Tag Archives | Cancer
Cath Ennis, an expat Brit working as a cancer genomics project manager in Vancouver, Canada, explains why she’s feeling so crabby about cancer conspiracy theories in the Guardian:
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I remember exactly where I was the very first time I learned that I was part of a global conspiracy, raking in millions of dollars and laughing sadistically as people died all around me: I was at my friends’ 2004 Christmas party, and had just told a fellow guest that I was a research scientist and worked at the BC Cancer Agency.
The millions of dollars were news to me, given that as a freshly minted PhD I was making C$35,000 (£22,000) a year at the time. However, what really took me aback was the sheer vehemence of the anger being directed at me by my friends’ new neighbour. He jabbed his finger at me as he raised his voice and ranted about how “all you scientists are sitting on a 100% effective cure for cancer” (“a bunch of vitamins smushed together with proteins” were his exact words), watching millions of people die as we counted the royalty money from the “useless poisons” we were forcing people to take.
[Note: the opinions expressed below are those of the contributor alone and publication does not indicate that The Disinformation Company endorses those opinions. This post was submitted as a response to the earlier post Burzynski: Fighting the Big Pharma Cartel to Cure Cancer.]Over 10 years ago, a friend of mine whose son had spent the better part of the past year fighting a brain tumor called me and said that her boy was too sick to be included in an experimental trial at St. Jude’s. She was truly disconsolate and desperate. She told me that she had heard of a doctor “out West” who was treating cancer patients with an extract of human urine and was reported to have cured all sorts of cancers. With a very heavy heart I had to destroy the last hope for a cure for her son; if he had really cured cancer, he would have multiple Nobel Prizes for curing one of man’s most universally feared scourges. She was devastated, but she saved her son the trial of a last long trip, and he died peacefully at home a few weeks later, which I guess is worth something. I never forgave that doctor for putting me in that position, and only last year I found out who he was. His name is Stanislaw Burzynski. He works out of his clinic in Houston. He is the discoverer, manufacturer, prescriber, and dispenser of what he calls “antineoplastons” (ANP), which he first extracted from human urine in the 1970s but now produces synthetically. I learned his name because an occasional employee of his had sent legalistic threats to bloggers who questioned the validity of his treatments, which he has given for over 30 years under the guise of “clinical testing” with staggeringly unpromising results. What brought Burzynski back to the attention of the blogosphere was the way that Burzynski’s shill and occasional hired help, Marc Stephens, not only threatened teenageer Rhys Morgan’s family with legal action but also sent them a picture of their house, the unmistakable message “we know where you live.” Despite the thuggery of some of his supporters (which included the creation of a website at the same IP as burzynskipatientgroup.org that defamed numerous skeptics, myself included, as pederasts), his decades-long failure to produce a single convincing study about ANP’s efficacy...
[Note: the opinions expressed below are those of the contributor alone and publication does not indicate that The Disinformation Company endorses those opinions.]My friend Talitha Thayla organized a screening of Burzynski: The Movie at Traditions Cafe in downtown Olympia, WA. It's a movie about the legal struggles of Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, a physician whose antineoplaston cancer treatments has earned the ire of the United States Food and Drug Administration. The movie depicts patients being cured of aggressive brain cancers when the only alternative was crippling doses of radiation and chemo. You can watch the video in this post. As I watched the movie a familiar pattern unfolded: A monopolistic big business cartel uses the legal system to conduct a witch hunt against an individual who threatens their hegemony in keeping themselves rich and the public powerless. Only this time there is a refreshing twist: Burzynski is making headway in the fight. He's beaten the Texas Medical Board's and the FDA's malicious prosecutions Five times. One thing the FDA in its witch hunt against Dr. Burzynski never denied: His natural, non-invasive non-toxic therapy cures cancer. Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business from BurzynskiMovie on Vimeo.
