Thursday, 17 December 2015

Cancer? Bad luck? The environment? Or Big Pharma drug 'side-effect'?

What is causing the epidemic of cancer, of all types, during the last half century and more? This is a topic that appears to be the subject of much debate at the moment. Perhaps little wonder, given the billions people have raised for charity over recent decades for research to find a cure.

The dominant view, over the years, has been that it is something that strikes at random, without reason or cause, a piece of random misfortune, or just sheer bad luck. Researchers at the John Hopkin's University appear to believe this in their study "The bad luck of cancer", published in January 2015. Their mathematical analysis suggested that over two-thirds of cancer were not preventable.

The paper immediately came under heavy criticism (see "Backlash greets 'bad luck' cancer study", published just two weeks later), not just of the authors, but the journalists who were accused of 'misinterpreting' the study's results. The conclusions, it was said, were both flawed, or oversimplified.

So, as usual, medical science appears to be at logger-heads, unable to agree. After all the resources the conventional medical establishment have ploughed into the causes of cancer over the years, no matter how big and profitable the cancer industry has become, there appears to be little or no agreement in what causes it, and certainly no successful treatment!

So perhaps a new study by a team of doctors from the Stony Brook Cancer Centre in New York, and published in the same magazine, Nature, "Substantial contribution of extrinsic risk factors to cancer development" will help. Basically, it questions the 'bad luck' hypothesis, suggesting that this only relates to about 10-30% of cancer cases. In the rest, it is 'extrinsic' and not 'intrinsic' factors that cause cancer. In other words it is environment and not luck that cause cancer.

First, we demonstrate
that the correlation between stem-cell division and cancer risk does not distinguish between the effects of intrinsic
and extrinsic factors. We then show that intrinsic risk is better estimated by the lower bound risk controlling for total
stem-cell divisions. Finally, we show that the rates of endogenous mutation accumulation by intrinsic processes are not
sufficient to account for the observed cancer risks. Collectively, we conclude that cancer risk is heavily influenced by
extrinsic factors. These results are important for strategizing cancer prevention, research and public health
As the BBC suggests, in its article "Cancer is not just 'bad luck' but down to the environment", it is down to factors such as smoking. It is about eating a healthy, balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, drinking less alcohol, protecting yourself from the sun, and similar factors.

At least this explanation leads to sensible advice. Yet is even this an adequate or sufficient explanation? 

There is another, well understood and documented explanation for cancer that is not mentioned anywhere, in the studies mentioned here, and in most others. And that is that pharmaceutical drugs cause cancer. So by all means look to your diet, and your exercise, drink less alcohol, and so on. But perhaps the best advice of all is to stay clear of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.

Drugs and vaccines cause cancer! This is not new, exciting, breakthrough news! Every doctor knows about it. Every drug regulator throughout the world knows about it. Every medical dictionary knows about it, and any cursory inspection of BNF (the British National Formulary) or MIMMs would highlight that most drugs can cause cancer. Here are just a few, random examples.

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT, has been prescribed for many millions of women throughout the developed world for menopausal symptoms before it was implicated in causing breast and cervical cancer. But it is still being prescribed.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs, like Statins, are also implicated. As long ago as 1996 the Journal of the American Medical Association warned that these drugs can cause cancer in rodents.
  • Tamoxifen, a drug widely used to treat breast cancer, is actually known to cause cervical and other cancers.
  • Exubera, an insulin inhalant was approved in 2006, but withdrawn in 2007 because it has caused lung cancer.
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec), a heartburn drug, is known to cause abnormal cell growth and stomach tumors in rats, although it appears that no one knows if it does the same for humans.
  • Spironolactone (Aldactazide, Aldactone), a blood pressure medicine, also prescribed for hormonal imbalances and facial hair growth in women, is also known to cause tumors in laboratory rats.
  • Elidel cream and Protopic ointment, topical skin treatments used for ezcema, are now associated with lymphoma and skin cancer.
Of course, open honest communication with the public is not something that the powerful conventional medical establishment is good at. No medical science study, no mainstream media organisation, is likely to highlight that pharmaceutical drugs are a known cause of cancer. No one is going to tell you that if you want to avoid cancer (as we all do), one of the most important things we can all do is to avoid the drugs conventional doctors want us to take, usually for less serious ailments and illnesses. So, let's say it here.

Good health is best maintained by avoiding conventional medical drugs and vaccines.

First, we demonstrate
that the correlation between stem-cell division and cancer risk does not distinguish between the effects of intrinsic
and extrinsic factors. We then show that intrinsic risk is better estimated by the lower bound risk controlling for total
stem-cell divisions. Finally, we show that the rates of endogenous mutation accumulation by intrinsic processes are not
sufficient to account for the observed cancer risks. Collectively, we conclude that cancer risk is heavily influenced by
extrinsic factors. These results are important for strategizing cancer prevention, research and public healthFirst, we demonstrate
that the correlation between stem-cell division and cancer risk does not distinguish between the effects of intrinsic
and extrinsic factors. We then show that intrinsic risk is better estimated by the lower bound risk controlling for total
stem-cell divisions. Finally, we show that the rates of endogenous mutation accumulation by intrinsic processes are not
sufficient to account for the observed cancer risks. Collectively, we conclude that cancer risk is heavily influenced by
extrinsic factors. These results are important for strategizing cancer prevention, research and public health