FASCIA, CANCER AND THE KETOGENIC DIET
FASCIA is the tough, elastic sheath / membrane that surrounds muscles as well as bones, nerves, blood vessels, and organs. Not only is it the most abundant connective tissue in the body, but more recently, a number of amazing properties have helped it jettison it's role as anatomy's proverbial red-headed stepchild. THIS POST describes countless reasons why fascia continues to shed its Clark Kent image, while taking on a Superman-like persona. But even Superman has his Kryptonite, which in fascia's case is inflammation.
We've all seen the stickers on the rear windows of cars or pickups saying Cancer Sucks. Well; it does. It literally sucks the life right out of people. One of the biggest problems I see, however, is that few people understand how big a deal INFLAMMATION really is in relationship to our nation's leading cause of death. Many people realize that inflammation can affect fascia, but there are not nearly as many that can tell you that CANCER is itself an inflammatory problem (this means that it is caused by, and fed by inflammation). The craziest part of this whole scenario --- the monkey wrench in the gears --- is that inflammation also happens to be an important part of your immune system, with a certain amount needed to actually attack and combat CELLULAR MUTATION (the example that comes immediately to mind is TNF or Tumor Necrosis Factor --- necrosis being a medical word for death).
Cancer is the collective name of a group of diseases, many of which share little in common other than two distinct characteristics --- they all have abnormal cell division (the body loses it's ability to stop tissue growth) and they all have the ability to metastasize (mutated cells can travel and implant in distant parts of the body, continuing their abnormal growth from multiple locations). The end result is that the Cancer consumes all of your body's energy, nutrition, and metabolic factors. As the process gains steam, I don't need to tell you what happens next.
One of the unique characteristics of fascia is its microscopic structure. I like to tell people that fascia is like WELL-COMBED HAIR, with a TUBES-WITHIN-TUBES structure. But honestly, I would not be doing fascia justice without discussing how its structure relates to its function via a property known as TENSEGRITY. Take, for instance, a scientific paper on Dr. Grahm Scarr's site (Biotensegrity: Tensegrity in Biology) called Fascial Hierarchies and the Relevance of Crossed-Helical Arrangements of Collagen to Changes in the Shape of Muscles, and published in a 2016 issue of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.
"The importance of the fascia to normal function has been recognized by ‘hands-on’ practitioners for more than a century but it is only recently that it has emerged as a significant contributor to mainstream orthopedic knowledge. Once dismissed as a packing tissue of little consequence, the fascia is now recognized as a continuous interconnected network that permeates and envelops almost every part of the body. Muscles are composite structures consisting of contractile myofibres surrounded by complex hierarchies of collagen-reinforced fascial sheaths. They are essentially flexible cylinders that change in shape, with the particular alignment of collagen fibers within their myofascial walls reflecting the most efficient distribution of mechanical stresses and coordinating these changes. Helixes spontaneously appear in self-organizing systems as the most efficient way of organizing components of similar size on the surface of a cylinder or tube. They are a common motif in protein construction because they provide an energy-efficient solution to molecular close-packing and form a structural model for coiled winding at multiple size scales throughout the body and in a diverse group of organisms. The formation of a helix is based on simple geometric principles and its persistence is ensured because it is one of the most stable of structural configurations. It is thus not surprising that a system of crossed-helical tubes should predominate in compliant biological tissues because this is one of the most efficient ways of optimizing mechanical stresses within their walls. The myofascia, as a fibrous specialization of fascial / ECM tissues that surround and interpenetrate muscles is then a complex hierarchy of helically-reinforced tubes contained within larger tubes; and continuous with higher-level fascial tubes that surround groups of muscles, the limbs and entire body. Bundles of collagen fibres within the perimysium and epimysium form crossed-helical configurations that balance longitudinal and circumferential stresses and coordinate changes in muscle shape during contraction and extension, and should thus be considered as an essential part of muscle function."
As you can imagine, fouling the fascia with inflammation causes so many problems it will make your head swim. Firstly, inflammation is the cause of problems in the ECM or Extra Cellular Matrix, of which, are said to be the top cause of FIBROSIS in the United States. The family of fibrotic diseases (yes, cancer is on the list) doubles as the leading cause of national mortality as well. Furthermore, when fascia becomes inflamed, it becomes dense --- the actual word is DENSIFIED / DENSIFICATION (remember this principle because you are going to see it several times). This thickening, which can happen to any connective tissues (i.e. LIGAMENTS, TENDON, etc) is problematic because among other things, it severely affects PROPRIOCEPTION. Affect proprioception and because fascia is a ubiquitous tissue (it's everywhere), you adversely affect all physiology. This is why certain people have said that inflamed, mechanically altered fascia is at the root of all sickness and disease; cancer included (HERE). Enter Helene Langevin.
By any criteria, Dr. Langevin is brilliant. After getting her medical degree in 1978, she did a post-doctoral fellowship in neurochemistry at Cambridge. Her residency in Internal Medicine was at Johns Hopkins, and her fellowship in Endocrinology at the same. And not only is she a professor at Harvard (Medicine), she is a professor at University of Vermont as well (Neurology, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation). For the record, neurology and endocrinology are the two most difficult and complicated specialties in medicine. Oh; I almost forgot to mention that she is also the Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital of Boston. And on top of everything else, since the early 1980's she has been a leading researcher in the acupuncture field as well. Listen to these cherry-picked portions of the highlights of the transcript of an interview she gave to Brooke Thomas on her Liberated Body site (Connective Tissue and Inflammation with Helene Langevin: Fascia, Cancer, Chronic Pain).
"The connective tissue is really the home of the immune system. Cancer is not just a collection of tumor cells growing out of control. They need a base and that base is the connective tissue --- the stroma. The cancer takes the connective tissue hostage. Dr. Patricia Keely at The University of Wisconsin has studied cancer's likelihood to spread along places where the connective tissue matrix forms these railroads [channels of fascia]."
Of course, this makes me want to learn more about Dr. Keely. Dr. Keely was unique in her field (I say "was" --- she died of breast cancer back in June) because her battle with cancer was not just in the lab, it was personal. She contracted Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 21, defeating it, but later developing esophageal cancer, and finally succumbing after a decade-long battle (she was 54 and a professor of Translational Research as well as the founder of University of Wisconsin's Keely Lab, the purpose of which is to study cellular physiology as related to both the ECM and metastatic cancer). In plain English, she studied the effects of breast density as related to cancer progression. An interview she gave to Anita Clark almost a decade ago for Madison dot com (Cancer Personal for UW Scientist: Patricia Keely is Fighting Cancer on Two Fronts) stated.....
"Her research team found a causal link between dense breast tissue and cancerous tumor formation. Mice with dense breast tissue have a three-fold increase in breast tumors, and their tumors spread to their lungs more quickly. Her research suggests that collagen, a protein in dense breast tissue, serves as a pathway for the cancer to crawl out toward the bloodstream. And they believe the alignment of the collagen fibers shows this progression at an early stage."
What's fascinating in this line of thought is that cancer in muscle itself is not common as reinforced by an article on Muscles and Joints dot com, revealing that "A tumor growth in the skeletal muscles is a rare condition... There are only a few of the malignant tumors (muscle cancer) annually with less than one such case per one million inhabitants." But this "densification" thing is big --- particularly in connective tissues, and particularly when it comes to cancers in the connective tissues / stroma. Once again, Dr. Keely tells us just how big on the University of Wisconsin website.
