CANCER / AUTHOR / EXCESS RISKS
BREAST / Bruning et al, 1995 / 7.3
-- / Hankinson et al, 1998 / 7.3
-- / Del Giudice et al, 1998 / 2.1
PROSTATE / Signorello et al, 1999 / 5.1
-- / Chan et al, 1998 / 4.3
-- / Mantzoros et al, 1997 / 1.9
-- / Wolk et al, 1995 / 1.4
COLON / Pollak et al, 1999 / 5.0
-- / Manousos et al, 1999 / 2.7
-- / Ma et al, 1999 / 2.5
-- / Giovanucci et al, 1999 / 2.2
Evidence for these risks is also summarized in my May 11, 2007 and January 12, 2010 Citizen Petitions to the Food and Drug Administration. These requested the FDA Commissioner "to label milk and other dairy products produced with the use of Posilac with a cancer risk warning. Both petitions were endorsed by leading national experts, and supported by over 60 scientific references. However, the FDA has still remained recklessly unresponsive.
2000 The January Cancer Letter, commented on the, behind the scenes, ACS creation of a Legislative Committee to gain major control of national cancer policy. Dr. John Durant, former executive President of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, charged: "It has always seemed to me that was an issue of control by the ACS over the cancer agenda. They are protecting their own fundraising capacity..." from competition by survivor groups.
Also, the Cancer Letter, revealed that ACS public relations had close ties to the tobacco industry. Shandwick International, representing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, and subsequently by Edelman Public Relations, representing Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, had been major public relations firms for the ACS in its attempts to rewrite the 1971 National Cancer Act, and in conducting voter education programs in the past presidential campaign.
2002 In the ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2002, the Community Cancer Control Section includes a "Look Good...Feel Better" program to teach women cancer patients beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during chemotherapy and radiation treatment." This program was partnered by the National Cosmetology Association and The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation, which failed to disclose the wide range of carcinogenic ingredients in toiletries and cosmetics. These trade organizations have also failed to disclose evidence of excess risks of breast and other cancers following long-term use of black or dark brown permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes. The ACS also failed to inform women of these avoidable risks.
The Environmental Cancer Risk Section of the ACS Facts and Figures Report also reassured that carcinogenic exposures from dietary pesticides, "toxic wastes in dump sites," ionizing radiation from "closely controlled" nuclear power plants, and non-ionizing radiation, are all "at such low levels that risks are negligible."
2005 The ACS indifference to cancer prevention other than smoking, remained unchanged, despite the escalating incidence of cancer, and its $1 billion budget. Some of the more startling realities in the failure to prevent cancers are illustrated by their soaring increases from 1975 to 2005, based on NCI epidemiological data.
2007 The ACS indifference to cancer prevention, has remained unchanged despite evidence on the escalating incidence of a wide range of cancers for over three decades.
Incidence Rates For Major Cancers, 1975 - 2007
CANCERS / % Increase
Childhood (ages 0-19) / 30
Non-Hodgkin's, Lymphoma / 82
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia: / 67
Female Breast: Post-menopausal / 23
Testes / 60
Thyroid / 145
Melanoma / 163
Kidney & Renal Pelvis / 107
Lung / --
Overall / 13
Male / -22
Female / 110
All Sites / 15
Some of the more startling realities in the failure of the ACS to recognize and warn of the escalating incidence of a wide range of avoidable cancers, as documented in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reports, is illustrated by their soaring incidence from 1975. These include:
o Childhood cancer. This increased by 30 percent, due to ionizing radiation; domestic pesticides; nitrite preservatives in meats, particularly hot dogs; and parental exposures to occupational carcinogens;
o Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This increased by 82 percent, due mostly to phenoxy herbicides; and phenylenediamine hair dyes;
o Post-menopausal breast cancer. This increased by 23 percent, due to a wide range of known causes. These include birth control pills; estrogen replacement therapy; toxic hormonal ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products; diagnostic radiation; and routine premenopausal mammography, with a cumulative breast dose exposure of up to about five rads over ten years.
o Testes cancer. This increased by 60 percent, due to pesticides; hormonal ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products; and estrogen residues in meat;
o Malignant melanoma in adults. This increased by 163 percent, due to the use of sunscreens in childhood that fail to block long wave ultraviolet light;
2009 The ACS 2009 budget was about $1 billion, of which 17% was allotted to prevention, predominantly smoking cessation, and 28% to support services and salaries. The top three executive salaries listed ranged from $670,000 to $1.2 million.
In a 2009 publication by Dr. Elizabeth Fontham "American Cancer Society Perspectives on Environmental Factors and Cancer," she claimed that: "Cancer prevention is central to the ACS and are primarily focused on modifiable risk factors that have been demonstrated to have the largest impact on cancer risk in the general population, with particular emphasis on tobacco, and well-proven policy and program interventions. The ACS addresses nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity, alcohol consumption, excessive sun exposure, prevention of certain chronic infections, and selected other environmental factors through a variety of venues." Dr. Fontham also reiterated longstanding ACS claims that "the estimated percentage of cancers related to occupational and environmental carcinogens is small compared to the cancer burden from tobacco smoking (30%) and the combination of nutrition, physical activity, and obesity (35%)."
