Surround yourself with loved ones, family and friends, they are anxious to be a part of your healing journey, afford them that blessing and privilege

Cancer is a horrible and terrifying disease. Yet millions of people have beaten the odds and beat cancer. Authority Magazine started a new series called “I Survived Cancer and Here Is How I Did It”. In this interview series, we are talking to cancer survivors to share their stories, in order to offer hope and provide strength to people who are being impacted by cancer today. As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Byron Elton, Chief Marketing Officer at CancerVax.

Byron Elton is an experienced media and marketing executive with a proven record in pioneering and new business development strategies and building top-flight marketing organizations. Since June 2018, he has been President of Elton Enterprises, Inc., which is involved in the wellness, fitness and health sectors. He is a co-founder of Pardue Associates, operating monsho, a brand-centric, creative communications agency focused on delivering results. Mr. Elton was a partner at Clear Search, an executive search firm; President & CEO of Carbon Sciences, Inc. a cleantech company developing technology to convert earth destroying carbon dioxide into a useful form; Senior Vice President of Sales for Univision Online; as Regional Vice President of Sales at AOL Media Networks; Senior Vice President of e-commerce for AOL Canada; has broadcast media experience with the ABC affiliate in Santa Barbara, CA and the CBS affiliate in Monterrey, CA; and served as President of the Alaskan Television Network. Mr. Elton studied Advertising and Marketing Communications at Brigham Young University.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! We really appreciate the courage it takes to publicly share your story. Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your childhood backstory?

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1954. My father ran a local radio station and my mother was a model and piano teacher. They were quite the power couple! He was a talented singer and actor and my parents were well known in the community. I had four brothers and we had a quintessential Canadian upbringing with long winters, lots of hockey and a home filled with music and laughter.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

It comes from my father who said, “Always assume good intent,” meaning that you go through life with the attitude that people are generally good and even when you don’t understand or may be offended by certain behaviors, that you need to wait before judging and the good will emerge. It has served me well and I have found it to be true and helpful.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about surviving cancer. Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you found out that you had cancer?

It came from a routine blood test after a serious bike accident and the doctor called and wanted me to come in immediately to discuss. My PSA was extremely high.

What was the scariest part of that event? What did you think was the worst thing that could happen to you?

It was the unknown. I have known many people with cancer, many of whom have passed away after long, debilitating and painful struggles. The worst thing was that I might not have much time and would leave my family without me.

How did you react in the short term?

I tried to be positive and was determined to follow the counsel of my doctors to make things right and beat it.

After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use? What did you do to cope physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually?

Certainly my family (especially my wife) was a great strength and comfort to me. We didn’t share it widely but those in my inner circle all rallied and circled the wagons as it were. It was a tender time and an acknowledgment that I had may people who loved me and were there for me. Certainly my faith was key and it was a time of contemplation and prayer. In many ways, it was a tender mercy to concentrate on what was most important and all my worldly concerns faded.

Is there a particular person you are grateful towards who helped you learn to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?

Undoubtedly my wife. She sprang into action and took immediate charge of my situation with the myriad of treatments and appointments and was a pillar of strength.

In my own cancer struggle, I sometimes used the idea of embodiment to help me cope. Let’s take a minute to look at cancer from an embodiment perspective. If your cancer had a message for you, what do you think it would want or say?

Don’t take anything for granted and never forget the difference between the noise of the world and what is really important; faith, family, friends.

What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? How has cancer shaped your worldview? What has it taught you that you might never have considered before? Can you please explain with a story or example?

I have been fiendishly careful about my health my whole life. I have never smoked, drank alcohol, done drugs and have exercised faithfully. I have had a whole food, plant-based diet for nearly forty years. In spite of that, I got cancer. I did not get checked as regularly as I should have because I thought I was the last person that would have to deal with it. My children will not make the same mistake.

How have you used your experience to bring goodness to the world?

As the Chief Marketing Officer at CancerVAX, a pre-clinical biotechnology company, I am proud to be part of team that whose primary mission is to find a better way to treat cancer. At CancerVax, we are working with a talented and passionate team at UCLA to develop a universal cancer vaccine that uses the body’s immune system to detect, mark and destroy cancer cells. The traditional treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation do not use the body’s natural defense to help heal itself, and I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful initiative.

What are a few of the biggest misconceptions and myths out there about fighting cancer that you would like to dispel?

The thought that anyone is immune. In the case of prostate cancer (the one I dealt with), all men will get it to some degree, regardless of lifestyle.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give to others who have recently been diagnosed with cancer? What are your “5 Things You Need To Beat Cancer? Please share a story or example for each.

Surround yourself with loved ones, family and friends, they are anxious to be a part of your healing journey, afford them that blessing and privilege

Eat well, a whole food, plant-based diet the best

Regular exercise, every day

Prayer and meditation, exercise your faith, there are unseen forces and guardian angels waiting to attend to you.

Be positive and assume a good outcome. It is part of the healing process.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and traditional treatments, while improved, have not produced acceptable results. The human body is a miracle and has properties that we need to harness to keep us healthy and treat cancer when it appears. There are better ways to treat cancer and companies like CancerVax and brilliant people like the researchers at UCLA are working on just that. It is imperative that we research and support those who are working on these important issues.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Michael Buble (fellow Canadian) who with his wonderful wife went through a difficult time with his child, fortunately with a positive outcome. I would love to hear his perspective and experience.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

To learn more about the exciting work of CancerVAX and the talented team at UCLA, please visit us at

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.