Yet science can tell us a good deal about why and how cancer develops, and better still, tell us about the multiple defenses our own bodies have against it. Great information on which to base a personal prevention or treatment program.
So this week, how we can work with the body to prevent or recover from cancer. Great information – please share and in doing so, reduce the fears and help raise confidence in our own bodies, our own capacities to prevent and recover from cancer.
This blog comes amidst the series of posts related to my personal retreat these past 3 months; next week, the next exciting episode! But first
Basketball is an intricate, high-speed game
filled with split-second, spontaneous decisions.
But that spontaneity is possible
only when everyone first engages in hours
of highly repetitive and structured practice
- perfecting their shooting, dribbling,
and passing and running plays
over and over again
- and agrees to play a carefully defined role on the court.
Spontaneity is not random.
Cancer cells form in the body after normal cells undergo damage to specific genes called oncogenes. When a cell in the body reproduces itself, it is the oncogenes that determine whether the new cell will become a healthy one or a cancer cell.
All cell lines – such as skin cells, breast cells, prostate cells and so on, have their own specific oncogenes. There are usually 2 to 4 of them and it takes a series of damages to convert a healthy oncogene into one that will cause cancer.
The causes of cancer
Research tells us that most of what causes this genetic damage is related to our lifestyle – what we eat, whether we smoke or not and so on. More details are in You Can Conquer Cancer. Obviously, avoiding the causes is the key to cancer prevention.
Our body’s defenses
However, even when oncogenes are damaged and activated, clinical cancer is not always the result. Many scientists are of the view that this genetic damage is occurring on a daily basis in everyone's body and the most conservative view is that potential cancer cells form at least 40 times during our lifetime.
Clearly, not everyone develops cancer and this is because the body has its own series of defenses that are designed to recognize potential cancer cells and destroy them before they become a problem.
Genes that repair genes
One of the first ways the body does this is that it has genes that actually have the job of repairing damaged genes.
Front line defense
Next, the immune system is the body’s front line defense system. It has many responsibilities including recognizing unhealthy tissue within the body, destroying or removing unhealthy tissue and restoring health.
With cancer, this is much easier when potential cancer masses are quite small, as one thing cancer does as it grows is to coat itself with what is effectively a camouflage layer that makes it difficult or impossible for the immune system to recognize it as a problem. Anything that disrupts this “camouflage”, opens the cancer to direct attack from the immune system.
Another critical issue for cancer to grow and become larger is that it needs to develop its own blood supply. This process is called angiogenesis and anything that disrupts it weakens the cancer. If angiogenesis is halted, the cancer is starved of nutrients and dies.
Once cancer has developed into a significant mass, it has its own metabolic needs. Anything that disrupts this metabolism can weaken the cancer and if the disruption is severe enough, it will kill it.
A useful metaphor here comes from the garden where plants have their own preferences. For example, camellias thrive in acid soil and are severely weakened or die when planted in alkaline soils.
In much the same way, changing the milieu in the body, manipulating the metabolic environment in the body through things like therapeutic nutrition can have a direct influence on cancer cells.
Many of the ways in which therapeutic lifestyle approaches influence cancer can be explained by how they influence the above factors.
New biologically elegant treatments target the above factors, for example:
1. A great deal of research is going into how to reverse oncogene damage and switch the oncogenes back to normal.
2. Treatments aimed at enhancing immune function have been around for many years and continue to be actively researched.
3. Promising research has found a major protein that builds the cancer’s camouflage and targeted immunology offers the possibility of removing it, laying the cancer open to be recognized and attacked by our immune system.
4. Anti-angiogenesis agents are called angiostatins and some of these are already being used clinically while further research continues.
5. Many new targeted therapies aim to disrupt cancer’s metabolism.
An understanding of how cancer develops is also very helpful for people aiming to use guided imagery and this is a large and exciting topic in its own right.
But as just one example, we know that in hypnotherapy the mind can be trained to stop bleeding.
If that same principle were to be used to stop blood flow to a tumour (ie to have an angiostatic effect and reverse what is shown in the above diagram), that tumour would be destroyed very quickly.
Exciting possibilities…. That are at the heart of what we call "Accelerated Healing" - see the related blogs below.
You Can Conquer Cancer , Ian Gawler - chapters on causes of cancer, therapeutic nutrition and lifestyle, and guided imagery.
The Mind that Changes Everything , Ian Gawler – details on guided imagery
CD or Download
The Gawler Cancer Program – has all the above information plus more that you can share or listen to over and over to help with understanding and confidence.
Accelerated Healing 101 - Part 1
Accelerated Healing 101 - Part 2
The last meditation retreat and more specific cancer residential program Ruth and I will present in 2015 are both rapidly approaching. Both are in fabulous New Zealand :)
Details of all coming programs are on our website: www.iangawler.com/events, and here are these next two:
NEXT MEDITATION RETREAT
Meditation Under the Long White Cloud 24 - 30 October 2015
7 day retreat at Mana Retreat Centre, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Take time out from the busyness of everyday life; spend time with your self
Slow down, reflect, contemplate – regain perspective, vitality, balance and clarity
Deepen your understanding and experience of mindfulness, contemplation and meditation
Full details, CLICK HERE
SPECIFIC CANCER RESIDENTIAL PROGRAM
MIND-BODY MEDICINE and CANCER November 2015 Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th
Five day Residential program in the beautiful surrounds of Wanaka, New Zealand
- an easy drive from Queenstown airport and very accessible for Australians
This program is open to anyone affected by cancer. Health professionals interested to learn more of this work are also welcome to attend.
While the focus of this program is on therapeutic meditation and nutrition, the power of the mind and emotional health, ample time will be given to answering any questions you may have relating to the Gawler program - exercise, positive thinking, healing, balancing medical options, successful ways of dealing with setbacks, sustaining your good intentions and the relevance of finding meaning in life to healing and recovery.
FULL DETAILS Click here