His tumor has breached the lining of his rectum & is reaching out to his lymph nodes. This is called stage 2, T3 cancer. The conventional recommendation by several doctors is to treat Bert with heavy doses of chemo/radiation along w/ surgery that is either a permanent colostomy, or removal of his rectum & sigmoid colon, with the hope of being able to re-attach the 'pipes' down the road. That's if the tumor can be shrunk enough during the pre-surgery treatments.
We do believe that there are several medical models and ways to treat cancer and other degenerative disease. We are looking into alternative methods of healing as either a compliment to conventional methods, or ideally, as a full course of treatment. The Gerson Method, as described in the documentary, "Dying to Have Known", is the method we feel an alignment with, and wish to pursue healing via this route, before walking the conventional path.
As I had feared, they are hoping to replace conventional treatment with the unproven Gerson Method. I can understand why one might not want to use the conventional methods - they sound horrible (not that the Gerson Method sounds particularly pleasant to me either), but they do afford a better chance of survival, which it seems to me is the most important factor.
I feel passionately about this because my mother and my aunt both died of lung cancer, which is still a very bad diagnosis to receive. After my mother's lung cancer was diagnosed, she lived for about 15 months. My aunt survived much longer because it was caught by chance by a lung x-ray. She had surgery and went for quite a few years without symptoms, until it recurred about eight years after the first diagnosis. She died about two years later. On the second round, she basically only had palliative care. She decided not to go for a full chemotherapy or radiation treatment, only if it would ease her pain or make her more comfortable.
I think that there is a difference between deciding that one does not want the unpleasant effects of chemotherapy or other conventional methods, and thus not employing them with full knowledge of the possible consequences, and deciding (or being convinced) to use a method that will not work under the illusion that it will. The outcome may be the same, but at least in the first case one has not been deceived and exploited, which I think is what is happening in this instance.