Fascia and Cancer

FASCIA is the tough, elastic sheath / membrane that surrounds muscles as well as bones, nerves, blood vessels, and organs.  Not only is it the most abundant connective tissue in the body, but more recently, a number of amazing properties have helped it jettison it’s role as anatomy’s proverbial red-headed stepchild.  THIS POST describes countless reasons why fascia continues to shed its Clark Kent image, while taking on a Superman-like persona.  But even Superman has his Kryptonite, which in fascia’s case is inflammation.

We’ve all seen the stickers on the rear windows of cars or pickups saying Cancer Sucks.  Well; it does.  It literally sucks the life right out of people.   One of the biggest problems I see, however, is that few people understand how big a deal INFLAMMATION really is in relationship to our nation’s leading cause of death.  Many people realize that inflammation can affect fascia, but there are not nearly as many that can tell you that CANCER is itself an inflammatory problem (this means that it is caused by, and fed by inflammation).  The craziest part of this whole scenario — the monkey wrench in the gears — is that inflammation also happens to be an important part of your immune system, with a certain amount needed to actually attack and combat CELLULAR MUTATION (the example that comes immediately to mind is TNF or Tumor Necrosis Factor — necrosis being a medical word for death).

Cancer is the collective name of a group of diseases, many of which share little in common other than two distinct characteristics — they all have abnormal cell division (the body loses it’s ability to stop tissue growth) and they all have the ability to metastasize (mutated cells can travel and implant in distant parts of the body, continuing their abnormal growth from multiple locations).  The end result is that the Cancer consumes all of your body’s energy, nutrition, and metabolic factors.  As the process gains steam, I don’t need to tell you what happens next.

One of the unique characteristics of fascia is its microscopic structure.  I like to tell people that fascia is like WELL-COMBED HAIR, with a TUBES-WITHIN-TUBES structure.  But honestly, I would not be doing fascia justice without discussing how its structure relates to its function via a property known as TENSEGRITY.   Take, for instance, a scientific paper on Dr. Grahm Scarr’s site (Biotensegrity: Tensegrity in Biology) called Fascial Hierarchies and the Relevance of Crossed-Helical Arrangements of Collagen to Changes in the Shape of Muscles, and published in a 2016 issue of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.

“The importance of the fascia to normal function has been recognized by ‘hands-on’ practitioners for more than a century but it is only recently that it has emerged as a significant contributor to mainstream orthopedic knowledge. Once dismissed as a packing tissue of little consequence, the fascia is now recognized as a continuous interconnected network that permeates and envelops almost every part of the body.  Muscles are composite structures consisting of contractile myofibres surrounded by complex hierarchies of collagen-reinforced fascial sheaths. They are essentially flexible cylinders that change in shape, with the particular alignment of collagen fibers within their myofascial walls reflecting the most efficient distribution of mechanical stresses and coordinating these changes. Helixes spontaneously appear in self-organizing systems as the most efficient way of organizing components of similar size on the surface of a cylinder or tube. They are a common motif in protein construction because they provide an energy-efficient solution to molecular close-packing and form a structural model for coiled winding at multiple size scales throughout the body and in a diverse group of organisms. The formation of a helix is based on simple geometric principles and its persistence is ensured because it is one of the most stable of structural configurations. It is thus not surprising that a system of crossed-helical tubes should predominate in compliant biological tissues because this is one of the most efficient ways of optimizing mechanical stresses within their walls. The myofascia, as a fibrous specialization of fascial / ECM tissues that surround and interpenetrate muscles is then a complex hierarchy of helically-reinforced tubes contained within larger tubes; and continuous with higher-level fascial tubes that surround groups of muscles, the limbs and entire body. Bundles of collagen fibres within the perimysium and epimysium form crossed-helical configurations that balance longitudinal and circumferential stresses and coordinate changes in muscle shape during contraction and extension, and should thus be considered as an essential part of muscle function.”

