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MatC
157920.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:35 am Reply with quote

And, while we’re at it, here’s the “smoking to prevent breast cancer” thing. Smoking might reduce the risk of developing breast cancer - according to research by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (Daily Telegraph, 21 May 98) - in women who are genetically predisposed to the disease. Those women are, it’s generally agreed, by far and away the ones who are most likely to get breast cancer; 80% of them develop it before the age of 70. Smoking reduces their risk by 50%, according to the WHO report.

 
dr.bob
157944.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:07 am Reply with quote

Does it reduce their risk by causing them to die of other things first?

As to the passive smoking study, how does the Telegraph know what was in it if WHO refused to publish it?

 
DELETED
157946.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:10 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
dr.bob
157947.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:12 am Reply with quote

Is this a rhetorical question?

 
DELETED
157960.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:25 am Reply with quote

DELETED

 
MatC
157969.  Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:07 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
Does it reduce their risk by causing them to die of other things first?


I don’t know, Bob, but it seems unlikely: isn’t the average age at death of smokers a decade or so higher than the average age of onset of breast cancer?


Quote:
As to the passive smoking study, how does the Telegraph know what was in it if WHO refused to publish it?


... it was leaked ... !

 
dr.bob
158168.  Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:54 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
I don’t know, Bob, but it seems unlikely: isn’t the average age at death of smokers a decade or so higher than the average age of onset of breast cancer?


You can find some figures for the incidence of breast cancer in the UK here:
http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/breast/incidence/?a=5441#age

They don't have a figure for the average age of onset, but there is a graph of number of cases against age:

[img]http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/images/gpimages/cs_br_f1.1[/img]
(hmmm, I wonder why that image isn't showing as an image)

The majority of cases occur in the over 50s. From squinting at that graph with my eyes half closed, I'd guesstimate that the average age was probably over 60.

I don't know what age smokers typically die, though.

MatC wrote:
... it was leaked ... !


Ahh, that would explain it. That would, however, suggest two possible situations to me:

1) The report did not consist of particularly good science and so the WHO declined to publish it as the data wasn't good enough to really say anything much. Meanwhile someone with a vested interest in the smoking lobby leaked parts of the report to the press to generate some positive headlines for smoking.

2) The report proved conclusively a protective effect of smoking, but the WHO refused to publish it as they felt it would send out the "wrong" signals. The report was then leaked to the press by a conscientious scientist who felt that the world had a right to know the truth.

It's an interesting idea, though, so I might do some digging around to see if I can find any more details about it.

 
Flash
158174.  Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:04 am Reply with quote

Am I the only one who has been wondering about possible links between Trembling Sea Mats and Trembling MatCs?

 
MatC
158176.  Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:06 am Reply with quote

Of course you are.

 
MatC
162317.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:34 am Reply with quote

“Researchers in the US found that men whose mothers ate beef more than once a day had significantly reduced sperm concentrations.”
- Western Daily Press, 28 March 07.

I think this is one of my favourite health scares for years; firstly, because it just shows what a weird country the US is where people might eat beef more than once a day! And secondly, because what they presumably meant to say, but forgot, is that this only counts while your mother is pregnant with you!

 
dr.bob
162346.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:44 am Reply with quote

You don't think they're using "eat beef" as some kind of euphemism here, do you?

No? Just me then. Oh well!

 
Jenny
162368.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:14 am Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
“Researchers in the US found that men whose mothers ate beef more than once a day had significantly reduced sperm concentrations.”
- Western Daily Press, 28 March 07.

I think this is one of my favourite health scares for years; firstly, because it just shows what a weird country the US is where people might eat beef more than once a day! And secondly, because what they presumably meant to say, but forgot, is that this only counts while your mother is pregnant with you!


Given the amount of hormones they pump into the beef over here, I can't say this story surprises me a lot.

 
MatC
163751.  Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:03 pm Reply with quote

Rice gives you cancer, now. "Some American rice" contains high levels of arsenic, according to Aberdeen University researchers, which will increase your risk of bladder and lung cancer. (But only if you inhale it, I expect).

- Western Daily Press, 24 March 07.

 
eggshaped
221377.  Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:10 am Reply with quote

More on smoking dangers here

Quote:
The danger of cigarettes is mostly not in smoking them, argues a study by three doctors at the KS Hegde Medical Academy in Mangalore, India. Or, put another way: the danger comes from not smoking. Figuratively blowing smoke in the face of conventional wisdom, the study asks: "Are lung cancers triggered by stopping smoking?"............


Paper here (pay per view)

 
dr.bob
221484.  Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:45 am Reply with quote

I will begin by pointing out that I have not read the paper as I'm not prepared to pay $30 for the privilege. Thus my opinion is based on the Guardian article's reporting of the paper.

Having gotten that out of the way, I'd just like to say that I've never read such a steaming pile of bullshit in all my life. To take a small group of lung cancer patients and say that, because 182 of them had recently quit smoking, compared to the other 130 who hadn't, this proves that quitting smoking is more dangerous for you than continuing to smoke beggers belief.

There are so many things wrong with that hypothesis, I'm not really sure where to start.

 

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