Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reducing cancer panic

07.02.2008
New research has allayed some panic about suspected cancer-causing agents, such as deodorants, coffee and artificial sweeteners.

A risk assessment tool has been developed through the Cancer Control Program at South Eastern Sydney & Illawarra Health (SESIH) by UNSW researcher, Professor Bernard Stewart.

The publication of the research coincides with World Cancer Day.

“Our tool will help establish if the level of risk is high – say, on a par with smoking – or unlikely such as using deodorants, artificial sweeteners and drinking coffee or fluoridated water – or at risk bands in between,” said Professor Stewart.

“The media are filled with reports about possible causes of cancer: most commonly, a new and unexpected exposure to a previously suspected carcinogen.

“It’s one thing to know that arsenic is carcinogenic - but quite another to distinguish between different methods of exposure. That’s what this approach achieves,” said Professor Stewart. “For instance, smelter workers who are exposed to arsenic emissions are much more likely to develop cancer than children who have played on climbing frames constructed from arsenic-treated timber – but the carcinogen is the same.”

Until now there have only been mathematical risk assessments, which are complicated and of limited application.

“Our approach can be used whenever carcinogenic risk can be implied,” said Professor Stewart.

In an issue of the journal Mutation Research Reviews, the newly developed procedure has been applied to more than than 60 situations, ranging from active smoking to electromagnetic fields in the workplace – which are all deemed to offer some degree of carcinogenic risk. Consequently, each situation can be located within one of five bands corresponding to proven, likely, inferred, unknown or unlikely risk of carcinogenic outcome.

Surveys suggest that tobacco smoking is correctly identified as the major cause of cancer, but a host of other situations – using a mobile phone, air pollution, exposure to DDT, eating dioxin-contaminated fish, using hair dyes, and drinking alcoholic beverages – are often given similar risk status.

“We now have a means of indicating which carcinogenic risks are comparable by reference to the type of evidence available,” says Professor Stewart. “This risk assessment gives the lie to the attitude that ‘everything causes cancer’.”

The Cancer Council Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Professor Ian Olver, said The Cancer Council was frequently called on to provide evidence-based comment to help the media and public make sense of the many and frequent reports about risks from exposure to suspected carcinogens.

“Being able to draw on an evidence base that evaluates carcinogenic risk based on different types of exposure will be an invaluable resource to help organisations like The Cancer Council,” Professor Olver said. “We want to ensure the public has accurate information about where carcinogens pose a genuine concern and how people can best reduce their risk.”

Bernard Stewart | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unsw.edu.au/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Research finds new molecular structures in boron-based nanoclusters

13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Algae Have Land Genes

13.07.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>