Everybody is missing the point on screening mammography

A debate has sprung up over the last few weeks. It is not a new debate; it concerns mammography. Recently there has been research that shows 4000 people in the UK are unnecessarily treated as a result of ‘Over-diagnosis’ by screening mammograms. The ‘pro’ side immediately says ‘1300 lives are saved and have to be set against this’. And then journalists from the Telegraph and BBC jump in on the act. Unfortunately, few know their facts. I won’t be updating our article on mammography at CANCERactive because, as usual, we were well ahead of this debate. What I thought you might like to read is the essence of my piece to the Telegraph, and why I think everybody seems to be missing the important issue:

Firstly, there is no confirmed research data that mammography saves 1300 lives a year in the UK. Until recently the Cancer Research UK website admitted that fact. There are various studies and reports, for example, showing the figures of 1300, 850 and zero. Take your pick.

Secondly, whilst people have been debating issues such as over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment and distress, the debate has missed the fact that mammography can likely cause breast cancer. For example, about 25 per cent of breast cancers are linked to inherited genes where the person usually has one of the pair defective, and only one operating correctly. American research is quite clear that these people are at greater risk of developing breast cancer if sent off from an early age for an annual mammogram ‘to be safe’. The cumulative radiation is statistically far more likely to damage a single gene than a pair.

Thirdly, some ‘diagnosed’ women consider having double mastectomies. The idea of a double mastectomy is palpable non-sense with no evidence whatsoever in terms of numbers over who might have been prevented from developing cancer! Cancer is an all over body disease with symptoms like cancer markers, low blood oxygen and poor immune response evident throughout the body. If you have a BRCA1 or 2 problem, it will cause poor immune recognition or DNA replication control everywhere in your body. If a woman has toxic chemicals in her body, they will not only collect in the fatty breast tissue but in other such tissue too.

Fourthly, to add to the confusion, about 50 per cent of the ‘irregularities’ detected by mammography are lobular, and 50 per cent ductal. While Christies, Manchester were warning some 5 years ago that DCIS could be extremely dangerous and were looking at trials to see which drug might be used to prevent an aggressive cancer developing, at the annual Breast Cancer Symposium in America a paper was presented showing that DCIS was caused by calcium deposits, and 80 per cent never became cancers. The finding that women with the highest blood levels of vitamin D and omega-3 do not develop breast cancer may be linked to their effects with calcium.

European research has shown that depending on the density of the tissue, screening mammography may be only 65 per cent accurate at best. Other studies have shown that in order to detect the cancer it has to be of sufficient size – a size produced by about 20 cell divisions. At 40 you are dead. Screening mammography is neither accurate nor early detection.

How many of the 4000 women who are then unnecessarily treated die as a result of the chemotherapy drugs provided? How many have impairment to their heart and/or lungs as a result of radiotherapy? Is it is more than the 1300? But surely even this question is off the point: Why are we using such an outdated and inaccurate system which can lead to quite barbaric consequences (double mastectomy?).

Surely, the energy, time and the money would be better spent developing blood tests that are already coming through from private companies in Nottingham and America that can spot cancer in the pre-cancer stages.

This argument about screening mammography is completely off the real point and is propagated by vested interests. How many hospitals and cancer centres would be stuck with an expensive machine if an accurate blood test were available tomorrow? (Although I should point out that mammography is the current gold standard once a cancer has been confirmed and further information is required.)

The real question we should be asking is this: ‘How do we develop a simple, accurate and early diagnosis test for cancer?’ The answer has nothing to do with mammography.

For a fuller report see:

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=1420&Title=Breast cancer screening and cancer risk

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=666&Title=False Positive Mammograms

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=671&Title=Mammograms and Obese Women

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2644&Title=The Development of Thermal Imaging

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Cancer becoming an ever younger disease

New data, which makes a mockery of officialdom´s view that cancer is an old person´s disease with rates rising in line with an aging population, has emerged.

The risk of developing cancer in your middle age has now risen by more than a third since 1980. Breast cancer rates increased by 50 per cent. And prostate cancer rates grew a whopping 6 fold in middle aged men! (Ed: As usual, the report from Cancer Research UK, bumbles on about better screening, lifestyle factors such as obesity, and promises more and better treatments. Why is it only CANCERactive that talks about the significant environmental causes of cancer and the need for the precautionary principle to be adopted by Government and Health bodies alike? We want a more rigorous control on known carcinogens at state level – from BPA to formaldehyde – in everyday products, proper warnings on labels and real cancer prevention education. This study comes at the same time other experts are warning that the cost of treatments will become untenable. The UK cancer programme continues to look in the wrong direction. Where, oh where, is there a serious concern over cancer prevention.  Ultimately, our children will be the biggest losers.)  CANCERactive, Britain’s Number 1 Cancer Prevention web site, CLICK HERE

http://www.canceractive.com/index.aspx

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=715&Title=Cancer Prevention Main Features

 

 

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It’s poor science I know. But 4 women with breast cancer developed in their late 30’s contacted me in a two week period. All had had IVF. The question is “Did the oestroegen enriching process they underwent lead to the breast cancer, or was it something else?”

The jury is out. We do well know that oestrogen can drive cancers. It can cause havoc in healthy human cells, it can hold stem cells in a rapidly dividing state and it is known to fuel the fire of cancer through increased cell division and metabolic change.

But whether the extra oestrogen in your body caused the breast cancer is hard to tell. The factors that prevented fertility in the first place, if the problem lay with the woman, may be the driver.

Now, a new research study attempts to shed light on this issue. Researchers from the University of Western Australia, Crawley, led by Louise Stewart studied 21,000 women who went through fertility treatment in Western Australia Hospitals between 1983 and 2002 and did find a link. The research was published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

The research compared women who took just fertility drugs against those who had both fertility drugs and IVF. Overall, there was only a slight increase but it seems the issue may be age-dependent. Women who start IVF in their twenties have a 56 per cent greater chance of developing breast cancer than those who have it around the age of 40. And this may be due to the exposure to higher levels of oestrogen circulating in the blood of the younger women having IVF.

Of course, it still could be that the cause of the infertility in younger women leads to breast cancer, and the research did not look at cause. But worries have now increased that, especially for younger women, IVF may link to increased risk of breast cancer. Until this is proven not to be the case, Doctors should make the warning part of their speech to young women thinking of having the treatment. (Source Reuters)

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=651&Title=Breast Cancer

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PSA tests ‘do significantly more harm than good’

At CANCERactive we have reported a number of times that PSA tests are increasingly regarded in the USA as misleading or useless. We have been consistent in our views that a single PSA test can be terribly misleading as a sign of Prostate cancer.

Now the conclusions of the American Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF) say that PSA tests for prostate cancer are unreliable, do not offer men any tangible benefit in lifespan or quality of life, and conclude that many more men are injured than helped by PSA tests.

The PSTF research concluded that only one man in a thousand tested would derive any real benefit whereas a staggering 100 will receive false positives. Many of these people will then have biopsies which can cause complications including infection.

The same study found that 90 per cent of men may be then treated with surgery or radiation for cancers that are not and will never be life-threatening, but five out of every thousand having these treatments will die within a month of initiating them. In other words, more than ten percent of all men screened for prostate cancer will generate false positives that could result in death from treatment, while a mere .001 percent or less will derive any sort of benefit.
“There is a small potential benefit and a significant known harm,” said Dr. Virginia A. Moyer, a professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and chair of the task force. She and her team are recommending that the PSA test for prostate cancer be abandoned altogether, and that patients avoid the test as part of their normal checkups.

PSA, (Prostate specific antigen), is a biological marker that oncologists and doctors use to detect the presence of a potential prostate tumor. However there are many other reasons why the PSA can be high: For example, you cycled in the previous 24 hours, consumed dairy, you have prostatitis (inflammation or infection in the prostate gland), or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or you went to the gym on the way to the hospital. Equally consuming lycopene or eating a cooked tomato-rich meal will lower the score.

Also many prostate tumours are benign, would never cause serious health problems yet give high PSA readings.

Source: Natural News

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=171&Title=Prostate cancer, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

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Having read a report of the Dartington Debate which took place recently on the subject of Integrated Medicine, I was interested to read that some of the assembled gathering concluded that the only treatments that they would consider were those that had passed the ultimate medical gold standard test: The randomised, double blind, placebo controlled Clinical Trial. These people are sadly living in cloud cuckoo land.

First, for those of you that don’t know the term let me explain. This Clinical Trial involves two identical groups of people, one group taking the test treatment, the other taking a ‘placebo’ – an identical injection or pill just containing sugar. It is blind, because the recipients don’t know which they are receiving.

The test is double blind because the scientist doesn’t know which he is giving to whom either. And finally, it is randomised because a computer has assigned the people to each group in a matched way, but randomly.

An unequal playing field

This sort of test, according to Pharmaceutical companies, is very, very expensive to run. And thus it is very, very unlikely that any purveyor of a herb or vitamin would ever have the money to run such a test. Last year Astra Zeneca made over $8.6 billion in profit. The entire supplements industry in the UK was worth peanuts compared to that figure. I know of only one such UK ‘supplements’ test in the last year or so – A Leeds University Clinical Trial on concentrated fish oil omega 3 with pre-cancerous colon polyps (it worked and reduced the size of the polyps). This level of Clinical Trial demands serious funding, something simply beyond the means of the supplements companies – face facts!

Another reason that natural compounds and supplements are ruled out is because the drug companies are unlikely to help. The Leeds University trial prepared the omega-3 as if it were a drug, but others aren’t so fortunate. Professor Robert Thomas of Addenbrooks has been working with newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients and noted that those who followed a programme of broccoli and tomato consumption plus daily exercise pushed the evil date for surgery further into the future. To make any claims he needed to prove this observation scientifically and so he started to dry his broccoli and tomatoes. Ah, but if you want to do a proper trial you need to prepare them in pill form, so they are now classified as drugs and require a drugs company to prepare them. How easy do you think it is to get a drugs company to help with a test on natural compounds which can reduce the usage of their profitable drugs?

These anomalies would only be resolved in the UK if we had a properly Government-funded Institute of Complementary Health as they do in the USA. This needs to include someone responsible collating the information and providing guidelines.

Dubious selection criteria

You may feel that the ‘randomised’ selection process in the randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled test is fool-proof. You’d be completely wrong. New drugs tend to be compared against existing treatments which are used by the sick in all shapes, sizes, ages, smokers and non-smokers and so on. For the new Clinical Trials however, the participating company may well insist that the scientist rule out anybody who may have had a negative reaction in a previous trial, obese people, people with heart problems or anything that might jeopardise a good result. Thus the Clinical Trial can be a random sample chosen from a selected sample. Often a drug trial is conducted with young, healthy people (you’ve probably heard the radio ads recruiting volunteers) with 75 per cent of the volume of the resultant drug used by sick over 65 year olds, who will have a significantly different biochemical profile.

So let’s rule out all those treatments that haven’t passed this gold standard

Well of course curcumin as a preventative cancer treatment is ruled out. But then so are most statins – including those for the seemingly healthy to avoid unexpected heart attacks. But Doctors recommend the statins, don’t they?

Actually, come to mention it, about 95 per cent of drugs in use today would be ruled out, not just complementary and alternative therapies.

Two thirds of cancer patients have surgery but there has never been a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled Clinical Trial on any of it. And increasingly there is evidence that surgery may even spread cancer (See: http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2976)

Next time your Doctor offers you a drug, ask him if it has been through a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled Clinical Trial and see what he says. If it is a serious condition it is very likely that he will want to give you three or four drugs. Don’t even bother asking about whether the combination has passed the gold standard test. As a cocktail it is almost certain not to have done, which may explain, in part, why prescription drugs are now the highest cause of death in states like Florida with a higher incidence of older people.

Level of evidence?

If, like me you believe that ‘research is for the guidance of wise men and the obedience of fools’, you may consider that there is actually enough evidence to warrant all of the over-50’s in the UK being offered statins along with overweight kids too. As a doctor you may feel the evidence is enough, even if all the Dartington audience using their gold standard filter may not have agreed.

But if you feel it is enough and you offer statins to all, why not consider telling people with pre-cancerous colon conditions about fish oils or curcumin? Both are known to help prevent colon cancer – the former also has Clinical Trials, the latter has a stack of evidence on its side and is even being used as a treatment in some US cancer hospitals.

Why do oncologists offer surgery at the outset of cancer yet they don’t think to offer immune boosting herbs like astragalus or supplements like resveratrol and grape seed extract, which do have good supporting evidence behind them?

Why do some oncologists even criticise cancer patients when they correct their diets? The research is quite clear; ‘overwhelming’ according to the American Cancer Society. Diet and exercise can increase survival times.

A clear legal duty

Only recently we had two women in a week tell us that their oncologist had refused to discuss complementary therapies with them as ‘He may get struck off’. Actually the opposite is true. Your oncologist has a legal duty to inform you fully of all your treatment options. Omitting treatments deliberately is illegal. Ignorance is no defence. Oncologists had better start wising up on complementary and alternative therapies fast. The patient backlash is just around the corner.

The sting?

As part of my preparation for this article, I looked up the ‘randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled Clinical Trial’ on my Internet search engine. Five of the top six listings were definitions but one was actually a trial for a treatment. Here it is. Unfortunately I think some of the ‘skeptic’ attackers of complementary medicine at Dartington might find it a little embarrassing:

Efficacy of a complex homeopathic medication (Sinfrontal) in patients with acute maxillary sinusitis: a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trial.

 

Zabolotnyi DI, Kneis KC, Richardson A, Rettenberger R, Heger M, Kaszkin-Bettag M, Heger PW.
Source
Research Institute for Ear, Nose, and Throat Diseases, Kiev, Ukraine.
 

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
There is a demand for clinical trials that demonstrate homeopathic medications to be effective and safe in the treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis (AMS).
OBJECTIVE:
The objective of this clinical trial was to demonstrate the efficacy of a complex homeopathic medication (Sinfrontal) compared with placebo in patients with AMS confirmed by sinus radiography.
DESIGN:
A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III clinical trial was conducted for a treatment period of 22 days, followed by an eight-week post treatment observational phase.
INTERVENTIONS:
Fifty-seven patients received Sinfrontal and 56 patients received placebo. Additionally, patients were allowed saline inhalations, paracetamol, and over-the-counter medications, but treatment with antibiotics or other treatment for sinusitis was not permitted.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Primary outcome criterion was change of the sinusitis severity score (SSS) from day zero to day seven. Other efficacy assessments included radiographic and clinical cure, improvement in health state, ability to work or to follow usual activities, and treatment outcome.
RESULTS:
From day zero to day seven, Sinfrontal caused a significant reduction in the SSS total score compared with placebo (5.8 +/- 2.3 [6.0] points vs 2.3 +/- 1.8 [2.0] points; P < .0001). On day 21, 39 (68.4%) patients on active medication had a complete remission of AMS symptoms compared with five (8.9%) placebo patients. All secondary outcome criteria displayed similar trends. Eight adverse events were reported that were assessed as being mild or moderate in intensity. No recurrence of AMS symptoms occurred by the end of the eight-week post treatment observational phase.
CONCLUSION:
This complex homeopathic medication is safe and appears to be an effective treatment for acute maxillary sinusitis.
PMID:
17362845
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Junk Science Number 12. The Nordic Cochrane Institute: Screening Mammograms cause net harm. Confirmed!

When the Nordic Cochrane Centre concluded from a meta-study on (largely synthetic) vitamins that they seem to do no good and may even cause harm, it was front page news in the National papers. However, when the same prestigious Institution tells the world that a thorough analysis of mammography research shows that mammography definitely does cause harm, you are lucky to find a passing mention in the press.

 Yet, their research conclusions have now been confirmed by an independent study. We are not surprised. At CANCERactive we have been telling you this for nearly 9 years!

 The Nordic Cochrane Institute have just produced a leaflet on the benefits and harm of screening mammography. I will just give you the top line.

If 2,000 women are regularly screened for 10 years,

 * 1 (one!) woman will benefit, and she will avoid dying from breast cancer.

* 200 women will get false positives.

* 10 of these women will be treated with surgery (lumpectomy or full breast removal) and chemotherapy and radiotherapy, increasing their risk of heart and lung problems.

Are they right in their claims? Researchers at Southampton University set out to ‘assess the claim in a Cochrane review that mammographic breast cancer screening could be doing more harm than good’.

The findings published in the British Medical Journal, December 2011 agreed with Cochrane and stated that mammograms indeed have ‘caused net harm for up to 10 years after the start of screening’.

James Raftery, lead researcher at Southampton added, “The default is to assume that screening must be good; catching something early must be good, but if a woman has an unnecessary mastectomy, or chemotherapy or radiation, that’s a tragedy. It’s difficult to balance the gain of one life against 200 false positives and 10 unnecessary surgeries”.

Back to Cochrane, who say that nowadays with women much more ‘breast aware’ and with a new generation of diagnostics and treatments, the need for mammographic screening has simply become outdated.

“It therefore no longer seems reasonable to attend for breast cancer screening. In fact, by avoiding going to screening, a woman will LOWER her risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis.”

The fact is that screening creates breast cancer patients out of healthy women who would never have developed symptoms. And treatment of these healthy women increases their risk of dying from both heart disease and cancer itself.

See our full article on mammograms at http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?

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Junk Science Number 4: Prostate cancer – the King has got no clothes on.

Older readers may remember a song by Danny Kaye which was about a King riding on horse back through the streets in his finery – except that he actually had no clothes on. It took a little boy to start singing ‘the King is in the altogether’, for people to wake up to the fact that he was actually naked.

Why do I always feel like that little boy when people talk to me about Prostate cancer? I could talk about several aspects of its treatment – today I just want to talk about the ‘chemotherapy’ part.

Consider theses findings from research:

1.  An enlarged prostate afflicts most men in the Western World over 50 years of age. The cause is known to be oestrogen – the female sex hormone. In fact, anti-oestrogen drugs like finasteride are prescribed to reduce the enlargement.

2.  Sometimes this swollen prostate gland becomes cancerous. You may not even realize it. According to a study of men killed in motoring accidents, about two thirds of those over 50 years of age were happily wandering life’s path with prostate cancer and had little idea. Most prostate cancers are slow growing.

3.  There are research studies from Singapore, Melbourne and Sydney covered in CANCERactive’s research centre, Cancer Watch, that show you need the presence of both testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oestrogen to develop prostate cancer.

4.  The conundrum was answered when a Dr Thompson of MD Anderson in Texas showed that nice safe testosterone is converted by oestrogen into something very nasty called DHT, and it is that compound which drives prostate cancer.

Now all this seems pretty clear to me. Added research supports it:

5.  Cancer Watch has also covered research that shows 13 chemicals can drive the process – all of them were xenoestrogens, or oestrogen mimics. It is possible that selenium can work to displace heavy metals and chemicals from the tissues – there is German research on the benefits of selenium in prostate cancer prevention.

6. Professor Robert Thomas (former Pfeizer oncologist of the Year) specializes in prostate cancer and believes getting newly diagnosed patients onto a diet of broccoli and tomatoes, plus daily exercise can delay the need for surgery by at least a year. Broccoli contains indole3carbinol, known to denature aggressive oestrogen, while tomatoes contain lycopene which reduces circulating fat levels in the blood and thus reduces the formation of oestrogens.

7 . Women with oestrogen-driven breast cancer are often given ‘Aromatase Inhibitors’ – oestroegen is produced in the ovaries until menopause, but after this time some is still produced in the kidneys and from fat stores in the body. Men produce it this way too. Aromatase Inhibitors aim to cut all this production –in women.

8.  Oestrogen is known to cause cancers. Oestradiol binds with cell receptor sites and creates havoc within the cell; oestrogen can cause stem cells to stay in a rapidly dividing state. I could go on. Even Cancer Research has stated that Oestrogen drives cancers.

SO…. WHY ARE MEN WITH PROSTATE CANCER GIVEN INJECTIONS OF OESTROGEN?

I have 6 friends between the ages of 57 and 63 all with prostate cancer. They all ask me what to do. A couple have had their operations (more on that another time) and their oncologist is now working on ways to CUT THEIR TESTOSTERONE.

You see all of them have been told they have prostate cancer because they have high testosterone. What bollocks is this? If high testosterone caused prostate cancer, every 16 year old male in the world would have it. They’d be dropping like flies. It is completely illogical.

When we conducted an icon (Integrated Cancer and Oncology News) magazine interview with a top Prostate oncologist in London, he confirmed that there were several treatments for men with advance prostate cancer all designed to reduce testosterone levels.

But nowhere is there any research evidence that Testosterone causes cancer in cells, whereas there is a stack of it about oestrogen. I have written a book entitled ‘Oestrogen – the killer in our midst’; I could not even fill a postage stamp for testosterone.

Our intrepid London Oncologist was then asked about this ‘logic gap’ and replied that oestrogen as the driver of prostate cancer was an interesting theory, but he found that using oestrogen as a treatment ‘worked’, so the theory could not be right.

Now I don’t want to split hairs here but it seems to me the key word here is ‘Worked’.

We are told that prostate cancer is a slow growing disease. Why is it then that the 5-year survival rate in the UK for proste cancer in Eurocare 3 was 54 per cent, and this rose to barely 60 per cent seven years later after the new Government Cancer Plan, stacks of money, and all these new treatments (Eurocare 4)? We are one of the worst countries for 5-year survival in Europe. In Eurocare 3 Austria led the field at 83 per cent, now many countries in Europe are between 80 and 90 per cent.

‘Worked’? A healthy body is in a state of homeostasis – it means all your hormones are balanced. Throw one out and they all go out of kilter. But the body tries to get back to how it should be. Swamp the body with oestrogen and, sure, the testosterone levels will fall away. But in the end, they will gradually rise. And do you know what happens in prostate patients treated with oestrogen? Yup, you’ve guessed it – about three years on their testosterone rises. Now they are in real trouble. The testosterone is rising and the body is flooded with oestrogen. There was a test at Barts Hospital, London, on a treatment using natural compounds – the relevant comment from the oncologist there was, ‘Well, in cases of advanced prostate cancer after hormone treatment has failed we have little to offer patients’. That says it all.

My other three friends with prostate cancer? Well they listened to me. None had an operation, none receives drugs, all are on a strict diet, supplements and exercise. And at their hospitals they are on ‘Active Surveillance’. They have been in a balanced state for three years – as I said at the start, prostate cancer is slow growing. But then they didn’t throw bucket loads of oestrogen on the fire.

Does the sun spin round the earth, or the earth spin round the sun? You decide.

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=171&Title=Prostate cancer, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

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Junk Science Number 3:  Do you really think you developed skin cancer by getting too much sun?

