Monday, 8 October 2012

Cancer is Simply


Cancer is Simply... 

A cancer diagnosis scares all of us. I have no more vivid memory than seeing
my former wife's body after it had been wracked by four years of cancer,
chemotherapy, operations and painkilling drugs.

Her bout with cancer started me on my search for answers. How can we deal with
it gently? How can we prevent it? To do either, we must first understand it.

Some Cancer Numbers 

First, let me give you a few numbers. As of 2004, cancer is the leading cause of 
death in the United States. About 24% of all deaths each year are blamed on 
cancer. 

Notice the word "about". As I mentioned above, my former wife, Marjorie, died on 
November 1, 1994 after a four-year bout with cancer. On her death certificate, 
her doctor wrote "heart failure" as the cause of death. Obviously, any statistics 
on death rates need to be taken with a grain of salt. My doctor friends tell me that 
the law requires them to enter the final cause of death, not the precursor, 
whatever that means. 

More than a million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year and more 
than half a million death certificates cite cancer as the cause of death. 

Another 800,000 develop small, "non-invading" cancers and various mild kinds 
of skin cancer. Both types generally do not spread and can be easily removed. 
These cancers are not counted in the annual cancer statistics. 

For women 35 to 74, cancer is the leading cause of death. For men of the same 
age range, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as the leading cause 
of death. 

Where Does It Come From? 

Most cancers arise from our interaction with the world around us. Almost one-
third of all cancers diagnosed in Europe and in the United States can be linked to 
tobacco use. These account for more than 150,000 deaths in the United States 
each year. 

Food choices contribute to another one-third of the cancers, especially stomach 
and colon cancers. 

Thinner people are at lower risk of breast, prostate and uterine cancer. This is 
probably because these cancers are linked to high exposure to the sex 
hormones, estrogen and testosterone. These hormones are stored in fat. 

People who drink alcohol excessively have higher levels of mouth and liver 
cancer.  Occupational hazards, such as asbestos and formaldehyde, account for about 
5% of all cancers. 

Surprisingly, only about 3% of cancers are due to hereditary factors. Where 
clusters of cancers occur in a family, the cause is almost always similar lifestyle 
choices – particularly diet. 

Probably the most important thing to know about the cause of cancer is that in 
most cases it occurs as a result of: 1) an emotional trauma such as loss of a 
child in a dramatic way or extended emotional stress like that caused by a bitter 
divorce; or 2) root canal teeth. Both of these suppress the immune system and 
allow cancer (an opportunistic condition) to grow. 

What Exactly Is Cancer? 

Cancer means the growth of tumors. It’s a category that includes a broad range 
of (what your doctor calls) “diseases.” These include lymph system cancers 
called “lymphoma,” blood borne cancers like “leukemia,” and skin cancers such 
as “melanoma.” Obviously, not all cancers involve tumors. 

As you will see, I do not believe cancer, or any other degenerative condition, is a 
“disease.” More accurately, it is a “reaction.” Usually, it is a reaction to the 
lifestyle choices you have made over the last several years. Where emotional 
trauma or root canal teeth are not involved, the cause is almost always diet. 

About 3 to 4% of all cancers stem from inherited genes. The other 96 to 97% are 
caused by a breakdown in cellular communication. Attempts to explain the cause 
of this breakdown vary widely. Some say that “microbes” inside the cells create 
the cancer cells; others say “free radicals” damage the DNA; others say a 
coating of indigestible proteins on the cell membrane; others say a drop in the 
cell’s “voltage;” others say acidity. As you can see, the exact cause is not 
agreed upon by all experts. 

One thing is certain: If your body (particularly your immune system) is healthy 
enough to fight off all the toxins it takes in or which reside in it, you don’t get the 
“reaction” called cancer. 

One thing common to all cancers is damage to the DNA in the cell nucleus. This 
DNA is duplicated with every cell division. Average adults have 75 trillion cells 
in their body. Once again – 75,000,000,000,000 cells. 99% of the cells in our 
bodies are called “somatic” cells. All of our cells except brain and nerve cells get 
replaced thousands or hundreds of thousands of times during our lifetime. In 
seven years this process of cell division and death replaces virtually every cell in 
our bodies. 

