Cancer almost non-existant in ancient world - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-25-2010, 12:49 PM
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/he...ent-world.html
I thought that was interesting. We're constantly being told the sun causes cancer but this would indicate otherwise. It's a shame we're being lied to.
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#2 Old 10-25-2010, 01:34 PM
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It's not the sun that causes cancer, it is the ultraviolet radiation which is a component of sunlight. The ozone layer in the atmosphere blocks the ultraviolet-B radiation that causes cancer, but due to depletion of the ozone layer caused by industrialization, people are exposed to much more ultraviolet than in the past and skin cancer rates have increased dramatically. And that is consistent with the premise of the article.

So no, you were not lied to. Stay out of the sun unless you are wearing sunblock.
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#3 Old 10-25-2010, 01:44 PM
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It's not the sun that causes cancer, it is the ultraviolet radiation which is a component of sunlight. The ozone layer in the atmosphere blocks the ultraviolet-B radiation that causes cancer, but due to depletion of the ozone layer caused by industrialization, people are exposed to much more ultraviolet than in the past and skin cancer rates have increased dramatically. And that is consistent with the premise of the article.

So no, you were not lied to. Stay out of the sun unless you are wearing sunblock.

Are you being serious? I don't recall them mentioning the ozone layer. This article is consistent with others I've read. I had read an article recently that said 1% of Americans had Cancer in the 1800's. Most people were farmers so they were outdoors far more often than we are today yet Cancer was very rare. We're indoors more often possibly than any other human society ever, yet we have very high cancer rates. Based on those facts, it would make sense to me that Cancer is caused from the constant radiation, possible chemical use, lack of exercise, and diet and the sun plays no role.
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#4 Old 10-25-2010, 02:01 PM
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Who knows what really causes cancer. If you look at what has changed over past few hundred years:

People eat a lot more meat (didn't it used to be a luxury item whereas it's cheap and plentiful today)
Car exhaust fumes
Radio waves (and cell phone, TV, satellite, etc)
Preservatives (and all the other chemicals that go in to food)
Radiation from TVs, doctor exams, microwaves, etc
Insecticides for growing vegetables

Any and all of these things could be contributing factors.
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#5 Old 10-25-2010, 02:03 PM
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No, the article doesn't mention the ozone and ultraviolet, I put that out there because they are well-documented facts.

The premise of the article is that almost all cancer is the result of modern industrialization.

People in the past were exposed to more sunlight, but they did not develop skin cancer because there was more ozone to block exposure to the harmful ultraviolet light.
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#6 Old 10-25-2010, 02:05 PM
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I still couldn't find the ozone layer being mentioned. I couldn't find the article but there have been studies showing people who work inside actually have higher rates of skin cancer than those working outside. I don't understand why people think putting chemicals onto their body will do good for the person.
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#7 Old 10-25-2010, 02:06 PM
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Lung cancer was almost unheard of before the 20th century, even though people smoked tobacco long before that. It is the result of tobacco companies' use of chemicals to automate the process of producing cigarettes, plus increasing the amount of nicotine beyond natural levels in order to make people addicted to them.

The industrial age is full of unintended consequences.
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#8 Old 10-25-2010, 02:09 PM
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No, the article doesn't mention the ozone and ultraviolet, I put that out there because they are well-documented facts.

The premise of the article is that almost all cancer is the result of modern industrialization.

People in the past were exposed to more sunlight, but they did not develop skin cancer because there was more ozone to block exposure to the harmful ultraviolet light.

From what I've read even at the turn of the century around 1900 Americans had Cancer at around 3%. Few of those were skin cancer. It seems to be when sun screen came around followed by modern technology when it became a problem.
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#9 Old 10-25-2010, 02:11 PM
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I still couldn't find the ozone layer being mentioned. I couldn't find the article but there have been studies showing people who work inside actually have higher rates of skin cancer than those working outside. I don't understand why people think putting chemicals onto their body will do good for the person.

Because it's not the sun that causes skin cancer, it is ultraviolet light. People who use tanning beds are at extreme risk of cancer even though they may spend little if any time in the sun. People working indoors may be exposed to ultraviolet from a number of sources, such as fluorescent lights, LED displays, argon lamps, arc welders, etc...

