How to Get Cancer; a[euro]The Livid Cancer Spread Its Hideous Claws, Clinging upon Thy Breasts, Seeking to Strike Thee Deep Within;a[euro] - Walt Whitman (1819-1892), American Poet a[euro]Leaves of Grassa[euro] (1900), 248

Manila Bulletin, February 18, 2007 | Go to article overview

How to Get Cancer; a[euro]The Livid Cancer Spread Its Hideous Claws, Clinging upon Thy Breasts, Seeking to Strike Thee Deep Within;a[euro] - Walt Whitman (1819-1892), American Poet a[euro]Leaves of Grassa[euro] (1900), 248


Byline: Dr. Jose Pujalte Jr.

WE have heard many heroic stories on how the battle with cancer was fought, won, and more often, lost. But here's a fight no one wants to begin anyway. Like a bomb in Iraq or Lebanon, cancer seems to detonate out of nowhere. Governments have intelligence that methodically seeks out terrorists. In much the same way, we need intelligence too to root out the causes of cancer. We need facts that can save a life, which, as the clichA[umlaut] goes, may be your own.

Top seven reasons to get cancer:

1. Genetic predisposition. What runs in families is not cancer but the predisposition to get it. There must be other environmental factors present for cancer to manifest. Supposing Mom had breast cancer and Dad had cancer of the colon, the children are therefore at a higher risk, that's true. But having accepted the fact, there is now the responsibility of scheduling earlier than average checkups.

2. Tobacco smoke. In the US, smoking causes 30 percent of cancer deaths. Even secondhand smoke causes cancer! Smoking not only causes lung cancer, it is also associated with cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus (food pipe), and even the liver, pancreas, and stomach. Unrepentant smokers of course will tell you, "Cancer cures smoking." And let's agree that's funny until they're told they have cancer.

3. Alcohol. We are talking about heavy drinking here which is more than two drinks a day for men or one drink a day for women. A "drink" is one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass or wine or one 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Alcohol abuse can lead to cancer of the liver, mouth, throat, stomach, and esophagus.

4. Carcinogenic chemicals. We don't really need to be surprised that we inhale these every day in Metro Manila - diesel exhaust, for example. Other carcinogens are asbestos, benzene, and formaldehyde.

5. Ultraviolet radiation. 90 percent of skin cancers can be blamed on ultraviolet B rays that damage DNA. Ultraviolet rays are of course the radiation from the sun's rays. The earth has been increasingly unprotected because of the depleted ozone layer of the atmosphere that we have all destroyed with chemicals such as CFC (chlorofluorocarbon).

6. Ionizing radiation. Again DNA damage which causes genetic mutation, hence your cancer. …

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How to Get Cancer; a[euro]The Livid Cancer Spread Its Hideous Claws, Clinging upon Thy Breasts, Seeking to Strike Thee Deep Within;a[euro] - Walt Whitman (1819-1892), American Poet a[euro]Leaves of Grassa[euro] (1900), 248
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