The latest news is that President Obama is initiating a “Cancer Moonshot”. Now this is a full 45 years later since President Nixon started the first “War on Cancer” that was supposed to be an massive effort to eradicate cancer, and today cancer incidence are at an all-time high. So I guess that we are to believe that the Medical Establishment and the US government is really ready to truly get rid of cancer this time. So after 45 years of hard work on curing cancer, we have more cancer than we’ve ever had. And now we’re waiting for the same people, the same organizations that couldn’t get it done the first time to get it right this time. After spending many billions of dollars, if not trillions, on cancer research and treatments, we have more cancer than ever.
One indicator that they are not really serious about curing cancer is that they never publicize things that anyone can do to greatly reduce their chances of preventing cancer. Things like taking Vitamin D supplements, or better yet, getting 30 minutes of sunlight per day. Or taking supplemental selenium on a regular basis. Or reducing your sugar intake. These are simple things that anybody can do to greatly minimize the chances that they receive a cancer diagnosis. But do you hear these simple things being promoted as much as those endless cancer fundraisers? It makes me wonder whether or not the money is more important to these people than actually reducing the cancer rate. What does it look like to you?
By Dr. Mercola
At the end of January 2016, President Obama established the “Cancer Moonshot Task Force” with the aim of creating a comprehensive plan to enable progress in treatment and care of cancer.1
Based on the overwhelming amount of evidence at our disposal, optimizing vitamin D is one of the foundational strategies that really need to be part of any comprehensive cancer treatment plan, yet from the looks of it, it’s not.
On Medscape’s website, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong explains the new technologies the Moonshot program aims to bring forward. You can also learn more about the program in the press conference video below.
Soon-Shiong invented human nanoparticles out of blood, which allows the cancer to be mapped. The treatment also involves whole genome sequencing and personalized, targeted immunotherapy. As noted by Soon-Shiong:
“My view of the next-generation therapy is to take this high-dose standard-of-care chemotherapy and reduce it to low-dose chemotherapy given in the outpatient setting.
Then, we engage in hand-to-hand combat with the cancer cells in real time with the dendritic cell, the natural killer cell, the T cell, and the suppressor cell.”
How Many Must Die Before Vitamin D Science Is Recognized?
While Soon-Shiong wisely recognizes the need to strengthen immune function, allowing the body to clear itself of the cancer without resorting to “carpet bombing” with toxic chemicals, he doesn’t mention the influence of vitamin D on immune function at all.
I firmly believe that any cancer prevention or treatment strategy that excludes vitamin D is depriving the patient of a safe and vital immune boost to defeat the cancer.
Moreover, the current recommendation to avoid sun exposure in order to avoid skin cancer is likely increasing other more serious cancers. Prevention, after all, is worth a pound of cure, so why are people told to engage in behavior that will dramatically increase their cancer risk?
Recent research2 shows that UV abstinence is actually as dangerous as smoking when it comes to cancer and overall mortality risks. In this “competing risk” analysis, the life expectancy of sun avoiders was reduced by as much as two years when compared to those who got the highest amount of sun exposure.
As noted by Michael T. Murray, N.D. who reported and commented on these findings:3
“These results shatter conventional wisdom, but they are not new. Noted vitamin D researcher Dr. Michael Holick, warned almost a decade ago that avoiding sun exposure to prevent skin cancer results in such a drop in vitamin D levels that for every life saved from skin cancer over 100 people will lose their lives to other forms of cancer …”
Improving Vitamin D Status Is a Key Cancer Prevention Tool
The evidence now clearly shows that once you reach a serum vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml, you see a major reduction in virtually all cancers.
The Health and Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine, IOM) has also reported an association between vitamin D and overall mortality risk from all causes, including cancer.
So why is there such resistance against vitamin D optimization through sun exposure as a cancer prevention strategy when the scientific evidence showing the enormous benefits are right there in black and white?
Vitamin D has become one of the most well-researched nutrients out there, and studies have repeatedly demonstrated that it can significantly reduce your cancer risk, and increase your chances of surviving cancer if you do get it.
Most recently, researchers at the University of California found that women with a vitamin D serum level of 40 ng/ml or greater had a 67 percent lower risk of cancer compared to women with levels of 20 ng/ml or less.
How Vitamin D Helps Protect Against Cancer
Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body, which is part of why it’s effective against so many different kinds of cancer and other disease states. Your organs convert the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitrol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D. Your organs then use calcitrol to repair damage, including that from cancer cells. Vitamin D also triggers apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
According to vitamin D researcher Cedric Garland in nearly all forms of breast cancer vitamin D affects the structure of your epithelial cells. These cells are held together by a glue-like substance called E-cadherin, which provides structure to the cell. E-cadherin is made up of mostly vitamin D and calcium. If you don’t have adequate vitamin D, that structure comes apart and those cells do what they are programmed to do in order to survive — they go forth and multiply. If this cell proliferation gets out of control, you may end up with cancer.
If you have breast cancer in progress, the addition of vitamin D can help stop cancer cells in their tracks by replenishing E-cadherin. Once cancer growth is slowed, your immune system can begin to get ahead of the cancer cells, because it doesn’t have to deal with such an overabundance of them.
Researchers have also discovered two specific compounds that appear to enhance the antitumor activity of calcitrol. They found that overexpression of an enzyme called CYP24A1 was responsible for dampening calcitrol’s antitumor effect, and the two compounds in question help inhibit this enzyme, thereby boosting calcitrol’s protective effects against cancer. A third compound was also found to increase expression of a protein that helps inhibit cancer growth.
Optimizing Your Vitamin D Level Is a Simple, Inexpensive Disease Prevention Strategy
Prior to 2000, few doctors ever considered the possibility that you might be vitamin D deficient. But as the technology to measure vitamin D became inexpensive and widely available, it became increasingly clear that vitamin D deficiency is rampant, and that it is a major factor influencing cancer rates.
While statistics vary, it’s generally found that at least half of the U.S. population has insufficient amounts of vitamin D. Researchers have also noted that vitamin D deficiency is particularly prevalent in people who always wear sun protection (which blocks vitamin D production) or limit their outdoor activities.
Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It’s actually a steroid hormone that you are designed to obtain primarily through sun exposure, not via your diet. While some foods do contain some vitamin D, either naturally or through fortification, it would be nearly impossible to get all the vitamin D you need from diet alone.
At present, the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), and many other cancer organizations recommend complete and total sun avoidance in order to prevent skin cancer. The AAD will not even acknowledge different recommendations based on skin type.
This is a disastrous recommendation, as sun avoidance has been shown to increase your risk of death very similar to that of smoking. It’s incomprehensible to me that health officials would warn you about the risks of smoking, but not about the risks of sun avoidance, when both have similar impact on disease and mortality risks.