Conventional medicine considers stage 4 cancer a death sentence. When cancer patients are diagnosed too late, doctors can’t offer them much hope. According to the latest U.S. SEER governmental data, the combined 5-year survival rate for the top 10 cancers other than Leukemia, Thyroid, Lymphoma and Testicular cancers, is only 13.4%.
But don’t tell that to the 23 cancer survivors who were highlighted at CHIPSA Hospital’s survivor reunion and scientific forum in Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, CA this past September. The event was called “A Celebration of Life,” as it presented the cases of 23 terminal cancer patients, all of whom were given a death sentence. 18 of those 23 patients have been alive for over 12 years after their diagnosis dates.
What do these cancer patients have in common? They were all treated with alternative methods after being told their was no hope. CHIPSA Hospital is an alternative cancer-treatment center overlooking the beautiful Playas de Tijuana in Mexico.
CHIPSA focuses on figuring out ways for cancer patients to use their own immune systems to fight their disease. They use treatments like Gerson therapy and ozone therapy, and they focus on strict, whole-food based nutrition regimens. Their staff includes 23 integrative MDs 2 naturopathic doctors, and 2 surgeons. They are currently working on a cutting-edge cryotherapy suite that will “freeze” tumors, and many of their treatments have now received FDA phase 1 clearance.
Hospitals like CHIPSA have only recently begun to be acknowledged by the public, as immunotherapy is increasingly used and recognized in traditional medicine. In fact, Dr. James P. Allison and Dr. Tasuku Honjo were recently awarded with the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, giving merit to research that turned into treatments used by many of the survivors at this event. Those survivors believed in treatments like these long before they were celebrated by the rest of the world.
John Haggard, for instance, went to CHIPSA all the way back in 1978. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma with tumors in his brain. He came alongside his mother, who had lung cancer. His mother lived to be 90. And John just celebrated his 84th birthday.
Leslie Bocoski was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer in 1985 and given less than a year to live. 33 years later she is still here to tell her inspiring story of how she used Gerson Therapy to fight her cancer and beat the odds.
Joyce Forsythe was diagnosed 14 years ago with mantle cell lymphoma, a cancer that still has no known cure according to the American Cancer Society. Joyce considers herself cured after 14 years!
Ann Fonfa came to CHIPSA in 1995, and is now celebrating 25 years of being cancer free. She started the Annie Appleseed Foundation, and she now travels the world advocating for better patient options for those diagnosed with cancer.
The survivors at this event weren’t supposed to be alive. And had they relied on conventional medicine alone, they might not be. It isn’t always easy to choose treatments that go against the grain, but these patients took a chance. Alternative medicine has seen a lot of criticism throughout its early years. But conventional doctors are now seeing the power of treatments like immunotherapy, and they’ve even begun incorporating those treatments in the U.S.
While the hospital’s CEO, Ed Clay, is optimistic about the public recognition of immunotherapy, he also expresses frustration that it’s taken this long for people to realize its merits. “We’ve been using non-traditional methods long before the world really understood the mechanisms of action,” he says. “Back when everyone would call us ‘quacks.’ Many of the ideas that prompted people to label our doctors ‘quacks’ are now becoming mainstream. Our doctors just don’t like to wait to be told it’s ‘okay’ to save someone’s life.”
Among the top specialists who shared their research were Dr. Franco Marincola, Dr. Vijay Mahant, and Dr. Phillip Kim. Marincola is the famed former chief of immunogenetics for the NIH and editor of 9 peer-reviewed publications. He is considered one of the world’s leading tumor Immunologists, and he joined the CHIPSA scientific advisory board in June of 2018. At the conference, he spoke very highly of the work CHIPSA does and their passion for translational science. Mahant is the co-founder of Auto-Genomics, a leading liquid biopsy company that is working to diagnose cancer with a blood test. Kim invented the Immune Pod, which helps to activate specific immune cells needed to fight an individual’s tumor.
Much was done to celebrate the past accomplishments of researchers, doctors, and of course, the cancer survivors themselves. But the focus at the 3-day event and gala was not only on the past. The scientific forum drew attention to the future as well, and on what researchers are continuing to do to make cancer cures a reality. The key to those cures seems to lie within the immune system. As Clay said, “When the immune system is responsible for killing cancer, especially the adaptive immune system, you can get real cures. And that’s what the world is looking for. Not 3-month life extensions from chemotherapy treatment. We want cures.”
It isn’t always easy to choose treatments that go against the grain, especially when others are telling you not to, but these cancer patients are thankful that they did. And that’s why Clay and his team hope to eradicate the negativity that surrounds alternative cancer treatments.
“Our goal since taking over CHIPSA,” he said, “has been to build bridges with the scientific community. There’s too much fighting out there. We should be finding ways to work together instead of fighting over who is right. No one, at least not that I know of, can cure every single patient. So until that happens, we need to be on the same team.”
For more information on Chipsa Hospital and the treatments they offer please visit them here: https://chipsahospital.org/