My Cancer Journey
– What I’ve Learned –

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist

March 9, 2020 [printfriendly]


What I've Learned


I’ve learned so much about my body and my cancer since September 2018. I learned that most medical doctors are misinterpreting medical science and are moving in the wrong direction to prevent, treat, and cure cancer. I’ve learned that asking questions is the best way to determine, compare, and filter treatment options. Most importantly, I’ve learned that the meaning of life is not defined in a dictionary but revealed when one faces his or her mortality.



Medical Science

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US. WHY?


  • Did our primal ancestors experience exploding rates of cancer in their days as we are experiencing today? No!
  • Has our genetic code mutated in the last 100 years to cause malignancies to run roughshod over our health? No!
  • Are more targeted chemicals to kill malignant cells the answers to the excessive prevalence of cancer today? As an adjunctive therapy, maybe!
  • Are we missing the most important elements that are at the core of the development of cancerous cells? Most definitely!

I am not an oncologist. I am not a biochemical researcher. And I am not part of the pharmaceutical industry. I am a 72-year old periodontist who is dying from an incurable form of bone marrow cancer.


So, what is at the core of the development of cancerous cells? As I examine what happened to me that gave rise to an aggressive form of multiple myeloma, I have concluded that epigenetic factors caused my cancer.  I believe that these environmental irritants are THE major causes of tumor creation today. Physicians need to open their eyes and minds to the new paradigm that epigenetic factors cause malignancies.


Epigenetic factors refer to the biological mechanisms that will switch our genes on and off. Our genes are our unique blueprint that tell our body how to function. Biological changes surrounding our genes can change how these genes function. These biological changes are the result of what we eat, where we live, how we handle stress, when we sleep, if we exercise, and whatever we allow on or into our body. Any of these factors can eventually cause chemical modifications around our genes that will turn them on or off. Any one of these changes can cause an individual cell anywhere in our body to become abnormal and ultimately malignant.


My environment, my food, and my lifestyle exposed me to toxic elements, especially during my formal dental education almost 50 years ago. My overall toxic load must have exceeded my body’s ability to naturally detoxify. The result was the failure of at least one cell among all of my 30 trillion human cells.


We all experience cells that fail, go haywire, and become abnormal. When abnormal cells develop, they kill themselves naturally by a process known as apoptosis. Apoptosis is a type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps are triggered within the cell, which leads to its death. This is one method the body uses to clean house and get rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. In the beginning of a developing malignancy, it only takes one abnormal cell to fail to kill itself naturally. When the natural process of apoptosis is altered and blocked, that cell has the ability to multiply unchecked and initiate the disease known as cancer.


As I continued my research, I uncovered what I believe to be the pearls of knowledge to prevent, treat, and possibly cure cancer. My investigations suggest that it is vital to avoid the exposure to all toxic elements around us, to eat foods that have been critical for our species’ growth based on evolutionary studies and our nutritional requirements, and to repair our cells’ energy source known as our mitochondria. We also must make sure that our gut is healthy and that the 38 trillion microbes in our gut are in a state of balance. The individual protocols that I have integrated into my Unconventional Cancer Protocols include these areas of my research. (I offer my updated Unconventional Cancer Protocols to all who want it. Just email your request to me:



Questions for my Oncologist

On September 19, 2018, l learned that I had an incurable cancer that would kill me. My oncologist was exceptional. He candidly explained to me that I needed to immediately begin chemotherapy, which should place me into remission. However, he also clarified that this caustic chemical treatment would only be effective for a finite period of time. Active multiple myeloma again would surface, and I would require another round of chemotherapy. However, this time I would need a more aggressive form of chemicals because the previous cocktail of drugs would no longer be effective.


And so, this bone marrow cancer would continue to progress from active disease, then go into remission, and then return as an active disease until no chemotherapy would work any longer. According to my oncologist, I ultimately would succumb to the complications of IgA Kappa Light Chain Multiple Myeloma, which would kill me. All along this path, I most likely would experience a decline in the quality of my life. This would include the “side effects” from the chemicals infused into my body, which I might find worse than the cancer itself. Many physicians under-emphasize the decrease in the quality of life resulting from these “side effects”.


My questions helped me gain needed knowledge from integrated physicians and published case studies in medical journals throughout the world. From there, I came up with a series of unconventional protocols that made sense to me. My conventional oncologist agreed with my decisions to take a proactive interest and control of my healing going forward.


All along my unconventional cancer journey, I continued to see my cancer specialist at the cancer clinic every 3-4 weeks. I followed my unconventional cancer protocols from day “1”, but I frequently tweaked them as I discovered newer science and therapies. None of my protocols were “proven” by medical science to cure cancer; these protocols only had the potential to help my body heal naturally. It is also important to note that I never went into remission from my protocols although my medical tests remained relatively stable with slight fluctuations.


