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Thread: Understanding Cancer and Cancer Prevention. page

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    Kochin's Avatar
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    Understanding Cancer and Cancer Prevention.

    Primal Fuel
    Pretty much every diet, supplement, fitness program or piece of medical advice nowadays has to mention cancer. “We will reduce your risk of cancer by omitting/reducing/cancelling/increasing X, Y or Z!” they loudly declare.
    It’s funny how people are quick to link cancer to a certain food, habit, toxin, pollutant…etc, when, in reality, the main factor in the formation of a cancerous growth is your immune system.

    You see, your body creates mutated cells every day, some of which have cancerous potential. [ What Is Cancer, Anyway? / Why don / The truth about cancer, how it happens, who gets it, and how to help your body heal from cancer ] However, most people don’t develop cancer ever, let alone daily. Why? Because their immune system identifies the mutant cells and attacks them, destroying them and preventing them from reproducing. There is no evidence that any factor increases the number of mutant cells your body creates. None whatsoever. It is highly likely that the body will always average the same number of mutant cells, the same number of which will have cancerous potential, over your entire life. A strong immune system means you have more of these antibodies and that they are not overwhelmed or busy on other things, allowing them to kill every mutation that could harm you. [ Discoveries About Antibodies Provide Hope For Cancer Prevention ]

    One thing almost all cancers have in common? Weak immune systems. [ Learn How To Protect Yourself And Your Loved Ones From Cancer - Valley Business Journal ]
    Cancer is correlated with old-age, lack of physical activity, the NGD (New Global Diet, or SAD), obesity, HPV, overweight and alcohol abuse [ WHO | Cancer ], height [ Tall people at greater cancer risk - Telegraph ], lower fertility [ Children of elderly parents at lower cancer risk - Telegraph ], heartburn [ People who suffer frequent bouts of heartburn are 78% more likely to get throat cancer | Mail Online ], asthma [ Does Asthma Raise the Risk of Lung Cancer? ]…etc
    What do all those things have in common? They either damage your immune system, lend to a weaker immune system or are symptoms of a damaged immune-system.
    In fact, having or having had cancer is linked to a higher risk of other immune-problems and illnesses and makes one more likely to die younger. [ Pediatric Cancer Survivors Face Higher Heart Disease Risk « Critical Illness Insurance News Critical Illness Insurance News / Three easy steps for cancer survivorship ] Even a simple flu is more of a problem to cancer survivors (a problem that continues post-chemo, may I add). [ CDC - Cancer and Flu ]

    Were a study to be ran, it would likely find that people who are frequently ill are more likely to develop cancer, because their immune-system isn’t up to scratch and can’t cope with the regular load of mutant cells.

    There would, of course be exceptions: those whose bodies don’t identify cancer as a threat or produce suitable antibodies. But that’s more into the territory of an autoimmune disease and not related to environment at all. Aka: genetic cancer, or ‘the cancer lottery’. The reason why even healthy, wild animals can develop cancer. [ Cancer Kills Wild Animals Too | LiveScience ] (Bear in mind, a virus in and of itself doesn’t cause cancer, it causes an immunological shutdown which allows cancer to happen.)

    Beyond that, anything that keeps your immune system strong and/or helps avoid overwhelming it appears to be preventative.
    Get Vitamin D3, don’t get sunburnt, don’t overuse medications, don’t expose yourself to extreme temperature changes, do regular exercise (but not a point of exhaustion or until you get ‘man flu’) and tweak your diet until you get ill as infrequently as possible. If a habit or food of yours seems to make you more prone to flus, asthma, headaches…etc, then it may be time to limit or stop it, as it could be helping kick-start cancer as well!

    Again, omitting grains/meat/phytates/sun or increasing vitamin C/endurance/greens won’t magically help you avoid cancer unless it happens to also improve your immune system. No one true cure, no gospel. Just our individual immune systems.

    http://www.cancerresearch.org/CRI/me...Connection.pdf
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    This book is also very interesting:

    Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer: Thomas Seyfried: 9780470584927: Amazon.com: Books

    I don't think it is in conflict with the above about immune function/dysfunction but I think it give some insight into why one person's immune function might get compromised from the metabolic point of view.

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    It's probably something simple like "white carbs cause cancer". I like short simple answers.

