Cancer Watch October 2010

2010 Research


Just click on the title to read the article


Mobile Phones, inconsistent corporate responsibility and safety warnings

As my regular readers will know I have always held clear views on Mobile Phones.

Firstly, they may well cause both malignant and non-malignant brain tumours. If you look at the non-mobile phone company sponsored research, it is pretty consistent in its claim that the risks increase.

However, the rate of brain tumours is so low in the population as a whole that it is hard (unless the research sample taken is over a few million people) to draw conclusions that will stand up with any mathematical significance. This week a study expresses concern; next week another study will be produced by the mobile phone boys muddying the waters.

I am far more concerned that the issue of brain tumours (and remember my 26 year-old daughter died of one) takes people’s focus away from issues of potentially greater harm - like the electromagnetic forces damaging developing nervous and brain tissue and interfering with a person’s natural body energy, something Western Medical Science knows frighteningly little about.

Police high-powered mobile phones have been associated with everything from headaches, to sickness, to deafness. Research on carrying a phone, even only on standby, has shown lowered immune systems and even lowered sperm count.

This has huge implications for our overall health, particularly in young people.

Having been a part of the marketing and business team that launched Mercury 1-2-1, a new mass-market breed of mobile phones in the UK in the early nineties I have a fair bit of knowledge on this subject you may like to read my article ’Mobile Phones it’s your call’. My view is that these large corporations need to act responsibly. Far from frightening people, an on pack warning if done voluntarily will gain them enormous respect.

Take the case of the cigarette boys in the USA. When the first law suits came out, it wasn’t a case of ’You caused my cancer’, but ’You told a Senate hearing that nicotine wasn’t addictive, whilst all along having research indicating it was! You should have been responsible and told us.

Now the mobile phone boys have decided to warn us but in a way that seems more about protecting them from harm, not my children. Apple tell people to keep their turned-on iPhone at least 15mm away from the body; Blackberry tell customers to use their phones ’hands-free’ or keep them an inch from the body (especially from the abdomen of pregnant women!), while other manufacturers have various and similar warnings.

Unfortunately your kids are unlikely to notice these warnings as they are buried in the small print of the leaflets inside the box!

Last year various countries within the International Interphone study broke rank and expressed real concerns over long-term mobile phone usage, contradicting the broad safety conclusions of this important, but yet again Telecom-funded, study.

At that time an independent report by mobile phone and EMF experts throughout the world asked me to comment on their own findings in their research review and I said this, which I stand by, In a world where a drug cannot be launched without proof that it is safe, where the use of herbs and natural compounds available to all since early Egyptian times are now questioned, their safety subjected to the deepest scrutiny, where a new food cannot be launched without prior approval, the idea that we use mobile telephony, including masts, and introduce WiFi and mobile phones without restrictions around our 5 year olds is double-standards gone mad.

I speak, not just as an editor and scientist that has looked in depth at all the research, but as a father that lost his beloved daughter to a brain tumor.
Mobile Phone company directors, if they care about their public image should start to behave more responsibly, reflecting that they too are mothers and fathers, and custodians of shareholder interests shareholders that themselves use mobile phones.

It is ludicrous to publicly claim that mobile phones are safe whilst simultaneously warning people not to carry them on their bodies or to use them hands-free.

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HRT When will they ban this dangerous drug?


The European Medicines Agency has taken diabetes drug, Avandia (also known as Rosiglitazone, off the market after the UK drug safety committee called for it to be withdrawn.  On the market for ten years, Avandia at one point was one of the best selling drugs in the world with sales peaking at a mere $5 billion. UK Doctors wrote over one million prescriptions last year. However the British Medical Journal called for its withdrawal on safety grounds and only recently clinical trials showed that the risks of heart attack amongst users rose between 20 and 40 per cent. Various interested parties had claimed that heart attack risk was anyway higher in people with diabetes, but the evidence against the drug ’slowly mounted and became overwhelming’ according to the Medical bodies supposed to protect us all from these sorts of dangers.

Contrast this with HRT. In 2002 a 5-year research study was halted in the USA after women taking HRT were shown to have higher risk of heart attacks, strokes and breast cancer. Whilst the group of women taking only ’synthetic oestrogen’ HRT had a 26 per cent increase in breast cancer, the group taking a mixed ’synthetic oestrogen/progestin’ pill had a doubling of breast cancer! Warnings were issued in the USA, not for breast cancer, but for the increased heart problems. The trial continued for the group taking the oestrogen only pill; the trial for the mixed pill was ended.

The media comment was huge. So much so that millions of American women stopped taking the drug. Within just three years, the number of breast cancer cases in the US had fallen by 7 per cent. In Cancer Watch we have covered UK Medical concerns that ’The risks of HRT outweigh the benefits’, and even Cancer Research UK talking about oestrogen’s ability to drive cancer and thus fears for people taking HRT. The German Health minister even called HRT ’the new Thalidomide’.

But what happened to the drug? Nothing.

Is there a similar ’mounting body of evidence?’ Well, certainly, the US research was not a one-off. The Boston Nurses Study back in the mid-nineties showed a 26 per cent increased risk for breast cancer and HRT. Reanalysis of the figures showed increased risks for other cancers, rising with the length of time a woman spent on the drug. Heart problems have often been associated with the drug. The UK Million Women study also came up with an increased risk figure for breast cancer of 26 per cent.

The problem is that, like Avandia, HRT is very big business and various ’experts’ (some genuine and others with vested interests) then muddy the waters.

Now a Canadian Study has replicated the American results. Between 2002 and 2004, the scares over HRT resulted in just 4.9 per cent of Canadian women taking HRT, falling from the figure of 12.7 per cent. At the same time invasive breast cancer rates fell 9.6 per cent.

However the waters are still muddied because after a few years the cancer rates began to rise again (they are rising anyway!) allowing the researchers to conclude that HRT had not ’caused’ invasive breast cancer, but merely brought it forward! So that’s alright then.

No mention was made of the heart attack and stroke risks.

HRT is regularly prescribed after menopause to relieve the symptoms of hot flushes, mood changes and night sweats.

As Peter Walsh, Chief Exec of the patient safety charity ’Action against Medical Accidents’ said of Avandia, We need a review of how medicines are regulated in the UK and Europe as a whole. We fear the pharmaceutical companies have far more influence than they should have Surely not!

Interestingly The UK Commission on Human Medicines had previously uttered the concerned phrase about Avandia that ’the risks outweigh its benefits’.

Worse in America, the FDA does not even have the legal powers to suspend a drug it has previously approved, so it can only add some restrictions to the use of Avandia.

And now a word or two about those dodgy vitamins, natural compounds and the massive UK market worth about $500 million the quack busters are always shouting about .
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2010 Research
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