Are we slowly killing ourselves from lack of knowledge or education concerning what’s in and around us? I am beginning to feel that way. I do not want to seem like such a negative person because I don’t feel that I really am. However, it’s hard when I see so many people diagnosed with cancer everyday. There is no day that goes by that we do not get new patients calling us wanting information about our cancer programs.
It has been released that by the year 2030, 75% of the population will have cancer. That is terrible! That is only 17 years from now. The cancer diagnosis is climbing daily.
The American Cancer Society reported in the Cancer Facts & Figures 2005 report that “About 5% to 10% of all cancers are clearly hereditary, in that an inherited genetic alteration predisposes the person to a very high risk of particular cancers.”
In their 2010 report it states that “About 5% of all cancers are strongly hereditary, in that an inherited genetic alteration confers a very high risk of developing one or more speciﬁc types of cancer.’ They changed it to eliminate another 5%.
There are two points of concern I would like to bring to your attention. First, a clearly 5% to 10% has dropped to a strongly 5% within a ﬁve year period. Their studies have convinced them that even though more Americans are being diagnosed daily with cancer, it is believed that less and less are derived from heredity factors.
Secondly, if only 5% of all cancers are hereditary, what is causing the 95% of all the rest of the cancer diagnoses? I ﬁnd these numbers alarming and there appears to be no real organization trying to ﬁnd the answers. I feel that we need to start contemplating on what is in our own environment that could be causing our body’s cells to go abnormal.
We live in a society exposed to so many chemicals. There are toxic chemicals found in the air that we breathe, water we drink and bathe in, and food that we eat. Some pesticides are volatile, which means they can enter the air and travel by the wind blowing them to distant locations. Organochlorine compounds have been found in the blubber of seals and walruses in the Canadian Arctic. This could mean that even indigenous people far away from urban life can be affected because they get exposed to these chemicals when they eat local game.
There are two major groups of toxic substances that affect those of us that live in modern industrial societies. There are toxic chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. There are also heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, and arsenic. Scientists estimate that chemical toxins contribute to 70% of cancers in our society, while heavy metals are known to suppress the immune system.
Years ago, the National Academy of Sciences reported that the average American consumes approximately 40 milligrams of pesticides each year in food alone and carries about one-tenth of a gram permanently in our fat tissue. I bet that has increased today since a lot of our food is GMO food.
The Environmental Protection Agency did research and revealed that the following chemicals are “ubiquitous” in the air that we breathe: p-zylene, tetrachloroethylene, ethyl benzene, benzene, 1,1,1,-trichloroethane, and o-zylene. They also found that people who go to gas stations, dry cleaners, smoked, or drove cars and trucks, have elevated levels of solvents.
According to a report from the World Resources Institute, titled “Pesticides and the Immune System: The Public Health Risks”, considerable and persuasive evidence already exists that pesticides do suppress the immune system, making people signiﬁcantly more vulnerable to infectious diseases and certain cancers.
Three types of research have proven evidence for immune suppression. These test are laboratory tests, wildlife tests, and human tests. Laboratory studies clearly show that some pesticides from every major chemical class have proven to be immunotoxic. There have been hundreds of studies using human cell cultures and lab animals which shows that pesticides weaken the immune system. There can be suppression of macrophage, neutrophil, and natural killer cells, all of which are very important for the immune system.
Epidemiological research on humans has also shown pesticides and immune suppression. Studies done in the Soviet Union have shown that teenagers in villages where pesticide use was greatest have 2 to 5 times more respiratory infections than a comparable group that received less pesticide exposure.
The following is a list of toxic effects on the immune system by DDT.
* Decreases the white blood cell (leukocytes) counts.
* Decreases phagocytic ability. This is like the “pack man” ability to gobble up viruses,
bacteria, parasites, abnormal cells, etc.
* Causes mast cells to release their chemicals.
* Reduces the immune cells capability to attack and destroy.
* Disturbs the virus killing complement.17
* Can promote changes in the thymus, thyroid, spleen, and lymph glands.
* Disturbs fetal and perinatal immune regulation.
In Part 2 of this article, I will try to identify more of the chemical toxins that we ingested and possible ways to try to eliminate them in our diet. Prevention may be the key to good health. In the old days there was a saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” In todays day, it takes a lot more than an apple, and that apple could possibly be harming us more than we think.