Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is in every cell of our body, and cancer can be described as a disease of DNA.
Use of cytotoxic drugs (chemotherapy), in two distinct ways, can attack cancer cell development. Firstly, by treatment involving alkalylating agents and cytotoxic antibiotics, targeted at damaging the genetic material in the cell nucleus, within the DNA, to stop cancer cell growth and interfere with four stages of cell division.
Alternatively, treatment by antimetabolites drugs that work slightly differently, by interfering with RNA and DNA to prevent nutrient metabolism for the cancer to grow.
Antimetabolites, have a similar chemical structure to amino acids and vitamins and cells are deceived by this similarity and then are unable to make nucleic acid for DNA, which prevents cancer cells from dividing.
Cells have receptors for chemical messengers, which can include growth factors and hormones. In cancer cells, the normal instruction to stop growing is over-ridden by proteins activating further growth. Cell malfunction of genes (eg., BRCA1, BRCA2 – tumour suppressor genes/proteins) can be an inherited feature. When BRCA1 gene is unable to repair DNA it can result in cancer. A BRCA2 gene malfunction, can present a four time higher probability of cancer. Another gene called p53 gene, in normal circumstances has the ability to manufacture a protein that stops cell division until DNA distortion is fixed or apoptosis occurs. Malfunction of p53 gene is suggested to be associated with 50% of human cancers.
Diet and nutrition is important for cancer management. Cows’ milk and dairy meat, contain prolactin and growth factors such as IGF-I & IGF-II (insulin like growth factors), that are linked risk of cancer, possibly through interaction with testosterone, or over production by the hypothalamus of luteinising hormone release hormone (LHRH) which influences the pituitary gland to produce testosterone, which when converted into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) dislodges the normal environment for genes.
A Chinese diet, with an abundance of soya, is considered cancer protective through consuming of 30-100mg of isoflavones (compared to 3mg per day in a usual Western diet.
In Ayurveda, cancer is considered as an emotionally caused disease resulting from a lack of purpose in life or emotional suppression, and can end up with the patient, unfortunately, blaming him/herself for the disease.