Where do cancer cells come from? The simple answer is: your own cells. To understand cancer, it helps to realize that cancer cells act much the same as other cells, except for their uninhibited reproduction. They have the same goal as your normal cells: to thrive in their environment.
When normal cells are under stress, they don’t ignore it any more than you would. If the cellular stress threatens their very survival, they react most strongly. DNA encoding has instructions for dealing with many forms of stress: famine, poison, lack or excess of nutrients — at some time in the lives of your ancestors, if not in your own life, codes were needed to tell the cell how to deal with these stressors. Those codes remain, even though they may be turned off at the moment, but they are ready to be invoked when needed. Under stress, cells will rearrange their code segments to try and deal with the danger posed by their environment. This adaptive response does not depend upon “evolution” of new genetic codes; rather, they rewire their existing dormant codes. This can happen quickly, giving the cells and their offspring “new” characteristics to survive in the environment.
Normal cells also communicate. When stress arises, this communication helps them work together to deal with it. A group response is even more powerful than individual responses.
Cancer cells do not lose most of their original DNA. They still retain adaptive genetic codes, which arm them to deal with hostile environments. They also build a colony in which they communicate to deal with their environment. You could think of a tumor as an organism in itself; unfortunately, it is an organism that has its own survival, rather than yours, as its goal.
Chemotherapy is cell stress
Simply put, chemotherapy is poison to cancer cells — and normal cells too! When chemotherapy is first introduced, it will likely destroy a number of cancer cells quickly, because they are not ready for the assault. This toxic threat kicks off the frantic search for a solution: the cancer cells, and the whole cancer colony, are threatened. It starts looking for anything in its arsenal that will help.
Here is just some of the arsenal:
- Turning on or off signal receptors.
- Changing the reaction to specific signals.
- Increasing or decreasing sensitivity to certain chemicals.
- Changing metabolism.
- Regulating enzymes.
- Exchanging DNA with other cells. Other cells’ DNA may have the answer — why make your own when you can steal it?
- Communicating and cooperating with other cancer cells.
- Changing permeability.
- Increasing multiplication rate.
Chemotherapy is usually aimed at interfering with signaling, depriving the cells of nutrients, or getting toxic chemicals into the cells that interfere with normal cell function. If the cancer cells can ignore signaling interference or work around a signal blockade, conserve or become less dependent on certain nutrients, or reject toxic substances, it can overcome the chemotherapy. Such adaptation happens within a few generations of the cancer cells, which is why after initially succumbing to the chemotherapy, the cancer can come roaring back.
The stem cell
All our cells started from stem cells: “become anything” cells that have to go through stages of specialization (stem cells spawn progenitor cells which then produce differentiated cells) to become specific tissue in your body. Stem cells are like seeds: they are ready to grow into something quite different, but they are restrained until the right time. Like seeds, they are meant to withstand harsh conditions until they start dividing and differentiating.
Cancer appears to have stem cells also. They are simply named “Cancer Stem Cells” (CSC’s). These cells are hardier than their offspring. They are more resistant to chemo and radiation. Even without adaptation, they resist harsh conditions. Like seeds, they can hide from threats and spring forth with growth when the time is right.
Chemotherapy and radiation might kill most of the cancer. They might kill all of the detectable cancer. But then these seeds can spring up.
“Though chemotherapy might kill most of the cancer, tiny populations of drug-resistant cancer cells manage to survive and propagate.” This quote is from a team at the University of California, published in The Conversation, which also describes cancer cells as “clever” in adapting to drugs. Published in Nature Communications, research has revealed a number of genes that are involved in the cellular stress response which can make the cancer cells completely resistant to chemotherapy. This article also refers to “metabolic re-wiring” of these genes under stress. A National Library of Medicine article explains that stem cells, including cancer stem cells, over-express certain drug-resistant genes, making them naturally chemo-resistive.
When you consider the survival goal of cancer cells, their ability to re-configure genetics to change response to their environment, and the hardiness of the stem cells, you realize conquering them with chemotherapy is quite a challenge. Cancer cells are perverted cells which are just as “clever” as your normal cells. It is difficult to target only cancer cells, which are very similar to your normal cells, so chemotherapy harms them both, toxifies both, and stresses both. Cancer counters with chemo resistance as it tries to survive. Cancer stem cells, which are more resistant already, may survive the chemo, and develop greater resistance. Now they can flare up unimpeded by the chemotherapy.
Any good news?
The body’s defenses do not depend upon toxins to destroy cancer. Given a strong immune system, the body can, and does, deal with cancer as it does with other diseases, but if you keep putting poison in the body without getting the proper nutrients and oxygen in and the chemicals and toxins out it will have a much more difficult time attempting to heal.
Dr. Nemec’s Comments:
Cells are meant to live. They have life in them, and that life is extremely adaptable to stressors.
What this research is saying is simply this: cancer stem cells cannot be killed by conventional treatment, because if you made the chemotherapy strong enough to kill cancer stem cells it would be strong enough to kill the normal stem cells in every organ, gland and tissue in your body. If your stem cells die then no more cells are being produced — your cells and you would die. This is why it is so important to help your body heal by clearing up the toxins and poisons that are in most people from breathing, eating, and drinking hundreds of chemicals that are known to be carcinogenic. If you are doing conventional treatment for cancer, it is killing cancer cells, which is good. But it is also putting more chemicals and toxins in your body which affects the functioning of all your cells. This is why patients who choose to do chemotherapy for the killing of the cancer cells come to us for the healing of the body at the same time. It reminds me of a patient that had cancer and asked me “Dr. Nemec, I am addicted to smoking, so is there any hope that I can heal?” The answer is this: If you do 1 bad thing and 20 good things then although it would take longer because the bad thing is slowing the healing process, the healing can still occur.
At Total Health Institute we have helped people create that healing environment in their body and mind that can produce healing and health for over 35 years with our teaching and treatment programs:
- Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
- Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
- Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
- Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus