Posts Tagged ‘cancer prevention’

A new cancer regime

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Cancer is coming up to be the most common disease of all. The WHO estimates that 9 mill. will die from it in 2010, and that the number will increase to 16 mill. in 2020. One can say there are about 110 types of cancer, one for each type of cell in the body.

Cancer follows age, and 90% of all cancers are diagnosed in persons more than 50 years of age (90% for men and 85% for women).

Bluntly, it seems that if you get operated on very early you will have a good chance of survival, but if you are put on radiation and chemotherapy your chances of five year survival are slight, less than 10%. There is no cure for cancer at the moment, and the knowledge of the processes in the cells is not fully developed. New medicines are coming to the market and some are resulting in improvements.

It is said that a number of substances used in food, cosmetics, foods, smoking etc. are carcinogenic and will lead to cancer, and some say we are bombarded by chemicals. It is said that physical exercise is good for you in relation to cancer. Nutrition containing fruits and vegetables are beneficial. These factors are not fully documented.

Research into cancer is about understanding cell processes and cycles, inhibit negative processes, finding DNA structures and DNA replication, finding out about control mechanisms in the cells/body and coming up with new medicines that can cure the disease.

There seems to be well structured communication systems in cells, both internally and between cells. We don’t at present understand a lot of the processes – why they sometimes stop and start, cancer disappears, if it will metastate etc.  Research has been going on for about a hundred years, and many Nobel prizes have been awarded.

The work is done by biochemists in the hope that the solution is to be found in that realm. So far the results have been unsatisfactory, although progress is being made.

Another possible line of inquiry could be biophysics – or checking out the physical processes of the cells. Biophysics is already used in modern computer design, and research is going on into using cell structures, their control mechanisms, communication systems and wiring to create superfast computers – they are using the concept of the integrated circuits of the cell and cell structures. An open mind about what directions research should take must be essential now.

In this situation the alternative treatment industry is doing well. When the mainstream does not work so well this will happen. Natural medicinal compounds are used widely, alternative treatments are practiced by doctors

Another factor is the regulatory regime in medicines today. Testing and approval procedures are extremely expensive. A change of rules should be considered to allow testing on a wider scale.

The cost of treatment is extremely high, and is a severe burden on treatment costs.

Cancer is now considered an enigma – we don’t understand it and we can’t cure it, we can only prolong life for people with cancer, although chemotherapy is intolerable.

This all sounds pessimistic, but changes are possible: Carcinogenic substances must go, nutritional programmes must be developed, research must be better coordinated and broadened to include all possibilities, activists must be allowed to voice their concerns, international cooperation must be encouraged, innovative thinking should be part of it and public, independent bodies should ask more, the development of drugs should be be better coordinated and placed in the public realm.

The cancer situation as it is now is humiliating and an insult to human intelligence.

There are many aspects of research that will ultimately lead to the prevention of cancer in man.

  • Cancer Biology (processes of promotion, progression, signal transduction, apoptosis, genomic instability, growth factors, cell and molecular biology, mutation, DNA repair, genetics, etc.)
  • Molecular Epidemiology (genetic predisposition to cancer, and epidemiology)
  • Cancer Prevention (molecular dosimetry, chemoprevention, etc.)
  • Carcinogenesis (viral, chemical and physical carcinogenesis, metabolism of carcinogens, formation, detection, identification and quantification of environmental carcinogens)
  • Cancer Physics (optics, electric currents, signal, cell circuitry, communication procedures, etc.
  • Cancer Physical Training (the specifics of training regimes)
  • Cancer Nutrition (the effect of food on the metabolism, specifics related to cancer)

Cancer is now considered an enigma – we don’t understand it and we can’t cure it. We can only look forward and if changes are made – we will get there.