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Thread: Preventing Cancer

  1. #1
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    Default Preventing Cancer

    A good friend of mine, Bill V., recently sent me this:

    "A long time ago I gave lectures across the country to executives on how to deal with stress. The 'father of stress' was a man named Hans Selye, MD, who was famous, a prolific writer. He was quite respected in the medical fraternity. I read everything he wrote and followed through with the medical and psychological underpinnings of his theory. A popular book was titled
    The Stress of Life.

    One book got into his observations from his days when he did post mortems on people. One section I remember included an observation that a lot of people had evidence of a successful battle with cancer. But no one had treated the cancer, the body dealt with it successful... a complete remission of the cancer without a doc seeing it, I surmised.

    His Stress Institute kept up research considering cancer a product of stress and was part of the G.A.S. General Adaptation Syndrome, of the body. He himself had a normally fatal cancer and through what he said his will, he had a complete remission."


    This is an article on Selye and his beliefs about Cancer. It seems to me that considering cancer a product of stress and through strengthening the psychological and physiological resources of the body to try for 'spontaneous' remission of cancers that exist and as a proactive strategy to avoid nurturing cancers."

    http://www.stress.org/stress-and-cancer/

    I share this because hopefully it will be of value.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Preventing Cancer

    My neighbor, a dear of friend of mine, died from complications early this year from lung cancer he had beaten two years prior. A good online friend of mine, who was only in his early 30s, succumbed to cancer a little more than a week ago. Both were truly great people that brought a lot to this world and it is much poorer without them.

    Cancer sucks, yo.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Preventing Cancer

    Quote Originally Posted by vt View Post
    A good friend of mine, Bill V., recently sent me this:

    "A long time ago I gave lectures across the country to executives on how to deal with stress. The 'father of stress' was a man named Hans Selye, MD, who was famous, a prolific writer. He was quite respected in the medical fraternity. I read everything he wrote and followed through with the medical and psychological underpinnings of his theory. A popular book was titled
    The Stress of Life.

    One book got into his observations from his days when he did post mortems on people. One section I remember included an observation that a lot of people had evidence of a successful battle with cancer. But no one had treated the cancer, the body dealt with it successful... a complete remission of the cancer without a doc seeing it, I surmised.

    His Stress Institute kept up research considering cancer a product of stress and was part of the G.A.S. General Adaptation Syndrome, of the body. He himself had a normally fatal cancer and through what he said his will, he had a complete remission."


    This is an article on Selye and his beliefs about Cancer. It seems to me that considering cancer a product of stress and through strengthening the psychological and physiological resources of the body to try for 'spontaneous' remission of cancers that exist and as a proactive strategy to avoid nurturing cancers."

    http://www.stress.org/stress-and-cancer/

    I share this because hopefully it will be of value.
    My wife's cousin had breast cancer, kept it from us, and went 100% alternative treatment. Two years later the cancer burst through her breast and she was forced to go conventional. Two months later she was dead. Buyer beware.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Preventing Cancer

    If stress is linked to cancer - then the Japanese must be dropping off left and right.

    Japanese society is extremely stressful - check out Taijin Kyofusho and all its numerous sub-disorders.

    Sadly - or not really sadly - this is not the case.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Preventing Cancer

    I think there is value in managing stress, but danger in conflating part of the answer with the entirety of the answer. I've noted an interesting psychological phenomenon when it comes to health: we fear disease and crave control over our health, and that makes us highly receptive to holistic prescriptions that promise to sweep away the complexity and uncertainty of the situation, replacing a myriad variables compounded by blind chance with a single, controllable factor like diet or lifestyle. The controllable factor is generally something that is undeniably associated with good health, about which we have positive feelings (e.g. "eating right"), but becomes a ritualistic means of asserting control over a capricious universe. If we just get the rules right, and follow the rules, we'll be safe! The potential problem lies in placing faith in one's ritual to the exclusion of other prudent measures (see Jobs, Steve).

