The Causes and Treatment of Cancer

The Causes and Treatment of Cancer: A Research Report Based on the Readings of Edgar Cayce

David McMillin, MA
Meridian Institute
December, 2002

[NOTE: This paper was presented at the 7th Annual Cayce Health Professionals Symposium, September 15, 2002 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Click here for the Adobe Acrobat (pdf) version.]


    Objective: The purpose of this study is to survey the Edgar Cayce readings that discuss the causes and treatment of cancer to determine potential relevance to modern research and clinical application.
    Data Sources: The Edgar Cayce Readings on CDROM (DOS and Windows versions) were the primary data sources for this project.
    Data Extraction: Data was extracted via structured searches using the keyword “cancer.”
    Data Synthesis: Data synthesis was accomplished by quantitative analysis of simple frequency parameters and qualitative analysis of the data by the primary researcher with discussion and analysis of selected readings by a study group.
    Results: Excerpts representing various themes are presented to document Cayce’s views. Commentary is also provided to help explain concepts and terminology.
    Discussion: Relevance to modern researchers, clinicians, and the general public is discussed.
    Conclusion: The Cayce information represents a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians, and the general public. Further research is needed to explore specific hypotheses and the efficacy of certain therapeutic techniques.


Edgar Cayce, an intuitive diagnostician who is an important figure in the holistic health movement in America, provided considerable information on cancer in the psychic discourses (“readings”) he gave during the first half of the twentieth century. The purpose of this study is to survey and analyze the Cayce readings on cancer with the objective of identifying important themes and specific concepts that may be relevant to modern researchers and clinicians. This study is to be viewed as a preliminary step leading to future studies in this area.

The study does not seek to determine the validity or accuracy of the Cayce material – only to understand Cayce’s perspective. A fundamental understanding of the Cayce approach is essential for developing testable hypotheses that accurately represent Cayce’s views on the causes and treatment of cancer. Future research that follows up on the themes and hypotheses cited in this report are required to determine the validity of Cayce’s ideas.

Data Sources

The Complete Edgar Cayce Readings on CD-ROM DOS Version (ECF, 1993) and The Complete Edgar Cayce Readings on CD-ROM Windows Version (ECF, 1995) were the primary data sources for this project.

Data Extraction

Computerization of the Edgar Cayce readings provides excellent access for researchers. The two primary search and data extraction tools (DOS and Windows CDROMs) are very different in what they offer. On the whole, the DOS version is more versatile and powerful but does not provide the specificity of the Windows software. Thus the DOS version was used as the initial extraction method with the Windows version serving to elaborate the data in a few instances.

A structured search using the keyword “cancer” yielded the primary data set of 397 readings. The actual search string was: “.ti text and cancer and .rc physical”. The data set included the text of all “physical” readings that mention the word “cancer” or words with this root. In the DOS version, a search on “cancer” also catches other words with this root (e.g., cancerous). Graph I illustrates the frequency of readings containing the word cancer in a chronological series. Graph II shows the same data when compared to the total number of physical readings for each year. Although Graph I gives the appearance of a somewhat erratic but gradual increase in the number of cancer readings given over time, when adjusted as a percentage of total physical readings, there appears to be no real increase.

The spikes in certain years are indicative of a large number of readings given for a single individual during that year. For example, the large spike during 1935 reflects a series of 17 readings given in that year for a woman with breast cancer. The following year 7 readings were given for a man with throat cancer. When these series of readings for individuals are taken into consideration, overall rate of cancer readings is relatively stable between 1% and 2% of the total physical readings.

There are numerous readings in which the individual receiving the reading asked if they had cancer. Many times, Cayce said no. Usually these readings were not included in the results, although a few of this type were helpful in delineating the distinction between cancer and noncancerous conditions. Also, there are many readings that discuss precancerous conditions. These readings offer valuable insights into the etiology and pathogenesis of cancer as well as preventive strategies to avoid the condition.

Another search technique focused on the indexes of the “physical” readings yielded 502 readings (“.ti index and cancer and .rc phsyical”). The indexes are abstracts that describe the content of the actual readings. Thus readings that discuss cancer using terms such as “malignant” or “sarcoma” may be indexed as cancer without the word “cancer” in the readings. This accounts for the greater number of readings indexed as cancer as compared to the readings that contain that word or its derivatives. As with the previous search, this data set contains many readings that are not necessarily indicative of cancer. “Cancer tendencies” accounted for the largest group of readings that were not clearly cases of cancer. Table I contains a list of readings indexed as cancer that are most likely to be considered as cancer readings. The index header is included to indicate the type or nature of the cancer.

One of the powerful features of the DOS software is the ability to export large data sets (including up to 250 readings) to a text file on the computer hard drive. The readings were exported as text files that were then opened in Microsoft Word for qualitative analysis and transfer to the Results section of this report via copy and paste. Particularly interesting and significant readings were also formatted into a cancer notebook that was photocopied and distributed to members of a study group that focused on this topic.

The Windows version of the CDROM was used in a few isolated instances to pursue specific searches as a follow-up to the initial DOS search. The Windows searches did not make a significant contribution to the final results.

Data Synthesis

Data synthesis consisted of qualitative analysis by the author of this study and discussions/analysis of selected readings by a study group that met weekly in Virginia Beach. The membership of the group varied somewhat over time and included medical doctors, a chiropractor, a biologist, a registered nurse, and other researchers from the Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E).
Qualitative analysis and synthesis focused on several key areas:

  • Terminology and Language – Numerous words and phrases tend to reoccur in the cancer readings. Understanding these key terms is very important. Defining the terminology and language of the readings is essential to understanding Cayce’s perspective. Some readings provide definitions. Since comparative study of the historical literature and the Cayce readings may also be productive, identifying key words is important for future research.
  • General Concepts and Themes – A basic understanding of the conceptual foundation of the Cayce approach to cancer is a primary goal of this project. Thematic analysis is used toward this end.
  • Categorical Statements – Some readings contain explicit, categorical statements about the nature and treatment of cancer. Identifying and analyzing these instances can elaborate the conceptual framework developed in this process.
  • Detailed Descriptions of Etiology and Pathophysiology – Analysis focused on succinct and explicit discussions of etiology (causation) and pathophysiology.
  • Clinically Applicable Treatments – Edgar Cayce recommended numerous diverse treatments for cancer. Some of these therapies are no longer available or have limited application. Other therapies are readily applicable. This study identifies the most common treatments for cancer while placing emphasis on therapies that are currently available.
  • Research Hypotheses – Several research hypotheses will be identified.


This section is the most extensive due to the enormous volume of data in the Cayce readings involving cancer. The material will be presented as reading excerpts with commentary under thematic headings. Here is an outline of the results:

I. Etiology and Pathophysiology of Cancer

A. There Are Many Forms of Cancer
B. Cancer Represents A Failure of Natural Processes
C. Chronic Irritation Is A Primary Etiological Factor in Cancer
D. Cancer Is an Entity Unto Itself
E. Cancer Draws from the Vitality of the Body
II. Prognosis and Outcomes

A. Cancer Can Often Be Prevented
B. Early Treatment Results in Better Prognosis
C. Several Cases of Cancer Indexed as Cured
D. Some Cases of Cancer Were Regarded As Incurable
III. Holistic Aspects of Cancer

A. Cancer Involves Mental and Spiritual Factors
B. Cancer Is Sometimes A Karmic Pattern
IV. Therapeutics

A. Treatment Strategies1. Prevention and Precaution
2. Halting the Spread of Cancer
3. Palliative Treatments for Cancer
B. Complementary and Alternative Medicine
C. Conventional Treatments1. Surgery
2. Radiation Therapy
3. Drugs
D. Alternative Treatments1. Diet and Nutrition
2. Energy Medicine
3. Manual Therapy
4. Herbal Medicine
5. Prayer
6. Other Alternative Therapies

I. Etiology and Pathophysiology of Cancer

A. There Are Many Forms of Cancer

Cancer can manifest in various ways and forms. The inherent variability was acknowledged explicitly in the Cayce readings. In two readings, nineteen different forms of cancer were recognized:

(Q) What is the disease known as cancer?
(A) As we have indicated in other information, there are many varied kinds of cancer. Nineteen – as we find – variations or formations, externally, internally, stony, and the variations that arise from glandular or organic disturbance, or infectious forces that arise from bruises or from all the various natures from which these come; each having a variation according to that portion of the system or its cycle in which the affectation takes place. (1242-6)

See, we have many various forms, and many various conditions as exist in the human body that produce cancerous and cancer conditions, see? In this condition we have here in this, this comes from both the condition existing in prenatal forces and from those of neglect of the minor condition existing in digestive system, with properties taken internally that irritated, rather than healing. THEN this condition arose. There are, as seen, about (there are more or less, or variations in them) nineteen various forms of cancerous conditions, see? varying from the soft condition, the eating kind, the bony or stony kind, and that of a malignant growth that blossoms in itself. Keep this from the blossom, and we will keep much of the condition allayed in system. Hence the culture. (4977-1)

B. Cancer Represents A Failure of Natural Processes

Edgar Cayce observed that the same processes that result in cancer are present in the body all the time.

(Q) Are there any symptoms of cancers in the system?
(A) No symptoms of cancer. Remember, for every individual physical body what might be sometimes called symptoms are ever present. But the breaking of cells, injury to some portions of the body, these are usually the sources and the activities that bring about such. The body here is growing more healthy and less susceptible to such disturbances. (533-18)

(Q) Is there danger of this body inheriting cancer?
(A) More danger of it becoming active in system . (5555-2)

(Q) Any danger of any malignant condition arising in this body?
(A) Always DANGERS, but not necessarily – if there are the precautions. (903-30)

Thus, the Cayce readings tend to view cancer as a deviation from normal physiological processes. According to Cayce, cancer usually results from the failure of natural processes such as coagulation, absorption, and elimination of wastes. The following excerpt discusses the normal process of healing using terms that are often found in the Cayce readings on cancer:

The throwing off of refuse and its being able to be centralized, or sufficient of the properties in body – or the lymph and blood – to segregate same, should be taken as a good omen, of the ability to create in system those of the proper coagulating elements in system. This a very good study here, taken properly. Where these have been segregated, and where it has been taken up by the lower portion of the epidermis formations, these should be brought to the surface by the applications of properties that will cause same to SEPARATE itself from the system, or in an ASTRINGENT in the nature of an antiseptic in its reaction, that there may not be in the destroyed tissue that which will cause any condition to become in the form of the creative in itself. [cancer warning?] (409-7)

Note the terms “refuse,” “centralized,” “segregate,” “coagulating,” and “SEPARATE.” These words are often used in readings discussing the cancer process, yet in this case they are welcomed as indications of healing. Also note that care must be taken to prevent “destroyed tissue” from becoming “creative” or malignant in itself. This is probably a reference to cell replication that is part of the normal healing process by which cells are created to replace diseased or damaged tissue. In cancer the cell replication process goes out of control.
Using this model, cancer may result when the healing process becomes abnormal due to chronic irritation, decreased vitality, poor eliminations, chemical imbalances, and other related factors. Note the similarity of terms and concepts in the following selection that discusses the development of cancer:

We have no condition as is, as yet, of the NATURE that would produce [cancer], unless it is MADE so by becoming centralized, see? It is not a malignant condition as yet, for it has not set in its own cell, see? else it could not be eliminating or disseminating through the system.

