Steve’s Understanding of Cancer

I would rename this something like

Cancer: another view

by Steve Richfield


Our understanding of cancer is still evolving, so I won’t be so arrogant as to explain how everything works as though I fully understand it, but rather I will explain the some current principles, hopefully in enough depth to help guide you through your own treatment of your cancer. If you know something that I clearly don’t know that you feel should be included in this paper, then please send it to me for inclusion.

There are a few sources that can damage DNA which is accepted as a cause of cancer.

Radiation from various sources strikes your DNA and other structures in your cells and causes damage. Common Sources of radiation include:

50% from external radiation originating from earth
29% from cosmic rays
15% from radioactive potassium
K40 in our own bodies
2% from radioactive carbon
C14 in our own bodies

Increasing radiation from xray departments in hospitals and nuclearindustries (so I have read!)

In addition:

Parasites often take a bite out of your DNA, so that your cells reproduce with DNA damage.
DNA damage can also be caused by some chemicals.
DNA damage can also happen in cellular reproduction, especially where DNA is shortened.

Increased chemical medical intervention (it appears to me Steve the increase in the use of antibiotics coincides with the increase in cancers (quinolones are reputed to damage DNA - though I haven’t found the research to support this)

However, regardless of the source of DNA damage, cancers require an assortment of very precise alterations to be able to do all of the clever things that they need do to be able to kill you. These include:

  1. Reproducing really fast, so that they can kill you before you die of old age.
  2. Recruiting additional blood supplies to support their activities.
  3. Evading recognition by your immune system, and/or ignoring signals to self-destruct.
  4. Casting cells into your lymph and blood to spread elsewhere.


These changes must be made SO precisely that it is extremely unlikely that any single mutation could cause them. It would be like winning the lottery with four consecutive tickets. Even nearly lethal sources of mutations are highly unlikely to produce such a “winning” combination. However, we have a sort of demonic Darwinian evolution going on that “helps” the process of evolving cancers, much just like it helped the process along of evolving us. I like this!


First, mutations kill many cells, but give one cell an “advantage” over the cells around it, e.g. it might be mutated to reproduce faster. Soon there are thousands of these “improved” cells, and the “improved” cells are receiving mutations. Most of the mutated cells die, but eventually one of them receives a second “advantageous” mutation, e.g. it might be able to recruit blood vessels. This process continues mutation after mutation, until eventually a cell has all of the laundry list of “features” needed to kill you, which it then proceeds to do. In short, it isn’t the total radiation that causes cancers, but that it occurs over time to cause the succession of mutations, with time between mutations needed to grow new bad cells, and eventually to replace all other cells. Is the environment that these cells mutate in also conducive to their success?


However, Mutated cells are almost always weaker than other cells, because in addition to the demonic mutations, there has almost always been other disadvantageous mutations. Hence, mutated cells are usually much less able to recover from minor damage. It is this “feature” that is utilized in many cancer treatments.


OK, so how can you possibly deal with such a demonic process? There are several strategies:

  1. Quickly kill them when they start, e.g. cut out everything that doesn’t look right. This isn’t (yet) practical, because of the high mutation rate (no one wants daily surgery) and the present inability to spot tiny cancers. For larger tumors, this is the surgical method. There are some nano-technological approaches that are now being investigated, that might be able to accomplish this.
  2. Stress the body so that the weaker cells die. This is the chemotherapy and radiation approach. Unfortunately, chemotherapy affects some glands (e.g. gonads) more than other areas, so that doses sufficient to kill most cancers also sterilize the patients. Radiation, in addition to stressing cells, also causes more mutations, so often one cancer is simply replaced by another. Some chemotherapy agents also cause additional mutations. Stresses can be applied in other ways, e.g. radically shifting the body’s pH, heating the affected areas, etc.
  3. Genetic methods, as have been developed by Dr. Burzynski, to produce chemicals that target certain specific sequences common to many cancers, but which do not occur in non-cancerous cells.
  4. Repair your body’s immune system to again become able to recognize and kill cancer cells, e.g. restore the ability to change body temperature as may be needed to mount a counterattack. A healthy body can only kill ~1oz=30grams of tumor(over what period), so this sometimes requires tumor reduction surgery or other pharmacological support to accomplish.


Unfortunately, it is quite rare for cancer patients to receive competent treatment that adequately considers the range of possibilities, while avoiding the all-too-common pitfalls. Here are the common pitfalls:

