Carole Conquers Cancer… One Woman's Odyssey
by Michael Culbert
From the Townsend Letter
This article, authored by Michael Culbert, freelance health journalist, first appeared in The Choice magazine (1998; XXIV,) and the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients (January 1999).
On March 25, 1993, Carole Bradford faced two key events in her life: she was
turning a young-looking 53 – and she was to undergo a lumpectomy to remove what
she hoped (indeed, prayed) was a benign cyst. What else could it be? Certainly
not the feared "C" word.
"I remember thinking what kind of cosmic joke it would be if I, Carole Bradford, would come down with breast cancer. No way, Jose!" she recalled. Why should she not think this way? After all, she was the hard-driving CEO of the California-based American Biologics®, an international biotech and nutritional supplement company whose origins dated back to the laetrile wars of the 1970s. She "ate right," took up to 30 vitamin/mineral/enzyme tablets a day, and was fully aware of the nature of cancer.
Of equal or greater importance, she was the globe-trotting wife of Dr. Robert W. Bradford, the founder of American Biologics®, the scientific director and co-founder of the former American Biologics – Mexico SA Medical Center in Tijuana,* the co-founder of the Committee for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy (the reason for the nationwide "decriminalization" moves for laetrile in the 1970s and 1980s), the author or co-author of numerous books and scores of research monographs on the metabolic management of cancer and degenerative diseases, the primary author of the "Primordial Thesis of Cancer," the reason behind the textbook delineating Oxidology as a medical subspecialty, and, of more recent vintage, the pioneer/developer and worldwide patent holder of the Bradford Variable Projection Microscopy system (BVPM®) and the two peripheral blood tests (HLB and HRBM) he developed that assess morphological changes in the blood as a means of evaluation of balanced body chemistry (homeostasis).
Carole Bradford had circumnavigated the globe more than once as the "good right arm" of Robert Bradford and had sat in on as many or more scientific sessions on cancer, degenerative disease, and microscopy as any licensed professional. She knew cancer intimately: it was in her family, among her friends. She knew what it was, what it could do.
"I had had cysts for several years, so had my mother, and my grandmother had died of breast cancer. But there was something different about this lump," she recalled. "I could feel this one easily, since it was growing fast – and it was associated with a lot of heat." She remembered some "orthodox" miscues along the way: Three years before, in 1990, she had been at the American Biologics® ("AB") Hospital for her annual three-day trip for rejuvenation treatment: some live cells, chelation, blood work, a proprietary stabilized oxygen compound "drips." She had a breast cyst at the time, and she recalled that a staff surgeon had encouraged her to have a needle biopsy "just to make sure." "Of course I can't be sure, but I think that this is what they would call 'the initial insult.' I don't feel right about biopsies, and I'll never do one again," she said. Carole Bradford now believes that she was incubating a malignant process in a minimally active state, at least since that time (1990), but was keeping it under control with her disciplined diet and supplements.
By January 1993, this fast-growing cyst had her worried. She did another "orthodox" procedure – an ultrasound assay of the right breast. The ultrasound spotted an area of inflammation but the official analysis was that it was just another cyst. Because she was so busy at the office, she did not feel she could take the time away from her duties to have the cyst removed then. So she waited two months until her birthday, March 25, to have the lumpectomy, which she undertook while wide awake and following the procedure with keen interest. "When I saw the tumor in the operating room I exclaimed, 'God – that's big!'" The tumor was 4 cm x 4 1/2 cm x 3.8 cm, plus extra tissue taken – it looked like a golf ball.
After five days, Carole Bradford went back to her routine: long hours at her American Biologics office in Chula Vista, California, with endless telephone calls, constant involvement in the routine operation of a thriving business and all that went with it, with scant time available to enjoy her beautiful ranch in East San Diego County. Two weeks later, on April 9, she was sitting at her desk when Robert Bradford entered her office after having heard from the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic Department of Surgical Pathology, where the lumpectomy sections had been sent. Carole Bradford, ever unflappable, remembered it well:
"Bob came in and sat down in front of my desk. His behavior was very calm. He just said it all at once: it was confirmed that I had breast cancer. It was a 'high-grade infiltrating ductal-cell carcinoma of the right breast, Bloom-Richardson grade 3.' So I'm just sitting there trying to take it all in." Not an easy moment. "But within two minutes, I was asking Bob to check my blood on the microscope. I wanted to see what my blood looked like. And I needed to see it for myself. But I never had this feeling of, 'Why me?'—'Why not me?' I'd been through this with enough patients to know not to be too negative, even if the information was tough to take. I do remember one thought, looking back, that really sank in: considering who I was, and what we were involved in, how could I not pull through? I didn't sleep very well that first night, though. It was really a rude awakening."
