Cancer is not a modern disease, but in modern times it has assumed epidemic proportions. In the 45 years since the global war on cancer was launched, we are yet faced with a cancer incidence that is exploding, despite achieving remarkable successes in treating early stage cancers. Currently, the allopathic standard of treatment for all cancer comprises almost entirely of three modalities – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation – all focused on the destruction of tumors.

Meanwhile, our efforts to elucidate the causes of cancer have been directed almost exclusively on a genetic basis for cancer, and on the erroneous understanding that for most cancers, all it takes is one rogue cell to form a cancerous mass. There are many deficiencies in this model of looking at cancer primarily that the human genome has not changed considerably in the past 30,000 years, so why have cancer rates increased so tremendously in the last century?

The likelihood of getting cancer in this day and age, especially in the last 50 years is many times what it used to be, and even the advancements in screening and diagnostic procedures cannot begin to explain it. Is it then not natural that we should broaden the scope of research to consider other origins, and therefore other approaches to treating cancer?

This is not a new line of thought, in fact an immense wealth of research on the development of cancer has been published by brilliant scientists, including Linus Pauling, considered to be one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Nobel laureate Otto Warburg, seven-time Nobel prize nominee Dr Johanna Budwig, alternative Nobel prize nominee and inventor Dr Royal Rife, Dr Emanuel Revici, Dr. James W. Forsythe and many others. By ascribing to just the genetic basis for cancer, we are severely limiting our ability to understand and treat the root causes of cancerous transformation in the body.

The advent of allopathic medicine goes back a little over a hundred years, and in that period of time it has been firmly established as mainstream disease treatment. The study of medicine places great emphasis on making diagnoses which are disease based, and on subsequently finding the right treatment which very often ends up being a drug, or an intervention that is designed to disrupt the disease process.

An example of this would be…. Medical students and healthcare professionals spend a huge amount of time studying drugs and the effects of their interactions, and generally believe that the right combination of drugs will be able to overcome a diseased state. The success of modern allopathic medicine is undeniable, and in many areas we have achieved truly incredible progress, example; in making childbirth safe, advances that makes survival of severely premature babies possible, making the miracle of childbirth possible for childless couples.

I was a product of such training, and for 25 years of my medical practice, I believed entirely in this approach as the only way to overcome disease. As a cancer surgeon in particular I was convinced of surgical excellence, with complete excision of the cancer being the gold standard of treatment.

Dr Vijae


Years of experience has revealed that amidst its advantages, allopathic medicine has also considerable shortcomings. For example, in advanced gynaecological cancers, we see a good initial response with regard to tumor shrinkage, only to see the cancer recur in up to 80% of cases, within a short span. Clearly this should be viewed as a treatment failure, as the subsequent survival rate is so poor.

With insight into both alternative and conventional views, I have had the privilege of comparing and evaluating the outcomes of cancer treatment in end stage patients using purely allopathic methods, and also with the help of complementary healing medicine. I have thus far been amazed and humbled by the results that I have seen when we incorporate integrative strategies.

The issues in this series of articles are not intended simply to present statistical data, and throw a winning pitch in favour of non-conventional therapies, but to encourage critical thought and debate and to “think outside the box”. Recognising that up to 95% of cancer is due to non-genetic factors, both patients and healthcare officers need to explore different approaches to healing cancers.

Doctors must embrace all forms of knowledge and empower patients to question and understand the options presented to them in conventional medicine. There is a dire need to incorporate healing into the paradigm of cancer treatment, and to address the root causes of cancer while keeping an eye on the big picture of causes of cellular dysfunction.

In the next article we will examine a very basic question – what is Cancer?

Note: Dr Vijaendreh Subramaniam is a Consultant Gynae-oncologist at MMC Melaka. He retired after 25 years with the Ministry of Health and focusses on Gynaecological Cancer. He is highly passionate about integrative treatment and bringing a healing paradigm into conventional cancer care.

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