This is from Appendix A of my book, “The Mainstream Media’s Anti-Vitamin Agenda,” and is being reproduced here in full. Sorry about the formatting. (Yes, it’s better in the book!)
Environmental Factors in Cancer Causation
In Chapter 10, we discussed the role that nutritional supplements could play in reducing ones risk of getting cancer and refuted the claims by some, that supplements can’t help prevent cancer. However, I believe this discussion distracts us from dealing with the crux of the problem: Whether or not supplements can or cannot help us to prevent or to beat cancer should not be the only question on our minds, although we should not ignore it. A better question should be how we can reduce our exposure to cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), in the first place! We might also ask why there is so little attention paid by the mainstream-media to this question and so much time, instead, paid to anti-vitamin nonsense!
This book was mostly intended to refute hypercritical and incorrect claims against the health benefits of supplements, including the act of taking them to prevent cancer. Nonetheless, if we’re trying to use supplements to prevent cancer, we might be making some significant errors along the way. For example, even if you did agree that supplements had some anti-cancer properties, this should be no reason for you NOT to continue in your efforts to minimize your exposure to dangerous carcinogens.
While you’re reading this chapter, ask yourself this question: When did you read about material contained in this chapter from the mainstream media? If they’re so concerned about our health and “protecting us” from “dangerous supplements,” where are they when it comes to protecting us from really dangerous—even deadly—chemicals? More often than not, the answer is “nowhere to be found!”
Cancer is a leading cause of death in America, having recently just surpassed heart disease as the number one cause of death. It currently kills over 500,000 Americans each year and twenty-five percent of Americans—one in four―will eventually die from the disease.[i]
Not surprisingly, finding a “cure” for this disease has often been considered the most important quest in the health arena. Over the past fifty years, billions of dollars―much of this taxpayer money―has been spent seeking a cure for cancer, a largely ineffectual effort.[ii] Despite the failure to show progress against cancer, the “cancer industry” is extraordinarily profitable and the reader is encouraged to come to their own conclusions as to why effective and non-toxic measures rarely, if ever, see the light of day.
In spite of how often the media and other agencies avoid making the connection between our toxic environment and our cancer epidemic, there is little doubt to most researchers, that over eighty to ninety percent of cancers are environmental, (including dietary influences), in origin.[iii] A recent major government panel report reviewed in the May 6, 2010 issue of the New York Times, concluded that the proportion of cancer cases caused by environmental exposures has been “grossly underestimated.” This 240 page report, by the President’s Cancer Panel, warned of “grievous harm” from chemicals and other environmental carcinogens and cited a “growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures to cancer.” [iv]
The article included a cover letter that urged President Obama to “most strongly use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”
This report noted that there are 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States from a variety of sources and yet, only about 200 have been tested for safety.[v] It then reviewed many steps conscientious individuals could take to reduce their risk.
For a better understanding of how poisons might accumulate from multiple sources, take a moment to view a wonderful little twenty-one minute video called “The Story of Stuff.”[vi]
Carcinogens cause cancer by a number of methods, but one common factor is this: Damage to our DNA, our genetic material that must be intact at all times. As discussed in prior chapters, if our DNA is damaged, we can have genetic damage, birth defects, and cancer as a consequence. Besides damaging our DNA, cancer causing substances may up-regulate genes that promote cancer. Some vitamins (like folic acid), and foods rich in polyphenols, can minimize or prevent the damage to our DNA caused by carcinogenic exposures. So we can choose a combination of any of these three choices:
- Avoid environmental chemicals that cause cancer, such as cigarette smoke and other substances discussed further in this chapter.
- Consume foods that can help protect our cells from such damage. Thankfully, the Reader’s Digest did mention a list of such foods in their April, 2010 article.
- Consume supplements, such as various vitamins, minerals or nutriceuticals that can help protect our cells from damage caused by carcinogenic exposures.
cancer and our environment, a general discussion
While the standard use of over 80,000 different chemical compounds in our society has offered time saving convenience, it has also come at a tremendous price: a dramatic increase in degenerative diseases, including cancer. In the early 1900’s (before chlorine, pesticides, herbicides and the tens of thousands of other chemicals to which we are now so heavily and regularly exposed), the average person had a one in fifty chance of getting cancer. Today, that chance is one in three!
