Helpless Rats, Empowered Rats and Cancer

You might have heard of the Type A personality whose aggression and tendency to be not only competitive but hostile, leads to an increased heart attack risk. This is not surprising as the human organism is a completely integrated entity.

Our thoughts influence our moods. Our moods influence our neuro-hormonal response. Our hormones influence our mood. Our mood influences our thoughts. Our thoughts influence our choices and actions – and hence our lives.

The very least we could do then is take control of our thoughts!

The Type C personality is not as well known, perhaps because the evidence for linking cancer to personal disposition is not as robust.

What’s more, the Type A personality is also one we are happy to knock as his or her attitude can be downright annoying or even distressing to those of us who are easy going and peace loving.

By contrast, the Type C personality is one we’d rather not blame for inducing his or her cancer. After all, the Type C persona is definitely Mr. Nice Guy or Ms. Sweet Gal. These are the really precious saintly types who sacrifice their own needs, deny  and suppress their own feelings of anger, resentment or abandonment, to the point where they and certainly everyone else, might just believe that they’ve never harboured such feelings at all.

While the link between the Type C personality and cancer is not scientifically sound, one element of the Type C persona has been identified as playing a role in the onset and progress of cancer: helplessness.

What’s the link?

Here’s the rough summary: the very good, obedient child who grows up without love or emotional security, may learn to live his or her life to please others, fearful of rejection and hoping for love. This continues through life, till one day, the foundation of this behavior is shaken. Despite his or her best efforts there is a divorce, a demotion or joblessness, or maybe an ungrateful adult child who leaves the nest and doesn’t looks back. Here is where the process of desperately seeking security crumbles into helplessness and as the Type C person gives up emotionally so does their immune system.

Move out hope. Move in cancer.

It sounds too simple to be true. After all, cancer becomes established when the sum total of cancer promoters outweighs the sum total of preventers. Everything we’ve written about in this series indicates that the factors: both the promoters and preventers are several – and we are still counting. So it is never simple.

Clearly, positive, optimistic, self-assured individuals with no history of emotional childhood trauma also face the diagnosis of cancer.

Could our mental outlook really be an independent risk factor?

Our first excerpt on this subject is not meant to convince you, though it should make you go, “hmmmmm.”

“At the University of Pennsylvania…rats were grafted with the exact quantity of cancer cells known to induce a fatal tumour in 50 percent of them…the rats were divided into three groups…In the first group, the control group, the animals received the graft but were then left to live their lives as usual ….in the second group the rats were given small, random electric shocks which they had no control over. The animals in the third group were given the same random shocks but were provided with a lever that they quickly learned to press to avoid getting extra shocks.

Pessimism and helplessness go together

“The results, published in Science, were very clear. One month after the graft, 54 percent of rats had successfully rejected their tumour. The rats subjected to shocks with no means of escape had become despondent. They would not fight against intrusions into their cage, and lost their appetite for food and sexual partners. Only 23 percent of these rats managed to overcome their cancer. The most interesting group was the third one. Though they were submitted to the intense stress of the same number of frequent electric shocks, having learned that they could avoid extra shocks by pressing a lever, these animals did not become despondent. They remained feisty when intruded upon, ate well, and copulated as frequently as rats do in a normal environment. And in that group, 63 percent successfully rejected the tumour, more than the rats left alone. It seems that the helplessness was capable of hastening the tumour’s spread, not the shocks themselves.” *

This was published in Science in 1982. Other studies demonstrating the relationship between the progress of cancer and unmanageable stress, leading to helplessness have since followed.

As we’ll see from future excerpts  the human experience does resemble that of the rats.

* excerpt taken from Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber




Got Milk? Time to Get the FACTS.

Got Milk? Before you drink it, this is what you need to know.

While the advertisements keep coaxing us to strengthen our bones by drinking more milk, we forget that the countries that consume the most dairy have the most osteoporosis.

