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Most people believe that cancer is like a flu; a cold, something we can shake off. But it is not.
I’m a computer scientist in a genetics world, and I came to realize that “cancer” is a normal process of life.
All throughout history, humanity has been seeking eternal life and longevity. It’s not a new quest. Nearly everyone in the medical field is working to prolong life and allow us all to be closer and available for our loved ones.
Cancer, to put it plainly, is a label for “failure to keep consistent DNA”.
Our DNA and protein structures replicate at an alarming rate. Faster than most of us would imagine. It’s mentioned that some parts of the human body replace themselves every few years. New skin cells, new hairs, muscles, and livers healing from alcohol. Billions of cells are replicated to heal damaged tissue. Billions of cells replicate to grow us into adulthood and beyond.
When replication occurs, there is a very-very-very small chance that the replication will have an error.
ACGTACGT becomes ACGTTCGT
In most cases, this is fine. A skin cell with an error in it will be created, it will live, it will duplicate, and then the skin cell will die. A human cell has 3.4 billion nucleotides, where only 2% are critical for protein expression. This allows small benign errors to not have an impact.
However, some specific genes in that 2% are critical for cell growth and cell death. When the instructions for “grow every 5 days; die after 5 days” becomes “grow every 5 days; die every 15 days”, we call that “cancer”. Likewise it can also end up as “grow every 2 days; die every 5 days”, thus the equation for replication becomes unbalanced.
With more cells growing than they are dying, there is a greater and greater need for resources; cancer ends up stealing vital nutrients from other critical organs.
It is not that science is holding back, but moreover science is still trying to understand it. It’s important to know how it works, how to control it, and how to make sure we don’t cause additional imbalance.
When technology is created without rigorous testing, it’s working on assumptions. And assumptions can possibly hurt a loved one rather than help them. Worse, it may actually kill them.
Today, at the cutting edge of cancer research, research is dealing with the billions of permutations that might occur. Some cancers are “grow every 2 seconds; die never”. Some are “grow every 5 days; die never”. Some are “grow 16 times every 1 second; die every 5 days”. Each one requires a different approach, therapy, or method of management.
Today, science has already given us a few methods:
- Cut it out
- Burn it with radiation
- Freeze it to death
- Target it with chemicals
- Ask the immune system to help
- Replace it with someone else’s
Science is working on more methods:
- Identify it earlier
- Cut it out more safely
- Burn only it with radiation
- Better targeted chemicals
- Hack and hijack the immune system to do our bidding
- Grow replacements on a mouse!
This poor mouse is helping humanity! Cow cartilage cells were implanted into the mouse and grown so we can better understand how we might grow and regenerate organs for humans. ()
It looks sad, but science is not blind. There are monuments that pay homage to these heroes. Like this one: ()
Altering the “force of nature” is what scientists all around the world are working to control. Unfortunately, Mother Nature is very mean when we don’t play by her rules. This is a great meme that’s been floating around:
“Nature wants 5 of your 7 children dead. It wants you dead by 50. Everything better than that is brought to you by science and technology”.
At my lab, we are developing greater detection tools to identify mutations that cause cancer. We’re working on new methods to detect cancer in tissue, in blood, in <name your favorite body part here>.
It’s a massive undertaking to combat the forces of nature. It takes time. It takes sacrifice. It takes generations of scientists to take the universe we are given and push it to allow just a few more years with our loved ones.
I understand the anger, the worry, the wish to point fingers at science, at companies, at faceless entities for not preventing our losses.
In June 2018 cancer has taken yet another one of my friends. Kind hearted. Friendly. Always willing to help. He went out of his way to get to know you, to understand your needs, to be impactful with the people he knew.
I wish science already had the answers. That technology already existed. That nature wouldn’t take wonderful people away. This is my friend Hao Hoang’s family spreading his ashes over Malibu. They found Lung Cancer in November 2017. They tried therapies in early 2018. Science couldn’t keep him. Nature took him in June. RIP.
It’s moments like these that reinforce why I love science. Why I make technology. How we can all play our role innovating ways to keep our loved ones longer. Build things to make this life better. Solve problems to reduce suffering in the world.
