UNDERSTANDING CANCER – WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

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“If the question is wrong, it won’t matter what the answer is, the answer is irrelevant”

‘Cancer cure’ has become the common search term in google which reflects the impact this dreaded disease affect our lives and loved ones. Many of us have been touched by this plague of cancer. A majority of people have been educated to believe the only way to treat and ‘cure’ cancer is through the big THREE: Slash, Poison, and Burn (Surgery, Chemotherapy, and Radiation). These procedures may be effective to remove or shrink tumors and kill cancer cells but the collateral damages caused to healthy normal cells might incubate the problem and result in aggressive rebound of cancers in later years.  We have heard some of our friends and loved ones who had, despite undergone these treatments, developed more aggressive cancers that ended their lives prematurely or died from complications from conventional treatments.

An increasing number of frustrated and deeply dissatisfied cancer patients are proactively looking into alternative ways to beat cancer by looking deeper in order to understand what really is cancer and how do they survive. What is missing? Are we looking at the wrong place? Are there better ways to address this cancer plague? Are we asking the right questions?

 

CANCER – A METABOLIC DISEASE

There are many different kinds of cancer. Most cancers form solid tumors, and these tumors usually start with a series of mutation in one of the body’s own cells. These mutations allow the affected cells to start dividing uncontrollably developed ability to avoid body’s normal defense. Those mutations often greatly damage the cell’s energy powerhouse, the mitochondria, causing the affected cells to use an alternative way to produce energy for survival. Emerging evidence has now suggested that cancer is a mitochondrial metabolic disease according to the original theory of Otto Warburg (R).

Otto Warburg Theory of Cancer stated that cancer arises from damage to cellular respiration causing utilization of fermentation of lactate despite the presence of oxygen (Warburg effect) to gradually compensate the lack of respiration. This enhanced fermentation is the signature of mitochondrial metabolic dysfunction of all cancer cells (R).

 

CANCER SURVIVAL – THE THRIVING INFLAMMATORY MICROENVIRONMENT

There are several types of inflammation can promote cancer development and progression. Chronic Helicobacter pylori infection is associated with gastric cancer and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma (R)(R). Karin, 2006 showed infections hepatitis B (HBV) or C (HCV) viruses increase the risk of liver cancer. Infections with parasites Schistosoma or bacteria Bacteroides species are linked to bladder and colon cancer respectively (R), (R). Persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection causes cervical cancer (R). These persistent infections cause a low-grade but sustained inflammation that plays a major role from the initiation of tumor development to metastatic progression. Another type of chronic inflammation is caused by immune down-regulation and autoimmunity. For example, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) greatly increases the risk of colon-rectal cancer (R).

 

 CANCER SURVIVAL – THE THRIVING ACIDIC MICROENVIRONMENT

Cancer cells produce energy from enhanced fermentation process called anaerobic glycolysis which releases abundant of lactic acid which favors the tumor development and metastatic progression (R). The release of lactic acid is toxic to the body cells and one of the main causes of muscle fatigue and pain. Research showed that lactate from tumor cells can help them to evade immune surveillance and hence survival by inhibiting proliferation and cytokine production of human cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) by up to 95% and led to a 50% decrease in cytotoxic activity (R). Lactate enhances the growth of tumor cells by contributing to angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (R).

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