In response to daniel earnshaw 7 Oct 2015
Yes cancer is complex.
Saying you have cancer is like saying you live in the USA, it can be true, but it isn’t a lot of use in finding which house you live in.
I had melanoma. After 3 operations I was told there was nothing that medical science could do for me. Told I could be dead in 6 weeks, and had a 2% chance of living 2 years.
That was 5.5 years ago.
I have been tumour free for nearly 5 years.
It was a very interesting journey.
I was amazed at the ways in which profit was a far more powerful force in medicine and law than human life.
Sure we are complex, very complex, and nothing in biology is 100% certain, and some things we know with very high confidence indeed, like the many roles of vitamin C in immune system function – perhaps most importantly in HIF regulation of neutrophil macrophage interaction. And there are about 20 identified and documented pathways currently reasonably well understood.
And there are many required cofactors, particularly B vitamins, and zinc, but many others also.
So there is no shadow of reasonable doubt that vitamin C is a very effective treatment for cancer, and it needs to be quite high dose (I used oral doses of 5-10g up to 14 times a day when trying to remove tumours) and I am on a maintenance dose of about 9g twice daily. The last time I reduced that (almost 5 years ago) was the last time I had more tumours.
And certainly there are many new and powerful approaches to cancer treatment being developed, which is not at all at odds with boosting one’s own immune system.
Doing it by diet alone means going raw vegan. Cooking food provides calories but destroys vit C.
Eating raw means eating lots, to get enough calories.
And vitamin C is cheap and easily available to all, not profitable and highly regulated like chemotherapy.
My own journey and experiences is documented on my blog free to anyone to assess and use as they see fit – http://www.tedhowardnz.wordpress.com – the cancer treatment section has what I did, the about section all my medical records.
I still do.
Have you actually read the Mayo Studies, and the work of Pauling and others, and the many many workers since?
Margeet Vissers of Otago University has been doing some very interesting work on the many roles of vit C.
By the time we all get to our 50s we all have several cells lines a day going cancerous, and mostly our immune systems deal to them.
Actually having cancer expressing is usually a failure of the immune system to deal with it, at some level.
And as with all things in biology, there are probabilities involved. Certainly there are some genetic conditions that increase the probability of particular types of cancer happening, and avoiding the immune system and growing to a problem, and there are other genetic conditions the affect the immune system similarly reducing probabilities of interception.
And there are other conditions that interfere with the function of the immune system.
These can be environmental or behavioural or dietary or any number of variations on various themes that have metabolic impact on how our bodies function.
One of the most significant of these metabolic factors is vitamin C.
It is involved in many different biochemical pathways within the immune system, and perhaps the most significant of those is the HIF regulation that allows phagocytes to identify nutrophils and dispose of them when they have done their business.
This doesn’t just apply to cancer, and it does apply to cancer.
The Mayo study that purports to show no relationship between vit C and cancer is something of a con. It is normally reported as having administered 10g per day of vit C, which is true. But it took me a long time to get a detailed copy of that study, and find that what they did was administer 4 x 2.5g doses at 6 hourly intervals. It seems that the minimum serum levels required to make a real difference once cancer tumours are actually present requires a minimum of around 5g, with a frequency of at least twice a day.
This is certainly consistent with my own experience.
I found that reducing either dose or frequency below these limits led to a return of tumours.
I found that increasing frequency to 14 x 5g doses (5 g every waking hour, except the last two hours before sleep) seemed to be most effective.
It worked for me.
I also went vegan to reduce the load of similar protein fragments in my blood stream from digestion (eat foods with proteins as different as possible from my own, ie as far removed as possible in evolutionary terms) on the immune system, thus increasing the probability of the immune system detecting my subtly different cancer cells.
I went mostly raw, to give as wide a variety of nutrients as possible to my system.
I also ensured that I had sufficient of all the known vitamins, by supplementing at quite low levels. Vitamin C is unique amongst vitamins in being safe in very large doses. Most other vitamins are safe only within rather narrow ranges of concentration, and are toxic in mega doses. Vit C isn’t an amine at all, it is a relatively simple sugar.
So you can say “bullshit” and “insane” if it makes you feel good, but it wont alter any of the facts.
There are a lot of facts out there, and it takes a lot of work to find them all, read about them, contemplate them, and place them into useful relationships to each other. Not many people bother doing that work.
I was somewhat fortunate, in that biochemistry has been something of a passion of mine for over 45 years. So I have a few 10s of thousands of hours of experience and context creation that gives me a set of abilities that are not common.
So when an oncologist told me that there was nothing known to medical science that could extend the probabilities of my continued existence, which he gave as a 50% chance of living 5 months and a 2% chance of living 2 years, I didn’t actually believe it as such, but nor did I ignore it. It did give me a substantive incentive to do my own extensive literature search, and do my own experiments on my self, using the best information available and the context of my experience set.
I did my own trials, and I have achieved the results that I have.
My results are consistent with those of Pauling and many others.
I am not trying to make any money from them.
I put everything in the public domain, for others to evaluate as they see fit.
I am very suspicious of any claims that involve a profit motive – which includes most of the medical system (however many great individuals there are within that system, the system as a whole has an incentive set which is not aligned with delivering universal health).
Certainly probability is not as most understand it. I have been a bit of a probability geek for 43 years also.
If it was just once, then what you say would be true.
What is convincing to me is that in my particular case it happened 5 times, not just once.
On a couple of occasions there were other factors that could have also been involved, but since the last time, it seems fairly conclusive.
The last tumour excision went within 0.2mm of the edge of the tumour, and a wider excision was recommended. By that stage I was getting quite confident that the vit C was the key variable. So I refused the wider excision, and just took the vit C dose to 9g twice daily, and haven’t missed a day since the 15th March 2011. No further tumours. I had no real argument from the doctors, because as far as the medical system was concerned I was terminal cancer, on “palliative care only”, so their responsibility was only to manage my pain levels – I was already officially next to dead (don’t waste further resource on him).