As you can imagine, fouling the fascia with inflammation causes so many problems it will make your head swim.  Firstly, inflammation is the cause of problems in the ECM or Extra Cellular Matrix, of which, are said to be the top cause of FIBROSIS in the United States.  The family of fibrotic diseases (yes, cancer is on the list) doubles as the leading cause of national mortality as well. Furthermore, when fascia becomes inflamed, it becomes dense — the actual word is DENSIFIED / DENSIFICATION (remember this principle because you are going to see it several times).  This thickening, which can happen to any connective tissues (i.e. LIGAMENTS, TENDON, etc) is problematic because among other things, it severely affects PROPRIOCEPTION.  Affect proprioception and because fascia is a ubiquitous tissue (it’s everywhere), you adversely affect all physiology.   This is why certain people have said that inflamed, mechanically altered fascia is at the root of all sickness and disease; cancer included (HERE).  Enter Helene Langevin.

By any criteria, Dr. Langevin is brilliant.  After getting her medical degree in 1978, she did a post-doctoral fellowship in neurochemistry at Cambridge.  Her residency in Internal Medicine was at Johns Hopkins, and her fellowship in Endocrinology at the same.  And not only is she a professor at Harvard (Medicine), she is a professor at University of Vermont as well (Neurology, Orthopedics and Rehabilitation).  For the record, neurology and endocrinology are the two most difficult and complicated specialties in medicine.  Oh; I almost forgot to mention that she is also the Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital of Boston. And on top of everything else, since the early 1980’s she has been a leading researcher in the acupuncture field as well.  Listen to these cherry-picked portions of the highlights of the transcript of an interview she gave to Brooke Thomas on her Liberated Body site (Connective Tissue and Inflammation with Helene Langevin: Fascia, Cancer, Chronic Pain).

“The connective tissue is really the home of the immune system.  Cancer is not just a collection of tumor cells growing out of control. They need a base and that base is the connective tissue — the stroma. The cancer takes the connective tissue hostage.  Dr. Patricia Keely at The University of Wisconsin has studied cancer’s likelihood to spread along places where the connective tissue matrix forms these railroads [channels of fascia].”

Of course, this makes me want to learn more about Dr. Keely.  Dr. Keely was unique in her field (I say “was” — she died of breast cancer back in June) because her battle with cancer was not just in the lab, it was personal.  She contracted Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at 21, defeating it, but later developing esophageal cancer, and finally succumbing after a decade-long battle (she was 54 and a professor of Translational Research as well as the founder of University of Wisconsin’s Keely Lab, the purpose of which is to study cellular physiology as related to both the ECM and metastatic cancer).  In plain English, she studied the effects of breast density as related to cancer progression.  An interview she gave to Anita Clark almost a decade ago for Madison dot com (Cancer Personal for UW Scientist: Patricia Keely is Fighting Cancer on Two Fronts) stated…..

“Her research team found a causal link between dense breast tissue and cancerous tumor formation. Mice with dense breast tissue have a three-fold increase in breast tumors, and their tumors spread to their lungs more quickly.  Her research suggests that collagen, a protein in dense breast tissue, serves as a pathway for the cancer to crawl out toward the bloodstream. And they believe the alignment of the collagen fibers shows this progression at an early stage.”

What’s fascinating in this line of thought is that cancer in muscle itself is not common as reinforced by an article on Muscles and Joints dot com, revealing that “A tumor growth in the skeletal muscles is a rare condition… There are only a few of the malignant tumors (muscle cancer) annually with less than one such case per one million inhabitants.”  But this “densification” thing is big — particularly in connective tissues, and particularly when it comes to cancers in the connective tissues / stroma.  Once again, Dr. Keely tells us just how big on the University of Wisconsin website. 

“Appropriate cellular interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) help to establish normal cellular architecture and differentiation. During oncogenic transformation, these normal interactions with the ECM are profoundly altered, resulting in cells that lose their polarization and differentiation, lose anchorage dependent growth control, and acquire a migratory, invasive phenotype. Patients with “dense” breast tissue have a four to six-fold increased risk of developing breast carcinomas, making it one of the greatest risk factors for carcinoma. Increased breast density is associated with a significant increase in the deposition of connective tissue, or extracellular matrix (ECM) components, most notably the protein, collagen.”

The aspect of her statement that caught my eye was her mention of “loss of cellular polarization“.  Why?  Because if you’ve ever read Becker’s amazing Body Electric, you already have some idea of the astounding effects of electricity and polarity both in and on biological systems.