In building in the systems in natures of this character, we find where glands become clogged by any secretion, or any condition in a system wherein cell tissue becomes broken, these lodge and form a condition that is set around by the leucocytes in the system, to attempt to prevent inroads in such tissue. In this condition here, as we find in [569], we are speaking of, we find tissue in the gland wherein this has become separated, but NOT set in the nature of that as is in the case of cells becoming cell building inside of the condition, see? for each cell of any nature, whether of the live tissue, in health or in disease, builds by separating. In this condition the building has been by the system separating. Hence the necessity of that as given – of the eliminations throughout the system being kept in an accentuated, yet not aggravated, condition, else, by creating aggravation in tissue, or in lymph, or in blood, there may be this same condition set up in other portions of the body. [GD’s note: Miss [569] died 10/43 after surgery to remove cancerous tumor on Fallopian tube.] Not that the condition in itself is of the malignant nature as yet, for this is as of one separated only in the system of broken or of dead tissue NOT eliminated in the normal way and manner. (569-9)

Note that “separation” is a normal part of the building of tissue in health and in disease. Fortunately in this case, the condition had not yet “set in its own cell building” or reached the stage of “cells becoming cell building inside the condition.” These phrases are indicative of the abnormal, exaggerated proliferation of tissue reproduction associated with malignancy. Also note the role of the immune system (leucocytes) in the separation process. Cayce observed that it was the chronic irritation and “aggravation” produced by poor eliminations [“clogging”] that made the system vulnerable to malignancy in this instance. The following excerpts further elaborate on the progression to maligancy:

… cancerous conditions are where cellular forces have congregated on account of irritation, or poor elimination and irritation following, and the system attempting to relieve same sets up from broken cellular tissue the condition from within which becomes malignant. (583-7)

These, as we find, have to do with the separation of the lymph circulation and the emunctory [cleansing] activities from the deeper circulation. And when cellular forces become so aggravated, either by bruising or lack of elements in the system to keep a continuity of life force, they set up within themselves. Thus they draw upon the system, becoming – ORDINARILY, and oftentimes – malignant in their nature. (1013-1)

(Q) Certain doctors think I have a tendency to cancer. Is this true and if so is there any real danger?
(A) If there is not something done, this may be the eventual outcome of the clogging through the mammary glands. (1783-1)

A thirty-eight-year old woman asked Cayce about her chances of developing cancer.

(Q) Is this body a cancerous type in view of tumors and extreme tensions? Cayce replied,
(A) As indicated, this is a strain. If the body is built up sufficient for resistance, these disturbances in these directions should disappear. If tissue is allowed to become adhered, or if the tumors are allowed to form and then these become bruised, or there is the lack of the ‘elan vitale’ in the system to create proper coagulations, then such might arise. (954-2)

Thus, stress and strain can weaken the body’s natural vitality (“elan vitale”) and decrease the immune response (“resistance”). With decreased vitality and immune functioning, the system becomes more susceptible to cancer.

“Coagulation” is an important term mentioned in many readings on cancer. Strictly speaking, coagulation refers to the process of clotting in wound healing. According to Cayce, the body typically “segregates” diseased or injured tissue to assist with healing and prevent contamination of surrounding tissue. Coagulation is part of this phase of healing. Normally, the body then replaces diseased or injured tissue by cell division and replication while absorbing and eliminating the waste and toxins that naturally result from this process. If the natural healing process is hindered and further insult or injury occurs, the segregation becomes more extreme resulting in ulcers, tumors, or other forms of “broken tissue” that have become “localized” or “centralized.” The chronic irritation may be due to internal toxicity (e.g., metabolic drosses, bacilli, etc.) or outside source (e.g. bruising, smoking, overexposure to sunlight, etc.). The cell reproduction process becomes exaggerated and the “segregated” tissue takes on an identity of its own becoming a parasite on the host system, competing for energy and nutritional resources. In some instances, the segregated tissues spreads (metastasizes) throughout the host system. This is not necessarily the progression of cancer in all the Cayce readings on the subject. But at least it does give a sense of what is meant by the concept of cancer as a failure of the natural healing process.

Based on preceding discussion, the following lists compare and contrast the normal healing process with the typical cancer progression as described by Edgar Cayce.

Normal Healing Process

1.  Injury or disease produces toxicity in the system (accumulation of ash, dross, or broken tissue);
2.  Separation or segregation of toxicity via immune response isolates the problems and protects the rest of the body;
3.  Absorption of toxins or diseased tissue via local circulation;
4.  Elimination of toxicity via four primary channels of elimination;
5.  Increased reproduction of cells to replace damaged or diseased tissue.

Typical Cancer Progression In The Cayce Readings

1.  Injury or disease produces toxicity in the system (accumulation of ash, dross or broken tissue);
2.  Separation or segregation of toxicity via immune response isolates the problem and protects the rest of the body;
3.  Depletion of system (low vitality) due to chronic illness or lifestyle choices (poor diet);
4.  Inability of system to absorb or eliminate toxin or diseased tissue resulting in ulcers, tumors, or other forms of “broken tissue” that have become “localized” or “centralized;”
5.  Chronic irritation due to internal toxicity (e.g., metabolic drosses, bacilli, etc.) or outside source (e.g. bruising, smoking, etc.);
6.  Creative force produces abnormal reproduction of cellular units;
7.  Segregated tissue takes on identity of its own and becomes a parasite on the host system competing for energy and nutritional resources;
8.  In some instances, the segregated tissues spreads (metastasizes) throughout the host system.

C. Chronic Irritation Is A Primary Etiological Factor in Cancer

Tabor’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary states that cancer “may be caused by various forms of chronic irritation.” (Thomas, 1973, C-9) The Cayce readings contain numerous examples of precancerous conditions that could be triggered into malignancy by irritation or bruising. The following excerpts provide additional information on the role of chronic irritation as a contributing factor in cancer. The preventive potential of this concept is obvious.

They are not necessarily in the present of malignant or cancerous nature, but may become such if they are bruised or if there is a breaking of the cellular force, – without the absorption through producing a coordination. (1762-1)

Here we find there have been accumulations since changes were wrought in the glandular system, where there were the disturbances – from lack of proper eliminations – in the mammary glands, glands of the stomach proper, and those as related to associations with the sensory system. All of these have been clogged, and in some areas they have become of a tuberous or tumorous nature. These as we find were not necessarily within themselves of a malignant nature; but with bruises, and with lack of proper coordination being set up in the eliminating systems, these might easily become such. (3336-1)

(Q) What has caused the condition?
(A) The lack of the proper combinations in the chemical forces or salts of the body; thus allowing the improper coagulation through the blood and lymph forces; causing adherences or sticking, or the accumulations that form more in the lymph – though if irritated they might become malignant. (2529-1)

(Q) Please advise as to condition of breast.
(A) As indicated, it is very satisfactory – very well done; only needs the precautions indicated; that there are no bruises of the glands. For, this is NOT of the nature that would be or cause a disturbance or outgrowth of same, unless there are injuries or constitutional disturbances brought about by lack of attention. It is not malignant, then, in its nature. (2078-2)

If there is the reverting to the conditions that cause superacidity, overaggravation by cold or congestion, we may produce greater adhesions, greater lesions; and eventually cause irritations that would become malignant in their nature. (1446-3)

(Q) Was my operation last Spring for tumor successful?
(A) Successful save as we have indicated, that there is the tendency through the lack of the activities for proper distribution though assimilated forces, or katabolism of the system, to prevent adherence or tissue becoming clotted. And unless this tendency is dissipated in a way as suggested (which we find would be preferable) we find that there may become greater disturbance, and a tendency later – if bruised – toward the malignant nature. (1128-1)

(Q) Is it malignant?
(A) Only would it become so by the undue irritation or allowing same to remain so long without corrective measures. (959-1)

These, as we find, are NOT of a malignant nature; yet, if the conditions were allowed to remain or if there were to become bruised tissue or inflammation in the system, they MIGHT become of a malignant nature. For in a portion of the pyloric end of the stomach there is an indication of the forming of hardened conditions in the tissue, first from lacerations – but the warriors, with the ability for coagulation to be formed sufficient, have encased same. We see the same in one of the sphincter muscles in the lower portion of the body, that has formed something of the same nature.
     We would do this [radium pad], for we will find with the continuation of these that this would become in that state of a malignant condition. Do this before such comes. Do not bruise portions of the body in the manipulation, rather stimulating the organs of elimination, that the system may eliminate properly. Prevent any bruising or rubbing to any of the portions where the swollen portions show in outer portions of body. Do that. (643-1)

(Q) Dr. O’Connor [I. L. O’Connor, D.O.] finds a fibroid in uterus, and suggests analyzing tissue to determine whether or not malignant. Is it malignant?
(A) As has been indicated, this is not necessarily malignant. If the condition is so irritated by the applications as to bring about a segregation within the irritated portions, this may BECOME malignant!
    If there is the desire that this be investigated, very well – but the irritation will be severe for the body! (601-28)

These unless they are kept may become, of course, of a malignant nature; but do not irritate or bruise if possible. Keep the ointments in the manner indicated, and we may bring eventual dissimulation or distribution of the energies without their becoming localized. (538-46)

Unless these precautions are taken, this will become deeper and deeper-seated. And unless PRECAUTIOUS may produce such an irritation in the bladder, or such an irritation in the urethra, as to become malignant. (391-17)

(Q) What is the condition of my uterus?
(A) As indicated, there tends to be inflammation owing to the tendency for infectious forces to arise from the exhuming of the influence of the circulation through the portions of the system. The body need not be fearful of these being malignant conditions unless there arises either a congestion or an abrasion of some character that is not cleansed properly. (313-15)
D. Cancer Is an Entity Unto Itself

In most cases, cancer is a group of cells or tissues which separates (“segregates”) itself and forms its own entity within the larger system of the body. In a sense, cancer has its own separate identity like a parasite that infests a host organism.

… for those bacilli as are discharged are of the different nature from that where wholly malignant troubles have set in; for we find that malignant wholly is an organism that has set up a growth within itself independent of the system, other than as a parasite toward same, drawing from, or absorbing, CONSUMING the organs or portion of system to which it becomes attached or attaches itself. (4741-1)

(Q) Is this condition cancer or ulcer? Please explain the difference if possible.
(A) As has been indicated, this is more of a sarcomatous nature in its reaction – or cancerous; and the activities are such that they are of the nature as to grow within themselves.
    Ulcer is rather that of flesh being proud, or becoming infectious; while cancer is that which lives upon the cellular force by the growth itself. (1375-4)

(Q) What causes severe pains in spine? in pit of stomach?
(A) As indicated, this is sarcoma. It will cause pains anywhere, everywhere – for it is a living thing on and of the body itself. (3387-1)

(Q) Will complete recovery be possible?
(A) Be possible – but this will be determined better by the reactions in the system, for remember we are dealing with LIFE FORCES within themselves, or that which lives upon human tissue – cancer! (5585-1)

E. Cancer Draws from the Vitality of the Body

Cancer uses the body’s life-force energy to survive. Like any parasite, cancer is a drain upon the resources of the host organism.

    Those conditions as are prenatal in their effect, through the activity of forces made manifest in a physical body, are beginning to become in the manner of producing within the system an element as of its OWN resuscitation, living upon the life OF the body-physical. That’s a very good description of cancer, isn’t it? for it IS malignant in its nature, and has already attacked the mammary glands, and is going to be rather fast in its operation unless there are means taken as to check same. (2457-4)

. malignant (in this sense meaning the ability to create, or to live a parasite, or upon the life-giving fluid – hence draining . from this body those forces as carry forward in the nerve and nerve reflexes and nerve impulses from the radial center from which this is directed . (4344-1)

. unless there are [corrective] forces brought about, it must of necessity – from the character of the condition – become the malignant type, or that wherein it feeds upon the vitality of the living organisms of the system. (275-1)
II. Prognosis and Outcomes

The Cayce readings cover the full spectrum of prognosis and outcomes ranging from prevention to fatality.

A. Cancer Can Often Be Prevented

According to Edgar Cayce, keeping a healthy diet and good eliminations can help prevent cancer. Specific therapies such as iodex and ash ointment and plantain salve were recommended by Cayce to prevent lumps and tumors from becoming malignant. Gentle osteopathic treatment was also often prescribed to set up “drainages” and improve eliminations thus decreasing the chances for cancer.

