Three Year Follow-up on Lymphoma Case Treated with Water Fasting

 In Naturopathic News

Node Smith, ND

This case report is by no means conclusive and by no means advocates using water fasting as a means of treating cancer. AND, it’s certainly amazing what the body can do when it is provided with clean food, and restorative conditions. The following case study is taken from the British Medical Journal, and describes a case of lymphoma that was successfully treated using a vegan diet and water-only fasting. The study was conducted at the TrueNorth Health Facility, located in Santa Rosa, California, and overseen by Dr. Alan Goldhammer, the author of this study. Below is taken from the study itself.

Follow-up report: case of Lymphoma treated with water fasting

Here we present a 3-year follow-up report of a case that was originally published in BMJ Case Reports in December 2015.1 Briefly, a 42-year-old woman presented to her primary physician with a palpable mass in her right inguinal region and was subsequently diagnosed with stage IIIa, grade 1 follicular lymphoma (FL). In November 2014, the patient arrived to TrueNorth Health Center (TNHC) and elected to undergo a 21-day medically supervised, water-only fast, after which she refed on an exclusively whole plant food diet free of added salt, oil and sugar (SOS-free), including refined carbohydrates, for 10 days. Over the course of treatment, her enlarged lymph nodes became impalpable. Follow-up CT scans confirmed reduction in size. She did not undergo standard cancer treatment, maintained the SOS-free diet, and was symptom-free at 3-month and 6-month follow-up visits.

Lymph nodes still impalpable 3 years later

In November 2017, the patient returned to TNHC to complete a second water-only fast for the purpose of maintaining health. She reported following the SOS-free diet with minimal exceptions for the previous 3 years. A routine physical examination combined with complete blood count (CBC) and comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) laboratory testing indicated overall good health and maintenance of weight loss that occurred during her first visit. Remarkably, her lymph nodes were still impalpable. The patient reported that in December 2016 she had computed tomography (CT)/positron-emission tomography (PET) scans which showed no evidence of active disease, and her oncology visits had been reduced to once per year. In January 2018, follow-up CT/PET scans demonstrated that the axillary, supraclavicular and inguinal lymph nodes were normal in appearance (figure 1), and there was no evidence of hypermetabolic neoplasm. These observations indicate that the patient no longer has evidence of FL. The initial regression has persisted for 3 years with no additional intervention other than dietary change.


  1. Myers TR, Zittel M, Goldhamer AC. Follow-up of water-only fasting and an exclusively plant food diet in the management of stage IIIa, low-grade follicular lymphoma. BMJ Case Rep. 2018;2018

Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Humboldt, Saskatchewan and associate editor and continuing education director for NDNR. His mission is serving relationships that support the process of transformation, and that ultimately lead to healthier people, businesses and communities. His primary therapeutic tools include counselling, homeopathy, diet and the use of cold water combined with exercise. Node considers health to be a reflection of the relationships a person or a business has with themselves, with God and with those around them. In order to cure disease and to heal, these relationships must be specifically considered. Node has worked intimately with many groups and organizations within the naturopathic profession, and helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic Revitalization (ANR), which works to promote and facilitate experiential education in vitalism.

Node Smith graduated from the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in 2017, and is currently licensed as a naturopathic physician in Oregon and working towards becoming licensed in Saskatchewan, Canada as well.

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