Townsend Letter The Examiner of Alternative Medicine
Alternative Medicine Conference Calendar
Check recent tables of contents

From the Townsend Letter
August / September 2010

History of the Cancer Control Society
by Frank Cousineau

Search this site


The history of the Cancer Control Society began in 1959. Cecile Hoffman, an English schoolteacher in San Diego, California, was told that the radical mastectomy recently per­formed on her body had eliminated all the cancer. The often-heard expression is that the surgeon "got it all." Three years later, when symptoms from the inevitable metastases surfaced, our heroine was informed that the disease had spread so much that no further treatment was possible. In fact, her death was prophesied to occur within a matter of months.

In March 1963, her husband happened upon a copy of Laetrile: Control for Cancer, by Glen Kittler. Being a chemist, he read the book with great interest. The science described in the book made sense to him. That led him to speak with Dr. E. T. Krebs Jr., and eventually to the McNaughton Foundation in Montreal, Canada, where he took his wife in May 1963.

At the time, the McNaughton Foundation was one of a very select group of locations where laetrile therapy was being administered. Laetrile therapy uses amygdalin, or vitamin B17, along with other nontoxic natural substances, to attack cancer, while at the same time supporting the healthy parts of the body. This is in contrast to more conventional therapies that utilize surgery, ionizing radiation, and toxic chemotherapy, which make the patient sick and often lead to premature death.

Cecile Hoffman did not die as prophesied. She started to recover. However, when she and her husband returned to San Diego, her family physician was advised by his attorney not to treat her with laetrile, because it was not approved by the government. With a strong desire to live, Hoffman turned to prayer and a search for a medical professional to continue her therapy. Her prayers were answered when she found Ernesto Contreras Sr., MD, a well-qualified pathologist and oncologist, in Tijuana, Mexico, just across the border from San Diego.

Hoffman's personal success and desire to help others led her to organize the International Association of Cancer Victims and Friends in July 1963. As news spread throughout the US, many local chapters were formed. The Los Angeles chapter soon became one of the largest and most active. Lorraine Rosenthal and Betty Lee Morales became actively involved with the Los Angeles chapter in 1965. It was that core which became the Cancer Control Society in 1973. The society was incorporated as a nonprofit, charitable organization to provide information about complementary and alternative therapies to the thousands of people who called every year.

The late Betty Lee Morales, the first president of the Cancer Control Society, was known as the "first lady of nutrition." A crusader for natural foods, she had a passionate interest in nutrition education. She was a frequent lecturer at conventions and a guest on television and radio programs throughout the US. Morales was a well-known and sought-after consultant worldwide for her knowledge and ability to impart it.

Cofounder Lorraine Rosenthal received a BA degree in zoology in 1958 from the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a laboratory technician in cancer research at the Osteopathic School and City of Hope in Los Angeles.  She later managed a health food store called Oasis of Health. She has been a pioneer in the health field for over 40 years. In 1965 Rosenthal met Hoffman and soon became actively involved with the new organization. Her inquiring mind and extensive reading in the association's collection of health books and journals convinced her that nutrition was the primary source for maintaining health and preventing disease.

Rosenthal has been the Cancer Control Society's convention director since the beginning. She was also responsible for the production of two historical films, Nature's Answer to Cancer, the story of laetrile, and the National Health Federation documentary Action for Survival, starring Ralph Nader and Adelle Davis and featuring "freedom of choice" issues.

The other cofounder and past president of the Cancer Control Society was the late Norman Fritz, a retired aeronautical engineer, who met Hoffman in 1964. This chance meeting changed the course of his life and stimulated a lifelong interest in health and numerous suppressed therapies, which appeared to his scientific mind more valid than many of the conventional approaches. In 1977, Fritz was instrumental in establishing the first Gerson Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico.

The current president is Frank Cousineau. He was born in Hollywood, California and raised in the Los Angeles area for the first 18 years of his life. Cousineau then moved to Modesto in 1966 and graduated from Stanislaus State College (now California State University, Turlock) in 1969 with a BA in history, and a dual minor in English and economics. He was one class shy of an elementary teaching credential when his mother developed cancer in the spring of 1973. Surgery and chemotherapy proved to be of no use, so he took his mother to Dr. Contreras in Tijuana for alternative therapy. Not only did it prolong his mother's life, making her passing more comfortable, he met his future wife there.

Cousineau's involvement in alternative therapies increased dramatically when he married Dr. Contreras's secretary, and in 1980 they formed an enterprise called Life Support to supply alternative hospitals, clinics, and doctors with natural innovative products. In addition, he is a consultant to medical doctors and clinics specializing in alternative and complementary medicine.

The Cancer Control Society has hosted an Annual Cancer Convention in the Los Angeles area every year since 1973. The convention brings professionals from all over the world, speaking on the latest controls and treatments for cancer and other degenerative diseases. Attendees come from almost every state in the US and many foreign countries. An integral feature of the convention is the Doctors' Symposium, where medical professionals exchange their most current ideas and learn from one another.

In 1984, the Cancer Control Society started tours to the medical facilities in Tijuana so that patients and their families could see alternative therapies in action, meet the doctors, and learn what options are available. In addition, the tours provide an academic setting where nurses and dentists receive continuing education credits required by their licensing boards and learn how to integrate these complementary therapies with conventional approaches.

Since 1995, the society has supported its Japanese chapter with Cousineau's participation at the Annual Cancer Convention in Japan. Cooperation between the two main branches of the organization has fueled increased interest in alternative therapies around the world and well beyond their respective borders.

The Cancer Control Society daily sends out packets of information to patients and their families and friends in distress upon receiving a diagnosis of cancer, packets containing hope with directions for a better way to approach the disease process. The society headquarters sends out books and DVDs providing both education and useful examples of complementary medicine. As part of its mission, the society exhibits educational materials at numerous public events and professional conferences around the US. The society's influence is growing worldwide as the media pick up on the importance of nontoxic alternative therapies and nutrition.

For more information, contact the Cancer Control Society at 2043 N. Berendo Street, Los Angeles, California 90027; 323-663-7801; fax 323-663-7757;;; or



Consult your doctor before using any of the treatments found within this site.

Subscriptions are available for Townsend Letter, the Examiner of Alternative Medicine magazine, which is published 10 times each year.

Search our pre-2001 archives for further information. Older issues of the printed magazine are also indexed for your convenience.
1983-2001 indices ; recent indices

Once you find the magazines you'd like to order, please use our convenient form, e-mail, or call 360.385.6021 (PST).

Who are we? | New articles | Featured topics |
Tables of contents
| Subscriptions | Contact us | Links | Classifieds | Advertise | Alternative Medicine Conference Calendar | Search site | Archives |
EDTA Chelation Therapy | Home

© 1983-2010 Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients
All rights reserved.
Website by Sandy Hershelman Designs
September 30, 2010

Order back issues
Advertise with TLDP!

Visit our pre-2001 archives