Dr. R. L. Wysong
September 1990
Convention Talks ExcerptsBar room Brawls And Break Dancing
    In 1989, a male Australian presented to his physician with nausea, right hypochondrial pain and jaundice. He had no history of blood transfusion or intravenou drug abuse.  He underwent a variety of laboratory tests, including antibody testing for HCV and was found to be positive. He was diagnosed as having chronic Hepatitis C virus infection and was treated with alpha-interferon.
    The only means of transmission that could be identified was a bite by a man that occurred in a barroom fight.  It’s suggested that transmission was through the saliva or through blood contamination of saliva.  Although this raises concerns about possible person to person transmission of hepatitis C through saliva, and should be of particular concern in dental practice.   Its probably smart the next time you are in a barroom brawl to not let your opponent bite you also.
        Dusheiko, G.M., Smith, M., and Scheuer, P.J., “Hepatitis C Virus Transmitted By Human Bite,” The Lancet, August 25, 1990, pp 503-4
    In another unusual case, a 27 yeat old man attended a New Year’s Eve party and after having a few drinks proceeded to break dance.  Several hours later in bed he head a severe right frontal headache and blindness in his left visual field.  Upon examination by computerized tomography, he was found to have a right occipital hematoma.  The alcohol consumption may have increased cerebral blood flow, and the violent head shaking that can occur with break dancing – this this is the style of dancing most of ypi have probably seen on TV where individuals spin on the floor, on their shoulders, and neck—was the likely cause.
    The lesson here is probably if you are going to break dance, don’t drink, and if you’re going to drink, don’t break dance.
        Clough, Christopher, and Lee, Kui- Chung, “Intercerebral Hemorrhage After Break Dancing,” The New England Journal of Medicine, August 30,1990, pp 615-6.
Cesarean Sections For Everyone
    A recent editorial written by a general surgeon, not an OB/GYN surgeon, suggests that women would be better off if they all under went cesarean section. The author suggests that the procedure is both easier and safer than vaginal delivery.  He states, and I quote. “Why should the modern woman undergo the sweaty, gut-wrenching ordeal of labor, that may last 12 to 24 hours or more, why must she face the frantic rush to the operating room for a stat section when the fetal heart rate drops? Why should she and her physician worry about the cord wrapped around the neck, fetal distress, breach presentation, pelvic dystocia, injured fetal parts, retained placenta or transmitting herpes virus to the infant during vaginal delivery?”  He goes on to say that he is sure that mortality and morbidity is less with cesarean sections than with a normal vaginal delivery.
    He goes on to argue that the female perineum never returns to its pre-delivery state.  Further he believes many vaginal deliveries result in later cystoceles and rectoceles as well as urinary incontinence and even uterine reparative surgery, that the risks of these procedures must be added to the risks of vaginal deliveries.
    Although this surgeon believes his view is unbiased since he is not a obstetrical surgeon, it appears that his views are skewed by a general bias toward medical intervention.  The beliefs he expresses do not fit more careful analyses reported in the medical literature. The literature indeed demonstrates that there is an increased risk of death in women undergoing cesarean even if the section was planned.  We must also take into consideration the fact that 15% of deliveries develop post cesarean infection.  Additionally, hospital stays are twice as ling as vaginal deliveries and costsfar exceed that if a normal vaginal delivery. The common view that pelvic relaxation in older women is due to natural deliveries is also not supported in the publishes literature.      Thus, in reality, if all women were to convert to cesarean section, what would in fact occur is increased cost for poorer outcomes.
    This is an extreme example of thinking that increasingly prevails among professionals and is passed on to the to the general public suggesting that birth, a natural phenomenon which occurred for tens of thousands of years before the sterile surgical theater, is a medical event requiring intervention, rather than a natural event to be simply watched.
