Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

Healing simply means bringing more purpose, happiness, and healthy behaviors into your life, which, in my opinion, are beautiful things to begin right now, regardless of how much time we each have left to live. – Kelly Turner, Radical Remission

Have you seen HEAL documentary? I highly recommend it if you haven’t yet. It features experts in the field and possibly updated comprehensive studies on the subject of healing yourself naturally.

Among which piqued my interest is Kelly Turner’s research – Radical Remission, mainly because it focuses on cancer. Her mission to discover what people do to overcome cancer strongly resonated with me.

As you may know my story, apart from my own healing journey, my father passed away from stomach cancer. Since then, it’s been my lifelong commitment to helping people with health challenges heal themselves so they can live to their fullest. And so I’m thanking you for being here, for reading this.

Not surprisingly, Kelly’s work (when it was still a dissertation, yup!) has also been cited by Dr. Lissa Rankin on Mind Over Medicine. Now a book, Kelly shares what she learned from interviewing 50 alternative healers throughout the globe and over 100 cancer survivors, plus a thousand more cases of Radical Remission.

She was able to identify around 75 different factors that led to their recovery. From them, she found that there are 9 common denominators.

Ready for the big reveal? Here they are:

  • Radically changing your diet
  • Taking control of your health
  • Following your intuition
  • Using herbs and supplements
  • Releasing suppressed emotions
  • Increasing positive emotions
  • Embracing social support
  • Deepening your spiritual connection
  • Having strong reasons for living

As highlighted in HEAL documentary, what fascinated me was that among the 9, only 2 are physical factors: Radically changing your diet and Using herbs and supplements.

What’s more fascinating are the real stories of the cancer survivors, Chris Wark (author of Chris Beat Cancer) being one of them, who had gone on becoming natural healing advocates to assist others in overcoming cancer.

While they devote themselves to cancer cure, the action steps that Kelly provides for each of the 9 factors are applicable to everyone for having optimal well-being.

To a cancer-free, disease-free, awesome life, let’s go!

Radical Healing

Curing means getting rid of a disease, while healing means becoming whole. Curing is sometimes possible, while healing is always possible. What I most love about the nine key factors is that they can definitely lead to healing, and for some people, they may also lead to curing.

Let’s begin with the end in mind, setting the intention for healing so we can build on it and strengthen this foundation as we go along.

After devoutly studying Radical Remission, Kelly arrives at the same conclusion that Dr. Lissa had in Mind Over Medicine differentiating what it means to be cured and be healed, reaffirming us that healing is always possible.

Though both are interrelated, I’d say they aren’t interchangeable. It’s healing that leads to curing, not the other way around.

Now, let’s jump back to some important concepts that Kelly lays in the book:

anomaly (noun): Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected.

Radical Remission (RR), as Kelly defines it, is any cancer remission that is statistically unexpected, and those statistics vary depending on the cancer type, stage, and medical treatment received. Radical Remission occurs whenever:

  • a person’s cancer goes away without using any conventional medicine; or
  • a cancer patient tries conventional medicine, but the cancer does not go into remission, so he or she switches to alternative methods of healing, which do lead to a remission; or
  • a cancer patient uses conventional medicine and alternative healing methods at the same time in order to outlive a statistically dire prognosis (i.e., any cancer with a less than 25 percent chance of five-year survival).

That said, we are not dismissing the conventional method. It plays an important role in medicine and it will always have its place. However, they are only designed for curing, not healing. This is why cancer has a poor prognosis, why people seem to have low chances of recovery, why cancer remission is considered an anomaly.

It’s because cancer is only a symptom, a physical manifestation. Without healing the root cause of the sickness, the symptom will either come back (cancer recurrence), or manifest differently (cancer of the breast, even after getting cured, becomes a cancer of the bone, or the liver, or any part of the body).

This calls for a change of approach in treating not only cancer, but also any other disease: cure the symptom(s) as one sees fit, but always, always go to the underlying root cause and heal it.

cancer remission

Sugar-Free, Cancer-Free

Cancer cells behave differently than healthy cells do, and one of the key differences is that they require lots of sugar in order to function. Therefore, cutting refined sugars out of your diet may be a key way to help “starve” a cancer cell.

