Reframing Cancer with Cancer Documentary Filmmaker Nathan Crane

Content By: Ari Whitten & Nathan Crane

In this episode, I am speaking with Nathan Crane – who is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker, and 20 times award-winning documentary filmmaker. He’s the Host of the Conquering Cancer Summit, and Director and Producer of the documentary film Cancer; The Integrative Perspective.  We will talk about ways to reframe our approach to cancer. 

Table of Contents

In this podcast, Nathan and I discuss:

  • The development and prevalence of cancer over the past 100 years
  • The #1 cause of cancer that is responsible for a chocking 90% of all cancer cases
  • Is chemotherapy the most efficient cancer treatment? 
  • What to look for when deciding on the best treatment plan for your specific cancer 

The first steps to take for treating and preventing cancer

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Ari: Hey there. This is Ari. Welcome back to the Energy Blueprint Podcast. With me now is Nathan Crane, who is an award-winning author, inspirational speaker, plant-based athlete, event producer, and 20 times award-winning documentary filmmaker. He’s the Founder of the Panacea Community, Creator of the Global Cancer Symposium, Host of the Conquering Cancer Summit, and Director and Producer of the documentary film Cancer; The Integrative Perspective.

In 2005, at only 18 years old, he began his health, healing, and spiritual journey, eventually, overcoming a decade of brutal teenage addiction, house arrest, jail, and challenging times with homelessness to become an international author, filmmaker, and speaker dedicated to health, healing, and conscious awakening. He has received numerous awards for his contribution to health, healing, and personal development, including the Accolade Film Competition 2020 Outstanding Achievement Humanitarian Award and the Outstanding Community Service Award from the California Senate for his work in education and empowerment, with natural and integrative methods for healing cancer.

With more than 15 years in the health and wellness field, he has reached millions of people around the world with his inspiring messages of hope, healing, and transformation. His website is Welcome, Nathan. Such a pleasure to connect with you.

Nathan: Ari, thanks for having me, man. I’m a big fan of your work. I highly respect you as a teacher, as an educator. I’m just really happy to be here on your podcast, hopefully, share some good information with people.

Ari: Awesome. Thank you, my friend. I appreciate the kind words. Let’s talk about, first of all, why cancer? How did you get into that specifically? What sparked your interest in that? Why did you start making films on the topic of cancer specifically?

Nathan: You mentioned in my bio a little bit, I went through some really challenging times as a kid. As a teenager, I ended up homeless, addicted, going through addiction, going through in and out of jail, really didn’t think– Nobody thought I was going to make it to 18 years old. Very unhealthy diet, very unhealthy lifestyle, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, drinking alcohol, eating fast food, on antibiotics all the time. I was sick all the time. You name it. I was on course for a cancer diagnosis or an early death in the grave. At 18 years old, I had this kind of epiphany. It’s awakening moment. I left everything behind, and I started my life over in San Diego, California.

From that moment forward, I started getting really dedicated to health and nutrition, and exercise. I started meditating hours and hours a day and started getting really serious about– I know what it’s like to be really unhealthy. I know what it’s like to be sick all the time, to have poor sleep habits, to have no energy, to have mental fatigue, to have all these issues, gut issues, and health issues, all kinds of challenges going on, but I didn’t know what it was like the other end of that extreme. They have energy and clarity and vitality and feel good and contribute to society. I just got really interested in that. I got really interested in what life could potentially be like on the other side of dis-ease if you will.

I started diving into interviewing experts and reading every book I could find and meditating hours a day and studying from monks and spiritual masters and zen masters and going to Buddhist temple every weekend and just absorbing as much as I could. Along the way, I started getting invited to speak. I was speaking at events around the country. I designed my own cleanse. I spent two years as I had cleansed because I was going through all kinds of fasting and detox and cleanse protocols.

I was experimenting, as I would learn something which I encourage people to do today. I work with thousands of people with cancer around the world. I encourage, as you learn these things, become your own laboratories. I have become my own laboratory. You got to make sure you’re learning the right information from the right people if you’re going to experiment on yourself. I just, anything that sounded good, I would dive in. I’d experiment with it. I’d get my own experience. I’d fumble. I’d learn. I’d grow. I wrote my own cleanse.

I spent two years designing that. I’m seven years into this journey. 25 years old I think is the time, and I thought I knew a lot. I thought I knew everything. I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t know much at all, and my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. I went to visit him in Arizona. I sat there feeling helpless and hopeless, and I knew there had to be solutions for him.

He was going through chemotherapy and radiation, traditional conventional cancer treatment. He was so sick. He was in so much pain. He had lost his hair from the chemo. He was talking about how painful it was just to walk to the bathroom. That’s my last memory of him, seeing him there in so much pain, and feeling like I know there has to be solutions. I don’t know anything about cancer, but not really knowing what to say, I was afraid of it like most people are afraid of cancer. I went back home to San Diego at that time and then he passed away shortly after in 2013. From that moment forward, I just became obsessed with learning everything I could about cancer.

I started producing one of the first online summits ever about cancer and video series. I started producing conferences, interviewing world-leading experts and neuroscientists and holistic medical doctors and cancer survivors, cancer conquerors, cancer thrivers. Published a magazine, started working on this documentary that became just a labor of love that has since won 20 awards and is now available for people to watch. Just have learned everything I possibly could for a couple of reasons. One, I think part of it was if I ever had cancer or my family or anybody I know ever gets a cancer diagnosis, that I would know what to do. I wouldn’t be afraid of it. I could help them or help myself or help others.

Two, as I learn more and more about it, I realize, look, we as a society don’t know anything about it. We live in fear because of lack of information or misinformation about it and simply just not understanding what it is, what causes this, and what we can do about it. As I learn more and more about it, I realize, oh, my God, there’s so much here that everybody needs to know.

