In the "Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1973-1998," a consortium of government agencies reported a 1-percent annual decline in rates for new cancers and deaths between 1992 and 1998.
The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, hospitals and research facilities began this "war" on cancer in 1971 with the National Cancer Act, making the triumph over cancer a national priority. Over $40 billion has been spent, and the annual budget now reaches $3 billion.
But the reality is that rates for new cases and deaths keep going up. The American Cancer Society says half of all men and two in five women will develop cancer. Not great odds — and it's not because people are living longer.
Cancer rates and deaths have increased for all age groups. Seventy years ago cancer was the 10th cause of death for children under 1; now it's No. 2, after accidents. The reported 1-percent decline and increased survival time of as little as a month or two are considered "promising breakthroughs."
A desperate industry, drinking at the trough of public funding, needs to rationalize its existence any way it can.
A manipulation of statistics fuels the false celebration. The decline in lung cancer is not due to a medical breakthrough; it's because fewer people are smoking. Lung cancer accounts for 13 percent of all cancers and 29 percent of all deaths. Remove it from the statistics and the "decline" in cancer is cut by a third.
Overall cancer rates and deaths are also cut down by not including some types of cancers in the statistics. Breast cancer rates have increased 40 percent from 1975 to 1998, but ductal carcinoma in situ and lobular carcinoma in situ are not reported in the figures. Inclusion increases incidence rates by 24 percent.
Figures also do not include in situ melanoma skin cancers; incidence rates increase by 56 percent if included.
Changes in diagnostic procedures also may influence statistics. When the prostate screening antigen (PSA) test first appeared in the 1980s, many previously undetected cancers were found due to many men wanting to be tested with this new diagnostic procedure. A false decline in the 1990s is reported, but it's only due to less testing as the backlog of untested men was reduced to a more consistent yearly number.
Survival rates can also be manipulated. The report claims five-year survival for breast cancer has increased. Breast cancer is diagnosed as effectively and at the same rate by annual physical breast exam or mammography, but mammography detects cancer approximately two years earlier. Death rates in both groups are the same. How can that be? Wouldn't earlier detection increase the chances for living longer?
Hard to say, because regardless of the method of detection, the tumor has already been there for six to eight years. The increase in survival rate is from the date of diagnosis and is only due to improvements in detection — not medical advancements.
Cancer is nothing more than our immune system's inability to control abnormal cellular division. Alternative physicians and clinics have long had a much different view on its treatment and prevention. Instead of trying to cut it out (surgery), poison it and the rest of the body (chemotherapy) or burn it (radiation), the alternative perspective is to address the cause.
What might have caused the immune system to lose its effectiveness? Human health is a web of complexities and nothing could be more foolish than to think that if you have eliminated the tumor, you have cured cancer. The underlying cause has yet to be addressed and would still remain.
Many factors contribute to a suppressed immune system. Environmental toxins such as pesticides, auto emissions, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, drugs (recreational, prescription and over the counter) poison us daily.
Poor nutritional habits might not provide the raw materials the body needs to keep the immune system operating efficiently. Hormone imbalances are known to contribute to breast and prostate cancers.
Even The Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported a four-fold increase in breast cancer risk in women with higher levels of pesticides. Alternative therapies focus on detoxifying these pesticides in the body. Other studies find 50 times more estrogen in breast tissue of women with cancer and also higher levels in men with prostate cancer. These abnormal levels can also be detoxified using alternative methods.
Making matters worse, AstraZeneca, the manufacturer of Tamoxifen, now promoted by the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute, is the world's largest producer of organochlorine pesticides. Just a coincidence, I'm sure.
The real key is prevention. There are known factors that enhance your immune system or drag it down. Learn them. Start with cleaning up your diet, using organic produce and meats, if possible. Supplement your diet with nutrients known to enhance your immune system and the liver's ability to detox your body.
Do not routinely expose yourself to chemicals. Don't take medications unless necessary. Women should manage their hormones without birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
Discuss your alternatives with a physician trained in the detoxification of the body. Your health might depend on it.