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May 9, 2002
8:34 am
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September 24, 2010
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I'll start by saying I'm no doctor. But I know a little about the body and as such, I cannot believe a comprehensive cure for all types of cancers has not yet been found. There are of course the conspiracy theories that Glaxo and Phizer, etc. have the cure under wraps to ensure business for their other money makers...chemotherapy and similar treatments. It makes good business sense to keep people sick and in need of your drug instead of curing them. While that is a cynical/paranoid view even for me, consider this: Macrophages, killer cells, work by locating antegens like bacteria in the body, attaching, and literally eating them. The killer cells don't do this to cancer cells because they are not identified as antegens. They are basically normal cells as far as the killers are concerned. (and they are right in a way. If cancer did not multiply unchecked, it would not be lethal to us) My point is this: can we not make some chemical with all our knowledge of cell surfaces and markers that would change the structure of cancer cells? The chemical doesn't even need to kill the cancer. It just needs to deform it enough that the killer cells will recognize the cell membrane as foreign and defective. There must be some difference in cancer cells and normal cells, even if it's only the DNA mechanism by which it erroneously multiplies. Find that difference, find a chemical that marks those cells, then let our immune system do the rest. Does that seem feasible to anyone? You'd think with all we know of cell structure and function the cure would be imminent. *shrug*

May 9, 2002
9:47 am
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September 29, 2010
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I think that if "Glaxo and Phizer" truly had the cure for cancer, they'd be selling it like mad and NOT keeping anything under wraps...! Imagine what people would PAY for something like that!

Their scientists would also be winning Nobel Prizes...! No scientist would be happy to keep quiet about something like that...not for any amount of hush money! Scientists live for that kind of prestigious honor...! Scientists in general do not make that much money, either! The high cost of new drugs in the US comes from the expensive long process of getting FDA approval, which usually takes about 10-12 years. Scientists do this because it is their passion. Honestly.

Actually, there is strong evidence that the cellular immune response DOES provide some cancer surveillance...in the form of T natural killer cells. As you age or the environment weakens that component of your immune response, you increase your potential for generating cancer cells. Your individual genetic make up determines your susceptibility. Your stress level can enhance or decrease that susceptibility, as well...again depending on your genetic make up.

You are right about the macrophages...they have quite an complex and elegant response system, though, which does a whole lot more than eat bacteria....

NYC is a VERY densely populated area with a lot of highly prestigious medical institutions in it. The statistics are GOING to be heavy there...just because of these facts. Houston gets the same judgements. People come to our cancer centers from all over the world to get cured...and many of them die here because this is their LAST option...they have tried everything else nearer to home. If they are taking long term treatments, some of them move here, just because it makes life easier than trying to maintain two households and endure cancer treatments.

Also, cancer increases when emotional stress is quite high...which has been especially true in the last year...particularly in NYC...!

An exciting recent discovery is that cells of the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems all display receptors to the same hormones, neurotransmitters, and cytokines. This has potential far reaching multidimensional implications with respect to psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunology (PNEI) and the resulting health promotion and maintenance practices influencing the mind-body relationship. Mounting evidence from over the past decade supports the contention that receptors of each of the above named systems even share the *precise* same hormones, neurotransmitters, and cytokines. This means that these systems have a common biochemical language and that one system cannot be affected in isolation from the others...and there is a corpus of studies to support this claim.

One example is found in studies that suggest how a psychologic system response could potentially promote a cancer genesis. Using a simplistic PNEI model with psychologic grief as the environmental antigen, the body undergoes a stress response, which changes the individual’s biochemistry. Thoughts and beliefs about the grief experience affect the limbic system in the brain, stimulating the hypothalamus (HT), which increases corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) production. CRF promotes sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and pituitary (PT) gland stimulation, which increases catecholamine and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) serum concentrations. Neurologically, the aggrieved experiences “fight-or-flight” anxiety and physical energy resources prepare for battle with the grief antigen. The endocrine response augments the neurologic reaction by regulating the chemical mediators needed to promote survival against the perceived threat.

This is why we need to take VERY good care of our mental health!

When grief becomes chronic, which can happen when a loss is particularly emotionally difficult and an individual has to grieve in isolation, the systems that cortisol sought to rescue from harm begin to become exhausted and serum concentrations of cortisol fractions become higher in comparison to the fractions of the other endogenous chemical mediators. This creates an immune response inhibition; immature (less-potent) neutrophils proliferate, leukocytes and their mediators categorically decrease in serum concentration, and fibroblasts needed for wound healing become deficient. Decreased mature leukocytes increase the potential for cancer; their diminished cancer surveillance function fails to isolate and destroy developing cancer cells and the system under stress is more likely to make genetic mistakes due to protein synthesis changes. Depending on the innate physical “hardiness” of the individual and the environmental changes affecting the internal system, cancer may or may not develop over time, but its potential for development is greatly increased.

Each component of PNEI influences the entire dynamic, nonlinear, and deterministic system in a chaos-like manner, which eludes the current two dimensional approach to medical science. We are also challenged to see a larger picture both on an individual physical basis and on a greater social scheme.

Perceptions in thinking influence feelings, which can prompt an entire nation to sequester its resources to go to war with another nation. War survivors experience stress response, which increases disease susceptibility. There are many studies that show how disease development in some Holocaust survivors has become magnified for that population (and their offspring) even years after the experience, supporting this idea. (How many NYCer's are Holocaust survivors?) Domestic violence survivors can suffer with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) for years after the violence antigen experience has passed, especially if the antigen was chronic. The individual’s limbic system in the brain has literally burned a survival pathway so solidly that even cheering and screaming children at a ball game can stimulate the SNS to become ready to battle a social violence antigen. The adult survivor has the conflict of knowing that the screams are happy, yet they feel that familiar anxious hypervigilance reaction, creating an emotionally numbing cognitive dissonance and further social isolation if no one else shares this experience with them at the time. (This is my experience at a Little League game.)

Many people live with this reality as a principle part of their existence...!

Often there were other people around that could have effected a more constructive outcome, but they simply chose not to become involved, such as what happened with the isolationist political policies of the United States at the beginning of World War II. (This is why it makes me SO SICK to hear US war veterans brag about winning the war for Europe!)

Unless humanity learns to develop an awareness of a collective consciousness and discards the boundaries of “us and them” to build a better relationship with each other and our natural resources, which include our people as well as our planet, we will all eventually perish together.

This is something I have studied for years. It prompts me to quit my current trauma nursing career for a public health career in research and teaching. I am sick and tired of treating disease when its prevention would have been SO MUCH better. I cry when I think about this, in fact...!

This is Scherza's soap box for the day!

May 9, 2002
5:03 pm
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September 29, 2010
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Thank you, Blondie...thank you. (I think I got a sore lower back and sun burn from standing on that soap box so long. My brain is FRIED!!! FRIED I say!!!)

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