CANCER, FASCIA, AND CELLULAR POLARITY

“Loss of cell–cell adhesion and cell polarity is commonly observed in advanced tumors and correlates well with their invasion into adjacent tissues and the formation of metastases. Growing evidence indicates that loss of cell–cell adhesion and cell polarity may also be important in early stages of cancer.”From a 2007 issue of Nature Cell Biology (Cell Polarity in Development and Cancer)

“The correct establishment and maintenance of cell polarity are crucial for normal cell physiology and tissue homeostasis. Conversely, loss of cell polarity, tissue disorganization and excessive cell growth are hallmarks of cancer.”  From a 2011 issue of Cell Death & Differentiation (Epithelial Cell Polarity: A Major Gatekeeper Against Cancer?)

“Whereas the importance of cell proliferation in cancer is well recognized, the role cell polarity plays is only beginning to be appreciated. If cell proliferation and death are analogous to acceleration and brakes in a car, and metabolism is analogous to fuel, cell polarity can be compared with the steering wheel, which controls direction and maintains spatial relationships in traffic. Improper steering can result in significant damage even to a non-speeding car, and conversely, proper steering can prevent damage to a speeding car. similarly, we posit that loss of control over cell polarity can disrupt normal cell behavior and lead to initiation and progression of cancer.”  From a 2012 issue of the Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology (Cell Polarity As A Regulator of Cancer Cell Behavior Plasticity)

“Epithelial cells possess a distinctive apical–basal polarity and loss of polarity is frequently assumed to be a common feature of cancer progression.  A widely accepted paradigm for cancer progression is that epithelial cells undergo a transition, during which they lose apical / basal polarity and become highly migratory. [These cells] penetrate the basement membrane, cross the endothelium and enter the lymphatic system or bloodstream through which they are rapidly disseminated. At ectopic sites in the body, the cells colonize surrounding tissue to form metastases.”  From a 2013 issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Cell Polarity in Morphogenesis and Metastasis)

“Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related death in women worldwide. The developing mammary gland is a highly proliferative and invasive tissue, and some of the developmental programs may be aberrantly activated to promote breast cancer progression. In the breast, luminal epithelial cells exhibit apical–basal polarity, and the failure to maintain this organizational structure, due to disruption of polarity complexes, is implicated in promoting hyperplasia and tumors.”  From the June 2016 edition of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry (Cell Polarity Proteins in Breast Cancer Progression)

Best guess is that after looking at the quotes above, you get the point —- cancer is intimately related to a loss of polarity in certain kinds of cells — abnormal electrical charge if you will.  When you think of polarity, think of magnets.  The positive sides will repel each other, as will the negative sides.  But the positive side of one magnet is attracted to the negative side of another.  Every cell and fluid in your body is charged.  And because these charges are intimately related to ions (THINK HYDROGEN IONS HERE — H+), the more positively charged a cell or tissue is, the more likely it is to be acidic (see link).  Likewise, the hydroxyl ion (OH-) is the opposite, and carries a negative charge.

This helps explain why we should have a slightly negative overall polarity.  If you really want to understand this whole relationship better, read Dr. Sircus’ cool article from last December, ELECTROMAGNETIC PROPERTIES OF CANCER.  Just remember that none of what you are reading today is ‘way out there’ or confined to alternative medicine.  It’s mainstream.  In fact, DR. OTTO WARBURG won the Nobel Prize for Medicine back in 1931 for his pioneering work on this topic — a topic that’s getting increasingly wider play with every passing day (HERE).  Now lets move on to the relationship of the fascia system to the lymphatic system. 

FASCIA, CANCER, AND YOUR LYMPHATICS

What the heck is the lymphatic system?   While everyone is very familiar with the part of your circulatory system that deals with blood (arteries, veins, and a pump — your heart), few people know much about the lymphatic system.  Although the two systems are similar, instead of moving fluid and blood cells around your body, the lymphatic system moves something called lymph.  Lymph is a clear fluid that is made up of the liquid that leaks from our blood vessels (blood vessels are porous so that various molecules — oxygen, nutrition, metabolites, etc, can be transported to where they are needed).  Be aware that when this system becomes “plugged” or stagnant, the results are problematic, sometimes causing something known as LYMPHEDEMA.  

