Ginger and cancer

"Dear Jeff,

"In the light of your article in this morning's Herald we are sending you the enclosed information about our experience with thyroid cancer in our dog, Annabelle, and

treatment with a ginger extract. On the surface, it seems that the ginger extract has caused Annabelle's thyroid cancer to regress.

"Of course, there might be another reason for the cancer to regress. For instance, when the vet took the biopsy the cancer was opened up. This might have given

normal white blood cells an opportunity to invade the cancer.

"Nevertheless, the reason that we gave the ginger extract to Annabelle is that we had heard a few anecdotes about the specific ginger extract causing a few people to lose signs of their cancer. This is why we feel that the ginger extract helped Annabelle.

"One of the people we were able to check on is the mother of Paul Bevan at the ABC, Newcastle, who has used the ginger extract. [Paul Bevan told early this year of the improvement in his mother's after she started using the ginger extract, Digest Easy, when she was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer.]

"In order that we could have objective evidence of Annabelle's experience we obtained the relevant vet and pathology records, copies of which are enclosed.

We prepared the enclosed material and forwarded it to Biohawk (Professor Cliff Hawkins) and to the Korean research group. This group has found that the active

ingredient in ginger, and in Digest Easy, 6-gingerol, inhibits the action of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) and FGF (fibroblast growth factor). Both of these

growth factors are commonly in elevated concentrations in cancers. Additionally, Annabelle's cancer had a lot of blood vessels, necessitating suturing. Consequently,

Annabelle's form of cancer might have been peculiarly suited to the action of gingerol.

"Anyway, we thought that, in view of your interest and since your readers are interested in your views on cancer and treatments, you might be interested in this

documented case of thyroid cancer in Annabelle."

Signed Barry and Moira Boettcher, of New Lambton.

The following is a synopsis prepared by Barry Boettcher and attached to the above letter.

"In late 2009 Annabelle developed a lump on the right side of the neck. It grew from a small lump to a considerable size over the course of some weeks. The

increase in size was readily detectable on a week-by-week basis.

"In late December 2009 a biopsy was taken of the lump and Annabelle was diagnosed with a thyroid carcinoma. Her thyroid function was low.

"Annabelle's treatment consisted solely of her previous diet plus 15ml Digest Easy and a teaspoon of tinned fish three times daily (morning, midday and night).

"Instead of Annabelle's lesion growing after the biopsy had been taken, as was anticipated, the lesion decreased in size on a day-by-day basis. It was possible for me to detect the constant decrease in size. Within a month, I could not palpate the lesion.

"In May 2010 Annabelle was examined by the vet who examined her in December 2009. He could find no evidence of the original thyroid lesion. A thyroid function test gave a value similar to the previous test.

"There are credible reports in the medical literature of gingerol, the main active component of ginger and a major constituent of Digest Easy, being active against

growth of cancers, inhibiting the growth factor-induced proliferation of endothelial cells (cells lining blood and other vessels), inhibiting angiogenesis (the growth of

blood vessels) and inducing growth arrest and apoptosis (programmed cell death) in human colorectal cancer cells.

"It seems that, in view of Annabelle's documented experience and reports in the medical literature, further research is warranted on the possible benefits of gingerol, or ginger extracts, in disease and, in particular, cancer."

Barry Boettcher is an emeritus professor of biology at Newcastle University and a highly respected forensics expert, and his credibility in these fields is such that I've chosen to run the letter and synopsis in full.

Digest Easy is a product of Biohawk (biohawk.com.au), a Queensland firm, and has been developed by a retired professor of chemistry, Cliff Hawkins, as a digestive aid to neutralise the effect of certain proteins in people with food intolerances and allergies.

Dr Hawkins hopes that the ginger extracts he has developed will be the subject this year of clinical trials in the treatment of certain cancers.

Any cancer patient intending to take Digest Easy should, of course, discuss that with their doctor.

You may recall in my blog "Cancer-fighting stuff" of last week that I wrote that the only knowledge I had of cancer-fighting stuff was that it was all crap, and that applied also to prayers to a certain saint in waiting. Barry and Moira Boettcher have taken me to task gently and reminded me of the value of an open mind. Should I expect a letter from the Pope?

Dr Hawkins has accepted my invitation to discuss his ginger-extract products and to answer your queries today.

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