Saturday, 23 February 2013

A hoax email/facebook message about diet and cancer, and the response

The message: (NOTE : IT IS A HOAX)


from Johns Hopkins


1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person's lifetime.

3. When the person's immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastro-intestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to STARVE the cancer cells by not feeding it with foods it needs to multiple.

What cancer cells feed on:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Note: Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in colour. Better alternative is Bragg's aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells will starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes t o nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells.

To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer-fighting properties. Water--best to drink purified water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines will become putrified and leads to more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body's killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the body's own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body's normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor.

Anger, unforgiving and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.



My Response:


While I must admit that I would also rather not undergo chemotherapy and have heard and seen its poor efficacy, especially in late-stage, with two persons close to me, I just can't buy the above message for many many reasons. In the commentary below, I have underlined my quotes from other sources.

For starters, cancer's not a disease of the mind - it's a genetic mutation where a cell doesn't stop dividing. " There is no evidence, however, that a person prevents or causes cancer based on his or her state of mind." (source cited at the end).

Secondly, the claim that everyone has cancer cells in their body, I'd like to see that substantiated. In a URL I post at the bottom from Johns Hopkins themselves, disavowing this notice above, there's a paragraph that states "But, while evasive cancer cells are a challenge and the focus of ongoing research, it does not mean, as the email contends, that all patients, even those treated successfully for cancer, have cancers-in-waiting—undetectable but still there. People are treated and completely cured of cancer every day."

Cancer cells are also not significantly different apart from their replication behaviours - so the claims about "oxygenated environment" is moot; any cell will respond the same way to excess oxygen; cancer's response - whether to flourish or die in excess oxygen - is the same response one would see from a normal cell, since cancer is not much different from a normal cell. Moreover, oxygen is the de facto oxidant. So which is right: the doctrine about anti-oxidants being necessary for diet? Or deliberately taking in more oxygen to attack latent cancers? It's not a coincidence that antioxidants are called that. Oxidation, you may recall from science at school, is the process of donating electrons - so in fact, it's irrelevant to cancer what your oxygen levels are. Oxidation can be carried out by sulphur, for example. A simple case of this is silver rust. It's a sulphide, as far as I recall. Just as iron rust is an oxygen-based rust. In fact, oxidation is involved in cancer.
Moreover: "The immune system simply does not recognize cancer. In its complexity, the cancer cell has learned to disguise itself to the immune system as a normal, healthy cell. Cells infected with viruses or bacteria send out danger signals setting the immune system in action. But cancer cells do not," (source cited at the end).

I just posted an article yesterday on Facebook warning on how supplements (dietary) have no proven efficacy apart from anecdotal evidence and have not been subjected to rigorous double-blind placebo/control/experiment subject cases and peer-review. (

Then on sugar. If cancer was fed by sugar, it would have to be argued that cells magically get a mutation every time they become cancerous, that causes them to metastasize once they take in sugar, which, incidentally, is an isomer of cellulose or plant cell wall fibre. So, if sugar causes cancer, so will cellulose or plant walls, since they're isomers (IE the chemical formula is the same). Moreover, we would see massive incidences of cancer in children. We don't. Cancer tends to strike people who are older and who expose themselves to known carcinogens e.g. cigarettes. The only link to cancer and sugar is naturally-occuring blood sugars, which said sugars will INCREASE with plant consumption regardless of sucrose (table sugar) intake:

The whole alkaline/acid-forming thing is a myth. You can't digest without hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Moreover, people go on about "pH" not realising that increasing oxidation levels will also probably increase acid levels, because the excess O2 would start oxidising things and probably cause them to release H+ ions. Stomach acid is pH 1.5-3.5. That means tomatoes (see more below) are almost as acidic as stomach acid. This is why it burns when you barf. Now: stomach acid is HCl, formed by taking water's hydrogen ion H+ and binding it to a chlorine, most likely taken from table salt, NaCl. So you need salt in your diet anyway to create stomach acid to digest food. Plus it's used in the sodium cycle in the kidneys to pump chemicals out the blood. (

The number of errors of chemistry in this chain letter above are staggering. To reduce acidic levels, you have to introduce a base, or an OH- ion. That comes from bases like soap, ammonia, etc. Now: if you introduce acidity in the form of H+ ions, you're guaranteed to get higher levels of acidity in the stomach, because of foods like *all* citrus and tomatoes and dairy are acidic. However, the blood pH stays around 7.3, which is slightly alkaline to neutral, comparable to tap water. (.edu is an american university, in case you think I chose a lousy website). If pH were to fluctuate beyond these ranges, death would soon result, never mind cancer. The liver introduces bile into the stomach to neutralise acids. The only way your stomach would allow excess H+ ions into the blood stream was if your liver was not producing sufficient bile, which may be a result of say, alcohol abuse or perhaps too much coffee ;-)

Notice that the causes of acidosis, the technical term for low blood pH (acidic blood), is not given as diet. Obviously, drinking acid would count as dietary induced acidosis, but let's not be ridiculous. Normal foods' pHs are not particularly strong either side of 7, otherwise we'd simply not be able to tolerate ingesting them. You have to eat a Habanero chilli, for example, to get something significantly acidic: pH 5.8. ( A mild chilli is around pH 6. Tomatoes, a so-called healthy food like chillies, are pH 4. That's much worse. (pH is a log scale, not a linear scale, so it increases exponentially; so 4 is much worse than 3). Orange juice is even worse, with a greater acidity. Milk isn't as bad as orange juice or tomato juice for acidity, even though it is slightly acidic (lactic acid). And a much-deplored animal product, eggs, are bases - around pH 8. Meaning that not all animal products are acid-forming or acidic. So please do not assume that a food's acidity has much to do with blood acidity levels. Simply put: if your blood was acidic, or you had acidosis, YOU WOULD KNOW. 

As for milk producing mucus, firstly, we need mucus to absorb pathogens and spit them out or sneeze them out, or cough them out, thereby preventing disease. Secondly, it's been debunked. and Thirdly, who cares if you're a bit snotty? That has nothing to do with cancer. The only plausible part here is the milk = cancer claim, which has apparently been published in a large scientific study. But even then, I've struggled to find the research in any of the 20 or so academic repositories that I've searched for it. I can only find this: Cordain, Loren and Campbell, T. Colin. "The Protein Debate", Performance Menu: Journal Of Nutrition & Athletic Excellence, 2008, which contends some of the findings. I am not sure why it's so hard to find supporting articles or the articles themselves. Perhaps the milk=cancer link, if true, ought to get a Nobel prize? Surely? If not, why not? Do you have a conspiracy theory on this, or do you have evidence that it's been replicated, substantiated, and peer-reviewed? I am not impressed by claims about military industrial complexes, nor am I swayed by claims about "the milk industry" or "the meat industry". Wild claims without substantiation find no place here.

Lastly, but not least, this chain letter is a hoax, as declared by John Hopkins themselves:

Thursday, 21 February 2013

interesting - women in science

can you believe how lame it is - they don't award her her degree on the account of her gender. pathetic. Sounds like taliban to me.