CLL Support Association
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The Truth About Cancer encore

Ty Bollinger had several integrative and alternative doctors at a live symposium back in September. There is an encore presentation this Friday through Sunday here:

I have found Ty's information valuable enough that I bought the series and his book 'The Truth About Cancer'. I hope you can find some time to watch some of this!

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The truth about CLL cancer is that chemotherapy works! We have many, many members who were very ill with CLL before accepting treatment with chemotherapy. They are still members of this community now getting on with their lives because of the breakthrough in leukaemia treatment fifty years ago, when chemotherapy had its first successes in curing childhood leukaemia, a previously fatal illness and now with around a 80% cure rate!

'Five-year survival rates for all types of childhood leukaemia rose from 33% to 79% between 1971 to 2000, as did cure rates (survival to point where no excess mortality), from 25% to 68% between 1971 and 1995':

'Ty Bollinger started his quest because several of his family members had died of cancer despite conventional cancer treatment. He believed they had died not of the cancer but of the cancer’s “so-called treatments” and “false treatments.” He doesn’t explain which cancers they had, what the treatments were, or why he calls them “false.” He was angry, and he wanted his relatives’ lives to matter; he thought he could give their deaths meaning by seeking out alternative treatments that would have saved them and could save others. He was an accountant and bodybuilder, untrained in science or medicine. He started out with the conviction that conventional cancer treatment was a fraud, and confirmation bias had a field day. Instead of learning about cancer from reliable sources, he avoided mainstream cancer experts and researchers and only interviewed alternative practitioners from all over the world who agreed with his premise. He eagerly swallowed everything they told him.


The people Bollinger interviewed are not the world’s leading doctors, but infamous characters whose non-science-based views are notorious.


He couldn’t have picked a more biased sample. He didn’t interview people like Siddhartha Mukherjee (the author of The Emperor of All Maladies), oncologists, or cancer researchers.

I have a rule, the SkepDoc’s Rule: before you believe a claim, make sure you understand who disagrees with it and why. Bollinger fails to do that. His mind is made up, and he is only willing to listen to people who agree with him. He asks questions like “Why would anyone prescribe poisons like chemotherapy?” but doesn’t consult the people who could answer and help him understand. He interviews patients who survived treatment with alternative medicine but doesn’t interview the families of patients who died.


He ask: “Why is modern medicine so drug-intensive?” My answer: because drugs have been proven to work. And because efforts to get patients to improve their health by lifestyle modifications are so often fruitless.

He claims that 97% of people who undergo chemo are dead in 5 years. That is absolutely not true. The study that claim is based on omitted all the types of cancer that chemo is most effective for, and it lumped chemo intended to cure with chemo used as an adjuvant or for palliation.' (My emphasis)

Full article which anyone who watches The 'truth' about cancer should read for some balance:

For good reasons, the guidelines for posts to this community include:

28. CLL Support Association cannot be held responsible for any discussions regarding self-treatment or the outcome of any such discussions.

29. Please do not promote the use of alternative treatments.

While we can complain about 'big pharma' profits and the expense of treatment, this is significantly due to the federal rules that continue to govern every clinical drug trial in the United States put in place by Dr Kelsey of the FDA after the Thalidomide disaster: guides.main.library.emory.e...

The exhaustive clinical trial process must be used to prove that rewards outweigh risks for new drugs before the FDA will approve them and other countries have similar requirements. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, in which about a third of us won't need treatment, makes us very susceptible to alternative practitioner treatments which are unproven and most likely far less effective than proven chemotherapy (and increasingly non-chemo) treatments.

There is much we can do to improve our life without spending time and money looking for unproven alternative treatments - starting here:



Thank you for again re-emphasizing why we must not have any confidence in such approaches. Excellent response.


Sorry to see this left up. This man tells a good story, but with no facts or evidence based research.


More unproven claptrap to snare the naive and unwary. Why on earth is it on this board?


MsLockYourPosts and Leshere, this series is popular so there will inevitably be members of our community that will either watch the series or have friends who do so and ask members why they haven't looked into alternative (i.e. unproven - otherwise it would be medicine) treatments. Yes the post doesn't meet our guidelines and the admins could therefore delete it (and possibly be accused of hiding the truth, etc, etc), but for the moment it is staying up so that interested members can become more aware of the difference between proven and alternative treatments.