Our use of man-made chemicals has become so extreme we can now find traces of these low level toxins in virtually every public water supply in the world. Even DDT, banned over thirty years ago, is found in the fatty tissue of people around the world. (OK, DDT was banned in the United States, but some other countries continue to use it—sometimes irresponsibly at that.) After reviewing over 10,000 documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, a recent report by the Ralph Nader Study Group (RNSG) stated, “U.S. drinking water contains more than 2,100 toxic chemicals that can cause cancer.” Some cancer causing chemicals are added purposefully, like chlorine and fluoride. Most, however, appear inadvertently. The Federal Council on Environmental Quality reports, “Up to two thirds of all cancers may be attributed to these low level toxins,” and “Once contaminated, our ground water will remain so for tens of thousands of years… if not geologic time!”
Did you catch that? The only way for the RNSG to learn of our toxic exposures was to sue using the Freedom of Information Act! Apparently, industry simply doesn’t want us to know what chemicals we’re exposed to on a daily basis, just like tobacco and alcohol companies don’t want to list ingredients on their products and those producing genetically modified (GMO) ingredients don’t want you to know about the presence of such ingredients in the food they sell us.
Our tendency is to blame our incredible cancer epidemic on the “big factory upstream.” This is not a totally accurate assessment. While industry has certainly played its part in our water contamination problems, it is “we” individuals that are the most to blame. The majority of the contaminants found in our drinking water can be traced back to improper or excessive use of ordinary compounds like lawn chemicals and pesticides, cleaning products and even prescription drugs.
Below is a summary of some of the categories it would be worth considering as we endeavor to educate ourselves on this topic AND attempt to minimize our exposure to carcinogens:
- The foods we eat
- The sodas or alcohol we drink
- The water we drink (and the plastic bottles they sometimes come home in!)
- The drugs we take
- The pots, pans we use
- The cosmetics and perfumes we use
- The chemicals we are exposed to at work/play
- The air we breathe inside and outside
- The electromagnetic radiation we’re all exposed to on the ground and in the sky
- The cigarettes we smoke—first or second hand
The Foods We Eat
While the knowledge of the importance of eating cancer fighting foods (like broccoli and asparagus) is increasing, many Americans still continue to eat foods that can cause cancer. For example, many folks still eat nitrates (from various meats, bologna, hotdogs, bacon, ham, etc.), which convert to nitrosamines in our intestinal tracts. Nitrosamines have been shown to contribute to stomach cancer. High protein diets, such as those eaten by many Americans, are linked to an increase in colon cancer and many others.[vii] Analine dyestuffs containing B-naphthylamine, have been shown to cause bladder cancer in laboratory animals. French fried potatoes, responsible for some twenty-five percent of our nation’s potato consumption, contain compounds called acrylamides, which are proven carcinogens. Fluoride exposure from foods and all foods and beverages made with such artificially fluoridated water and many other sources, have been linked to cancer, especially osteosarcoma or bone cancer.[viii]
No wonder that the consumption of “low-fat diets” is becoming less important in reducing our overall risk of cancer.[ix] Environmental chemicals are making one’s fat consumption almost irrelevant in the total equation.
The Sodas or Alcohol We Drink
As discussed in prior chapters, sugar depresses the immune system. Since a healthy immune system is crucial in preventing cancer, it is not surprising to learn that sugar can dramatically increase our risk of getting cancer!
A recently released study from the University of Minnesota[x] finds that people who drink as few as two soft drinks a week faced an almost double risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This is not just any cancer! This is a cancer for which conventional medicine offers little successful options. Its public failures frequently make the news. According to Dr. Mark Pereira, Ph.D. and study director:
“Their risk of getting pancreatic cancer over the time period of the study was almost two times higher than their counterparts who were consuming little or no sugar-sweetened beverages in the study.”
