Chinese Medicine

Why Cancer Happens and How It Can Be Treated an evolutionary prospective

In the public mind cancer is seen as aberrant cells growing by accident in a body. Actually, modern research has uncovered a much more instructive understanding of cancer. This understanding can allow us to make informed choices in treatment.

Firstly, they are not rogue or aberrant cells. If they were rogue cells it would mean that they come from random damage in cell replication and growth. Random damage would not show a repeatable pattern across many individuals and it would not give the sophistication in survival tactics that is observed across all cancer types. They are the body’s own cells only in a less individualised form.

If we look at why they are less differentiated or individualized and from what genetic material they come; we discover that the genetic material they come from is in a so called redundant or junk chromosome sequences. So, we ask what is a redundant or junk chromosome sequence. To understand this, we should know that our genetic make-up is built layer upon layer as we developed from simple multi-cell organisms to the complex creatures that we are now. Up until a certain point in our development all our cells could do all jobs, they were very adaptable so as to be able to survive. They could build a blood distribution when they got above a specific size. They may have been less differentiated than our cells now, but they were also more adaptable to harsh environments. This is what cancer cells are – less differentiated, adaptable, survivors. We do not, on the whole, die from cancer but rather it blocks the bodies complex functions so they fail and we die.

The last piece of the jigsaw to understand is that all cancers consist of two parts. On the one hand, we have the tumour cells, which we all know about, which are our fast-growing cells that can be attacked with chemo agents, zapped with radiation or cut out. The other part of cancer that is not generally talked about is the slow-growing stem cells. These are the cells that seed the tumour cells, they are hard to find and able to hide from the immune system – they are not seen as a problem by the immune system because they are the person’s own cells, they are able to create adaptations to chemo and radiation therapies; in short, they are what keeps cancer alive. The other thing we know about stem cells is that if you treat cancer with chemotherapy as the tumour cells die the cancer will create many more stem cells; rather like a stressed plant with flower and seed to survive. This is how tumours when they come back are mostly resistant to the treatments used before – they have adapted intelligently.

To summarise: cancer is a survival mechanism formed when we were more undifferentiated in our evolution. They consist of two parts: the fast-growing tumour cell and the slow resilient stem cell. They spread – metastases when they get too big or the oxygen supply is not adequate (this is why aerobic exercise lessens spread). They also spread by adapting when the stem cells have seeded to new areas because they have been forced out of old areas or disturbed in those areas.

We can easily see from the above that cancer is a primitive extreme survival mechanism that can be turned on when the person’s existence is threatened in a fundamental way. These threats are easy to see in viruses, inflammation, chemical pollution, stress, other pollutants (including smoking) and all the other factors which we know are carcinogenic. Interestingly, we know from work done at the Sanger Institute in their “Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer” that all cancers are multi-factorial, so it takes a lot to turn on cancer and unfortunately it also takes a lot to turn it off.

Given this information, how can we treat it? Firstly, if it is about to block or endanger the person or their vital functions the tumour may need cutting out or otherwise removing. If it is not endangering the person then maybe it is better to leave it because if it is removed it is very unlikely that you will get all the stem cells, especially if chemo is used as the removal agent. In fact, if chemo is used you can be pretty sure that you will have spread and strengthened the stem cells. This leaves us with three parts of the treatment:

  1. Get out of extreme survival mode, lessen pollutants (so organic food, no alcohol, natural drinks, no “products” in the house, etc.), lessen stress and take exercise; in short enjoy a fulfilling and natural life. This is seen in the number of people who experience “spontaneous remission” when they radically change their life. Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire formula of what this change needs to be. It is individual but it can still be part of the overall plan.
  2. Treat the tumour and stem cells. This can be done with various natural ingredients that: encourage apoptosis (natural cell death); make the stem cells visible to the immune system so that they can be mopped up if the system agrees the extreme survival is no longer needed. Lower the level of the interleukin signalling pathways – this is part and parcel of lowering the survival levels but the signalling can also be blocked naturally to slow the development and spread of the cancer. There are a host of other signalling pathways which can get out of balance. All of these actions can be achieved with high enough plasma concentrations of either turmeric, THC/CBD oil or Aloe Arborescens among other ingredients.
  3. Take measures to optimise the immune system, exercise, good food, fresh air, no stress, and various foods or herbal and other treatments that return the whole organism to health, etc. This can be helped with acupuncture, herbal medicine, ayurvedic detoxes , etc. All of these therapies must be individually designed to be effective. Because cancer is multi-factorial and because they are the person’s own response there is never going to be a “magic bullet” or ”one size fits all” treatment.

Cancer is not unfair or unnatural it is a primitive natural response to an impossible combination of threats. Normally these threats include physical, emotional and mental/spiritual threats coming together at the same time in a way that the person cannot resolve leading to the extreme survival response. For instance, a person has petrochemical or heavy metal residues in their colon, they then are coping with a parent with senile dementia and then get a real flu this then tips the body into survival mode and the stress focuses in the colon and manifests as colon cancer. In this instance, it can be cut out because it is around the petrochemical residue but you still have the original emotional overload, that was unsupportable, to heal. Cancer is always a wake-up call but it can be responded to if you realise the depth of the problem. Without an appreciation of the depth the work on realising and reaffirming your health is unlikely to be strong enough to re-establish health in a complex organism.

This is not written as a scientific paper, so I have not included references backing up all the statements, but I have done my best to base all my observations on solid science. It is though, only my understanding and opinion. If you want to review the evidence that let me to these conclusions I encourage you to look at these two main papers:

  • PCW Davies & CH Lineweaver, 2011, Cancer tumors as Metazoa 1.0: tapping genes of ancient ancestors, Phys Biol. 2011 February ; 8(1): 015001. Doi:10.1088/1478-3975/8/1/015001
  • PP Sordillo & L Helson, 2015, Curcumin and Cancer Stem Cells: Curcumin Has Asymmetrical Effects on Cancer and Normal Stem Cells, SignPath Pharma Inc, Quakertown, PA, USA

Both papers also list numerous citations some of which have also been reviewed and contribute to this analysis.

I hope this helps inform your understanding of cancer and its treatment. Do remember that cancer is not an invader but a natural response in an extreme situation.

Michael Pringle, South Devon, 2017