And so it begins: Breast Cancer Awareness Month brings out the cancer quacks


As I mentioned yesterday, here it’s that time of year again: October. Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While the topic of my post then was how antivaccine activists have tried to glom on to the attention that Breast Cancer Awareness Month gets in order to create their fake “awareness month” known as “Vaccine Injury Awareness Month,” unfortunately antivaccinationists are not the only quacks who take advantage of the various “awareness” months to peddle their quackery. Naturally, because Breast Cancer Awareness Month is one of the oldest and definitely the best known of these various disease awareness times, it’s not surprising that cancer quacks really like it. For instance, Mike Adams has been known to use October to attack various conventional cancer treatments. So has Dan Olmsted and promoters of alternative breast cancer cures.

This year, first off the mark (or at least first off the mark that I’ve noticed) is Leonard Coldwell. On his Facebook page, he writes:

My comment for today. I am just watching the criminals on the main stream news making billions for the international bankers ( owners of the pharmaceutical and medical industry ) with the breast cancer awareness hoax. Mammograms done prevent cancer they cause cancer. A breast tumor grows 7 to 12 years to a size that they can even find it. There is no need to any hurry and fast surgery and the murder via chemo, radiation and anti hormone therapy in my experience. I can cure every cancer in 2 to 16 weeks. ( not every person but every cancer ). There are over 400 natural cancer cures known today.

My first reaction reading this was: This dude really needs an editor. OK, I know. Sometimes I really need an editor, too. Even at my worst, when I’ve banged out a post at high speed because I was running out of time before I had to leave for work (or something like that) or rapidly written because it was getting late and I was fading fast, I’m more coherent than this guy. Not to brag or anything. It’s just a statement of fact, which means it can’t be insolent. Before I go on to discuss his claims, I do have to concede that there is one small grain of truth in the passage above. It does take between five and ten years for the average breast cancer to grow from a single cell to large enough to be detected clinically, and, in the vast majority of cases, there is no need for a huge rush to treatment. I reassure my patients every time I do clinic, telling them exactly that. There’s time to decide on a rational, science-based course of treatment that is right for them and consistent with what they want. I hate to say that this is in contrast to some surgeons, who scare patients into thinking that if they don’t undergo surgery right away they are throwing away their chance at curing their cancer, but I do occasionally encounter patients seeking a second opinion who tell me that the surgeon they had seen pressured them to have surgery right away.

But what about the claim that Coldwell makes that he can cure “every cancer” in two to six weeks. Elsewhere, Coldwell claims a 92% cure rate for all cancers and sometimes challenges doctors to match his cure rate, even though he’s never actually, as far as I can tell, document a cure rate in any medically acceptable manner. That’s one hell of a claim, wouldn’t you say? No doctor practicing science-based medicine would say that. Heck, even for a stage I breast cancer, most of which can be cured with surgery alone, I wouldn’t make that claim. (And quacks like Dr. Coldwell accuse docs like me of being “arrogant”!) Even though the five year survival for stage I breast cancer is around 95%, even I wouldn’t say that, because I recognize that, even for stage I breast cancer, not everyone survives, and I hate that. None of that stops Coldwell from referencing this video:

Notice how first he invokes the rare but real phenomenon of spontaneous remission from cancer, claiming that he can somehow access that process. If that were true, he’d deserve a frikkin’ Nobel Prize. Let’s just put it this way. What’s more likely? That he can induce spontaneous remission of cancer or that he’s full of…well, you know what? It also turns out that he’s into a form of quackery with which we are very familiar here on this blog. Yes, he seques right into a discussion of “alkalinization” and how the cure to “acid cancer” is to alkalinize. Next up, he talks about “oxygenation.” In other words, he’s talking about ozone therapy, which is one of the purer forms of cancer quackery out there. Next he segues to vitamin C injections, which, as I’ve pointed out many times before, represent the proverbial long run for a short slide.

So what is Coldwell’s recommendation for eliminating cancer “fast”? First off, he says he would recommend a raw vegan diet. Never mind that there is no evidence that raw vegan diet will cure cancer, even though its adherents claim that it it is more “natural” (it isn’t; humans are omnivores, not herbivores) and that it will fix virtually any chronic disease, even type I diabetes. Then he recommends drinking a gallon of water a day with half a teaspoon of sea salt added because without salt the body can’t make electricity, which is sort of true but not in the way he appears to mean. He does include a rather hilarious bit about how table salt is “one third” glass or sand. This leads to his explaining that the reason too much table salt (not sea salt!) causes hypertension is because the glass scratches the arteries and makes them bleed, leading to cholesterol to go there stop it from bleeding.

Even more off-base, according to him, you die of too little cholesterol, not too much. I do note that it is true that low cholesterol levels are associated with increased all-cause mortality, for reasons that are as yet not fully understood, although it is thought that low cholesterol levels are a marker for poor health or an epiphenomenon. He even likens it to a patient in a burn unit getting 20 to 25 eggs a day, allegedly for the cholesterol. Of course, this is utter nonsense. I don’t know what burn units Coldwell is referring to, but I’ve worked in three different burn units, both very well-respected, during my training and never saw anything like that. In reality, what burn patients need more than cholesterol are calories and adequate proteins in order to replace the protein loss that occurs from the serum leaking out of their burn wounds and to contribute to production of new skin. In any case, Coldwell claims that everybody should have a total cholesterol of at least 250 mg/dL and delivers an amazing example of a “pot, kettle, black” insult by calling doctors who discuss LDL and HDL cholesterol levels “too stupid” to know that these are not cholesterol but rather lipoproteins. I suppose Coldwell is too stupid to know that total cholesterol levels measure almost entirely protein-bound cholesterol too because cholesterol itself is minimally soluble in water, meaning that by his definition it’s not measuring cholesterol at all. One wonders how he achieves that with a raw vegan diet.

