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From Issue Seventeen, December 2011 Next Article »

When Cancer Disappears: The Curious Phenomenon of “Unexpected Remission”

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We’ve all heard a story like this one. After trying all that Western medicine has to offer, a person with Stage 4 cancer is told there is nothing more the doctors can do and is sent home to receive hospice care. Five years later, that person strolls into the doctor’s office feeling great, with no further evidence of cancer.

In the medical world, this kind of case is referred to as a spontaneous remission, which is defined as “the disappearance, complete or incomplete, of cancer without medical treatment or with medical treatment that is considered inadequate to produce the resulting disappearance of disease symptoms or tumor.”1 Many researchers, including myself, believe that the word spontaneous is a misnomer and should be changed to unexpected or unlikely. We feel this way because few things in life are truly spontaneous—occurring purely by accident. It is more likely that these remissions have a cause—or two or three—that science has not yet identified.

Background

Regardless of what we call them, unexpected remissions do occur, and more than one thousand cases (across all types of cancer) have been published in medical journals. Thousands more have most likely occurred but not been published, because most doctors don’t take the time to write up a report and submit it to a journal—which unfortunately is currently the only way of tracking these kinds of cases. Based on what has been published, unexpected remissions are estimated to occur in one out of every sixty thousand to one hundred thousand cancer patients; however, the true incidence rate is likely higher than that due to underreporting.2

Over the past century, there has been a steady flow of published case reports along with flashes of increased interest in this topic. For example, in the 1960s, the first two scientific books on unexpected remission were published, which led to a sharp increase in the number of case reports submitted to medical journals.3 After awhile, however, interest in the topic lulled again until the late 1980s when the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) launched the Spontaneous Remission Project, which culminated in the publication of a comprehensive bibliography of documented cases.4 Since then, approximately twenty new cases of unexpected remission are published each year, and there still has been a noticeable lack of formal research into why these remissions might occur.

It’s understandable, in a way. How do you begin to research something you cannot explain? Many conventional doctors feel threatened by these “miraculous” cures and don’t wish to talk about them—much less research them—for fear that they will give “false hope” to their other patients. In fact, most of the unexpected remission survivors I have studied are thrilled to have finally found a professional who is interested in learning how they healed. They often lament, “My doctor didn’t even ask how I did it.”

The Present Research

Perhaps because I am a qualitative researcher and not a medical doctor, I have always been fascinated by cases of unexpected remission. When I began studying them during my doctoral studies at the University of California at Berkeley, I was disappointed to see how little research had been done on this topic. The first problem I saw was that there was no database where I could easily find and analyze these cases. The second issue I noticed was that two groups of people had been largely ignored in the research: the survivors themselves as well as nonallopathic healers. It seemed odd that in an effort to explain unexpected remissions, we weren’t asking the opinions of the people who had actually healed. I also couldn’t understand why, when trying to explain a remission that is by definition not a result of allopathic treatment, we weren’t seeking out hypotheses from nonallopathic healers.

As a result, my dissertation research involved collecting hypotheses from these two previously ignored groups about why unexpected remissions may occur. More specifically, I spent ten months traveling the world in search of fifty nonallopathic cancer healers. My research led me to interview healers in the United States, China, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, India, England, Ireland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Brazil (translators were used when necessary). When I returned from this amazing trip, I found twenty unpublished cases of unexpected remission and conducted phone interviews with the survivors. I purposely sought out unpublished cases first, in order to see if the underreporting issues were true—which they were. I am grateful to the American Cancer Society for providing partial funding for this study.

My seventy hour-long interviews resulted in more than three thousand pages of transcripts, which I analyzed multiple times to find recurring themes. I identified more than seventy-five “treatments” for cancer, six of which were “very frequent” among all seventy subjects. Underlying beliefs about cancer also emerged from the interviews, of which three were very frequent. I am happy to share these results here in an abbreviated form. Please remember that these are hypotheses only, not facts.

Belief #1: Change the Conditions under which Cancer Thrives

The majority of my interviewees believed that cancer thrives under certain, suboptimal conditions in the body-mind-spirit system and that to remove cancer, those underlying conditions must change. Healer #21 from Hawaii explained it this way:

The most successful recoveries seem to be strongly associated with major mental, emotional, or physical behavioral changes among the people with the illness. What is major for one person, of course, may not be the same for another . . . I know of one success where a woman left her family, took up a different religion, changed her clothing and diet, and moved to a different country. Maybe she needed all of those changes or maybe not, but overall it worked for her. I know of another person, a man, who simply stopped trying to outdo his father, and that worked for him.

Belief #2: Illness = Blockage/Slowness; Health = Movement

The majority of my interviewees also believed that any illness—including cancer—represents a blockage or slowness somewhere in the body-mind-spirit system, whereas health occurs when there is a state of unhindered movement or flow.

FIELD NOTES: Healer #1 explained his theory of “bypasses,” which he described as psychological defense mechanisms that function to create a bypass around an energetic block. He said that this energetic block can be located at either the spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical level and that these bypasses become solidified over time. In his opinion, true healing only occurs when a person (1) stops bypassing and (2) releases the original blockage.

Belief #3: A Body-Mind-Spirit Interaction Exists, and Energy Permeates All Three Levels

The third belief that the majority of my interviewees discussed was the idea that a body-mind-spirit interaction exists and that energy permeates all three of these levels. According to Healer #35, an American-born, Peruvian-trained shaman:

You have to have mind, body, and spirit healing. . . Most of us who live in our physical bodies, we don't even know about spiritual or emotional bodies. So we have to connect with all three of them. But you see, in the mountains of the Andes, [the Andean people] are already connected.

