December 10th Talk on Cancer its initiation & spreadgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Economic Round Table of San Francisco : One Thread
Cancer is a very frequent disease in the USA. Over half a million Americans die of it every year, and 1/2 of all men and 1/3 of all women will get cancer some time in their lives. Simple measures such as 1) limiting smoking and drinking, 2) avoiding meat based and fatty foods, 3) eating plant based foods, and 4) simple screening and self examinations could prevent two thirds of these deaths. Normal cell behavior is controlled by the cell's internal genetic program and by signals from the environment and from sensors within the cell. Genetic instability can lead to selectio of cells that grow more quickly and/or die more slowly. Eventually, further genetic selection allows cells to move to places they don't belong. Uncontrolled growth is controlled by particular kinds of genes. Oncogenes increase cell growth, and tumor suppressor genes inhibit cell growth. Cancer growy by increasing oncogene function or by decreasing tumor supressor function. Thus, cancer cells adapt normal cellular pathways to inappropriately grow and metastasize. Only by understanding these pathways, will we be able to fully control this disease.
-- Burt Feuerstein (Feuer@cc.ucsf.edu), December 12, 1997