Fighting Cancer with Nutrition

Fighting Cancer with Nutrition


Cancer: Nutrition and Survival

by Steve Hickey, PhD and Hilary Roberts, PhD

(Lulu Press, 2005. Paperback, 295 pages. ISBN: 141166339X)

Available through most internet booksellers.


Reviewed by Andrew W. Saul


(Reprinted with permission from Saul AW. Review of Cancer: Nutrition and survival, by Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts. J Orthomolecular Med, 2006. Vol 21, No 2.)


Many years ago, when I crossed the equator aboard ship, I caught myself in the act of half-looking for a line of floats, a dotted line, a marker of some sort, to indicate that the hemispheres had changed. Ridiculous, I confess. Yet, as we look outward at our shared biosphere, and inward at our common biochemistry, one may even wonder if our very skin is something of an arbitrary boundary between internal and external environments. Do our cells and tissues have their own microevolution, mirroring that of fishes and finches?


In their new book, Cancer: Nutrition and Survival, Drs. Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts propose that “cancer is a consequence of our evolution from single-called to multi-called organisms” and that the “causes of the disease are explained according to a simple evolutionary model. . . Biological principles predict that cancer-killing substances should occur frequently in nature, and this is indeed the case.”


Simple explanation for cancer? Natural cures for cancer? One can almost hear orthodox oncologists lighting the straw beneath the stake as the authors make such near-heretical statements. But before anyone is torched, would-be judges had best take a look at the evidence. Hickey and Roberts certainly have. Cancer: Nutrition and Survival is one of the most tightly referenced books I have ever seen, with a staggering 1,148 citations. The book is well organized, appropriately illustrated, and briefly indexed. In a book this thorough, with so many subtopics and literature citations, an author index would be a good addition.


This is the book of choice to put into the hands of cancer patients who don’t know what their options really consist of. It is also my pick for any doctor who may certainly have heard of Linus Pauling, but refuses to read him. Pauling and cancer surgeon Ewan Cameron co-wrote their now-classic Cancer and Vitamin C back in 1979, which was last updated in 1993. Hickey and Roberts’ Cancer: Nutrition and Survival qualifies as a most worthy successor, with the advantage of being right up to date.


But it is much more than just a current review. Cancer: Nutrition and Survival has something of the Fantastic Voyage movie about it. In the first chapters, we are, in a manner of speaking, reduced in size for a virtual tour the body from the inside. That the authors enable us to visualize cellular biochemistry is a testament to their skill as scientists. That they can make it compelling is a testimony to their skill as writers. For me, the best part starts on page 106, as the book turns to nutritional solutions to cancer, and zeros in on the benefits of ascorbate therapy. The authors are well versed on the subject, having previously written the first-rate book Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C.


Only the rarest Hollywood movie sequel is better than the original. Hickey and Roberts may even have surpassed Cameron and Pauling. Says Abram Hoffer, who wrote Healing Cancer with Linus Pauling: ”The microevolutionary hypothesis of cancer is so simple and elegant; I wish I had thought of it first.” This is tantamount to praise from Caesar.


Roger J. Williams wrote, “When in doubt, use nutrition first.” There would seem to be few oncologists who practice accordingly. If Dr. Williams’ principle does not ring true to them, perhaps Pascal’s Wager will: Using ascorbate is more advantageous than not using it. It makes little sense to close the door on this and other available nutritional cancer therapies that, at the very least, improve quality and length of life and at best, save life.


Consider this book’s title. If more patients had better nutrition, they would have better survival. Napoleon is said to have declared that in the next life, doctors will have more lives to answer for then generals. The bad news is that it is too late for the dead to benefit from Cancer: Nutrition and Survival. The good news is that it is not too late for the living. Drs. Hickey and Roberts’ book needs to be widely read before any more lives are spent.


Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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