In addition to these three underlying beliefs about health, there were also six treatments that the cancer survivors and healers discussed most frequently. These included physical as well as emotional, energetic, and spiritual “treatments.” They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Changing One’s Diet

The majority of my interviewees believed it was important to change their diet to primarily whole vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans, while eliminating meat, sugar, dairy, and refined grains. Unexpected Survivor #16, who overcame liver cancer without conventional medical treatment, explains the major changes he made in his diet:

[I healed] by just going on a basic, good, predominantly raw, vegan diet alone and supplementing it with lots of juices, like carrot juice, which of course is packed with nutrients. And the reason why the juices are so important is we have depleted basically all of our produce . . . That’s the reason for using juices as a supplement . . . All of a sudden the body says, Wow! It’s like watering the lawn when it’s dry.

Experiencing a Deepening of Spirituality

The majority of my interviewees also discussed feeling—not just believing but actually feeling—an internal sensation of divine, loving energy. Some even had transcendent experiences, such as Unexpected Survivor #4, who healed from a Stage 3 lung cancer without conventional medical treatment:

It was a ten-day, silent retreat, where you couldn’t speak, you couldn’t acknowledge other people in the room, and you just meditated for like fourteen hours a day. And I had this experience that I can’t explain. It was like all of a sudden there was a flash, and in my eyes I could see rivers of energy swirling around and at the same time felt that same thing through every cell of my body. And there’s a word for it, but I forget what the teacher said it was—but he explained that, “You felt your soul. You felt your true essence.” And I said, “Did I feel God?” And he kind of smiled and said, “Some people may call it that.”

Feeling Love/Joy/Happiness

The majority of my interviewees also discussed the importance of increasing love and happiness in their life in order to help regain their health.

FIELD NOTES: [Unexpected Survivor #5, who overcame a rare lymphoma without conventional medical treatment] said that the energy/spiritual healer that he saw flooded his lymph system with energy and that after the treatment he felt like “a teenager in love.” He felt love toward everyone and everything. He said the treatment made him realize that if he could only find a way to feel that level of unconditional love all of the time, then he would be healed from his cancer.

Releasing Repressed Emotions

Because many of my interviewees believed that illness represents a state of blockage, they therefore believed that it was healthy to release any emotions they had been holding onto, such as fear, anger, and grief. Unexpected Survivor #19, who overcame pancreatic cancer without conventional medical treatment, explains her insight into this process:

I believe that the energy stuck in my body that appeared to be a mass or a tumor, and which [my physicians] called cancer, had been caused by these patterns that I was describing to you that don’t get released, that are continually overlaid, over and over and over, wherever they are. So if it’s kidney cancer, it’s probably excessive fears; if it’s lung cancer, it’s grief of some sort that hasn’t been resolved. I mean, I think they can be very much tracked back to patterns, thought patterns, thought forms that are not releasing, and therefore they hold in the cell memory are not being released.

Taking Herbs or Vitamins

Many of my interviewees also took various forms of supplements, with the belief that they would help to detoxify their body or boost their immune system or both. Here is how Unexpected Survivor #8, who overcame Stage 3 colon cancer, described it:

Dr. Turner: Of all the things you just told me about, what do you think was the most influential for your healing, or are they all pretty equal for you?

Unexpected Survivor #8: I would say, for my body, that would be the Wholly Immune [supplement] that I got . . . It has like about fifty different things in it . . . [A friend] researched it and said, “In that Wholly Immune, you’ve got seven cancer fighters. If you were taking them on their own, it wouldn’t be as potent.” He said that because they’re in combination, it acts as a cancer destroyer.

Using Intuition to Help Make Treatment Decisions

Finally, many of my interviewees talked about the importance of using intuition to help make treatment-related decisions. For example, Unexpected Survivor #7, who overcame recurrent metastatic breast cancer after conventional medicine had failed to work, described how a healer’s intuition matched her own:

[The Tibetan healer] took his finger and with a pinpoint accuracy touched every spot on my body where I had had cancer, or where I had cancer presently. It was amazing! He could see what scans couldn’t see. I had predicted my cancer four times. I had led [my doctors] to it with a pinpoint of accuracy before the scans could even pick up the collection of cells. [The Tibetan healer] could do what I could do with my own body.

In addition to the six “treatments” listed above, which were common among both the healers and the unexpected survivors, there were additional treatments that were more frequent in one group than the other. For example, the following three themes were very frequent among the twenty unexpected survivors, but less so among the healers.

Taking Control of Health Decisions

The vast majority of the unexpected survivors discussed taking a more active role in health decision-making, as opposed to passively accepting whatever their doctors told them. Unexpected Survivor #9, who overcame recurrent metastatic breast cancer after conventional medicine had failed to work, describes it this way:

Once the panic and fear had subsided after the breast cancer returned for the fifth time, I felt as certain as I ever had been that the only person who could save me was the scientist within . . . For five years, I had done everything my doctors had advised and undergone all the treatments that they had prescribed . . . [This time] I decided that instead I would look at breast cancer in a detached way, as a natural scientist, and try to understand the disease as a type of natural phenomenon.

Having a Strong Will to Live

The vast majority of the unexpected survivors demonstrated a strong will to live. Unexpected Survivor #15, who overcame Stage 3 breast cancer without conventional medicine, demonstrates this willfulness:

The doctor said to me, “After you get this surgery done and have the chemo and radiation, we can give you five more years to live.” And I thought, I want to live more than five years! So, when the doctor said that, I got mad . . . So I kind of went out with an attitude of this isn’t going to beat me. I’m going to do this.

Receiving Social Support

Finally, the vast majority of unexpected survivors in this study described receiving positive social support during their cancer experience. Unexpected Survivor #13 describes the outpouring of love that she received:

One of the things I truly learned [when I had cancer] is that I am valued . . . I was able to share the reality of my experience, and people resonated with that and just stepped in to do whatever was needed. It was a huge validation of the universe and that all life is valued. I wasn’t valued because I’m me, my person necessarily, but because my lifehas value. All life has value, and that includes mine . . . It’s a wonderful consequence of this disease, the outpouring of love. Well, maybe it’s the purpose

There were two themes that occurred more frequently among the healers than the unexpected survivors: (1) healing, infusing, or unblocking energy and (2) strengthening or activating the immune system. You can read more about these, as well as further analysis of all themes, in my full dissertation.