Once you understand what it actually is, what are the proven causes of it, and what you can actually do to help your body prevent or reverse it, naturally, holistically, non-toxically, or even using integrative medicine, you don’t really have to be afraid of it any longer. We really can do something about stopping this insane cancer pandemic that we’re seeing today. We’re at 10 million people a year around the globe dying from cancer and its treatments. 100 years ago, that number was less than 1%. 50 years ago, that number was 10%. Today, we are at almost 50% of people being diagnosed with cancer.

There’s clearly correlation as well as causation that we know that contributes to cancer, and there are solutions for helping prevent and reverse it. It’s a primarily preventable lifestyle disease. It’s a metabolic disease. We could talk about what that is biologically. We could talk about different factors that can actually empower people to take back control of their health. To answer your question, that’s really what’s made me just so passionate about it the last eight years.

Why cancer is on the rise

Ari: Got you. One thing you just said that I think is really important context for this discussion is the massively increasing prevalence of cancer. Over the last several decades, we’ve gone from what were the exact statistics, something like one million, how many years ago?

Nathan: If we go back to 1905, which we didn’t have adequate testing then, so these numbers you can’t say 100% accurate. In 1905, we were diagnosing cancer about .05%

at the time. Less than 1% of people were being diagnosed with cancer. You jump to 1950 and that number was at 10%. Diagnosing got better, a lot more people were– There was testing, better testing, all of that, but still, it was only at 10%. Basically, every year–

Ari: You’re saying 10% of the overall population will eventually get cancer?

Nathan: In 1950, yes.

Ari: In 1950, okay. How do those numbers play out over the decade since then?

Nathan: Now, we’re at 33% of women in western civilizations, mostly Europe, United States, mostly modern technologically advanced civilizations. The civilizations that we think should have all the solutions for cancer through our technology and our pharmacological approaches and our surgery and radiation. Those are the societies that have the worst cases of cancer. 33% of women and nearly 50% of men. They’re projecting those numbers. If we don’t change the causes of cancer, we don’t change our lifestyles that are literally causing cancer. The statistics today are very clear. There’s no debate about this. 90% of cancer is diet, lifestyle, and environmentally related.

Ari: I agree with you that there’s no debate on it, but what’s interesting is there are people who do debate it. We have a mainstream narrative within conventional medicine that largely ignores the role of nutrition lifestyle, largely doesn’t address nutrition and lifestyle at all in treatment of cancer and where the physicians themselves receive virtually no or actually no education in nutrition or lifestyle in their medical education.

There’s a combination of profound ignorance around all factors related to nutrition and lifestyle, and the role they play in disease development and cancer development, specifically, combined with a cultural zeitgeist within the conventional medical community that is largely focused on genes and you know, “Do you have the breast cancer gene, or the obesity gene or the whatever gene?”

Where they’re massively overblowing the importance of those genes that give increased susceptibility to those conditions, combined with an evidence-based medical paradigm that is massively corrupted and influenced by pharmaceutical companies, which have absolutely zero interest in nutrition and lifestyle and not only that, but they have an active interest in suppressing that information so that they can promote pharmaceutical cures.

All of that creates this gap in the landscape between, “Okay, here’s the actual science as you’re describing and showing.” Showing that it’s clearly not genetics that are changing over the last seven years that are causing this massive increase in cancer, it’s lifestyle and yet, within the conventional medical community, they’re almost entirely ignoring the role of nutrition and lifestyle.

Nathan: I have to add there that because our conventional oncologists don’t know this information doesn’t mean this information exists. As you said, unfortunately, our medical doctors today, they are not trained in nutrition, they’re not trained in lifestyle behaviors. Oncologists are trained in primarily three things, pharmacology, radiation, surgery. Most of them when I’ve interviewed medical doctors out of medical school and asked them, “How much training do you have in nutrition for prevention or reversal or even adjunctive therapies.” Most of them have four maybe eight hours of nutritional training in all of their schooling.

Now, it’s very different. If you go and talk to a holistic medical doctor, or if you go and talk to a functional medical doctor, medical doctors trained in functional medicine, or if you go and talk to an integrative medical doctor, many of them will have years of not only schooling, but beyond schooling where they are looking at this science or looking at this data, they’re looking at the impact of food and nutrition on cancer. We’ve had this science for decades.

  1. Colin Campbell did a study 30 plus years ago on mice. He wanted to look at the role of animal protein on cancer. This is a mice model, but it still gives us some interesting insight. They expose the mice to a very strong carcinogen, and then all they did was increased protein, animal protein, primarily from dairy, to 20%. Every 100% of those mice had cancer, they became diagnosed with cancer.

He took the second group of mice, and he gave them 5% or less of animal protein and exposing the same carcinogen and 0% were diagnosed with cancer. He played with those numbers. He played it with plant protein, which didn’t have the same effect. It actually didn’t cause cancer. He looked at, “Okay, if they’re diagnosed with cancer, and then we remove that 20% animal protein and drop it down to 5% or less what happens?” In majority of those mice actually, the cancer goes away. This is one study among hundreds, if not thousands that the functional and integrative medical field have seen over the years, showing that nutrition alone has a– that’s just protein.

That’s just one particular macronutrient out of thousands of micronutrients that are in the foods that we eat, and so, this science is there. The problem is our mainstream medical community is not exposed to it because as you said, it’s a corrupted system. The schooling that they receive is highly funded by pharmaceutical companies that are trying to find that one magical cure that one magical drug that they can make a trillion dollars off of that this is a cure for breast cancer, this is a cure for this cancer that one.

In my personal opinion, we will never see that. We haven’t seen it yet after decades and billions of dollars of research, and I don’t think we ever will, because the body is way too complex for one drug to affect one metabolic pathway to say this is going to get rid of your cancer because there are thousands of things, millions of things happening in your body every second that are either contributing to that cancer diagnosis or contributing to your body doing what’s designed to do, which is be healthy and whole and heal itself.