Our body is under a constant invasion from every sort of microbe you can imagine.  A failure to properly deal with these invaders by our immune system (80% OF WHICH LIVES IN THE GUT) would mean a quick death.  The lymph system carries germs or other things that should not be there to the lymph nodes (larger nodules of lymphatic tissue), where they are filtered out.  Because B-Cells (white blood cells that make antibodies) and T-CELLS (white blood cells that either eat the bad guys or throttle back on immune response to lessen one’s chances of developing AUTOIMMUNITY) live in these nodes, said invaders are recognized,  marked for destruction, and wiped out. 

For reasons that are not totally clear, once cancer makes it as far as the lymph nodes, it actually has a better chance of survival, which is why finding cancer in lymph nodes is not a good thing.  Instead of activating the immune system against cancer like would happen in the presence of germs, cancer in the lymphatics suppresses the immune system.  Listen to the first two sentences of Lymphatic Vessels in Cancer Metastasis: Bridging the Gaps, from a 2006 issue of Oxford Academic’s Carcinogenesis.

“Distant organ metastasis is the most important factor in determining patient survival in cancer. This is thought to occur via the body’s own systems for transporting fluid and cells, the blood vascular and lymphatic systems. Cancer cells may exploit these vascular systems by expressing growth factors, which alter the normal pattern of angiogenesis and lymphatic vessel growth (lymphangiogenesis), thus creating conduits for tumour metastasis.” 

In a paper presented to 7th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back a Pelvic Pain, Australian massage therapist Peter Lelean (Migratory Fascia – A Role In Ductal Carcinoma In Situ?) wrote, “Treatment of shoulder pain in women revealed common pelvic misalignments and anomalies in upper thoracic myofascia, where distorted strain patterns may inhibit lymphatic function, therefore becoming a risk factor in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ.”  After talking about the part of the latisimus dorsi not associated with the THORACOLUMBAR FASCIA, he invoked TRAVELL & SIMMONS, quoting them as saying clear back in 1983, “Entrapment of this lymph duct by passage between tense fibers of an involved pectoralis major muscle, may cause edema of the breast.  This seems to coincide with the reportedly higher proliferation of ductal accretions in the upper outer quadrant.” 

Osteopath Steve Matta expounded on this when he said in last year’s Lymphatics, “The lymphatic channels course through fascia.  Fascia can sometimes be nice and loose or it can be super tight.  If all goes well, the lymph is able to move through lymphatic channels without any problems and we can properly fight infections. Let’s think about this for a second…if the lymphatic channels are located in the fascia and the fascia can tighten up, what do you think happens to the flow of lymph when the fascia is tight? That’s right, it slows down.”  So, beyond things like lymphedema, other problems can occur.  Sometimes bad problems.

Something like seven and a half gallons of lymph (interstitial fluid) courses through the lymphatic system each day.  A failure to move this fluid means you increase the amount of cellular waste in the body, which causes inflammation, which then EPIGENETICALLY turns on the genes said to cause cancer.  In an article called Fascia, Muscles, and the Lymph System, renowned fascia therapist Victoria L. Magown wrote, “Fascia plays an important role with our Lymph System.  The majority of our Lymph System lives in the Superficial Fascia right under the skin. The Fascia and Muscles need to be flexible, supple and strong to move the lymph through the lymphatic vessels.  This is done by the Fascia and Muscles contracting which constricts the lymphatic vessels and pushes the lymph fluid forward. Check valves prevent the fluid from flowing backward.  Since the lymphatic system does not have a heart to pump it, its upward movement depends on the motions of the Fascia, Muscles and pumping joints.”  The thing is folks, it’s not like I haven’t shown you all of this previously (SEE MY ARTICLE ON THE PRIMO-LYMPHATIC SYSTEM).

MORE ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FASCIA & CANCER COULD FIXING YOUR FASCIA HELP WITH CANCER?

“The present study has been designed to find a possible new route for the metastasis of cancer cells on the fascia surrounding tumor tissue using a novel technique of trypan blue staining.   Since Bonghan ducts are known to make up a circulatory system corresponding to acupuncture meridians or collaterals, we propose that, in addition to the currently known blood or lymph vessels, Bonghan ducts on tumor tissue fascia may be a novel pathway for metastasis.” From a 2009 issue of the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies (Bonghan Ducts as Possible Pathways for Cancer Metastasis) The question we now have to ask is whether there is evidence that fascia might be playing a bigger role in disease processes (namely cancer) than we ever dreamed?   I would argue from the best available research that the answer is a resounding “yes”.  For instance, according to a popular online encyclopedia, the stroma (which is the opposite of the parenchyma)  is “the part of a tissue or organ that has a connective and structural role, and consists of all the parts which do not carry out the specific functions of the organ, for example, connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves, ducts, etc. Stromal tissue falls into the functional class that contributes to the body’s support and movement. The cells which make up stroma tissues serve as a matrix in which the other cells are embedded.”   Now listen to what one of last year’s issues of Stem Cells (Fascia Origin of Adipose Cells) had to say — a big deal in light of the fact that adipose tissue [body fat] acts as a second endocrine organ (HERE).

