According to Cancer Prevention Coalition Chairman Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., nearly half of American men and half of all American women develop cancer in their lifetime due to avoidable causes. According to the New York Times, the NCI’s system for assessing the effectiveness of cancer treatments is in danger of failing due to a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences.
NCI’s system for identifying and publicizing avoidable causes of cancer remains virtually nonexistent, even though one in two men and one in three women now develop cancer.”
The Francis Collins Lecture was delivered by Dr. Francis Collins in Chicago on April 24, 2009, shortly after he was appointed director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest by President Obama.
While speaking at the conference, Dr. Collins presented his groundbreaking findings about genetics, including cancer. In response to a question regarding genetics and avoidable causes of cancer, Dr. Collins replied, “I am unaware of any avoidable causes of cancer that are associated with genetics.”
It is not surprising that President Obama is unaware of these avoidable causes of cancer, says John Epstein. A press release issued nearly 18 months ago by the Cancer Prevention Coalition summarizes several avoidable causes of cancer.
A comprehensive cancer plan has been developed by the Obama administration, though it focuses on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention rather than prevention.
Obama’s cancer plan can address several preventable causes of cancer.
Four federal agencies are identified and coordinated in the plan: the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which conducts research and clinical trials; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which monitors cancer epidemiology and provides survivors with support; Medicare and Medicaid Services, which fund cancer care; and FDA, which regulates cancer drugs.
In 1971, Congress passed a law creating the National Cancer Program to promote research into the prevention of cancer caused by workplace or environmental carcinogens. During Nixon’s “War on Cancer,” the National Cancer Institute received a $200 million budget. The Institute’s budget is now $5.3 billion, a 30% increase from its initial budget.
According to the latest NCI statistics, cancer incidence has increased significantly, but not those caused by smoking, since 1975. Malignant melanomas account for 172% of all cancer cases, non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas for 79%, thyroid cancers for 116%, testes cancers for 60%, and childhood cancers for 38%.
According to a report by the National Cancer Institute from November 2008, the number of new cancers had decreased from 1999 to 2005. According to the agency’s own statistics, thyroid cancers have increased 45%, malignant melanomas have increased by 18%, kidney cancers have grown by 18%, childhood cancers have grown by 10%, and testes have grown by 4%.
Despite this, the National Cancer Institute has not yet developed a list of carcinogens that can be avoided, let alone publicized one. The following are some examples of hazards relating to pharmaceuticals, high-dose diagnostic radiation, occupational and environmental hazards, and ingredients in cosmetics, household products, personal care products, and cosmetics.
NCI has misconstrued or dismissed previous requests from Congress for such information.
Slow loris, an endangered primate native to tropical and subtropical forests in Southeast Asia, was the subject of quick action this morning by parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
“In spite of the serious threat they face throughout their range, these primates have been ignored for some time since they are nocturnal and small. As a result of today’s decision, their offtake will be significantly reduced and their long-term survival will be improved,” explained Dr. Altherr, a member of the Species Survival Network (SSN) and representative of Pro Wildlife, a German nongovernmental organization.).
Adding the loris to Appendix I of the Convention would prevent all commercial trade in the species, which would increase the species’ status under the Convention. This endearing animal is unfortunately taken in droves by the thousands to be sold as pets or used for medicinal purposes. This has resulted in population declines among each of the five species, and by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, only four of these species have been recommended for uplisting.
“We are glad the Parties have taken this information into consideration when reaching their important decision, since our research demonstrates that slow lorises are being depleted at a rapid rate as a result of international and national trade,” said Dr Barbara Maas, CEO of Care for the Wild International.
This genus now covers five species in tropical and subtropical rainforests in South and Southeast Asia; it occurs in dense canopies. Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam (recognized in 1997), Bangladesh; Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; India; Vietnam; coucang: Indonesia (Sumatra), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand; N. pygmaeus: Viet Nam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, China; coucang: Indonesia (Sumatra), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand; N
Threats: Animals are traded in the domestic and international markets for pet purposes as well as traditional medicine and food; habitats are destroyed and degraded; captive animals are introduced randomly into forests that differ from their original habitats
Trade: This species is heavily exploited locally and internationally; almost all specimens in trade have been caught in the wild at a rate far exceeding its low reproductive rate; economic change and a growing human population have led to increased market demand; although individual species are protected in many range states, laws are poorly enforced, species are difficult to differentiate in trade, and illegal trade outweighs recorded legal trade.
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