None of these existed before the industrial revolution in the 19th century.

And, there are probably other causes of skin cancer, but ultraviolet radiation has definitely been linked.
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#10 Old 10-25-2010, 02:24 PM
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I'll have to look it up but there's one society where living to 130 is not too rare. Some of the healthiest people in the world, and they spend a large portion of their day outside. I don't hear anything about them getting skin cancer. I'd still like to know why anyone would think putting the chemicals in sun screen on your body does good.
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#11 Old 10-25-2010, 02:33 PM
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Without knowing specifically which society it's hard to tell. Perhaps they wear protective clothing or sunblock. It could be that they live in a part of the world where the ozone layer is thicker. The ozone layer is the thinnest over Australia and they have, by far, the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

Another big source of indoor UV radiation is germicidal lamps used in produce and meat departments and factories.
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#12 Old 10-25-2010, 04:18 PM
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No doubt that humans have brought a lot of this on themselves in a variety of manners, not the least of which is their increased longevity. Young people do get cancer but the vast majority of cancer victims have surpassed the expected lifespan of those living not all that long ago.
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#13 Old 10-25-2010, 05:21 PM
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No doubt that humans have brought a lot of this on themselves in a variety of manners, not the least of which is their increased longevity. Young people do get cancer but the vast majority of cancer victims have surpassed the expected lifespan of those living not all that long ago.

According to the article:

"They did find examples of other modern day aged related diseases such as hardening of the arteries and arthritis, which they said dismissed the argument that ancient humans did not live long enough to develop cancer."
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#14 Old 10-25-2010, 05:41 PM
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According to the article:

"They did find examples of other modern day aged related diseases such as hardening of the arteries and arthritis, which they said dismissed the argument that ancient humans did not live long enough to develop cancer."

Well, here's another example. My dad developed cancer at age 83. There's an exception to every rule.
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#15 Old 10-25-2010, 06:16 PM
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Well, OK, I just want to make this clear:

It is proven that ultraviolet radiation causes cancer. This is a fact.

Sunlight has significant amounts of ultraviolet. Sunscreen is designed to block ultraviolet radiation in order to prevent skin cancer.

I would not suggest anyone stop using sunscreen based solely on this article or report.
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#16 Old 10-25-2010, 07:22 PM
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And besides tanning beds, I don't think there is a teenager (at least the females) who hasn't laid out in the sun to get a tan. This causes a huge increase in the chance of getting skin cancer. I'm too lazy right ow to look up the percentage.
I think in the past they also used to cover up pretty well when they were outside. Not because of cancer, but out of common sense. The sun is hot and they got burned working out in it for very long unprotected, so they covered up.

I also think all the unhealthy things we are exposed to as well contribute to it, by making our immune systems less able to fight it off.

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#17 Old 10-25-2010, 07:43 PM
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And besides tanning beds, I don't think there is a teenager (at least the females) who hasn't laid out in the sun to get a tan.

I didn't, my vampire skin would burn in 10 seconds I tried tanning as a kid, just got burned every time. My Dad developed pre-cancer cells on his head, so I'm extra careful.
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#18 Old 10-26-2010, 04:30 PM
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The men in Hunza can live to be 140, and those in the Vilcabamba Valley in the Andes Mountains can live to 130 easily. Do they have problems with skin cancer? If not, why don't they have the problem? They're not sitting on the computer all day.
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#19 Old 10-26-2010, 04:39 PM
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No doubt that humans have brought a lot of this on themselves in a variety of manners, not the least of which is their increased longevity. Young people do get cancer but the vast majority of cancer victims have surpassed the expected lifespan of those living not all that long ago.

I thought I had read that hunters and gatherers lived into their 70's. I'm not sure if there's any truth to our life expectancy rising.
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#20 Old 10-26-2010, 04:42 PM
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I'd also like to ask why other species aren't being negatively effected by the sun? I've never heard of it happening with any other species, so it would seem odd that only one species out of maybe 10-100 million species is being negatively effected by the sun.
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#21 Old 10-26-2010, 04:46 PM
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The ozone layer is the thinnest over Australia and they have, by far, the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

Do the Australians wear a lot of sun screen that many experts believe cause skin cancer? What about other areas where the ozone layer is thin? Do they also have problems with skin cancer?
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#22 Old 10-26-2010, 04:48 PM
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I thought I had read that hunters and gatherers lived into their 70's. I'm not sure if there's any truth to our life expectancy rising.