While much has been made in the media between the exaggerated link between sunshine exposure and skin cancer, little has been said regarding the link between alcohol consumption and this problem. Yet according to research published in 2004, poor diets, excessive alcohol consumption and obesity likely explain half of all melanomas.[xi]
The Water We Drink
The proper performance of our detoxification systems is one of the most critical factors in determining the presence or absence of disease in our bodies. Thus, to say pure water is critical would not be an exaggeration. A pure, healthy and toxin-free body requires an abundance of clean, chemical-free water. Many physiological processes require pure water. These include our circulatory systems, our digestion and our temperature control mechanisms. The correct consumption of water (and fresh fruits and vegetables naturally high in pure water), increases our body’s natural ability to flush out harmful toxins and sustain a youthful state. Beauty experts might say that pure water helps us to age gracefully.
Yet, while water is necessary to “detox” our bodies, sometimes, toxins come into our bodies from water, in spite of our best efforts to avoid them.
Toxic waters: Regulatory Absence Allows Chemical, Coal and Farm Industries to Pollute Our U.S. Water Supplies
Many chemicals can be found in our water, some are there by accident, others are added on purpose.
One chemical added on purpose is the hydrofluosilicic acid, used in artificially fluoridated water programs. We now know that many more compounds than this fluoride-containing waste product (used in ninety percent of fluoridation programs) are being added to the water, even if inadvertently.[xii] Such additions are almost always associated with other chemicals that are present in the mix, such as arsenic, cadmium and other poisons.
In the case of most municipal water supplies, we know that such water is almost always chlorinated as well. There are also the wide varieties of chlorinated chemicals (present as they are, inadvertently), such as trihalomethanes, that are also formed when chlorine reacts with various organic compounds called humic acids in natural water supplies. (Humic acids come from decaying matter, such as old decaying trees and leaves.) In addition, tap water can contain a wide variety of residual environmental contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, and other potential carcinogens and even prescription drugs.8
Chlorine is one of the most reactive of the 110 elements, but less reactive than fluorine, the most reactive of all the elements. It readily dissolves in water where it combines with molecules of oxygen and hydrogen to form hypochlorous acid and the hypochlorite ion. Chlorination is achieved by the addition of pure chlorine gas, hypochlorite or sodium chlorite directly into the water supply. Stated simply, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA), chlorine is a pesticide. When we consume water with chlorine, it kills some part of us, destroying cells and tissue inside our body.
Initial concerns about chlorine began in the early 1960s with concerns about its link with heart disease. Interestingly, the first study indicating a link between chlorination and heart disease occurred in Jersey City, the site of the first large-scale chlorination project in America. The severity of heart disease in the citizens studied correlated directly with the amount of chlorinated water consumed.
The good news is that, unlike fluoride, chlorine is one of the easiest substances to remove from our water. For that reason it could serve its beneficial purpose of keeping our water free from harmful bacteria and water borne diseases right up to the time of consumption, whereby it could then be easily removed by a quality home filtration system.
Chlorine in shower water also has very negative cosmetic effects. It robs the skin and hair of moisture and elasticity, resulting in a less vibrant and youthful appearance. It does this in part by interfering with the production of cellular proteins called collagen by interfering with the hydroxylation of proline and lysine—unique components of this important body protein. Anyone who has ever swam in a chlorinated pool can relate to the harsh effects that chlorine has on the skin and hair. What’s surprising is that we commonly find higher levels of chlorine in our tap water than is recommended safe for swimming pools!
Chlorine and Cancer
The concern about chlorine and cancer is not simply due to chlorine itself, but to the multitude of compounds that chlorine can form once it’s added to our municipal drinking water supply. These chlorine byproducts trigger the production of free radicals in the body, causing cellular damage. The reader will recall that free radicals can cause DNA damage and, as a result of this, cancer. Thus, these chlorine byproducts may be carcinogenic. According to experts in the field, these compounds are, in order of importance, chlorinated acetic acids, trihalomethanes, and haloacetonitriles.
