Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Cause of Cancer is.....

one little cell who loses it's way and decides to run amok. That little cell then takes food and resources from good cells which then start to die. The bad little cell then takes over the dying good cells and starts to reproduce. Since the bad little cell has no regard for the cell rules of procreation or any sense of responsibility at all (enough is enough- time to stop- in the biology world it is called apoptosis.)they just keep going, and going, and going. When cells go rogue they have a programmed response for suicide. Cancer cells don't have this response. They are sociopathic little buggers. And each one of their offspring is even worse. And those cancer baby cells go off and create even more baby cells whose problems are even greater(more mutations) than it's grandparent generation. 

What makes these otherwise healthy cells turn into monsters you ask? What exactly causes this cell to lose it's way?  It depends. On A LOT of things. Sheryl Crow, a breast cancer survivor, recently weighed in on her beliefs. She reminded people not to leave bottled water in the car or sun because it causes the release of chemicals into the water.  There is an email that circulates periodically with this warning. A quick check on reveals what my gut instinct and 4 years of Biology and chemistry told me- this is not entirely true.  Sheryl Crow did mention not leaving bottled water in the sun because docs have actually been saying this. It makes sense, have you tasted bottled water that's been left out in the sun? It tastes like the bottle. I, as a rule, do not like to taste my water. I am a big fan of the cool, crisp, wet nothingness taste of the beverage that is water. But the claim is that heated water bottles release dioxins which on it's own just sounds bad. Dioxins are known carcinogens and includes a couple different chemical compound complicated biproducts and are formed from industrial manufacture and can also be found in....wait for it....cigarettes. It is also "organic"- but that I will have to leave for another discussion.  Now technically bottled water bottles(soda bottles, etc) are made from PET- and do not break down to release dioxins.  That is not to say that when left in the sun, chemicals are not released into the beverage.  But your body is programmed to get rid of chemicals. There are chemicals and chemical biproducts in everything. Your body manufactures, converts, stores all kinds of chemicals. You don't want to consume nasty chemicals that cause cancer, but common sense also has to prevail. Was it the bottles of water left in the hot car that caused Sheryl's cancer or was it the years of breathing smoke filled air while performing?  Hard to say, maybe she just had a rogue little cell that could and it did and couldn't stop. I mean have you seen the woman's body- obviously she takes care of it.  Sometimes you can do everything right and the cells go wrong. And sometimes someone can smoke and drink for 60 years and never once get cancer. SO what's a person to do?

If you are on the go, you can grab a bottled beverage. Water is a healthier option but ohhhh nooo- what if it travelled on a truck that wasn't cooled and the bottle broke down chemicals into it? You could go for soda- but really- what IS soda?  I mean technically it is "natural" in a literal sense but other than water and high fructose corn syrup...what do you recognize in the ingredient list? High Frustose Corn syrup has also recently been revealed and glucose's misfit brother. What about the Phosphoric acid? Yummy- it's what gives cola that syrupy, tangy quality as well as the ability to remove rust.... If you are worried about your sugar intake, you might choose a diet soda. Because the only thing better for your body than sugar is aspartame....mmmm some of the primary biproducts in your system are methanol and then another on of the further breakdown products is formaldehyde. Why not get a jumpstart on preserving your internal organs for the afterlife??? I LIKE soda. I know it's a chemical minefield. I don't drink it every day. That is the key. If you drink 6 sodas a day- your body is being exposed to all kinds of icky chemicals and byproducts it doesn't need.  Water, even in a bottle that may or may not have been on a heated truck/boat/plane will have less negative impact on your body. Moderation.

All these issues beg the question- what responsibility does the government have in regulating these products? Well with certain health care reforms, we may soon see. As seen in European countries- if taxpayer dollars get funnelled into healthcare, taxpayer representatives are going to get a say in what and how what goes into those taxpayers bodies.  I personally feel that people are responsible for what goes into their own bodies. Sure I believe in full disclosure on food items, and I try to choose healthier options. I am responsible for what goes into my body, not the government. I can make choices.   I already have one mutation in my cells that predisposes me to cancer. The average person could drink soda all the time, smoke some cigarettes and have a drink of alcohol a day before their cells might acquire what my cells already have going for them. Mutants. I am hoping that with more government "involvement" in healthcare we might see some more funding for research. Not just for cancer, but for so many of the conditions that affect quality of life moreso than quantity of life. Maybe they will find a cure for stupidity...oh but I digress. An ounce of prevention....

And sometimes, no matter how good a start you give them, whether you give them the best nutrition, keep them away from bad chemicals and too much sunshine- cells go bad.  As always, the best thing to do is live life the best you can. Embrace the good and hurdle the bad. Are you telling me that in all our quests to find portable, lower calorie, lower sugar foods so we can eat more of what we love with no nutritional benefit to our bodies...the result might be BAD? NO way.

Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)