I'm wading my way through Cancer as a metabolic disease by Thomas Seyfried & Laura Shelton. It's heavy slogging, and wading may not be the correct term, because sometimes, I'm in over my head.
The upshot is that there are two views of how cancer starts in the body; genetic, or metabolic. Genetic is the predominant view, and the one cancer researchers have largely been working on for the last oh, say 50 years. Still no cure, by the way, and not a lot in the way of prevention. Metabolic origins for cancer is the alternative, or heterodox view. Not quite orthodox, not quite heresy.
The metabolic view says that changes in the mitochondria's respiration, triggered by metabolic factors, if allowed to persist, cause genetic degradation to the point where a tumor forms. It's not a perfect explanation, but then, biology isn't perfect, otherwise there wouldn't be mutations.
What I particularly like about this theory is that it meshes with the food as medicine bias I bring to the table. Degenerative diseases are caused by diet, and can be solved by diet. Well, alright, there may be environmental causes as well, and simply removing them may not be enough to stem the disease, but you get where I'm going with this. Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. It worked for Hippocrates, and it still works for me.
One of the nuggets I pulled out of the report is “The bioenergetic capacity of mitochondria is dependent to a large extent on the content and composition of mitochondrial lipids.” You need good fats at the very core of your being in order for the furnace to work properly. There may not be a direct link between the fats you eat and the fats that comprise your mitochondrial lipids, because many are synthesized by the body (although, suspiciously, they are largely comprised of 18:1, 18:2 & 18:3 fatty acids, which we commonly refer to as Omega 9, 6, & 3 respectively). It is nevertheless true that unless you put quality in, you cannot expect quality as the end result. Refined fats, hydrogenated fats, unsaturated fats that have been oxidized (rancid or burned), these are the fats that will kill you.