The scientific process is excellent at gathering data. But the interpretation of that data is left up to people, who can make mistakes, especially if operating from a biased mindset. Just because a study is carefully done by top notch researchers, don’t expect that their conclusions are just as reliable. Others might see the same data and reach a different conclusion.
The following was not written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and is paraphrased, but it illustrates the point. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go camping, and after setting up camp and having dinner, they try to get some sleep. In the middle of the night, Holmes nudges Watson and asks what he sees when he looks up. Watson replies that he sees millions of stars. Holmes asks what that means. Watson replies with various conclusions about the current meteorological conditions, the philosophical meaning of so many stars making up the universe, how he can tell the time from the position of the constellations, and so on. Then he reverses the question and asks what Holmes thinks it means to see all those stars. Holmes replies, “Elementary — someone has stolen our tent!”
Not all conclusions are equally valid
For most chronic diseases, conclusions reached by the medical research community have a weak track record. It is remarkably difficult to approach study results without some pre-judgement thrown in. The study may be funded by a pharmaceutical company, a grant may have been given by a politically-minded group, or the researchers may have been taught certain viewpoints in college — in any case, the conclusions are sometimes flawed.
The prevailing theory about how cancer gets started has been: first the DNA of a cell gets damaged, causing it to misbehave, reproduce rapidly, and ignore “die” signals given by the immune system. But another theory is starting to emerge: cancer cells are simply reacting to their environment. These theories are not mutually exclusive, but adherence to the DNA damage theory clearly fails to explain much cancer behavior.
The cellular environment isn’t simply the soup of water, nutrients, toxins, and oxygen that surrounds the cell — it also consists of the millions of signals from other cells that it receives. So many communication factors influence cell behavior that what we don’t understand about cancer development still far outweighs what we do. Our understanding of cell signaling is still in its infancy. Communication factors include force, motion, energy, as well as chemical and electrical signals: cells have many modes of communication, much as we use talking, email, text messages, and even facial expressions to communicate.
We previously looked at how cells attach themselves to other cells or the extracellular matrix with numerous complex protein molecules called integrins. Cells can use them to pull themselves along and move, even though they are tied down, because they are controlling the ties. Even more amazing is their ability to dissolve attachments and build new ones, and they can move and attach by either contracting or extending integrins. By these actions, cells can choose what to connect to, whether to pull towards the attachments or push away, and even to break away, move, and form new attachments elsewhere.
When cells attach, large protein molecules called integrins form a communications channel when they find an external shape-matchable protein molecule to attach to, which is called a ligand. Integrin molecules stretch from the outside of the cell, through the cell membrane, and into the inside of the cell. Unattached integrins are open receptors that are listening for specific communication. Only the ligands that the integrins were made to match will be allowed to attach and provide information to the cell core. When a ligand binds to one end of the integrin, it causes a change of the shape of the integrin molecule, in 3 dimensions, all the way to the other end of the integrin. This way information from the ligand that binds to the integrin outside of the cell passes through the cell membrane into the cell interior. There the DNA tells the cell how to react to that information. .The cell can rearrange the DNA code segments to change its reaction to the information. This communication can originate from other cells, or through stress force that is transferred through the extracellular matrix.
Cells can move while staying attached, as external forces pull them or they pull themselves along, and this motion gives them even more signals. Not only do cells passively sit around waiting for signals to arrive, but they also “scan” their surroundings by moving around and picking up more data.
In wound healing, we see all of this in action: cells near the wound sense the open space, the physical break in what was their structure. Some will dissolve their current integrin-ligand bonds, wander into the void, and start connecting to other cells which have also filled the gap. The cells sense the change in mechanical structure and respond to it by trying to return it to normal. They possess a toolkit that allows them to release themselves, move into the wound, and reattach to a new structure. And they do this collectively — that is, they work together to build the wound repair. They “talk” to each other and go to work as a team. The result is the amazing thing we call “healing” when, in a week or so, a small wound is virtually gone.
New conclusions question the old
In an investigation of cell movement and reconfiguring published in Nature Materials, researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen tested what would happen if they interfered with the normal connection process of cells, so that they could not reach out and form their usual strong connections. Unable to connect and form a community as they normally would, they stopped working together and started acting individually. Their behavior changed as though they were “social outcasts”. Without the usual connection and communication, they also lost their teamwork behavior. This is how cancer acts — very individually and without regard to the usual body communication. The cells that were blocked from forming the usual strong connections formed weaker ones instead. We see a picture of the cells acting like young people who have trouble fitting in and then join a gang just to “belong.”
