This article on cancer and the epigenetic triggers that may cause it, titled epigenetics and cancer, appeared Aug 2010 By Kanwal R, Gupta S. at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20203073.

Cancer has long been thought caused by genetic disorders. We now know that they are caused by epigenetic disorders. These epigenetic changes may cause genetic abnormalities as well but it probably all started by an epigenetic trigger. Scientists looking at cancer cells have identified epigenetic changes including methylation histone protein modifications and RNA regulation. Is there any good news here or is it all in our genes?

There is good news in that genetic abnormalities are very hard to fix. Changing the coding of our DNA is very difficult. Epigenetic changes are easier to deal with. Most scientist equate this to new drugs that will trigger our abnormal epigenetics back to normal ones. I shudder at that thought for two reasons: 1) We don’t need more drugs we need cures and 2) triggering an ill understood epigenetic switch may cause other worse problems for us to deal with. There is still a silver lining here. Epigenetics can be modified by our diet, our thinking, our mental outlook and our physical environment. If we can determine which of these fix abnormal epigenetic triggers then we can change our diet or thinking instead of taking drugs. I have said before it might be a different environmental effect that fixes an epigenetic trigger to the one that originally caused the abnormality. An everyday analogy might be a TV remote control. Pressing the ON button turns the TV on but you can press it or stop pressing it and the TV will not turn off. You must press another button, namely the OFF button, to trigger it back off. The triggers that cause bad epigenetic triggers probably will turn out to be different triggers than the ones that fix the epigenetic abnormality.

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