Cancer Is Man Made

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by jmpet, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Also from Bell's source.

    "An article in the September 2, 1998, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that the rise in incidence from 1983 through 1986 may not have represented a true increase in the number of cases, but may have reflected new forms of imaging equipment (magnetic resonance imaging or MRI) that enabled visualization of brain tumors that could not be easily visualized with older equipment (3). Other important developments during this time period included the changing classification of brain tumors, which resulted in tumors previously designated as “benign” being reclassified as “malignant,” and improvements in neurosurgical techniques for biopsying brain tumors. Regardless of the explanation for the increase in incidence that occurred from 1983 to 1986, childhood brain tumor incidence has been essentially stable since the mid-1980s."

    This does not sound like a true increase in cancer rate to me.

    The source also states clearly that survival has increased dramatically.
     
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  3. Bells Staff Member

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    Well in a way it is a true increase in the cancer rate simply because we are looking at a more accurate figure than before as the ability to screen for cancers and diagnose it improves.
     
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  5. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    As far as I can make out, the only cancer that has increased substantially (when age adjusted) in the last 100 years, is lung cancer. That is simply explained as due to an increase in the smoking of tobacco.

    The idea that modern chemicals, pollution etc has increased cancer is just wrong. Ironically, air pollution in Victorian England was way worse than it is now, and the same applies to the USA and other European nations. This is counter balanced to a degree by an increase in pollution in China and Eastern Europe, but I have seen no evidence to show any consequent increase in cancer.

    We also need to beware of 'results' that come from careless calculations. For example : Greenpeace at the time of the Chernobyl disaster calculated that there would be an extra 2 million deaths from cancer in Europe. This has not happened. The problem with Greenpeace is that they always look at the worst case possible. Their calculation was based on a no threshold model, which is just plain wrong.

    When we look at the environmental movement, and their reports on pollution etc., we need to realise that they have an agenda which promotes exaggeration of disasters. For this reason, we are inundated with claims of cancer cases which are also, just plain wrong.

    While it is vital that we monitor and control pollution and the exposure to harmful chemicals, it is just as vital that we get accurate data, and keep things in perspective. For example : Greenpeace (and others) have often set up dioxins as a bogeyman. Yet dioxins are present in such tiny amounts that they are a non issue for human health. Other issues are far more important. So why do these alarmist groups divert our attention to trivialities?
     
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  7. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Skin cancer has increased in rate as well, skeptical. And it is occurring in younger generations more often than it used to. REMINDER: skin cancer is one of the most prevalent types of cancer around.
     
  8. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Will

    I guess I can accept that. Skin cancer is caused by excessive sun exposure, and there are a lot of people still who have not yet taken on board the simple message that, if you have fair skin, you need to limit such exposure.

    Of course, we need to keep it in balance. Vitamin D is mostly made in human skin under sun exposure. A balance is needed in which some sun exposure occurs, but too little to cause burning.

    However, the sun is hardly man-made. Such cancers do not fit the title of this thread.
     
  9. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Skeptical. A 1998 webpage on angelfire isn't an academic source. It resembles more the garbage you used to be able to find on geocities.
     
  10. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Why not? Sun exposure isn't the only risk factor for skin cancer.
     
  11. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Here's a couple more pages from my reference book that might be informative. It explains how cancer develops. Note in particular the list of known carcinogens and the paragraph about how even small doses of radiation are harmful. It also touches upon different causes of skin cancer. You can call this "myth" as much as you want, but the truth is that this is medical science:

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  12. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Will

    I am not disputing your reference. However, excess sun exposure is by far and away the biggest cause of skin cancer. My own country, New Zealand, has the world's highest skin cancer rate, and the cause is easy to see.
    1. Lots of fair skinned people.
    2. Massively high doses of ultra violet (our ozone layer is much thinner than it is in the Northern hemisphere).
    3. A culture of sun bathing.

    Your list of carcinogens really does not help. There is nothing new there. Listing something as a carcinogen does not explain how much harm it does, since we need to know both how carcinogenic it is, and how much exposure people have to it. Mostly that information is not provided.