Now, as we find, there are improvements in the general physical condition of this body. While there are still those conditions that disturb the body, and there must be those precautions taken else there will be the arising of that which would become malignant in those conditions in the pelvic organs and which would become a greater and greater strain upon the physical forces of the body – if these drainages will be kept set up in the system, and the activities followed that have been and may be indicated here, we find the conditions taken in the present may be eliminated. (715-2)

(Q) Are the doctors correct in their diagnosis?
(A) As given, these vary from that we have outlined. These conditions are in the early stages of such conditions. [Cancer – see 372-8, Par. R1.] Hence, they are not correct in their diagnosis – AS YET; though, if the condition is allowed to continue, then it must become what the doctors have given! (372-8)

Doing these, as we find, would make for the better conditions. Unless these changes are made, as indicated, the conditions must – and will – become of such natures that a gradual drain through the malignant activities in the system will make for disintegration. (133-5)

B. Early Treatment Results in Better Prognosis

In agreement with modern medicine’s view of cancer treatment, Edgar Cayce noted that early intervention produces better therapeutic results.

The organs of digestion function fairly normal, especially when we consider the distresses as are seen in the pelvic organs and the distresses as are produced there by the germ or bacilli as has set up the form of tissue that destroys self in the activity with the organ, the organs of the system. This, as we find, has become malignant. Had this been taken in time, these MIGHT have been corrected entirely – but, from lacerations as produced from the condition of the system, in the way of forming those of an over-acid, the lesions became those of first the sarcoma reaction, then of the [lesion] nature as produces destructive cell. (5585-1)
C. Several Cases of Cancer Indexed as Cured

There are several cases of cancer that apparently responded to the Cayce regimen. The cases indexed as cured are listed below.

4901     male         cancer of the lip
2457     female      cancer of the breast
1967     male         cancer of the ear
1500     female      sarcoma of the breast and legs
757       female      cancer of the skin
570       male         cancer of the abdomen

D. Some Cases of Cancer Were Regarded As Incurable

Although Edgar Cayce was generally optimistic with regard to the body’s innate ability to heal itself from almost any illness, in some cases of cancer the disease was too advanced to expect a physical cure. In such instances, Cayce would recommend therapies to decrease the pain and suffering while emphasizing the mental/spiritual (soul) aspects of healing.

So, little or nothing from the material angle may be administered in the present. It IS malignant. It HAS entered vital tissue. It may NOT be changed from present environ advantageously. (2637-1)

It has reached such stages that there is not a great deal that may be done, as we find, unless there is some immediate action; or some applications made as to stop the inroads of the condition, that is more or less of a malignant nature in its present activity. (588-1)

In terminal cases of cancer, the readings would typically recommend palliative treatments and encourage the individuals involved to focus on the spiritual side of life by preparing for the ultimate transition.

 As we find, keep the body quiet where it is; keep the great amount of lightheartedness, anything else but pessimism. Be optimistic, and hold to this doctor. For you have a good one. No matter what the others may say, he knows more than most of the others around him who condemn him.
    Do massage the body gently to keep up better circulation in the extremities. Do this, and let the body rest, especially evenings.
    A little later, we would add the ultra-violet with the green glass projected between the ultra-violet and the body, which will give ease. This is only a prolonging, of course. The body should prepare itself for the ultimate. (5166-1)

III. Holistic Aspects of Cancer

Edgar Cayce typically used a holistic approach based on a triune (physical, mental and spiritual) model of human experience. Whereas the preceding excerpts have tended to focus more on the physical dimension of cancer, the following excerpts discuss the psychospiritual.

A. Cancer Involves Mental and Spiritual Factors

Edgar Cayce’s holistic approach to health and healing is notable in the readings he gave for person’s suffering from cancer. The mental and spiritual aspects of prevention and treatment were strongly emphasized in numerous readings. Specifically, Cayce stated that excessive worry and negative attitudes can make a person with a genetic predisposition for cancer more vulnerable to developing the illness.

(Q) Would the removal of the accumulation in mammary glands by surgery help to overcome the condition in the body more quickly?
(A) This would help to overcome the conditions more quickly. The growths are NOT necessarily malignant, but may become so; though the very spiritual influences have kept them in check. (560-7)

… the mental and spiritual forces manifesting themselves and itself through the organs of the system keep these, as it were, in abeyance, else we would have the condition formed into that of the malignant form that would separate itself in the system and become destructive elements in the physical. (180-1)

There must be a dismissal from the mind of this being malignant as yet. And if there will be the application of those things that may be suggested (which will necessitate being considered in a consistent and persistent manner), it will bring relief to the body; and give the opportunity for many years of experience that may be used in a service of helpful hopefulness to many. (635-6)

Do not allow the anxieties AS YET to produce the reaction as would follow, owing to the general conditions of a prenatal effect or of the conditions that this is as yet a malignant nature. [See 601-1 on 7/2/34 indicating scar tissue in uterus and pressure in small of back due to effect of childbirth – daughter [480] on 2/10/12.]

(Q) Is this condition due to a hereditary family complaint? [cancer?]
(A) As has just been indicated, this is a PORTION of same. But DO NOT allow the self – the mental self – to dwell upon same; else we will have it! (601-26)

(Q) Her attending physician diagnoses the condition as a large cancer in her abdomen in an advanced stage, for which nothing can be done. Is this correct?
(A) As we find, rather as has been indicated; and if there will be the use of those things as given, these offer the better aid and help.
(Q) Is there any malignant condition at all?
(A) Rather as we have indicated, that this may BECOME malignant, – or that the mental attitudes and those depreciations of the activities of those influences indicated may bring destructive influences, or the production of that which might produce peritoneum disturbance. (975-7)
There should be no fear in the body-mind, if the proper precautions are taken, that this will become or is malignant in its nature; though with caustic or with irritation, or with too much neglect, these conditions may become secondary in that nature, and thus cause the great drain and strain upon the system from the general anxiety.
(Q) Could I have gotten a cancer germ from [1004]?
(A) As has been indicated, do not consider such. DO THAT as is necessary under the existing conditions. (313-10)

(Q) Since plate glass either deflects or absorbs the ultra-violet ray, from what source does the body derive benefit from this treatment?
(A) Do this, as we have given. This we have given will help, if you will use it. If you reason about it, just forget all of it. (3374-1)

When the body does not worry, the body is better. When the body DOES worry, the body is worse. (325-31)

B. Cancer Is Sometimes A Karmic Pattern

Consistent with the perennial philosophy that acknowledges the continuity of consciousness, Edgar Cayce observed that in some cases cancer can result from past life experiences. The word karma is typically used by Cayce in such cases. Because karma is a matter of the soul’s experiences, the mental and spiritual aspects of healing are a first priority in treatment. The following selection exemplifies Cayce’s approach to karma in a case involving sarcoma:

As we find, there are disturbing conditions. This disturbance is of a nature that by some would be called karmic. Hence it is something the body PHYSICALLY, mentally, must meet, in its spiritual attitude first; that is: as the body may dedicate its life and its abilities to a definite service, to the Creative Forces or God, there will be healing forces brought to the body.
    This requires, then, that the mental attitude be such as to not only proclaim or announce a belief in the divine, and to promise to dedicate self to same, but the entity must CONSISTENTLY live such. And the test, the proof of same, is longsuffering. This does not mean suffering of self and not grumbling about it. Rather, though you be persecuted, unkindly spoken of, taken advantage of by others, you do not attempt to fight back or to do spiteful things; that you be patient – first with self, then with others; again that you not only be passive in your relationships with others but active, being kindly, affectionate one to the other; remembering, as He has said, “Inasmuch as ye do it unto the least, ye do it unto me.” As oft as you contribute, then, to the welfare of those less fortunate, visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, visit those imprisoned – rightly or wrongly – you do it to your Maker. For, TRUTH shall indeed make you free, even though you be bound in the chains of those things that have brought errors, or the result of errors, in your own experience.
    This, then, is the first spiritual approach – or the attitude with which the entity would seek to administer that which is helpful, that which will be met in nature.
    For, as so oft has been indicated, each entity, each soul manifesting in the earth, is the result of that the entity has been, in its use of its opportunities, in its relationship to God the Father.
    In the beginning let us consider that there is the body, the mind, the soul. The soul is spirit; the mind is as gas that may have its high or low pressure, and the body of its own; but the physical is of the earth-earthy. However, the body was made, was first created, of everything that was in the earth. Hence there are those influences that will meet these tendencies in the blood supply toward that called sarcoma in its nature. (3121-1)

Here are some additional selections that discuss the role of karma in cancer.

There are physical disturbances that are a part of the entity’s karma. They are for lessons for those responsible for the body, if ye will accept it. If ye let it harden thee, ye miss the opportunity of knowing that He is the resurrection, He is the truth and life.
    Put thy child rather at all times into the arms of Jesus.
    In the physical we would apply those conditions that may aid. As developments progress, let that which is of the divine determine whether it is best in this consciousness or in the universal consciousness that it is to serve.
    The sarcoma through the body is in the blood stream. It may be kept localized by the application of Plaintain Salve..
    Then keep the body quiet. Keep in prayer, and let it ever be “Thy will, O God – thy will be done.”
    Then live it, not merely say it, but live it in the daily associations with others. “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (3391-1)

As we find, conditions here indicate sarcoma – that is a part of the karma of this body. These may be aided, but as to correcting entirely – the suggested applications will only be helpful for the conditions..
    These will bring ease. These will not cure, but are sources of help – and if studied – the juices of the Plantain weed and the keeping away from certain food values – help may be brought even to many individuals suffering with the same..

(Q) What is the origin of these cancerous tumors?
(A) Karma. We do something to start this and then we meet it in the circulation. (3387-1)

As we find, conditions are such that there may be a staying of the disturbances, but these activities are of the consuming nature.
    If there is the desire, there may be used the influences that we might suggest – though these will not heal, or remove causes. For, as has been indicated oft, causes may be karma. Karma is cause oft of hereditary conditions so called. Then indeed does the soul inherit that it has builded in its experience with its fellow man in material relationships. (3313-1)

IV. Therapeutics

Edgar Cayce recommended a wide variety of therapeutic modalities for the treatment of cancer. Treatments directed at decreasing toxicity and increasing vitality were emphasized. On the whole, natural therapies that worked with the body to heal itself were given priority. Conventional medical treatment (including drugs, radiation therapy, and surgery) was prescribed in some cases, especially if the cancer was advanced.

A. Treatment Strategies

1. Prevention and Precaution

As discussed above, any treatment or lifestyle adjustment that reduces or eliminates irritation to the system can be viewed as a preventative or precautionary intervention. Toxins that accumulate as a result of poor eliminations can be a source of chronic irritation. Thus, improving eliminations is a primary preventative strategy in the Cayce readings on cancer. Precautions as to avoiding injury or bruised tissue have been cited previously.

(Q) Have I, that you can see in any way, cysts, tumors or cancers?
(A) There have been periods when there have been the accumulations in the form of tumorous conditions; but the tumor was of the nature of a LYMPH tumor, you see – which has come and gone. Not a cyst, nor – as we find – any condition that would indicate the producing of cancerous or malignant conditions, provided the eliminations are created through the use of the low electrical vibrations – rather than high electrical vibrations – and the other suggestions as we have made here. (1038-1)

(Q) Is there any indication of a cancerous condition being present?
(A) No indication. However, as indicated, there IS in the blood stream PUS; which is congestion and inflammation. But it arises from the intestinal system, from a congested area – as we have indicated.
    Follow these suggestions; be patient, be CONSISTENT – and be VERY, very persistent. And you’ll break up this condition, and remove the causes; also remove the chances of the irritation finding lodgment and thus through injury or through localization causing greater disturbance. (976-1)

(Q) Is the present anus trouble likely to become malignant? and how can the weak sphincter be corrected?
(A) These will be corrected by making of the corrections in the coccyx and the last lumbar center. These make for the inflow of the muscular forces that will make for the better activity with the sphincter muscles.
    If the blood supply and the correction of these conditions are kept in order, we do not find that the inflammation which has been indicated there will become malignant; for not only will it be clarified but be soon cleansed from the system. (859-1)

    While this condition does not prevent the activities of the body, it is necessary to be met in the present and thus prevent localization of that which might – or would – become of such a nature as to set up activity within itself, so as to make for malignant characters of conditions for the body. (782-1)

2. Halting the Spread of Cancer

Reading 4977-1 discusses treatments to prevent the spread of cancer of tongue. This fascinating reading is an example of complementary medicine in that alternative medicine treatments are added to the conventional radiation therapy being applied by the medical doctor. Radium therapy and vaccination with a culture created by the patient’s own blood are the two intervention intended to halt the spread of the cancer.

