Saturday, 6 June 2015

Cancer is not a disease - it is a process, not a thing

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I get the impression that many people are terribly confused about what cancer is - or rather they are just plain wrong about what cancer is. In particular they think of it as a disease category.

This is - of course - inculcated and exploited by medical researchers, the mass media, celebrities and the massive cancer charities (e.g. Cancer Research UK is a deeply dishonest and exploitative bureaucracy - and a fund of self-serving disinformation on many matters).

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People assume that cancer is like pneumonia - ie. a group of lung diseases; but cancer is like 'infection' or 'inflammation' - cancer is a pathological process.

So it is misleading to talk about 'fighting' cancer or 'eradicating' cancer as if it was a disease - as in the Cancer Research UK slogan: 'We will beat cancer sooner'.

Do we fight, eradicate or 'beat' processes such as infection or inflammation? There are general and often effective 'infection control' mechanisms (quarantine, hygiene etc.), there are general anti-inflammatory drugs (steroids, NSAIDs) but this activity does not generate the strident, militaristic nonsense that is usual with cancer talk.

Infection is part of the condition of life on earth; so is cancer. Cancer is not going-away.

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In general, people suffer diseases - as a man might suffer from pneumonia. But people afflicted with various diseases resulting from the cancer process are described as 'victims', they are said to be 'fighting' cancer. If they die, they have lost their long 'struggle' with cancer.

These are all fake and misleading metaphors, which cloak exploitation and ignorance.

In reality Cancer research, as such, is about the biology of a pathological process - which is as large, vague, complex and obscure - as as remote from curing disease or helping sick people - as research about the biology of 'infections' or the incredible intricacies of the immune system would be.

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Cancer is not one thing, nor is cancer many things - cancer is not a thing.

The word cancer describes - in general terms - a pathological process, a disease process, something which has gone wrong with certain aspects of the functioning of an organism.

To say what cancer is involves technical terms and uncommon knowledge, to understand what cancer is requires effort, a willingness to learn - to concentrate and read (or listen) for quite a few minutes at a stretch. The understanding must be built-up.

Most people won't do this, some people can't do this - hence very few people indeed have any idea what cancer is - or rather, they have an idea so false and misleading that it misunderstands the very nature of cancer.

This depth and level of misunderstanding of cancer is, I guess, is what has created a situation so wide-open to exploitation - and, by Heavens, it surely has been exploited!

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