In this podcast I’ll be exploring the many sides to Cancer:
- I’ll explain what cancer is and will show how a normal healthy cell functions compared to an abnormal cancer cell
- I’ll talk about how cancer causes death
- I’ll explain the one true cause behind cancer and the many contributing factors to this cause
- I’ll talk about the one true cure to cancer (hmm… interesting)
- Finally I’ll share natural holistic health tips that will help you heal from cancer as well as prevent cancer from growing out of balance
This is part 2 of a 3-part series I’m doing on cancer. In the previous episode I spoke about the conventional wisdom of cancer and how it’s all misinformation. The truth about cancer is that you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Like any other lifestyle disease you can cure cancer naturally and I’ll be talking about that in this episode.
So what is cancer? I’m going to give you 3 definitions because cancer is that big of a confused mass of information. Hopefully by giving multiple definitions you’ll be able to see cancer for what it really is from your own perspective.
First definition of cancer comes from orthodox conventional mainstream western medicine which says that cancer is an out-of-control malignant tumour that metastasises or spreads throughout your body. In a word cancer is a tumour. Yeah. Alright, it’s close. But I know there’s way more, a lot more in fact to this cancer story than just a tumour spreading.
I like this second definition of cancer better and it comes from early 20th century Nobel Prize winner, physiologist, and doctor Otto Warburg who defined cancer as any cell that produces less energy through the oxidation of macronutrients in an aerobic environment and instead produces most of its energy by fermenting sugars in an anaerobic environment. I know that’s a lot to take in. To paraphrase Dr Otto’s definition and make it simpler: a cancer cell produces extremely low levels of energy compared to other normal healthy cells. In a few words cancer is low energy production.
Not bad, a much better definition I reckon.
The third and final definition of cancer I have for you is my own. Cancer is a block in cellular communication leading to malnutrition and dysfunction in healthy cells that are still in orderly communication with each other and this blocked communication also creates abnormal function and abnormal growth of chaotic cells. Again a lot to take in so to make my cancer definition simpler: cancer is when there is miscommunication between your cells decreasing healthy cell function and increasing abnormal cell function. In a few words cancer is confusion at the cellular level.
If you think about what I just said my definition it doesn’t focus just on the abnormal cells or cancerous cells, but also includes, what used to be healthy cells, the suppressed cells. So to redefine what I just said:
“Cancer is the presence of both suppressed healthy cells and abnormal cancerous cells.”
Personally I really like this definition (no surprises), but I have to say even this doesn’t tell the whole story about what cancer really is.
Now I believe these 3 definitions together do give us a better picture of what cancer is all about.
Cancer is a tumour that grows out-of-control and spreads. Cancer is a cell that uses sugar to produce low amounts of energy in an environment with hardly any oxygen. Finally, cancer is a miscommunication between cells causing an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cells.
To see how these 3 different cancer definitions actually do come together pretty nicely when it comes to explaining exactly what cancer is, I’m going to give a little lesson (actually quite a big lesson) on cell biology and will explain how healthy cells work and how they create energy compared to abnormal cancerous cells.
Remember this is just a general overview of what happens with your cells, although I do get a bit specific at times. There are tens of steps and processes relating to cell function that I’m not including here to keep it simple and sustainable okay.
Your body is made up of a community of cells approximately 100 trillion of them, but only 10 trillion of these cells are actually yours containing your DNA with the rest of the cells belonging to microorganisms. These little guys live in, on, and throughout your body. All of your 10 trillion cells have one direction or goal or purpose or dream, which is to remain, not to attain or to get somewhere externally, but to keep expressing internally their true innate nature which is health.
These healthy cells are always talking and communicating to each other and are completely in rhythm and in harmony with one another. Every cell follows their unique purpose such as being a heart cell, a lung cell, an immune cell, skin cell, etc and this purpose aligns with the overall goal of the community of cells, which is to remain healthy and thrive.
Each of your cells are made up of a cell wall called a membrane and inside this membrane is a massive pool of fluid called the cytosol. Think of the cytosol as a massive swimming pool with the cell membrane the coverings of this pool. Hanging out in the cytosol or floating around in this swimming pool you’ll find many different cell organs called organelles and these organelles have their own function to perform to keep the cell and your entire body healthy and thriving.
