Rethinking Cancer, Part 1

April 28, 2014

Rethinking Cancer

 

The entire treatment philosophy behind the cancer treatment program I've put together at Immersion Health based upon the understanding that cancer is a metabolic disease, not a genetic disease. In order to understand the program, it helps to understand exactly what it means that cancer is a metabolic disease.

 

In the conventional oncology world, cancer is widely assumed to be a case of "good cells gone bad." In other words, the theory is that normal, healthy cells suffer some genetic mutations. When too many of these mutations accumulate in the cell, so the story goes, the cell starts misbehaving. The genes are supposed to control how fast each cell divides, so the mutations take the brakes off of cell division, leading to an overgrowth of cells. In that model, there are for all practical purposes only two strategies: kill cancer cells and try to "fix" the genetic mutations. 

 

As any survey of cancer statistics will tell you, it is a tragically flawed model. We know this because, beyond a few noteworthy successes, the "War on Cancer" has been a dismal failure. Any reduction in cancer deaths over the last few decades is almost entirely attributable to changes in lifestyle: fewer smokers, better diets and more physical activity.

 

There are many flaws in the idea that cancer is a genetic disease. I'll point out two of them just to make the case obvious.

 

First, keep in mind that mutations exist in the DNA of a cell, and the DNA exists in the nucleus of the cell. Further, the cell consists of both the nucleus, and everything outside the nucleus, called the cytoplasm. 

 

In a set of astounding studies, researchers took the nucleus of cancer cells with all their DNA mutations, and they placed them in the cytoplasm of healthy cells that had had their own nucleus removed. Guess what happened? Did the cells start dividing like crazy because its DNA was mutated? Nope, the cells divided like normal cells and, in fact, grew into normal and health adult animals (frogs, to be specific). 

 

But what about the opposite experiment, where the unmutated nucleus of a healthy cell is placed in the cytoplasm of a cancer cell that has had its own mutated nucleus removed? If the nucleus holds the DNA, and the DNA is responsible for the growth of the cell, then these cells should behave normal cells since they have a "healthy" nucleus. Well, they don't. They grow like cancer cells, and don't produce any adult animals at all.

 

So, mutated cancer cell DNA can't make a healthy cell grow like cancer, but cancer cytoplasm can make healthy DNA divide like it is mutated and cancerous. That's pretty huge. The point is that it is not the DNA that is driving the cancer process.

 

To be continued...

 

 

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