Radiotherapy for Cancer: Medicine or Murder?

radiotherapy for cancer

This article on radiotherapy is a chapter from my book Cancer Cured.  If you find it helpful, please support my work and buy my book on Amazon.

When I was 12 years old my mother died of cancer.  Since then I’ve made it my goal in life to ensure that no child has to go through what I did, ever again.  In order to do that we need to take an honest look at the for-profit cancer industry and its treatments to ensure that we are using the absolute best treatments available for people with cancer.

If radiotherapy improves survival and quality of life in cancer patients, then we should keep using it.  If it makes people’s health worse, however, then we need to halt its use in oncology centres worldwide immediately and find a replacement that improves health without causing any harm.

Here’s my scientific review on radiotherapy.  I encourage you to read and come to your own conclusions based on the available evidence.

RADIOTHERAPY, ALSO KNOWN as radiation therapy, is a treatment where ionizing x-ray and gamma ray radiation are directed at tumors and used to kill cancer cells.  Blasting cells with radiation stops them from growing and multiplying, but it also damages every other cell in its path and sets in motion a cascade of negative physiological effects that can persist for multiple generations.

Today, up to 60% of cancer patients receive radiotherapy as a part of their treatment regimens1 and yet most are never fully aware of the risks involved with exposure to ionizing radiation.

The Discovery of X-rays

X-ray image of a needlefish

X-ray image of a needlefish

X-rays were first discovered in 1895 by German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen.  In 1901, Röntgen was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery and ironically, both he and his wife ended up dying from cancer caused by x-ray exposure.2

With the advent of a machine that could produce x-rays, suddenly the medical industry had an impressive new way to destroy cells other than cauterizing or burning with acid; and within a few years, ionizing radiation was put to use on cancer patients.  However, a number of common side effects quickly became known, including burns, skin disease and the formation of tumors, but society failed to take these warnings seriously and by 1922, over 100 radiologists and many others working in the medical industry had died from cancer caused by x-rays.3  And yet the ignorance continued…

Shoe-Fitting X-ray Fluoroscopes

A shoe fitting fluoroscope 'cancer box'

A shoe fitting fluoroscope ‘cancer box’

In the 1920’s, portable x-ray devices became widely available in shoe stores so customers could see the bones in their feet to determine which shoes were the right fit – and kids loved them!4  At the peak of popularity in the United States, there were at least 10,000 shoe-fitting x-ray fluoroscopes in use, and despite the massive radiation exposure (equal to more than 1000 chest x-rays) and the significant amount of scatter radiation emitted from these “cancer boxes,” the horrifying nature of the technology was largely brushed off by the government and medical community.

By the 1970’s, the incidence of foot cancer spiked dramatically and the negative effects could no longer be denied.5  The shoe-fitting fluoroscopes used in shoe stores for around 50-years had officially been banned.

Fluoroscopes as Entertainment

After World War II, every physician in America was urged to have an x-ray fluoroscope in their office and no examination was considered complete unless patients were fluoroscoped.6  In the 1940’s, some pediatricians used fluoroscopes on babies every single month during checkups for the first two years of life.6  Doctors would flaunt their fancy fluoroscopes to patients as a source of entertainment, which Dr. Raymond Peat, endocrinologist, physiologist and science historian described as “a combination of ignorance and arrogance.”7  It seems society was obsessed with technology in much the same way we are today with computers, cell phones and other gadgets.

Radiotherapy vs. Cancer

During the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, massive amounts of radioactive isotopes billowed up into the atmosphere before reigning down onto most of Europe – and nobody exposed to fallout from this catastrophe was cured of cancer.  In fact, the largest and most comprehensive mortality study on the Chernobyl disaster to date, which included data from over 1000 published studies and over 5000 internet and printed publications, concluded that between the years 1986 and 2004, the radioactivity released by this event caused 985,000 deaths, mostly from cancer.8

Chernobyl Reactor 4 - Where Disaster Occurred in 1986

Chernobyl Reactor 4 – Where Disaster Occurred in 1986.

