Anal cancer rates have skyrocketed in the USA – get the HPV vaccine

anal cancer

Diagnoses and deaths from anal cancer, which is related to the human papillomavirus (HPV), have risen dramatically over the last 15 years according to a new peer-reviewed article. This study was the first to compare and categorize HPV-related anal cancer by stage at diagnosis, year of birth, and mortality.

One of the myths about the HPV vaccine is that its only purpose is to prevent cervical cancer in women. Although that is important, this study shows that preventing anal cancer should be one of the goals of getting the HPV vaccine.

Like I usually do with anything related to the HPV vaccine, let’s take a look at the disease and the study. Continue reading “Anal cancer rates have skyrocketed in the USA – get the HPV vaccine”

Reduce cancer risk in 12 easy-ish steps – number 3 is “get your vaccines”

reduce cancer risk

I have railed against pseudoscientific charlatans who claim that they have the easy way to reduce cancer risk (or even cure it). Generally, these snake oil salesmen try to convince you that they have some miraculous food, supplement, spiritual energy, and on and on, that can either kill cancer in its tracks or keep them from even growing in your body.

Of course, none of their claims are actually supported by robust science. On the other hand, real science has 12 evidence-based methods to actually prevent cancer.

But what about those memes that say that supplements prevent cancer? Nope, they don’t. And that’s been shown in study after study after study after study (yeah, I could go on for a while).

What about avoiding GMO foods because they cause cancer? Again, studies show that GMO foods have no effect on cancers.

Oh, one more thing – bananas don’t have tumor necrosis factor, and the yellow fruit can’t prevent or cure cancer (but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t delicious).

Despite the absolute lack of evidence that supplements, kale, bananas, or drinking the pure waters of a glacial fed stream (which may not be an option with climate change), there are only a few things that can be done to manage your overall risk of cancer.

The “how to reduce cancer risk list” has been codified by the World Health Organization’s  (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) into 12 steps (no, not that debunked one) that are called the European Code Against Cancer.

Let’s look at cancer and the methods to reduce cancer risk.

Continue reading “Reduce cancer risk in 12 easy-ish steps – number 3 is “get your vaccines””

Secret cancer cure – is Big Pharma hiding it from us?

Here is one of the most annoying questions asked on the internet – “Is Big Pharma hiding a secret cancer cure just to make bundles of money?” Seriously, I think a see a variation of that question every day on sites like Quora, where people asked intuitive but mostly ridiculous questions to get answers from so-called experts. 

Since I end up answering this question every day, I thought maybe I should put down my thoughts in an article here. It will allow me to cut and paste the answer right from here – a true sign of either extreme preparedness or laziness. Maybe both.

It’s clear that a lot of the “secret cancer cure” myths arise in the typical pseudoscience websites. They’re pushing “natural” cures that are 100% effective in “curing” every known cancer with no side effects. What’s the evidence? You just need to trust them. Continue reading “Secret cancer cure – is Big Pharma hiding it from us?”

Gardasil safety facts – debunking myths about the HPV vaccine

Gardasil safety facts

I’ve written nearly a metric tonne of articles about Gardasil safety facts over the past eight years. Most of my posts covered peer-reviewed studies and meta-reviews that support the overall HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness profiles. It is settled science

There are so many myths, memes, and tropes about HPV vaccine safety, all of them based on anecdotes, false claims, and stories – all of them lack the support of robust scientific evidence. 

For example, there have been several recent stories about the claimed dangers of the HPV vaccine, like Colton Berrett’s tragic suicide after contracting transverse myelitis. The parents blamed Gardasil for Colton’s disease, despite the fact that there is simply no evidence of such a link. Of all of the vaccines on the market, the anti-vaccine world appears to reserve their most unscientific hatred for Gardasil.

There is one common point about my boatload of articles about Gardasil safety facts – they are backed by literally dozens of powerful, unbiased, statistically significant, repeated clinical and epidemiological studies. 

Continue reading “Gardasil safety facts – debunking myths about the HPV vaccine”

Meat causes cancer? The answer is complicated and nuanced

eating meat causes cancer

Over the past few years, there have been numerous stories about whether meat causes cancer. Well, the answer is extremely complicated and nuanced, something doesn’t play well with clickbait headlines. People want to know The Truth™ about meat. Oh, and this article isn’t about vaccines, shocking, right?

A couple of years ago we were flooded by memes, articles, and uptight vegans laughing at everyone because the World Health Organization stated that eating meat causes cancer – that’s either processed meat, like a good French sausage, or unprocessed red meat.

Then recently, we were flooded by new memes, articles, and uptight vegans when an article was published to tell us that meat was safe. Of course, that was followed up by even newer memes, articles, and uptight vegans that that new article was junk, and meat causes cancer. 

Even those of you with good scientifically skeptical minds (which includes a lot of vegans) are wondering if anyone knows anything about meat and cancer. So I sliced some excellent French sausage and ate it with my GMO crackers – then this old avian dinosaur did what he is supposed to do, he read the articles.

So, should you worry whether meat causes cancer? I agree that there are a lot of issues about people eating beef, pork, and chicken for our individual health and for the health of the planet. But that’s outside of my bailiwick, and it will garner an incredible amount of yelling and screaming.

But I’m going to be brave (or not) and just try to answer the simple question of whether meat causes cancer. And here we go.