On November 8, 2019, my oncologist encouraged me to consider two new and targeted immunotherapies, which could specifically kill my malignant plasma cells and improve the health of my damaged bone tissues. These therapies, which are not forms of chemotherapy, were recently approved by the FDA for multiple myeloma. They are human-derived monoclonal antibodies, which specifically attack damaged and cancerous cells. I have included them within my Unconventional Cancer Protocols.



Meaning of Life

Books have been written for decades about the meaning of life. You may have read some of them; I certainly have. It’s fascinating that all of my philosophical readings meant very little until September 19, 2018.


On that day, my wife, my adult children and I were sitting in an examination room along with my oncologist and his physician’s assistant. On the computer screen, my doctor showed us my CT Scan, my blood work results, and various specialists’ interpretations of all my accumulated tests’ data. My oncologist discussed my diagnosis, my medical options, and my prognosis.


He gave me 3-6 months to live if I did nothing!


Can you imagine what would go on inside your mind after learning what I learned in this 30-minute appointment? What would be happening to your heartrate? How uncomfortable would the chair become on which you were sitting? Could you see into the eyes of your spouse as he or she sat with you, hearing what you were hearing? Would it be possible for you to appreciate that your entire life had been thrown off course in that one single moment?


All these things were happening to me condensed in that suspended instant in time. I was devastated. The room became a fuzzy vision as I tried to unpack the changes that would occur for my loved ones and my life.


I never was in denial. I knew that I had to take control of my destiny ASAP. I would never allow my body to be chemically destroyed if I could help it. Fortunately, my family and my oncologist supported my decision to reject chemotherapy and pursue whatever I could discover that might assist my body with healing. And so, my Unconventional Cancer Journey began.


My meaning of life just got a jolt. I am not religious, but I am extremely spiritual. I believe that my spirit lives on beyond my physical body as it exists this time on earth. I also intimately believe that quality of life and creating enduring memories with my immediate family are of the utmost importance for me going forward. In addition, I fervently believe in “giving back” and “paying it forward”. These would make up my legacy to the universe.


Being human, I have experienced infrequent but severe bouts of depression. I have fallen prey to thoughts of being a victim, being displaced, and being irrelevant. I had to retire from my 44 years of practicing periodontics after my diagnosis. This malignancy forced me to suspend all seminars where I was the speaker as well as all travel around the country. Those activities, which were my passions, were no longer part of my life. But I have been able to pull myself out of this pity party with help from my wife who has been my pillar of reason and stability.


She and I are making our lives matter to each other. As we celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary this June, we also will be celebrating our gratitude for life and our dedication and devotion to one another.



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  1. “U” THE MAN

  2. Happy Anniversary to you and your wife.

    • Happy 51st Wedding Anniversary Dr and Mrs Danenberg! What a precious celebration for you both. Thank you sir for living your best life and giving back!

  3. I have been following your journey over the past year. very inspirational and I have been cheering for you on your journey.

  4. You are an inspiration to all of your followers! Happy 51st Anniversary!
    I love reading your success story. You
    make a difference in my Life. I love your Attitude! Blessings to You!??

  5. You’ll have a wonderful legacy – no worries about that – thanks for all you do – especially being the light in people’s lives.

  6. You have a friend and a fan here in Tucson. Me! Thanks for sharing your journey with us all. An interesting note: I had two girlfriends that were both diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1990’s. One (In Oregon) rejected chemo and lymph node removal, dove deep in to research, and began working with a Chinese medicine doc. Lots of mushroom tinctures began brewing in her kitchen! She recently lost her life to cancer after 20+ years of healthy living until close to her last days. Another friend (living in France) got the best of conventional medicine. She took chemo, her chest irradiated to the point her thyroid was destroyed, lumpectomies. She lived, suffering, for about five years. Everyone has their path, and I salute your courage!

  7. What a journey you’ve been on. Congratulations to you and your wife on your 51st Wedding Anniversary.

  8. Happy Anniversary to you and your wife! And many more!

  9. Happy Anniversary to both of you! All the best!

  10. Dr. Dannenberg,
    Once again, I have found inspiration and celebration from your blog. I applaud your courage to pay attention to your inner wisdom, especially in the face of “Straight” medicine. Many blessings and happy congratulations to you and your wife and family. If it means something to you, happy Purim too.
    May the angels continue to guide your way,
    Nancy Young

  11. Thank you – such a wonderful perspective. Wishing you many more happy years with your wife and family.

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