Future Directions

The results from this qualitative study provide some hypotheses as to why unexpected remission may occur. What is needed now is for researchers to study these hypotheses in clinical trials that can test first for safety, then for feasibility, and finally for causality. In addition, there is an immediate need for a central database of unexpected remission case reports, ideally one that is online.

I am currently working on creating such a database and website, with the hope that survivors, doctors, and healers will be able to quickly submit their case reports so that researchers like myself can verify and analyze them. Eventually, this de-identified (anonymous) database will also be searchable by the public, serving not only as a portal for researchers but also as a source of inspiration for cancer patients who are currently battling the disease.

If you know anyone who has healed their cancer either (1) without conventional medicine, (2) after conventional medicine failed, or (3) who used integrative methods to outlive a dire prognosis, please encourage them to submit their case at www.UnexpectedRemission.org (currently in beta). All submitted reports will be automatically de-identified unless specifically asked not to by the survivor.

In closing, I would like to say that studying anomalies such as unexpected remissions is neither easy, nor uncontroversial, nor immediately fruitful. However, I firmly believe that such research can lead us to a new paradigm of scientific understanding, and that by rigorously investigating unexpected remissions—as opposed to simply ignoring them—we can make significant advances in the war on cancer.


Notes

1. B. O’Regan, Spontaneous Remission: An Annotated Bibliography (Institute of Noetic Sciences, 1995).

2. W. H. Cole, “Efforts to Explain Spontaneous Regression of Cancer,” Journal of Surgical Oncology 17, no. 3 (1981): 201–209.

3. W. Boyd, The Spontaneous Regression of Cancer (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1966); T. C. Everson and W. H. Cole, Spontaneous Regression of Cancer (Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders, 1966).

4. B. O’Regan, Spontaneous Remission: An Annotated Bibliography.

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  • 30 Comments
  • jmysin1 Dec 07, 2011

    I am a Medical Oncologist in practice for 25 years. I suspect I have seen a few unexpected remissions although is is possible more have happened but the patient didn't return for me to witness it. I agree with the need to study this phenomenon more but I want to say a bit about some reservations I have. I have had many patients with advanced cancer transform their lives in the same way described by your survivor cases. This includes body, mind and spirit. I recommend it! Few if any of these patients are successful. Some of the patients you described chose not to have conventional therapy. I hope you are not suggesting those with treatable cancers decline allopathic therapy when appropriate. Stage III colon cancer is cured 50% of the time by surgery alone. Chemotherapy may cure another 25%. I would like all of my patients to expect to beat the odds but would also want them to not lose track of the 100% chance of mortality eventually. Lastly all of my patients inspire me even the ones who die prematurely.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dearesther Dec 07, 2011

    I thank you with all my heart for reporting on this possibility. I have heard it said that more people die from the treatment (cut/burn/poison) and that many physicians would decline the western protocols.
    As for me, I am following many of the recommendations you've mentioned and expect to live many more years healthy and happy. I have discovered that spiritual healing is the most powerful and now spend time with Braco, the Croatian healer and study the teachings of Bruno Groening, the German healer. I also am inspired by the work of Dr. Hamer who developed the theories of German New Medicine..and lost his medical license because he would'nt cut/burn/poison his patients, most of whom were fully healed/cured following his theories.
    I pray that more people will have the courage to consider homeopathic, spiritual, and natural healing methods.
    Esther Wright dearesther@aol.com

  • Anonymous Icon

    taozen Dec 08, 2011

    Some interesting links:

    http://psyc1.com/19_mr_wright.html
    http://selvhealing.net/misc/brofman/index.html

  • Anonymous Icon

    taozen Dec 08, 2011


    For some reason this forum seem to add an invisible period/full stop to the end of the last line if you don't do it yourself, so the second link above may appear broken if you copy-paste it into your browser. Just remove the period/full stop at the end of the link after pasting it, and it will work.

  • KYRANI Dec 08, 2011

    I will try to write about this subject here but a post or 2 or 3 is not enough but I’ll try. And I warn you before you read on the truth is ugly.. very ugly. I have had two spontaneous remissions. The first cancer was in 1993 (ovarian cancer spread to uterus, bowel and lungs –inoperable). I followed a gut feeling and left the area and travelled >2,000Kms away back to Sydney and I had a spontaneous remission. Within 9months not a sign of cancer anywhere! I thought I got lucky, although I have to say I also believed that some of my luck was due to TCM. Then again in 2004 I had a second spontaneous remission only this time I saw something very important. I was very angry for 3 weeks in which time a lump grew in my esophagus & sufficiently large to stop me from being able to swallow food other than mash and liquids. I did not know the cause of that anger it seemed out of the blue. In meditation I found I was extremely angry about something trivial that happened and I could not get past it. I then went somewhere where I saw that some of my property was being violated.. badly and I identified the true cause of the anger. I address the matter and resolved it to my satisfaction. I felt an immediate 70% alleviation of the flu-like symptoms and it was then that I realized that an emotion combination was creating the reactivity in my body. Without my being angry and with the issues in my life resolved the growth of the lump was halted and within the next five months it was gone and gone without any further effort on my part and of course without any medical treatment. What I realized was that the cancer did not just occur, it was the result of a serious violation but what? How? Towards the end of 2005 I began to notice that again I was experiencing a mix of emotions that was seemingly not due to any known issues. This time I decided to use my insight meditational skills to make observations in my body. I found that the ascending bowel was developing a lump. I also had profound sense of sadness. I had been isolated by that time as those around me had been either scared off by the toxic people whom I am going after. Those of my friends and relatives that did not “scare off easily” were killed so I saw other cases of fatal medical conditions including cancer amongst them. The last two that I thought were friends I found from their responses were enemies. I realized that I was alone, with respect to having other humans around me. So it was natural enough to feel the loss and sadness and grieve. I decided to allow this situation to continue for the purposes of observation because I knew by then that I could remiss the cancer. By mid-February, 2006 the lump was about the size of a golf ball –obvious.. palpable.

