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Cancer and Fungi

Cancer and Fungi

Growth of commonly occurring filamentous fungi in foods may result in production of toxins known as mycotoxins, which can cause a variety of ill effects in humans, from allergic responses to immunosuppression and cancer.

The most important mycotoxins are aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, fumonisins, trichothecenes and zearalenone. Aflatoxins are potent carcinogens and, in association with hepatitis B virus, are responsible for many thousands of human deaths per annum, mostly in non-industrialised tropical countries. Ochratoxin A is a probable carcinogen, and may cause urinary tract cancer and kideny damage in people from northern and eastern Europe. Fumonisins appear to be the cause of oesophagel cancer in southern Africa, parts of China and elsewhere. Trichothecenes are highly immunosuppressive and zearalenone causes oestrogenic effects in animals and man. Currently available records and statistics do not reflect the major role played by mycotoxins in mortality attributable to food-borne micor-organisms.

Other fungi, like the one that causes Valley Fever in Southwestern US states, Coccidioidomycosis, reveals an  initial infection that is almost invariably in the lungs. Other generalized toxic manifestations associated with this and other fungal infections, such as fever, arthralgia, skin rash, etc., and certain complications such as pulmonary cavitation, hemorrhage, broncho-pleural fistula, and hydropneumothorax are all possible. Cancer and FungiIf one has such symptoms and seeks treatment, it doesn’t equate to irradiation of the fungus in the body.

Some fungi, like C. neoformans grows as a yeast (unicellular) and replicates by budding. When grown as a yeast, C. neoformans has a prominent capsule composed mostly of polysaccharides (LPS), similar to other gram-negative bacteria. When effectively killed, LPS is released into the bloodstream and becomes a toxin in itself (an endotoxin).

How fungi cause cancer is believed to be tied to their ability to infiltrate the cell and disrupt apoptotic CASPASE systems.

Using Medicinal Mushrooms to kill fungi may be the best treatment. Following the philosophy of Hormesis, it makes sense that something from the same genus would be an effective cure. We always recommend being tested!

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