UK authorities have given the green light for the 2012 Totnes Cancer Health Care Conference (TCHCC) to take place in November. With mainstream media interest as well, are attitudes toward natural approaches to cancer beginning to change?

Conference celebration and skeptic anguish

Officers acting for Devon Trading Standards have decided not to place any further obstacles in the way of the TCHCC, organised by Dr Stephen Hopwood, which was forced behind closed doors in March this year after a concerted campaign by anti-natural skeptics.

Now, Trading Standards has decided that a meeting can go ahead as planned, with the paying public in attendance. 

Score one for cooperation

After several months of negotiations, Trading Standards recently informed Dr Hopwood in a letter that, “It has been decided that no formal enforcement action will be taken” with respect to the March meeting and the advertising thereof. It also noted that Dr Hopwood had complied with its requests to alter and later remove promotional material for the March meeting, and that he has, “Undertaken to comply with the letter and spirit of the [1939 Cancer] future”.  Subject to confirmation, the TCHCC will take place on 17th–18th November.

Unsurprisingly, Dr Hopwood is delighted with the outcome. “With cancer on a seemingly ever-increasing upward trend in today’s world, it’s absolutely vital for patients that open discussion of all the options available to them takes place,” he said to ANH-Intl. “The Totnes Cancer Health Care Conference is one of the few UK forums for these kinds of discussion, and we’re over the moon that a public meeting will now take place in 2012 after all. It’s also worth pointing out that this result shows what’s possible when we work with the authorities, rather than snarling at each other from opposite banks of an ideological divide.”

Media interest

But that’s not the only reason that Dr Hopwood is excited. “We’re hoping to get the word out to a wider audience than ever before, if a planned interview on Inside Out, our local BBC news programme, goes ahead. Most people aren't even aware that there are many natural approaches to supporting people with cancer, so if we can get enough people along and drum up enough interest, this could be the start of something big.”

A wider problem

We’re as delighted as Dr Hopwood that the TCHCC is going ahead this year. While there are literally hundreds of non-mainstream approaches to supporting people with cancer out there, treating patients with them is another matter. To its eternal shame, the medical establishment both actively suppresses many effective alternatives and hounds those practitioners wishing to use them. In the UK, the 1939 Cancer Act tightly controls the information that can be given to patients, and similar laws apply in many other European Union (EU) member states. On a wider level, European Union (EU) medicines law and the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) present two further obstacles to communicating effectively about cancer prevention or nutritional support.

Disease or patient?

Perhaps most crucially, however, is the issue that Dr Hopwood referred to when challenged by Trading Standards in March this year: “We are not promoting any therapy for the prevention or treatment of cancer...we are administering a range of healthcare modalities that are known to help support the body in a diseased state, particularly when affected by cancer.” Mainstream medicine looks at the disease, cancer, exclusively and tries to ‘treat’ it by cutting it out, poisoning both cancer and body with chemotherapy or burning it out with radiation. It barely sees the patient who is suffering from an enormous homeostatic imbalance.

This is why educational opportunities like those offered by the TCHCC are so vital, and why it is so encouraging to see signs of interest from the mainstream media. We only hope that the media coverage is fair and objective. Time will tell, of course, and we’ll keep you posted on developments as we approach the November date for the conference.

Call to action

  • If you live in the UK and have even a vague interest in cancer – which, since most of us will be affected by it either directly or indirectly during our lives, should be virtually everyone! – buy tickets for the Totnes Cancer Health Care Conference as soon as they’re released. We’ll let you know when that is, and you can keep an eye on Dr Hopwood’s Arcturus Clinic website as well
  • Spread this story far and wide! Get those Facebook fingers moving, tap in those Tweets, utilise whatever social media you prefer to get the word out about the TCHCC. Let’s make this into “something big”, as Dr Hopwood says!

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