Here are some of Tanya Harter Pierce’s main tips for recovery. These apply to anyone with cancer, whether they are using alternative medicine or conventional medicine. Keep in mind that Tanya is not a physician and these tips are intentionally presented in an informal, conversational style to emphasize that they are merely suggestions based on what she has learned through her own investigations as an author. Please make your own decisions about how to improve your chances for recovery based on more than one source of information.

Stop Eating Refined Sugar and Refined Wheat

All malignant cancer cells must have glucose to survive. This is because, unlike normal healthy cells, cancer cells must rely on the anaerobic pathway called “glycolysis” for metabolizing energy for themselves. For this reason, malignant cancer cells are called “obligate glucose metabolizers.” In other words, they literally cannot survive without sugar.

Refined sugar goes into the bloodstream very quickly and is the most effective way to feed cancer cells exactly what they need to survive. So, whenever a person with cancer eats refined sugar in any form (white table sugar, cakes, cookies, candies, or processed foods with sugar added), it is like they are throwing gasoline on a fire that they would like to put out. Refined wheat (white flour) is another food that is good at feeding cancer cells because it is so refined that it can turn into glucose quickly in the body. Whole grain or sprouted grain breads or crackers go into the bloodstream more slowly and that means they won’t feed the cancer cells as effectively as refined grains do. Any natural whole food sugars also go into the bloodstream more slowly than refined sugar, and this gives normal healthy cells a chance to utilize the sugar before the cancer cells do. Fruit juices, even though natural, are a concentrated source of fructose without the fiber from whole fruits that slows down its release into the bloodstream. Therefore, choose to eat whole fruits instead of concentrated fruit juices if you have cancer. (Vegetable juices lower in fructose may be okay. Agave, though natural, is quite refined, so it should probably be avoided like refined sugar as well.

You Might Want to Avoid Cow’s Milk

Though there is no complete agreement on this in the alternative cancer treatment field, a number of health experts suggest avoiding dairy products made from cow’s milk if you have cancer. (Goat’s milk may be okay. I’m not clear, myself, about just how important this is, but there are certainly reasons to be cautious. One reason is that some women have found a clear improvement in their breast cancer when they eliminated all cow’s milk from their diet. The exception is if you are on the Flaxseed Oil and Cottage Cheese (FSO/CC) approach, and in that case you should be using low fat organic rBGH-free cottage cheese in small amounts mixed well with flaxseed oil every day, but not drinking milk. The sulfur-based proteins in the cottage cheese combine with the essential fatty acids in the flaxseed oil to help normalize cancer cells.

One of my own concerns about drinking milk in particular, when a person has cancer, is that cow’s milk is very high in phosphates. The ratio of phosphates to other nutrients in cow’s milk is considerably higher than the ratio found in human mother’s milk. This high content of phosphates allows the young calf to grow very quickly into a large animal, in effect promoting fast cell growth. Percy Weston in Australia, who wrote the book “Cancer: Cause & Cure,” found a very strong connection between high phosphate diets and cancer. For this reason alone, unless of course I was following Dr. Budwig’s FSO/CC dietary approach, I would probably avoid all cow’s milk if I had cancer to give myself the best possible chance for a full recovery.

Be Wary of Needle Biopsies

Unfortunately, needle biopsies are integral to diagnosing any unusual mass in mainstream medicine. The problem is that, when the needle is drawn back out of a mass, if it is cancer, some malignant cells may escape along with the needle on the way out. This allows them to move into other areas of the body beyond the original cancer site. A few years ago, I attended a lecture by an oncologist at the Cancer Control Convention in California, and he very strongly warned people about the dangers of needle biopsies. He even showed a slide from a scan that was taken of a woman’s breast. She’d had a localized breast tumor (not yet metastasized) when the biopsy was first done. This scan, however, which was taken a while after the needle biopsy had been performed, showed cancer growing in a straight line between the tumor and the surface of her skin. It was growing right along the pathway of the needle that was pulled out of her! This meant that the needle biopsy procedure itself caused the mass to NOT be localized anymore, making the cancer suddenly more difficult to completely remove surgically via lumpectomy. I have also read other accounts about the same thing happening to men with prostate cancer and it probably happens to people with other types of cancer as well who are subjected to needle biopsies.

