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What causes cancer?

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

I've been researching "causes" of cancer and the information is conflicting to say the least.

Obesity supposedly causes cancer yet the most obese country in the world, Samoa, with 75% obesity rates, has one of the lowest incidences of cancer.

Denmark and Norway are in the top five, higher than the United States, yet Sweden is 24th.  The sun causes cancer but lack of sunshine also does (look at those northern European countries).

Did you see where Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay 70 million to a family of an ovarian cancer victim because they supposedly knew already back in the 1980s that talc could cause ovarian cancer?  What other common product are we using everyday that causes cancer?

One of my good friends who, along with her husband, owns an organic vegetable farm is going to "feed me back to good health" yet she is dying of lupus.  Around here, some people swear that drinking tart cherry juice prevents and cures cancer (we live in an area that grows a lot of cherries).

We just found out that the flooring in our large family room is from Lumber Liquidators that was made in China and contains way too much formaldehyde according to the CBS Evening News.  What to do??

My mother-in-law made four loaves of white bread every Saturday until near the end of her life at 88 yet no one in that family had cancer.  Nobody in MY family had cancer except my Great-grandma Eldri who died of colon cancer at 70; yet her mother lived to over 101.  MY family drops dead of heart attacks at a young age and lives with T2 diabetes into old age.  Why me???

A lot of studies I've read say that chemo drugs and radiation cause cancer and should be avoided at all costs.  

For me, I've decided to eat less salt and sugar but more fresh fruits and vegetables; more walking and less sitting; more sleep and less late nights; more relaxing and less stressing; more laughter and less tears.  If it works and I live, maybe I'll write a book about how I cured cancer - LOL!!

Love,

Eldri

ncg007
Posts: 130
Joined: Nov 2015

Looking forward to reading your book!  Smile

Donswife48
Posts: 280
Joined: Nov 2015

I too have read lots, don't do antioxidents, don't eat fresh vegetables/eat fresh vegetables.  Stay away from salted processed foods, etc.  The only thing that appeals to me when I'm not hungry is salads.  Yup, along with blue cheese sprinkles and blue cheese dressing.  Oh and goats milk feta (in salty brine).  This last time I ate sugary things, a donut, a couple of soft cookies, even a piece of fudge.  Now I know they say cancer feeds off of glucose, maybe sugar, so I don't necessarily eat them, but as I was at my pity party the other night at 4.03 in the morning after not sleeping at all, I decided if death is in my near future, I don't have time to waste eating things or doing things that will prolong me 2-10 months.  I agree that some things are absolutely more bad than others, but since they can't even come up with anything new treatment wise, how can they say that things in our life cause or contribute to cancer.  Hugs Nancy

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

Exactly, Nancy!!  Everyone dies sooner or later and we could second guess ourselves until we go crazy.  There are so many variables in life - some can be controlled but others can't.  So....I'll have my cup of coffee with a little half and half, just like I like it, but lay off that extra donut (sometimes).  LOL

Love,

Eldri

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1414
Joined: Jun 2015

I came to the conclusion that I was incredibly healthy before cancer and decided to stick with my "diet" post chemo...

So, I eat beef, chicken, vegetables, fruit, etc. I also eat candy, cake, cookies, etc...  All within enough moderation to maintain my weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.  In other words... I eat whatever the heck I feel like.  I just don't over eat any of it.... Innocent

I think we all have to do what feels right for us. Life is too short to restrict things that make us happy. I think I'll have a Snickers now!

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

libby.sparks's picture
libby.sparks
Posts: 12
Joined: Nov 2015

Hi Cindi, Don's Wife and Eldri!

Hello. My name is Libby, and I am a sugar addict.

I ran the Paris marathon April 12, 2015, three months before my diagnosis and surgery. I was running 30-35 miles a week. I enjoyed excellent health, high energy and maintained a normal weight. I ate something sweet every day, sometimes several dessert a day, and a couple of tablespoons (or more) of ice cream every day in the summer. Like Cindi, I have always eaten what I wanted.