But even if that was just incidental the connection between milk cows injected with BGH (or BST), insulin-like growth factor and cancer is damning to say the least.

Once you’ve read this, you’ll want to know that the cows supplying milk to your cartons, your Rituals coffee, Haagen Daz ice-cream and baby’s infant formula, are NOT being injected with rBGH or BST.

If rBGH or BST are new to you:

  • rBGH is recombinant bovine growth hormone
  • BST is an alternative and more politically correct name for rBGH and it stands for bovine somatotropin
  • Supplied to cows by bio-tech companies that produce genetically modified foods. rBGH is a genetically engineered version of a natural hormone, mass produced in the labs.

Research over the last 20 years has shown emphatically and with different types of cancer, that higher levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) are closely related to higher risk of cancer. This research has been published in journals as prestigious as Science, the Lancet, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, The International Journal of Cancer, Cancer Research and the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Now why mention IGF-1 again? We mentioned it when we spoke about refined carbs jacking up both our insulin and

IGF-1. What does it have to do with milk?

Well, cows injected with rBGH to boost their milk supply do give more milk but they also pass on their genetically recombinant hormones into our milk supply as well as high levels of IGF-1.

These cows are miserable fellows. Their abnormally high levels of IGF-1 relates to the intense stress they are under since rBGH radically distorts their metabolism.

But consider: the potential harm of rBGH injections to cows in Canada was what caused the drugs to remain unlawful in Canada. The Canadian vets would have risked being sued for an increase in “mastitis [udder infections], infertility and an increased risk of lameness.”

“Some treated cows are so lean and wasted by the end of their lives, they offered little value to slaughterhouses that normally convert the cows’ carcasses into meat.”

So why everyday are millions of cows injected with their twice monthly rBGH in the USA? Hang in there, we’ll get to that.

Is the IGF-1 in the milk destroyed by pasteurization or digestion? The Canadian Gaps Analysis Report which preceded the decision to keep rBGH off the Canadian market, notes that IGF-1 “can survive the GI tract environment” and “is absorbed intact.”

Yet as far back as 1998, a report of a Harvard study published in Science told us, “A strong positive association was observed between IGF-1 levels and prostate cancer risk.” Those with elevated IGF-1 levels were four times more likely to get prostate cancer than the average man.

“Four months later, a study in the Lancet found premenopausal women in the U.S with high levels of IGF-1 were seven more times as likely to develop breast cancer.”

Even before milk from rBST cows went on the market, research published in 2002 from a study of 1000 nurses, showed that the food most associated with high IGF-1 levels was milk. And this study was begun before milk from rBST treated cows became widely available.

Could the simple matter of keeping the cows in stalls rather than allowing them to be “free range” have elevated their

IGF-1. Perhaps. But how much higher is the IGF-1 level after rBST treatment?

Well, the first study on the subject reported an increase of 360% ! Conservative estimates by supporters of Monsanto, the company that makes and sells rBST, suggest 47-71%.

But what about the milk you are drinking?

Trinidad and Tobago’s dairy farmers do supply Nestle with some milk but certainly not all of what ends up on our shelves from their factories. Much of our local milk is imported.

What about when you go for ice-cream? Or buy an expensive, caffeine-filled latte? What’s your ritual?

Should we just throw our hands up in the air in utter despair and frustration?

Why do the American people allow this anyway?

Well, the FDA in the USA does not require farmers to have a prescription to purchase rBST. So vets can’t be sued as would have been the case in Canada. Companies like Monsanto have fought against the preference of the majority of Americans to have GM foods labeled and they have also enforced regulations forcing dairies supplying rBST-free milk to say, “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST- treated cows.”

I prefer to buy rBST-free milk. One local VET told me that the milk from the UWI Field Station is the closest to "organic" on the local market but 2.0L of fresh milk in my house will spoil before it's used. I'm keen to find out more about what our local farmers are up to and yes! I will share the information as soon as it comes to me!