Continue reading “Meat causes cancer? The answer is complicated and nuanced”

BCG lung cancer vaccine? The avian dinosaur analyzes the clinical trial

lung cancer vaccine

Recently, a paper was published which described a potential lung cancer vaccine. Interestingly, it’s not a novel vaccine, but it’s the BCG vaccine that’s been around for nearly 100 years.

Unless you are really into vaccines or had a typical education as a physician or nurse, you probably don’t know much about the BCG vaccine, because it’s not a typical part of the  CDC immunization schedule for either adults or children. 

So, let’s talk about this vaccine, and its use as a lung cancer vaccine. Continue reading “BCG lung cancer vaccine? The avian dinosaur analyzes the clinical trial”

Gardasil facts – debunking myths about HPV vaccine safety and efficacy

Gardasil safety and efficacy

The HPV cancer-preventing vaccine, especially Gardasil (or Silgard, depending on market), has been targeted by the anti-vaccine religion more than just about any other vaccine being used these days. So many people tell me that they give their children all the vaccines, but refuse to give them the HPV vaccine based on rumor and innuendo on the internet. This article provides all the posts I’ve written about Gardasil’s safety and efficacy.

As many regular readers know, I focus on just a few topics in medicine, with my two favorites being vaccines and cancer – of course, the Gardasil cancer-preventing vaccine combines my two favorite topics. Here’s one thing that has become clear to me – there are no magical cancer prevention schemes. You are not going to prevent any of the 200 different cancers by drinking a banana-kale-quinoa smoothie every day. The best ways to prevent cancer are to quit smoking, stay out of the sun, keep active and thin, get your cancer-preventing vaccines, and following just a few more recommendations.

The benefits of the vaccine are often overlooked as a result of two possible factors – first, there’s a disconnect between personal activities today and cancer that could be diagnosed 20-30 years from now; and second, people think that there are significant dangers from the vaccine which are promulgated by the anti-vaccine religion.

It’s frustrating and difficult to explain Gardasil safety and efficacy as a result of the myths about safety and long-term efficacy of the vaccine. That’s why I have written nearly 200 articles about Gardasil safety and efficacy, along with debunking some ridiculous myths about the cancer-preventing vaccine. This article serves to be a quick source with links to most of those 200 articles.

And if you read nothing else in this review of Gardasil, read the section entitled “Gardasil safety and effectiveness – a quick primer” – that will link you to two quick to read articles that summarize the best evidence in support of the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness.

Continue reading “Gardasil facts – debunking myths about HPV vaccine safety and efficacy”

Anti HPV vaccine memes – New York anti-vaxxers get everything wrong

antii hpv vaccine

The anti-HPV vaccine crowd is now furious about New York Senate bill S298A, which is now in the Health Committee of that body. Basically, the bill would add the HPV vaccine to the vaccine schedule for all New York children born after January 1, 2008. 

As I’ve mentioned before, many of us have observed that the anti-HPV vaccine beliefs are the strongest of them all in the anti-vaccine religion. Even among those who generally vaccinate their children will stop at the HPV vaccine, for reasons that make even less sense than their usual vaccine denial.

In response to the S298A, there has been a lot of nonsense being pushed about the vaccine. One of those anti-HPV vaccine memes reached the claws of this ancient dinosaur. 

And you know what we do here? Yes, we’re going to skeptically demolish it with real science. Continue reading “Anti HPV vaccine memes – New York anti-vaxxers get everything wrong”

HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer – more reasons for the HPV vaccine

oropharyngeal cancer

Two new peer-reviewed studies about the incidence of HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer provides more evidence for the importance of the HPV vaccine. There are so few evidence-based methods to prevent cancer, it is shocking that so many people forgo the HPV vaccine for their children and for themselves.

I think one of the misunderstandings about HPV and the HPV vaccine is that it’s all about cervical cancer, a serious disease by itself. But many people overlook that possibly half of HPV-related cancers are not about cervical cancer, but numerous other cancers that are just as deadly. 

In fact, HPV-associated cancers are increasing in men, but are dropping in women, because women had a head-start in getting the HPV vaccine. 

We can all predict that the anti-vaccine crackpots will claim that HPV has nothing to do with cancer or a good organic, GMO-free, blueberry kale smoothie will prevent oropharyngeal cancer. However, for those of us who care about scientific evidence, please read on. Continue reading “HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer – more reasons for the HPV vaccine”

CDC tobacco science – discrediting another ridiculous vaccine myth

CDC tobacco

And today we have another vaccine myth to debunk – since the CDC tobacco smoking science was wrong 50 years ago, how can we trust them about vaccines? Of course, the problem with the myth is multi-faceted, typical of every anti-vaccine trope pushed on the internet.

Let’s start right at the top – is there any evidence whatsoever that the CDC tobacco science was anything but what we know today? Spoiler alert, nope, nothing there. 

I have kind of written about this subject recently, but that article focused more on the claim about “doctors endorse smoking” rather than the CDC. This is a more specific article debunking the old CDC tobacco claim – so annoying.

So, let’s get into another ignorant anti-vaccine trope/myth/lie that is used constantly used by the anti-vaxxers to dismiss anything the CDC says. They do this because they lack any evidence supporting their claims, so inventing a conspiracy is so much easier than accepting the truth. Continue reading “CDC tobacco science – discrediting another ridiculous vaccine myth”