Cancer 101

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and at any moment directly affects almost 4% of the population, or about 10.8 million Americans. A diagnosis of cancer can be one of the most frightening moments in someone's life, and yet most people understand little about the disease. I hear the same questions about cancer over and over again, so it's well past time to give a bit of an explanation of this set of diseases.

First of all, cancer isn't a single disease----it's over a hundred different diseases with certain commonalities. Second, cancer has many synonyms, some of which are rather confusing. A "tumor" and "neoplasm" can refer any growth, cancerous or otherwise. The modifiers "benign" and "malignant" tell you whether or not it's cancer. For example, a colon polyp is a benign neoplasm or benign tumor, whereas a colon cancer is a malignant neoplasm or tumor.

There is a lot of different and confusing terminology in oncology (the study of cancer) but in general, there is a pattern. Most cancers are named for the tissue in which they originated. As we get to terms, I'll define them.

So what makes these dozens of different diseases all "cancer"? Cancer cells are not normal. The growth and division of normal cells is closely regulated. If cells just kept dividing, we would all be very large, undefined blobs of tissue. Most cells in the body eventually die, either because they have been programmed to live only so long, or because they have developed genetic defects. If a cell develops a genetic defect which makes it forget to die, it stays where it is instead of making way for new cells. If it also develops a genetic defect that keeps it dividing, it not only lives for ever, but so do all of its daughter cells. A mass of identical, immortal cells that keep dividing is called a tumor.

A tumor, whether benign or malignant, can cause problems just by taking up space. For example, if a tumor grows in your throat, it doesn't need to be cancerous to prevent you from breathing. Still, cancerous tumors have some especially nasty properties. They not only take up space, but they actually invade nearby tissues, growing into them and destroying them. Going back to the tumor in the throat, a benign one will simply take up space, whereas a cancerous one could, for instance, grow into a blood vessel, causing you to bleed. The other nasty property of cancers is their ability to travel away from their origin. Most normal cells cannot just break away, travel through the blood, and make a new home elsewhere (metastasis). Cancer cells can often do this.

This property of metastasis confuses people quite a bit, because cancers are named for their tissue of origin. Someone with breast cancer with metastases to the brain does not have "brain cancer". They still have breast cancer, but with "mets" to the brain. Different cancers have different patterns of spread.

So, cancers are masses of immortal, dividing cells that do not respect tissue boundaries and can metastasize throughout the body.* They are named for the type of tissue and the organ they came from. This leads to further confusion. For example, there are many types of lung cancer. If the cells are glandular, the cancer is an "adenocarcinoma" of the lung. If they are from a bronchial lining, it is a "squamous cell carcinoma" of the lung. This system is not completely uniform, and the names of some cancers are hold-overs from an earlier era of medicine. For example, multiple myeloma is actually a type of blood cancer, closer to a leukemia than anything else, but the old name has stuck.

So why do we care about all these different names, etc.? Because different types of cancer behave differently. Cancers of the skin are the most common type of cancer, but most of them behave in a very benign way, making them easy to remove and cure. Cancer of the pancreas almost never behaves well.

When a cancer is suspected, a mass is biopsied, either by taking a small piece, or removing it altogether. A pathologist looks at the cells under the microscope and subjects them to various analyses to determine whether they are cancerous, what kind of cells they are, and whether they have begun to invade other tissues. The cells are often "graded" based on how abnormal they have become compared to their tissue of origin.

Once the cancer is identified, it is "staged", that is, the extent and severity of the cancer is defined, usually by the so-called TNM system (Tumor Node Metastasis). Using this collection of information---the cell type, grade, and stage of the tumor---and our knowledge of how tumors behave, treatment can be planned either to slow the cancer and/or make the patient more comfortable (palliative therapy), or to eliminate it (curative therapy).

Cancer is a blanket term for a set of diseases that involve abnormal cell growth. There is no one treatment for "cancer".** It is a complex, constantly changing field, and fascinating. And while "the C-word" may be scary, the details are important, and often a source of hope.

If someone tosses you the C-word, after the shock wears off, it's time to get to work. Find out what you're really dealing with. Demystify, gain knowledge, empower yourself. Cancer is usually a stressful journey, but not one that always ends poorly. Go and learn.