One important organelle is the nucleus. In the nucleus you will find your body’s personal genetic code, your genes which are wrapped up in a double-helix structure that looks like a spiral ladder called DNA. Your DNA holds about 24,000 genes that act as blueprints for how your body functions physically, emotionally, and mentally.
One thing about DNA that I’d like to highlight are your telomeres. At the end of each strand of your DNA you have telomere molecules that act like shields and protect your DNA from damage. Once these telomeres run out then your DNA is exposed and this is when a healthy cell knows it’s time to die. The shortening of telomeres is what we call ageing. A healthy cell becomes old due to the shortening of telomeres.
Going back to your cell another very important group of organelles in your cells are called mitochondria. Mitochondria are the power plants of your cell. They are the main provider of units of cellular energy called adenosine triphosphate or ATP. So ATP is the form of energy that your cells use to function and to remain healthy and thrive. Mitochondria are the only other organelle in your cells to have their own genes and DNA. They only have 37 genes and these genes act as blueprints for how your mitochondria function and remain healthy and thrive.
Now all cells starting from birth go through different stages or seasons of growth and development and do so within the organs in which they are a part of. These different cell cycles ensure the continuation of health for your entire community of cells by keeping the creation of new cells in balance with the death of damaged or old cells. Healthy cells are always talking to each other and do what is required of them in that moment.
Healthy cells only have a limited number of times that they are allowed to divide before they die. This number of divisions is controlled by tumour suppressor genes. Cell death is controlled by what I mentioned earlier about aging, the length of your telomere molecules at the end of your DNA. Old cells have their tumour suppressor genes switched on and activated to prevent them from dividing again and without their telomeres these old cells will be asked to initiate a self-destruct sequence called apoptosis also known as programmed cell death.
When your healthy cells are asked to divide and create new cells this is when your DNA replicates itself and this is also the time when most things can go wrong in the form of genetic mutations. Genetic mutations are like someone scribbling all over your blueprints making them unreadable. DNA mutations are prevented, checked, and fixed by enzymes called polymerases. These enzymes make sure that when your DNA makes a copy of itself it does so without error or mutation and if polymerase does find an error it’ll fix it. A healthy cell which is unable to fix any damage to its DNA or has damage in other areas of the cell becomes a dysfunctional or abnormal cell. This damaged cell will be asked to self-destruct.
When a healthy cell divides out of control, grows old, or becomes damaged and does not die by skipping apoptosis then your immune system comes along, sees the out of control cell and then your immune cells release molecules called tumour necrosis factor or TNF for short. TNF will trigger another form of programmed cell death in the multiplying, old, or damaged cell called necroptosis similar to apoptosis.
Let’s now look into cellular respiration or how your cells and mitochondria produce energy, ATP.
There are actually 3 pathways that your cells can use to create ATP. One pathway happens in the cytosol or in the swimming pool of your cells and is anaerobic meaning it does not require oxygen to work. This anaerobic pathway for energy production is called glycolysis. The other two energy producing pathways happen inside your mitochondria and are aerobic meaning they need oxygen to function. These two aerobic pathways are called the Krebs Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation. Don’t worry about the technical terms, but stay with me here.
Now the anaerobic pathway of glycolysis that occurs in the cytosol works without oxygen and mainly uses the sugar molecule glucose, but it can also use different parts of proteins and fats, to create 2 units of ATP.
The aerobic pathways of the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation that occur inside your mitochondria work with oxygen and they use sugars, proteins, but mostly fats to create 30-120 units of ATP. You actually get a majority of your energy or ATPs through the oxidation and processing of fats.
So a short summary of cellular respiration: ATP, energy that is produced inside your mitochondria via the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation pathways with the help of oxygen using all macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats creates 15 to 60 times more energy than glycolysis. Remember glycolysis happens outside your mitochondria and without oxygen and uses sugar as its main ingredient to create energy.
Now what does this mini biology course on cell function and cellular respiration mean when it comes to cancer?
Let’s compare everything I just mentioned to an abnormal cancerous cell.
