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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Monkey Island?

Did Marc Zabludoff's current 2007 title, Monkeys, take him back nostalgically to Kim Swent's monkey room in Downingtown..?

Winding Down Pink Projects for This Year

Today marks the end of the neverending spin and ultimate marketing/advertising campaign focused on breast cancer for another year. I don't believe women, once again, learned much more than what is spewed all over the media during October. I'm not sure where all of this fundraisng has moved things ahead. Over the past 40 years or so, as we surely don't have a 'cure', the race is still on and the money keeps rolling in.

Jean Enerson's ad for KING 5 doesn't help either.

Well ladies (men too), part of the problem is that the hype makes you want to believe you actually did something to help cure breast cancer. In fact you really may have made it worse.

The REAL cure rate from the current strategy is about 1-2 per cent. Not very good odds.

One of the highest causative factors - proven by science - nutrition.

The other striking causative factor - also proven by science and the ONE you DO need to SERIOUSLY consider - MAMMOGRAM CAUSES BREAST CANCER!

If you follow the folly of yearly mammogram starting at age 40, by the time you are 50 your risk of having cancer cells in your breasts increases by at least 45%; your risk of developing breast cancer increases by at least 30%.

A lot for you to consider when there is long standing scientific proof to back this up; prevention is available although you aren't being told this and much more; you son't have to be one of the 40,000 (2005 statisitcs) who gave their life while in the race to cure this serious health problem.

Just think before you pink...and demand thermography!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Merck's Grand Plan for ALL Children

This week the FDA/CDC effort to encourage you to allow your young child, at two years of age, to be subjected to yet another season of flu-shot-mania. This year, however, you are presented with a slick package to help your precious young child from the ravages of a needle; you can opt for FluMist nasal spray instead.

I've been listening to all the tv and radio ads as well as the media spin that doesn't - for a slight nanosecond - mention any health risk to this approach.

A dozen or so years ago I wrote a column for my regular Health Matters(c) column about children's health. This was an article focused on back-to-school issues and one thing I clearly indicated: It is those children who are not vaccinated that are the healthy ones.

About four years ago a small community school near where I was living in Idaho had to close down because so many of the children - all had received a flu shot - and over 90 per cent of the children came down with the flu. This was the first year FluMist was readily available. It was a $70 "shot".

I posted an excellent article about FluMist at the time sent to me by my colleague, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny. Her major warning was to alert patients and Internet readers of the potentially serious complications that may come from direct and passive exposure to the new vaccine.

Flu Vaccine may Lead to Asthma in Infants - Children under the age of 3 years who receive the nasal flu vaccine (FluMist) appear to have a four-fold increased risk of asthma within six weeks following the vaccine. Researchers think it may be that these children have never been exposed to a flu virus "and might respond to this vaccine differently because of this." This is just one of the many risks of the FluMist vaccine. The flu vaccine can actually weaken the immune system and make you more predisposed to the illness. It is certainly not the answer to avoiding the flu.

FluMist contains live (attenuated) influenza viruses that replicate in the nasopharynx of the vaccine recipient. The most common side effects include "cough, runny nose/nasal congestion, irritability, headaches, chills, muscle aches and fever greater than 100° F."[6] These symptoms are nearly identical to those the flu vaccine is designed to prevent. [7]

A cause for significant concern is the vaccine's most prevalent side effects: "runny nose" and "nasal congestion." It has been documented that the live viruses from the vaccine can be shed (and potentially spread into the community) from recipient children for up to 21 days, [8] and even longer from adults. [9] Viral shedding also puts breastfeeding infants at risk if the mother has been given FluMist. [10]

Dr. Tenpenny went on to write that
"... shedding via nasal secretions, the virus can be dispersed through sneezing. What is the normal physiological response when an irritant enters the nasal passages? A sneeze ... sometimes a big sneeze ... sometimes several big sneezes. Therefore, the risk for shedding--and spreading--live viruses throughout a school, church, workplace or store--especially one which is administering the vaccine.

In the section of the FluMist package insert labeled "PRECAUTIONS," the manufacturer states the following warning:

"FluMist® recipients should avoid close contact with
immunocompromised individuals for at least 21 days."

“the FDA Approved thimerosal/mercury-free FLU MIST (MedImmune Vaccines, Inc., Gaithersburg, MD) vaccine may create a super strain virus plague”, warns Dr. Mark Geier.

A medical researcher at New York Medical College warned that of reservations about the commercial use of vaccines using live influenza viruses, such as FluMist. "The 'weakened' viruses in FluMist," he said, "are 'real.' Like all live virus vaccines, they are real infectious agents whose potential hazards should be fully understood by the public and by prospective vaccinees."

"Although preliminary trials have been promising," he added, "we are still dealing with a virus which in order to replicate and immunize must produce some damage to respiratory tract epithelium; such damage can pave the way for secondary bacterial infection or colonization. Of equal concern is the potential of the vaccine virus 1) to revert to virulence by mutation of its own genes, or 2) to recombine its genes with wild type influenza viruses to form yet another virus with unknown potential."

"At the very least," Dr. Kilbourne warned, "the recent release of the live virus vaccine for commercial use should be monitored closely."

Another expert in the field, one of the world's leading immunologists, Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, conducted studies that found that people who receive the flu vaccine yearly for three to five years increase their risk of Alzheimer's disease tenfold. He suggests the culprits are mercury and aluminum in the vaccines. Dr. Russell Blaylock believes that a new mechanism, which involves mercury and aluminum as well the over-activation of the brain's immune system caused by the vaccines, is to blame for potential problems, including encephalitis.

There are things that can be done to keep well and avoid the flu by keeping your immune system strong with sound nutrition. In addition a number of nutrients may be helpful, including selenium, vitamins E and C, zinc and the carotenoids, vitamin D3 to help prevent over-reaction of the immune system, acidophilus and proteolytic enzymes.

Please proceed with care and knowledge.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Freedom of Choice Means Inclusion Not Exclusion

I have actively been involved in freedom of choice in health care for many decades. A great amount of my work is education to help people understand the right they have in the health care maelstrom and how to navigate troubled waters for their best interest.

Often there are meddlers, such as state bureaucracies and insurers, employers and legislators, well meaning "others" who may have a hidden agenda or other objectives to obstruct or ultimately prevent inclusion.

By inclusion I refer to those modalities that are considered health promoting but are not accepted as such by those who wish to retain control over the status quo or want you to beleive that licensing serves to protect the public's best interest.

Simply put licensing is a restrictive and limiting paradigm that serves only the bureaucracy and grants a provider the ability to bill an insurer for reimbursement (part of the slippery slope to increased cost of care).

In my work over the years as a nursing professional I have had the opportunity to "integrate" natural care into my work since the 1960s when I had a first job out of college in community mental health.

Many years later, after becoming a naturopath (first) and RN(BSc)/nurse practitioner (second), I had the opportunity to work in King Co. Community Mental Health. In my case load of 120 I enjoyed the support and opportunity to employ natural care approaches with two of my clients. One of those two, the one out of the 120 that was able to get off the drugs and out of the system, was a landmark for mental health care in King County. I suspect little has changed, even with the advent of the supposed natural care approach spearheaded by a colleague from that time.

As my lawyer-colleague writes he is not a fan of licensing, neither am I.

Yes, I do want people to have a right of choice and the freedom to have their choice. This is similar to waht I was able to work on as legislation while living in the hate state of Idaho for about five years. I'd say that this legislation should be a model for all other states in order to protect a citizen's Constitutional right of Free Speech and Freedom of Choice while not limiting those who are schooled in natural care methods to registration or forced licensure to meet some outside definition of approval/sanction.

I don't beleive in the insurance or reimbursement model for similar reasons. Why hand over your right-of-choice to an outsider sitting behind a desk 500 miles or more away with no background in the field determining or disallowing reimbursement.

I can't say as I think this is a good, or wholesome, economic model.
Public support for CAM reimbursement.

(From The Vitamin Lawyer) While I am no fan of licensing laws (˜A license is a limitation") an Iowa health reform poll shows 68% of voters want licensed CAM professionals covered in basic insurance benefits.
"A broad-ranging survey on health reform topics by the Gilmore Research Group found that 68% of voters believe basic health care benefits should include coverage for any licensed health care professionals.

Licensed professionals directly noted in the survey of 601 Iowa voters were "naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists and chiropractors." The survey was commissioned by Code Blue Now! - a national, non-partisan, not-for-profit citizen organization formed to build public consensus in health care policy.

The Iowa population was strategically selected to have a maximum influence on
the healthcare reform debate.

More Drugs A Risk for Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Another drug faced with a black box warning for a syndrome that may be fatal. Adequate amounts of vitamin E increases the flow of oxygen across the alveolar membrane which may help people with sleep disorders. A vitamin E sterile spray with lavender essential oil and colloidal silver may aid in healing the skin.
Maybe this drug should be evaluated as to whether or not it needs to remain on the market. Death is a very high price to pay for a pill.

"First described in 1922, Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is an immune-complex–mediated hypersensitivity complex that is a severe expression of erythema multiforme. It is known by some as erythema multiforme major, but disagreement exists in the literature. Most authors and experts consider SJS and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) different manifestations of the same disease. For that reason, many refer to the entity as SJS/TEN. SJS typically involves the skin and the mucous membranes. While minor presentations may occur, significant involvement of oral, nasal, eye, vaginal, urethral, GI, and lower respiratory tract mucous membranes may develop in the course of the illness. GI and respiratory involvement may progress to necrosis. SJS is a serious systemic disorder with the potential for severe morbidity and even death. Missed diagnosis is common."
Modafinil (Provigil) Will Carry Hypersensitivity Reaction Warning
By Peggy Peck, Executive Editor, MedPage Today
October 25, 2007

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 25 -- The FDA said Cephalon has agreed to update the modafinil (Provigil) label to include a warning about increased risk of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and other serious rashes and hypersensitivity reactions.

