Guy Chapman – losing all ability to be rational?

Skeptic unguided missile and irrational bully Guy Chapman seems to have seriously lost the plot. A piece from WDDTY covered in Junk Science prompted a 9 page rabid rant from wacko Chapman …. about Chris Woollams and me!

But this was nothing compared to his 24 page – yes, twenty four page – suicide note about an article Woollams had written, in which Chris dared to mention that Guy Chapman had an affiliate marketing business. Firstly, I think (I was bored after the first two paragraphs) Chapman said he was not an affiliate marketer, then he said he was but didn’t make much money at it (?)

Guy, I really suggest you get out a bit more. Staring at those big internet screens and your dashboards all day could well be causing serious mental stress. And make some real friends, don’t just keep inventing them.

Here’s a little reminder of what your business is about from an investigative journalist in 2008 (http://www.susanfg.wordpress.com). Note important phrases like ‘his Commercial affiliate advertising links page’, and, ‘making money out of advertising products’.

Keep taking the medication Guy – it would be sad to lose someone who is always good for a laugh.

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Questionable research, inaccurate conclusions, poor taste

Professor David Colquhoun of UCL has formally apologised to Chris Woollams for suggesting that he made money from his work for the charity CANCERactive. The apology will run on Professor Colquhoun’s homepage of the site ‘DC’s Improbable Science’, and will be communicated electronically to all his followers. This apology has avoided a libel case against Colquhoun with significant potential costs and damages.

‘In the worst possible taste’

Chairman of the CANCERactive Trustees, Larry Brooks, said that any inference that Chris Woollams was making money from the death of his own daughter, Catherine, ‘beggars belief’, was ‘simply atrocious’ and ‘in the worst possible taste’.‘Chris’ daughter Catherine died from a brain tumour; no orthodox medicine cures this disease. But Chris and Catherine discovered a lot of natural compounds and treatments that could prolong her life. Catherine wanted a magazine in Hospitals that told people their options; Chris was asked by Doctors at St Thomas’ Hospital to write down what he had found out. Chris and Catherine founded icon; he wrote a bestselling book; the charity is ten years old and has a Medical Board of Oncologists and Doctors overseeing content. 3600 pages of possible causes, orthodox therapies and complementary and alternative options. Over 1.3 million people came to the site this year and the hits are growing all the time. A dozen or more Oncologists have written articles for us in the last few months – it’s all a tribute to Chris and Catherine’s efforts.

Chris’ own philanthropy, plus the profits from all of his books, writings and speeches, make a significant contribution to the charity, the magazine icon and the website for CANCERactive. Chris works tirelessly for no financial reward. While patients praise him for his efforts and generosity, ‘Skeptics’ like Colquhoun make crass and ridiculous accusations. In my view UCL should now give some serious thought to the future employment of Colquhoun. Is this really the sort of individual who should be setting standards for the young at our Universities?’

Chris was forced to threaten a libel action after Colquhoun posted the second of two potentially defamatory blogs on his ‘DC’s Improbable Science’ website. In 2006 he had suggested Chris had set up the CANCERactive site for personal gain but removed the offending comments when Chris explained he had set up the Charity in memory of his daughter. Chris explained then that he originally funded the site to the tune of 150,000 pounds so that all people with cancer might benefit. Colquhoun even replied at the time that he ‘did not have that sort of money’.

Repeated inaccuracy

The new attacks came after Charity patron Janice Day had pointed out numerous inaccuracies in the original DC’s Improbable Science blog. Rather than correct the inaccuracies, Colquhoun, a known ‘Skeptic’, chose to attack the charity again calling some of its claims ‘absurd’, and then referred his readers to the website of an “independent consultant” (who writes under an assumed name), whom Colquhoun lauded as being “very interesting” having supposedly looked into Chris’ business affairs. As a result Colquhoun suggested that Charity law preventing use of charities for private gain was being broken, which, if true would of course put the charity’s charitable status at risk. Despite Chris then detailing, yet again, that he had never taken a penny from the charity but made significant annual donations to it (which were a matter of public record), that a former ‘sister company’, Health Issues, was still in his debt, and that the ‘research’ into his business affairs was nothing of the sort, Colquhoun chose to run Chris’ comments but continued with his own wild claims. Chris threatened to sue for libel. Colquhoun appointed lawyers, the whole blog was removed immediately and he has now apologised to Chris.

Is this what we should expect from a Professor of Science at UCL?

Of the settlement, Chris Woollams said ‘Frankly, can anybody now trust a word this man says when he seems prepared just to quote any old bit of ‘research’ from someone with no relevant qualifications, takes no steps (so far as I know) to check its accuracy, including the most basic step of asking me to comment before publication and worse, uses it to draw completely ludicrous and inaccurate conclusions? Then when his mistakes are pointed out – as could have been confirmed if he had made proper enquiries – he continues to blindly run the original accusations!

In this instance he has been uncovered and had to apologise. But in other areas outside his expertise of pharmacology (the study of drugs) – like nutrition and oncology where he frequently pontificates – how can anyone now believe his claims there hold any credibility either? The use, and even praise of this type of ‘research’, extrapolated to draw false conclusions which he persists with even though his errors are pointed out to him – is this what we should expect from a Professor of Science?

