paul’s words

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What else causes cancer?

On April 3, 2008, The Salt Lake Tribune published, on page A4, an article headlined: “‘Double whammy’ gene linked to smoking dependency ”. A graphic based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Associated Press accompanied the article. Here’s a scanned image:


In words rather than bars, the graph shows:

In industrialized countries, in 2002 there were 0.9 million new cases of tobacco-related cancers among men and 2.7 million other-causes cancers among men. That’s 3 times as many other-causes cases as tobacco-related cancers.

Among women, the numbers are even more startling: 0.3 million tobacco cases; 2.3 million other-causes cases - 8 times as many.

In developing countries, 0.7 million tobacco cases among men; 3.1 million not-tobacco cases - nearly 4.5 times as many.

And among women, 0.1 million tobacco cases; 2.7 million not-tobacco cases - 27 times as many.

That’s many more other-causes cancer cases than tobacco-related ones.


What does CDC mean by “tobacco-related”? Not “tobacco-caused”? Don’t they know whether tobacco caused these cancers?

A study of cancer patients gives only a correlation, not causation.

Would someone, please, study the “other causes” cases - that significant and neglected majority of new cancers. Or, if there are studies, why is there no coverage in the popular press?

And, by the way, bad nutrition seems causal.

W. Paul Wharton