William F. Koch, Ph. D., M. D.

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Cancer—Its Cause and Prevention: Do you Fear This Scourge? You Needn't—Read This Message of Hope - 1926

By Elnora C. Folkmar M.D., D.S.S., Director, Anti-Cancer Center, Washington, D. C.



ACCORDING to Doctor Folkmar, this woman was cured of cancer of the uterus in 1923. The growth was discovered in the fall of 1922, but was not diagnosed as cancer until August, 1923, when the attending physician sent a specimen of tissue from the cervix to the Owen Clinical. Laboratory of Detroit for microscopic exam n examination. The laboratory reported “squamous cell carcinoma.” Operation was recommended. The patient refused to follow this advice. An appeal was made to the discoverer of the synthetic antitoxin to treat the case. Physical examination at that time revealed a large uterus, the cervix of which was nodular and as large as an apple. The growth extended into the broad ligaments. Two doses of one cubic centimeter each of the antitoxin were given hypodermically during the month of August. In less than six months all cancer tissue had disappeared and the normal function was restored. In less than two years the woman gave birth to the little boy standing at her side. In April 1926, the little girl at her right was born. Last spring Doctor Folkmar met this woman, carrying her third baby in her arms.

WITHIN the last few years great strides have been made in the study of cancer as a constitutional disease and in its relation to preventive medicine. Both scientific research and practical experience seem to lead to the following conclusions:

Cancer is a systemic disease.

Cancer is never a purely local disease.

Cancer is a disease of “soil susceptibility”.

Cancer is a disease due to the presence of a toxic substance. This toxic substance produces various pathological symptoms.

Cancer can be diagnosed by these symptoms long before a growth appears.

Cancer is a preventable, a curable, and an eradicable scourge.

Cancer is a systemic disease from its inception. It never begins as a tumor. The growth is a late local manifestation of the systemic disease. Depending on the cellular structure of the growth, its location, and the kind of tissue in which it is formed, it is called a carcinoma, a sarcoma or an epithelioma. The cells of the cancer growth are proliferations of normal cells in an injured area, but modified in structure under the influence of the causative toxin. As the disease of cancer progresses, cells from the first growth may migrate to other parts of the body and there start up new growths. These are called “daughter growths” or metastatic growths.

Cancer is a disease of soil predisposition. Over eighty per cent of cancer subjects give a history of cancer in some other member of the family, either in the direct line of ancestors or in a collateral line. Maud Slye has demonstrated, by the study of over sixty thousand mice, that susceptibility to cancer is # trait inherited in accordance with the Mendelian law-which is a law concerning heredity. Inheritance is not the only cause of a predisposing soil. Conditions of living, enforced sterility, the use of a faulty diet, the breathing of poisonous gases, or the chronic dysfunction of a ductless or other secretive gland, may produce a soil predisposition to cancer.

The idea that a special poison in the system is an essential factor in cancer is not new. More than fifty years ago Paget, a noted British surgeon, urged scientists to search for such a substance. The discovery of this toxic substance was made by Dr. William F. Koch, in 1918. How the poison may be introduced into the system is a matter for further research.

Once introduced into a person predisposed by inheritance or acquired low resistance, it ultimately lodges in some part of the body where there is more or less persistent interference with the normal circulation of the blood or lymph. The circulatory interference may be the result of an injury from a blow, from heat or chemicals, from muscle spasm, from interference with the normal function of the ductless glands, or from scar formation following a disease process. The normal cells in the injured area are stimulated by the cancer toxin to give up their normal structure and function and become converted into cancerous cells which proliferate in an unrestrained manner to form the cancer growth.

Cancer is on the increase. Cancer occupies second place as the cause of death. Cancer mortality has increased fifty percent, within the last twenty-five years. Over 125,004 die annually from cancer. Over 250,000 possess cancerous growths, and over 1,000,000 of our population are suffering from the presence of the causative toxin of cancer in the system. The hazard of death from cancer for every child who has attained the age of ten years is one in nine for girls and one in twelve for boys. This hazard of death increases with age. For those of middle age, it is one in eight for males and one in five for females.

Long before a growth appears, very definite changes have taken place in the blood. It is more alkaline than normal blood. It has a higher sugar toleration and a lower ionized calcium content. The red cell count and the percentage of hemoglobin (blood iron) gradually becomes reduced until the patient is markedly anemic. Changes in the function of the ductless glands have taken place.

Among the pregrowth symptoms of cancer are disturbances of the nervous mechanism of the body-neuralgia, neuritis, headaches, lack of accommodation, more or less persistent variation from the normal function of the digestive or of the reproductive organs. Other pregrowth symptoms often noticed are: gastric ulcer, goitre, diabetes, mucous colitis, and certain skin and circulatory diseases. These pre-symptoms of the growth are warning signals.

The increase in cancer goes hand in hand with recent progress in civilization, the substitution of processed foods for whole natural foods, the hurry and strain of modern business and social life, and the increase in both involuntary and voluntary sterility of women.

