Johns Hopkins: cancer is primarily ‘bad luck’

Two scientists at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, Dr. Bert Vogelstein, the Clayton Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and ‘bio-mathematician’ and assistant Professor, Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D. published a study on January 2nd in the journal Science, which concluded that two-thirds of adult cancer incidence across tissues can be explained primarily by ‘bad luck’.

The scientists created a mathematical model by searching the scientific literature for information on the cumulative number of divisions of stem cells among 31 tissue types during an average individual’s lifetime. They then charted the number of stem cell divisions in these tissues and plotted them against the incidence of cancer. For example, in colon tissue there are 4 times more cell divisions than occur in the small intestine, and cancer is more prevalent in the former. QED.

“It was well-known that cancer arises when tissue specific stem cells make random mistakes, or mutations during cell replication”, said Vogelstein.

Let’s get real

1. Firstly, neither prostate nor breast cancer were covered in the research since the researchers could not obtain reliable data on stem cell divisions. So that would rule out almost one third of all cancers in the UK. And we are always being told by the UK ‘Brand leader’ Cancer Research, that these are largely hormonally driven, with factors such as oestrogen, lack of exercise and obesity playing a big part. If the new research is correct, and it were to apply to breast and prostate cancers as well, how has CRUK made such a big error? Just bad luck, perhaps?

2. Secondly, I will hazard a guess that the number of stem cell divisions in a tissue occurs in line with the number of overall cell divisions. And what the scientists actually showed was that there was a link between more cell divisions in a tissue and an increased risk of cancer. Hardly, new thinking really.

3. But if it is all about stem cells do the conclusions mean that someone in New York has many more stem cell divisions in their lungs than someone in China, or Kenya, where cancer incidence is considerably lower? The UK population must have 4 times the stem cell division of Thais; with almost exactly the same population we get four times the number of cancers they do. Why would that be?? Would the increased rate of stem cell division in New York or London not constitute a cause? Or are Thais just four times luckier than Londoners?

4. Next, having shown a link between cell division volumes and cancer volumes, our plucky duo made a mental jump: “It was well-known that cancer arises when tissue specific stem cells make random mistakes, or mutations during cell replication”, Well known to whom? In 2012 scientists were still arguing whether there was such a thing as a cancer stem cell.

And the idea that cancer is caused by mutations to the core DNA is quaintly old fashioned. Indeed the modern theory of cancer (being confirmed by scientists week in, week out) is that not much happens to the core DNA (and when it does the immune system easily spots it as rogue). Instead, chemicals like homocysteine build up in the blood stream and cause more methylation around the DNA coil. This holds histones in place, which in turn hold the integrity and shape of the DNA in the nucleus.

When the histones cover a gene responsible for, say, controlled cellular division, it cannot send out its messages, it is silenced, and the cell starts dividing randomly. It is important to note that this methylation and acetylation is believed to be reversible by literally thousands of scientists currently working for drugs companies and University Medical Schools. The science is called Epigenetics (Epi=around, the gene). Drugs companies believe they can affect the methylation and acetylation directly; or indirectly via the enzymes that cause it.

Other scientists believe that there are a host of natural compounds (from sulphoraphanes to carotenoids) that can do this, as can exercise hormones. Indeed, Epigeneticists argue that there are clearly 4 causes of DNA blockages – environmental toxins, stress, poor diet and hormones such as oestrogen.

So, are these epigenetic scientists all wrong?

Where hypotheses and statistics meet

A statistician is someone who will tell you that it’s better to have a watch that is broken (it is right twice a day), than one that loses 7 minutes a day (it is right once every thirteen days).

I have decided to look at road accidents in Britain (London and Manchester were excluded because there were no reliable statistics). Now, it is widely accepted that council road administrators allow too many non-UK-qualified lorry drivers to drive on the roads. And sure enough, we have found that the number of road deaths is proportional to the increases in foreign lorries on our roads. It doesn’t fit exactly (but to about an 80% level) and it differs by the 31 regions we looked at. So if you die in a road accident it has little to do with your skills as a driver, or how fast you were going, or the weather conditions. The number of foreign lorry drivers being allowed on our roads by a lack of legislation is behind it. Just bad luck really.