“Adipocytes might arise from vascular stromal cells. Here, we identified adipose precursor cells resident in fascia, an uninterrupted sheet of connective tissue that extends throughout the body.  Our findings suggest a novel model for the origin of adipocytes from the fascia, which explains both neogenesis and expansion of adipose tissue. Fascial preadipocytes generate adipose cells to form primitive adipose lobules in superficial fascia, a subcutaneous nonadipose tissue. With continuous adipogenesis, these primitive adipose lobules newly formed in superficial fascia may be the rudiment of subcutaneous adipose tissue.”

There are any number of studies linking this all together.  Two years ago the journal Trends in Biotechnology (Biomechanical and Biochemical Remodeling of Stromal Extracellular Matrix in Cancer) concluded that, “During cancer progression, epithelial cells undergo genetic alterations which, together with stromal changes including ECM remodeling, disturb the homeostatic dynamics of the epithelium. A parallel organization of stromal ECM fibrils is associated with tumorigenic responses. In an emerging paradigm, continuous and progressive regulation via mechanical forces and aberrant signaling are believed to be responsible for tumor-associated ECM remodeling.” 

A year prior, Research Gate (Tumor Mechanics and Metabolic Dysfunction) said, “Desmosplasia is a characteristic of most solid tumors and leads to fibrosis through abnormal extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition and remodeling. The resulting stiff tumor stroma not only compromises vascular integrity to induce hypoxia, but also promotes aggressiveness by potentiating the activity of key growth, invasion, and survival pathways. Intriguingly, many of the pro-tumorigenic signaling pathways which are mechanically activated by ECM stiffness also promote glucose uptake and aerobic glycolysis, and an altered metabolism is a recognized hallmark of cancer. Indeed, emerging evidence suggests that metabolic alterations and an abnormal ECM may cooperatively drive cancer cell aggression and treatment resistance.”  Can anyone say Otto Warburg?

On his website ‘The Fascianator,’ Anthony Chrisco overviewed the first ever Harvard Medical School Joint Conference on Fascia, Cancer and Acupuncture, saying “It is in these pockets of stiffness that the cancer cells grow and proliferate. The end result is the growth of cancerous tumors in the body. Specifically in areas like our pelvis and thorax.  I also learned how consistent rolling, yoga, massage and any other form of movement helps our lymphatic system shuttle our cellular waste so  can be filtered out and eliminated.”  Last year, a large group of elite fascia researchers led by Langevin, Keely, Schleip, Findley, and others, published a similar study called Connecting (T)issues: How Research in Fascia Biology Can Impact Integrative Oncology in the journal Cancer Research.  Take a gander at some of their cherry-picked conclusions.

“Recent advances in cancer biology are underscoring the importance of connective tissue in the local tumor environment. Inflammation and fibrosis are well-recognized contributors to cancer, and connective tissue stiffness is emerging as a driving factor in tumor growth. Physical-based therapies have been shown to reduce connective tissue inflammation and fibrosis and thus may have direct beneficial effects on cancer spreading and metastasis.  Pathologic processes involving chronic inflammation and tissue fibrosis result in stiff connective tissue; this is likely a bidirectional feedback, as emerging evidence points to tissue stiffness itself being a contributor to the fibrotic process. In addition, there is evidence that these factors are important in cancer biology as well. Although the importance of connective tissue or stroma in cancer was first hypothesized over a century ago, cancer research has predominantly focused on the neoplastic transformation of the cancer cells themselves. However, the last decades have seen a growing interest in the factors within the “soil” that may influence cancer growth, such as angiogenesis and inflammation. Indeed there is increasing evidence that inflammation and metabolic abnormalities within the cancer microenvironment are not simply a passive reaction to cancer cells, but can also drive neoplastic transformation.  Complementary and integrative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, and yoga, are used by increasing numbers of cancer patients to manage symptoms and improve their quality of life. In addition, such treatments may have other important and currently overlooked benefits by reducing tissue stiffness and improving mobility.”

