His life is spent jetting around the world, running motivational talks and meeting the world's power brokers like Sir Richard Branson. His health has been something he just took for granted. Although his diet was not terrible, he did eat a great deal of processed foods, and his favourite breakfast snack was a pastry filled with cheese, washed down with plentiful supplies of Diet Coke. He described himself as a "second-degree vegetarian"-he'd eat anything that had fed off grass. He thought his general health was good, although he was overweight, he had raised blood pressure and he suffered from frequent colds. He also kept a close eye on his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) score for any tell-tale signs of prostate problems. Then, in just three years, his PSA score doubled from 3 to 6 and, one day in 2012, his urologist gave him the worst possible news: he had prostate cancer.
Ivan was 55 at the time, which meant he had to do something. As he was to discover, men diagnosed with the cancer when they're in their 60s and 70s are likely to die with the disease, but not from it. But at his age, he knew he was likely to be one of the cancer's many victims unless he acted. "The urologist said I had between six months to a year to research and decide what I wanted to do next, but he was clearly leaning towards surgery as the best option," Ivan recalled. At the time, Ivan's wife, Beth, was in California, assuming Ivan's medical check-up would be just
another routine visit, so he had to face this prognosis alone. "I remember sitting in my car afterwards, and I just made out a list of all the possible outcomes from my cancer diagnosis. In all, I was able to come up with seven positives, and they all came true. One was: Oh well, at least with cancer I'll lose some weight!" So, just as he would if launching a new business project, Ivan set out on his 'curing my prostate cancer' mission with his usual pragmatism and high energy.
He looked at the various therapies on offer, such as cryotherapy-where the cancer cells are frozen- chemotherapy and ultrasound. At one stage, he favoured brachiotherapy, where radioactive 'seeds' are inserted into the tumour, until he discovered that this was a 'last-resort' therapy, after which nothing more can be done. While deciding on his next move, he went to a prostate
cancer conference, which he described as "the most depressing experience of my entire life". He saw men who had had surgery walking around with incontinence pads; those who weren't incontinent were impotent, he discovered. By then, Ivan had radically changed his diet. He wasn't sure it would make much difference, but it would at least get him in good shape for when the chemotherapy or surgery started. "I suppose I thought that I didn't have anything to lose. At worst, I would be a little healthier and fitter," he said. The idea of the new diet came from his wife, Beth, who had been eating a healthier diet for around 12 years to keep her migraine attacks under control. She was also a frequent visitor to the Center for Advanced Medicine in California, set up by nutritional pioneer Dr William Kellas. "I was on a sugar-free, fat-free diet, but when Ivan was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I knew he had to adopt a stricter diet than that, and I decided to do it with him," said Beth. "Beth was my guide and my coach, but I had to be captain of my own ship. I had to want to make fundamental changes to my diet and so stick with it," said Ivan. Like his approach to business projects, Ivan was "fully committed" to the new lifestyle and the radical changes. "It wasn't easy, but I was pretty motivated. I wanted to be as healthy as I could possibly be and to give it my all. Cheating wasn't going to be an option."
The Misner protocol
Do eat: brown rice, organic white meats like chicken and turkey,
organic vegetables, egg whites, salmon and shrimp. Don't eat: wheat, fruit, starchy vegetables, processed foods, non- organic vegetables, butter. Phase 1 (eight-day cleanse) sample menus
Cucumber and dill salad Wash and chop a large cucumber. Add one stalk of spring (green) onion and sea salt. Sprinkle with fresh chopped dill and dress with lemon olive oil.
Purple and white soup (serves 4) 4 cups purified water Quarter of red onion, cut into large pieces 1 cup broccoli tops, chopped 1 leafy kale, chopped 8 Brussels sprouts, whole or cut in half
1/2 cup green beans, chopped into half-inch pieces 2 Tbsp olive oil1 tsp sea salt 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper Juice of half a lemon Boil the water and add the vegetables. Simmer for 35 minutes. Add
olive oil, sea salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice, and boil until bubbling. Serve. Spinach `a la limone (breakfast) Bring a half-inch depth of filtered water to a gentle boil. Add fresh
spinach leaves and steam them, then drain and toss with lemon olive oil. Add sea salt and garlic powder.