But then isn’t this example true of almost all the skeptics? A cocktail of computer programmers, journalists, geologists with the occasional physics degree thrown in, all ‘judging’ the merits of nutrition, complementary and alternative therapies when they have neither qualification nor research expertise in the specialist field. Some even ‘advise patients’ through their websites and blogs. Many attack complementary therapies and therapists, often in a deliberate and concerted effort. When Colquhoun stood accused, several rushed, unthinkingly, to his defence, proclaiming that I was trying to stop a scientific debate through the law courts. They all missed the truth – but can they read accurately? Tweets gushed between Colquhoun, Simon Singh, Josephine Jones, Guy Chapman and others. One asked if the recipient could find inaccuracy in the CANCERactive website. Oh dear. So some then started writing verbose and inaccurate drivel about CANCERactive with others even contributing to Colquhoun’s defence costs on ‘Just Giving’! One wrote that she ‘didn’t always agree with what he said but she defended his right to say it!’ His right to inaccurately suggest a father was profiting from his own daughter’s death? This was never a debate about science but about decency. Shame on you all.

Skeptics proclaim they are somehow ‘protecting patients’ when in reality, many patients have now wised up to their misleading and potentially life-shortening and even life-threatening antics with ignorant claims against nutrition and complementary therapies. The American Cancer Society 2012 research report (now endorsed by the NCI in America) talks of an ‘explosion’ in research into complementary therapies since 2006, and the spokesperson talked of ‘overwhelming’ evidence that complementary therapies such as diet, exercise and weight control could increase survival times and even prevent a cancer returning. Is this really the sort of knowledge we should be keeping from people with cancer? When will Skeptics wise up to the potential harm they are doing?

Colquhoun’s apology is sadly yet more evidence of the misleading and vacuous opinions of skeptics at large’.

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Junk Science? Number 10. Much more than placebo: Homeopathy reverses cancer.

This article is from, ´What Doctors don´t tell you´. They have asked that it is disseminated as widely as possible.

Doctors call it “nonsense on stilts”, professors of medicine have been bullying government and health authorities to stop offering it on the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), and yet studies paid for by the US government are showing that homeopathy could be our best defence against cancer. Several homeopathic remedies are as effective as powerful chemotherapy, according to clinical trials, and thousands of cancer cases are being reversed by homeopathy alone.

The extraordinary success of homeopathy remedies,which are diluted hundreds of times, against the most dreaded of diseases is being demonstrated every day at several homeopathic clinics in Kolkata (Calcutta) in India.

In one review of the work at the Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation, 21,888 patients with malignant tumours were treated only with homeopathy—they had neither chemotherapy nor radiotherapy—between 1990 and 2005. Clinical reports reveal that the tumours completely regressed in 19 per cent—or 4158—of cases, and stabilized or improved in a further 21 per cent (4596) of patients. Those whose tumours had stabilized were followed for between two and 10 years afterwards to monitor the improvement (Banerji, 2008).

This suggests that homeopathic remedies on their own are reversing, or certainly stabilizing, 40 per cent of all cancers, a success rate that matches the best results for conventional medicine, and without the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The foundation’s homeopathic therapy—the Banerji Protocol—has been independently tested under laboratory conditions, and two of the remedies used, Carcinosin and Phytolacca, were found to be as effective against breast cancer cells as the chemotherapy drug Taxol (Int J Oncol, 2010; 36: 395–403).

All of the remedies used at the foundation are available in shops, and Ruta 6 is one of several regularly prescribed. The Protocol refers to the foundation’s use of high-technology screening equipment and the mix of remedies—two practices that are contrary to Classical Homeopathy, which attempts to prescribe one precise remedy that fits with an individual’s mind/body profile.

Another clinic in Kolkata, the Advanced Homeopathic Healthcare Centre, claims similar levels of success with its cancer patients and, although well documented, they have not been subjected to the same level of scientific validation as the Prasanta Banerji Foundation.

Getting noticed

The work at the Banerji Foundation first came to the attention of the West in 1995 when Dr Prasanta Banerji and his son, Dr Pratip Banerji, presented a study at the 5th International Conference of Anti-cancer Research of 16 cases of brain tumour that had regressed, using only homeopathic remedies. At the time, they had been testing homeopathic remedies on cancer patients since 1992 at their Foundation, and they say they now treat around 120 cancer patients every day.

Dr Sen Pathak, professor of cell biology and genetics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston, approached the Banerjis and, together, they set up a trial to test two homeopathic remedies, Ruta 6 and Calcarea Phosphorica 3X, on 15 patients with brain tumours. Six of the seven patients with gliomas —a type of brain cancer— had complete regression. In an accompanying in vitro laboratory study, scientists noticed that the remedies induced death-signalling pathways in the cancer cells (Int J Oncol, 2003; 23: 975–82).