"Appropriate cellular interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) help to establish normal cellular architecture and differentiation. During oncogenic transformation, these normal interactions with the ECM are profoundly altered, resulting in cells that lose their polarization and differentiation, lose anchorage dependent growth control, and acquire a migratory, invasive phenotype. Patients with "dense" breast tissue have a four to six-fold increased risk of developing breast carcinomas, making it one of the greatest risk factors for carcinoma. Increased breast density is associated with a significant increase in the deposition of connective tissue, or extracellular matrix (ECM) components, most notably the protein, collagen."
The aspect of her statement that caught my eye was her mention of "loss of cellular polarization". Why? Because if you've ever read Becker's amazing Body Electric, you already have some idea of the astounding effects of electricity and polarity both in and on biological systems.
CANCER, FASCIA, AND CELLULAR POLARITY
"Loss of cell–cell adhesion and cell polarity is commonly observed in advanced tumors and correlates well with their invasion into adjacent tissues and the formation of metastases. Growing evidence indicates that loss of cell–cell adhesion and cell polarity may also be important in early stages of cancer." From a 2007 issue of Nature Cell Biology (Cell Polarity in Development and Cancer)
"The correct establishment and maintenance of cell polarity are crucial for normal cell physiology and tissue homeostasis. Conversely, loss of cell polarity, tissue disorganization and excessive cell growth are hallmarks of cancer." From a 2011 issue of Cell Death & Differentiation (Epithelial Cell Polarity: A Major Gatekeeper Against Cancer?)
"Whereas the importance of cell proliferation in cancer is well recognized, the role cell polarity plays is only beginning to be appreciated. If cell proliferation and death are analogous to acceleration and brakes in a car, and metabolism is analogous to fuel, cell polarity can be compared with the steering wheel, which controls direction and maintains spatial relationships in traffic. Improper steering can result in significant damage even to a non-speeding car, and conversely, proper steering can prevent damage to a speeding car. similarly, we posit that loss of control over cell polarity can disrupt normal cell behavior and lead to initiation and progression of cancer." From a 2012 issue of the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology (Cell Polarity As A Regulator of Cancer Cell Behavior Plasticity)
"Epithelial cells possess a distinctive apical–basal polarity and loss of polarity is frequently assumed to be a common feature of cancer progression. A widely accepted paradigm for cancer progression is that epithelial cells undergo a transition, during which they lose apical / basal polarity and become highly migratory. [These cells] penetrate the basement membrane, cross the endothelium and enter the lymphatic system or bloodstream through which they are rapidly disseminated. At ectopic sites in the body, the cells colonize surrounding tissue to form metastases." From a 2013 issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Cell Polarity in Morphogenesis and Metastasis)
"Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related death in women worldwide. The developing mammary gland is a highly proliferative and invasive tissue, and some of the developmental programs may be aberrantly activated to promote breast cancer progression. In the breast, luminal epithelial cells exhibit apical–basal polarity, and the failure to maintain this organizational structure, due to disruption of polarity complexes, is implicated in promoting hyperplasia and tumors." From the June 2016 edition of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (Cell Polarity Proteins in Breast Cancer Progression)
Best guess is that after looking at the quotes above, you get the point ---- cancer is intimately related to a loss of polarity in certain kinds of cells --- abnormal electrical charge if you will. When you think of polarity, think of magnets. The positive sides will repel each other, as will the negative sides. But the positive side of one magnet is attracted to the negative side of another. Every cell and fluid in your body is charged. And because these charges are intimately related to ions (THINK HYDROGEN IONS HERE --- H+), the more positively charged a cell or tissue is, the more likely it is to be acidic (see link). Likewise, the hydroxyl ion (OH-) is the opposite, and carries a negative charge.
This helps explain why we should have a slightly negative overall polarity. If you really want to understand this whole relationship better, read Dr. Sircus' cool article from last December, ELECTROMAGNETIC PROPERTIES OF CANCER. Just remember that none of what you are reading today is 'way out there' or confined to alternative medicine. It's mainstream. In fact, DR. OTTO WARBURG won the Nobel Prize for Medicine back in 1931 for his pioneering work on this topic --- a topic that's getting increasingly wider play with every passing day (HERE). Now lets move on to the relationship of the fascia system to the lymphatic system.
FASCIA, CANCER, AND YOUR LYMPHATICS
What the heck is the lymphatic system? While everyone is very familiar with the part of your circulatory system that deals with blood (arteries, veins, and a pump --- your heart), few people know much about the lymphatic system. Although the two systems are similar, instead of moving fluid and blood cells around your body, the lymphatic system moves something called lymph. Lymph is a clear fluid that is made up of the liquid that leaks from our blood vessels (blood vessels are porous so that various molecules --- oxygen, nutrition, metabolites, etc, can be transported to where they are needed). Be aware that when this system becomes "plugged" or stagnant, the results are problematic, sometimes causing something known as LYMPHEDEMA.
Our body is under a constant invasion from every sort of microbe you can imagine. A failure to properly deal with these invaders by our immune system (80% OF WHICH LIVES IN THE GUT) would mean a quick death. The lymph system carries germs or other things that should not be there to the lymph nodes (larger nodules of lymphatic tissue), where they are filtered out. Because B-Cells (white blood cells that make antibodies) and T-CELLS (white blood cells that either eat the bad guys or throttle back on immune response to lessen one's chances of developing AUTOIMMUNITY) live in these nodes, said invaders are recognized, marked for destruction, and wiped out.
For reasons that are not totally clear, once cancer makes it as far as the lymph nodes, it actually has a better chance of survival, which is why finding cancer in lymph nodes is not a good thing. Instead of activating the immune system against cancer like would happen in the presence of germs, cancer in the lymphatics suppresses the immune system. Listen to the first two sentences of Lymphatic Vessels in Cancer Metastasis: Bridging the Gaps, from a 2006 issue of Oxford Academic's Carcinogenesis.
"Distant organ metastasis is the most important factor in determining patient survival in cancer. This is thought to occur via the body's own systems for transporting fluid and cells, the blood vascular and lymphatic systems. Cancer cells may exploit these vascular systems by expressing growth factors, which alter the normal pattern of angiogenesis and lymphatic vessel growth (lymphangiogenesis), thus creating conduits for tumour metastasis."
In a paper presented to 7th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back a Pelvic Pain, Australian massage therapist Peter Lelean (Migratory Fascia - A Role In Ductal Carcinoma In Situ?) wrote, "Treatment of shoulder pain in women revealed common pelvic misalignments and anomalies in upper thoracic myofascia, where distorted strain patterns may inhibit lymphatic function, therefore becoming a risk factor in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ." After talking about the part of the latisimus dorsi not associated with the THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA, he invoked TRAVELL & SIMMONS, quoting them as saying clear back in 1983, "Entrapment of this lymph duct by passage between tense fibers of an involved pectoralis major muscle, may cause edema of the breast. This seems to coincide with the reportedly higher proliferation of ductal accretions in the upper outer quadrant."