Can cannabis cure cancer?
- Effective pain control
- Reduction in nausea
- Increased appetite
The overuse and misuse of opiates is out of control in this country. Legalization of cannabis is the answer. I doubt the Pharmaceutical monopolies will agree with this!!
There is NO definitive answer. Existing evidence suggests that it can harm, as well as help. And the effects have only been studied in labs, not clinically cleared. In some cases, it might help – for example with mitigating pain, or combating the loss of appetite and wasting away which patients often face during cancer treatment. But an actual effect on cancer cells, as such, is NOT well-established.
Point to be noted : There is also evidence suggesting that it could have negative effects which may enable the cancer to become more resistant and progress over time. Additionally, certain side-effects it can cause in the long run can add-on to the misery of the cancer itself. Plus, you have plenty of hoaxes and frauds being run in this name. So well, it’s basically your call. The evidence is on the table.
I’ll advise you to take 5 mins and read on though.
The basic concept of quoting marijuana as a medicinal product is originating from the activity of the cannabinoid chemicals. Cannabinoid receptors are protein molecules present on cell surfaces. When you ingest substances containing cannabinoids, its picked up by these receptors (as the name obviously suggests). Note though, “cannabinoid” is the name of a large family of chemicals – both synthetic and natural.
These receptors are present mostly on the brain and neural networks and govern a variety of functions ranging from pain, energy metabolism, immunity, memory etc. (explains why you get a high from it …. it just activates certain neural networks). It’s these properties that make it interesting for therapeutic purposes – notably, as has often been claimed, for cancer as well.
Lab experiments over the years have presented varying results.
Some indicate that cannabinoids help interfere in 4 crucial processes of cancer cells –
- The enhance cell death (apoptosis) rates
- They interfere with growth signals of cancer cells
- They curtail angiogenesis (blood vessel growth)
However, the flip side is that discouraging observations like the following exists as well :
- They interfere with the immune system’s ability to recognize and act against cancer cells
- Certain cancer cells develop resistance to it over time and grow/spread more aggressively – pretty bad news
- Most of the positive results above were achieved only by using highly purified compounds in lab, sometimes in association with other drugs. NOT as marijuana per se.
Another significant let-down is that a huge proportion of these studies are very unprofessionally conducted and hence have low credibility – which makes accepting these comforting sounding results dangerous to accept blindly.
So what about the other effects of marijuana ? The famed “pain-reliving” effect?
Let’s look at a very similar compound : cannabis oil.
Well, here’s the bright news. It is generally considered acceptable to use cannabis for palliative care i.e. not exactly as therapeutics, but for pain-relief etc. However, the issue with orally ingesting it as cannabis oil / smoking marijuana is that the dosage cannot be monitored – and hence the negative effects can start to kick in pretty soon. Not to mention the potential for abusing it for recreational purposes also arises.
Consider going in for the mouth sprays type cannabinoids. Dosages are usually well-calibrated and safe. However, it is usually advised to go for far more effective, and much safer alternative drugs ( anti-nausea, anti-sickness etc.) that have been developed over the years. These are actually pretty much available, and are any day a better option. At least you don’t have a big risk component attached.
Personally speaking, I believe the entire scenario of marijuana’s benefits is highly over-hyped. You have far better alternatives available. Medically approved, safe drugs. It’s just that “marijuana” sounds better to the public ear. The added attraction of something primarily viewed as a source of addiction and fun being potentially beneficial is what endears it so much to people. I would strongly advocate against you, or anyone else resorting to this as long as options are available. Which is most of the time.
After my second breast cancer surgery, cannabis oil saved my life.
Short video “HOW and WHY does Cannabis Cure Cancer – Scientific Explanation”
The Science of Cannabis as a Cancer Cure (Documentary)
Yes, there are studies!!!
Excerpt follows – Thanks for the most excellent resource from
If cannabis can cure cancer then why did Bob Marley die of this disease?
Question everything! Here’s a great site that doesn’t do one sided reporting on the subject of Cannabis. I do like Hightimes and other sites, but they are notoriously biased when it comes to promoting cannabis and aren’t always objective in their reporting.