There are only two reasons, in my opinion, to get a needle biopsy of any mass. (1 If you are interested in doing chemotherapy afterward, a needle biopsy is required because oncologists need to know exactly what type of cancer cell you have in order to know which type of chemo to prescribe. (2) If you think you do have cancer, and you want to write a book about your recovery using alternative medicine, a needle biopsy gives you the credibility that you did indeed have cancer in the first place.

I really don’t think needle biopsies are a good idea in general because they do appear to run the risk of spreading a person’s cancer. I think this explains why I have had the misfortune of speaking to about six or seven different men who all had their prostate cancer caught at a very early localized stage, got their prostate gland surgically removed, but then 4, 5, or 6 years later were surprised to find that they had prostate cancer spread throughout their bones and other parts of their bodies. Prostate surgery is never done without performing a needle biopsy first, but the biopsy procedure itself probably was what caused these men to suffer a devastating and extremely advanced recurrence of their cancer later on. Even though their oncologist in every case most likely said, “We got it all,” they couldn’t see the microscopic cancer cells that escaped with the needle and initiated a proliferation of the cancer throughout the body.

Avoid Hormone-Blocking Drugs for Men, Such as Lupron or Casodex

I am completely against the use of testosterone-blocking drugs for men with prostate cancer. It is mind boggling how ineffective and dangerous these drugs are and yet they are still heavily prescribed to cancer patients as if they help in some way. A careful evaluation of scientific research, however, shows that blocking testosterone is not at all helpful and that doing so can actually promote the growth and spread of prostate cancer! They can also cause life-threatening side effects. And there is some evidence that being on a testosterone-blocking drug may interfere with the effectiveness of alternative methods for cancer as well. There are a lot of misunderstandings in conventional medicine about treating prostate cancer, and I have a chapter in my book that goes into great detail about these misunderstandings. Anyone wishing to know more about how to understand prostate cancer, the PSA, and hormone-blocking drugs for men can read Chapter 20 of OUTSMART YOUR CANCER. If you are dealing with prostate cancer, you owe it to yourself to be informed on these issues.

Avoid Hormone-Blocking Drugs for Women, Such as Tamoxifen or Femara

I am also completely against the use of estrogen-blocking drugs for women with breast cancer, whether their cancer cells are ER+ (estrogen receptor positive) or not, or for any other type of female cancer. Tamoxifen, for example, has no proven effectiveness for increasing long term cure rates and comes with devastating and life-threatening side effects ¾ including the possibility that it can cause a stroke, blindness, or even a secondary, more aggressive cancer in women taking it! And, as with men on testosterone-blocking drugs, women on an estrogen-blocking drug may not respond as well to alternative treatments that might otherwise give them at least a chance for full recovery. Chapter 19 in my book covers what women need to know about their hormones, female cancers, and estrogen-blocking drugs.

Avoid Mammograms

There are numerous large-scale studies that have proven mammography is not only extremely ineffective at detecting cancer, resulting in many false positives as well as false negatives, but also can cause cancer or promote the spread of it if you have it! In the “Articles by Author” section of this website, I have posted an article about mammograms and give specific reasons why women should avoid them. Though no early detection test is perfect, thermography (in the form of breast thermograms) is much more accurate than mammography, and perfectly safe and non-invasive. Any woman interested in thermography can search the Internet for explanations about how it works and to find a clinic near them that administers it.

Understand that DCIS Is Not Necessarily Cancer

One thing I hear about much more often than I’d like to is women telling me they had a single or double mastectomy after a breast cancer diagnosis of DCIS. DCIS stands for “Ductal Carcinoma In Situ” and is a common type of breast cancer diagnosis. But more and more doctors are realizing that DCIS is not really cancer and should not be given as a breast cancer diagnosis in the first place. They are seeing it more often now as a non-malignant, pre-cancerous condition ¾ at least in over 90 percent of cases. (For details, see Chapter 19 of OUTSMART YOUR CANCER.