The biggest challenges with cancer treatment

Ari: Well, to that point, Nathan, there was a staff I came across recently talking about in all of the history of pharmaceutical development, with all of the thousands or maybe tens of thousands of medications that have been invented over the last maybe 100 years, or close to that, 97% of them are non-curative. Only 3% of them are curative, largely things like antibiotics, curing infections, and things of that nature.

To the point that you’re making with T Colin Campbell’s work, I know that that’s extremely controversial, especially because it was a mouse model. I know that lots of well-educated omnivores definitely object to that research, but without diving in too much of a digression on that particular topic, I know you’ve interviewed many, many dozens of cancer experts over the years for filmmaking.

What is your big takeaways from all the people that you’ve interviewed, as far as the causes of cancer? What are the big picture factors? There’s two levels that you could potentially answer this question. One would be physiological level in terms of mechanisms and the other one is, what are the factors, the environmental, the lifestyle, nutritional factors that are influencing those mechanisms?

Nathan: You brought up a good point first about the pharmacological approach that there’s just not a lot of hope there when it comes to treating chronic diseases like cancer. Now, there is some room for it. I’m not saying, look, avoid conventional doctors completely. That’s why my film is called the Integrative Perspective because I’m about “Look, if there’s modern medicine, if there’s Eastern medicine, if there’s ancient, indigenous, holistic, functional, if there’s forms of medicine, that are working, that are showing promise that people are saying, ‘Look, I did this.’ Even if there are anecdotal case studies, “I had stage four cancer, I did this and this and this, and this, and now I don’t have cancer anymore.”

Those are the people I’ve been very interested in interviewing them and learning their stories and along the way, you start to find commonalities and then you interviewed the doctors and you interview the medical experts, you interview the neuroscience researchers, you interviewed the nature paths. Again, commonalities, then you go and look at the research and the data and of course, you can skew data, not all data is accurate, and you can find data supports.

The reason for that alone is because we look at single mechanisms or single molecules. When you look at a single molecule like protein or macronutrient like protein, and you look at a single molecule sulforaphane, so you go, “Yes, sulforaphane has tons of studies showing that it has anti-cancer properties and anti-inflammatory properties as well.” Well, you can also find studies that show it could be damaging to the body that it creates an oxidative stress, but we know oxidative stresses and low amounts actually create an antioxidant response in the body.

The problem is we look at individual molecules and nutrients and phytonutrients, and things like that, not in their whole form, specifically, not in their whole plant form and that’s a major cause for concern and causes a major problem, because all these different things have synergistic values together, that we just don’t fully understand, the scientific community. When you interview hundreds of people, and you see foundational principles that they all followed, and they don’t have cancer anymore, someone like me, it’s like, “Well, yes, I can’t deny that. How can I tell that person that what they did didn’t work? They’re obviously cancer-free.”

Going back to a statistic, I think, I’ve learned along the way that’s really important for people to understand. One of our most prescribed conventional treatments today is chemotherapy. The largest study has ever been done on chemotherapy across 160,000 people from Australia and United States of 22 major adult malignancies [unintelligible 00:19:50] just about every major cancer on the planet. When you grouped it all together, it had less than 2.5% average success rate, meaning that people were able to become cancer-free and then stay cancer-free five years or longer.

Ari: That’s for all cancers combined or specific?

Nathan: That’s all adult malignancy, 22 major cancers combined. That means a 97.5% failure rate with chemotherapy. That’s a huge failure rate when you want to look at it. Now, of course, there are some cancers that did better, testicular cancer had 50% success rate, some cancers have 10% or 20%, but some cancers have 0% success rate with chemotherapy. When you group it all together, 2.5% success rate. We can do better than that, that’s my point.

Ari: I remember reading that research when it came out. This was, I believe that’s at least maybe 7 or 10 years old, if I remember correctly. I remember reading it many years ago. I do remember that there was some kind of rebuttal from the conventional cancer doctors where they were trying to, maybe you know this better than I do, but they were trying to claim that those statistics were misleading for one reason or another. The actual success rate is higher. Are you aware of what their rebuttal to that would be or why they still so strongly endorsed chemotherapy?

Nathan: One of the potential rebuttals I’ve looked into slightly is, okay, what is chemotherapy? What’s the success rate when you combine it with surgery? What’s the success rate when you combine it with radiation? What’s the success rate by itself? Those changed statistics. That’s one thing is like, “Well, look, if you have breast cancer and you have a tumor and it’s a stage one, hey, look, maybe surgery is what you need.” Maybe we go in and remove that tumor.

Then we’ll use some integrative approaches or maybe it’s a little bit of chemotherapy. You’re going to have higher success rates with certain cancer, with conventional treatments. That’s what I’m saying, I’m not against conventional treatment. I’m saying, “Look, find out what the success rate is on your type of cancer, your stage of cancer with those conventional treatments.”

Most of the time, unfortunately, when a cancer patient ask their oncologist, their oncologist don’t actually know. Give them time to go back and look at the literature or you go find out for yourself and find out what it is. If it’s a 70% chance and you’re like, “Well, I guess 70% chance, that’s pretty high, 7 out of 10. I’m willing to take that, then go for it, but if it’s a 5% chance or 10% chance, or even 50% chance, you’re flipping a coin at 50/50.

Figure out what it is for your particular type of cancer. What you have to look at there is what treatment protocol and the length of treatment. There’s a lot of debate there because of, do you do chemotherapy for 32 sessions? Is it 12 months? Is it 18 months? Is it surgery then chemo and some radiation? We do know there’s no debate that chemotherapy destroys the immune system. We do know that it causes DNA damage. We do know that chemotherapy radiation actually cause cancer.