Working side-by-side for years with medical maverick Robert Bradford, she had come to have enormous admiration for him and all that he had done, particularly in helping to get the AB Hospital functioning. He and the old nucleus group of the activist Committee for Freedom of Choice in Cancer Therapy Inc., had formed the first Bradford-oriented medical center in 1975 (Cydel Clinic, later called Manner Clinic). "I thought, 'Of course I'll pull through this. My God, haven't we all been working for this? Don't we have the best therapies and techniques available? Does anyone know more about cancer than we do?' I decided then and there that I was going to do everything to beat this thing. I was lucky. I had access to every conceivable cancer therapy. I was well-grounded in the subject matter, and I had a brilliant husband who would be directing my treatment in every way."
The Bradfords' general belief is that the earlier signs of a possible malignant process were masked because Carole was nutritionally doing all the right things. But between her rejuvenation visits and blood analyses several things had happened. Both were traveling extensively to Europe and China, where there had been a major effort to market the Bradford Variable Projection Microscope (BVPM) microscopy system. Additionally, Carole was taking very personally some personnel upheavals at work.
"I'm not trying to make excuses here," she said. "But I am saying that I was extremely stressed by these problems. Aside from that, until the diagnosis came like a proverbial knock on the head, my favorite place was my desk, and I spent a great deal of time there. In retrospect, I can only think now that the needle biopsy of 1990 and this personnel problem in late 1992 were what it took to knock over the dominoes and bring my malignancy to the fore." The "coagulation" blood test (HLB) did in fact pick up areas of suspicious inflammation, adrenal stress, and bowel flora imbalances.
The AB Hospital had become a major center for the use of another test – AMAS, or the test for antimalignin antibody, performed in Boston, and the five-parameter Augusti test, pioneered in France by Dr. Yves Augusti, a collaborator of the Bradford Research Institute® (BRI®). Neither has received the full blessings of the US medical establishment, but the AB Hospital and BRI incorporate both as useful monitors.
Admitted to the AB Hospital the day before the scheduled lumpectomy, Carole Bradford's Augusti test had shown a suspicious rise in the "allergic" parameter, frequent in cancer cases. The AMAS test was slightly "positive." Later, from medical orthodoxy, a breast cancer "marker," CA 15-3, turned out to be very high. "Okay, the results were in. It was cancer, no doubt about that, and it was happening to me, Carole Bradford," she recalled. "So I decided to take charge of my illness and created with Bob my own injectable program, which we later came to call the 'Bradford cocktail.' I had a hospital at my disposal and a collaborating medical staff. I could have anything done I wanted to."
AB Hospital's primary claim to fame, by 1993, was already in the cancer department. Since creation of the original AB medical group in 1975 and the opening of American Biologics Hospital in 1980, the AB team had seen upwards of 18,000 cancer cases. It was securing some kind of positive responses in 95% of its patients and reaching what American orthodox oncology described as a "cure" – meaning five years free of symptoms – in at least 20%, a remarkable feat at a time when metastatic, or "spread" cancer, was "curable" in the US about nine percent of the time.
Carole Bradford then began her incredible treatment odyssey. But it began with an attitude change: "I knew I was going to have to spend a long time away from my desk, resting in one of our recliner treatment chairs at the AB Hospital. I was going to have to learn to relax, read books, watch television, whatever. After the first week of this, I told myself, 'Hey, this isn't too bad now.' Several weeks later, I began to play tennis on a more regular basis, to swim. I took Spanish language classes and really began working on getting de-stressed. This was the beginning of my healing and I have to add that, thank God, I was never in pain. I did not have to go through the horrors of awful pain that I have seen and heard about from so many patients."
Carole Bradford was an "outpatient" at the AB Hospital at least four times a week, returning to her desk at Chula Vista for only a few hours each afternoon. "Suddenly, I found I didn't really need to spend all those hours at the desk. All that paperwork was somehow getting done by able staff members and it became less all-consuming to me," she remembered.
"I kept a record of my visits to the clinic for my injections, like a score card, and after 100 injection days, I stopped counting. Now that is a lot of injections." Her daily program consisted of the following: in the first "drip bag," she received 9 grams laetrile, 25 grams of vitamin C, 10 cc of GE-OXY 132 (germanium sesquioxide), 10 cc of reduced glutathione, 5 cc of pangamic acid, 16 mg of superoxide dismutase (SOD), 10 cc of NAC (N-acetyl-cysteine), 2 cc of thymus extract, 5 cc of licorice extract (Biorizin), 10 cc of taurine, 3 grams of sodium butyrate, and 20 cc of DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide). In her second "drip bag," she received 100 cc saline with 10 cc of a proprietary stabilized oxygen compound, the oxidative agent pioneered by the BRI®. Her oral program, which reached up to 100 tablets or capsules daily during 1993, consisted of around 30 items: liquid vitamin A in the form of A-E emulsion (200,000 units), between 15 to 20 grams of vitamin C, proteolytic enzymes in the form of a proprietary systemic enzyme, antioxidant enzymes, and other substances in the form of proprietary antioxidant enzyme, acidophilus/lactobacillus combinations, co-enzyme Q10, three different combinations of "omega" fatty acids, spleen glandular, adrenal glandular, a combination of vitamins/minerals/nutrients, shark cartilage, selenium, licorice extract, Basic mineral complex, thymus glandular, GE-132 oral (germanium sesquioxide), laetrile (amygdalin tablets), benzaldehyde, mammary glandular, beta-carotene, herbal specialty products called Coleus forskohlu, Ascorfutaruplex, Lapachoplex (from the South American pau d'arco therapy), homeopathic burdock root, chitin (crab extract), and apricot kernels (a natural high source of laetrile and other useful nutrients.)