        Overhulse, Paul R., MD, “The Cesarean Section Rate.” JAMA, August 22/29, 1990, p 971
        Petitti, DB, “Maternal Moerality and Morbidity in Cesarean Section,” Clin Obstet Gynecol, 1985, 28:763-9
        Jolleys, JV , Reported Prevalence of Urinary Incontinence In Women In a General Practice,” BMJ, 1988, 296:1300-2
Heart Disease And Smoking
    Recent studies reported in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine followed the cardiovascular health of thirty smokers after they had ceased smoking for two weeks. It was found that after cessation that prostaglandin levels decreased as well as did plasma viscosity and whole blood viscosity . There was also a significant increase in high density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.      These biochemical changes demonstrate the direct physiological effects of smoking on cardiovascular risk factors.  They also demonstrate that there is real hope for reversing damage for those who decide to cease.
        “Acute Changes in Atherogenic and Thrombogenic Factors With Cessation of Smoking,” J R Soc Med, 1990, 83:146-8. MD. Feher et al, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, St Mary’s Hospital Medisal School, QEQM Wing, Lindin W21NY, England.
How To Make Your Child a Millionaire
    Continuing with our topic last month on how financial stability and making everybody millionaires. Actually I lied a little because this is a method to make your children millionaires, not you. But its hot bad for you either.
    This is how it works. Say you have a child aged 22 who has begun to work but is not earning a very large salary. First you have the child open an IRA. Then you lend them $2,000 needed to make a full IRA contribution that they would likely, at this stage, not be able to do themselves. You agree that for five years the child will pay 10 % interest to you, but not repay any of the principle. Of a child is in the 28% tax bracket, the IRA deposit will save $560 in taxes. This occurs because an IRA is a tax exempt deposir and thus decreases the tax obligation for the child. This $560 is then saved in a separate bank account.
    At the end of the year, the child pays you $200 in interest which leaves $360 in savings. You then lend the child another $2,000 for the next year, and the child saves another $560, boosting the savings to $820.  At the end of this year the child pays you $400 in interest and the process continues.
    At the end of 5 years the child’s growing interest payments to you deplete the savings account. But at the time the child has well over $10,000 in the IRA without ever themselves having put in one penny.   Their interest payments to you are with money they would have paid in taxes.
    The program changes at the 5 year point, such that the child begins to pay back the $10,000 owed to you at 10% interest over 10 years.  The monthly  payment would be $120. At age 37 the child is debt free and you’ve got all your money back, plus 10% interest.
    The magic of this according to Paul Merriman of the Merriman Group of Mutual Funds, is that if the IRA contributions are in a program that earns 15% annually, when the child reaches the retirement age of 65 the IRA will be worth $1.65 million dollars, even if not another cent is contributed to it. In fact, the child will have never contributed any of his or her own money but will merely have contributed ant of his or her own money but will merely have repaid the $10,000 loan you advanced to make your child financially secure for life.
        Merriman, Paul, “How to Make Your Child A Millionaire At No Cost To You,” Financial Personal Advantage, August 1990, p 3
Saving the Environment
    Return to the reusables instead of the disposables, such as refillable fountain pens rather than disposables, and razor blades inserted into the old type of metal life-time razor rather than the disposable plastic ones.  Buy one tupperware-type container which is sandwich size and never use a sandwich bag again. Reject all new “disposables” which are coming onto the market, such as the new disposable cameras.   Who thought of that one?  Throw away only a small film canister rather than an entire “disposable” camera every time. Also, buy rolls of 36 photos rather than rolls of 12, so you’re throwing away as few canisters as possible.  Begin to buy everything with that in mind – how big of a package or how great of a quantity can I purchase, rather than buying lots of smaller ones, only to produce more waste in the process.  It’s not only the waste but the extra production burden with its environmental consequences on the supply side also.
    In Blueprint for a Green Planet, authors Seymour and Girardet calculate that up to 120,000 gallons of water are used just to wash, cool, and process the components of that make up a new car.  It’s estimated that up to one-fifth of our water is lost before it reaches the tap, leaking through old cracked pipes and badly fitting seals.  Between ten to forty percent of all water is consumed in the home, but only a tiny fraction of that is used for our drinking needs – the great majority goes to household appliances and in washing and toilet flushing.