I'm aware that this content can be very upsetting to our members that have gone through the challenges of treatment and the post will be deleted if deemed necessary.



I watched the series, an American friend sent me the link. It made me angry.

I agree with everything Neil has said. It was very emotional, but there was no firm stats re treatment success,only a few stories about success with no details. I am grateful for the research and the big pharma who have spent years researching and trialling treatment which means I have hope of a good length of remission and hope that next time round something new will be available that gives a longer one or cure.

Tys programme was very one sided, there was no interviews that might disagree with them. I think that while he was critical of the Pharma companies trying to sell their wares, he failed to see the irony that many of the people he was interviewing were trying to do the same. The Gerson institute ain't cheap.

Read and watch this if you feel the need, but read other sites too, like cancer research uk, counterparts in other countries. Talk to experts in the CLL field, read some of the papers found on this site, watch videos from CLLSA. I for one am grateful for the chemo that has been trialled and been shown to be effective which has enabled me to get on with life.

I wouldnt want you to feel that you are being shouted down for alternative views but I do feel that it brings up views that can be challenged.


Some of the people who sent me links to this now pass me by. It's as if they're cross or disappointed I didn't heed the 'truth'. Not a single one of them has or has had cancer.

I was open minded and did watch/read what they sent. And it also made me angry.

I don't want to close down to other views though and it's good to have it debated.

My problem has always been that my middle ground has a very small acreage. I certainly don't need an extreme position to bounce over to.

What I need is more sleep, less stress, more exercise, more recreation. What I had was ridiculous stress, long hours, never sitting down and when I did have a night out, behaving like someone let out of prison and being the last one to go to bed (all of which need on-going work).

I felt bad about my reaction to a load of alternative links on Sunday. I was worried that I had been unkind. I still think that sharing something that states 50% of us doing chemo will die from it is a robust position to take and it's only right that people can robustly challenge it.


Hi Carrot_Top

We have the videos of ' The truth about cancer', (ordered them when they came out) also have the book, Rainbow diet. I really enjoyed watching these and reading the book. The book for us was amazing, as once we had read what chemo actually does and years later to the body, we wanted to use food as a tool to help the body, organs etc to have less impact and damage and give the body more of a chance to help fight it. The videos further added information for us about food ( was to late for family) however, we all changed our eating ways with the hope of preventing etc, as certain caners are hereditary in our family. (I am talking non related CLL cancer types)

We are in immediate treatment, so never been in what we call LLL (love, laugh and live, partner hates WW) there is a part of me who wished we had been in LLL just so I could really see the benefits of food and the impact on the body. Food and herbs fascinate me.

I think it's a personal point of view, what to believe and not to believe, what path you want to go on. Opinions, reading, seeing different professionals etc first then draw to get your own conclusion with all the information.

I say this as in our family we had two lung cancers, both caught late, both riddled with it, both months to live. One did the chemo, one did the natural food. One had a tough, not so nice last 8 months and passed with heart, kidney etc failure, the other had a great 8 months, and ending was better if you can say that about an ending. Have other family members who have passed with chemo related issues, but also have family who had chemo and are still running around today, all good. I looked at lifestyle and ones running around today did change theirs.

I personally love topics and conversations about this, we all learn much more in discussions, from food, chemo, target therapy etc. Knowledge is key as they say and we all learn stuff.

Oh not sure, but I read an article cannot remember who wrote it so can't find it on google, but I claimed that all drugs like chemo are actually plant based, they were derived from plants, then obviously chemicals were added to make them into which ever type of chemo they are, does anyone know if this is true or false?

Have a good day everyone :-)


I think palliative treatment is probably a very different decision and one I hope I never have to make.

I'm sure we all agree that looking at our diet has been important and changes have been made. Though I tried not to beat myself up during treatment when all I wanted was Ribena and to sook on a chocolate button.

And I agree it is a personal decision, but needs to be informed. i think that's why I had a problem with The Truth About Cancer, it didn't encourage viewers to think for themselves. It was very much this is right and how can you believe anything else.

Hope all going well with treatment serendipity.


Hey MF79

Totally agree palliative is 100% different and can never be compared to any other treatment.