In a letter to physicians, Jeffrey M. Dayno, M.D., vice president for medical services of Cephalon, warned that worldwide post-marketing revealed rare cases of serious or life-threatening rash, including SJS, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms in adults and children.

Moreover, multi-organ hypersensitivity reactions "including at least one fatality in post-marketing experience, have occurred in close temporal association to the initiation of modafinil," he wrote.

He said the drug should be stopped at the first sign of rash or other hypersensitivity reaction, and patients should be advised to immediately call their physicians.

Dr. Dayno also reminded clinicians that modafinil "is not approved for pediatric patients for any indication" and that the drug can cause psychiatric symptoms including anxiety, mania, hallucinations, and suicidal ideation.

In clinical trials in pediatric patients, the rate of rash resulting in discontinuation of the drug was about 0.8% (13 per 1,585), a rate that included one confirmed case of SJS and one case of apparent multi-organ hypersensitivity reaction. Also in the trials were several reported cases of fever along with vomiting and leukopenia.

No serious rashes were reported in clinical trials of adults (0 per 4,264), according to Dr. Dayno.

Angioedema has also been reported in patients taking modafinil, and Dr. Dayno said patients should be advised to immediately stop the drug if they experience swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, or larynx and/or difficulty in swallowing, breathing, or hoarseness.

Modafinil is a central nervous system stimulant that is used for treatment of sleep disorders such as narcolepsy and shift-work sleep disorder. It is also used along with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices to treat obstructive sleep apnea-hypopnea syndrome.

Doctors Checking Out Early

On the WA ballotis a measure to allow customers, except for health care, to sue their insurance companies. The ads are against this and the insurance industry is letting you - once again - believe that all the wrongdoing is the fault of trial lawyers.

While I am not a big fan of lawyers I have to say - especially where health care is concerned - that the major players in the insurance industry have much more to do with increased costs, higher rates and lower coverage than a group of trial lawyers will ever fabricate.

Tort reform was a gift from the Congress to the heavy betters (sharks)on the side of the industry, freely plying their trade. Maybe you know that as "payola" if you are at least a Baby Boomer, or a better description known as buying votes.
As a former insurance industry lawyer I know says, "Insurance companies like the money coming their way, they don't like it going in the opposite direction."

Another reason, perhaps, to take more responsibility for your own health, eh?
Older Physicians Unhappy and Looking to Bail Out of Medicine
By Mark Crane, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today
October 25, 2007

IRVING, Tex., Oct. 25 -- Half of physicians from ages 50 to 65 are frustrated with their practices and plan to sharply cut back or abandon patient care within the next three years, according to a survey.

Fifty-two percent of these older physicians said they find medicine has become less satisfying over the past five years, according to a survey by Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a national physician search and consulting firm.

Only 10% of nearly 1,200 responding physicians said the practice of medicine is "very satisfying," down from 20% in earlier surveys.

What's more, 44% of the surveyed physicians said they wouldn't choose medicine as a career if they were starting out today and 57% would discourage their children or other young people from doing so.

These doctors don't intend to remain unhappy for much longer, though. Almost half of survey respondents said they will retire over the next three years, seek nonclinical jobs, work part time, close their practices to new patients (18% have already done so), or significantly reduce the number of patients they see.

If that trend continues, patient access to health care could be severely jeopardized. "Almost half the physicians in the United States are 50 years old or older," said Mark Smith, executive vice-president of Merritt Hawkins. "An exodus of older doctors from medicine would be a disaster for patient care in this country."

The Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME), a panel of health care authorities, has endorsed a study predicting a shortage of 96,000 physicians by the year 2020. If only 20% of physicians in the 50 to 65 age bracket opt for retirement or nonclinical roles in the next three years, nearly 60,000 physicians would be removed from the clinical workforce, the survey noted.

"The tens of millions of patient encounters these physicians handle would have to be absorbed by younger physicians or by those older physicians remaining in clinical practice."

Why do physicians claim to be so disgruntled? Reimbursement issues were cited by 33% of doctors as their greatest single source of professional frustration, followed by malpractice worries (18%) and long hours (15%).

That represents a significant shift. In the 2004 Merritt Hawkins survey, malpractice worries were the main source of frustration (28%). Reimbursement issues were cited by only 16%.

"When Baby Boom doctors entered medicine, they had control over how they practiced and the fees they charged," noted Smith. "But the rules changed on them in midstream and now many are looking for a ticket out."

These older physicians don't have much regard for the work ethic of their younger counterparts. More than two-thirds of respondents said physicians being trained today are less dedicated and hard-working than they are.

Recently trained physicians may put a higher premium on "quality of life" issues than senior physicians often do. "We find that younger physicians today generally prefer and expect fixed hours, a good call schedule with reliable coverage, and regular vacation time," the survey report noted.

A much higher percentage of young physicians today are female than was the case in the past, and female physicians work 18% fewer hours per week than male physicians, according to the AMA. For these reasons, it may take two younger physicians to replace a more senior doctor.

On a more positive note, six in 10 older physicians said patient relationships are their single greatest source of professional satisfaction.

Also, 48% of physicians indicated that the quality of health care in the United States has generally improved over the last 20 years, compared with 33% who indicated it has generally declined.

So, the survey authors concluded, although the practice of medicine may have become problematic for many older physicians, patient care has generally improved.

The survey was mailed to 10,000 physicians across the nation and 1,175 participated, a 12% response rate. Surgical and internal medicine subspecialists comprised 47% of respondents, followed by primary care physicians (36%) and hospital-based doctors (17%).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Magnesium Means Better Health

Magnesium is nature's ACE inhibitor. Lately it seems that knowledgeable ER docs are reviving very effective magnesium therapies in the acute care of heart related health problems.
"Foods high in magnesium include nuts, seeds, spinach, yogurt, wheat germ, and whole grains".
Should you choose to use supplements make sure you purchase high quality products.
(OMNS October 23, 2007) Over two-thirds of all Americans do not consume the recommended daily intake of magnesium. Even more alarming are data from a study showing that 19% of Americans do not consume even one-half of the government's recommended daily intake of magnesium. (1) It is therefore not surprising that disability and death from heart attack and stroke are the nation's leading killers.

The National Institutes of Health says, "Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

There is an increased interest in the role of magnesium in preventing and managing disorders such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes." (2) Inadequate magnesium intake has also been associated with cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, osteoporosis, kidney stones, migraine headaches, menstrual cramps, PMS, tetany and cramps, and other conditions as well. (3) A list this long fully justifies increased concern about population-wide magnesium deficiency.

Foods high in magnesium include nuts, seeds, spinach, yogurt, wheat germ, and whole grains. Few Americans eat enough of these to ensure an adequate magnesium intake of 400 mg/day. Magnesium supplements are commonly available as inexpensive magnesium oxide in 100 or 250 mg tablets. For better absorption, physicians often prefer amino acid chelated magnesium tablets or magnesium gluconate. Magnesium is available without prescription at discount and health food stores everywhere. People typically start supplementation with 200mg per day and may slowly increase to 600mg per day, taken in divided doses, some with each meal. (4,5) Persons with kidney failure should not take supplemental magnesium unless directed to by their physician. Otherwise, magnesium toxicity is extremely rare. There have been no deaths from dietary supplementation with magnesium. (6)


(1) King D, Mainous A 3rd, Geesey M, Woolson R. Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Jun 24(3):166-71.
(4) Miller T. The role of magnesium in the prevention of coronary disease and other disorders.
(5) Dean C. The magnesium miracle.

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:
Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.
Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Bradford Weeks, M.D.
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Erik Paterson, M.D.
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
Steve Hickey, Ph.D.

Heart Healthy Study for Women

If you read as many medical and nutrition research articles as I do you recognize that most heart research focuses on men's health; it's certainly been this way for decades. From nutrition research from the prestigious Karolinska Institute some sound data comes to help you protect your health and your heart.
Study underscores link between lifestyle and heart disease
By Clarisse Douaud

10/24/2007- A new study out of Sweden has brought about some results that are hardly surprising, yet underscore that health is very much linked to a personal lifestyle commitment.

According to the large scale study - published in the Archives of Internal Medicine and stemming from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden - the daily consumption of vegetables and fruit combined with a diet consisting of wholegrain products, fish, beans and small amounts of alcohol can more than halve the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The study goes to show the extent to which the message is not being received by Americans, or is being ignored. And if food manufacturers want to appear committed to the health of their consumers, they have a tough task ahead of them.

"If all women lived like the healthy group, 75 percent of heart attacks would be prevented," said researcher Agneta Åkesson.

Americans are a high-risk group for heart disease, with about 64 percent of all US adults are overweight, 30 percent of whom are obese, according to the US Food & Drug Administration.

Overeating and sedentary lifestyles have been identified as indisputable contributing factors to the nation's high death rate from heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease claimed 910,614 lives in 2003 - or 37.3 percent of all deaths. This is almost double the entire death toll for all forms of cancer in the same year.

As part of the Karolinska Institutet study, the researchers analyzed the eating habits of 25,000 Swedish women and found two specific dietary patterns that correlate significantly with a healthy heart.