 

I LOVE that you are so realistic about nutrition. Not too long ago, I was so darned nauseated that I couldn't imagine eating a snickers or a cookie. On a 5'7" frame, I was 130 pounds in July, just before being diagnosed with Stage IV B USPC. The big GYN surgery involved  placement of an ileostomy. Three weeks after surgery, I developed significant abdominal distention, nausea and vomiting. I was hospitalized and found to have massive ascites, infected with e coli. A drain was placed to remove the infected abdominal ascites. In one week, I lost 18 liters of Protein rich fluid. My weight dropped to 92 pounds, and i was told to eat and drink high protein foods and drinks. Honestly, I don't know how I survived those weeks. I had no appetite and had to force every swallow of food. And if that wasn't bad enough, I battled persistent and significant dehydration from a "high output" ileostomy. I developed painful abdominal spasms, which were later discovered were caused by several small bowel obstructions. Without an omentum to support the bowel and massive adhesions from the infected peritoneal fluid, the small bowel developed acute turns and knuckling, and nearly complete bowel obstruction. After surgery to release the small bowel, and several areas of small bowel resection, the abdominal pain has resolved and now I feel great. I am happy to say that my appetite has returned with more verocity than ever. I was able to resume the treatment plan, and completed the 6th cycle of Taxol/Carbo on Feb 2. I have been eating everything in sight! I'm hungry now...for a Snickers (thanks, Cindi for reminding me how tasty they are :)).

But, I just finished reading the (audio) book "Anti Cancer. A New Way of Life". One of the four major components of living an Anti Cancer Way of life is diet. As I understand it, eating high glycemic snacks (refined sugar) causes a rapid rise in the blood sugar, a rapid rise in insulin, and release of IGF (insulin like growth factor). IGF is a systemic inflammatory substance that perpetuates cancer growth. So I have committed myself to eliminating refined sugar from my diet. Today is the 4th day of no refined sugar. I'm waiting for the cravings  to fade. I did use a bit of Agave Nectar in my Pomegranite Green Tea. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

The author did say, that eating a square or two of dark chocolate at the end of a meal would not be expected to result in a sudden rise in blood sugar, insulin and IGF. And that having one glass of red wine with dinner is good for us. Sounds good to me!

Hugs to all of you. 

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

Oh my gosh, Libby, that is awful!!  You have been through so much it's amazing you were able to finish your chemo.  One of the ladies on here swears by Metformin which is a T2 diabetes drug.  I've read some of the medical reports on it and it certainly looks promising.  I haven't eliminated sugar from my diet totally but I sure don't eat as much as I did before cancer.  

I hope this works for you!

Love,

Eldri

molimoli
Posts: 514
Joined: Aug 2014

Hi Libby,Oh ! so sorry to read of your journey but what an eye opener this is . It informs, scares the heck out of me but shows the measure of your strength.I admire your determination to not roll over and play dead,You weathered the storm, you  strengthened me and no doubt others that have read your post , I thank you for sharing,

It seems to me that you've earned and deserve many bottles  of red wine, oops! not for one day consumption though.

You deserve NED after all that, I pray that for you it will come .

Moli - sending healing vibes and plenty hugs.

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

I have had a lot of helpful people tell me many stories about what to eat and what not to eat.  I decided that since I raelly do try to eat mostly healthy food, that if I want a treat, I will have one.  Life is two short not to enjoy some of the little things.  I had a banana split Blizzard on my way home from chemo today.  I figured that I had earned it.  Hugs and prayers Lou Ann

Donswife48
Posts: 280
Joined: Nov 2015

And that brings fond memories of the peanut buster parfait.  One of those will be on my short list soon.  Hugs Nancy

Michaelynn
Posts: 80
Joined: Apr 2010

My doctor told me that everyone has cancer cells in their body and that something triggers them to multiply and grow. So everyone can potentially develope cancer in their lifetime. Right after he did my hysterectamy he developed cancer and died in October. He was 52 and a cancer doctor and still couldn't catch it in time to save himself.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

Wow!  But my point exactly - sometimes no matter what you do or don't do, you still get cancer.  And then, sometimes in spite of yourself, you recover.....or you don't.

Love,

Eldri

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

two weeks ago, a very respected and beloved neurosurgeon  from a neighboring town passed away from Brain cancer.  he was diagnosed less than a year ago.  he had treated many people for the same deasese that took his life.

My father died at age 45 from lymphoma.  He lived on a farm all his life and raised almost all of the food we ate.  All most no proceseed food.  All our meat was grain fed no additives.  I doupt that the flour my mom used was bleached.  It cam from a local mill.  Our fruit and vegetables were never sprayed with chemicals. No alcohol.  He did very occasionaly smoke a pipe.  Yet he died at a very young age.

