Theories About Cancer
What is cancer? As far as we know, there is no absolute cure for cancer. I may be wrong in saying that; however, it is not in my experience to report that there is an absolute cure for all cancers, although, as you will see, some cancer therapists claim that there is such a cure. However, as far as I know now, there is no absolute cure. That being the case, we should not accept any one's theory about the cause of cancer as fact. Any explanation of what cancer is, which does not lead naturally to a cure for cancer, is necessarily simply a theory — and theory, regardless of how good it sounds, is not fact.
The only thing we know as certain about cancer is that it is an uncontrolled growth of cells. These cells have the ability to migrate to different parts of the body and grow out of control there as well. These cells may compress surrounding structures — especially in the skull and around the heart and lungs — and their waste products may be toxic to the rest of the body. By these means, they may usurp the function of organs such as the brain, liver, kidney, lungs and others and cause death by these means.
Why cells should be doing this is a mystery. Theories to explain what is happening abound.
The Internal Enemy Theory
The predominant theory of the medical establishment is that this wild overgrowth of cells is a kind of genetic rebellion within the body. According to this theory, one's own cells become the enemy and destroy the body which made them. It is a kind of biological decision for suicide.
If there is an enemy within, it only makes sense to form an army and go to battle with the enemy. The army may consist of surgeons who try to cut, slash and burn the cancer out of the body; it may consist of toxic medicines to poison these internal enemy cells, so that they die and go away; or it may be an army of electrons shot through the body during radiation therapy, killing both cancerous and normal cells.
In standardized medicine, these are the ways cancer is dealt with: cut, slash, burn, poison and shoot. This is the standard medical model, the paradigm or context in and from which doctors are required to think. People who think outside this paradigm are condemned by the cancer establishment. Their therapies are blacklisted, without investigation, by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) as "unproven, unaccepted" therapies.
How successful is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation? Because these are the dominant therapies, we can measure their success by the statistics on cancer over the last forty years. While it is true that cancer has increased in incidence by 44% since then, probably we cannot blame that on standardized treatment. For the answer to the increase in the incidence of cancer, we probably can look to the chemical industry and the flood of synthetic chemicals which are omnipresent in our daily lives. That subject is dealt with in the previous chapter.
Let us look at what happens after cancer is diagnosed. Did the prognosis for cancer improve between 1950 and 1990? Are a greater percentage of people with cancer being cured now compared to forty years ago? The answer is a resounding "No!" For whites, the five year survival rate is around 50% and for blacks, 38%. This is unchanged since 1950. This is hard to believe, but true. While surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may, in some cases, help people, with all the billions of dollars spent on research since 1950 and with the astronomical increase in the cost of treating cancer, nothing has been gained. If people have been helped or saved from cancer, an equal number have been fatally damaged by the treatment itself — statistics do not lie — nothing has changed overall since 1950!
Over one million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year. Two thirds of them will die of their cancer within five years. Chemotherapy will save two to three percent, primarily blood and lymph cancers, especially in children, which are diagnosed early. A combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy has achieved significant tumor eradication rates among certain rare tumors. Nevertheless, these people have eighteen times the probability of having a cancer later in life than other people. Is it possible that the treatment itself causes cancer? Epidemiologists think so.
Even though all of the FDA-approved, anticancer drugs are themselves toxic, immunosuppressive and carcinogenic and despite the fact that very few people can be helped with chemotherapy — despite all that, over fifty percent of patients with cancer will be given chemotherapy anyway. Why? It is a $750 million business from the medical/pharmaceutical side, and from the patient's side, well, people are desperate when their lives are at stake, so they are likely to follow doctor's advice.
With the average cost of treatment around $30,000 per person and the results so discouraging, it is little wonder that many people who are able and willing to think for themselves turn to progressive treatment when confronted with cancer. If you have cancer and accept chemotherapy, you may be saved, but statistically, the odds are better that you are going to die from complications of your treatment before you have time to die from your cancer. I guess you could say, ironically, that chemotherapy does prevent many people dying from cancer. They die from the chemotherapy instead.
President Nixon declared the "War on Cancer" in 1971 and initiated a major spending effort on the part of the federal government to develop a cure for cancer. The overall, age-adjusted cancer death rate has risen by five percent since 1971. Has the war on cancer succeeded? What do you think? Yet the NCI and ACS are likely to be calling you next week for another contribution.
The major thrust of the National Institute of Health, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute has been to promote the idea of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to treat cancer (i.e., destroy the enemy within) and to degrade progressive means derived from alternative points of view. Do these branches of the cancer establishment have your best health interests in mind? What do you think?
Amazing, is it not? I know there are talented, intelligent, dedicated people in the medical establishment cancer research division. The fact that they are achieving no results, overall, indicates to me that there is something wrong with the entire paradigm within which they require themselves to think. Perhaps cancer is not simply "an enemy within." If the standard medical model is not the story, or at least not the whole story, perhaps this leaves an opening to consider other possible answers to the question, "What is cancer?"