    Here’s how a typical family of four uses water each day, according to the EPA:
    Toilet flushing                     100 gallons
    Showering and bathing         80 gallons
    Laundry                               35 gallons
    Dishwashing                         15 gallons
    Bathroom sink                        8 gallons
    Utility sink                              5 gallons
    So, we can see that the bathroom is the most wasteful.  A shower uses up to 4 gallons of water per minute; brushing your teeth can take 10 gallons if you leave the water running while you shave.   Needless to say, the bottom line here is to turn off the water except when its needed. Check carefully for leaky faucets, since even a slow leak can lose 50 to 100 gallons a day.  Finally, since the toilet is the primary water waster, using one fourth of the domestic water consumed in most countries, a good idea would be to put a weighted plastic bottle on the toilet tank. A quart bottle would save a quart of water   per flush, and so forth.  More bottles can be added until you see how effectuvely you can flush with less water. Additionally, the toilets in your home should be rourinely checked for leaks. If you’re buying a new toilet for new construction or remodeling, there are water-saving models now available which use 1.6 gallons of water per flush.  Water-saving shower heads are another obvious, inexpensive way to limit water flow – up to cutting it in half.
    A final tip, in the winter plug the drain in the shower and let the warm water help warm and humidify the home. Also leave the tub water in until it gets cold.
A Better Approach to Cancer
    In 1971 when Congress declared war on cancer and hoped to eliminate it by 1976, about 17% of all deaths were due to cancer. Now in the 1990s, some expect the percent of deaths due to cancer to reach 30 %.   In 1990, 1,040,000 people will be diagnosed as having cancer, and 510,000 will die of it, that is 1,397 a day, 1 about every 62 seconds.
    When one considers the amount of technology and know-how that has been thrown at this disease, these are startling figures.     Orthodox medicine sees the ultimate solution as simply throwing more dollars at the same approach that has been used for the past thirty years.   Few have concluded from this epidemialogical data that there is something fundamentally wrong in our approach.  Our disease vector mentality leads us to believe that right around the corner there will be a new pharmaceutical discovery that will vanquish this plague forever.
    These figures are also disturbing from a personal or human perspective. The disease does not just cause death, it often destroys families, obliterates economic resources, and can grotesquely damage and torture vibrant human lives. It is definitely a disease to prevent, not just wait to attempt a cure for.
    Lets talk about the basic approach to this disease and see if perhaps another one might prove more fruitful.
    Cancer is seen as a genetic aberration.  Some carcinogenic action causes the genetic mechanism within cells to go awry and selfishly decimate the body.  The obvious solution seems to be, and is the one commonly used, to destroy these renegade cells.     It is the same approach we use to infectious disease where the pathogen is seen as the enemy to be obliterated and from there health will result.
    The mutation theory however does not fit certain evidences.  For example, cancer takes long to develop and does so in predictable ways  which does not fit with mutations. Additionally, the genetic alterations that occur in cancer are unlike those produced by point mutations alone, and in some instances the mutation doesn’t even occur until after the cancer has started.
    An alternate view is that a cancer cell is simply a reaction to an altered or degraded physiological environment.   This is reminiscent of a similar argument by the French physiologist, Claude Bernard, who argued the homeostatic mechanisms within the body, those designed to maintain the status quo, are the critical elements for health. If this is true, cancer cells are simply normal cells that have reacted to an abnormal physiologic context. This would mean a fundamental change should take place in our approach to cancer prevention, and therapy. It would mean we should seek an understanding of the correct physiological balances and do what is necessary to protect, restore, and augment them, rather than simply attempt to blow cancer cells to smithereens.
    We have eluded before in the Review some serious questions regarding biological change. The classic Neo-Darwinian view of how life got here, specifically through random mutations and natural selection, is widely held but seriously flawed. We had a discussions few issues ago about the Stochastic problems in accounting for the chance emergence, for example of complex proteins or nucleic acids.,  moving in frim bioporesis, or the emergence of the original biochemicals to the changes that occur in organisms over time, the notion that no change can occur but that which is a result of chance rearrangement in genetic material is perhaps overly simplified.
