Most middle school boys are concerned with playing sports after school, playing video games, or taking up new hobbies in their spare time. Well, one middle school boy in Atlanta, Georgia, does all of this, and more. One hobby of his is a bit extraordinary: searching for a way to fight cancer.
After 12-year-old Stephen Litt became aware of two family friends being diagnosed with breast cancer, he decided to do something about it. He began researching and found that decreased rates of the disease in Japan might be due to certain antioxidants found in green tea. Stephen wanted to test this theory and see if these antioxidants could ward off cancer cells in planaria (worms) since they are known to have stem cells that mimic cancerous cells.
Stephen and his father purchased the necessary materials for the project and began conducting scientific experiments in search of their answer. He used experimental and controlled groups of planaria in his research and studied the results under a microscope that his grandparents gave him.
His findings showed that there might actually be a link between the green tea antioxidants and fighting cancerous cells. Stephen went on to win local and state competitions with his science project and was invited to tour a real research lab at Tuft University shortly after. In the future, he would like to transplant human cancerous cells into the planaria to see if the green tea antioxidants will have the same effect. To read the full CNN story on Stephen and his work, click here.
Who knows what the future has in store for this remarkable young man! We had to share his story because wanting to help others in such a major way, and at such a young age, is a very special thing. We tip our hats to you, Stephen, and wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. With bright minds like these popping up in the younger generation, we can certainly hope that finding the cure for cancer is not too far away!
Were you watching the news last night, October 3, 2016, on Channel 5 in Chicago? They showed a news clip about families on the south side who are angry about the cell towers located on their child’s school building. Parents, citing unknown risks, want more testing on potentially harmful radiation levels in classrooms.
One of the parents was walking his son to kindergarten at Sutherland Elementary on the south side. He looked up and saw 2 towers on the building, which he had never seen before. He immediately started to research what they were. He was not alone with his concerns. Parents of another school in the Beverly and Mt. Greenwood neighborhoods prepared a petition asking for answers about potential risks from the phone towers on the school buildings.
NBC5 Investigates filed Freedom of Information Act requests with 409 public school districts across the Chicago area, and found that 139 local schools rent space on their grounds, buildings, and smokestacks for cellular antennas. Over 90 of those are Chicago Public Schools – most of them elementary-level — where kids may attend for as many as nine years.
The Beverly parents were especially alarmed by news of a recent study from the National Toxicology Program, which seemed to show a direct link between cell phone RF and cancer. It turns out the National Toxicology Study was done in Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Moreover, its findings were reported worldwide. “This is by far the largest study that’s ever been done in the world on cell phone radiation,” said Dr. David McCormick, who ran that project.
“I don’t blame the parents for being concerned,” he said. “My first question would be, does your child use a cell phone? Because if your child uses a cell phone, the exposure is very likely to be substantially larger than the exposure from the cell tower.” A few weeks ago, during Childhood Cancer Month, Answers for Angels wrote an article about cell phones in the hands of children, which links to cancer. Find that article here.
National health and communication experts, including the American Cancer Society and the FCC, have said there is no credible health threat posed by cellular equipment.
NBC5 Investigates has compiled both a list and an interactive map, showing all of the schools, throughout Chicago and the suburbs, which have cellular antennas on their property. Tilden High School located at 47th and Union, Chicago, rents a cellular tower. Elementary School District 159, 6202 W. Vollmer Rd., Matteson rents a cellular tower also.
As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, there is a lot of push for women to go get mammograms in order to detect any signs of breast cancer. There’s an estimated 200,000 new cases of breast cancer every year in the United States. One in eight women will take on this disease and it is the leading cause of death in women from ages 40 to 55. Therefore, it’s not an issue to be taken lightly.
Taking care of yourself and taking precautionary measures in preserving your health are things that should be done, but have you ever questioned if the methods in which you do so could actually be hazardous to your health?
Studies in the past few years have shown that techniques such as mammograms might actually increase your risk of getting cancer. One mammogram can potentially give you as much radiation as 1,000 chest X-rays. 1,000! A Premenopausal breast is even more sensitive to this radiation and each rad of exposure can increase breast cancer risk by 1%. A decade of screening increases your risk to 10%, and some radiologists fear that it’s even more than that. In other words, by getting checked with mammograms annually starting at the age of 40, by 50 you are at least 10% more likely to get the disease that you are attempting to avoid. That means 37 million women are increasing their breast cancer risk every single year.
Important points to note about mammograms and detecting breast cancer:
If you don’t have breast cancer when you receive a mammogram, you increase your risk every time you check again.
If you don’t have breast cancer when you receive a mammogram but receive a false positive, you increase your risk even more with repeat, unnecessary screenings.
If you do have breast cancer when you receive a mammogram, the compression of the machine can actually spread those cancerous cells.
If you do have breast cancer when you receive a mammogram, it might not save you anyway.
A study from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark suggested that those who had received mammogram screening only had a 1% reduction in risk of death as opposed to women who had not received screenings, whose risk was 2%. When you consider that you are increasing your risk 10% by just going to these screenings over the years, it starts to become apparent that you may, in fact, being doing much more harm than good.
So, are there other, safer alternatives to breast cancer screening? The answer is: of course.