Interference with the normal reproductive function, whatever be the nature of such interference, increases the susceptibility of cancer. To illustrate: Cancer is much more frequent among unmarried than among married women. It is thirty percent more frequent among the childless married women than among those who have borne children. It is more frequent among women who have borne only one or two children than among those who have borne several. It is more frequent in Holland among women who do not nurse their babies than among those who do.

The observation of several thousand cases of cancer of the uterus and of the breast has convinced Roffe that an external irritant, such as lacerations and bruises, cannot be considered as the cause of cancer of either the breast or the uterus. The want of normal use of an organ which has been prepared by normal hormonic excitation produces a soil predisposed to cancer.

(Doctor Angel H. Roffe is one of the foremost Cancerologists in the world. He is Director of the Institute of Experimental Medicine for the Study and Treatment of Cancer at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.)

Cancer of the stomach is the most frequent of all kinds of cancer in both men and women. Nearly forty percent of all cancer deaths are from cancer of the stomach. The stomach is subjected to more abuse, to more injury than any other internal structure. This organ not only suffers from the kind of food eaten, from the liquors and drugs put into it, but from the manner of ingesting such materials. Next to cancer of the stomach, cancer of the reproductive organs of women ,the uterus and the breast takes the largest death toll. Cancer of the mouth holds second place for men.

The symptoms of cancer given in textbooks on medicine the presence of a tumor or ulcer, hemorrhage, foul discharge, loss of weight, pain and anemia are those of an advanced stage of the disease. The growth is only a local manifestation of a constitutional disease. The system may be invaded by the cancer poison for years before a tumor is discovered. The disease is well advanced when cancer Bells can be found in a microscopic section from a piece of tissue taken from the growth. The tumor discovered may be only one of several located in different parts of the body at the same time. The importance of pre-symptoms will be seen.

The prevention and eradication of cancer depend upon, first of all, the reaction of an intelligent public to the importance of health insurance. The public must learn to demand of the physician that he be cancer minded when making a periodic medical examination. The ill must learn to demand blood and other laboratory tests that may have a bearing on cancer. They must demand that the physician weigh the factors of heredity, age, occupation, fecundity, living habits (including diet), and other conditions that may suggest cancer as a cause of the present and past symptoms of ill health. In other words, the public must become alive to the necessity of the recognition of the pre-symptoms of cancer growth, must demand that these be searched for if they would be immunized against cancer or cured, if afflicted, of this scourge.

The most precious possession is a sound body in a state of perfect health. The very act of living, to one having this treasure, is a joy. The first requisite for a healthy body is to be well born of healthy parents. The second is to be so reared during infancy, childhood and. youth that one reaches the state of maturity with a healthy body.

Thereafter the responsibility of maintaining the body in health is divided between its personal possessor and the State. The latter, by means of sanitation and preventive medicine against infectious diseases, seeks to provide an environment favorable for the maintenance of health to a ripe old age.

The greatest responsibility rests upon the individual. If proper foods are eaten and pure air is breathed; if proper care is given to personal cleanliness and to body elimination; if there is proper provision for daily exercise, relaxation, and wholesome sleep; and if work is performed under sanitary conditions-there need be little fear of deterioration or disease of any part of the body of one born of healthy ancestors.

Very few individuals possess bodies healthy by inheritance and right living since birth. Certain hazards to life and health must be met. One of the greatest menaces to health and life, especially after middle life, is cancer. Many are born of parents who are cancerous or descended from cancerous ancestors. They come into the world predisposed to cancer. The hazard of death from cancer is greater than that for any other disease except heart disease.

The problem in the cure of cancer is to find a means of removing the cancer toxin from the system. The problem in the prevention of cancer is to find the means for increasing the normal immunity against this disease. That these problems are being solved, at least so far as can be judged from the practical experience of a large number of physicians, is another matter that should be brought to the attention of the public.

There are many reasons why cancer has so long been the greatest scourge of man. Theory rather than fact has dominated both cancer research and cancer therapy. Since the time of Virchow (1821-1902), cancer has been studied as a local disease. Research has been directed or guided by the theory that irritation was its cause. A predisposed soil was not recognized. The only logical treatment, based on such a hypothesis, was that of excision or destruction by heat, chemicals, or electrical energy.

According to the reports of a prominent surgeon of the nineteenth century, there was not one case in five hundred operated for internal cancer in which the disease did not recur. Results from surgery seem no better today. One of the Mayo brothers, famous surgeons, recently said that there was not one case in a hundred of a cancer of the breast in which there was not a return growth after operation. Doctor James Ewing, in a paper on “Public Health and Cancer,” gives Doctor Salstein as authority for the results obtained by surgery for cancer of the rectum. For nineteen cities of 100,000 population, out of every 100 early cases operated for cancer of the rectum, 45 die under the operation or within a few hours. (Bellevue admits 50) and 40 more will have a rapid recurrence and will die within a few weeks without ever having a comfortable day mentally or physically after seeing the surgeon.