    Experiments with E. coli suggest that influences from the external environment can affect the genetic make-up of the organism.  Similarly, lactose persistence on human adults is an adaptation to forced consumption of milk into adult years.  Drinking milk is not necessary for survival and is a phenomenon only arguably suited for the young. That adults are able to maintain lactase into adulthood is believed to be a result somehow of continued consumption of milk. This flies in the face of classic evolutionary biology which would argue that such capability could only come as a result of genetic change in sex cells rendering some in the population capable of utilizing lactose into adulthood and consequently selecting them, based on the ability of this feature, to help assure survivability. However, there is nothing about lactose consumption that is critical for survival.
    Another study showed that by stroking plants, the genetic make-up of the plant could be altered.  Recently studies of Entamoeba histolytica which affects the intestine of nearly 500 million people and kills almost 40,000 people a year raises further questions about the impact of the environment on genetic capabilities. It seems that only about 10%of hosts  of this organism develop the disease.  There are both benign forms of the amoeba and pathogenic strains.  The two strains are quite different as indicated by differences in their isoenzymes their cell adhesion properties, vulnerability to the immune system’s cell rupturing proteins, and other enzyme features, extremely interesting experiments published in Experimental Parasitology and Infection and Immunity have shown that although the benign amoeba ate, the experimenters were able to cause the benign bacteria to adapt slowly to a diet of the rice.  But once they made this adaption the zymodeme, which is the particular isoenzyme pattern of the amoeba, had also changed, indicating new genetic characteristics for the benign amoeba.  These new genetic characteristics were found to coincide with those of the pathogenic amoeba, and this the benign had been transformed into the pathogenic simply by altering its food context.
    Many researchers are aghast at these results, stating that it is a stretch of the imagination how an organism can change its genome depending on its environment. But the results have been repeated and give further reason to believe that our environment can play a very profound role, not only on our somatic attributes, but also in genotypic characteristics.
    Another extraordinary example of the ability of context to determine genetic make-up and biological expression is found in embryology.  We all begin as a zygote, the fertilized ova, as a single set of calls profoundly different from one another, some cells form bones, others immune cells, others skin, and so forth. The result depends entirely on their context.  Factors within the developing embryo determine how the expression of the genetic material is going to occur.  Change the microenvironment of certain cells and certain parts of the blastula, or gastrula, cells meant to become one thing can become something else entirely, threatening the survivability of the organism. The incredible complexity of this phenomenon where one cell ends up making a body of diverse specialized cell systems is bewildering to say the least.
    Dr. Black in a very interesting booklet entitled “Cancer, Can It Be Reversed?,” (see resource A) summarizes further observations which confirm the principle that cells are what they are based on their context. For example, normal cells can transform into cancer cells by simply altering their environment. Such changes would include dietary changes, heat, rotating experimental animals, and implanting physical barriers that impede cell to cell communication. Genetic changes occurring in cancer are exceedingly complex and systematic, indicating coordination suggestive of adaptation rather than the random destruction of point mutations. It is believed, in fact, that cancer changes are nothing more than activation as the result of some sort of environmental stimulus of genes that lie dormant within the genome.
    Cancer could then be simply the cell’s abrogation of its environment once that environment has altered beyond a certain point. If the cell does not die of the adversity, it will do all it can to survive, which might mean declaring its independence of the situation and striking our on its own. In another vernacular, its saying to hell with you, body, if you continue to choke me by altering the health of my home, I’m no longer going to serve you. I’m going to save my butt and do my own thing. This makes a lot of sense. If we bathe our cells in trans-fatty acids, alar, carbon monoxide, DDT, dioxins, formaldehyde, heavy metals, oxidized fats, aldicarb and empty calorie sludge, what do we expect them to do?
