Four Things You Need to Know About Cancer Stem Cells That Could Save Your Life
In 2004, a headline in Fortune magazine screamed, “Why Are We Losing The War Against Cancer?”
What made the question intriguing was that it was posed by Clifton Leaf, who 26 years before had himself defied cancer to survive advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma, after many rounds of chemotherapy and gamma ray radiation treatments. However, he saw his victory more as the exception - rather than the rule.
Only A Shallow Improvement in Death Rates ... Why?
Cancer death rates have decreased only marginally over the past 60 years. Those years have also seen billions of dollars invested in research that have turned cancer into a multi-trillion dollar industry. Ironically, most of the gains have come not from the treatments themselves, but from the early detection of cancers and habit modification, such as a society-wide reduction in the degree of smoking.
For people in the age range of 45-64, cancer claims more lives than heart disease, accidents and strokes combined. It also claims the lives of more children than any other disease. According to 2010 data from the National Cancer Institute, cancer is a close second to heart disease in the number of lives it claims every year in the United States, and is right on the verge of claiming top honors. Every year more than 1.5 million people in the United States are informed that they have cancer, and about a third of that number pass away from the disease, amounting to about 1,500 people - every day.
The major source of federal funds for cancer research in the United States is the National Cancer Institute that burns approximately $5 billion every year. This spending is dwarfed by the money spent by the pharmaceutical industry - approximately $50 billion every year. That is a lot of money for very few results. This begs the question: have we missed the forest for the trees?
All Evidence Points to One Main Culprit
Why has the cure of cancer been so elusive? All scientific evidence points to one culprit: the cancer stem cells. Using the "cut, poison and burn" techniques of surgery, chemo and radiation, it maybe possible to shrink tumors, but in most cases the cancer returns with a vengeance. Why does this happen? This recurrence of resistant forms of cancer are triggered by cancer stem cells.
Watch Dr. Edward Prochownik, MD, PhD, Director of Oncology Research, Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh for a lucid explanation of what these stem cells really are:
At the Beginning There Was A Seed … The Stem Cell
What are stem cells, really? Stem cells are the seeds from which life stems. The first stem cell is created when a sperm meets an egg. The resulting "zygote" is nothing but a stem cell that carries the information needed to create every cell in the body.
The stem cell not only divides, but it also differentiates, making different types of cells with specialized functions - such as blood cells, muscle cells, connective tissue cells, nerve cells etc. The body maintains a reserve of stem cells, that are used whenever a replenishment of different cell types are needed.
Unfortunately, cancer also has its stem cells, and these cancer stem cells have special properties that make cancer the menace that it continues to be today.
Here Are the Four Facts About Cancer Stem Cells Every Cancer Patient Needs to Know:
Knowledge is power, and even though combatting cancer stem cells is no easy feat, knowing these facts can help a cancer patient make good, solid decisions regarding their treatment choices:
1. Cancer Stem Cells Form Only A Miniscule Part of the Tumor, But Have All the Information They Need to Regrow Into A Tumor. In fact, it is estimated that less than one percent of the tumor is made of stem cells. The isolation of stem cells is extremely difficult as well, since they can easily morph into other forms of cancer cells in the process.
The problem is this: even a single, undetectable cancer stem cell has all the genetic information they need to regrow into tumors. They lie quietly hidden, in small numbers waiting for the time they are needed to trigger growth once again. A stem cell can divide infinitely and differentiate into daughter cancer cells that rebulk the tumor.
What Does This Mean To You: Just because you are seeing tumor shrinkage using conventional therapies, it doesn't mean that the problem is getting resolved. The stem cells still remain and are capable of regrowth. These cancer stem cells are not detectable by modern medical diagnostic tools including PET Scans, CT Scans, MRI etc. which could easily lend to the false interpretation that the cancer has vanished.
2. Cancer Stem Cells Can Powerfully Resist Conventional Treatments. This is a proven fact. Recent articles from leading universities published in top-ranked research journals such as Nature, Science and Stem Cells have established that stem cells are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy. In other words, while conventional treatments may kill the bulk of the cancer cells, the stem cells remain impervious to the assault and survive to live and multiply another day. Cancer also has an innate "intelligence", as it remembers and develops resistance pathways to treatments that may have been effective before.