What is odd though is that this conclusion doesn’t hold true in Africa or China. So I’ll leave that out of my model.

Implications

So, thanks to Johns Hopkins, science has a new bed fellow: Bad luck. It’s the devil’s work. No need to feel guilty about your gluttony and sloth – just ‘eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow ye may die’.

No need for CRUK or the Government to feel guilty about failing to do anything serious in the way of Cancer Prevention Programmes in the community. You can’t legislate for bad luck. It would be pointless spending billions of pounds telling people to eat healthily, exercise and give up smoking if cancer occurs ‘for no particular reason other than randomness’ (according to Tomasetti).

If 65% of cancers are just bad luck, and we add on the 20% known to be caused by parasites and viruses (according to the WHO), then we certainly aren’t left with much that is to do with our sloth and gluttony. ‘50% of cancers are your own fault’ said CRUK 5 years ago. ‘30-50% of cancers are due to your poor diets’ said the WHO. ‘At least half of all cancers are preventable’. Oh no they’re not says a mathematical model (that left two of the biggest out).

Food companies that sell junk, have no case to answer. Lucky for them. What of the legal cases in the USA where people sue cigarette companies or mobile phone companies for not warning them that their products cause cancer? Presumably your bad luck is now lucky for these companies.

At CANCERactive we were helping a patient with oesophageal cancer. She had had bad acid reflux for ten years and been on a drug the whole time. A trip to the manufacturer’s website said that ‘on no account should the drug be prescribed for more than six months’. The woman asked her doctor what he thought caused her cancer. ‘Just bad luck’ was his reply. Johns Hopkins have vindicated him. His mis-prescription of the drug was irrelevant.

But there’s a get out clause in the model: “We found that the types of cancer that had a higher risk than predicted by the number of cell divisions, were precisely the one’s you’d expect” (lung cancer – linked to smoking; skin cancer – linked to sun exposure). So, other factors do cause deviation from their model. Lucky, I spotted that.

Junk science

The new science of ‘Bad luck’ is a dangerous concept. It removes the need for people to exert any self-control. The implication is that you can make little difference to prevent your cancer (and thus can make little difference to prevent it returning – so it is pointless doing anything to help treat your condition). Self-empowerment for patients goes out of the window. You might as well stay fat, not exercise, carry on smoking and just place your total faith in your good doctor’s hands. And luck.

Except, isn’t it lucky for us that The American Cancer Society have produced a 2012 report saying that since 2006 there has been an ‘explosion’ in research, and ‘overwhelming’ evidence that good diet, weight control and exercise can increase survival and even prevent a cancer returning.

Except, isn’t it lucky for us that the Karolinska Institute has produced straight line graphs on the links between cows’ dairy consumption and prostate, breast and ovarian cancers; or that Bristol University produced a meta-study on 52 research reports concluding that people who exercised regularly developed less cancers, and that those with cancer who exercised regularly, survived longer.

Watch out for the follow up study: ‘It is just bad luck that the chemotherapy didn’t work for you’. (Well it wouldn’t anyway because there is no drug available today that tackles cancer stem cells.)

What bad luck.

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New blood test tracks cancer development

Scientists at the CRUK Institute at Cambridge University have managed to follow the progress of cancer in people by following traces of tumour DNA circulating in patients’ blood (ctDNA).

Importantly this also allows scientists to identify tumour changes and chemotherapy drug resistance (Nature).

The scientists followed 6 patients with advanced breast, ovarian and lung cancers over two years taking blood samples at regular points, and by looking for changes in the tumour ctDNA before and after each course of treatment, they were able to identify which changes in the tumour’s DNA were linked to drug resistance following each treatment session.