They claim what is new about their research is that they have mapped out the women's dietary habits instead of deciding in advance the kind of food they wanted to examine. As such, they say they were able to identify two specific dietary patterns that were clearly linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

"The first was characterised by a high consumption of vegetables and fruit, and the second by the moderate consumption of alcohol; we're talking about the equivalent of four vegetables and two pieces of fruit a day and half a glass of wine," said Åkesson.

The study was based on data from 25,000 women as part of the Swedish Mammography Cohort. These women were born between 1914 and 1948, and have been monitored since 1997 for their chances of suffering a myocardial infarction.

Source: Åkesson, Agneta et al. "Combined Effect of Low-Risk Dietary and Lifestyle Behaviours in Primary Prevention of Myocardial Infarction in Women." Archives of Internal Medicine, vol 167, no 19, 22 October 2007.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vaccine Paves Merck's Road with Gold

But at What Cost?

Numerous reports of serious adverse reactions and deaths are being reported following Gardasil injections. Both Merck and the FDA are claiming it is not related to the vaccine. Oh, yes, I recall this as "blame the victim".

See related posts on this BLOG, FMI, and decide for yourself.

And did they tell you about informed consent before you opted in for this one?

Merck’s net income soars 63%

Fueled by a doubling in its sales of vaccines, Merck & Co. today reported a 63 percent rise in net income for the third quarter.

Merck, whose vaccine operations are headquartered in West Point, Montgomery County, made more money because it cut costs by two percent as revenues rose by 12 percent.

Driving sales for the the third largest U.S. drugmaker were Merck's newer, heavily marketed drugs, including its top seller, the asthma drug Singulair, the diabetes medicine Januvia and the HPV vaccine Gardasil.

Merck's put aside another $70 million for the legal defense of the painkiller Vioxx, which was pulled from the market in 2004. Merck faces about 26,600 suits nationwide. It set aside $598 million in the 2006 third quarter. The company has not put aside any money for verdicts, a company release said.

Sales for the quarter were $6.1 billion, up from $5.4 billion in the third quarter of 2006. Net income increased to $1.5 billion from $941 million. And earnings from diluted shares rose to 70 cents from 43 cents.

Total vaccine sales were $1.2 billion, up from $555 million. Leading the vaccine sector was Gardasil, the new vaccine against the human papilloma virus, which chalked up $418 million for the quarter.

Merck's stock had risen 81 cents or 1.6 percent to $53.95 by midday.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Canada Comment and Gardasil

Vaccination program comes with problems
(Letters) Saturday, 20 October 2007, 01:00 PST
-- Marilyn Juds Prince George
The Gardasil program by Merck Pharmaceuticals to vaccinate females between ages nine and 26 has generated much criticism. In the U.S., individual states are disputing whether the drug should be mandatory.

However, it appears, in both the U.S. and Canada parents can opt out their child for religious or ethical considerations. This fall Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador and P.E.I. began HPV vaccinations of young girls. B.C. plans to begin vaccinations of all Grade 6 girls next September.


When the drug was tested, only 1,200 nine-to-15 year-olds were studied; of them only 100 were nine-year olds.

Medical personnel merely used results in adult test scenarios to predict positive results for a younger demographic.

A Gardasil monograph states: Efficacy in this age group (9-13) has not been demonstrated.

All reported HPV vaccine trials, whether by Gardasil or its competitor, Cervarix, were funded in all or part by the vaccine's manufacturers.

According to the National Vaccine Information Center, about 60 per cent of trial volunteers taking Gardasil complained of headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting or diarrhea.

Judicial Watch is a public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption. Its president, through the Freedom of Information Act, learned that girls and women often experienced "horrific reactions" after taking Gardasil: on record are spontaneous abortions and fetal abnormalities in pregnant women.

He found a further 1,637 adverse events reports, of which 371 were serious; as well as three deaths related to heart problems or blood clotting. About one-quarter of adverse effects reports indicated that females, after taking Gardasil, experienced neurological events, including grand mal seizures, movement disorders and blackouts or fainting. One 10-year old became faint after receiving the shot, fell down and broke her nose.

It was no mistake that medical authorities prefer the school as the vaccination venue. School is associated with conformity; line up and don't protest. Wide-eyed girls, at the behest of their elders, file up to be greeted by the woman with the needle. An Orwellian nightmare emerges.

Peer pressure may bring around some doubters. But this could easily backfire, depending on who and how many girls opt out. The holdouts might just be perceived as the only winners.

"The pharma corps are engaged in the systematic corruption of the medical profession, country by country." -- John le Carre, British author.

Merck sales in the U.S. alone are expected to reach $1 billion in its first year of availability.

One Missing Link or Three?

Medication side effects are the #4 leading cause of death in the U.S. annually (JAMA 1998). Yet, few people receive informed consent about prescription drugs.
Informed consent is the hallmark of care, in the allopathic and more traditional natural health care.
"Informed consent can be effectively exercised only if the patient possesses enough information to enable an intelligent choice (AMA, 1999)."
Most doctors seem to take little time educating their patients about the issues involved in care and informed consent. Time is an issue of course because the insurance industry hold a tight reign on the medical industry and how doctors do their work. The pharmaceutical reps seem to be the focal point on drug information, and of course this is why I constantly hear that most people know so little about prescribed drugs and side effects. I think this applies also to doctors who seem to know so little about adverse effects and why they ignore patient complaints about the drugs prescribed.
This is a serious issue and perhaps one of the major reasons why more and more people are turning to natural health care.
The report that follows provides some good information on this issue however it seems that the doctors interviewed have ideas to help that clearly do little to offer anything to improved patient care. I am not sure computerized data offers much of a solution because data quality is dependent on the person doing the input.
Denigrating a patient's ability to understand is certainly offering little in the way of improved communication; maybe the missing factor?
Special report: Prescription medicines
Each year, people are dying in their thousands because of the side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Reported deaths are up 155 per cent in a decade – and experts are seeking new safeguards. Nina Lakhani reports
Published: 21 October 2007
Thousands of patients are dying each year as a result of side effects from pills prescribed by GPs and hospital doctors.

And while the number of deaths from suspected adverse reactions to prescription drugs has more than doubled in the past 10 years to 973 last year, medical experts warn that as few as one in 10 deaths and other serious complications are being reported.

Doctors' poor prescribing skills and repeated failures to recognise accurately adverse drug reactions in patients have seen deaths multiply by about two and half times since 1996.

Experts are calling for a revamp of the current warning systems designed to alert doctors to potentially lethal prescription drug treatments.

They believe tens of thousands of patients suffer life-threatening, disabling or other serious reactions that need hospital treatment because of a failure to spot and report many dangerous side effects and drug interactions quickly enough.

One study estimated that the equivalent of all the beds from seven general hospitals – 5,600 places – are occupied with patients suffering from drug reactions at any one time, costing the NHS more than £450m each year. Researchers believe around 70 per cent of adverse reactions could be avoided through better training, computerised prescribing systems and staff spending more time talking and listening to patients.

The latest revelations follow The Independent on Sunday's exclusive report two months ago highlighting the dramatic rise in the number of drugs that doctors are now prescribing.

The report in August showed that the NHS faced an £8.2bn bill for prescription medicines in England in 2006, as doctors issued 51 per cent more drugs than they did 10 years earlier.

But today's revelations highlight a 155 per cent rise in reported deaths from adverse reactions to prescribed and over-the-counter drugs – a far steeper increase that will shock the both medical profession and patient groups.

An international conference on drug safety which convenes in Bournemouth tomorrow will hear that "too little progress" has been made in the past 15 years in training doctors to use medications more safely.

Professor Saad Shakir, director of the Drug Safety Research Unit at Southampton University, said: "Doctors need to know how to use medications – this is the most important ethical responsibility for us. Surgeons wouldn't conduct an operation they haven't studied and trained for, and these same standards should apply to medications.

"The competence of doctors in understanding medicines, knowing when and how to use them and how to recognise problems is as essential as training a surgeon in how to perform an operation. Using medicine should be a part of medical training and the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of doctors."

The British Medical Association said last night that the figures amounted to a "wake-up call" and is calling for better training in the medical profession. Dr Peter Maguire, deputy chairman of the BMA Board of Science, said: "This big rise in fatal and serious adverse drug reactions should be a wake-up call to all doctors. We have a large number of new medications, but there are also fake drugs coming into the market, and more and more people are using herbal and over-the-counter drugs, as well as all the existing prescription drugs. On top of that, people are living longer and we have the situation of polypharmacy, where we treat people with several medications.

"In recent years, there has been less pharmacology taught in medical schools, but if you consider the growing number of drugs available and the trend towards combination therapies, then this does seem to go against the grain."

But some experts argue that the task of knowing all potentially harmful drug reactions is beyond doctors, and that computerised prescription systems must be used.

Professor Lucian Leape, patient safety expert from the Harvard School of Public Health in the US, said: "The trouble with education is that it is never 100 per cent effective. The best way is to use a computer system that doesn't forget which medication the patient is allergic to, or that they have impaired kidneys, whereas the doctor may be considering 30 different things.

"By using a correctly programmed computer, we believe you can reduce prescribing errors by 90 per cent."

Many of the reported deaths are linked to older common medications such as aspirin, rather than newer drugs. Doctors and patient groups believe the danger lies with interactions between new and old drugs, which are increasingly combined to treat older patients with multiple diseases. Age Concern warns that elderly patients are more likely to suffer from side effects and are less likely to tolerate a combination of medications.