*Blood cancers don't usually form tumor masses (although they sometimes do). The tumor cells float through the blood along with normal cells. These cancers are usually called "leukemias" ("white blood"), and there are dozens of different varieties.

**The corollary is that websites and doctors that claim their product treats all cancers are full of shit. Run from them.

NB: There are many good and bad cancer resources on the web. A good place to start is the National Cancer Institute.

More like this

Excellent post. Very informative. I have a lot of respect for oncologists and general physicans who deal with a lot of cancer patients for whatever reason; I have trouble imagining a more difficult field, especially when it comes to communicating with patients.

The field of oncology is fascinating--and as I understand it, it changes so quickly that unless you're an oncologist and dedicated to staying on top of things it gets away from you very rapidly. I think that's part of the reason people are so drawn to woo regarding cancer; if medicine is complicated, oncology is doubly so. Of course, having a simple answer is no good if it's wrong.

Great post! I'm no oncologist but to me while "it's over a hundred different diseases" seems daunting, "with certain commonalities." seems heartening. Because if most of them work the same way, then if the underlying mechanism can be harnessed, shouldn't it help in treating and curing most cancers, or all of these "different diseases?"

One of the authors of Science-Based Medicine has cautioned that the American Cancer Society has become a bit woo-friendly. A brief look at the ACS site shows that, while they explicitly state that things like acupuncture and reiki cannot treat cancer, they may be useful for palliating symptoms and/or side-effects of treatment.

Thanks for this. It brought to light 1 or 2 things I had completely forgotten about cancer. I'll never forget the 2 year-old who came into the ER in the wee hours of the morning and I what I saw in his CBC: 65,000 WBC, all blasts... Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. While I have the slide in my "interesting cases" box, I never knew what happened to him... I hope he's about 10 years old now.

Great post. You will never have to explain anything about cancer to anyone ever again.

***ALERT*** Only sort of related anecdote/pop culture reference follows. ***

I was talking to a colleague about "Bridget Jones' Diary" the other day, and there is a bit where B.J. is at a publisher's party and Salman Rushdie is there. In the background someone asks Rushdie, "So, do a lot of your ideas come from your own life?" and Rushdie says with agonized sincerity: "Ah, very good. Nobody has EVER asked me that before..."


One of the reasons that I am so mad at woo charlatans is the depths of depravity that one must be willing to accept to sell a fake cure to a dying person. A good friend of mine had a son who at about age 4 or so started to lose his balance. The mother took him in to Cardinal Glennon, the local top-flight children's hospital, and got a brain cancer diagnosis. The little fellow held on for a year, had lots of surgery, and I remember toward the end was swollen from the steroids. Toward the end, he was about to go on an experimental drug regimen, but that had to be suspended because the cancer had stopped up the fluid of his spinal column and the drug would not have been able to reach the part of his brain that it needed to for the study. (There. I believe I explained that nicely.) Mom was understandably distraught, and she told me that there was a guy in the American Southwest who "had a treatment" that involved an extract from distilled horse urine. And it killed me to have to tell her that her time was better spent with her son, that if this guy had a cure for cancer, he would have been up for multiple Nobel Prizes by now. She was going through St. Jude's and had already had the best care that her son could hope for. She didn't go to Arizona, and, not long after, her son died. That quack is the lowest form of human garbage and a predator. He should be [insert image of protracted physical discomfort and public shaming here]. He is going to the "special hell," to quote Joss Whedon, of child molesters and people who talk at the theater.


Very clear and concise article. Thanks. I just ran across this bit of dumbfuckery and thought it was right up your alley.

Without Chemo

Sure, chemotherapy is great if you want nausea, hair loss and depression...and no guarantee you'll live.

There can be EASIER, SAFER and more NATURAL ways to survive--and this M.D. is going to share them with you...

How is this kind of crap even legal? It's hard for me to comprehend how people can be sucked into this.



G'day PalMD. Good post.
"A pathologist looks at the cells under the microscope and subjects them to various analyses to determine whether they are cancerous, what kind of cells they are, and whether they have begun to invade other tissues. "

What is it that they look for in a biopsy - how can you tell whether a tumor is invasive by looking at a piece of it if it has not started to invade?