Using this new method they were able to identify several changes linked to drug-resistance in response to chemotherapy drugs such as paclitaxel (taxol) which is used to treat ovarian, breast and lung cancers, tamoxifen which is used to treat oestrogen-positive breast cancers and trastuzumab (Herceptin) which is used to treat HER2 positive breast cancers.

Dr Nitzan Rosenfeld one of the study authors, said: “Tumours are constantly changing and evolving which helps them develop a resistance to many of the drugs we currently give patients to treat their disease”.

“We’ve shown that a very simple blood test can be used to collect enough tumour DNA to suggest to us what parts of the cancer’s genetic code is changing and creating tumour resistance to chemotherapy or biologically-targeted therapies”.

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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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Puzzling prediction of falling cancer death rates made ahead of fund raising drive

According to ‘experts’ at the charity Cancer Research UK, cancer death rates in the UK are set to fall by almost 17 per cent by 2030. And better diagnosis and treatment is the main reason (sic) for the change.  The figures were released in the run-up to Stand Up To Cancer, a fundraising partnership between Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.

This is all rather puzzling because in 2011, when claiming cancer death rates were falling in breast cancer and colon cancer, they predicted an increase in the number of cancer cases and deaths from cancer as the population ages over the next twenty or so years.

The ‘experts’ also claim that the improved outlook reflects the fact that fewer people are smoking. So is ‘prevention’ really the key? Or could it even be something else?

To quote from the CRUK press release, ‘In 2010 an estimated 170 people in every 100,000 members of the general population died from cancer. By 2030 this is forecast to fall to 142 per 100,000.

Ovarian cancer is expected to see the biggest drop in numbers of patients dying, at 42.6 per cent. Incidence of the disease is expected to reduce from 9.1 women per 100,000 to 5.3 per 100,000 by 2030. Death rates for breast cancer are predicted to fall by 28 per cent, for bowel cancer by 23 per cent and prostate cancer by 16 per cent.

A few cancers show a reverse trend, with larger numbers of people dying. Death rates for oral cancer are likely to rise by 22 per cent, as incidence rises from 2.9 to 3.5 per 100,000 people. For liver cancer, death rates are predicted to go up by 39 per cent, with incidence increasing from 4.2 to 5.9 per 100,000’.

Professor Peter Sasieni, Cancer Research UK epidemiologist at Queen Mary, University of London, said: “Our latest estimations show that for many cancers, adjusting for age, death rates are set to fall dramatically in the coming decades. And what’s really encouraging is that the biggest cancer killers, lung, breast, bowel, and prostate, are part of this falling trend.

“Because old age is the biggest risk factor for cancer and more people are living longer, they have a greater chance of developing and, unfortunately, dying from the disease. But overall the proportion, or rate, of those who die from cancer is falling.”

Why this is puzzling is because the absolute numbers of cancer cases has doubled in the last thirty years and a team of oncologists working with MacMillan had predicted it would double again in the next twenty years. That would mean about 4 million people with cancer in Britain.

According to the 2011 census, the population for England and Wales has increased by 3.7 million from 2001; and (to quote) ‘buoyed by increased life expectancy, sustained immigration and robust fertility levels, the number of residents jumped 7.1% from 52.4 million in 2001 to 56.1 million in 2011’. If that continues, in twenty years time we will have about 65 million people in England and Wales in 2031. According to figures about 350,000 ‘older’ people are retiring abroad each year, while about 650,000 younger foreign people are coming into the country.

And it should be noted that Cancer Research ‘experts’ are not talking about total numbers of cases of cancer, nor total numbers of deaths. But the rate per 100,000 of population. So if the number of people increasing the population by 7 per cent due to ‘sustained immigration and robust fertility levels’ continues you might expect a decline in cancer death rates anyway. Especially if the average age falls across the population.

