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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 10:11 am 
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Environmental Causes of Cancer "Grossly Underestimated"

The President's Cancer Panel on Thursday reported that "the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated" and strongly urged action to reduce people's widespread exposure to carcinogens.

The panel advised President Obama "to 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."

The 240-page report by the President's Cancer Panel is the first to focus on environmental causes of cancer. The panel, created by an act of Congress in 1971, is charged with monitoring the multi-billion-dollar National Cancer Program and reports directly to the President every year.

Environmental exposures "do not represent a new front in the ongoing war on cancer. However, the grievous harm from this group of carcinogens has not been addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program," the panel said in its letter to Obama that precedes the report. "The American people – even before they are born – are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures."

The panel, appointed by President Bush, told President Obama that the federal government is missing the chance to protect people from cancer by reducing their exposure to carcinogens. In its letter, the panel singled out bisphenol A, a chemical used in polycarbonate plastic and can linings that is unregulated in the United States, as well as radon, formaldehyde and benzene.

Environmental health scientists were pleased by the findings, saying it embraces everything that they have been saying for years.

Richard Clapp, a professor of environmental health at Boston University's School of Public Health and one of the nation's leading cancer epidemiologists, called the report "a call to action."

Environmental and occupational exposures contribute to "tens of thousands of cancer cases a year," Clapp said. "If we had any calamity that produced tens of thousands of deaths or serious diseases, that’s a national emergency in my view."

The two-member panel – Dr. LaSalle D. Lefall, Jr., a professor of surgery at Howard University and Margaret Kripke, a professor at University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Cancer Center – was appointed by President Bush to three-year terms.

Lefall and Kripke concluded that action is necessary, even though in many cases there is scientific uncertainty about whether certain chemicals cause cancer. That philosophy, called the precautionary principle, is highly controversial among scientists, regulators and industry.

"The increasing number of known or suspected environmental carcinogens compels us to action, even though we may currently lack irrefutable proof of harm," Lefall, who is chair of the panel, said in a statement.

The two panelists met with nearly 50 medical experts in late 2008 and early 2009 before writing their report to the president. Cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong previously served on the panel, but did not work on this year's report.

The report recommends raising consumer awareness of the risks posed by chemicals in food, air, water and consumer products, bolstering research of the health effects and tightening regulation of chemicals that might cause cancer or other diseases.

They also urged doctors to use caution in prescribing CT scans and other medical imaging tests that expose patients to large amounts of radiation. In 2007, 69 million CT scans were performed, compared with 18 million in 1993. Patients who have a chest CT scan receive a dose of radiation in the same range as survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attacks who were less than half a mile from ground zero, the report says.

The panel also criticized the U.S. military, saying that "it is a major source of toxic occupational and environmental exposures that can increase cancer risk." Examples cited include Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where carcinogenic solvents contaminate drinking water, and Vietnam veterans with increased lymphomas, prostate cancer and other cancers from thier exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange.

Overall cancer rates and deaths have declined in the United States. Nevertheless, about 41 percent of all Americans still will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, and about 21 percent will die from it, according to the National Cancer Institute's SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In 2009 alone, about 1.5 million new cases were diagnosed.

For the past 30 years, federal agencies and institutes have estimated that environmental pollutants cause about 2 percent of all cancers and that occupational exposures may cause 4 percent.

But the panel called those estimates "woefully out of date." The panel criticized regulators for using them to set environmental regulations and lambasted the chemical industry for using them "to justify its claims that specific products pose little or no cancer risk."

The report said the outdated estimates fail to take into account many newer discoveries about people's vulnerability to chemicals. Many chemicals interact with each other, intensifying the effect, and some people have a genetic makeup or early life exposure that makes them susceptible to environmental contaminants.

"It is not known exactly what percentage of all cancers either are initiated or promoted by an environmental trigger," the panel said in its report. "Some exposures to an environmental hazard occur as a single acute episode, but most often, individual or multiple harmful exposures take place over a period of weeks, months, year, or a lifetime."

Boston University's Clapp was one of the experts who spoke to the panel in 2008. "We know enough now to act in ways that we have not done...Act on what we know," he told them.

“There are lots of places where we can move forward here. Lots of things we can act on now," such as military base cleanups and reducing use of CT scans, Clapp said in an interview.

Dr. Ted Schettler, director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, called the report an “integrated and comprehensive critique.” He was glad that the panel underscored that regulatory agencies should reduce exposures even when absolute proof of harm was unavailable.

Also, "they recognized that exposures happen in mixtures, not in isolation" and that children are most vulnerable.

“Some people are disproportionately exposed and disproportionately vulnerable," said Schettler, whose group was founded by environmental groups to urge the use of science to address public health issues related to the environment.

Schettler said it "took courage" for the panel to warn physicians about the cancer risk posed by CT scans, particularly for young children.

“It’s almost become routine for kids with abdominal pain to get a CT scan" to check for appendicitis, he said. Although the scans may lead to fewer unnecessary surgeries, doctors should consider the high doses of radiation. “I'm very glad this panel took that on," Schettler said.

Another sensitive issue raised in the report was the risk of brain cancer from cell phones. Scientists are divided on whether there is a link.

Until more research is conducted, the panel recommended that people reduce their usage by making fewer and shorter calls, using hands-free devices so that the phone is not against the head and refraining from keeping a phone on a belt or in a pocket.

Even if cell phones raise the risk of cancer slightly, so many people are exposed that "it could be a large public health burden," Schettler said.

The panel listed a variety of carcinogenic compounds that many people routinely encounter. Included are benzene and other petroleum-based pollutants in vehicle exhaust, arsenic in water supplies, chromium from plating companies, formaldehyde in kitchen cabinets and other plywood, bisphenol A in plastics and canned foods, tetrachloroethylene at dry cleaners, PCBs in fish and other foods and various pesticides.

Chemicals and contaminants might trigger cancer by a variety of means. They can damage DNA, disrupt hormones, inflame tissues, or turn genes on or off.

"Some types of cancer are increasing rapidly," Clapp said, including thyroid, kidney and liver cancers. Others, including lung and breast cancer, have declined.

Previous reports by the President's Cancer Panel have focused largely on treatment and more well-known causes of cancer such as diet or smoking.

Some experts are concerned that the report might just sit on a shelf at the White House. But Clapp said the findings are so strongly stated that he is confident the report will be useful to some policymakers, legislators and groups that want tougher occupational health standards or other regulations.