What a great question. I depends on a few things. For example, if you take out a colon polyp, and some of the cells appear to be cancerous, you can look to see if they have begun to grow below the layer of cells that they came from, or if they are in any of the local lymphatic tissue or blood vessels. I picture would help, so I'll try to dig one up.

Wow, this is really a great article. A couple years ago, my uncle was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer, and it's great to finally understand the basis of what cancer actually is. I was surprised to find out that cancer isn't just one single disease, but it's really "over a hundred different diseases with certain commonalities." I found that very interesting. I went to the National Cancer Institute website, as suggested, and I found that there are five main categories of cancer. These include carcinoma, sarcoma. leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma, and central nervous system cancers. About the false cancer treatment ads, it is such a horrible thing to put those kind of things out there. I was only wondering if chemotherapy was the only way to treat cancer?

Great question. Chemo is only the best known of cancer therapies. Surgery is an important part of treating many cancers, and in fact many cancers are cured by surgery alone, or surgery along with chemo. In fact, most skin cancers are completely cured with surgery.

Radiation therapy is also important, as are many (much harder to explain, but i'll probably try later) newer methods.

Surgery is nice and cut out a tumor. Chemo is not so exact---any cells that are rapidly dividing, such as cancer cells, intestinal lining cells, and certain blood cells, are killed by chemo, giving the side effects of the treatment.

Radiation can be very, very precise---as precise as surgery; often it is less exact, though. One type of radiation therapy is particularly cool. Called "gamma knife", it takes many beams of radiation and focuses them on one spot. No one beam is strong enough to hurt you or your cancer, but when they all get to the same focus point, ZAP!

There are tons of cool therapies that try to attack specific cancer cells, one of my favorites being Gleevec (more about that here…)

First of all I would like to say that this is an excellent post. I have been all over the internet looking for more information on cancer and all of the websites I have been to have just had bits and pieces of complicated information. This post has everything in one place and is easy to understand yet very informative. My friend was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago; this was a huge blow to my family and friends. He received chemotherapy for the cancer for a few months, and with that he had all of the terrible side effects. Several months later, his hair grew back, chemo stopped, and his life returned back to normal. I didn�t realize that chemo could CURE cancer; I just thought that it stopped the cancer from spreading. And he did not have any surgery, so that didn�t do it either. My question is: Can chemotherapy cure cancer or does it just prevent the cancer from spreading? I�ve looked for the answer to this over the internet but I have never received a clear answer. Thanks for the help! Excellent Post!

For better or worse, the answer is "yes"---that is, the answer sometimes yes and sometimes no. There are a few cancers that are curable with chemotherapy alone, but most cancers will require multiple types of treatment to achieve a cure (if one is achievable at all). Sorry that that's so muddy.

Some leukemias, for example, are cured with chemotherapy alone.

This is a great post. I'm a student at The Calverton School, and our teacher told us to look at these posts, and I think she opened my eyes to what be my future profession. I never knew that a tumor was a type of cancer I thought that it was a totally different thing. I think that it is so interesting that cancer isn't one disease; it's a bunch of diseases. Great post, I love how you made it so a student could understand the concept of cancer. I was wondering though, why do people loose hair when they have chemo?

What a great question.

If you check out the part about cell cycle and G0, and then crack open a bio book to the part about mitosis, the answer will be a little more clear, but I'll give you the quick answer...
Chemotherapy kills cells that are in their reproductive cycle, rather than their rest cycle. Tumors have a lot of cells reproducing, as do hair follicles, bone marrow, and the lining of the digestive tract. You see the side effects in these tissues (hair loss, mouth pain and diarrhea, decreased blood counts).

This is a wonderful post! I am also a student at The Calverton School, and I am glad I read these posts! I never fully understood how cancer began though... How does it start? Is it mostly genetically?

I had a aunt that recently passed away from lung cancer and I was wondering how lung cancer starts. I know it is from smoking or second-hand smoke, but is there a tumor on the lungs? What makes the lungs fail?

That question might actually deserve its own post....