The other claim that is interesting is that the main reason is due to better diagnosis and treatment. Three years ago CRUK said it was all down to better diagnosis and treatment and I chided them at the time. They conveniently ignore the fact that over two thirds of cancer patients now build their own integrative treatment programmes, search the Internet for alternative treatments, visit complementary centres that are independent (like Maggie’s, The Haven and Penny Brohn) or part of the Hospital (like the Butterfly Centre and the Rainbow Centre). Some people even take themselves off abroad for life-extending treatments. Then there has been an explosion in coverage of what people can do to help themselves from the utterings of the Daily Mail to charities such as CANCERactive. Only recently the American Cancer Society stated that there had been an ‘explosion’ in complementary research since 2006 and that there was ‘overwhelming evidence that complementary therapies like diet, weight control and exercise could increase survival and stop a cancer returning.

It seems that Cancer Research UK think your personal efforts count for little.

Better diagnosis? It is definitely coming with a possible avalanche of private companies and blood tests, but up to now …  mammograms and PSA tests? The Nordic Cochrane has said that mammograms do ‘more harm than good’, with up to 30 per cent being misdiagnosed (of course you are ‘cured’ if misdiagnosed). The American Preventative services Task Force said much the same about the PSA test.

Better treatments? Well if you read the recent articles on the new breed of biologics, or ‘designer drugs’, such as the article we printed by Professor Karol Sikora, you’d be more than a little underwhelmed. There are alternatives coming – like localised hyperthermia (Ablation, HIFU) but the ‘old school’ is none too happy about the possibility of becoming redundant. And anyway it can’t work on blood and lymph cancers.

And this is another little area that needs attention. Blood and lymph cancers account for about 80,000 cases in the UK currently; twice the number of breast cancers diagnosed. But they are divided into about ten different types – there are four different lymphomas. Yet no one divides breast cancer by ductal or lobular in the overall numbers. It’s also an inconvenient truth that at current growth rates lymphoma could become the number one cancer in the next twenty years.

Old age the biggest risk factor and an ageing population? Recent research shows that the historical 80 per cent of cancers in the over-65 age group is less and less the case. 40 per cent of breast cancers are now developed by women below 60 years of age. Prostate cancer has multiplied six-fold in the forty-something age group; oesophageal cancer has boomed amongst forty-somethings; some child cancers have tripled.

And I just loved the bit about ‘age-corrected statistics’. I really must have my age corrected one day.

If smoking reduction is such a big factor, how come cancer cases are set to double in absolute terms despite a fall in smokers? If prevention is so important why aren’t we doing more about the 50 per cent of cancers that aren’t your fault? Look up most blood or lymph cancers on American web sites. They will tell you about the links to pesticides, toxic ingredients in everyday toiletries and household products, heavy metals, environmental toxins beyond asbestos.

Perhaps the European REACH project, if 1000 toxic ingredients really are cut from personal care, toiletry and household products in the next 15 years, will see a great reduction in cancer levels.

Stand up to Cancer fund raising? Of course if you can convince people that you really are succeeding in beating cancer by doing what you are doing, they may well give you more funds.

Cancer Research UK is a great charity and I am sure it does its level best to help people. It is sad that, if the numbers of people with cancer are going to double in the UK to four million, anybody tries to claim that somehow we are beating cancer because of better diagnosis and drugs, however the numbers are massaged.

I am at this point reminded of MD Anderson’s quote that ‘All the exciting new developments in cancer are coming in areas other than chemotherapy’. I think I will file the press release and bring it out again in 1930 to see what really did happen. Somehow I fear the current strategy will just see more cases of cancer and more deaths whatever spin is put on it. And I haven’t even talked about whether the country can afford it or not!