The medical industry knows this, the scientific community knows this. There are side effects of treatments for cancer that actually cause cancer. Those are things because we know, I know your work is incredible on the mitochondrial health and so forth. We know chemotherapy and radiation, for example, can damage mitochondrial DNA. We know that it can damage healthy cells DNA, and that it can actually cause a chronic fermentative state for that healthy cell to turn into a chronically fermenting cell and become a cancer cell.

Those are things you have to take into consideration as you’re educating yourself about what is the best approach for the cancer that I’m dealing with.

Ari: There’s no question that fatigue is a major side effect of chemotherapy as a general rule. Let’s get back to this question of causes of cancer. What is your take on the primary causes of most types of cancer?

Nathan: Dr. Sunil Pai who’s become a good friend and colleague of mine. He’s a medical doctor who is also trained in Ayurvedic Medicine and functional medicine and all forms of holistic medicine, diet, and nutrition. One of the most brilliant guys that I know among many that I work with over the years. He said it so clearly, probably better than anyone I’ve ever heard.

To really break down into six fundamental categories of what we know today, what the science tells us today that directly causes cancer. Each one of these are six categories, I’d go through them quickly, and then maybe we can talk about a couple of them. Basically, we know chronic inflammation causes cancer. It’s not only the underlying mechanism or the underlying association or symptom that we see with just about every major metabolic disease on the planet.

We actually know the process of why chronic inflammation leads to cancer. We don’t have to get in the science of that, but we know chronic inflammation causes cancer. We also know that elevated blood glucose can cause cancer. Somebody who has just massive amounts of sugar in their diet on an ongoing basis. It’s not that you can’t really say sugar causes cancer, but we know, it’s pretty clear that people who have elevated blood glucose on a consistent basis, primarily from simple carbohydrates and processed sugars over years and years, we know that most sugar feeds on cancer.

Most cancer feeds on sugar. We know that glucose is one of cancer’s main pathways to thrive on. We know that cancer can also switch to ketones. A lot of people don’t know that as they’re promoting a ketogenic diet, there are some benefits to certain modified ketogenic diet for cancer that we’ve seen in a lot of case studies, but we also know cancer can switch energy sources.

Even a glucose, or let’s say sugar is really its main fuel source. Even if you switch to other types of diets, for example, ketogenic diet, actually there are cancers that thrive on ketones. You have to be a little bit mindful of that. We know that environmental toxins cause cancer. We know that there are a lot of probable carcinogens and known carcinogens that is in our lotions and creams and shampoos and soaps and deodorants that are literally known carcinogens.

Carcinogen, meaning this is a known cause of cancer. We know that they’re in our water and in our food and in our beauty care products. When you talk about why that is, and then what you can do to actually mitigate these toxins. There’s a lot of environmental toxins that lead to cancer. We know that stress has a strong, causative, or correlative effect on cancer becoming diagnosed in the body.

We can talk about some of the mechanisms for that as well, but stress, anxiety, fear, basically, a chronic low-grade sympathetic response in the body and adrenal response, basically downregulates your immune system. Without a healthy, fully functioning immune system, you can’t fight off cancer. You need a strong, healthy functioning immune system for your body to recognize, identify, kill, and remove cancer cells, which is one of the many things that our immune system and our lymphatic system does.

Unhealthy diet, we know that there are foods that there’s some controversy here for sure like anything. We do know that there are foods that directly correlate and even some that are known carcinogens for cancer. Processed meat is a known carcinogen for cancer. We know that it can cause cancer. We know that diets, high in processed foods, high in processed sugar, low in whole foods, low in plant foods. We know that there’s a direct correlation between these diets and all-cause mortality, including cancer.

Number six, is lifestyle behaviors. Lifestyle behaviors, there’s a lot in there. There’s the common ones we know clearly, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, we know these things can cause cancer. There’s other things like sedentarism, where people just aren’t moving their body enough. You’re in Costa Rica, you’re there where one of the oldest groups of people live, 90s and 100s. We know that people who live to old age, primarily healthy, generally move a lot. They move their bodies a lot, not necessarily going to the gym every day, but walking and moving and flushing the lymphatic system.

There’s a lot of reasons why moving. There’s other lifestyle behaviors of– There’s one that I talked to people a lot about, is turning on the news every single morning and filling your nervous system with fear and anxiety and stress and cortisol, which downregulates your immune system, basically regulates your adrenal response and lowers your ability to get rid of cancer cells. There’s simple things we can do, lifestyle behaviors that can contribute to our bodies doing what they’re designed to do, which is heal and repair and rejuvenate.

The main drivers of cancer

Ari: Excellent. A lot of this, when you talk about those causes, the truth is pretty much all of those same causes are also responsible for the epidemics of obesity and diabetes, neurological disease and heart disease, and a long list of other diseases that are the major killers in the Western world. It really comes back to the same blueprint that as far as how to live your life, how to eat, what kind of environment to be in, what kind of lifestyle to cultivate.

Having said that, within cancer, specifically, it gets a little controversial. Let’s say in contrast, we look at something like obesity or diabetes, it is very well known, well established, and not really even debatable that you can take somebody who’s obese or type two diabetes and change their nutritional lifestyle and reverse obesity or diabetes literally within a matter of weeks in the case of type two diabetes. There are studies that show complete reversal of type two diabetes within a few weeks or a few months of changing nutritional lifestyle habits.

Now, when we talk about cancer, even though it is the case, majority of cancer is driven by nutrition and lifestyle, it is unlike diabetes. It is quite controversial to claim that just changing nutrition lifestyle can reverse cancer. A lot of conventional-minded people see that view as being very dangerous, as being quackery. Really, we need chemo, we need radiation surgery, drugs, and I think the story is, from what I’ve seen, very complex because I’ve seen cases where there are certain cancer treatments, immunotherapy is a good example of this or just surgical removal of cancers has been successful and somebody has been cured by that and they’re cancer-free.

