Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cancer Talk

Cancer can be likened to a fire on a mountain; even though half the mountain may now be blazing, the fire originally began from just one tiny spark. If the fire is discovered while still very small it can be put out very easily with damage so minimal it can hardly be detected. Cancer begins in much the same way, from one abnormal cell. A cell that, under normal circumstances, a competent immune system would have quickly identified and eliminated. However, a compromised immune system can allow a cancer cell to begin dividing until a tumor can be identified. Like a fire that is discovered and put out early, cancer caught and eliminated early does little damage. Unfortunately, most cancers are silent until they are well advanced. However, most cancers are preventable. The National Cancer Institute has long reported that 60 percent of all women’s cancer and 40 percent of all men’s cancers are directly related to the diet. Some authorities suggest that up to ninety nine percent of all cancers are preventable.


Think of our immune system as being like the police force of our bodies. The way the police and judicial system protect society is to confine individuals who show tendencies to disrupt civilization. Unlike our immune system, police cannot simply destroy a bad guy. Our immune system is designed to seek and exterminate all foreign material, including cancer cells. If our immune system cannot destroy all the cancer cells it then attempts to keep them contained. This contained group of cancer cells is then called a tumor. All tumors are very small to begin with. If the immune system becomes strong enough it will then destroy the tumor. If the immune system does not get strong enough to destroy this small tumor, the tumor can continue to grow until the cancer cells can overpower the immune system and escape. After escaping they are then swept to distant locations via the blood and lymphatic systems. The dreaded metastasis is when the cancer is allowed to travel from its original location to set up a colony in its new location.


True prevention is not allowing a condition to begin in the first place. But how can it be proven that a healthy lifestyle and proper diet had actually prevented a disease process from occurring? This can only be proven by statistics. For example, it has been well established that a far greater percentage of individuals who smoke tobacco will develop cancer than those who do not. Over the years it has been proven that individuals who consume the most fruits and vegetables are at a lower risk for most cancers. Regular exercise has also been proven through statistics to reduce the risk of several cancers. So, true prevention is avoiding the disease in the first place.

Most of what is referred to as cancer prevention is not true prevention, it is simply discovering the tumor at the earliest possible time so treatment can begin.

Chemoprevention is a new buzz word circulating in the health care world. Since prevention of disease has become more fashionable than treating disease traditional medicine has come up with this new expression. For the most part chemoprevention is associated with dietary modification, nutritional supplementation and following a healthy lifestyle in general.

However, once cancer has begun the best treatment is surgical removal before it has had a chance to metastasize. Once the cancer has metastasized and surgery “can’t get it all”, then chemotherapy and/or radiation is often called on to destroy the cancer cells. Unfortunately, both chemotherapy and radiation also destroy much of our own good tissue.

Some of the tissue more vulnerable to chemotherapy produces hair. However, more importantly tissues essential for maintaining our immune system and absorbing nutrition from our intestinal tract are also easily destroyed by chemotherapy. This places us in double jeopardy. Not only are the tissues that produce our immune system damaged, but also the ability of our digestive tract has been diminished to the point that absorption of nutrients necessary to produce our immune system has also been reduced.


The only way to diagnose cancer is from the history and by taking a biopsy of the suspected tissue and examining it under a microscope. A pre-cancerous lesion is where the cells being examined are not healthy, they have not yet turned to cancer. This is where traditional medicine takes “wait and see” attitude. If and when it does turn to cancer then a treatment program will be instituted of either surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.

On the other hand, alternative practitioners would evaluate the lifestyle and dietary habits and prescribe orthomolecular nutritional supplementation according to the individual needs. While it cannot be clinically proven to reverse pre-cancerous lesions, there is substantial analytical evidence that it most likely will.

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