by: Sattilaro, Anthony, M.D.
Dr. Anthony Sattilaro, M.D. has practiced medicine for 25 years and is the chief executive officer of a large metropolitan hospital in Philadelphia. He has recently cured himself of cancer by applying the macrobiotic diet.
The story of Dr. Sattilaro's battle and ultimate victory over the most dreaded disease in America began in late May 1978, with a physical examination. After the tests were done, the radiologist telephoned him to say there was something abnormal in the test results. His X-rays revealed a large tumor in his left side; there was infiltration of cancer in the skull, the right shoulder, two backbones, probably the sternum and a huge tumor in the left sixth rib. It was also discovered there was cancer of the genital region; doctors weren't sure if it was the prostate or the testicles or both. The prognosis was that he had about 18 months to live. The following week, Sattilaro admitted himself to Methodist Hospital and surgeons removed his right testicle; they also performed a transrectal biopsy of the prostate. The prostate was filled with cancer. On the next day, surgeons performed a thoracotomy, opening the chest and taking out the rib. Tests showed that it, too, was filled with cancer. The surgeons determined that his cancer had spread to other parts of the body and decided to remove the other testicle. It was his third operation in three weeks.
By removing Sattilaro's testicles and thereby the source of the male hormone, testerone, doctors had hoped his cancer would go into remission. After waiting six weeks, it became clear that his condition was not improving and that the treatment would have to continue. His doctors prescribed large dosages of the female hormone, estrogen; the estrogen made him extremely itchy and nauseated and caused him to vomit and retain fluid. Moreover, the operations had left him in almost constant pain, for which his doctors prescribed a concoction consisting of morphine, cocaine and compazine. His physicians then discussed using cobalt for his back. Sattilaro dismissed the idea however. "I wasn't interested in having any more drugs", he said.
Some months later, in August 1978, after attending the funeral of his father, who had just died from cancer, on the way home Sattilaro picked up two hitchhikers. Both were practicing macrobiotics. The doctor proceeded to tell them that he had just buried his father and that he himself was dying from cancer. The hitchhiker replied: "You don't have to die; cancer isn't all that hard to cure." "I looked at him", the doctor said, "and thought he was just a silly kid. Here I was, a doctor for twenty years. I knew cancer was very difficult to cure, and we didn't have the answers." The hitchhiker said that if the doctor would change his way of eating, his terminal condition could be reversed. About a week later, a package arrived in the mail and inside was a book entitled, A Macrobiotic Approach to Cancer. Sattilaro called Denny Waxman, director of the Philadelphia East West Foundation. A week later, the 30-year-old Waxman, who had been following the macrobiotic diet for ten years, examined the doctor. Waxman recommended that Sattilero eat the basic macrobiotic diet, which consists of approximately:
50 percent cooked whole grains (brown rice, wheat, barley, millet and others);
about 25 percent locally grown vegetables;
another 15 percent beans and sea vegetables;
and the remainder taken up by fish, soup, condiments, fruit, seeds and nuts.
in light of the doctor's perilous condition, Waxman further recommended that Sattilaro avoid fish, oil, flour products and fruit, at least until he was out of danger.
Waxman then told Sattilaro where he could get cooking classes and instruction in the macrobiotic way of life. "What the hell", Sattilaro said to himself as he left Waxman's house, "I've got nothing to lose; I'm going to die anyway, so I might as well give the diet a try." "Within ten days to two weeks", Sattilaro said, "the majority of the pain disappeared." He stopped the pain medication completely then; however, he continued taking the estrogens. Meanwhile, his colleagues at the hospital were dubious or outright critical.
In the fall of 1978, Sattilaro had a consultation with Michio Kushi, president of the East West Foundation, who further adjusted his diet. By December he was feeling more confident. That confidence, however, caused a temporary setback. Not being able to procure fish in the dining room where he was eating, Sattilaro ordered chicken--and immediately became sick. He came back to Philadelphia shortly after feeling ill and experiencing severe back pain again, which lasted until after he resumed the diet. From that point on, Sattilaro did not veer from the recommendations Michio Kushi and Waxman had given him. His condition then began to stabilize. He regained his normal weight. Despite his apparent progress, Sattilaro had admitted to Waxman many times that he was still unconvinced. "There was a great temptation to go off the diet," Sattilaro said. "Everything that I knew in terms of my western training as a physician argued against continuing to pursue this approach. And yet, what was happening was that I basically had never felt better in my whole life, and it had to be attributed to the way I was eating."
Finally by June 1, 1979, after another consultation with Michio Kushi, Sattilaro decided to go off the estrogens. During the summer, he continued getting stronger with every week and decided in September to have the bone scan and other tests done again. Four months after he had quit the estrogens and fifteen months after starting macrobiotics, the bone scan and gamma camera showed Sattilaro was totally free of cancer. Sattilaro had healed himself, not by conventional medical methods but by changing his eating habits and life style.
- extracted from An M.D. Who Conquered His Cancer by Thomas Monte, The Saturday Evening Post, September 1980.
Editor's note: The macrobiotic diet is an effective therapy for cancer only when it is followed exactly. Minor deviations are simply not allowed, not even occasionally. Meat, eggs and chicken etc. encourage the regrowth of tumours. Even after years of remission, any deviation from the macrobiotic cancer diet may result in return of the cancer.