Now, we find those abnormal conditions as exist in this body may be assisted, and that the conditions may be corrected in the body to such an extent that the abnormal forces will be overcome to a great extent, but being of the malignant nature the tenacles of same are so set in the vital portions of the system, and so situated, that this is hard to reach; so the conditions to be met are to prepare the blood stream against the tentacles of the condition from going deeper into the vital portions. (4977-1)
    So create, then, within the blood supply, in the lymphatic circulation, those conditions to ward against, and keep, by the application of those vibrations as have been set from time to time, applying same, and applying same in other forms, so that this is kept low in the system, and the resistance as high as possible, until the GENERAL debilitation of system would yield to the condition.
    Applying, then, the radium in the way as has been; also applying the Radium Applicator to those portions of the body, that the strengthening forces (that is – through the solar plexus) may assist in the distribution of the forces that overcome the condition.
    Well, too, that a culture be made of the blood, drawing same from the forearm, culture made, then injected again. This will increase the resistance in the system..
(Q) Is the treatment for cancer that I am now taking (of radium and X-ray) the treatment I should have?
(A) The treatment that should be kept, as given, only adding those conditions as have been given. The heavy Radium Applicator added, which keeps a constant distribution of those forces as are given through the radium, and the heavy ray, see? Also the culture.
(Q) How often should the culture be made and given?
(A) Once each six weeks. (4977-1)

3. Palliative Treatments for Cancer

Especially in cases of an incurable nature where pain was a major problem, palliative treatments to reduce suffering were usually recommended.

(Q) Is this condition malignant?
(A) This is malignant, and DOUBLY disturbing owing to the distress through the WHOLE hepatic circulation – which will make eventually bad for heart action as well as the general conditions of the body.
    These as we find offer in the present the greater palliative measures, so that the administration of narcotics would have an even greater effect upon the body. (1214-1)

(Q) Is it true, as has been diagnosed by physicians, that this is a malignant type and very likely to prove fatal?
(A) Not malignant as yet, as we would see; rather that condition wherein there is improper incentive from pressure and from conditions as existing throughout the system of confined impulses, and release and rebuilding for glands would bring the result that would bring better condition – not a whole healing, a better condition, an easier condition for this body. (3007-1)

(Q) [69]: How can one that is suffering from disintegration of cells, commonly known as cancer, be quickly relieved of continuous pain?
(A) There, to be sure, are many varied conditions that arise in and with such a disintegration. There may be created in such an experience (which, to be sure, becomes an individual condition) such vibrations that will allay, without injurious conditions to the mental abilities of the body.
    That means through that which is not either a hypnotic or a narcotic, but is such that the vitality of the conditions in the body are made more in accord with the vibration created by the disintegration. Or, as we have given, were the condition able to be turned into constructive rather than allaying, it may be eliminated by that which has been termed or called niccolite. [See 4444-1, 2 and 2457-4.]

For general conditions there is a combination which will relieve without depressing the mental abilities. Put in capsule as this:
        Oil of Eucalyptol…………..1 minim,
        Codeine…………………1/80 grain, [1/8th? See 468-1 – cancer intestines case saying 1/8th grain.],
        Rectified Oil of Turp……..1/2 minim,
        Oil of Pine………………1/2 minim.
    Take this once each day. It is neither a narcotic nor a hypnotic, even though the small quantity of sedative that is a narcotic compound is added. Its content is changed by the vibrations of those that carry an electrical vibration in the combinations of the oil of wood (pine), eucalyptol, and the like. (281-15)
B. Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) refers to combination or integration of conventional treatment with alternative therapies. Therapies may be used alone, as an alternative to conventional therapies, or in addition to conventional, mainstream therapies. Edgar Cayce’s approach has a strong CAM emphasis as documented in the following excerpts.

In meeting, then, the needs of the conditions, we would add to that as is being applied for the disorders – for the abrasions or eruption – those properties of the animated ash, with the ultra violet ray over those centers (that is, the violet ray) from which the head, neck, shoulders, receive their impulse for the circulation through the nerve and blood supply; namely, the upper dorsal and cervical region. The dose of the ash would be one-eighth grain each day; the ultra violet being applied every OTHER day, see? not direct, but to those that make for impulses TO the circulation and nerve and blood supply.
(Q) Should the body follow the treatment of Mr. Boone, the cancer specialist?
(A) As just been given, that added TO, see? (4901-1)

Thirty minutes after taking the ash, apply the ultra-violet in the area of the cerebrospinal from which that portion of the body receives its impulse – that is, in the area of the 3rd, 4th and 6th dorsal, see? and not direct to the abrasion or the lump, or the tumor, that exists at the present.
(Q) How far from the body should the ultra-violet be placed?
(A) About thirty-four inches if hand lamp is used. Thirty-eight to forty inches if the heavy lamp is used. This would be from two and a half to three minutes, thirty minutes after the dosage of ash is taken.
    Take the normal amount of exercise, and – as far as possible – FORGET about the condition! for we will dry it up, if we will do this! If the treatment is not to be adhered to, then the sooner the body is prepared for the operative measures the better – but, if this course is pursued, be sure from the blood test that coagulation is as near equally balanced as possible before the operation is undertaken. (4438-1)

Now, operative measures would be the better – but will require the treating with either a character of ultra-violet with the green light, or with radium – unless this becomes a malignant condition.
(Q) Should it be removed locally with novacain or should I go to the hospital?
(A) This again would be rather the choice of the physician removing same – but it will require after treatment either with the ultra-violet or infra-red, or the combination of these with the radium treatment.
(Q) What local application would you suggest for the breast?
(A) As indicated, the use of the ultra-violet or the use of radium. This should be determined by the physician. If the ultra-violet is used, do not use it without the green light. (1013-3)

C. Conventional Treatments

Numerous Cayce readings for persons with cancer contain recommendations for conventional medical treatment, usually combined with alternative treatments (complementary and alternative medicine). In certain cases where the cancer was progressive and extreme, surgery and/or radiation therapy were recommended. Modern chemotherapy techniques were not available during Edgar Cayce’s era. The following sections document the most common conventional treatments recommended by Cayce for the treatment of cancer.

1. Surgery

Cayce considered surgery a valid treatment option for operable cancers. Keep in mind that Cayce viewed cancer as a parasite that must be removed from the system. Specific suggestions for preparation and recovery from surgery were sometimes given.

In the broken tissue as is found in the left extremity, forearm, or finger, or hand, this had best be removed by the break being adjusted through operation, see? for this, with the strain on the rest of the system, might become malignant, through the continual dross being left and carried there, as it continues to increase, in the strain, the attempting to eliminate and seeking each and every channel, see? (265-3)

The body may be by care and attention builded to that wherein the system may be able to sustain through an operation to remove that portion of liver, and of stomach or duodenum, wherein the condition has become so accentuated, for this has not broken through entirely, for tissue has become hardened about the body of the malignant condition, yet this may break through at any time by overtaxing, or the body may be treated with those properties of radium. (4752-1)

Unless these conditions are removed, and the system brought nearer to the normal condition, the improper functioning and irritation will continue until there is produced such adhesions and such lesions as to bring about those conditions that would form those of the nature becoming in a manner and form of running sores, terminating either in forms of those pus sacks that would necessarily mean removal by operation, or becoming malignant in form such as to take away the whole vitality of the body. (3914-1)

In some readings, Cayce cautioned that surgery could spread the cancer.

Operation would not be effective; rather causing more of the chances of infection and spreading of condition in the body. (5651-1)

(Q) Considering all present conditions, would the operation be advisable?
(A) If there are the preparations and precautions afterward, else as given there will be growths developing from same, – not of the malignant nature as might be indicated, unless there is a breaking of tissue and infection after operation. (257-220)

2. Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy was recommended in numerous readings for persons suffering from cancer. Often alternative modalities were also prescribed to decrease the side effects of radiation and to enhance the therapeutic effect.

Do add the X-Ray treatments for the liver, the kidneys and the disturbance in the bladder and the prostate areas. These, then, would be given over the area of the kidneys from the back one time, and the next time over the liver and gall duct area. These we would give about once or twice a week. (5051-1)

(Q) Is the treatment for cancer that I am now taking (of radium and X-ray) the treatment I should have?
(A) The treatment that should be kept, as given, only adding those conditions as have been given. The heavy Radium Applicator added, which keeps a constant distribution of those forces as are given through the radium, and the heavy ray, see? Also the culture. (4977-1)

As for the desire to maintain the activities of body, mind and soul, these have run their course well. The administrations that are being made with the x-ray are very good. It would be found that if there would be administered before the x-ray treatments are given, whenever they are given, one-eighth grain of Animated Ash, these would be more beneficial. (4050-1)

In the application, also would be well that the X-RAY be applied as DEEP therapy for the body. This will MATERIALLY aid in LOOSENING oxygen for the bone structure. While the body may become stiff for a time, unless activities are given, these may be materially aided by the masseuse or the massage that will keep in action the muscular forces, the activities of the whole system. (2457-4)

Do not burn too deep, but the X-Ray would give the greater extenuation to the activities of the physical forces as we find; and the keeping of the body in as cheerful a physical or mental mood as is practical – or in as practical a way as may be made.

(Q) How often should the X-Ray be used?
(A) These as they are being administered are very well; only don’t burn too deep. (1577-1)

(Q) Are the X-Ray treatments helpful?
(A) They are staying, but it is necessary for the palliatives. Do not have too great a period of X-Ray treatments. Rest sufficient time between same, or let sufficient time elapse that there may be the reaction in the system; because burned tissue, though it is necessary to be destroyed by the high vibrations, is very hard to handle; and the low electrical forces of the Wet Cell Appliance carrying the Atomidine will be effective in this if they are not given too deep or too often – but they are helpful. (1359-1)

(Q) Should any Radium be given?
(A) Not unless there is a greater amount of spread of the disease, as we find. The X-Ray is the better application in the present. (1004-2)

(Q) Did X-Ray treatments weaken body?
(A) AS HAS BEEN INDICATED, if these are given properly and NOT too often – but allowing for those reactions and just sufficient of the manipulations to keep the eliminations distributed through their correct channels, these are the better conditions as we find. (601-28)

And all of these conditions will be aided by not only the mental but the activity of the high vibratory forces through the body from the X-Ray. Let the X-Ray cover, then, of course, the kidneys and bladder. (601-25)

(Q) What effect will the X-Ray flashes have on the system?
(A) Stimulate those portions to activity and DESTROY the activities that make for inroads in the condition here.
(Q) Any danger of burning the flesh and causing other disorders?
(A) Always danger with X-Ray! This, then, should be given ONLY under the supervision of someone TRAINED in same. Hence, as indicated, such an one should be in sympathy with the activities of the one giving the osteopathic manipulations. (325-60)

3. Drugs

In the Cayce readings, the most common conventional drugs for cancer involved opium-based pain medicines such as codeine and heroin, usually in a compound that includes botanical (herbal) medicines. Chemotherapy, as it is used today, was not a conventional medical option during Cayce’s era.