“We’re not going to get any better than this," Clapp said. “This goes farther than what I thought the President's Cancer Panel would go. I’m pleased that they went as far as they did."

Environmental health scientists said they hope the report raises not just the President's awareness of environmental threats, but the public's, since most people are unaware of the dangers.

Republished with permission of Environmental Health News.

“This report has stature," Schettler said. “It is a report that goes directly to the president.” ... ancer-0506

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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 10:14 am 
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Americans "bombarded" with cancer sources: report

(Reuters) - Americans are being "bombarded" with cancer-causing chemicals and radiation and the federal government must do far more to protect them, presidential cancer advisers said on Thursday.

Although most experts agree that as many as two-thirds of cancer cases are caused by lifestyle choices like smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise, the two-member panel said many avoidable cancers were also caused by pollution, radon gas from the soil and medical imaging scans.

"The incidence of some cancers, including some most common among children, is increasing for unexplained reasons," wrote the two panel members, Dr. LaSalle Leffall, professor of surgery at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington and Margaret Kripke, an emeritus professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Cancer is the No. 2 killer of Americans, after heart disease. Kripke and Leffall, both appointed by President George W. Bush, decided in 2008 to focus a report on potential environmental links to cancer.

"The American people -- even before they are born -- are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures," they wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama at top of the report.

"The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives."

A White House spokesman indicated he had not yet seen the report and the National Cancer Institute declined comment.


The American Cancer Society said the report downplayed known risks that cause most cases of cancer including tobacco, obesity, alcohol, infections, hormones and sunlight.

"The report is most provocative when it restates hypotheses as if they were established facts," the society's Dr. Michael Thun said in a statement.

"For example, its conclusion that 'the true burden of environmentally (pollution) induced cancer has been grossly underestimated' does not represent scientific consensus."

The American Chemistry Council, an industry group, agreed and said the report underemphasized prevention efforts.

The report, available at, offered some of its own advice to consumers.

For instance, the report said that although large studies have found no links between cell phone use and cancer, people would be prudent to wear headsets and make calls quickly.

The report delighted environmental groups that have been pressing for more regulation of chemicals. "It is very gratifying to see this remarkable report that addresses those concerns," said Julia Brody, executive director of the Silent Spring Institute.

"The 40-year war on cancer has been called for what it is ... a failure," Jeanne Rizzo, president and chief executive of the Breast Cancer Fund, which advocates about links between chemicals and breast cancer, told reporters in a telephone briefing.

New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg said he hoped the report would help boost support for a bill requiring closer regulation of chemicals.

"My Safe Chemicals Act will require testing of all chemicals, and take substances off the market if the manufacturer cannot prove they are safe," he said. ... mesticNews

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Cancer report energizes activists, not policy

(Reuters) - A cancer report that concludes Americans are under constant assault from carcinogenic agents has heartened activists, who hope that finally government and policymakers will pay attention to their concerns.

But the report from the President's Cancer Panel on Thursday has underwhelmed most mainstream cancer experts and drawn only a puzzled response from the White House. Even members of Congress who usually are eager to show they are fighting to protect the public have been mostly silent.

Cancer experts say for the most part that we already know what causes most cases of cancer and it's not pollution or chemicals lurking in our water bottles. It's tobacco use and other unhealthy behaviors, says Dr. Graham Colditz of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"The lack of physical activity, weight gain, obesity clearly account for 20 percent or more of cancer in the United States today," Colditz said in a telephone interview.

The report, he said, gives people an excuse to ignore the risk factors most in their control.

"The damage is that it distracts us, as a society, from actually acting on the things that are already in our grasp. I can take tobacco as the best example," said Colditz, noting that more than 20 percent of Americans still smoke despite nearly 50 years of cancer warnings.

And no state has even come close to banning smoking, although limits are going into place to restrict smoking in public.

"We know that alcohol causes 4 percent (of cancers) and we deal with that to too little extent, as well," said Colditz, an expert in the epidemiology of cancer. Red meat is a known cause of colon cancer, he adds. "We don't run out and ban all beef just because beef is a cause of colon cancer."


So it worries Colditz to see the two-member cancer panel -- Dr. LaSalle Leffall, professor of surgery at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, and Margaret Kripke, an emeritus professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center -- recommend sweeping policy changes to focus on potential environmental causes of cancer.

"Maybe up to 4 percent of cancer in the western world is caused by contaminants and pollution and yet we are chasing new, unknown causes rather that focusing on acting on what we know," he said. "Things like this report are making it harder to move the nation to a healthier lifestyle."

Kenneth Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, an activist group that conducts research into environmental health questions, disagrees with the assessment that chemical causes of cancer are only in the single digits.

"As this prestigious body's report underscores, the federal government has failed to take aggressive action to protect people from chemicals that cause cancer," Cook said in a statement.

Cook hopes the report will prompt changes. "The tide is shifting, thanks to irrefutable scientific research and a strengthening of political will in Washington."

But one government researcher, who asks not to be named, doubts it. "In the past the President's Cancer Panel has not had much impact," the researcher said.

The panel was set up in 1971 as part of then-President Richard Nixon's "war on cancer." It calls for more research into the potential chemical and environmental causes of cancer, including mobile phones and a plastic ingredient called BPA.

Such research is already under way and the agencies conducting it say it will take years and studying many thousands of people to tease out potential cancer signals.

One big problem -- people are soaked in chemicals, electromagnetic radiation, hormones and other known causes of cancer that can interact with thousands of genetic variations to start tumors growing -- or not. Figuring out whether any one ingredient is mutating a gene or set of genes in a certain way will be difficult.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a program to test 5,000 people each year for dozens of chemicals and to collate a database over time.

And last month researchers launched a giant study to track at least 250,000 people in five European countries for up to 30 years to see if there are any health effects from using mobile telephones.

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 12:47 pm 
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U.S. Panel Criticized as Overstating Cancer Risks

A dire government report on cancer risks from chemicals and other hazards in the environment has drawn criticism from the American Cancer Society, which says government experts are overstating their case.

The government’s 240-page report, published online Thursday by the President’s Cancer Panel, says the proportion of cancer cases caused by environmental exposures has been “grossly underestimated.” It warns of “grievous harm” from chemicals and other hazards, and cites “a growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures to cancer.”