  • KYRANI Dec 08, 2011

    And it was very interesting that some of those toxic people involved had come out of the woodwork. Two of them approached me outside my home one day sneering at me, chuckling and with glowing satisfaction but said nothing. They (ie the toxic mob) was wanting me to know they got a score, or so they thought. Others, and some of which I’d never met before approached me in public places addressing me using my name and asking after my health and with a devilish look on their faces. But the joke was mine and they had yet to find out. By that time I had seen enough through my insightful means so I decided to terminated “the experiment”.
    I could overcome the grief easily. I have had many experiences in my life that point very strongly to the fact that I have come into this birth for the purpose of doing some important work and that the only help I needed I had in the spiritual realm. Grief gone! And I realized too that the anger was very subdued, I was only aware of hot feeling generally but in meditation of course one sees the ideas. I had nothing to be angry about anymore and everything to feel good about. I was ready to deliver my enemies the first of many hefty blows.. complete recovery at my command!
    What had I seen in my body? As far as the emotional mix this time there was firstly fear that caused an excited state and higher than normal perceptivity. There was aggression, due to anger (this is in all cancers sometimes obvious sometimes not). And there was reactivity in the bowel due to grief. This reactivity is critical and I have learnt since that the organs are not attacked at random. They need to generate activity in the organ under attack. How does that attack take place?.. remarkably through ideas presented and ESP is the means. I’ll say something about that shortly. Next I noted that cells on the lining (may have been outside lining) of the ascending column in one spot had begun to divide and multiply. These cells appeared to me not to be the ordinary cells of this area and I later found they were stem cells. The cell division of these cells in this one spot, unlike other cells around them, was arrested at a late stage in mitosis and they finished the division process before they were fully developed cells. Other cells in other areas that did not amass continued to full specialization before they finally became two separate daughter cells. I had an inspiration to do insight meditation when my body become suddenly hot. I saw the ideas of being violated in mind and I knew this charge up was anger. What was interesting was that during these times the cells that amassed were far more active in dividing than in quiet times when I did not feel the heat in my body. I realized that this was not just because of a higher energy production in the body, although that no doubt contributed to the situation, but my attitude. The hotter I felt (ie subconscious anger, evident in meditation), the more aggressive I became and the more cells would amass.

  • KYRANI Dec 08, 2011

    It was then that I had the 1st inkling that cancer was about stem-cell mediated immunity, erroneously ignited & that was due to the images in mind & the action of mirror neurons. These insights were also very important.
    I had images of people watching a video so I decided to do something I have done before. In the mind, I went down the road to the house & the people I saw in the images & mentally I went into the house. It feels the same as going into a house in the physical form but with the difference that you don’t need to open any doors. You just transcend through the walls. It only requires thought to do this. Anyway I saw the setting with the television and the hate video but every time I tried to focus on the video I felt revulsion and repulsion and a strange feeling in the middle of the back of my head but deep inside my skull. This feeling was there on the bad days but now intensified and gave me a dull feeling as well as a disorienting feeling. It may be in the region of the parietal lobe or maybe higher. I persisted and finally got glimpses of someone being hacked in the gut while still alive, -ie images of a hate crime. (I had been told some years earlier that when hate crimes are done they are videoed and in a special format but the person who told me this would not say any more, he just grinned). Then I realized that I was squirming because it was related to me. To overcome the revulsion I made a painting of myself being hacked by criminals with ice picks in the gut. Through seeing the scene in a physical picture using my ordinary senses I was able to gained control of my reactivity. I sat in meditation again and again during the “bad days” and mentally went down to the house and sure enough this time I saw a great deal more. The hate crime images were interspersed with images of my face and body. I realized the video had been edited as to make any viewer viewing it experience the action as if it was being done to me. And people very closely related to me were involved. So while they had relationally entangled me with the criminals used (a simple procedure but too much to discuss here), they also needed strong relationship with the “target” ie the person they are attacking, to gain sufficiently strong ESP effect as to make me perceptive enough to react.
    Owing to heightened reactivity in the body, the person’s body mistakenly believes that it is indeed under attack even though the attack is virtual. As I mentioned 3 types of bodily reactivity. 1. due to fear, which arises out of danger,
    2 sadness & grief, caused reactivity specifically in my large intestine &
    3. action of mirror neurons, which will give rise to sensations in a particular part of the body depending on the images seen in the mind. In most people the level of comfort zone or mental fuzz is such that they do not see the images and of course they are revolting so it is natural enough to block them from consciousness, but pure awareness is still there unchanged.

