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What is Cancer? What causes it? Is it curable?

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posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 07:56 PM
The title is pretty broad, but I was having a discussion with a friend about Valerie Harper, who has terminal brain cancer. The discussion ranged from having a positive attitude, existing but hidden "cures", the downfall of big Pharms, and the statement by my friend that everyone has cancer cells inside their bodies. I disagreed with that statement, positioning myself that cancer is a genetic mutation, but I did wonder why only certain people get cancer. We both had no conclusive answer there.

When I got home tonight, I googled "What is cancer?" After reading a bit, I decided to query ATS for their opinion.

Here's where we'll start in this thread:

Cells are the basic building blocks of the body. There are many different types of cells and they make up all of the tissues and organs in the body. Within each cell are thousands of genes (also known as genetic material) that act as a command center for the cell. Genes provide instructions for what role the cell will play in the body. Each gene has a unique job to perform either by itself, or in combination with other genes.

Cells divide to make new cells to replace damaged or old cells. As cells duplicate, they pass along copies of their genetic material to the new cells.

The process of cells dividing and passing along genes is usually well controlled, insuring that the right kinds and numbers of cells are present for the different parts of the body to function correctly. The body and the cells can usually recognize when something has changed in a cell and will work to repair or destroy the abnormal cell. Unfortunately, cells sometimes begin to grow and divide with little or no control. When that happens, they can destroy nearby healthy cells and invade different parts of the body. This is called cancer.

Here's a bit more information:

Like all living things, cells die. If you watched a clock for one minute, about three billion cells in your body die. In that same minute, about three billion cells divided so that all the cells that died were replaced. Dead skin cells flake off and dead cells from internal organs will pass through and out of the body with waste products. The length of time cells live can vary. For example, white blood cells only live for thirteen days, red blood cells live for about one hundred and twenty days, liver cells live about eighteen months, and nerve cells can live up to one hundred years.

All cells have some parts in common. One part found in all cells is the cell membrane. The cell membrane surrounds the cell, holds the other parts of the cell in place, and protects the cell. Molecules can pass in and out of the cell membrane. Inside the membrane, all cells, except for bacterial cells, contain a nucleus and cytoplasm. The nucleus is a dark structure located in the middle of the cell. It controls the cell's activities, and acts like the cell's brain. Inside the nucleus there is DNA which contains genetic information. The cytoplasm is a jelly-like substance inside the cell where most of the cell's activities take place. It's made out of water and other chemicals. All cell parts, except the nucleus, are located in the cytoplasm.

Basically, each cell was made from an already existing cell. New cells are made through a process called cell division or mitosis. One cell turns into two cells and then two cells turn into four cells, etc. Even humans started life with only one cell. Most of the cells in many celled organisms use mitosis to reproduce. The animation shows the basic steps in mitosis which are:
1) At the start of mitosis chromosomes are in the nucleus.
2) The chromosomes in the nucleus will then make a copy of themselves
3) Next the cell divides.
4) Last one set of chromosomes goes to the new cell and one set remains in the parent cell.

In essence, cancer could be termed the uncontrolled division and growth of cells.

But why?

Here's a bit more:

Cancer encompasses over 100 diseases. There are several types of cancers depending on the organ they affect, however, they possess the same common properties of:

abnormal cell growth
capacity to invade other tissues
capacity to spread to distant organs via blood vessels or lymphatic channels (metastasis)

Untreated cancers can cause serious illness by invading healthy tissues and lead to death.

But what "triggers" cancer? Smoking, they say, causes cancer. Lead causes cancer, according to some reports. However, if that was the case, 100% of smokers would get cancer. There are people who have never smoked a cigarette, and get cancer. It's rather mysterious, so how about we present information that sheds some serious light on the true nature of cancer. What is it that causes cells in the human body to suddenly decide to grow uncontrollably? What is it that upset the normal mitosis? Sure, you can state "risk factors", but is there a definitive answer?

Also, feel free to discuss if there is a "mind over matter" link, homeopathic remedies, or if chemotherapy (cancer treatment) is just another way for big pharmaceutical companies to make a profit.

(Fringe Reliquary: If the body is composed of cells, and the cells, molecules, and the molecules, atoms, and the atoms, electrons, protons, and neutrons, which are then composed of quarks, how far back can we go before we dissolve into quantum foam? How does this factor in to the uncontrolled growth of cells?)

Disclaimer: I am not a biologist, but I do grasp the basics. Since I have linked only reputable sources, I have refrained from linking any "case examples" in the OP, nor provided any opinion regarding my position.

Let the discussion begin.......

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:21 PM
most cancers I think are caused by blood being too acidic rather than alkaline. Acidic blood provides the conditions in which cells cant get the kill signal and multiply out of control. They maybe other mechanisms but thats the one I know off

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:22 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Cancer...the Big "C". You know I am not an expert either, just wanted to share something I learned about it.

The beginning of cancer is a mutation within the DNA inside the nucleus of the cell. For whatever reason the cells replication "program" is altered, shall we say? This altering produces a cell which replicates like other healthy cells, but its purpose no longer serves the body like those other healthy cells. The bodies immune system "sees" the cell as living body tissue so doesn't attack it like it would dead or other "suspect" cells that have under gone mutation.

