During that fateful phone call in which my doctor stunned me with the surprise cancer diagnosis, he mentioned that PET scans illuminate cancer cells by using radioactive glucose. This is because cancer cells consume sugar at 19 times the rate of normal cells, so they glow much brighter than normal cells. That’s when I knew exactly how I had given myself colon cancer.
First I Set the Stage
First I set the stage with more tequila shots on more nights that than common sense would recommend, usually because it would make me happy before sending me into a deep, much needed sleep after a frazzled day. I joked about it, calling myself “Mrs. Cuervo” and telling the young ‘uns at the gym I didn’t look my age because I was pickled.
Yeah, I knew it was bad for my liver, but sleep deprivation was devastating, especially under my crushing workload. What I didn’t realize was that alcohol compromises the ability of the pancreas to secrete enzymes into the digestive system, and how this was setting the stage for cancer.
The enzymes secreted by the pancreas aid in digestion, and also help strip the protein coat cancer cells create to hide from the immune system. The majority of the alternative cancer treatment protocols involve boosting enzyme levels. Juicing to boost enzymes saved the life of one of my friends who had been given 6 months to live by Mayo Clinic 10 (yes, TEN) years before we met. Many alternative cancer treatment protocols also eliminate meat to reduce protein intake. This is because the meat-free, lower protein diet makes more pancreatic enzymes available to help fight cancer cells.
Next I Threw Gasoline on the Smoldering Flames
From August 2013 thought May 2014, I frequently worked 16, 18, and even 20 hours straight cranking non-stop cerebral productivity. Why? To maintain a 4.0 GPA with 15-credit hour semesters and summer classes while working to keep a roof over my head. Typically I would start to wane at about 10 hours into a 14, 16, or 18 hour day. To keep up the constant cerebral output, I enhanced my performance with sugar, and lots of it.
My favorite source of massive amounts of sugar — cookies. Cookies, with the fat and sugar combo that triggers a of dopamine and endorphin release that rivals morphine. I’m not talking one or two cookies. I’m talking one dozen to keep me cranking through 14 hours of straight productivity with no break, and two dozen to keep me cranking full-speed through 18 hours with no break.
Yes, I knew such a massive amount of sugar could cause diabetes in the long run. Somehow with the focus on the next essay, the next term paper, the next exam while worrying about bills that were due and if the next paycheck would be enough, the long run just wasn’t in the day-to-day survival picture.
I did not realize that I was creating the perfect physical environment for cancer to take root and flourish. While I was aware excessive sugar could cause diabetes, it didn’t register that massive amounts of sugar compromises pancreatic function, compounding the alcohol effect. Although I had seen research that correlated refined sugar to cancer, I didn’t know that cancer not only THRIVES on sugar, it CAUSES cancer. Ironically, people think I’m smart.
Although main stream medicine continues to deny that cancer thrives on high blood sugar, even a first grader can figure out that if cancer cells devour radioactive sugar quickly enough to make them glow on a PET scan that cancer must thrive on sugar. The good news is that science is moving forward to identify sugar’s cancer causing mechanisms. A study published in February 2013 identified the key mechanism that links high sugar levels and cancer. High sugar levels trigger intestinal cells to secrete a protein called β-catenin, which is known to be a major factor in the development of many cancers and can make normal cells immortal. This 2014 peer-reviewed study describes the molecular mechanisms by which high blood sugar levels cause cancer. Certainly these are just a few of the studies available that have begun documenting the many ways that high blood sugar causes cancer.
So I’ve given myself colon cancer because I’m a compulsive over-achiever who would do whatever it took to graduate summa cum laude. Now what?
Who do I tell I have cancer, when do I tell them, and what do I say? What treatment options do I have? Who do I believe? What treatment plan should I choose? Will my high deductible, to date worthless health insurance cover for any of it? How much will I suffer in lost wages? How am I going to be able to pay the medical expenses without becoming homeless? Decisions, decisions.