Children are especially vulnerable, the panel says. It urges the government to strengthen research and regulation, and advises individuals on ways to limit exposure to potential threats like pesticides, industrial chemicals, medical X-rays, vehicle exhaust, plastic food containers and too much sun.

A cover letter urges President Obama “most strongly to 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.”

Nearly 80,000 chemicals are in use in the United States, and yet only a few hundred have been tested for safety, the report notes. It criticizes the nation’s regulatory approach, calling it reactionary rather than precautionary, which means that the government waits for proof of harm before taking action, instead of taking preventive steps when there is uncertainty about a chemical. Regulation is ineffective, the panel says, in part because of inadequate staffing and financing, overly complex rules, weak laws, uneven enforcement and undue industry influence.

The report looks at contaminants from a variety of sources: industry, agriculture, air and water, medical imaging and contaminated military sites. It also considers natural hazards, like radon gas in homes and arsenic in drinking water. The report concludes, “At this time, we do not know how much environmental exposures influence cancer risk.”

Dr. Michael Thun, an epidemiologist from the cancer society, said in an online statement that the report was “unbalanced by its implication that pollution is the major cause of cancer,” and had presented an unproven theory — that environmentally caused cases are grossly underestimated — as if it were a fact.

The cancer society estimates that about 6 percent of all cancers in the United States — 34,000 cases a year — are related to environmental causes (4 percent from occupational exposures, 2 percent from the community or other settings).

Suggesting that the risk is much higher, when there is no proof, may divert attention from things that are much bigger causes of cancer, like smoking, Dr. Thun said in an interview.

“If we could get rid of tobacco, we could get rid of 30 percent of cancer deaths,” he said, adding that poor nutrition, obesity and lack of exercise are also greater contributors to cancer risk than pollution.

But Dr. Thun said the cancer society shared the panel’s concerns about people’s exposure to so many chemicals, the lack of information about chemicals, the vulnerability of children and the radiation risks from medical imaging tests.

The chairman of the president’s panel, Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. of Howard University, said the panel stood by the report.

“This is an evenhanded approach, and an evenhanded report,” Dr. Leffall said. “We didn’t make statements that should not be made.”

He acknowledged that it was impossible to specify just how many cancers were environmentally caused, because not enough research had been done, but he said he was confident that when the research was done, it would confirm the panel’s assertion that the problem had been grossly underestimated.

Despite the uncertainties, the panel recommended more research and stronger regulation to protect public health.

The report also mentions things that people can do themselves to lower their risks. The measures include these:

¶Protecting children by choosing foods, house and garden products, toys, medicines and medical tests that will minimize exposure to toxic substances.

¶Filtering tap water, and storing water in stainless steel, glass or other containers to avoid exposure to BPA and other plastic components that some studies have linked to health problems.

¶Buying produce grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, or washing it thoroughly to remove them.

¶Buying meat free of antibiotics and added hormones, and avoiding processed, charred and well-done meat.

The panel normally has three members, appointed by the president. Currently there are only two: Dr. Leffall and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, a professor emerita from the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Both were originally appointed by President George W. Bush.

Over two years, Dr. Leffall and Dr. Kripke held meetings and heard presentations from academic and government scientists, industry representatives and members of advocacy groups and the public. ... ancer.html

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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 1:12 pm 
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What are the causes of cancer? (opinion)

Here is a quote from the the American Cancer Society (ACS):

"But in most cases, the exact cause of cancer remains a mystery. We know that certain changes in our cells can cause cancer to start, but we don't yet know exactly how this happens. Many scientists are studying this problem."

The ACS acknowledges smoking, alcohol, radiation and over exposure to the sun as major risk factors. While the evidence from the President's Cancer Panel is weighed, I believe that the ACS is sending the wrong message criticising the report. There are certain factors they should be agreeing with and supporting.

As a cancer patient, I see this debate really being about two sides of the same coin. Whether you look at the lifestyle or environmental risk factors the key message is 80%, based on my research, are preventable. The reference to the cause of cancer being a mystery is not good enough.

This is not really the fault of the ACS, it is a flaw in science when dealing with chronic disease. In chronic diseases there is not likely to one cause or cure. A pound of prevention is worth it with chronic diseases. If as cancer patients we change our lifestyle with some simple measures, we will increase our quality of life and quantity usually follows.

So ACS, please stop criticing this report and claiming that the causes of cancer are mystery. At a cellular level there is much that is mysterious about cancer. At a macro levels things become more obvious - even Dr Thun states that cancer rates would fall 30% if no one smoked.

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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Presidential cancer advisors find courage to warn about environmental risks of cancer chemicals

(NaturalNews) When a government panel of experts finds the courage to tell the truth about cancer, it's an event so rare that it becomes newsworthy. Late last week, a report from the President's Cancer Panel (PCP) broke ranks with the sick-care cancer establishment and dared to say something that natural health advocates have been warning about for decades: That Americans are "bombarded" with cancer-causing chemicals and radiation, and if we hope to reduce cancer rates, we must eliminate cancer-causing chemicals in foods, medicines, personal care products and our work and home environments.

In a directive to President Obama, the report states, "The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation's productivity, and devastate American lives."

When I first read that, I just about fell out of my chair. Government-appointed experts are really saying that there are cancer-causing chemicals in our food and water? That simple fact has been vehemently denied by the cancer industry, processed food giants, personal care product companies and of course the fluoride lobby -- all of which insist their chemicals are perfectly safe.

ACS attacks the report

The American Cancer Society, not surprisingly, was quick to bash the report. The ACS is one of the sick-care cancer industry front groups that reinforces consumer ignorance about both the causes and the solutions for cancer. The ACS has, for decades, engaged in what can only be called a "cancer chemical cover-up" with its denials that environmental chemicals cause cancer. ( and (

Even as cancer experts like Dr Sam Epstein have been warning about carcinogens in cosmetics, personal care products and foods (, the ACS has ridiculously pretended such threats don't exist. And just to top it off, the ACS has been warning people to stay away from sunlight and become more vitamin D deficient, thereby increasing cancer rates even further.

So it's no surprise that the ACS doesn't like this PCP report that dares to state the obvious: There are cancer-causing chemicals in our food and water! "The American people -- even before they are born -- are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures," the report writes.

The great chemical denial

Joining the ACS in criticizing the report is the American Chemistry Council, the trade group representing the very same chemical companies that are poisoning our world right now. Remarkably, the ACS and ACC are on the same side here, denying any link between chemicals and cancer. They insist that all those chemicals in your processed foods, cosmetics, antibacterial soaps, shampoos, fragrance products, home cleaning solvents, pesticides, herbicides and other similar products are all safe for you! Eat up, suckers!