Yes, I read this recently, some people have always lived to about 70, it just that in the past people often died in infancy or very young due to lack of medical technology, so when you compute the average, it comes to about 40 or whatever depending on the era. But that doesn't mean everyone died at age 40, that's just the average.
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#23 Old 10-26-2010, 10:35 PM
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Other species have protective fur, and/or spend more time in a protected environment, such as under leaf cover, or have darker pigmented skin which helps to protect the skin. While I have seen some dogs or cats taking a "sun bath," I've never seen, say, a squirrel just hanging out in the sun for 40 minutes for no good reason. Even if it did, it has fur to protect the skin. Same as if a human goes outside with clothes on.

Dog breeds like Mexican Hairless and Chinese Crested are susceptible to sunburn and need attention much like our skin.
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#24 Old 10-27-2010, 03:00 PM
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It's not unusual for cats and dogs with pink noses to get skin cancer on their noses - at least, I assume it's not unusual, since I've known a number of them.

Also, a number of the older people in my family, the ones who worked outside and never wore sunblock, got skin cancer. It was always on the face, because those generations were also smart enough not to expose skin to the sun needlessly, and almost always wore long sleeves when working outside.

It would be interesting if the OP could cite to reputable sources for the assertion that sunblock, rather than exposure to the sun, causes skin cancer.
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#25 Old 10-27-2010, 03:53 PM
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To get vitamin D, I expose myself to moderate amounts of sunlight in the warmer months- 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a week, in shorts, both sides of my body. I don't burn or even get red, but cancer would take some time to develop... and I often do wear long-sleeved shirts and maybe a wide-brimmed hat if I'm going to be out in the sun for long.

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#26 Old 10-27-2010, 05:52 PM
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It would be interesting if the OP could cite to reputable sources for the assertion that sunblock, rather than exposure to the sun, causes skin cancer.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&&...cancer&spell=1

Pick any of those two. We're constantly being told that chemicals cause problems to the human body, but these miraculous chemicals in sun screen are good for us. Yeah, right. There's always that chance the sun does cause problems(10-20% I'd say) but there's maybe about a 1% chance that sun screen is good for us. Every health book I've read pretty much says the same thing:big business cares about profit and little else regardless of what suffering their product causes. I'd assume there are exceptions, but I think they're in the minority. Sun screen products do make a lot of money after all.
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#27 Old 10-27-2010, 06:09 PM
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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&&...cancer&spell=1

Pick any of those two. We're constantly being told that chemicals cause problems to the human body, but these miraculous chemicals in sun screen are good for us. Yeah, right. There's always that chance the sun does cause problems(10-20% I'd say) but there's maybe about a 1% chance that sun screen is good for us. Every health book I've read pretty much says the same thing:big business cares about profit and little else regardless of what suffering their product causes. I'd assume there are exceptions, but I think they're in the minority. Sun screen products do make a lot of money after all.


The articles on that google page don't exactly support your claims.

I've actually never used sunscreen - I don't like the feel of lotions. I wear long sleeved cotton shirts when working outdoors.

I wonder how many of the moisturizing lotions that people use also contain vitamin A.
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#28 Old 10-27-2010, 07:53 PM
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I recently posted this article and found it interesting. I'm going to be studying Anthropology in school so these things interest me.

On a side note, I don't worry about skin cancer.

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#29 Old 10-28-2010, 02:49 AM
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There's a very strong probability that cancer has always been around but we see more of it lately in part because of increased average human longevity...

Our earliest ancestors usually croaked before 25. Now we're expected to live beyond 80, especially women...

Tam! RUGH!
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#30 Old 10-28-2010, 11:53 AM
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There's a very strong probability that cancer has always been around but we see more of it lately in part because of increased average human longevity...

Our earliest ancestors usually croaked before 25. Now we're expected to live beyond 80, especially women...

Are you talking about Homo sapiens or other Homo? Because hunter-gatherer Homo sapiens lived long like we did.
http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/gur...ft04182006.pdf

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