Since many of you don’t seem to understand my problem with Somers and her cancer plan, perhaps a bit of a lesson in what cancer is will help. This is simplified for ease of understanding and for brevity, but you will get the point. Even though simplified for brevity, this is still a much longer post than I usually make. Cancer is a complicated subject.

Normally, your cells do their job. Each cell has a job to do, and they sit there and happily carry out their cellular business 90-96% of the time. During this time, a cell is very busy synthesizing proteins, copying DNA into RNA, engulfing extracellular material, processing signals, whatever its job is. The rest of the time, 4-10% of the time, the cell is busy copying its DNA and dividing to create its own replacement in a process called mitosis. Mitosis happens about once every 24 hours, on average. Some cells like hair follicles do it more often, while other cells like nerve cells, less so.

Your DNA is like a novel contained in the nucleus of your cell. It contains all of the information that your cells need to do their jobs, live their lives, and carry out everything that your body does- from your intelligence, to your looks, your health, and even your behavior. It’s all programmed in there using “words” spelled with chemicals called base pairs. These base pairs are made of four “letters”- G, C, A, and T. There are 3.2 billion of these letters in human DNA. They each must get copied when the cell undergoes mitosis, and they must be copied with complete accuracy.

The process of copying their DNA so the cell can carry out mitosis is incredibly accurate. The error rate during DNA replication is as low as 10^−9 to 10^−11 errors per base pair. Errors can be caused by exposure to chemicals that alter the DNA, by certain viruses, by ionizing radiation, or simply a bad chemical reaction. There are “checkpoints” built into the process that detect and correct errors in the DNA replication and will halt the process or even cause the cell to die if correction can’t be done. Cells are programmed through their DNA to only copy themselves a limited number of times before they die off in a process called apoptosis. They will also undergo apoptosis if errors in this DNA copying process happen.

Sometimes, there are errors that slip through. Most of the time, these errors aren’t a big deal. Sometimes they are, and that is what causes cancer. When this happens, there are processes in your body’s immune system that are supposed to locate and destroy these out of control cells, because cells damaged by cancer release a chemical called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). More on that in a future post.

Cancer cells flip the whole mitosis process on its head. They not only fail to undergo apoptosis, they also spend most of their time in mitotic division- making copies of themselves. They multiply out of control, creating tissue that is using more and more of the bodies resources as they multiply out of control.

So cancer is a failure of two parts of the body: the cancerous cells that have lost the ability to undergo apoptosis through a transcription error that appears in their DNA, and the immune system whose job it is to find and eliminate cancerous cells.

There are no magic foods that halt this process, because it is an error in the DNA of the cancerous cells that are causing the problem, and once there is a “spelling” error, there is no way to correct this spelling error in a cancer cell’s DNA. The best you can do is kill off the cancer cell. The “daughter” cells, being an exact copy of the cancerous cell, will also be cancer cells.

The tumors eventually grow large and numerous enough that they use up all of the organism’s resources. This is why cancer patients begin losing weight and looking so sickly. The tumors are spending so much time and energy replicating that there aren’t enough resources remaining.

There are a few ways to get rid of cancer. The main ones are:

Surgery. We use surgery to literally cut tumors out of the body. This doesn’t cure the cancer, it merely lowers the size of the tumor, and thus the energy requirements being used up by the cancer. The issue is that surgery can’t possibly get every cancer cell, so all this does is buy time.

These multiplying cells create their own environment- they cause the body to create new blood vessels to feed the growing tumor in a process called angiogenesis. There are drugs that prevent angiogenesis, and taking these causes the tumors to be starved out.

The growing cells also have one exploitable flaw- they are spending so much time multiplying that they don’t have time to repair damage to themselves. This can be used to our advantage. That’s what chemotherapy and radiation therapy do- they damage all of the cells in your body. The healthy cells then repair themselves in between sessions, the cancer cells do not. The more sessions of chemo or radiation that you undergo, the more unrepaired damage is done to the cancer cells, and the cancer can eventually be killed off this way.

No treatment is 100% effective at eliminating cancer, because no matter how effective, there will always be a cell or two left that the treatment didn’t eliminate. The earlier that a cancer gets detected and treatment begins, the better the results. Although there are no curable cancers, melanoma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and breast, prostate, testicular, cervical, and thyroid cancer have some of the highest 5-year relative survival rates. The 6 cancers with the lowest survival rates are lung cancer, liver cancer, brain cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, colon and rectal cancer.

Since everyone is different, and so is the DNA error that causes the cancer, each person and each cancer will respond differently to treatment. That’s why one person can get breast cancer and survive, while another does not. This is why people like Suzanne Somers live for twenty years, while someone else doesn’t. Writing a book about how your special diet is the reason why you aren’t dead yet is a complete scam. You are alive because of the random chances of fate and the simple mathematical variances of chance, not because you have the cure for cancer by eating beet roots.

What makes her claims of a cure so despicable is that the people who forego medical advice to try her cure frequently discover the truth that it doesn’t work months or even years down the road, and it is then too late for them to be treated for what may have been a cancer that was easily treatable.

Categories: Medical News


GreenCross4Safety · October 22, 2023 at 7:52 am

Very good description of cancer. Thanks for the post.

Rob · October 22, 2023 at 10:19 am

Thanks for this post, a very clear, easy to understand description of cancer and how it works. I wish my doctor took a few moments to explain my prostate cancer the way you just did. Thank you.

I underwent radiation and hormone therapy in 2017 with a Gleason 9 (4+5) and PSA 42. So far PSA has been undetectable since then, but Dr. Patrick Walsh, Professor of Urology at Johns Hopkins, states in his book that according to his research, a Gleason 9 with a PSA 42 has a 25% chance of being cancer-free in 10 years.