    My understanding is that "stress" is indeed bad for one's health and recuperative powers. At the same time, cancer -- however difficult to treat -- is not much of a medical mystery. Cancer is caused by damage to the genetic mechanism regulating cell division, including both epigenetic abnormalities as well as actual genetic mutation. The body has natural methods of repairing, killing, or corralling cancerous cells; these protective systems nip cancer in the bud all the time. I would guess this accounts for the good Dr. finding evidence of successful battles against undiagnosed cancer -- the battle is waged constantly, and it's only when the self-repair systems break that clinical cancer occurs. For instance, some of the infamous "cancer genes" like BRCA1 or BRCA2 are actually cancer-fighting genes which repair damaged DNA; everybody has these genes, but if both copies become damaged in any given cell, that cell and its daughters lose their normal DNA repair functions. It's a type of fail-safe system: you only need one copy of the gene to be functional for the DNA repair system to work, and the chance of both copies getting damaged in the same cell is pretty low. But if you inherit a bad copy from either parent, then every cell in your body starts out with a broken copy, and every cell is therefore a potential single point of failure for a chance mutation of the remaining good copy. That's why people who test positive for a bad copy of one of these "cancer genes" are much more likely to get cancer, but not guaranteed to do so -- they may never suffer that second random failure. I would guess that stress probably affects how well these sorts of systems function, but stress alone isn't going to determine whether various environmental factors like ionizing radiation or carcinogenic chemicals come along and happen to corrupt the wrong piece of DNA in one of your cells.

    I don't want to come off as dismissive of the advice to manage stress for good health. I just want to say that neither cancer nor the body's cancer-fighting systems are exactly black boxes, and there are definitely variables separate from stress which will affect your chances of developing cancer and of winning the fight if you do.

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    Default Re: Preventing Cancer

    Since we're telling cancer stories, here's one:

    This May, a friend of mine -- a mother of two -- who was 5 months pregnant discovered a 15-cm cancerous mass in her breasts while at an ultrasound checkup for the unborn baby. Her own mother had died of cancer, and when subsequently tested, my friend was found to carry a defective copy of one of the BRCA genes (I don't recall which). My friend is both a natural foods / chemophobic nut and a Jesus freak; she fills my Facebook stream up with badly sourced stories about the horrors of GM foods and talk of angels. Her doctors recommended she start chemotherapy, deliver the baby at 35 weeks, and then undergo a radical mastectomy followed by more chemotherapy and a hysterectomy. My friend started the treatment plan and assembled a large support group, including "prayer teams" and a mystical "laying on of hands" at a particular church famed for miraculous healing. She lost her hair. But she stayed positive, surrounded by friends and supporters, and (as far as I could tell) wholeheartedly believing in the intercessory power of prayer. And she followed the treatment plan. Chemotherapy shrunk the tumor from 15 cm to 11 cm. On August 9th, she delivered a tiny 5-oz baby girl with healthy lungs; thus far, the baby remains healthy. Two weeks ago, a set of radiological scans found no evidence of spread to her bones or organs. This week she's recovering from her mastectomy. I don't know if, against all odds, this story will have a happy ending -- but I do think her attitude and mental state played a positive roll in getting her this far, against some pretty steep odds. The most important thing I take away from this is that she put her faith in her God, but she also did the chemo and went under the knife. Whether she truly enlisted the aid of the Almighty or just a strong placebo effect (which is very real) I don't care. What matters is that she did everything she knew to survive, and didn't rely entirely upon one avenue of treatment.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Preventing Cancer

    one of many problems with this stress theory is its tendency toward blaming the victim. obviously someone with cancer has not been dealing with stress properly, right? it reminds me of a piece susan sontag wrote in1978 called "illness as metaphor." i believe sontag had received a cancer diagnosis, and came across literature about the "cancer personality," i.e. the idea that certain psychological types were more likely to develop cancer. in the course of her research, she came on 19th century descriptions of the "consumptive personality," i.e. the type of person most likely to develop consumption. remarkably, the 2 personality types were virtually identical. also remarkably, we of course now know that virtually all of consumption victims suffered, in fact, from tuberculosis, which has little to do with personality. sontag's message was clear. and i think a similar critique applies to this stress theory. one day it may be proven that stress, via elevated cortisol levels suppressing the immune system, indeed makes some cancers more likely, but imo it is likely to be at most a role player in a multifactorial theory.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Preventing Cancer

    Flushing oneself of toxins (like flouride, chlorine, bromine) helps, and Iodine does this..