A failure by doctors to make the difficult distinction between adverse reactions and disease symptoms can prove potentially fatal, as patients may be given drugs that are more harmful than helpful. According to patient groups, doctors and other health professionals do not always take the suspicions of patients and relatives sufficiently seriously.

Penny Bunn was prescribed anti-depressants by a psychiatrist in 1998 when she was a slim 30-year-old broadcast assistant at the BBC. Five years later, she was in hospital with kidney and liver damage, weighing 20 stone. Eventually she was diagnosed as suffering adverse reactions to her prescribed drugs.

As well as serious weight gain, she experienced blurred vision, vomiting, jaundice, irregular periods, agitation and difficulty passing urine. But because none of these symptoms was recognised as adverse drug reactions, Ms Bunn was prescribed more and more medication, eventually leaving her close to death.

She said: "We now know that I am allergic to all anti-depressants. However, rather than even consider this as an option at the time, the consultant psychiatrist continued to blunder blindly on, misdiagnosing all the reactions I was having as being evidence of further psychiatric disorders.

"No medical personnel ever mentioned anything about side effects or interactions, yet I now know some of the medications I was given are not meant to be used together. How the psychiatrist managed to sit there, as I changed before his eyes, and never cotton on to the fact that there was something horribly wrong with what he was doing, I do not know."

Munir Pirmohamed, professor of clinical pharmacology at Liverpool University, said doctors' failure to spot adverse drug reactions was the most important reason for the under-reporting of the problem.

He said the Yellow Card scheme – as the warning system is known – had improved public safety by encouraging more reporting, but that this alone was not good enough: "The Yellow Card scheme needs to be complemented by other methodologies so that we can detect adverse drug reactions sooner rather than later."

Drug trials include relatively few tests on healthy individuals over a short period of time and may not pick up any number of adverse reactions. And interactions between new and older drugs are not tested during clinical trials, so these dangers can only be identified after a drug is licensed and in effect "tested" in the real world.

Professor Shakir said that the current drug safety systems were "... about firefighting and damage limitation, whereas it needs to be more proactive, and though this is starting to take place we don't know the impact of this yet."

Doctors and patient groups stress that people should not stop taking their prescribed medications, but that there is a need for them to be more alert and assertive with their doctors, especially as demand grows for quicker access to new drugs.

Professor Pirmohamed said: "If people are going to get earlier access to new drugs, then an increase in serious adverse drug reaction is a worry, but this is a debate for everyone, including patients, who are often willing to take the risk in order to get access to new drugs more quickly."

Some experts are calling for the pharmaceutical industry to be given more responsibility in this post-marketing surveillance and a more pro-active approach than the Yellow Card scheme, which has been underused since it began over 40 years ago. Drug companies are not currently responsible for monitoring a new product once it is licensed for use, nor do doctors and other professionals have to report any side effects in their patients.

But Professor Shakir said: "I believe identifying, responding to and reporting adverse drug reactions should be included in NHS targets, so that doctors see it as part of their job."

Deadly side effects

The drugs most often reported to have produced fatal reactions in patients (1996-2006)

Clozapine: an anti-psychotic

Infliximab: an anti-inflamma-tory

Diclofenac: an anti-inflammatory

Warfarin: prevents blood clots

Olanzapine: an anti-psychotic

Venlafaxine: an anti-depressant

Aspirin: prevents blood clots

Methotrexate: treats cancer and rheumatoid arthritis

Paroxetine: an anti-depressant

Rofecoxib (Vioxx): an anti-inflammatory

Source: MHRA

The risks

'Dad had a right to know about the side effects'

Retired RAF Squadron Leader Charlie Bootle (right) died in 2001 from an adverse reaction to Methotrexate.

Sqn Ldr Bootle had been taking the well-known medication for rheumatoid arthritis for three months. His daughter, Amanda, describes the events leading up to his untimely death.

"My dad was a fit 72-year-old and a keen sailor who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. He started to feel breathless out of the blue and when it got worse after a couple of days he and my mum worked out it could be the medication, so they went straight to his GP, who sent him to hospital.

"He kept telling the doctors what he thought but they wouldn't listen because he was just the patient. In the meantime his condition deteriorated so quickly he was dead within days. The hospital told us they didn't warn patients about all the risks of the drug in case people didn't take it, but this is a doctor playing God. My dad had a right to know.

"He should have been allowed to make an informed choice and know what side effects to look out for. That could have saved his life. The National Patient Safety Agency has since issued safety alerts but it scares me that while this drug saves lives, many patients still don't know all the risks. Doctors have to tell their patients: everyone has a right to know." NL

'How can patients take in complex information?'

Chris Steele is a GP and resident doctor on ITV's 'This Morning'.

"I had to miss my slot on 'This Morning' last week as on Tuesday I developed a problem with my heart. It was beating slower than usual and started skipping beats. I went to my local A&E, where I was given an ECG and other tests, and then diagnosed with an adverse reaction to Atenolol, a common medication for high blood pressure, which I've taken for 10 years.

"The medication hadn't changed but my heart has got weaker with age so I am more susceptible to side effects. What worries me is that I'm not sure a normal patient would have noticed or acted on the symptoms so quickly. I'm a doctor so I knew I needed help and that my condition could have developed into cardiac failure. The whole area of medication side effects, interactions between drugs, herbal remedies and foods is a nightmare.

"Doctors don't have the time to keep up to date with all the information out there or to extract all the relevant information from patients in a 10-minute consultation. It's just not possible.

"And how can we expect patients to comprehend the complicated information in the medication leaflets provided? Many elderly patients cannot even read the small print. This is such a complex issue and I really don't know what the answer is." NL

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seriously Skimping on Services

It is interesting to know that what we have been saying for years turns out to be factual: women's health care is lacking.

And now again children are taking the back seat to exhorbitant expenditures for war.
States reported to be failing in women's health By Julie Steenhuysen
Wed Oct 17, 5:22 PM ET

Most U.S. states have made little progress toward improving women's health and many have fallen behind as rates of obesity and diabetes continue to climb, a new 50-state report released on Wednesday showed.

The best state for women's health is Vermont and the worst is Mississippi, the report concluded.

"The nation as a whole and individual states are falling farther behind in the quest to meet the national goals for women's health," said Judy Waxman of the National Women's Law Center, which released the report along with the Oregon Health & Science University.

The groups looked at 27 measures of women's health, ranging from the rates of routine screening tests for breast and colon cancer to obesity and access to health care. The benchmarks were based on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2010 initiative.

"Overall the nation's grade was 'unsatisfactory.' Only three of the 27 benchmarks were met," Dr. Michelle Berlin of the Oregon Health & Science University told a briefing.

The three exceptions were in the percentage of women 40 and older getting mammograms, regular dental care and colorectal cancer screening for women over 50.

No state received a passing or "satisfactory" grade for women's health status. Only three states -- Vermont, Minnesota and Massachusetts -- were "satisfactory minus," a drop from a report in 2004 when eight states earned that mark.

Twelve states failed outright, up from six states in the 2004 report. Mississippi ranked last and the others with failing grades were Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas, Alabama and Indiana, as well as the District of Columbia.

The remaining states received "unsatisfactory" marks.


"There is still an enormous problem in the United States," Berlin told the briefing. "Obesity increased among women in every single state and rates of diabetes are on the rise."

She said women's health status varies greatly by state.

For example, Hawaii has the lowest percentage of women who are obese at 16.7 percent, followed by Colorado at 18 percent.

Mississippi has the highest obesity rates, with 31.5 percent of women classified as obese. West Virginia is a close second with 30.2 percent of women considered obese.

Women in Utah and Colorado have the least trouble with high blood pressure, with 17.7 percent in Utah and 19.2 percent in Colorado suffering from the problem.

Women in Mississippi and Alabama fare worst, with about a third in each state reporting high blood pressure.

States with the lowest diabetes rates are Minnesota and Colorado, with 4.3 percent of women in Minnesota and 4.4 percent of women in Colorado having it. At the bottom are West Virginia at 11.1 percent and Mississippi at 10.6 percent.

Minnesota also has the lowest percentage of women without health insurance, with 9.1 percent of women uninsured. But this figure has risen since the 2004 report.

Texas ranks worst with 28.1 percent of women uninsured.

"Across the country, 18 percent of women lack health insurance. Among minority populations, those percentages are significantly higher," Waxman said.

She said states should move faster to adopt policies that support women's health. The full report is available at

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More on the Risk of the FDA and Big Pharma

What Byron is saying is not really new as this has been going on for a good 40 or 50 years. What is new is the FDA/Pharma Cartel action to seize control of your rights. Please read this and act in some way to help reverse it.
By Byron J. Richards, CCN
October 16, 2007

The United States Health Freedom Assembly met October 12 – 14, 2007 at the William Mitchell College of Law in Saint Paul, MN, a gathering of many of the top state, federal, and international health freedom advocates, organizations, and industry. The meeting took on a tone of extreme importance as the FDA has issued policy and obtained broad new regulatory authority over health freedom in the past 12 months.

The FDA is seeking to undermine the law known as DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994), the cornerstone of health freedom in America. Emboldened by its new powers the FDA is now poised to trample the first amendment rights of companies and Americans who seek to explain or understand how nutrition can support health. The FDA campaign has begun.

Just as the Health Freedom Assembly got under way the FDA announced its latest assault on a dietary supplement company that sought to explain how an herbal product, backed by considerable science and many years of traditional medical use, could be of help to diabetics. At the request of the FDA, U.S. Marshals seized approximately $71,000 of goods from FulLife Natural Options, Inc., of Boca Raton, Fla., which marketed and distributed Charantea Ampalaya Capsules and Charantea Ampalaya Tea. The case highlights interference of the FDA in the dissemination of scientific information that supports natural health options, a clear violation of the first amendment – as well as the absurd use of federal police power against a well-meaning U.S. company.

The double standard is obvious. On September 27, 2007 President Bush signed the FDA Reauthorization Bill into law, ushering in sweeping changes at the FDA that now allow massive conflicts of interest, permitting the FDA to act as a pseudo drug company. During debate on this bill Congressional leaders had seriously considered a ban or severe restriction on direct to consumer drug ads, as most often the adverse side effects of drugs are seldom understood when a drug is first approved (like Vioxx). However, the media came to the defense of Big Pharma fearing they would lose billions in ad revenue. Media lawyers and lobbyists successfully lobbied Congress to block any significant restrictions on direct to consumer ads, arguing that such restrictions would violate the first amendment rights of Big Pharma!

We now have a bizarre situation in this country that is considered “law.” Under first amendment protection Big Pharma can actively promote extremely dangerous drugs in glitzy ads in order to turn a new drug into a blockbuster – even though the risks are unknown and often include death. That’s right, deaths from drugs have doubled in the last five years mostly due to new drugs and FDA incompetence in tracking these drugs. On the other hand, dietary supplement companies cannot promote safe alternatives to these dangerous drugs even when backed by legitimate science, violating the first amendment rights of dietary supplement companies and consumers.

Drug company executives, often hiding known risks, are never personally held accountable (someone should file involuntary manslaughter charges). Dietary supplement company executives have their businesses shut down for trying to help people safely improve their health. Legislation proposed by presidential candidate Ron Paul, known as the Health Freedom Protection Act, would rectify this matter. However, without broad consumer support it continues to languish in committee, as Big Pharma interests are trying to prevent it from ever seeing the light of day.

The Health Freedom community also faces new challenges from CODEX (meeting next month regarding dietary supplements), the illegal collusion of the FDA with Mexico and Canada known as the Trilateral Cooperation Charter, the failure of the Supreme Court to hear the ephedra case (meaning the FDA has legal precedent to treat dietary supplements as drugs), the creation of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA (a law enabling the FDA to predict possible “danger” based on its opinion and remove any dietary supplement it wants), and needlessly cumbersome Adverse Event Reporting legislation and manufacturing guidelines (which the FDA states will drive up the cost of supplements and run small businesses out of business.)

Central to these FDA efforts is increased power of the federal government, especially the delegation of power to unelected bureaucrats who are then able to trample the rights of American citizens and companies. A key FDA theme is to treat dietary supplements as drugs – giving the FDA the power to remove anything it wants from the market as it desires. The FDA campaign is based on spreading fear under the false pretense of protecting the consumer – while at the same time allowing dangerous drugs to seriously injure millions and kill a hundred thousand citizens each year. The FDA threat to your health and your health freedom is very real.

Meeting against this backdrop of tyranny leaders in the Health Freedom community unanimously adopted three key resolutions to strengthen American sovereignty, current American law, and prevent the FDA from abusing its power:

The First Resolution

Citizens Supporting the Sovereignty of American Law

We support the sovereignty of American Law, and the right of the American people to govern themselves through elected representative government; rather than having American agencies and courts following the rulings, standards, and guidelines of international institutions or foreign governments.

Among other things, the sovereignty of American Law is in jeopardy in the following ways with respect to threats to Health Freedom:

I. The CODEX Alimentarius created by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations is developing international standards and guidelines that restrict, limit, and fundamentally change Americans’ rights in health care choices.

II. Americans currently enjoy free access to dietary supplements, in large part because the American model of regulation is: unless something is specifically forbidden, it is allowed. In contrast, the European model of regulation is: unless something is specifically allowed, it is forbidden.

III. CODEX is using highly-restrictive European Union standards to govern food, dietary supplements and healthcare modalities, which are poised to be forced upon the American people.

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that U.S. executive and independent agencies shall not bypass the U.S. Congress by adopting or enacting into domestic law those regulations, guidelines, and standards from international institutions or foreign governments.

The Second Resolution

We oppose any law or any interpretation of law that will determine the safety of food and/or dietary supplements based on drug-related, risk-benefit analysis models.

The Third Resolution

With the exception of industrial chemicals added to the food or drug supply, the burden of proof of safety or the lack thereof for any product regulated by the FDA should rest with the FDA.

Americans Take Note

The Health Freedom community has put the FDA on notice. The FDA is not your friend or operating in your best interests. It is a police force bully used to stamp out competition to Big Pharma, who now pays the FDA hundreds of millions of dollars a year in “approval fees.” It will be up to the American people to defend the sovereignty of their country, their first amendment rights, their right to choose how to take care of themselves, and their right to have access to a wide range of natural products and healing modalities. Nobody can do it for you. Together we can win.

It Isn't Stopping. Get Your Heads Out of the Sand, Stop Frivolous Suggestions and Act NOW!

I have been addressing this issue since the mid 1990s. This challenge has been sent out to many health facilities and media outlets since 2004, and in 2005, 2006, and now again in 2007.

New antibiotics are not the answer.

From a post in August 2006

Reported today by Gene Emery of Reuters, flesh-eating bacteria is once again making headlines.

Emery reports, according to Loren Miller of UCLA Medical Center and Scott Fridkin of the CDC, that skin infections are now found outside hospital and include a new strain of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Emery writes that doctors need to be aware of this and "switch to different antibiotics at the first sign of trouble."

He quotes Fridkin saying that "the alarm does need to be raised to people and clinicians that if you have a staph infection and it's not getting better, you'd better go back to your doctor." Later reports on findings from Miller's team saying that "doctors must shift their attitudes toward cases of necrotizing fasciitis -- the "flesh-eating" part of such a bacterial infection -- and check to see if methicillin-resistant staph is to blame."

Almost a decade ago, when flesh-eating bacteria were beginning to be reported, I called upon my experience as an intensive care nurse and manager of a burn center. I wanted to address this serious health problem from a natural healing perspective because I knew of the decades old problem with antibiotics that were not effectively treating the condition.

Emery's article further defines the problem of antibiotic resistance.

Consulting with a colleague of mine from the herbal traditions of Korea who spent a number of years at Dana Farber Institute at Harvard, I developed a protocol using a combination of his formulas that could be used for this condition. I submitted a package to a Washington State Department of Health researcher with clinical findings on the use of the formulas.

Time has passed quickly, yet at no time did I ever receive a reply, or even a glimmer of thought from this man about the possibility of a trial.

In response to a public health problem, I believed my approach deserved consideration because people were dying.

Subsequently, during the past decade I have responded to numerous media reports of flesh-eating bacteria, asking only for consideration. The closed minds locked in the Newtonian model prevalent in mainstream medicine never once gave consideration to a different way of seeing.

In addition to the herbal protocol I developed a series of fully referenced papers using pure essential oils to attack these bacteria. One of the texts I used as a reference is a medical textbook written by two French physicians. In France physicians are educated in the use of herbs and essential oils as therapeutic modalities.

Essential oils have a very long history and several have very effective anti-bacterial and anti-fungal capacity. Herbs used throughout thousands of years have this same capacity as well.

Seriously hoping to at least have one response, I am saddened to say that not one reply has ever been received.

One would now have to ask the question: What drives these health professionals to so totally disregard non-traditional treatment possibilities?

Today, I am placing my challenge on the table.

Doctors, if you are truly interested in treating and curing this problem, my protocols await.

NB: In early 2006 I was able to connect a research physician at Georgetown Medical School who is doing investigation 'outside the box'. He advised me that "mainstream medicine is not ready to accept this." Of course, I do understand his comment but I have to wonder about the unwillingness to change and the cost of lives!

Here is my challenge again today!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Medicine and Mishaps

Every time I speak with a client who is using prescription medication prescribed by a medical doctor I find that most don't know the name of the drug, and most have very little understanding of what the drug is for and probably none have been educated about side effects or interactions. It's not only the medical doctors that fall down on this very important task - required by law as part of their work - so do pharmacists and nurse practitioners.

I find this fairly scary. An example might be the client I had who was prescribed Lyrica for peripheral neuropathy secondary to diabetes. She felt very weak and was concerned because of upcoming elective surgery. Upon completion of a drug interaction profile and review of the literature about her prescriptions (something I do for all clients taking Rx to be aware of the medications and related nutrient depletion, as well as any potential side effect with supplements), I provided her with are report to discuss with her doctor. Yes, her platelet count was dropping and a serious side effect of Lyrica is loss of platelets.

Things have changed drastically since the 1970s when I started as a nurse practitioner and worked with three great physicians. A major part of my work was education, including making sure patients understood about their medications. The lack of this is probably a major cause behind the issue covered in this story.
Name that drug: Many patients can't By Julie Steenhuysen
Thu Oct 11, 6:45 PM ET

Most doctors rely on patients to give them an accurate account of what drugs they are taking, but a new U.S. study published on Thursday suggests many patients get it wrong.

About 40 percent of 119 patients taking blood pressure medication in three community health centers could not accurately recall what drugs they were taking.

That number jumped to 60 percent for those with low health literacy, a measure of their ability to read and comprehend health-related materials, researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago found.

This could lead to drug interactions and the undertreatment of chronic diseases, said Dr. Stephen Persell, whose study will appear in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

"I don't think we have a good grasp on how important this problem is in terms of the medical outcomes," he said in a telephone interview.

Persell said the problem was worse than expected and poses challenges for doctors who are trying to understand why a patient's health is not improving with treatment.

"Does it mean the patients are not responding well to the medication or are they not using the medication?" he said.

Persell and colleagues studied 119 patients with high blood pressure and an average age of 55 at three community health centers in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

People were asked to name their blood pressure medications and the researchers compared their answers to the drugs listed in their medical charts.

They found about one-third of patients with adequate health literacy were unable to name their drugs accurately.

Even a look at a patient's medical records may not present an accurate picture of the drugs a patient is actually taking, he said.

Some of his own patients have continued taking prescription drugs even though he prescribed a different drug and told them to stop.

"Patients and doctors have to be in agreement about what drugs patients are actually taking," he said.

One possible solution is for patients to physically bring their medicines to the doctor's office.

"If they have to go to the hospital, they should bring their pill bottles with them. They should know the name of their pharmacy, so if there is a question, the healthcare workers can call the pharmacy," he said.

He also suggested that drugmakers should be encouraged to simplify the names of drugs once they become generic. Currently, generic drugs are sold by their chemical names, which are unpronounceable for the average patient.

"We need a system-wide approach for this," Persell said.

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

Microwave Mauls Nutrition

Many years ago a study was completed testing a number of people for health impacts surrounding consumption of microwaved food.

Before the trial the participants had a complete health work-up, including blood work for specific markers. Two of the markers were vitamin B12 and cholesterol.
After a period of ingesting microwaved food participants had repeat lab studies. The findings showed that cholesterol increased significantly and vitamin depletion was extensive. Nexus Magazine reported on this study as did Acres USA.
Now we have an epidemic of obesity and we have a serous problems with childhood obesity.

My thoughts in regard to the children's issue is an interplay of vaccines that are known to promote Metabolic Syndrome and immunity issues, along with increased focus on microwaved food, too many additives in food and over processing, high fructose corn syrup as artificial sweeteners, little exercise, too many video games and too much tv (and the advertising!).

It seems as if others share some of my same concerns -

Microwave Ovens And The Obesity Epidemic

And here is some additional data that might help sway you away from your microwave and help your health.

Microwaving Isn't Safe, Really!

If you are a regular reader of this blog you probably know I am not pro-EMF. This category includes WI-FI, cell and cordless phones, satellite TV and microwaving food etc.

Here are some interesting references to review. I particularly like the report on how EMF is related to osteoporosis. This isn't to far a stretch between the recent reports of a strong relationship between cell phone use and breast cancer. Generally these health concerns effect women, but can effect men.

There's more than meets the eye, so watch out for ego needs, such as your trendy little pink BlueTooth device, constantly pulsing away at the brain cells behind the ear thats wearing it.
Non-Thermal Bioelectromagnetic Effects Explained roup/mobilfunk_newsletter/ t/6b4fd68c5bc78ab7 http :// ?q=Goldsworthy http://omeg thermal http://omega.twoda http:/ / h?q=ADHD ...
Starmail - 11. Okt, 22:34

The Dangers of Electromagnetic Smog
[ ] Source: log/index.php?p=787 htt p:// h?q=electromagnetic+smog h ttp:// rch?q=Goldsworthy ...
Starmail - 26. Aug, 14:43

Who was responsible for the decision not to warn education authorities of the possible dangers of genetic damage from Wi-Fi radiation?
From Dr Goldsworthy Subject: Do you want to join in? I am sending you the following letter that you may like to send to your local MP in an attempt to get Wi-Fi removed from schools, quoting in particular... ...
Starmail - 12. Mai, 18:35

Osteoporosis and EMR, a possible link? /pdf/osteoporosis_and_emr. htm http://www.buergerwell emr2.htm Osteopenia-Overv iew earch/search_results/defau lt.aspx?query=Osteopenia&s ourceType=undefined Info rmant:... ...
Starmail - 11. Mai, 11:08

Biological Effects of Physically Conditioned Water /pdf/water_research_paper_ goldsworthy.pdf http:// Goldsworthy oldsworthy.htm ...
Starmail - 11. Mai, 11:09

The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields
What the power and telecoms companies would prefer us not to know The attached paper entitled 'Goldsworthy Electromagnetic Fields 2007' appears to be quite a significant document. It may explain why many... ...

Recognizing Harm Against the Odds

There's this cocky youngster I know from Petaluma that lives in Albion and works in Pullman. He's from the electronic generation and like most 24 year-olds-going-on-18 he thinks that any article in the newspaper that tells him cell phones are safe means that I am wrong in my longtime stance about health risks of EMF and microwave energy.

As most research shows, dating back to the early 1940s, non-thermal heating is destructive of cells and this leads to higher health risks. The health risks always show up ten years out, while the studies he relies on, without doing any further investigation, are short term studies, usually funded by the cellular industry.

Hopefully this will help you have a broader understandingof the issue.

Non-Thermal Bioelectromagnetic Effects Explained

John is proud of his machine for harvesting ripe apples. It works by shaking the tree with just the right force. If it is too weak, no apples fall off, if it is too strong, they all fall off, but if it is just right, only the ripe ones fall off and can be harvested. If you can follow this, you will be able to see easily how weak electromagnetic fields can give biological effects without generating significant heat.

Their effect is to reduce the stability of the delicate membranes that surround living cells and divide them into compartments. They are made mostly of negatively charged molecules interspersed with positively-charged ions that help to bind them together. Divalent ions (ions with two charges) such as calcium are better at binding than monovalent ions (having only one charge) such as potassium. Bawin and her co-workers in 1975 showed that electromagnetic fields can selectively remove calcium from cell membranes, which would reduce their stability. This has been repeated in other laboratories and has been found to occur only with very weak radiation and is restricted to certain “amplitude windows”, above and below which there is no effect.
The explanation is simple if we remember John’s apple harvester. The alternating electromagnetic fields “shake” the cell membranes, with the negatively-charged structural components and the positive binding ions moving in opposite directions. If the field is too weak, nothing happens. If it is too strong, all the ions are driven off and then back onto the membrane with each cycle. But if it is “just right” only the more strongly charged ions (such as divalent calcium) are affected and are selectively removed. Their place is then taken by less-affected monovalent ions such as potassium. This occurs mainly with low frequency alternating fields or radio-frequency fields that are amplitude-modulated or pulsed at a low frequency.

This effect is important because the loss of these calcium ions weakens the membranes so that they are more likely to tear and develop temporary holes, making them permeable even to large molecules such as enzymes. The leakage of digestive enzymes from lysosomes (membrane-bound organelles that normally digest waste) into the rest of the cell is almost certainly responsible for the fragmentation of DNA caused by prolonged exposure to mobile phone radiation in human and animal cell cultures. This genetic damage has been reported in several studies and is likely to cause cancer, a reduction in fertility (both of which are now becoming apparent) and possible mutations in future generations. There is no reason to believe that Wifi is any safer. Although the signal is weaker, this does not necessarily mean it is safer.

Because the effect only occurs in specific “amplitude windows”, a weaker signal could even be more dangerous, especially since the router radiation is continuous.
An important consideration for teachers is that the radiation from Wifi could make neurones leak, the effect being to increase their internal calcium concentration, which will accelerate the production of action potentials. This can improve the response-time to simple stimuli, but will also generate spurious action potentials that could result in confused thought and an inability to concentrate on complex tasks like classroom learning. The likely immediate outcomes of Wifi in schools may be symptoms similar to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in some of the more electrosensitive pupils. For more information and references, please visit and
Andrew Goldsworthy 2007

See also

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cinnamon: an ancient medicine...

People often think of cinnamon and holidays, or currently use it to help reduce blood sugar levels.

Historically, cinnamon has been used as an antiseptic, aromatic, astringent. It is a good detoxifying herb, as it creates freshness and strengthens and energizes the tissues. It's a pain reliever, promotes digestion, and has a natural cleansing action. Cinnamon raises vitality and stimulates all the vital functions of the body, counteracting congestion and aiding the peripheral circulation of the blood. It is useful for treating diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, influenza, arthritis, menstrual cramps, rheumatism, and candidiasis.

Many of the spices found in your kitchen cupboard can be used for health. From time to time a spice tip will be added on Natural Health News.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Politics and HIV/AIDS, MOS

While Bill and Melinda sprinkle their billions and those of Warren Buffet on issues such as HIV/AIDS, little of this money actually meets the outcome of the proposed funding directives.

Genetically engineered anti-retroviral drugs including Interferons (also GM AV drugs) do some good, however a key to this issue, especially in places such as Africa, is to supply real and adequate nutrition to the people.

Another issue not addressed by Gates is the natural health options used in Africa and other places over several decades that have helped thousands afflicted.

Also not funded are the four specific nutrients used to stop the replication of what is called the AIDS virus. Supplying these nutrients to people with AIDS in Africa and worldwide just might stop it in its tracks.

Now the money can go on to another use.

And perhaps Bill, Melinda and Warren might want to pick up a good read, for the cause, 'AIDS, Ebola and Emerging Viruses'.

I've been told the Gates Foundation scans the net for natural health sites to counter their good works, but I'd have to hear the facts on this first.

By the way, CHI would welcome a donation from the Gates foundation to help us continue our work.
Bill Gates pumps 100 million dollars for new research into AIDS Wed Oct 10, 3:23 PM ET

Research into a vaccine for AIDS, which is devastating in parts of southern Africa, got a boost following a 100 million dollar (70.6 million euro) initiative launched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The money, to be disbursed in grants over five years, beginning from 2008, will promote research into diseases afflicting poor countries, like AIDS and malaria, said a statement on the Foundation's website on Wednesday after a meeting of global health researchers in Cape Town, South Africa.

Dubbed Grand Challenges Explorations, the initiative would seek to "encourage scientists worldwide to explore creative, unorthodox ideas", it said.

"The new initiative ... will support hundreds of early-stage research projects, many pursuing ideas that have never before been tested, and involving scientists from a wide range of disciplines."

The overarching focus was the development of vaccines, diagnostic tools and drugs for diseases that claim millions of lives every year.

"To effectively tackle diseases like AIDS and malaria, we need to encourage the best and brightest minds to take risks on novel ideas," the Foundation's global health programme head, Tachi Yamada, said in the statement.

"Not all will bear fruit, but those that do could revolutionise the field of global health."

The initiative was announced on Tuesday at the Cape Town meeting.

The Foundation was created by multi-billionaire Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda to improve healthcare and reduce extreme poverty.

Copyright © 2007 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

Still Wondering About Gardasil?

New reports show the increasing number of problems with this vaccine. Combined with other vaccines to reduce the number of shots required, the Hepatitis B vaccine mix - so far - show the most problems.

I research the issues before I post an opinion on a health issue. My goal is the highest level of objectivity I can establish, even though I have strong leanings against most mainstream medical pronouncements. As you know, if you read this BLOG often, I have frequently referred to Harvard studies that establish health car as being about 20% effective. Ask yourself if you really want to try a long shot for the 80% risk of serious side effects.

I have two daughters who received very few shots as children, on the advise of their pediatrician. I am glad they are out of the age range for this round of vaccine vexation;if they were not, I wouldn't agree to giving them what seems to be a warrant for severe health problems and even death.

Gardasil Not Proven Safe

Gardasil Medical Alert

Please do some serious wondering before you risk your child's health with vaccines, especially this one.
BOONDOGGLE WITH CONSEQUENCES, from an article by Henry Makow, PhD

At best, this vaccination campaign is a boondoggle. At worst it could have many negative effects. A reader from Argentina wrote that last year, the government tried to inoculate girls for Rubeola. This was stopped when some doctors revealed that the vaccine contained a sterilization agent called "prostaglandin."

A report for the Women's Health Network by a McGill University epidemiologist calls the Gardasil program "premature and could possibly have unintended negative consequences for individuals and for society as a whole."

While as many as 50% of women get some form of HPV over their lifetime, the report says most of these do not result in cervical cancer and can be cured.

"Most HPV infections are cleared spontaneously. Recent research using available molecular detection technologies suggests that clearance occurs within one year for about 70 per cent of those infected, and within two years for 90 per cent. Thus, HPV infection and cervical cancer must not be conflated: most women who are infected with even a "high-risk" strain of HPV will not develop cervical cancer."

The report also states that clinical trials were insufficient to test the efficacy of the vaccine since the subjects were too young to be exposed to HPV.

During the last six months of 2006, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) got 385 reports of adverse reactions to Gardasil.

"There are twice as many children collapsing and four times as many children experiencing tingling, numbness and loss of sensation after getting a GARDASIL vaccination compared to those getting a Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) vaccination. There have been reports of facial paralysis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome. And doctors who give GARDASIL in combination with other vaccines are basically conducting an experiment on their young patients because Merck has not published any safety data for simultaneous vaccination with any vaccine except hepatitis B vaccine."

In May 2007 Judicial Watch reported 1600 adverse reactions including two deaths.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Wise Warnings

Since this is what I refer to as 'Think Before You Pink' month I'll be posting information I think is valuable to women's health from a more natural and realistic perspective. The information in the news article posted below contains information I include in all of my women's health classes and have done so consistently for the past decade or more.

I give this writer some credit as well to inform of the risk of heart failure from radiation treatments (not overlooking mammogram's cumulative effect of promoting breast cancer).

Yes chemo can damage your heart and many other physiological functions of your body.

Please pay close attention.
Chemotherapy boosts heart disease risk
Mon Oct 8, 3:52 PM ET

Breast cancer survivors may face increased risk of heart disease — and doctors are debating if it's time to largely abandon a chemotherapy mainstay that is one reason for the problem.

Drugs called anthracyclines are a breast chemo staple despite a well-known risk: They weaken some women's hearts. What's new is research suggesting the drugs work no better than safer alternatives for most women.

It's a controversy born of success: Treatment advances are enabling more women than ever before to beat breast cancer, and some 2.4 million survivors are alive today. Now a move is under way to determine just how many women are vulnerable to heart disease because of their cancer battle, and how to help them.

Chemo is only one cardiac culprit. Other factors play a role, too: Chest radiation, the weight gain that plagues many survivors, physical inactivity during treatment and stress.

"In the process of curing their breast cancer, we've exposed them to some pretty nasty things. And it's not just one nasty thing, it's a sequence of nasty things," explains Dr. Pamela Douglas, a Duke University cardiologist who is planning research into how to protect these women's hearts.

"This is really coming at you from all sides," says Douglas, who outlined the "multiple hits" in this month's Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

But much of the debate centers on who should use anthracyclines, including the best-known Adriamycin, that can damage heart muscle, sapping its pumping strength.

Dr. Dennis Slamon of UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center cites nine studies, here and abroad, that conclude that only the 20 percent of patients whose tumors have an overactive gene called Her2 are specifically sensitive to anthracyclines.

Then Slamon's closer inspection found that not all Her2 patients are alike — and only those who have a second overactive gene, called TopoII, derive special benefit from anthracyclines. That's about 8 percent of breast cancer patients.

The powerful Her2-targeting drug Herceptin — key for women with Her2-positive tumors — also comes with a heart-damage warning. But adding it to anthracyclines increases the heart risk fivefold, with no extra benefit, Slamon found.

Outright heart failure during chemo is rare, around 2 percent of patients. But Douglas cites research that anywhere from 10 percent to half of anthracycline users experience more subtle heart weakening, making them more vulnerable to aging's usual rigors, like high blood pressure and cholesterol.

And in this month's Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers tracked breast cancer survivors ages 66 to 70 who had undergone chemo 10 years earlier. Those who had received an anthracycline were 26 percent more likely to have developed heart failure in the following decade than those on different chemo.

"It's almost like the perfect storm," Slamon says of all the research. "We're adding no incremental benefit with plenty of incremental toxicity."

Now the influential National Breast Cancer Coalition is lobbying oncologists and government regulators to reconsider treatment guidelines.

"These are very strong, very real data that they need to pay attention to," says coalition president Fran Visco.

But many oncologists aren't convinced, and want more evidence that other chemos work as well.

Indeed, Duke University is beginning a major study funded by the Defense Department to do additional genetic testing on Her2-negative women, to compare Adriamycin to the non-anthracycline Taxotere.

"It's fair to say I'm using less Adriamycin for truly early stage" cancer, says lead researcher Dr. Kelly Marcom, Duke's breast oncology chief.

"But there are still patients that I think have cancers that may be more sensitive to Adriamycin," Marcom adds. The jury is still out."

However that controversy ends, a bigger question is how to find and help survivors with heart damage from any cause. As Jane Sartin of Providence, N.C., learned, symptoms are sneaky.

Sartin underwent a mastectomy for side-by-side breast tumors, and took Adriamycin followed by Herceptin. She was warned about heart side effects, and knew as an overweight smoker she already was at risk. Yet she blamed the surgery when she got winded.

"I had never said anything to my doctor about it. I'd say, 'I'm tired, I think from the surgery,'" recalls Sartin, 45.

Twice her ejection fraction — a measure of blood pumped per beat — dropped well below normal. It bounced back with treatment changes, and Sartin believes her cancer therapy's benefit justified the side effect.

"I really felt like, hey, I can deal with anything as long as I'm alive," says Sartin, who now is dieting and weaning herself from cigarettes.

For now, never shrug off heart-related symptoms, stresses Dr. Ann Bolger of the University of California, San Francisco, an American Heart Association spokeswoman. Early care can be lifesaving.

Duke's Douglas recommends that all breast cancer patients get a formal heart risk assessment before oncologists decide final treatment. It might sway cancer therapy, or signal who'll need extra heart care later.
EDITOR's NOTE — Lauran Neergaard covers health and medical issues for The Associated Press in Washington.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The hidden menace of mobile phones

This is for all of the doubting Thomases that want to believe that cell phones, laptops, WI-Fi et al are doing you no harm.

Enough Said!
Mobile phone cancer risk 'higher for children'
By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 4:07pm BST 08/10/2007

Children should not be given mobile phones because using them for more than 10 years increases the risk of brain cancer, a leading scientist has said.

Have your say: Will health warnings make you use your mobile less?
New research says that children's thinner skulls make them more vulnerable to tumours

People who have used their phone for a decade are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a tumour on a nerve connecting the ear to the brain, according to a group of scientists who have surveyed the results of 11 different studies.

Prof Kjell Mild, of Orbero University, Sweden, who is a Government adviser and led the research, said that children should not be allowed to use mobile phones because their thinner skulls and developing nervous system made them particularly vulnerable.

His study comes just a month after a separate piece of research, jointly funded by the Government and the mobile phone industry, found there was only a "very faint hint" of a link between long-term use of mobile phones and brain tumours.

This six-year, £8.8 million Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme came under fire for failing to investigate more thoroughly those who had used their phones for more than a decade.

