Everything you need to know about how Akira recovered from stage 3 colon cancer without chemotherapy

Everything you need to know about how Akira recovered from stage 3 colon cancer without chemotherapy

Many people are curious about what my husband, Akira, did to recover from stage 3 colon cancer without using chemotherapy. I refer to some things in my book, Finding Yoyu, but not everything.

Before you read on, please remember, I am not a doctor and recommend you do your own research. Gerson Institute and Chris Beat Cancer are two good places to start.

Why did he choose to go chemo-free?

Akira wanted a long-term solution that would get to the root cause of his cancer. Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy aim to eliminate cancer, not what caused it.

Cancer is a systemic disease affecting the entire body. That is why even if you have surgery and remove a lump or tumor, you still need to focus on rebalancing your whole body back into optimum health.

We all have cells in our bodies that could become cancerous. However, if you do develop a tumor, surgically removing it doesn’t mean all the other cancer cells circulating in your body go away.

What? Cancer cells circulating the body? If you’re hearing that for the first time, you probably think it sounds ridiculous. Let me offer this. Akira had no idea he had colon cancer. He had no unusual symptoms. It wasn’t until the lab results came back from his annual check-up and his doctor saw the bloodwork that he was sent for a colonoscopy. The doctor could see from the bloodwork that Akira likely had cancer.

What’s the typical protocol for treating cancer in Japan?

Like in most countries, the official protocol for treating cancer in Japan typically includes a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Those three protocols are grouped together under one umbrella nickname – san dai ryo hou (三大療法), or literally, “the big three method.”

So why refuse a combination of surgery and chemotherapy as the surgeon recommended?

Imagine a refrigerator full of food. The electricity goes out. After a while, something develops mold, so you throw it out, thinking the problem is solved. It isn’t. Mold spores are still circulating in the refrigerator. The electricity is still off. More mold will grow. Other food items will continue to degrade until you change the environment.

I realize that comparing cancer to mold is incorrect and that I am oversimplifying. I’m also not trying to give mold a bad name. Mold has an important purpose in our world.

My point is, just like we would change the environment in a refrigerator so that mold can no longer grow, Akira wanted to change his body so that it was no longer a happy environment for cancer to grow.

Though chemotherapy would have killed cancerous cells, it would have killed healthy cells, too. And, rather than supporting his immune system, chemotherapy would have compromised his immune system.

What did the surgeon say about your husband’s decision not to use chemotherapy?

Unfortunately, one of the most disappointing aspects of Akira’s hospital stay was his surgeon’s advice.

During the final appointment before surgery, Akira talked openly with his surgeon about his decision not to do any chemotherapy after surgery. He shared about the Essiac tea he was already drinking and the books he had been reading. He explained how he would follow Dr. Hoshino, a Japanese doctor who had recovered from a similar kind of colon cancer. Dr. Hoshino followed a plan inspired by the Gerson Therapy™, which includes a vegan diet, juicing, detoxification, and supplements.

Neither one of us expected the surgeon to support Akira’s decision not to do chemotherapy. We were prepared for that. What surprised us was the surgeon’s lack of support for Akira’s choices around food.

Post-op, the surgeon repeatedly told Akira that he was overly concerned about food. He told Akira that it wasn’t necessary to change his diet and that within a few weeks of surgery, he would be able to eat anything he wanted again anyway. He would even be able to drink alcohol.

I was shocked and Akira even more so. Why would any doctor discourage a patient from eating more vegetables and improving their overall health through a better diet?

In Finding Yoyu, you mention giving Akira books to read about alternative protocols for treating cancer. What books made a difference to Akira?

Because Akira was so busy in the weeks leading up to surgery, he had no time to research. And, to be honest, in the beginning, he wasn’t as invested in going chemo-free. Even though he speaks and reads English, I’m sure that if I had not found information in Japanese, he would have dismissed the idea of going chemo-free before even considering it.

Both before and after surgery, Akira read a stack of books, and two authors, in particular, made a big impact on Akira’s decision – Dr. Hoshino and Dr. Watayo. Later, Dr. Magara became Akira’s doctor and of course, he bought and read all of Dr. Magara’s books, too.

