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Non-Toxic Biological Approaches to the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

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Autointoxication Caused By Chronic Intestinal Stasis
By Ruth Sackman

Is a doctor right when he says it is not abnormal if you do not have bowel evacuation daily? Has the medical view of intestinal stasis been sound or is the less accepted view that complete and daily evacuation is crucial for the maintenance of good health?

Sir William Arbuthnot Lane, M.D., an innovative and respected physician, knighted for his improvement of many surgical techniques and honored by his colleagues, spent the last twenty-five years of his life trying to convince the medical community that nearly all chronic disease stemmed from chronic intestinal stasis (the delay of the contents of the intestinal canal long enough to produce an excess of toxic material from putrefaction, thus causing absorption of this stagnation hi the circulation beyond what the organs of elimination can deal with). These poisons produced from the putrefaction, he concluded, polluted the blood stream producing degenerative changes in every single tissue of the body and lowered the body's resistance to "deleterious organisms."

Dr. Lane lectured widely to the medical profession. Many of his papers have been published and can be found in medical libraries. In one of his many lectures he reported an experiment conducted by Dr. Alexis Carrel of the Rockefeller Institute. Dr. Carrell maintained the life of chicken heart cells for 22 years until he discontinued the experiment. This remarkable experiment demonstrated that tissues can be kept healthy indefinitely providing they are nourished properly. It also demonstrated that cells sickened if their toxic waste products were not drained regularly.

As a consequence of the "general drainage system" of the body being inadequate and the delay of fecal matter in the large bowel, Dr. Lane found a downward displacement of the colon and "kinks" in the intestines. This tended to reduce the freedom of the passage of material through this section of the body becoming a frequent "seat of cancer later in life." Dr. Dennis Burkitt's later research found that Africans who ate whole grains and had good bowel elimination did not suffer from colon cancer a confirmation of Dr. Lane's advocacy.

Many biological changes in the anatomy were noted by Dr. Lane during his surgical work. He outlines, in an address on chronic intestinal stasis, the physiological effect on body chemistry that contributed to various disease states. Kinks, prolapses and obstructions developed in the duodenal, intestinal and bowel areas that ultimately affected vital organs and processes. These changes, he noted, caused an engorgement of the mucous membrane of the first part of the duodenum, ending up in ulceration and perforation. Changes in the mucous membranes of the pylorus, he claimed, could later cause cancer. Infection of the ducts of the pancreas could produce inflammatory consequences. Cancerous changes, he concluded, must result from damaged organs or be a source of chronic disease.

Dr. Lane lists some of the outward symptoms associated with chronic intestinal stasis which he observed in his medical practice:

  • Wasting of voluntary and involuntary muscles (heart, kidney, lung, bowel, liver, etc. are involuntary muscles).
  • Alteration in the color of the skin and pigmentation.
  • The temperature of the body becomes subnormal, especially the extremities, and can be diagnosed as Reynaud's disease.
  • Damage to the nervous system by toxins can be diagnosed as epilepsy.
  • Rheumatic aches and pains.
  • Blood pressure may be raised or lowered.
  • Breasts show degenerative changes. Cancer develops in this condition of the breast.
  • Organs collapse because of the wasting of muscle fibre.
  • Kidneys can be affected by the abnormal strain thrown upon them, and the resultant diseases can be grouped under the term "Bright's disease."
  • The pancreas becomes infected by extension of the stagnating contents of the duodenum. This results in inflammation and finally cancer of the organ.
  • In the same way the "ducts of the liver" and gall bladder are affected. Gall stones, cholecsystitis (gall bladder inflammation), and cancer may be produced, besides many acute or chronic diseases of the liver.
  • Those diseases of the eye which are degenerative in origin are produced by and vary with the degree of auto intoxication.

Dr. Lane was able to cure rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic degenerative disease, by surgically removing the inflamed part of the colon causing stagnation. Since colon surgery was a drastic procedure to relieve intestinal stasis, he used this method only in advanced cases, otherwise, he advocated using paraffin oil as an intestinal cleanser or prevention of disease. In time he recognized the value of nutrition to avoid intestinal stasis and lectured and taught his concepts to those colleagues who were receptive to his work.

Unfortunately, the medical community at large was not ready at the time for such a radical departure from the established systems. Today, I think, there has been enough change in medical thinking for Dr. Lane's concepts to be reexamined with a more receptive attitude. More lay people too, are taking toxicity into account as a factor contributing to many of their untreatable health problems.

"I shall not die of cancer. I am taking measures to prevent it. What I am doing anybody can do. It is not a matter of money. It is a matter only of forethought and forbearance."

"What I am doing everybody should do if he would avoid the risk of death from disease more terrible than tuberculosis, syphilis and a number of other awful diseases rolled into one." This quote is the introductory statement from one of Dr. Lane's many talks designed to inform his associates of the importance of maintaining a healthful lifestyle and avoiding autointoxication caused by chronic intestinal stasis.

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