    In fact, the worst of those carcinogens are no longer the problem they once were. For example : cancer was a major cause of death among chimney sweeps in Victorian times. It has been a while since I saw one of those cancer ridden sweeps! That was related to the carcinogenic nature of coal soot.

    Any smoke carries carcinogens. Tobacco smoke. Wood smoke (Icelanders who eat a lot of smoked meats, suffer high rates of lip, tongue and throat cancer). Marijuana smoke. Even the smoke of incense is carcinogenic and contributes to lung cancer among those who burn a lot.

    In fact, in terms of human exposure, the worst carcinogens are those that come from smoke of various kinds. Do you want to call smoke a man-made substance?

    Your list of carcinogens contains many that are pretty much never delivered to humans in amounts capable of causing cancer. Radiation must occur at doses of more than 100 millisieverts to lead to cancer - something that almost never happens. Dioxins are often quoted, but in today's world, pretty much no-one ever ingests enough dioxin to make the slightest difference.

    The most damaging ones on your list are all natural, like silica (dust, which kills miners), wood dust, soot, and tobacco smoke. They are the worst, because people get much higher doses of these carcinogens.
     
  13. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Inhaling tobacco smoke isn't natural, skeptical. Doing so is a specifically human habit. Manufactured cigarettes are especially unnatural. As well, perhaps you missed the part mentioning that even small doses of radiation can be cancer-inducing, along with the fact that 80% of all diagnosed North American cancers are due to external factors.

    Once more, age is a risk factor. It isn't a cause.
     
  14. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    Will

    We are in danger of arguing semantics here. I regard tobacco as natural, since the leaf is natural. Sure, the act of smoking it is unnatural. This means that whether we call it a natural or unnatural cause of cancer is purely how we define our terms. Not a productive area for debate.

    Even small doses of radiation can cause cancer?
    Again, we have to define our terms. The only way a small dose of radiation is likely to cause cancer is if it is intensive on one small part of the body. We know that a grain of Plutonium that lodges in the lungs can cause cancer, though its total radiation dose is small. But the local dose at the point of cancer growth is massive. This is, though, a very rare cause of cancer.

    Without the intensity of dose on one spot, a small dose will not cause cancer. There is a natural background radiation averaging 2.4 millisieverts per year globally. This is harmless. Some parts of the world have a background radiation of many times this dose, and those appear to be harmless as well. The human body has adapted to tolerate these doses. As I said before, Hiroshima survivors show that 50 to 80 millisieverts delivered in one dose is also harmless.

    80% of all American cancers have external causes?
    Well, if those causes are tobacco smoke, viruses, sunlight etc., then I agree.
    The number caused by pollution and industrial chemicals are a very small percentage however.
     
  15. WillNever Valued Senior Member

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    Brachytherapy (look it up) is not localized to a single spot and it still causes enough DNA damage that we take special precautions when dealing with patients undergoing this type of radiation treatment, skeptical.
     
  16. Bells Staff Member

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    24,118
    Actually no it is not. Skin cancer is one that has increased quite a bit over the last 2 decades.

    Air pollution in Victorian England did not contain the carcinogens that pollute our air today. While it may have been smoggier in Victorian England, the content of that smog has altered significantly today when one considers the types of industry and manufacturing that is causing the pollution today as compared to that of Victorian times.

    Why do you think that is?

    And then we look at countries in Africa, for example:

    You should not simply discount such studies or findings.


    Links..?

    I don't think the true extent of the Chernobyl disaster has shown its face quiet as yet, because the wind carried the particles so far into Europe. And it is still evident today in parts of the UK.


    I'd suggest a word of caution from you as well in disclaiming cancer rates and also the effects of disasters like Chernobyl. Especially if you are not citing sources. I suspect it will take many years before we can know the true magnitude of the disaster on the health of those in Russia and in Europe.

    Are you suggesting they are misdiagnosing cancer cases to suit "their" agenda? Do you have proof of this?

    I think it is equally vital to not just disregard data and studies because they don't fit into a particular mindset.