  1. Failing to first diagnose and then repair the immunological malfunctions that are usually present. This does NOT involve “strengthening” the immune system with various potions, but instead involves getting all the way down to the bottom of whatever is wrong and fixing it. Highly restricted (define this - high/low?) body temperature seems to be the most common problem here. This is a do-or-die thing, as without a healthy immune system, your long term prospects won’t be good no matter what else you do.
  2. Failure to look at Not looking at the non-mainstream options like Dr. Burzynski’s antineoplaston treatments. For some cancers, these can be magic bullets with no adverse side effects.
  3. Failure to administer chemotherapy appropriately. Blindly administering chemotherapy agents without first testing many of them on biopsy tissue to see which one works best, and in what dosage. Often, very low doses of the right agent can do the job, so that you can keep your hair and still have kids. Proceeding to treatment while failing to do this lab test constitutes gross medical negligence.
  4. Failing to be aware of radiation treatment consequences. Undergoing radiation treatment without first exhausting all other options. This is an error because radiation treatment accelerates aging and shortens life. By greatly reducing the lifespan of those who are “cured” of their cancers, they often reduce the average life expectancy despite their success in killing cancers. One “successful” case, Art Lache, my friend and famous inventor of the machinery that handles silicon wafers with puffs of air instead of physical mechanisms, was completely cured of his slow-growing lung cancer by radiation treatments. However, during the following few months of his life he grew very old, added at least 30 years of deterioration, turned gray, the life seemed to drain out of him, until one day he took a minor misstep that fractured his back near the site of the former cancer, and he died soon after in misery. Had he received no treatment at all, he had ~10 years left to live instead of which he lived x after radiation. Before undergoing radiation, meet some people who have “successfully” gone through similar treatments in past years and take a CAREFUL look at them, and decide if you want this to be the best that you can hope for.
  5. Failing to consider “high-risk” do-or-die methods where “success” promises a complete cure with no downsides. These can involve ideas such as ____and ____Consider my friend Dr. Stephen M. Zang MD JD, the only doctor/lawyer I have ever known. Dr. Zang contracted leukemia and was expected to die in one year, even with the best of treatments from the Stanford Medical Center. His immune system was compromised in ways that looked easily repairable, so I proposed simply repairing them and seeing what happened. This had never been done in cases like his, as there was considerable concern that a fully-functional immune system would throw his leukemia into overdrive and promptly kill him. So, we estimated the odds of various outcomes: ~17% prompt death; ~33% almost dying, but by re-trashing his immune system he would able to get back to his path of dying in a year - does this mean that by by trying and failing?; and ~50% complete cure. Dr. Zang just couldn’t accept the Russian roulette chance of prompt death, so he chose not to repair his immune system, and he died one year later as projected. Myself, I believe in “live well, or die trying”, so without a second thought I would have opted to simply accept the chance of prompt death or illness, for the 50% prospect of living decades longer. Note that had Dr. Zang chosen to repair his immune system and “won” the 50:50 chance of success, that thousands of other leukemia patients who have since died would now be alive.
  6. Failure to administer treatments in an effective way.Growing stronger cancers, where treatments are administered in an ineffective way, e.g. chemotherapy that is not sufficient to kill the cancer. This also applies to countless dietary and other treatments. Every unsuccessful thing you halfway do “selects” mutations that are impervious to your treatment, dooming future similar but stronger measures that might have otherwise succeeded. Hence, if you are going to do something, do it ALL THE WAY, and then if it fails, DON”T DO IT AGAIN. Unfortunately, “all the way” can have really serious consequences for many treatments, e.g. chemotherapy, so keeping this in mind can change your whole strategy. For example, you might be hypothyroid and have a 97.4F=36.3C daytime temperature and be considering taking thyroid meds like Synthyroid or Levoxyl that would predictably raise your temperature to 98.0F=36.7C that will help your immune system. However, halfway boosting your immune system could/would select cancer cells to evade your immune system, so that later correcting your central hypothermia to get your temperature all the way up to 98.6F=37C would then be ineffective in killing your cancer.


OK, all that having been said, how do I proceed to not only kill my cancer, and not cure my cancer so that it doesn’t recur later, but get back on track to living a long and healthy life with absolutely no reason to suspect that another cancer might be growing within me?


If you do the first two weeks well, your chances are excellent. Otherwise, they are less…


When your cancer is first recognized, your doctor may want to take a biopsy, and will probably want to wait a couple of weeks before doing anything, just to see what the tumor does without treatment. During those two weeks, you need to:

  1. See that the biopsy includes enough material to identify which (if any) chemotherapy agents would succeed against it, and have it sent to a suitable lab to not only characterize the tumor, but also to analyze potential chemotherapy agents. Care needs to be taken with biopsies as i understand they can cause metastases if done badly - there are somewhere guidelines for this (Lynne Farrow knows!)
  2. Get a full immunological workup to see what isn’t working right. Don’t forget to see that your body temperature is cycling at least up to 98.6F=37C during the day, if not higher.(I would put this as a separate point.)
  3. Survey your diet and supplements, and correct any deficiencies.
  4. Develop a plan to stress your body. Perhaps the most famous such plan was Lance Armstrong’s plan, which included becoming a champion bicycle racer, on the apparent theory that pushing himself to the very edge of death would kill anything that didn’t belong there. Some have intentionally contracted malaria, to push their temperatures way up, and succeeded. More conservative measures include pushing your blood into the alkaline region, heating your body in a hot tub up to the edge of death, various herbal remedies, etc. Do everything that won’t permanently harm you in one shot, all at the same time, and not as a series of measures that cancer cells might survive one at a time. This maximizes your chances for life (and also a quick death).

What do you do if this fails? This would mean that your particular tumor cells are NOT particularly weak, are able to combat a healthy immune system, etc., and hence that you will almost certainly die no matter what you do. Hence, failure is NOT an option during your initial efforts. Note that these measures can all be instituted quickly and their effects can be quickly measured. Hence, they do NOT consume your time to the point that they compromise “conventional” methods.

  1. Sure there are some last-ditch options on failure of the initial efforts described above, but they are hardly worth discussing. Surgery can succeed depending on location. Chemotherapy will almost certainly fail against strong tumor cells unless you happened to get wildly lucky and identify an effective chemotherapy agent from the biopsy. Radiation may work, and at this point its downsides (e.g. rapid aging) don’t look nearly so bad when compared with the alternatives (e.g. slow painful death). At least with this(which?) path, you needn’t suffer the downsides of “slash, poison and burn” (“modern” cancer treatment) unless/until more conservative measures have already failed.