We start off with the most obvious factor: what we eat – curing cancer with food. Here are the dietary changes Kelly found common among the RR survivors:

  • greatly reducing or eliminating sugar, meat, dairy, and refined foods,
  • greatly increasing vegetable and fruit intake
  • eating organic foods, and
  • drinking filtered water

These, we were able to cover briefly in The Awesome Life. Download it for FREE and read if you haven’t yet.

Of greater importance is the elimination of sugar because of its direct connection to cancer. It was first discovered in 1920 by Dr. Otto Wattburg that cancer cells get their energy by breaking down glucose and they breathe without oxygen (known as “anaerobic” respiration). In other words, cancer cells feed on sugar. Without it, they cannot survive. So, eliminate those refined foods that quickly convert to glucose.

While we starve the cancer, we feed the healthy cells – fruits, vegetables, organic foods, and filtered water. I’d suggest you look for a professional expert in the field of nutrition, especially those that specializes in the treatment of cancer.

Take Responsibility

Radical Remission survivors approach healing from a different perspective, where taking control of your healing is not only considered good but is actually essential for the healing process.

Taking control of your healing is essential. Why? Because if not, you wouldn’t bother to take the other steps that lead to recovery.

Sadly, the common reaction among patients is, in the words of Kelly, “hand over all responsibility for fixing the problem to our doctors.” Even worse in the case of cancer, the hopes of healing are taken away by being sentenced to death. Yes, they are doctors, they are the authority. But they are not the author of someone else’s life.

No judgment here. We are only observing the helplessness and victimhood at play in the doctor-patient relationship.

In the book, Kelly indexes studies that show how feeling helpless weakens the immune system and decreases the survival time in cancer patients.

Kelly says taking control of your healing is like taking care of your car. And that the most influential aspect is neither the car (the body) nor the car’s mechanic (the doctor), but the driver – you.

She learned from RR survivors that this involves 3 things:

  • Taking an active (versus passive) role in your health the first and last person who can help you is yourself
  • Being willing to make changes in your life – the willingness to assess your life and make the necessary changes
  • Being able to deal with resistance – has to do more with your inner resistance, overcoming your fear or self-doubt

Take your power back, my friend. You can heal yourself. I believe in you!

cancer remission

Sing With The Birds

In the history of medicine, doctors found out about bacteria and viruses, and they tried to kill them. They tried to find some kind of medicine to kill them, like a weapon. . . . [Western doctors] try to kill cancer. I once met [the man who discovered] the natural killer cell. So, I said to him, “You say ‘natural killer cell,’ but I think ‘natural healing cell.’” Conventional medicine [tries] to kill, always kill, kill, kill. I didn’t kill my cancer. I loved it. The most important thing I learned is that cancer is my body. It’s not an enemy; it’s still my body.

Not only do I find this insight my biggest takeaway from the book, but it is also my favorite account of Radical Remission among the testimonials of the cancer survivors that Kelly shares with us.

It’s the remarkable story of Shin Terayama. You’ve got to read the details in the book to have that immersive experience. But to give you an idea, remember in Mind Over Medicine where we learned about karoshi, or “death by overwork” in Japan? He was one of those who worked themselves to death.

Well, almost for Shin when he was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney. Then, he underwent the typical route (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy) before he shifted to alternative medicine and naturopathy. There was even a laughable instance when he was thought of committing suicide by the hospital nurses, when he was just trying to escape from the hospital because he found its foul smell too unbearable. Hah!

Blessing in disguise, for the incident led him to being dismissed from the hospital and sent home, which eventually paved the way for his self-healing discoveries.

You know what’s radical about them? Shin loved his cancer.

He treated it like it was his sick child. And as its loving parent, he sent it unconditional love every morning and every night. A love beyond condition (cancer).

cancer remission

Wanna know his morning routine? A breathing practice, singing in sync with the birds chirping 42 minutes before the sun rises, the time when the trees start releasing oxygen (photosynthesis). Through this exercise, he discovered the energy centers (chakras) of the body and how to heal them.

Wanna know what he does next? Spending quality time with his family and getting back to what he loves doing – playing his beloved cello.

Wanna know more? Okay, I’ll let Shin speak for himself.

