Cancer In A Nut Shell, (or “Cell” as the case may be)

In this post I hope to summarize what I have learned on the cutting edge of Treatment so far. Here goes:

Cancer cells are mutated normal cells. They typically go through a series of mutations before becoming full blow cancer. Like CSI, the solution turns out to be in the DNA. In part or in whole, we are what our DNA makes us. The “finger prints” of cancer cells turn out to be as unique or nearly unique as those of its victims.

As I understand it, these are the key genetic changes or mutations that make cancer what it is. Cancer like any other cell has a genetic make up, chromosomes with many genes. There is also a hereditary influence. Our heredity may include cells that are already in a mutated state, but not yet cancer.

There are four crucially important gene changes from healthy cell to cancer cell.

Cells differ from one another, but each healthy cell has a genetic set of instruction as to what it is to do in the body. In a cancer cell that gene is confused so that the cell no longer knows what it is doing, it ceases to perform its proper function.

Healthy cells have a gene that tells them how often to multiply. In cancer cells this gene is mutated to reproduce or divide at a much more rapid rate, differing from cancer to cancer.

Healthy cells have a gene that tells them when to die. In cancer cells this gene is mutated to tell the cell to never die.

Cancer cells are able to reach out and redirect blood vessels from supplying healthy tissues and organs to supplying the cancer tumor.

Cancer cells are also moving targets, because the mutations continue making it difficult to hit the target, and that brings us to the state of the art: “targeted cancer treatment.”

This treatment is designed to identify the mutated cells, and only go after and kill them. There are a great many genetic fingerprints in cancer cells so this treatment is still in the works, further ahead in treating some cancers and playing catch up in treating others.

Burzynski is a pioneer in this field, both his Treatment Clinic, and his laboratory and manufacturing facilities are state of the art. I had opportunity to spend time in both while I was there in Houston. For many years now he has been under attack by “big medicine” from the big pharmaceuticals to the FDA. They have done everything possible to shut him down. Fortunately for us he was seeing success with cancers that no one else was curing, and as of now he is still in business. J The lingering problem is cost. Because the cancer lobby is against him, it has succeeded in keeping Medicare from covering the costs of treatment there.

That’s my summary. Here’s a link providing some more in depth information on the subject:

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2075133_2075127_2075104,00.html

This entry was posted in J.Ferris: Cancer & Medicine. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cancer In A Nut Shell, (or “Cell” as the case may be)

  1. innperlenburg says:

    Dear Jay,
    I have forwarded this to my daughter who is studying bio-medicine.
    Thanks for all your posts about what you are going through. Words are so trite, but just to say that I’m praying for you and Carleen.
    MUCH love.

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