“Cancer Risk Among People Drinking Chlorinated Water is 93% Higher than Among those whose Water Does Not Contain Chlorine.” - U.S. Council of Environmental Quality
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the United States. In 2000, 195,000 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer. In 1996, 50,000 women died of breast cancer—one every ten minutes. In 1960, one in twenty women could expect to get breast cancer. Currently, it is one in every eight women. [Thus, a popular making strides campaign against breast cancer can largely be seen as a public relations and fund raising ploy that does not reflect the reality of the B.C. epidemic.]
According to Megan Williams, author of Breast Cancer and the Environment: The Chlorine Connection, the worldwide increase in breast cancer rates has occurred during the same period in which the global environment has become contaminated with industrial synthetic chemicals, including the toxic and persistent organochlorines.
“Women with breast cancer have fifty to sixty percent higher levels of organochlorines, (chlorination byproducts), in their breast tissues than women without breast cancer.” - Megan Williams, author
Early in 1991, at a conference of health workers, scientists, environmentalists and women with breast cancer, Greenpeace presented evidence that chlorine-based compounds, the basis of plastics, many pesticides, paper bleaching and chlorinated water—make significant contributions to the epidemic of breast cancer we are seeing throughout not only the United States, but around the rest of the world as well.[xiii]
Chlorinated By-Products and Cancer
As chlorine is added to kill pathogenic microorganisms, the highly reactive chlorine combines with fatty acids and carbon fragments to form a variety of toxic compounds, which comprise about thirty percent of the chlorination by-products. During the 1970’s, when monitoring efforts began to identify widespread toxic contamination of the nation’s drinking water supplies, epidemiological studies began to suggest a link between consumption of toxins in water and elevated cancer risks.
– The Nader Report: Troubled Waters on Tap, Center for the Study of Responsible Law
Spurred on by animal evidence, Howard Morrison, a scientist at the Laboratory for Disease Control at Health and Welfare in Canada, and several other American and Israeli scientists, are currently studying chlorine containing toxins and breast cancer.
The link of chlorine and chlorine containing compounds to human cancer is real, although one would not know this from listening to the mainstream media. Sadly, they seem to be silent in unison, just as they remain silent about another proven carcinogen often found in our water, namely fluoride.
Another contaminant that many Americans are exposed to is fluoride, from numerous environmental sources.[xiv] For a good summary on the topic, go to: “Sixty Reasons to be Opposed to Artificial Water Fluoridation,” written by this author.[xv]
Fluoride is a proven carcinogen. It is estimated that fluoride contributes to five percent of all cancer deaths in the United States.[xvi] (But this estimate is likely low since fluoride is present in high amounts regardless of whether or not the water consumed is artificially fluoridated or not.15)
Not only does the range of intakes vary tremendously from person to person and from region to region, so too can one’s susceptibility to the dangers of fluoride. For example, in 1993, the US Department of Health and Environmental Services (DHHS) produced a Toxicological Profile on Fluoride (TP 91/17). In this profile, it stated that:
“Existing data indicate that subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These populations include the elderly, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium and/or vitamin C, and people with cardiovascular and kidney problems…Post-menopausal women and elderly men in fluoridated communities may also be at increased risk of developing fractures.”
Most people think fluoridation chemicals have been thoroughly tested before being approved for use in our drinking water. This is an incorrect assumption as they’ve never been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The 1990 studies done under the National Toxicology Program (NTP), found rats exposed to fluoride had significantly higher rates of bone cancer. Also in this year, the National Cancer Institute found that young males living in fluoridated communities were at a higher risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer), than those living in non-fluoridated cities.
In 1992, the New Jersey Department of Health indicated that young children were seven times at greater risk of developing osteosarcoma than those not drinking fluoridated water. About nine years later, Ms. Elise Bassin, presented evidence in her Ph.D. thesis that showed a statistically significant link between fluoride exposure between the ages of six and eight, (the age at which “mid-childhood growth spurts” occur), and the development of bone cancer in young boys.[xvii] Her thesis is, not surprisingly, very well documented and presents a great deal of evidence supporting the link between even modest fluoride consumption and bone cancer. (One doesn’t defend a “Ph.D thesis” at Harvard with shoddy scholarship and research.)
