Richard G. Petty, MD

Rethinking Cancer

Over the last thirty years, there has been a gradual change in the way in which we conceptualize biological processes. Although the lion’s share of research is still dedicated to biochemical processes involving DNA, RNA and the cell membrane, other important concepts are being quite widely accepted. They include:

One way of thinking about this is to describe cells, organs and bodies as coherent information-rich processes. And when things go wrong, it is because these processes have gone awry. Information medicine is designed to bring the system back into coherence and harmony.

I have spoken before Integrated Medicine and in the next posting I am going to talk more about the difference between Integrated, integrative and integral medicine. But at this point suffice to say that Integrated Medicine is information medicine based on an understanding of these principles.

Several years ago I presented a paper at a closed meeting where I introduced the term “adult dysmorphogenesis,” to describe the way in which some disease processes – such as arteriosclerosis, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease – could be better understood not as degenerative conditions, but as deranged information systems. These in turn disrupted the normal self-organizing principles of the body that lead it to constantly correct and repair itself. Part of my reasoning was that we were constantly seeing apparently irreversible conditions like broken down joints being repaired by information medicines like acupuncture and homeopathy.

With that background I was very interested to read an important paper in the journal Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling.

The paper begins by highlighting three odd observations:

  1. Throughout the animal kingdom cancer hardly ever occurs in tissues that have a strong ability to regenerate
  2. In animals in which cancer occurs frequently, its incidence rises with age. If it occurs in a young animal it usually occurs in a tissue that has already been damaged
  3. In animals that have a strong ability to regenerate and repair organs, these mechanisms remain fairly efficient throughout life. In animals with weak regenerative and repair mechanisms, they tend to become less efficient with age.

The authors propose that when an organ is damaged it receives a signal to start undertaking repairs. The cancer cell is the one cell in an organ that is able to respond to the signal telling it to start to proliferate. It is the one cell that is trying to restore function. So simply removing a cancer might not work if the organ remains damaged: new tumor cells would simply keep emerging.

This paper is a good complement to another in the same journal. This one is a bit more mathematical, but also views cancer as a dynamic systems problem.

Ideas like this have come and gone before, but I have not seen them so well presented before, and they open up some new ways of thinking about a set of problems that is altogether too common.

Moving away from thinking that cancers are all simply the result of mutated or messed up DNA toward the idea that they may owe just as much to the environment in which they grow makes very good sense.

About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

logo logo logo logo logo logo