- Expected Nov 10, 2020
Author of the international bestsellers The Diabetes Code and The Obesity Code Dr. Jason Fung returns with an eye-opening biography of cancer in which he offers a radical new paradigm for understanding cancer—and issues a call to action for reducing risk moving forward.
Our understanding of cancer is slowly undergoing a revolution, allowing for the development of more effective treatments. For the first time ever, the death rate from cancer is showing a steady decline . . . but the “War on Cancer” has hardly been won.
In The Cancer Code, Dr. Jason Fung offers a revolutionary new understanding of this invasive, often fatal disease—what it is, how it manifests, and why it is so challenging to treat. In this rousing narrative, Dr. Fung identifies the medical community’s many missteps in cancer research—in particular, its focus on genetics, or what he terms the “seed” of cancer, at the expense of examining the “soil,” or the conditions under which cancer flourishes. Dr. Fung—whose groundbreaking work in the treatment of obesity and diabetes has won him international acclaim—suggests that the primary disease pathway of cancer is caused by the dysregulation of insulin. In fact, obesity and type 2 diabetes significantly increase an individual’s risk of cancer.
In this accessible read, Dr. Fung provides a new paradigm for dealing with cancer, with recommendations for what we can do to create a hostile soil for this dangerous seed. One such strategy is intermittent fasting, which reduces blood glucose, lowering insulin levels. Another, eliminating intake of insulin-stimulating foods, such as sugar and refined carbohydrates.
For hundreds of years, cancer has been portrayed as a foreign invader we’ve been powerless to stop. By reshaping our view of cancer as an internal uprising of our own healthy cells, we can begin to take back control. The seed of cancer may exist in all of us, but the power to change the soil is in our hands.
Nephrologist Fung (The Diabetes Code) takes a sweeping look at theories of and treatments for cancer, concentrating on three historical paradigms for explaining the disease's cause. The first paradigm was "unregulated growth of cells," which, in Fung's view, didn't help explain how growth starts, and necessitated physically traumatic methods like chemo or surgery to treat already cancerous patients. The second, more recent paradigm, somatic mutation theory, holds "accumulated genetic mutations" responsible. As Fung explains, this led to the discovery of a "disorienting number of genetic mutations" associated with each type of cancer, and not to meaningful treatments. He holds out more hope for the third, newly developed paradigm: that under conditions of stress, genes that "enhance competition and survival" are activated within individual cells and thus trigger cancer, reflecting the evolutionary origins of all life as unicellular organisms. One day he believes that immunotherapy might be used to track down circulating cancer cells, but in the meantime, he recommends methods to manage risk that include changes to diet, intermittent fasting, and tightly regulating insulin production. While Fung certainly hasn't closed the book on cancer's causes or treatment, his explanations are accessible and his work as a whole is intriguingly provocative.