They have a massive counter-campaign on-line to protect their commercial interests so information on the internet is a mixture of facts, hype and distortions of the truth, sometimes using research and statistics that have been manipulated and doctored to produce the results they want to quote to the public.

rBST causes udder infections so the cows are also treated with lots of antibiotics. Previous guidelines for the “allowable” percentage of antibiotic in milk have been increased to allow this altered milk to pass the tests.  

The precaution of not using the milk from the cows just after they have been injected (and when the rBST levels are highest in the milk) has been dropped in favour of profit.

I’m not trying to depress you. We need to know this so we can take a stand, take action and make better choices till we have a food supply we can rejoice about. It may take another two generations and many will be skeptical that it will ever happen.

I prefer to walk in faith and hope.

You can join Millions Against Monsanto @!/millionsagainst  and

the NonGMO project, an NGO on facebook:!/nongmoproject

Keep informed!

And right here on Stay Well Fire Your Doctor, our next series will be on the genetically modified food industry.

Source for today’s article details on rBGH: Seeds of Deception by Jeffrey M. Smith


The Mighty Mouse Who Defiantly Resisted Cancer – And What It Means For Us

Once upon a time, not long ago, there were some mice that would die of cancer one month after injections to their abdomens of about 200,000 cancer cells. (Poor things L ) In response to these injections, their tummies would swell and antibodies would be produced. Biology Professor Zheng Cui of Wake Forest University in California would then harvest their antibodies for his experiments.

But one mouse refused to submit. This mouse became known as Mighty Mouse. His tummy would not swell with fluid and he would not die one month later.

They tried him with 1000 times the usual dose of cancer cells but he just seemed resistant.

(please note, the mouse in the experiment did not lift weights; his strength lay in his natural killer cells and was of genetic origin not gym-sourced).

Half his grandchildren were resistant too and tolerated 2 billion cancer cells, 10% of their weight!

At age 6 months, though their resistance weakened (equivalent to human age 40), these Mighty Mice seemed to be developing cancer but two weeks later the cancer was gone. What’s more it seemed to disappear in 24 hours, its mere presence activating a remarkable resistance.

What was going on? Further research yields a glimpse of the battlefield activities:

“Instead of the usual cancer cells – rounded, hairy and aggressive – he saw cells that were smooth, dented, and full of holes. They were locked in combat with white blood cells of the immune system, including the famous ‘natural killer’, or ‘NK,’ cells. Miller was even able to film the white blood cells’ attack on the S180 cells by video microscopy. He had found the explanation for the enigma….”

Natural Killer Cells (NK cells) had been at work. These make contact with mutant cancer cells (as well as bacteria and viruses) releasing perforin and granzymes which penetrate the dangerous cell’s membranes. Perforin forms a tube through which granzymes enter the membrane and activate the cancer cells’ self -destruction.*

Can human NK cells do this? Sure, they do it all the time.

Maybe that old uncle who smoked all his life and died at 98 of natural causes has the Mighty Mouse variety of NK cells but is there hope for the rest of us?

In later excerpts we will be looking at lifestyle, mental health and environmental factors that are associated with a stronger immune system but in the meantime:

“An investigation of 77 women with breast cancer who were studied over a twelve- year period suggests how important these cells might be for recovery. First samples of each woman’s tumour taken at the time of diagnosis were cultivated with her own NK cells. Certain patients’ NK cells did not react, as if their natural vitality had been mysteriously sapped. The NK cells of other patients in contrast, went about a serious cleanup…Twelve years later at the end of the study, almost half (47%) of the patients whose NK cells had not reacted in the laboratory had died. On the other hand, 95% of those whose immune systems had been active under the microscope were still alive.”

Wow! 95%! You don’t need to study statistics to recognize this as a significant difference!

(excerpted and adapted from Anti-Cancer A New Way of Life by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber)

NEXT: your body DOES have natural anti-cancer mechanism! Learn what they are!

(*) Described in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2003, 2006)