival’ time. Nowhere near even!(You could be a dead survivor if you only just make it past that of course)
    I trust you are not in the medical field directly linked to patient care, because heaven help us all!
    People don’t lose the ability to be discerning when they have a cancer diagnosis and it would be far better for a debate on what can work and of course there are dodgy practitioners in every area of life, even in medicine!
    Prevention is better than cure and most of what is proposed to help gain health, should be applied beforehand to ‘keep health’
    All experts agree that it comes down to immunity and so surely we look at every way possible to ensure that is good! That has to be diet, stress levels and toxicity from many sources and if you can explain to me how knocking out healthy cells and coupling that with mediocre ‘nutrition’ in an oncology ward can help immunity, well please do!

  26. Sarah, you continue to proceed on the basis that there is anything other than dodgy practice in alternative medicine, yet you have wholly failed to address the fact that essentially all “alternative” medical therapies are either unproven (and usually so implausible as to not need formal disproof) or have actually been disproven. This has nothing to do with the discerning ability of actual cancer sufferers. These are just the uncomfortable facts.

    “Having watched people ‘contend’ with these NHS methods, they certainly put up with enough, so much so their bodies couldn’t take it and they didn’t even make the magic 5 year ‘survival’ time.”

    And I have a colleague who is well past the 5-year point with a throat cancer (4cm mass in the base of her tongue) treated by surgery and radiation. We can trade anecdotes as much as you like and we cannot know whether she will live without recurrence: the future turns out to be one of the hardest things to predict and your comment suggests you do not really grasp the essentially statistical nature of all descriptions of treatment outcomes for cancer. This renders hollow your opinions on the subject.

  27. I would suggest also your opinions are ‘hollow’ as you come at it with a closed mind and I in fact am open to all methods being considered. That is what i find incredible with those who add to this website – closed minds and thus very unscientific.
    Let us remember, science only believes to be true what we know now – and the future of what we may go on to discover is as you say hard to predict! Funny if all you condemn now, gets ‘proven’ in the way you want it to be,to be of benefit.
    Wouldn’t it be hard to swallow if therapies such as Gerson’s actually takes a place in recovery and health! End of my comments on this!

  28. The Gerson scam is not only useless, it’s downright dangerous. Here is a list of side effects, particularly from all those enemas.

    This is from the Cancer Research UK website:

    Side effects

    The Gerson diet can cause some very serious side effects. Coffee enemas remove a lot of potassium from your body and have been known to cause
    Salt and other mineral imbalances in the body
    Heart and lung problems, even death

    Regular, long term use of enemas can weaken the bowel muscle. This can cause constipation and inflammation of the bowel (colitis).

    Other reported side effects of Gerson therapy include
    Dizziness and weakness
    Abdominal cramps
    Loss of appetite
    Diarrhoea and sickness
    Aching, fever and sweating
    Cold sores

    Some elements of the Gerson diet are definitely healthy, for instance eating low fat food and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. But taking this to the extreme and eating very large quantities of one food group in a certain way (juicing), without balancing it with other food groups, isn’t a ‘healthy diet’. It can be very harmful for people who are already weak and ill.

    And this, from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center website:


    The American Cancer Society warns that Gerson therapy can be very harmful.

    Adverse Reactions

    Common: Flu-like symptoms, loss of appetite, perspiration with foul odor, weakness, dizziness, cold sores, fever blisters, high fever, tumor pain, intestinal cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting. (The Gerson handbook claims that these adverse reactions are indicative of response) (1).
    Common (metabolic diet): Nutrient deficiencies (calcium, vitamins D and B12, protein), anemia, and malabsorption may result from metabolic diets.
    Reported: Campylobacterfetus sepsis caused by the liver injections was reported in 13 patients using the Gerson therapy between 1980-6; liver injections were subsequently eliminated from the regimen. Coma from low serum sodium (as low as 102 mEq/l) occurred in 5 of these patients (9).
    Coffee enemas cause electrolyte imbalance, which has resulted in serious infections, dehydration, colitis, constipation, and death.
    Case Reports (Coffee enemas): Case 1: Multiple seizures and hypokalemia leading to cardiorespiratory arrest, coma, and death were reported after excessive use of coffee enemas (1-4 per hour) for a number of days. Case 2: Death attributable to fluid and electrolyte imbalance causing pleural and pericardial effusions after use of coffee enemas, 4 per day for 8 weeks (5).

