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How Not To Feed Your Cancer

Illustration portrait

Whooli Chen

Your cancer is uniquely yours. Get to know it—so you can help deprive it of exactly what it needs to survive.

If you’re unlucky enough to have been diagnosed with cancer, you’ve fielded unhelpful advice from friends, relatives, and even strangers about a miracle or a secret or natural cure. There are also books and video series that will sell you the capital-T truth about cancer. Are these people stupid, or evil? Absolutely not. In fact, they are often right, but in an incomplete way. They are palpating different parts of the elephant. They have each seen, or think they’ve seen, or heard of, a case of unusual recovery from cancer using unconventional treatment methods. Such events do occur. Ask any oncologist and you’ll find that, like me over a career of two-plus decades, they’ll recall one or two. These cases are win-the-lottery rare. But I keep an eye out for them because unexpected recoveries are precious, every one worthy of serious scientific investigation. Meanwhile, we now know that every cancer is unique and constantly changing, and every person bearing such an affliction is also one of a kind. So if you have cancer, copying what you heard may have worked for someone else is like picking last week …

Dawn Lemanne MD, MPH

Dawn Lemanne MD, MPH, is a Stanford-trained oncologist who has treated thousands of cancer patients with an integrative approach. She has a special interest in unusual recoveries from cancer, and coauthored the popular book n of 1, about a man who reversed chronic lymphocytic leukemia without conventional treatment. 

The American College of Nutrition gave Dr. Lemanne the 2017 Stanley Wallach Award for advancing human understanding of the role of nutrition in cancer treatment. Dr. Lemanne holds appointments at the University of Arizona and at the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Australia. Oregon Integrative Oncology, her clinic in Ashland attracts patients from around the globe.

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