Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Bitterwallet bacon sandwich 300x300 Processed meats as bad as smoking, when it comes to cancer threatLike eating pigs? Not live-ones, but rather, do you like getting stuck into a load of sausages, or some bacon or ham? Delicious isn’t it? Well, the World Health Organisation say that it is also pretty dangerous.

WHO say that processed meats are a cancer threat, like cigarettes, and that eating 50g of processed meat a day – that’s less than two slices of bacon or a single sausage – increase the chance of developing bowel cancer by 18%.

That means processed pig meat is up there with alcohol, asbestos, arsenic and cig. Fresh red meat is also getting a look in, as a “probable” carcinogen. Basically, all the fun stuff is bad for you (there’s nothing Biterwallet likes more than eating asbestos).

So, in short, the WHO has basically just said that processed meat is officially regarded as “carcinogenic to humans”. Are we going to see warnings on packaging? You’d assume so, wouldn’t you? Imagine the fun of a fry up, that comes with a skull and crossbones on the menu.

That said, scientists are divided on this issue, with reports showing that meat-eaters have similar levels of bowel cancer to vegetarians. And obviously, bacon isn’t as bad as smoking tabs (and eating packets of cigarettes isn’t as tasty as a bacon butty), and the risk is considerably smaller.

If you’re worried, and you’re not sure what actually constitutes processed meat, then here’s what you need to keep an eye on: processed meat is meat anything that has been preserved by smoking, curing or salting, or by the addition of preservatives. So that’s things like salami and hot dogs, as well as bacon and ham. Burgers are red meat, rather than processed (provided you get proper ones).

In short – meat being bad for you is not going to be earth shattering news to many, and indeed, anyone with loud vegetarian friends won’t notice any different.

Either way, this is a story worth keeping an eye on, as indeed, is the amount of processed meat being shovelled into our gobs. Unless, of course, you don’t care; in that case – see you down the front of the barbecue, as that’s where we’ll be.

Organic Food: no better for you after all?

March 28th, 2014 4 Comments By Thewlis

carrots tallthin1 195x300 Organic Food: no better for you after all?Most people who buy organic food do so owing to concerns about the use of pesticides in commercially produced produce, and possible absorption into the food chain. They may also wear sandals. Now a new report from the Journal of Cancer Studies produced by Cancer Research UK has found that eating organic food generally does absolutely nothing to lower the risk of developing cancer, and may even increase your risk.

The research looked at 600,000 women over a nine year period, of which around 50,000 developed one of the 16 most common forms of cancer. When comparing those who never ate organic food with those who “usually” or “always” did, the study found no difference in overall cancer risk, other than a small reduction in risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which even the scientists themselves dismissed as possibly not a “genuine association”.

In fact, the study did find that those who ate organically actually had a slightly increased risk of breast cancer, although again the link was not strong enough to show causation, and could just be by chance.

Professor Tim Key, a Cancer Research UK-funded scientist at Oxford University, said: “In this large study of middle-aged women in the UK we found no evidence that a woman’s overall cancer risk was decreased if she generally ate organic food.”

Dr Claire Knight, Cancer Research UK’s health information manager, said: “This study adds to the evidence that eating organically grown food doesn’t lower your overall cancer risk.” However, she pointed out that  ”over 9 per cent of cancer cases in the UK may be linked to dietary factors, of which almost 5 per cent are linked to not eating enough fruit and vegetables. So eating a well-balanced diet which is high in fruit and vegetables – whether conventionally grown or not – can help reduce your cancer risk.”

The study’s findings were pooh poohed by Peter Melchett, director of policy at the Soil Association, which campaigns “for healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use”.

Mr Melchett questioned the researchers’ methodology, as the study failed to monitor the women’s weight and physical activity regularly during the study.  “It’s widely accepted that studying the relationship between diet and cancer is very challenging, given that processes that lead to development of cancer can operate over a lifetime and are hard to separate,” he chuntered.

The organic food sector has already seen a dip during the economic downturn, as people turn to cheaper, pesticide filled veg as their wallets get emptier. Finding out the cheap stuff is also better for you (or at least, no worse for you) is unlikely to improve market expectations.

Will your suitcase give you cancer?

June 22nd, 2012 5 Comments By Thewlis

suitcases 300x225 Will your suitcase give you cancer? Are you journeying to a posh resort this summer? Did you think you might splash out on some quality luggage so that you wouldn’t be shown up as a Chav at the baggage carousel? Let’s hope you didn’t pick the stylish Samsonite Toyko Chic range then…

That’s right, the Consumer Council in Hong Kong tested the cases and found traces of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a chemical compound linked to causing cancer and birth defects in animals.

While we don’t know why they decided to test the cases, the results showed levels of 17,960 milligrams of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons per kilo in the handles, which is higher than guidelines recommend. Despite Samsonite claiming their own tests only found 17 milligrams per kilo, the company is spending a reported £320,000 recalling 250,000 suitcases, sold over the last three years.

But is the scandal leaving a bitter taste in Samsonite’s mouth? It appears so. Ramesh Tainwala, Samsonite’s Asia-Pacific and Middle East president, reportedly dismissed the risk saying “a human being has to eat 100 handles and then you have the probability of one in a billion chance of getting cancer.” We’re not sure, but we think Samsonite Suitcase Handle may be an oriental delicacy, served with aromatic leaves and plum sauce. Bet he hasn’t eaten any though.

Most of the Tokyo Chic suitcases have been sold in Asia but are available to British customers on specialist luggage websites. We know about lots of specialist websites, but we have never seen one featuring luggage before. You live and learn.

If you are concerned that you may have an evil cancer-exuding suitcase in your possession, you should contact Samsonite for advice. And whatever you do, don’t eat it.

really nice mobile phone action 300x231 Mobile phones: Are they cancering one off all over you?

Really nice mobile phone action

The Health Protection Agency today publishes a review of the evidence they’ve got concerning mobile phones and whether or not they give you brain cancer. If you can’t be bothered with our tawdry round-up, then the full report can be found if you click these differently coloured words.

Of course, this has been reported elsewhere with varying angles, with the Independent and Guardian saying that there’s no clear evidence that mobiles will make your brain melt. However, our chums at the Times and Telegraph are more jumpy, saying that mobiles might cause cancer. Even the Daily Mail were more laissez faire about it all.

Basically, this is the low-down: Evidence suggests that that RF [radiofrequency] field exposure won’t give you cancer and can’t even be detected by people. However, as mobile phone technology is still new, there is little information on the risks beyond 15 years from first exposure. Thus far though, there is no indication of any risk. Concerning RF field exposure, there’s no substantial evidence of adverse health effects regarding cardiovascular morbidity and reproductive function.

So basically, where we stand right now, is that your brain is fine and you’ll still be able to maintain an erection. If you can’t, it certainly isn’t the fault of your phone.

The conclusion in the actual report states: “The overall results of epidemiological studies to date do not demonstrate that the use of mobile phones causes brain tumours or any other type of malignancy, nor do they suggest that causation is likely. They give considerable evidence against a material causal effect on brain tumour risk within 10 years since first use, and to a lesser extent within 15 years, but give far less information about longer periods. There is very limited information on risks of childhood tumours.”

“As mobile phone use has proved very difficult to measure retrospectively in recall-based studies, and has become ubiquitous over a relatively short period of time, considerable weight needs to be given to evidence from national brain tumour incidence trends. So far, these give no indication of any risk, but continued surveillance of them is not difficult and would be valuable.”

HPA will continue to keep an eye on mobiles and the effects they may have on us and, at worst, they advise that excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged. For now.

Cancer is no laughing matter. But fortunately finger-up-the-arse humour and foreign stereotypes ARE a laughing matter and so we have the Prostate Czech, star of an awareness-raising campaign for one of the deadliest, but most curable cancers around.

How would YOU respond if a shady, tracksuited east European sidled up and offered to give you an anal probe in the middle of the street? Even if it might save your life? Bring it on, Prostate Czech!

mobile phone joke 300x225 Its official   mobiles might or might not give you cancerAfter ten long years, and the habits of 13,000 users have been scrutinised, the World Health Organisation still isn’t sure whether mobile phones can cause brain cancer. Props!

The British-based GSM Association, which represents international cell phone firms, said IARC’s findings echoed “the large body of existing research and many expert reviews that consistently conclude that there is no established health risk”.

In fact, data from the study showed mobile telephone users had a lower risk of brain cancer than people who had never used one, but the 21 scientists who conducted the study said this finding suggested problems with the method, or inaccurate information from those who took part, thus rendering ten years of their lives utterly meaningless. But they can’t be sure, so they’ll have to keep checking. Not to worry lads, the study only cost £16 million. Crack on.

Reuters also reports that European scientists last month launched what will become the biggest ever study into how mobile phones effect long-term health, by tracking at least a quarter of a million of people in five European countries for up to 30 years – by which time, all the people the initial research attempted to save in the first place will be pensioners. Congratulations science, you’ve done it again!

crayons 300x225 Hooray for the Daily Mail cancer catching directory!

Some crayons yesterday, possibly packed with cancer

Cancer. The Big C. John C Thunderfuck. Call it whatever you like, we’re all terrified of it, and rightly so.

Luckily for us all, the Daily Mail regularly keep us abreast of the everyday things that can lead us to contracting the hideous disease. Because after all, the Daily Mail is there to inform and educate us, and not, as some people believe, there to convince huge swathes of middle England that they’re about to be murdered in their beds.

Luckily again, someone on Facebook has compiled a helpful list of all of the things that the Daily Mail reckon can give us cancer, along with nice clickable links so that you scare yourself shitless about it all.

It’s a long and varied list, and just so you know, some of the things you should be avoiding include artificial light, babies, blow jobs, being a woman, chips, crayons, Facebook, flip flops, metal, perfume, pork, sausages, retirement, teen sex and Worcestershire sauce.

Phew, eh readers? Be careful out there – it’s a death trap.