The result is astonishing. Gliomas are considered to be incurable; of 10,000 people diagnosed with malignant gliomas each year in the US alone, only around half are alive a year later, and just 25 per cent two years later (The Washington Post, 20 May 2008).

The scientists at MDACC were so impressed by the results that they started to offer homeopathic remedies as part of their range of cancer treatments.

In 1999, the US government’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) independently evaluated the Banerji Protocol on 10 patients with different kinds of cancers. In four cases of lung and oesophageal cancer, the NCI researchers confirmed that there had been partial responses to the homeo-pathic remedies. None of the patients had received any previous conventional cancer treatment.

The NCI concluded that there was sufficient evidence of efficacy to support further research into the protocol, an historic decision as it marked the first time that any official health institute in the US had worked with an alternative therapy for cancer treatment (Oncol Rep, 2008; 20: 69–74).

In the laboratory

To understand the mechanism of the homeopathic remedies on cancer cells, eight scientists from MDACC tested four remedies — Carcinosin 30C, Conium Maculatum 3C, Phytolacca Decandra 200C and Thuja Occidentalis 30C on two human breast-cancer cell lines. Around 5000 cells were exposed to the remedies and to a placebo, the solvent without the active ingredients of the remedies, for periods of between one and four days. The experiment was repeated three times.

Two of the remedies—Carcinosin and Phytolacca—achieved up to an 80-per-cent response, indicating that they caused apoptosis, or cell death. By comparison, the placebo solvent achieved only a 30-per-cent reduction, suggesting that the effect was more than twice that of the placebo.

Also, the effect was strongest with the greater dilution, (which, in the contrary world of homeopathic medicine, means more powerful), and for longer periods of exposure.

The remedies triggered an ‘apoptotic cascade’ that interfered with the cancer cells’ normal growth cycle and, yet, the surrounding healthy cells were untouched, the researchers found. In other words, they targeted only the cancer cells, whereas chemo-therapy drugs attack all growing cells. And, say the researchers, the effects of Carcinosin and Phytolacca were as powerful as Taxol (paclitaxel), the most commonly prescribed chemotherapy drug for breast cancer (Int J Oncol, 2010; 36: 395–403).

Rooting for Ruta

Although Carcinosin and Phytolacca fared well in the laboratory, many of the Foundation’s patients are taking the Ruta 6 remedy and with extraordinary success, according to one survey of 127 American patients with brain tumours, half of whom were at grade IV, the end-stage before death.

The tumours had completely disappeared, according to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, in 18 of the 127 patients who were taking only Ruta and no conventional treatment. Another nine patients had significant tumour regression. The tumours were stable in around half of all patients scanned, but had grown in around 27 patients. Overall, around 79 per cent of the brain-tumour patients surveyed saw either great or some benefit from Ruta.

In an earlier study by the Foundation among patients who were taking Ruta alongside con-ventional chemotherapy for brain tumours, 72 per cent derived some or great benefit from Ruta and chemotherapy combined, suggest-ing that Ruta on its own is more effective than—or certainly as effective as—the drug, and without its debilitating side-effects (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Ruta6).

In a separate study of brain-tumour cases—148 patients with malignant gliomas and 144 with meningiomas—treated at the Foundation between 1996 and 2001, the 91 patients who had been treated exclusively with Ruta and Calc Phos had an average survival time of 92 months, whereas 11 patients who had been treated conventionally, and used homeopathy as a supplement, survived for 20 months. In addition, 7 per cent of the homeopathy-only patients had a complete cure, 60 per cent were improved, 22 per cent were stable, with the cancer neither improving nor worsening, and 11 per cent saw their cancer worsen, or died (Prasanta Banerji Homeopathic Research Foundation, www.pbhrfindia.org).

The other clinic

There is a second homeopathic clinic in Kolkata that is, confusingly, also run by two P. Banerjis—Parimal and his son Paramesh. The clinic, the Advanced Homeopathic Healthcare Centre, has not attracted the same interest from the West; although its claims appear to be equally as impressive, they have not been independently verified.

Paramesh’s grandfather, Dr Pareshnath Banerji, opened a homeopathic clinic in India in 1918, and his work was continued by his son, Parimal, who adapted Classical Homeopathy into the new approach he calls ‘Advanced Homeopathy’.

With this method, he uses homeopathic remedies in the way a conventional doctor would use drugs, by treating one presenting symptom at a time; a cancer patient with pain would be treated for the pain first, for example. Parimal claims the approach is scientific, based on around 14 million cases dealt with through past generations of his family, with results that can be replicated by any trained practitioner.

The claims that the Banerjis make for Advanced Homeopathy are extraordinary. They say that 95 per cent of their patients do not need surgery, not even for major diseases, including cancer. Although the Centre has not undertaken any clinical trials, its case studies draw an impressive picture.

• A 65-year-old woman with advanced pancreatic cancer, whose tumour was too large to be removed and who refused all other conventional treatment, was alive two years after starting Advanced Homeopathy.

 • A 35-year-old man had a malignant nasal polyp so large that it completely filled the left nostril. Initially, he had the polyp surgically removed, but it grew back each time. However, since 2007, he has not had any surgery but, instead, has relied exclusively on Advanced Homeopathy, and the tumour has not grown back.