    And of course the most dangerous aspect is that cancer patients waste their time and money suffering through this regimen instead of getting real treatment.

  29. Well how interesting!

    I forgot that radiotherapy has no side effects and chemotherapy is of course absolutely without any side effects at all.
    But of course, cherry picking is ok!!

    Open minded…I’m open minded enough to consider that one approach doesn’t fit all and that everything has a place.

    I’m open minded enough to consider the testimonies of those that survive through trying other methods and those that survive trying the chemo route!

    Some comments show that what is deemed ‘open mindedness’ equates to simply agreeing with them or else it is considered a closed mind!

    Having read some of the comments on this site, it is a strange little website that I don’t have time for, so no point leaving me any further comments.

    Patients to treat!

    • Some comments show that what is deemed ‘open mindedness’ equates to simply agreeing with them or else it is considered a closed mind!

      Yes, that would be your comments.

      Reading between the lines, your answer to my question (if you’re open minded enough to accept that Gerson therapy doesn’t seem to have any positive effects for cancer patients) is “No, I’d rather believe anecdotes”.

      Having read some of the comments on this site, it is a strange little website that I don’t have time for, so no point leaving me any further comments.

      No worries, you’ve said enough.

      Patients to treat!

      With Gerson therapy?

    • “I forgot that radiotherapy has no side effects and chemotherapy is of course absolutely without any side effects at all.
      But of course, cherry picking is ok!!”
      In your book, yes: it would seem so. After all,chemotherapy and radiotherapy actually have a measurable beneficial effect on certain tumours, to the extent they can save lives. Hence many people put up with the adverse effects in order to live longer with less discomfort.

      I would remind you that the Gerson therapy has NO beneficial effect on any cancer, which makes it vastly superior as a way of making people miserable, but a complete washout as a treatment for cancer.

      • Your opinion, not fact. There is a lot of evidence to see but i don’t think you would unless it’s printed in some magazine. And those magazines won’t print them. Just research the history of Gerson therapy.
        By the way although Gerson therapy is my most respected treatment there are lots of others who have had endure harassment from the pharma. The difference between who are willing to even look at alternative therapies seem to lie in whether you trust the authorities or not. Not in any kind of evidence.

      • I’m sorry, that was facetious of me. I’m sure ele has reviewed a series of large-scale well-controlled trials and will be happy to give us all the details. The only other possibility is that ele is a credulous fool and/or someone making money by scamming cancer patients and that can’t possibly be true.

  30. Sarah: I missed this the first time.

    I feel sorry, if not downright terrified for your “patients”.

    What kind of “treatments” do you administer? What kind of health care provider are you?

    Quacks defending quacks…figures.

  31. Could this possibly be our “health care professional” commenter Sarah?

    Notice there isn’t a single educational or professional credential on her “detailed” profile. Too embarassed to name the mail order diplomas she’s bought?

    If it’s the same Sarah she’s also organizing the Quack Quonvention in October starring head duck Stan Burzynski (who will have lost his medical license by then, hopefully.)

    AND…among her favourite books are anything by Deepak Chopra or Dean Radin.

  32. “Could this possibly be our “health care professional” commenter Sarah?”

    Is there anything in particular to connect the author of that blog and the commenter here? I mean apart the fact that neither is able to make a coherent argument and both come across as wilfully ignorant and thoroughly loathsome human beings?

    • skepticat:

      A “Sarah” was posting on another discussion (“Burzynski comes to the UK” I think was the title) as one of the organizers of the motorcycle/quack show, and her personal blog came up (she’s an active opponent of the Cancer Act, of course, as it jeopardizes her livelihood.)

      Since the writing style on this discussion is identical to the other postings and the blog (the Needless capitals! The Constant and Unneccesary use of exclamations!) and the message is the same, I was really asking if this Sarah is the same one who posted on the Burzynski blog.

      The bio is from the same blog. I guess she bought a white lab coat in a costume shop.

