26 March, 2012

The common things are common...

The treatment of cancer is a multifactorial event. There is no silver bullet or cure-all wonder drug or therapy that treats all forms of cancer. Not all cancers are the same, although they have one common behaviour - they all invariably kill their patient, except for the benign ones. I would argue that benign cancers are not really cancers but the body’s ability to reject a certain diseased tissue or toxins into a sequestered hub that can no longer influence the remainder of the body.

Cancers principally arise from damage to cellular DNA. Cancer is a genetic disease, although this does not imply all cancers are hereditary. Some are, but the majority are due to environmental, dietary and chronic inflammatory states that directly damage genes within DNA. Cancer is a complex phenomenon, which is why there is no single, agreed-upon method of treating it. Also, some treatments do not work, some are too alternative to be tested (such as drinking ones own urine) and some are too ubiquitous and therefore unpatentable (i.e. non-profitable. e.g vitamin C, D or E). Hence the conundrum as to why Big Pharma exclude the majority of treatments unless there is a financial motive behind it. Hence the reason why governmental institutions are reluctant to employ cancer modalities that are not verified by scientific reports, which unfortunately are often funded by Big Pharma. Poignantly, one must recall that Big Pharma is not inherently evil. Big Pharma is simply big business. If companies can protect their profits and expand upon profits, then it is good business. Business is not evil, but when business causes the loss of life, then business, by that measuring stick, has become evil. Only when business loses sight of the flow-on effect of what it does, does it become ignorant of its impact on society. Such blind ignorance is inexcusable, but is not the sole prejudice of just Big Pharma. Ignorance of the flow-on effect of actions is a feature of many large companies, and a reflection of any large business, be it pharmaceutical, environmental, banking, governmental, military, etc.

Getting back to cancer, the attitude to take is not to cure cancer, but to live it. In other words, deal with treatment as multifactorial and adopt an attitude that says ‛I have a new status, one of living with cancer’ and get on with life. Try not to become a victim of cancer, as victimhood will often not 'let in compassion' from other people who are trying to help. People who carry the cross of cancer can be difficult to help, as they sometimes clutch their illness as a new status, one that they easily identify with, and enlargens their ego. Regardless of the disease, one should try to accept that diagnosis with a modicum of bravery, as a soldier who has to take a tour of duty in the theatre of war that is a hospital, for an unknown period of time.

Am I a proponent of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery? Definitely. Am I a proponent of alternative therapies? Definitely. I think everything should be on the table. Having trialled most chemotherapy, surgical and radiation modalities in veterinary science, I can say they have their place, but having trialled a number of alternative modalities, I can also say they too have their place. As Ian Gawler once remarked to me when I was trialing Vitamin B17 (amygdalin), ‛cancer is not a simple disease and there is no simple treatment.’ After testing this drug on a number of animal patients in end-stage cancer, I was remarkably disappointed with the results. In fact, I found standard chemotherapy more effective in the short-term for palliative responses, despite the majority still succumbing to their illness.

There are new reports arising of little know drugs that are getting an airing in the media, such as sodium dichloroacetate. However, the caveat being that people, not Big Pharma, have to ask for such treatments. Cancer, by and large, is a social disease of Western countries. With the introduction of preservatives, low vitamin-content foods (due to poor soil quality) and high meat-high dairy diets, the rise of cardiovascular disease, breast, bowel and prostate cancers has skyrocketed. One doesn’t have to be an Einstein to see the correlative epidemiology on these statistics. There is a good movie called ‛Forks over Knives’ which is a scientific expose of cancer rates beween Western and Eastern diets and is worth the time watching.

Remember, the common things are common. You are what you eat. You are what you think. Avoid junk food and junk thoughts - they can only lead to unwanted outcomes.