I’ve also seen a lot of horrendous stories of people who seek out treatment, get chemo and just have a miserable experience and then die anyway. What is your take, I guess, on the first part of that, which is the potential for a natural approach, let’s call it nutrition and lifestyle change to cure or reverse cancer? Do you see that as being a central player or more of a supplementary approach to conventional approaches?

Nathan: It’s great question, and certainly, our science is lacking here. There are some exciting new research studies coming out probably in the next few years, that some teams are working on this exact conversation. Let’s follow people who actually follow this exact diet and lifestyle parameters, who have cancer, and let’s see what happens, and let’s track them over time. We don’t have a lot of that science yet, what we have is a scientist says, [unintelligible 00:32:55] cruciferous vegetables helps with cancer. We have this 30 plus year meta-analysis on people who ate mushrooms twice a day, who ate 18 grams of mushrooms, which is about two mushrooms per day versus people who ate zero mushrooms per day.

The people who ate two mushrooms per day had 45% less cancer risk across 27 different type of studies, 17,000, 18,000 people that they looked at as major meta-analysis. We have a lot of that kind of science of plants in their individual constituents and components that can help reverse. They literally create apoptosis and literally produce NK killer cells in the body, and literally help reduce inflammation and cause an antioxidant effect in the body and kill cancer cells.

We have a lot of that individual science, it gives us a big picture to think, well, okay, yes, this and this, and this and this, and this, and exercise. Stimulates the lymphatic system and the lymphatic system is crucial for removing cancer cells from the body. We know that mushrooms and we know cruciferous vegetables, we know berries are anti-cancer properties. Okay, well, it’s common sense for me to go, okay, well, if we do all those things together, we’re probably going to get some pretty good results. Then avoid the things that we know cause cancer, processed meats and high amounts of dairy and sedentarism and chronic exposure to toxins.

Let’s avoid those, let’s do the things that give us the most anti-cancer protective properties. We’re pretty well on our way to understanding, the closer we are to nature, this is what I get out. What’s the big picture? The big picture to me is the closer we live to nature, to our natural connection, to the natural world, away from the process manufacturer to highly additive, highly sugarised and process fats and so forth, and live as close to nature.

Natural food, natural life, bare feet on the ground, breathing fresh air, getting the sunlight to help create vitamin D in the body, this natural way of living is going to really give us our best chances at living not only a long and healthy life, but a cancer-free and disease-free life. That’s the exciting part, is the science will eventually catch up, and my theory is, it will prove all of these things that we’re talking about. We’re not there yet. What we do have is a lot of case studies and a lot of anecdotal feedback from people who had stage four cancer, Elaine Gibson, great example.

She was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in her late 60s. Doctor said, “Sorry, you’re never going to see your grandchildren grow up.” What a horrible thing to be told. She, thankfully, didn’t accept that fake expiration date, as I call it. She didn’t accept that prognosis. She went to town doing everything she possibly could. She got into a highly raw food diet, highly plant diverse nutritious diet, lots of green vegetable juices every single day, exercising, started meditating an hour every morning, an hour every night, making all these lifestyle. Got air purifiers, cleaned her air, she got water purifiers, cleaned her water, she started eating only organic.

All these principles that, as you said, we know can contribute to eliminating diabetes, type two diabetes in the body, autoimmune disease and health issues, and all kinds of problems, obesity. A few years later, cancer-free, 75-years-old now. More energy, more vitality, healthier than she’s been in probably 20 years. Then you have Dr. Véronique Desaulniers, very similar story, very similar process, very similar steps she took, cancer-free. You have Chris Wark, younger guy. Some are in their 50s and 60s, some of them 60s and 70s. We have someone who’s in their 20s and 30s, a male, same thing.

Same process, same lifestyle and diet changes, and the stories go on and on and on. We have 1,500 documented case studies through the work of Kelly Brogan, they call radical remissions. What she calls radical remissions. These are people who either, outside of conventional medicine, didn’t use any conventional medicine at all or an adjunct to, through an integrative approach, maybe some off label drugs, maybe some surgery and diet, lifestyle changes. Maybe a little bit of chemo for example, or some IPT and some potential therapy, which is like low dose chemo, which actually the science tells us is 10,000 times more effective at killing the target cancer cells than just a shotgun approach of chemotherapy.

These are 1,500 case studies we have so far that are actually in her book, and I’ve done interviews with her and it’s actually pretty amazing work where you can again, see these common principles. We’re talking principles here. Foundational lifestyle, diet, nutrition, principle changes, and we can’t leave out thinking. We can’t leave out the science of epigenetics, we can’t leave out the importance of our thoughts and our emotions and the impact they have on our physiology. Bruce Lipton is a good friend and colleague of mine, he’s in my documentary talking about all this.

Really going into depth in science of epigenetics and how literally our thinking can contribute to disease or help our bodies heal from that disease. When we look at that whole approach, when we look at the science that nature came out with, that big report that said up to 90% of cancer is diet, lifestyle, environment-related, and then we look at the leading edge, still up and coming, but a lot more well accepted. Science of epigenetics now today. We could really– I would go on and theorize that 99 plus percent of all cancer could be prevented or reversed following all these fundamental principles.

Now, if you have Stage IV or stygian cancer there’s no guarantees, obviously. There are a lot of components in there that– Lifestyle changes and habit changes for people who are not always easy. Compliance is not always easy. To say, look, are people going to do everything necessary that all these others– I just interviewed another gentleman the other day, one year after his cancer diagnosis, following all these principles I just laid out, cancer-free again. These stories keep coming up. We’re learning more and more as we go. The science I really believe eventually will catch up, but along the way, we have to piece it together.

I think we also have to use a little bit of our own logic, our own reasoning and even our own intuition because there is value to logic and reasoning and intuition in addition to science. Without those, science doesn’t have much value, but if we apply logic and reasoning and intuition to science, we can get ahead of the curve, at least from my opinion.

