Posted August 29, 2017 04:57 pm - Updated September 24, 2017 06:43 am

Meet Paul Kraus: The Worlds Longest Mesothelioma Survivor

To many, having diagnostic results that read positive for cancer is a death sentence. Such was Paul Kraus’ mental state when he tested positive for Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer which develops in the linings around the heart, abdomen or lungs and is normally treated with surgery and chemotherapy. This type of cancer is caused by asbestos and is considered incurable.  It is for this reason that many find Kraus’ victorious battle with Mesothelioma a source of inspiration.

How Can Lifestyle Changes Help?

Most people agree that an individual’s lifestyle and attitude fundamentally contributes to their overall well being and health. Nevertheless, the distribution of people who will apply this theory directly and immediately is few and far between. This, and the fact that Kraus is the world’s longest-known Mesothelioma survivor, are what makes Kraus’ story quite prolific.  The same also explains the success behind Kraus’ bestselling book, “Surviving Mesothelioma & Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide.”

Kraus’ battle with cancer is traceable back to 1997, when he, 52 years old at the time, tested positive for Mesothelioma.  Kraus and his health care providers were convinced that he had set the stage for this disease when he worked at a summer job, in a chemical factory, as an undergraduate student.

How Did Paul Kraus Get The Disease?

While working in the factory, Kraus swept up the very dust which was later confirmed to contain asbestos. He remembered the dust falling on his clothes and skin. Partly, Paul Kraus’ victorious battle with Mesothelioma is attributable to his nature and character. Having been born in a Nazi forced labor camp at the close of the Second World War in 1944, Paul’s mother, Clara, with Paul in her arms and his two year old brother in tow, escaped from the camp, just in time to avoid a Nazi death march. The three escapees also successfully braved a long and perilous cross-country journey before being reunited with Clara’s family. Kraus’ father survived the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp and joined the family later. It is after the end of the Second World War that the Kraus family migrated to Australia and became citizens of Australia in the 1950s. From this, it is clear that right from the onset of his life, Kraus has been a survivor.

Kraus attended Macquarie University for his undergraduate studies, before going for his Master of Education at the University of Sydney.  He had been working as a history teacher when, in 1997, he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Unlike many people, Kraus chose to accept the diagnosis but not the dire prognosis of 12 months or less to live that his doctors delivered to him.

To fight for his life against Mesothelioma, he decided to drastically change his lifestyle. Part of the change was the switch to vegetarian diet, giving up on coffee, employing regular physical exercise and meditation. This decision had been partly informed by a holistic retreat that Kraus and his wife had attended. In the retreat, the couple learned about healthy living and eating. An extensive list of herbal medicine and dietary supplements were also added to Kraus’ health regimen with the help of professional clinicians.

As Kraus religiously applied the health regimen over the years, his diligence culminated into a real life account of survival against traditionally insurmountable odds.  Kraus has not only survived mesothelioma but has become the longest documented mesothelioma survivor in the world.

Paul’s Advice To Other Sufferers

Ultimately, to Kraus, it is noteworthy that there is always room for hope, the threat of the disturbing news of a terminal diagnosis notwithstanding. Kraus believes what matters most is reasonably trusting one’s own instincts, taking control of one’s own treatment and being ready and willing to make radical and quick changes towards actualising the pathway to healing. The ray of positivity in Kraus’ heart has seen him successfully controlling his cancer and not the other way around.  Kraus prefers holistic treatment methods to traditional medicine, even though he has nothing against the latter.  His preference is justified by the fact of holistic methods having worked for him for more than two decades.

Kraus says, “Survival from metastasised mesothelioma is indeed a rare event but I remember reading shortly after diagnosis that there are many remarkable recoveries from all types of so-called terminal cancers. I read these works carefully, especially a book by a former oncologist, Carl Simonton, MD, Getting Well Again. There is no ‘magic bullet’ but rather taking a multi-faceted approach to healing that incorporates body, mind and spirit. We embarked on that approach with a positive mindset.  My main advice to mesothelioma and other cancer patients is not to concentrate purely on the physical level. In other words while diet, vitamins and supplements, juicing and exercise all play a very important role in healing, the power of the mind harnessed through meditation, affirmations and prayer also play a vital role in recovery. Empower yourself because hope has physiological effects on the body.”

If you are interested in the different modalities described in this article speak to your doctor or licensed professional caregiver. Any decisions made should always involve their input and advice.