If we are to improve cancer treatments, we must think about the disease in a new way.
Like aging, cancer is more a process than a disease. In fact, it’s not just one disease, but a legion of processes that, unless halted, lead to deadly consequences. It’s this complexity that makes it so dangerous, and so difficult to understand. But, it’s exactly what’s missing from research and treatment.
Cancer research rests on a disease model that has changed little in decades. It proposes that cancer is a disease that must be crushed. In the late 19th century, living organisms were regarded as organic machines with easy-to-understand operating mechanisms. This mechanistic model remained in place well into the 20th century even as scientific technology became more sophisticated, and dangerous. Cancer therapies are brutal, often haphazard, and expensive. Most cancer drugs have little or no clinical benefit, and do immense harm to patients.
Cancer Statistics Highlights
- 1.64 million new cancer cases and 577,190 deaths are expected this year.
- Black and Hispanic men account for the highest death rates; white Americans still have the lowest incidence and highest survival rates.
- The four big killers are lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers.
- More than 7.6 million people worldwide die from cancer every year.
- Approximately 70% of cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- At least 30% of cancers can be prevented.
Nature’s Complexity Ignored For Too Long
We now know that biology is a complex process of intertwining networks, pathways, cross-talk spirals and loops with thousands of biochemical twists and twirls. There is an informational language of ancient instructions encoded within every living cell in our body. Even with less mechanistic views, however, scientists are not making any further headway in “curing” cancer.
This reductionist approach, no matter how sophisticated, misses the fundamental mark: cancer—like life, aging, and death—is a process; it’s not a disease that can be cured.
In addition to chemical signals and information, biological systems are also physical. They have shape, form, size, mass, and weight. They contain living pumps, pulleys, and levers. They display elasticity, tensile effects, morphology, and are made of fluids that have properties like stickiness, and form in puddles and swamps. They are also bioelectrical and display properties like energy that have more affinity with physics than biology.
As cancer progresses, many of these processes, including metabolism, change systematically. What started as a single, simple cell mutation has now become a tangle of processes.
Conventional Treatment Strategies Need Re-Thinking
Treating cancer requires an organized method, involving therapies that address all of these processes and phases of cancer. Doctors and patients are encouraged to get away from the idea of “cure,” and think more about managing, controlling, and influencing factors that impact and are affected by carcinogenesis.
It’s not necessary, however, and likely not humanely possible, to understand every process that’s involved in cancer. What’s important is to influence as many of these processes as possible.
For example, in later stage cancers, in a process called metastasis, the life-sucking cancer cells can spread. They migrate from the primary tumor to blood vessels, pass through the vessel walls and enter the blood stream. Swept up in the blood and lymph, they can form into rafts, stuck together by platelets. Breaking up these rafts—called biofilms—is not easy, but it’s important to get the job done so that they don’t create logjams, and from there, find their way into other organs.
The physical properties of cancer cell microenvironments are just as important as chemical signaling, and are responsive to physical changes like temperature, electricity, electromagnetic fields, pH, mechanical pressure, and oxygen concentration. Nutrient density and concentration of phytochemicals, DNA protective substances, glycoproteins, extracellular matrix remodeling substances, and immune modifiers all play roles in health and disease, aging, and in the management of cancer.
Look Deeper, Think Smarter, Go Further
When looking at cancer as both a chemical and biological process, made up of physical and mechanical forces, treatments are most successful when aimed at altering cancer pathways rather than using the reductionist method of radiation or chemotoxic drugs.
This is why some people recover from cancer on juice fasting, getting colonics, or being treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. These simple, natural therapies, for certain individuals, tip the balance in their favor. Statistically, however, the number of people who beat cancer with natural methods alone is very low. Even if there are a few dramatic cases that step away clean, most still succumb because cancer is a formidable foe.
The current scientific and medical environment knows a lot about the enemy, but comes up short on understanding who and what cancer really is. Natural therapies alone are too weak, simple, and incomplete to tackle advanced cancer. But by reshaping the clinical landscape based on a new paradigm of complexity, we may be on the verge of making serious inroads into a wiser, more effective approach to the treatment of cancer.
Cancer therapy can start with green juice fasting and pumping up phytonutrients, shifting pH towards alkaline, improving tissue saturation with antioxidants like vitamin C, and detoxification therapies to enhance liver function. But, it has to also include nutrient hyper-saturation with intravenous therapies, immune modulation therapies using thymus peptides and mistletoe extracts, and bioelectrical magnetic therapy. Hyperthermia, hyperbaric oxygen, and intravenous ozone therapy play roles in altering physical properties in the blood and tissues. Making positive influences in the lymphatic system, interfering with biofilm adhesiveness, and detoxification of the extracellular matrix—as well as providing DNA protection—are other key areas of comprehensive integrative cancer therapy.
Though the incidence of cancer is increasing worldwide—a condition that touches every family on the planet—by reshaping our understanding and embracing a new paradigm of complexity, we can put cancer back in it’s evolutionary place: silently present, but not the menace it has become in the modern world.