What you can do to resolve your cancer

Ari: Got it. Let’s take an example to make this really practical. Let’s imagine, God forbid, that someone that you or I knew got cancer, and they came to you and they said, “Nathan, you’ve interviewed so many experts on this. I’ve got breast cancer, what do I do?” What would be your response? How would you tell that person to approach resolving their cancer?

Nathan: This is not meant to be an advertisement. I would say go watch my masterclass. I literally have been asked that question a thousand times. I produce summits and conferences and bring on the world-leading experts. I’ve done this documentary. People can go watch the documentary to get a good feel, a good foundation. It’s an hour and a half. You can learn a lot from that and be inspired, but that question has come up a million times. There’s no way you can answer that question in an hour interview.

There’s no way you can answer that question in an email when people email me, so I said, “When people ask me this, I want to give them something that literally I would do and I would do for my family, and I do do for myself and my family now every single day.” Some of the things are not necessary for me to do and many of the things are. I literally spent quite a while researching heavily and then creating a nine-module masterclass that teaches exactly that. Teaches exactly everything I’ve learned and exactly what I would do.

It’s seven steps, it’s nine modules. It’s probably five hours of content, and I could go much deeper than that but I want to give people a foundational blueprint that they could follow. It’s called Becoming Cancer-Free. They can go find it and, I’d say, start there, but for sake of time and sake of obviously delivering more value to your listeners, here’s what I would tell people initially. Figure out where your biggest weakness is. What is your biggest weakness right now? Figure out one thing. Look at your diet, look at your movement routines, look at your relationships, look at your mindset. Are you stressed all the time?

Are you not moving your body every day, an hour a day, hour and a half a day, doing some form of exercise? It could be walking around the block, it could be jumping on a little rebound, or it could be cycling, swimming. Look at your movement routines. Look at your diet. Are you eating a lot of processed food? Are you getting the USDA’s minimum five servings of fruits and vegetables every day? My minimum that I tell cancer patients is 13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day, eight of those being vegetables, five being fruits. Not to be afraid of fruits and berries because even though they have some sugar in them they have fiber and phytonutrients and all kinds of benefits from those fruits, but 13 if you have cancer.

Are you getting the minimum amount of fruits and vegetables every day? Look at your whole life. Take a moment right now and say, “Look, where’s my biggest weakness?” and from that point forward, make that your priority. Make that your priority to figure out “What can I do to make the biggest jump?” I was telling my wife earlier, she said, “Yes, but my family, it’s too expensive for them to eat organic. They live in Mexico; they’re kind of off the grid a little bit. They don’t have any organic grocery stores near them. It’s too expensive for them, et cetera, et cetera. They’re just not making the changes they need for their health and they’re dealing with all kinds of chronic diseases.”

I said, “Well, look. Forget about organic for a moment. Let’s say your health is here, organic’s going to take you here. Get rid of those pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, GMOs, et cetera, organic is going to take you here. But if you’re here with your nutrition and you’re not eating enough of the protective foods that are going to protect your body against cancer, help you eliminate toxins and give you the fiber and the microfloral health and all the things you need for a strong immune system, then what you need to do, organic or not, is go up to that 5, 8, 13 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That jump alone, even if it’s conventional, will take you here.”

That’s a huge jump for your health for people who are not eating that, and I can guarantee you most people I talk to today are not eating more than five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. I ask people and they say, “I can’t, it’s too many.” It’s actually really easy. I’ll show you a picture here in a second if you want. I can show everybody tuning in if they’re watching us. You’re already doing that, what’s the next thing? Well, organic will take you a little bit higher. My point is, figure out your biggest hole, your biggest weakness, learn more about what you can do to optimize that part of your life and your health, and then dive into that and make the biggest change there possible: diet, exercise, mindset.

You’re stressed all the time, you’re not meditating, you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re anxious, you’re watching the news every day, you live in fear. Well, guess what? [chuckles] Half-hour meditation in the morning and half-hour meditation at night is going to do you wonders. It’s going to relax your nervous system. It’s going to upregulate your parasympathetic system. It’s going to upregulate your immune system. It’s going to give you that fighting chance that your body needs to thrive.

All right, you’ve been doing that a few weeks. You’re doing great, you’ve made some big changes there, now you go on to the next. Often we think, “I got to do everything. I got to change everything otherwise I’m going to die. It’s not going to work. But it’s too much,” so I don’t do anything. You figure out that one thing, you make the change, and then you go on from there.

Ari: Got it. Just for clarity, I don’t want you to get accused or attacked by people in the conventional medicine arena. Everything that you just said, would you put that in the context of “This is a supplementary therapy that you should do alongside your conventional therapy,” or, “This should be in place of it,” I don’t think you’re saying that, or, “You should go seek a conventional oncologist, get their opinion on your cancer. Maybe they’ll have an effective treatment, maybe they won’t.” Either way, regardless of what they’ve got available, you should do all the stuff that you just recommended.

Nathan: Right. There’s a lot of research that’s already come out that has shown all of these diet lifestyle changes actually support the effectiveness of treatments like chemotherapy. Just fasting for 24 hours, for example, before chemotherapy not only increases its effectiveness– I don’t have the study in front of me, we could pull it up, but not only increases its effectiveness but also increases your body to reproduce or regenerate healthy cells after the treatment. All of these things for sure, from my opinion, should definitely be done. If you’re doing traditional conventional treatment– not traditional, traditional is indigenous medicine. Let’s get the terminology right.

If you’re doing conventional treatment, modern medicine, all of these things, you got to do a little more research and maybe get some guidance there, but for the most part, will only support your health and healing. Now, I talk to a lot of people who have reverse cancer without conventional treatment. I’m not telling people “Get conventional treatment, don’t get conventional treatment,” that’s not my role. My role is to educate you, empower you, give you as much information as I can so that you can go to your oncologist. I have a 12-question checklist of questions that you should ask your oncologist, or your functional medicine practitioner, or your integrative medical doctor, or your naturopathic doctor. Questions you should ask them that will empower you as the patient.