2010 On May 6, 2010, the President's Cancer Panel released an approximately 200 page report, "REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER: What We Can Do Now."
Meticulously documented and with comprehensive scientific references, the Cancer Panel report warned: "Though overall cancer incidence and mortality have continued to decline in recent years, the disease continues to devastate the lives of far too many Americans. In 2009 alone, approximately 1.5 million American men, women, and children were diagnosed with cancer, and 562,000 died from the disease. With the growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures to cancer, the public is becoming increasingly aware of the unacceptable burden of cancer resulting from environmental and occupational exposures that could have been prevented through appropriate national action. The Administration’s commitment to the cancer community and recent focus on critically needed reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act is praiseworthy. However, our Nation still has much work ahead to identify the many existing but unrecognized environmental carcinogens and eliminate those that are known from our workplaces, schools, and homes."
"The [President's] Panel was particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread." The Panel concluded that cancer caused by environmental exposure has been "grossly underestimated." The Panel also listed a wide range of cancers, such as breast, kidney, leukemia, liver, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for which well-documented causes are detailed.
Appendix F of the Panel is a masterly and comprehensive summary of known "strong" and "suspected" carcinogens, their "sources/uses," and their "strong" or "suspected" links to specified cancers. This Appendix is an update of a publication by Dr. Richard Clapp, an internationally recognized expert on avoidable causes of cancer, in the prestigious 2008 Reviews of Environmental Health.
The President's Report was promptly endorsed by a wide range of leading scientific and public policy experts. The Report also lent strong support to Senator Frank Lautenberg's Safe Chemicals Act of 2010 intended to ensure the safety of all chemicals used in commerce.
In July 2010, just two months following its rejection of the President's Report, the ACS released a publication by Dr. Elizabeth Ward, ACS vice president of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research, titled "Research Recommendations for Selected High-Priority IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) Carcinogens." This focused on "20 Agents - - prioritized for review in occupational populations." Trying to play both sides, Dr. Ward conceded that "there is more of a hint that in most cases (these carcinogens) might be involved with cancer." Nevertheless, she dismissively claimed that "the studies that could make a definitive link are missing and need more study." She also claimed that while there is significant concern about substances or exposures in the environment that may cause cancer, there are some agents and exposure circumstances where evidence of carcinogenicity is substantial, but not yet conclusive.
Dr. Ward's qualified publication hardly is surprising. Only 2 months previously, the ACS had explicitly dismissed scientific evidence on the carcinogens previously identified in Appendix F of the President's Cancer Panel Report. However, this evidence had been fully documented in 2004 by the Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program (NTP), besides confirmed by other U.S. federal agencies, besides the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
The President's Cancer Panel Report was also promptly criticized by Dr. Michael Thun, ACS vice president emeritus, in his 2010 publication, "The Global Burden of Cancer: Priorities for Prevention." "Unfortunately, the perspective of the report is unbalanced by its implication that pollution is the major cause of cancer, and by its dismissal of cancer prevention efforts aimed at the major known causes of cancer (tobacco, obesity, alcohol, infections, hormones, sunlight) as focused narrowly." These exclusionary and self-interested claims had also been expressed by Dr. Elizabeth Fontham, ACS Vice President Epidemiology Research, in her 2009 publication, "American Cancer Society Perspectives on Environmental Factors and Cancer."
The ACS further complained that it would be unfortunate if people came away with the message that the chemicals in the environment are the most important cause of cancer at the expense of those lifestyle factors, like tobacco, physical activity, nutrition, and obesity, that have by far the most potential in reducing cancer deaths.
"Elements of this report are entirely consistent with the recently published "American Cancer Society Perspective on Environmental Factors and Cancer" which, like the current report, identifies several areas of particular concern."
These concerns "include the accumulation of certain chemicals in humans and in the food chain, especially those that mimic naturally occurring hormones or other processes in the body; the potentially greater susceptibility of children and other subgroups; the large number of industrial chemicals that have not been adequately tested for toxicity and carcinogenicity; potential cancer risks from widely used medical imaging procedures that involve ionizing radiation; potential biological effects of chemicals at low doses; and the potential effects of combinations of exposures."
"In fact, the precise proportion of cancers related to environmental exposure has been debated for nearly 30 years. And while there is no doubt exposure to chemicals has some bearing on cancer risk, the level of risk is certainly far below other identified cancer risks, like tobacco, nutrition, physical activity, and obesity."
"There is no doubt that environmental pollution is critically important to the health of humans and the planet. However, it would be unfortunate if the effects of this report were to trivialize the importance of other modifiable risk factors that offer the greatest opportunity in preventing cancer."
"The [President's Cancer Panel] report is most provocative when it restates hypotheses as if they were established fact. For example, its conclusion that the true burden of environmentally (i.e. pollution) induced cancer has been grossly underestimated does not represent scientific consensus. Rather, it reflects one side of a scientific debate that has continued for almost 30 years."
