The Danger of Curing Cancer with Wheat Grass Juice

“Alternative” vs.“Supplemental” Therapies: Making the Critical Differentiation


I tell the story of an intelligent, friendly, soft-spoken business man whom I first met in the emergency room after he had been asked to debark from a plane prior to take-off due to his “smell.”  Indeed, his odor was so strong that I registered it before I even drew back the ER curtain.  Registered it, and recognized it.  It was the strong scent of malignant tissue exposed to the air.

It was obvious by his appearance that my new patient had very advanced cancer.

  Cachectic arms somehow lifted his bony hand to shake mine.  And his uncomfortable, standing posture strongly suggested that he was soon to die from an advanced rectal cancer.  Which he did, at the ripe old age of 47.

He had first noted blood in his stool almost 18 months earlier.  An educated and thoughtful man, he had immediately seen his primary doctor and then followed through with a colonoscopy the following week.  He had a small, early stage rectal cancer that was very likely curable with treatment including surgery, an operation that (due to the location of his tumor) would in all likelihood leave him forever with a colostomy (in which the intestine is brought through the belly wall, and stool empties into a pouch).

A rational man his entire life, something in him snapped when he envisioned living the rest of his life with stool collecting in a bag under his shirt.  And so he spent the next several months blanketing the country in search of a physician who would offer him a high likelihood of cure without the need for what he so rejected.

  But to no avail.

Out of “standard” options, he began scouring the internet.  And there he found what he was looking for:  a curative cancer treatment without the need for a colostomy.  And not only without the need for a colostomy…without the need for surgery!  Or radiation therapy!  Or even chemotherapy!

And so he had spent the last 17 months under the care of a “doctor” who had aggressively treated his rectal cancer with…wheat grass juice.  And the more he had spent (tens of thousands of dollars), and the more wheat grass juice he had drank, the more his cancer had grown and spread.

When he and I met, there was little I could offer other than palliative care, and he died not long after that first meeting.  And in what foreign city did my new patient receive his costly and, ultimately, futile “alternative” cancer therapy?


I understand why cancer patients seek alternative treatments.  No one wants a colostomy.  No one wants to lose their hair or suffer weeks of disabling nausea.  But displacing cancer therapy with “alternative” therapy is a very, very risky business…

Medicine is ever changing.  Not all that long ago cancer doctors looked skeptically upon “nutritional therapy,” yet today, optimizing nutrition for cancer patients is a critical part of treatment.  Even once-way-out-there therapies such as acupuncture have recently found acceptance within Western Medicine.

  These modalities have moved from the highly objectionable “alternative” to acceptable, even valuable “supplemental” therapies category.  But with the growth of the internet, the world of alternative therapies has exploded.  From all points of the world, con-artists pray upon the desperation of cancer patients and their loved ones, stealing their money while their malignancies steal their lives.  I have worked with such victims, whose cancer deaths leave their loved ones not only grieving, but broke.

If you have cancer and are considering treatment outside of standard surgery, radiation, and chemo (or within the oversight of a Clinical Trial), please apply The Four Rules to determine whether that therapy is “alternative” (unacceptable) or “supplemental” (acceptable)…for your sake, and for the sake of those who love you.

Rule #1. The “therapy” is not recommended as a replacement for any or all of the treatments recommended by your cancer physicians;

Rule #2. The “therapy” does not reduce or in any way negatively impact the effectiveness (or have the potential to do so, according to your cancer physicians) of any or all of the treatments recommended by your cancer physicians;

Rule #3. The “therapy” does not delay your receiving any or all of the treatments recommended by your cancer physicians;

Rule #4. The “therapy” does not significantly drain your wallet.

If you are considering treatment which violates any of the first three rules, it’s an “alternative” therapy that will likely negatively impact the chances of curing or controlling your cancer, so walk away.  If the therapy does not violate rules 1, 2, or 3, it’s likely “supplemental,” and while that doesn’t mean it’s right for you (be skeptical), it is unlikely to reduce the likelihood that standard treatment will achieve its goal.  Rule 4 stands alone.  Never violate it for an “alternative” therapy, and think long and hard before violating it for a “supplemental.”  Adding significant financial fears to you and your family is rarely therapeutic.

One final note:  whenever I discuss “alternative” therapies, I receive a handful of angry e-mails from individuals whose cancer (or more often, someone else’s cancer) was cured by abandoning the recommended treatment and going 100% “alternative.”  Good for you (truly).  Some drunk drivers make it home without killing anybody, too.

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