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April, 2003

Medically Caused Cancer
By Raymond Francis

Cancer is an out-of-control epidemic now affecting almost one out of every two Americans in their lifetime. One American dies of cancer every minute and the problem is growing worse. The startling 20 percent increase in breast cancer between 1998 and 1999 among women ages 45 to 64 gives us all a new sense of urgency for finding the cause. A massive search is on and no stone should be left unturned. Unfortunately, one very big stone is being ignored by our modern healthcare system.

Across the nation, higher rates of breast cancer have been observed in affluent communities. Obviously, affluent, better-educated people get more medical and dental care. Although the connection isn't certain, there is a strong correlation, which should be investigated. A 1998 review by scientists at the Northern California Cancer Center revealed that breast cancer appeared to be related to lifestyle and demographic factors. Affluence is key for breast cancer, but experts tend only to focus on the related lifestyle factors such as delayed childbirth, fewer pregnancies, time spent breastfeeding, and alcohol consumption. Not being considered are the various ways that medical and dental care can contribute to cancer, and the fact that affluent people get far more exposure.

Better healthcare means more X-rays, including dental X-rays, chest X-rays and mammograms. All X-rays involve exposure to ionizing radiation, which we know for certain causes cancer. In 1999, Dr. John Gofman, a world-renowned expert in radiation damage, stated that medical X-rays are the leading cause of cancer, in his book Radiation from Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease. Breast tissue is very sensitive to radiation, a fact that has been known for more than 30 years, and Dr. Gofman estimates that medical radiation is a necessary co-factor in over 80 percent of all breast cancer. Ironically, as breast cancer rates have skyrocketed, people have been frightened into getting more mammograms, which may be causing more cancer.

And the medical hazards don't stop with the X-rays. Another factor to consider is estrogen dominance (an excess of unbalanced estrogen in the body) which will promote cancer, specifically breast cancer. How does estrogen dominance occur? Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) contribute to this condition and affluent women are more likely to get both. Consider the California Teacher's Study, which found that teachers have a 51 percent higher risk of breast cancer than the general population; it also found that teachers had much higher exposure to HRT, 74 percent compared to only 51 percent in the general population.

Another consideration is dental care. Affluent women get better dental care, including more cosmetic dental care. This means a lot of exposure to dental anesthetics, which have been known since 1993 to break down in the body into powerful carcinogens. For example, the most common anesthetic, lidocaine, breaks down in the body into dimethylaniline. This aniline compound has been shown to cause cancer in experimental animals more than 99 percent of the time.

Our cancer epidemic is a tragedy, one that is still unfolding. We owe it to ourselves to examine all potential causes. There is reason to believe that modern medical care may be our leading cause of cancer. Let us start asking the right questions and doing honest research, instead of assuming that the medical profession is doing no harm.

Raymond Francis, author of Never Be Sick Again, is a MIT-trained scientist, and an internationally recognized leader in the emerging field of optimal health maintenance.

 

 

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