Osteopath Steve Matta expounded on this when he said in last year's Lymphatics, "The lymphatic channels course through fascia. Fascia can sometimes be nice and loose or it can be super tight. If all goes well, the lymph is able to move through lymphatic channels without any problems and we can properly fight infections. Let’s think about this for a second…if the lymphatic channels are located in the fascia and the fascia can tighten up, what do you think happens to the flow of lymph when the fascia is tight? That’s right, it slows down." So, beyond things like lymphedema, other problems can occur. Sometimes bad problems.
Something like seven and a half gallons of lymph (interstitial fluid) courses through the lymphatic system each day. A failure to move this fluid means you increase the amount of cellular waste in the body, which causes inflammation, which then EPIGENETICALLY turns on the genes said to cause cancer. In an article called Fascia, Muscles, and the Lymph System, renowned fascia therapist Victoria L. Magown wrote, "Fascia plays an important role with our Lymph System. The majority of our Lymph System lives in the Superficial Fascia right under the skin. The Fascia and Muscles need to be flexible, supple and strong to move the lymph through the lymphatic vessels. This is done by the Fascia and Muscles contracting which constricts the lymphatic vessels and pushes the lymph fluid forward. Check valves prevent the fluid from flowing backward. Since the lymphatic system does not have a heart to pump it, its upward movement depends on the motions of the Fascia, Muscles and pumping joints." The thing is folks, it's not like I haven't shown you all of this previously (SEE MY ARTICLE ON THE PRIMO-LYMPHATIC SYSTEM).
MORE ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FASCIA & CANCER
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BRAND NEW GOVERNMENT STATISTICS ON
THE OBESITY / CANCER CONNECTION
The report said that 2/3 of our nation's adults are overweight or obese. What they didn't tell you is that when you add in the people whose blood markers show they are fat even though they might look OK on a height / weight chart (between 8 and 10% of the population --- HERE), all of a sudden we are in the 3/4 range. And while according to the CDC, many cancers have seen a downward trend, this is not true of the cancers related to obesity (endometrial, ovarian, and post-menopausal BREAST CANCER). As the rest of the world becomes increasingly "Westernized," they look more and more like us because they eat more and more like us (heavily processed foods and junk).
And just like the rest of government, everyone sits around declaring that something should be done. In fact, just yesterday senators from Maine and New Hampshire put forth a measure to create a "Diabetes Council" made up of researchers, physicians, and public health officials to discuss ways of improving our nation's TYPE II DIABETES PREVENTION and create better guidelines for delivering better care and providing better outcomes for diabetics or those with prediabetes (CARDIOMETABOLIC SYNDROME). Although it sounds "better," this is a total waste of time. We already know what causes Type II Diabetes.
Type II Diabetes (just like CANCER) is one of the myriad of health-related problems driven by inflammation (HERE). And while it's certainly not the only way to drive inflammation, suffice it to say that SUGAR and JUNK CARBS are highly inflammatory (HERE). And here is the kicker. The brilliant OTTO WARBURG (MD / Ph.D) won the Nobel Prize for Medicine -- back in 1931 -- for figuring out that cancer is fed by the fermentation of sugar. It's why KETOGENIC DIETS have proven effective in helping people prevent and even reverse this nasty killer.
If you are LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE, rest assured that you will pay a heavy price. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but sooner or later it will catch up with you and make your life miserable --- and I'm not simply talking cancer (HERE, HERE, and HERE are just a few of the numerous examples I could have come up with). If you are looking to lose weight and get healthy in the process, take a look at the posts filed under THIS CATEGORY. And be honest with yourself; who else provides you this much valuable information, completely free, with no strings attached?
CANCER IS IN THE NEWS AGAIN
SEE WHAT THE EXPERTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS TERRIBLE DISEASE
Liz Szabo from the February 9, 2017 issue of USA Today (Dozens of New Cancer Drugs do Little to Improve Survival) talking about a study from JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery (Unintended Consequences of Expensive Cancer Therapeutics — The Pursuit of Marginal Indications and a Me-Too Mentality That Stifles Innovation and Creativity)
A good friend of mine works in an oncology department somewhere (purposefully anonymous) here in the Midwest. He says that every single lunch is a veritable smorgasbord for everyone working in the facility; the catering paid for by one or another of the numerous drug reps that are a fixture in the clinic (HERE). It's the price of doing business. And no one will deny that CANCER is big business --- really big business. In light of this, it's always interesting to take a look and see what some of the latest Cancer research has to say. After all, aren't we supposed to be following a model based on "BEST EVIDENCE"?
It is becoming increasingly clear that equivocating EARLY DETECTION with PREVENTION is a huge myth (HERE). We are also seeing that the medical research community believes Cancer is, for the most part, a random event. Case in point, the study from yesterday's issue of Science (Stem Cell Divisions, Somatic Mutations, Cancer Etiology, and Cancer Prevention). The authors (from Johns Hopkins) started things off by saying, "Most textbooks attribute cancer-causing mutations to two major sources: inherited and environmental factors. A recent study highlighted the prominent role in cancer of replicative (R) mutations that arise from a third source: unavoidable errors associated with DNA replication." The authors concluded by using a variety of "STATISTICS" to show that nearly 7 out of 10 cases are totally random, i.e. there's not a durnned thing you can do about it. In other words, they are largely throwing the concept of EPIGENETICS out the door.
"Cancer is today the most common cause of death in the world. Primary prevention is the best way to reduce cancer deaths. Recognition of a third contributor to cancer—R mutations—does not diminish the importance of primary prevention but emphasizes that not all cancers can be prevented by avoiding environmental risk factors. Fortunately, primary prevention is not the only type of prevention that exists or can be improved in the future. Secondary prevention, i.e., early detection and intervention, can also be lifesaving."
What's interesting is that these authors end by propagating the myth that increasing numbers of experts in the field of Public Health are decrying --- that early detection, prevention, and intervention are lifesaving in the way we have been led to believe they are. For peer-reviewed proof that this is not the case, you can go back and click on the appropriate links at the beginning of the second paragraph above. Or you can read the piece I wrote on this very topic almost two years ago called "RANDOMNESS RUN AMOK". But what about those who have already been diagnosed with Cancer? While I'm not here to make suggestions one way or another, there is some highly interesting information coming to light that everyone should be aware of.
There is good reason that many, including myself, have described American Healthcare (no matter which political party is running the show) as "UNSUSTAINABLE". Cancer treatment is a microcosm of this fact. For instance, in January of last year, JAMA Oncology (The Use of Superlatives in Cancer Research) revealed that when it comes to describing new Cancer drugs, hype and propaganda rule the day. "The language used in oncology practice and research may elicit important connotations. Whereas most new cancer drugs afford modest benefits, approved drugs or those in development may be heralded as 'game changers,' 'miracle cures,' 'home runs,' 'revolutionary,' 'transformative,' 'marvel,' 'lifesaving,' 'groundbreaking,' 'marvel,' or 'breakthroughs' in the lay press. These news articles may be important sources of information to patients, the public, and investors—with a broader reach than medical journal articles. However, omission of medical context or use of inflated descriptors may lead to misunderstandings among readers." This, folks, is the art of the PRESS RELEASE (or HERE). BIG PHARMA is doing everything in it's power to lead you to the Koolaid. And just how effective is the Koolaid we've been collectively drinking? Let me show you by discussing something called "Surrogate Endpoints".
