a new cancer plan

a new cancer plan

a new cancer plan was launched yesterday, by the all party parliamentary group for cancer


Thanks Molennium- interesting. Sadly have cynical feelings about talk of the UK staying a leader in ca research while our figures for br ca survival compare so badly with other countries. Time we got it right -particularly as we have highest incidence in Europe and therefore most reason to improve.dilly

I’ll believe it when it happens I have a 35 yr old nephew, who has a Ph.d in biochemistry and has spent his working life in cancer research, either at the Paterson Institute (allied to Christie’s in Manchester) or at the Cancer Research Institute in south London. His speciality was apoptosis of cells, which has great significance for all cancer sufferers. He has always had to take 2 yr post grad contracts. This past year he has not been able to get another research job as Eastern European post grads are taking the jobs at half what he was getting, and that was a measly £30,000 after 6 yrs of education. He has been doing an accountancy degree part time this past year, and living with his parents in the bleak North East. For the past 2 weeks he has been doing some silly data input with a temporary agency just to get some self esteem back. I am absolutely outraged at the few opportunities we give to science graduates, and particularly cancer research guys. I do not know where our society is going and what our govt mean to accomplish by denying funds to research grads.


Research Personally I don’t think government have a genuine desire to admit the real causes of cancer. I’ve been reading a lot about environmental factors and I would n’t be surprised if they have a greater responsibility for the incidence of cancer than anyone would like to admit. We’ve all probably been eating, breathing, drinkling and rubbing onto our skins so much c**p over the years that it’s surprising more people don’t get cancer. I don’t believe government and big companies want to know the effects of the substances responsible because they’d have to take them out of products and that would be bad for business. When it comes right down to it, the people with real clout are the big manufacturers and government won’t upset them. They probably get more in revenue, taxes, whatever than people like us cost in health care. Besides, what would the drug companies do if not so many people got ill and needed their drugs??? So it’s not in their interests to fund research on the causes of cancer.

Does that sound cynical or what??? Or maybe I’m just paranoid or fed up, or both!!

in the (not so) bleak North East

For Geraldine Hi Geraldine - you are not cynical and not paranoid. You are spot on. Have you visited:




The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) represents all medical doctors in the EU which is approximately 2 million physicians.

Two million doctors can’t be wrong. Doctors I’ve asked do not dismiss links between environmental factors and breast cancer.

We can either campaign to do something about it or sit back and watch our daughters and granddaughters get breast cancer. When I was diagnosed wih breast cancer three years ago, the annual UK incidence for women was around 41,000. Now it’s nearly 44,000. Incidence has increased 81% between 1971 and 2004.

How high does the annual incidence have to go before the environmental question starts to be taken seriously?

Correction to URL This should work


Hi Daphne I’m sure you’re right about environmental factors playig a part in cancer. but I do query the 81% rise in INCIDENCE (sorry about the capitals, but it’s the only way this system lets us emphasise words). I would rather say an 81% rise in DIAGNOSIS, since the advent of the mammogram screening programme (and other modern diagnostic tools such as ultrasound) has meant many much smaller and earlier cancers are now found, often long before they would have been found any other way. Indeed some at least of the cancers being found now might never have been diagnosed in earlier days, as people would have died of other things before their bc caused any symptoms.

That doesn’t mean that imcidence isn’t rising - I’m sure it is. We’re taller, heavier, drink much more and eat more junk food than we used to do 40 years ago - all of these being risk factors for bc. It’s just that i think we have to be carefully to use words accurately and the fact is that we can’t know how much of this rise is true increase in cases and how much is due to better diagnostic tools.

Kathy xxx

Incidence or Diagnosis The source of the 81% increase in incidence statement is the Government, not me. According to ONS, “Incidence rates increased 80% between 1971 and 2003”.


This has recently been updated to say it increased 81% between 1971 and 2004.

I agree that the screening programme diagnoses some cancers now that would never have been diagnosed before the screening programme was introduced in 1988. However, if you look at the graph on the ONS link it shows incidence rates rising steadily well before 1988. I don’t believe the screening programme adequately explains the huge increase in incidence of 81%. Included in this increase are women under 50 who are not screened and those over 70 who have only recently become entitled to continue being screened. Many cancers are detected earlier due to better technology, but I believe most would still be detected in a woman’s lifetime, without the technology. Breast cancer incidence is increasing in India and China (I’ve seen a figure of 3-4% per year for China). I’m not aware that those countries have a screening programme.

I expect some breast cancer diagnoses are due to diet and lifestyle, but I question what percentage. I know people who avoid junk food, drink sensibly and exercise and they’ve still got it.

Risk factors I’m one of the people who should have been low risk. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years. I’m not and never have been overweight. I have always exercised regularly- my partner and I completed the West Highland Way in May before I was diagnosed and we backpacked the full length of the walk. I go to the gym 3 times a week. I don’t smoke and hardly drink anything. I don’t eat junk food. I breastfed my son. There is no genetic factor in my family. So what else could I have done. It is starting to annoy me that once the other factors have been dismissed, people assume there is a genetic factor. So it’s your family who are to blame, is it? Nothing like blaming the patient. Or is it just a cop out? I think study needs to focus on other less obvious causes of cancer. But I doubt the motivation is there to fund this

Geraldine my daughter doesn’t fit ANY of the bc risk categories- sensible eating- no red meat- near veggie, exercise, 1st baby 27, periods didn’t start early, didn’t have growing spurt at the time they say it affects, breast fed lots, My b c only one in family and that at 68-old age,etc. But she still needed lumpectomy at 46.
She feels oestrogen in milk suspicious so has gone organic.
We both feel that it has something to do with environment- no govt’s willing to investigate this - probably for financial reasons. dilly

interesting Interestingly I’ve today read that Teesside/Tees valley (where I live)has higher than national averare rates of a number of types of cancer.NHS and medical research has highlighted this and a local MP has raised this in Parliament, pointing out that the area has the highest concentration of petro-chemical and steel manufacturing plants in Europe. There is also a nuclear power station in amongst all of this. HMmm, very interesting!!!

Section 3 of the New Cancer Plan calls for, among other things, “further research into environmental causal factors and prevention”.

If enough people contact their MPs to demand that the relationship between environmental factors and breast cancer is looked at seriously, they will do something about it.

I’ve already made my views known to my MP - did over a year ago.

For anyone who wonders how the love affair between the chemical industry and hormone disrupting chemicals came about, here’s an example.

DES (diethylstilboestrel) was given to some pregnant women for about 30 years from the 1940s to prevent miscarriage. It’s also been used to treat menopausal symptoms, as a morning after contraceptive and, bizarrely, for girls who were growing “too tall”, to fatten chickens, cows and other farm animals. Then it was discovered that the children of women who’d taken DES had abnormally high incidence of cancers and genital abnormalities. It’s been linked to testicular cancer.

In 1891, Bisphenol A (BPA) was invented by a Russian chemist. In 1936, it was discovered that It behaved in a similar way to oestrogen. BPA lost out to DES as a chemical to “manage” women’s reproductive lives and the annoying habit of some of them to grow too tall.

BPA was not foisted on the unwitting public until a chemist discovered in the early 1950s that it could be used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. So now, we are all exposed to BPA in such things as plastic water bottles, linings for tin cans, white dental fillings (I had one last week), adhesives, water pipe linings, flooring.

You might argue this story doesn’t prove that BPA is in any way responsibile for the increased incidence of breast cancer since the 1950s.

All I can say is that the “Cancer Establishment” wants us to believe that things like significant changes in reproductive habits since the 1950s have contributed to the increase in breast cancer (actually, reproductive habits have changed remarkably insignificantly as a trip to the ONS website reveals). They don’t want us to make the very obvious connection that breast cancer has increased during the same time period as the explosion in growth of new chemicals, food additives and drugs since the 1950s.

Hi Geraldine I too live in the Tees area, I know we have a high number of bowel cancers, my hubby included.
This year I was dx with breast cancer, the environment came to my mind straight away.

I had no FH, only taken the pill for a couple of years, breast fed my 3 kids, no HRT, non smoker, only occasional alcohol, I do eat red meat, and I am overweight tho