A very wonderful lady that I worked with went the holistic route, so sure it would cure her.  she lived just over a year.

We just don't know.  Lou Ann

Abbycat2's picture
Abbycat2
Posts: 634
Joined: Feb 2014

I heard that we all get cancer, too, at least several times in our lifetimes. My doctor has told me and what I've read confirms it, that cancer is more than one disease that occurs due to a "perfect storm" of events or conditions in our bodies. I am convinced that genetics is a huge player, as cancer represents a genetic mutation. Science has discovered some causes such as smoking, obesity and pollution. However, ancient man developed cancer and I doubt if the greenhouse effect caused it or water pollution or obesity. So, I think the biggest culprit is genetics. My paternal grandmother died from uterine cancer and her daughter died from ovarian cancer. Is it such a surprise that I got it, too?

Oddly, elephants rarely get cancer. This is being studied. You might think that such a large animal with so many dividing cells would get cancer at a high rate. 

I hope some day we will know why we got cancer. More importantly, we will benefit from a complete cure.

I wish you all a wonderful day!

Cathy

 

bluehyacinth
Posts: 45
Joined: Feb 2016

My family does not get cancer except for me and I did not get a whimpy one either, serous endo stage IIIC2 grade 3,  genetics may play a role for some, but certainly not all. 

I cannot imagine a cure in my life time, it is way more profitable to work on treatments to keep patients alive a little longer. I don't think in terms of being cured or not, it is what it is and I just live my life to the fullest every day in case I die tomorrow.

 

molimoli
Posts: 514
Joined: Aug 2014

blue-h Me ditto,think so ,Being practical and realistic, calling the spade a spade , making resolution to live today as if there is gonna be no tomorrow will buy you much joy, contentment and a certain peace of mind that no one that isn't ' you' will understand.A marvelous transformation will happen when one makes peace with what is but never giving  up on the desire to out fox this life altering, life robbing 'thing' .Cancer is no respector of persons ,places or things.

It hits persons regardless of status or station in life

It hits no matter what part of this world the persons are

It hits the things us persons most want to protect in or on our bodies,That's the nature of cancer.

Had it come on  our toes or fingers, we would know what to do with it swiftly ,wouldn't we? but life would go on uninterrupted and that's not cancer's plan. Face down the beast and continue to hug life.

 Way to go bluehyacinth.

Moli - determined to live while I wait. Nuff love 

molimoli
Posts: 514
Joined: Aug 2014

Well Cathy , thanks for the elephant info,All I know for sure is if they don't find a cure and I must come back this way again I want to come back as an elephant.

My sisters,brother and nephew had different kinds of cancer and I expected to have cancer ,although my parents died of stroke and heart attack, we can't find any history of cancer on their part indicating that it is not heriditary for us,it's a family puzzle, unless it is a case of  "your daddy ain't your daddy but your daddy don't know' LOL

Ok guys that was a joke,---I think.  I am not joking about the elephant thing though, I can't do this crud again, another time another place ,nope,elephant I am.

Moli- sending you all baskets of healing vibes.

Sandy3185's picture
Sandy3185
Posts: 228
Joined: Oct 2013

What to eat, how much exercise is right, radiation, chemo, everything is a guessing game. There is so much more to learn and discover. I, for one, don't even understand what triggers cancer and why one person gets plain ole endrometrial cancer and another gets UPSC or clear cell.

 I am choosing to believe, fat and happy as I am, that I am cured. My diet is awful! Way to much of the bad stuff along with the good stuff. I know I need to improve but will that improve my chances of no recurrence?  I believe that surgery and chemo were my best options and I am glad I did it( still up in the air about radiation!). I am sure that the future will bring new and better treatments, but this is what we have right now. Living a healthy lifestyle makes sense because it improves quality of life. Will it improve my chances? I don't really think so. I've seen too many fantastic women, just on this board, lose their battle even though they followed strict diet and exercise regimes. So I'm trying to get more exercise and eat better to enjoy my life for however long it may be. And I am planning on living for a long long time!

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1414
Joined: Jun 2015

Sandy - I want to believe I'm cured. I want to get myself as close to my old normal as possible. And the only way I can do that is to let go of looking over my shoulder. I had a day of that old sense of well being and I want to have more of those days again like I used to. Agree with you on having the surgery and chemo (and for me the brachy!)... All three gave me peace of mind. So, I'm glad I did them.