    And I don't see it as a trivial when we know some of what the problem is and we fear doing or saying anything about it out of fear of insulting people's delicate sensitivies.

    For example, we know that it is not just smoking that causes lung cancer, just as it's not just drinking or Hepatitis that can give liver cancer, just it's not just over-exposure to the sun that can give skin cancer. That there are other contributing factors that can lead to a wide range or different forms of cancer. Diet and nutrition can play a role, just as one's exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants can play a role. I'll give you an example. My husband's aunt is in the terminal phase of lung cancer, even though she has never smoked in her life.. She had led a healthy life. What the doctors determined was that when she had a small breast cancer around 20 years ago, she was given excessive bouts of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and it is because of that treatment that she had developed lung cancer so many years later. Her husband has, since the Vietnam war, developed vaious forms of skin cancer caused by his exposure to the chemicals used in the War (his cancers are all on areas that were more directly exposed to the chemicals used) and he has since also developed a very malignant form of prostate cancer and may have developed a form of leukemia as well.. And this is a man who also led a very healthy lifestyle, never smoked, drank sparingly, ate healthily and lives in the country where there are less pollutants in the air. Are you going to say that their cancers are not caused by external factors? Even though their doctors and specialist here in QLD and even elsewhere (they sought second opinions and even third opinions) have all come to the same conclusions as to how and why they developed such malignant and virulent forms of cancer?

    By referring to external factors and pollutants as being trivial, you are basically saying that it is not something we should be wary of. I think time and the knowledge we have now should make us more wary, not less.
     
  17. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    To Will

    Brachytherapy is an utterly vicious form of therapy. For good reason. It is designed to deliver up to 12 Grays per hour of radiation to tumour cells. That is fully sufficient to cause cell death. I am sure you can work out the reason why. That is a dose way beyond what is needed to stimulate cancer growth. No wonder they are careful about how much impacts on healthy cells!

    Bells

    When you say air pollution in Victorian times did not have the impact of modern air pollution, you are talking a load of horse sh!t. The residue of coal burning fires is loaded with carcinogens.

    Why do so many cancer patients live in first world nations? Simple : there are more older people in first world nations. When the cancer rate is 100 fold greater for an old person compared to a young person, and a third world nation has up to 50% young, you need look no further.

    You quote high cancer rates in the poorer nations of Africa. Guess what. They have a lot less industrial pollution and a lot less industrial chemicals. What they have a lot more of is wood (and dried dung) smoke. Those guys cook over crude fires. It has been estimated (by the WHO) that 10 million people per year in Africa die of respiratory disease due to inhaling such smoke. Cancers come also from smoke.

    Re Chernobyl.

    The wild exaggerations of cancers from Chernobyl came from a no threshold model. In other words, the people making those incredible claims assumed that very low levels of increase in radiation would still lead to an increase in cancers. As I have already pointed out, several times, small increases in radiation exposure do not have that effect. You need in excess of 100 millisieverts increase per year to stimulate cancers. Such an increase affected people locally, and there was a major local increase in (mostly) thyroid cancers. But this has no effect further from the site where radiation increase was minor.

    If you look at wild life around Chernobyl there is a zone close to the reactor which is unhealthy, but a little further out, wild life is thriving and 100% healthy, in spite of the stupid predictions.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4923342.stm

    And sure, it is not just smoking that causes lung cancer. And it is not just UV that causes skin cancer. But these are the major causes. Other factors are minor. In terms of this discussion, raising such relatively unimportant causes is just a bloody red herring.

    I am not an apologist for pollution. There are lots of reasons why we need to stop people polluting. However, above all else, I stand for that which is true. And every time I see some nutter trying to blame something as widespread as cancer on a few incidents of pollution, you can expect me to stand up and tell the truth.
     
  18. historicfuture Registered Member

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    you guys are looking at this from the wrong angle and you'll be debating forever because of it.

    cancer is caused by the lifestyle and environment humans created, staying away and minimizing exposure to the harmful environment is your best defense against getting cancer.