    The long answer could be that malnutrition from white carbs compromises the immune system and then you get cancer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    This book is also very interesting:

    Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer: Thomas Seyfried: 9780470584927: Amazon.com: Books

    I don't think it is in conflict with the above about immune function/dysfunction but I think it give some insight into why one person's immune function might get compromised from the metabolic point of view.
    Expensive book is expensive. I'm having a look into metabolism and cancer but, short of quitting my course for a BSc focused on cancer, I can't justify that.

    Quote Originally Posted by KimchiNinja View Post
    It's probably something simple like "white carbs cause cancer". I like short simple answers.

    The long answer could be that malnutrition from white carbs compromises the immune system and then you get cancer.
    Ah, but then we'd also have explanations for the links involving red meats, specifically pork. As pigs preserve toxins in their fat to dilute them and avoid being overwhelmed, excess consumption of CAFO pork WOULD weaken your immune system. It also explains why some people eat vast amounts of gluten their entire lives without problem, whereas some start eating gluten and develop/redevelop tumors. Aka: identify your individual immune problems and eat and live so you don't get ill. When you rarely if ever get ill, you've probably lowered your risk of cancer by having a tough immune system.
    --
    Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

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    I get blunter and more narcissistic by the day.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    Expensive book is expensive. I'm having a look into metabolism and cancer but, short of quitting my course for a BSc focused on cancer, I can't justify that.
    Dr Georgia Ede on her website "Diagnosis: Diet" did a very cogent and accessible breakdown of this rather dense and lengthy book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    Dr Georgia Ede on her website "Diagnosis: Diet" did a very cogent and accessible breakdown of this rather dense and lengthy book.
    Thanks. Found it.
    --
    Perfection is entirely individual. Any philosophy or pursuit that encourages individuality has merit in that it frees people. Any that encourages shackles only has merit in that it shows you how wrong and desperate the human mind can get in its pursuit of truth.

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    I'd apologize, but...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    When you rarely if ever get ill, you've probably lowered your risk of cancer by having a tough immune system.
    While I easily can agree that cancer is a form of autoimmune disease its not this simple. As is true in just about every instance regarding the human body you can't talk in absolutes. Never getting ill is just as much a trait of a diminished immune capacity as always being ill. Infection and recovery is a natural process that enlist virus and bacteria as housekeepers clearing the body of toxins and metabolic waste. A healthy person will become acutely and usually "violently" (fever, diarrhea, and vomiting) sick/infected for a short time. That is a healthy infectious response and if we got to put a number on it then having this response a couple times a year would be "healthy". On the other hand a person with a dysfunctional immune system may never "get sick", but maintain a state of chronic ill health and low level infection for long periods of time with vague symptoms not usually associated with infection. Or, they may have just enough of an immune response to produce symptoms but not enough to actually progress to expelling the infection so they get long periods of illness that seem to never end.

    Anyhow, in the immune system sense its easy to see why low carb and elimination systems (like autoimmune-paleo) would be good diets to reduce cancer risk. Also as to gluten and risk new research is showing that people are BECOMING gluten intolerant with age and exposure. Exposure to wheat in the first year of life vastly increases risk of becoming intolerant later in life. There are reports of men and women becoming intolerant in their fifth, sixth, seventh+ decades of life. So it is not a hard wired genetic issue, and may very well be a link to autoimmune and cancer. These are after all the ages at which cancer is most prevalent and undiagnosed gluten intolerance could be an issue.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-11-2013 at 06:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    Were a study to be ran, it would likely find that people who are frequently ill are more likely to develop cancer, because their immune-system isn’t up to scratch and can’t cope with the regular load of mutant cells.
    Absolutely!

    I wasn't a frequently ill person until about 1 year before my cancer diagnosis (triple negative breast CA). I remember a particular episode of 3 - 4 days of a high fever WITHOUT flu and wondering what the hell was going on.

    I am thoroughly convinced that my immune system took a shit for whatever reason or things that I may or may not have done.
    My belief in that is so strong that I refused chemotherapy because I felt I had a better chance at survival if I strengthened my immune system rather then let chemo destroy what little I had left to build-up.

    I'm not saying that rejecting chemo is for everyone. Triple negative breast CA can be an agressive type of CA. I just didn't think that a 5% to 6% increase in survival at the 5 yr mark was worth it for me. I also new that it wasn't going to kill me immediately, so I did research before I made my decision.

    I haven't been sick since I changed my lifestyle and WOE. It'll be 4 yrs on June 16th.

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