3 Box Model of Cancer – An Introduction

There are many factors involved in the development of cancer. The modern concept of cancer is dominated by genetics – that mutated genes and/or missing (deleted) genes lead to cancer and allow cancer cells to grow uncontrollably. But is this the whole story? 

You have probably asked yourself, “Why did I get this?” This is a key question but is generally avoided by doctors. At best, you might be told, “We are not sure”, or even more directly, “We don’t know”. Even when genetic mutations are found in the cancer cells, doctors cannot link this to a specific prior event, a toxic chemical, radiation exposure, too much stress…simply put, we cannot explain why the cancer cells developed these genetic changes in the first place.

The 3-box model is an extremely simple way of looking at your cancer. It puts the science to one side and is designed to show you the central role you have in your own treatment, in what is, after all, your life. The 3 boxes are:

  1. the cancer
  2. modern cancer treatment
  3. where the cancer came from.


I use the 3-box model to help people understand – without any scientific jargon – how the 3 boxes interact and why each person has a key part to play in their own recovery, as well as insight as to why the cancer happened in the first place. There is also a direction of travel, from the past – where the cancer came from – to the future, where you are moving towards…that is the 4th box!  There is no going back to the past, “going back to (the old) normal”, as your life before the cancer is the “soil” on which the cancer flourished in the first place.



No Comments

Post A Comment