Current Affairs

“Don’t forget it was the chemo that cured you”

The world of alternative cancer treatments is vast and confusing, and I can understand why anyone diagnosed with cancer would want to give themselves the best fighting chance possible. Eating right, getting exercise and rest, and looking after your mental health can all play an important part in cancer recovery, but often, people end up attributing a miracle cure to a particular lifestyle change, diet change, or alternative therapy, rather than the conventional treatment that they also underwent. When that’s just a personal belief, that’s one thing, but when someone starts to market this belief, wrapped up in some pseudo-science, then they begin to step tentatively towards quackery.

Recently, I came across a leaflet advertising a seminar by Bernadette Bohan, who was going to talk about the role of nutrition in the treatment and prevention of cancer. I’ll admit to being immediately dubious, as I saw no qualifications mentioned on the leaflet, so decided to investigate a little. What I found was disappointing. Bohan has had cancer twice, and each time has undergone conventional chemotherapy. Upon her second diagnosis, she embarked upon a number of lifestyle and diet changes which she now attributes her good health to, and while, at first glance, these changes appear to be sound, a deeper analysis shows them to be based on flawed information. Undeniably, good nutrition is important, but Bohan is not a nutritionist, and goes further than just recommending good nutrition.

Primarily, Bohan seems to be an advocate of “juicing” – ingesting large quantities of juiced fruits and vegetables throughout the day. While a healthy diet will include portions of fruit and vegetables, proponents of juicing argue that drinking these as a juice is more beneficial than simply eating them. The juicing process, they say, “pre-digests” the food, making it easier to absorb the nutrients, and the inclusion of so much juice helps to heal all that ails you (reduces your risk of cancer, boosts your immune system, helps you remove toxins, aids digestion, helps you lose weight, helps manage heart conditions, etc.). Allegedly, a break from processing the fibre contained in whole fruits and vegetables will also prevent cancers. However, as a Mayo Clinic nutritionist points out, there is no sound scientific evidence that juicing does any of these things, or that the fruits and vegetables are more beneficial to us in juice form. At best, juicing may simply be a way to include less palatable vegetables in our diet, but it is certainly not a cure-all, and there is currently no evidence to suggest that drinking lots of apple juice is any better for you than simply eating a lot of apples.

Juicing isn’t really the biggest problem here – Bohan doesn’t advocate ridiculous amounts of juice (a la Gerson Therapy) – it’s just a gateway to the rest of the information on the site, for which the evidence dwindles accordingly. We are told that wheatgrass juice is a super-food, and that its high quantities of vitamin B17 (a substance that is thought to kill cancer cells), and its ability to suppress bacterial growths and eliminate stored toxins with its liver purifying chlorophyll, make it justifiably popular. Well, there’s just so much wrong with all of that that it’s hard to know where to start. Vitamin B17 has been sold, in the form of Laetrile, as an alternative cancer cure that is neither a vitamin, nor a cure. In fact, studies have found it to be potentially toxic in larger quantities, possibly resulting in cyanide poisoning. Oh, and it’s completely ineffective in the treatment of cancer too. This isn’t just a slip – on another page, a piece on “Power Foods” tells us about the wonders of B17, this time in great detail.

Chlorophyll is something that many will have studied in school, as that important chemical which plants use to get energy from light. And humans use it for… well, nothing in particular really. Chlorophyll is used by plants in the process of photosynthesis, to fuel the conversion of carbon dioxide into compounds the plant can use (e.g. sugars). As we don’t photosynthesise, it’s not especially important to us, and indeed, doesn’t function in the same way inside us. No amount of chlorophyll will help you detoxify or oxygenate things – we simply cannot use it that way. At best, we might gain some scant nutritional value from it as it passes through our dark, non-carbon dioxide filled, digestive systems.

