Coming soon! In the meantime, please read the section on The “Cure” for Cancer and the Appetizers on immune diseases. Understanding the true nature of viruses and bacteria will also help.
In a nutshell, every cell in our body contains residential viruses and bacteria. My latest analogy is that each cell is like an ant bed. Inside that cell, the ants (viruses and bacteria) are busy building a strong house and performing other important tasks to insure the safety of the mound, including checking the conditions outside the mound and reporting to the authorities inside.
The cool thing to see is that these living entities inside the cell are responsible for the adaptation of that cell. In other words, when a toxin, carcinogen, or food lectin challenges that cell, it is the viruses and/or intracellular bacteria inside and outside the cell that decide what the response is going to be. The viruses interact mainly with the nucleus of the cell, which determines many functions, including when that cell will divide. The bacteria (pleomorphs, L-forms, Cell-wall-deficient, intracellular bacteria) interact with the mitochondria of the cell, which is the power house of the cell but also the organelle that determines how rapidly the cell with divide and what that cell will turn into if challenged significantly.
The perfect example of a precancerous condition can be found in the changes in our lungs that follow chronic cigarette smoking. In response to the toxins and heat generated by cigarette smoking, the delicate lining of the bronchial tree starts to change. Originally, much of our respiratory tract is lined with delicate, slimy, cells with a hair-like projection for sweeping out particulate matter, bacteria, mucous and debris. These cells are called ciliated columnar epithelial cells. But as they get repeatedly insulted by cigarette smoke and other inhaled toxins/carcinogens, they start to flatten out, becoming more and more like skin. This change is called squamous metaplasia (after the term squamous, which means “skin-like”). In other words, the lining of the respiratory tract becomes more like skin in order to deal with the insults.
Squamous metaplasia is described (correctly) as a precancerous change. If the process continues long enough, cancer can- and often will- arise in that area. But, we also know that individuals who stop smoking or eliminate the other insults (environmental toxins, such as asbestos, coal or benzene) in time, these changes can reverse without cancer developing. That is great news...if we stop in time. (But, we should also stop if we have already developed cancer, unlike some popular Hollywood figures have elected to do.)
How does this process work? We know that pleomorphic bacteria interact with the DNA of the mitochondria of the cell. When analyzed, the mitochondrial DNA most closely resembles bacterial DNA. These pleomorphs are moving in and out of the cell, acting as sentinels and making changes in the programming of the mitochondria, which are in turn responsible for the differentiation of that cell (the variation in cell type that this cell can undergo). Bacteria are also influenced by viruses known as bacteriophages, which are responsible for many adaptations of the bacteria, including drug resistance.
Viruses, the classic example of adaptation (e.g. the AIDS virus), are then responsible for altering the DNA of the nucleus (e.g. retroviruses), the bacteria that alter the mitochondria (bacteriophages), and for making other changes that take place in the cytoplasm as well as other organelles of the cell. Have you ever stopped to think what messenger RNA really is? How does a “simple sequence of amino acids” know exactly what to do when it comes to completing the incredibly complex tasks taking place in the cell, such as protein transcription? Amazing!
So, here’s the situation with cigarette smoking, our example of “precancerous” changes: The intracellular bacteria tell the mitochondria to start turning the delicate lining of the respiratory tree into “skin” (squamous metaplasia, a form of cell differentiation) in order to protect it. If this process continues, the viruses of the cell tell the nucleus that it’s time to “crank it up a notch”, resulting in cell division. Keep in mind, this is all done to protect us, our cells, and the residential organisms that live inside the cell. This is not a malicious process. The organisms that “cause” this process- even the cancer that results- are only doing it in response to the insults that we are throwing at them, in this case cigarette smoke.
Then comes the final component: If we have the virus in our cell (in the DNA) that codes for malignancy, it will become activated and the cell will turn into a malignant tumor. Yes, there are numerous viruses in our DNA, with researchers estimating that nearly 40% of the genetic codes in our DNA being viral codes, acquired over the generations and passed on from our parents. The study of breed-related cancer in veterinary medicine tells us all that we need to know. Certain breeds (e.g. the Boxer, German Shepherd, and Labrador) are gobbled up with cancer. There are some forms of cancer that only show up in certain breeds just as there are only a few breeds that develop MS, which clearly has a “genetic” component.
Once again, what determines whether a condition will be benign, malignant, or even a tumor at all (e.g. a granulomatous disease, such as sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or Crohn’s Disease)? It is the nature and duration of the insults, the particular mixture of viruses and bacteria in the individual, the type of each of organism, the interaction between the two, and the state of health of the individual. The last is very important.
If the individual has a reasonably competent immune system (our governor), then they will hold this at bay for a much longer time, using the killer cells of their immune system to keep this process under control. But if the immune system crashes, usually due to being “over-worked” (chronic immune stress) and “under-paid” (chronic malnutrition), then we slip into the final phase of immune failure, which is either metastatic cancer or overwhelming “autoimmune” disease…or both.
But before we get irreversibly depressed, let’s remember: We usually have control over all of this. We decide what to eat, what to drink, whether to smoke or not, if we will exercise, when we will go to bed at night, and even where to live. Do we care enough to change things? Do we understand the power we have in our lives or believe that we really can change things? I hope so.
It starts with education, thus this Website. It then becomes a matter of whether we believe what we read. Does what I have written make sense? Again, I hope so. Then, we get into motivation: Are we motivated enough to change things while we still have time? Don’t wait too long…you can’t see squamous metaplasia in the mirror. Thank Goodness for the smoker’s cough, the warning sign that your lungs sweeping ability has been trashed.
Remember: All symptoms serve important purposes. Some are warning signs and some are therapeutic but most are both. Coughing is a great example. Heed the warning.