Don't worry about the chemicals, they say. Cancer is just a matter of bad luck. There's nothing you can do about it. So stop trying.

That's their message, you see, and it's a message that plays right into the hands of the cancer industry: Don't prevent your cancer and when you get sick, they'll make a fortune off your disease and suffering.

The radiation threat from medical imaging

The PCP report also takes a strong stand on the cancer risks caused by medical imaging radiation. It actually says, "People who receive multiple scans or other tests that require radiation may accumulate doses equal to or exceeding that of Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors."

I remember receiving hate mail from cancer industry shills when I once made the same statement in an article about mammograms and CT scans. ( And yet that statement was factually quite correct: If you undergo several medical imaging tests in a hospital today, you can very easily receive just as much radiation as a person standing a few miles away from the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshoma during World War II. This is not an exaggeration. It is a simple fact of physics and the law of inverse squares. (

The environmental dangers of pharmaceuticals

Here at NaturalNews, I've been talking about the environmental pollution of pharmaceuticals for years. The fact that pharmaceutical chemicals are flushed down the drain and end up in the water supply is the "dirty little secret" of the drug industry. The problem has gone virtually unrecognized by the entire mainstream medical system... they just pretend it doesn't exist.

Yet this PCP report takes aim at it by saying: "Pharmaceuticals have become a considerable source of environmental contamination. Drugs of all types enter the water supply when they are excreted or improperly disposed of; the health impact of long-term exposure to varying mixtures of these compounds is unknown."

It's about time somebody in Washington stood up and challenged the pharmaceutical industry on the environmental effects of its toxic chemicals. HRT drugs, antidepressants, painkillers and many other types of drugs are right now polluting our oceans and waterways. You can hardly catch a fish near any major U.S. city now that isn't contaminated with pharmaceuticals.

But don't expect anyone to give credence to this warning. This entire PCP report is being largely ignored in Washington (and attacked by Big Business).

What the report really says

The President's Cancer Panel is headed by:

LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.S., Chair
Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery
Howard University College of Medicine
Washington, DC 20059

Margaret L. Kripke, Ph.D.
Vivian L. Smith Chair and Professor Emerita
The University of Texas
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Houston, TX 77030

These two people deserve your support for having the courage to publish a report that challenges the status quo of the corrupt cancer industry. So if you wish, send them a thank-you email for their work.

The report is entitled, "REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RISK - What We Can Do Now"

Here are some of the highlights from the report:

• In 2009 alone, approximately 1.5 million American men, women, and children were diagnosed with cancer, and 562,000 died from the disease. Approximately 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and about 21 percent will die from cancer. The incidence of some cancers, including some most common among children, is increasing for unexplained reasons.

• The Panel was particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread. One such ubiquitous chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), is still found in many consumer products and remains unregulated in the United States, despite the growing link between BPA and several diseases, including various cancers.

• However, the grievous harm from this group of carcinogens has not been addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program. The American people -- even before they are born -- are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures.

• Some scientists maintain that current toxicity testing and exposure limit-setting methods fail to accurately represent the nature of human exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Current toxicity testing relies heavily on animal studies that utilize doses substantially higher than those likely to be encountered by humans. These data -- and the exposure limits extrapolated from them -- fail to take into account harmful effects that may occur only at very low doses.

• Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety.

• While all Americans now carry many foreign chemicals in their bodies, women often have higher levels of many toxic and hormone-disrupting substances than do men. Some of these chemicals have been found in maternal blood, placental tissue, and breast milk samples from pregnant women and mothers who recently gave birth. Thus, chemical contaminants are being passed on to the next generation, both prenatally and during breastfeeding.

• The entire U.S. population is exposed on a daily basis to numerous agricultural chemicals, some of which also are used in residential and commercial landscaping. Many of these chemicals have known or suspected carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting properties. Pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contain nearly 900 active ingredients, many of which are toxic.

• Many of the solvents, fillers, and other chemicals listed as inert ingredients on pesticide labels also are toxic, but are not required to be tested for their potential to cause chronic diseases such as cancer. In addition to pesticides, agricultural fertilizers and veterinary pharmaceuticals are major contributors to water pollution, both directly and as a result of chemical processes that form toxic by-products when these substances enter the water supply.

• The use of cell phones and other wireless technology is of great concern, particularly since these devices are being used regularly by ever larger and younger segments of the population.

• Americans now are estimated to receive nearly half of their total radiation exposure from medical imaging and other medical sources, compared with only 15 percent in the early 1980s. The increase in medical radiation has nearly doubled the total average effective radiation dose per individual in the United States. Computed tomography (CT) and nuclear medicine tests alone now contribute 36 percent of the total radiation exposure and 75 percent of the medical radiation exposure of the U.S. population.

• Many referring physicians, radiology professionals, and the public are unaware of the radiation dose associated with various tests or the total radiation dose and related increased cancer risk individuals may accumulate over a lifetime. People who receive multiple scans or other tests that require radiation may accumulate doses equal to or exceeding that of Hiroshima atomic bomb survivors.

• Hundreds of thousands of military personnel and civilians in the United States received significant radiation doses as a result of their participation in nuclear weapons testing and supporting occupations and industries, including nuclear fuel and weapons production, and uranium mining, milling, and ore transport. Hundreds of thousands more were irradiated at levels sufficient to cause cancer and other diseases.

• Numerous environmental contaminants can cross the placental barrier; to a disturbing extent, babies are born "pre-polluted." There is a critical lack of knowledge and appreciation of environmental threats to children's health and a severe shortage of researchers and clinicians trained in children's environmental health.

• Single-agent toxicity testing and reliance on animal testing are inadequate to address the backlog of untested chemicals already in use and the plethora of new chemicals introduced every year.

• Many known or suspected carcinogens are completely unregulated. Enforcement of most existing regulations is poor. In virtually all cases, regulations fail to take multiple exposures and exposure interactions into account.

• Many known or suspected carcinogens are completely unregulated. Enforcement of most existing regulations is poor. In virtually all cases, regulations fail to take multiple exposures and exposure interactions into account. [Editor's note: In other words, people should read NaturalNews! We've been doing this for years!] ... ancer.html

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PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 8:36 pm 
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American Cancer Society Trivializes Cancer Risks: Blatant Conflicts of Interest

CHICAGO, IL, May 7, 2010 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- The May 6 report by the President's Cancer Panel is well-documented. It warns of scientific evidence on avoidable causes of cancer from exposure to carcinogens in air, water, consumer products, and the workplace. It also warns of hormonal risks from exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) and other toxic plastic contaminants, says Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC).