  • KYRANI Dec 08, 2011

    The person ends up in a dilemma. They have to do something but because they block the images they do not have any other strategy but to shield the area and to do that they create a barrier or wall of resistance. The only thing that we have to build this wall is cells. Build a wall and bingo you got cancer.
    So how to dismantle it this time?
    In my meditations as I observed the cells dividing I saw, preceding each event that took place in the physical realm/my body, there was a mental event. I realized that we have a sort of blueprint body, which is “updated” ie changed before each and every event takes place in the body. It is the same I believe as Dr Sheldrakes’ morphic field. It’s hard to give a model because we tend to think in 3-d. What I have understood is that there is a singularity which underpins every aspect of the physical realm. It is not separate from it and hard to describe because it is at the same time everywhere but it is dimensionless and timeless. This singularity contains everything. And for another thing there is no cause and effect in the physical realm, though that is how is seems. Change the blueprint, you change the physical. It’s all about juggling a matrix. Thus I made the changes in the blueprint, using a mental prescription (too much to describe here) and within 5 1/2 weeks the mass was gone. Since then they have attacked all areas of my large intestine to its very end, my pancreas, bone, skin, brain, eyes, heart, stomach, and spleen. I use mental prescriptions each time and each time I become more efficient. Indeed I use what I call counter padeas (PAthological iDEAS) and with potent force. These days I can “stage-manage” the body’s reactivity so no cancer develops at all; and I got cancer cells, which are none other than immune products in my lymph glands. I had found that metastasis was not about a cell or two breaking off and going through the blood stream to find its way to a distal location.. NO! The body uses the immune product it stores in the lymphatic system to jump start the process fast the next time around. Even this can be mentally scripted away too. Cancer is just a paper tiger and indeed the cells can be useful. I have used each occasion to rejuvenate my organs. When I revert the cells back to normal cells, fully specialized, fully functional and instruct my body to remove through apoptosis the older cells in preference to newer cells when reducing a mass. They can also be used as advanced combat cells to fight microbes.

  • KYRANI Dec 08, 2011

    In re-reading this I see I must make one point clear. The counter padeas are never used against our own body. Cancer cells are not to be feared they are a natural reaction under the circumstances and you can lovingly revert them back to normal cells. The counter padeas I use against the toxic mob and I have seen spectacular successes. Indeed it is necessary because everyone has an absolute right to self defence. They are fools because by their actions they create conditions in their morphic fields that give me an ablsolute right and open avenue to attack and I attack.. you bet. They have moved to try and shield themselves with all manner of counter ideas to try and create a smoke screens. It is unbelieveable to what lengths they have gone but they got no chance. I'm going to eat these guys.. alive!

  • Kelly A. Turner, PhD Dec 09, 2011

    In response to jmysin1's comment - Thank you for voicing your reservations. I agree with them wholeheartedly, and do not in any way wish to endorse the foregoing of conventional cancer treatment. In my consulting work, I am a strong advocate of integrative cancer treatment, which blends the best of conventional and complementary treatments. We do not know for sure why these people who have had Unexpected Remissions healed, or why many other patients who do all of the things listed in my article do not heal. The only ethical next step, therefore, is to continue researching these cases -- not to jump to conclusions and copy what these people did, but also not to flat-out ignore these cases. I encourage all readers to remember that this research is exploratory, and should not be generalized to a larger population, nor should it be construed as medical advice.

    Kelly Turner, PhD
    Integrative Cancer Researcher
    www.UnexpectedRemission.org

  • Anonymous Icon

    DanGolden Dec 09, 2011

    I have two comments which referrence this subject material.
    In 1972 at the age of 29 I was diagnosed with infectous hepatitis and told by a medical doctor patient of mine I would be out of work at least six weeks. It was possible I would be out 6 months and was further advised this condition could kill me.
    A colleague of mine had been introduced to astronaut Edgar Mitchell who was in the process of studying an American who was practicing eastern healing techinque in the Houston, Texas area...Norbu Chen.
    My friend, Dr. Mitchell and Norbu came to my home in Highlands, Texas. Norbu administered his treatment, instructed me to consume nothing but grape juice for 2 days. They returned the following morning and administered a second treatment. Norbu advised..."Dan, you will be symptom free in 3 days." Everything I had been taught about hepatitis through my professional education was 100% contrary to his prognosis. Three days later I presented absolutely no symptoms of hepatitis. Follow-up blood and urine profiles revealed no abnormal function of my liver. The following week I met Dr. Mitchell and my colleague/friend at a professional seminar in Dallas, Texas.

    Dan L. Golden, D.C.
    Chiropractic Physician - Retired

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    DanGolden Dec 09, 2011

    September 8, 2008 I was diagnosed with an invasive, aggressive form of bladder cancer. The urologist advised a radical cystectomy. After the reaction of denial, fear and anger I made this affirmation "cancer in my body is unacceptable."

    A colleague recommended 40g/day of Whey protein known as immunocal. Another advised I investigate neoadjuvant chemotherapy. I was advised Immunocal along with chemotherapy may offset the need for the cystectomy. I began an intake of 40g of immunocal per day.

    September 23, 2008 I met with an oncologist in Colorado Springs. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy was explained, however; the oncologist would not speculate on whether surgery would be required. I got the distinct impression he was leaning in that direction.

    Shortly after the 1st session of chemotherapy I had a cystoscopic exam. I observed the monitor and the "angry, nasty looking" tumor on the anterior/superior wall of my bladder. When the examination was completed I asked the urologist how large he thought that tumor to be? His response was "about the size of a quarter." I was shocked....the month before I was told it was the size of a silver dollar. When I told this urologist of that finding he seemed shocked as well stating "no way." We looked at my medical records and sure enough there it was "tumor approximately 5cm."

    I had a second round of chemo and continued with the 40g/day of immunocal. A second cystoscope was performed wherein the urologist stated "Dan....I can find absolutely no evidence of a turmor in your bladder. There is no reason for you to have surgery. He informed the oncologist (whom, I discovered, had a radical cystectomy in mind all along) who immediately called me for a consultation. "Dan, that cancer may appear to be gone but it will return. When it does it will likely be much more aggressive very likely kill you."

    Feeling I was between the proverbial rock and a hard place I set up a consultation with the urologist. While he did not feel any surgery was necessary he did admit removal of the tissue in the area of the tumor would provide additional insurance against recurrance. A partial cystectomy was performed December 31, 2011. During the surgery and while awaiting the examination of the frozen tissue specimens, the urologist met with my family to inform them he found absolutely no evidence of cancer in my bladder. In fact he had to "slice the bladder like a mellon, turn it inside out" in an effort to locate where the previous tumor had been.

