Edie’s anecdote

We took Edie for treatment twice a week and, within a month, her breast had started to heal. Several months later, Edie’s GP, the one who’d delivered the death sentence, came to examine her and was astonished to see her walking around at all

The November 2013 WDDTY contains in its editorial a touching anecdote about Lynne McTaggart’s mother-in-law, Edie:

About 20 years ago, we had our own experience of looking for answers to cancer when Edie, Bryan’s mother, then 78, was suddenly diagnosed with end-stage breast cancer. She’d privately nursed the cancer for several years without telling anyone, let alone seeing a medical professional. When we finally learned of it and insisted she see her GP, he was shocked when examining her—her breast looked, as he put it, “like raw meat”. So advanced was the cancer that it was too late to try chemotherapy or any other intervention other than powerful painkillers. Edie had three months to live at the very outside, the GP said to us privately. “And if I were you, I’d get her affairs in order.”

To be honest, we were frightened and far from certain we had any answers. Fortunately, because of our work, we were able to contact WDDTY columnist Dr Patrick Kingsley, a medical pioneer in Leicestershire who has helped people with a variety of conditions, including cancer. We didn’t know how successful he’d be with a case of terminal cancer, but we were encouraged to hear that he ran a local cancer group consisting of many other nohopers who were apparently outliving the odds.

His therapy included high-dose intravenous vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide administered twice a week, and a modified healthy diet free of foods like dairy, wheat and sugar, plus a vitamin supplement programme tailored to the purse and tastes of someone reared on standard British fare.

We took Edie for treatment twice a week and, within a month, her breast started to heal. Several months later, Edie’s GP, the one who’d delivered the death sentence on her in the first place, came to examine her and was astonished to see her walking around at all.

He took several tests and was rendered speechless. The cancer which had ravaged her breast, which he’d been so sure was beyond hope or treatment, had completely disappeared. Edie lived on for many more years until her husband died and she, divested of any further purpose, died six months after him.

Cancer staging

A few things about this do not ring true, according to emails sent to us.

  1. A GP typically does not diagnose cancer and apparently typically does not have the conversation about prognosis; this is usually the preserve of an oncologist.
  2. End-stage cancer means metastasis. Nonetheless, the 5-year survival rate for stage IV breast cancer is still 22% – better than one in five patients will still be alive five years past diagnosis.
  3. No details are given of other treatments.
  4. The description sounds like cancer en cuirasse, a rare but terrifying progression of breast cancer that was almost extinct in the West until people started substituting quackery for proven medicines, but there are other potential explanations of the symptoms and McTaggart (characteristically) fails to provide the detail that would establish what was actually going on.

As oncologist Orac notes, this kind of testimonial is typically misleading.

Was Lynne McTaggart’s mother given additional years of life by therapies long debunked as quackery? It seems unlikely, and she has failed to provide sufficient detail to make any objective assessment.

There is a small irony in McTaggart promoting a “cure” that was actually not a cure, in the context of demanding examples of cures other than antibiotics in medicine. A demand which, as it turns out, demonstrates her ignorance rather than a point against medicine.

Why don’t doctors tell you that stage IV cancer can be treated effectively with intravenous vitamin C, hydrogen peroxide and supplements?

Because the evidence says it isn’t true.

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