People want drugs to do big things --- give them their sex life back (HERE), cure their Diabetes (HERE), or reverse their COPD (HERE). Surrogate Endpoints are all of the little (measurable) things that drugs do on their way to doing their big thing. For instance, BLOOD PRESSURE DRUGS are supposed to lower high blood pressure --- that is a Surrogate Endpoint. The ultimate goal of these drugs is that the patients live longer and have fewer strokes and / or heart attacks. One of the dirty little secrets in the practice of medicine is that we have developed an entire industry around managing Surrogate Endpoints, while doing little or nothing for the patient as far as the big picture is concerned. We see this in both STATIN DRUGS (yes, they lower blood cholesterol) and DIABETES DRUGS (yes, they lower blood sugar) as well as any number of others --- including those used to treat Cancer. The question is not whether or not a drug is reaching Surrogate Endpoints, but whether the drug is accomplishing its "Big Thing".
Ed Silverman, writing for STAT's December 7, 2016 Pharmalot Column (Many Cancer Drugs Approved Using Surrogate Markers Don’t Improve Quality of Life) said, "More than a dozen cancer drugs that were approved based on so-called surrogate markers, such as the ability to shrink tumors, failed to improve the quality of life for patients. Yet most of the medicines, which previously were found not to extend lives, are also expensive, with many costing much more than $100,000 annually, and all but one remain on the market, according to a new analysis." The study itself, from the December issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said, "Cancer drugs initially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on the basis of surrogate endpoints often remain FDA approved even after postmarketing studies find that they neither prolong patients’ lives nor improve their quality of life." A study from last month's issue of JAMA Internal Medicine (Quality of Life, Overall Survival, and Costs of Cancer Drugs Approved Based on Surrogate Endpoints) echoed these results. "The lack of evidence of a clinically meaningful benefit for many cancer drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through expedited pathways raises questions about whether physicians and patients can make informed treatment decisions." There are any number of similar studies coming to identical conclusions.
For instance, last August, Meghana Keshavan wrote an article for STAT called Experimental Cancer Therapy Holds Great Promise — But at Great Cost. In it she discussed the newest and hottest trend in Cancer treatment, Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is defined by Wikipedia as, "the "treatment of disease by inducing, enhancing, or suppressing an immune response." Sounds rather benign until you read what she wrote about one of the latest forms of Immunotherapy. "The treatment induces such sudden and severe side effects that it can take a small army of top specialists to keep patients alive while their newly engineered immune systems attack their cancer cells. The result: [these treatments] remain so risky, so complex, and so difficult to manage that experts warn it’ll be years before it’s available to most patients who would stand to benefit — even though two drug makers, startup Kite Pharma and pharmaceutical giant Novartis, are racing to get their versions of the therapy approved by the the Food and Drug Administration as early as next year." Believe me when I tell you that this was a freaky article. But that's my opinion; what are the experts saying about Immunotherapy?
Just days ago, Dr. Nathan Gay, an oncology fellow at Oregon Health and Science University, and Dr. Vinay Prasad, an assistant professor in Hematology Oncology at Oregon Health and Science University, teamed up to write an article for STAT (Few People Actually Benefit from ‘Breakthrough’ Cancer Immunotherapy) that showed that even though it was being touted in one of this year's Super Bowl ads, Immunotherapy is not all it's been touted to be. As are all the quotes in my posts, these are cherry-picked due to restraints on time and space.
"Today, though, only a tiny minority of patients expected to die from cancer will benefit from immunotherapy. As is often the case, hype sadly exceeds evidence. Using US national cancer statistics and FDA approvals, we estimated the percent of cancer patients who might actually benefit from immunotherapy. The result was surprising, given the way these drugs are described. The answer was just 8 percent. We also ran the numbers another way by setting a lower bar for success, and credited these drugs for any patient whose cancer did not grow substantially during follow-up. Even with that adjustment, the estimate was less than 10 percent. Who is to blame for the disconnect between reality and hype? Doctors, researchers, the pharmaceutical industry, reporters, patient advocates — all use sensational language to describe these drugs. To make matters worse, the United States is one of the only countries to permit direct-to-consumer advertising, resulting in an astonishing 80 drug ads airing every hour — some of which are misleading."
There were two comments to these doctor's article; the first by a person decrying the article as unfair because the treatment has so much promise. The second by one Steve Kohn, an individual who says he was "lured" into becoming part of a clinical trial in Immunotherapy because of the "hype" he'd been exposed to. Listen to what he says. "Little did I know how much suffering would come from finally being in remission. The Chemo-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy I suffered from when I began the trial has worsened to the point where I question whether the decision to participate in the trial was the right one. In my case the treatment destroyed the cancer cells so far, but also is in the process of destroying my sensory nerves making my pain at times unbearable." I truly feel for the millions of people like Steve, who end up making decisions because they are essentially between a rock and a hard place, with few places to turn, and advice that is often questionable at best, and at worst, meant to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SUFFERING PEOPLE. Speaking of advice, what's the medical community saying that we can do to prevent Cancer as far as our diets are concerned?
Writing for the March 15 edition of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr Amanda Narod (Georgetown University) put out an interesting article called, A Menu for Cancer Risk Reduction? Five Truths About the Role of Food and Diet in Cancer Prevention. Some of the article was very good. However, some of it made the same old mistakes that we've seen for decades. For one, she wrote about VEGETABLES & FRUITS. Click the link to see why, while fruits are not all bad, they are not synonymous with vegetables (she did talk about the benefits of CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES). She also touted the benefits of whole grains (to see why this is largely a mythical impossibility for most people in Westernized society, read my short post on GRAINS). She even went as far to tout SOY as one of her five "Cancer Prevention" tips. In some ways I feel like I just stepped into Dr. Emmet Brown's Lamborghini and went back to the 1980's.
Her last point, "fire up the grill with caution," was not terrible advice, but neither was it worthy of a spot on a "Top Five" list. She discussed the problems associated with "well done meats" as related to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAH's, which have been associated with everything from Cancer to HEART DISEASE to developmental issues such as low IQ's. Also be aware that because these creatures have a benzene-like ring structure, they also happen to act as XENOESTROGENS (artificial sources of estrogen --- just like Soy). While it's true that people can get a degree of PAH exposure from their cooking habits, the real exposure is coming from (Wikipedia), "smoking rates, fuel types in cooking, pollution controls on power plants, industrial processes [there were a slew of them listed], and vehicles." It sort of reminded me of an article I wrote a while back about AGES (Advanced Glycation Endproducts). While it's true that charring your grilled food can produce AGES, they are largely the result of LIVING THE HIGH CARB LIFESTYLE. Which brings me to one last point --- arguably the biggest and most important point on her list ----a point that the good Dr. Narod completely failed to mention.
I'm not quite sure how one can legitimately talk about using diet to prevent cancer, and not at least mention the work of the venerable DR. OTTO WARBURG. Warburg (MD / Ph. D) won the 1931 Nobel Prize in Medicine by figuring out that Cancer is fed via the fermentation of sugar. That's right folks, sugar feeds cancer. If you really want to do something to prevent cancer, I suggest you click on the link above (the article is very short) and read it. As I showed you back in 2015, Cancer is not as "random" as an event as we are being led to believe. Face it; if it really is random, there is nothing --- not a blasted thing --- you or anyone else can do about it other than bend over and take whatever it gives you. I'm not into that, and you shouldn't be either (HERE).