On the other hand, if you are facing a diagnosis of “Invasive Ductal Carcinoma” or “Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma,” that’s different. That means you have malignant, life-threatening breast cancer. But with DCIS, it is the “in situ” part of the diagnosis that makes all the difference. In situ means “in place” and indicates a condition of abnormal cells that is contained within the ducts. The fact that it has not spread past the ducts is the key tip-off that the condition is not malignant. DCIS may also be called “intraductal carcinoma” or “Stage 0 Breast Cancer.” Stage zero ought to be a tip-off, too! Yet our conventional medical system has not caught up to the fact yet that DCIS is usually not cancer and oncologists are still convincing women who have DCIS to have their breasts surgically removed.

Admittedly, in a small percentage of cases, DCIS can turn into malignant cancer over time. However, for the vast majority of cases, it is a benign condition that may grow gradually but will never threaten the woman’s life. I don’t have a solution for getting rid of DCIS completely because my specialty is malignant cancer, not benign growths. However, any woman diagnosed with DCIS, where there is no term such as “invasive” or “infiltrative” in her diagnosis, should know that she has time to research other options and may never need such a drastic solution as a mastectomy.

Don’t Expect that Simply Alkalizing Your Body Will Make Your Cancer Go Away

A common misconception is that all a cancer patient has to do is make their body optimally alkaline through diet and health food store supplements and their cancer will go away. This, of course, is based on Nobel Prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg’s work with cancer cells. He proved that cancer cells cannot thrive in an optimally alkaline environment. This is absolutely true, but unfortunately many people have misunderstood how to use that information. The work that Dr. Warburg did involved cancer cells in vitro (such as in petri dishes) and they were small numbers of cells in an artificially alkalized environment. When a person has malignant tumors in vivo (meaning in their body) they are dealing with many millions of cancer cells all in one place, maybe hundreds of millions, and each of those cells is producing lactic acid as a by-product of the anaerobic cell respiration that malignant cells use to produce energy for themselves. This lactic acid builds up around tumors and creates its own little acidic environment around the cancer. So, a healthy person can use optimum alkalizing techniques to help themselves avoid a cancer diagnosis, but once they have active cancer, most alkalizing techniques may simply alkalize the rest of their body but not be able to effectively alkalize the areas around the tumors.

In Chapter 18 of my book, I explain the issues of alkalizing in detail, and I also present another chapter on the only type of alkalizing method that works in such an unusual way that it CAN kill cancer cells through extreme alkalization as a result of cancer cells readily gobbling up one particular nutrient. That alternative non-toxic approach involves the use of liquid ionic cesium and liquid ionic potassium (see Chapter 16 for the details), and I have some phenomenal stories of cures in that chapter. One is of a man who had such advanced stomach cancer that his oncologist said the only thing that could be done for him would be to surgically remove his stomach. Another is of a woman with advanced metastasized ovarian cancer whose doctors told her she could never be cured and all they could do would be to prolong her life somewhat. Both of these people completely cured themselves of their cancers without the help of a doctor by using the cesium approach I present in my book, and they have both remained cancer-free for many years. But, other than through the use of this unique cesium approach, the misconception that just alkalizing the body with diet and normal supplements and thinking that this will get rid of active cancer has killed many, many people, in my opinion.

Don’t Wait Until All Conventional Treatment Has Failed To Try an Alternative Approach.

Another common misconception I have come across is when people think that alternative treatments are okay for cancers caught early, but if a person is diagnosed with late-stage or metastasized cancer, they had better go with conventional medicine because it’s more powerful. Just the opposite is true! Unfortunately, approximately 75 percent of all people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. already HAVE metastasized cancer by the time they are first diagnosed. Once cancer has metastasized, most cancer patients have virtually no chance for a cure through conventional treatment and alternative medicine is their only hope at that point. Of course there are no guarantees for alternative medicine curing late-stage cancer, but a person’s chances are at least a lot better with a strong alternative approach that has already proven to have a significant cure-rate, than with conventional methods. Read case after case in my book and on this website about cancer patients with metastasized cancer curing themselves with one form of alternative medicine or another.