Bohan’s advice doesn’t stop there however; she also takes care to tell us that it’s not just what we’re putting in our bodies, but what we’re putting on our bodies. Antiperspirants, we’re told, contain aluminium, which accumulates in our brain, and “the link with Alzheimer’s disease and aluminium compounds has been scientifically proven.” This is nonsense. There is, at best, circumstantial evidence to link aluminium and Alzheimer’s Disease, and overwhelmingly, medical and scientific professionals agree that no causal link has been demonstrated between the two. There is not enough evidence to make a strong recommendation to remove aluminium from your life, or to switch to a different antiperspirants (or stop using one altogether), and the link between aluminium and Alzheimer’s is so tenuous that to state that it has been “scientifically proven” is an outright lie. On this point, I actually complained to the ASAI, and was told that I was told that, because it was an editorial, they are “not in a position to pursue [my] complaint.” In which case, any advertiser may, clearly, write whatever they please on their website, as long as it’s an editorial, so it’s open season folks!

Finally, we come to her seminars, which are, after all, the reason I came across Bohan in the first place. For €500-€650, you can attend a three day wellness seminar with Bohan herself, featuring numerous workshops, talks, juices, and other fun activities. A little research pulls up some timetables for previous and upcoming seminars, in which Bohan will discuss her organic, alkaline diet, and be joined by Jackie O’Mahony, to discuss healing visualisations and cell healing. Without heading off on a tangent to discuss alkaline diets (unproven) and cell healing (which actually could be any one of a number of pseudo-scientific nonsense techniques), it’s clear that there’s a heavy emphasis on the alternative treatment options at these seminars, and based on her site, this emphasis extends throughout her philosophy.

While I’m not opposed to eating healthily, and making positive lifestyle changes to improve your chances of beating cancer, I’m also not naive enough to think that juicing or dieting or any of it will, alone, kill cancer. Throughout Bohan’s site, she reinforces the importance of her new diet, but it’s rarely mentioned that what did the curing was the chemotherapy. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the idea that something as palatable as fruit juices and supplements will help you to avoid the difficulties and side effects associated with chemotherapy, but this woman didn’t cure herself using fruit juice. I don’t believe her intent is malicious, but rather, that she has been misinformed. By seeking out information on the internet, and from alternative medicine sources, she has put together a programme that is so jam-packed with disproved and debunked information that it’s hard to see where one piece ends and another begins. With her own cancer cured, and her book setting her up as a mother who found her own way to healing through an alternative prescription, it’s easy to see how people would be taken in. Her book is selling well, she has appeared on tv, and she’s becoming more prominent in the field of alternative therapy. It is not, I think, such a big step from “juices helped to cure me” to “juices cured me”, and I fear that this is where Bohan is rapidly headed.

When Bohan told her oncologist about her life changes, he replied “Don’t forget it was the chemo that cured you“, and I think it’s such an important statement. Of all the alternative cancer cures that have been advertised, not a one has been scientifically proven to work. I know what the effects of chemo are because I watched my father go through chemotherapy. I shaved his head when he lost his hair, I watched him wake up looking positively exhausted and pale, and I saw the effect it had, not just on his body, but on his mind. I know that the side effects are undeniably difficult, but the fact of the matter is that chemotherapy, and not Laetrile or wheatgrass or juices or any other alternative treatment, cures cancer. Chemotherapy demonstrably and repeatedly cures cancers, and as the technology has developed, it cures more cancers, more effectively, than ever before. I can imagine wanting to forget the hair loss, the nausea, the tiredness, but forgetting the cure? Not for me.

10 replies on ““Don’t forget it was the chemo that cured you””


Unfortunately that entire hot mess of juicing, alkalinity and wheat grass being touted as a cure for cancer has been around a long, long time. I remember reading about the Gerson diet, that’s the juicing cure, back in the 1970’s. I think the fear around the entire subject of cancer is so great that certain people lose their judgement and literally cannot think straight after the diagnosis. That’s when the Bohan types step in and relieve them of lots of cash and leaving them no healthier.

Speaking of scammers, you might be interested in the conversation at The Salty Droid about PZ Myers:GasBag. I think you’d find it quite intriguing.