And it was tough. Ivan lost 12 pounds in just five days
during the first phase of the protocol which, as Beth described it, was a complete cleanse. For eight days, Ivan ate nothing but non-starchy vegetables, brown rice and soup. Then, for the second phase, which lasted a further month, Ivan ate egg whites, organic turkey and chicken, salmon and shrimp, and organic vegetables. Fruits, high-starch vegetables and wheat were still off-limits,
and alcohol-which is high in sugar-was kept to a minimum. During the second phase, Ivan went to the UK to meet Dr John Grinstein, who had been recommended to Beth by doctors at the Center for Advanced Medicine. Dr Grinstein has been researching the use of nutraceuticals to regress neurological diseases and, more recently, cancers. According to his theory, cancer is the inability of the immune system to repair DNA damage, but chemical compounds in fruits and vegetables can activate DNA repair. He gave Ivan a nutritional concentrate called GC-18000, made up of extracts from plants believed to have chemotherapeutic effects on cancer cells. "I remember Dr Grinstein said that the prostate cancer cells would just fade away," said Ivan. Soon after starting the GC-18000 phytonutrient, Ivan went for an ultrasound to see how the cancer was progressing. "I remember the radiologist was astonished because it had clinically fallen. He said it was as though it was fading." A month later, it was still fading and there was no outline to the cancerous cells. "They just looked like normal cells," said Ivan.
Four months into the Grinstein therapy, Ivan went for another ultrasound. "The radiologist kept apologizing and stepped out of the room. I was left there, in a very inelegant position, with the nurse looking on, and she kept grinning at me nervously." Eventually the radiologist explained that he kept going back to his office to compare the results with earlier ones-because
he couldn't see any trace of prostate cancer. Unaware of the progress being made, the urologist who had given Ivan six months to make his decision got in touch and told him it was time
to "take this seriously". Ivan went, taking a three-ring binder with graphs and ultrasound results, all showing the cancer cells fading and finally disappearing. The urologist was impressed, but not
convinced, and suggested that Ivan have the more accurate PCA3 (prostate cancer gene 3) test, which had recently been approved in the US. With this test, a score of 25 indicated a healthy, non-cancerous person. Expecting to see a score of 50, the urologist was astonished to see Ivan's results come out at 26. "I went back a while later and the reading had come down to 17, and today it's right down at 13-now my lucky number," says Ivan. Aside from losing the cancer, he's also lost 44 pounds in weight, and he doesn't suffer from lots of colds anymore. Beth has also benefited; the worst symptoms of her tinnitus have disappeared and she can hear clearly without the help of a hearing aid. Ivan is now a man on a mission. He has written an e-book, The Misner Plan: How We Healed Cancer Naturally With Food, Nutrition and Healthy Living, which is available on Kindle, and the sales revenues are being ploughed back into spreading the word. "Men
who've just been diagnosed with prostate cancer phone me up, and I spend hours talking with them," he says. "I just want to make a difference and help others." Ivan may still have a head for business, but there's been a shift in his heart. The 'woo-woo' isn't quite as 'woo-woo' anymore. The Misner Plan is available as an e-book on Amazon Kindle (lb3.76).
Eight things you need to know about prostate cancer After researching prostate cancer and talking to experts, Ivan says there are eight things you really need to know about prostate cancer, the tests and treatments.
1 Watch your PSA score with care A doubling in a year could spell trouble and even cancer.
2 If you need to have tests, go from the less- invasive to the more-invasive There can be many reasons why a PSA result rises-such as a recent bike ride or an infection-and it shouldn't
automatically signal an invasive biopsy.
3 Doppler scanning After a digital scan, the next step up is a high-definition colour Doppler ultrasound scan, which can tell whether a tumour is growing from the amount of blood circulating around it.
4 If an ultrasound scan detects activity, the next test is the new PCA3 test It's not pleasant and involves a fairly vigorous digital examination, but it's still better, and less painful, than a
biopsy. A score of 25 or less suggests no cancer is present.
5 Try to avoid a biopsy Nobody explains its possible side- effects-like incontinence and impotence-as the biopsy needle can nick nerve fibres around the prostate gland. If you must have a biopsy, choose a doctor who has already performed many hundreds of them.
6 Choose 'watchful waiting', or 'active surveillance' as it's now called If cancer has been diagnosed, stay on top of the problem with regular tests; that way you'll know when it's the right
time to go for treatment, whether it's chemotherapy, surgery, radiation or something alternative.
7 Get all the facts about the various treatments Brachiotherapy, where tiny radioactive seeds are implanted into the tumour, is becoming a favourite choice, but doctors often fail to tell you it's a
'last-resort' treatment-no doctor will operate on a radioactive prostate, for instance. Other options include high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, which kills cancer cells with heat,
and cryotherapy, where ice crystals are implanted into the prostate to freeze- kill cancer cells. Even then, there's a fairly high risk that nerve bundles will suffer serious and lasting side-effects.
8 Read and research Two books Ivan recommends are Invasion of the Prostate Snatchers by Ralph Blum and Mark Scholz, and Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr Bernie Siegel.