Think ... People,  THINK!


The billions and billions of dollars spent on "cancer" research have indeed provided a wealth of facts about how the human body works, but has not provided either a prevention or a cure for cancer. The literature, both scientific and otherwise, contains a vast amount of theories about how cancer originates in the body. Our "genes" seem to top the list of factors in our susceptibility to cancer, with the "environment" as the primary cause of cancer. Will cancer be eliminated in the future?

I think not. Gene manipulation may become a way to prohibit the growth/spread of cancer within the body, and reducing the man-made carcinogens in the environment should indeed reduce the number of cancer cases. But I think there are at least two naturally occurring phenomena that will always cause some cancer: (1) radon gas, naturally occurring on earth, and (2) cosmic radiation.

Radon gas comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air we breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. Radon gas has particularly been associated with lung cancer, and maps of radon gas level by County have been developed by the Environmental Protection Agency. The National Cancer Institute states that cigarette smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer, and radon is the second leading cause. The Institute states that scientists estimate approximately 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year are related to radon: the EPA estimate for 2003 was 21,000 deaths. In 2005 the Surgeon General issued a health advisory on radon as a serious health risk and it was estimated that 1 in 15 homes had radon levels above the "radon action level". Radon's possible link with other cancers has not been assessed.

Less information is available concerning cosmic radiation as a cause of cancer. In theory, small amounts of radiation in any form can start off chains of events that may lead to cancer many years later. The body's repair mechanisms often can repair the initial damage that is done before a cancer develops. But a cosmic particle disrupting a particular body atom at just the right time will always be a possible cause of cancer.

I think we need to accept cancer as inherent in our life on earth. We need to care and comfort those with cancer, and continue in "reasonable" efforts to reduce the incidents of cancer. We should do inexpensive radon testing both where we live and where we work. But we shouldn't do stupid things in the name of cancer. If 10% of what we pay for a certain food (e.g. candy or soft drink) is to be donated to "cancer research", are we doing more harm individually to ourselves by eating that food than is gained through cancer research? According to the World Health Organization, Cardiovascular diseases kill more people each year than any other diseases. In high-income countries, 16.7% deaths are from cardiovascular diseases; 7.2% are from colon, breast and stomach cancers combined. It is estimated that 5 million people die worldwide each year from starvation. Where should we best concentrate our resources?

What do you think?

In addition to cancer, there are many other diseases where the origin is unknown and could possibly be linked to radiation. The HPRT protein appears to be the culprit in Lesch-Nyhan disease. The associated gene sequence, found in the X chromosone, is well known but no single mutation causes the disease; mutations apparently appear spontaneously in each affected family. Once the mutation occurs, the inheritance sequence is established and deadly. Rett syndrome is caused by a mutation in a gene that codes for the MeCP2 protein. Williams syndrome is caused by a code aberration in chromosome 7. Although radioactive radon gas has been particularly associated with lung cancer, can it (or cosmic radiation) also be a culprit in other cancers and other diseases? The amount of exposure to a particular source of radiation seems to be the common critical factor in the multitude of studies that have been done on manmade radiation sources. With radon gas radiation and cosmic radiation with us at all times, even at very low levels, we cannot rule out these factors as factors (causes) in many human maladies.

I think the molecular/nuclear physics and the gene medical fields need to jointly conduct studies on the effects of the broad spectrum of radiation on genes and their associated substructures down to the molecular/atomic level. I think a possible radon link with other cancers needs to be studied. I think studies/experiments of cosmic radiation need to be expanded. I think the radon gas threat needs to be as widely publicized as the smoking threat.

What do you think?

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