By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard
Posted: 08/08/2010 01:32:27 AM PDT
”When death comes around, nobody is willing to die and old age is no longer a burden.”
-- Euripides, Greek poet, 480-406 B. C., Alcestis
Death is as natural as birth, but we fear it in our society to the point of denial. The will to live is celebrated and “never give up hope because a miracle could happen” is an American belief. We've all heard metaphors like “it's not over till the fat lady sings” and other phrases glorifying those who fight death until the bitter end.
My sister Marjorie fought breast cancer in the '80s and finally succumbed to it in 1987. When I say fought, I mean she went along with some traditional methods of treatment, and when they didn't work she turned to the alternate methods touted at the time.
Laetrile was a popular alternative treatment for cancer then. She tried some of that vile concoction (it came in a brown bottle that had to be refrigerated), but couldn't stand the taste and disposed of it.
Claimed as a cancer cure for years, there is no supporting evidence that Laetrile, also referred to as Vitamin B17, has any metabolic function or dietary benefit.
For more information, Google “Food and Nutrition -- Laetrile,” or read “Unproven Methods of Cancer Management -- Laetrile” (source; Cancer J Clin; vol 41, ISS 3, 1991, P187-92 ref:35).
Laetrile is illegal now, but back then people had easy access to it here in California. I know this because
in 1979 I was introduced to a practicing Laetrile “doctor,” a Dr. H. Howard, by a friend.
Howard had an impressive list of degrees after his name on his business cards and stationery. He claimed to be an expert in numerous medical fields, including the questionable practice of shilling Laetrile. He wanted someone to write a fictional book about how Laetrile saved the life of a Hartford, Conn., bank robber's wife. I know; an odd storyline, but he was loaded with money and looking for a writer.
GO HERE to read the rest.