In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof describes what he terms the “cancer lobby” — how major industry spends millions of dollars to influence Congress in support of carcinogenic chemicals:
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Who knew that carcinogens had their own lobby in Washington? Just consider formaldehyde, which is found in everything from nail polish to kitchen countertops, fabric softeners to carpets. Largely because of its use in building materials, we breathe formaldehyde fumes when we’re inside our homes. According to government scientists, it causes cancer.
The chemical industry is working frantically to suppress that scientific consensus — because it fears “public confusion.” Big Chem apparently worries that you might be confused if you learned that formaldehyde caused cancer of the nose and throat, and perhaps leukemia.
The industry’s strategy is to lobby Congress to cut off money for the Report on Carcinogens, a 500-page consensus document published every two years by the National Institutes of Health, containing the best information about what agents cause cancer.
Will the jaws of future generations drop in amazement when they learn that marijuana was banned in our society as a criminal substance? Via the Daily Beast:
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Mounting evidence shows ‘cannabinoids’ in marijuana slow cancer growth, inhibit formation of new blood cells that feed a tumor, and help manage pain, fatigue, nausea, and other side effects. [This] offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy.
Cristina Sanchez, a young biologist at Complutense University in Madrid, was studying cell metabolism when she noticed something peculiar. She had been screening brain cancer cells [and realized] the cancer cells died each time they were exposed to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.
Sanchez had stumbled upon the anti-cancer properties of THC. Subsequent peer-reviewed studies in several countries would show that THC and other marijuana-derived compounds, known as “cannabinoids,” are effective not only for cancer-symptom management (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue), they also confer a direct antitumoral effect.
When the quest for the outward appearance of vibrant health hastens death. AFP reports:
Sunbed users run a 20 percent higher risk than non-users of developing skin cancer, according to a report that blamed some 800 melanoma deaths in Europe every year on indoor tanning.
About 3,400 of some 64,000 new cases of cutaneous melanoma diagnosed in 18 European countries every year are related to sunbed use — more than five percent, said a statement issued by the BMJ medical journal. The risk doubled if tanners started before the age of 35.
The findings were based on an analysis by researchers of 27 studies on skin cancer and sunbed use conducted between 1981 and 2012 in Britain, France, Germany and other countries.
From the office of unintended consequences:
A recent scientific report highlighted at Popular Science indicates that those energy-saving fluorescent bulbs may not be all they’re – ahem – cracked up to be. The study, led by a team at Stony Brook, revealed that microscopic fissures in the bulbs can expose skin to harmful UV rays, resulting in potential cellular damage.
Is it anything to worry about? Probably not, but it’s a reminder that there is always a potentially hazardous side to any technological innovation, some of which aren’t apparent until its too late.
I’m reminded of the “radium girls” who worked the lines painting clock dials with the radioactive substance at the Waterbury Clock Factory in Ottawa, IL. They’d lick their brushes to keep the tips pointed between clocks, and some of them would paint it on their buttons for fun. After all, radium was harmless, right?… Read the rest
Lucia Graves writes at the Huffington Post:
For 13 years Sofia Gatica has organized opposition to the aerial spraying of agrochemicals that threaten human health and the environment in Argentina — and for almost as long, she and her children have faced physical threats from anonymous agents.
Gatica, who lives in a working-class neighborhood of 6,000 in central Argentina surrounded by soy fields, began organizing against Monsanto after she noticed a disturbingly high rate of cancer and birth defects in her community. Her own 3-day-old daughter died of kidney failure in 1999, and a neighbor had a baby die of the same uncommon birth defect.
“I started seeing children with mouth covers, mothers with scarves wrapped around their heads to cover their baldness, due to chemotherapy,” she told Grist in an interview, explaining what inspired her to co-found Mothers of Ituzaingó. The efforts of those half-dozen mothers, who began going from door to door collecting information on health problems in their community, led to the first epidemiological study that showed cancer rates in Gatica’s hometown of Ituzaingó were 41 times the national average, with high rates of birth defects and infant mortality as well.Within a few years of the study’s publication, and as her advocacy work gave her a higher profile, Gatica began to receive death threats, culminating in an incident in late 2007…