Sunshine protects you from cancer!
At CANCERactive we have become tired of watching people in Britain get such poor advice from leading charities over what to do or not do in the sun.  It´s gone on for too long.  Despite (or could it possibly be, because of) their inaccurate information over the past 8 years suggesting you avoid the sun, cover up, slip, slap, slop or whatever, the rates of skin cancer and melanoma supposedly continued to rise.  The fact is it can´t just be sunshine causing skin cancer and melanoma!
Consider these research-based facts:
* Sunshine on your skin causes vitamin D to be produced from the cholesterol levels beneath.
* When part of your immune system (a T-cell) finds a rogue cell in your body, the first thing it looks for is a vitamin D molecule to ´activate´ it.
* A deficiency of vitamin D is linked to higher levels of many cancers, and also to other diseases from simple colds to osteoporosis. Vitamin D is a cancer preventer.
* There are several studies which show that over 90 per cent of people with melanoma are deficient in vitamin D. Not surprisingly they have weaker immune systems too.  The fact is they haven´t had ENOUGH sun!
* Research shows people who have regular exposure to sunshine get less skin cancer, not more!
* 2009 research from Leeds University showed that vitamin D could prevent skin cancer, and skin cancer patients with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood
actually survive longer!
* Possibly the most damning research comes in the Journal of Dermatology in late 2011. Firstly, the researchers conclude that grade 2, 3 and 4 cases of melanoma are not on the increase. They state that the supposed rise in such cancers are because Doctors too readily call grade 1 lesions ´melanoma´ and start treating them when there is no need – ´an artefact´ is how they describe this. Then…
* The same research report concludes that half of genuine melanoma lesions are in places on the body ´where the sun don´t go´.
Skin cancer is not just ´due to too much sun´, and it really is time to junk the Sun Smart campaign as it was based on poor science that tried to convince us all that we were at fault by not taking enough care in the sun.
At CANCERactive we have been telling you that skin cancer and melanoma had other causes for 8 or more years!!!
Time to change the SunSmart Campaign
The Sun Smart campaign in various guises has been a worldwide campaign.  The recommendations made in it over previous years, like limiting your exposure to the sun and slapping on suncream, have been modified – but only recently in 2011.
Early in 2011, the British Newspaper, The Independendent, uncovered a draft memo stating that Cancer Research UK was about to change its stance on its Sunsmart campaign to focus on burning (in recognition that sunshine is actually the basis of good health). It was about time and the changes duly happened.
However, even their new stance is not far enough for us. Whilst scientists fully understand that radiation causes cancer and sunshine is a form of radiation, the evidence on vitamin D deficiency suggests too much sun is not the issue. So what really does cause skin cancer? Other factors must be at work – and there could well be some ´inconvenient truths´ that may lie behind skin cancer and melanoma!
Oestrogen and Oestrogen mimics
For example, a woman taking an oestrogen-based contraceptive pill was twice as likely to develop skin cancer as her identical twin not on the pill.  Oestrogen plays a role in skin cancer.
Then there is the issue of localised oestrogen.  Many lotions and potions used before and after the beach might be better dubbed toxic suncreams or sunscreens.  The Environmental Working Group in the USA believes only one in five to be truly safe. Why? Well for example, many contain oestrogen mimics – xenoestrogens – from the formula used or the plastic bottle.  Recent research has shown that certain plasticisers in plastic bottles are denatured in sunlight releasing more of the oestrogen mimics into the contained liquid. (Keep your suncream bottle out of the sun?)
Dangerous chemicals may be listed or not, and include phthalates, PABA, BPA and parabens. Perfumes in the creams may also include chemicals that mimic the action of oestrogen once in the body. Many sunscreens contain oxybenzone, known to be a hormone-disruptive chemical.
Let´s be clear here.  These creams are plastered all over the skin.   Some cancer charities even recommend that this is done every hour or so, and then again in the form of ´after sun´.
Remember, your skin is a carrier, not a barrier. You rub on these oestrogen mimics and toxic chemicals at your peril.
Or Toxic Chemicals?
Then there is an increasing body of evidence on retinol and retinyl palmitate, synthetic vitamin A substitutes, which are commonly used (supposedly) to protect the skin.  Whilst natural vitamin A may well have an anti-ageing effect, ironically, these synthetic chemicals are photcarcinogenic – they cause problems whilst being actually activated by sunlight!  The warnings are already clear in the research and a 2000 report from the FDA (covered in the US National Toxicology Programme) talked of sunscreens containing ´vitamin A´ causing tumours and lesions to spread 21 per cent faster than those creams without the ingredient!
Stay Safe in the Sun
As a result of all this research we have launched our own Safe Sun campaign called….. ´Practise SafeSun´. Some might call it the ´SunSmarter´ campaign. As always, it is based on the latest research and unencumbered by politics and vested interests.
Please forward it to all those family and friends you care about.
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Junk Science Number 1: HPV, cervical cancer and vaccines.

October 2011 – The FDA has approved the use of Merck’s Gardasil vaccine in males.

Suddenly, cancer ‘experts’ in medical orthodoxy are rushing to argue that all young males need to be vaccinated before their first sexual encounter, just as they argued with young females. The claim? This will prevent cervical cancer. I have no problem with the FDA approval – HPV is a growing menace and is being passed through sexual encounters. But, please, what is this rubbish about HPV causing all cervical cancer and vaccination of 13 year olds saving thousands of lives sometime in the distant future?

Does Human papillomavirus actually cause cervical cancer?

It is a popular theory amongst cancer ‘experts’, that a virus – the human papillomavirus – causes cervical cancer in women. This has led to mass media coverage and, in my opinion, scaremongering of a huge scale.

I say theory, because that is what it is – it is not proven. Indeed other ‘experts’ have said this theory is ‘madness’. For example, Peter Duesberg and Jody Schwartz, molecular biologists at the University of California, Berkeley back in 1992 noted that there was a total lack of consistent HPV sequences and HPV-gene expression in tumours that were HPV-positive. In simple English, they proposed that ‘carcinogens induced the cancer and the proliferating cells became more susceptible to infection – so the presence of HPV in them is just an INDICATOR of a problem, not the cause’.

This alternative proposition had other support – for example the US National Cancer Institute has also reported that direct causation has not been proven.

Yet in 2008 moves were made in the UK to start a National vaccination campaign in girls before their first sexual encounter. After all this is a vaccine, supposedly to prevent, not a cancer treatment. At schools in the UK and Scotland girls aged 13 were vaccinated en masse, and the decision was left to the girl – in most cases she was allowed to over-rule her parents’ views if she wished. In some schools no choice was even offered.

Cancer charities like Cancer Research UK are on record as saying this vaccination programme could prevent at least 1,000 deaths a year. I think it could prevent at least two world wars and Arsenal winning the European Championship – sorry, I am just exaggerating.

