Cancer can be Prevented

Much better than having to cure cancer  

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Stop smoking


The amounts of dust particles in the air in living rooms  of smokers are much higher than the European standards for particulates (50 μg/m3)

450 μg/m3  =  severe smog 

450 μg/m3  =  smoking 3 cigarettes in a room 

450 μg/m3  =  two budgerigars in a living room


In the cold and humid climate of Belgium, the Netherlands and the United  Kingdom, people live about 80% of the day indoors and on average 20% outdoors. Indoors means sometimes: 40% of the day in their home with some birds in a dusty and smoky living room, bird room or even bedroom,  and 40% of the day working in a dusty and smoky workplace.

Both the smoker and the bird breeder live on average ten years less.

The loss of one year by outdoor air pollution is only one tenth of this.


Cigarette smoke

We are all exposed to some cigarette smoke and, particularly, to one of its major cancer-causing ingredients: benzo(a)pyrene. This carcinogen depletes our tissue of protective vitamin A, even if our diet includes enough of this vitamin. Vitamin A depletion causes dehydration, metaplasia and keratosis of all skin and mucous cells in the body, with result that sebaceous glands, hair follicles and tear glands dry up. Cigarette smoke is a dense aerosol of chemical combustion gases with a particulate phase and a gas or vapor phase. The particulate phase consists of particles ranging in diameter from 0.1 to 1 μm.The deposition of particles of 0.5 –1 μm in the airways is 10% - 15%; the remainder is exhaled again.The deposition of particles of 2 μm in the lungs is 40%, three to four times greater than that of the1 μm particles but such large particles are relatively rare in tobacco smoke.The size of the particles determines sedimentation; particles around 2 μm sediment in the bronchi while particles smaller than 1 μm sediment in the minute air sacs. Most cigarette smoke particles are smaller than 1 μm and cannot sediment in the bronchi to any extent. Cigarette smoke contains water particles of 0.2-0.5 μm in size, that may become as large as 1-3 μm and be deposited quite readily in the bronchi. The smallest particles in cigarette smoke of around 0.02 μm cannot increase enough in size through water vapour uptake to sediment in the bronchial mucous membrane.

Smokers who inhale smoke for 2 - 3s and keep it in their bronchi by exhaling slowly have a greater degree of deposition of particles of 1 - 3 μm in their bronchi. The process of absorption of water vapour by the hygroscopic particles in cigarette smoke is recognisable by the fact that the smoker expels white smoke instead of the blue smoke that is the original colour of the tobacco combustion gases. Irritation of the respiratory tract mucous membrane as a result of smoking leads to increased mucous production. In the long run, the heavy smoker's first cigarette of the morning does not produce enough irritation to cough up all the mucus that has collected during the night. A drainage problem arises on the minute air sacs involving stasis and a diminution of the diameter of the smaller bronchi. Stasis increases the risk of infection and allergic processes if inhaled micro-organisms and antigens can reach these areas. Some smokers cough and bring up mucus. Some develop a severe bronchial obstructive syndrome, in which coughing is completed with shortness of breath and wheezing in the chest. In addition to the accumulation of mucus, these patients have bronchial spasms and oedema of the bronchial mucous membrane and muscles of the bronchial wall, and to allergic processes in the bronchial wall. Smokers who develop dyspnoea, coughs and wheezing in the chest are individuals who develop the most lung tumours.

This gives good reason to be aware of the subgroup of bird keepers among smokers. Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, is the main health hazard of (indoor) air pollution. The amount of particles around 2 micron has been proven to be elevated in bird keeping households. Bird keepers and especially bird breeders have an increased risk of infection with local damage to the tissue and allergic processes with local immune disorders in the lung tissue.

Smoking in enclosed spaces, like bird keeping, increases concentration of particulates. Dust particulates from bird cages and tobacco smoke are potentially more harmful than the particulates found in outdoor air (i.e. pollen grains, ash, soot, and soil). This gives good reason to be aware of the subgroup of bird keepers among smokers.

Particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less, is the main health hazard of (indoor) air pollution.


Stop the sale of exotic birds

When birds are crowded into small places, with inadequate food and lack of sunlight, their latent infection is lit up. The Chlamydia multiplies and is excreted in large amounts. It float out of the cages along with downy feathers, powdered dung, and contaminate dust. People inhale it and can become ill. No government is likely to prohibit the sale of birds, nor even to insist they be kept under decent conditions.