For more information about fighting chronic illnesses of all sorts (not to mention chronic pain) take a moment to READ THIS POST. And in light of today's post, it's not surprising that the KETOGENIC DIET remains one of the most exciting things going in the diet-based treatment of Cancer.
BRAND NEW STUDY TIES OBESITY TO NEARLY A DOZEN KINDS OF CANCER
Sure, we talk a good fight, but when it comes down to brass tacks, "PREVENTION" for most health-related issues is is not working, mainly because it is not what we have been led to believe it is. And while there are certainly outliers (incredibly healthy people who wind up with cancer, or the four-pack-a-day person who lives to be 95), the statistics are telling. With nearly 70% of our population either obese or overweight, and another 7 to 10 percent considered to be "SKINNY FAT" (the medical term for this is Medically Obese Normal Weight), we are reminded that the current governmental bickering over healthcare is almost laughable considering the UNSUSTAINABLE TRAJECTORY we're on, whoever's plan comes out on top (HERE). Nowhere is this more evident than in the diagnosis and treatment of CANCER.
I recently showed you how Dr. Otto Warburg, winner of 1931's Nobel Prize for Medicine, figured out that cancer is fed by sugar (HERE). This is not simply because sugar is seriously acidic (HERE), but because it's seriously inflammatory as well (HERE). And interestingly enough, both cancer and obesity (not to mention DIABETES) fall under the category of "CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES". This has been reiterated by a brand new study from yesterday's issue of the British Medical Journal called Adiposity and Cancer at Major Anatomical Sites: Umbrella Review of the Literature. In her analysis of the data from over 200 meta-analysis on the subject, England's Maria Kyrgiou and her team concluded that (cherry-picked of course)......
"An increase in body mass index was associated with a higher risk of developing oesophageal adenocarcinoma; colon and rectal cancer in men; biliary tract system and pancreatic cancer; endometrial cancer in premenopausal women; kidney cancer; and multiple myeloma. Weight gain and waist to hip circumference ratio were associated with higher risks of postmenopausal breast cancer in women who have never used hormone replacement therapy and endometrial cancer, respectively. The increase in the risk of developing cancer for every 5 kg increase in body mass index ranged from 9% for rectal cancer among men, to 56% for biliary tract system cancer. The risk of postmenopausal breast cancer among women who have never used HRT increased by 11% for each 5 kg of weight gain in adulthood, and the risk of endometrial cancer increased by 21% for each .1 increase in waist to hip ratio. Five additional associations were supported by strong evidence when categorical measures of adiposity were included: weight gain with colorectal cancer; body mass index with gallbladder, gastric, and ovarian cancer; and multiple myeloma mortality. Associations for 11 cancers (oesophageal adenocarcinoma, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the gastric cardia, colon, rectum, biliary tract system, pancreas, breast, endometrium, ovary, and kidney) were supported by strong evidence."
An editorial in the same issue of BMJ by a couple of researchers from the "Harvard of the Midwest" (St. Louis' own Washington University) went even further when they stated....
"Though some specifics remain to be worked out, the unavoidable conclusion from these data is that preventing excess adult weight gain can reduce the risk of cancer. Furthermore, emerging evidence suggests that excess body fat in early life also has an adverse effect on risk of cancer in adulthood. Those in primary care can be a powerful force to lower the burden of obesity related cancers, as well as the many other chronic diseases linked to obesity such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. The data are clear. The time for action is now."
But here's the conundrum. What in the world are doctors going to do differently than they've been doing for who-knows-how-long? Most people are already aware of how bad their diets really are, and are choosing to live that SAME LIFESTYLE anyway. On top of this, doctors are so buried in ACA paperwork and regulation that they barely have time to breathe, let alone warn mom that "Little Johnny" isn't so little any more, all while she promises him that if he behaves they'll head over to the "Big Yellow M" and order whatever he wants. In case you have not figured it out yet, SUGAR, JUNK CARBS, and GRAINS (what you feed farm animals to fatten them up prior to taking them to the Sale Barn), causes obesity as well as a host of ENDOCRINE and GUT-RELATED health problems. Because 80% of our collective immune systems are found in our Guts, we should not be surprised that cancer is yet another in a long line of problems associated with said diets.
For those of you who are interested in breaking free from your SUGAR AND JUNK ADDICTIONS and taking your life back (as well as getting off the WORTHLESS DRUGS), the first thing you need to do is create an EXIT STRATEGY. Study, learn, and figure out what it's going to take to get off the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND and then stinking do it! No more EXCUSES. Because of EPIGENETICS, we now know that good health is related more to good habits than good luck or good genes. Get with the program and start working to SOLVE YOUR CHRONIC CONDITIONS TODAY!
NOBEL PRIZE WINNER DR. OTTO WARBURG
IGNORE HIS FINDINGS ON CANCER AT YOUR OWN PERIL
Otto Warburg was born in Germany in 1883. He rapidly showed his mettle in academics, working in the fields of chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry, and physiology, earning his MD degree in 1911. He moved rapidly up the ladder of academia, and by 1918 (the end of WWI) had been appointed a professor at Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology, where his chief work was on tumor metabolism and respiration (he would have achieved this sooner had he not served in Germany's most elite cavalry unit during 'The Great War'). Although it is said that he would have earned a second Nobel Prize if he had not been part of Hitler's Germany (he was actually part Jewish), he won the prize in 1931 (he was nominated 46 times in his career). What did Dr. Warburg discover that was so incredible --- worthy of a Nobel Prize? He figured out that blood sugar (glucose) is Cancer's meal-of-choice.
According to an article in the November, 2010 issue of Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research (Biographical Sketch: Otto Heinrich Warburg, PhD, MD), Warburg was speaking to a group of other Nobel Laureates when he said.....
"Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar. All normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs in great part by fermentation. All normal body cells are thus obligate aerobes, whereas all cancer cells are partial anaerobes. From the standpoint of the physics and chemistry of life this difference between normal and cancer cells is so great that one can scarcely picture a greater difference. Oxygen gas, the donor of energy in plants and animals is dethroned in the cancer cells and replaced by an energy yielding reaction of the lowest living forms, namely, a fermentation of glucose."
Basically, Warburg realized that cancer cells shared a universal characteristic -- they were hypoxic (low levels of O2), requiring them to find another source of fuel. Instead of cancer cells going through normal cell respiration using oxygen, they respired anerobically by fermenting glucose and destroying MITOCHONDRIAL ACTIVITY. By the end of his life he believed and taught that this was the result of exposure to toxicity ---- POLLUTION, CHEMICAL TOXICITY, RADIATION, INFLAMMATORY METABOLITES, microbes run amok (we would today call these OCCULT INFECTIONS or "DYSBIOSIS"), as well as ACIDITY.