Of inescapable and incriminatory concern, the ACS admission on the predominant role on these avoidable causes of cancer is decades overdue. The ACS cannot escape unarguable, if not criminal, responsibility for the countless avoidable non-smoking related cancers and deaths.
From its inception in 1922 until now, the public has been and continues to be misled by the ACS, and most recently by Drs. Thun and Ward, with their exclusionary emphasis on personal responsibility and faulty lifestyle as the predominant cause of cancer. However, this reckless misrepresentation contrasts bizarrely with their two scientific publications in 2009, and one in June this year, incriminating a wide range of avoidable environmental causes of cancer, and priorities for its prevention. However, the public still remains uninformed of these belated and damaging admissions, responsible for countless cancers and deaths over the last nine decades.Criticism By The Society Of Toxicology
The August 6, 2010 CANCER LETTER published a letter from the Society of Toxicology, which traditionally has faithfully endorsed ACS policies, criticizing the May 6 President's Cancer Panel Report.
"The Society of Toxicology applauds this effort to raise awareness of environmental causes of cancer, and supports the need to understand the role that environmental factors play in this disease.
"The Panel's report has been received with mixed reviews from some medical and scientific experts as well as several organizations and advocacy groups. For example, while experts generally believe that the increasing number of known or suspected environmental carcinogens warrants further study and action to reduce or eliminate these exposures, some are concerned that the report overstates the risk of environmentally-induced cancer and gives too little attention to the major known causes of cancer, including tobacco, obesity, sunlight, and alcohol.
"A second criticism is that the report recommends a precautionary approach. The SOT is firmly committed to disease prevention as noted by one of the Society's strategic objectives, "Increase the impact of toxicology on human health and disease prevention." However, THE SOT claims that at the heart of toxicological research is the premise that "the dose makes the poison." So we believe that current regulatory decisions should be based on well-informed safety assessments that emphasize appropriate dose-response data." In this connection, the SOT is on record as fighting against the 1958 Delaney Amendment to the 1938 Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. This requires an automatic ban on food additives causing cancer in experimental animals or men. In a similar class, the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists has generated so called safe exposure levels or "threshold limit values," exposure levels for carcinogens.ACS "CANCER FACTS & FIGURES" 2010 ANNUAL REPORT
Can Cancer Be Prevented?
"All cancers caused by cigarette smoking and heavy use of alcohol could be prevented completely. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2010, 171,000 cancer deaths are expected to be caused by tobacco use. Scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of the 569,490 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2010 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition and thus could also be prevented. Certain cancers are related to infectious agents, such as hepatitis B virus (HBV), human papilloma virus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), and others, and could be prevented through behavioral changes, vaccines, or antibiotics. In addition, many of the more than 1 million skin cancers that are expected to be diagnosed in 2010 could be prevented by protection from the sun's rays and avoiding indoor tanning.
"Regular screening examinations by a health care professional can result in the detection and removal of precancerous growths, as well as the diagnosis of cancers at an early stage, when they are most treatable. Cancers that can be prevented by removal of precancerous tissue include cancers of the cervix, colon, and rectum. Cancers that can be diagnosed early through screening include cancers of the breast, colon, rectum, cervix, prostate, oral cavity, and skin. For cancers of breast, colon, rectum, and cervix, early detection has been proven to reduce mortality. A heightened awareness of breast changes or skin changes may also result in detection of these tumors at earlier stages. Cancers that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening account for at least half of all new cancer cases."
Strikingly, this 2010 Report, like its five annual predecessors, avoids any reference to 11 carcinogens identified in the 2004 National Toxicology Program (NTP) Report, besides 9 of the same also identified in the 2010 President's Cancer Panel (PCP) Report. More substantively, this Report raises serious concerns as to whether the ACS remains fixated on its decades old insistence on "blame the victim" responsibility for avoidable causes of cancer.
CARCINOGENS LISTED IN THE 2010 AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY (ACS) REPORT AS "NEEDING MORE STUDY," BUT PREVIOUSLY IDENTIFIED AS CARCINOGENS AND BY THE 2010 PRESIDENT'S CANCER PANEL (PCP) REPORT AND BY THE 2004 NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM (NTP) 11TH REPORT ON CARCINOGENS
Carcinogens / NTP (2004)* / PCP (2010)**
Lead and Lead compounds / + / +
Diesel exhaust / + / ++
Styrene-7,8-oxide & styrene / + / +
Propylene oxide / + / --
Formaldehyde / + / ++
Acetaldehyde / + / --
Methylene chloride / + / +
Trichloroethylene / + / ++
Tetrachloroethylene / + / +
Chloroform / + / ++
Polychlorinated biphenyls / + / ++
Reasonably anticipated +
** PCP RATING
Strong + +
2011 On February 18, the ACS stated that it has "no formal position regarding rBGH [in milk]" and that "the evidence for potential harm to humans is inconclusive." The ACS also claimed that "while there may be a link between IGF-1 levels in milk and cancer, the exact nature of this link remains unclear." This claim is contrary to the unequivocal evidence of increased risks of breast, colon, and prostate cancers (p.33).