If you’ve been following this Substack, or paying attention to the headlines you’ve probably read about ‘turbo cancer’, cancer vaccines and Biden’s operation Cancer Moonshot. For those that don’t already know, my wife has cancer – and in light of these factors – I felt it was necessary to examine the subject closer. Surely, we all know someone who has been affected by the dreaded “C” word but how many really understand what that diagnosis means?

For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to delve too deep into the nuance of this subject as it truly is expansive in scope. Consider this an introduction on the subject of cancer and stay with me as we examine factors that may influence or contribute to cancer and what happens after diagnosis. Also, as a disclaimer, I am looking at all aspects of cancer – including mainstream. I am going to do what I always do, which is to follow the evidence. I do not care where it goes (though I’ve done enough to have a good idea), my job is to simply follow the evidence and share the truth.

According to the Mayo Clinic, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world. In February 2024, The World Health Organization (WHO)’s cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) revealed that “in 2022, there were an estimated 20 million new cancer cases and 9.7 million deaths. The estimated number of people who were alive within 5 years following a cancer diagnosis was 53.5 million. About 1 in 5 people develop cancer in their lifetime, approximately 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women die from the disease.” Cancer rates are skyrocketing, and they expect to see that upward trend continue over the next two and a half decades. In fact, they predict more than 33 million new cases – a 77% increase by the year 2050!

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines cancer as “diseases in which abnormal cells divide out of control and are able to invade other tissues. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems, which help the body get rid of toxins”. Cancer.gov tells us that cancer is “a genetic disease caused by changes to genes [pieces of DNA] that control the way our cells function, especially how they grow and divide.”

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Dr. Robert Peter Gale, MD, PhD, DSC(hc), details this further on Merck Manuals Consumer Version website:

“A cancer is an abnormal growth of cells (usually derived from a single abnormal cell). The cells have lost normal control mechanisms and thus are able to multiply continuously, invade nearby tissues, migrate to distant parts of the body, and promote the growth of new blood vessels from which the cells derive nutrients. Cancerous (malignant) cells can develop from any tissue within the body.

As cancerous cells grow and multiply, they form a mass of cancerous tissue—called a tumor—that invades and destroys normal adjacent tissues. The term tumor refers to an abnormal growth or mass. Tumors can be cancerous or noncancerous. Cancerous cells from the primary (initial) site can spread throughout the body (metastasize).”

Simply put, the body is made up of trillions of cells and cancer can start in any of these cells. Normally, human cells grow through a process called cell division. Cells that grow old or damaged die and new cells take their place. If this process breaks down, and abnormal or damaged cells grow and multiply when they shouldn’t – that is when cells may form tumors – which are lumps of tissue. Tumors can be cancerous or not cancerous (benign). 

Cancerous tumors can invade nearby tissues and via the lymphatic system – travel to other places in the body to form new tumors (metastasis). Cancerous tumors may also be called malignant tumors. Cancers of the blood, like leukemias generally don’t cause solid tumors to form. Benign tumors do not spread into, or invade, nearby tissues and unlike cancerous tumors they do not usually grow back when removed.

One of the more interesting lines of thought related to origins of cancer relates to oxygen and metabolism in cancer. It appears to me that this has stood the test of time despite the fact that much of the current research centers on genetic changes. Obviously cancer cells are genetically different but the hypoxia theory seems to have stood the test of time and may well account for the changes that occur that result in cancer (though fast forwarding to the present day I think we need to consider the impact of the gene therapy jabs and other potential gene altering garbage we are putting in our bodies).

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In 1931 Dr. Otto Heinrich Warburg won a Nobel Prize by showing that a root cause of cancer is low cellular oxygenation levels (hypoxia). In “The Metabolism of Tumours” Warburg demonstrated that all forms of cancer are characterized by two basic conditions: hypoxia & acidosis. “Acidosis is caused by an overproduction of acid that builds up in the blood or an excessive loss of bicarbonate from the blood (metabolic acidosis) or by a buildup of carbon dioxide in the blood that results from poor lung function or depressed breathing.” The data reveals that oxygen deficiency creates an acidic state within the body and that ‘cancer cells are anaerobic (do not breathe oxygen) and cannot survive in the presence of high levels of oxygen, as found in an alkaline state’.

“All normal cells have an absolute requirement for oxygen, but cancer cells can live without oxygen – a rule without exception. “Deprive a cell 35% of its oxygen for 48 hours and it may become cancerous.”

On February 24, 1956, Warburg published “On the Origins of Cancer Cells” in which he summarized that “the cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar.” He explains that normal body cells meet their energy needs by respiration of oxygen, whereas cancer cells meet their energy needs – in great part – by fermentation.

So, what does it all mean? In basic terms it means cancerous cells can live without oxygen whereas healthy cells cannot. Depriving a cell of oxygen kills off the good cells and leaves (or creates) the bad – which get their energy needs by fermentation of sugar instead of oxygen. A 2015 NIH Study entitled “The Role of Hypoxia in Cancer Progression, Angiogenesis, Metastasis, and Resistance to Therapy” reveals data that indicates there is a correlation between the severity of the tumor, it’s responsiveness to treatment and the duration of hypoxic conditions in which it developed. Meaning, the longer the cell went without proper cell oxygenation – the more solid the tumor is likely to be. “Longer exposure to hypoxia is associated with high frequency of DNA breaks, accumulation of DNA replication errors since hypoxia hampers DNA repair systems including homologous recombination and mismatch repair, potentially leading to genetic instability and mutagenesis.” The more solid the tumor, the more resistant it’s likely to be when up against mainstream treatments like chemo or radiation.