An abnormal cancerous cell is one that does not play well with other healthy cells, meaning it will not communicate with the healthy community of cells in your body. It will not do as it is told. It no longer performs its intended function in the organ it lives in and instead does its own thing and can even separate and move to different areas of your body. This abnormal cancerous cell becomes its own unique entity in your community of cells. It separates itself from the purpose and flow of the rest of your healthy cells and goes rogue and does its own thing. This cell finds its own flow, which disrupts the flow of other healthy cells in your body.
This ties in with the definition that cancer is a tumour that spreads and also that cancer is a miscommunication between cells.
You may be wondering how rebel scum like these abnormal cancerous cells survive if other healthy cells like blood vessels don’t communicate with them, don’t want to work with them, and don’t give them nutrients. Well these abnormal cancerous cells they have this uncanny ability to create new blood vessels. This process is called angiogenesis and provides blood flow to these rogue cells.
When it comes to the cell cycle an abnormal cancerous cell ignores this part and becomes immortal. It never ages and grows old. It shutdowns and deactivates tumour suppressor genes and its telomeres at the end of DNA never get shortened meaning it continues to multiply and it never has to go through apoptosis or programmed cell death. This immortality is due to an enzyme called telomerase. This enzyme produces more telomere molecules increasing their length. In a normal healthy cell this enzyme is switched off to make sure the cell follows its natural cell cycle of birth and death. However, in abnormal cancerous cells this telomerase enzyme is switched on ensuring telomeres stay long enough to protect DNA from being exposed meaning this cell never has to undergo apoptosis. This immortal cell is then allowed to grow and divide and duplicate itself over and over again forever as long as the tumour suppressor gene is switched off and inactive.
This goes back to the definition of cancer being a tumour as your body responds to uncontrolled cell growth by attempting to wall them off from the rest of the body by forming a tumour around them. So a tumour is your body’s way of protecting the rest of your healthy cells.
When it comes to DNA mutations abnormal cancerous cells actually thrive with mutations and do not die off as they should. First of all their polymerase enzymes which are supposed to proof-read and fix any errors in DNA replication are switched off or they function poorly. This increases the number of mutations in the cell. These mutations actually provide many benefits to an abnormal cancerous cell including not having to listen to instructions given to it by other healthy cells and not having to die. Remember a healthy cell with damaged or mutated DNA self-destructs, but an abnormal cell will not.
Going back to my definition you can see how cancer is a miscommunication between cells.
Normally an immune cell will see these out-of-control multiplying, immortal, and damaged abnormal cancerous cells and use TNF to kill them off. However, remember these cells are stubborn and they don’t play well with others.
Abnormal cancerous cells get around the immune system in four ways.
First, damaged DNA. These mutations in the DNA make it impossible for the abnormal cancerous cell to carry out normal cell function including apoptosis or necroptosis so even if they got the message to die they couldn’t. Second, these abnormal cancerous cells they’re really clever little buggers and even if they could carry out normal cell function they will actually produce a protein called survivin. This survivin protein prevents the cell from dying due to programmed cell death and also promotes cell division allowing the cell to multiply and become immortal. Third, abnormal cancerous cells protect themselves with a thick protein coating over their cell wall making them bulletproof and invisible from your immune system. Fourth, these wise guys actually have their own way of suppressing your immune system by secreting specific enzymes to put your immune system to sleep.
Finally let’s look at energy production in these rogue cells.
Let me repeat again about normal healthy cellular respiration because I really want to make sure you get this. A healthy cell creates more energy inside your mitochondria using oxygen and fats than it does from the cytosol of the cell using carbohydrates. So anytime a cell is creating less energy in the mitochondria and instead is making more energy outside the mitochondria than Houston you have a low energy producing cell called an abnormal cancerous cell.
So hopefully you can better understand Otto Warburg’s definition of cancer which is a cell that produces more of its energy through the fermentation of sugars outside the mitochondria than it does through the oxidation of fats inside the mitochondria.
