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6 Reasons Why Travel to Mexico for Cancer Treatments

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12 years ago, when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer my family and I started searching for alternative treatment clinics. We were on a mission to find the best alternative clinic in the world. We were willing to go wherever necessary in hope to cure her cancer.

Alternative cancer clinics in Tijuana – Mexico kept coming up. We were surprised. One of the first things that come to mind when thinking about Mexico is a beach vacation and Tequila, and not necessarily cutting-edge medicine.

After extensive research, we have learned about the unique characters of Mexico, and why it is one of the densest places in the world for alternative cancer treatments. Here is why:


Mexican physicians are free to use therapeutic breakthroughs to treat cancer as soon as they are available. In the US Alternative medicine is under heavy regulation – doctors who practice certain alternative methods may lose their practice.

Alternative and integrative doctors treat the person holistically and address the root issue which has allowed cancer to grow.

Alternative and natural treatments in Mexico are more affordable in comparison to many other places in the world.

Most clinics are in Tijuana, very close to the US border, making it very accessible

All doctors and staff speak English.


Tijuana today is home to the largest concentration of complementary and alternative cancer treatment centers offering a verity of therapies.

Below, we are sharing excerpts from the book Hoping for a Cure: Alternative Cancer Treatment in Mexico, by Katey Hansen R.N., Included here with permission. All rights reserved and may not be reproduced without the author’s permission.



1. Choosing Alternative Cancer Therapies – To beat the odds 

Bailey O’Brien, Stage 4 inoperable melanoma, beat the odds using Chipsa hospital protocol.

The five-year survival rate (for most advanced cancers) has barely budged since “The War on Cancer” was declared by the Nixon administration over forty years ago. For example, the five-year survival rate for advanced liver cancer is only 2.8%, for advanced colorectal cancer, it is only about 14%, for advanced breast cancer, 25%.
Considering these grim statistics, it is no surprise that many people with advanced cancer consider taking a chance on alternative treatment options. Many of them feel that they have little to lose by refusing chemotherapy. They  believe chemotherapy diminishes the quality of life, can make cancer more aggressive, and in many cases, is merely palliative, rather than curative.

Over recent years there has been progress in conventional cancer treatment, especially with the development of newer therapies,  such as targeted therapies and immunotherapy.  Despite all of this progress, the treatment for most late-stage metastasized cancer still relies on chemotherapy and radiation with the goal of controlling symptoms, rather than being curative.  

2. Choosing Mexico to find Breakthrough Treatments

The danger and criminalization of deviating from conventional standards of care is not a factor in Mexico. The Mexican government oversees the medical training and licensing of physicians and health care facilities. However, it does not attempt to influence and control the clinical judgment of physicians to the degree the U.S. does. Mexican physicians are free to use new treatments from around the world which means they are free to use therapeutic breakthroughs as soon as they are available.

Coley’s Toxins treatment is offered in some alternative clinics

In the U.S. and many other countries,  physicians are limited to practicing medicine within standard protocols referred to as “The Standard of Care.” 

“In essence, from a legal standpoint, the standard of care is not necessarily the best, most expensive or technologically advanced care available, but one that is considered acceptable and adequate under similar circumstances.”
Although there are dedicated physicians and naturopaths treating cancer in the United States with an alternative/integrative approach, in order to stay above the law, they are more limited in the therapies they can provide. 

3. Treating the Body Holistically

Alternative and integrative practitioners worldwide question why a person has cancer. Inherited genetic mutations play a role in only 5%–10% of those with cancer. Alternative and integrative doctors know that for the majority of patients, there is some reason why the immune system allowed cancer to grow, and they investigate a person’s total lifestyle, history, and micronutrient and metabolic status to try to find the root of the problem.
In addition to restoring the optimum functioning of all body systems, alternative and integrative treatment focuses on eliminating cancer through the use of natural therapies that weaken or kill cancer cells and result in tumor reduction. Even better, these therapies have minimal to no toxicity and no serious side effects. Unlike chemotherapy and radiation, alternative treatment does not make cancer more aggressive and often improves immune function and overall health and well-being.

