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Americans Go South of the Border, to Mexico, for Cancer Treatment

Updated on January 3, 2016

Finding Medical Care in Mexico

Tijuana has dozens of cancer clinics.
Tijuana has dozens of cancer clinics. | Source

Mexican Cancer Clinics

Marla Manhart was once a cancer patient. She decided against conventional treatment. Instead, she sought alternative care south of the border, in Tijuana, Mexico.

Now, 23 years later, Manhart is cancer free. She also runs a free referral service for others battling the disease.

Her phone line is busy. She averages about 15 calls a day from people desperately seeking a cancer cure.

About 75 percent of callers are stage IV patients. “They've been told to get their affairs in order,” Manhart noted.

The rest are newly diagnosed, and want non-toxic therapies. “(These) patients have watched somebody they love go through chemo and radiation and they die anyway,” she explained. “They don't want to go through it."

“I get calls from all over the world,” she added. “People call all the time from all over.”

Alternative cancer care in Mexico
Alternative cancer care in Mexico | Source

Hyperthermia is Available in Mexico

Manhart, who has a website at, said many Americans and Europeans travel, due to stringent regulations in their home countries. Oncologists in the United States, by law, can only recommend approved treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Mexican doctors, on the other hand, have more treatment options, and some of which have a long track record of success, according to Manhart. It's a similar situation in Germany. These two countries, she noted, “have the best laws for alternative treatments.”

One example is hyperthermia, a staple at Mexican and German cancer clinics. There are several different types of hyperthermia, which involves heating the cancer cells. Cancer cells are coated with a hard protein known as fibirin. When heat gets inside it cannot escape and the cancer cells die. Healthy cells don't have this protein cover.

In the United States, doctors only use microwave hyperthermia, and often combine it with radiation. Because these waves are similar to the microwaves that cook food, normal cells are damaged in the process.

Doctors in Mexico, on the other hand, employ several other types of hyperthermia, which allows for whole-body treatment. This is especially advantageous for stage IV cancer.

Many Patients Wish to Avoid Biopsies

Other patients choose Mexican clinics because they know they are sick, but don't want a biopsy, Manhart explained. Some alternative physicians believe biopsies cause tumors to spread. Mexican doctors can use other means of diagnosis, such as blood tests, thermography and ultrasounds.

Mexican clinics typically address spiritual and emotional needs as well as physical. Some of the doctors even pray with their patients, according to Manhart.

Currently, she works with a handful clinics, including Hope4Cancer Institute, Stella Maris Clinic, Angeles Functional Oncology, Integrative Whole Health Clinic, BioScience Research Hospital and International Biocare Hospital.

She became acquainted with the Mexican cancer clinics and their doctors during her recovery process. She moved to Tijuana and lived there seven years. “I loved everything about it,” she said of the Mexican people and culture.

Where is Tijuana?

The Cost of Treatment

Sometimes, Manhart said, insurers reimburse for treatment at a Mexican Cancer Clinic. People with PPOs, which allow out of network care, may get their treatments covered.Manhart said the average cost of treatment ranges from $26,000-$30,000. Treatment involves a two to four-week stay in Mexico.

Mexican doctors also offer free telephone consultations and they don't accept patients if they feel they can't help them.

The clinics generally have a waiting list. Manhart stressed that patients who want treatment at a Mexican clinic should do so while they're still healthy enough to benefit. When someone is told they have just a few weeks to live, she explained, it's often too late.

Patients cross the border for cancer care.
Patients cross the border for cancer care. | Source

Keeping the Cancer Away

The clinics work with patients once they return home from Mexico, since keeping the disease in check is a long-term commitment.

“The patient has to do a lot of work too,” Manhart said. “You can't just go for a magic treatment and it's never going to come back. You have to do the work yourself when you come home.”

She explained this typically involves an overhaul in lifestyle that includes a healthy diet, reducing stress and exercise.

“Whatever your personal toxins are you have to let go of them,” she added.

Manhart knows all too well that people who choose alternative medicine for cancer often find their loved ones aren't supportive.

I am constanly amazed at the courage of cancer patient,” she said. It's not easy to turn your back on conventional medicine, especially when your friends and family think you are making a huge mistake.”

"Instead of being immobilized by their diagnosis, they get moving - they do their research, make phone calls, pray, interview doctors, and follow their inner voice,” she stated. “They aren't making the easy choice, but they are making a choice that they feel is right for them, in spite of the opposition.”

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not meant to diagnose‚ treat or cure any disease or medical condition.

This article is intended for informational purposes. People with health concerns should consult a licensed health practitioner. The author is not responsible for treatment decisions or adverse outcomes.


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  • ologsinquito profile image

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Hi touch and tom, thanks so much for reading and for commenting. I see that you are both writing about Rick Simpson hemp oil. Tom, you wrote that your mother-in-law was in the final stages of breast cancer and was cured because of this oil.

    I have to delete your comments because I cannot have an email or link in the comment section. Please feel free to leave these comments again, writing about the name of this oil, but deleting the email information.


  • ologsinquito profile image

    ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

    Mrs. Vera, thanks for reading. Unfortunately, I can't keep comments that have email addresses and links. But I'm so happy to hear of your good news.