From Dr Otto Warburg’s definition and the knowledge of how healthy cellular respiration is supposed to work we can see that an abnormal cancerous cell ultimately is either lacking in oxygen and is living in an anaerobic environment or that the mitochondria in the cell are damaged and not able to use oxygen to create ATP or both situations could actually be true. This forces the cell to ferment sugars for its main source of energy.
This is also why you’ll see a dramatic increase in insulin receptors on the cell wall of abnormal cancerous cells. Insulin is the hormone your body uses to drive nutrients into your cells and abnormal cancerous cells have a lot more insulin ports or docks or places where insulin can connect and deliver its payload compared to healthy cells. Because abnormal cancerous cells produce such a tiny amount of energy they become very hungry very fast. By having more insulin receptor sites they increase their chances of getting fed and actually get fed a lot more than your healthy community of cells. This starves your healthy cells and they become malnourished which leads them to either waste away and die or to become an abnormal cancerous cell themselves.
My definition of cancer ties in here as healthy cells begin to malfunction in the presence of abnormal cancerous cells.
Okay so that was a lot of cell biology 101 to take in. I hope you know a bit more about what cancer is and how it works. You could say that an abnormal cancerous cell is actually one that has reverted back to a primitive state where it only performs 3 basic functions required to survive. Which are eat, excrete, breed, and then it repeats. Take note of this primal state of cancer cells as it’s relevant to what I’ll be talking about shortly regarding the cause of cancer.
Seeing how cancer works is it any clearer to you how cancer kills and causes death? Cancer actually kills indirectly more than directly.
A tumour for instance may impinge or intrude and bump and grind up against other tissues such as arteries, veins, or nerves in your spinal column. So while these tumours aren’t doing anything but growing and getting in the way what this does is cause stress, pain, and discomfort and this stress creates an inflammatory and immune response. If this stress is left to linger for long periods of time this chronic persistent low-level type of inflammation will lead to more sickness and diseases further down the road.
However, the main way cancer kills is through cachexia. Over 90% of deaths from actual cancer, not from the conventional treatment of cancer, remember medical cancer treatments chemo, radiation, and surgery these kill over 50% of patients. But deaths from cancer itself over 90% of these are due to cachexia or wasting of the body caused by the spreading of cancer. In other words your healthy community of cells waste away and die not because the abnormal cancer cells are attacking them, but because these rogue cells are sucking up all the nutrients leaving hardly any nutrition behind for your healthy cells.
“Cancer kills through malnutrition and by starving your healthy community of cells.”
Alright let’s talk about the one true cause of cancer, but is there such a thing?
According to mainstream western medicine cancer is caused by genetic mutations.
According to Dr Otto Warburg and I’m paraphrasing here cancer is caused by a lack of oxygen and due to malfunctioning mitochondria.
According to Bill Henderson in his book Cancer: The Problem and the Solution he states three causes for cancer: emotional trauma; root canals; and the food you eat.
According to the docuseries Quest For The Cures created by Ty Bollinger cancer is caused by toxicity with the dirty dozen being:
- Root Canals
- Dental Amalgams
- Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and
According to Webster Kehr founder of the Independent Cancer Research Foundation and cancertutor.com cancer is caused by microbes also known as pathogens or disease causing microorganisms.
Cancer already has many definitions and functions in so many different ways is it possible to find one cause out of this list? I believe so. Follow me now down this cancer-causing rabbit hole as we play a bit of Sherlock Holmes and deduce our way back to the real cause of cancer.
In order to find the cause we need to go back to the 3 definitions and find the answers to what causes: tumours; the lack of oxygen and damaged mitochondria; and the imbalance in healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells.
Well looking at the previous list of causes to cancer let’s start with the first one – genetic mutations. Yes it has been shown that 5% of all diagnosed cancers are due to inherited genetics. If you have certain inherited genes then there’s no getting around this. But that still doesn’t account for the other 95% of cancers.
Now you can still get damage to your DNA and genetic mutations by:
- Smog and pollution
- Prolonged UV radiation exposure
- Smoking non-organic materials
- Environmental carcinogens or toxins that create cancer
- Reactive oxygen species
- Reactive nitrogen species
- Obesity and
- Magnesium deficiency
The issue I have here is that DNA damage and genetic mutations caused by the environment take 40-60 years before they create an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells leading to symptoms and doesn’t explain kids with cancer, the majority of other cancers in younger individuals, and cancer patients with minimal DNA damage.