    Iodine and Breast Health
    http://www.westonaprice.org/metaboli...-iodine-debate

    Japanese women have very low rates of breast cancer and consume high levels of iodine. This observation has led to the theory that high iodine levels in the Japanese diet, rich in seaweed and seafood, provide protection against breast cancer and other diseases of the breast. Proponents of this theory note that today one in seven American women (almost 15 percent) will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. Thirty years ago, when iodine consumption was twice as high as it is now (480 mcg per day) one in twenty women developed breast cancer. Thirty years ago, consumption of iodized salt was higher than it is today; in addition a form of iodine was used as a dough conditioner in making bread, and each slice of bread contained 0.14 mg of iodine. In 1980, bread makers started using bromide as a conditioner instead, which competes with iodine for absorption into the thyroid gland and other tissues in the body. Iodine was also more widely used in the dairy industry as a teat cleaner thirty years ago than it is now. According to this argument, 15 percent of the U.S. adult female population suffers from moderate to severe iodine deficiency.1

    The correlation of iodine deficiency with breast cancer is strengthened by reports in the scientific literature. Women with a history of breast cancer are almost three times more likely to develop thyroid cancer than women with no such history, and there is a geographic correlation between the incidence of goiter and breast cancer.2 Demographic studies show that a high intake of iodine is associated with a low incidence of breast cancer, and a low intake with a high incidence of breast cancer.3

    Animal studies show that iodine prevents breast cancer, arguing for a causal association in these epidemiological findings. The carcinogens nitrosomethylurea and DMBA cause breast cancer in more than 70 percent of female rats. Those given iodine, especially in its molecular form as I2, have a statistically significant decrease in the incidence of cancer.4 Other evidence adding biologic plausibility to the hypothesis that iodine prevents breast cancer includes the finding that the ductal cells in the breast, the ones most likely to become cancerous, are equipped with an iodine pump (the sodium iodine symporter, the same one that the thyroid gland has) to soak up this element.5

    Similar findings apply to fibrocystic disease of the breast. In animal studies, female rats fed an iodine-free diet develop fibrocystic changes in their breasts, and iodine in its elemental form (I2) cures it.6

    As far back as 1966, Russian researchers showed that iodine effectively relieves signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Seventy-one percent of 167 women suffering from fibrocystic disease experienced a beneficial healing effect when treated with 50 mg potassium iodide during the intermenstrual period.7

    A 1993 Canadian study likewise found that iodine relieves signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease in 70 percent of patients. This report is a composite of three clinical studies, two case series done in Canada of 696 women treated with various types of iodine, and one in Seattle. The Seattle study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 56 women designed to compare 3-5 mg of elemental iodine (I2) to a placebo (an aqueous mixture of brown vegetable dye with quinine). Investigators followed the women for six months and tracked subjective and objective changes in their fibrocystic disease.8

    An analysis of the Seattle study showed that iodine had a highly statistically significant beneficial effect on fibrocystic disease. Iodine reduced breat tenderness, nodularity, fibrosis, turgidity and number of macrocysts compared to controls. This 36-page report9 was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995, seeking the agency's approval to carry out a larger randomized controlled clinical trial on iodine for treating fibrocystic breast disease. FDA declined to approve the study, because “iodine is a natural substance, not a drug.” But the FDA has now decided to approve a similar trial sponsored by Symbollon Pharmaceuticals.
    The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge ~D Boorstin

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