What Does This Mean To You: Shrinkage of tumors often lulls patients into a false sense of security. If you have already had conventional treatments, it is imperative that you seek natural therapies that can help you prevent the recurrence of the tumors. The time for proactive action is NOW.
3. Radiation and Chemotherapy Can Reverse the Differentiation Process - Taking a Differentiated Cancer Cell Back To A Cancer Stem Cell. Even worse, these new cancer stem cells have been shown to lead to tumors that are multiple-fold more resistant to treatment compared to the initial tumor.
What Does This Mean To You: Using aggressive treatments may result in causing the proverbial leap "from frying pan to fire", putting you in a much worse position than where you started.
4. Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) Have Stem Cell Characteristics. How does metastasis happen? When cells break off from the main tumor and travel using the circulatory and lymphatic system, they can embed themselves in other areas of the body and start growing. These hard-to-detect traveling cells are known as circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Very hard to detect, these cells can elevate your cancer problem index from a 1 to a 10 within a matter of weeks or months. Not surprisingly, these CTCs have been shown to have stem cell like characteristics.
What Does This Mean To You: Conventional treatments do not have an answer to CTCs. Often we find surprised patients who come to us after discovering a re-emergence of their apparently healed cancer, often far away from the main tumor. Accounting for CTCs and the potential for future metastasis is a factor that you must keep in mind as you formulate make treatment decisions.
How Do Hope4Cancer's Natural Treatments Account For Cancer Stem Cells?
Unlike conventional methods, Hope4Cancer's natural methods target both bulk cancer cells and cancer stem cells from many dimensions. Here are some clear advantages:
1. Our Natural Cancer Treatments Impact Cancer Stem Cells Both Directly and Indirectly. Our clinical experience points to the vulnerability of all forms of cancer cells, including cancer stem cells to our cytolytic and cytostatic treatments e.g., Sono-Photo Dynamic Therapy, Hyperthermia, PolyMVA etc. The use of these treatments as part of the unified Seven Key Principles of Cancer Therapy ensures a holistic approach that takes into account factors such as rebuilding the immune system, oxygenation, nutrition, mental and spiritual integrity, detoxification and microbial elimination.
2. Our Natural Cancer Treatments Do Not Induce Resistance. There is no evidence that Hope4Cancer's natural cancer treatments such as Sono-Photo Dynamic Therapy induce any resistance in cancer cells. Clinically, we have never observed a cancer stop responding to a treatment that it has been responsive to in the past.You can continue natural cancer treatments long term with a minimal risk, if any, of a cancer backlash.
3. Our Natural Cancer Treatments Address Not Just the Cancer Cells, But the Entire Body's Environment that Favors Cancer Growth. The whole body-based treatment modalities are geared towards creating a cancer-unfavorable environment in the body. Even cancer stem cells require a favorable body chemistry to entrench themselves and start multiplying into a tumor. Whether your cancer is active or not, reversing the cancer-favoring environment of the body is an essential step towards healing or preventing recurrence.
4. Hope4Cancer Treatments Operate System-Wide Throughout the Body. As whole-body treatments, natural cancer treatments can act throughout the body, positively affecting areas of distant metastasis, that may not even be in the radar today. These methods can collectively prevent the establishment of CTCs into full-blown tumors.
What Does This Mean To You: While the uncertainty may never completely go away, natural treatments give you the best possible option to reverse the cancer growth trend in the body.
5. Our Treatments Offer the Opportunity for A Better Quality of Life. Conventional treatments turn the body into a war zone between them and cancer. Cancer loves the fight, and grows and adapts in that environment of strife. The correct way to heal cancer is to bring a sense of peace and equilibrium back to the body, mind and spirit. Only natural cancer treatments can accomplish that feat. As a "side effect" of this process, you will be able to go through gentler treatment protocols that disrupt your everyday life only minimally, leading to an improving quality of life as you stay consistent with your treatment protocol.
Read Hodgkin's Disease survivor, Clifton Leaf's article published in the Fortune magazine to gain a great perspective on the state of conventional cancer treatments:
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