Concerns on avoidable causes of cancer have been summarized in a January 23, 2009 Cancer Prevention Coalition press release, endorsed by 20 leading scientists and public policy experts, who urged that President Obama's cancer plan should prioritize prevention. These concerns were further detailed in a June 15, 2009 press release. Warnings of the risks of BPA are also detailed in a May 6, 2010 CPC release.

Some of the more startling realities in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) and the "non-profit" American Cancer Society's (ACS) long-standing failure to prevent a very wide range of cancers are illustrated by their soaring increases from 1975 to 2005.

These include:

Malignant melanoma of the skin in adults has increased by 168 percent due to the use of sunscreens in childhood that fail to block long wave ultraviolet light;

Thyroid cancer has increased by 124 percent due in large part to ionizing radiation;

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has increased 76 percent due mostly to phenoxy herbicides; and phenylenediamine hair dyes;

Testicular cancer has increased by 49 percent due to pesticides; hormonal ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products; and estrogen residues in meat;

Childhood leukemia has increased by 55 percent due to ionizing radiation; domestic pesticides; nitrite preservatives in meats, particularly hot dogs; and parental exposures to occupational carcinogens;

Ovary cancer (mortality) for women over the age of 65 has increased by 47 percent in African American women and 13 percent in Caucasian women due to genital use of talc powder;

Breast cancer has increased 17 percent due to a wide range of factors. These include: birth control pills; estrogen replacement therapy; toxic hormonal ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products; diagnostic radiation; and routine premenopausal mammography, with a cumulative breast dose exposure of up to about five rads over ten years.
Criticisms by the American Cancer Society that the President's Cancer Panel's report exaggerates avoidable cancer risks, reflect reckless indifference, besides narrow self-interest, warns Dr. Epstein.

In 1993, the nation's leading charity watch dog, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, warned against the transfer of money from the public purse to the private hands of the American Cancer Society. The Chronicle also warned that, "The ACS is more interested in accumulating wealth than saving lives."

These warnings are fully supported by the track record of the ACS for well over the last four decades.

1971: The ACS refused to testify at Congressional hearings requiring FDA to ban the intramuscular injection of diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogenic hormone, to fatten cattle, prior to their entry into feedlots prior to slaughter, despite unequivocal evidence of its carcinogenicity, and the cancer risks of eating hormonal meat. Not surprisingly, U.S. meat is outlawed by most nations worldwide.

1977: The ACS opposed regulating black or dark brown hair dyes, based on paraphenylenediamine, in spite of clear evidence of its risks of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, besides other cancers.

1978: Tony Mazzocchi, then senior international union labor representative, protested that "Occupational safety standards have received no support from the ACS." This has resulted in the increasing incidence of a wide range of avoidable cancers.

1978: Congressman Paul Rogers censured ACS for its failure to support the Clean Air Act in order to protect interests of the automobile industry.

1982: The ACS adopted restrictive cancer policies, rejecting evidence based on standard rodent tests, which are widely accepted by governmental agencies worldwide and also by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

1984: The ACS created the industry-funded October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to falsely assure women that "early (mammography) detection results in a cure nearly 100 percent of the time." Responding to question, ACS admitted: "Mammography today is a lucrative [and] highly competitive business." Also, the Awareness Month ignores substantial information on avoidable causes of breast cancer.

1992: The ACS supported the Chlorine Institute in defending the continued use of carcinogenic chlorinated pesticides, despite their environmental persistence and carcinogenicity.

1993: Anticipating the Public Broadcast Service (PBS) Frontline special "In Our Children's Food," the ACS trivialized pesticides as a cause of childhood cancer and charged PBS with "junk science." The ACS went further by questioning, "Can we afford the PBS?"

1994: The ACS published a highly flawed study designed to trivialize cancer risks from the use of dark hair dyes.

1998: The ACS allocated $330,000, under 1 percent of its then $680 million budget, to claimed research on environmental cancer.

1999: The ACS trivialized risks of breast, colon and prostate cancers from consumption of rBGH genetically modified milk. Not surprisingly, U.S. milk is outlawed by most nations worldwide.

2002: The ACS announced its active participation in the "Look Good...Feel Better Program," launched in 1989 by the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, to "help women cancer patients restore their appearance and self-image following chemotherapy and radiation treatment." This program was partnered by a wide range of leading cosmetics industries, which recklessly, if not criminally, failed to disclose information on the carcinogenic, and other toxic ingredients in their products donated to unsuspecting women.

2002: The ACS reassured the nation that carcinogenicity exposures from dietary pesticides, "toxic waste in dump sites, "ionizing radiation from "closely controlled" nuclear power plants, and non-ionizing radiation, are all "at such low levels that cancer risks are negligible." ACS indifference to cancer prevention became further embedded in national cancer policy, following the appointment of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, ACS Past President-Elect, as NCI Director.

2005: The ACS indifference to cancer prevention other than smoking, remains unchanged, despite the escalating incidence of cancer, and its $ billion budget.
The ACS's indifference to cancer prevention also reflects major conflicts of interest with regard to public relations, Dr. Epstein emphasizes.


1998-2000: PR for the ACS was handled by Shandwick International, whose major clients included R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings.

2000-2002: PR for the ACS was handled by Edelman Public Relations, whose major clients included Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, and the Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris, Kraft, and fast food and soft drink beverage companies. All these companies were promptly dismissed once this information was revealed by the CPC.


The ACS's indifference to cancer prevention reflects major industry funding. ACS has received contributions in excess of $100,000 from a wide range of "Excalibur Donors," many of whom continue to manufacture carcinogenic products, points out Dr. Epstein.

These include:

Petrochemical companies (DuPont; BP; and Pennzoil)
Industrial waste companies (BFI Waste Systems)
Junk food companies (Wendy's International; McDonalds's; Unilever/Best Foods; and Coca-Cola)
Big Pharma (AstraZenceca; Bristol Myers Squibb; GlaxoSmithKline; Merck & Company; and Novartis)
Biotech companies (Amgen; and Genentech)
Cosmetic companies (Christian Dior; Avon; Revlon; Elizabeth Arden; and Estee Lauder)
Auto companies (Nissan; General Motors)

Nevertheless, warns Dr. Epstein, in spite of this long-standing track record of flagrant conflicts of interest, as reported in the December 8, 2009 New York Times, the ACS responded that it "holds itself to the highest standards of transparency and public accountability."

