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July 2017

A new way to look at Cancer? A Book Review by Matthew Romans

Almost all of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another. You probably have a friend or family member that has battled the disease, or maybe you have personally been afflicted with the illness. Statistics now show that one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetimes. Despite all the money that has been poured into cancer research over the last half century, the death rates from cancer are about the same as they were in the 1950s. It seems like we are now no closer to a cure then we were when President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971.

Conventional thinking has taught us that cancer is a genetic disease, but closer examination of an old theory shows us that we may have been wrong all along. I recently finished reading a book (which was recommended by Ken Hutchins, the founder of our exercise protocol) called "Tripping over the Truth - How the Metabolic Theory of Cancer is Overturning One of Medicine's Most Entrenched Paradigms." The book was written by Travis Christofferson, who holds a Master's Degree in material engineering and science from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He is a full-time science writer and founder of Single Cause, Single Cure, a foundation that promotes the advancement of metabolic cancer treatment.

Conventional cancer treatment is a lucrative industry. According to the author "the cost for cancer drugs went from an average per treatment cost of about $5,000 before 2000 to $40,000 by 2005, and in 2012 almost every new drug was priced at more than $100,000 in the United States." This exponential increase in cost corresponds with a minimal improvement in the survival rate. Clearly, conventional therapies aren't working very well, so maybe it's time to think outside the box.

This book discusses such topics as how cancer became known as a genetic disease, the origins of chemotherapy (which goes back to World War II), breakthroughs and disappointments in research and drug therapy, and where we could be headed in the future. The commonly-accepted theory that cancer is genetically-driven is really much more recent than we probably realize. In 1924, a German scientist named Otto Warburg claimed that cancer was a metabolic, rather than a genetic disease. He observed that cancer cells generated energy through fermentation (the process where energy is extracted from glucose without oxygen), rather than using oxygen. While this was a significant finding, Warburg's theory was largely ignored, then mocked, and later discarded by the mainstream medical community. After the discovery of DNA in the 1950s by James Watson and Francis Crick, the focus of cancer research shifted to genetic causes of cancer, namely mutations to DNA.

After Warburg died in 1970, much of his work was largely forgotten. However, several researchers studied Warburg's findings and picked up where he left off, namely Thomas Seyfried, PhD, of Boston College, and Peter Pedersen, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University. Seyfried and Pedersen have theorized that "mutations to DNA, thought to precipitate and drive the disease, are really only a side effect&" Seyfried and Pedersen also believe that "damage to mitochondria (the power generators of the cell) happens first, the genomic instability, and then mutations to DNA." This is a major departure from the accepted viewpoint of the medical research establishment.

In regards to treatment, strong evidence suggests that a restrictive ketogenic diet (involving high fat, adequate protein and minimal carbohydrates) has been very effective in treating many forms of cancer. By minimizing sugars, the cancer cells are essentially starved of the fuel they need to survive and multiply. This can help to preserve and restore damaged mitochondria. Ketogenic diets have also been shown to be very effective in treating epilepsy, migraines, and other brain disorders. In conjunction with a ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting has been shown to be effective at reducing systemic inflammation, particularly when undergoing chemotherapy and radiation.

This book discusses strategies that are effective not only during cancer treatment, but also as preventative measures. With the current health care/insurance climate being what it is, anything that you can do to prevent being in the belly of that beast will pay huge dividends. The material discussed in this book is incredibly important and informative, and I urge everyone to give it a read.

Posted July 26, 2017 by Matthew Romans