11 Mar

Nerve Activity Predicts Prognosis of Cancer

Cancer 101

Our genes are responsible for controlling cell growth as well as cell division. When mutations occur to these genes, cancer cells can begin to develop. The term “oncogene” is used to described mutated genes. For a cell to become cancerous, more than two different types of oncogenes need to develop.

Only a small percentage of cells that become mutated actually become cancerous. This could occur for a numerous reasons such as:

  1. Cells that have become mutated have a lower survival rate compared to normal cells.
  2. Only a fraction of surviving mutated cells have a tendency to grow excessively, as they have lost their feedback controls.
  3. The body’s natural immune response destroys mutated cells before they have the opportunity to become cancerous.

The immune system can detect mutated cells by their cell bodies. The altered genes cause a change in the proteins within a cell’s outer body. These abnormal proteins cause the immune system to produce antibodies, which help breakdown these cancerous cells.

It is possible that our bodies are constantly producing these mutated and cancerous cells but our immune systems’ are playing a proactive role in searching the body for them before they are able to mutate in excess.

People who take immunosuppressant drugs (e.g. after a heart transplant) are at an increased risk of developing cancer because their immune systems have become less active, increasing the chances of abnormal cells growing and dividing at higher rates.

Stages of Cancer Not Important When Vagal Nerve is Active!

The vagus nerve, located in the cranium, is responsible for supplying important organs such as the heart, lungs and digestive organs. Recent cancer studies compared patients with high vagal nerve activity to those who have low vagal nerve activity. The results showed that, at advanced cancer stages, patients with highly active vagus nerves had tumor marker levels lower than patients with low vagus nerve activity. It’s thought that individuals with high vagus nerve activity may not experience the same unfavourable effects during the late stages of cancer. This supports the idea that nerves can help influence the immune system!

Resources:

  • Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents (Apr-June 2014)
  • “Sub-occipital decompression heart rate variability changes” – Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine 2013
Share this

Leave a reply