    For example, in 10 years, studies MAY find that:

    Electronics like computers contribute in some amount to cancer forming or what not,

    or

    Sun exposure contributes to cancer sometimes, especially when sheltered from the sun for long periods (indoors) then exposed to it at its peak intensity (midday).

    or

    Cancer risk is heightened by this food or cooking in general or what not.

    It will go on forever. It will get more and more complicated. Because we keep introducing more and more harmful variables. That's why our species has the most disease even in the young stages. It's not because theres some evil out there to discover and eradicate. It's our lifestyle. Stop trying to make it work, it will take a long time to evolve our bodies to deal with all the shit we subject it to these days. By the way, foods are a big one because they weaken your body in just about every way if you eat poorly, and despite popular belief that vegetables and bread and meat are great for you they're not. Fruits and raw eggs, with the occasional fish is the best diet with least amount of cancer or other disease risk.
     
  19. John99 Banned Banned

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    Thats interesting. How would peole live to never get cancer? You are saying dont eat food but wont that kill you before you are old enough to get cancer? Its unfortunate. This crap shoot life is.
     
  20. historicfuture Registered Member

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    You are saying dont eat food but wont that kill you before you are old enough to get cancer? Its unfortunate. This crap shoot life is.

    No I'm saying don't eat crap you're not supposed to eat.

    I'm sure since most people here are scientifically minded you can follow me through this logical breakdown, and agree that our bodies should tell us what we are supposed to eat better than society, since society is based on opinion and status quo and our bodies are based on millions of years of evolving to a specific diet more or less.

    Before tools and weapons, we had our bodies.

    We had our bodies for a lot longer than we've had tools and weapons.

    So our bodies are not adapted to best suit what the tools and weapons have given us.

    So let's look at our bodies in a common sense way.

    Does your skin appear especially sturdy, your hands with weak fingernails feel suited for killing? Does your mouth feel suited for lunging at prey and taking it down? Can you even run fast enough to catch most prey? Obviously, if we were meat eaters (other than egg stealers, or mussel scavengers), we would have some kind of built in weapon like claws or fangs or at least speed. We don't.

    So then, what about vegetables? Vegetables have a great many nutrients, but unfortunately a lot of unneeded and potentially hazardous stuff too, as well as not giving much energy to humans as is efficient. This is because it takes almost as much energy to digest vegetables as the digested vegetables give us. That's a losing food, it doesn't belong in our diet. Fruits on the other hand provide us with everything we need, including protein, which we don't need in the insane amounts the FDA would have you believe. You can find this out for yourself by looking at mothers milk. Babies grow at the fastest rate in human life, and if you look at how much protein is in milk it's closest to the proportion you'd get from consuming fruit. Oranges are one of the best options (not acidic, must be ripe), it even contains the water we need, purified, no need to sit by a pond all day or drink from the ocean. News flash that's why we can't, we got our water from fruits. Egg stealing and mussel scavenging on the shore I assume came later, and the high animal fat from such foods coupled with the high sugar from fruits is the perfect combination to create our large brains. A rather unique diet merging both the purest plant food and purest animal food. Baby animal food and baby (offspring from the trees) fruit. Put together we arrive at our very unique degree of intelligence. I have to go I'll finish later.
     
  21. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I would suggest there would be a collation between an increase in cancers and radiology usage since the 1890's. While people will boo cahoots it because of the "conspiracy" nature, the very true reality is that Radiology has been with us for over one century, the amount of radiological output is un-natural to our environment and therefore un-natural to us. As we've progressed over the years the amount of radiology and the increase in data streams themselves have only made it more prevalent.

    If radio had been tested properly in regards to the eventual impact on cellular autonoma then the likelihood is that we wouldn't be running around with the next-next generation PDA's and text messaging hundreds of billions worth of messages a month.
     
  22. John99 Banned Banned

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    Stryder, this is a tough nut to crack. And until it gets cracked then people will blame everything. Its called human nature. These are things we just cannot accept and nothing is going to change that.
     
  23. John99 Banned Banned

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    Do you guys think It may be just like a tin can rusting?
     

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