An Existential Perspective on “Cancer”

Evolutionary biology tells us that the emergence of "primitive life" initially involved evolution of single living cellular organisms, which divided and multiplied indefinitely, analogous to functioning of “cancer cells” that we know, and that facing “existential challenge” in the then chemical environment of the Earth, from the process of indefinite multiplications without any cellular death, and associated depletion of “food source” for these primitive everlasting cells, a system of complex multi-cellular organisms evolved. In this process, specialized functions of different parts of the cellular organisms emerged, accompanied with cellular death and sexual reproductive function to ensure continuity of the living organisms through genetic transmission to new generation of organisms, to ensure progeny. In this sense, the cancer cells in the body may be akin to primitive living cells, whereby the “normal" cells with function of aging, death, and regeneration, evolved by being superimposed on the underlying “primitive” everlasting cancer like cells. This capacity for the normal cells regeneration was limited by the internal “time clock” that included shortening of telomeres with a limit to successive regenerations of cells, in a one-dimensional march to a process of entropy for the living organisms. The process can also be hastened by emergence of various “illnesses” in the body, including emergence of the “dormant” underlying “cancer cells”, as we all have “normal cells” superimposed on these underlying “primitive cancer cells” in our bodies. One can postulate that due to "trauma" or other "adverse” conditions of living, the cancer suppressing cells are de-activated in the normal cells, giving rise to activation of cancer cells with the resultant prominence of these cancer cells in the living body.

One, in a way, can then assume, that there are two parallel cell systems in our bodies, reflecting two opposing universal forces: gravity and anti-gravity (dark energy) forces, expansion and contraction that characterize breathing in living as well as non-living entities, such as the way our Sun and all the light giving stars in the Universe operate, The process is also analogous to philosophical concepts of Thesis and Anti-thesis, Sigmund Freud's concepts of Eros ( e.g., life and creativity) and Thanatos (e.g., the force of death and entropy, and destruction), and the Moral Forces of "good" and "evil," that have characterized all individuals and social struggles.

This may also be analogous as to how so many people accommodate to coexistence of both science and their particular religious faiths within their own belief systems in a compartmentalized way, without addressing any cognitive dissonance, as they serve different functions: the certainty of physical existence of knowledge, and the Uncertainty and Mystery of our Living Existence, and the certainty of the Unknown and Unknowable that await all of us as we anticipate our own Entropy process.

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