A Malignancy in Our Culture

A Malignancy in Our Culture

Julian Whitaker, MD

Mankind has marched into the twenty-first century, but as far as cancer treatment is concerned we remain mired in the past. In the last 100 years, we have made no significant progress in eradicating cancer. Sure, there’s been a flurry of scientific activity. Since 1971, when the war on cancer was declared, we have spent billions on research alone. But what have we got to show for this enormous expenditure? Virtually nothing.

Statistics Don’t Lie

Clifton Leaf, in a thought-provoking article published in Fortune magazine entitled, “Why We’re Losing the War on Cancer (and How to Win It),” cites some startling statistics.

  • “Within the next decade, cancer is likely to replace heart disease as the leading cause of U.S. deaths… It is already the biggest killer of those under 75.”
  • “More Americans will die of cancer in the next 14 months than have perished in every war the nation has ever fought…combined.
  • “The percentage of Americans dying from cancer is about the same as in 1970…and in 1950.” “Age-adjusted death rates for have been slashed by an extraordinary 59% and 69%, respectively, during the same half-century.”
  • “Researchers also say more people are surviving longer with cancer than ever. survival gains for the more common forms of cancer are measured in additionalmonths of life, not years. The few dramatic increases in cure rates and patient longevity have come in a handful of less common malignancies…long-term survival for advanced cancer has barely budged since the 1970s.”
  • “…very little of this modest gain is the result of exciting new compounds discovered by the NCI labs or the big cancer research centers — where nearly all the public’s money goes.” “The research has become increasingly narrow, so much so that physician-scientists…who might have completely new approaches often can’t get funding.”

The Malignant Root of the Problem

Given the dismal state of cancer research and treatment, why aren’t doctors, researchers, government officials, and patients clamoring for change? Because a cancer has taken root in our society.

This insidious and destructive malignancy can be laid squarely at the feet of William Halsted, MD, who in 1882 performed the first radical mastectomy for breast cancer. There was no prior research to demonstrate that surgical removal of a cancerous tumor would be curative, nor was there adequate follow up to determine if invasive surgery was effective. Yet it became the model of cancer treatment that has endured for more than a century: cancer cells must be purged from the body.

This paradigm has spawned the development of countless surgical procedures, chemotherapy drugs, and radiation protocols. Although soundly disproven, this paradigm itself has become a cancer and infiltrated every avenue of oncology. The tentacles of this cultural malignancy have spread into and now control our cancer research departments and medical education facilities. It has metastasized into the NCI, FDA, and other government institutions. It has eaten its way into our hospitals and labs, into every oncology department and cancer treatment center. It’s even found its way into our national psyche, for most of us appear to actually believe that current cancer treatments work.

Promising Therapies Are Rooted Out

The cancer purging paradigm is as firmly rooted in today’s cultural belief system as the conviction 500 years ago that the earth was flat. And just as Galileo was persecuted for furthering the “heretical” view that the earth is round, innovative cancer researchers and clinicians who veer from conventional treatment are discouraged, if not completely oppressed.

Over the years, many safe, promising cancer therapies have become victims of this cultural malignancy. To protect the status quo, excellent research has been squelched and falsified, and clinical trials of innovative therapies have been designed to fail. In some cases, their originators, whose primary transgressions were to think outside the box, have been harassed mercilessly by bureaucrats and their therapies have disappeared.

Ohio physician Jack E. Slingluff was recently convicted of “helping terminal cancer patients use a banned drug.” Although he neither sold nor supplied anything to patients, when asked about Laetrile (an unapproved cancer therapy), he told them where they might purchase it and how much they could take, if they wished. He now has a criminal conviction, just for giving interested patients information they may or may not have acted upon.

The FDA spent many years and millions of taxpayer dollars trying to put Stanislaw Burzynski, MD, the discoverer of antineoplastons, in jail. Despite the fact that they raided his clinic and repeatedly hauled him into court on trumped-up charges, Dr. Burzynski attracted patients from all over the world. Fortunately, in 1999, he was acquitted of all charges and continues to treat cancer patients at his clinic in Houston, Texas, with one of the most remarkable cancer treatments ever discovered.

In Dire Need of a New Direction

Before we can begin to make inroads in the war against cancer, we need to rid ourselves of this malignancy that stifles progress. And that, my friends, is a daunting task.

I can’t guarantee that change will come quickly because, as we all know, old paradigms die hard.


  • If you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, don’t sit back and accept whatever treatment your doctor recommends. Ask questions. Get a second opinion. Educate yourself, and explore your options.
  • To help you wade through all the information out there, I highly recommend the services of Ralph W. Moss, PhD, who has been researching cancer therapies for more than 25 years. He has developed comprehensive reports and therapy recommendations on more than 200 types of cancer. For more information visit www.cancerdecisions.com, or call (800) 980-1234.
  • To contact the Burzynski Clinic, visit www.cancermed.com or call (713) 335-5697.


  • Leaf, C. Fortune. 2004 Mar 22:77-96.
  • Burzynski, SR. Integr Cancer Ther. 2004 Mar;3(1):47-58.

Modified from Health & Healing with permission from Healthy Directions, LLC. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. To subscribe to Health & Healingclick here.

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