Friday, September 23, 2005

Healthy Skepticism on Cancer

Here are some stats from a new book called “What Canadians Think about Almost Everything
  • 7 out of 10 Canadians are confident that within their life-time scientists will find a cure for cancer.
  • 68% think that , within the next ten years, cancer will become something you live with, rather than something you die from.
  • 9 in 10 Canadians would like to know more about latest advances in cancer research.
And here is a comment about this data from Dr. Ralph Faggotter, an Australian General Practioner who is on the management team of the organization Healthy Skepticism. These are comments he made on a private listerv I am a member of. He’s given me permission to share his opinion.

“The results of this poll are not surprising since we are constantly being bombarded by the media with stories of scientific breakthroughs which have just occurred or are just about to occur. These stories usually predict that massive benefits for humankind will flow from these impending discoveries. This constantly replayed mantra serves to reinforce the essential underlying theme of modernity, which is the notion of constant progress through science and technology.

It is not surprising, therefore, that most people believe that technology will 'cure cancer' soon.

It is also not surprising that people can’t cope with the following facts.

1/. Over-all technology creates much more cancer than it stops. Modern humans are living in a thick soup of chemical carcinogenic toxins created by the same system which claims to be working on 'curing cancer.' The dramatic rise in the incidence of cancers in the developed world over the last 60 years FOLLOWS the dramatic rise in technology.

2/. Digital technology and DNA technology have been very successful in recent years and this tends to obscure the fact that there has actually been very little change in the rest of technology over the last 25 years. (Even with digital and DNA technology, the basic science was worked out well before the last 25 years.) The real wonder is that that millions of scientists/researchers working with huge budgets all over the world have, after 25 years, been able to come up with so little.

The main drugs used to treat cancer have not changed much since I worked in oncology as an intern in 1980. Yes, there appear to be new drugs based on understanding the human genome in the pipeline, but these will be incredibly expensive and targeted to very specific situations as is the nature of DNA based technology. Furthermore, the same technology which enables these medications to be produced, also enables genetic engineering of a range of organisms in which the inherent dangers of increasing the rates of cancer creation even further are obvious. It is therefore probable that in the long-run, DNA based technologies will increase the incidence of cancer mortality not reduce it.

3/. Surely it makes more sense to reduce the risk of developing cancer, which can be done very cheaply ( in fact your society can save money in the process) rather than spending massive amounts of money and effort on pointlessly trying to find that forever elusive cure? What we need is less technology, not more. Over 20,000 different chemicals are commonly used by industry and we are exposed to these. Most of them have not been properly studied long-term. (You force feed the chemical to some rats and if they don’t all die within 24 hours you declare the chemical safe .) We need less carcinogenic chemicals in our food, clothing, agriculture, houses, gardens, workplaces, schools and transport systems.

5/. Technology makes us lazy and fat so that even if the carcinogens don’t get us, coronary artery disease and diabetes will. It makes me sad to see China industrializing according to the Western pattern and making the same errors. Out go the bicycles and in come the cars. Out goes fitness and in comes unfitness, respiratory disease from pollution, cancer heart disease and diabetes! Disaster! That's progress. ”

Indeed. Thank you, Doctor.


Blogger Herbinator said...

Great post!

September 24, 2005  
Blogger adhd said...

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October 31, 2005  
Blogger adhddeficit said...

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November 18, 2005  
Blogger Adhd Specialist said...

Hi Sh tering Rose-Colored Glasses,

Thanks for the post, looking forward to more great stuff.

November 22, 2005  
Blogger adhdchild said...

Hi Sh tering Rose-Colored Glasses,

I've seen this post before but important things are always worth reminding. After all, repetition is the mother of learning.

November 26, 2005  
Blogger Tito Maury said...

Hi Sh tering Rose-Colored Glasses, I found your post Healthy Skepticism on Cancer while doing some research on antidepressant medications. I like your blog, thank you for sharing the information and keep up the good work!. I really found some useful info!
I'll be back to see if you have any posts about antidepressant medications. Bye

January 03, 2006  

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