“The Key to all healing is love, spiritual awakening and being open to feelings.” – Shin

The Intuition of the Body

The Radical Remission survivors I study believe the body has an innate, intuitive knowledge about what it needs in order to heal, and it can often also let you know why it got sick in the first place. It is because of this that many Radical Remission survivors believe it is vital to check in with your intuition before making any sort of healing plan.

If you’re reading this, guess what led you here? …Okay, I mean, apart from Pinterest… That’s it, that’s it – Intuition. It’s what brought me here to this writing, too. Through intuition, we are connected to each other and ourselves.

Intuition always speaks to us subtly. But when we ignore it, it makes itself more obvious through the sickness in the body, hoping that we finally pay attention to it.

One RR survivor, Derek, now superbly awesome for being a wellness expert, spiritual teacher, and humanitarian, considers cancer as a messenger:

If the mind is allowed to quiet down, it will know what it needs to do in order to get well again. It’s a built-in system that every being has. . . . So, cancer is actually only a messenger. It’s not a be-all and end-all, in my opinion. It’s a messenger to say that something has gone negative, something is out of alignment. Find out what that something is, and you will note that the energetics of your own body will begin to correct that system. – Derek O’Neill

If cancer was a messenger, then why destroy it? Why wage a “battle against cancer”? Maybe, we only need to listen to its message and then, maybe, it will surrender by itself.

This listening to the body is at the core of BodyTalk, an alternative healing modality that Kelly presents in the book. She relays the message from one of its practitioners:

The body can heal very instantly; it’s our belief system that makes us think that it takes a long time to heal. – Maya Karen Sorensen

Intuition tells us what the body needs to heal itself. It is a call for change. Kelly says there are many ways to access intuition, which varies from person to person. Among them, the ones I mostly resonate with are meditation, deep knowing, dreams, and synchronicities.

In whatever form it comes to you is of less importance because intuition is formless. What’s more important is that you pay attention to it and, as shown in Radical Remission studies, follow what it says.

cancer remission

The Body Needs Help

In other words, they believe cancer can grow and survive only in a certain environment, such as one that is blocked with stagnant energy, lacking in oxygen and nutrients, filled with bacteria and viruses, and so on. Therefore, if you change the underlying conditions of the body, so those conditions become healthier, cancer cells will naturally die off.

To get rid of cancer, you must change the conditions under which it thrives,” Kelly shares the common response from RR survivors.

This is scientifically sound taking into account Dr. Bruce Lipton’s breakthrough findings in The Biology of Belief, on how the environment affects the cells. By changing it into a health-promoting conducive environment, the cell will heal and thrive.

Which leads us to this question: do we give cells a healthy environment with chemo and radiation?

Kelly likens it to removing mold (cancer) in the basement (body). She says the mold can be removed, yes, for a while. But as long as the basement conditions are present, such as darkness and dampness, the mold will keep coming back (cancer recurrence and metastasis).

What, then, are the more appropriate responses? That’s what the 9 RR approach is for.

The body can heal itself. But in a cancerous environment, it’s going to need all the help it can get. This is where supplements become highly beneficial because the body needs to restore the essential nutrients it has gone deficient in. Supplements assist the body in dealing with the primary factors of illness: deficiency and toxicity.

cancer remission

Dr. Katsunari Nishihara, a featured healer in the book, echoes the same claims of “Medical Medium,” Anthony Williams, that there’s no such thing as autoimmune diseases. He said these diseases like cancer are caused by bacteria and viruses that infiltrate the cells of the body. Because they are very skillful in hiding or “masking” themselves within the cells, it would seem that the immune system is attacking those cells. So part of the regimen he prescribes is supplementing with prebiotics (fertilizer for probiotics) that contain bifidus factor to promote the growth of healthy intestinal flora.

Aside from the daily doses of probiotics, Kelly adds to the recommended list those supplements whose efficacy is backed by scientific studies. They include epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC)—a compound found in green tea, turmeric spice, and vitamin C. The featured RR survivors also share their list that’s tailored fit to their own needs.

Do the research and consult a professional expert to find out what suits yours.

Remove the Blockage

From the point of view of the people I research, not only does this “blockage” of a tumor need to be removed, but also the cause of the blockage needs to be addressed, so things do not build up again.