Also, conventional treatments are notoriously toxic and the longer a person uses these toxic treatments, the more their chances for a long-term cure go down. Chemotherapy, radiation, and even hormone-blocking drugs can cause serious damage and changes to the body. This may then make it more difficult for a person to recover if they later choose to stop conventional treatment and try something else. So, when someone has just been diagnosed with cancer and says, “I’m going to go with conventional medicine first and if that doesn’t work, then I’ll try something alternative,” they may still have a chance with an alternative approach, but it will be a much smaller chance in most cases than they would have had if they’d started on the non-toxic alternative as soon as they were diagnosed. A person may be so damaged by that time, due to either the cancer spreading further or the toxicity of the conventional treatments, that they may no longer have ANY chance for full recovery at that point. It is much better to know all your options in advance and start on a good non-toxic approach earlier rather than later, especially if your cancer has already metastasized.

Do Your Homework on the Alternative Approach You Have Chosen

Any person with cancer who decides to use an alternative non-toxic approach MUST do their homework about the treatment they have chosen in order to achieve optimum results. (Read as much as you can about the approach, talk to consultants on that approach if there are any, or speak with other cancer survivors who used the approach successfully already. This is less critical if you are working with a doctor who is administering the alternative approach to you, but many people using alternative therapies are self-administering the method and basically treating themselves. Even though some of the cancer successes reported on this website, in my book, and from other sources may sound like “miracle cures,” the reality is that alternative approaches are NOT magic, so don’t look at them that way and think all you have to do is take the basic recommended dose and not look into it anymore. Knowing how to use your chosen alternative approach for optimum results may make the difference between recovering completely or not.

Rely on More Than One Diagnostic Tool to Assess Your Progress

When I first started looking into alternative cancer treatments, I was naive about scans. I thought that all X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and PET scans produced accurate diagnostic results. Over the years, I learned I was wrong. Though I still advocate using as many diagnostic tools as you can, including scans, to assess the status of your cancer, I have realized that scans should be considered only one of several tools and may not always be accurate. Dr. Mercola has written an article about the inherent inaccuracy of CT scans for lung cancer, for instance. In it, he states, “It’s important to understand that many medical procedures are not an exact science, and this includes CT scans used to measure cancer growth. In the case of CT scans for lung cancer, this new study showed that radiologists reviewing images of the same patient taken just minutes apart found substantial ‘changes’ in the tumors, in some cases noting they had gotten up to 31 percent bigger or 23 percent smaller. To read Dr. Mercola’s entire article on scans, click here.

Besides the very scary possibility that a scan may show a tumor to be 31 percent bigger than it was on previous scans, then 23 percent smaller just a few minutes later, there is also another way that scan results may produce inaccurate interpretations by your doctor. For instance, when a person has cancer metastasized to the bones, something called a “nuclear bone scan” may be performed to assess the amount of cancer in the bones. The first time this is done is probably the most accurate for assessing the amount of cancer the person has in their bones. (Before undergoing any conventional or alternative treatment. However, after a person has been self-treating themselves with an alternative approach, interpreting these types of scans may be frought with difficulties. I was shocked when I first read about nuclear bone scans on conventional medical websites, to find that this type of scan not only highlights cancer, but may also highlight any inflamed area of bone ¾ even areas that are now healing where the cancer has gone away! For instance, WebMD states regarding bone scans: “Areas of fast bone growth or repair absorb more tracer and show up as bright or ‘hot’ spots in the pictures. Hot spots may point to problems such as arthritis, a tumor, a fracture, or an infection.” Thus, bone scans may highlight areas that are actually malignant cancer, or those areas may be a fracture, an infection, arthritis, or even areas that are repairing because your alternative approach is getting rid of the cancer in your bones! Yet your doctor will interpret the scan as an indication of cancer growth in virtually every case and will tend to throw out all other possibilities. Likewise, infections may highlight on some scans in other parts of the body in a way that looks exactly like cancer. For instance, on PET scans of the lung, an infection such as pneumonia can look exactly like malignant cancer!