      Oh, and she also hates children and her neighbours. She’s an anti-vax loonie. I hope she doesn’t have kids of her own.

  33. Sarah,
    Are you doing this deliberately, or do you really not understand?

    “I forgot that radiotherapy has no side effects and chemotherapy is of course absolutely without any side effects at all.”

    No one is claiming that these have no side effects. But they also have some efficacy. For a useless therapy, like Gerson, no side effects are acceptable.

    Your obtuseness is astonishing.

    You have once again failed to answer Vicky’s question. Please, get on with it.

    “evidence suggests that the ‘Gerson regime’ isn’t useful in any way for treating cancer. Are you open minded enough to accept that?”

  34. What a surprise: our Sarah offers some of the most extreme forms of useless quackery and charges money for it! Reflexology, cranial sac-a-shit reflexology, aromatherepy, Indian head massage and of course ear candling!

    At least what she sells is only useless. It’s not dangerous, like Gerson, unless you burn your ear with the candle.

    I just hope her victims aren’t using her services rather than seeking genuine health care for serious ailments.

  35. I am sad to report that Sarah Ling (for it is she – see links in above postings) has had to announce on the website of the Cambridge Institute for Integrated Medicine, that Dr Burzynski will not be able to attend their Cancer Conference in October after all.

    I am sure this is a great disappointment to Sarah, as she is clearly keen to see cams more closely integrated with conventional medicine. So am I.

    And the sooner camists train and qualify as orthodox medicine and HPC reglated professionals the better. Those who cannot, or will not, must be urged to provide the evidence we need of the efficaciousness of their teatments. And they must acknowledge that annecdotes are not data. That’s all it would take. Is that too much to ask?

    Of course they would run the risk of being asked to explain how they can be distinguished from quacks, and of being struck from the regulated professional registers if they cannot do so. That’s how tough orthodox medicine is. Get over it.

    • Unfortunately being HPC regulated does not stop many private physiotherapists marketing reflexology and craniosacral therapy. The HPC and Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) are aware and do nothing.

      NCCAM does not fund studies of reflexology because NCCAM says “its key concepts are not consistent with established
      laws of science” but The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Reflex Therapy (ACPIRT) is a recognised professional Network of the CSP (see CSP website, from which the following excerpts are taken):

      “The aim is to promote the skills of Reflex Therapy within physiotherapy and other professions, reflecting the clinical responsibilities laid down by the Health Professions Council.”

      “Gunnel Berry led an audit of members of ACPIRT (the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Reflextherapy). The audit assessed the usage and involvement of reflextherapy in physiotherapy treatments in the UK. All 94 respondents thought reflextherapy was a good intervention procedure for their patients. They recommended the treatment to be taught in physiotherapy schools and wider. They wanted more publicity and wider audience participation for inclusion of reflextherapy in physiotherapy training. 50% thought that 25% – 50% of patient improvement was due to the placebo effect but that the rest was an effect of physiological changes. The membership was divided whether to call it reflexology or reflextherapy in context of the treatment application.”

  36. It would be nice to know if Sarah and Nigel actually tried going to school. Quack promoters really do have twisted logic. Has anyone tried studying the brain of these quacks either MRI or post mortem?

    • Interesting comment, definitely on the fascist side of thing, so if somebody dose not agree with you or use the same kind of logic, they are abnormal, and should be used for testing, like animal.
      I know that among the skeptic there is a fair number of arrogant people who think they are so superior, but this goes one step further; on the basis of this kind of comment, I think I like the quacks better, they are definitely safer.
      I am glad you are just commenting on a website, and not in politic.

  37. To make a joke and dismiss 1000s and thousands of those who cured themselves of cancer and other illnesses using Gerson Therapy, Dr. Burzynski methods, Dr. Joanna Budwig Nobel Prize nominated cancer cures….all with testimonials and proof…I doubt Mr. Lewis is acting on his own.

    • Where are these thousands and thousands? Evidence, that’s all we’re asking for. I’ve linked to evidence suggesting that Gerson Therapy is useless – does that do anything to change your mind?

      As for the Nobel Prize nomination – did she win? If not, what makes you think that she was even nominated? The nominees aren’t published and the nominees aren’t told they’ve been nominated.