Dr. Yoshihiko Hoshino

Hands down, the author that had the most impact on Akira’s decision to go with a plant-based diet instead of chemotherapy was Dr. Yoshihiko Hoshino.

The first book Akira read about Dr. Hoshino’s recovery from cancer was published in 1998. The fact that 15+ years had already passed by the time we found the book and that Dr. Hoshino was still alive and healthy was compelling.

It’s important to note here that Dr. Hoshino did not follow the Gerson Therapy™ exactly. Instead, he created his own plan inspired by Dr. Gerson. The Gerson Institute does not endorse Dr. Hoshino’s books or plan.

If you are interested in learning about the Gerson Therapy™ in English, the Gerson Institute Website is the best resource.

Dr. Takaho Watayo

Another Japanese doctor who has popularized the use of diet in healing cancer is Dr. Takaho Watayo. Akira read several of his books, including the one where Dr. Watayo and Dr. Hoshino go back and forth on the issue.

What exactly did you do instead of chemotherapy?

Akira followed one main principle – you are what you eat. Unfortunately, he had been eating a lot of unhealthy foods for a number of years and he wanted to rebuild his body sooner rather than later. So, to expedite the process, he:

  • followed a no-salt vegan diet,
  • drank 2 liters of fresh-pressed organic carrot juice every day,
  • drank Essiac Tea to help detoxify,
  • included a number of vitamins and minerals to supplement his vegan diet.

Akira also looked for what was causing stress in his life and took steps to eliminate it. If he couldn’t eliminate it, he would try and find ways to relax or shift his attention. The smell of peppermint oil was an instant pattern interrupt for him and we kept bottles in every room so he could stop and sniff as needed.

Who was your doctor? How did you find a doctor who would work with you after you decided to go chemo-free?

In the beginning, Akira was too busy to care about looking for a new doctor and I didn’t know how to find doctors who understood our approach to health and healing. I knew what words to search for in English, but not Japanese. I leaned heavily on the books we could find.

Every time I found a doctor who had written a book that seemed in line with what we were trying to do, I would look them up online to see if they had a clinic nearby. Then, one day, I stumbled upon Dr. Shunichi Magara’s books. And, when I looked him up, I discovered his clinic was within walking distance!

After Akira read one of Dr. Magara’s books, we made an appointment to meet him. I went along and probably talked as much as Dr. Magara did. Akira continued to visit Somon Hachioji Clinic every two weeks for many months so Dr. Magara could monitor his health. Acupuncture was also part of the visits.

How long did it take for Akira to get well?

That really depends on how you define wellness. If you mean when did we stop thinking about Akira as someone with cancer, that would be on June 10, 2016, nine months after surgery. The results of the CT scan and blood work all came back normal. However, the doctor reminded us that the first three years are when most people see a recurrence so we stuck with our regimen.

Will I recover from cancer if I follow the same plan?

I am not a doctor and in no position to answer that question. Do your own research and find what works best for you and your lifestyle. What can you do and keep doing? I can’t stress this enough. Whether or not Akira adopted something was almost 100% dependent on whether or not it was sustainable. If you find something new and it is manageable, great. If not, what else could you do instead?

For example, Akira chose to follow the Gerson Therapy™ as closely as possible. Drinking large quantities of fresh-pressed juice is one part of the therapy. However, he couldn’t easily bring his juicer and all the fresh produce along on business trips. So, instead, he took powdered organic barley juice with him and had 5-6 glasses throughout the day. As soon as he got back home, he would switch back to the fresh-pressed juice.

I want to go chemo-free and follow a similar plan. Would you coach me?

I’m honored you would ask. I can give you my ear, but if you want someone to coach you through which strategies are best for your health, I would recommend you talk with my brother-in-law, Dr. George Mufarreh.

Also, look into who is available in your community. If you’re not sure where to start, try searching for naturopathic doctors in your area. If you can find someone who specializes in functional medicine, even better!

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Marci. I live in Japan, eat and cook a plant-based diet, use alternative healing modalities, write about caregiving, spiders, and connecting with spirit. When I'm not writing, or building websites, I love helping other soulful authors show up online with their stories.