Many have learned that in the US, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetime. Now, a similar rate has been reported in the UK, Canada, and other developed nations.
Cancer was not common in China thirty years ago. But with the industrialization, more and more people have cancer. Only because of severe air pollution in the past ten years, the number of people suffering from lung cancer has skyrocketed.
Cancer is the top killer worldwide, responsible for 7.4 million or 13 percent of all deaths annually.
I check Wikipedia, in 2015, about 90.5 million people had cancer. About 14.1 million new cases occur a year. With $200 billion spent and tens of millions of cancer deaths accumulated since 1971, most would say we are losing the war on cancer.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.
The most common types of cancer in males are lung cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and stomach cancer. In females, the most common types are breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and cervical cancer.
Cancer develops over a period of many years and people between the ages 46-59 are most likely to have the disease, though unfortunately more and more young people are tested to be the bearers. For cancer in the United States, the average five-year survival rate is 66%.
Most cancers start in a particular organ, like the lung; this is called the primary tumor. Tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Benign tumors do not spread outside their normal boundary to other parts of the body; they are not treated as cancer.
Possible signs and symptoms include a mass or lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in bowel movements.
When cancer begins, it produces no symptoms or they are hard to be detected. Signs and symptoms appear as the mass grows or ulcerates.
The majority of cancers are due to genetic mutations from environmental factors. Environmental, as used by cancer researchers, means any cause that is not inherited genetically, such as lifestyle, economic and behavioral factors and not merely pollution. Common environmental factors that contribute to cancer death include tobacco, diet and obesity, infections, radiation, stress, lack of physical activity and pollution.
Over the years, there have been many treatment options for cancer. The primary ones include surgery, chemotherapy, radio-therapy, targeted therapy and palliative care.
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with one or more drugs. Radio-therapy involves the use of radiation to either cure or improve symptoms. It works by damaging the DNA of cancerous tissue, killing it. Palliative care includes action to reduce physical, emotional, spiritual and psycho-social distress.
It is apparent that most treatments attempt to kill the cells, and I think they are going in the wrong direction. Instead of “killing” cells, we should focus on methods that change the environment in which tumor cells develop.
Besides, it’s a stupid way of testing on animals. As a matter of fact, from formulating new cancer drugs to testing dietary supplements, mice and rats play a critical role in most laboratories. Human is a different species. It won’t work finding cure to human cancer by looking into the body of a mouse?
I am not going to assume (as others have said) that this is a conspiracy between doctors and pharmaceutical companies who have funded this kind of “scientific” research.
A report from the Washington Post asks, “We’re spending $107 billion on cancer drugs, but is it worth it?”
They have evidence suggesting that it is time to forge much greater independence between the companies marketing the drugs, and the doctors prescribing them.
The report continues to say, “As $10,000-a-month cancer drugs have become a norm, doctors have begun to push back, insisting that many drugs aren’t worth the price.”
Other data reveals that between 2011 and 2015, pharmaceutical companies sponsored more than 116,000 events. Cancer was the most frequent area of focus of the events, accounting for 19.7% of the functions. Most of the events (82%) included medical doctors, many included different types of health professionals.
Cancer is not that frightening. But largely as a result of insufficient knowledge, many cancer patients are scared to death.
The question lies education.
Cancer is fundamentally a disease of tissue growth regulation. In order for a normal cell to transform into a cancer cell, the genes that regulate cell growth and differentiation must be altered.
Early prevention is the best cure for any diseases.
Many cancers can be prevented by not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking too much alcohol, eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, vaccination against certain infectious diseases, not eating too much processed and red meat and avoiding too much sunlight exposure.
Many “cures” are at hand. Eliminating smoking would essentially end lung cancer, responsible for 30 percent of all cancer deaths. A diet rich in vegetables and whole grains reduces your cancer risk significantly.
Will cancer ever be cured?
The answer is Yes!
Last time we talked about the Five-phase Theory in TCM.
In the universe, the philosophy of regenerating and overcoming factors in cycles is everywhere. Since cancer or tumor cell is part of the universal phenomena, there must be some forces that can control or change it.
Next we are going to talk about the philosophy behind tumor cells and how cancer can be cured!
Talk to you soon.