A healthy immune system controls the amount of inflammation the body uses to defend itself from infection and mutating cancer cells, and to help its healing processes. The body has to control the intensity of its inflammatory responses so that it doesn’t attack healthy, “by-stander” cells and tissues. [When the body attacks its own self, an autoimmune response, conditions such as arthritis, lupus, and diabetes result.] To control inflammation means that the body has to stay balanced all the time. When inflammatory responses are balanced the body is in immune/inflammatory homeostasis.
Immune homeostasis, immune balance is what keeps cancer in check. Too much inflammation may trigger cancer cells to grow and multiply, and they in turn may trigger more inflammation to occur.
Cigarette smoke has carcinogens, compounds, that cause genes to mutate, or to switch on and off, phenomena known as epigenic events. Additionally, exposure to cigarette smoke stimulates the release of inflammatory cytokines, molecular messages produced by immune cells. When these molecules are released into the body they may cause imbalances in the inflammatory process, and a loss of immune homeostasis, immune balance.
Smoking results in the perfect “cancer storm”, because cigarette smoke not only cause inflammation, but it also contributes to angiogensis, the growth of new blood vessels that tumor cells use to grow and multiply in numbers.
Normally, there is a balance of growth-stimulating and growth-inhibitory molecules so that blood vessels form only when and where they are needed, for example when blood vessels are damaged.
However, cancer cells upset signaling and the body starts produces fresh blood vessels. These blood vessels “feed” growing tumors with oxygen and nutrients, allowing the cancer cells to invade nearby tissues and to migrate throughout the body, metastasizing, and forming new colonies of cancer cells.
A study from the National Cancer Institute published this month, analyzed 1400 different inflammatory and immune genes from lung cancer patients and healthy individuals. In 44 genes there appeared to be an association between lung cancer and certain genetic differences in the cells.
The scientists focused their work on an important inflammatory gene and found that individuals with a specific type of gene linked to inflammation had a 21% to 44% lower likelihood of getting lung cancer than those with a different form of the same gene.
Once again, the key is that the body needs to stay in balance, and if you maintain balance, especially immune inflammatory homeostasis, your quality of life will be changed forever.
Feel free to contact Dr. Hellen at DrHellen@DrHellenGreenblatt.info with questions or to consult with her. A message may also be left at: 1.302-265.3870 or click on: http://drhellengreenblatt.info/contact-dr-hellen/.
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