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. is professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health; Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition; The 2005 Albert Schweitzer Golden Grand Medalist for International Contributions to Cancer Prevention; and author of over 270 scientific articles and 20 books on the causes and prevention of cancer, including the groundbreaking The Politics of Cancer (1979), Cancer-Gate: How To Win The Losing Cancer War (2005, Baywood Publishing), and Toxic Beauty (2009, BenBella Books).

To read Dr. Epstein's columns in the Huffington Post, go to:

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Cancer and the Environment

To the Editor:

Re “New Alarm Bells About Chemicals and Cancer,” by Nicholas D. Kristof (column, May 6):

We congratulate the President’s Cancer Panel for its strongly worded report on the hazards of environmental toxins. Industrial chemicals present a serious long-term health problem for America. More effort is needed to address the environmental causes of cancer.

Lymphoma Foundation of America published a report on this subject that examined peer-reviewed scientific studies on pesticides and lymphoma (cancer of the immune system). The consensus among the scientific community and National Cancer Institute researchers is that agricultural pesticides are linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

We were surprised to see the American Cancer Society so quickly oppose the panel’s conclusions. For many years, the tobacco industry claimed that there was not enough evidence to link smoking and cancer. This opposition slowed the recognition of the dangers of smoking.

We don’t want history to repeat itself. Instead of opposing the panel’s report, the American Cancer Society could finance studies on environmental chemicals and human cancers.

The recommendations of the President’s Cancer Panel should be carried out. Families have been waiting for decades for the “war on cancer” to be won.

Peter Zetlin
Vice President, Board of Directors
Lymphoma Foundation of America
Ann Arbor, Mich., May 8, 2010 ... istof.html

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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 5:55 pm 
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Cancer society panders to corporate donors

When I ask audiences to raise their hand if someone they love has had cancer, almost every hand goes up. That's because 50 percent of men and 33 percent of women will get cancer in their lifetimes. One hundred years ago your chance of dying of cancer was 1 in 33. It is now 1 in 4.

That difference is not explained just by a longer life expectancy today giving us more years to develop cancer. Childhood cancer rates have risen 40 to 60 percent in the past 25 years.

Last week the President's Panel on Cancer announced a remarkable report echoing a message the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment have been delivering for several years: Environmental degradation is responsible for a much larger portion of our cancer burden than previously thought.

Gathering the latest research from hundreds of new medical studies, the panel stated "the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated." They called for a paradigm shift in emphasis from treatment to prevention, and changing the search for causes from genes to environmental impacts on gene function -- a branch of science called epigenetics.

The World Health Organization has estimated that 80 percent of cancer and 30 percent of the world's overall disease burden is environmentally caused.

Sources of contaminants include pesticide residues in food, chemicals leaching from packaging, plastics, personal care products, radiation, and air and water pollution. The air inside the average home harbors more than 400 different chemicals, some originating from air pollution in the community and others from household products. Common fruits and vegetables often contain residues of 60 or more different pesticides.

In their cover letter to President Obama, the panelists wrote, "American people -- even before they are born -- are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures."

Virtually from the moment of conception, human embryos in their mothers' wombs are contaminated by hundreds of environmental toxins capable of wreaking havoc even at infinitesimally low levels of exposure, leading to cancer, birth defects, diminished intellectual capacity, behavior disturbances and numerous chronic diseases later in life. Some of these environmentally caused epigenetic changes can be passed on to subsequent generations thus jeopardizing their health as well.

On many painful realities -- the climate crisis and a diminishing global oil supply come to mind -- scientists are already struggling to get the public and politicians to discard their denial pacifiers. An environment choked with carcinogens will be another reality for which denial will prove much more comforting. Ironically, the American Cancer Society (ACS) nurtures that denial.

Immediately after the report, the ACS issued essentially a rebuttal, criticizing it as speculative, and diverting attention from "more significant" factors like poor lifestyle choices -- smoking, overeating and lack of exercise. To suggest that Americans can only contemplate one cause of cancer is bewildering. But this "blame the victim" philosophy has been promoted by the ACS for more than 40 years, with a trivialization of environmental risks and a determined dismissal of new research.

Dr. Samuel Epstein, author of The Politics of Cancer and former head of a congressional committee on cancer, is only one of many critics who argue the ACS "priorities remain fixated on after the fact damage control -- screening, diagnosis, and treatment" -- to the virtual exclusion of cause and prevention.

The ACS has long-standing conflicts of interest with a wide range of industries that manufacture chemotherapy drugs, agrichemicals and radiation therapy equipment. In fact, ACS spokesman Dr. Michael Thun admits the society's corporate connections.

"The American Cancer Society views relationships with corporations as a source of revenue for cancer prevention," said Dr. Thun. "That can be construed as an inherent conflict of interest, or it can be construed as a pragmatic way to get funding to support cancer control." Or it can be construed as what it is: undermining cancer prevention for financial gain -- like the Goldman Sachs of health care.

It's hard to think of an issue that reaches deeper into our personal lives than cancer.

Six members of my family have had cancer, including two of my children. They illustrate the need to emphasize prevention over treatment. If the ACS can't muster the integrity to help prevent environmentally induced cancer it should at least stop obstructing the efforts of others who try.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:03 pm 
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Five-year heart warning for over-55s

Almost half of all Australians aged 55 or over are at high risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, doctors say.

And one in five are at extreme risk, with at least a 30 per cent chance of a potentially fatal event, a new study by Access Economics has found.

"We are seeing an unprecedented level of heart attack and stroke risk within the ageing community, a group we are now calling Generation Risk, cardiologist Dr Greg Conner said in a statement on Wednesday.

Those most at risk were people who took part in little physical inactivity, contributing to them being overweight or obese.

High blood pressure and high cholesterol were other risk factors, Dr Conner added.

To reduce the risk, lifestyle changes and medications are necessary.

"Medications for conditions such as high blood pressure can reduce an individual's risk of heart attack or stroke, but are grossly under-utilised in the long term," cardiologist Professor Murray Esler said.

"The (Access Economics) report shows that one in five people stop taking blood pressure medications after just one month, and 80 per cent stop taking these medications after 30 months.

