Medical Student at Slaughterhouse Learns Benign vs Malignant

BasementMembraneDr Jonathan Reisman was trying to learn all the latin names of body parts and visited a kosher slaughterhouse for help: the psoas major muscle (filet mignon); the erector spine (rib eye). He wrote an article about it. Why a kosher slaughterhouse? Because to be kosher, the basement membrane that encases every organ and all tissue, cannot be damaged. “The basement membrane  holds the body together, keeping the inside in and the outside out.”

In pathology class, Dr Reisman learned that a benign tumor presses against surrounding tissue without breaking through the basement membrane. A malignant tumor, or cancer, on the other hand, does not respect the sacred boundary of the basement membrane. For an animal, if a basement membrane is violated, the animal will not be acceptable for kosher meat.  However, if a humans basement membrane is violated, there is hope that treatment will cure the disease.

I always like to say, “I don’t have cancer. My body has cancer.” For the animal wanting to be kosher, there is no hope. For the human wanting to live, there is hope!

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