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CanadaCraig Offline
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Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 11:22 AM

Hi Everyone!!

I hope you're having a super fine day!!

Discussion: Do you think that CANCER is a result of our own abuses - of self and of our environment?! Have we brought Cancer on ourselves by our 'way of life' and the choices we have made? [And continue to make] And I don't just mean 'we' as individual - but also 'we' as in society at large - both past and present. If it were not for pollution and preservatives and chemicals and so on [Use your imagination] would cancer even exist?!

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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 11:59 AM

Nope, cancer is due to the mis-function of cells in our body that mutate. OK, our environment with all the chemicals we are putting in it isn't helping, but I don't think its the cause.

If we all lived old enough, then we all, at some stage would get cancer.
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 12:12 PM

I've got to agree with Laura. Shakespeare (probably) died of cancer so I guess it can't be our societies, preservatives or chemicals fault

Last edited by Jack; May 23rd 2009 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Should add that "(probabaly)" in there. =p
   
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 12:34 PM

Possible pesticides could cause cancer but hasn't been proven.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 01:29 PM

Cancer is a mutation of cells, as stated before. I hate all these carcinogenic items that the scientific community has 'proven' that they cause cancer, or can cause it. The results are ridiculous, and make me sad to be part of that community.
Frankly, cancer is not to do with lifestyle, young healthy people get it. People used to not know what it was, and cancer can go back to times where there was little pollution, so really, it can't be that.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 02:06 PM

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Originally Posted by Jack View Post
I've got to agree with Laura. Shakespeare (probably) died of cancer so I guess it can't be our societies, preservatives or chemicals fault
Napoleon as well...

also agree with the people above, just a cell dysfunction.
   
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 04:53 PM

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Originally Posted by EDGE View Post
Possible pesticides could cause cancer but hasn't been proven.
Also with what Lou said - to expand. The carcinogenic chemicals don't actually cause cancer, they just quicken the process slightly, induce the mutation of cells.
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 05:15 PM

Yes, cancer is a cell dysfunction. Parts of the DNA mutate so that the cell has no control over its division so it just continues to divide forever.

However, I do believe that our environment does not help decline the risk of cancer. Yes it was around before all our chemicals and such but these substances are increasing the risk of contracting the disease. I do believe that scientists are easily giving things the carcinogenic stamp but there are substances that are truly dangerous and really do affect our bodies. Any substance or object that has mutagen properties will increase the risk of cancer and we can prevent this risk by staying away from them. It has been proven that people who work in certain power plants and factories have elevated risks of contracting cancer but I don't think people who live normal lives, who work in safe environments and don't play around with dangerous chemicals increase their risk by using lets say a Teflon pan.
   
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 06:03 PM

Yes, cancer is a form of cell mutation, but that doesn't mean our environment doesn't cause it!
If you expose your skin to large amounts of UV radiation, you get skin cancer. That's just true. The amount needed might be less if your genes are already susceptible to UV radiation (determined by the genes of your parents), but the fact is, UV radiation damages cells and interferes with their ability to replicate properly.
That said, not all cancers are caused by environmental factors. Those poor children dying of leukimia just have an inherited genetic defect, unrelated to the places they grew up.
But to answer the OP question specifically, no, cancer isn't a moral judgement on society, nor is it caused exclusively by our exceesses or bad lifestyle choices. Mice, rats, dogs, cats, elephants, monkies--I think all mammals and probably many other eukaryotic organisms--get cancer, too. They don't use cellphones or smoke cigarettes. Even if we lived in the most healthful society possible (and we don't, not by a longshot), some people's DNA would still mutate randomly. DNA does that. Cell replication is not perfect and, since that's the case, cancerous tumors will develop.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 06:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyEvee View Post
If you expose your skin to large amounts of UV radiation, you get skin cancer. That's just true.
Sorry I disagree, there are people who get skin cancer without being exposed much to UV, and take care of they're skin. As I said before, it increases the risk, but does not cause it.

Its a random mutation.
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 06:21 PM

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Originally Posted by Lozzaa View Post
Sorry I disagree, there are people who get skin cancer without being exposed much to UV, and take care of they're skin. As I said before, it increases the risk, but does not cause it.

Its a random mutation.
The previous poster did not say that UV radiation is the only cause of skin cancer. There are other factors. But if you are exposed to large amounts of UV radiation, such as working in a laboratory where you use UV radiation and you are exposed to it there are huge chances that you will get skin cancer. UV radiation is commonly used to break up DNA strands and cause mutations and chances are, it will lead to a mutation that will cause cancer. Also, solar UV rays can cause skin cancer.
Quote:
A vast array of epidemiologic and other investigations allows us to conclude that sun exposure causes skin cancer of each of the three most common types: BCC, SCC, and melanoma.
Yes, factors influence it such as duration of exposure, predisposition to cell mutations, type of skin, skin care taken by the individual but UV can cause skin cancer.

Sources:
Weinstock, M. A., Environmental Health Perspectives, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/pic...5&blobtype=pdf
   
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 07:06 PM

Quote:
Its a random mutation.
Cancer CAN be caused by a random mutation, but it also CAN be induced by radiation. Not all cancer comes from UV radiation, but all UV radiation (in large enough doses) WILL cause skin cancer. It's not a question of opinion. It's science.

Caroline's pretty much summed it up. I stand behind (beside) her.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 23rd 2009, 07:33 PM

Cancer is caused by the improper and errant mutation of cells in our body, and while it can become more likely or less likely depending on given personal and environmental factors, the fact remains that anyone can get cancer.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 24th 2009, 04:49 AM

Partly. Dumping carcinogenic materials into the environment and into our own bodies was never a particularly good idea, and so to an extent cancer is self-inflicted (although often in a collective sense rather than an individual sense).