Radiotherapy Administers 5x The Fatal Dose

Emeritus Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford Wade Allison briefly discussed radiotherapy in a 2012 report on Nuclear Technology.9  Over the course of a month, he wrote, “the tumour gets more than 40,000 mSv [millisieverts] and the peripheral healthy tissue as much as 20,000 mSv – that is five times the fatal dose experienced by some Chernobyl workers.”  In other words, if radiotherapy doses weren’t spread out over the course of a month or longer, every patient receiving it would die instantly.

Radiotherapy and Breast Cancer

Since radiotherapy first came onto the scene, the standard of care for women with breast cancer was surgical breast removal (radical mastectomy) followed by radiotherapy.  However, at the time this regimen was put into practice, scientific research hadn’t even established that it was beneficial for patients; and up until 1960, a large amount of conflicting research had been published:

  • Some studies indicated radiotherapy following radical mastectomy provided good results10-14
  • Others reported no benefit from the treatment15-23
  • And several suggested radiotherapy was harmful24,25

The National Cancer Institute responded to this uncertainty in 1961 by launching The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).  For the project, American scientist Bernard Fisher and his colleagues compared the efficacy of mastectomy alone with mastectomy followed by irradiation.  Published in the Annals of Surgery in 1970, the study found that radiotherapy decreased survival of all patients.  “Survival of patients was determined 3, 4 and 5 years following operation…At each time, survival of those irradiated was slightly less than in the control patients.”26

In 1974, researchers from the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research examined survival rates of women from six clinical trials who received either radical mastectomy or radical mastectomy followed by irradiation for breast cancer.   Published in The Lancet, scientists concluded, “An increased mortality in early breast cancer can be correlated to the routine use of local postoperative irradiation.  The decreased survival is statistically significant.  Of controlled clinical trials so far published, all six, including more than 3400 patients, demonstrate decreased survival of between 1 and 10% in irradiated patients when compared with those treated by mastectomy alone.”27

In 1995, a meta-analysis of 64 randomized trials was conducted to find out if irradiation following either mastectomy or lumpectomy improves survival of patients with breast cancer.  Published in The New England Journal of Medicine, the study reports, “The addition of radiotherapy to surgery resulted in…no significant difference in 10-year survival.”28

So far the evidence suggests that at best, radiotherapy doesn’t improve survival of breast cancer patients, and at worst, radiotherapy is killing cancer patients more quickly than they would have died without it.  Couple these findings with similar findings about radiotherapy following lung cancer surgery and it seems likely that the latter is true.

Radiotherapy and Lung Cancer

A 1998 review of nine randomized trials compared survival rates of 2,128 lung cancer patients who received radiotherapy following surgery with patients who received surgery alone.   Published in The Lancet, results showed that patients who received radiotherapy following surgery had a 27% increased risk of death.   Researchers concluded that, “Postoperative radiotherapy is detrimental to patients with early-stage completely resected NSCLC [non-small-cell lung cancer] and should not be used routinely for such patients.”29

Scientists from the United Kingdom conducted an extensive review in 2005 evaluating the efficacy of radiotherapy following surgery in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer.  Published in the journal Lung Cancer, they wrote, “Results continue to show PORT [postoperative radiotherapy] to be detrimental, with an 18% relative increase in the risk of death.”30

Whistleblower Exposes Cancer Mortality Statistics

One of the most fascinating statements made by whistleblower Dr. Ralph Moss in his book The Cancer Industry is that official cancer mortality statistics are being intentionally manipulated in order to make it appear like cancer treatments are better than they actually are.

Since radiotherapy damages all organs and systems of the body, including the brain,96-99 heart,110-115 liver,128-129 kidneys,127 thyroid,157 immune system,116-125 and impairs the healing process,103-105 there are endless ways that its side effects can eventually kill a person.  One of the most common ways is heart disease;110-115 so what Dr. Moss was referring to, was the fact that if a patient receives radiotherapy then has a heart attack and dies a week, month or even a few years later, their cause of death will be deemed a heart attack rather than a cancer death due to treatment failure; and consequently, the public never finds out just how unsuccessful radiotherapy actually is.  Evidence of this can be seen in studies reporting decreased cancer deaths while simultaneously reporting increased non-cancer deaths following radiotherapy treatment.28,32,33

In 1993, Texas researchers from the Anderson Cancer Center in Houston questioned the validity of official government cancer mortality statistics by examining non-cancer deaths of 470,000 cancer patients.  Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study found that 27% of patients who were reported dead for reasons other than cancer had died within a year after diagnosis, suggesting they were probably killed by their treatments; “…it appears that this excess was caused by treatment of the cancer.”31  In other words, cancer treatments are less effective than we’re told and the true death toll from cancer is actually much greater than we’re told.