Most scientists have had difficulty researching this area as mobile phone usage did not become widespread until the late 1990s.

Professor Mild said the danger may be even greater than his study suggests because 10 years is the minimum period needed by cancers to develop.

"I find it quite strange to see so many official presentations saying that there is no risk. There are strong indications that something happens after 10 years," he said.

He has called for more research, especially into a possible link between mobile phones and Alzheimer's disease, since "we have indications that it might be a problem", as well as a possible link with Parkinson's.

The need for greater research has been echoed by Prof Lawrie Challis, who led the MTHR research.

He has confirmed that a second wave of studies - funded by the Government and the phone industry - would include a long-term look at the health of 200,000 mobile users in Britain, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The Swedish scientists' initial findings were unveiled in April but are published in full in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed journal Occupational Environmental Review.

They want a revision of the emission standard for mobiles and other sources of radiation, which they describe as "inappropriate" and "not safe".

The international standard is designed merely to prevent harmful heating of living tissue or induced electrical currents in the body, and does not take into account the risk of getting cancer.

Publishers wishing to reproduce photographs on this page should phone 44 (0) 207 931 2921 or email

Abstract from UK press
Regular use of a mobile phone over more than a decade can raise the risk of cancer, an authoritative study says. Researchers found that long-term users had double the chance of getting a malignant tumour on the side of the brain where they held the handset. An hour a day on a mobile is thought to be enough to increase the risk. Almost all the studies they analysed had discovered an increased risk of cancer of the glial cells that support & protect the nerve cells. There was also a higher risk of acoustic neuromas - benign but often disabling tumours. Those using mobiles for at least a decade are 20% more likely to contact acoustic neuromas & 30% more likely to get malignant gliomas. Swedish scientists said the international standard employed to protect users from radiation emissions was not safe & needs updating. Children should be discouraged from using mobiles because their thinner skulls & developing nervous systems made them especially vulernable. Adults should exercise caution. The study's authors, Prof. Lennart Hardell of University Hospital in Orebro & Prof. Kjell Hansson Mild of Umea Uni, analysed the results of 11 studies from around the world.

Public health: The hidden menace of mobile phones
Research into the link between regular handset use and disease reveals the risks rise significantly after 10 years, despite official assurances that they are safe. Geoffrey Lean reports
Published: 07 October 2007

Using a mobile phone for more than 10 years increases the risk of getting brain cancer, according to the most comprehensive study of the risks yet published.

The study – which contradicts official pronouncements that there is no danger of getting the disease – found that people who have had the phones for a decade or more are twice as likely to get a malignant tumour on the side of the brain where they hold the handset.

The scientists who conducted the research say using a mobile for just an hour every working day during that period is enough to increase the risk – and that the international standard used to protect users from the radiation emitted is "not safe" and "needs to be revised".

They conclude that "caution is needed in the use of mobile phones" and believe children, who are especially vulnerable, should be discouraged from using them at all.

The study, published in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed journal Occupational Environmental Medicine, is important because it pulls together research on people who have used the phones for long enough to contract the disease.

Cancers take at least 10 years – and normally much longer – to develop but, as mobile phones have spread so recently and rapidly, relatively few people have been using them that long.

Official assurances that the phones are safe have been based on research that has, at best, included only a few people who have been exposed to the radiation for long enough to get the disease, and are therefore of little or no value in assessing the real risk.

Last month, Britain's largest investigation into the health risks of the technology, the £8.8m Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research (MTHR) programme – funded by "government and industry sources" – reported that "mobile phones have not been found to be associated with any biological or adverse health effects".

But its chairman, Professor Lawrie Challis, admitted that only a small proportion of the research had covered people who had used the phones for more than a decade. He warned: "We cannot rule out the possibility at this stage that cancer could appear in a few years' time."

He said the investigation had discovered "a very slight hint" of increased numbers of brain tumours among those exposed for more than 10 years, and called for more research.

The new study – headed by two Swedes, Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro and Professor Kjell Hansson Mild of Umea University, who also serves on the MTHR programme's management committee – goes some way to meeting the deficiency.

The scientists pulled together the results of the 11 studies that have so far investigated the occurrence of tumours in people who have used phones for more than a decade, drawing on research in Sweden, Denmark Finland, Japan, Germany, the United States and Britain. They found almost all had discovered an increased risk, especially on the side of the head where people listened to their handsets.

Five of the six studies of malignant gliomas, cancers of the glial cells that support and protect the nerve cells, found an increased risk. The only one that did not still found an increase in benign gliomas. Four of the five studies that looked at acoustic neuromas – benign but often disabling tumours on the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness – found them. The exception was based on only two cases of the disease, but still found that long-term users had larger tumours than other people.

The scientists assembled the findings of all the studies to analyse them collectively. This revealed that people who have used their phones for a decade or more are 20 per cent more likely to contract acoustic neuromas, and 30 per cent more likely to get malignant gliomas.

The risk is even greater on the side of the head the handset is used: long-term users were twice as likely to get the gliomas, and two and a half times more likely to get the acoustic neuromas there than other people.

The scientists conclude: "Results from present studies on use of mobile phones for more than 10 years give a consistent pattern of an increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma." They add that "an increased risk for other types of brain tumours cannot be ruled out".

Professors Hardell and Mild have also themselves carried out some of the most extensive original work into tumours among long-term mobile phone users and have come up with even more alarming results. Their research suggests they are more than three times more likely to get malignant gliomas than other people, and nearly five times more likely to get them on the side of the head where they held the phone. For acoustic neuromas they found a threefold and three-and-a-half-fold increased risk respectively.

They have also carried out the only study into the effects of the long-term use of cordless phones, and found this also increased both kinds of tumours. Their research suggests that using a mobile or cordless phone for just 2,000 hours – less than an hour every working day for 10 years – is enough to augment the risk.

Professor Mild told The Independent on Sunday: "I find it quite strange to see so many official presentations saying that there is no risk. There are strong indications that something happens after 10 years." He stressed that brain cancers are rare: they account for less than 2 per cent of primary tumours in Britain, though they are disproportionately deadly, causing 7 per cent of the years of life lost to the disease. "Every cancer is one too many," he said.

He said he uses a mobile phone as little as possible, and urges others to use hands-free equipment and make only short calls, reserving longer ones for landlines. He also said that mobiles should not be given to children, whose thinner skulls and developing nervous systems make them particularly vulnerable.

The danger may be even greater than the new study suggests for, as Professor Mild says, 10 years is the "minimum" period needed by cancers to develop. As they normally take much longer, very many more would be likely to strike long-term users after 15, 20 or 30 years – which leads some to fear that an epidemic of the disease could develop in the coming decades, particularly among today's young people.

On the other hand, the professor points out that the amount of radiation emitted by phones has decreased greatly since the first ones came on the market more than a decade ago, which suggests that exposures and risks should also be falling. But he still recommended choosing phones that give out as little radiation as possible (see below), and pointed out that people are now also exposed to many other sources of radiation, such as masts and Wi-Fi systems, though these emit much less than mobile handsets.

Britain's official Health Protection Agency – which has taken a cautious view of claims that radiation from mobile phones, their masts and Wi-Fi installations can damage health – admits that the study "may be indicative" of a risk, but says that "such analyses cannot be conclusive".

The Mobile Operators Association said: "This is not new data for the World Health Organisation and the many independent expert scientific committees who state that there are no established health risks from using mobile phones that comply with international guidelines."

Both sides agree that there is need for more research. Professor Mild said a possible link between mobile phones and Alzheimer's disease should also be examined, since "we have indications that it might be a problem" as well as a possible link with Parkinson's disease, "which can't be ruled out".

In the meantime, the scientists want a revision of the emission standard for mobiles and other sources of radiation, which they describe as "inappropriate" and "not safe". The international standard is designed merely to prevent harmful heating of living tissue or induced electrical currents in the body – and does not take the risk of getting cancer into account.

Professors Hansen and Mild serve on the international BioInitiative Working Group of leading scientists and public health experts, which this summer produced a report warning that the standard was "thousands of times too lenient".

The BioInitiative report added: "It has been established beyond reasonable doubt that some adverse health effects occur at far lower levels of exposure... some at several thousand times below the existing safety limits." It also warned that unless this is corrected there could be "public health problems of a global nature".

Case study: 'Mobiles are the smoking of the 21st century; they need health warnings'

Neil Whitfield, a 49-year-old father of six, developed an acoustic neuroma in 2001 after years of heavy mobile phone use, on the left side of the head, to which he had held his handset. He says he had no family history of the disease and that when he asked a specialist what had caused it, the doctor had asked him if he used a mobile.

"I was on it four hours a day, easily" he says. "When I held it to my head, I could feel my ear getting warm."

He adds that he completely lost his hearing in his left ear and was off work for 12 months. Unable to go back to his old job in marketing, he became a teacher, suffering a £20,000 drop in income.

"It has had a devastating effect on my family," he says. "Mobile phones are the smoking of the 21st century; they should have health warnings on them. You would never buy a child a pack of cigarettes, but we give them mobiles which could cause them harm."

Warning: your model might be dangerous

Exposure to radiation, shown as Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels, varies widely in different models. Manufacturers and the Government have ignored the Stewart report that urges they be clearly marked on phones and boxes. They are thus hard to find, though the Carphone Warehouse catalogue includes them. An easily accessible list of phones and radiation exposures is published in Germany, where low-radiation models, defined as having SAR of 0.6 or under, are encouraged.