Fluoride has long been suspected of playing a role in osteosarcoma especially in adolescent boys. In 1997, Dr. John Yiamouyiannis, (a biochemist with whom this writer worked in 1992), testified before the U.S. Congress that 500,000 Americans alive today could expect to die from this type of cancer if artificial fluoridation of the water was not stopped.
Does “everything” cause cancer? Perhaps. Perhaps even one electron on the other side of the universe. But in point of fact, fluoride causes more cancer and causes it faster than any other single compound.[xviii] – Dr. Dean Burk, National Cancer Instiute, co-founder
Yiamouyiannis and Burk published epidemiology studies indicating an excess five percent cancer mortality in ten of the largest fluoridated cities from 1954 to 1976, when compared to ten “control” cities.
The Drugs We Take
As you learned in the first chapter, drugs are a huge killer in America. The carcinogenicity of drugs is not a topic that gets much media attention, but it should. Statins—amongst the most prescribed drugs in the world, are drugs that are thought to be carcinogenic.[xix] Let’s read from a summary of a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association back in 1996:
“All members of the two most popular classes of lipid-lowering drugs (the fibrates and the statins) cause cancer in rodents, in some cases at levels of animal exposure close to those prescribed to humans. (The possible link between Vytorin and cancer was discussed in chapter eleven.) In contrast, few of the antihypertensive drugs have been found to be carcinogenic in rodents. Evidence of carcinogenicity of lipid-lowering drugs from clinical trials in humans is inconclusive because of inconsistent results and insufficient duration of follow-up.”
In human trials, while there is sometimes a lowering of heart disease mortality, there is a similar increase in cancer mortality![xx] Thus, the question of the carcinogenicity of prescription drugs deserves further attention.
Now let’s move our discussion to how the pots we use can expose us to unnecessary dangers.
The Pots and Pans We Use
One aspect of our lifestyle is the pots in which we cook our foods. Most people take this subject for granted. They shouldn’t. While the possible link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease is understood by many,[xxi] few people know of the dangers of Teflon® use. The 6.9 million bird owners in America would probably want to know, however, since some are killed when home owners inadvertently keep them too close to the kitchen. The culprit is Teflon® cookware and birds have died from breathing poisonous gases that have resulted from such exposures![xxii] Many toxic compounds derive from heated Teflon®, in fact―fifteen toxic fluorine gases―at last count. The higher the cooking temperature, the greater the dangers. (At low temperatures, Teflon is a remarkably stable compound, and it is even used safely in artificial blood vessels.)
Dupont’s “solution” to the Teflon problem was ingenious: They simply stopped calling it Teflon and just renamed it “non-stick cookware”! So those “beautiful” boxed sets of Teflon cookware from Macy’s are NOT Teflon…just “non-stick cookware.” Damn, “industry” really thinks we’re stupid, don’t they? This is what Jane Houlihan, Vice President for research at the Environmental Working Group, an activist organization, had to say in discussing Teflon® dangers: “In retrospect, this may seem like one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mistake the chemical industry has ever made.”[xxiii]
The fluoride promoters did the same thing when the link between fluoridated water and Down’s Syndrome was found by Rapaport in the early 1950s: They just stopped the publication of Down’s Syndrome birth statistics![xxiv]
And are radiation levels too high off the coast of California from Fukushima? No problem, we’ll just turn off ALL the radiation monitors and STOP reporting on this issue to the public. (In Japan, they just raised the maximum acceptable levels of radiation by 100 fold….So wholla, problem solved! So, the 3/11/11 accident /tsunami was over six years ago. Have YOU read anything about the contamination of our West Coast by Cesium 137? See? Out of our “media”, out of our minds! This is the corruption in the mainstream media which makes the cover-up of the health benefit of vitamins AND the lies about their dangers seem so pale bycomparison.
