War on Cancer (05:21)
Jeremiah, 5, has a normal childhood but was diagnosed with cancer at six months. Progress toward curing cancer has been slow; survival rates have improved little since the 1930s. This film follows six patients taking an alternative therapeutic approach. (Credits)
Michele's Case (01:54)
Cancer rates are high near a chemical fertilizer plant in Yazoo City, Mississippi. Michele, 41, owns a health food store. She was diagnosed with stage I-II breast cancer and prescribed a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation, but has not started treatment.
Fred's Case (00:57)
Retired Toronto truck driver Fred is 67. He was diagnosed with stage IV recurrent prostate cancer, metastasized in his seminal vesicles and bones. He underwent surgery and was prescribed radiation and hormone treatment.
Jeremiah's Case (01:55)
Jeremiah has subcutaneous panniculitis T-cell-like lymphoma, rare in children. Doctors prescribed chemotherapy, but his parents have not yet started treatment due to its negative impacts on his development and future.
Marie's Case (02:57)
Marie has metastasized grade III triple negative breast cancer, a form with low survival rates, and invasive lobular breast cancer. Hear from other patients. Her husband worries about raising their four children alone.
Cancer Epidemic (03:25)
Environment and lifestyle play a major role in developing disease, yet little funding is used to investigate causes. Fred's brother's cancer was unresponsive to radiation and chemotherapy. See ads for alternative cancer treatments.
Natural Treatment Approaches (02:45)
In the U.S., doctors are not allowed to prescribe first time cancer treatments that are not FDA approved. Jeremiah's parents gather information on alternatives to chemotherapy. They are assigned a case worker and could be legally obligated to treat him conventionally.
Gerson Therapy (03:59)
See news clips about fraudulent Mexican clinics. Dr. Max Gerson's therapeutic approach uses hyper alimentation of nutritious food to boost the immune system, rather than targeting cancer cells. Patients discuss their decision to pursue the alternative cancer treatment approach.
Gerson Clinic (03:49)
Filmmakers will follow cancer patients undergoing nutritional therapy for five years to document their outcomes. They spend two weeks in Tijuana learning about the vegetable, juicing, and enema regime, which they will continue at home for two years.
Detoxification Process (05:10)
At the Gerson Clinic in Tijuana, Fred receives a coffee enema and vitamin B12 shots. Jeremiah's parents take him to the Lezaeta Clinic in Chile, where he receives a similar nutritional therapy treatment. Patients prepare to return home after two weeks.
Verena's Case (01:36)
Verena, 49, has stage III breast cancer, received a lumpectomy, and was recommended chemotherapy and radiation. European doctors and patients are free to choose any cancer treatment. She attends the Gerson Clinic in Hungary.
Christine's Case (01:32)
Christine's stage IV non-Hodgkin's lymphoma returned after chemotherapy. Doctors have prescribed more chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
A Day on the Gerson Diet (04:06)
Doctors are increasingly seen as partners in the cancer treatment process. The nutritional therapy requires 120 pounds of produce weekly; patients are also encouraged to undergo monthly blood tests and scans. See the enema, juicing and meal plan hour-by-hour.
Adjusting to the Gerson Diet (02:38)
Marie and Michele discuss how adhering to a strict nutritional regime affects their families. Christine was moody during the detoxification process.
Gerson Diet Origins (03:06)
Charlotte Gerson explains how her father developed nutritional therapy to treat his own migraines in the 1920s. It also cured patients with tuberculosis and cancer; he discovered it strengthens the immune system.
Six Months Update (05:10)
Half a year after beginning the Gerson diet, Fred, Jeremiah, and Verena are improving while Michele's cancer remains unchanged. Fred's insurance company does not want to cover the program because it does not comply with conventional cancer treatments.
Beneficial Side Effects (04:48)
Eight months after beginning the Gerson diet, Marie and Christine have more energy and younger-looking skin. Gerson fled to America to escape Nazi Germany. When early patients suffered liver failure, he experimented with coffee enemas to speed the detoxification process.
One Year Update (04:21)
When patients have positive results, they often prematurely believe they are cured. Christine's tumor has shrunk; she "cheats" on the Gerson diet. Patients with family support tend to do better than those without; Marie reflects on the therapy's effects on her marriage.
Chained to the Juicer (03:01)
Gerson patients spend hours preparing fruits and vegetables for processing and cannot take a day off. Jeremiah's mother has put her career on hold for his treatment.
Working around the Gerson Diet (02:59)
Christine cannot stomach oatmeal, but foods cannot be substituted in the nutritional system. Verena takes her juicer on day trips with her husband. She has decided not to tell her friends about her cancer.
Financial Difficulties (03:24)
Fred's social network has disappeared since his cancer diagnosis. He and his wife have gone into debt to pay for the Gerson diet; insurance policies cover chemotherapy but not nutritional therapy. Cancer treatments threaten to bankrupt healthcare systems.
18 Month Update (05:46)
Michele stopped the Gerson diet due to financial difficulties but will not undergo chemotherapy. Jeremiah's parents will continue the treatment until he enters school. Christine had a health scare after failing to adhere to the diet.
Pepper-Neely Bill (02:10)
After successfully treating end stage patients, Gerson provided evidence for proposed legislation to fund alternative cancer treatments. The medical establishment criticized his unorthodox methods, but investigations found no wrong-doing or case misrepresentations. His therapy has never been scientifically tested.
After Two Years (04:44)
Christine gets a scan but has not followed the Gerson diet strictly. Cancer is in remission for Verena, Fred, Jeremiah, and Marie. Jeremiah's father believes the medical establishment should be updated. Hear why Gerson patient remissions should not be considered spontaneous.
Spontaneous Remission Debate (03:15)
Cases of remission among end stage cancer patients after dietary changes have been documented in peer-reviewed journals. However, pharmaceutical companies will not fund nutritional therapy research. Gerson patients work hard during therapy.
Finishing the Gerson Diet (06:32)
Conventional medicine is increasingly incorporating holistic and nutritional principles. Marie celebrates her remission with her family. Christine's tumor has grown; her oncologist recommends chemotherapy. Michele is trying cannabis oil as a last resort for her stage IV cancer.
After Five Years (03:31)
After two years of Gerson therapy, Marie and Verena's breast cancers are in remission. Verena will retain some of the dietary principles for the rest of her life.
Future of Nutritional Therapy (03:59)
Gerson's belief in the link between a depleted diet and cancer was ridiculed during his lifetime, but his focus on strengthening the immune system has recently been vindicated by immunotherapy. Public health experts call for researching all avenues of cancer treatment.
Surviving Cancer (06:32)
Christine received low-dose targeted chemotherapy for her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is in remission. Michele is receiving hospice care for stage IV breast cancer. Fred's prostate cancer is in remission. Jeremiah is cancer-free and remains on a healthy diet.
Credits: The Food Cure (02:03)
Credits: The Food Cure
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