The Germ Cause of Cancer

Nobody likes to concentrate much on the germ cause -- or component -- of cancer because of the deep controversies in this area of microbiology and oncology. To its merit the Times essay does give credit to microbes and the part they play in cancer formation saying, "Each microbe has its own set of genes, which can interact with those in the human body by exchanging molecular signals, trading information with cells in another realm -- the micro-organisms in the mouth, skin, respiratory system, urogenital tract, stomach and digestive system." "The signaling these microbes do is dramatically complex," Dr. Nicholson said in an interview at Imperial College. "They send metabolic signals to each other -- and they are sending chemicals out constantly that are stimulating our biological processes."

Cancer -- always believed to be caused by genetic cell mutations -- can in reality be caused by infections from viruses, bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungus parasites. "I believe that, conservatively, 15 to 20 percent of all cancer is caused by infections; however, the number could be larger -- maybe double," said Dr. Andrew Dannenberg, director of the Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Dannenberg made the remarks in a speech in December 2007 at the annual international conference of the American Association for Cancer Research.


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