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lignuist 588 days ago | link | parent

Statistics don't count in medicine if you are the one who gets the disease.


tsotha 588 days ago | link

They don't count if you die in a fire, either.

The reality is with this kind of thing we're really off into rounding errors. To the extent you can affect your odds of getting cancer, the extent to which you do the things your mother told you to do (don't smoke, don't drink, eat your vegetables, and don't get too fat) swamps your cancer risk from environmental sources.

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tptacek 588 days ago | link

Your environmental risk of cancer is probably not dominated by scary industrial chemicals, either; aflatoxins are probably much more carcinogenic than chlorinated trisphosphates used in flame retardants, and mother nature does just fine producing those on her own, often in our houses, and often in our pantries.

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sp332 588 days ago | link

Just don't eat broccoli. Broccoli contains mutagens. http://www.biomedsearch.com/nih/Genotoxicity-studies-organic...

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tsotha 588 days ago | link

Well, you can't compare broccoli to nothing. Broccoli is probably a big improvement over the food most people eat, mutagenic properties notwithstanding.

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reedlaw 588 days ago | link

That's not what I got from that abstract. Rather, broccoli has little cancer-preventative effect on fruit flies.

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sp332 588 days ago | link

Broccoli has some mutagenic properties, and some anti-mutagenic properties. This study was to see whether the overall effect was more damage or more protection, and the damage won.

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einhverfr 587 days ago | link

I thought the connection to Bruce Ames was interesting. I remember reading Ames' discussion of carcinogens in foods and realizing that by the standards he was measuring, everything would give us cancer and the only thing we could do was ignore all that.

I do think that regulations mandating the use of new chemicals without decades of health testing is pretty irresponsible though.

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