Thursday, August 13, 2009

Medical astrology

I am not a doctor, I just have a long record of sicknesses, which were not too disruptive to make me disabled, but painful enough to make me think how my organism works. And when I recently got flu, I was not surprised to later get heavy pain in my backbone and right leg – I immediately understood that the virus entered the nervous system and caused inflammation.

When I told this to my friend, well, the scepticism was understandable. However, the very next morning, I bumped into an article in the most authoritative PNAS journal saying that influenza virus, indeed, can cause neuroinflammation (I was fortunate enough to get that in the leg).

This happened a week ago, but today I got yet another medical case study, because I read a BBC article stating that increasing drinking causes oral cancer.

How comes, I thought… People used to drink much heavier in the past, and the major problem caused by drinking is cirrhosis, which sometimes kills faster than any cancer. Very strange…

The article stated that "Alcohol consumption has doubled since the 1950s and the trend we are now seeing is likely to be linked to Britain's continually rising drinking levels."

But I can tell you that this is not the only trend that started in the 1950s. Yet another one was the sexual revolution, and this, unfortunately, may be related to mouth problems, too.

It is well known that some forms of cancer are caused by viruses, in particular, papillomaviruses, which are known to cause cervical cancer. Therefore, my hypothesis was that the increase of the oral cancer in the last decades could be related to particular sexual practices that became more acceptable and widely used.

I asked myself a horary question, whether my hypothesis was correct. The chart was quite positive about this, with Venus on ascendent, exalted Moon lady of ascendent and Jupiter in 9th.

I wanted to add a comment on the cancer causes in the BBC page of the article about drinking, but the discussion was already closed. I then wanted to find the researcher whose words were quoted in the article, Hazel Nunn, and maybe to email her for a discussion, because I strongly felt the claim of the article was not quite correct (and no, I am not a drunkard to feel urge to protect the rights of alcohol).

I found the press-release of the Cancer Research UK, where most of the ideas were the same as BBC published, but there was also a very brief note, which is actually most elucidating:

"It's possible that HPV and diet are also playing a role, and the evidence -
particularly for the role of HPV - is growing."

And if you still do not know, HPV is the abbreviation for papillomaviruses, which do cause cervical cancer and in the last decades seem to migrate to other parts, too.

I am not a doctor, and I cannot publish a PNAS paper on this. No proper medical affiliation, no convincing statistics, no robustness of the result…

This is typical for cholerics: to get the answer faster than to be able to prove it.

Update of August 18th, 2009. I just found a new article in the Lancet journal on alcohol consumption and deaths in Russia (this is where it is really extreme). Although throat cancer is mentioned in the list of death causes, it is very minor compared with accidents and violence, alcohol poisoning, ischaemic heart disease, liver cancer, tuberculosis, pneumonia, cirrhosis, pancreatic disease, and "ill-specified conditions".

Looking at the plots in the paper, one can notice that everywhere in Europe alcohol consumption is decreasing. I am afraid, it has nothing to do with the major cause of the oral cancer (which grows in Europe but still quite low in traditional Russia).

Update of August 26th, 2009. I found that in May 2007, in the New England Journal of Medicine, there was an article by D'Souza et al with main conclusion that "oral HPV infection is strongly associated with oropharyngeal cancer among subjects with or without the established risk factors of tobacco and alcohol use". The press-release of this result is here.

Update of September 9th, 2009. Yet another PNAS article states that the prostate cancer is caused by XMRV virus. I have a suspicion that most cancers are caused by viruses (except abnormal cases like heavy radiation dozes, etc). This is what drives cells mad when they loose their normal functionality. There should be some intrusion, and viral mechanism is a direct way for that.

If one mentions genetic predisposition, how can one know that viruses are not transmitted within a family? People sleep together, eat together, they are an entity; everything is shared and exchanged. Baby gets all mother's viruses, wife gets all husband's viruses. It is inevitable. Later smoking or drinking just triggers and accelerates the processes.

Update of August 17, 2010. A very good presentation about retroviridae causing sarcoma, tumors and leukemia.

Update of March 3, 2011. A new press-release about the link between HPV and throat cancer. I am pleased to see my medical intuition been confirmed by the academic science. The only difference is that I came to the conclusion after reading a couple of papers on medical statistics - and these guys spent years in the lab.

8 comments:

Glazomer said...

Not exactly. 6% DNA-positive samples (and 23% viral protein-positive samples - God knows how this can be) is not enough to say that the virus causes prostate cancer. There is only an association in rare cases for now.

Health and Disease said...

Cancer in United States and its Kinds Checkout here

Valerie Livina said...

Yet another cancer most probably caused by viruses (mechanism unknown)

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hodgkin's_lymphoma

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