Mark, Chris, and PalMD, thanks for this really interesting and informative blog.
PalMD, Your post on cancer is really easy to digest for those of us with little to no science or medical backgrounds. I was wondering why some people die quickly (a few months time) and some take years and some recover fine. I imagine that is dependent on how bad the cancer is, the stages, but what are some other reasons for this?

Thanks PalMD! I'll check the post out :]

What's your take on Doug Kauffmann's ( contention that cancer is linked to fungus? And how about Dr. Tulio Simoncini, who insists that cancer is fungus?

IIRC, the whole "cancer is fungus" tripe was rather soundly debunked. I don't have a link handy, but I'm sure google has it... Ooh! Treating cancer with Sodium Bicarbonate! That's some weapons grade stupid there! Looks like some uneducated twits saw white tumors, and let their imaginations get the better of them, and some dishonest, unethical quacks saw a way to make oodles of money.

It's all bunk.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 13 Oct 2008 #permalink

The (Dutch) Inspectorate’s warning was triggered by the death of a patient whom Simoncini had treated at a Dutch clinic. In 2003, his license to practice medicine was withdrawn, and in 2006 he was convicted by an Italian judge for wrongful death and swindling. However, he has continued to treat patients at an Italian clinic and elsewhere. [Koene R, Jitta SJ. Be wary of Simoncini Cancer Therapy.
Cancer Treatment Watch, Aug 7, 2008]

Seems like "Dr" Simoncini has other problems, as well. Sounds like a typical quack to me.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Oct 2008 #permalink

Maybe chemo and radiation are quackery.

Maybe chemo and radiation are quackery.

Maybe... except for that whole "it works" thing. There is a world of difference between evidence-based medicine and "Hey! Maybe cancer is a fungus! No real reason, just my wild-ass guess!"

Be careful... you're wandering into troll territory.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 14 Oct 2008 #permalink

If, after reading this post you think that fungus causes cancer than either:

1) I have failed miserably as an educator, or

2) You have PHAILED at reading comprehension

I never said that cancer is fungus. Dr. Simoncini did. Yet, I have to wonder if there is a link of some sort. Certainly, my brother does not. He has resigned himself to the fact that he won't be around long. He is adament that conventional mainstream medicine is all there is, all other ideas reside in LA LA land. I'm angry and upset that he would not try something, anything out of the box. Not something crazy, mind you. A change in diet, what could that hurt? Maybe cancer thrives on sugar.
I happen to subscribe to Doug Kaufmann's research on cancer.

The biological mechanisms of cancer are very well understood. Rapid, uncontrolled cell division leads to the growth of tumors which displace healthy cells. No fungus necessary. Viruses can cause cancer, generally by modifying or damaging the cell's genetic structure.

Treatments are also fairly well understood. Chemo and radiation to kill the cancerous cells, hopefully without doing too much damage to healthy cells, and surgery to remove any that can be reached.

Healthy diets are good, in that they will help the body stay strong and fight off the disease. However, any treatment that claims to magically cure cancer is probably bogus.

I understand that you are desperately seeking a way to save your brother. I sympathize. I have also lost loved ones to this disease. But we must not allow our desperation to cloud our judgement. Bizarre theories and quack remedies will only drain resources and energy, possibly speeding the course of the disease.

Good luck with your brother, and remember that keeping his spirits up will help more than all the nostrums in the world.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 14 Oct 2008 #permalink


I've no intention of allowing my desparation to cloud my judgement. Bizarre theories and quack remedies are not in my thinking.

That said, I, sincerely and without reservation, believe in Doug Kaufmann's research.

So, I offer you this challenge: Go to Run your cursor over "shows" on the toolbar at the top of the page. Click on "Who's Doug". Listen to him with an open mind.

After that, click on "articles". Scroll down to "The Role of Fungus in Cancer". Attempt to read it without any prejudice.

Then, if you will be so kind, I'd love to read your comments. I am not saying that you should agree with him, but be honest in your assessment.

Okay, I'm looking over the article you mentioned, and I'm noticing a few things.

1. A total lack of supporting evidence. A lot of "I believe" statements, but no evidence whatsoever to back them up. Bald assertions have no place in medicine or science.