It is necessary to use a sedative or a narcotic at times, – and when necessary to use such, we would use that which is of a hypnotic nature, rather than of the narcotic so much. While a hypnotic is a narcotic, it is not as habit-forming as codeine or morphine. (1967-1)

First we would give that, rather than so MUCH of the morphia to EASE the body – we would begin with the dosages of this, which will bring much more restful ease and comfort. While it will be necessary to gradually decrease the dosages of morphia, these will entirely take the place, will the body respond to the other properties as will be necessary. This should be prepared, preferably, in capsule – though a liquid. We would give this as the dose in each capsule:
        Oil of Eucalyptol……………1 minim,
        Canadian Balsam……………..1 minim,
        Oil of Turp, Rectified……..1/2 minim,
        Heroin…………………..1/80 grain.
    Give only one of these in sixteen hours..
(Q) Will complete recovery be possible?
(A) Be possible – but this will be determined better by the reactions in the system, for remember we are dealing with LIFE FORCES within themselves, or that which lives upon human tissue – CANCER! (5585-1)

Then, to bring that that would give the better relief for this body would be to give this as each dose, in capsule, at least one each day, not making more than 6 to 8 capsules, for they will disintegrate in time, see.
        Eucalyptol…………..1 minim,
        Canadian Balsam………1 minim,
        Rectified Oil of Turp…1 minim,
        Heroin……………1/60 grain. (4615-1)

Rather than applying those of morphia, use as these, that will bring an opportunity for the full functioning of the normal active forces of the mind of the body, to give that which is desired to be given by the body for those that administer, and minister, and have ministered, for the welfare of the physical body. Prepare in capsule as this: This the dose for each capsule:
        Oil of Cinnamon…………………1 minim,
        Oil of Eucalyptus……………….1 minim,
        Oil of Turp…………………….1 minim,
        Canadian Balsam……………….1/2 minim,
        Heroin (or equivalent of same)…1/80 grain.
    This to be given every five hours apart. This will revive the reactory forces between the cerebro-spinal and the sympathetic nerve system, bringing the proper coordination between mental and the physical being. (125-2)

While it would be necessary to use those of the narcotics to ease the body, to produce segregation, or to stop the inroads as may be found, as WE see – while not reducing the whole amount OF the narcotic, were we to use this internally we might find BENEFITS coming FROM this, WILL the physical body respond to same. This as each dose, taken internally: Prepare capsules, and make only a few of same at the time – this in each dose:
        Oil of Eucalyptol…………2 minims,
        Rectified Oil of Turp……..1 minim,
        Canadian Balsam…………..1 minim,
        Codeine……………..1/60th grain.
    This may be taken once or twice each day.
    Half an hour after taking this, we would apply the ultra-violet ray over body, especially in the abdominal and sacral region – see? (4249-1)

(Q) Is there anything better than the codeine for sleep?
(A) Nothing better that is not too much habit-forming and that doesn’t require the large quantities to be taken more often. Do keep the stimulation of eliminations. These will be better for the body. (4050-1)

(Q) Is the diagnosis of cancer the correct one and is it the primary cause for her condition?
(A) The primary cause is an unbalanced chemical condition through the body, but it is localized – and the inducing of those influences which caused the setting up of the condition is now malignant in its nature..
(Q) Should we continue using sedatives such as codeine and pantapon? Or can you suggest something else which would eliminate the pain and not make her so sleepy?
(A) Best to continue to administer these, or hypnotics. (2512-2)

When the pains are so severe, while the narcotics are effective, this taken once a day or once in two days as we find – WITH the others – would be more effective but would necessitate it’s being administered by a physician:
    In a capsule put:
        Eucalyptus, Oil of…………………1 minim,
        Rectified Oil of Turp…………….1/2 minim,
        Compound Tincture of Benzoin………1/2 minim,
        Codeine…………………………1/4 grain.
    These to be sure would become too heavy upon the digestive system unless it’s far apart. The allaying though of the activity will be helped with this, as we find. Do not allow this to be taken oftener than once a day; this at the periods when the suffering is the severest. (1253-1)

To 2 ounces of compound simple syrup, add:
        Oil of Eucalyptol……………40 minims,
        Rectified Oil of Turp…………5 minims,
        Tincture of Benzoin………….20 minims,
        Codeine………………….1 1/2 grains.
        (This compound, or Codeine compound, well powdered before added, so it may dissolve when shaken together.)
    The dose would be a teaspoonful three or more times each day, or in the beginning when necessary to keep the body from severe pain. This is to act in the place of injections of narcotics. This is not a curative, yet it is an active force and easily assimilated by the respiratory system in such a manner as to create for constructive influences IN the blood supply. And will also aid the body in being better able to breathe and clarify the blood supply. THIS taken internally. (511-1)

(Q) As the gentle massage does not put the body to sleep, what can you give as a sedative that will not affect the stomach or heart?
(A) This, as we find, may best be given under the direction of physician in charge. But as we find, the hypnotic rather than the narcotic derivative would be preferable for the body.
    Luminal, as we find, would be most in accord or in keeping with the general conditions; though those derivatives such as codeine or the morphia are well. But the Luminal would be less upsetting to the assimilating system.
(Q) Who would be the best physician?
(A) Any physician who has the authority and the right to give it! (325-67)

Reading 3808-1 contains a fascinating referral in a case involving breast tumors. The recommended treatment was for hormone therapy which is interesting in view of the association of hormonal factors in some forms of cancer. The referral to a medical doctor is another excellent example of Cayce’s use of complementary and alternative medicine.

There are those chemical changes where certain hormones are minus in the body. These in the activity of the glandular forces continue to allow broken cells to accumulate or become nebulous and accumulate tissue or matter about same, forming segregations that may become very detrimental to the body – especially as indicated in the present in the mammary glands. Unless attention is given to the system by adding such hormones as to create a proper balance, these may form also in other portions of the body where there are those inactivities of glands; as through the abdomen as well as wherever soft tissue may become so aggravated by these disturbances.
    We would go to Dr. Babcock at Temple Hospital and have or receive injections of the hormones that will counter act this condition. These would be given hypodermically and not more than two of such injections would be necessary – these at least three or four weeks apart. (3808-1)

The treatment plan also included dietary restrictions and massage under the arms with cocoa butter. The woman received the treatment and followed the full treatment plan resulting in a positive outcome.

D. Alternative Treatments

Cayce’s recommendations for alternative medical treatments for cancer were diverse and highly individualized. Here are some of the most frequent alternative modalities.

1. Diet and Nutrition

Cayce’s dietary recommendations for cancer tended to follow several key themes:

  • Eat a diet that tends to produce a balanced pH in the system with a tendency towards alkalinity.
  • Eat an abundance of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables that will tend to increase alkalinity in the system.
  • Eat little or no meat, especially avoiding meat fats.
  • Eat moderate amounts of nuts, especially almonds.
  • Eat specific vitality enhancing foods when the system is depleted.
  • Many of the dietary recommendations for the treatment of cancer are also helpful for prevention.

Here are some excerpts that discuss these themes:

This is not a cancerous condition in this body, but it might be if allowed to remain.
As to the diet that should be given at this time: no meats; nothing carrying grease or any animal fats. Give milk and cereals, changed from day to another. Fruits carrying not too much acid, such as certain apples and pears. (5421-2)

In the matter of the diet, also, we would be mindful that there are as this:
        Mornings – the citrous fruit diet, or stewed fruits, or the like. No coffee, no tea, no stimuli of any kind.
        Noon – all the vegetables (GREEN) that the body may eat, see? especially of lettuce and tomatoes.
        Evenings – be mindful that there are no bulbous vegetables taken, and the other vegetables at this meal should be well cooked. No meats, or fat meats. There may be taken with this meal a cereal drink, as of the Ovaltine, or rye, or such cereal drink. (4901-1)

Eliminate from the diet all fats, meats, heavy oils of any kind. (4438-1)

Let the diet be not of meats or too much sweets, but of vegetables and fruits – no tomatoes or strawberries – any other fruits of the acid state. But vegetable matter of all character. Let it be changed entirely so that the body receives influence of all. Cooked well, but not with fats. Season well, but not with black pepper, but with salt and cayenne. (3751-6)

Not too many fats, to be sure, though fish and fowl may be taken – but preferably not the fat portion of same. (3187-1)

(Q) What should be avoided in the diet, other than fats?
(A) That mainly to be avoided is fats.
    DO give the body beef juice as a strengthening factor, but no fats in same – and this only in small quantities, and very little taken at a time. Give as medicine. (2956-2)

Give the body only liquids or semi-liquids in the beginning: Beef Juice (made from the lean beef, no fats nor fatty portions in same), Liver Extract, Blancmange, Arrowroot or the like. Not soups – these carry too much greases. Vegetable juices may also be taken a little later, if those properties as indicated settle the stomach. (1382-1)

In the diet, – do live mostly, for a while, on watermelon, carrots, beets; having these almost daily. The watermelon is for the activity of the liver and kidney, the beets and carrots are for the purifying of the blood, as combined with the Plantain Tea and Ointment. (3121-1)

In the diet keep towards those that are the less acid-forming foods; more of the alkalin-reacting. One meal each day should consist of the raw vegetables; made into a salad and used with dressing or olive oil. The fats should be principally from nuts, not from meats. Meats when taken should be lamb or fowl (but none ever fried). No fish should ever be taken by this body during these treatments, or during these properties. (1013-1)

During the periods that these treatments are followed, be mindful that the diet does not carry any of the greases that are of flesh. Any of the oils that are of fruit or vegetable compounds are well for the body; hence no butters, no fats or lards, or anything used other than those that originate from vegetables or fruits (either in the cooking or in the eating). Meat JUICES may be taken, but not the fats; so the juices should be made only from the lean portions. Vegetables, nuts and fruits should be the principal portion of the diet. (757-1)

Be precautions as to keeping away from things that are fat or greasy.
    Have more of vegetables and of fruits. (454-7)

Feed ALL the food that is of a NOURISHING nature, but not from MEATS. Those of cereals, fruits, vegetables, AND such or principally of the nature that are the foods of the hare, the foods of the beef – these are DESTRUCTIVE forces TO such as may be seen in the condition attacking system. (2457-4)

With the decrease or elimination of animal fat from the diet in cases of cancer, Cayce recommended that fats be obtained from nuts, especially almonds.

(Q) Are there any foods that should be eliminated, and if so, suggest diet?
(A) Rather use the fruit and vegetable diet. The fats should be more from nuts than meats; for these, as we find, would be most helpful – and especially cashew nuts, almonds, filberts, and the like. (1000-11)

In at least two readings, Cayce made categorical statements about the preventive power of almonds.

And know, if ye would take each day, through thy experience, two almonds, ye will never have skin blemishes, ye will never be tempted even in body toward cancer nor towards those things that make blemishes in the body-forces themselves. (1206-13)

And, just as indicated in other suggestions, – those who would eat two to three almonds each day need never fear cancer. (1158-31)

Although reading 954-2 does not specifically state that eating almonds will prevent cancer for this woman, yet the implication is clear.

In the afternoon (middle of the afternoon) eat half an ounce of almonds; just almonds, you see …
(Q) Is this body a cancerous type in view of tumors and extreme tensions?
(A) As indicated, this is a strain. If the body is built up sufficient for resistance, these disturbances in these directions should disappear. If tissue is allowed to become adhered, or if the tumors are allowed to form and then these become bruised, or there is the lack of the ‘elan vitale’ in the system to create proper coagulations, then such might arise. (954-2)

Since cancer tend to draw upon the vitality of the body, certain specific dietary recommendations were made to address aspect of cancer treatment. Beef juice was the most frequently recommended dietary recommendation for strengthening and increasing vitality.

