PAUL Reid should be dead. Diagnosed with a rare, incurable lymphoma, he was given five years, seven tops, by his oncologist. But, having cheated death in the Ash Wednesday bushfires, he was not about to surrender his life without a fight.
His weapon of choice? Apricot kernels. Thirty a day. Reid turned down chemotherapy, vowing to eat himself well. Today, 13 years in remission, the 68-year-old believes that ”cancer-killing” properties in the kernels he still eats daily, coupled with a strict vegan diet and prayer, have cured him. ”We’re not immortal, but I believe I’ll be healthy from taking this direction,” he says.
Reid is among a growing number of cancer patients who see food as the key to their survival – a trend worrying doctors who fear people may be risking their lives by embarking on extreme, unproved diets. Some patients are forgoing conventional medical treatment and putting their faith in ”anti-cancer” diets promoted by alternative health practitioners, or buying untested nutritional supplements on the internet.
Amanda Hordern, director of the Cancer Council Victoria’s information and support helpline, says the line is fielding an increasing number of calls from people who believe they can heal their bodies by undergoing restrictive dietary regimes, such as consuming 10 kilograms of juiced fruit and vegetables a day, eliminating dairy and meat, taking high doses of vitamin supplements or eating shark cartilage and having coffee enemas.
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