The Truth About Cancer’s mission is to inform, educate, and eradicate the pandemic of cancer in our modern world. Every single day, tens of thousands of people just like you are curing cancer (and/or preventing it) from destroying their bodies.
Cancer: What you need to know
Cancer is a class of diseases characterized by out-of-control cell growth. There are over 100 different types of cancer, and each is classified by the type of cell that is initially affected.
Cancer harms the body when altered cells divide uncontrollably to form lumps or masses of tissue called tumors (except in the case of leukemia where cancer prohibits normal blood function by abnormal cell division in the blood stream). Tumors can grow and interfere with the digestive, nervous, and circulatory systems, and they can release hormones that alter body function. Tumors that stay in one spot and demonstrate limited growth are generally considered to be benign.
More dangerous, or malignant, tumors form when two things occur:
- a cancerous cell manages to move throughout the body using the blood or lymphatic systems, destroying healthy tissue in a process called invasion
- that cell manages to divide and grow, making new blood vessels to feed itself in a process called angiogenesis.
When a tumor successfully spreads to other parts of the body and grows, invading and destroying other healthy tissues, it is said to have metastasized. This process itself is called metastasis, and the result is a serious condition that is very difficult to treat.
According to the American Cancer Society, Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US and accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths. The World Health Organisation estimates that, worldwide, there were 14 million new cancer cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012 (their most recent data).
Individual types of cancer
There are said to be over 200 different types of cancer. We have the following common cancer types covered in individual Knowledge Center articles:
Latest cancer research
We are a leading publisher of worldwide cancer news and research. You can find all our latest news in our cancer news section
The rest of this article will focus on what cancer is, what causes cancer, the symptoms, diagnosis and available treatments.
Fast facts on cancer
Here are some key points about cancer. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
- More than 575,000 people die of cancer, and more than 1.5 million people are diagnosed with cancer per year in the US.
- Cancer is considered to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.
- The financial costs of cancer in the US per year are an estimated $263.8 billion in medical costs and lost productivity.
- African Americans are more likely to die of cancer than people of any other race or ethnicity.
- It is believed that cancer risk can be reduced by avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol intake, limiting UV ray exposure from the sun and tanning beds and maintaining a healthy diet, level of fitness and seeking regular medical care.
- Screening can locate cervical cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer at an early, treatable stage.
- Vaccines such as the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine assists in preventing some cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and oral cancers. A vaccine for hepatitis B can reduce liver cancer risk.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the numbers of new cancer cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next 20 years.
- The most common sites of cancer among men are lung, prostate, colon, rectum, stomach and liver.
- The most common sites of cancer among women are breast, colon, rectum, lung, cervix and stomach.
How cancer spreads
Scientists reported in Nature Communications(October 2012 issue) that they have discovered an important clue as to why cancer cells spread. It has something to do with their adhesion (stickiness) properties. Certain molecular interactions between cells and the scaffolding that holds them in place (extracellular matrix) cause them to become unstuck at the original tumor site, they become dislodged, move on and then reattach themselves at a new site.
The researchers say this discovery is important because cancer mortality is mainly due to metastatic tumors, those that grow from cells that have traveled from their original site to another part of the body. These are called secondary tumors. Only 10% of cancer deaths are caused by the primary tumors.
The scientists, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, say that finding a way to stop cancer cells from sticking to new sites could interfere with metastatic disease, and halt the growth of secondary tumors.
Malignant cells are more agile than non-malignant ones
Scientists from the Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers, USA, reported in the journal Scientific Reports (April 2013 issue) that malignant cells are much “nimbler” than non-malignant ones. Malignant cells can pass more easily through smaller gaps, as well as applying a much greater force on their environment compared to other cells.
Professor Robert Austin and team created a new catalogue of the physical and chemical features of cancerous cells with over 100 scientists from 20 different centers across the United States.
The authors believe their catalogue will help oncologists detect cancerous cells in patients early on, thus preventing the spread of the disease to other parts of the body.
Prof. Austin said "By bringing together different types of experimental expertise to systematically compare metastatic and non-metastatic cells, we have advanced our knowledge of how metastasis occurs."
Causes of cancer
Cancer is ultimately the result of cells that uncontrollably grow and do not die. Normal cells in the body follow an orderly path of growth, division, and death. Programmed cell death is called apoptosis, and when this process breaks down, cancer begins to form. Unlike regular cells, cancer cells do not experience programmatic death and instead continue to grow and divide. This leads to a mass of abnormal cells that grows out of control.
Cancer and other medical factors
As we age, there is an increase in the number of possible cancer-causing mutations in our DNA. This makes age an important risk factor for cancer. Several viruses have also been linked to cancer such as: human papillomavirus (a cause of cervical cancer), hepatitis B and C (causes of liver cancer), and Epstein-Barr virus (a cause of some childhood cancers). Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – and anything else that suppresses or weakens the immune system – inhibits the body's ability to fight infections and increases the chance of developing cancer.
It’s time to take matters into your own hands and educate yourself on real cancer prevention and treatments. It could save your life or the life of someone you love.
