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The Cancer Code: A Revolutionary New Understanding of a Medical Mystery Paperback
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Along the way he covers the familiar questions: What causes it? How does it develop? What makes it progress? What are the old and new treatments? Alas, finally coming to the one we need to understand now, before we can more forward: Do we understand it at its core?
In getting to its core, he reacquaints us with an old nemesis - hyperinsulinemia. For insulin is not just limited to our blood sugar levels, but plays a significant role in cell growth. He reveals for the last ten years we have been in another paradigm shift, now giving us the theory of evolution and a new turn of “seed” and “soil” concept. So, we get to ask ourselves a more critical question: How do our nutrition and environment, as well as how frequency we eat, affect not only our insulin levels and obesity, but our risk of cancer?
I love Dr. Fung’s lack of adherence to traditional “scientific beliefs” and his willingness to look beyond scientific studies, while gaining insight from them. There are some nice diagrams and explanatory charts and a detailed “Notes” section of all referenced research articles at the back of the book. While he speaks easily to the layperson, I’m sure he’ll also hold the scientific and medical communities equally fascinated.
And best of all, in the end he gives us hope. ❤
While some of the history of cancer research is familiar, much is not. There's a lot of media attention when new (and extremely expensive) research initiatives begin but not nearly as much when they fizzle out. This is particularly true with the Human Genome Project and the follow-on Cancer Genome Atlas. Both produced a tremendous amount of information, but most of this information is of limited utility for understanding or treating cancer.
By far the most interesting section of the book deals with the current unerstanding of cancer as an atavism. Cells in an area of the body that is undergoing long duration stress, if they survive at all, may start to mutate. The mutation is not random. It is directed at freeing the cells from their unsustainable environment. It is a long and difficult process for the cells, and nearly all are killed in the effort. But the process appears to be programmed into the cells, a remnant of a time billions of years ago before cells joined together to form multicellular organisms. The cells gradually shed the characteristics that they had as a functioning part of the body and start to return to a state of relative self-sufficiency as single celled organisms. It's something of a Hobbesian world of each cell for itself in a battle for survival.
Fung lays out the arguments brilliantly, and in a way that the lay person can understand. He is a beautiful writer and sprinkles his prose with humor and analogies that make this difficult topic much easier to digest.
It's not a typical self help book. He's not selling you a cure. There is no magic bullet. What you get out of this book is an understanding of the metabolic conditions under which cancer THRIVES, and how to change your lifestyle to potentially prevent early cancer cells from getting a foothold.
Dr Fung is changing the world with his perspective on modern medicine. I highly recommend this book for a different rational perspective on cancer.
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Will keep the book and read it again some time in the future.