Back to molecular biologists Duesberg and Schwartz: In a controlled study of age-matched women, 67% of those with cervical cancer and 43% of those without were found to be HPV-positive (http://www.virusmyth.net/aids/data/pdlatvir3.htm). So, only two thirds of women with cervical cancer have the presence of the virus anyway – whether it caused the cancer or not!

They also observed that these cancers on average appear 20-50 years after infection.

The vaccines

There are 16 strains of HPV, and two (16 and 18) are linked to cervical cancer. (Yes, I wondered why there are 16 strains and one is numbered 18, too)

Two vaccines are available – Gardasil from Merck, and Cervarix from GSK; the latter knocks out HPV 16 and 18; the former includes a couple of HPV strains as well that ‘are linked to’ genital warts. There is concern in America over aluminium content in Gardasil and it is not recommended for people with an allergy to yeasts, (which is just about everybody).

You will see from these words found on the NCI web site that Merck has now been working with the NCI:

‘On June 8, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a new vaccine to prevent infection from four types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Two of the HPV types targeted by the vaccine (HPV-16 and HPV-18) are responsible for about 70 percent of the cases of cervical cancer worldwide. The other two HPV types (HPV-6 and HPV-11) cause approximately 90 percent of the cases of genital warts. The vaccine, made by Merck & Co., Inc., is based on laboratory research and technology developed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI played a pivotal role in what holds promise to be a major public health success story. NCI continues to conduct research on HPV and cervical cancer’. So the powers that be are now fully in support.

But elsewhere on their site they state ‘Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) published in the February 28, 2007, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) have provided the first national estimate of the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection among women in the United States aged 14 to 59. Investigators found that a total of 26.8 percent of women overall tested positive for one or more strains of HPV’.

So over a quarter of all young to middle-aged women are infected with HPV (or more if you believe the 43 per cent in the Duesbery and Schwartz work). So one has to ask why there are so few cases of cervical cancer (2500 in the UK last year) and even fewer deaths if HPV really is ‘the cause’.

Cervical cancer, like many cancers, has a bias to older women (about half come in the 39-59 age group and a half in the over 60 age group). Moreover, there is a higher incidence of smoking amongst those women who die of cervical cancer and, as we are so frequently told, cancer is our own fault – we drink alcohol, smoke, don’t take exercise, eat poorly and so on.

Let’s have a rain check here – only two thirds of people with cervical cancer have the virus. The virus may not even be a cause, but an indicator. If you are infected with the virus, you have less than a 1 in about 10,000 chance of developing the cancer next year anyway. (Based on a population of about 28 million of the required age and 2,800 cases)

Nevertheless we are told vaccination could save up to a 1,000 lives a year in the UK – 10,000 over the next ten years – 100,000 over the next 100 years. Note the ‘up to’. Who is doing this maths?

Why isn’t the incidence of cervical cancer higher?

 

Because you have an immune system that has built up over the eons of time to knock out viruses. Some estimates say that a healthy diet can eradicate the virus in 18 months or less. Four American Clinical trials show that Ellagic acid is effective against HPV – the source of Ellagic Acid in the research? Half a cup of raspberries a day.

The claims continue

 

Consider these quotes from the Cancer Research UK web site:

‘Death rates from cervical cancer have fallen in high-income countries in recent decades, thanks to effective screening programmes, new treatments and HPV vaccination.’ Vaccination only started three years ago – it’s a miracle. Hallelujah!

Then 9th November 2011: ‘The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Cervarix “offers excellent protection” against serious cell changes that lead to cervical cancer, particularly when given to young adolescent girls before they become sexually active, according to research published in the Lancet Oncology.

A second study published in the same journal showed that Cervarix also protects against several other cancer-causing HPV types that it’s not specifically designed to target, giving protection against a group of strains that together cause about 85 percent of cervical cancers worldwide. (So it does things no one knew it could do? One wonders what else it is capable of)

Cervical cancer affects around 2,800 women each year in the UK, and is the second most common cancer in women under 35.

Virtually all cases are linked to genital infection with HPV, the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. In the UK, girls in year 8 at school (aged 12 to 13 years) are offered the Cervarix vaccine.’ Note ‘linked to’, not ‘caused by’. Note also  ‘offered’.

So I read the original research for you. It says that the most difficult-to-study precursor to cervical cancer is CIN3. The researchers studied 15-25 year old girls with less than 6 sexual partners during their lifetime. (!)

The efficiency of Cervarix against CIN3+ associated with HPV-16/18 was 100%, but in the group that had had no trace of HPV before the trial it was not 100 per cent but  45·7%.

On the issue of age, in the total vaccinated group, vaccine efficacy against all CIN3+ and CIN3+ associated with HPV-16/18 was highest in the 15—17 year age group and progressively decreased in the 18—20 year and 21—25 year age groups. Had they taken 45 year olds there is no knowing how low this figure might have been.

The Business of vaccination

The above was a 4-year trial. There is no evidence on how long these vaccines are even protective for. There is a growing ‘argument’ from cancer ‘experts’ that women may need to be re-vaccinated every 5 years (although the above research seems to question that theory). All for a disease, that could actually be caused by other factors, and may well not appear for 20-50 years.