Why is all of this such a big deal?  Think about it this way; not only are we collectively living the high carb lifestyle (HERE —- REMEMBER THAT SUGAR IS MASSIVELY INFLAMMATORY), which leads to serious tissue densification (a breeding ground for cancer), but medicine’s standard cancer therapies (namely chemo and radiation) have devastating effects on connective tissues.  I have seen time and time again in my patients that have undergone these treatments that the results leave surrounding tissues hard, tough, thick, and a great deal of the time, generally immobile. Forget for a moment that this causes pain, while realizing it contributes to the vicious cycle of inflammation and cancer.  Repeat. Repeat.  Repeat.

For those of you interested in this topic, you could take one of Thomas Findley’s (MD / Ph.D / Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at Rutgers University) classes on DRY NEEDLING.  Or if you want to deal with PATIENTS LIKE THESE, you could take courses from Walter Fritz, a renowned PT from New York who wrote the article, Myofascial Release in the Head and Neck Cancer Patient.  As long as the fascia has been dealt with first (HERE), CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS are an incredible neurological and immuno-friendly form of treatment as well.  You could even try Polarity Therapy, which was developed just after WWII by Dr. Randolph Stone, an Austrian / American DO, Chiro, and Naturopath.  Plus, many people are attacking the ACID (H+) / AKLALI (OH-) conundrum by consuming special kinds of water or alkali foods.

What do I personally recommend to keep your fascia supple, hydrated, and mobile, whether you are fighting cancer, trying to stay cancer-free, or simply looking to stay healthy and pain free?  For starters, drink plenty of water (not fluids; water).  Secondly, there are a wide variety of self-helps available for working on your own fascia (HERE for instance).  Thirdly, pumping your lymphatics may require you to climb on the kid’s TRAMPOLINE or maybe use a WHOLE BODY VIBRATION MACHINE. RESISTANCE TRAINING has also shown itself valuable. 

And although this list is in no ways complete, there’s no substitute for knocking out inflammation at its source (HERE) — which will require you to eat some sort of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET.  There is also lots of information out there on treatments like CUPPING being used to pump the lymphatics.  And would be easy to argue that nothing is more important that stretching (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE).  In fact, listen to what a group of ten Harvard researchers, including Dr. Langevin, concluded in a study published in the July 2016 issue of the Journal of Cell Physiology (Stretching Impacts Inflammation Resolution in Connective Tissue).

“It is now well established that acute inflammation is accompanied by an active program of resolution that begins in the first few hours after the onset of inflammation and involves the synthesis of specialized pro-resolving mediators derived from dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids [FISH OIL].  We developed a method by which rats and mice spontaneously stretch their whole body when they are partially lifted by the tail and allowed to grasp the edge of a surface with their front paws. When held in this position, the animals spontaneously extend both front and hind-limbs, which increases the distance between shoulders and hips by 25%. This increase in shoulder-to-hip distance stretches the thoracolumbar fascia, which connects the shoulders and pelvis, and creates a shear plane deformation between its most superficial layer (aponeurosis of latissimus dorsi) and the subcutaneous tissues of the back.  The results of this study show that stretching decreases inflammation, and the similar effects of active and passive stretching suggest a mechanical effect on the tissues.  Connective tissue, or stroma, is increasingly recognized as an important player in both the transition from acute to chronic inflammation, as well as the resolution of acute inflammation, either through direct contact with immune cells or by inducing changes in cytokine profiles in the tissue. The influence of mechanical forces within connective tissue is potentially far-reaching since connective tissue plays multiple roles in the body: as part of the musculoskeletal system, connective tissue forms continuous, compliant layers that can both stretch and bear loads; as part of the immune system, connective tissue is both the “container” for immune exchanges throughout the body, as well as the “conduit” through which water, proteins and immune cells return to the blood via lymphatics. Given these multiple roles, it is plausible that body movements could influence immune-related processes through a cross-talk between resident stromal cells and circulating immune cells.”