Regardless of which level the blockage is on, however, the overarching goal is still the same: identify the blockage, figure out where it came from, and release it fully.

Cancer tumors are more than meet the eyes. Though surgery may remove the physical mass, it doesn’t remove the non-physical blockages that lead to cancer, namely the emotional and spiritual blockages that Kelly discusses in the book.

She points out two major blockages: suppressed emotions and stress, which we have dealt with respectively in The Emotion Code and The Healing Code. In addition, Kelly specifies that they influence the release of neuropeptides (e.g. the stress hormones: cortisol, epinephrine, adrenaline; and the good ones: serotonin, dopamine, relaxin) that affect not just the immune system, but also almost every cell in the body.

cancer remission

On how they link directly with cancer, Kelly relays the theory of Dr. Tsuneo Kobayashi, similar to that of Nobel laureate Otto Warburg, saying that cancer cells are cells whose mitochondria have been damaged. But he makes the distinction that the damage is caused by suppressed emotions.

And among the RR survivors, fear is the underlying common denominator of the suppressed emotions.

Backed by countless studies, Kelly sums it up this way: fear shuts down the immune system. Healing cannot happen in fear and fear cannot happen in healing.

For tools and techniques in removing the blocks, you can explore the various healing modalities in our healing section.

Comedy Cures

And what I always say is that comedy cured my spirit and gave me the strength to fight the physical battle. I believe that, because my mind and my spirit were so strong, and I created an environment—emotionally, spiritually, medically, societally—that was so full, so abundant, so healthy, so joyful . . . when my immune system did wake up, the rest of my body was ready to follow.

That’s the testimony of Saranne, another featured RR survivor who founded Comedy Cures Foundation in the midst of her cancer treatment. Her message is simple: do everything you can to cure cancer. And have fun doing it.

Hear it straight from her:

Comedy cures, laughter heals. Neuropeptides, remember? When you feel good, the feel-good hormones are released that positively affects your immune system.

Here’s what the feel-good hormones can do for the body:

  • Lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • Improve blood circulation
  • Deepen our breathing, which brings more oxygen to each cell
  • Digest our food more slowly, which helps the body absorb more nutrients
  • Increase white and red blood cell activity, which helps the immune system
  • Increase natural killer cell activity, which helps the immune system fight cancer
  • Clear out any infections
  • Scan for cancer and remove any cancer cells

And so Kelly has this prescription for fun:

  • Start every day with a smile or a feeling of gratitude. I’m writing this in the middle of the global Coronavirus pandemic when the Ultra Spiritual JP Sears shared this in his FB story:

cancer treatment

  • Monitor your media. Be discerning of the information you take in from the news and social networks. You don’t need to stay updated especially with the hyped negativity. There’s so much beauty in the world that’s more worthy of your attention.
  • Examine your entertainment. Those horror-thriller, grueling murder scenes, and drama-filled series may be enticing to watch, but they’re not good for your body. Your body responds to it as if it’s actually happening to you. Stress hormones!
  • Find fun friends. Surround yourself with people that energize you and awaken your inner child. Spend more time with them.
  • Get active. Do what brings you joy. Do what you love. Do them often.
  • Do a nightly check-in. Before going to sleep each night, ask yourself, “Did I have at least one moment of happiness today?” Acknowledge yourself if you did. If you didn’t, well, there’s always a chance that tomorrow brings.

Live. Love. Laugh!

Let’s Get Spiritual

When the thinking mind stops and spiritual energy begins to flow through you, a whole host of healthy changes occur in your physical body, including a rush of healthy hormones streaming from your pineal and pituitary glands into your bloodstream, increased oxygenation of the body, improved blood circulation, decreased blood pressure, improved digestion and detoxification, a stronger immune system, and the ability to turn off unhealthy genes. These practices can transform your body for the better in a very powerful way, especially if you practice them daily.

Did you catch Hay House’s Radical Remission Docuseries? I was working on Corona Formula at the time so I missed them. Luckily, I had a 30-minute free viewing on its last day and I probably got the one message I needed to hear. That you might, too.

It came from John, another RR survivor. He said, “We came here not to cure the disease. We came here so the disease can cure us.” Ooooh! Couldn’t have said it any better.