I suppose this lack of knowledge of biology explains how Coldwell can say things like:

All these idiots on the News are talking about how they are cured since they are one year after the murderous procedures cancer free – here is some news for you idiots: no you can’t be cured from cancer via slaughter poison and burn! The cancer is only hidden because they killed all body functions and can do so for 3 to 5 years and than they are usually all dead as i experienced.

What a nice guy! Look at him bashing cancer patients who have survived as “idiots.” I can’t help but note how, for instance, supporters of Stanislaw Burzynski have demonized me as “attacking patients” when I go out of my way never to denigrate patients of his who honestly believe he cured their cancer. That doesn’t stop me from explaining why their belief that Burzynski had cured them is mistaken, but I don’t go around calling them “idiots” or anything insulting at all, the claims of certain Burzynski followers notwithstanding. The same goes for any cancer patients who fall victim to quackery. They are “victims,” not “idiots.” However, Coldwell’s contempt for patients who have chosen science-based medical treatment shines through, just as bad his contempt for doctors.

This leads him to finish:

Cancer is systemic the tumor is only the symptom not the cancer. To cure cancer you need to identify and eliminate the root cause of it. Cancer is cause to 86% by mental and emotional stress. If you don’t eliminate that energy draining stress that allows the body to malfunction you can’t eliminate the cancer. It is like pushing a splinter deeper into your skin and stating because you don’t see the splinter anymore it is gone! No it is not and the problem just got worst! The same is true with the symptom treatment and suppression used by the medical industry. Inform yourself and become a member of the to learn the truth about cancer cures and prevention based on my personal successes and experiences. Also find out why my books How to survive your illness and your doctor and The Only Answer to cancer are so successful. ( I do not make any money on the sales)

Geez! Is there any cancer quackery to which Coldwell doesn’t subscribe? That bit about cancer being due to mental and emotional stress? That sounds an awful lot like German New Medicine or Biologie Totale. Go to his website:

Very often a correlation between cancer and fungus / Candida overgrowth is mentioned in the medical world. To make sure I dont suffer from this Candida overgrowth I would do the Candida Remediation Protocol from which was also created after the producer researched my historical use of protocols with my patients in the past.

That sure sounds like a bit of a drift toward Tullio Simoncini “cancer is a fungus” territory.

What other quackery is there? Twenty-one day full body and colon cleansing? Check. Supplements? Yep, a whole boatload, sold by Coldwell. “Alkaline healing” a la our favorite quack Robert O. Young? Oh, yes. Laetrile? Yep, although Coldwell calls it vitamin B17.

Coldwell also promotes something he calls Instinct-Based Medicine. At least he’s honest that it’s not evidence-based medicine or science-based medicine, at whose basis is the belief that we can only heal when we are relaxed and that somehow the contents of the magic CDs sold by Coldwell can rewire your brain to achieve whatever you want:

The IBMS™ includes three highly advanced Audio CD’s each of which runs about 20 minutes in length. Lying comfortably in a dark room one listens to an Audio CD using stereo headphones. The highly advanced and coordinated sound frequencies resemble a very relaxing and pleasing type of music. As the frequencies change with precise timing you can feel amazing waves of relaxation, pleasure and peace flowing beautifully through your mind, body and emotions. After 20 minutes you feel as if you are floating on clouds.

After a 20-minute session most people feel as though they just had a restful night’s sleep, leaving them energized, regenerated and revitalized! It’s an experience that is very difficult to describe in words – most would describe it as unparalleled “musical massage” of the body and mind that induces a state of deep relaxation that gives your mind and emotions the critical time of rest that they need.

Note: The techniques, sounds and music used in the audio session are based on modern science, clinical research, and therapeutic experience and have no religious or organizational affiliations.

Good to know.

Not surprisingly, Coldwell is not a real doctor. He’s never, as far as I’ve been able to tell, earned an MD, although, like Robert O. Young, he has degrees from diploma mills. Actually, it’s not clear what, if any, degrees he has, although he’s referred to himself as an ND and having four PhDs. The truth behind his past is incredibly difficult to ferret out. He also appears to have once worked with convicted scammer Kevin Trudeau on a pyramid scheme known as the Global Information Network (GIN), which, or so Coldwell claimed, would make you “become a millionaire or rich beyond your wildest dreams.” Later, he cried victim and claimed that Trudeau scammed him too. What’s the real story? Who knows? Coldwell frequently relates that his mother had gallbladder cancer and that as a child he only remembers her crying in pain because she couldn’t take it any more. Maybe that’s what turned him to cancer quackery.

It also turns out that Leonard Coldwell is not his original name. He was born in Germany as Bernd Klein and changed his name to Leonard Coldwell in the late 1990s after arriving in the US. Prior to that, he was involved in cult activity in Germany.

The bottom line is that Leonard Coldwell is a cancer quack of the most despicable sort. There’s no evidence he can cure cancer. There’s no evidence that he even knows what he’s talking about with respect to cancer and lots of evidence that he is utterly clueless about cancer biology. If there’s one thing I always dread about Breast Cancer Awareness Month is that it always brings quacks like Coldwell out of the woodwork.