Cancer progressed, despite alternative therapy

Esther Morris had hoped for good news

Esther Morris hoped for good news. This would be the first checkpoint to see if her radical, alternative therapy had been working. But on July 8, her doctor delivered an unfavorable verdict: Morris' cancer had progressed.

Morris, whose decision to shun traditional treatment was the subject of a May CL cover story, had been diagnosed with stage IV - the most severe - metastasized breast cancer in December. Doctors gave the 72-year-old five years, at most, to live and recommended chemotherapy.

But having watched family and friends suffer and die during chemo, Morris decided that if she only had limited time left, she wanted to enjoy it.

In January, she chose to undergo Gerson therapy. The therapy's philosophy, developed by German physician Max Gerson in the 1920s, pushes an organic, low-fat, low-sodium diet supplemented by minerals and coffee enemas. Gerson believed the regimen could repair damaged cells and detoxify the body, curing, among other diseases, cancer. Despite anecdotal testimonies praising the therapy, prominent cancer facilities and organizations, including the American Cancer Society, have denounced the controversial treatment.

Earlier this month, Morris underwent a petscan at Emory University. The results show that cancer lumps in her lungs and neck area have multiplied and increased in activity. The report also indicates that Morris' right vocal cords could be paralyzed. Morris says she hasn't had any trouble speaking.

"I still think the Gerson therapy hasn't had a chance to fully work yet," she says. "It's only been six months."

Gerson therapy advocates claim it takes two years to completely detoxify the body. The rigorous treatment requires ingesting 13 fruit and vegetable drinks and performing four coffee enemas daily. In one day, Morris consumes almost 20 pounds of organic food.

Despite the ominous news, Morris says she's going to continue the diet and not turn to chemo.

"I'm trying to stay upbeat," she says. "I wish I had better news, but I'm going to just wait and see."

To read CL's story about Esther Morris and Gerson therapy, visit www.atlanta.creativeloafing.com/2005-05-12/cover_news.html.??

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