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Fish oils claimed to beat breast cancer drug for effectiveness

The omega-3 essential fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is more effective at reducing the size of breast cancer tumours than the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, and can also reduce that drug’s harmful side effects, reports a new study published in the journal Cell Division. However, readers should not jump up and down in excitement quite yet in our view: The research was done on mice not humans: The lead researcher A.M. El-Mowafy of Egypt’s Mansoura University claimed, “Our results suggest a new, fruitful drug regimen in the management of solid tumours based on combining cisplatin and possibly other chemotherapeutics with DHA. DHA elicited prominent chemo-preventative effects on its own, and appreciably augmented those of cisplatin as well. Furthermore, this study is the first to reveal that DHA can obliterate lethal cisplatin-induced nephrotoxicity (kidney damage and renal tissue injury).” In animals who received 125 milligrams per kilogram of DHA, tumour growth was 38 percent less than in animals who received a placebo. Animals receiving cisplatin had 55 percent less tumour growth, while those treated with 250 milligrams per kilogram of DHA had 79 percent less. The combination of DHA and cisplatin not only reduced tumour growth by 81 percent compared with a placebo, it also returned white blood cell counts to normal levels. The 250 milligram per kilogram dose of DHA was nearly as effective at restoring a normal white blood cell count as the DHA-cisplatin combination. It is up to you to make your own mind up. (Source: Natural News)

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=527

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=2519

 

 

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Breast Chemotherapy shown to cause brain damage, again

We have run previous studies in Cancer Watch showing this same finding, so this study on breast cancer published in Archives of Neurology comes as no real surprise. In this study, researchers from Stamford University Medical School followed 25 breast cancer patients who had had chemotherapy treatment – comparing them with 19 breast cancer patients who had surgery and other treatments and 18 healthy women.

All were asked to solve problems, sort cards and other mental tasks. Their brains were simultaneously monitored using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The 25 who had had chemo made more errors in the problems and the MRI scans showed reduced activity in areas of the brain responsible for working memory, cognitive control, monitoring and planning. This gives credence to the many women who have complained to their doctors in the past about ´foggy thinking´ after chemo.

The lead researcher Shelli Kesler said: ´This is a huge validation for these women who are telling their doctors ´something is wrong with me.´

Doctors have hitherto been quite dismissive when patients have complained of foggy thinking – in extreme cases there has been loss of vision, hearing and even dementia. Kesler added: ´This shows that when a patient reports she is struggling with these types of problems, there´s a good chance there has been a brain change.´

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

 

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Brain cancer clusters exist

By Virginia Farver, Fort Collins, CO, USA

I lost my beautiful, 29-year-old son Rich to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain cancer on October 11, 2008.

Early in 2008, Rich was working as a teaching assistant in Political Science at San Diego State University (SDSU), where he had received his master’s degree.  He was a very kind young man who would occasionally go golfing with the professors.

He was in the process of applying for law school, but had confided to me, “I don’t know that I can make it through law school because I can’t remember things.”  He was having headaches, memory problems, nosebleeds and excessive sweating and fatigue.  I had been noticing that something was off with him. He needed to sleep all the time. There was a blood vessel coming from the right side of his head through his hairline and protruding across this forehead. His girlfriend Jennifer told me he would sleep for hours, curled up like a cat during the day by the patio window. This was not like him.

At the time of Rich’s GBM diagnosis in March 2008, Dr. V. Tantuwaya from Poway, CA told us that his cell phone was the culprit.  Rich’s tumor was located in his right frontal lobe and he was right-handed.  This is referred to as an ipsilateral tumor, one on the same side as where the phone was held.

Rich wanted to live. He had always been a good kid, never drank or did drugs. At 6’2”, he’d been on varsity basketball in high school, and was very healthy. So cancer was unthinkable. I told Rich I’d do anything to keep him alive. But after surgery, chemo and radiation, with nine MRIs, multiple hospitals and hospice, he died, seven months following diagnosis.

I learned that similar brain cancers were happening to others on campus.  An English teacher, Laurel Amtower, thanked SDSU colleagues for their support before she went through chemo and radiation.  She died, too, leaving a 12-year-old daughter.  She didn’t realize that some she thanked were probably partly responsible for her death.