Another way to look at this is that every day about 29 billion cells get replaced 
in our body. Why is this important? Because inevitably “mistakes” occur during 
this process, probably from one of the “causes” mentioned above. If these 
mistakes in the cell’s DNA occur only .003% (three thousandths of a percent) of 
the time, we produce a million cancer cells every day. This is probably 
conservative. A billion (with a “b”) cancer cells are about the size of the eraser on 
a pencil. 

Division Problems 

When a cell divides, the DNA in that cell is copied and passed on to the new cell. 
But the DNA in any one cell can become damaged. Pieces of the instructions on 
the genes can get knocked out or changed – mutated. 

If this mutation occurs in the wrong place – in an active gene, for instance – it can 
disrupt the function of the cell, causing it to lose its ability to survive with 
normal “respiration.” Yes, each cell breathes in oxygen and breathes out energy. 

Your beautiful body includes a regulatory system that is mind-boggling. For 
example, when you get a simple cut on your hand, your cells go to work to repair 
the damage. When enough cells have gathered around the cut to heal it, the 
cells stop dividing. Ever wonder why? Because there is a “suicide gene” in 
the DNA which says “Enough, already.” 

Not only is the total number of cells kept in check, but also “proofreader” genes 
in the DNA look for abnormalities in the cell. When they find one, they either fix it 
or kill the cell. They are on duty 24/7. Isn’t this stuff amazing? 

Your immune system (about 20 trillion of the 75 trillion cells) also kills off these 
damaged cells by the millions every day. It is your second line of defense 
against abnormal cells. 

So, cancerous (dividing out of control) cells occur in our body every day. If the 
cell’s own “policing” mechanisms fail, the immune system needs to recognize 
this “wayward” cell and kill it. But, the immune system is nothing but 
specialized cells. The immune system’s 130 different types of cells live in the 
same “environment” as the rest of our body’s cells. What if they are weakened by 
the same process that caused the dividing cell’s “abnormality” – what then? 

The cell has lost its “suicide” function. The “proofreader” gene missed the
mistake. Your immune system is too weak to provide its normal second line of 
defense. Result: The Big C. 

The cancer cells usually travel to the weakest and most acid organ in your body 
and you have a tumor. The cancer tumor grows because the “daughter” cells 
inherit the same abnormal genes. When it is finally diagnosed, the cancer tumor 
has often been growing for 5-15 years. 

The Cancer Tumor 

Let’s take a look at a typical cancer tumor. Let’s say it is in the colon, for 
example. A tumor (a symptom of cancer) is some number (usually billions) of 
cancer cells surrounded by tissue. Cancer cells cannot grow tissue. In fact, they 
are relatively “dumb” cells. The cancer tumor is our body’s “emergency 
response” to abnormal cells which are out of control. Our body tries to “wall 
them off” from the rest of its cells to limit the damage. 

Of course, the cancer cells continue to divide out of control and the tumor grows. 
At some point, the effect of the tumor is “recognized” by you or your doctor. You 
feel a lump or you experience abnormal bleeding or pain, for example. Typically, 
at that point, your cancer doctor will perform some sort of exploratory 
“procedure.” Usually, this is a “biopsy.” A biopsy is literally poking a hole in 
the tumor tissue to remove a sample of the cells inside the tumor for testing in the 
lab. 

How healthy do you think this is? Well, you’re right. It is not healthy. Breaking 
the integrity of the tissue around the tumor frequently results in the spread of the 
cancer cells. Without this “procedure,” they might have otherwise remained 
“contained” inside the tumor tissue. 

Removal of the tumor using surgery always has the same effect. The surgeon 
says “We got it all,” when, in fact, he/she got most of the cancer cells and some 
escaped this “procedure.” So, is it always smart to refuse biopsies and surgery? 
Biopsies, yes. Surgery, no. There are rare instances where surgery or “gamma 
knife” procedures to “debulk” the tumor are necessary – brain tumors, for 
example. 

You want to know what I would do? Simply avoid any “procedure” which might 
cause the spread (metastasis) of the cancer cells unless my life was immediately 
at stake. I know that a tumor will rarely kill me, whether it is malignant (growing) 
or not. With a regimen which will bring almost all cancers 
under control within six weeks, there is rarely a need for invasive “procedures.” 

No comments:

Post a Comment