As to any strengthening forces, give beef JUICES – ONLY! Sips will be worth more than several spoonsful attempted. (1282-1)

We would prepare regularly – every other day – about a pound of beef INTO Beef Juice! Not tea, not broth, but the Beef Juice! This would be taken rather often, but in very small quantities; and when taken almost CHEW it – though there is nothing to chew, of course – for it is liquid, but SIP it – when taking it about every two or three hours during the waking period. Take about a teaspoonful at the time, but take at least a minute or more to swallow that much, see? This will give strength, it will assimilate easily, and make for better conditions. Do not allow any fat to be in the beef when it is prepared. Preferably use the beef from the neck of the animal. (875-5)

Reading 570-1 contains these directions for making beef juice:


Put small chunks raw beef in covered fruit jar. Put jar inside pan of water (water coming to about half the depth of jar). Boil until chunks of beef are thoroughly done. Strain. Keep juice in cool place. Dosage: Usually, for an adult, a tablespoonful at meals, diluted with water as a broth – but “very small quantities” must mean about a teaspoonful every two or three hours.)

Spirits frumenti, consisting of alcoholic beverage, egg, and milk was another common dietary recommendation to build the system in cases involving debilitation and fatigue. The small amount of alcohol may have also served to relax the body.

For the administration of that which will give better elements for the physical body, give stimulus of spirits frumenti, egg and milk; cooking the egg with the spirits frumenti and adding the milk to same; or small quantities of dry champagne may be given, very cold. These will add to the COMFORT of the body. (125-2)

Between the morning meal and the noon meal (about the middle of the morning) have a malted milk with the yolk of an egg beat in same, and a few drops of spirits frumenti to take the taste off of the egg. A full glass of this should be taken. (954-2)

Red wine and dark bread was recommended by Cayce to strengthen the body.

(Q) What beverages should be taken both at meals and between meals?
(A) As indicated. Any of those taken should be as indicated. However, once each day between meals there may be taken a small wine glass of RED wine, if this is taken with black or brown bread – very dry bread. Take it as a food, not merely as a drink; for this will be strengthening and helpful to the body. (975-1)

At four or five o-clock in the afternoon, or an hour to an hour and a half before the evening meal, take an ounce of RED wine with BLACK bread, or BROWN bread; that is, sour dough bread or the like. Sip the wine and eat the bread with it. (954-2)

Use those things that are body-building in the diet. The wines as indicated. Sips of the food values are the more strengthening. The red wine should be rather as the meal once a day, with the black bread only; preferably in the afternoon when greater strength is needed and the reaction will be the better. However, the light wine or champagne, that aids as a stimulation, would be sipped the more often in the other portions of the day or evening. (325-66)

Although Cayce typically relied on diet to meet nutritional needs, he sometimes recommended nutritional supplementation.

(Q) What is nicotinic acid?
(A) Nicotinic acid – it is that found especially in green leaves of lettuce, celery, cabbage and the like. It is a product of the B-1. It is that element which in the system aids in production of the leucocytes in the blood, or their element of activity.
(Q) Should B-1 be taken at the same time?
(A) This depends upon whether the foods taken carry sufficient quantity of B-1. B-1 is a vitamin not stored in body, but it is necessary that there be the consumption of such each day. While A, C, D and G at times attempt to take the place of same, the B-1 activity is much better taken in foods than in the segregated pellets or capsules. When it is impractical for obtaining the foods with sufficient quantities for the daily needs, very well to take B-1. But to overstress same may at times cause the reaction of the VERY distress that is attempting to be aided!
    All foods yellow in their nature, that are naturally yellow, carry B-1. Re-enforced flour, and especially whole wheat, corn flakes, most cereals – if re-enforced with same. So, a normal helping of such each day is about a FIFTH of that necessary. Also it is found in orange juice, citrus fruit juices, the juice and the pulp of grapefruit and the like, and in ALL cereals, and in bread; and especially the GREEN leaves of lettuce, – not so much in the beautiful white pieces. The green pieces are usually thrown away, and the hearts of lettuce kept that aren’t worth very much as food for individuals. Hence lettuce of the leafy variety is really better for the body, carrying the greater source of the nicotinic acid.
(Q) Yellow peaches in the can?
(A) All good. Yellow corn meal, squash, and every food that is naturally yellow in color. Carrots, raw and cooked – all of these. (257-236)

Do add wheat oil or wheat germ to the diet, as well as the compound B vitamins. Keep a normal diet, not too much of any kind of meats, and never any “red meats” of any character. (5113-1)

Hence this appears in the present to be more of a lymph involvement, but now and then the supplying of the vital energies lacking, especially in Vitamins D and B Complex, and K and G, the body is enabled to find or fight or to supply resistances in the fluid forces of the body for energizing and giving energy and life to the body. (3121-1)

But we would take the vital energies that may be obtained from the use of the Purity Cross Vitamins; and for this body take one tablet or capsule every other day, preferably when ready to retire of evening. (2961-1)

(Q) Are oranges, grapefruit and bananas good for her?
(A) Oranges and grapefruit, but bananas are not so good. Take all of those that are of the yellow variety, such as: Squash, corn, corn meal, peaches and such. And it is well to keep not injections, if practical, but the vitamins of B-1 to create better coagulation. (2512-2)

(Q) Would it be advisable to take a good tonic for regaining strength more quickly? If so, please suggest one.
(A) Not in the present. A little bit later, in a week or ten days (time enough to get them at least), we would take one CODIRON tablet a day. Codiron (one word), by Lawrence Laboratories, Chicago. This is a stimulation of this character: Cod Liver Oil with Vitamins A, B, C, D and E, but in such measures that they will work well with the system. (560-6)

Reading 1013-3 contains specific nutritional recommendations to prepare for surgery:

Do those things as indicated, for – as there are the operative forces – there are the needs for a generous supply to the body in the regular diet of Vitamins B-1, A and D, as well as sufficient to produce better coagulation – either by injection or in tablet or capsule form – especially through those periods of preparation and through the periods when the operative measures are performed.
    But there should be the general building up of the body, as well as the specific and local applications. All such vitamins are found in the reinforced foods; as in the flour, the cereals, all forms of vegetables cooked and raw that are of the yellow variety. (1013-3)

One of the more fascinating discourses on nutritional supplementation for cancer involves a reading given for a professor from Cornell University Medical College on the topic of Biotin. Edgar Cayce’s wife, Gertrude (GC), gave the following hypnotic suggestion for a reading on Biotin.

GC: You will have before you the research which has been done on the structure of Biotin, as announced by Professor Vincent du Vigneaud, head of the Department of Biochemistry, Cornell University Medical College, Ithaca, N.Y. You will give a discourse on the mechanism of action of this powerful vitamin, as to bring about a clearer understanding of its effect on living things. Also you will advise if this chemical can be found in fish eggs; such as caviar, roe, etc.

Edgar Cayce responded:

Yes, – we have here the findings that have been indicated by Professor Vigneaud.
    This, as we find, is a move in a direction in which improvements may be made in the general health of individuals where such tendencies of cancer are indicated.
    As to any great value, as yet, in the preventing or the eradicating of conditions where these growths have reached such proportions as to be cellular forces in themselves, – this is yet questioned.
    Biotin, as called, is found in the roe, especially of the shark and such fish, – more than it would be found in caviar or sturgeon.
    This, of course, may be used as a means for removing those tendencies, and where conditions are begun.
    Of course, as is understood, this disturbance (cancer) to the human body is of a different nature from many of the ills of the body. It, of course, is in many forms and characteristics. Those forms that are external may be aided much by the use of certain rays or lights that destroy certain cellular force, and make for the ability of a healthy body in other respects to meet conditions.
    Those forms that are of the nature where glands are involved, – as in the breast or the like, – may be removed, in some stages of same, by surgery.
    Those forms that are of the internal nature, – as in the lungs, the liver, the organs of the body, – and especially the female organs, – are of another character.
    These all represent or present varied problems.
    Now, the use of Biotin in any of these conditions would be a helpful influence, for it creates in itself an element that changes the form of the vibration about the molecule of the blood, or the circulation through such areas.
    It would be well that this research be carried on.
    There are other sources, to be sure, from which helpful forces might be gained; and yet there is really the greater necessity of man’s comprehension of ills as related to erring from the path of righteousness – or that of sin, and its relationships to all such conditions that are in the experience of man.
    A form of vitamin may be obtained from certain nuts, – as the almond, – that would be helpful as a preventative. Also there may be obtained from the turtle egg those influences for longevity that may be created in certain cellular forces in the body.
    All of these are worth considering; most of all, the spiritual aspects of same.
    We are through for the present. (659-1)

2. Energy Medicine

Edgar Cayce recommended several alternative medicine modalties for the treatment of cancer. The most common was the use of the ultra-violet lamp which was typically used in conjunction with various forms of ash (animated ash, carbon ash, medicated ash) taken internally just before the ultraviolet light is applied to the body. The ultraviolet light was said to enhance various physiological functions, particularly leucocyte (immune system) functioning and coagulation. The ash was said to increase the oxygen level in the blood. Ultraviolet therapy was also sometimes recommended as a palliative treatment to produce comfort and reduce pain.

There may be help if there is still held that desire for life and activity. There is no healing of that which is spent. There may be ease and the better activity with the use of the ultra-violet light, if the green glass is used between the body AND the ultra-violet. This would be over those areas of the ribs, in the back, that there may be a greater flow and formation of the elements in the blood to create greater quantities of leukocytes in blood plasm.
    Use the ultra-violet with the green glass for at least a minute, once a day, but have it thirty-eight to thirty-nine inches from the body – using only the Mercury light. The piece of green glass, about ten by twelve inches, would be at least fourteen inches from body. (3516-1)

Three to five minutes after taking each dose of the Ash, use the Ultra-Violet Ray (not the Carbon Light but the Mercury Quartz or the Cooper-Hewett (?) [Note given ECF 5/8/73 by Don Button: Cooper-Hewett is (or was) the Company name of a Mercury Quartz type Ultra Violet Lamp] Light) over the lower portion of the spinal system – but at least thirty-eight to forty inches from the body. This will help produce coagulation if assimilation is set up. (1382-1)

Every OTHER day, three to five minutes after the dose of Ash has been taken, apply the ultra-violet ray over those portions of the cerebrospinal system that govern the lower lungs. This should be NOT the carbon, but the hand lamp may be used – but preferably the mercury or quartz light; and this at least thirty-six to forty-two inches (36″ to 42″) from the body, this dependent upon the reaction of the body to same. Do not over redden the body, because more superficial than the deeper activity – but about a minute and a half to two minutes, dependent upon the reaction. This is only to be applied every other day, you see, in a manner that there may be loosened those influences that will allow more oxygen to act upon the blood stream; thus making for a purification in same that will aid in establishing help for the system. The light given following the Ash, every other day, is to cause the atomic forces in the Ash to react upon the blood stream; SENDING, then, as it were, these destroyer forces in the leukocytes of the system to destroy tissue that has become – as indicated – involved throughout the system, causing many twists and many activities to the organs themselves. (1070-1)

We would use one-eighth grain of the Animated Ash, at least every other day. Empty the powder on tongue and wash down with water; DO NOT take IN the capsule. And five to ten minutes after taking the Ash, we would use the Ultra-Violet Ray; not the Carbon Light nor the Sun Light, but preferably the Mercury Quartz Light; given across the lower portion of the lung area (from the back, you see), for one and a half to three minutes. Thus we will loosen more of the oxygen to combat the general conditions in the system; for these work with the nerves and muscular forces and those activities that tend for action through not only the respiratory system and the organs of the body through the glandular forces and mammary glands and in the throat and the stomach, but make for the better action towards an assimilation. (1000-11)

We would also take those properties of the animated ash, that will release in the system – with the use of the ultra-violet light, especially, with same – to give a healing to the intestinal system, increasing the oxygen and removing the pressures, taking up the inflammation that causes the pressure to the head, to the neck, and to the eyes, and that reduces the activity of the blood supply THROUGH the liver. This we would take in one-quarter grain doses at least twice each week, following about thirty to forty minutes afterwards (taking same in water) with the application of the ultra-violet light for three to five minutes, especially over the liver and the bowel area..