On August 7, 2009, nine months after Rich’s death, I found articles and a video about a “Brain Cancer Cluster on the San Diego State University Campus.”  I read these (listed below) several times before ending up on the floor. I contacted the SDSU Administration, but was bounced around from one person to another. I then drove to San Diego and stayed the whole month of October 2009.  I met off-campus with some professors mentioned in the articles. They told me they had asked for a toxicology study, as there is a huge cell tower right next to the building where Rich spent most of his time grading papers and doing research: Nasatir Hall.

After I returned home, the SDSU Administration sent me an epidemiological report written by a Dr. Thomas Mack.  In the third paragraph, Dr. Mack stated he has, “no known knowledge of any chemical or radiation concerns and therefore there are none.”   That’s not a scientific conclusion, it’s a cover-up.

I e-mailed Dr. Mack, and he called me at home!  I asked him about this cell tower on top of the Communications Building. This rises over Nasatir Hall, where most of the brain cancer victims were located. Dr. Mack quickly denied the connection to the cancer cluster.  I then told him of everyone’s concerns. He said, “They should be concerned.”  This made me furious. It didn’t make any sense. And the SDSU Administration would not conduct a toxicology study because of Dr. Mack’s report!  Like some professors, I have requested a study on several occasions, but have received no response.

I then looked into the tower on my own.  Owned by Sprint, it has HPWREN or High Performance Wireless Research and Educational Network on it, with a BackBone Node to the UC-SD Supercomputer Center.  It also has a GWEN, or Ground Wave Emergency Network, with emissions known to hug the ground.  These towers are capable of sending signals hundreds of miles, including to several remote laboratories across California.  There is an additional tower on campus on the KPBS News Station. Similar towers are on many college campuses across the US, via the Lambda or Tera Grid, also called the ‘smart’ grid.  Engineers are developing “smart”, or “AMI” meters, appliances and whatever else they can dream up to deploy microwave radiation everywhere. This grid is the “military-industrial complex” of which President Dwight Eisenhower warned US citizens of in his 1961 Farewell Speech.  He warned of its grave consequences.  I know of these consequences.

After Laurel Amtower died of brain cancer on August 29, 2010, I contacted NBC in San Diego.  At first, Producer Paul Krueger was interested in doing another story.  After I gave him this new information, SILENCE.

I then contacted the San Diego Tribune.  A reporter called me at home.  He told me that this story would NEVER get out in San Diego.  I asked, “Why?” He said, “Because of money.”  I also contacted the CA Governor’s office and area Representative Marti Emerald.  Both referred me back to SDSU.

For a month in October 2011, I stood hours each day outside the campus cafeteria, where the kids would congregate and walk to get to their classes.  I had about 15 signs taped up against the wall.  One said, “Will you be the next victim?”  Others said, “Read your cell phone manuals. They say not to hold the phone to your head. Don’t keep it in your pocket. It will do genetic damage.”  Others warned about WiFi and more.

They looked frightened, but they would still grab their cell phones. They would text while walking and ignore everything around them. Some would take pictures, or would peek out of the side of their eyes.  A few talked with me.

While there, I walked to Nasatir Hall. Kids were sitting all around. The leaves were dying on the trees. Measurements on an RF meter were beyond the range of the meter.  Some kids were high up on outdoor balconies at their dorms, near the levels of the massive discs and antennas on the towers.

When I went directly to Room 131, where Rich and others who died of cancer had worked, I found it all closed up.  A policeman asked me what I was doing there. I told him about my son. He asked me about the towers and told me he has two young children.

The known SDSU brain cancer victims are listed below. In addition to the brain cancers there are also breast cancers in the vicinity. The professors are afraid for both their health and their jobs.  I’ve told the SDSU Administration, “I’m not going away!”