God forbid you ever come down with CANCER, but if you simply PLAY THE ODDS, some of you reading this either will, or maybe already have.  What I want to do now is give you a bonus section on what sort of diet might (emphasis on might) actually help accentuate your healing process, while providing a “boost” to any standard therapies you may or may not choose to do.  In an age when most doctors don’t give a rip about what you eat while you’re fighting cancer (HERE), and an equal number who wouldn’t have any idea what to suggest anyway (HERE), doesn’t it make sense to educate yourself?

DISCLAIMER:  The information presented on this site (including this post), while directly cherry-picked from the most current peer-review available, is just that — cherry-picked information.  It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure diseases of any kind, including cancer.  If you feel you have a disease that needs diagnosing or treating, or if you are interested in an out-of-the-box approach, please discuss this post with your physician.  Please realize that there is a high probability of receiving a deer-in-the-headlights look.

GOT CANCER? WHAT KIND OF DIET IS BEST?

Cure Cancer Fascia

“I’m referring to a diet called the ketogenic diet, and an article that’s been making the rounds since last week entitled ‘Ketogenic Diet Beats Chemo for Almost All Cancers, Says Dr. Thomas Seyfried’. Of course, when I see a claim such as that, my first reaction is, ‘Show me the evidence’. My second reaction is, ‘Who is this guy?’ Well, Dr. Seyfried is a professor of biology at Boston College, who’s pretty well published. He’s also working in a field that has gained new respectability over the last five to ten years, namely cancer metabolism, mainly thanks to a rediscovery of what Otto Warburg discovered over 80 years ago. What Warburg discovered was that many tumors rely on glycolysis for their energy even in environments with adequate oxygen for oxidative phosphorylation, which generates the bulk of the chemical energy used by cells.”Dr. David Gorski of Science-Based Medicine from his 2014 article titled Ketogenic Diet Does Not ‘Beat Chemo for Almost All Cancers’

DR. DAVID GORSKI is an intriguing guy.  He’s not only one of the nation’s most renowned breast cancer surgeons, he’s a research scientist with a Ph.D in cellular physiology.  Along with a number of pals, he also happens to run the anti-quackery website mentioned in the quote above.  Gorski is rabidly and unapologetically against all forms of alternative medicine.  All. Period, end of story.  But, like any number of his site’s brethren, he has to pretend that everything the medical community does is based on “SCIENCE“.  In other words, he seems to believe that the science-based medicine (which also happens to be the name of his site) that I call “EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE” here on my site, is the be-all, end-all, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only effective treatments of sickness and disease (IN THIS CASE CANCER) are drugs, chemo (many types, including immunotherapy), radiation, and surgery.  Enter Dr. Thomas Seyfried.

Compared to crackpots like me, Seyfried and those like him have proven much tougher targets of Gorski’s vitrol.  You see, Dr. S is part of the club.  He’s part of academia.  And he thinks like Warburg. In fact, check out the 2012 book he wrote called Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer, and listen to one of the many glowing Amazon reviews; this one by Dr. Stephen Strum. 

I am a board-certified medical oncologist with 30 years experience in caring for cancer patients and another 20 years of research in cancer medicine dating back to 1963. Seyfried’s is the most significant book I have read in my 50 years in this field. It should be required reading of all cancer specialists, physicians in general, scientific researchers in the field of cancer and for medical students. I cannot overstate what a valuable contribution Thomas Seyfried has made in writing this masterpiece.” 

What exactly is it that has made Dr. Seyfried so popular with so many people, yet so vilified by others?  He’s a huge proponent of using the Ketogenic Diet to help those with cancer.  The premise that DR. WARBURG proved scientifically — that cancer needs sugar to survive.  Take away cancer’s sugar supply and you at least start pulling the rug out from under it.  And what’s really cool is that this is the work that Seyfried does in his lab at Boston College on a day-to-day-to-day basis. 

How does one go about starving cancer of sugar?  The KETOGENIC DIET of course (preferably done PALEO STYLE, using only organic fats).  I recommend the Ketogenic Diet to enough people (it’s been mainstream medicine’s treatment of choice for SEIZURE DISORDERS for decades) that you can find it on my ONLINE PATIENT HANDOUTS.  Allow me to leave you with videos on the Cancer / Lymphatics connection by Drs. Schleip, Findlay, and Langevin, as well as Doctor Seyfried’s Cancer as a Metabolic Disease with Metabolic Solutions lecture.

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