Contribution of Birds to Biological Pollution at home

A canary weighs barely18 g on average and consumes approximately 3.6 g of  seed and 5.2 ml of water per day. 

A grass parakeet (budgerigar) weighs an average of 40 g; it eats 6 g of seed and drinks 1-3 ml water daily.

A grey-and-red tail parrot weighs an average of 450 g, eats 35 g of seed, in  addition to 40 g  of fruit and greens, and drinks 20 ml of water daily. 

Birds have a high metabolic rate for their low weight. Per kilogram of body weight, the daily consumption of 200 g of food and 288 ml of water by a canary would be equivalent to 12 kg of food and 17 L of water per day for  a human weighing 60 kg.

Pet birds and the insides of their cages spread more allergens and micro- organisms (bacteria, moulds, and viruses) that can be inhaled inside house than do  either a cat or a dog.

Mould Spores, Bacteria, and Viruses. Bird droppings, after they have dried and  during the cleaning of cages and aviairies can disintegrate into extremely  fine dust. Droppings from budgerigars and canaries are drier than pigeon droppings. Micro-organisms make up approximately half of the droppings. After drying, the bird  droppings are spead as dust particles that can be contaminated, for example, with Aspergillus fumigatus spores (3-4 μm),Cryptococcus neoformans spores (2-3 μm), Chlamydia psittaci (0.3 μm), Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium.

Since bird cages are usually kept high up in the room (125 cm), they are at  our breathing level and the movements by the bird produce air currents. 


Concentration of international exotic pet trade in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

It is noteworthy that 60% to 80% of the trade in tropical birds is concentrated in Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For years these three countries have had the highest standardized lung cancer mortality in the world. Most of the organized bird keepers are in these countries and most of the shows are held there. Regional differences in the Netherlands in lung cancer mortality cannot be explained by the differences in the age distribution of the population. In 1984, the rural province of North Brabant had the highest age-standardized lung cancer mortality. Most of the bird clubs and most of the organized bird keepers are traditionally found in this province. Also from 1990 to 1997 North Brabant had the highest lung cancer mortality.


Public shows, which were held several times a year made the hobby increasing popular during the twentieth century. Every self-respecting local club of bird-breeders holds a show of the birds bred once or twice a year.

Netherlands Society of Bird Lovers (1940) 29 chapters and 1,400 members Netherlands Society of Bird Lovers (1985) 662 chapters and 42,500 members

The ratio of bird breeders among the total number of bird keepers is about 1:6. No more than half of the bird breeders are members of a bird league. The degree of organization of the major bird breeders in the Netherlands is high in relation to participation in breeding competitions. Many of the households that have only briefly attempted breeding, often with one or two (partial) failed breeding trials, do not belong to bird clubs.

In the United States, lung cancer death rates have always been lower, even though there were no fewer smokers in the past. In 1980 in the United States there were 25.6 million birds in households per 230 million inhabitants as compared to 7.5 million birds in households per 13.6 million inhabitants in the Netherlands (30% of the households). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA 1988) estimated approximately 15% of the US households had birds.


Bird breeding is related to lung cancer

In our study in The Hague we found a six-fold increase of lung cancer risk among bird keepers younger than 65 years. Intensive bird contacts and especially bird breeding is related to lung cancer.


Lung cancer was around in 1900 a rather infrequent tumor

Lung cancer was around in 1900 a rather infrequent tumor and reached only during the last century epidemic proportions. The increase in cancer prevalence is only a recent biological event.The time that people spend indoors has increased significantly only in the past century.


Lung cancer in laboratory rats by infection with bird flu (Chlamydia pneumoniae)

Recently, In 2012, a lung cancer animal model was developed through repeated injection of Chlamydia pneumoniae in airways of rats, with or without benzo(a)pyrene. With the combination of benzo(a)pyrene and the bacteria of tropical bird flu in the spray, 44% of the laboratory rats got lung cancer. The bacteria of the bird flu is proven to be an independent risk factor for lung cancer.

The combined factors of smoking and Cp chronic infection have super- imposed effects and lead to greatly increased lung cancer risk.


Cancer mortality in poultry workers

Epidemiological data, which suggest common causal factors in the development of cancer in animals and humans (possibly as a result of transmission of viruses), have come from China. A high incidence of oesophageal cancer in both humans and chickens has been reported inNorthern China. There are areas in China where carcinomas of the nose and throat are common in humans, and where clusters of pigs with the same disease have been found. In addition, there are indications in Southern China of a connection between the frequent occurrence of cancer of the liver in ducks and of carcinoma of the liver in humans.