In contrast, mainstream standard cancer treatment and research focus on tumor shrinkage, using  accepted protocols for each type of cancer. Typically, there is no explanation as to why a person got cancer, and a common answer to this question is “bad luck.” The unique characteristics, lifestyle, and overall health of the person who has the tumor is of little concern.

The success of treatment is measured by the degree of tumor shrinkage,  despite the fact that tumor response has no correlation with prolongation of life or the potential for metastasis. If no tumor can be detected on scans after treatment, a person is determined to be free of active disease.

Although patients may be counseled about the risk of recurrence after treatment, rarely are they told about the almost inevitable survival of at least some cancer cell. In particular, the cancer stem cells.  

4. Nourishing and Strengthening the Body

Most clinics in Mexico provide their patients with an individualized program of nutrition and lifestyle modification as well as supplementation based on focused lab testing and the type of cancer being treated.
Nutritional interventions are known and proven by research to improve health, and in some cases target cancer. However, these are not a part of standard conventional treatments. Most patients are told to eat whatever they like so long as they get enough calories. 

Most Mexican clinics provide their patients with an individualized program of nutrition and lifestyle modificationMost conventional oncologists do not make any recommendations for supplements, foods, and lifestyle changes that could lessen the side effects caused by treatments.

While it is unfair to expect oncologists to be experts in the benefits of nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle modification, I believe they should be sufficiently aware of these benefits to provide resources or refer patients to practitioners. Professionals who have a greater knowledge of aids to minimize side effects, recover from harsh treatments, and prevent recurrence. There are a few cancer centers and oncologists who have begun this practice, but these referrals are unfortunately still rare, and most insurance policies will not cover the service.

5. Jumpstart the Journey

I view the three or four weeks of treatment at most of the Tijuana clinics as just one piece of an overall treatment and recovery plan. I believe that this treatment could be very helpful to jumpstart the journey to remission for many people. It is unrealistic to expect that a few weeks of treatment will result in a long-term remission if the person is not willing to do the necessary work on their own when they return home. This may involve following their aftercare plan , monitoring their progress with an integrative health care practitioner, and making permanent lifestyle changes—body, mind, and spirit.

6. Alternative treatment benefit early through advanced stages of cancer

For those who have less advanced cancer and received successful conventional treatment, a few weeks at a clinic could be very helpful to restore health and immune function. It may also minimize the chance of recurrence of  secondary cancers sometimes caused by chemotherapy and radiation.

It is known that by the time even a low-grade, localized tumor is diagnosed, there are cancer cells circulating in the bloodstream. It is an unfortunate fallacy of tumor-focused medicine to think that surgery “got it all”. We know that the chemo or radiation often advised following surgery is unlikely to eliminate rogue cancer stem cells, and can possibly make cancer more aggressive and resistant to further treatment with chemo.

Julie Roe, Stage IV NSC Lung Cancer
“Killing off cancer is hard work, and the clinic doesn’t make promises, but they give you a huge boost physically, and teach you many additional things you can do to get/stay healthy”

For those with advanced Stage III and Stage IV cancers who have been told that their condition is terminal, please believe that it is possible to survive and thrive long term. Don’t give up hope. With the exception of a very few types of cancer, conventional treatments are not helpful for metastasized cancer, and many people suffer—and some die—from the treatments rather than cancer.

There are so many people with advanced cancers who have defied their doctor’s prognosis, and their stories are inspirational and often miraculous. There are even many people who have achieved remission without spending tens of thousands of dollars at alternative/integrative clinics, but most have worked with local practitioners, made major shifts in all areas of their life, and have been very disciplined about following their recovery plan.
It is my sincere wish, that anyone with cancer who reads this will soon hear what many others have heard from their oncologist: “I can’t explain how your cancer has disappeared, but keep doing what you’re doing”.


Click here to buy the book at Amazon and get more detailed information about the clinics:
Hoping for a Cure: Alternative Cancer Treatment in Mexico, by Katey Hansen R.N., All rights reserved and may not be reproduced without the author’s permission.




Here are some more links and relevant reading:

Cancer research UK 

The weston Price foundation

Oasis of hope hospital, Mexico 

Hope4cancer treatments centers

Hoxsey clinic


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