Rather than abandon the standard medical model, I believe a rational thinking person would expand upon it. Let us look at other models, which are being quietly amalgamated into the traditional standard medical model.
The Environmental Toxin Theory
This theory holds that the runaway growth of cells is somehow stimulated by external toxins. The association made in many studies between toxins and cancer is so clear as to be irrefutable. Cancer prevention, and probably cancer treatment as well, has much to do with avoiding and eliminating exposure to these toxins.
The identification of these toxins is like pulling teeth. Most of us remember the pain and agony it was for our society to finally come to the conclusion that the use of tobacco and later alcohol, has something to do with cancer. Other industries which routinely use and build into their products chemicals which facilitate the development of cancer, consider tobacco a sacrificial lamb. "Tobacco and alcohol have been thrown to the wolves of medical epidemiologists. Why should we admit that our chemicals also are killing people?" There is only money to be lost and bother to be had in the changes which must happen to stem the tide of the cancer epidemic.
I believe the environmental toxin theory is very useful but, as with all paradigms, we must be careful not to accept it as the only approach to cancer, lest it limit our thinking. Probably, the many descriptions of what cancer really is, are the equivalent of men trying to describe the earth before space flight. There were many opinions of what the earth would look like, but they were no substitute for getting up there and looking at it. With regard to cancer, the day of clarity about the cause will come when the absolute cure arrives — if it hasn't already arrived and been suppressed.
The Invader Theory
The invader theory has it that cancer is caused, or at least triggered, by an organism or organisms from outside the body. This may happen by the production by the organism of a biochemical compound which causes cells to degenerate into a cancerous condition. These organisms may be viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
Finding an association between the presence of a virus and the development of cancer and proving viral causation are two different matters. While a virus may be present in, say, seventy percent of cases of a particular cancer, it may be that the virus did not cause the cancer but merely is allowed to exist in the body of a person due to damage to the immune system caused by the cancer or by the therapy designed to treat the cancer. In this sense, the virus is present as an opportunist rather than as a cause. Are flies the cause of the existence of rotten garbage? Certainly not; they are merely attracted to it. Are viruses the causes of cancer? Maybe, and on the other hand they may simply be attracted to it.
The Invader Theory also includes those explanations which blame bacteria and parasites. There seems little doubt that some viruses, bacteria and parasites have a statistical association with some cancers; however it is possible that they are merely attracted to the cancerous condition and are, therefore, present as opportunists. Their mere presence does not prove causation.
Many prominent, if somewhat maverick, researchers over the last seventy years have claimed to observe "pleomorphism" with the aid of dark field microscopes. A dark field microscope allows the experienced observer to see living tissue and living organisms within that tissue, whereas the standard light microscope and the electron microscope are designed to see only killed material. According to these researchers, it is necessary to see the living process to understand what really happens in the body which causes cancer. They say that subunits, which some have called "plastids," combine to form viruses and bacteria.
Pleomorphism is thus a paradigm which is based on the belief that plastids exist at all times in the body, that viruses and bacteria can evolve from them and from each other, and that these organisms represent different stages in the life cycle of microscopic life forms. Some of these researchers claim significant numbers of cures of "incurable" cancers using methods of killing these pleomorphic viruses/bacteria.
Pleomorphism is not accepted by mainstream medical microbiologists who also say that the human body is normally sterile, i.e., devoid of bacterial life forms. There is no convincing proof of this and a lot of evidence against it; it is medical dogma, and dogma does not die easily. Nevertheless, the routine presence of bacteria and/or viruses in the body does not mean they evolved from "plastids."
Pleomorphism also is a paradigm and, as you know about paradigms, they allow us to see what otherwise cannot be seen — and they restrict our vision for what is not included in the paradigm. The person who finally solves the cancer mystery will be, or was, a master of paradigms and not stuck to any particular paradigm.
Types of Cancer Therapies
With the above discussion behind us, we can now look at types of progressive cancer therapies. There are no reliable statistics on the results of cancer treatment by progressive therapies, because the "respected peer-reviewed" journals will not publish studies which threaten the profits of the cancer industry. Once again: how ethical is it to perform double blind placebo studies letting half the people in the study die to prove the effectiveness of a therapy? To me, it seems unethical in the extreme to carry out such studies if a cure for cancer seems at hand. The people who have some success in treating cancer in a progressive way are typically humanitarian healers, not researchers.
Many amazing reports have been recorded and continue to be recorded, in the lore of progressive cancer treatment. The medical establishment handles these in one of the following ways:
- they are ignored;
- they are explained as "anecdotal," implying that they are lies;
- they are said to have undergone "spontaneous remission," i.e., unexplained recovery (that means the doctor has no idea what happened);
- they are said to have recovered from the delayed effects of conventional therapy, which was administered weeks or months before the progressive therapy.
For information about specific approaches to cancer therapy, follow these hyperlinks: