Friday, March 16, 2012

Rethinking Cancer Research and Treatment

Susan Brannon
16 March 2012

We need to rethink our cancer research and treatments on a global level. It is known that chemicals such as Benzene, workshop hazards, environmental hazards can cause cancer. What has not been researched are most of the 100,000 chemicals commonly used in commerce. Not only are the factory chemicals, workplace and the environment increase our chance of getting cancer, but the treatment itself is under question and that question remains behind closed doors.  The treatment is strongly  promoted by lobbyist and funded with billions of dollars to keep the risks silent. This includes radiation and chemotherapy, Davis (in The Secret History in the War on Cancer) claims that cancer researchers and cancer physicians are dying in record numbers.

CT scanning is a $100 billion dollar industry per year that allows us to view nifty 3 dimensional images but exposes us to radiation. A typical CT scan equals to 400 x-rays and it is known that 2,500 people die each year from the scans. (Yale Study) Davis explains that America is exposed to "equivalent of hundreds of Hiroshimas" spanned across Europe and Russia in radiation from diagnostic machines.   According to the Journal of Medicine, (2007) there were currently 62 million CT scans in the United States, with 4 million used on children. The article express the concern that  "the increasing exposure to radiation in the population may be a public health issue in the future."  ABC, investigated in 2010 that a problem with CT scans is that the radiation dosages vary widely, "Some patients who underwent the same type of test received 20 times more radiation than others, often in the same hospital."  In the end, America is at risk to increased radiation exposure.

Aspartame, cellphones and Ritalin are known to be contributors to brain cancer and tumors, yet 10% of America's children remain on ritalin. Any child under the age of 18 should not have or use a cell phone, and in reality any adult for that matter because the use of cell phones doubles the risk of brain cancer.

China is now the lead on the global economic boom, with increases in factories and along with it, increases in chemical exposure. As the boom increases in China, so does the cancer rate. In fact, cancer is China's number one killer.  In 2010 the Guardian reported  that "cancer villages" are the dark side of the economic boom.  A woman from the Yunnan province near factories says that "the pollution is bad, and people are getting sick.", she explains during an interview with full blown cancer and tears in her eyes.  There is an explosion in lead poisoning cases and further studies show that communities that recycle electronic waste are exposed to cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants. China's cancer rate jumped 30% since the introduction of industry in the past 30 years. Chinese farmers are almost four times more likely to die of liver cancer and twice as likely to die of stomach cancer than the global average, according to study commissioned by the World Bank. There have been protests in China with concerns of the factory environmental issues, increase in illness and pollution.  In response, the Chinese government claims that they are cleaning up the problem faster and better than any other country, yet the small villages seem to remain neglected. (Guardian)

Let's go a bit back into the history. In 1936, top cancer experts assembled in Brussels to discuss the topic. A British scientist who studied twins, learned that cancer is not inherited and blamed in on the chemical exposures in life. An Argentin doctor described how sunlight combined with hydrocarbons causes tumors in rats. A hydrocarbon is a chief component of petroleum and natural gas. The scientists also discussed how regular exposure to hormone estrogen cause male rats to develop large breasts.

The fast was then known that exposure to certain chemicals increased the risks of cancer. This lead to environmental studies in Canada to discover the root causes to over 200 diseases. The studies made a huge turn after the second world war, from environmental concerns to treatment focus.

Environmental issues was put on the back burner and $70 billion dollars later of fraud, neglect and propaganda on cancer, has not made any real progress as to the investigations or regulations on chemicals that are known to cause cancer.

In the 1920's General Motors factory workers who bottled lead as a gasoline additive started to drop dead like flies, GM responded that it was a "natural contaminant" Dye makers working with Benzidine at DuPont, started to develop bladder cancer, the studies were hidden until public pressure forced DuPont to publish the results. For over 100 years Benzene as a cancer agent has been denied, neglected, and under deceit. "Myron Mehlman, a toxicologist with Mobil Oil, told Japanese officials in 1989 that gasoline with 5-per-cent benzene was damned dangerous and shouldn't be sold, the company fired him."

ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Shell have invested $27-million in China to "contradict earlier claims that link exposure to low- and mid-levels of benzene to cancers and other diseases.", claims Davis.  The Huston Chronicle published an article in 2005, states that the oil industry funds study to counter benzene cancer causing claims. The study was launched in 2001 in Shanghai, China.  The article states, "The results have already been predicted" which makes this not a real scientific study, but a study to manipulate the facts in order to gain the desired results.

In 2009, MD Anderson released a study saying that in the next 20 years the cancer rate will increase in America 45% from 1.6 million in 2010 to 2.3 million in 2030. (link to article)   The Guardian reports that the cancer rate worldwide is increasing to 7.5 million people dying from cancer.  For almost 70 years, it has been known that environmental issues are contributors to cancer, billions is spent on cancer research and billions on its treatments, yet the cancer rate continues to rise. Don't you think that it is time for us to "rethink cancer research and treatments"

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