2. He asserts that "cancer *is* fungus". This is a blatant lie. Anyone who has ever participated in a biopsy knows that cancer is not fungal. People have yeasts and fungi and all sorts of other beasties living in our bodies all the time. Our immune system fights them off without breaking a sweat. When that immune system becomes compromised, (due to chemo, perhaps, or just fatigue) those beasties can get out of control. These are called "opportunistic infections".

3. It's a *really* short article. Short on fact, short on substance, and short on references. As you probably know, cancer is incredibly complex, and discussing even the basics can take several pages.

4. Quoting Einsteing. Ding. Definitely a quack. A quack who is selling a diet plan. Grab your wallet, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

So, I really do appreciate that you sincerely believe in this nonsense, but that does not change that it is nonsense. Also, I deliberately did not view the video you suggested. Who Doug Kaufman is has no bearing on his fitness to perform research, nor does it have any bearing on whether his ideas are sound. I did not view the video to avoid any partiality from his personality.

"Life is pain. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something."

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 14 Oct 2008 #permalink

"Bald assessments that have no place in medicine or science"

You obviously don't know anything about Doug. He talks to doctors, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacists, chiropractors, researchers, people in the health food and supplement industries, and ordinary folks like me. He profusely reads books, articles, magazines, doctor's desk references, clinical trials, you name it, if it's about health, he is interested.

"He asserts that cancer is fungus."

Not quite. He asks the question, is it cancer or is it fungus? Why, because, as he stated, it is often difficult to distinguish between the two. The difference between his belief and Dr. Simoncini's is that Dr. Simoncini flat out states that cancer is fungus. Doug believes there may be a fungal link.

"It's a really short article. Short on fact, short on substance, short on references."

What did you want? A book. He has co-written eight of them. This is just an article. Did you not notice the references at the bottom of the page?

"Quoting Einsting. Ding."

What has a quote from Einstien to do with quackery? That's not worth any further comment.

"A quack who is selling you a diet plan"

Actually, you can access his Phase One Diet in the Q&A section for free. He's not a money grubber as you seem to imply.

".....but that does not change that is nonsense."

I think everything that he said in that article makes perfect sense.

"Also, I deliberately did not view the video you suggested. Who Doug Kaufmann is has no bearing on his fitness to perform research, nor does it have any bearing on whether his ideas are sound."

"Fitness to perform research"? What does that mean?
"Bearing on whether his ideas are sound"? Well, maybe, maybe not. I apologize for not explaining why I recommended that you view this video first. It is because in this particular show, Doug talks a little bit about his background, and about the incident that took place in his life that changed his thinking about medicine forever. He also, in the "News and Views" section, expounds on his reasoning for comparing cancer to fungus.

This video sets the tone for every other article and video contained on this site.

I believe the future will prove Doug right!

Um, dd, it's not any harder to tell a fungus from a cancer than a fish from a fireplace. Two very different diseases. It's not even close.

Um, PalMD, consider this:

This comes from the article I cited earlier, The Role of Fungus in Cancer by Doug Kaufmann, third paragraph.

"A medical textbook used to educate Johns Hopkins medical students in 1957, Clinical and Immunological Aspects of Fungous Diseases, declared that many fungal conditions look exactly like cancer! Wheras, we do not educate today's medical students on accurately detecting deeply imbedded fungal conditions and differentiating these from cancer, we certainly do teach them to diagnose cancer, and lots of it."

And um, PalMD, consider this. From the same WEB site,, August newsletter, written by Dr. Lynn Jennings, MD, on the subject of "Which came first: The fungus or the cancer?" This is the case of Mr. August:

".......who at the age of 11 was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). She says that, "Ascomycetes in it's wall deficient form, can imitate the appearance of white or red blood cells." She asks , "What about the possibility of a fungus/white cell hybrid? In a previous article, (April 2008) I talked about basal cell and squamous cell 'carcinomas'. These lesions have been shown to have a receptor on their cell membraines for the sugar, rhamnose. Normal human cells do not have this receptor, but they are present on plant and fungal cells. (Sure sounds like a fungal/ human hybrid cell to me)."

Oh noes! Teh hooman/fungus hybridz! Theyz gunna eatz us all!