You’ll discover the most effective ways to prevent and beat cancer — from 131 of the world’s top experts — that you won't hear about elsewhere.
Absinth Artemisinin wormwood For Cancer
The herb used by itself reduces lung cancer cells up to 28%, but in combination with iron, “Artemisia Annua” successfully and completely “erases” cancer, and in the experiment this herb had no impact on healthy lung cells.Artemisinin in past was used as a powerful antimalarial remedy, but now it is proven that this cure is also effective in the fight against cancer.When scientists added iron while conducting the study, which later attached to lung tissue, especially to cancer infected cells, artemisinine selectively attacked “bad” cells, and left “good” cells untouched.
“In general, our results show that artemisinin stops ‘E2F1′ transcription factor and intervenes in destruction of lung cancer cells, meaning it presents a transcription way according to which artemisinin controls reproductive cancer cell growth”, was stated in the conclusion of the researches conducted in the cancer laboratory at the University of California.
Iron deposits in cancer cells with special receptors which help in cell division. Normal cells also have these receptors, but cancer cells can be targeted by the combination of iron and artemisinin.
There are numerous experiments conducted so far and they all prove that in combination with iron, artemisinin can effectively destroy cancer, and this extract was used in China for thousands of years, as a cure for malaria.
Malaria parasite can not survive in the presence of artemisinine, because it is rich in iron, and bio-engineers Henry Lai and Narendra Singh from the University of Washington were the first scientists to discover this.
Their research proved that cancer cells undergo an apoptosis, or self-destruction, and until this moment it was difficult to get the extract for more acceptable prices, but people show more and more interest in this herb, so the prices could get lower.
French medicine producer, “Sanofi”, announced that they expect production of 50 to 60 tons artemisinin every year, hoping that it will satisfy the needs of the world market.
A little known Chinese herb might be eligible for the growing list of cancer killers via alternative methods of treatment. According to studies published in Life Sciences, Cancer Letters and Anticancer Drugs, artemesinin, a derivative of the wormwood plant commonly used in Chinese medicine, can kill off cancer cells, and do it at a rate of 12,000 cancer cells for every healthy cell.
Henry Lai and his team of researchers from the University of Washington synthesized the compound, which uses a cancer cells appetite for iron to make them the target. The great thing about artemisinin is that alone it can selectively kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.
“By itself, artemisinin is about 100 times more selective in killing cancer cells as opposed to normal cells. Artemisinin is 34,000 times more potent in killing the cancer cells as opposed to their normal cousins. So the tagging process appears to have greatly increased the potency of artemisinin’s cancer-killing properties.” – Henry Lai
Despite the compound being licensed to Holley Pharmaceuticals, it has yet to be used for cancer treatment in humans.
“We call it a Trojan horse because the cancer cell recognizes transferrin as a natural, harmless protein. So the cell picks up the compound without knowing that a bomb (artemisinin) is hidden inside.” – Henry Lai
The wormwood extract was used many centuries ago in China for healing purposes. The treatment became lost over time and has now been rediscovered thanks to an ancient manuscript containing medical remedies. It kills 12,000 cancer cells for every healthy cell, which means it could be turned into a drug with minimal side effects.
“The compound is currently being licensed by the University of Washington to Artemisia Biomedical Inc., a company that Lai, Sasaki and Narendra Singh, UW associate professor of bioengineering, founded in Newcastle, Washington for development and commercialization. Human trials are at least several years away. Artemisinin is readily available, Sasaki said, and he hopes their compound can eventually be cheaply manufactured to help cancer patients in developing countries.”
The abstracts read:
“Artemisinin reacts with iron to form free radicals that kill cells. Since cancer cells uptake relatively larger amounts of iron than normal cells, they are more susceptible to the toxic effect of artemisinin. In previous research, we have shown that artemisinin is more drawn to cancer cells than to normal cells. In the present research, we covalently attached artemisinin to the iron-carying plasma glycoprotein transferrin.Transferrin is transported into the cells via receptor-mediated endocytosis and cancer cells express significantly more transferrin receptors on their cell surface and endocytose more transferrin than normal cells. Thus, we hypothesize that by tagging artemisinin to transferrin, both iron and artemisinin would be transported into cancer cells in one package. Once inside a cell, iron is released and can readily react with artemisinin close by tagged to the transferrin. This would enhance the toxicity and selectivity of artemisinin towards cancer cells. We found that holotransferrin-tagged artemisinin, when compared with artemisinin, was very potent and selective in killing cancer cells. Thus, this ‘tagged-compound’ could potentially be developed into an effective chemotherapeutic agent for cancer treatment.”
Another abstract reads:
“Our results demonstrate that the artemisinin disruption of E2F1 transcription factor expression mediates the cell cycle arrest of human breast cancer cells and represents a critical transcriptional pathway by which artemisinin controls human reproductive cancer cell growth.”
Artemisinin is currently FDA approved for the treatment of malaria, it’s very safe and easy to use. It’s inexpensive and works on all cancers but has yet to find it’s way into the mainstream. It’s really time to move beyond just radiation, surgery and chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
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