The other family were caught at the start, stage 1. Different out comes, but I also take into account lifestyle, mind set, determination, food, how their lifestyle was before, during etc I try not to be subjective on this

This is something I do wonder, do people really change their diet? have they done so? if so what did they do? why did they etc

Love Ribena and ginger nut, soaking it and then sucking the Ribena out of it lol ( How sad lol)

I am 50/50 ' The truth about cancer', and medical professions both don't give patients information to think about themselves, true information about full pros, cons etc They all claim this is right, they use big words, send for lots of tests etc so how can anyone think anything else? same with the truth about cancer, hence why we all google, research, watch videos, join discussion boards etc we all seek knowledge and information.

Touch wood not bad, Tuesday eyes rolled back into his head, went deathly white, couldn't stay awake, after been given an injection. Asked what it was, she said piriton, never seen that reaction before nor do I wish to ever again! Wednesday they added it to his bag to water it down, he was fine.

Learning red wine is very helpful lol and have heard it's very good for the heart ;-) hope your well :-)


If you read Siddhartha Mukherjee's - The Emperor of All Maladies, you'll find that early chemotherapy research involved exposing cancer cells in vitro (in a test tube) to a huge range of substances, many plant based and sourced from all over the world. That led to the first successful chemotherapy treatments for childhood leukaemia. Nowadays we have a far greater understanding of how chemicals (plant or man made - it doesn't matter) interact with cells and can model those interactions using computers. That enables researchers to custom design the chemicals/molecules to maximise damage to cancer cells while minimising damage to healthy cells, survive ingestion (for oral medications), reduce the impact on organs and much more.



Thanks for that AussieNeil I shall indeed read this, it was years ago when I first read about plant base and it always stuck with me, but could never remember who wrote etc

Have a great day or evening I think it is for you :-)

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Some things that I learned that cannot hurt:

dry brushing - is supposed to help your lymph system detox. If nothing else, it will exfoliate my skin!

rebounding (jumping on mini trampoline) - also supposed to help your lymph system move due to the up and down motion. If nothing else, it is another form of exercise.

juicing - I'm getting lots more nutrients because I'm drinking some of my veggies - It is easier to consume more fruits and veggies this way.

Vitamins - I take extra but that is because my integrative doctor measured my nutrients and they were all very low.

Thermography - I do this instead of mammograms. No one needs more radiation than necessary. If the thermographer sees something, she will send me in for a mammogram, but at least I'm not getting a yearly dose of radiation.

So, yes, there were some things I heard that don't sound right - like using a Chi Machine. And I ask my integrative doctor before I change something. For example, I asked him about eating apricot seeds for the laetrile. He said that the amount of laetrile you get varies too much that he'd rather I got laetrile in a regulated format (though now that I think of it, he didn't suggest how). I asked him about microwave ovens and he doesn't own one and recommends getting away from it, but I haven't yet - it is just way too convenient!

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Microwaves, share radio frequencies with cell phones and WIFI in your home... 802.11 (b/g/n) typically operates on the 2.4 GHz band. This is conveniently the same/very close to the band that your microwave oven emits.

You can get inexpensive testers that will show microwave leaks around the door...



Good to see you thinking through ways to improve your health and where there's some uncertainty with regard on how it may influence your CLL, you can still see positive benefits, e.g. from improving your exercise levels.

I'll admit I'm not medically trained, but I can't resist commenting on:

'juicing - I'm getting lots more nutrients because I'm drinking some of my veggies - It is easier to consume more fruits and veggies this way.

Vitamins - I take extra but that is because my integrative doctor measured my nutrients and they were all very low.'

1) I would have thought that juicing would boost your nutrient intake, but perhaps you lack vitamins not present in significant quantities in what you juice, OR you are unable to metabolise them from natural sources. Also, from what I've read, we are better off eating the fruits and vitamins un-juiced. Here's one typical such article: Note the opening sentence 'Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, juices are renowned as health-boosting beverages...' (My emphasis)

I've been able to increase the quantity of fruit and vegetables I eat and have lost weight and not become bloated, which was my main concern.

Mammograms do indeed deliver a fairly high amount of ionizing radiation (which incidentally, microwave radiation is not, but as Chris says, check your oven for leakage if you are concerned, as there is a risk of cataract damage if you make a habit of standing close to a leaky microwave oven and observing food cooking). I don't know to what degree breast cancers can be adequately detected from thermograms vs mammograms, but given our higher risk of secondary cancers with CLL, perhaps this is a viable alternative for those of us with a low genetic risk of breast cancer. I'd recommend anyone contemplating this to check with a trusted medical expert.


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FYI, my integrative doctor agrees with using thermography.


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