This is often the role of “public relations” companies, but this also the role often played by the mainstream media. If the Reader’s Digest is so concerned about protecting your health from the ‘evils of dietary supplements,’ where are they in protecting you from the soup of carcinogens to which we are all are apparently exposed, on a daily basis?
Largest Administrative Fine in Agency’s History Shows the Seriousness of Polluting Babies’ Blood and Drinking Water with PFOA (Teflon)
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) brought its lawsuit against DuPont in July of 2004. In announcing the record fine levied against Dupont in 2008 for failing to disclose serious harms caused by a product that is used by almost everyone at some point in their lives, EWG President had this to say:
What’s the appropriate fine for a $25 billion company that for decades hid vital health information about a toxic chemical that now contaminates every man, woman and child in the United States? What’s the proper dollar penalty for a pollutant that will never break down, and now finds its way into polar bears in the Arctic and human babies in their mothers’ wombs? We’re pretty sure it’s not $16 million, even if that is a record amount under a federal law that everyone acknowledges is extremely weak.[xxv] - EWG President Ken Cook.
The Cosmetics and Perfumes We Use
The cosmetics industry uses more than 10,000 chemicals in its products and many of these are proven carcinogens. Since the skin is our body’s largest organ, and many chemicals applied to the skin get absorbed into the body, it would be a fine idea to pay closer attention to the question of the safety of the cosmetics we use on a regular basis. According to the Breast Cancer Fund, approximately one-in-five cosmetic products contain ingredients that are known or probably carcinogens.[xxvi]
The Chemicals We are Exposed to On and Off the Job
Some chemicals come to us via our jobs. One well-known example is asbestos exposure from various industries. Such asbestos exposures can cause vicious cancer of the lining of the lungs also known as mesothelioma. Another example is carbon tetrachloride, a solvent used in dry cleaning which has been linked to a number of human cancers. (My uncle Felix, who died of cancer at the age of seventy-four, worked at a dry cleaning company his entire adult life.) Other carcinogens are inhaled on purpose, such as cigarette smoke. The Breast Cancer Fund site has a short summary of some of the large number of carcinogens to which so many of us are exposed on a daily basis. If Americans knew of this information, we’d all be better off, wouldn’t you think?
Electromagnetic and other Radiation We’re All Exposed to On the Ground and In the Sky!
There are numerous sources of radiation to which we are exposed on a regular basis. An example is ionizing radiation, (“cosmic rays”), which one gets while flying at 35,000 feet. These have been linked to genetic damage and cancer. This is why we don’t want to fly too frequently and if we must fly, then we should be on an “anti-cancer” diet and supplement program.
Another source are CT scans which are used for imaging the heart, lungs, abdomen, pelvis and other organs. CT exposure dramatically increases ones risk of developing lung or breast cancer, especially if such screening is done in a younger person.[xxvii]
fukushim (March 11, 2011): biggest crisis the media has continued to ignore, even after six years,
Another source of potential radiation exposure is what has been arriving from Japan continuously since March 11, 2011, when a huge tsunami hit the northeast section of Japan after a massive 9.0 earthquake. This caused partial (or complete) meltdowns in at least three of the six reactors on this site.[xxviii]
Unfortunately, even six years after this huge accident, the mainstream media has given this event virtually no coverage! This is not unlike many other major catastrophes. If you’re an “awake” individual, you’ll possibly think about the huge BP oil spill in 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. The massive after-effects have too been covered up by the media. Remember, the “corexit” that was used to “clean up” the spill, didn’t clean up anything! All it did was give the appearance that the oil had disappeared! It’s still there, just on the bottom of the ocean, where it’s killed everything that’s down there!
Just like you can’t “see” the damage from those few million barrels of oil under the ocean, (unless you’re a fisherman and can’t catch any fish, mussels, clams, etc.), you also can’t see radiation—you need a Geiger counter for that. So yes, Fukushima is a huge topic, and I would recommend anyone who cares about preventing cancer (and over 1,000 other conditions!), to learn about what’s going on there by doing your own investigation.[xxix] So far, death rates around the United States are up from 4 to 34 percent since the accident (correcting for population increases). While it’s impossible to attribute all of these to Fukushima, they have occurred all across the country, and not just on the west coast of the United States.