Radiotherapy Elevates Lifetime Risk of Cancer

Radiotherapy machine treating patient with oropharyngeal cancer.

Radiotherapy machine treating patient with oropharyngeal cancer.

Whether radiotherapy treatment is used for acne, peptic ulcers, scalp ringworm or cancer, universally we see an elevated risk of cancer that lasts for the remainder of the patient’s life.34  For example, a 36-year-old male patient who was treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease in 1972 developed colon cancer 18 years later.35

“Indeed, young patients treated with chemotherapy and especially radiation therapy are at high risk of developing secondary cancers. Chemo-radiotherapy appears to also increase more significantly the risk.”36  What’s more, the risk of secondary cancers developing later in life is even greater for those treated during childhood; “Risks of radiation-related cancer are greatest for those exposed early in life, and these risks appear to persist throughout life.”37

  • Radiotherapy for scalp ringworm causes multiple basal cell carcinomas in about 40% of patients up to 50 years later.38
  • Radiotherapy for acne is strongly associated with basal cell carcinoma arising within the radiation treatment field.39
  • Radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in children increases breast cancer risk 24-times.40
  • Radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma increases stomach cancer risk 3.4-times41
  • Radiotherapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma increases the risk of breast cancer, “…with risk increasing dramatically more than 15 years after therapy.”42
  • Radiotherapy for testicular cancer increases pancreatic cancer risk 2.9-times, persisting for over 20 years.43
  • Radiotherapy for testicular cancer increases stomach cancer risk 5.9-times, persisting “for several decades.”44
  • Radiotherapy for breast cancer significantly increases cancer formation in the other (contralateral) breast33
  • Radiotherapy for peptic ulcers increases risk of cancer; “Cancer mortality remained high for up to 50 years, indicating that radiation damage may persist to the end of life.”45

What is happening inside the body as a result of exposure to ionizing radiation that causes lifelong damage?

Radiation Bystander Effects

To this day, mainstream theory states that radiation kills cancer cells by directly damaging DNA.46  However, in 1992, Harvard researchers discovered something that called the entire theory into question:47 when a cell is irradiated, something is emitted by the injured cell that transfers the same damage to non-irradiated cells – a term called a ‘bystander effect.’48

A colorful demonstration of bystander effects was performed by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada in 2006, where scientist Carmel E. Mothersill and her colleagues irradiated rainbow trout (0.5 Gy dose) and then placed them in water-filled containers with non-irradiated fish.  Two days later, they discovered that the damage had been transferred from the irradiated fish to the non-irradiated fish – an effect that was said to be caused by the “secretion of a chemical messenger into the water.”49

Bystander effects have also been demonstrated in animals,50,51,52 in humans,53,54 and even in plants.55

A Closer Look…

  • Chinese researchers irradiated the roots of young Arabidopsis thaliana plants to determine if it would cause bystander effects. As the plant grew, researchers found evidence of radiation damage “in every true leaf over the course of rosette development.”  They even found damage in non-irradiated plants that were nearby.55
  • In 2008, researchers from Alberta, Canada irradiated the heads of mice “while the remainder of the body was completely protected by a medical-grade shield.” They discovered DNA damage, altered cellular growth and cell death in shielded spleen cells.52
  • Scientists from the University of Washington investigated the effects of dental x-rays on pregnant women and their offspring in 2004.  Even though the women were entirely shielded with lead aprons during the X-ray images, irradiation damage was transferred to the fetus and many of the babies were born underweight.54

What is the chemical messenger released by irradiated cells that causes bystander effects?