• A 14-year-old boy had advanced glioma so severe that it was pushing against the eyeball. His only treatment was Advanced Homeopathy, says the Centre and, within a year, all of his symptoms had disappeared; the boy had gone from a comatose state to running around and playing.

•A 24-year-old man with a brain tumour that had spread to his spinal cord—which could not be treated conventionally because of the risk of permanent paralysis—was treated with Advanced Homeopathy. According to MRI scans, the tumour stopped growing, and the patient was able to carry on with his life, free of symptoms.

Other Research

Outside of India, research into the effects of homeopathy on cancer is very limited, primarily because it is seen as being no better than a placebo and, so, is an unethical treatment. Because of this, most studies in the West have reviewed homeopathy as a palliative therapy to help patients cope with the rigours of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

In one study, 100 women with breast cancer completed a one-hour consultation with a homeopath who was asked to help with any three symptoms chosen by the women that were the result of conventional treatment. The 67 patients who completed the homeopathic treatment and the two follow-ups all reported “significant improvements” in their hot flashes, fatigue, anxiety and depression, although the remedies did not ease pain (Palliative Med, 2002; 16: 227–33).

In another study of women with breast cancer, the homeopathic remedy Verum was tested against placebo for treating hot flashes after taking the drug tamoxifen. In this experiment, 26 women were given Verum, 30 took Verum and a placebo, and 27 were given just a placebo. Both the combination- and single-remedy groups reported improvement in symptoms compared with those in the placebo group (J Altern Complement Med, 2005; 11: 21–7).

Homeopathy also helped ease some of the effects of radiotherapy in a group of 32 women with breast cancer. Hyperpigmentation, or darkening of the skin, after radiotherapy was reduced in the homeopathic group compared with 29 controls who did not receive homeopathy, and their overall side-effects were also reduced (Br Homeopath J, 2000; 89: 8–12).

The homeopathic remedy Traumeel, for skin and muscular problems, has been successfully tested in several trials. In one, it was given to 15 patients (aged three to 25 years), who had undergone stem-cell transplants for their cancer, to treat stomatitis (mouth ulcers). Compared with a placebo, which was given to 15 other patients, Traumeel “may reduce significantly” the severity and duration of stomatitis (Cancer, 2001; 92: 684–90). In a second study, Traumeel was tested on 20 patients with various cancers, again for treating stomatitis. It reduced the duration of symptoms to just six days, compared with 13 days in the placebo group (Biomed Ther, 1998; 16: 261–5).

Individualized homeopathic remedies helped a group of 45 women who had been treated for breast cancer. Homeopathy was prescribed to treat symptoms following oestrogen withdrawal; the severity of hot flashes and other symptoms—except for joint pain—decreased, while their general quality of life and well-being scores increased (Homeopathy, 2003; 92: 131–4). Another group of 20 women recovering from breast-cancer treatment, including tamoxifen, also reported improve-ment in the severity and frequency of their hot flashes (Homeopathy, 2002; 91: 75–9).

The black hole

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently joined the chorus in the West that maintains that homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo effect. Responding to a Voice of Young Science Network campaign, which is calling for a ban on the promotion of homeopathy in developing countries, the WHO stated that homeopathy is not a cure for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis or malaria.

Welcoming the WHO statement, Dr Robert Hagan, a member of the Voice of Young Science Network, commented: “We need governments around the world to recognize the dangers of promoting homeopathy for life-threatening illnesses” (BBC News, 20 August 2009; http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ 8211925.stm).

Yet, homeopathy is doing just that in India. In that culture, homeopathy is accepted as a genuine medical therapy, and is governed by laws that ensure that homeopaths are properly trained and registered.

It is perplexing why good medical studies—which are supported by the US government and by leading American academics—are not being recog-nized, let alone discussed, in the West. Surely, cancer is so serious a threat that every avenue needs to be explored with an open mind, and not left to the drug and academic cabals. Conventional medicine does not offer any genuinely effective solutions and, yet, blocks anything that might, especially something as “impossible” and “nonsensical” to their science as homeopathy.

Bryan Hubbard

Factfile A: Homeopathy in India

Mahatma Gandhi, the father of modern India, described homeopathy as a “refined method of treating patients economically and non-violently. Government must encourage and patronize it in our country.”

And so they did. In 1960, the Maharashtra Act—also known as the ‘Bombay Act’—set up a court of examiners, concerned with the teaching of homeopathy and the creation of new colleges to do so, and a board of homeopathy, which regulated and licensed practitioners.

Nine years later, a new act was passed that created a central council to govern homeopathy and Ayurveda, India’s traditional medical system. In 1973, the Homeopathy Central Council Act was passed, which standardized homeopathic education and allowed homeopaths to practice in different states throughout the country.