(Q) Is this trouble liable to be cancerous?
(A) May become so, unless there is the releasing of the blood supply in such an extent as to ward off, or to prevent the breaking of tissue. Hence the taking of the ash, or the animated forces that loosen more oxygen in the system. (19-4)

A piece of green glass that was often placed between the ulraviolet lamp and the body to enhance the effect of the light. Here are some excerpts that describe the effect created by the green glass.

(Q) What does the green glass really do?
(A) Breaks up the rays and rather than being of destructive natures, as it is in the destroying of tissue, it enlivens the good tissue and destroys the bad. (257-236)

The applications being made are well, but we would add the Animated Ash; one-eighth grain animated Ash taken internally at lest twice each week; followed by the Ultra-Violet Light – but with the green glass projected between the ultra-violet and the body, during the period of treatment. Have the Mercury Quartz Light, not the Carbon Light, and use it at least thirty-eight inches from the body – only a minute to a minute and a half to two minutes. Use the green glass about twelve to fourteen inches from the body, to produce the reflected rays – or so as to have on the affected areas ONLY the ultra-violet screened with the green light, thus producing more of the healing influence. (2911-1)

Infrared light was recommended in a few cancer readings.

We would then the next day take the Infra Red ray, after being heated with the green glass between the Infra Red and the body; and do not place the glass so close to the heat as to cause fracture or breaking, but closer to the body – that there may be the effect of the color as it is changed from the Infra Red, or the activity of Infra Red.
(This aside, now, for explanation – and as to why the change: The Infra Red is that which acts upon the STRUCTURAL portions of the body, and the COVERINGS of the structural portion, see? Then, altered through the effect of the rays passing through plate glass, or heavy glass, that is GREEN in color, acts upon not only the structural or bone portion of the body but upon the muscles and tendons of the body also, in eliminating poisons that have caused – and do cause – those eruptions in the various portions of the body, internally and externally, allowing these poisons to find those manners of being eliminated through the channels of eliminations in the system.) (757-3)

At least once a week (but not on the same days the ultra-violet is given) we would apply the Infra-Red ray, but when used screen the ray with the quarter inch crystal of the GREEN glass, so that the rays that penetrate to the structural portions (from which the bone structure produce cells that act in the capacity of the corpuscles themselves) are penetrated with the vibration from the GREEN rather than the red. This should be given for twenty to thirty minutes, at least forty inches from the body. (757-1)

Radium therapy, as a form of alternative medicine, was recommended in numerous cancer readings. There were two primary techniques – the Double X Radium Appliance and radium water. Here are some examples of how to use the radium appliance.

We, then, would use that of the Double X Radium Appliance, wearing same across the small of the back for at least five hours each day. Then, when lying on the back, we would lay same next to the body, across the right and lower portion of the abdomen. (5422-1)

Applying, then, the radium in the way as has been; also applying the Radium Applicator to those portions of the body, that the strengthening forces (that is – through the solar plexus) may assist in the distribution of the forces that overcome the condition. (4977-1)

Use as the application for the vibrations to be corrected in the system, that of the Radium Applicator about the spine, wearing the pad across the solar plexus, and changing every other week to that about the secondary cardiac plexus. Do this, and by the time the full quantity of medicinal properties is taken, and this applicator has been worn for this same length of time, we will see corrections coming for the body. (4695-2)

Use the heavy Radium Appliance ever across the solar plexus, see? At least five minutes each day rest, lying prone, and lay pad across the throat, see? Just about where the Adam’s apple would be on man, or at the lower portion of the tongue, see? (3710-1)

Several readings recommended radium water for treating cancer.

Use under the direction of physician (for it may not be applied in any other way and manner) that of RADIUM WATER as the internal forces for the system, see? …
   Take at least TEN DOSES of the Radium Water and the treatments as go with same each day; that is those forces – though the Radium Water will be changed by the physician to meet the needs of the histology and of the conditions in the system. After the ten doses have been taken – that is, they may not be taken each day, or they may be taken each day – but after ten doses we would give further suggestions for this body. Dr. Tally may give this. (4741-1)

Then, that which may add the better condition to the body would be, taking those small properties as in that of the Radium Water, and with the application over the system (especially in those ganglia that give distress in system) that of the Violet Ray. The Radium Water should not be taken oftener than every second or third day. Necessitate being given under the direction of physician, see? (5721)

We would also give, every third day – but under the DIRECTION of a physician (and these had all best be given under the direction of a physician watching or tending the condition) – those of small doses of radium water. (Radium Water Company, Pittsburgh, Pa.) (5585-1)

The following reading recommended either or both forms of radium therapy (applicator or water).

The body may be by care and attention builded to that wherein the system may be able to sustain through an operation to remove that portion of     liver, and of stomach or duodenum, wherein the condition has become so accentuated, for this has not broken through entirely, for tissue has become hardened about the body of the malignant condition, yet this may break through at any time by overtaxing, or the body may be treated with those properties of radium. As to the application, this shall be governed according to the abilities of system to resist same. This, as we find, will scatter same in system, yet were the eliminations of sufficient nature to carry out these drosses from system, we would bring the more relief to the body through this, or we may take into the body those properties of the radium water that will assist also in producing eliminations properly throughout the system. Either or both of these may be given this body for the assistance to the body. (4752-1)

3. Manual Therapy

Manual therapy, the use of the hands to diagnose and treatment illness, was recommended in numerous cancer readings to improve drainages and to absorb and eliminate toxicity in the system.

We would also find that when the manipulations are made osteopathically for drainage, these would not be given too severely in the beginning; neither would they be of too long a duration; that is, not too many of them, but SUFFICIENT to produce DRAINAGES in the abdominal area of the body, [523] …
(Q) Would you recommend an osteopath in Miami, Florida?
(A) Douglas.
(Q) Can this condition that is causing the pain be cured?
(A) As indicated, it may be entirely absorbed; if there is patience and persistence in the application of those things that have been indicated here. (523-1)

(Q) Should osteopathy be continued at this time?
(A) As has been given again and again, this is well at all times! Not osteopathy (except occasionally) but the gentle massage along centers, osteopathically given, that drainages are set up and the circulation is set up. It may be done by a masseur or one in attendance that would give the activities necessary. Do not overdo it; gentleness, keeping as quiet as possible. (325-71)

4. Herbal Medicine

Plantain was one of the most common herbs recommended by Edgar Cayce for the treatment of cancer. The application was usually either as a tea for internal consumption or as an ointment for external application. Reading 3121-1, given for a man suffering from sarcoma, recommended both methods of therapy:

First we would give that there be prepared an ointment from the leaves of young Plantain, at this particular season of the year, growing in the vicinity where this body lives.
    Yes, it is this herb that you desire oft to get rid of, in the yard, garden or walk. But do not use the seed, so much, in the ointment. Gather the tender leaves, about the quantity that may be crammed, not too tightly, into a pint cup.
    Cook this until it is rather thick. Do not allow to burn.
    Then use it as an ointment over the areas where these protuberances gather at times – for they do vary. They become as warts or moles, that become infected and sore, and run. This ointment will tend to dry same.
    But to purify these from the body-force, we would also take internally a Plantain Tea, made from the tender top leaves of the same plant, with – at this season, especially – the seed of the Plantain – about half and half. Fill half a pint cup with these, and add to one quart of Distilled or Rain Water – using only an enamel or glass container, not metal. Cook until reduced to about half the quantity, or half a pint of the liquid. Take this as a tea, a teaspoonful four times each day; after each meal and at bedtime. Keep this where it is cool, and if the quantity tends to turn a bit sour, discard it – but this whole quantity should be taken before it would sour. It is not so good to add a preservative for this particular material, for it changes this. (3121-1)

5. Prayer

Prayer was explicitly recommended in five of the 397 physical readings containing the word cancer.

The use of the Ultra-Violet with the green light would be helpful, but prayer is needed most. The massage will only quiet the body. Sedatives will have to be used at times. (3439-1)

The body has not yet recuperated from the effect of anesthesia – or the shock to the system. And unless there is a great deal of praying done, he won’t be much better …
    A gentle massage to quiet the body would be well, with prayer – and not by those who do not live what they pray. Do not merely pray that he will be well, but well for what? Do not pray for the body to be well for what the body can do for self but for those whom he has aided and also hindered. (3439-1)

Most of all, pray. Let the mental attitude be considered first and foremost. Do not promise thyself, nor thy God, nor thy neighbor, that you do not fulfill. (3121-1)

And, above all, PRAY! Those who are about the body, use, rely upon the spiritual forces. For the prayer of the righteous shall save the sick.
    Know that all strength, all healing of every nature is the changing of the vibrations from within, – the attuning of the divine within the living tissue of a body to Creative Energies. This alone is healing. Whether it is accomplished by the use of drugs, the knife or what not, it is the attuning of the atomic structure of the living cellular force to its spiritual heritage.

Then, in the prayer of those, – live day by day in the same manner as ye pray – if ye would bring assistance and help for this body. (1967-1)

(Q) Any other suggestions?
(A) Do this – and pray! (1282-1

Know that this is being given to AROUSE the body to the realization that he must CONTINUALLY be on the guard; not just for a week, not for just a month! Not so much as to attempt to throw off on others, or to use the condition as an excuse, but rather to use the condition as a means to form those tendencies, those habits, those precautions which have been indicated so oft for the body. For, the warnings have been given again and again as to how to keep the body fit, – as to the foods, the diets, the exercise, the recreation, the rest, the building of the mental body, the time to play and the time to work, the time to recuperate the mental body, the time to make holy and the time to pray. (257-228)

6. Other Alternative Therapies

The Cayce readings contain numerous other alternative therapies. Some are interesting, but obscure. Others are somewhat mysterious.
The use of rabbit body parts for cancer treatment was prescribed in several Cayce readings on cancer. Most often, the hide of a freshly killed rabbit was placed over an external cancer tumor as may be present in breast cancer.

Then, for the abrasion, as produced this strain and does not heal, we would cover this with the fur from the rabbit, and as often as possible have this NEW, and as with the life still in same, see? This will bring the greater relief for this body, [4615]. Do that. (4615-1)

In the gland region, under the arm, over the portion of the scapula, we would massage – GENTLY – each day – with those of the Iodex preparation, and keep from the irritation of clothing or pressures on same. We would keep covered with those of a young hare’s fur, or rabbit fur – PREFERABLY that recently caught, or skinned; the skin, to be sure, prepared so that no infectious forces may arise from same. (5662-1)

The breast, or lump, may be massaged GENTLY – not bruised, to be sure, but gently massaged – with a mixture of one-quarter ounce of Iodex and one-quarter grain of the Animated Ash. Gently massage this once each day. Protect this [breast lump] by the use of hare fur, or the like, over same – with a gauze in between the fur and the skin. The VIBRATION from this is excellent for a tumor, and DISSIPATES same – if the system is HIGHLY eliminative in its activity, which it becomes with an excess of iodic effect in the blood stream. This iodic effect, with an activity of greases or too great protein (or meats), will be more harmful than helpful. As also would be an excess of potatoes, or beets, or such. Rather use leafy vegetables, with celery, carrots, turnips occasionally (especially the tops), cabbage, fruits and nuts. These would be well to keep the body well balanced, but do not include walnuts or pecans in these! Almonds, Brazilian nuts, cashew nuts, and the like, are well. Almonds, especially. (4438-1)

A couple of cancer readings describe a hypothetical treatment technique that involves using part of the rabbit leg to create a serum for treating cancer. It is not clear that this particular technique was ever actually used.