    I have had cystoscopes every six months. To date I present no symptoms of bladder cancer. While this is not exactly a spontaneous remission; it does, I feel, reveal the importance of investigating alternative methods of treatment along with use of the conscious mind to overcome dis-ease.

    Dan Golden, D.C.
    Chiropractic Physician - Retired

  • Anonymous Icon

    DanGolden Dec 09, 2011

    Should have proofed the previous comment. The partial cystectomy was performed December 31, 2008, not 2011.

  • Anonymous Icon

    GAYF123 Dec 09, 2011

    I do not have a cancer. I consciously chose as follows: I do not want cancer. I will not "get" cancer. I have other physical dysfunctions at age 85: congestive heart failure (under control), and osteoarthritis. I know the role stress has played in all my ailments, but, with m,y personality, being pro-active has not gone as well as it could. I attribute much to genetic predisposition that I did not adequately address.

    I accept integrative-complementary medicine as the viable approach to health, and have, generally, lived this principle.

    My one fear is that the integrative component is, most often, found with complementary practitioners, not the allopaths. I have fear and trepidation when I have to consult a typical allopath. Currently, I consult a cardiologist-internal medical person who is, somewhat, open, to the complementary concept, although I do not share certain things with him, such as the homeopathic remedies prescribed by my acupuncturist for a viral infection. And, I am doing well.

    As the daughter of a physician, who graduated from medical college in 1928, when medicine was more natural, it has been difficult and easy to move to the complementary camp. I realized that Dad's practice, and my pharmacist mother's lab were filled with natural components. The change to laboratory medicine was not healthy for me. I was diagnosed by Theron Randolph, M. D. in 1980, and following, in general, his lessons has given me a healthy life for three additional decades.

    When/if more allopaths--who do not know that they are not "traditional"-- open to broader and deeper ideas and practices, we will all be healthier in every realm.

  • KYRANI Dec 10, 2011

    I appreciate doctors like Dr Turner here who are open minded and give their patients all the options both conventional and alternative. But it is not at this front that the problems arise. The research will never get done because those in that area adhere to the current biological model, which I might add is back in the Newtonian days of a mechanistic universe. The currently biology is founded upon Darwinian Evolutionary Theory. This means that the idea of mutations is the only avenue open to researchers. If the truth is different they don't want to know or can't accept that biology is not standing on a good basic theory. So while doctors on the patient end are caring and all embracive of all the options since they want to see their patients get well, the research side is lagging far behind. It seems to me that Darwin's Theory has to be disproved and will be disproved when parapsychology and physics makes sufficient advances. But how many countless millions will suffer and/or die in the meantime? That is of concern to me.

  • KYRANI Dec 11, 2011

    @ DanGolden you said "...the oncologist (whom, I discovered, had a radical cystectomy in mind all along) ...called me for a consultation. "Dan, that cancer may appear to be gone but it will return. When it does it will likely be much more aggressive very likely kill you."
    i have heard this sort of thing from others as well. I know people who have had surgery for no reason because their cancer is cleared away. Also I want to say that this doctor really issued you with a nocebo, a harmful idea. He has nothing to tell him that the cancer will come back and kill you. This is scare mongering to move you to accepting surgery when you were cancer free. As you said he wanted to do radical surgery all along. It is these doctors that make people not trust doctors. Still you are well now and that is the main thing.

  • otmuz Dec 12, 2011


    Hi dearesther: I wonder if Bruno Groning was a Rosicrucian. Reasons: following the laws of nature, taking no money for his Healings, belief in God, as we are not told plainly but Rosicrucians were Christian predominantly. But they never discriminated religion; and rosicrucianism was born in Europe in the 1600s, and the well learned had a greater chance to understand the practices, languages, and Gematria or geometry most likely. Rosicrucianism is practiced in one's life time...and so, I have reasons to believe that his gift was earned, and not inherent. What's sad is he couldn't heal himself...Rosicrucians don't tell the world they are Rosicrucian. Silence is important for people who meditate...and to him it was important.

    Are you reading books about him?

  • Anonymous Icon

    Pictouman Dec 18, 2011

    Two and a half years ago I was given a year, maximum year and a half years to live after post op exam of the prostate revealed a Gleason 4 + 5 cancer which had escaped the capsule and metastasized to the iliac crest, left side. Hormone deprivation therapy began right away, one shot every 3 months for a year. PSA fell dramatically even after the first shot (from 23 post op to 12 in a week, then by half value every week after that). Immediately I changed my diet to exclude red meat, sugar and all dairy. Had support for my system from a homeopathic doctor who monitored my kidney, liver functions plus calcium and vitamin d levels every 6 weeks. Took calcium and vitamin D supplements, plus herbal and homeopathic treatments to support liver and kidney function. Both functions remained normal throughout the hormone deprivation therapy. Began to meditate daily using the cd provided by Holosync. Had cranial-sacral therapy weekly. PSA went below 0.2 and remained there from February 2010 until August 2010. By February 2011 when PSA reached 9 the National Cancer Hospital in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, offered me 13 radiation treatments on the one lesion on the iliac crest hoping that dealing with the tumor there would give me more time hormone deprivation treatment free. PSA went down to 5.8 after radiation (total of 39 Grey) but at the end of August 2011 the PSA had risen again quite dramatically to 24. . During the summer months I had renewed emotional stress with my ex wife (the cancer appeared first when our marriage failed in 2009) - I lived for two months with the same feelings of hopelessness and feeling negated as a person as I had lived (my choice) for the last 3 years of a hopeless marriage. I've done enough therapy to know that no one can make anyone feel anyting, that it is entirely what is inside us which makes us feel how we feel. So I embarked on more inner work to deal with issues from my past which were contributing to how I was feeling emotionally. I could actually feel that somewhere inside I was identifying with the cancer, that it was serving a purpose. It seemd comfortable to have cancer. I did not like this feeling at all and I found a therapist, in the south of Germany, who does the Hellinger Families Constellation work. I booked myself in for a two day seminar workshop with him. Before that I had a shot of Lucrin (September) which didn't work. In the month after the shot the psa went to 84 and testosterone remained normal. A second shot in October worked and the psa is back down to 24 and, hopefully, continuing to fall. Another psa test next week will tell me where things are now.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Pictouman Dec 18, 2011