When it comes to healing cancer, Kelly says the notion that we are spiritual beings having a human experience in a physical body becomes all the more important. For if you believe we are merely physical organisms, then you’d only look for physical causes of cancer and physical treatments for it.

That was my experience with treating hyperthyroidism. I first looked for its physical causes, went to 3 different hospitals, consulted various endocrinologists, took the conventional route, and kept going around in circles. I was treating the symptoms, yes, but I wasn’t getting down to the bottom of my sickness, which was non-physical in nature. Long story short, my healing from the physical route gradually shifted to the emotional, the mental, and finally, the spiritual path – The Path to Awesomeness.

So, if you are/were a skeptic, have a hardcore materialistic perspective, that’s alright. Maybe that’s the path you’re meant to take. But please know that there are many paths available to you, too.

cancer remission

If you allow it, Kelly’s work could open up a pathway for you. In the spiritual aspect, she stresses the importance of stopping the mind through consistent practice of meditation, which through research, she found to be highly beneficial to the health of the body, such as:

  • High levels of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep, which is non-negotiable for the body’s immune system and repair mechanism
  • The density of the brain areas associated with anxiety and stress decreases, thus boosting the immune system
  • In one study, more virus antibodies were produced; viruses ( pylori, HPV, EBV) are highly linked to cancer
  • Increased telomerase (anti-aging enzyme) activity in immune system cells
  • In the field of epigenetics, one study showed that beginner meditators significantly changed their gene expression, turning the healthy genes ON and the unhealthy genes OFF
  • (I’ll save this spot for your personal testimony)

Wake-up Call

A cancer diagnosis, however, is a wake-up call, and that means some people waking up to the fact that they may not be very excited about one or more aspects of their lives, whether it be their careers, romantic relationships, family lives, spiritual lives, communities, or hobbies. Being diagnosed with cancer tends to force people to reflect on what they would ideally like to change in order to make their remaining time on this planet—however long that may be— as enjoyable and meaningful as possible.

Have you noticed the not-so-obvious common pattern among the RR survivors post-cancer remission? They become healing advocates spreading the message in their unique ways. Some become spiritual teachers, artists, founders of organizations, etc.

Now author, Tami Boehmer had it through writing, sharing stories of cancer survival, including hers in what later became a published book – From Incurable to Incredible.

Cancer may be a reason for dying. Or, just like what the RR survivors have gone through, cancer can be a reason for living.

It’s a wake-up call, calling your attention if you are dying or living while you’re alive.

Backed by research, Kelly asks us to shift our attention from the reason for dying (like having cancer) to the many reasons for living, whatever that may be for us, and focus on them.

Instead of having a “fighting spirit” against cancer (because it puts you in the unhealthy fight-or-flight mode), she encourages you to develop a loving spirit towards life, to things that bring you joy and meaning for being alive.

surviving cancer

This is my personal invitation to you, too. To see cancer, sickness, or whatever challenge you may be facing from a different perspective. See beyond the form and look beneath the surface to find out what it’s trying to impart to you.

What you might at first thought of as a curse could be the greatest blessing waiting to unfold in your life.

That’s what this is all about.

Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds

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PS: Thank you for taking the time to read. Tell me, what insight most resonated with you?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.
What's your AWE-HA moment?x


KELLY TURNER, PH.D., is a researcher, author, and lecturer in the field of integrative oncology and the founder of the Radical Remission Project. Her specialized research focus is the Radical Remission of cancer, which is a remission that occurs either in the absence of Western medicine, or after Western medicine has failed to achieve remission. Dr. Turner’s interest in complementary medicine began when she received her B.A. from Harvard University, and it later became the sole focus of her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation research included a year-long trip around the world, for which she traveled to ten different countries to interview fifty alternative healers and twenty Radical Remission cancer survivors about their healing techniques. Since then, her ongoing research has led her to analyze over one thousand cases of Radical Remission and to found the Radical Remission Project, an interactive website and database of Radical Remission cases (see www.RadicalRemission.com). When she’s not studying or lecturing about Radical Remission, you will likely find her snuggling up with her family or writing screenplays. For more information on Dr. Turner, visit www.DrKellyTurner.com

Other Books by Kelly Turner

Radical Hope

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