I love Dr. Nalini Chilkov. One of the things that she talks about is she’s working with cancer patients. She works with a lot of medical doctors and oncologists helping to bridge this gap together between nutrition and diet, natural therapies with conventional medicine. She helps bridge that and brings the science and the research to the medical doctors so that they can empower their patients. One of the things that she says is, “Look, you have to be willing to look at the whole picture and not rush into anything.”

The problem today with our modern medical approach is that you come back, you have a PET scan or whatever. Your diagnosis, however, came back and they say, “Look, you have cancer. We need to do treatment immediately. You’ve got three months left to live. You’ve got six months left to live. We’re going to schedule you next week for surgery. We’re going to set a schedule next week for chemotherapy or radiation.” The person in that chair sitting there is so afraid. They don’t know anything about anything, and so they just jump into it and say, “Yes, okay.” They don’t do any research and so they just follow along, whether that treatment protocol is known to be highly effective or not.

The medical doctor is just going to give them the tool bag that they have; the tools in their tool bag. They’re going to say, “Here’s what I know. Here’s what you should do.” What I encourage people to do is take a moment, say, “Thank you very much, Doctor. I’m going to consider this. I will get back to you,” and then go and do some consulting with an integrative medical doctor, or a functional medicine practitioner, or a naturopath that has a specialty in cancer, for example. Get as much information as you can before you dive into any treatment protocol, natural or conventional because it could be, well, you just need a little surgery and then clean up your diet and you’re good to go.

That would be great for some people. Unfortunately for most people, the cancer comes so late because it takes years and years to grow to the size of a tumor, for example. It can take 5 years, 7 years, 10 years. Some people have cancer for 20 years and have no idea. They find it accidentally on a routine check-up because they’ve been gut issues from something else and then they find it on the scan. You’ve spent years and years and years making cancer in your body. Let’s get that straight. We don’t get cancer; we make cancer from the inside out. We don’t catch it.

It’s not a disease that we catch from the outside in; we make it from the cells. Basically, healthy cellular respiration breaking down into a chronic fermentative state, and DNA damage, and so forth. Cancer is made, so learn how do I stop making cancer in my body? There are some points. Like I said, conventional treatments can be supportive. I’m not here to tell people to do one or the other. I’m saying educate yourself before you do anything, and then you have to go inside a little bit and trust yourself and trust your own, what I would say, inner guidance to find the healing path that’s right for you.

Ari: Let me ask for two pieces of advice. One would be for anybody that has recently been diagnosed with cancer or currently has cancer. What would be one thing that you would tell that person? To somebody who has not had cancer, doesn’t have cancer, and is trying to do their best to avoid it, what would you tell that person?

Nathan: Beautiful. Someone who’s just been newly diagnosed with cancer or has cancer, I would say cancer is a normal biological process. We all have cancer cells inside of us. It’s not the bogeyman. We don’t have to cut it and radiate it and burn it and attack it and kill it and be so afraid of it. It’s a natural process that happens inside of us when DNA gets damaged and cells start to change form.

Dr. Thomas Lodi said it best in my documentary. He said, “There is a cure for cancer. It’s called the immune system.” When you have a fully functioning immune system you likely will never have a cancer diagnosis. One thing is you have time. For 99.9% of cancer patients, you have time. Most people were not told. Most people tuning in right now, there could be some but I could be wrong, but most people tuning in right now have not been told, “We’ve got to get this out of your brain stem right now or you’re dead in 48 hours,” because they wouldn’t be listening to this if they were told that.

That cancer has been forming for years and years and years, so you have time. You don’t have to rush into anything right now. You can take days, weeks, potentially months. You don’t want to wait years, but you have some time to look at more research, to interview other experts in different fields, to watch my documentary, attend the masterclass. Do whatever you want to do to educate yourself, but you have time.

You can take a deep breath, you can relax for a moment, and say, “Let me learn as much as I can about what this is, what causes it, and what I can do about it before I make any major life-altering decisions.” We know if you start adding a glass of fresh green vegetable juice to your diet right now every single day, 99.9999% sure that’s going to give you some benefit. You could do that while you’re researching.

We know that sleeping a good solid eight hours every night, the research shows seven to nine hours. As you get into deep sleep and you enter autophagy and cellular cleanup, and you get rid of those waste cells, and reutilize the amino acids, and effectively terminate and remove cancer cells, we know sleep has such a healing effect. “All right, I could focus on my sleep, getting better, deeper quality sleep, and I could start having green juice every day, just vegetable juice.” Those are things that you could do that would empower you to like, “I’m doing something positive while I’m researching, while I’m learning, while I’m getting multiple opinions.”

Before you make any life-altering decisions, the thing that I absolutely do not agree with, and medical doctors can hate me all they want, which is if someone has a BRCA1 gene, a woman, she’s in her 30s, she has BRCA1 gene, and they say, “Look, you have a BRCA1 gene,” the best thing you can do to not get cancer–” you don’t have cancer right now. “Best thing you can do is we’ll cut both your breasts off. That’s the solution.” I see women being pushed through fear into that. Well, 50% of women with the BRCA1 gene never get cancer. If you’re not even diagnosed with cancer yet, look at all the preventative things you can do: diet, lifestyle, meditation.

Ari: They told me I had the gene for penile cancer and for brain cancer, and they wanted to-

Nathan: Oh, dear God.

Ari: -[crosstalk] both my brain and my penis. I thanked them for their offer and I moved on to another doctor.

Nathan: [laughs] Well, I’m glad you did because you’re a blessing to humanity and society. You have two beautiful children, I heard, so I’m glad you didn’t follow that advice.

Ari: I say that just for clarity [inaudible 00:55:58]. I say it completely jokingly, that didn’t really happen, but-

Nathan: I know.