Although at least one other factor is involved,56 by far the major facilitator of bystander effects is nitric oxide (NO).  Nitric oxide’s effects include genomic instability,57 genetic errors,57 double-strand DNA breaks,58 cell death (apoptosis),59 inflammation,59 and ultimately, carcinogenesis.78,79  Lowering nitric oxide levels (for example, by supplementing with an inexpensive, medicinal blue dye called methylene blue60) can ‘switch off’ bystander effects and halt the self-perpetuating cycle of damage.61

Interestingly, the effects of ionizing radiation appear to be indistinguishable from estrogen,62 and since estrogen rapidly elevates levels of nitric oxide in the body,63,64 lowering estrogen is probably a more fundamental way to interrupt bystander effects.

When any part of the body is exposed to ionizing radiation, even at the low-doses commonly used during medical x-rays,65 nitric oxide-mediated bystander effects transfer the damage to unexposed body parts – but it goes beyond that.

In 2010, researchers from Texas discovered that millimeter waves – a much less intense form of radiation that’s often used at airport security checkpoints – can also induce bystander effects.66

Biochemist Martin Pall of Washington State University tested even lower frequencies to see if they could induce bystander effects in 2013.  Published in the journal Bioelectromagnetics, Pall found that microwave and even extra-low frequency (ELF) radiation – the kind emitted from cell phones and other wireless devices – both induce nitric oxide synthesis.67  This suggests that both non-ionizing microwave and ELF radiation will have some of the same effects as ionizing radiation.  And indeed, there is abundant evidence within the scientific literature associating cell phone use with cancer; including brain tumors68-73 mouth cancer,74 lymphoma,75 breast cancer76 and eye cancer.77

Success Stories?

Lingering Side Effects After Radiotherapy ‘Cure’

One year after 59-year-old Richard Wayman received radiotherapy for cancer of the tonsils, he began feeling a “painful tingling” in his legs.  Within weeks, he was struggling to walk and was admitted to the hospital for x-rays, scans and other tests.  “The scans revealed lesions on my lungs, which raised fears that the cancer had spread, so I was admitted to another hospital for a biopsy and, as a result, contracted MRSA [infection] and pneumonia.”

During his time spent in the hospital to treat his conditions, Richard lost around 50 lbs.  “I thought I was never going to get out of there,” he remarked.  Finally, doctors diagnosed his lung lesions as a side-effect of radiotherapy, but his problems continued.

After having a tooth pulled by his dentist, the bone around the extracted tooth “started to crumble and become infected.”
Within a couple months he had an open wound running from his outer cheek through his jaw bone and into his mouth, called bone necrosis – another side effect of radiotherapy.91

Accidental Radiation Overdoses Causing Death

Anytime technology is involved there is the potential it could malfunction.  Although rare, errors during radiotherapy administration have occurred and the results have been disastrous.

Cancer patient Scott Jerome-Parks was overdosed with radiation that left him burnt, deaf, visually impaired, with ulcers in his mouth, teeth falling out, unable to swallow or breathe and dead several painful weeks later.

Another victim of technological failure was 32-year-old breast cancer patient Alexandra Jn-Charles, who received 27 days of radiation overdoses that burnt a hole in her chest and left a gaping wound so painful that it made her consider suicide. 93

Additional Health Effects

Here’s a list of side effects of radiotherapy reported in the scientific literature.

Bone Health:

  • Radiotherapy damages the spinal cord93
  • Radiotherapy causes bone fractures94
  • Radiotherapy causes bone and joint degeneration95

Brain Health:

  • Radiotherapy lowers IQ96
  • Radiotherapy impairs memory, attention, and executive function97,98
  • Radiotherapy increases lifetime risk of having a stroke99

Eye Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes vision loss100
  • Radiotherapy causes complete blindness101

Hair Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes complete hair loss (alopecia)102


  • Radiotherapy slows wound healing103-105


  • Radiotherapy causes immediate partial or total deafness106 in 45.71% of patients107
  • Radiotherapy-induced hearing loss continues to worsen over time108,109

Heart Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes micro-vascular damage to the heart112
  • Radiotherapy weakens the heart, blood vessels surrounding the heart and narrows arteries113
  • Radiotherapy significantly increases mortality from cardiovascular death more than 15 years later110-115

Immune System:

  • Radiotherapy suppresses the immune system116
  • Radiotherapy inhibits anti-tumor immunity116
  • Radiotherapy significantly increases risk of infection117-124
  • “Immunity in young adult survivors of childhood leukemia [who received chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy] is similar to the elderly rather than age-matched controls”125


  • Radiotherapy causes immediate inflammation126

Kidney Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes kidney failure127

Liver Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes liver disease128
  • Radiotherapy causes liver failure129

Mental Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes mental disorders, anxiety, depression and distress131,132
  • Radiotherapy causes “significantly worse mental health before, during and 1 year after RT [radiotherapy] compared to the normal population.” 133


  • Radiation-induced cachexia causes primates to lose as much as 50% of skeletal muscle134

Oral Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes tooth decay135
  • Radiotherapy causes jaw bone death (osteoradionecrosis)136
  • Radiotherapy causes permanent salivary gland dysfunction137
  • Radiotherapy causes restricted mouth opening (trismus)130
  • Radiotherapy causes oral discomfort, oral mucositis, changes in taste, increased oral infections and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)138

Post-Traumatic Stress:

  • Radiotherapy causes post-traumatic stress disorder139

Quality of Life:

  • Radiotherapy causes fatigue in up to 90% of patients140
  • Radiotherapy causes intractable (untreatable) nausea, vomiting and headache141
  • Radiotherapy causes unpredictable taste and smell changes in 48% of patients; some had a stronger sweet taste, some had a stronger salt taste and some a weaker sense of smell142
  • Radio-chemotherapy causes 64% of patients to rely on tube feeding as their primary means of food intake143
  • Radiotherapy considerably impairs overall quality of life144,145

Sexual Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes “…increased incidence of numerical sex chromosomal abnormalities and high risk for reproductive and genetic diseases…”146
  • Total-body irradiation causes an “extremely high rate of gonadal dysfunction”147
  • Radiotherapy causes a high percentage of infertility in cervical and testicular cancer patients148
  • Radiotherapy causes sexual dysfunction in 78% of women treated for cervical cancer149
  • Radiotherapy causes testosterone deficiency150
  • Radiotherapy causes erectile dysfunction in 93.9% of men after prostate irradiation151


  • Radiotherapy causes thickening and scarring of skin and connective tissues152
  • Shoe-fitting fluoroscopes cause dermatitis with ulceration on foot153


  • Radiotherapy causes sleep problems in nearly half of patients154
  • Radiotherapy causes severe obstructive sleep apnea155


  • Radiotherapy causes degeneration of voice and speech156

Thyroid Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes hypothyroidism in approximately 53% of patients157

Tumor Microenvironment:

  • Radiotherapy increases free radicals164
  • Radiotherapy increases cortisol80
  • Radiotherapy increases adrenaline165
  • Radiotherapy increases estrogen62
  • Radiotherapy increases prolactin166
  • Radiotherapy increases nitric oxide81
  • Radiotherapy increases vascular endothelial growth factor82
  • Radiotherapy increases epidermal growth factor83
  • Radiotherapy increases tumor necrosis factor alpha88
  • Radiotherapy increases interleukin-1 beta88
  • Radiotherapy increases interleukin-484
  • Radiotherapy increases interleukin-688
  • Radiotherapy increases interleukin-885
  • Radiotherapy increases nuclear factor kappa b86
  • Radiotherapy increases prostaglandins87
  • Radiotherapy increases lactic acid167
  • Radiotherapy increases stem cell production89,90
  • Radiotherapy increases histamine161
  • Radiotherapy increases serotonin162
  • Radiotherapy increases high-mobility group box 1 protein163

Urinary Health:

  • Radiotherapy causes involuntary urination in women158 and men159
  • Radiotherapy for rectal cancer causes long-term incontinence and major disturbances in bowel function160

Timeless Quotes

“… I wouldn’t have chemotherapy and radiation because I’m not interested in therapies that cripple the immune system, and, in my opinion, virtually ensure failure for the majority of cancer patients.”
– Dr Julian Whitaker, M.D.

“I had a brain cancer specialist sit in my living room and tell me that he would never take radiation if he had a brain tumor. And I asked him, ‘but, do you send people for radiation?’ and he said, of course. ‘I’d be drummed out of the hospital if I didn’t.”
– Dr. Ralph Moss


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