Although the body will do everything in it's power to maintain HOMEOSTASIS as far as pH is concerned, hyper-acidity tends to lead to cancer, while cancer leads to a state of hyper-acidity (see the final link in the previous paragraph). It is my belief that the primary area of manifestation is not necessarily the blood, as the body will not let the blood move out of an extremely narrow range of pH without dire consequences (death). This acidity is undoubtedly, however, affecting our GUT HEALTH and MICROBIOMES. Tomorrow (or whenever I get it done), I'll show you how MEDICATIONS are one of the chief ways we are toxifying our bodies. The resultant toxicity is related almost every health issue you can name, including CANCER (HERE'S ONE OF THE MORE COMMON ONES).
As Warburg got older (he lived to the ripe old age of 86, working the entire time --- not unlike DR. SEYFRIED), the journal mentioned earlier revealed that he took his message of toxicity, and pH control to heart. "In his later life, he apparently became somewhat eccentric regarding his eating habits, insisting on organic foods long before the current trend, even taking his own produce to restaurants." What should this tell you? It is imperative that even though neither your doctors nor most of the medical research community give a flip about Otto Warburg's discoveries the better part of a century ago, you had better grasp their implications if you care about your health and the health of your family. It's why even though Mayo and MD Anderson have publicly denounced the "Sugar / Cancer" connection (HERE), you would do well not to make the same mistake.
It's also why according to peer-review, one of the hottest ways of eating as far as cancer is concerned is the KETOGENIC DIET. Never forget that sugar not only feeds cancer (HERE), it feeds infection as well (HERE). And if you'll click the KD link two lines above, you'll see that it's also being used to treat a vast array of other diseases associated with mitochondrial dysfunction (MS, Type II Diabetes, ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc).
Chronic illness (cancer included) is a colossal bummer. Here's the thing folks; if Dr. Warburg was correct, there are steps that can be taken to keep yourself healthy. The truth is, it's a whole lot easier to prevent cancer than to try and kick it once it's there. This post goes a long way towards giving you preventative solutions. I've incorporated some of his principles into THIS PROTOCOL. No, it's not a cure for cancer. But the results can be amazing nonetheless (HERE). BTW, show us some love on FACEBOOK.
MOONSHOTS AND ROCKET SCIENCE
CAN WE SPEND OUR WAY OUT OF THE CANCER EPIDEMIC?
The death of Vice President, Joe Biden's 46 year old son from a brain tumor last May was just another confirmation that Cancer is no respecter of persons. Although it's not difficult to understand why Biden issued still another "moonshot" for a cure ---- this one for Cancer (there are currently other "moonshots" going on for other diseases, including ALZHEIMER'S), we have to ask ourselves whether his plea a good use of resources (i.e. tax dollars).
Despite the fact that Richard Nixon declared war on Cancer back in the 1971, another of the dirty little secrets of medicine is that we have not seen nearly as much progress against the disease as we have been led to believe. Writing for the New England Journal of Medicine back in 1986 (Progress Against Cancer?) researchers crunched thirty years of data and concluded that Nixon's war was an abject failure. "We are losing the war against cancer, notwithstanding progress against several uncommon forms of the disease, improvements in palliation, and extension of the productive years of life. A shift in research emphasis, from research on treatment to research on prevention, seems necessary if substantial progress against cancer is to be forthcoming." But the beat went on.
- Taking a page out of Nixon's handbook and putting far too much emphasis on the new found power of genetics (HERE), in his 1998 State of the Union Address, President Bill Clinton stated, "Tonight, as part of our gift to the millennium, I propose a 21st century research fund for pathbreaking scientific inquiry, the largest funding increase in history for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Cancer Institute. We have already discovered genes for breast cancer and diabetes. I ask you to support this initiative so ours will be the generation that finally wins the war against cancer and begins a revolution in our fight against all deadly diseases."
- That same year, Vice President Al Gore told the Toledo Blade that, "We want to be the first generation that finally wins the war on cancer For the first time, the enemy is outmatched."
- Not to be outdone, President GW Bush not only had his own cancer initiative and medical moonshot while in office, promising to "fund and lead a medical moonshot to reach far beyond what seems possible today". Since turning over the presidency to Obama, he and his institute have been active in fighting both BREAST CANCER and Cervical Cancer, as well as crusading against Cancer in Africa.
- Not one to be left out, last July, President Obama issued his overly optimistic 21st Century Cures Act --- which in rare fashion, was passed into law with heavy bipartisan support. In it, an outline to "cure" any number of diseases, including Cancer.
- Former FDA Commissioner and Director of the National Cancer Institute, Andrew C. von Eschenbach (a true industry insider) said back in 2003 that our government would, "eliminate suffering and death" of Cancer. His goal for accomplishing this feat? Last year.
Are we doing any better today. Despite what we would be told, unfortunately not (HERE). In fact , those in the know tend to believe that this is another of the medical problems that we cannot spend or treat our way out of (HERE). And just how much is all of this costing us? According to Alex Lubischer of Chicago Health (Funding the Cancer War) Cancer carries a huge price tag.
"According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), all U.S. healthcare expenditures related to cancer in 2009 cost the U.S. an estimated $86.6 billion. If you factor in $130 billion for indirect mortality costs (the toll of lost productivity due to premature deaths), that’s $216.6 billion in one year. Furthermore, The National Cancer Institute (NCI, a branch of the NIH) has spent roughly $90 billion on research and treatment since 1971. Additionally, about 260 nonprofit organizations in the United States have dedicated themselves to cancer research, which amounts to combined annual budgets of $2.2 billion."
Part of the problem is that if you ask different experts what Cancer is, you'll get a rather wide array of answers. This is because "cancer" is not all the same stuff. Furthermore, if all we have to show for trillions of dollars spent is the fact that Cancer is little more than a "random" event (HERE), we really are spinning our wheels --- a thought recently echoed by any number of medial outlets, including STAT's recent Moonshot to Cure Cancer. We've Heard that Before. Many Times.
The problem is that we are going about this all wrong. JFK's original "Moonshot" was handled by engineers, physicists, and rocket scientists. It was an incredible feat of engineering that essentially required us to overcome gravity and other laws of physics. For any number of reasons, curing Cancer is different. The reality of the situation is that "curing" Cancer is going to require something of us besides more tax dollars. We are actually going to have to follow the advice of NEJM's 30 year old study I quoted from earlier ---- emphasizing prevention instead of cure. What does prevention look like?
First, let me say that nothing in this life is foolproof --- including Cancer Prevention. We all know healthy people who have died of Cancer (my friend was as healthy as they come), as well as living mummies that have been walking this earth for 80 or 90 years, embalming themselves with liberal amounts of cheap vodka and the preservative powers of THREE PACKS a day. However, there are some generalities we can make in our own personal war against Cancer.
- UNDERSTAND INFLAMMATION AND EAT ACCORDINGLY: Cancer is one of THE MYRIAD OF HEALTH ISSUES driven by Inflammation. Problem is, I don't find one in a thousand people who can really tell me what Inflammation is. Using anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements are wonderful, but if you want to get down to brass tacks, mopping up Inflammation after the fact is not the best way to accomplish this. Instead, stop Inflammation at its source (HERE). Reading my article SUGAR DRIVES INFLAMMATION is a good start. Make sure to follow it up with SUGAR FEEDS CANCER (there are two parts).
- UNDERSTAND GUT HEALTH: I won't belabor this point, but it might be the most important in this list. HERE are my posts on the topic.