I’m not saying that you should never use a scan because they aren’t perfect. I am merely suggesting that you search the Internet and read up on the type of scan your doctor has prescribed, and ALSO use common sense and maintain a skeptical mind. For instance, if your doctor says your latest scans indicate your bone metastases have significantly increased, yet all your bone pain stopped two months after you started an alternative treatment for cancer, you’re off all pain medications still, your energy remains better than ever and no bone pain has returned, you might want to be skeptical about how the bone scans in your case are being interpreted.

I also found over the years that many users of alternatives for cancer think that “alternative tests” are perfect. Once again, though, I have found this not to be true. For example, alternative tests such as the AMAS blood test and the HCG urine test are certainly better than anything conventional medicine has for detecting cancer early, but they are not perfectly accurate at assessing a patient’s progress after they have been treating their cancer for a while. Once again, use any of these tests as one of the tools in your diagnostic tool kit, but don’t rely completely on only one diagnostic test for verification of how you are doing, and use common sense whenever possible.

Keep Taking an Alternative Approach Long After the “All Clear” Remission Point

When it comes to the world of alternative medicine for cancer, one of the saddest things I have come across is when people stop their alternative approach too soon. It is heartbreaking to follow a case where a cancer patient who is deemed incurable by conventional medicine, gets onto a good alternative approach and brings themselves into complete remission, then stops their treatment too soon, before they have actually gotten rid of all their cancer.

Please, please understand that remission just means all visible signs of cancer are gone and diagnostic tests cannot detect any cancer. Unfortunately, oncologists tend to mislead cancer patients into thinking that remission means they are cancer-free. They don’t tell their patients that up to about 10 million cancer cells can fit on the head of a pin! That’s how microscopically small they are, just like any other cell in the body. Such a small dot, which could be millions of cancer cells, will be impossible to see on any scan and the patient would not be showing any symptoms. So it is critical that people stay on the alternative approach that is working for them long after the remission point to be sure they get rid of every last cancer cell. (This is possible with a non-toxic approach, but not possible with conventional methods because conventional treatments are too toxic to keep taking long after remission. As an example, cancer patients using Protocel are often advised to keep taking the Protocel for at a least a full year after they have reached the “all-clear” remission point. If the alternative approach that brought you to remission is too difficult or too expensive for you to continue, then at least switch to another non-toxic method that is easier for you after the remission point has been reached.

Unfortunately a lot of people who bring themselves into remission with an alternative approach get a false sense of security and start to think they are invincible and “done” with fighting cancer. They stop their alternative approach as soon as their diagnostic scans or other tests can’t find any cancer. Often this is understandably due to the desire to get back to a normal life again. Then the person finds out a year or two later that they did not get every last cancer cell in the first go-around and their cancer is now back and has spread, possibly at this point into their bones, brain or liver. This does not mean the alternative method they used did not work. It just means that they did not stay on it long enough to get rid of every last cancer cell. I cannot warn people enough NOT to fall prey to this mistake! It’s like running a marathon race then quitting just a hundred yards before the finish line.

Avoid All GMO Foods

I hate to say this and it is one of my biggest sorrows, but most soy and corn grown in the U.S. is now genetically modified and GMO foods have been linked to all kinds of health problems, including cancer. Unfortunately, soy and corn byproducts are in many, many foods now as well. Most canola oil is also genetically modified, along with a few other food items. Though there is no significant amount of data to support this yet, I believe anyone’s best chances for a full recovery will be aided by avoiding all genetically modified foods. If you’d like more details as to the history of this issue and why these types of foods are so dangerous, see my special article on GMO foods in the “Your Need To Know” section of this website.