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Notes on Cancer

February 12, 2012

Before we review the scientific information about InnOrbit ingredients and how they can potentially be used  as therapies in cancer, a few words.

  • Firstly, it is clear that diet, amongst other factors, plays an important part in cancer formation.  The objective of this article is to explain what cancer is before explaining how certain types of natural ingredients & compounds could potentially help has therapies or treatments of Cancer.
  • Secondly, this article is a guide only and tries to summarise what Cancer is in layman’s terms.  It is not intended to be a medical treatise nor are we suggesting that taking InnOrbit drinks are going to cure cancer.   If you are in doubt consult an expert.
  • Thirdly, there is increasing evidence that suggests that a healthy lifestyle will reduce the chances of developing chronic disease.  This will include but is not exclusive to: a healthy diet (e.g. high in fruit and vegetables and good quality protein); plenty of exercise and no smoking.  InnOrbit’s products could help as a compliment to a healthy lifestyle.

What is Cancer?

Cancer is  diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues.  Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems.  This is know as metastasis.  Cancer cells spread from the original site to other places in the body by traveling through the bloodstream.  When the cancer cells invade a new place or organ in the body, they grow and form another tumor.

Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are many different types of cancer and cancers are usually named for the organ or type of cell in which they initiated:

  • Cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer;
  • cancer that begins in basal cells of the skin is called basal cell carcinoma.
  • Carcinoma – cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
  • Sarcoma – cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
  • Leukemia – cancer that starts in blood-forming tissue such as the bone marrow and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
  • Lymphoma and myeloma – cancers that begin in the cells of the immune system.
  • Central nervous system cancers – cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Origins of Cancer

All cancers begin in cells and the body is made up of many types of cells. These cells grow and divide in a controlled way to produce more cells as they are needed to keep the body healthy.

However, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong.  The genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division.  When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them.  The extra cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor.

Systematic Thinking about Cancer

Dr Agus talks about Cancer on the Khan Academy website.  Here is a summary of this excellent presentation (see link below in Useful reading).

Subtle processes in the body can lead to changes in the status of the body’s cells from being healthy to being in a cancerous state.

Cancer is a process that occurs “within”.  The body’s system, somehow give its cells permission to become cancerous.  With many other diseases the body maybe invaded by external bodies (bacteria, virus etc)  and in these cases the body can react using its immune system by eliminating it.

The modern way has commonly to use the same approach.  If you have a cancer in a certain part of the body then the cancer is cut out or eliminated from that part of the body.

Dr Agus explains that for too long the modern approach has been looking too close at the location of the cancer and a systematic or holistic approach is required.


In a clinical trial 2 drugs were given to women suffering an aggressive cancer of the mamary.  One drug was for Osteoporosis and was given to half of the women and to the other half a placebo was given.

The Rationale > Breast cancer spreads to the bone.  Dr Agus says that changing “the soil” will make it more difficult for the cancers to take hold or invade.

Result > Cancer recurrance was down 40% in the women who had taken the bone strengthening drug compared to the placebo group.

Dr Agus explains that looking at the whole system is now necessary AND subtle changes in the biochemistry of the body could have profound effects on how cancer develops.  Here at InnOrbit we think the Ayurvedic doctors would appreciate this approach!

Mini-Dictionary of Key Terms:

A549 cells: Cells used for studying cancer in vitro. Human cancerous alveolar basal epithelial cells. The A549 cell line was first developed in 1972 by D. J. Giard, et al. through the removal and culturing of cancerous lung tissue in the explanted tumor a of 58-year-old caucasian male.  In nature, these cells are squamous and responsible for the diffusion of some substances, such as water and electrolytes, across the alveoli of lungs.  If A549 cells are cultured in vitro, they grow as monolayer cells, adherent or attaching to the culture flask.  The human alveolar epithelial cell line A549 may be anchored or suspended in a solution in vitro.

Adjuvant therapy: Additional cancer treatment given after the primary treatment to lower the risk that the cancer will come back.  Adjuvant therapy may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, or biological therapy.

Angiogenesis: The proliferation of a network of blood vessels that penetrates into cancerous growths.

Apoptosis: A type of cell death in which a series of molecular steps in a cell leads to its death.  This is the body’s normal way of getting rid of unneeded or abnormal cells. The process of apoptosis may be blocked in cancer cells.  Also called programmed cell death.

Benign: Not cancerous. Benign tumors may grow larger but do not spread to other parts of the body. Also called nonmalignant.

Carcinogen: A substance that causes cancer.

Cell signaling: The transfer of information from one cell to another. Cells signal each other by direct contact with each other or by the release of a substance from one cell that is taken up by another cell.  Cell-cell signaling is important for cells to grow and work normally.  Cells that lose the ability to respond to signals from other cells may become cancer cells.  Also called cell-to-cell signaling and intercellular communication.

COX-2 : An enzyme that speeds up the formation of substances that cause inflammation and pain. It may also cause tumor cells to grow.  Some tumors have high levels of COX-2 and blocking its activity may reduce tumor growth. Also called cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2.

Macrophage: A type of white blood cell that surrounds and kills microorganisms, removes dead cells, and stimulates the action of other immune system cells.

Malignancy: A term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues

Marker: A diagnostic indication that disease may develop.

Mast cell tumor: A growth or lump of mast cells (a type of white blood cell). Mast cell tumors can involve the skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscle tissue. Also called mastocytoma.

Metastasis: The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another.

Neoplasm: An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Neoplasms may be benign (not cancer), or malignant (cancer). Also called tumor.

Prophylactic: In medicine, something that prevents or protects.

Tumor: An abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should. Tumors may be benign (not cancer), or malignant (cancer). Also called neoplasm.

Useful Reading

National Cancer Insititute

Systematic thinking about Cancer

Sometimes you have to go to war to understand peace. My work in the cancer war has taught me a lot about all things health-related, much of which goes against conventional wisdom:  Dr David Agus (professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine)

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