Typically, conventional medicine has three approaches to cancer: operations, chemotherapy and radiation. Given the sad results of conventional medicine in my family, I felt that there should be an alternative approach. My belief in health and a person’s own possibilities to optimize that and my keen interest in food and integrative and complementary health care, made me want to read Dr. Kelly A. Turner’s book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds. It’s a fascinating book that will inspire you to take a critical look at your lifestyle and reflect on the many different options available for healing in a natural way.
A PhD in Radical Remission
After her graduation at Harvard University, Kelly took on a volunteer’s job helping children with cancer next to her day job. That made her decide to continue at the University of California for a master’s degree in oncology social work. After reading Andrew Weil’s book Spontaneous Healing : How to Discover and Embrace Your Body’s Natural Ability to Maintain and Heal Itself she was triggered to do her PhD researching spontaneous healing. That brought her to talking to thousands of people who healed from cancer, against the odds of their conventional doctors. The results of her survey are presented in her book on Radical Remission.
According to Dr. Turner, radical remission happens if cancer – in any stage – disappears against all odds, a statistically unexpected remission. This kind of events is usually not registered by conventional doctors, as there is no explanation in the conventional context. Dr. Turner interviewed thousands of persons with the main question: “Why do you think that you cured?”
Dr. Turner’s book is a must-read if you:
- are sent home by your conventional doctors because they feel there’s nothing they can do to cure your cancer
- are being treated for cancer with conventional chemotherapy, operations or radiation
- want to treat your cancer in a non-conventional way
- are in remission from cancer and want to prevent that it returns
- want to prevent getting cancer
- are confronted with cancer in your family or friends.
Nine key activities for radical remission
Each chapter presents – in random order – one of the nine key factors that may lead to radical remission. There are many more things you can do, but in Dr. Turner’s research, these nine came back with virtually every person she interviewed. After explaining the most important aspects of each activity and exploring the most important scientific knowledge on that specific point, Dr. Turner presents a case story, illustrating how this approach changed a cancer patient’s life. She also includes plenty of references to books elaborating further on each key point. Each chapter is concluded with a practical overview of measures you can take to integrate the activities for radical remission into your life. This really encourages to review your lifestyle!
The nine key activities are:
- Radically change your diet – Stop eating sugar, meat, dairy and processed food. Start eating lots of organic vegetables and fruit and drinking filtered water.
- Take control of your health – have a pro-active attitude and take responsibility for your health. It is priority number 1 that you heal yourself, rather than being polite or passive.
- Follow your intuition – re-discover your instincts and learn to trust them again: your body knows what it needs to heal, and that may be something entirely different than what the next person would need. Find out how you can connect to your intuition and understand its messages.
- Use herbs and supplements – herbs and supplements strengthen your immune system, while chemo usually kills it. Nature’s medicine creates an environment in which cancer cannot survive, and helps your body to get rid of toxins that may have caused cancer to develop. Dr. Turner does warn however that herbs and supplements alone may not be enough for a radical remission.
- Let go of suppressed emotions – a suppressed emotion is any emotion – negative and positive – that you are still holding on to. According to the persons interviewed by Dr. Turner, illness equals a blockage in your physical, emotional or spiritual energy system. Healing requires a cleansing on all three levels. Identify the blockage, discover its origin and release it completely.
- Strengthen positive emotions – when you feel joyful, happy and full of love, your immune system gets a positive boost. You can train having positive emotions.
- Embrace social support – being surrounded by friends, loved ones and even pets, creates a wave of powerful hormones that empower your immune system and also make you feel emotionally better. Arrange your life so that you receive love, do not feel alone and get plenty of hugs. This may feel challenging when you’re single, but if you step out of your thought pattern of being a victim of your disease, you realize that you can also reach out to people yourself. A simple smile to a stranger can return instant happiness.
- Deepen your spiritual connection – your body may heal as a result of your connection to a deeper or higher energy or spirit. This energy may feel as deep, peaceful energy, as a physical or emotional sensation, as unconditional love, a strong body-mind connection. It is something you may not experience instantly, but requires regular practice to silence your thoughts and experience spiritual energy.
- Have strong reasons to live – rather than a “I don’t want to die”-attitude, having strong reasons to live is an important factor in radical remission. If you are convinced that life is worth living and you are excited about all the things that you can do, you unleash a strong power within. Be convinced from the core of your being that you want to live, your mind guides your body, discover your deepest desires or calling why you are here to live your life.
With Radical Remission, dr. Kelly Turner enables you to cope independently, she has written a strong plea to take your life in your own hands. Whichever approach you choose, you should of course always consult your doctor as well and never start experimenting with your health completely on your own. If your current doctor does not support an alternative approach, find one who does and in whom you find a critical sparring partner that you feel confident with.
You can find more information on www.radicalremission.com, including a database with case descriptions of radical remission of many different types of cancer. Dr. Turner does not state that anyone can survive cancer, but gives a different perspective that is both interesting and inspiring.