Margaret continued to take the Hoxsey tonic until 1979, when she went off it for a five-year period. In 1984, she had a build-up of fluid in her right lung. Surgery revealed a recurrence of the tumor blocking the superior vena cave. Margaret went back on her Hoxsey regimen, and her lung problem cleared up. X-rays taken in 1989 showed no sign of cancer, and today, more than twenty-five years after she was given a year at most to live, Margaret is alive, healthy, and active.
"Mildred Nelson is a totally dedicated healer," says Margaret. "The medical community should pay homage to her. I told Mildred that I wish we could clone her. The world needs her."
Approximately 80 percent of the patients seen at the Bio-Medical Center benefit substantially from the treatment, according to Nelson. No full-scale independent studies have ever been done to evaluate this claim, however. In an informal tracking survey, Steve Austin, a naturopath from Portland, Oregon, and colleagues followed approximately thirty-five Hoxsey patients. They were able to stay in touch with twenty-two of them either for five years or until death. Austin, who teaches at Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, visited the Bio-Medical Center in 1983 and asked patients walking through the doors if they would be willing to participate in his survey. He then kept in touch with them through annual letters.
Of the twenty-two patients, eleven had died by the end of the five years and eleven were still alive. Among the survivors, three said their condition was deteriorating, but eight claimed to be totally cancerfree. All eight of the cancer-free survivors had previously been diagnosed in the states by medical doctors.
Austin, who plans to publish his findings, emphasizes that his case studies should be considered very preliminary. His sample was small, and it is possible that many of the twenty-two patients were in the very late stages of cancer. Also, a number of the patients may have failed to take their medicine or to stay on the recommended diet.
"The outcome -- 8 out of 22 5-year survivors-suggests that the results were better than chance, especially since one of the 8 had late-stage melanoma and another had lung cancer," says Austin. "I was a skeptic about the Hoxsey program. Initially, it felt pretty hokey to me. But Mildred Nelson told me, 'Everything is open here. Go out there and talk to any of the patients. They all know somebody who has been cured by the treatment.' When I mingled with the patients and spoke to them, Mildred's statement turned out to be true, though our results certainly do not suggest a substantial benefit in 80 percent."
Mildred Nelson has said that if she cannot find a health professional whom she feels she can entrust to run the clinic and fill her shoes, the Hoxsey therapy may one day die with her. That would be a tragic end to the Hoxsey saga. Meanwhile, cancer patients who are interested in Hoxsey's methods but cannot afford the trip to Mexico can avail themselves of at least part of the regimen. Three herbal distributors sell products that are apparently identical to the Hoxsey internal tonic formula, or very nearly so. The herbal capsules sold by one of these distributors reportedly requires only supplemental potassium iodide; the other two distributors' products-one, a blend of herbal tinctures--are said to be virtually identical to the Hoxsey tonic formula.
It should be emphasized that none of these distributors is in any way connected with the Bio-Medical Center, and none claims that its product is useful in treating cancer. The quality of these Hoxsey-like herbal mixtures and the results for people who use them are unknown. Furthermore, taking only the herbal component of the therapy and neglecting the other aspects of the program could weaken the overall effect. If a cancer patient wishes to pursue a Hoxsey-like protocol without a trip to Mexico, it is strongly recommended that he or she do so under the direction of a qualified physician or holistic practitioner. For more information about resources for these herbal products or for practitioner referrals, contact the Center for Advancement in Cancer Education (see page xvi for the address and phone number).