The legislation formalized a rich tradition of homeopathy in India that began in 1839, when Romanian doctor John Martin Honigberger successfully treated the Maharaja of the Punjab for paralysis of the vocal cords. Honigberger had been taught homeopathy by Dr Samuel Hahnemann, its creator, and became convinced of its efficacy when he treated himself for malaria. After treating the Maharaja, Honigberger moved to Calcutta, where he was known as the ‘cholera doctor’ because of his successful treatment of the disease using homeopathic remedies.

In 1867, Dr Salzar from Vienna began teaching homeopathy in India, and two of his students went on to create the first homeopathic college in India in 1878.

However, the British rulers were not sympathetic to homeopathy, and it began to flourish in India only after the country achieved independence in 1947.

Factfile B: Not just water

Scientists and doctors say homeopathy is a nonsense because of the high dilution of the active ingredient. Most remedies are diluted beyond Avogadro’s number, which is the final concentration at which molecules of the original substance can still exist.

Any homeopathic remedy with a potency of 12C (in other words, 1200 dilutions) or greater is beyond the Avogadro number, suggesting that only water is left. This means that any effect of homeopathy must be due to the placebo, or ‘feel-good’, factor, say sceptics.

But homeopathy turns conventional science and medicine on its head: it contends that greater dilutions have greater potency and, so, the more dilutions, the more powerful the remedy.

Conventional science doesn’t have a model to explain how homeopathy works and, yet, a meta-analysis of 75 studies concluded that 67 of them demonstrated an effect well beyond that of placebo (Complement Ther Med, 2007; 15: 128–38). The effects have also been seen using highly sophisticated measuring technology, such as:

• calorimetry, which measures the amount of heat given off by a sample (J Therm Anal Calorim, 2004; 75: 815–36);

• spectroscopy, which measures how a substance absorbs and emits electromagnetic radiation (Homeopathy, 2007; 96: 175–82); and

• thermoluminescence, which measures the amount of light produced by a sample when heated (Physica A, 2003; 323: 67–74).

Succussion, or vigorous agitation, is as important as very high dilutions in creating the remedies. One study even measured the effectiveness of two highly diluted therapies, one succussed and one not, and found a difference between the two (Biochim Biophys Acta, 2003; 1621: 253–60).

Factfile C: The new science of water

Undaunted by the public ridicule of his compatriot Jacques Benveniste and his theory that water has a memory, Nobel prize-winning virologist Luc Montagnier has confirmed that water does indeed retain frequencies, even at levels of dilutions as used in homeopathy.

Montagnier, who was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery of a link between HIV and AIDS, has found that solutions containing the DNA of viruses and bacteria “could emit low-frequency radio waves”. These waves influence the molecules around them, turning them into organized structures. In turn, these organized molecules also emit waves.

Confirming what homeopaths have said for several centuries, Montagnier has discovered that these information-emitting waves remain in water even after it has been diluted, often to levels regularly prescribed in homeopathy (Interdiscip Sci, 2009; 1: 81–90).

Montagnier’s discoveries mirror those of French immunologist Jacques Benveniste, who spent the last 15 years of his life investigating water and its ability to ‘remember’ substances, even after it had been diluted many times.

However, after having had his original paper published in the prestigious Nature journal (Nature, 1988; 333: 816–8), Benveniste was visited at his laboratory by the journal’s editor John Maddox and ‘quackbusting’ magician James Randi.

They said that Benveniste was unable to replicate the findings that inspired his original paper, effectively accusing him of being a ‘quack’ and, thus, ruining his reputation.

Factfile D: Homeopathy and the NHS

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) spends around £100 billion a year, and £4 million of it on homeopathy, mainly by funding the UK’s four homeopathic hospitals.

Even though the expenditure is negligible, doctors continue to call for its complete abolition in the NHS. Groups of doctors have pressed primary care trusts (PCTs) to stop offering homeopathy to local patients, while the British Medical Association (BMA)—the doctors’ trade union—has called on the UK government to ban it outright.

The BMA meeting, where one doctor described homeopathy as “nonsense on stilts”, also called on the government to place all homeopathic remedies in pharmacies under a special ‘Placebo’ section (Mail Online, 2 July 2010; www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1290861/Homeopathy-remedies-labelled-placebos-banned-NHS-say-leading-doctors.html).

WDDTY Vol. 22, 12. March 2012

http://www.wddty.com/

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Junk Science number 7

Steve Jobs died on October 5th 2011; he was just 56. The visionary founder of Apple was also the charismatic, no-nonsense, black turtle-necked presenter who introduced the iPhone, iPad and iPod to the world. His ‘simplify, simplify’ attitude to new ideas was coupled with an understanding of what the consumer would want – even if they didn’t yet know that they wanted it.

In his youth Jobs dropped out of Oregon’s Reed College after just one term, and then quit one of his first jobs (at Atari designing video games) choosing to backpack across India, live in an Ashram, become Buddhist and vegan whilst experimenting with psychedelic drugs.

In 2003 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Shortly after his death, it was announced that, when first diagnosed, Steve Jobs had ignored orthodox medical advice and pursued an ‘alternative’ approach to his cancer treatments. On October 20th in CBS’ 60 minutes programme, his biographer Walter Isaacson said that Steve Jobs refused to allow surgeons to perform what could have been life-saving surgery on his pancreatic cancer and, in one particular interview, Jobs told him he regretted his decision to try alternative therapies and said he put off the operation because it was too invasive.

