Cigarettes & Lung Cancer
This is an excerpt from my paper L-form Bacteria and Mollicutes- The Good, the “Bad” and the Ugly. In it, I discuss the role of bacteria and viruses in our body’s adaptive processes. We don’t think much about how our different cells adjust to the insults being thrown at them (e.g. pollution, drugs, alcohol, cigarette smoke). We simply take it for granted that we can “take a licking and keep on ticking” like the old Timex watch commercials used to say.
The fact that we can adapt to toxic insults is one level of knowledge and this understanding appears to be adequate for many. Bu the true wisdom lies in how this amazing process takes place. I don’t think a person needs to be a doctor or a medical trivia nut like me to know or even fully grasp this. This is basic science that involves all of us and the quality of our lives, especially if we insist on testing these miraculous bodies to their limits as we seem bent on doing.
I’m “sorry” to pick on the cigarette smoker here but it is time we did away with this self-induced misery once and for all.
Here’s the excerpt:
The perfect example of this amazing (adaptive) process is their (the intracellular bacterias) response to cigarette smoke. We know that chronic smoke inhalation leads to a change in morphology of the cells that line the respiratory tract. These delicate cells start out as a tall, slimy cell with a hair-like projection called a cilia, used for sweeping out debris, irritants and pollutants. But the constant heat and chemical insults associated with cigarette smoking causes these cells to undergo a cellular change called squamous metaplasia, in which the insulted cells become more like skin. This is known to be a precancerous change. These cells get flatter and flatter, ultimately losing their cilia and ability to sweep, leading to the “smoker’s cough”.
The fascinating thing is this process can be reversed if the individual stops smoking in time, the problem being that we can’t see this adaptive process taking place. We just have to believe and understand that is it occurring. When has has the smoker gone too far? When have they reaches the point of no return
Functionally, that point is reached when the mitochondria have been signaled by the resident, adaptive bacteria in the lungs to undergo the squamous metaplasia (a form of cell differentiation) and the nucleus tells the cell to divide, the latter being under the control of the adaptive viruses involved in this process. As we said, viruses affect the nucleus while pleomorphic bacteria influence the mitochondria. As long as we have only the mitochondria involved, the cell undergoes metaplasia- an adaptive process that helps to protect the cell…and it’s residents. But when the nuclear viruses becomes involved, bad things can happen. In a word, cancer. After all, we have established that nearly 40% of the genetic codes in our DNA are viral codes, passed down though the generations and explaining “genetic diseases”, including various cancers that run so consistently through human families and dog breeds.
And yet, many people have never heard of these DNA-encoded viruses or pleomorphic bacteria, just as most never heard the words “cancer” and “virus” used in the same sentence until the cervical cancer vaccine was introduced. Are the guys in lab coats, who are supposedly running around in those ivory towers, protecting us from a public panic or are they simply waiting ‘til they get their ducks in a row before becoming the harbingers of this seemingly bad news? Or is it something a little more complex than that? I hate to be the one to burst the bubble but we have to face the fact that medicine is an inexact science at this point. We have done some regrettable things in the past- all in the name of science- motivated by the spirit of discovery, protected by a veil of secrecy, and covered by the cloak of ignorance. Hey, we all make mistakes because we don’t know everything…yet.
Read more of L-form Bacteria and Mollicutes- The Good, The “Bad”, and the Ugly.