How much can the democratic process in Europe yield over the cancer establishment?

By the ANH team

Today the European Parliament received amendments to the draft report on the Commission communication on Action Against Cancer: European Partnership 2009/2013(INI). The ANH was asked by a Greek member of the European Parliament (MEP), Mr Theodoros Skylakakis to submit amendments to the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

The draft report proposes a ‘European Partnership for Action Against Cancer’ for the period 2009-2013. The idea is that all stakeholders work ‘fruitfully’ together for joint action on cancer at European, national, regional and local level. It stresses the need for all governments in the EU to develop, implement and improve national cancer plans, tackling the disease on all fronts – from prevention, screening and early detection to top-quality diagnostics, treatment and care, psychosocial and palliative care and cancer research.

European Parliament shows concern over society's approach to cancer

The ANH is pleased to be working with the office of Mr Skylakakis, who has himself expressed concern over society’s approach to cancer, and particularly the lack of emphasis of prevention and the use of nutrition.  Such views are of course natural for those originating from southern Europe where some of the most convincing studies on the benefits of nutrition on cancer and heart disease have been undertaken.

The two amendments proposed by the ANH are as follows: 

  • Urge the Commission and Member States "to adopt policies to support the principles embodied in the World Health Organization's Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health launched in 2004".    

The WHO’s Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health provides a clear way forward to encourage mobilization of all concerned social and economic groups, including scientific, professional, nongovernmental, voluntary, private-sector, civil society, and industry associations, and to engage them actively and appropriately in implementing the strategy that ensures inappropriate diets and physical inactivity, as major preventable factors, do not contribute unnecessarily to the burden of chronic diseases including cancer.

It is essential that we see more than ‘lip service’ being paid to the WHO strategy, to prevention, and strategies involving nutrition and natural products. It is also essential that we move away from pharma dominance in cancer treatment, that sadly all too frequently is simply known as ‘management’. 

  • Call on the Commission "to ensure that Community legislation contains incentives for researchers and industry to develop nutritional and other natural product-based approaches to cancer prevention validated through nutrigenomic and epigenetic research".

There is clear evidence from the fields of integrative and functional medicine that nutrients, botanicals and other natural products may have profound effects on those suffering different types of cancer. The absence of patents on natural products often provides an obstacle to industry-funded research and the rapid development of nutrigenomic and epigenetic approaches is emphasising the importance of such approaches, which ultimately may substantially reduce the cost burden on society. 

Natural treatments of cancer —or reinstating balance in the body?

Regulators around the world, none more so than in the EU, have banned any reference to the use of vitamins or other natural products for the treatment of cancer. Cancer treatment has become the sole preserve of those administrating chemotherapy drugs, radiation or surgery to victims of cancer, fast becoming the leading cause of death both in industrialised and non-industrialised countries, and diagnosed in 3.2 million Europeans annually.

With decades of clinical practice behind them, integrative medicine doctors and other practitioners of natural medicine have determined that vitamins, botanicals and other nutrients can be used to remarkable effect in dealing with many types of cancer in even its most severe stages.  But most of these practitioners are unable to publicise their results or make them available to governments for fear of reprisals and prosecution for unapproved practices. 

Until we see a sea change in the blinkered view of the cancer establishment, that begins to recognise the complex manner by which natural products with which we have evolved for millennia, work within our bodies, we are unlikely to see breakthroughs in the treatment and management of cancer.

For many of the practitioners, achieving spectacular, yet unpublicised results, the mechanism at work is much more to do with the role of natural products in helping to re-establish normal metabolic processes in the body. It is about working with nature, rather than against it. It is about achieving homeostasis when the development of cancer is a dangerous and striking departure from normal, healthy metabolic activity. The mindset that continues to see cancers, in almost Pasteurian terms, as akin to an infectious disease that needs to be chemically killed, irradiated or cut out, lies at the heart of society’s incapacity to resolve one of the most important preventable causes of death.

How much is this ‘blinkered’ view of the medical establishment, regulators and governments to do with the huge profits that are being raked in by the pharma from the lucrative mainstream cancer industry?  Its time we had some fair, balanced, thorough, independent and truly, widely effective policies to deal with cancer.

"Everyone should know that the 'war on cancer' is largely a fraud, and that the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society are derelict in their duties to the people who support them."

--Double Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, Ph.D. 

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