A top cancer specialist, Professor Michael Baum, has told Prince Charles off over alternative therapies. Prince Charles had announced that having coffee enemas was a suitable treatment for cancer patients. He had also said that the Gerson diet is suitable.

Professor Michael Baum told Prince Charles in a letter that people only listen to him because of an accident of birth (he was born into royalty). He suggested, in the letter, that Prince Charles is surrounded by sycophants (yes men) who agree with everything he says.

A spokesman for Prince Charles said that the Prince had never suggested people should abandon their orthodox treatments for alternatives ? rather that alternatives can be useful (complementary).

Professor Baum wrote this letter to the BMJ (British Medical Journal) for everyone to see. It was directed at Prince Charles and said:

?With respect, your highness, you?ve got it wrong??.Your power and authority rest on an accident of birth. I don\'t begrudge you that authority and we probably share many opinions about art and architecture, but I do beg you to exercise your power with extreme caution when advising patients with life threatening diseases to embrace unproven therapies. There is no equivalent of the GMC for the monarchy, so it is left either to sensational journalism or, more rarely, to the quiet voice of loyal subjects such as myself to warn you that you may have overstepped the mark??It is in the nature of your world to be surrounded by sycophants (including members of the medical establishment hungry for their mention in the Queen\'s birthday honours list) who constantly reinforce what they assume are your prejudices?..Sir, they patronise you! Allow me this chastisement.\"

UK News Article June 27th, when Charles spoke about this
The Guardian, June 27th

Prince Charles has never made a secret of his love affair with alternative medicine. Now he has infuriated the medical profession by backing a controversial cancer treatment which involves taking daily coffee enemas and drinking litres of fruit juice instead of using drugs. Charles gave an enthusiastic endorsement last week to the Gerson Therapy, which eschews chemotherapy in favour of 13 fruit juices a day, coffee enemas and weekly injections of vitamins.

Cancer specialists have told The Observer that there is no scientific basis for the theory and that it can be dangerous because patients who are seriously ill often come off their normal treatment to try something unproven which may leave them badly dehydrated.

Speaking to a room of 200 healthcare professionals at a conference, Charles said: \'I know of one patient who turned to Gerson Therapy having been told she was suffering from terminal cancer and would not survive another course of chemotherapy. Happily, seven years later, she is alive and well. So it is vital that, rather than dismissing such experiences, we should further investigate the beneficial nature of these treatments.\'

Charles\'s spokesmen last night refused to say whether the patient he referred to is a close friend or someone he met in his role as patron of four cancer charities. What has become clear is that a tight network of friends and associates are advocates of the therapy. Dudley Poplak, an interior designer who has a client list of the great and the good, is the man who is thought to have first alerted Charles to the treatment. Poplak redecorated Highgrove House for Charles and Diana and designed their apartment in Kensington Palace. He gave Charles a copy of the book A Time to Heal: My Triumph over Cancer - Beata Bishop\'s story of how she beat malignant melanoma 23 years ago by following the strict dietary regime.

Bishop would not comment yesterday on whether the prince had read her book, but said: \'For years the orthodox medical profession has been totally ignorant of the immense potential of nutritional therapy. Finally they have admitted that if you eat the right food you can prevent serious illness, but they still say that if you are ill, you can do nothing. I am not the only one who has survived on Gerson; there are many others like me.\' Max Gerson, a German-born physician, gave his name to the rigorous diet, which he initially used to cure his own migraines. He gained a huge following and moved to the US after practising in Paris, but incurred the wrath of the American medical profession for presenting five patients alive and well to a US congressional committee, years after they had been sent home to die.

He believed that cancer was the symptom of a diseased, polluted body in which tumours form when the liver, pancreas and other organs are out of balance, and reasoned that animal and dairy products and other chemicals must be banned. The coffee enemas are used to strip the gut of harmful bacteria and pollutants, but specialists argue they often lead to other problems such as dehydration. http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1248282,00.html