And then it started. One hundred and one articles all claiming that ‘Steve Jobs could have lived longer but for those mumbo-jumbo alternative therapies’. Better late than never, even the Daily Telegraph jumped on the bandwagon three months on with ‘Alternative Medicine is looking a bit sickly’. (Well California is a long way from London, after all).

I quote: One detail worth mentioning: anyone (sic) who has read Walter Isaacson’s superb biography of Steve Jobs is left in little doubt that unorthodox therapies hastened the death of Apple’s co-founder. Jobs’s (sic) pancreatic cancer was spotted very early, but he wasted precious months on faddy diets before he agreed to surgery, by which time the tumour had grown. Apple fans know this; it’s one of many reasons that CAM is no longer cool’. The writer then driveled on about everything from homeopathy to Ayurvedic medicine. It reminded me of black and white comedy programmes where old men sat in pubs criticising all things German because they tried to bomb the chip shop.

Let’s put some sort of scientific discipline on this:

1. Steve Jobs had pancreatic cancer:

The cancer was detected during a non-routine abdominal scan in October 2003 following a lengthy history of gastrointestinal problems. These problems quite probably would have also reduced his immune defences. However, there is no confirmation whatsoever that when the cancer was detected it was ‘spotted very early’.

Most pancreatic cancer has a terrible prognosis – half of all patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer die within ten months of the diagnosis; half of those, in whom it has metastasized, die within six months. These pancreatic cancers are cancers of the pancreatic cells, like the cancer of Patrick Swayze.

However, Jobs had a particularly rare cancer in the islets of Langerhans – the cells that produce insulin. This cancer is called a neuroendocrine cancer and, although it was inside the pancreas it was not typical pancreatic cancer. “If you catch it early, there is a real potential for cure” according to cancer surgeon Joseph Kim of City of Hope, the comprehensive cancer center in Duarte, California.

If he had symptoms before the scan they would have been driven by high insulin levels and a profound drop in blood sugar which can lead to shakiness, cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, blackouts, and neurological changes such as impaired judgment, moodiness, irritability, apathy, and confusion.

Importantly, the type of cancer Jobs had is defined as slow growing, or indolent. Indeed it can be so indolent that patients can die with it, rather than because of it. This rare cancer is diagnosed in about 2,500 Americans a year and is thought to be linked to poor diet and alcohol. Autopsies show that it is likely to be present in more than double this number of people – people who had no idea it was present, such is the slow growth.

2. Steve Jobs put off the surgery because he considered it too invasive.

Whichever way anyone might try to spin this, Jobs’ own account to his biographer (and also confirmed by his wife) was that he was afraid of having the surgery. This is quite understandable as the procedure is not without risks. Importantly, at the time, Jobs did not actually rule out having orthodox treatment – he made a positive decision to delay it whilst exploring other routes. With an aggressive cancer a delay of nine months might be serious but the neuroendocrine cancer is NOT an aggressive cancer.

He may well have been told his cancer was slow growing – that people died with it, rather than from it? He certainly would have found this out when he searched the internet. Did that make him think he had time to try less invasive routes?

When he finally had the surgery, the normal Whipple procedure needed to be modified to remove the right side of the pancreas, the gallbladder, and parts of the stomach, bile duct, and small intestine. Was this also part of his original fear? Did the metastases to his bile duct, stomach and small intestine really occur in the nine months delay? Or was there already a discussion about possible spread to other organs at the outset, thus making him worry even more?

Another option is that at the time of the original diagnosis no one knew that the cancer had spread so far – such extensive surgery is called for only after metastases and, according to Joseph Kim, these may not be detectable until the patient is actually operated on. Jobs was certainly not stupid – a few hours on the internet would have told him all the options.

Jobs would also have known that the surgery may be followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, both of which can cause significant suffering. It’s a lot to handle if you are an independent spirit like Jobs; a spirit used to being in control of all around him. Would he really have wanted to hand over control to orthodox medical practitioners immediately?

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobs

3.  Jobs did have orthodox treatment.

Even those neuroendocrine tumours that have been present for years, and in some cases decades, often stay safely confined to the pancreas.

However, a 2004 scan showed that Jobs’ tumour had grown in size – but I can find no confirmation that it showed spread.

And there is little debate about the best treatment – patients with neuroendocrine cancer that has not spread beyond the pancreas can live for many more years, again because this is such a slow growing cancer.

After spread to the liver, Jobs had a liver transplant. There must have been huge debate about that. On one hand his liver was damaged, on the other the immune suppressants following a transplant would have made the fight with the cancer harder, even unwinnable.