However, perhaps counter-intuitively, cancer is killing more of us because we're taking better care of ourselves. Our comparatively good hygiene, high quantity and quality of food and drink, and general avoidance of physical risk mean that many of the things that would have once killed many of us are now no longer major threats. Cancer, though, isn't really avoidable: we can't prevent our cells from replicating, and we can't prevent them from making copying errors, and as we get older the chance of cancer becomes extremely high. It kills us because other things haven't got to us first.
   
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 24th 2009, 05:51 AM

By our own abuses and way of life? No, cancer would happen regardless if McDonalds and the like existed or not. It's a random mutation. Our choices we make, such as smoking cigarettes can increase our chances of cancer, however, even if we didn't smoke and stopped every single unhealthy activity, we'd still get cancer. Anyone who says otherwise should take a course in biology because they're obviously lacking it. Cancer occurs for a very simple reason: cells exist. That's the most basic reason, so eliminate all the pollution, pesticides, etc..., cancer will still occur.

The environment can increase our chances also, such as with UV radiation as discussed already.

There's a general hypothesis in cancer, called the two-hit hypothesis, especially for retinoblastoma. It states that either one gene is inherited and the other is random or both are random, leading to retinoblastoma (form of cancer, especially in children).

Craig, seeing as how this is your thread, would you mind sharing your opinion?
   
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Smile Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 24th 2009, 05:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozzaa View Post
Nope, cancer is due to the mis-function of cells in our body that mutate. OK, our environment with all the chemicals we are putting in it isn't helping, but I don't think its the cause.

If we all lived old enough, then we all, at some stage would get cancer.
that is the technical term for it yes.

my dad died of cancer in 08.

but as for an answer to your question no it doesn't (normally) have any thing to do with our environment.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 24th 2009, 02:20 PM

I think we have come to agreement that our environment increases risk of getting cancer. The problem with this discussion is the fine line between cause and increase. For example, UV radiation increases risk of cancer but this increase could (hypothetically) be 99% which is then said to cause cancer.

Also, yes I do agree that cancer would catch up to anyone but what was the occurrence of it 100, 200, 500 years ago? Obviously our data is not complete but I think I can safely guess that the number of cases has increased over the years. Cancer is so common now days it is not even funny. Why? We must be doing something wrong..
   
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 25th 2009, 01:30 AM

The chemicals and pollution and radiation and whatnot greatly increase the amount of cases of cancer. However, cancer would still exist otherwise. It is pretty much a mutation... it's like how radioactive stuff causes mutation but there is still mutation without it


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 28th 2009, 07:08 PM

I think that cancer occurs naturally most of the time, but outside issues can cause it too. My grandparents neighborhood was built on or near some kind of weird dumping ground, and they both died of cancer- him from prostate and her from ovarian, even thought there wasn't much of a history of cancer at all in either of their families :/



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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 28th 2009, 07:16 PM

no, the environment doesn't cause cancer.. although for some cancers way of life and how you treat your body can be a factor that increases your risk.

it's already been said enough times, but its a mutation of cells, which cannot be blamed on anything.

some cancers [for example the type of cancer i have, ewing's sarcoma] have no known cause and effects pretty much only young, usually healthy people. getting cancer for the most part is just damn unlucky.

although when it comes to people who smoke and get lung cancer, i don't think they should be treated on the NHS, but that's another debate.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 28th 2009, 07:22 PM

hmm...i cant help but have a hunch its usually down to our genes more than anything that make up more susceptible to contracting some form of it.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 28th 2009, 09:42 PM

Cancer is nature's way of eliminating creatures.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - May 28th 2009, 10:20 PM

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hmm...i cant help but have a hunch its usually down to our genes more than anything that make up more susceptible to contracting some form of it.
One's genes do play a part, as demonstrated by the Two-Hit Hypothesis I explained above. However, even if our genes are "good" or "healthy", cancer can still occur.

We have a naturally-occurring group of molecules in our body called proto-onco genes. These allow for cells to divide but at a controlled rate (numerous control mechanisms). When cancer happens, this gene gets mutated into an onco gene, whereby it just keeps causing cell division. Other genes, such as tumour suppressor genes are also naturally-occuring as are mutator genes, however, in cancer, both get mutated. These mutations can occur irregardless of whatever condition of genes you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oiseau the Little Bird!
Cancer is nature's way of eliminating creatures.
At the very simplest level, I guess this is true. But, this would apply for all diseases that we have. If you're getting at the environment being a potential cause of cancer, then what is your reasoning(s)?
   
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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - June 2nd 2009, 05:24 PM

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Originally Posted by Oiseau the Little Bird! View Post
Cancer is nature's way of eliminating creatures.
You can say the same thing for Aids/other diseases.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - June 2nd 2009, 06:17 PM

I'd say cancer is mutation of cells, which in some cases can be influenced by our own actions / environments. Like smoking / high pollution levels increasing the risks of lung / throat cancer etc.
Some are genetic. My family have a long history of breast cancer on my mams side, but the genetic link can't be proved until two generations have survived it and can be tested
My aunt has suspected cancer in her back, which the doctors have suggested was caused by the radiation she had for breat cancer ... it's so unfair.


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Re: Is Cancer a result of our own abuses - of self and our environment?! - June 2nd 2009, 08:40 PM

All depends on the form of cancer. There have been some suspisions as to whether or not something as simple as constant cell phone use was the partial cause of the development of brain tumors. Skin cancer can be caused by constant direct sunlight (burns, tanning, etc.). Lung cancer can be caused, in part, by cigarette smoking and other inhalations. The list goes on and on. There ARE things that are known to be contributing factors to the development of various forms of cancer. However, I don't believe that cancer develops ONLY because of our way of life and our habitat. Everything factors in. You can't place all of the blame on one factor.


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