What to Know About Diets That Claim to Cure Cancer


Hundreds of scientific studies support a diet that contains a variety of foods as the cornerstone of healthy eating. Most extreme diets that limit you to eating only one or two foods aren't healthy. The bottom line: There is no scientific evidence that any special diet can cure cancer.

Alternative diets that rely on special supplements or injections, fasting for extended periods, or enemas can be harmful to your health — especially if you're getting treatments for breast cancer. If you're in treatment, you need to make sure your body is getting enough nutrients and calories so it can function and heal.

Here are some of the most well-known diets that claim to help "cure" cancer. This is for your information only. Breastcancer.org DOES NOT ENDORSE any of these diets.

Livingston-Wheeler therapy

Livingston-Wheeler therapy includes vaccine, antibiotics, vitamin and mineral supplements, digestive enzymes, enemas, and a vegetarian diet. The safety of this diet has never been established. There is no scientific evidence that Livingston-Wheeler therapy effectively treats breast cancer or any other disease.

Gerson therapy

Gerson therapy is a metabolic therapy, meaning it focuses on the chemical functions of the body. Gerson therapy uses a combination of special diets and other elements to try to remove so-called "toxins" from the body that are supposedly causing the disease. Gerson therapy practitioners believe that women with breast cancer have too much sodium in their bodies — so much so that it outweighs the potassium. Gerson therapy involves a very strict low-salt, low-fat, vegetarian diet, and includes drinking juice from approximately 20 pounds of freshly squeezed fruits and vegetables per day. It also includes coffee enemas. There is no scientific evidence that Gerson therapy effectively reduces breast cancer progression or improves survival. Harmful side effects may include malnutrition, severe dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Regular enemas can also cause trauma to the anus and rectum (the last two parts of your bowel).

Kelly and Gonzalez treatments

Kelly and Gonzalez treatments are also metabolic therapies that try to remove so-called "toxins" from the body. The Kelly treatment involves up to 150 daily supplements, fasting, exercising, and using laxatives or coffee enemas, chiropractic adjustments, and prayer. The Gonzalez treatment is similar. They both focus on "detoxifying" the body and bringing it "back into balance." There is no scientific evidence that Kelly or Gonzalez therapies effectively treat breast cancer or that they are safe for your health. Harmful side effects may include malnutrition, severe dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Regular enemas can also cause trauma to the anus and rectum (the last two parts of your bowel).

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