"The analysis revealed that the risk of a `catastrophic' cardiovascular event could be reduced by up to 22 per cent if these patients continued with therapy," Professor Esler said.

Access Economics director Lynne Pezzullo said cardiovascular disease is likely to claim the lives of 17,000 Australians over the age of 55 in 2010 alone.

"Over 55s now represent one quarter of the Australian population and, with population ageing, this will only increase, bringing with it a dramatic rise in the level of cardiovascular risk," she said.

The report was commissioned by German pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, which develops blood pressure medications. ... -vctp.html

[comment - medications would not be necessary if the right lifestyle - diet and exercise - were used]

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:53 pm 
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B.C. cancer statistics attributed to healthy lifestyles, good medical care

Nearly 22,000 B.C. residents will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year and about 9,500 will die from it, but the positive news is the province has the lowest overall death and incidence rates in the country.

The favourable statistics are attributed to B.C.'s lower physical inactivity rates (46.3 per cent versus the 51 per cent national average); lowest smoking rate (17.8 per cent versus national average of 21.9 per cent) and obesity rates (29.7 per cent versus 32.4 per cent national average). The better cancer outcomes may also stem from "exceptional" medical care through the BC Cancer Agency and effective early detection screening programs, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

"Although two out of every five people in this province will get cancer in their lifetime, it is a good news story in the sense that incidence rates are holding steady, or in some cases, are on the decline," said Kathryn Seely, public issues manager for the Canadian Cancer Society (B. C. and Yukon), commenting on the 2010 Canadian Cancer Statistics report released Wednesday.

Cancer is the leading cause of death and the latest report shows that for those diagnosed in 2002 to 2004, the five-year survival rate is 54 per cent.

Seely said lung cancer remains the biggest cancer killer -- 26.3 per cent of all cancer deaths in B.C. are attributable to lung cancer. The figure would be higher were it not for the fact that B.C. has the lowest smoking rate among residents over the age of 12 in Canada.

"But it would be great to get that down to single digits," she said, adding that it could be achieved through even higher taxes on cigarettes and smoking bans in outside areas.

Seely said she is concerned about the effect the harmonized sales tax will have on smoking cessation since nicotine replacement products, which have been exempted from provincial sales tax, will now increase in price due to the HST.

The cancer society has tried lobbying the government for subsidies to offset nicotine replacement therapy products (NRT) and Seely said a report from Pharmacare, due to be released sometime this summer, is expected to address the issue of NRT costs.

Fifty per cent of cancers could be prevented through lifestyle choices, Seely said, pointing to findings from various studies. Tobacco is said to account for about 30 per cent of cancers. Poor diet, inactivity and obesity contribute to another 30 per cent of cancers. Hazardous occupations and other environmental risks can be blamed for seven per cent of cancer cases while family history is linked to another seven per cent. Radiation and/or sunlight is blamed for two per cent, and up to 24 per cent of cancers are not believed to be preventable through modifiable risk factors.

The report focuses on end-of-life care among cancer patients, using data from B.C., Ontario and Nova Scotia for comparison purposes. While surveys of patients show most would prefer to die at home rather than hospital, only 20 per cent of B.C. patients die at home, 60 per cent die in hospital and the rest die in other facilities like nursing homes.

Of nearly 30,000 deaths in B.C. in 2005 (from all causes), just over 8,000 could have used palliative care to ease patients' suffering but only 4,000 actually received some form of palliative care, according to the report, which also showed end-of-life care provided in hospital is 10 times more expensive than home care.

Seely said a Senate report in 1995 identified a patchwork of services related to end-of-life care. A decade later, a followup report found little progress on the matter. Now a Parliamentary committee has been struck to revisit the matter and she is hopeful that issues like caregiver financial support will finally be addressed. ... story.html

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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:33 pm 
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Curb little doses to combat cancer

The President's Cancer Panel on May 6 released a remarkable report that charts a course for avoiding thousands of cases of cancer in the coming years. The panel heard from experts on occupational and environmental causes of cancer over a two-year period (2008-2009) and found the amount of cancer in the U.S. resulting from these causes has been significantly underestimated in the past.

The report further noted that infants, children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to environmental contaminants. They noted and that prevention and regulatory efforts have heretofore been reactionary rather than precautionary and need to be strengthened.

One recommendation, in particular, was that "green chemistry" should be supported and that toxic and carcinogenic substances should not be used in manufacturing products where safer alternatives are available.

What a breath of fresh air this provides to worker health and environmental health advocates!

I was one of the 45 scientists who provided testimony to the President's Cancer Panel and its staff from the National Cancer Institute. I described some of the scientific evidence that has developed over the past two or three decades about our widespread exposure to environmental and occupational carcinogens, and the complex interactions with other factors that have driven cancer rates to their present levels.

I quoted French Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier, who said: "There's an accumulation of these doses — they all add up. A little dose of radiation here, and exposure to some chemical there, a bit of something in your food, and so on ... may bring about a cancer."

What I think we need is a national commitment to address more of these little additive doses, along with major ones like tobacco and excessive ultraviolet light, to lessen the burden of cancer in our communities and workplaces.

Other scientists who made presentations to the President's Cancer Panel over the two years attested to the range of carcinogens in drinking water, indoor and outdoor air, pesticides that farm workers and their families have been exposed to, and radiation in homes, workplaces and from excessive use of CT scans.

The amount of information that has been learned about these topics is enormous, and it compels stronger action at every level.

In Massachusetts, for example, lessons such as the childhood leukemia cluster in Woburn, the ongoing scourge of asbestos-related cancers in workers, and the still unexplained high rate of breast cancer in women in several parts of the state have motivated action. One form this has taken is the Safer Alternatives Bill (H-757 and S-442), which is sponsored by Rep. Jay Kaufman and Sen. Steve Tolman and supported by a broad coalition of community and labor organizations, academics, additional legislators and advocates.

At the federal level, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman and Sen. Frank Lautenberg are proposing chemical policy reform this year to replace our antiquated Toxic Substances Control Act.

With the strong backing of the President's Cancer Panel, and the wise recommendations and calls to action it concludes with, these state and federal efforts have a chance to make real headway this year. What a welcome turn of events this turns out to be.

Richard Clapp is a professor at Boston University School of Public Health and former director of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry in the Department of Public Health. ... -1/NEWSMAP

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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 11:37 am 
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Baby boomers at severe CVD risk

One in five cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients stop taking their medications within the first month of treatment, reveals a new report highlighting baby boomers at severe risk of unrecognised CVD risk factors.