Cancer mortality has been studied in the largest group to date, 20,132 workers in poultry slaughterhouses and processing plants, a group with the highest human exposures. Mortality in poultry workers was compared with that in the US general population through estimation of standardized mortality ratios. Significantly increased risks were observed in the group as a whole or in subgroups, for several cancer sites: cancers of the buccal cavity and pharynx; pancreas; trachea/bronchus/lung; brain; cervix; lymphoid leukemia; monocytic leukemia; and tumors of the hemopoietic and lymphatic systems. This large study provides evidence that a human group with high exposure to poultry oncogenic viruses has a higher risk of death from several cancers.


Many new cancer drugs do not heal, they extend very short life

Eribulin against metastatic breast cancer, costs converted 145 thousand euros per life year gained and delivers an average of 2.7 months of life gains.

Crizotinib, against non-small cell lung cancer, costs converted 65 thousand euros per life year gained at an average gain of 4.7 months of life.

Abiraterone against metastatic prostate cancer, 42 thousand euros per year with an average gain of 8 months of life.

These drugs are expensive because they are applied only to a small group of patients. During the last decade, the drug industry has followed an assumption that a single drug hitting a single target was the “rational” way to design drugs. We’re learning that Mother Nature may be a bit too complicated for that. Strategies for targeting single genes or proteins ignore a very important fact that most, if not all diseases, involve a sophisticated network system. For example, one little family of immune molecules involves about 50 different keys fitting into about 20 different locks, often acting with redundancy, making selection of an appropriate drug to antagonize one key or one lock ineffective in the long run. A whole list of agents has been developed to target a specific molecule for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, for example, but they have all flopped. That’s why drug companies are now working on so-called “promiscuous” drugs that try to affect multiple pathways simultaneously.

Effective vaccins are already available to prevent infections from carcinogenic strains of human papilloma virus which causes cancer of the uterine cervix.

Veterinary and medical scientists are still unable to develop effective vaccines against oncogenic retroviruses that cause HIV, chicken leukosis and bovine leukosis, those associated with HIV, lung cancer and breast cancer respectively.


Cheaper cancer drugs are available

Recently, possible association between chronic chlamydial infections and malignant lymphomas was studied. The case-control study involved 72 patients with lymphoma (31 females and 41 males) and matched controls. 53 patients had non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and 19 had Hodgkin's disease.

The sera, collected at time of diagnosis, were tested for C. pneumoniae, C. trachomatis and Helicobacter pylori. Chronic chlamydial infection was found to be associated with malignant lymphoma. The association was most evident for the presence of C. pneumoniae in non-Hodgkin´s Lymphoma (OR = 7.3, 95% CI 2.2-25). No association between H. pylori antibodies and malignant lymphomas could be found.This study provided evidence of an association between chlamydial infections and malignant lymphomas.

In January 2000, a 60-year-old woman with malignant lymphoma in both lacrimal glands was referred (Ferreri 2007: A woman and her canary). Chlamydia pneumoniae DNA in samples of the malignant lymphomas was detected. The patient underwent successive treatment regimens with rituximab, radiotherapy, and chlorambucil, all followed by relapse. At the third relapse, which occurred in the right lacrimal gland and cervical lymph nodes, she was treated with doxycycline, and this treatment was followed by a complete remission. At this third relapse in September 2005, the patient complained of dyspnea, dysphonia, dysphagia, and cough. A neoplastic mass surrounding the right bronchus and multiple cervical and mediastinal lymphadenopathies of up to 5 cm were detected. A biopsy revealed a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Cp DNA was detected both in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma samples and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected simultaneously with bronchial biopsy. Cp reinfection occurred due to chronic exposure to a persistent source of the bacterium. A canary, present in the patient's house since 1998, was identified as a potential candidate. Cp DNA was found in the bird's feces and organs (lungs, spleen, liver, and bowel), and sequence analysis confirmed that both the patient and her canary were infected by the same chlamydial strain. Malignant lymphoma in lacrimal glands and bronchus were caused by her canary.