“Hypoxia is one of the main features of solid tumors and was shown to correlate with poor prognosis of cancer patients.

While hypoxia is lethal for many cells, a subpopulation of tumor cells is able to not only adapt to hypoxic conditions but also become resistant to chemo- and radiotherapy. The role of hypoxia in the phenomenon of therapy resistance has been acknowledged for at least 60 years.”

The complex process by which cancerous cells develop from healthy cells is known as Malignant transformation. There are several steps necessary including: initiation, promotion, and spread.

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Dr. Gale provides an overview of the development and spread of cancer, and he breaks down the above-mentioned processes for us.

Initiation

“The first step in cancer development is initiation, in which a change in a cell’s genetic material (a mutation) primes the cell to become cancerous. The change in the cell’s genetic material may occur spontaneously as a random event or due to a gene mutation or be brought on by an external exposure to a substance that causes cancer (a carcinogen).

Carcinogens include many chemicals, tobacco, viruses, radiation, and sunlight. However, not all cells are equally susceptible to carcinogens. And not all people exposed to a carcinogen will develop cancer. The risk depends on many factors, for example, the amount of exposure the person had to that carcinogen or whether the person has a genetic predisposition to a certain type of cancer.

Promotion

The second and final step in the development of cancer is promotion. Agents that cause promotion, or promoters, may be substances in the environment or even some medications, such as sex hormones (for example, testosterone taken to improve sex drive and energy in older men). Unlike carcinogens, promoters do not cause cancer by themselves. Instead, promoters allow a cell that has undergone initiation to become cancerous. Promotion has no effect on cells that have not undergone initiation.

Some carcinogens are sufficiently powerful to be able to cause cancer without the need for promotion. For example, ionizing radiation (which is used in x-rays and is produced in nuclear power plants and atomic bomb explosions) can cause various cancers, particularly sarcomas, leukemia, thyroid cancer, and breast cancer.

Spread

Cancer can grow directly into (invade) surrounding tissue or spread to tissues or organs, nearby or distant. Cancer can spread through the lymphatic system. This type of spread is typical of carcinomas. For example, breast cancer usually spreads first to the nearby lymph nodes in the armpit, and only later does it spread to distant sites. Cancer can also spread via the bloodstream. This type of spread is typical of sarcomas.”

Cancer.gov lists differences between cancer cells and normal cells, and they differ in many ways. For example, cancer cells:

  • Grow in the absence of signals telling them to grow. Normal cells only grow when they receive such signals. 
  • Ignore signals that normally tell cells to stop dividing or to die (a process known as programmed cell death, or apoptosis).
  • Invade into nearby areas and spread to other areas of the body. Normal cells stop growing when they encounter other cells, and most normal cells do not move around the body. 
  • Tell blood vessels to grow toward tumors.  These blood vessels supply tumors with oxygen and nutrients and remove waste products from tumors.
  • Hide from the immune system. The immune system normally eliminates damaged or abnormal cells. 
  • Trick the immune system into helping cancer cells stay alive and grow. For instance, some cancer cells convince immune cells to protect the tumor instead of attacking it.
  • Accumulate multiple changes in their chromosomes, such as duplications and deletions of chromosome parts. Some cancer cells have double the normal number of chromosomes.
  • Rely on different kinds of nutrients than normal cells. In addition, some cancer cells make energy from nutrients in a different way than most normal cells. This lets cancer cells grow more quickly. Share

Dr. Gale writes, ‘cancerous tissues (malignancies) can be divided into those of the blood and blood-forming tissues (leukemias and lymphomas) and “solid” tumors (a solid mass of cells)”.

“Leukemias and lymphomas are cancers of the blood and blood-forming tissues and cells of the immune systemLeukemias arise from blood-forming cells and crowd out the production of normal blood cells in the bone marrow. Cancer cells from lymphomas expand lymph nodes, producing large masses in the armpit, groin, abdomen, or chest.

Carcinomas are cancers of cells that line the skin, lungs, digestive tract, and internal organs. Examples of carcinomas are cancer of the skin, lungs, colon, stomach, breasts, prostate, and thyroid gland. Typically, carcinomas occur more often in older than in younger people.

Sarcomas are cancers of mesodermal cells. Mesodermal cells normally form muscles, blood vessels, bone, and connective tissue. Examples of sarcomas are leiomyosarcoma (cancer of smooth muscle that is found in the wall).”

If you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Melanoma or some other classification of cancer you may have heard of – it’s because this Substack is not meant to be an exhaustive presentation of the various types of cancers, tumors, tests and treatments. There are more than 100 different types of cancer, and the data is quite extensive. Most cancers are named for the organ or type of cell in which they start.

The WHO reports that the three major cancer types in 2022 were lungbreast and colorectal cancersColorectal cancer is on the rise – especially among young adults. Diagnostic criteria vary for the type and location of the cancer or tumor. Imaging tests (like MRI’s and CT’s), biopsies, and tumor markers all aide in staging the disease and determining treatment options.

The Merck Manual states that “treatment plans take into consideration the type of cancer, including its location, its stage (how large and widespread the cancer is), and its genetic characteristics, as well as specific characteristics of the person being treated.”

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