Cancer Report from USDHHS

I somehow missed this, in May when it came out, but Jill Richardson on La Vida Locavore published this:

The Bombshell Dropped in May about Cancer

This report by the U.S. Department of Heath and Human Services is a must-read: Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What we can do now.

Want to see a really scary quote from that report? Try this one on for size: “Approximately 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and about 21 percent will die from cancer.”

41%. Forty-frickin’-one Percent.

Want a few more? Here’s one: “Research on environmental causes of cancer has been limited by low priority and inadequate funding.” (Well, okay, so that one isn’t so shocking.)  Another: “The prevailing regulatory approach in the United States is reactionary rather than precautionary. That is, instead of taking preventive action when uncertainty exists about the potential harm a chemical or other environmental contaminant may cause, a hazard must be incontrovertibly demonstrated before action to ameliorate it is initiated. Moreover, instead of requiring industry or other proponents of specific chemicals, devices, or activities to prove their safety, the public bears the burden of proving that a given environmental exposure is harmful. Only a few hundred of the more than 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States have been tested for safety.”  Only a few hundred.  Out of more than eighty thousand.   And it goes on: “U.S. regulation of environmental contaminants is rendered ineffective by five major problems: (1) inadequate funding and insufficient staffing, (2) fragmented and overlapping authorities coupled with uneven and decentralized enforcement, (3) excessive regulatory complexity, (4) weak laws and regulations, and (5) undue industry influence.”

Gotta love number 5, right?

And here’s another beaut: “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…Medical imaging of children is of special concern; compared with adults, children have many more years of life during which a malignancy initiated by medical radiation can develop.”

Okay, I’ll stop quoting now. Check out the report. Also the articles in the Washington Post and the other one in U.S.A. Today on the same topic.



Posted on July 10, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My girls are long overdue for a DDS appt.

    I know they’ll push for dental x-rays. I’m just not sure they’re needed and since we don’t have insurance, I don’t want to pay for unnecessary exposure.

    Any ideas on how to get around this?

    • Honestly, I’d be the last person to tell someone how to treat their own kids, but my own approach is to let the dentist do the little bitewing things (as in, maybe 2 shots) once a year, but once they want to do the full 18-shot x-rays, I postpone as long as I can. (I never “refuse;” I just consider for a moment and then go, “Well, let’s just save those for next time, unless you see any problems that make you really need to see what’s going on in there…”)

      I’d say, if all they need is a cleaning, and no one has any probems with their teeth at all, go for that and the basic check, and decline (er…”postpone”) everything else for the moment. And when I had my full set of pictures done this year, for the first time in 3 or 4 years, I did it in two appointments–spread out over two weeks, to give my body time to get rid of its exposure in between. But again, I’d NEVER presume to tell someone else what to do…

  2. So depressed to hear this stuff! I have been working hard to take out as many cancer causing things as I can and eating a health diet.

  3. I’m big on the whole “toxic load” concept–where it’s not so much WHAT we take in that eventually makes us sick/kills us, but at what point the load of everything toxic we take in becomes too much and overtakes our systems. So I do the same thing–organic and non-processed foods as much as possible, natural bath and body care stuff, food-grade cleaning supplies, as few medications as possible.

    Tonight I am going to the funeral of a friend, in his fifties, who died of bone cancer literally WITHIN A MONTH of diagnosis. It’s just so scary and awful.

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