Some Simple Facts About Cancer

Posted: January 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Cancer is on the rise.  It is now estimated that one in three people will have cancer during their lifetime.

In the last 20 years testicular cancer in young men has risen by 50% and childhood cancers have risen by 30%. In 2005 alone prescription volumes for cancer drugs rose by 16%, but only 3% for other drugs on average.

Why?

All cancers are caused by the disruption of genetic material in a cell.  However, in only 5-10% of the cases is the cause of the disruption itself genetic … up to 95% of cancers are caused by factors in our environment.  Something in our environment is triggering this massive genetic disruption.

What?

Substances which cause cancer are called carcinogens.  Carcinogens occur naturally in the environment but the vast majority which we come across in our day to day lives are man made, usually from the petrochemical industry (ie. they’re made from oil or sometimes gas).

How do we get them?

Petrochemical carcinogens are released into the atmosphere in one of three ways: as an emission from a manufacturing process, while a petrochemical product is being used, or while that product decomposes or is incinerated.

No petrochemical product is routinely tested for what happens on its decomposition or incineration.  Most products contain a combination of petrochemical products, yet all testing is only ever on single products by themselves.

Petrochemical carcinogens are persistent.  They can stay within the body for up to 10 years, leading to build ups over a lifetime.  The lead in time for cancer (the time between when the damage is done to when the cancer develops) can be up to 20 years.

No petrochemical product is routinely tested for long term exposure.  Testing is usually done on rodents (typically mice) and the mice are usually killed after 2 years.  This only allows them to enter middle age.

Once in the atmosphere they move around the world and settle wherever they settle.  Several national parks in western America have petrochemical carcinogen levels about the recommended maximum for human consumption.

What’s the worst villain?

The most potent form of petrochemical carcinogen are dioxins.  The US Environment Protection Agency has estimated that more people will die of more cancers caused by dioxins than by any other petrochemical agent.

Dioxins are in everything and are everywhere.  They are a by product of the manufacturing process of many petrochemical substances and are released by many others through use and decomposition.

They are stored in the fatty tissue of humans (making it difficult to dislodge them) and are passed in breast milk from mother to child.

What about the rest?

Of the 100s of thousands of petrochemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, in our food, homes and clothes, we know nothing about around 98% of them.  Some may be harmless, some may be even more toxic than dioxins.  We simply do not know.

A good many that we do know about and are in our everyday lives (food, clothes, toothpaste) are known to be carcinogenic or potentially carcinogenic.  The odds aren’t good for the others to be completely safe, and lack of evidence never means lack of risk.

In fact many would argue that there is no longer a lack of evidence, and that what evidence there is is pointing firmly towards terrible risks.

Can’t we cure cancer?

Simply put, no.  Cancer drugs cost over $100 billion per year in the US alone; about $1600 per month per patient.  Instead of cure we have to concentrate on eliminating these petrochemical carcinogens from our environment.

But there’s a problem with this.  They are made by the wealthiest companies in the world (Dow, BASF, Bayer, DuPont, etc).  To eliminate them on health grounds would open these companies up to massive lawsuits, the cost of which would bring them to their knees and cripple the economy of the US.

Oddly enough politicians in Washington, who are outnumbered by petrochemical lobbyists, are reluctant to do this.

So what so we do?

First, watch the film The Idiot Cycle.  Although many (but not all) of the facts on this page are taken from this film, this page is not a puff piece for it.  I’ve simply been moved to write up a few of the facts after watching it because I feel they should be more widely known.

I hope you feel the same way.

But why’s it called The Idiot Cycle?

Ah.  You remember who I said created most of these petrochemical carcinogens ..Dow, BASF, Bayer, DuPont etc?  They also create most of the cancer treating drugs available.

To put it another way, they sell you poisoned products, then sell you products to cure that poisoning.

Is that explanation enough?

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