‘Little House on the Prairie’: Michael Landon Was ‘Irked’ By 1 Thing His Cancer Doctors Did

Little House on the Prairie star Michael Landon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1991 and died shortly afterward on July 1, 1991. Before succumbing to the illness, Landon worked hard to do whatever he could to get better. The late actor said he was “irked” by one thing his doctors did while he was battling the disease. Here’s what he said about his experience.

Michael Landon’s doctors reportedly said chemotherapy was his “only hope”

Michael Landon wears a hat and looks up while sitting on the farm on the set of 'Little House on the Prairie.'
Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls | NBCU Photo Bank

Landon said the “only hope” his oncologists saw was administering chemotherapy. However, he was concerned because he heard the success rate of chemotherapy for his type of cancer was practically zero. “Less than 1% of the patients treated are alive at the end of five years,” said Landon in his 1991 Life interview. He was skeptical about the benefits of chemotherapy in his case. Landon also had concerns about side effects.

However, Landon was willing to try chemotherapy because he wasn’t feeling well. He reached a point where it was difficult to eat because he would get stomach pains after having a meal. As a result, he said he lost roughly 14 pounds in three weeks. After Landon tried chemotherapy, he didn’t like it, so he stopped.

“I just hated it,” Landon told Life. “I hated the thought of being injected with deadly chemicals and having no control over my life. So, I decided to stop chemotherapy, at least for now, and try something different.”

Michael Landon was ‘irked’ by his doctors

Landon said his doctors “irked” him because they pushed medication instead of lifestyle changes. According to him, his new diet seemed to be working better than the drugs they wanted him to take. He didn’t think they understood that a diet change could work wonders.

“You know what irks me?” said Landon in his Life interview. “I’m dealing with some of the best cancer specialists. If I get stomach cramps, they know exactly what drugs will block the pain. They also know that when you block pain, you dull your mind and lower your energy. But they figure that’s the price you have to pay.”

Landon felt that his doctors only focused on giving him drugs for his symptoms instead of treating him with natural methods. “It never occurs to them that you could stop the pain just by changing your diet,” said Landon. “Why don’t they know that? Why is it they only know what kind of chemicals to pump into people?”

Michael Landon used alternative methods to treat his cancer

Landon agreed to undergo chemotherapy, but he also used alternative treatments. He told Life magazine he spoke to a few people who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and recovered after taking alternative treatments.

After his diagnosis, Landon went on a “radical diet” consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables. He also began taking a coffee enema and undergoing experimental procedures. He said he noticed his abdominal pains went away as soon as he started the new diet.

Landon was determined to fight as hard as he could and do whatever it took to regain his health. “No doctor has shown me a reason to trust his judgment in this matter more than my own,” said Landon. “It’s my life and my death. “If I have to die, I want to die by my own mind.”

RELATED: ‘Little House on the Prairie’: A Look Back on the Life and Career of Michael Landon

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