On and Off the Job Chemical Exposures
Many professions expose us to dangerous chemicals and will also deplete various nutrients in our bodies. Unfortunately, most folks never learn what to do to compensate for the negative qualities of the chemicals to which they are sometimes exposed on a regular basis. Whether it is the chemist, the hair dresser, the toll collector on a busy highway, the truck driver (car and diesel fumes), the pesticide applicator, the dentist (mercury exposure) or the car detail man (toxic paint), many professions involve the use of chemicals that increase one’s risk of various ailments or cancer. It would be prudent for everyone to learn how nutritional supplements might help them lessen the chances of developing future cancers while recognizing that they work with dangerous chemicals. And even if exposure to toxic chemicals on the job is not on your resume, many individuals still regularly expose themselves to chemicals that are potentially carcinogenic.[xxx]
Here’s a summary of some common carcinogens to which we’re exposed on a regular basis. Chemicals classified as carcinogens act directly on cells to cause mutations. The following chemicals have been classified as mammary carcinogens by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and/or the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). [xxxi]
|· 1,3-butadiene||· Ethylene oxide|
|· Aromatic amines||· Organic solvents|
|· Benzene||· Vinylchloride (PVC)|
Hormone or endocrine-disrupting chemicals influence cancer risk indirectly by changing the body’s natural hormonal balance. Certain cancers, including breast cancer, are sensitive to hormonal changes that may be caused by environmental chemicals such as:[xxxii]
|§ Alkylphenols||§ Parabens|
|§ Bisphenol A (BPA)||§ Pesticides|
|§ Bovine growth hormone (rBGH/rBST)[xxxiii]||§ Phthalates|
|§ DDT||§ Phytoestrogens|
|§ Diethylstilbestrol (DES)||§ Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)|
|§ Dioxins||§ Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs)|
|§ Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)||§ Sunscreens (UV filters)|
|§ Metals||§ Tobacco smoke|
|§ Oral contraceptives||§ Zeranol|
Let’s read what the May 14, 2007 addition of the Los Angeles Times had to say about 216 chemicals in our environment and their link to breast cancer:
More than 200 chemicals — many found in urban air and everyday consumer products — cause breast cancer in animal tests, according to a compilation of scientific reports published today. Writing in a publication of the American Cancer Society, researchers concluded that reducing exposure to the compounds could prevent many women from developing the disease.
By now, the reader must have learned that, at least to some extent, our environment can be controlled and consequently, many cancers can be prevented.[xxxiv] To help prevent cancer, another important concept needs to be considered, namely, that of increasing our resistance to it, regardless of exposure to cancer causing chemicals or even our genetic makeup.
That two people can be exposed to the same carcinogen and one gets cancer while the other doesn’t is an example of host resistance at work. Host resistance largely depends on an individual’s nutrition and lifestyle. While lifestyle could speak to the issue of avoiding any toxic exposures, in the real world, this is not always possible. What is left then is our lifestyles and, as noted in Chapter 10, there are many factors involved with creating a healthy lifestyle. Since we can control our diets and, to a large extent, our lifestyles, the good news is that most cancers—and many other diseases for that matter—can be prevented.
Hopefully this chapter has given you some new perspectives you can use to (a) Reduce your chances of getting cancer and (b) Helping a loved one to do the same!
Also, it is hoped that the perspectives shared in this entire book, have given you some tools to successfully cope and sift through the large quantities of health information that regularly appears in the popular media. And finally, it is hoped that YOUR agenda is to become as healthy as possible and that this book may have helped in some way.
[i] Book of Facts, Centers for Disease Control; Time Life Books, 2000.
[ii] From 1938 to 1978, the expenditures for research by the NCI went from $400,000 to $867 million! Despite this enormous expenditure of taxpayer $$, cancer is killing more Americans now than ever!
[iii] Brodeur, Paul, Expendable Americans, 1978.
[iv] U.S. Panel Criticized as Overstating Cancer Risks, by Denise Grady, May 6, 2010.