The second cause of cancer was a lack of oxygen in the cell and damaged mitochondria. Now this is a tricky one to track down, but if we look at the next two causes together we might find a pattern. The third and fourth causes all relate to environmental factors.
Now one of these causes is emotional trauma and you might be thinking that can’t affect you physically and it isn’t from your environment? Remember your body and your mind are one being your bodymind and your thoughts and feelings affect your physiology, biochemistry, and physical being and vice versa. A negative thought increases stress hormones. A positive thought reduces the amount of stress hormones in your body and lowers inflammation. Your internal environment of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are hugely impacted by your external environment.
What I’m getting at here is that external environmental toxic chemicals and foods as well as internal environmental toxic thoughts create stress. Stress leads to inflammation and an immune response. Chronic stress means that your bodymind is always on fire with inflammation and your immune system may become overactive and will get trigger-happy and attack anything in sight including your own bodily tissue. Your immune system may also fizzle out and get tired and just fire off aimlessly again attacking your own body or it won’t fire at all and your immune system will no longer do its job of fighting off infections and helping your body heal.
So your environment, external and internal, creates stress leading to inflammation and an immune response and if this goes on long enough your immune system eventually cracks under pressure. The amount of time it takes for your immune system to buckle depends on your unique biochemistry, physiology, genetics, your own situation, but I would estimate that this can take as little as a month or it can take decades.
We found it right? Cancer which is an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells is caused by a weakened immune system. Oh wait. We still haven’t explained how a weakened immune system relates to a lack of oxygen and damaged mitochondria in cells.
Well this brings us to the last listed cause of cancer – microbes.
When you have a weakened immune system microbes are no longer killed off, but take hold in your body and infect your cells. When a microbe takes over and infects a healthy cell many changes happen in that cell. Microbes love sugar and they ferment sugar to create energy, but because fermentation creates very little energy compared to oxidation the cell gets hungry really easily so it increases its insulin receptors to absorb more sugar. As a result of fermentation acids are created such as lactic acid. This build up of acids is very toxic and creates havoc in the cell. The increased acidity shoves oxygen out of the cell creating an anaerobic environment. The acids also cause damage to your DNA and the DNA of your mitochondria. Recall that fermentation doesn’t need oxygen so microbes can live happily in this very acidic environment.
So when a microbe infects a healthy cell the cell is left with very little energy, very little oxygen, has damaged mitochondria so it’s unable to create more energy by using fats and it has damaged DNA. This damaged DNA prevents the cell from performing its usual duties, and it becomes immortal, grows out of control non-stop, and stops communicating with other healthy cells.
This is how you get an abnormal cancerous cell.
Remember earlier how I described a rogue cell as one that went back to its primitive roots. You can’t get more primal than a single-celled microorganism which lives inside an abnormal cancerous cell.
When you have a weakened immune system and microbial infections you have tumours, you have cells lacking oxygen and with damaged mitochondria, and you have an imbalance of healthy cells to abnormal cancerous cells.
So to recap from the symptoms of cancer to the actual root cause:
- Healthy cells are infected by microbes turning them into abnormal cancerous cells
- A weakened immune system allows this infection to occur and also damages or suppresses the function of other healthy cells
- Chronic stress and inflammation cause chronic immune activity eventually causing it to be hyperactive and hypoactive
- Both external and internal environmental toxins cause stress in your bodymind
- External toxins come about through industrial, agricultural, and pharmaceutical practices
- Internal toxins come about through difficult relationships, marketing by media, and extreme religious beliefs
- Civilised society is the source of these external and internal toxins
Am I actually saying that civilisation is the root cause of cancer? No. Because the next question you need to ask yourself is well what brought about civilisation?
Civilisation came about when human beings let go of their animal nature and dismissed their connection to Mother Nature and to all other life on this planet.
If I were to sum up the root cause of cancer and every other chronic disease for that matter I would say that the cause of cancer is living against the natural flow of your innate way of being. In other words:
“Cancer is caused by living a lifestyle out of balance with the seasons and rhythm of Mother Nature.”