So the mutated cell forms its own "colony" (tumor) of cells that deplete the bodies resources and serve no useful purpose. Since the immune system allows them to grow "out of control", the tumors get bigger and bigger until they hamper or impede upon some other bodily function.

There are so many forms of cancer and so many stages and treatments that affect the eventual outcome.

Somebody more knowledgable can tell me if I am right about this.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:30 PM
reply to post by Druid42

Cancer is a very interesting, but devastating disease. I had already read about how cancer behaved several years ago, but your description was fascinating, thank-you for going through the all the hard work of sharing the fundamentals with us.

This is how I would sum it up:

Cancer is like something has invaded us and re-written the secret recipe of the cell. Once it has caused disruption to enough of our cells, our natural defenses (or what I like to think of as cell spell-checkers) fail to function properly, and our bodies succumb to the infiltration.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:38 PM
Radiation causes cancer. Right?

How does chemotherapy work....

They don't say smoking gives you cancer. They say smoking MAY increase the risk of you getting cancer. So it's not a one size fits all explanation as you appear to think it is.

The overall exposure to carcinogenic materials is what matters, not the immediate exposure. Unless that immediate exposure is somewhere along the lines of more radiation than you'd expect in a lifetime, then you're pretty much cactus.

But humans are across the board, reasonably tolerant of carcinogens. If everything carcinogenic gave us cancerous tumours, then eating toast would cause cancer. Smelling bacon. Almost everything.

Some people live in high altitude areas. They get more ultraviolet radiation than people living in lover climates. However there is no more cases of cancer in those areas with more radiation. Humans are resilient.

Some people may be more prone to certain types of cancer due to genetics. Others not.

Cancer is like fiddling with the instruction set of the gene. It's not a self destruct sequence, sometimes it goes unnoticed, other times only noticed when it's so massive that it's in the way. And then there are times when the code is so corrupt that it replicates the broken bits and pass this onto surrounding genes.

It proves to me that if we're made then we're made to fail. It's a matter of seeing how much and where..

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:44 PM
Curing someone with cancer is probably more difficult than preventing cancer through good health systems from the time of birth. As a society, we need to focus on understanding how to optimize the functioning of our DNA and apply it to our early childcare culture. Right now our standards for care of newborns and infants is probably lacking. I would guess that many diseases ultimately derive from deficiencies in childhood care.

Baby food and formula are often synthetic and may contain mild carcinogens...that's not even to mention packaging.

From a quick google search:

The Environmental Working Group released a report Wednesday highlighting pesticide residues found on baby food.

In addition, Iprodione, a probable human carcinogen or cancer causing agent, was detected on three baby food pear samples. Incidentally, Iprodione is not registered with the EPA for use on pears.

A month after large batches of Chinese baby formula were found to contain dangerous levels of mercury, state media outlets reported Monday that the authorities have discovered more shipments of contaminated formula, this time poisoned with a cancer-causing toxin.

The Cancer Prevention Coalition today congratulated the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics for securing a 11/15/11 agreement with Johnson & Johnson “for reducing or gradually phasing out – trace amounts of potentially cancer-causing chemicals” from Baby Shampoo, “one of its signature products.” However, this agreement is limited and restricted to the U.S. market.

Your friend may be on to something about everyone having cancer cells. These articles are all recent, and I would imagine the standards have gotten better over time. A baby born today is ingesting and being exposed to chemicals linked to cancer- imagine what it was like when I was born in '90.

Basically, we need a cultural shift away from industrial chemicals in early child care.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:49 PM
According to an official at Merk, creators of vaccines, cancer is a virus that is contained in their vaccines. In fact, there are a great many that suggest that cancer did not exist until the invention of the vaccine, though that might be debatable, it could certainly be said that cancer was not a common occurrence prior to the mass inoculations.

What triggers the virus, what makes it take hold - weaknesses in consciousness created by outside stimulus that encourage one to manifest. People either have an ailment or they don't, at some point they choose to manifest that ailment, for a myriad of reasons, but one reason is hyper awareness coupled with fear.

Example, there are groups, Breast Cancer Groups come to mind, that spend huge sums of money "increasing awareness" about breast cancer. Why? Their argument is knowledge is power, so if you know about breast cancer you can prevent its effects, but, sick is sick, people either self aware to know this or don't and knowing what sickness is usually left to a doctor to figure out and I'm pretty sure they know about breast cancer. But making people panic over the notion of breast cancer has them often manifesting it. We can see these when the disease dujour happens to explode in the press and you can hear people at a party saying, "oh, I'm pretty sure I have ebola, I have to go to my Dr. tomorrow." In fact, ever wonder why research doctors never get ebola themselves?