    Part 2:

    The Hellinger Families Constellation work (beginning of November) showed exactly what I had been feeling - that both the cancer and I were quite comfortable with one another. But when the man standing in the constellation representing me looked into the eyes of the man representing my biological father (I have no information as to who my biological father is) then the man representing the cancer turned, left the side of the man representing me and left the group. When the therapist asked him what he was feeling he said: "I have no further place in this constellation, no need to be in this group." As the therapist worked on with me, making the link to my unknown father, acknowledging with both my parents that what I received from them was the essential, that I acknowledged what I had not got from them, that I accepted that and gave the rest back to them, and then heard each of them say "You are my son" I could feel that a split within myself which has been there for all of my 70 years had healed. The healed feeling is still there in me. Years of therapy had prepared me for this work but this work provided the final resolution to a life time of feeling alone and incomplete. In the days and weeks since the therapy I can feel that the hormone deprivation therapy is working stronger: before the Hellinger therapy the psa had dropped but I wasn't experiencing the side effects of the deprivation - heat flushes, emotional ups and downs etc. Post Hellinger therapy the heat flushes are back. Emotionally I'm pretty stable. Sometimes I do tear up over something beautiful or touching but, hey, I'm an operatic tenor (retired) and emotional reactions have always been readilly available! There is no doubt in my mind that emotional issues have played a major contributing factor to both my developing prostate cancer and now play an even greater role in how I am managing the treatment and disease. I totally agree with Dr Turner's findings re remission. I'm not there yet but I can identify clearly with the need to play an active role in one's treatment, (I have an excellent medical team who really do work together with me) to have a strong will to live, to change diet, to deal with emotional issues. What my final outcome will be in all of this, no one knows. I'll die one day. But I have no plans to do so in the immediate future. Of course none of us knows the "Great Plan" and when it's my time to leave this incarnation then that will be my time to go. But right now I am still here, the hormone deprivation therapy is still working for me, I have no pain and I am still able to live a full, enjoyable life.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Pictouman Dec 18, 2011

    Part 3:

    Prostate Cancer Foundation is reporting almost monthly advances in new treatments for prostate cancer; some 14 new drugs were approved in this past year with many more about to become available. I believe fully in 100% aliopathic medicine and 100% of everything else you can find which might help support the system. I've long admired Dr Edgar Mitchell's writings - from the first quote of his which I read in Home Planet where he described, on his way back from the moon, that he experienced the universe as benign and loving, and that he felt connected with everything. Those feelings resonated very strongly with me because I had experienced the same feelings after each singing lesson with Professor Frederic Husler when I studied with him in Switzerland between 1966-1969. I'm quoted in the introduction to the last editon of his book on singing, published after his death, as saying: "He looked at us and absorbed us. Those wonderful, kind eyes saw you and knew you. After each lesson I felt part of the cosmos. He was at one with everything." And so was I. And so I still am.

  • Anonymous Icon

    Pictouman Dec 18, 2011

    Part 4:
    I forgot to say that when the PSA shot to 24 at the end of August 2011 a bone scan revealed that the cancer had spread and that there were multiple lesions: in both hip joints, the sacro-iliac joints, lumbar 3, 4, 5, T6 and on the ribs. This was confronting and very frightening especially when the first Lucrin shot didn't work. Thankfully the second shot is working and the cancer is again under control. I'm curious what next week's psa test will reveal and even more curious what the next bone scan (as yet unscheduled) will reveal. Th bottom line is that I'm doing all I can on all levels. IONS research into consciousness interests me greatly and I feel that it is in the conscious, and unconscious, field where my attention now needs to be focused (in addition to of course following all medical advice and treatments as may be available and necessary.)

  • Anonymous Icon

    Pictouman Dec 18, 2011

    Part 5
    Sorry to keep adding to this but I have to share with you on here how influential the writings of Gregg Braden have been in my journey with cancer ("The Spontaneous Healing of Belief", "The Divine Matrix" and others). Feeling love, joy, happiness and gratitude are vital to healing and health. The work of Bruce Lipton has also inspired me greatly although as a singer and someone sensitive to sound I find his voice very difficult to listen to when he lectures!! But the message he brings is a great one and is very needed in today's world.

  • Atlandea Dec 21, 2011

    If you are looking for stories of spontaneous healing, you need look no further than the community of Kangen Water distributors. Many of us know of someone with cancer, many of whom had all of the various western medicine treatments and were candidates for hospice, who upon drinking antioxidant ionized water are now cancer free.
    Of course this begs the question - is drinking ionized water a medical treatment? According to the FDA - NO.
    This summer I gave water to a man with 3 kinds of cancer, (Leukemia, skin and tumors) and within 90 days his leukemia was in full remission. His oncologist said he had never seen blood numbers change so much in such a short period of time. Addionally his skin cancer looked better and the small tumors that were being surgically removed were now attached to healthy tissue instead of yellow stuff.
    I can provide names and emails of several others and with some help come up with a lot of other stories.
    Teresa vitalitymarketing@comcast.net

  • Anonymous Icon

    _Gem_ Jan 03, 2012

    @ Kyrani~ I would like to get in touch with you regarding your comments on your esophagal lump due to anger. I am 37 yr old female just recovering from stage 4 esoph. cancer. I highly suspect my cancer was caused by emotional reasons (anger, unexpressed grief), but no one has been able to make sense of why I got this condition, as most who get it are males age 65+. Your writing really resonates with me and you are the first person I've run across that also believes that emotional factors contribute to physical manifestations such as cancer. My email is info@southsoundhealers.com
    _Gem_