Well now that we know the cause we can finally, finally, get to the cure… right?
No. There is no cure for cancer, but there is a way to heal from cancer and to prevent it.
Alberto Villoldo is a PhD and trained psychologist, medical anthropologist, and shaman and he describes in his book One Spirit Medicine how a cure is merely the elimination of symptoms, whereas:
“…healing works at a much deeper level, treating the causes of the imbalance that lead to disease.”
So if the cause of cancer is a lifestyle out of balance with Mother Nature than the way to heal and to prevent cancer is to get back in touch with our roots as human beings and to live a lifestyle that follows the flow of Mother Nature.
The best place to start would be by following the 7 Holistic Health Principles that bring together all aspects of life into a simple strategy to living happy and healthy in modern civilised times. I talked about these 7 principles in another podcast episode 30 and here I will give you one tip from each principle that you can use to heal and to prevent cancer.
The first principle is called the Moon principle. This relates to sleep and rest. Melatonin is a hormone that helps you sleep, but has powerful anti-cancer properties too. It suppresses tumour growth, triggers apoptosis, and acts as a powerful antioxidant fighting of free radical damage to your DNA from reactive oxygen species. To get the most out of your melatonin you must get rid of blue light exposure at night from indoor lighting, televisions, computers, and smart devices, and you should aim to sleep between the hours of 10p and 6a. Blue light and sleeping after midnight reduce the amount of melatonin that gets released.
The Ether principle is about how toxic your environmental space is. Most of the toxins you’re exposed to come in the form of clothing, personal and home care products, and the food you eat. If you look for organic natural untainted sources of these you’ll be doing yourself a huge favour by reducing the amount of stress that’s placed on your body.
The Air principle relates to how you breathe and the quality of air that you’re breathing in. Deep belly breathes through your nose with your mouth closed and your tongue resting comfortably on the roof of your mouth is the quickest way to put your body into rest and digest, calm and connect mode. Meaning this type of breathing keeps you out of flight and fight stress mode reducing inflammation throughout your body.
The Water principle relates to the quality and the amount of water you drink. You are 70% water so make sure you’re drinking enough water for your unique activity needs and to drink the best spring or filtered water you can find. Be wary of plastic water bottles and keep them out of the heat, away from sunlight, and don’t reuse them, but recycle them instead as they are full of cancer causing agents.
The Fire principle is all about movement. Whether it be high intensity training or simply walking around the block, movement ensures that nutrition gets moved around your body to where it’s needed and it also helps remove toxic waste products from your body. Long periods of inactivity are associated with higher disease risk and increased chances of dying earlier. Aim to move or change your position every 30 to 60 minutes to keep your blood, oxygen, nutrients, and waste in motion and moving to where they need to go.
The Earth principle relates to food – real food. Stay away from industrial seed oils and processed and packaged foods from Father Industry. Instead focus on real food that’s in season from local organic farmers and producers.
“Fake pretend food-like products are full of cancer causing ingredients, whereas real food is full of cancer fighting nutrients.”
The Sun principle is the 7th Holistic Heath principle and focuses on connecting with others, sharing your gifts, and loving yourself and others for your authentic selves. The best tip I can give here for learning how to connect, share, and love is to have a dream bigger than yourself that you want to see come true. Whether it is to pass a certain exam, change your body composition, climb a mountain, or to be a better lover to your partner, by having a dream you give yourself direction in life and once you begin to move in flow with this direction other aspects of your life eventually fall in alignment with your dream.
Okay this is the longest podcast I’ve ever recorded, but I had to add some science, I had to give cancer its day in court, and I just hope that this information has been useful to you in some way, shape or form.
In the next podcast I’ll be talking about one side of cancer I have yet to mention – the light side. Yes believe it or not there are benefits to cancer that I will be talking about in next week’s episode. See you there.
Links and Resources
- Cancer-Free — Bill Henderson
- Quest For The Cures — Docuseries about cancer
- One Spirit Medicine — Alberto Villoldo
- WGP 030: Want the Good Life? These 7 Holistic Health Principles Will Guide You There