Libby - Good luck on your non sugar goals. My sister has a very restricted diet due to Pancreatic cancer. She amazes me with her attitude and ability to ignore the cravings. She eats very clean for sure. She is my hero. Good luck on continuing to build your strength too.

Lou Ann - you made me laugh... I always stopped for a Frosty after chemo as my reward.

All - It is interesting to see the different approaches that we take. I love reading the posts to learn and challenge myself on things.  I have to say, one of the best things (and there are many) about being finished with chemo is being able to EAT!  And, the rules change on a weekly basis on what is good for us versus what is bad. So, I'm sticking with what feels good! tee hee....

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

I love you guys!  Every time I'm feeling down you bring me up.  I'm also going with "I'm cured" and until time proves me wrong I believe I have to think that so I can get on with my life instead of waiting for the mythical next shoe to drop.

Love,

Eldri

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 850
Joined: Jan 2016

Ha, ha. I love everyone's comments about food! In fact I jus had a Resses Peanutbutter cup

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

The other day I bought a chocolate chip cookie at the bakery and broke it in half.  I ate half as my bedtime snack and "saved" the other half by putting it on a little plate on the counter top.  My husband came by after I went to bed and ATE it!!  I had PLANS for that other half and it didn't include him scarfing it down - LOL!!!  After dinner the next night I decided to have the other half for dessert.....I searched all over and finally he asked me what I was looking for.  I told him, MY half cookie.  He said "Oh, I thought you left that for me."  I thought then and there, this is crazy that I would get all upset over half a cookie.  I had some of those little red and green Christmas Reeses PB cups left from the holidays so I ate one of those instead - :-D and it tasted wonderful!!! Cool

Love,

Eldri

Sandy3185's picture
Sandy3185
Posts: 228
Joined: Oct 2013

I would never be able to stop at ½ and if, by some miracle I did, I would have hidden the other half. LOL Sandy

pinky104
Posts: 567
Joined: Feb 2013

Hemochromatosis can cause heart attacks and it runs in families.  My father had a heart attack at 42, but managed to live to 84 and died of congestive heart failure that caused renal failure then.  My brother dropped dead of a heart attack at 57, while I was going thru chemo.  He thought I'd be dying soon, but he was the one to go.  After I didn't stop being short of breath after chemo, I was tested for hemochromatosis, and was found to have a sky high iron level by my family physician's office.  My oncologist, who's also a hematologist, checked me at my next appointment for the genes for hemochromatosis, and I did have one abnormal gene that sometimes causes hemochromatosis.  I now think that is what probably caused my father's death back in 1984 and my brother's in 2008.  My father had twin brothers that both had terrible heart problems, and I found a descendant of theirs on ancestry.com who told me that all of the men of the family have died of it except for one in the 3 generations that have come along since my father and uncles lived.  I had blood letting (phlebotomy) to bring my iron level down to normal, and I have to keep getting ferritin tests every few months.  I used to have a lot of palpitations and they're gone now that the phlebotomy was done.  Maybe you should have people in your family get their ferritin levels checked, and if high, get a genetic test done for the genes (either C282Y or H63D gene defects can cause it).  Women are often okay until menopause, as their iron levels are decreased by their having periods.  After menopause, the iron starts accumulating in the body causing a lot of different symptoms and many conditions that can kill them.  Something like 3% of the population has hemochromatosis, and most don't even know it.  Getting checked and treated could save lives.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

On and off during my life I've been anemic with low iron.  I'm getting tested again tomorrow for it along with a lot of other problems I had during chemo - anemia being one so I don't think they would test me for hemochromatosis.  But, my dad did have higher-then-normal iron levels.  He donated blood a lot and that's how they noticed it.  He always said he felt so much better after donating blood but back then there wasn't much genetic testing going on.  

My brother that died at 37 of a massive heart attack was frequently anemic or close to it.  He was nine years younger than me and I remember him taking iron pills and drinking grape juice as a kid - apparently way-back-when, doctors through grape juice would build red blood cells??  

When I went to see my GP last week we went through my lingering chemo symptoms.  She asked me if they're getting better.  She said she would start treating them when they DIDN'T get any better or were getting worse but not to be surprised if they linger six months to a year. Right now, I'm going through my "list" one side effect at a time - LOL - from life threatening (liver failure) to annoying (losing my fingernails) - and dealing with them. 

