I am now going to tell you of a therapy that I would do if I was diagnosed with cancer that is highly controversial – as if Vitamin C wasn’t controversial enough! Before I start, I have to say it is not recommended for diabetics and pregnant women. But as I am neither diabetic or pregnant this caution can, in my case, be set aside. I should clarify that I am not recommending that you do what I do. I am telling you what I would do and you can choose to do the same but that is entirely your decision.
However, the vitamin I am going to talk about is recommended for anyone who is having or has had chemotherapy and for anyone who has decided to go the alternative route.
Why would you go on the alternative route, declining the skills and science of the oncological profession? All the arguments are outlined in my book The Cancer Survivor’s Bible www.fightingcancer.com. If you are interested in reading about these arguments that’s where you’ll find them. And if you have, or have had, cancer, you should be interested.
A final word of caution. Everyone is different in their biochemistry. What works for 99% of a population may not work for the other 1%. In the case of vitamins, almost always you have to read your own body. What are the effects? If you feel good and blood tests confirm that nothing is the matter, then keep on doing what you’re doing. But if you don’t feel well or your blood analysis suggests there is a problem that might be associated with what you’re taking then stop it immediately.
Cancer – The 3rd Approach
Vitamin B3 – also known as niacin – is important for DNA repair (which is why it is recommended for people who have undergone or who are currently having chemotherapy.)
But since I have no intention of having chemotherapy for any cancer I might be diagnosed with, this is not why I would take it. Well, actually I am already taking 1 gram every morning with my porridge. I did this because I was suffering severe aches and pains that were making it difficult for me to get out of bed. Now I bounce out of bed with no problem, so I know it works for that.
It is also known to be beneficial for schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other dementias and for lesser psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression and paranoia.
But again that is not why I would be taking it. In fact, I am convinced that it has the potential to be useful in the case of cancer on the basis of two anecdotal stories from one source – but it is a source I trust – www.doctoryourself.com.
Anecdotal reports should be viewed with a hard eye. But if they come from a good source then they can act as good signposts. “It’s not proven,” says the sceptic. Well, if you have decades to wait then you can wait for the luxury of proof but in the meantime we have to take some risks. That is my view anyway.
So here is an extract from an article on the Orthomolecular Treatment of Cancer By Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP(C) which can be found here: http://www.doctoryourself.com/cancer_hoffer.html
“Two years later a woman I had treated for depression several years earlier consulted me again. This time she was depressed because her 16-year-old daughter had Ewings tumor (a highly malignant sarcoma) in one arm and she was slated for surgery to amputate her arm. This was the standard treatment. I told her about the previous patient and his recovery and suggested that although there was no evidence it would help it could do no harm and might possibly be of some value. Her daughter agreed to take niacinamide 1 gram after each meal and ascorbic acid 1 gram after each meal. Her surgeon agreed to postpone surgery for a month. She recovered and the last time I heard from her family she was married and leading a normal productive life, with both arms. I concluded that vitamin B-3 was the most important component and that the vitamin C was helpful. In Saskatchewan under my direction we did the first double blind controlled therapeutic trials in Psychiatry, completing six by 1960. Therefore I was aware of the powerful influence of placebo. However when two terminal patients recovered on the vitamins it became powerful evidence that there was more than placebo at work.
I did not see any more cancer patients until 1977 after I had established my practice in Victoria, BC. In British Columbia specialists will not accept patients until they have been referred by their general practitioners. As a psychiatrist I saw patients referred with psychiatric problems but in most cases the referring physicians would not indicate why the referral had been made and I would only discover the reason when I finally saw my patient.
A.S., an elderly woman appeared and when I asked her why she had come she replied that she had cancer of the head of the pancreas. She had developed jaundice. Her surgeon discovered she had a large tumor in the head of the pancreas which occluded her bile duct. He promptly closed, created a by-pass, and when she recovered from the anesthesia advised her that she had about 3 to 6 months to live. She worked in a book store. She had read Norman Cousins book Anatomy of an Illness and thought that if he was able to take so much vitamin C with safety she could too and she began to take 10 grams each day. The next time she consulted her doctor she told him what she was doing. He referred her to me since he was familiar with my interest in megadoses of vitamins. I reviewed her program and increased her vitamin C to 40 grams daily trying to reach the sublaxative level. I had been using multi nutrients for my schizophrenic patients for many years and since I had no idea which, if any, of these vitamins might help I reasoned that she would have a much better chance if she also were to take more than one nutrient. I then added vitamin B-3, selenium, and zinc sulfate. Six months later she called me at home in great excitement. She had just had a CT scan. No tumor was visible. The CT scan was repeated by the incredulous radiologist. Her original bile duct had reopened and now she had two. She remained alive and well until she died February 19, 1999, nearly 22 years after she was told she would die.”
These two stories are good enough for me.
So, I would, if diagnosed with cancer, probably up my dose from 1g to 3g – 1g with each meal.
The only drawback of niacin for me is the flushing effect. But when I take it with food I don’t get a flush effect. Also you should avoid the delayed release versions of niacin. They seem to be associated with more negative side effects.