Radiation exposure causes the cancer virus to explode, poor diet, TV will do it, and the biggest cause, too many toxins in the body and an overload in the system trying to dump them, so cancers will take hold in areas toxin rich. AIDS is a virus that is rather smart, it causes the body to detox everything in it all at once, and the trigger is the stigma attached, it was said that AIDS was created for the target group, the initial key connection was drug use and a PR campaign to spread the word, which actually spread the manifestation of the virus far faster then otherwise would have happened.

All virus, bacteria, parasites are energy, the manifestations are a choice, a strange choice to be sure, but a choice that is made from within and often encouraged by the outside reality, cancer is the same.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 08:56 PM
Genetics and how your body can handle outside influences.
Take,for example,my wife's side of the family.
Out of 5 brothers and sisters,all but one is healthy.
The rest,well my wife's dad just died from being so weakened from treatments due to cancer,are dying at a young age. All of them under 70 years old.Some smoked and drank ,some didn't.

My side of the family,some drank and smoked and lived well into they're 80's and beyond.Chicken fried in lard and bacon grease.And still kicking.
Genetics and a positive attitude .

I think if you are predisposed to get cancer,it will happen no matter what you do.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:00 PM
reply to post by minor007

Acidity? That's referring to a PH balance that gets upset. PH stands for the Potential of Hydrogen. Water is 7.0, and the body is 2/3rds water. You may have something there.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:09 PM
reply to post by intrptr

The beginning of cancer is a mutation within the DNA inside the nucleus of the cell.

Right. But why?

For whatever reason the cells replication "program" is altered

This is on the cellular level. We have to look a little lower to understand why the "program" changed.

This altering produces a cell which replicates like other healthy cells

But it replicates out of control. It keeps duplicating itself, with nothing to tell it to stop. A glitch in your "program".

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:10 PM
the best answer that i have heard is this one

from Johns Hopkins


1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications
10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to STARVE the cancer cells by not feeding it with foods it needs to multiple.

What cancer cells feed on:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Note: Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells will starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes t o nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.

To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water--best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines will become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.

Anger, unforgiving and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells."


edit on 12-3-2013 by thePharaoh because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:10 PM
reply to post by StarsInDust

Your description is very apt. I'm just trying to figure out a mystery. Maybe not so mysterious, but I'd like to get my head around it.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:18 PM
Take a look at this. It's scientifically sound. Just don't expect to here it from most of mainstream medicine. There's no money in it.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:19 PM
reply to post by winofiend

Let's reference the electromagnetic spectrum, which is what we call radiation:

Per your UV example, and looking at the diagram, I can see a connection between the two. The molecular level.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:24 PM

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water--best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines will become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.

Caffiene is a proven cancer preventer.

The whole putrifying meat thing is a myth started by vegans.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:26 PM
reply to post by PatrickGarrow17

I agree with your position that pesticides and GM food are introduced to us at an early age. It's nearly impossible to escape digestion of such.

Does that affect our own cell replication? GIGO. (Garbage in, garbage out.)

Really, you may have a point there. Cancer begins at the cellular level, and the processing of foods we eat at are the same level.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:31 PM
reply to post by crankyoldman

Cancer is the uncontrolled duplication of cells. It's not a virus.

Radiation exposure causes the explode, poor diet....and the biggest cause, too many toxins in the body and an overload in the system trying to dump them

Edited to sound more feasible.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:33 PM
reply to post by kdog1982

if you are predisposed to get cancer

But what is the function of that "predisposition"? You've made it a random event.

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:48 PM
reply to post by thePharaoh

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body.

That says my friend is right. However, my definition states that cancer cells are cells going thru uncontrolled mitosis.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed

Healthy people don't get cancer. Sound.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

A balanced diet prevents cancer. We are getting closer to the answer. Nutrition, sans environmental regards, may be key.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment.

Here's a second reference to body PH levels. Interesting.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, unforgiving and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

While metaphysical, point 15 refers to a connection to the "mind over mattter" aspect of regulating your body. Excellent point.

I wonder if there is a connection between stress and cancer. Do anger and bitterness, which are not healthy attitudes, contribute to the development of cancer?

posted on Mar, 12 2013 @ 09:49 PM
My comment is personal theory only. Radio active isotopes exist in our soil naturally. It doesn't help that we have countries testing nukes to include our own. These particles are everywhere and I believe that all the wrong things are blamed for cancer.

Farmers have a higher elevation of cancer than the general populace. Why? They work with the soil. They breathe in the contaminates more than the general population.

Uranium is plentiful in our soil. If you are a gardener, I believe you have a higher risk of getting cancer than smoking.

Let's keep in mind that anyone that has smoked cigarettes and have died of heart or lung disease....they are classified as people that have been exposed to cigarette smoke. Not really a fair assessment. Lest us not forget that city dwellers live in high concentration of carcinogenic fumes of all kinds.

Smoking cigarettes is a fear campaign for the most part. I do believe it does effect some people in very bad ways, but not in the fear mongering ways purported by health agencies.

After all, many people around the world live into their 90's whilst smoking.

The cure? Stop nuke testing and refinement of radioactive substances.

Personally, I feel there is a cure for cancer. Why give a cure when the treatment gives the big pharma's a huge greedy financial windfall?

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