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Featured Autism and Cancer, are they related somehow?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Major Tom, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    So I got the dreaded news that my father has wound up with cancer. Frankly, I am pretty devastated and numbed by the news. According to the reports I've heard there's not much hope. :( Even though we never really got to spend much time together,(him and my mother were never married, nor got along well), we have a lot in common. I firmly believe that he is an undiagnosed high functioner, I am diagnosed. We also share a lot of other things in common too, a love for nature, music, carpentry, woodworking, welding etc.
    Anyways, I broke the news yesterday here in the chat room. I was stunned to find out that nearly everyone there had lost a parent to cancer. I've received some PM's as well, with condolences etc, and even more people who have lost parents to cancer have shown up. (I do realize cancer is common, especially in old age, but many of the people lost parents at younger ages).
    As my brain was racing today (like usual, but especially hard), it got me to thinking about if autism and cancer could somehow be related. For example if you have the genetic predisposition for cancer (it runs heavily on both sides of my family), could a person have a higher chance of having an autistic child? (Also runs heavily in my family on my mother's side, and I have an autistic son).
    I was wondering what you all think? Or have you yourselves lost a parent to cancer at a young age, and are diagnosed as autistic? (Not meaning to pry or scratch old wounds). Any replies are welcomed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
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  2. LucyPurrs

    LucyPurrs NT, INFJ V.I.P Member

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    Very sorry to hear this news Tom- it is devastating- I lost my dad to cancer & we were a lot alike too (but neither on the spectrum). The only way I could get over his death was to realize that we were so much alike that all I had to do was look inside and I'd find him.
     
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  3. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Sorry to hear about your father Lucy. Thank you for that wonderful advice :)
     
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  4. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Cancer on both sides of my family, too - I lost both my parents to cancer and then, lo and behold, I was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of years back. I'm now in remission and show no signs of disease. I would quite like to read that discussion in the chat archives if that is ok with you.

    There was an article posted by @AGXStarseed in which is stated that there is a higher incidence of cancer amongst those with ASD, but personally I doubt it. Study discovers link between cancer and autism

    There is always hope. There is anecdotal evidence of people (real life people I know, not just internet) being cured of terminal cancer with alternative remedies such as:

    Olive leaf extract, or even better: fresh olive leaves, made into a pulp and mixed with water. One glass, three times a day.

    Ginger: should be cooked or dried, then eaten in large quantities. Raw also helps, but there are two active substances and you need to take both to have an effect.

    Medical cannibis oil (though this might not provide a cure, it might relieve pain and some other symptoms, or prolong life).

    Some kinds of mushroom - shiitake mushroom.

    Most of these work by boosting the immune system. It is medically recognised that boosting the immune system helps to fight cancer.

    Turmeric, green tea.

    I take ginger (both cooked and raw) and olive leaf juice.

    I'm not suggesting that your father should give up any treatment that he is undergoing, but he could consider one or more of those options. They might not cure him, but they could give him better quality of life to the end, or prolong his life.
    Edit: grammar
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
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  5. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The simple answer to your question is no. There is no relationship between cancer and autism. If there was even the slightest bit of legitimate scientific research on such a possible connection, someone, somewhere would have publicized it. Coincidence plays very heavily in entertaining such a belief.
     
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  6. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Thanks Progster, sorry to hear about your folks. :( I'm glad to hear that you are kicking cancer's butt though. I will pass the info along to my dad. I've actually yet to speak to him since I've heard the news, but any advice should be taken under consideration at this point. Thanks again.
     
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  7. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    You could be correct, however I don't necessarily believe that all that is known to science is readily made available to the public either. Just a thought.
     
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  8. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    no my mother didn't die from cancer but she had an uimmune system failing .
    have no idea about my biological father .
     
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  9. pjcnet

    pjcnet Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm very sorry about the news. Cancer is far too common and can affect anyone, but there's no evidence to suggest it's related to autism. The only possible connection would be an indirect link, for instance anxiety reduces your immune system and makes succumbing to all diseases somewhat more likely including cancer, obviously there's a higher proportion of people on the autistic spectrum that suffer from anxiety and also depression. My grandad who was 100% NT died of cancer which was caught too late for treatment, but in my opinion he really died of old age because he was 86 years old and something has to catch you in the end, it however didn't hurt any less and even after 17 years I still miss him because I was especially close. More people than ever are surviving cancer these days however and I wish your Dad the very best.
     