Don’t be stupid like me. Get a PSA test yearly. My health has always been very good so I didn’t bother with doctors. Once I began to have great difficulty urinating, I finally went to see one. Should have gone earlier when I first began to have difficulties.

I was hoping that I was in the 75% who just have an enlarged prostate… I got a Gleason 9 and T2b cancer instead. (The Gleason scale goes from 2 to 10 with 10 being the worst).

But so far, so good. Please have s simple PSA test. Catch it early and it’s curable. Mine wasn’t because I waited too long.

craig · October 22, 2023 at 10:24 am

Very informative. Thank you.

oldvet50 · October 22, 2023 at 10:40 am

Informative! Good post. I always felt that cancer could be unsuccessful evolution. It seems that the body part that gets the abuse winds up with the cancer; skin cancer for sun worshipers, lung for smokers, mouth for chewing tobacco, etc. The body is trying to adjust for the irritant to accommodate it, mostly without success. I would also posit that colon cancer is more prevalent in people that stay dehydrated. The colon extracts liquid from the stool and if it cannot get enough, it increases its surface area through polyps and its the polyps that turn cancerous.

Some doofus · October 22, 2023 at 11:47 am

I’m curious to know what you think of the use of anti parasite drugs like Ivermectin and fenbendazole as cancer treatments. I’m place of chemo or in addition.

    Divemedic · October 22, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Oncology is not within my wheelhouse, so I don’t know much about treatment. However, there are a few studies showing that those drugs do show some promise in treating certain forms of cancer, when you understand that treating cancer means killing the cancerous cells.
    Beyond that, I don’t know.

Some doofus · October 22, 2023 at 2:27 pm

Thank you, DM.

The Ferryman Laughed · October 22, 2023 at 3:18 pm

Rogue cells for simple definition.
It used to be rare but is now common.
Just right for a society that lives for death and destruction.
A fake GAE sewer pipe abomination.

Mike in Canada · October 23, 2023 at 6:21 am

I wonder if you could perhaps comment on the following:
I have a book by Dr James Lovelock, wherein he is at one point discussing the advantages of nuclear power as a stopgap until we get fusion figured out.
He mentions that one of the principle objections to nuclear power among the uninformed, is the fear that increased local radiation (around a given nuke plant) will increase cancer rates.
He goes on explain that cancer risk is perpetual, describes the process whereby cells create error during mitosis (the result of which is called cancer), points out that the errors are the result of imperfections caused by foreign substances called oxidants, and finally drops the bomb that oxidants are the result of using oxygen as the fuel to drive cellular processes.
Oxygen is in fact rather corrosive, apparently, and using it as a fuel source at the cellular level is an imperfect process. There is a residue of incomplete combustion that builds up, and we call that material oxidants. Too much oxidant interferes with accurate cellular replication, leading to cancer of one kind or another.
He states that one in three persons, absent special risk factors, will develop cancer in their lifetimes. This is the inevitable result of using oxygen as the basis for cell activity. On the plus side, our reflexes and speedy brains are powered by the use of oxygen, but like any candle burning twice as bright, we only last half as long. Human life, therefore, is rather tragic from this perspective.
He concludes this section with the idea that nuclear power is the least of your problems when it comes to cancer fears.
I would very much like your thoughts on these ideas, should you be moved to denote them. Does any of this make sense to you?

    Divemedic · October 23, 2023 at 8:23 am

    The use of cellular oxygen and nuclear power don’t have a thing to do with each other. This guy sounds like an shyster, an idiot, or both. Oxygen isn’t the fuel of the cells. It is an oxidizer. My answer is going to mean that I get a bit more in depth with organic and biological chemistry than I intended in a blog post.
    Here is an explanation:
    The cells get their energy from ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is made in a cellular organelle called the mitochondria. The mitochondria take pyruvate and extract the energy from the molecular bonds, using that energy to make ATP in a two part process called the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain.

    In this process, pyruvate is converted into Acetyl CoA by oxidation, enabling it to be converted into FADH2 by the Krebs cycle, then the FADH2 enters the electron transport chain, with ATP being the end product. Without oxygen, this cycle doesn’t work, and cells must get their ATP by using fermentation, which is much less efficient. Each glucose molecule yields us between 30 and 32 ATP molecules with oxygen, and only 2 ATP using fermentation.

    The waste product with fermentation is lactic acid. That’s why when you are short on oxygen because you are using more energy than your oxygen produces, your muscles burn. It’s also why people with infections enter a state of lactic acidosis: their blood Ph goes down and lactate levels climb because of the inadequate oxygen delivery caused by the infection, coupled with the increased energy being demanded by the cells of the body that are fighting the infection.

    The only basis for this entire discussion is that, yes, oxidative stress is a large cause in things like cancer, and is the basis behind my statement that chemical reactions can alter DNA. However, the idea that the use of oxygen means cancer, which means that we need to use nuclear power is completely off the mark.

      MinC · October 23, 2023 at 12:15 pm

      Thank you for this clarification, sir. I would note, however, that the inclusion of the nuclear power discussion in the book had to do with a wider exploration of the options available if ‘fossil’ fuels are to be excluded. The discussion of cancer and its mechanisms was a digression to illustrate that blaming nuclear plants for increased cancer rates is infantile, and that cancer is driven by other things over which one has little control.
      Your reply was most helpful. Thanks again.

How Do Viral Infections Work? – Area Ocho · October 23, 2023 at 5:31 am

[…] the proteins and other substances that the cell needs to manufacture during its interphase. Review yesterday’s post for an explanation of interphase. Again, for those who know the details, please excuse the fact that I am simplifying a terribly […]

Comments are closed.