So, you disinformation agents are everywhere aren’t ya. You people are great fun, and your tactics are cleary noticable.

For my own personal joy, can you post a link or anything directing me to a person or people that have been cured using chemo and have gone on to live healthy and happy lives (never getting cancer again and dying of old age)?

in my research it’s increasingly difficult to find good info on that issue. Disinfo agents can help too so if you can help with my question great.

The surpression of the cancer cures is 1 arm of the NWO global depopulation agenda.

Robert, that’s a horribly rude thing to say to the author. Without any backup or even basic manners. As far as I’m concerned, and using your logic; you are a liar, a troll, or are paid to help scam people out of their money.

You should apologise.

Mr. Kelly you have it all wrong. The NWO doesn’t back Chemotherapy it supports Radiotherapy which actually sterilizes recipients without them realizing it.

Seriously, how could you not know that radiation is the NWO’s agenda? Don’t you know the NWO flew the planes into the twin towers and are funding the Iranian nuclear program? It’s all the lead up to the planned Nuclear holocaust that’s going to devastate the worlds population and leave the NWO in control of the limited resources that will be left on our then poisoned planet.

I used to deliver organic veg boxes. There were some juicers because they had nothing left to try. They sadly died. But from what I have read and seen, conventional cancer treatments really do seem pretty primative and only have fair at best success rates for a few types of cancer. I’m afraid I count this as borderline quackery itself.

I would never dispute that eating healthily is good for you, but there is a significant difference between “good for you” and “will cure your cancer”, and many who advocate healthy eating do so with the heavy implication (or outright statement) that it will not only prevent all cancers, but cure them too.

I have been on Bernadettes wellness programme and that’s exactly what it is, a wellness programme! At no point does she ever say that anything she teaches will cure cancer or any degenerative disease!! When people are faced with a traumatic diagnosis like I was, Bernadette simply provides information on how we can improve the environment in our bodies to make it cancer unfriendly. The proof of this is global, people all over the world have taken responsibility for their own well being and are living well and some are not even cured but living well beyond the prognosis given to them by conventional medicene! Never have my pockets been so empty as they were when I was undergoing conventional treatments and investigations!! The cancer industry alone is a multi billion dollar industry and the curative rate is well documented as dismal in most cancers! I am coming from a medical background so to state that someone is misinformed is downright arrogant!! I take my hat off to anyone who informs themselves as much as possible in order to increase their odds of survival! Who am I to say that anyone is misinformed! Bernadette is helping people on a daily basis to help themselves be well whether they are doing conventional or alternative or indeed combining both. It is also well documented that people who inform themselves well have a better outcome. We don’t hear too much about these people as of course it threatens this toxic bulti billion cancer and highlights so much of its flaws!

I sincerely hope that this article has not stopped anyone from embarking on Bernadette Bohans’s programme. After reading her book and attending her course I have made alot of changes in my household. I don’t have a disease, but instinct told me that something is wrong with the state of our country’s health and I simply want to make the right choices for my young kids.
This week I attended a seminar by Colin T Campbell who wrote The China Study. It was so clear that there is an abundance of scientific evidence that demonstrates that not only can good nutrition (i.e. a whole foods plant based diet) prevent disease but that it can also cure disease. Unfortunately nutrition is not even an option presented to patients who are suffering from diseases like cancer. Thanks to Bernadette this message is picking up momentum in Ireland. And thanks to her program I am no longer confused about making the right choices for my young family.

Hi there,

As a housewife and mother myself that has been medically challenged I just want to say that I found her books honest and her course very good indeed. I hear what you are saying about the chemo etc but very often there are things that need to be addressed as well. Lifestyle being the one thing that needs to change. Yes died in particular. I think Bernadette is an advocate for living with and without cancer. She looks wonderful for her age and what she has gone through. Give me what Bernadette has to say any day, I understand what she puts out there. SOmetimes it’s not about qualifications whereas I do realise they are very important however, from a life stage and her experience I think she has alot to offer people whether vulnerable or not.

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