We would give then, THESE, as we find, would be the better corrective measures for this body, were there a serum made from that as is called the “wolve” [wolf] in the beef or the hare, at this season, and injections made in that region where the blood supply to the system is most effective. For this region of system this would be materially aided, or checked – or NICCOLITE, as this becomes …
(Q) How can this be made?
(A) This should be drawn off – that is, the wolve [wolf], see? – PUNCTURED by an hypodermic, see? This drawn off and then a culture made into the flesh of the same animal from which it’s drawn, whether beef or hare. Then the culture applied to the HUMAN body, see? or blood drawn and a culture made FOR the human body and then applied to the body. There must necessarily be experimentations, with the proper heat, the proper precautions taken as to the character of cell as is destroyed in the culture made, and in the activity of the animal as well as human when being used; but for this character of the condition this would be MOST effective in at least fifty percent of such ills. (2457-4)

(Q) What treatment would you prescribe for these?
(A) There is not much difference between the numbers, or amount of white and red corpuscles in the blood. An excess, perhaps, more of the leukocyte condition. That is, of the white or resistive force, at present, to relieve from the system the condition we have, that is, the condition of the face. The portion taken in by the parasite, we have had from the outside, there has been no more resistance in it than we have had. We need the same things we have had before, and we will improve the system here, by taking it away, or letting nature resist it here, as at the parts effected. Then, as we have the body improved, being eliminated from the system here, by the niccolite here onto the place itself. Or the same here of the rabbit, or wolve that we have in its back at the time of the year here. That is, the same construction. (4444-2)

Iodine therapy for cancer was recommended in various treatment formats. Iodex was a commercial product that was prescribed by Cayce for cancer prevention and treatment. Most often it was combined with animated ash and used as a topical application around tumors or sores.

For those places where there are BROKEN places in the head and neck and portions of the body, we would use a combination of Iodex and Animated Ash. To one ounce of the Iodex thoroughly mix ten grains of the Animated Ash. Use this as an ointment, gently massaging around the nobules, around those places and around the activities that cause so much distress. (799-1)

As we would find, as we have indicated heretofore, it would be well to use those properties around or close to the swelling or abrasions – or where the opening or the effusion has been active – to massage gently over the glands lower down; that is, under the arm and farther away. The Iodex infused with the Animated Ash. To half an ounce of the Iodex we would combine a grain and a half of the Ash, see? This should be THOROUGHLY mixed together..

(Q) How often should the Iodex-Ash ointment be massaged?
(A) Once each day, just what the body may absorb; not enough for discoloration or like that. This would preferably be done in the evening, while the emulsion from the Plantain and sweet butter would be better of mornings as the body is ready to dress, you see. (325-48)

Two readings encouraged experimentation with iodine transfusions for leukemia. The treatments were not applied in either case.

We find that this may be materially aided for this body, if there will be the use of the blood of the body combined with Iodine – Tincture of; one c.c., – this at the time of the next transfusion given back into the body.
    This effect is the lack of the cells becoming activated upon by the iodine – that is a part of the structural activity through the system.
    Necessarily, this will require that some tests be made upon activities, or organisms, to get the reaction of same.
    But this offers a means, a channel for aid for the conditions. (2208-1)

We find that this may be materially aided for this body, if there will be the use of the blood of the body combined with Iodine – Tincture of; one c.c., – this at the time of the next transfusion given back into the body.
    This effect is the lack of the cells becoming activated upon by the iodine – that is a part of the structural activity through the system.
    Necessarily, this will require that some tests be made upon activities, or organisms, to get the reaction of same.
    But this offers a means, a channel for aid for the conditions.
    Ready for questions.
(Q) What percentage of the iodine solution should be given?
(A) As just indicated, this as to the percentage must be tested upon organisms in which blood is traceable to the same character of conditions existent in the organism, so that there may be the proper balance gained. The quantity, you see, would be as indicated.
(Q) How long will it take for recovery?
(A) Of course, this will necessitate more than one injection of same; but there should be seen longer and longer periods of the normal activity, if this is prepared and given as indicated.
    It should not require more than a few weeks to see the direct improvement.
(Q) How often should these injections be given?
(A) Again, as indicated, it is necessary that this be tested upon organisms.
(Q) Will the suggestions given here be effective in treating Henry Werner Ketching, who is also suffering from what the doctors call Leukemia, and is now at the St. Luke’s Hospital on Morningside Heights, N. Y.?
(A) These methods will be effective in treating any individual case of such natures. For, the fusion is made of the blood of the INDIVIDUAL, you see, but combined WITH the transfusions.
    When these are used, it will be found that there will be the ability to reduce the percentage of such cases more than fifty percent. (2208-1)


The vast body of information provided by Edgar Cayce on the causes and treatment of cancer shows remarkable similarity to modern trends in this area. As Cayce suggested, cancer has many causes and can manifest in many forms. Whereas Cayce stated that there are nineteen different forms of cancer, modern researchers recognize over one hundred varieties (The American Institute For Cancer Research, 1999)
As Cayce observed, in many cases, cancer may represent a failure of natural processes. Specifically, cancer can be conceptualized as exaggerated cell replication and proliferation similar to the natural growth process in an embryo. Just like the embryo, cancer goes on to develop into its own entity. Unlike a healthy embryo, the growth of cancer cells does not stop at an appropriate time as determined by genetic constraints. In fact, it is most likely damage to the genetic material that allows the abnormal growth processes in the first place. Clearly, cancer draws upon the vitality of the host system in a parasitic mode.

Although chronic irritation is recognized as a potential cause of cancer by modern science, Edgar Cayce probably placed more emphasis on it as an etiological factor than do modern clinicians. Overexposure to cigarette smoke, sunlight, and other environmental irritants are the best documented sources of chronic irritation in the medical literature. Cayce stated that bruising or the accumulation of wastes are also sources of irritation.
Several alternative medicine approaches echo Cayce’s assertion that poor eliminations resulting in a buildup of toxicity can contribute to cancer. Gerson cited a buildup of toxicity throughout the body as a primary pathophysiological process in cancer. Gerson focused on the supporting the liver and cleansing the system via diet and coffee enemas (Gerson, 1958). Callebout recommends a 6-phase detoxification program including coffee enemas, liver flush, colon cleanse, whole-body purge, skin cleansing, and Russian steam bath (Callebout, 1997). Callebout’s recommendations are similar to many nonspecific Cayce-based therapies that are found in many Cayce readings, including those for cancer. This clinician may have been familiar with Cayce’s work since castor oil compresses are recommended by Callebout as a local treatment for cancer tumors.

Consistent with Cayce’s views on prevention, contemporary research strongly supports the idea that many cancers can be prevented. About one-third of the 500,000 cancer deaths that occur in the United States each year are due to dietary factors. If you add to that those that are linked to smoking and alcohol consumption, as many as three-quarters of all cancer deaths are lifestyle-related (The American Institute For Cancer Research, 1999). Strictly on a statistical basis, making some basic lifestyle changes can tremendously decrease the risk of cancer. Although early diagnosis and treatment result in better prognosis, cancer is often fatal.

In contrast to the physical dimension of cancer, Cayce’s emphasis on the holistic aspects of cancer does not find as much support in the mainstream cancer literature. Nurses are more likely to include the spiritual dimension of service when providing treatment for cancer patients (Taylor, 2001; Mytko & Knight, 1999; Martsolf, 1997). Alternative practitioners are more likely to utilize mental and spiritual approaches to cancer treatment than allopathic physicians (Diamond et al., 1997).

From a treatment standpoint, Cayce’s approach could probably be best classified as complementary and alternative medicine. The integration of conventional and alternative therapeutic modalities is consistent with some current models. Surgery and radiation therapy have come a long way since Cayce’s era. Chemotherapy was not an option for Cayce.

Some of Cayce’s alternative therapies for the prevention and treatments for cancer are now recognized as effective. In particular, a diet low in meat and fats and high in vegetables and fruits is likely to help prevent cancer (The American Institute For Cancer Research, 1999). The role of diet as a treatment for cancer is more controversial.

Cayce’s views on the therapeutic role of oxygenating therapies are similar to some modern alternative approaches. Whereas Cayce prescribed animated, carbon, and medicated ash, some contemporary practitioners utilize hydrogen peroxide and ozone treatments for the same effect (Dormandy, 1988; Ben-Yoseph & Ross, 1994; Altman, 1995; Varro, 1983).

The Cayce information on cancer suggests several hypotheses that can be tested via basic and clinical research. Here are some specific areas for future research.

  • Plantain Therapy – Edgar Cayce stated that the juice of the plantain (a common plant), could be used relieve the symptoms of cancer. The plantain may be used externally as a poultice or internally as a tea. Researchers could provide plantain therapy to cancer patients with significant pain and monitor patient reports of symptom severity before and after therapy. The hypothesis is that plantain therapy will decrease symptom severity or frequency.
  • Oxygen Therapy – Edgar Cayce advocated therapeutic interventions (such as animated or carbon ash) to increase oxygen levels in cancer patients. Basic research could be conducted to measure levels of oxygen in the system before and after administration of animated or carbon ash. Clinical research could focus on the efficacy of this type of therapy for cancer patients. The hypotheses are (1) that using the animate or carbon ash as Cayce recommended will increase systemic oxygen levels, and (2) that treatment of cancer patients with this techinque will decrease cancer symptoms and produce longer survival time.
  • Dietary Almonds – Cayce stated that daily almond consumption could reduce the risk of cancer. A study conducted on rats supports this concept (Davis & Iwahashi, 2001). Studies looking at the possible correlation of almond consumption and cancer rates could evaluate the potential of this preventive strategy. The hypothesis is that daily almond consumption will reduce the rate of cancer.
  • Iodine Therapy for Leukemia – Two Cayce readings recommended experimentation with iodine transfusions in cases of leukemia. Experiments could be conducted using an animal model for leukemia. Perhaps the transgenic mice developed by Honda and Hirai (2001) for leukemia research could be used to test the hypothesis that p210bcr/abl that is detected in almost all chronic myelogenous leukemia could be decreased with iodine transfusions.

The present study is preliminary and has numerous limitations. Due to the limited resources (time) of the researcher, it is not as comprehensive as the Research Bulletin format that has been used by the Edgar Cayce Foundation for surveying other topics in the Cayce health readings. As stated previously, this study does not seek to determine the validity of the data. Rather, it is intended to identify important themes and research hypotheses that can be explored in future studies.


The Cayce information represents a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians, and the general public. Current levels of scientific knowledge support many of the basic premises put forth by Cayce with regard to the cause and treatment of cancer. Further research must be done to determine the validity of the information, particularly with regard to clinical efficacy.


Altman, N. (1995). Oxygen Healing Therapies. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

Ben-Yosef, O. & Ross, B. D. (1994). Oxidation therapy: The use of a reactive oxygen species-generating enzyme system for tumor treatment. British Journal of Cancer. 70:1131-35.

Callebout, E. (1997). Chapter 4 in An alternative medicine definitive guide to cancer. Tiburon, CA: Future Medicine Publishing, Inc., pp. 87-119.

Davis, P. A. & Iwahashi, C. K. (2001). Whole almonds and almond fractions reduce aberrant crypt foci in a rat model of colon carcinogenesis. Cancer Lett. 10;165(1):27-33.

Diamond, W., Cowden, W. E. & Goldberg, B. (1997) An alternative medicine definitive guide to cancer. Tiburon, CA: Future Medicine Publishing, Inc.

Dormandy, T. L. (1988). In praise of peroxidation. The Lancet. 2:8620, 1126-1128.

Gerson, M. (1958). A cancer therapy. Results of fifty cases. Bonita, CA: Gerson Institute.

Honda, H., Hirai, H. (2001). Model mice for BCR/ABL-positive leukemias. Blood Cells Mol Dis. Jan-Feb;27(1):265-78.

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Mytko, J. J., Knight, S. J. (1999). Body, mind and spirit: towards the integration of religiosity and spirituality in cancer quality of life research. Psychooncology. 8(5):439-50.

Taylor, E. J. (2001). Spirituality, culture, and cancer care. Semin Oncol Nurs. 17(3):197-205

The American Institute For Cancer Research. (1999). Stopping cancer before it starts. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin.

Varro, J. (1983). Ozone applications in cancer cases. Medical applications of of ozone. Edited by LaRaus, J. Norwalk, CT: International Ozone Association Pan American Committee, 97-98.