New foundation discusses alternative treatments to cancer

Health practitioners at The Joan Valentine Foundation for Natural Cures inaugural meeting present their theories for a more integrative approach to the treatment of the widespread disease.

By Meg Boberg / Special to The Malibu Times

When it comes to treating cancer, conventional methods work best when combined with alternative medicine. That’s the message the experts of The Joan Valentine Foundation for Natural Cures gave at the foundation’s inaugural luncheon. The nonprofit organization met Wednesday last week at the Malibu home of Dianne Burnett, discussing therapies apart from, or combined with, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Burnett created the nonprofit organization in honor of her mother, Joan Valentine, after her death in April from esophageal cancer. Burnett, a television producer, welcomed a variety of specialists to front the group. Many of the doctors and health practitioners on the board have more than one specialization, from internal medicine to nutrition.

Burnett said, with the foundation, she hopes to raise people’s awareness about the options available for treatment of cancer.

“We need to educate people and say there’s other choices, and don’t just listen to what your doctor says,” Burnett said. “They need to treat the whole body. It’s a mind-body-spirit way of looking at it. We can’t just take one thing and think that’s the be-all end-all.”

When Valentine’s cancer was detected in 2009, doctors at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York told her to get her affairs in order. Burnett began to research ways to put off the inevitable, even though her mother was reluctant to accept treatment not prescribed or approved by her doctors. The goal for Burnett was to keep her mother strong during the chemotherapy process.

Burnett’s research led her to Burton Goldberg, who has 19 books to his name, including “Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide.”

Goldberg, 84, spoke to the guests and physicians in attendance last week of his own experience with bladder and kidney cancer, and his belief in changing cancer treatment by using uncommon procedures such as phototherapy, insulin-potentiated therapy and full body hypothermia. Although he is not a doctor, Goldberg has studied every aspect of holistic medicine, from California to Israel, Mexico to Russia for 30 years.

“I’m not against chemotherapy, just the way conventional medicine has used it,” Goldberg said. “Integrative medicine is using the best of both worlds. It’s a system, it isn’t one thing. It’s diet and nutrition Š it’s dentistry, and as much as 50 percent of reversal of cancer is in the mouth. It’s multiple therapies that need to be practiced in unison so you treat the patient rather than the cancer.”

The outlook on the disease is central to getting well, said Janet Hranicky, Ph.D., founder of The American Health Institute and a practitioner of psychoneuroimmunology, a specialization of the link between psychology and the immune system.

“Starting with the belief that it’s possible to get well, to me, is central in any kind of treatment protocol whatever it may be,” Hranicky said. “The delivery of the diagnosis and prognosis from the doctor will determine patient outlook. Underlying hopelessness is actually part of the physiological reason of seeing the depression of the immune system and some of the hormonal imbalances.”

Also invited to speak last week were David Pryor, medical director for health insurance company AETNA, Catie Wyman-Norris, founder of a natural health products company, Dr. Gabriela Cora, a Miami-based psychiatrist, and Tony O’Donnell, a certified nutritionist.

“I’m excited to be here and be a part of this team, because I think the world is ready for it, and I think what we’re talking about now is creating a power base of influence,” Hranicky said. “By joining hands and expertise, by helping to direct a leadership now, I hope in the world that this will begin.”

Additional information about the Joan Valentine Foundation for Natural Cures can be found online at

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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