• RICH FARVER – DIAGNOSED AND DIED FROM GBM BRAIN CANCER, 2008/ NASATIR HALL, ROOM 131

• CHARLES CUTTER – DIAGNOSED AND DIED FROM GBM BRAIN CANCER, 2008/ NASATIR HALL, ROOM 131

• LOU TERRELL – DIAGNOSED WITH LYMPHOMA BRAIN CANCER, 2008/ NASATIR HALL, ROOM RIGHT NEXT TO 131

• DWIGHT ANDERSON – DIAGNOSED WITH DIFFERENT FORM OF CANCER AND DIED 2008/ NASATIR HALL, ROOM 131

• RICHARD FUNSTON – DIAGNOSED AND DIED FROM GBM BRAIN CANCER IN 90′S WITH CELL TOWER PRESENT/ NASATIR HALL, ROOM 131

• MRS. KATHY O’HARA – DIAGNOSED WITH GBM BRAIN CANCER MAY 2008/ KPBS NEWS STATION ON CAMPUS

• MS. LAUREL AMTOWER – DIAGNOSED WITH GBM NOVEMBER 2009, DIED AUGUST 29, 2010/ ARTS AND LETTERS BUILDING, RIGHT NEXT TO NASATIR HALL

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=1503

http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=154&Title=Brain Cancer

 

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SDSU brain cancer articles and video:

www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local-beat/Coincidence-or-Cluster.html www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health/SDSU_Room_Haunted_by_Cancer__San_Diego.html www.healthjournalism.org/blog/tag/brain-cancer www.healthjournalism.org/blog/2009/03/san-diego-cancer-clusters-hazard-o

 

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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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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 5:

Just recently I received an e mail from a lady asking for my ‘take’ on some e mails flying around the ether on dioxins, water bottles heating up and breast cancer. I have removed the names to protect the innocent but thought that many readers might like some clarification on it all, too.

E mail 1:

We were at a dinner the other eve, and a highly regarded Breast surgeon was there. I mentioned the Email I had sent around and she said the same thing – that we would have to have a vast amount of dioxin present to cause a problem. She keeps her water in a plastic bottle, and it’s in the car with her.

(I am only the messenger. It’s all very confusing.)

See you tomorrow.

E mail 2: Dioxin…in breast cancer tissue

I contacted Breakthrough for an official response to your email about plastic bottles in cars. As you can see, they state categorically that this claim is not true.

I hope this reassures you, and please feel free to forward it to those to whom you sent the original circular email in which this misleading claim was made.

E mail 3 : Dioxin…in breast cancer tissue

From Breakthrough Breast Cancer:

Below is our standard response to Dioxin comments, please feel free to forward to anyone appropriate. I hope it clears things up;

Dioxins are mainly by-products of industrial processes, including the incineration of waste and metal production, but can also result from natural processes, such as volcanic eruptions and forest fires. The European Commission has adopted a strategy to reduce the presence of dioxins in the environment, animal feed and food. Dioxins are not typically found in plastics, so water drunk from plastic containers should not contain higher levels of dioxins than tap water.

Although high levels of dioxins can cause cancer (for example among industrial workers who are in close contact with large quantities of them), the general population is exposed to much lower levels of dioxins. It is not yet known whether the levels of dioxins that most people are exposed to will increase the risk of developing breast cancer. One small study has indicated that women with normal exposure levels do not have an increased risk of breast cancer, but more research will be needed to confirm this.

An email has been circulating recently that claims that drinking water from a plastic bottle left in a car will cause breast cancer. This claim is not true.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has written an article to explain why the information in the e-mail is incorrect. They say that the emails seem to be based on information from a student’s college thesis that a particular compound in plastic bottles, called DEHA, can potentially cause cancer. The ACS go on to explain that there is no evidence that that DEHA is present in plastic bottles, or that it can cause cancer.

http://www.cancer.org/AboutUs/HowWeHelpYou/plasticwaterbottles

To clear all this up for readers let me give you some facts:

1 Dioxins are very dangerous chemicals. Correctly termed they are polychlorinated dibenzodioxins. Agent Orange was a dioxin. Wikipedia describes them as ‘significant pollutants’. The ‘safe’ level is zero. They are produced as by-products when making certain chemicals, herbicides and pesticides, or generally in industrial manufacture where chlorine is involved (for example, the bleaching process for paper), or when burning certain materials, like PVC.