She also took a combination of homeopathic injectable extracts from the pioneering Heel Company of Europe, which consisted of 12 separate products including mistletoe extract (Iscador, from Viscum album). And that was not all. For 90 days daily, and then once or twice a week for many more months, she utilized treatments by another Bradford-pioneered breakthrough: Accelerated Charge Normalization® (CAN) alters the negative tissue potential usually found in breast cancer to the normal or positive potential characteristic of breast tissue without cancer. By establishing a positive tissue potential, immune cells, being negatively charged, are attracted to the malignant site and greatly enhance the body's immune response against cancer.
In addition to the obvious therapeutic advantage, there is also a diagnostic or assessment advantage in measuring the tissue potential, which can be related to tumor activity. In Carole's case, the negative charge exceeded 200 millivolts, which is over 100 thousand times the potential required to repel the immune system from the breast. In other words, her body did not recognize that there was an ongoing malignancy. Amazingly, it took over nine months of integrative therapy for the potential in her breast to normalize.
Also "working" was Carole Bradford's adherence to the anti-cancer eating program long followed at the AB Hospital and also detailed in the recipe book she co-authored with Beverly Novak: Cookbook for Healthful Living. "Another reason we dared not fail," she said. "It would be bad press! If we couldn't save me, then who could?"
Within a six-month period, most all her blood tests were returning back to normal.
" The only orthodox things I ever did in my cancer program were the lumpectomy and, yes, Tamoxifen. It was suggested that I needed this, particularly against breast cancer. But I took this for only about 60 days. I just knew that it was doing something abnormal when I began having daily cervical discharges. So after two months, I said, 'no more.' I would never do it again. Some things are just intuitive in nature and you have to listen to your body! Once again, I was taking charge of my health, not the doctors." (It would subsequently be learned that however useful Tamoxifen might be in the short-term against breast cancer, it increases a woman's risk of both endometriosis and cervical cancer. It still remains an optional treatment within an integrative program.)
In May of 1993, she allowed a follow-up mammogram of her left breast since AB doctors had noticed abnormal tissue and feared that the cancer had spread. "I have my doubts about mammograms too. I wouldn't want to do them again, either. Squeezing the breast into a vise can't be any good. And, it seems barbaric," she assessed. (Some research, particularly in Canada, had sustained her fears: clamping breasts into a vise for a mammogram can indeed have the effect of damaging tissue and enhancing an existing malignant process, at least in some cases.)
"Doctors, including some of our own, kept pestering me about using chemotherapy, because of a suspicious lesion in the left breast showing up in the mammography. One doctor insisted I have a needle biopsy of the left breast. Re-thinking what happened with the initial needle biopsy in 1990, I refused. Weeks later, the surgeon came to me as I sat in the treatment room and waved his finger in my face, telling me, 'You have a fast-growing tumor and you're not taking it seriously. You could die.' He had suggested a double mastectomy or at least a 'quad.' I rejected all of this.
"I remember saying, 'We're a holistic hospital, we've been in this business for 20 years now and that's what we're all about. I believe that's what is best for me, and we must prove that we're right.' Maybe the big thing is that I never accepted the fact that I might die of cancer. I said, in essence, 'We're into holistic/integrative therapy. This is what we're all about."
But she was also aware of the developing doctrine of the true nature of cancer: it is not a tumor, but a malignant process; it is not "curable" in the sense that all aspects of it vanish forever; it is susceptible to long-term control, even for the whole of a lifetime. But you don't "get over" cancer and follow the same lifestyle as before. The key word is "control" – not "cure."
"I am a very disciplined person. I said on more than one occasion to my husband when he would forget to take his 'few' vitamins, 'It's a good thing I'm the one who has cancer – because of the discipline necessary to stay on the program.' I was able to stick with the program," she recalled.
Carole Bradford did stick with the program: year in and year out, one blood test after another, reducing her oral program back to 30 tablets or more, occasionally taking "drips," even cramming 12,000-gauss magnets into her brassiere as a daily kind of localized magnetic therapy, in conjunction with ACN.
Soon, the magic date was looming; March of 1998 – if she had five years free of symptoms, she would be "cured" by the definition of standard Western oncology. "Even though we in holistic medicine perhaps laugh at the premise that, after exactly the fifth year, you're instantly 'cured,' the mind still plays games with you, and for me, even though I had been completely healthy for the past, perhaps, three years, I still celebrated the fact," she remembered.
Carole had another birthday – March 25, 1998 – with a series of health assessments and blood tests. Her birthday gift that year was the best of all: she was certifiably free of cancer!