    Cancer cells dedifferentiate which means they lose their highly adaptive characteristics as they had existed within the specific tissue of which they were a part.  As we have mentioned before in the Review, specialization is risky business because the more specialized you are the more vulnerable you are to change. Altering the natural wholesome environment is viewed by tissues as an insult, a threat, and the cell perhaps responds by dedifferentiating, this not being as vulnerable to these environmental degradations. In effect cells becoming neoplastic may do simply because they are no longer properly informed from their environment as to these environment as to what they should be.  A degraded context confuses messages to cells, normally holding them in place to be what they are supposed to be.  The cell reacts by turning off these inputs and striking off on its own to grow, reproduce, and thrive as best it can.
    Following through with this scenario, we could say that cancer cells are normal cells which are doing that they must to survive, and that means turning off their highly adaptive restraints which do not allow the to resist whatever environmental insult is threatening them and taking on a more versatile, unrestrained character that allows them to changes as they must to survive without regard for the larger organism of which they are a part. They become capable of surviving in a oxygen deprived environment by shifting energy metabolism to fermentation.   They excrete toxic substances more efficiently, compete more effectively for nutrients, and have more efficient DNA repair mechanisms than normal tissue adaptive   cells. They become true survivors. They are suggestive of more primitive cells, such as bacteria.  Neoplastic cells sort of change from special technicians to Neanderthals with clubs in hand.
    Parallels we see elsewhere in nature. For example, microbes have the ability to adapt to the environmental assault of antibiotics by developing resistance to them.  Insects develop resistance to pesticides.
    By what mechanism does this occur? Is it a result of simply random mutation and survival of the fittest, or is it the innate ability of organisms to modify their genetic expressions to fit a changing environment.
    Other evidences that support the importance of context in the development of cancer including situations where cancer cells transplanted into normal tissue lose their malignant character. Cancer cells also have the ability to become much more resistant to reversal.
    This alternate environmental or context of the development of cancer helps explain why many cancer treatments are also cancer inducing. Most forms of cancer treatment dramatically alter the healthful environment if tissues and thus set the stage for development of neoplastic cells.   On other words, of the problem is that the environmental context of cells is unhealthy, to further exacerbate that would only make the problem worse.  Its also interesting that some cancer cells, after having been exposed to such treatments, become actually stronger and more resistant to any form of cytotoxic therapy.
    From this information we can also deduce what would be necessary to prevent and perhaps reverse cancer.  It would mean seeking a healthy context for our cells, tissue, and body and maintaining it.   This would include an appropriate diet, the use of natural substances perhaps including certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, and so forth that help restore natural balances, it would include regular exercise, exposure to sunshine, and a healthful mental attitude toward life.
    In a previous issue we talked about the dramatic changes that have occuredin our environment in the last 200 years.   We compare this with one inch on a line that in 276 miles long with the 276 miles representing the time that our bodies were exposed to a natural, more pristine environment, cancer has increased.  Our cells seem to be saying, ”You go ahead and destroy yourself by polluting your body in one form or another, I’m going too strike out on my own and live happily ever after.
    This view of cancer certainly fits with the themes we have continued to emphasize in the Review.. the question is why does the public and the scientific community even cling to the more simplistic view that disease results from an outside vector assaulting us hapless victims. There ate perhaps many reasons and there is certainly no simple answer to that.  But perhaps there is an element of laziness here as well as commercial opportunity.  Laziness from the standpoint that viewing disease as an assault from the outside requires little change in our part.  In other words, if disease is simply a matter of time and circumstance, the there is no reason for us to do anything to prevent disease, to modify our lives, to change habits and so forth. Staying the same is always the easiest way. On the other hand, the notion that there is the enemy outside of us ready to strike us down creates an opportunity for heroes. The heroes in our day are those within the medical establishment designing and prescribing silver bullets to kill the enemies. So we tend to take the attitude that disease is just one of those things and if it does occur, technology will hopefully provide a solution. This permits us to not have to make any uncomfortable   changes in our lives and creates tremendous financial opportunity for those with the six shooters.
        Wysong Book Store, 1880 N Eastman Road, Midland, MI 48642, 1-517-631-0009
        Black, Dean, “Cancer, Can It Be Reversed?”, The Healing Currents Series, 1990, pp 1-12.
        Hart, Stephen, “Mystery Amoeba”, Science News, September 30, 1989, pp 216-7, 219.