The Generation Risk report, released today by Access Economics, found 1.1 million people aged 55 years or older face a 30 per cent likelihood of heart attack or stroke within five years.

Calculating CVD risk in Australians aged 55 or over on a scale similar to the one used for bushfire warnings, the report was based on an accumulation of asymptomatic or ‘silent’ risk factors such as high blood pressure, being overweight or smoking.

Within the population group aged 55 years or older, three out of four are physically inactive, 70 per cent are overweight or obese, 58 per cent have high cholesterol, 51 per cent have hypertension, 26 per cent have diabetes and 14 per cent have had a prior CVD event.

According to the scale, twice as many males fall into the ‘high risk’ category or greater, facing at least a 15 per cent chance of a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, Dr Greg Conner, cardiologist, Cardiovascular Diagnostic Services and the report’s expert advisor, said 80 per cent of at-risk patients stop taking their blood pressure medications after 30 months.

“The best drug in the world is not going to work if the patient doesn’t take it,” said Dr Conner.

He added some medications can reduce the risk of a CVD event by 22 per cent, but stressed that persistence with medications designed to reduce risk is poor while statistics show medication non-compliance doubles the risk of a CVD event.

“Doctors and patients have a problem identifying risk,” said Dr Conner, adding that the medical community is losing the ability to identify these patients.

“Where there is smoke, there will eventually be fire unless people make the necessary lifestyle modifications and, in many cases, undergo life-long therapy to prevent a heart attack or stroke.”

The report revealed that this year, 70,000 people will be hospitalised and 17,000 people will die due to a CVD event. ... 17313.aspx

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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 11:41 am 
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More older Australians dying of asthma

The number of people over 45 dying from asthma attacks has increased in the past five years, according to research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

The study found that in 2006, 402 people died from asthma, up from 318 the year before.

Dr Adrian Webster, who led the research, says the report looked at asthma among older people as a particular focus because "it's something that hasn't got a lot of focus in reports in the past".

"What we have found is that ... 92 per cent of deaths due to asthma occurred in those aged 45 years and over.

"In the last couple of years there does seem to be some indication that either we're plateauing or there in fact may be an increase in the number of deaths."

Dick Ruffin, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide, says while the prevalence of asthma is more common among younger people, the older generation is not immune.

"The thought that older people can't get asthma for the first time in later life is incorrect," he said. "People can get asthma later on."

People with asthma say the study's findings highlight the importance of having the disorder diagnosed early.

Retired government worker Kevin Gill, 63, was only diagnosed with asthma 10 years ago.

He is one of 2 million Australians living with the condition and part of the growing number at risk of fatal attacks.

"When I was really gasping for some air one night I decided to go and seek help," he said.

"I realised I may have breathing difficulties like asthma perhaps in my mid-50s, and when I visited my GP, some tests were done and certainly I had breathing difficulty and some degree of breathing obstruction."

Asthma Australia spokeswoman Debra Kay says the research will help dispel many myths.

"I think people generally think of asthma as a young person's disease - most people know a child with asthma, but many older Australians have asthma - one in 10 Australians, in fact, has asthma," she said.

"It's easy for older Australians to think that their shortness of breath is just older age, and that's what happens, but that's not the case." ... ion=justin

[comment - in case you are wondering chronic illnesses like asthma they have share many of the same risk factors as cancer]

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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 7:21 pm 
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Naturally Prevent and Remove Dangerous Arterial Plaque

(NaturalNews) The arteries are major blood vessels that the heart uses to pump blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Over time, arterial walls can become congested with a fatty substance known as plaque. When this happens to a severe point, the arteries may begin to harden and the blood flow can become compromised and ultimately result in a heart attack. Mainstream medicine's approach for treating plaque is to use drugs or surgery. However, there are natural ways to prevent and remove plaque.

As is the case when addressing many health concerns, exercise and diet can play major roles in avoiding and reducing plaque. Exercise is already known for many benefits to the body such as reducing risk factors for disease, better mental function, and weight control. Exercise can also improve your circulation which can help reduce plaque. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can do this by getting 30 to 60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.

When it comes to diet, what you avoid is equally important as what you eat. Many foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol can cause plaque to build up. Some examples include deep fried foods, foods that are high in trans fats, refined foods, and processed foods. Alcohol should also be avoided and red meat should be eaten in small portions.

Foods that are nutrient dense, high in fiber, low in sodium and low in saturated fat help avoid and reduce arterial plaque. Fiber helps block the intestinal absorption of cholesterol. It also makes you feel full longer which can result in less overall calorie consumption. Some examples of fiber-rich foods include whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body cannot make on its own. They can be found in supplements and also in foods like cold water fish, walnuts, flax seeds and healthy oils such as olive oil. Fish oil supplements can lower blood pressure and reduce arterial plaque and they also lower triglycerides.

Niacin raises HDL, which is known as "good cholesterol". HDL cholesterol removes bad LDL cholesterol and arterial plaque. According to the FDA, "Niacin is the best agent known to raise blood levels of HDL, which helps remove cholesterol deposits from the artery walls." Naturally the FDA removed this quote from their website.

Vitamin C is crucial in repair and healing of the endothelial layer of cells inside of coronary and carotid arteries. When this layer is not maintained properly by the body, it can become the site for lesions that begin the process of atherosclerosis.

Coenzyme Q10 strengthens arteries and veins and cleans out accumulated plaque.

Digestive enzymes help break down the food our body does not digest. When taken on an empty stomach, they enter the bloodstream intact. As they circulate, they remove toxins and break down the fats responsible for plaque formation. Digestive enzymes in supplements and raw foods help prevent heart disease.

Serrapeptase is a particularly potent digestive enzyme when it comes to dissolving arterial plaque. It has the unique ability to digest non-living tissue that is a by-product of the healing response without harming living tissue. Serrapeptase is used to dissolve non-living tissues to include: scar tissue, fibrosis, blood clots, cysts and arterial plaque.

Some herbal remedies can also help fight plaque by improving circulation, reducing blood clots, lowering cholesterol and reducing stress. The herb hawthorn helps remove plaque blockages by widening blood vessels. Horsetail is rich in silica and can aid removal of plaque by strengthening artery walls.

Other helpful herbs include ashwagandha, ginger, garlic and guggul. ... edies.html

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