The fact that tumours went away when I increased the vit C dose, and came back when I reduced it (5 times) and have stayed away since increasing it and not reducing, seem to be fairly strong indicators, when coupled with all the biochemical and cytological work showing the causal mechanisms through which such an effect might be expected to occur. (As my old stats lecturer drummed into me, correlation does not require causation, and it is a good place to start looking for possible causal links.)
I have since observed the effect in several others. Two that I worked closely with had major regression of tumours when they stuck to the daily regime, but the tumours came back when they stopped the regime, and started eating high sugar foods, missing vitamin C doses, and both have since died. Two others who have stuck to the daily regimen are alive and well.
It isn’t easy.
It is one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
The regime is not vit C alone, it involves total dietary change for folks like me who were over 80% carnivore.
And of the many factors involved, vit C seems to be the single greatest.
And it seems to be a very complex set of systems – with multiple overlapping stochastic probability functions – so no hard causality, and quite significant degrees of influence.
Hi Daniel – Agreed in a real sense. There is no one thing that can guarantee to cure cancer. Saying someone has cancer is sort of like saying they live in the USA, it might be true and it doesn’t help much in finding their street address.
And there are things we can do to help alter probabilities, not certainties, just probabilities, and vitamin C is right up there, along with the Placebo effect (ie believing that you can beat it – the belief itself, with the reduction in stress etc that accompany it, can all help).
We are amazingly complex beings, and cancer is essentially any of the many methods by which individual cells in our body cease to behave cooperatively, and start using resources for their own replication at the expense of the cooperative (kind of like much of the banking and finance industry, or many of the markets not directly related to goods and services).
So no – no magic bullet, and we do have immune systems that are remarkably well evolved to deal with such things, if they are operating at full capacity, and are not inhibited by lack of any essential ingredients, or overwhelmed by the demands of a poor diet, or shut down by stress responses that evolved to escape predators but not to deal with long term mortgages, nuclear threat, recessions etc.
Yes, its complex.
Chemotherapy is definitely toxic. It definitely rates as a poison.
Cancer can spread (metastasize is the technical term) and depending on the growth rate of the tumour, it may be days, weeks, months or years before the spread cells grow to a large enough lump to be detectable.
In general, chemotherapy is always toxic to the immune system. Everyone who undergoes chemotherapy suffers from severe immune reduction, and most recover – and for some the effect is so severe it leads to complete collapse.
Immune system function requires a high rate of cell replication, so is vulnerable to chemotherapy in exactly the same way as cancer is.
Most people don’t express cancer as tumours, because their immune systems handle it, long before it gets big enough to notice.
Having a healthy immune system is the best thing anyone can do to prevent cancer getting big enough to detect by current methods (about 2mm is the smallest size that tumours are normally detected).
Getting lots of fresh raw greens and berries and fruits is one of the best ways you can support your immune system.
Having that food as free as possible of toxic material is also helpful. All weed and pest sprays are toxic by definition. You want to minimise exposure. Eating GM food which has been genetically altered to be tolerant to higher levels of toxins like glyphosate is not a smart move.
Some surgeons are highly skilled at their art of cutting things out and sewing things up, and their approach is usually to take much more tissue than just the cancer – to increase the probability of getting all the cancer. The downside is loss of function to the person losing the tissue. I have lost a lot of tissue to the surgeon’s knife. The left side of my neck, shoulder and face, and my left arm do not function like they used to – several Kgs of muscle and tissue were removed to get a few grams of tumour, despite repeated requests on my part for him to take only the tissue immediately around the tumours, he took the lot as it was “standard operating procedure”.
He was very skilled at cutting an sewing.
Not so skilled at communication.
As to radiation.
It is dangerous to cells, in a probabilistic fashion.
The more you get in any specific area of tissue, the more likely the cells in the area are to suffer sufficient damage to cause apoptosis (cell suicide).
Unfortunately, there is also a distinct possibility of some of the cells that do not die suffering the sort of damage that turn them cancerous.
Cancer is a general term that is simply a cell line within a cooperative society of cells (a human body for example) using resources in an unrestrained and non-cooperative fashion (remind anyone of anything else common in our society – perhaps aspects of political and finance systems).
There are thousands of different ways in which cells can lose cooperation, and replicate selfishly (same for people).
Cancer is not a single thing, it is a vast (potentially infinite) class of strategies.
Our immune system is a large collection of strategies evolved to deal with cheating (cancerous) strategies.
Vitamin C is a major component in the function of our immune system.
Most food one gets from supermarkets has been heat treated.
Temperatures over 60C essentially destroy vitamin C (significantly increase its rate of breakdown – it is a relatively simple sugar).
So most people are living on diets severely deficient in vitamin C.
The vast increase in cancer rates seen seems clearly to this observer to be a result of a set of overlapping probability functions.
Poor diet, leading to lack of vitamin C, leading to increase risk of cancer evading the immune system.
Increased levels of carcinogenic chemicals in food, leading to increased probability of cancer occurring in the first instance.
Increased levels of other carcinogens in our environment generally leading to higher background levels of risk.
And most of that risk is stochastically independent, not any sort of hard causality.
So my advice is the same as that of the World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research, in their publication:
Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective.
Eat as little animal products as possible, and as much fresh raw plant matter as possible.
The evidence set is vast.
The industries with interests counter are vast – meat industry, dairy industry, fishing industry.
Anything above 10% of calories coming from animal products increases cancer risk – the datasets for that are vast.
The modern medical industry is far more about making money than it is about having people healthy.
That is what market based systems do – they incentivise making profit.