Love,

Eldri

survivingsu's picture
survivingsu
Posts: 134
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Eldri,

Such a good question!  I wonder to this day what caused mine.  Cancer does not run in my family, I was the first (my parents, grandparents, etc. had heart issues).  I was told that my particular small cell undifferentiated cancer was extremely rare and the cause was unknown.  I'm obese, but I'm working on that, that is something that definitely runs in my family.  Still, I cannot help but wonder what other factors are out there, including the environment.  At any rate, it's been 6 years since I was treated and as far as I know "cured", and I focus on the present.  Hope they keep learning more and more...I would love it if no one ever had to go through what we all did!!!!  I also feel very lucky to benefit from what they know so far.

Keep on asking those great questions!!!

Susan

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1247
Joined: Oct 2015

Hello Susan!  I am so happy you have made it six year, still NED!!  My doctor told me after five years without recurrence I would be considered cured.  That is still a long time off for me but hopefully someday I will be able to say that too!!!

There are so many theories about what causes cancer.  People who do everything "right" get it along with those who did everything "wrong."  Does our body turn on itself as in an autoimmune disease?  I also think the environment has something to do with it yet people all over the world get it.  

What stage and grade of cancer did you have (notice my past tense?? LOL)

Love,

Eldri

survivingsu's picture
survivingsu
Posts: 134
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi there Eldri,

Sorry for the delayed response, I visit this site less often when I get busy, but that doesn't mean I don't think about everyone on this site.  Thanks for the question and your interest.  I actually wasn't specifically told my stage or grade at the time, and didn't pursue it further, Im guessing stage 2.5 or 3?  At the time I was pretty sick and scared, and got into simultaneous chemo & radiation treatment right away.  I do remember my doctors telling me that I had three different kinds of uterine cancer cells and the treatment was based on the most agressive and rare form of the three, the small cell undifferentiated carcinoma cells.  Every day I consider myself mighty lucky that they were able to treat me and technology has come a long ways even from just a few years before I got my cancer.  I'm also glad I didn't look at studies online until I was well past treatment, as things get out of date fast and the survial rates were very discouraging, in my case it was good that I trusted in my doctors, nurses and techs and just focused on getting better.  I joined this group when I was feeling good, past recovery, and all these great people have been a wonderful resource and reminder that no one is truly alone in this experience.

Thank you again for your kind message and the NED wishes,

I am sending you and all our sisters on this site eternal NED vibes!!!

Susan

 

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
Posts: 1339
Joined: Sep 2010

Cancer develops because of mitochondrial damage.  Mitochondria are cellular organelles that produce energy.  People who end up developing cancer, first have a reduction of mitochondria in their cells and mitochondrial damage.  As a result, cells struggle to produce energy and revert from using oxygen to produce it to fermentation, which relies on sugar and an environment with little or no oxygen.  This is a natural process that cells revert to in a last ditch effort to survive.  What causes mitochondrial damage are toxins and inflammation.  As a result of mitochondrial malfunction and damage, DNA mutations occur, which causes other cellular malfunctions which result in cancer cells - cells that multiply without limits and cells that don't self destruct when they should.  So, although there is a genetic component, it is not directly the cause.  This is where conventional research is failing us.  Researchers are looking for the genetic trigger for each cancer.  There are some genetic influences, those that contribute to inflammation and other variables that contribute to cancer.  But the body's internal environment is what leads to mitochondrial damage and ultimately to cancer. What supports mitochondria? Limiting exposure to toxins; managing stress; controlling inflammation; heatlhy exercise (not endurance type exercise, which causes inflammation and adrenal stress); clean diet - low in carbs and sugar, high in healthy fats.  There are many great resources out there if you want to understand what causes cancer.

Already mentioned - Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life; by David Servan-Schreiber

Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer Illuminates a New and Hopeful Path to a Cure; by Travis Christofferson

Pottenger's Prophecy: How Food Resets Genes for Wellness or Illness; by Gray Graham, Deborah Kesten, Larry Scherwitz

Best wishes,

diagnosed: 7/2009

stage III ovarian cancer

NED since 2/2010

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 1095
Joined: Sep 2011

Always spot on Kate!  I think everything is tied to DNA and our own responce to outside influences.  Stress, I believe causes more damage than anything, but it is the "perfect storm" of all factors combined. Thank you for the informational post and for keeping an eye on us!  Debrajo

Tethys41's picture
Tethys41
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Joined: Sep 2010
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