Long before the term “alternative” was part of our medical culture, Dr. Josef Issels created the world’s first fully “integrative” cancer therapy, curing advanced, recurrent cancer. Issels hypothesized that primary and recurrent malignancies result from a tendency of the body to produce tumors. He therefore made use of every weapon in his arsenal to reduce tumors and strengthen the immune response. In Cancer: A Second Opinion, Issels describes the treatment that produced the most remarkable, independently verified cure rate in medical history.
Josef Issels, MD, studied in Freiburg, Bonn, Munich, Vienna, Dusseldorf, and Wurzburg. In 1951, he established the first European hospital for “incurable” cancer patients. Dr. Issels lived from 1907 to 1998. His work is continued by the Issels Foundation.
1. To Tell or not to Tell?
2. Cancer: The Multiple Enemy
3. The Classic Methods
4. Early Stages
5. And so to the Tumor
6. Immunotherapy: The Fourth Weapon
7. A System of Treatments
8. Focus on Foci
9. Eat Well to Get Well
10. Help for the Helpless
11. Prevention Is Better than Cure
12. Cancer: A Second Opinion
Every second of every day, a man, woman, or child dies of cancer.
That one statistic explains why I felt the need to write this book, for in spite of the billions spent on research; on the refinements of surgical techniques; on the development of more sophisticated radiation machines; on the search for a drug to eradicate every cancer cell in the body which does not produce side-effects so unpleasant as to limit severely the amounts prescribed; on the hunt for a steroid able to totally combat the hormone-related cancers; on perfecting a biological strategy to the point where it is always able to marshal the body’s own natural defences into fighting malignant cells; in spite of all this, one out of every six persons alive today will contract, and die from, cancer.
The malignant, crab-like cullular malfunction, which began to multiply at bewildering speed in their body tissue, will for those countless millions, tragically bring the realisation that their cancer could not be cured, controlled, or even contained, by the usual methods of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Four out of every five persons who receive one, or all, of these treatments die within five years. That is not only an indication of the destructive power of the disease, but also a sobering reflection on the limits of standard techniques, and the concepts of cancer on which they are based.
These methods have one common factor. They treat cancer in loco. The surgeon is primarily concerned with the excision of the local malignant tissue. Radiotherapy, to succeed at all, also depends on its ability to destroy cancer cells in situ. Both the surgeon and radiotherapist have always accepted there is no way of detecting whether a small number of cells have escaped beyond their local, original confines, spreading the disease, and so making it mostly incurable in terms of further operation or irradiation. Chemotherapy is then called into play in the hope that drug treatment will either eliminate, or reduce, the number of malignant cells which escaped. This too is very much a limited attack, and alas, one that with our present state of knowledge does not produce an encouraging record of long-term success. Much the same can be said for hormone treatment: the efficiency of steroids has not advanced much in the past thirty years; many oncologists have stopped using them.
The failure of these methods usually means the patient is left to die—unaware there is another proven and positive treatment still available, one that totally discounts the popular concept that cancer is a local disease. Because it involves the entire bodily defence systems, it is called ganzheitstherapie, or whole-body treatment.
The popular concept of cancer is that the disease is primarily a localised one; the hypothesis is that cancer cells and the ensuing tumour develop in what hitherto was a healthy body. Only when the tumour produces toxic effects on the organism does popular thinking recognise and accept cancer as a generalised illness, or “malignant disease”; this is particularly evident when secondaries have developed generally and the patient is cachectic. From this the localistic practitioners conclude the tumour must be regarded as the cause of the generalised malignant disease.
Whole-body therapists take a diametrically opposed view. Cancer is primarily a generalised disease, providing the substrate which allows the tumour to develop as the most important symptom, or sign. This means that a tumour can only develop in a diseased organism. Malignant disease therefore is the cause of malignant growth, whether the tumour is a primary or secondary one.
In short, those who believe cancer is a local disease think that the tumour comes first and only afterwards follows the generalised illness; those who think it is a generalised disease of the body believe that first comes the illness, and only afterwards the tumour. This is the crux of the matter—the fundamental point of divergence between the “localists” and the “whole-body therapists”—and from this basically different way of looking at cancer, they from then onwards take separate paths towards the solution to cancer.
All that follows in this book depends on a clear understanding of what I believe are two fundamental truths:
Cancer is a general disease of the whole body from the outset.
The tumour is a symptom of that illness.
Surgery, radiotherapy and the other standard tools, have, as we shall see, their place within the whole-body framework. But their role now becomes a carefully-tailored one, designed to meet the premise that cancer is not just a localised affliction, but a disease of the entire organism.
It is my contention, based on twenty-five years of clinical experience with over eight thousand cancer patients, that only by recognising the disease is, and always has been, one affecting the whole body from the outset, can it be more effectively arrested. By adopting that principle, the statistics of survival can be improved from the present grim position where eight out of every ten patients die having received all possible surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Many would undoubtedly have lived if their doctors had recognised some basic home-truths. They can be stated simply enough:
1. Cancer therapy will remain in a cul-de-sac as long as treatment is based upon a concept out-moded by the latest research. It is an unwritten law of medicine that the concept of pathogenesis, the origin of an illness, must form the basis of all treatment.
2. Surgery and radiotherapy are a necessary and important part of cancer therapy. But it must never be forgotten that on their own they cannot be expected to be the answer to a chronic systemic disorder. A symptomatic treatment can never be enough.
3. To be optimal a cancer treatment has to be a causal one.
4. Whole-body therapy offers a true causal treatment for every malignancy. It consists of a specific treatment against the tumour while at the same time offering a causal general treatment to restore the body’s natural defence systems. This combined therapy offers lasting results.
My purpose in this book is to show, step-by-step, the theory and practice of how this can be achieved. It is designed as much for laymen as for doctors; its hope is to give a clear picture of a treatment which can also provide the so-called “incurable” with a real extension of valuable living, and even a cure.
Cancer, as those of us who work in the field know, has a language of its own; it is said with a great deal of truth, for instance, “that immunologists only speak to immunologists—and then not very clearly!” I have tried to avoid this pitfall by minimising the use of technical jargon. I hope that, by speaking plainly about it, the fear which so many people associate with cancer will be removed by the awareness that more can be done than is generally realised.
In a lifetime spent arguing the case for whole-body treatment, I have encountered much opposition and many misconceptions. My personal wish for this book is that it will clear away those misunderstandings, and with them the opposition, while at the same time encouraging other doctors to take up the challenge, and undoubted rewards in terms of patient survival, that this method of treating cancer offers.
I will not pretend that I have found it an easy path to have followed. But in the end all else is forgotten in the knowledge that here is a combination treatment which embraces also the skills of the surgeon, radiotherapist, chemotherapist, and immunotherapist, allowing them to co-operate, in a way never before possible, and in doing so, to save more lives.