Ari: -it’s meant to point out the stupidity of an approach where you look at– These genes that are linked with cancer, there’s a lot of distorted thinking around that where people think, “Oh, I have the gene for so and so cancer. That means I’m going to get this cancer,” and it doesn’t mean that at all. These are still almost always predominantly nutrition and lifestyle-driven cancers. Having a particular disease for it may increase your susceptibility relative to someone else, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it.

I’ll give you an example. I have genes that are strongly indicated as “the obesity genes.” I’m not obese. Why am I not obese if I have the obesity genes? Why am I not worried about becoming obese? Because I have my nutrition and lifestyle habits dialed in. My comment earlier was just meant to point the stupidity that just because you have a gene that says you have an increased risk of whatever type of cancer doesn’t mean you go start cutting out your intestines, your brain, your penis, and whatever other organ on your body because you have slightly increased susceptibility to so and so cancer relative to someone else.

Nathan: It’s so sad. I saw a woman the other day in her 30s, a really well-respected person in the fitness industry, I think she’s in her 30s, who just had a double mastectomy. Not because she had cancer, but because she had the gene and the doctor convinced her to cut her breasts off.

Ari: A doctor who’s doing that, honestly that’s criminal.

Nathan: I think so too. I think that’s why it’s so important this information gets out to as many people as possible, and as you learn more and more. We’ve talked here for a while now and I think people have some takeaways, but I’ve spent eight years so far on this and thousands of hours of research and hundreds of interviews, and I’m still learning. I’m not saying anybody has to put that much time in, but put some time in to continuing to learn and learn what are those causes we talked about and what are contributing.

We’re talking about prevention. So many of the things that we know can contribute to the body healing itself from cancer are the same things that contribute to the body preventing cancer in the first place. The commonalities are so similar that I would recommend you basically do a lot of the same things. Now, if you don’t have cancer you don’t need surgery. If you don’t have cancer you don’t need IPT, insulin potentiation therapy, for prevention. You don’t need chemotherapy if you don’t have cancer. There are some differences there, obviously, in terms of therapies.

Also, high dose vitamin C intravenously, 200 to 100 grams a day, have shown incredible anti-cancer properties with cancer patients. If you’re trying to prevent cancer or any chronic metabolic lifestyle-related disease for that matter, you don’t need 200 grams of vitamin C a day. In fact, that would probably be way too much for you. You might take 300 milligrams or 500 milligrams. Without getting too much into supplements and so forth, there are maintenance protocols for health and healing, and there are therapeutic protocols for health and healing.

When you get to therapeutic, you have to be mindful and know what you’re doing, and get proper advice from people who know what they’re doing because you can certainly overdo it as well. I would leave people with that. I would leave people with this thought as well. Gregg Braden said it in my documentary and it’s always stuck with me. He said, “We can look at two primary reasons why most people get cancer. The first is people are getting too much of what they don’t need, and/or people are not getting enough of what they do need.” It’s really getting too much of what you don’t need or not enough of what you do need, and most of the time it’s both.

In these two camps, you could say toxic burden, toxic overload, too much toxic exposure, infections in the intestines or in the gut. Ongoing chronic infections, we know, lead to inflammation. We know chronic inflammation leads to cancer, so cleaning out the parasites, cleaning out the gut, cleaning out the fungus, cleaning out the things that lead to chronic inflammation. Cleaning out the toxins from the body, from the water, the food, the air. Okay, reduced toxic exposure is going to help you with all kinds of health challenges.

Two, nutritional deficiencies. The reverse of that is nutritional adequacy. Dr. Joel Fuhrman teaches nutritional excellence. I saw some interesting science a while back that was actually saying they looked at most people who actually “died from cancer.” That’s on their death certificate. Actually, if you look at people who have cancer and the top reasons why they actually die, what causes their death is actually not cancer. It’s usually not the number one morbidity factor. What it usually is is, I mean, I won’t say this, but nutritional deficiencies. Heart disease is a big one, and then infections.

Most people with cancer actually die from infections because the immune system is so weakened from not really just the cancer but the diet and lifestyle and then the treatments. That they end up dying from a basic infection; a staph infection or a bacterial infection or something like that. A lot of times it’s not really the cancer you have to worry about, it’s the other associated risk factors for that cancer like lack of nutrition, not having enough amino acids and vitamins and minerals in your diet. We focus way too much energy on macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fat, and definitely not enough on micronutrients, which actually have the biggest impact on cellular repair and cellular regeneration.

We don’t have time to get into time-restricted eating and fasting and homedic stressors and all that stuff, which is so fascinating and so helpful for cancer. I would leave it there. It’s those two primary focuses of getting rid of the things that are causing toxicity in the body and introducing more of the things that lead to nutritional adequacy and nutritional excellence in the body.

Ari: Awesome. Nathan, thank you so much for coming on the show. This was fun and an excellent job. Where would you like to send people? Where can people learn more about your work or your films?

Nathan: Thanks, Ari. I appreciate being here, man. It’s a pleasure to be on your show. I just have to say I really love the work that you do. The fact that you bring so much science into the work you do and then help it be understandable for people is very respectable, so thanks for having me. I would encourage people, my documentary just came out online. We did a film festival circuit, we did internal screenings, and now it’s actually available to the public basically anywhere in the world. You can rent it for a couple of bucks or you can get the DVD. It’s won 20 awards. My distribution company just released it just recently, so you can go watch the film.

I’ll highly encourage people to go watch the film because it’ll give you a lot more that actually we didn’t have time to cover in this interview. The website is just

Ari: Awesome. Nathan, thank you so much. I appreciate you coming on the show. I’ll talk to you again soon.

Nathan: Yes, my honor. Thank you.

Show Notes

Why cancer is on the rise (11:11)
The biggest challenges with cancer treatment (18:50)
The main drivers of cancer (27:14)
What you can do to resolve your cancer (43:30)


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