Some Thoughts about Cancer

Some Thoughts about Cancer

There is little in the world of health that holds more dread than cancer. With infectious disease, trauma and many of the health concerns that have blighted our past now – seemingly – under greater control, cancer has emerged as the scourge of our time along with heart disease; although maybe raising more fear and dread.

Yet in spite of all our scientific and technological advances, modern medicine seems to have made little impact on most cancers. Why is this the case? One reason may be very simple – we may not be looking to understand cancer in the right way.

What do I mean by this? Well, we have a very combative and adversarial view: we may have cancer, but it is not us it is something we have been inflicted with from somewhere else. This begins to make cancer sound like something that possesses us, which may make a little metaphoric sense if we look at the wording of the article below.

Yet this “controversial theory” may explain something we already kind of know: that while chemotherapy may work – or appear to work – for a time, ultimately it fails and the cancer overwhelms. Could this be because the chemotherapy gets many cells, but not the core “mother cells”, that then become stronger and exact a telling revenge.

Yet this “controversial theory” is simply more of the same. The model in which we are looking at the problem has not changed, and maybe it is the model itself that is the problem.

Maybe we need to go further.

We could just be looking at cancer the wrong way. What if we look at it like a tendency in the body that will erupt with the right trigger? This trigger could be toxins and poisons, or even an overwhelming stress. It may not be genetic, but an energetic response to an overwhelming physical or psychological stress.

It may be because the individual has a vulnerability, genetic or otherwise. Or it could also be a weakened and vulnerable immune system either for physical or psychological reasons.

This pattern may explain more, and why any single or simplistic reason does not explain all the facts for any given cancer or for different people with the same one. In simple terms, what I am proposing is a holistic viewpoint in which all the intersecting factors need to be looked at.

And this is what the anecdotal evidence shows; that people who somehow cure themselves against all the odds do a multitude of different things, physical, psychological and even spiritual.

There is no single formula, each individual must find and work out there own way, but almost inevitably requires the support of others who can support and sometimes lead them on the journey without judgement.

What we do know is that cancer treatment is often painful and disabling, sacrificing quality of life for quantity. It confines the sufferer to a system that then defines their life, breeding fear on both sides – patient and doctor.

We do know that simple yet profound changes can occur with diet, exercise and an attitude that supports the individual’s beliefs and values. We also know that spiritual forces, most especially love, are a potent force in this fight – which is then no longer a fight – but engagement with healing that embraces the cancer in whatever form is meaningful to the recipient.

Maybe read this article with these comments in mind, and ask yourself if there is really anything different here… but more of the same.


Source: The Australian

Mother Cells at Core of Cancer

DIRECT evidence to support a controversial theory about the growth and spread of cancerous tumours has been found by scientists, who say that it could revolutionise treatment.

The study suggests there is a hierarchy of cancer cells, with so-called cancer stem cells at the top known as “mother cells” that are ultimately responsible for the growth and development of tumours.

The conventional view of cancer is that it results from genetic mutations within ordinary cells that cause them to proliferate uncontrollably, and form a tumour that can eventually spread cells to other parts of the body.

The latest study shows that in a form of leukaemia, there is a small subset of cancer cells that are solely responsible for driving the growth and evolution of the patient’s cancer.

Those cancer stem cells then replenish themselves and produce the other types of cancer cells, as normal stem cells produce other normal tissues.

The concept could be crucial to the development of better treatments because it suggests that without removal of the cancer stem cells, a relapse is likely to occur.

“It’s like having dandelions in your lawn. You can pull out as many as you want, but if you don’t get the roots they’ll come back,’’ said Petter Woll, of the University of Oxford, the lead author of a paper on the issue.

The scientists said the latest evidence was particularly compelling because the Oxford team was able to use genetic tools to track mutations and establish in which cells they had originated.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Cell, focused on a group of 15 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes — a malignant blood condition that frequently develops into leukaemia.

The condition was followed in detail in four of the patients for at least two years and in one case for 10 years. They found that the mutations began in cancer stem cells, which were rare, but then propagated down the hierarchy into other cells.

“We have identified a subset of cancer cells, shown that these rare cells are invariably the cells in which the cancer originates, and also are the only cancer-propagating cells in the patients,’’ Dr Woll said.

“It is a vitally important step because it suggests that if you want to cure patients, you would need to target and remove these cells at the root of the cancer — but that would be sufficient, that would do it.’’

The scientists said it was not yet clear whether the findings applied to other forms of cancer. Scientists have previously found evidence in mice for the existence of cancer stem cells in solid tumours.

In 2012, scientists studying brain tumours in mice found there was a subset of cells that grew more slowly than other tumour cells but that allowed the tumour continually to replenish itself after treatment with cancer drugs.