[v] From the prior reference, but this is the same statistic I had learned of at a lecture by scientist Janet Gray at the Breast Cancer Options conference held at the SUNY, New Paltz, on April 25, 2010.
[vii] Campbell, T. Colin, The China Study, 2007.
[ix] “Poison Water”, Orlando Sentinel, July 7, 2002, p. 1.
[x] CBS news, Feb. 9, 2010; Soda Linked to Pancreatic Cancer: People Who Drink as Few as Two Soft Drinks a Week Face Nearly Twice the Risk of Developing Deadly Cancer, Study Finds”.
[xi] Samanic C, Gridley G, Chow WH, Lubin J, Hoover RN, Fraumeni JF Jr. Obesity and cancer risk among white and black United States veterans. Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Feb;15(1):35-43.
[xii] Walker, Glen, Fluoride: Poison on Tap, Pub by Glen Walker, 1980. Yiamouyiannis, John, Ph.D., Fluoride, the Aging Factor, Health Action Press, 1988.
[xiii] Breast Cancer and the Environment: The Chlorine Connection. Toronto Now (11-26-92)
[xiv] Prystupa, Jeff, Fluorine; A current literature review. An NRC and ATSDR based review of safety standards for exposure to fluorine and fluorides, Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, Vol. 21, no 2, Feb. 2011, pp. 103-170(68) www.fluoridealert.org.
[xv] Go to: tompetrie.net for introduction to this topic, under “articles,” and also, fluorideaction.net or fluoridealert.org or see prior reference #12.
[xvi] Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D., John, Fluoride Journal, July, 1977.
[xvii] Bassin, Elise, Ph.D. thesis, fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma in young boys. Available online at: www.fluoridealert.org/health/cancer/fan-nrc.part1.pdf.
[xviii] From Yiamouyiannis, John, Ph.D., Fluoride, The Aging Factor, Chapter Four, Health Action Press.
[xix] JAMA, January, 1996.
[xx] Shepherd J, Blauw GJ, Murphy MB, et al. PROSPER study group. Pravastatin in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease (PROSPER): a randomized controlled trial. Lancet 2002;360:1623-1630.
[xxi] Now this link has been called into question. The greater likelihood is excess calories, insufficient exercise, insufficient antioxidants and insufficient intake of essential fatty acids as MORE of a causative factor than is aluminum, in causing Alzheimer’s Disease.
[xxiv] See Waldbott, M.D., George, A Struggle with Titans, (A History of Fluoridation), Chapter 7, 1965. Also see: Kosei Takahashi, Kosei, Fluoride-Linked Down Syndrome Births and their Estimated Occurrence Due to Water Fluoridation. FLUORIDE (International Journal for Fluoride Research), 31 (2),1998, pp 61-73
[xxvii] JAMA, 07;298 (3):317-323, 2007.
[xxviii] For some interesting information on this topic, go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYtLj_PXMTY or www.aircrap.org/hitlers-haarp-caused-the-japan-earthquake-and-most-major-disasters-since-2001/331165.
[xxx] Cone, Marla, Common Chemicals linked to breast cancer. Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2007; Article also here at: www.articles.latimes.com/2007/may/14/nation/na-cancer14
[xxxii] Gray, Janet, Ph.D., editor, State of the Evidence; The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment, 5th ed., (2008), pub., Breast Cancer Fund; note this author had the privilege of hearing this expert speak at a conference organized by “Breast Cancer Options,” April 25, 2010 at SUNY, New Paltz, NY. (This author also had the privilege of speaking later that day on “Nutrition and Cancer Prevention.”)
[xxxiv] That genetics may play a small role in making one more susceptible to cancer may be true, but this should not preclude the person (with a family history of cancer) from practicing preventative medi-cine! Genes don’t cause cancer but are a convenient scapegoat for those who don’t want to get serious about their nutrition or lifestyle. Genes may result in a more susceptible constitution to the disease but intake of fruits and vegetables, exercise habits, smoking habits, meat consumption and so forth, will ultimately determine whether or not such an individual gets cancer and/or dies from it.