I'll pass on the Chemo, Pass the apricots

An austrailian paper carried the story of Paul Reid last week, who was diagnosed with incurable lymphoma over a decade ago.

He's still alive today. According to him, the secret to his success is apricot kernels - thirty a day.

Reid turned down chemotherapy, vowing to eat himself well. Today, 13 years in remission, the 68-year-old believes that ''cancer-killing'' properties in the kernels he still eats daily, coupled with a strict vegan diet and prayer, have cured him. ''We're not immortal, but I believe I'll be healthy from taking this direction,'' he says.

Reid is among a growing number of cancer patients who see food as the key to their survival - a trend worrying doctors who fear people may be risking their lives by embarking on extreme, unproved diets. Some patients are actually turning down medical treatment and putting their faith in ''anti-cancer'' diets promoted by alternative health practitioners, or buying nutritional supplements online.

To naysayers, Reid argues simply this point: ''So what if there's no scientific proof? What has a person to lose by going on an organic diet?'' he asks. ''I don't think my journey has been unscientific, it's just that there's been no science in a big way applied to it.''

It's an interesting argument. And while I am huge supporter of the many wonderful advances in oncology, I also respect each person's right to choose what seem like the best course of treatment for themselves.

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