- REALIZE THAT CHEMICALS (DRUGS INCLUDED) ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND: Your immune system is mostly made up of the bacteria that live in your Gut. Just yesterday the CDC's American College of Physicians said that half of all prescriptions of ANTIBIOTICS are unnecessary (not to mention, THEY THEMSELVES ARE A KNOWN CAUSE OF CANCER). It is critical to understand that the DRUG CULTURE we live in is not doing us any favors as far as Cancer is concerned. Although most of us would agree that things like pesticides and herbicides are bad news, most of us fail to grasp that we are polluting ourselves daily with the multitude of chemicals we use in our bathrooms (think personal HYGIENE here).
- DON'T FORGET TO EXERCISE: There is plenty of research showing the benefits of exercise as far as Cancer is concerned. However, it is also important to remember that intense exercise for substantial periods of time --- i.e hardcore cardio ---- leads to the precursor of all disease, including Cancer; LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. EXERCISING properly is important, but not a fraction as important as diet.
What should you do if you've already been diagnosed with Cancer? Not sure what to tell you. One thing I can tell you is that you can follow at least part of this or a similar protocol even if you are dealing with your Cancer in the traditional medical manner (chemo, RADIATION, etc) --- something few doctors ever talk about (HERE and HERE). For the most part, preventing, or at least slowing down, Cancer does not require a moonshot. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that by and large we are our own worst enemies. A national change of diet and lifestyle would go a long way toward Biden's goal.
BRAND NEW CANCER NEWS
"We are experiencing declines in mortality from cancer in the U.S., but those declines are coming at the same pace as in Europe, which is spending a lot less money. Screening, prevention, and treatment have extended life, but that's coming at a much higher cost [in the U.S.] than in Europe..... Cancers are being diagnosed earlier, without corresponding changes in actual dates of death. In other words, it just means people are finding out they have cancer earlier."
The harsh reality is that study after study is revealing that discovering Cancer earlier, does not increase your survival rates. This is due to something called "OVER-DIAGNOSIS". When mortality rate for various cancers are compared to Europe, who spends much less money than America does on all aspects of Cancer treatment, what do we find?
"The U.S. averted the largest number of deaths for stomach and colorectal cancer. But it experienced the largest number of excess deaths for lung cancer and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. And only a modest number of deaths from breast and prostate cancer were averted."
If you are interested in seeing how modest "modest" is, just click on some of the links. And if you want to see what physicians and those in healthcare have to say about this phenomenon, make sure to read the original article's comment section. Here is one of them by an MD. "Oncologists often seem more interested in the date of death rather than quality of life years. It is past time for re-ordering priorities and considering patients rather than prolonging life by 6 weeks." An example of this phenomenon can be found HERE.
Bear in mind that even though I am sharing the most current research and diagnostic / treatment guidelines with you, your doctor will not likely be sharing this information with you anytime soon. There's simply too much money to be made by doing things the old way. But all too often that's how it is with EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
CANCER, GENETIC MUTATIONS, AND....
"At best, the mechanism of gene duplication shows how a hiker can get to the foot of a hiking trail, but never explains how the hiker finds the peak of the mountain, while doing a random, blindfolded walk. We don't need to know that genes can make copies of themselves; we need to know how the duplicate gene evolves, step-by-step, into an entirely new gene." Dr. Stephen Meyer from "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories," Proceedings for the Biological Society of Washington
"What's particularly scary about cancer is that researchers are still in the dark as to what causes cancer, how it triggers, and in many cases how to fight it. In spite of throwing billions upon billions of dollars at cancer research, we've only managed to marginally improve overall survival for some cancer types, including lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, over the past four decades. Don't get me wrong, researchers do have a good idea as to what can increase a person's risk of getting cancer -- smoking or long-term sun exposure, for example -- but differentiating why some smokers live to be healthy well into their 90's while a person who eats right and exercises regularly gets cancer in their 40's has often stumped researchers and consumers alike." From Sean Williams' January 10 article, In Case You Missed it, This New Cancer Study is Terrifying
"The unknown and unpredictable element in happenings that seems to have no assignable cause. A force assumed to cause events that cannot be foreseen or controlled. An accidental or unpredictable event. A risk or hazard; a gamble." Taken from Farlex's free online dictionary for the definition of the word 'Chance'.
After Gregor Mendel's experiments with peas in the 1860's (shortly after Darwin published his famous book), many scientists believed they had found the Holy Grail as far as determining the driving force for evolution was concerned ---- random changes in genetic material which we today call "Genetic Mutations". However, genetic mutations provide us with an interesting dichotomy. Although they are supposedly bringing us closer to the "perfection" Darwin described in Origins, things haven't quite worked out as nicely as they do in the pages of a Marvel comic book (think X-Men, Spiderman, The Hulk, the Fantastic Four, etc, etc, etc here). Plainly stated, the vast majority of genetic mutations are bad. In the real world, genetic mutations lead mostly to things like birth defects and a wide array of diseases, one of which we will discuss shortly.
Don't get me wrong. There are some examples of genetic mutations that are beneficial. The most common one is Sickle Cell Anemia and Malaria --- people who carry the Sickle Cell trait tend not to get Malaria. Some individuals and institutions will go out of their way to tell you how good genetic mutations are (Stanford's Mutations and Disease article, for instance, says, "Few mutations are bad for you. In fact, some mutations can be beneficial. Over time." I would argue that this statement is mostly false. After looking at lots and lots of research on the top over the past 15 or 20 years, I have yet to be convinced that there are more "good" genetic mutations occurring than "bad" ones (see Meyer's quote from the top of the page). Which leads me to the topic of Cancer.
Have you heard about the new study from Johns Hopkins' Department of Oncology / Center for Cancer Genetics and Therapeutics? The authors claim (using EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE of course) that the vast majority of CANCERS in America are nothing more than, "bad luck". Here are a couple of sentences from the abstract of a study published in this month's issue of Science (Variation in Cancer Risk Among Tissues can be Explained by the Number of Stem Cell Divisions).
"These results suggest that only a third of the variation in cancer risk among tissues is attributable to environmental factors or inherited predispositions. The majority is due to “bad luck,” that is, random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, noncancerous stem cells."
I see a real dilemma with this approach to Cancer. If it is true that it is basically a "random" event, it would mean that our CRAPPY DIETS of PROCESSED FOODS (try pronouncing the chemical names on a food label sometime) / SUGAR, RADIATION EXPOSURE, SMOKING, exposure to TOXIC CHEMICALS, HEAVY METAL TOXICITY, OVER-CONSUMPTION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS (and HERE), DESTRUCTION OF THE MICROBIOME, lack of EXERCISE, OBESITY, etc, etc, etc, don't really mean much as far as our health is concerned. In other words, if Cancer is mostly due to plain dumb luck (a purely random event), it really means that there is little hope --- especially with what we are learning about EPIGENETICS.
According to the American Cancer Society (Cancer Facts & Figures 2014), 2014 saw, "an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths." Cancer rates aren't going down folks; they're exploding. Yes, it's true --- there are more people surviving Cancer today, but there are also more people coming down with the disease than any time in our nation's history --- both for the first time as well as relapses. This despite our national affluence, our scientific breakthroughs, and advanced level of health care.