Then there are boys. We have covered stories in Cancer Watch where cancer ‘experts’ at CRUK were arguing for vaccination of boys because they were carriers of HPV. But even to the layman, a boy’s biochemistry must surely differ from a girl’s. But now those ‘opinions’ have some research behind them. And based on Clinical Trials, ‘the The FDA advisory has approved the use of Gardasil in males to prevent genital warts. Genital warts are flesh-toned or gray, raised or flat growths that appear on, in, and/or around the genitals. They can grow in clusters that resemble cauliflower, or they can appear singularly. In males, they can appear on the penis, scrotum, testicles, anus, groin, and thighs’.

This is quite clear – but also clear is that there is no mention of cervical cancer. In fact the Press release actually says ‘In most cases, there is no major health risk associated with genital warts; they do not cause cancer or even result from the same strain of HPV known to cause cancer’.

But the euphoria is unstoppable. In the New York Times article covering the approval it states, ‘The committee recommended that boys ages 11 and 12 should be vaccinated. It also recommended vaccination of males ages 13 through 21 who had not already had all three shots’.

Further on in the article is a quote from another cancer ‘expert’: “This is cancer,  for Pete’s sake,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and a non-voting member of the committee. “A vaccine against cancer was the dream of our youth.”

Sorry, did I miss something? Where does it say this is a vaccine against cancer?

In America a National Compulsory Vaccination campaign for girls was turned down under a barrage of lobbying by Human Rights supporters. One issue already in the vaccination of males has been that of homosexuality.

In the UK, the Government has taken flack for approving the cheaper and less effective vaccine, Cervarix – it did not claim to cover genital warts. But Merck is coming to the rescue.

This is a mass-market opportunity. Every boy and girl vaccinated, say, every 5 years from age 12 – 50 in the UK adds up to 2 billion pounds per year of revenue.

And, hey, stop talking about a paltry 1,000 deaths a year in the UK. There’s the world to play for. Right on cue we find the CRUK web site stating A new commitment (sic) to lower the price of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for developing countries could help to prevent thousands of cases of cervical cancer in these nations.

The vaccine offers protection against the most common strains of HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer.

Merck, which manufactures the HPV vaccine Gardasil, has now agreed to sell the vaccine at a significantly reduced price to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), a public-private global health partnership that aims to increase access to immunisation in the world’s poorest countries.

GAVI will now be able to purchase the HPV vaccine at US$5 (about £3) per dose – 67 per cent lower than its usual cost.

The move should help to prevent cervical cancer deaths around the world, 88 per cent of which occur in developing countries’.

Merck has offered to lower its prices by a staggering 67 per cent per shot of vaccine. Can you imagine that in any other market? A Mercedes E class for just £6,000? A gold Rolex for £3,000?

So it’s time to make your own minds up. The earth spins round the sun, or the sun round the earth? Junk science supported by scaremongering, profit potential, selective research, non-scientific extrapolation from a virus infection to a ‘proven cause of cancer’ 30 years hence; or a genuine belief that vaccines are definitely going to eradicate cancer on a worldwide basis?

By the way, Merck is still lobbying to make Gardasil vaccinations mandatory. And the Texas Governor, Perry, who may run for President has voiced support. Merck is also the company that bought the world Vioxx.

My original article for CANCERactive is at http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2044

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=156&Title=Cervical Cancer

 

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A paper (J Nucleic Acids 2010 Sep 22; pii 725071 and also in the prestigious peer reviewed Pubmed) from the Nutrition and Metabolism Center at the Children’s Hospital, Oakland, California (Ames B N ) has summarised three of their recent research studies and concluded that optimising micronutrient intake will in turn optimise metabolism, decrease DNA damage and result in less cancer as well as other degenerative diseases associated with ageing.

The three studies looked at

The delay of mitochondrial decay through ageing and free-radical damage could be minimised by supplementation with lipoic acid and acetyl carnitine.
How even modest micronutrient deficiencies (common in much of the population) accelerate molecular aging, including DNA damage and mitochondrial decay. This work included an in-depth analysis of vitamin K that suggests the importance of achieving optimal micronutrient intake for longevity.
The finding that a loss of enzyme function can result from protein deformation and loss of function due to an age-related decline in membrane fluidity or mutation. The loss of enzyme function can be compensated by a high dietary intake of any of the B vitamins.

Researchers concluded that ‘optimising micronutrient intake could have a major effect on the prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases of ageing’.

Ed: Short, but sweet. So, with this in mind I urge readers to be more aware of the weakened levels of vitamins allowed in your High Street, EU-approved supplements – like B complex; then there´s the increasiing usage of synthetic copies of the natural, real compound; the common Western population deficiency in vitamin K levels (due to low consumption of ‘greens’ and low levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut); and the EU-mandated restriction of key trace minerals in mass market supplements.

This constant ´dumbing down´ of supplements on the High Street by the EU flies in the face of the latest research, as you can see for yourselves in the above example.

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