Stress-Cancer Connection and Science of Epigenetics

According to Bruce Lipton, a developmental biologist and professor at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, science has been on a religious crusade for more than half a century. At least that’s what the textbooks confess.

Some 60+ years ago a hypothesis emerged that genes control life. Lipton calls this a doctrine of “predetermination,” meaning that your DNA and your genes are set from birth and so are you. Your genetic blueprint will determine what you look like, how you’ll develop, destined diseases, programmed strengths and weaknesses and who you’ll be (nature beats nurture).

At the time this was hypothesized it seemed humans would be subject to the random expressions of our DNA, hanging on to a faint hope that a dangerous disease-causing gene would never come alive, praying that only the best ones would express in us and our children.

Genetic Control: The Central Dogma

Although it was never scientifically demonstrated, the notion of genetic control was passed down from the late 1950s to the next generation and accepted as “a fundamental rule of life,” says Lipton. Ironically, scientists themselves coined this genetic control theory the central dogma.

One day Lipton got curious and checked out the definition of dogma. Here’s what he found: dogma is “a belief based on religious persuasion and not scientific fact.”

The scientists had named this scientific theory as not scientific at all, but religiously persuaded. Fascinating. But of greater interest to Lipton, among others, is the likelihood that the reverse is actually true. That is, DNA is not the boss of you. Rather than being a predestined blueprint it’s more like a map of potentialities or, for your DNA reader, a set of options. Lipton says that you determine what manifests from your DNA based on (drum roll please) your beliefs. What you believe gives rise to your behavior, choices, lifestyle and emotions, and these tell your DNA which genes to activate.

The Power of Emotions

There’s been a buzz about cancer-causing genes ever since Angelina Jolie decided to undergo a double mastectomy. Breast cancer had plagued her family line for several generations and she was carrying the gene. Hoping to decrease her risk potential Jolie had both her breasts removed.

Perhaps Angelina did what she had to do, but researchers are questioning whether we ought to feel quite so helpless and victim to our own DNA. The idea is ancient, but some fairly new science is supporting the posit that you and I are not subject to the whims of a willful or random DNA; but rather, we can choose to empower health or disease. The power lies in our emotions.

The somewhat infamous Dr. R. G. Hamer is credited with 30 years of research examining the connection between trauma and cancer. He claims that every case of cancer can be traced back to some unexpected and traumatic event. The shock and the resulting emotional stress activate what he calls “an intentional program of nature.” Cancer’s not from outside the body. It’s not the result of an invader or alien substance. It’s created within and by the person’s own system according to a mutated program.  To heal physically one must heal the heart/mind because, as he wrote, “psyche, brain and organ are three levels of the same organism and the course of events on them is always synchronous!”

Lipton also maintains that emotions trigger the expression either of wellness or sickness. Where Lipton talks about genes Hamer emphasizes “programs.” Over 100 years ago a physician named Eli Jones left the conventional medical practice, which he found to be more harmful than helpful, and practiced his own combination of Native American herbology, homeothapy and other healing methods. After 40 years’ experience studying and treating the disease, Jones claimed he could cure cancer and authored the book Cancer – Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment. Jones is credited with stating explicitly that the #1 cause of cancer is stress.

Stress: Avoid It Like Plague

A couple of years ago a Yale University research team led by Professor Tian Xu concluded that daily emotional stress causes tumor growth. Recent breakthroughs have astounded researchers who’ve found that stress opens up “pathways” between mutated cells enabling them to cooperate in creating the tumor.

So, no stress, no communication pathway; stress, and potential cancer cells can talk.

Scientists at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center just released the results of their study this year entitled, stress triggers signaling pathway that leads to spread of ovarian cancer.

In short, stress empowers cancer.

Bruce Lipton says this is the new biology that will take you from “victim to master of your health.” He explains that Epigenetic Control is an emerging science revealing that humans can either be at the mercy of our genes or use the power of the mind to master them. Whereas the placebo effect causes “healing through positive thinking,” a lesser known “nocebo” effect manifests sickness or death through negative thoughts and beliefs. In some sense this revelation is good news because it puts the ball back in our court. It removes the mystery and the seeming randomness while offering a clear solution: avoid stress like plague and pursue peace. Your life depends on it.

Healthy Emotions

Beliefs, stress and emotions are intertwined. If we’re consistently believing that we’ve been wronged, that somebody owes us, or that we’re not good enough to live in this world, that belief is going to create corresponding emotions.

Depression weakens the immune system and disrupts circadian rhythms; anger produces stress hormones; resentment, bitterness and un-forgiveness will literally eat us up inside and empower stress in our bodies, which then empowers disease.

Donnie Yance is a master herbalist, nutritionist and author of two books  including Herbal Medicine, Healing & Cancer. Yance wrote, “…Fear is the great obstacle to healing and when people have cancer, all of a sudden they’re filled with fear.” (emphasis mine)

How do we reverse this trend? Hamer believes that emotional healing is key. Lipton says you must change your beliefs and nurse your emotional state to health.  Lipton, Hamer, Yance, Tian Xu and the crew at MD Anderson all agreed that we’ve got to treat stress like a disease itself. Oppose both the beliefs and feelings that keep us from realizing love, joy and peace, which are health-promoting emotions. Maybe it’s something like, if you’ve experienced trauma, don’t bury it but make it your priority to get help. Consider it as urgent as treating a terminal illness.

Or, if someone wrongs you, forgive them. If you have resentment, let it go. Don’t waste time holding grudges that strangle your health. Toxic emotions don’t harm your adversary. They harm the one hosting them. It doesn’t mean we suddenly condone wrong behavior or pretend there are no stressors in this world. We just refuse to let them control us…or make us sick.



Ming Wu, José Carlos Pastor-Pareja, Tian Xu.“Interaction between RasV12 and scribbled clones induces tumour growth and invasion.” Nature 463, 545-548 (28 January 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08702; Received 24 September 2009; Accepted 20 November 2009; Published online 13 January 2010

Yale News, Stress Triggers Tumor Formation, Yale Researchers Find. 13 January 2010

Hamer, The German/Germanic New Medicine

Dr. Mercola, Stress Linked to Cancer

Wikipedia Eli Jones

Bruce Lipton Interviews with Dr. Mercola:

MD Anderson Cancer Center. “Stress triggers signaling pathway that leads to spread of ovarian cancer.” (2013)

Similar Posts