Rather than leaving your health to 'blind luck', why not remove as much of the element of 'chance' from your life by doing the things that could potentially and dramatically improve your health? HERE is where I would start looking.
ANTIBIOTICS CAUSE CANCER
ANTIBIOTICS COULD EASILY PROVE TO BE THE SINGLE
WORST THING YOU DO FOR YOUR HEALTH!
- Dr. Christine Velicer of the University of Washington's Department of Epidemiology and her team of researchers published a study in the February 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (Antibiotic Use in Relation to the Risk of Breast Cancer). This study concluded that, "Use of antibiotics is associated with increased risk of incident and fatal breast cancer." Women who took less than 25 prescriptions of Antibiotics over a 17 year period had a 50% greater chance of developing BREAST CANCER than those who took none.
- The British Journal of Cancer published a study in Y2K called Does Antibacterial Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection Contribute to the Risk of Breast Cancer? In this study, researchers looked at the medical records of almost 9,500 women from 18 to 89 and stated in the study's abstract that, "Women reporting previous or present medication for urinary tract infection at baseline showed an elevated breast cancer risk in comparison with other women."
- In a recent study that was presented at the June 2013 annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the Antibiotic consumption of 86,000 individuals without Colon Cancer was compared to the Antibiotic consumption of 22,000 patients with Colorectal Cancer. The results revealed that those who took Antibiotics (particularly "penicillins, quinolones and metronidazole") had an approximately 10% greater chance of developing Colorectal Cancer. No other forms of cancer were studied. By the way, if you are even thinking about taking FLUOROQUINOLONES, you should first click on the link.
- There are any number of Alternative Doctors (including the brilliant KEVIN CONNERS of Minnesota) that believe Cancer is heavily related to yeast --- particularly CANDIDA. The chief method that people develop Systemic Candida (yeast infection throughout the body) is by taking Antibiotics.
- The November 2008 issue of the International Journal of Cancer published a massive study (Antibiotic Use Predicts an Increased Risk of Cancer) linking Antibiotic use to increased chances of developing numerous kinds of cancer, including that of the "prostate, breast, lung and colon". This study looked at over three million citizens of Finland, ages 30 to 79, who did not have cancer in the years between 1995-1997. The 134,000 cases of cancer diagnosed between 1998 and 2004 were compared to the medical records of the first goup to see if there was a link between the cancer and the amount of Antibiotics taken. Without getting into the specific numbers (all forms of cancer were increased substatially, and cancer of the ENDOCRINE SYSTEM was dramatically affected by antibiotics) suffice it to say that the chances of developing all forms of cancer were greater in those who had taken Antibiotics. The study's conclusions in the abstract were simple and straightforward. "In conclusion, antibiotic use predicts an increased risk of cancer."
I could keep going, but I am hoping you are beginning to get the picture. Antibiotics are bad news because they decimate the HEALTH OF YOUR GUT. We can't feign surprise because, after all, 80% of your body's total Immune system lives in your Gut (HERE). Not only do Antibiotics destroy your microbiome (the number of different species of good bacteria living in your Gut), but recent research is pointing to the fact that because Mitochondrial DNA is similar to the DNA of bacteria, Antibiotics destroy Mitochondrial function. You see, the Mitochondria are known as the "Powerhouse of the Cell". It's where all the energy to power your body comes from in the form of something called ATP (read more about this on our COLD LASER page). Research from one of last year's issues of Science Translational Medicine (Bactericidal Antibiotics Induce Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Oxidative Damage in Mammalian Cells) revealed how Antibiotics destroy health by destroying Mitochondrial function. Listen to these cherry-picked sentences from Jim Collins, a professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, and his team (this is from the study's abstract).
"Prolonged antibiotic treatment can lead to detrimental side effects in patients, including ototoxicity [causes problems with hearing and balance], nephrotoxicity [kidney poisoning], and tendinopathy [HERE], yet the mechanisms underlying the effects of antibiotics in mammalian systems remain unclear. It has been suggested that bactericidal antibiotics induce the formation of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) [Free Radicals --- known cancer-causers] in bacteria. We show that clinically relevant doses of bactericidal antibiotics—quinolones [HERE], aminoglycosides, and β-lactams—cause mitochondrial dysfunction and ROS overproduction in mammalian cells. We demonstrate that these bactericidal antibiotic–induced effects lead to oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, and membrane lipids. Mice treated with bactericidal antibiotics exhibited elevated oxidative stress markers in the blood, oxidative tissue damage, and up-regulated expression of key genes involved in antioxidant defense mechanisms....."
BREAST CANCER DIAGNOSIS
SHOULD YOU HAVE A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY?
Women who are diagnosed with Breast Cancer in one breast, frequently opt for the removal of both breasts as a preventative measure. I understand the thought process and emotions that lead to this decision, but is the decision based on good science? Let's look at a study that was published in the latest issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) that came out yesterday (Use of and Mortality After Bilateral Mastectomy Compared With Other Surgical Treatments for Breast Cancer in California, 1998-2011).
A joint study between Stanford University, USC, the Cancer Institute, the California Department of Health Services, and the CDC, looked at almost 200,000 California women who had been diagnosed with unilateral (one-sided) breast cancer. These women were followed for an average of approximately 7.5 years post-surgery. Here are a few quotes that I pulled out of this study word-for-word (emphasis mine).
- The increase in bilateral mastectomy use despite the absence of supporting evidence has puzzled clinicians and health policy makers...... Although fear of cancer recurrence may prompt the decision for bilateral mastectomy, such fear usually exceeds the estimated risk.
- In a time of increasing concern about OVERTREATMENT, the risk-benefit ratio of bilateral mastectomy warrants careful consideration and raises the larger question of how physicians and society should respond to a patient’s preference for a morbid, costly intervention of dubious effectiveness.
- Because bilateral mastectomy is an elective procedure for unilateral breast cancer and may have detrimental effects in terms of complications and associated costs as well as body image and sexual function, a better understanding of its use and outcomes is crucial to improving cancer care. ....patients’ preferences drive its use.....
- Although some studies reported patient satisfaction after bilateral mastectomy, others observed deleterious effects on body image, sexual function, and quality of life; moreover, repeat operations and complications (including flap failure, necrosis, and infection) are substantially more common with bilateral mastectomy than with other surgical procedures.
- By comparing all 3 surgical options for a patient with early-stage breast cancer, we found no mortality benefit associated with bilateral mastectomy compared with breast-conserving surgery, and higher mortality associated uniquely with unilateral mastectomy.
- The increase in bilateral mastectomy rate was greatest among women younger than 40 years: the rate increased from 3.6% in 1998 to 33.0% in 2011.
Here are the study's actual conclusions.
"Among all women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in California, the percentage undergoing bilateral mastectomy increased substantially between 1998 and 2011, despite a LACK OF EVIDENCE supporting this approach. Bilateral mastectomy was not associated with lower mortality than breast-conserving surgery plus radiation, but unilateral mastectomy was associated with higher mortality than the other options. These results may inform decision-making about the surgical treatment of breast cancer."
Pretty amazing stuff! As always, the information presented in this post is just that --- information. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, including Breast Cancer. Be sure to consult your doctor with any questions you may have. However, if you want to really start making a difference in your health, you need to read THESE POSTS.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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