  • Anonymous Icon

    zorro77 Jan 13, 2012

    Many spontanous remissions are due to oncolytic viruses, which replicated only in cancer cells and destroy them. In clinical trials they are using these special viruses to treat cancers. My website has several articles from medical journals and videos from several medical schools that explain "Virotherapy".
    http://www.biologicalcancertreatments.com/
    I am an example of this. I had Euwings Sarcoma when I was 9 and I contracted the real Measles & a few weeks later the real Mumps. I was a very sick little boy, but my cancer dissappeared in a "spontanous remission", which they later determined was from these back to back viral infections. The Mayo clinic has studied this for many years and today they are using the Measles Vaccine to treat cancers in clinical trials. They are using the Reo-virus, the Seneca Valley Virus, Adneoviruses and Pox viruses in clinical trials to treat various cancers. These oncolytic viruses work very quickly in destroying a tumor and the method of administration make all of the difference in success.
    Benjamin

  • Anonymous Icon

    Donnakay Jan 14, 2012

    Thank you, Dr. Turner, for the research. What I want to know, and I believe the answer is important, is...How many of the 20 people with remissions did not do ANYTHING special?

  • KYRANI Jan 29, 2012

    @ Donnakay,
    You know it is that maybe all of the 20 people with remissions did nothing to promote it! When a person moves away from the foul play or when the foul play is ended for whatever reason, the person stops reacting, which means their body will stop making more cancer cells and the body will then begin a clean up operation that may take weeks or even months.
    Kyrani

  • Anonymous Icon

    vladc Mar 03, 2012

    Finally! I'm so happy to hear that serious work is finally being done in this area. I myself am a "spontaneous remission" case, after unsuccessful allopathic treatments for lymphoma followed by successful spiritual and bio-energy work. I am now dedicated to helping other patients by promoting the bio-energy therapy that helped me, the Domancic method, of which I am a practitioner. From my experience, which is in line with what many people say here, each patient is different and will need to find their own path to health.

    Sometimes the alternative treatments can be studied and measured (ex. nutrition, onco-virii), but often there's a mysterious element that must simply be accepted - patient changed his/her attitude in life, had a spiritual experience, saw a "healer". Doctors have a very difficult job, especially oncologists, since they face human suffering on a constant basis while being fully aware of the limitations of their science. In order to protect themselves, they must remain very detached and rational in all situations; consequently they cannot accept the inexplicable. In their nevertheless strong desire to help, they are often overly aggressive in prescribing treatment, often to the short- and long-term detriment of the patient. I wish that studies like this will at least make the medical community see that the patient is much more complex than the sum of his medical file and therefore should be empowered to think, research and decide for him/herself what the best course of treatment should be.

    We often forget that life is a series of ups and downs, that we grow with each difficulty we face, that before growth of the new there must be destruction of the old. Those who have defeated doctors' terminal prognosis through their own strength to live will surely testify that illness has made them stronger and wiser, that they are better people today than they were before they were ill. I, for one, can say that my illness was a gift and has put me on the right path in life.

    Vlad

  • Kelly A. Turner, PhD May 03, 2012

    @DonnaKay - To answer your question, all 20 of my Unexpected Remission interviewees did something "special" that, in their opinion, contributed to their remission. In other words, none of them told me, "I have no idea why I got better. I didn't change a thing." Of course, in this kind of exploratory research, there is no way to prove whether the special things they did had any effect on the cancer or not -- that will have to be determined through prospective clinical trials.

    I've loved reading all of the comments on this article, and I welcome any further questions or comments you may have on this research -- I'm at kelly (at) kellyannturner (dot) com.

    Best,
    Kelly Turner, PhD

  • Anonymous Icon

    chrisbeatcancer Jun 22, 2012

    Well I'm a little late to this party...

    Thank you for your research Dr Turner! It is so important.

    I agree with all of your conclusions.

    I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at 26 years old. I had surgery but refused chemotherapy, and used nutrition and natural therapies to heal myself. That was 8 years ago.

    The world of conventional medicine wants us to believe that there isn't a single natural substance on planet earth that can help the body heal. Only patented pharmaceutical drugs. They are quick to admit that there might be natural substances somewhere out there... but they just haven't found them yet.

    They have found them! They just haven't found a way to make money off of them.
    Green Tea, Turmeric, Ginger, Cayenne Pepper, Garlic, Coconut Oil all have very powerful anti-cancer nutrients. In fact nearly every fruit and vegetable on the planet has been shone to have vital life-supporting, anti-cancer nutrients!

    We are poisoning ourselves everyday with processed food and toxic chemicals. Our bodies are starving for the nutrients it needs to thrive. Fast food, junk food, and microwave dinners are killing us.

    These "spontaneous remission" stories are not anomalies, the human body is designed to heal itself. And if given the proper nutrients and environment, it can and will!

    Most of the stories I hear from people who radically changed their diet and lifestyle first, instead of chemotherapy, are success stories. But after enduring the ravaging effects of chemotherapy, those who decide to turn to natural therapies have a much lower rate of survival. Chemotherapy destroys the immune system and causes secondary cancers. This is why natural therapies are marginalized, because many are tried only when the doctors have sent the patient home to die and it's too late.

    We may disagree on this, but I don't believe natural treatment options will never be available in conventional medicine because they can't be regulated, patented, and profited from.

    I don't think we can change the system. I think people have to walk away from it and take control of their own health like I did. I worked with a naturopath and an integrative oncologist on my terms: only natural non-toxic therapies.

    Finally, there are a ton of natural survivors out there. And thanks to the internet we are easy to find. I hear new stories from natural survivors EVERY DAY via my blog and online groups I'm a part of.

    If anyone wants to know more about what I did, you can visit www.chrisbeatcancer.com

    (((c)))

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