A textbook (which may or may not actually exist) from 1957? Really? I'm not buying it. Sounds like the sort of self-serving lie that quacks use every day.

The idea that fungal cells are "hybrids" with human cells is just batshit crazy. Even a high-school level of biology would tell you that is impossible.

I'm trying to remain positive, but you have fallen into the classic trap of desperation. Trying desperately to find any possibility of saving your brother. I sympathize with the desperation you are feeling. Wasting time, energy and resources on this nonsense won't help, and will take away the time you do have left to spend with him. Please discuss this with a real doctor that you know and trust.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 16 Oct 2008 #permalink

"A textbook (which may or may not actually exist) from 1957."
"...........self serving lie that quacks use every day."

How insulting and rude that you have resorted to name calling and character assassination. I can't imagine any of Doug's regular listens calling him a dishonest person in any way, shape or form. Whether they agree with his assessments or don't.

"The idea that fungal cells are "hybrids" with human cells....batshit crazy."

Rather than throwing vulgarity around, why not address Dr. Jennings observations about basal cell and squamous "carcinomas", specifically that they have been shown to have receptor cells for the sugar, rhamnose, and the fact that normal human cells do not have such a receptor.

She says that such receptors can be found on plant and fungal cells.

Dr. Otto Warburg, who won the Nobel prize in medicine back in 1931, discovered that cancer needs sugar to thrive, but they don't need oxygen.

Hmm! Basal and squamous "carcinomas" possess sugar receptor cells, normal human cells don't. But plants and fungus do. And cancer thrives on sugar, but needs no oxygen.

Oh, by the way. Fungus loves sugar too, and grows anaerobically. (Doug puts this point across elequently, on the show he calls, "Who's Doug". If you care to listen, go to After all, if you insist on insulting him, you might as well know who it is you are maligning.)

Wow. Not even wrong.

Look, if something is batshit insane, it's not an ad hom fallacy to say so. It's motherfuckingidontknowenoughsciencetoknowhowridiculousthisisbatshitsyphiliticwhoreinsane

Someone promotes diet as a way to cure cancer: quack.

Someone claims that cancer is just a fungus: lying quack.

Someone claims that human cells do not have a receptor for sugar: Completely wrong. Four seconds with Google shows a whole host of articles about human cells and sugar receptors.

Cancer does not thrive on sugar. It grows just like any other human cells: with a blood supply and standard circulation. Cancer cells *are* otherwise normal human cells.

As I said before, a high-school understanding of biology would show where this is wrong. Complaining about calling a liar a liar shows that there is no evidence of his claims, just whining about our being mean. The idea that cancer is fungus is, as I've said, batshit crazy.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 17 Oct 2008 #permalink

Typical use of vulgarity from people who have nothing constructive to say. dd

Typical use of profanity from people who realize that they are arguing with a deluded person. Cancer is fungus... yikes.

Besides, the internet is a rough place. Buy a helmet.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 17 Oct 2008 #permalink

"Someone who promotes diet as a way to cure cancer: quack."

I never said the words diet and cure in the same sentence. Can we at least agree that diet is one (of many) important weapon in the fight against cancer?

Someone who claims that cancer is just a fungus: lyinq quack."

Dr. Simoncini says that. Doug has a slightly different take on the subject. Of course, I told you that before. Trouble with reading comprehension, heh, PalMd?

Coincidence or providence, who knows, but on today's (Friday) Know the Cause, posted on the WEB, Doug actually talks about the difference in his belief and Dr. Simoncini's concerning cancer and fungus. He also poses the question, is cancer an infectious disease?

What is the etiology of cancer? I reread you article, and I believe that you charactized it as a genetic defect. If this is truly the case, what causes the defect?

It is shame that you just go off on a tangents and bad mouth a man that you have never listened to. Doug is a researcher, and research can often take one in unexpected directions. He doesn't bend the answers he finds to fit a mold that he has fashioned. Answers lead to more questions. Even he is surprised with his findings sometimes.

I want to apologize if you think I have offended you. That was not my intention. We just disagree, that's all.

Do try to keep straight who said what, mmkay? Reading comprehension, indeed.