The conclusion of this study, that isolation of cells can cause cancer-like behavior that might actually become cancer, where cells are completely changing their personality based on environmental conditions, is part of the new theory of cancer. More professional publications are questioning the standard DNA damage theory. In Oncology and Therapy, research from Sétif-1 University, Sétif, Algeria combined data from several studies and noted the problems with that theory: mutations occur frequently in nature and most do not lead to cancer, and tumors of the same type of cancer have many different mutations, with no particular mutation or even combination of mutations reliably causing that cancer to develop. The DNA mutations that do appear in tumors might have been the cause of the cancer, but they could just as easily be the result of the cancer. Instability of the genome is usually observed with cancer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that was the cause of the cancerous behavior. To quote the article: “Do any of these mutations in driver genes cause the switch from normalcy to malignancy? There is no evidence that such is the case and none of the identified driver DNA mutation causes the switch of a cell from normalcy to malignancy.”
If environment is the driver, what is the solution?
If we accept that cancer is basically a reaction to the cellular environment, we wonder if studies that conclude that cancer treatments require creating a more hostile environment are reaching the best conclusion. Even the best studies cannot isolate all the factors that go into cancer development, so drawing a solid conclusion that covers all the bases is unlikely. Our science has only recently been able to decode DNA in a static (that is, non-moving) sense, but we can’t see cell communication in action and determine instantaneous effects on the cell’s DNA. So there is much that is still hidden to us about cellular communication, even though it happens right in front of us, because our ability to see that micro-environment directly is still limited. So we rely on the results of the communication and draw conclusions.
Cells must communicate, and the messages they receive should be those which foster teamwork to build up the body and promote health. When that communication is disrupted, or bad communication comes in, the cells aren’t hearing the good messages and start going rogue. They act in their own interest, or in the interest of their new cancerous colony.
If cancer drug therapies are so good at stopping cancer, why don’t we all take them as a preventative? Cancer may start months or years before it is detected, so why not just nip it in the bud and take the drugs to stop it from even getting started? We know the answer: the drugs are harmful to our health. If we reverse the question and ask if we should continue health-promoting activities after getting a cancer diagnosis, and the answer is completely different. What is good for you on one side of the cancer line is good on the other side as well, and what is harmful is harmful at any time.
The answer is not to toxify the cellular environment, but to provide the good messages that drive the cell’s behavior. That way, cells are not driven to bad behavior to try to survive, and the messages they receive welcome them as a productive part of the body.
Dr. Nemec’s Review
Disease is always a response to a stress that cannot be resolved. This stress can be mental, emotional or physical. If you cut your finger your body was created to heal if you just get out of the way and let it do what it does best — reset homeostasis or balance. This finger that is bleeding is not called a disease because it will heal naturally. If you slip on the ice and break your arm, this too is not a disease but a stress that the body was meant to respond to in a team effort to once again restore harmony. There are two types of major disease categories: acute and chronic. Acute does not even need to be called a disease because the body is just working very quickly and efficiently to resolve the inflammation from the pathogens, toxins or whatever else the insult was. Most all acute disease would be self-limiting if — and the big word here is IF — the body had the right nutrients, right amount of oxygen, water, blood and lymph flow, was well rested and exercised. Take two people that get influenza. One feels tired and achy for one day and then is back to normal business. The other is bedridden for a week and takes two more to fully recover. What is the difference? The diet, lifestyle and the mental/emotional stressors that they are creating. So chronic disease like cancer is merely an imbalance of the internal environment that was made with mental stressors, lack of proper nutrition, increase in chemicals, and toxin build up and lack of movement of fluids, along with not giving the batteries sufficient time to charge. Everyone is producing cancer cells every day in their body but not everyone gets diagnosed with cancer, because just like the finger naturally healing, the cancer is attacked and destroyed by a strong, healthy and very mobile immune system surveillance.
Communication among the cells is the key to a healthy community, and these studies showed that if you break the communication lines you are asking for chaos — no different than if a city had its complete communication network shut down. Finally, cancer does not come from DNA damage, neither does it come from any damage unless the damage keeps coming and the supportive environment has been compromised to decrease circulation of immune cells, decrease essential nutrients, decrease oxygen, water and movement chronically as a precursor, which then caused the DNA damage to no longer be repairable. The other option is the DNA mutated in order to come up with a genetic combination that could survive in a high inflammation and high toxin environment. This is common knowledge to your cells, because if you stress them they will adapt to the stress in any way they can, including changing the unstable DNA to make a new genetic expression for survival. Your body is very good at repairing and healing if you would just help it do its job with proper diet, lifestyle and learning to live more fully in the moment.
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- 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.