This case history adds new pathogenic and therapeutic perspectives to the association between Cp and malignant lymphomas. This was the first time that 1) the source of bacterial infection in a patient with Cp-related lymphoma was identified and 2) it was demonstrated that prolonged exposure to the infected bird resulted in continuous reinfection. Transmission from animals to humans mainly occurs through aerosols of fecal or feather dust, in which Cp remains viable for months. Thus, it is not surprising that both lymphomas in our patient arose in organs (ocular adnexa and bronchus) considered as “first barriers” to air-transported antigens. In patients with Cp-related lymphomas, sustained contact with potentially infected animals should be investigated. Either animal treatment or removal from contact with the patient prevent reinfection and eliminate subsequent risk of lymphoma development.

Chronic infection with Cp is an independent risk factor for cancer. Tetracycline and macrolide (erythromycine) antibiotics have a remarkable therapeutic effect on Cp infection. Cp infection is therefore controllable. Tetracycline is a short-acting antibiotic that is semisynthetically produced from chlortetracycline, a compound derived from Streptomyces aureofaciens. Tetracycline enters bacterial cells by passively diffusing through membrane porin channels. Once inside the cell, tetracycline causes inhibition of protein synthesis and hence bacterial cell growth. Chlamydiae are susceptible to tetracycline and doxycycline that interfere with DNA and protein synthesis for cell growth and replication. Penicillin works by preventing bacteria from building their cell walls. Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular Gram-negative bacteria with a unique biphasic developmental cycle where they lack a cell wall. The infection starts with the uptake of the metabolic inactive elementary bodies by the cell. Elementary bodies differentiate to metabolic active reticulate bodies, which replicate in a vacuole inside the host cell. Reticulate bodies re-differentiate to elementary bodies, which are then released from the cells to initiate a new cycle of infection. Intracellular reticulate bodies are not susceptible to penicillin but tetracyclines can interfere with the internal metabolic processes by which Chlamydiae manufacture new proteins for growth and replication.


Cp, a risk factor for lung cancer, is controllable

Malignant lymphoma regression after tetracycline (doxycycline) treatment is consequent to Chlamydia pneumonia eradication (Ferreri 2012). Doxycycline administration (100 mg, twice a day) was associated with an overall response rate of 64% and a 2-year failure-free survival of 67% in patients with malignant lymphomas.

Tetracycline and macrolide (erythromycine) antibiotics have a remarkable therapeutic effect on Cp infection. Cp infection is therefore controllable.

Tetracycline is a short-acting antibiotic that is semi-synthetically produced from chlortetracycline, a compound derived from Streptomyces aureofaciens. Tetracycline enters bacterial cells by passively diffusing through membrane porin channels. Once inside the cell, tetracycline causes inhibition of protein synthesis and hence bacterial cell growth.


Your eating habits can avoid cancer

Overall cancer rates are much lower in India than in western countries. U.S. men get 23 times more prostate cancer than men in India. Americans get between 8 and 14 times the rate of melanoma, 10 to 11 times more colorectal cancer, 9 times more endometrial cancer, 7 to 17 times more lung cancer, 7 to 8 times more bladder cancer, 5 times more breast cancer, and 9 to 12 times more kidney cancer. This is not mere 5, 10, or 20 percent more, but 5, 10, or 20 times more. Because Indians account for one-sixth of the world’s population, and have some of the lowest rates of cancer in the world, epidemiological studies in this country have great potential for improving our understanding of how eating habits can avoid cancer. The lower rates of cancer may, of course, not be due only to higher spice intake. Several dietary factors may contribute to the low overall rate of cancer in India. Among them are a “relatively low intake of meat and a mostly plant-based diet, in addition to the high intake of spices.” Forty percent of Indians are vegetarians, and even the ones that do eat meat don’t eat a lot. And it’s not only what they don’t eat, but what they do. India is one of the largest producers and consumers of fresh fruits and vegetables, and Indians eat a lot of legumes, such as beans, chickpeas, and lentils. They also eat a wide variety of spices in addition to turmeric that constitute, by weight, the most antioxidant-packed class of foods in the world.

Curcumin is an extract of turmeric root. It’s so anti-inflammatory that it may even work through the skin—a traditional use was to wrap sprains and injuries with turmeric soaked poultices, a use that continues to this day. Curcumin is so anti-inflammatory that it can help counter the effects of mustard gas. Promising effects have also been observed in patients with a variety of inflammatory diseases. One of the great things about curcumin is that it also appears to be very safe. 

Another example of a successful promiscuous plant-based drug is aspirin. It doesn’t just target inflammation and offer pain relief, but can act as a blood thinner and help prevent preeclampsia and even some types of cancer. Aspirin is an extract of the willow tree bark (and is present in other fruits and vegetables).