Only five percent of very early cases are said to receive any permanent benefit. The average life of operated cases for all types of cancer is only twenty months. The ultimate results obtained by radium, x-ray, or electrocoagulation have been no better. Doctor Francis Carter Wood, of Columbia University, says that radium will not cure cancer, that it only destroys cancer tissue within a certain radius, but does not drive the disease from the blood. Doctor Cathein, Chief Surgeon of the Urological Hospital of Paris, says: “Radium and x-ray are evidently not specifics for cancer . . . . Radium and x-ray never cured deep cancer.”

Why have surgery and other destructive methods of treating cancer failed as cures for all types of cancer, except some kinds of skin cancer? They have failed because:

1. They do not rid the body of the causative toxic agent.

2. They do not restore the body chemistry or the function of the endocrine glands to normal.

3. All, by more or less injury, even to mutilation and excision in some cases, render impossible the restoration of cancerous tissues to normal structure or function. X-ray and radium act as stimulants to the multiplication of the most virulent cancer cells. They have an insidious destructive effect on normal tissues, which continues for weeks and months after their application, ultimately causing great pain and, in the case of radium, often extensive necrosis.

4. Destructive methods of treating the cancer tumor, except skin lesions, are worse than failures. They are mutilating and disfiguring. They increase rather than reduce the abnormality of the blood chemistry. They hamper the protective and governing function of the endocrine glands. Some of them actually stimulate recurrent and metastatic growths.

The essentials for the successful treatment of cancer, once a diagnosis has been made, are:

1. The rendering of the toxic causative substance harmless.

2. The restoration of the endocrine functions and of the blood chemistry to normal.

3. The physiologic absorption of the cancer growth, if one be present, and the restoration of the invaded and injured tissues to normal structure and to normal physiological function.

4. The elimination of all pre-growth symptoms, both subjective and objective. In other words, the real test is, does the treatment bring about the restoration of the patient to normalcy with immunity against cancer?

The principle of treating certain acute infectious diseases with an antitoxin is now generally accepted. Antitoxins are normally produced in individuals more or less immune to a disease when the system is invaded by said disease. Chemically, an antitoxin is a phase of the toxin which has the power of converting the toxin into its own, the antitoxin phase. Thus far only two disease toxins have been isolated and produced synthetically, those of tetany and of cancer. The antitoxin for the poison responsible for tetany is normally produced by the parathyroid gland. No perfected endocrine gland has been discovered which normally secretes an antitoxin for cancer. The cellular structure of a cancer tumor suggests that it is an effort on the part of nature to produce such a gland. The antitoxin phase of the cancer toxin, however, has been worked out synthetically and has passed through the experimental stage of its use in the treatment of cancer. This antitoxin meets all the requirements enumerated above for a real cure for cancer.

The synthetic antitoxin for cancer has had over ten years of practical use by its discoverer and five years of use by a limited number of physicians. The experience of all these is that cancer can be cured, that under favorable conditions even some very advanced and extensive cases of cancer growth have been cured by its use, combined with a proper diet and elimination regime. Women have borne normal children after having been cured of extensive cancer of the uterus. A man unable to speak above a whisper for nearly two years because of cancer of the vocal cords is now a platform speaker with a normal voice. A woman with a leg broken and shortened seven inches by the destruction of bone by cancer is well and able to walk on the leg in which the bone was restored to normalcy. Cancers of the rectum that had perforated the bladder or the vaginal wall have been cured, and the fistulous opening closed by the restoration of normal tissue. Persons suffering from advanced cancer of the stomach or intestines have been quickly restored to perfect health. Cancer of the breast has been cured. Many who were found on exploratory operation to be filled with cancerous tissue are today well, free from all tumor masses and able to do hard work.

The effectiveness of the synthetic antitoxin, both as a means of prevention against cancer and as a cure for cancer, may be promoted or hindered by any means that promotes or inhibits the normal chemical processes of the body or of the immunization and recovery processes activated by its administration. A rational diet and a hygienic regime of elimination and exercise are very important. Denatured foods, cathartics, citrus fruits, flesh foods, condiments, drugs in general, alcohol and tobacco, foods containing lactic, acetic or oxalic acid-all interfere with the normal progress of the processes of recovery. Malic acid fruits (apples and pears), whole cereals, fresh vegetables, pure water (distilled), pure air and sunshine aid the recovery processes. Anesthetics, germicides, previous or subsequent subjection to irradiation with X-ray or radium may completely inhibit the recovery processes. The earlier the treatment is begun, the better the chances of recovery. There comes a time in the progress of any degenerative disease when the vital forces of the body are so reduced that Nature, even under the best of assistance, is unable to restore the body to normal. Delay in such matters is always dangerous.

Space will permit of only a word on how to reduce; for the seemingly well, the present hazard of death from cancer:

1. First, observe the principles of right living. The best insurance for maintaining health is secured by a proper diet of natural foods (a goodly portion to be eaten raw), a normal sex life, rest (including regular hours for sleep), colon hygiene, and good mental habits.

2. Second, avoid stimulants, narcotics, cathartics and drugs in general, especially the mineral drugs and the salicylic-acid and the coal-tar products.

3. Third, if predisposed to cancer by inheritance or otherwise, demand of your physician that he consider the advisability of giving you an immunizing dose of the antitoxin for cancer.