Breast Thermography is a 15 minute, non-invasive method of testing one’s physiology in order to detect indications of early stage breast disease. It is a technique that was first introduced in 1956 and approved by the FDA in 1982. Thanks to technology advancement over the years, it is becoming a more reliable tool for detecting breast cancer. This procedure uses high resolution, digital, infrared cameras to detect heat patterns that may be indicative of breast abnormalities. The imaging can show very minute changes and patterns in temperature related to blood flow that might be related to the progression of tumors.
One study at the University Hospital for Tumors showed that Breast Thermography was even more sensitive and detected more changes than Mammography. Out of 26 patients, 31 changes were detected by mammograms while 37 were detected by Breast thermograms.
A standard Breast Thermography procedure goes a little something like this:
Complete a breast health history form
Meet with staff to go over procedure
15-minute wait to allow your body to reach a steady temperature
Positioned in front of imaging system to capture your imaging results
Meet with Thermologist to go over results
The findings can be rated in the below categories:
TH 1- Normal uniform non-vascular
TH 2- Normal uniform vascular
TH 3- Equivocal (questionable)
TH 4- Abnormal
TH 5- Severely Abnormal
It is important that you discuss the findings thoroughly with your Thermologist so that you understand what your results mean. You can also use the results to determine what your next best course of action is. At any rate, and even if you have to get a mammogram as a follow up, it is still safer to get 10 Thermology screenings prior to that mammogram, instead of increasing your risk of breast cancer 1% with every mammogram screening that you have instead.
Your body is a temple and should be treated as such. Ask yourself if traditional, conventional methods are worth putting your health at risk.
This October, protect yourself the healthy way! Look into Breast Thermology clinics near you.
Kolaric D, Herceg Z, Nola IA, Ramljak V, Kulis T, Holjevac JK, Deutsch JA, Antonini S. “Ruder Bosković” Institute, Centre for Informatics and Computing, Zagreb, Croatia. Published June 2013. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23941007. Accessed September 14, 2016.
Nowadays it seems as though every young kid has a cell phone. The age at which a child receives a mobile device seems to be getting younger and younger with every passing year. While there could be a number of different arguments made for why a child should or should not have a cellular phone, today we are going to talk about the big reason why it might not be a good idea: the fact that they can cause cancer.
It has long been thought that cellular devices might be linked to cancer, but now some studies are showing that they most certainly are. The World Health Organization now lists mobile phone use in the “carcinogenic hazard” category, along with engine exhaust, lead, and chloroform.
Cell phones emit non-ionizing radiation from their antennas. This radiation can be absorbed by the tissues nearest to the antenna, which would be on/in your head. The low radiation can be compared to microwaving food, only your brain is the food. When you’re holding a cell phone up to your head for prolonged amounts of time, you can imagine that you could be increasing this absorption and thus your susceptibility to cancer. The National Institutes of Health revealed that 50 minutes of cell phone use emitted enough radiation to artificially increase the activity in brain cells.
An international study on cell phones and cancer that was released in 2010 showed that participants in the study who used a cell phone for 10 years or more had double the rate of brain glioma. The same results were seen in rat studies, where male rats exposed to the same type of radiation that we are exposed to with cell phones were more likely to develop certain types of brain and heart tumors. Not only is this scary for adults who are increasingly using cell phones for work and maintaining contact with family, but it’s also an even bigger risk for children.
The scalps and skulls of children are much thinner than ours and thus can be more easily penetrated by radiation. The impact of radiation can be even greater on a child due to their cells dividing at a faster rate. Children also have more time to accumulate prolonged exposure to this radiation by using their phone and the scariest part is that the health effects might not show up for 30 years. So, while little Johnny might think that calling his friends and talking all night is the cool thing to do, it might not be so cool later down the road if he develops life-changing health issues. Protecting our children is always the number one priority and with that, here are a few things that you can tell them to do (and do yourself) to minimize risk:
Avoid carrying a phone next to your stomach if you’re pregnant.
Don’t carry the cell phone in your pocket next to your groin.
Don’t sleep with your phone under your pillow.
Text instead of talk to keep your phones away from your face.
Avoid using cell phones in elevators, rural areas, or buildings where your phone gives off more radiation to connect to cell phone towers.
Don’t use your cell phone in a Wifi area too often.
Use a wired ear piece instead of holding your phone to your head.
Use your landline instead.
Due to the fact that it takes so long to observe the damage caused by cell phone use, there are still many studies needed in the area and there are likely to be more findings in the future. In the meantime, though, take the necessary steps to protect your child. After all, better safe than sorry!
Exposure to toxins in the environment is and should be a growing concern for the public. We are seeing increasing cancer rates in younger and younger children and environmental toxins are a major reason why. Exposure to these toxins in utero or in early childhood is linked to health issues later in life, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer.
In Alaska, where there are twice the amount of birth defects as the lower 48, environmentalists have noted that this number can be attributed to pollution from the lower 48 and Asia, as well as the cold climate and poor ventilation indoors. The Alaska Community Action on Toxics will be hosting a Children’s Environmental Health Summit October 5th-6th at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage. There they will bring together parents, teachers, scientists, health care professionals, and members of the community to share information and ideas, educate, and discuss possibilities for policy changes. If you are interested in attending this summit, read more here.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Make sure you are doing your part in educating yourself and others so that we can protect our innocent children from the harmful effects of the environment and from this terrible disease.