When not writing this blog, which provides a measure of therapy during these chaotic times, I do PR for a living. Sometimes I need therapy from the PR that I do. Like after last week’s run-in with a testy Forbes contributor.
You see, pitching unconventional ideas to mainstream media occasionally unleashes a fusillade of invective, like our pitch the other day to the Forbes contributor who covers health and medical news.
She blasts us with unusual ferocity for daring to suggest she consider doing a story about an alternative treatment for Senator John McCain’s brain cancer.
“The lowest circle of hell is reserved for people like you,” she wrote back.
Ouch! Our needle had obviously struck a nerve. The rage it evoked made me think perhaps we had stumbled on a broader story about mainstream media’s allegiance to mainstream medicine. She regarded our story as the lowest form of fake news. So I decided I’d therapeutically blog about this episode. Here was her response that clicked a link of curiosity in my journalistic brain biased toward examining opposing points of view:
Do your damn research. Look me up — including what I’ve written about glioblastoma already (links below) — and look up how much I push against bullshit pseudoscience like this. If you and your client think there’s a “natural cure” to McCain’s cancer, then you know NOTHING about glioblastoma, and you are preying on people at their most vulnerable point and exploiting the tiny shreds of hope they have in the midst of one of earth’s most devastating diseases. The lowest circle of hell is reserved for people like that.
Wow. That was pretty intense. So we softened her surliness and forwarded a more benign version of her response on to our client, Dr. Mylaine Riobe, an MD who has written several books about metabolic causes of cancer and alternative approaches to treat it. And then we sent to the Forbes contributor the following message.
We have shared your opinion with our client Dr.Riobe – a Board Certified Medical Doctor with over 15 years of experience in both Western and Traditional Chinese medicine. She has a thorough and well-researched rebuttal in response to your email. Dr. Riobe further explains the current health crisis in our society, and she takes readers on a path to preventing diseases such as cancer in her book “The Answer to Cancer.” She helps a multitude of cancer patients at her practice at The Riobe Institute of Integrative Medicine in Stuart, Florida.
Not getting anywhere with Forbes, I decide to take the story to a higher media level and contact Associated Press headquarters in New York City. Here was the AP’s response:
Yes. That might well be a story, but that’s a longer-term proposition. Not spot news. Thanks for passing this along. Sorry your client was dealt with so rudely, but I don’t see a story here for us.
I write back:
Thanks, but as a former journalist, I still see a news story here about the war raging between those dedicated to conventional cancer treatments and those advocating experimental approaches to the cancer that attacked McCain. Why not let this senator’s plight throw a light on this war and maybe something good can result.
No, thanks again, the AP editor shot back.
Then I email the following to an editor I know at O’Dwyer’s, the major PR trade publication:
Here are strong views expressed by a FORBES contributor regarding our client’s recommendations for treating Sen. McCain’s brain cancer and our client’s response. Dr. Riobe is an integrative medical MD who has written books on the subject.
We were surprised by the medical writer’s intense feelings as she obviously deplores alternatives to standard chemotherapy and radiation methods. She made us feel like deplorables pitching her crap.
The O’Dwyers editor emails back to let him know if a story develops.
While still determined to get media coverage for my client’s unorthodox views on cancer, allow me now to share them with you.
Dr. Riobe believes that Primary Glioblastoma multiform (PGB) has once again grabbed the headlines now that beloved American congressman John McCain has been plagued with this aggressive and destructive form of cancer.
She says that on the surface PGM seems like a chaotic mess of multiple genetic mutations leading to erratic behavior of cancer cells in what essentially amounts to warfare in the brain and eventually throughout the body. This form of cancer has evaded cancer researchers, says Dr. Riobe, due to its aggressive and unpredictable behavior. When things seem chaotic on the surface, it’s critical to look beneath it, she advises in her books and lectures.
“We’re chasing the shiny genes that have gained such popularity when what we should be focused on are the mitochondria that house the critical information that leads to cell division and duplication of genes. This is where the “mistakes” occur in gene duplication that we call mutations,” she says.
Dr. Riobe cites studies that have shown that if you place healthy mitochondria in “sick” cells that contain cancer-causing genes, cancer DOES NOT develop. These same studies show that if you place unhealthy mitochondria into “healthy” cells, they DO develop cancer.
In her book, “The Answer to Cancer,” she outlines the reason why brain tumors usually occur in the cerebral hemispheres-exactly where PGM usually forms.
Dr. Riobe argues that cancer is NOT a genetic disease, but a metabolic catastrophe. So let’s dive a little more deeply into metabolism.
Metabolism is basically the way all the cells in the body make energy to use for body functions. All body function is fueled via metabolism-everything from vision, movement, heartbeat, breathing, sleep, detoxification, immune function, digestion. All cells contain mitochondria, which are basically energy factories. Food we eat and the oxygen we breathe are used in the mitochondria to make our energy currency.
Mitochondria rely on many nutrients to make energy and when these nutrients are in short supply, the body has brilliant mechanisms in place to derive energy from other sources such as cells not critical to our immediate survival.
She explains that our body is essentially on a food chain, and cells low on the food chain will give up nutrients to “feed” cells higher up on the food chain. Highest up on the food chain is the brainstem that controls our heart and lungs
Dr. Riobe believes that the best chance to survive cancer lies in restoring proper metabolism. When we look at the brain, the critical areas most important for our immediate survival, the brainstem (responsible for control of heartbeat and breathing) is very protected and is the first place in your brain that gets blood flow. This flow carries critical nutrients and oxygen to these cells. The cerebral hemispheres, while important, are not critical to stay alive, so they get “left over” blood flow. It’s important to remember, says Dr. Riobe, that if your body has to choose between cancer and keeping your heart beating, it will favor the heart every time! The critical turning point in cancer care will be when we begin to look at the multiple obstructions to metabolism that lead to cancer.
In the interest of fairness in covering all sides, here are links to articles published by Forbes contributor Tara Haelle, a more traditionalist science Journalist and author:
For more information on Dr. Riobe and her books, go to: http://RiobeIntegrativeMedicine.com/
Media Contact: Rebecca Shpektor, firstname.lastname@example.org, 561-750-9800 x2100