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  10. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You're right, but given how common cancer is, what a fearsome disease it is, and public concern over it, it's unlikely that any substantive information about a link wouldn't reach the media. After all, almost every time we turn around, there's a new study showing a link between cancer and... (name your poison).
     
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  11. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    There's more and more evidence that cancer is a metabolic disorder, not, as was previously thought, a result of genetic mutations. While certain mutations can make one more prone to it, it could be as a result of how metabolic factors affect the body.

    Cancer as a metabolic disease: implications for novel therapeutics

    I would explain how so many cancers have a link to obesity: not because being fat creates cancer, but because obesity and cancer have similar causes in hormone dysfunction and a state of inflammation in the body.

    If anyone wants to really delve, here's a great article series from a nutritionist:

    Tuit Nutrition - Metabolic Theory of Cancer: Introduction
     
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  12. Joel's Hear

    Joel's Hear I'm here, at least for now

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    Major, we are thinking about you! As we've discussed almost all my family are deceased. None from cancer, but my grandfather (who raised me in lieu of my dad) was diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly before his car crash. He reminds me of your dad, sharing with me the same love of working with one's hands, nature, animals, and fruits. He also seemed to have a few autistic traits too, though he hid it well.

    As I said before, keep your head up! No worries about the past.
     
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  13. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There are genetic links to many types of cancer. People with Down Syndrome almost never get cancer. Apparently the extra chromosome in their DNA prevents cancer.
     
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  14. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My father who was probably on the spectrum had lewybodies dementia. My mum's 93. Obviously most people responding here will be on the spectrum so it'll be hard for you to get a perspective on how that tallies with NT links to cancer. I'm not aware of any links and I guess both things are common. So sorry for your dad's illness, and it sounds very hard for you. :tulip:
     
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  15. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Cancer is an absolutely rotten illness. One of my biggest fears is that I get it. It's in my family as well. Thinking of all affected by this illness including the op. Wishing the best for you and your family at this time.
     
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  16. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My mom died of cancer at a younger age (last part of middle age), but in her case I think the cancer had a lot more to do with stress, smoking, and probably asbestos exposure than anything else.
     
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  17. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm sorry to hear about your Father, Major Tom. One of the things that occurs to me, related to cancer is that people with autism quite often, are unaware of certain bodily effects. For example they might say they have pain or don't feel well, but often can't identify exactly where.

    My Father passed away as a result of colon cancer, as did one of my Mother's sister's. Both of them were unable to identify exactly where the problem was, and therefore Doctor's could do little as the disease had invaded other organs. And it was too late. Both had some autistic traits, which led to them not seeking help when they should have. Delaying it, not wanting to be touched by strangers, not wanting to see Doctors or go to strange places like hospitals. That fear of change, breaks in their routines led to them not seeking help when they should have.

    So perhaps Autism in itself has no connection to cancer, but some of the behavioural traits of autism do lead to poor self-care, and an unwillingness to seek help when needed.
     
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  18. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Sorry to hear about your family members Mia. :( You raise a good point. My back has been aching for weeks, yet I refuse to go to the doc, for many of the reasons you stated. Plus I have a HUGE distrust in the medical system as a whole. (My first back surgery was only a partial success). It took well over a year to recover. Other than that, I don't want to expose myself to the stressors of going to a noisy hospital, all for a 3 minute visit where the doctor prescribes me more useless, or even worse addictive meds. Always I try to script out the conversation,but it never goes as planned. This leads me to not seek help even when I probably should..
     
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  19. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    So do I, as I've been ignored many times. Maybe because I don't push too much, and it seems that Doctor's that I've encountered look at only one thing at a time. My spouse is in hospital with pneumonia, and expects to be there for two weeks. He was turned away by two different ER Doctors, and was originally released too early with flu and then pneumonia.

    Which he couldn't identify, only that he had difficulty breathing. And felt bad, but couldn't identify where, he would say 'overall bad.' When he finally collapsed, and was sent by ambulance, they did all the tests needed to discover what 'overall bad' was, which was pneumonia. He's autistic, and didn't really know what the problem was, but when he's stressed and anxious he becomes mute and shuts down. So medical care can be awful for many people with autism.
     
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  20. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Actually, I think that in my case, autism helped me to detect the lump in my breast at an early stage. I'm very touch-sensitive, and knew very quickly that the lump was there, and that it wasn't normal - it felt wrong, out of place, alien, not part of me. It also helped that I watch so many health and medicine documentaries, or read about medical issues, so knew that I needed to have it checked out straight away. Some other people can go for years with large lumps in their breast without noticing or doing anything about it (my surgeon told me this).
     
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