4. Steve Jobs did not have ‘alternative’ cancer treatments.

Let’s be clear about this. Alternative cancer treatments include such developments as Dendritic Cell Therapy (used, for example, by Duke University Medical Center for brain tumours), Virotherapy (used, for example, by MD Anderson for lung cancers); Localised Hyperthermia (see the research on HIFU for prostate cancer or from the Karolinska for breast tumours) and so on. (See http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2656&Title=Alternative%20cancer%20treatments, where we try to get a sense of proportion on it all, whilst bring patients the latest information). There is a relevant ‘Diet Therapy’ from Dr Nicholas Gonzalez in New York and in early Clinical Trials it did seem to outperform the orthodox route for pancreatic cancer. There is debate on later trials and, anyway, Jobs did not have ‘common’ pancreatic cancer.

But this is not what Jobs did. He had a ‘special diet’ (apparently the Dr Dean Ornish anti-cancer diet) including a low fat and vegan approach, juice fasts, herbs, bowel cleansing, acupuncture and spiritual healing. He even consulted a psychic. These may be ‘complementary therapies’ but anyone who considers these ‘alternative therapies for cancer’ is in mumbo-jumbo land. And that includes both Jobs and the journalists who have been writing articles along these lines.

I have written before, for example, on subjects such as going vegan once diagnosed with cancer. Yes, I know there is research showing vegetarians get less cancer but there is not one single drop of research that says, once you have it, turning vegetarian extends survival times. I have also covered 4 research studies in the last 5 years on the dangers of glucose (people with lower blood glucose levels survive longer), but there is no research to my knowledge that says low fat diets increase survival times too.

Modified diets, bowel cleanse, acupuncture? These are, at best, treatments you may use to complement your core treatments, or reduce side effects. Yes, I know the woman down the road found homeopathy helped her through her chemotherapy. But as an alternative cure for cancer?

Did these unorthodox therapies ‘hasten the death of Steve Jobs’? Did they cause the spread of an indolent cancer? Was there hard evidence that surgery 9 months earlier would have found no metastases? I cannot find anything other than conjecture, but my take is that it is highly likely the slow spread from the islets had already taken place.

However, the orthodox medical profession will be rubbing their hands with glee, and the PR departments at the drug companies and orthodox charities will be working overtime to get more and more articles out, aided and abetted by journalists (?) who jump on the bandwagon, however tardy. Extrapolations will be made to include any treatment not approved in triplicate by the FDA, the BMA, the drugs companies and a committee of approved oncologists. We have had it all before; for example, if you are British you may remember how Jade Goody’s life would clearly have been spared had she received the wondrous HPV vaccine? Get your daughter vaccinated today – you have been warned.

I will leave the last (scientifically proven, of course) words to the Telegraph’s blogger from the article which featured Mr. Jobs in picture and content: The market for snake oil remains enormous in other countries: the dodgy “experts” who once had a foothold in Western universities are now offloading their vitamin treatments for Aids on the developing world. Despicable.

In Britain, however, the demand for expensive placebos and assorted rip-off courses is now severely curtailed. If we exclude immigrants, who have their own useless remedies, the major consumers of CAM are ladies who lunch. I keep meeting rich Tory women who spend a fortune on alternative medicine. They find it so rejuvenating, they mutter through their freeze-dried facelifts.

Oh dear – quick, where’s my bottle of shark cartilage?

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Junk Science Number 6: Statins save the world

A friend went to his UK doctor. The conversation went like this:
Doctor: ‘I recommend you start taking statins.’
Patient: ‘But what about the side-effects?’
Doctor: ‘There are none.’
Patient: ‘Well I heard they can affect your muscles and heart.’
Doctor: ‘No problem, we monitor those for you.’

The research evidence suggests that statins depress coenzyme Q10 levels. A Merck study (1990) showed statins reduce CoQ10 production. Co Q10 is found in the mitochondria – the power stations in every cell in your body. The more active the tissue – muscles, heart, brain etc – the more mitochondria and the more Q10. Co Q10 is also believed to play an important role in the ‘health’ of the mitochondria, not just in its power generating activities. Mitochondria possess the power to cause cell death if something negative arises – for example, in genetic malfunction. In cancer, the mitochondria shut down and lose the ability to cause cell death, making cancer cells virtually immortal.

Co Q10 levels decline anyway as you age.

Statins are a 25 billion dollar world wide business. They are designed to reduce cholesterol levels and reduce cardiovascular disease.

New research links statins to increases in diabetes – Jan 10th 2012
A new study from the Massachusetts Medical School confirms a new and potentially dangerous side effect of statin drugs – diabetes. (Archives of Internal Medicine)

The research report analysed more than 153,000 postmenopausal women who enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative study in the 1990s. None of the women had diabetes at the outset, but 7 per cent were taking statins.

15 years later the women were followed up and nearly 10 percent of women taking statins had developed diabetes, compared to only 6.4 percent in women who took no statin drugs.

Further analysis by Harvard shows that women over the age of 45 are 50 per cent more likely to develop diabetes if they’re taking a statin drug.

Given the already widespread use of statins, and the push to encourage all people over 50 to consider taking them for heart issues and cholesterol problems, this finding is deeply concerning. The impact on Western populations could be huge.

Several reports have made the diabetes connection before – for example, the first in 2008 was a study of the drug Crestor; and in June 2010 a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association analysed five additional randomised trials and concluded the increased risk was small but real for people taking higher doses of any statin.