You do not have to believe me. Ask any cancer researcher. Ask a dozen. Then ask them if cancer is a fungus. Ask them if cancer is contagious. When they stop laughing ask them why.

Seriously, learn some science before you try to tell people about science. There is no, I repeat, no possible way that cancer and fungus are the same. None. Zero. Zip. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

This "Doug" you are so enamored with, what is his angle? Does he have *any* science background? Or his he a typical new age "nationally recognized author, lecturer, television and radio show host" with no actual knowledge of the subject he discusses?

Seriously. No halfway competent high school biology student would buy this for a minute. Do not let your grief and desperation cloud your mind. Use a little critical thinking. Is it really possible that hundreds of thousands of researchers have missed seeing fungus in cancer? Is it really believable that this guy with a diet book is that much more knowledgable than all the oncologists in the world? Do you really think for a minute that the next major medical breakthrough will be announced on an infomercial?

Get a grip. Use your brain.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 17 Oct 2008 #permalink

Can we at least agree that diet is one (of many) important weapon in the fight against cancer?


LanceR, don't presume to tell me who I am "so enamored with." Respect is what I feel toward Doug Kaufmann.

"Does he have *science* background?"

I didn't have to break much of a sweat to find these facts concerning Doug Kaufmann's background:

Author, lecturer, television and radio show host
More than thirty years experience in diversified health care

Navy hospital corpsman in Vietman. Awarded:
Combat Action Ribbon
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry
Vietnam Service Medal
Bronze Star

Has: American Society of Allergy Technicians certification
Worked with an allergy/immunology specialist in LA
Studied food allergies at WA University School of Medicine
Co-investigated several research papers with doctors a USC Medical School
Opened a laboratory and staffed it with four research immunologists focused on food and fungal research; the lab devised first ELISA tests for food allergy; conducted significant research aimed at understanding food-disease link. Did you get that, PalMD? FOOD-DISEASE LINK!

Recruited by group of Texas physicians in 1987
During research in Dallas, saw many patients with varied, apparently incurable diseases respond favorably to diet changes and antifungal drugs

Began broadcasting his findings on radio in 1992
Transitioned to television in 1999 on show called Your Health (currently hosted by Dr. Richard Becker DO, and his wife Cindy, you can find them at bioinnovations WEB site)
I first saw Doug three or four years ago on his TV show called Know the Cause, hardly and infomercial, LanceR.

He's has co-written several books: Fungus Link I, II, and III, The Germ that Causes Cancer, Infectious Diabetes, What Makes Bread Rise, The Germ that Causes Cancer Hand Book, Maximum Fertility, and a cook book.

Doug's "angle", LanceR, is to share his findings with people open minded enough to listen to what he has to say, regardless of whether or not they choose to believe him.

My opinion? It's a null blog. It doesn't exist. It's bleeding expired. I would think there was more hope for cancer sufferers than that.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 20 Oct 2008 #permalink


I'm beginning to think that you mind is so closed up that a microscopic organism couldn't penetrate it.



I'm beginning to think that you mind is so closed up that a microscopic organism couldn't penetrate it.

And I'm beginning to think that your mind is so open that your brain fell out. There is *no* possibility that cancer is fungus. There is *no* evidence that diet does anything about cancer. There is *no* rational reason for these beliefs.

Good luck with your brother.

By LanceR, JSG (not verified) on 20 Oct 2008 #permalink

One of the goals of this blog is to educate, and there are a number of serious students who read here. It is counterproductive to have wackos commenting here, as it muddies the water. Legitimate questions will always be acceptable, but I'm cutting off the weirdos now.

Please, if you refuse to adhere to reality, go elsewhere.

The powers of the predict a cholesterol test only go so far. If your LDL cholesterol is low, your C-reactive protein May a better sign of impending heart problems.

Lance, you are rude and close minded. What is YOUR background in medicine?

I wanted to share with everyone.

"I had a breast cancer last year which made me fall into a huge panic. After several doctor visits, I was almost assured that there was no real remedy for me. I was referred to Sergei Djava with my last hope to heal my problem and it worked. I am now cancer free and living my life. God Bless Sergei Djava. See for yourself at ("

~Mary F."