  38. I know two people who have cured their cancers using Gerson type therapy and another with incurable liver cancer who is stunning her GP with the improvements made to her health by the use of complimentary therapies. You are sadly narrow and would do well to look at case studies of the many people involved in orthomolecular cancer treatments. It is sad that you are unable to accept a persons right to choose. I know what I will be choosing should I ever get cancer and it won’t be chemo or radiation therapy.

    • Good luck Lettie if that should ever happen.

      I would suggest though that you think quite carefully about how your views on cancer treatment override those of medical science.

  39. Your undue harshness toward Gerson Therapy is misguided. You obviously have not researched the subject except through the mainstream media. Many people who go to Gerson are already terminal and sent home to die by their doctors. 85% are cured by Gerson Therapy which has helped thousands over the years to heal themselves and live long lives. This is well documented if you would bother to investigate further.

    • That is a pernicious falsehood. Substantiate you claim of 85%.

      Despicable quackery.

      Do you have the integrity to back up your claims? Or will you slink off like most quack apologists?

      • First of all, Mr. Lewis, your anger is very telling about you.
        Second, the Gerson Institute does not advise people to fore-go any conventional cancer therapy. Terminally ill patients seek the Gerson therpay usually, but not always, because the conventional doctors have told them there is nothing more they can do. Some doctors even suggest their terminally ill patients seek alternative healing methods,including the Gerson Therapy, because the conventional methods are so damaging that the patient would not survive. And did you know that you can purchase the Gerson Therapy book and a kit of tools to use at home? You should really check it out.
        And you think the Gerson Institute is expensive?? Compared to what??!
        Conventional cancer therapy costs tens of thousands of dollars and is considered successful if a patient can survive 5 years post. Many cancer survivors, after using the Gerson therapy, are alive and well 20 and 30 years or more with no re-occurrence. They learn how to work nutritionally with their body which is something conventional cancer therapy does not do. Typical hospital food would make anyone sick.
        The human body is designed to heal itself if given the proper tools to do so. There is no reason to wipe out the entire immune system to heal a person.
        The Hippocratic Oath states a couple of things:
        1) “Primum nil nocere” First, do no harm
        2) “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine 460-377 BC
        Patients receiving the Gerson therapy receive healing, organic juices which are concentrated doses of anti-oxidants, among other things. When the body starts killing off the toxins and shrinking tumors, the liver becomes loaded with the waste. Organic coffee enemas stimulate the body to eliminate the waste that is coming from the liver. It’s like making sure your plumbing is clear when you break up a clog in the pipes of your home. The body is amazingly capable of detoxifying if given the proper tools.
        Chemotherapy and radiation do a tremendous insult to the body’s innate healing systems.
        The intelligent thing to do would be to ask ourselves
        1) who stands to lose the most if a “cure” (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc) is found?
        2)Who is making the most money by maintaining the status quo?
        3)Why is BigPharma and BigMedicine so afraid of a Gerson Institute Logo? If the Gerson therapy is truly quackery then this should have been a non-issue. Their reaction, just like your anger, says they perceive a threat. Really? The Gerson therapy a threat to conventional medicine? Yes.
        You see healing nutritionally makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.
        Just follow the money and the motive becomes obvious.

      • Maxine

        Neither you nor Richard has chosen to substantiate his claim that “85% are cured by Gerson Therapy”. Do you have that evidence or is it an outright lie?

      • I am angry at people who peddle self-serving misinformation that has the potential to harm people.

  40. oh and one more thing… You stated in your article that Mr. Ebdon “should not be using his platform on national TV to promote such dangerous nonsense.”
    Then let’s go for it, Mr. Lewis, and apply that same approach to Coca Cola and the soft drink industry, cigarette ads, the fast food industry, liquor ads, and pharmaceutical drugs .. all of which are “dangerous” and/or have secondary or long-term effects that actually kill people.

    • Maxine. I am based in the UK where it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to advertise to the public. And there are strict regulations for soft drinks manufacturers too about how they may advertise.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Is it illegal to promote Gerson Therapy at the World Snooker Championship? | Josephine Jones
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