I did a presentation on their dangers about 18 months ago. The best source of information without doubt is The Cancer Prevention Coalition in the USA.

They are typically consumed in fat as fat is generally a good solvent, but they can also be airborne and water borne. ‘Consumption’ of dioxins can be greatly reduced, according to US studies, by consuming no river fish, cows’ dairy, farmed animals and so on. These restrictions can cut 90 per cent of dioxin consumption. Horror stories occur with a lengthy list of leaks from chemical factories; and we have talked with a number of women with breast cancer who live near paper mills.

Some dioxins are proven carcinogens; some are endocrine disrupters. Dioxins can alter and break DNA molecules and chains. Quite simply, they are poisons. In 1994, the US Environmental Protection Agency reported that dioxins are probable carcinogens. However, they also noted that non-cancer effects, for example in reproduction, sexual development and the immune system, could pose an even greater threat to human health. It should also be noted that TCDD is officially classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by IARC (The International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon).

They are known to accumulate in fatty tissue and breast tissue is one of these areas. They cannot be easily metabolized or excreted – the half life ranges from 5 to 14 years! The issue is not how much, or little, is in a pint of milk, but how much builds up (accumulates in the body) over time.

The bad news is that they can easily be passed on to baby when breast feeding and there are several US Government research studies on this.

2 Xenoestrogens are chemicals that are hormone disrupters when in the body. Some come from certain ‘plasticisers’ used to make plastic cups, bottles, linings inside cans etc e.g. BPA and phthalates. BPA is banned now in Canada. They are known to reduce sperm counts and produce hermaphrodite fish. Many are oestrogen mimics and can bind to receptor sites on healthy cells and create havoc inside the cell. They can, just as estrogen can, drive breast, prostate, colon and other cancers.

If a hot liquid is used in the bottle or cup, several research studies have shown that the plasticizers can denature and leach even more oestrogen mimics into the liquid even on subsequent use. The US singer Sheryl Crow was vociferous in her belief that leaving her water bottle in the car parked in the sunshine every time she went to the gym, caused her breast cancer. (We have covered two research studies in Cancer Watch about this denaturing effect of heat on certain plastics).

One plasticiser that is a known oestrogen mimic is the phthalate DEHP found in PVC, and even in plastic bottles, dialysis bags and plastic tubing in hospitals. In 2011 Taiwan reported the presence of DEHP in food and beverages from plastic containers. Several research studies now link DEHP to sexual problems in men and even cardio problems.

One research study showed that in pregnant women with the highest levels of DEHP in their blood streams, 11 per cent of male offspring were born with some form of genital problem. This research study identified the DEHP as coming from perfumes. A number of xenoestrogens are found in perfumes and perfumed products – for example, toluene. Perfumes do not have to list the chemicals they contain. You should never use perfume or perfumed products on your skin.

DEHA , like DEHP, is found in film wraps like cling-film. In research DEHA can cause cancer in mice and rats. The South Africa Environmental Agency states clearly that research shows emission levels of DEHP and DEHA increase upon heating the plastics. The South African Government Health body therefore refutes the statement of safety of both Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the ACS.

There is an excellent article on the CANCERactive web site on Xenoestrogens (see http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=3148)

Most dioxins have little or nothing to do with Xenoestrogens – and vice versa. However, a very few dioxins have been identified as endocrine disrupters and do therefore function also as xenoestrogens.

Dioxins have nothing to do with water bottles.

Xenoestrogens have been shown by Dr Anna Soto of Tufts in the USA to be capable of causing breast and other cancers – and that they too are cumulative and thus, whilst a single one might fall inside Government safety levels, the overall effect is very different.

I hope this clears up the confusion. To imply that Dioxins do not cause cancer, or that xenoestrogens are not linked to breast cancer is tosh.

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