Posted by: malechallengemedia | November 9, 2011

Why first wife disputes cancer guru Ian Gawler’s survival story

We’ve written repeatedly on this important topic because so many patients in Australia are dying from alt/med treatments – we believe this number is in the 1000s. So many are struggling with vegan diets and long hours of  meditation believing that is what cured Ian Gawler’s cancer.”If he can do it so can I,” is the mantra.

We’d rather be working with patients and not be repeating an old story but we must while so many patients are abandoning conventional treatments influenced by this mythical event. We write to set the record straight and warn patients they should not follow alt/med or starve themselves on vegan diets to beat their cancer.

Here is the story again –  references are below – please spread the word.
In 2009, a former patient contacted Grace Gawler concerned about alleged inaccuracies in a Medical Journal of Australia (December 2008) article about Ian Gawler’s recovery story.[5]

Ian Gawler’s high profile as a famous recovered cancer patient with constant media presence, the sale 250,000 copies of his popular book ‘You Can Conquer Cancer,’ along with CDs and DVDs, means he has much influence over cancer patients and the treatment choices they make. [6]

MJA editors invited Gawler to submit evidence of the alleged inaccuracies. After a year of rigorous fact checking, they published her letter on these matters.[7] The letter indicated a number of alleged errors in the article which had implied that Ian Gawler’s recovery was attributed to intensive meditation and adherence to a strict vegan diet. Photographic evidence was provided indicating that timelines in the December 2008 article were not entirely correct.

Since Gawler’s 2010 letter, some of her claims have been agreed to by Ian Gawler.[8] Information in a 2008 biography of Ian Gawler also agrees with her MJA letter regarding dates and timelines.[9] Referring to both Medical Journal of Australia articles about him (1978 and 2008), Ian Gawler stated that “Dr Ainslie Meares reported that I had more severe disease when I first saw him than I actually did, and these timeline errors were carried over into the 2008 follow-up.”[10]

Ian Gawler also admitted he had not followed a vegan diet.[11] Some Australian researchers hypothesise that TB may have played a significant role in the patient’s remission.[12][13][14]

Writing in PubMed, a prominent Australian onclogist, Prof Ray Lowenthal, said “Furthermore, because his ideas are making such an impact on the day-to-day treatment of cancer in this country, Ian Gawler owes it to the community to justify, with evidence, his claims that by meditation, patients with cancer may be enabled to achieve a cure of their disease in a way that is unattainable with orthodox medical treatment alone.” [15]

Writing in Cancer Forum in 2005 Lowenthal states, “Ian Gawler has not been completely frank in his description of the treatments he received. While he may have spent a lot of time on his own self-prescribed remedies, he also received orthodox treatment, although in his books and interviews he has played down their role in his cure.” [16]


  1. ^ Grace, Grit and Gratitude
  2. ^ The Company Director Magazine 2009
  3. ^ MJA, 20 September 2010: “Cancer patients at risk from inaccurate clinical reporting in a high-profile alternative treatment story”
  4. ^ Business Review Weekly Flagship Edition Aug/Sept 2011
  5. ^ “True Stories – Thirty-year follow-up at pneumonectomy of a 58-year-old survivor of disseminated osteosarcoma”, George A. Jelinek and Ruth H. Gawler, MJA 2008; 189 (11/12): pp663-665
  6. ^
  7. ^ “Cancer patients at risk from inaccurate clinical reporting in a high-profile alternative treatment story”, [1], 20 September 2010.
  8. ^ Ian Gawler’s blog – Out on a Limb, 22 November 2010; “It only has to be done once”
  9. ^ Guy Allenby and Ian Gawler, The Dragon’s Blessing, Allen & Unwin, 2008
  10. ^
  11. ^ Ian Gawler’s blog – Out on a Limb, 22 November 2010; “It only has to be done once”
  12. ^ H.C. Nauts; “Osteogenic sarcoma: end results following immunotherapy (bacterial vaccines) 165 cases, or concurrent infections, inflammation or fever, 41 cases”, New York: Cancer Research Institute, 1975, (CRI Monograph No. 15)
  13. ^ Ormerod, L.P., Grundy M. and Rahman M.A. Multiple tuberculous bone lesions simulating metastatic disease. Tubercle 989;70: pp305-307
  14. ^ “A fatal case of spinal tuberculosis mistaken for metastatic lung cancer: recalling ancient Pott’s disease”, PubMed, 20 November 2009.
  15. ^
  16. ^

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