In 2009 a Diabetes Care a meta-study warned: ‘Although statin therapy greatly lowers vascular risk, including among those with and at risk for diabetes, the relationship of statin therapy to incident diabetes remains uncertain. Future statin trials should be designed to formally address this issue’, such were the mixed results.

But with the new and worrying research findings there seems already to be an attempt to down play the significance.
Dr. Steven Nissen, cardiology chairman at the Cleveland Clinic, who wasn’t involved with the Harvard research opined, “We don’t want these drugs in the water supply, but we want the right people treated. When they are, this effect is not a significant limitation.” ( http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/01/10/study-statins-linked-with-diabetes-risk/)

In the Lancet, volume 375, under the heading of ‘The new risk – diabetes’, Christopher P Cannon states: All drugs have side-effects. Indeed, all interventions (including even exercise programmes) have side-effects. The balance in medicine is to evaluate the benefits and weigh them against the risks. For statins, the benefits in reducing clinical events have been shown in a multitude of trials with more than 500 000 patient-years of treatment. This benefit has led to their inclusion in national guidelines as a key component of both primary and secondary prevention.

So that’s aright then.

At the US National Institutes of Health, diabetes specialist Dr. Judith Fradkin says statins’ benefits outweigh the potential side effect, and that newly developed diabetes won’t harm right away.

So that’s definitely alright then!

Deaths from heart disease are not in decline, and nor is type 2 diabetes. Worse the official website for the American Heart Association says, “Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are numerous trials showing a benefit from statin therapy in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and mortality. However, their report goes on to say that there is no evidence that statins reduce all-case mortality.

If statins are confirmed as causing a 50 per cent increase in diabetes, it could prove a huge cost to the world, both to patients and government purses.  

The American Medical Association 2009 report on statins and diabetes calculated that one fewer patient would experience a heart attack or other cardiovascular problem for every 155 patients treated for a year – and there would be one additional case of diabetes for every 498 patients treated. So three saved from heart attack for each new type-2 diabetes sufferer.

The final word belongs to Dr. Yunsheng Ma of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, who led the study of postmenopausal women: “The statin should not be seen as the magic pill.”  

It could be a bit late for that.

 

Read also

Links to  liver damage, kidney failure and cataracts ( http://www.naturalnews.com/030317_statin_drugs_liver_damage.html ).
Links to memory loss and depression
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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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Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642) commonly known as Galileo, was an Italian physicist, astronomer, mathematician and philosopher. He has been dubbed the ‘father of modern science’.

One of his many observations was that the earth span around the sun, and not (as the Catholic Church at the time wanted people to believe), the reverse. His view that the earth was not the centre of the Universe was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615. They ordered him to recant. However, he refused and, instead, published a book with research supporting his views. The Inquisition tried him, found him guilty of heresy, and sentenced him to spend the rest of his life under house arrest.

As you may know, his views turned out to be correct.

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Junk Science Number 2: EU ‘Scientists’ defy common sense.
The EU has ruled that drinking water doesn’t stop dehydration, and eating prunes and drinking prune juice do not stop constipation. No it is not April 1st.
As you may know, in Europe voters in member states elect EuroMP’s to a European Parliament. At this point democracy ends. Un-elected commissioners actually decide who will be the next President of Europe, the next ‘Foreign Minister and whether decisions made in the European parliament by elected representatives can or cannot become law.
For example, when EuroMP’s voted overwhelmingly to list 1000 or so ingredients in everyday products that did not appear safe and to encourage their replacement, they were asked to reconsider by a solitary unelected EU Commissioner.
Often these commissioners hand out work to what you or I would call a quango. So more un-elected but highly paid people decide that common medicinal herbs should be treated like drugs and banned from the high street because they might not be safe even after 2,000 years of use, while it is totally permitted to buy cigarettes, cocktails of medicines from the pharmacy (anti-histamines, ibuprofen, laxatives and cough mixtures can all be consumed simultaneously without any comment made and on top of your prescribed statin and heart medication), and formaldehyde (a class A carcinogen) in a variety of products in your supermarket. Laughably, officials make claims that this is ‘safe’.
But in the future you will not be able to claim that water prevents dehydration, or that prunes and prune juice prevent constipation, because EU scientists say there is not enough evidence.
What a load of highly paid wasters. We have gone back to the Middle Ages. Democracy and common sense have been replaced by vested interests, committees and nonsense at a completely new level.
No wonder the Euro is in trouble – these blithering idiots do not even know enough to drink water when their body says it needs it. You couldn’t make this sort of rubbish up. Worse, anyone advertising such claims in future could get 2-3 years in jail.
As usual the 21 or so scientists who made these important decisions, couldn’t have a conference call on Skype, but met in an expensive location to come up with this drivel. Oh that common sense could shine through. 
Every day some piece of idiocy seems to come from the EU on a health matter. As always they want us to believe that the sun spins round the earth. Well, it doesn’t. They are in the wrong. It’s just junk science.

For accurate information on vitamins and natural compounds click here http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=181

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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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