Quelques nouvelles rapides mais significatives
en lien avec nos actions ensemble autour du cancer.
D’abord, je reviens de 6 semaines aux Etats-Unis, autour de
mes cours et du lancement de l’édition américaine de Anticancer.
Je suis ravi de l’accueil reçu là-bas, puisque que le livre
est apparu sur la liste des bestsellers du New York Times
au bout de seulement 10 jours en librairies ! Le message a
aussi reçu le soutien public de plusieurs cancérologues de
renom qui ont participé aux conférences que j’ai faites, à
Pittsburgh, à New York, à San Francisco, et à Minneapolis.
J’ai profité de mon implication là-bas pour publier un article
sur la prévention du cancer dans le International Herald Tribune
du 17 septembre qui a été repris par le Monde. (http://www.lemonde.fr/archives/article/2008/10/07/arretons-l-epidemie-de-cancer-par-david-servan-schreiber_1104156_0.html)
Notre communiqué de juin autour des téléphones portables a
déclenché une réaction en chaine impressionnante aux Etats-Unis.
Notre appel a été repris par le directeur de l’Institut de
Cancérologie de l’Université de Pittsburgh (le Pr Herberman,
découvreur des cellules NK), ce qui a entrainé une audition
au congrès américain (chambre des représentants), le jeudi
25 septembre (voir article AFP joint et ci-dessous, désolé,
en anglais seulement !). Suite à cela, il y a aussi eu un
article dans The Economist qui reprend les commentaires du
Pr Herberman identiques aux notres.
Scientists warn US Congress of cancer risk for cell
by Virginie MontetThu Sep 25, 9:15 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The potential link between mobile telephones
and brain cancer could be similar to the link between lung
cancer and smoking -- something tobacco companies took 50
years to recognize, according to US scientists' warning.
Scientists are currently split on the level of danger the
biological effects of the magnetic field emitted by cellular
telephones poses to humans.
However, society "must not repeat the situation we had with
the relationship between smoking and lung cancer where we
... waited until every 'i' was dotted and 't' was crossed
before warnings were issued," said David Carpenter, director
of the Institute of Health and Environment at the University
of Albany, in testimony before a subcommittee of the US House
of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform.
"Precaution is warranted even in the absence of absolutely
final evidence concerning the magnitude of the risk" -- especially
for children, said Carpenter.
Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh
Cancer Institute -- one of the top US cancer research centers
-- said that most studies "claiming that there is no link
between cell phones and brain tumors are outdated, had methodological
concerns and did not include sufficient numbers of long-term
cell phone users."
Many studies denying a link defined regular cell phone use
as "once a week," he said.
"Recalling the 70 years that it took to remove lead from paint
and gasoline and the 50 years that it took to convincingly
establish the link between smoking and lung cancer, I argue
that we must learn from our past to do a better job of interpreting
evidence of potential risk," said Herberman.
A brain tumor can take dozens of years to develop, the scientists
Carpenter and Herberman both told the committee the brain
cancer risk from cell phone use is far greater for children
than for adults.
Herberman held up a model for lawmakers showing how radiation
from a cell phone penetrates far deeper into the brain of
a five-year-old than that of an adult.
The committee were shown several European studies, particularly
surveys from Scandinavia -- where the cell phone was first
developed -- which show that the radiation emitted by cell
phones have definite biological consequences.
For example, a 2008 study by Swedish cancer specialist Lennart
Hardell found that frequent cell phone users are twice as
likely to develop a benign tumor on the auditory nerves of
the ear most used with the handset, compared to the other
A separate study in Israel determined that heavy cell phone
users had a 50 percent increased likelihood in developing
a salivary gland tumor.
In addition, a paper published this month by the Royal Society
in London found that adolescents who start using cell phones
before the age of 20 were five times more likely to develop
brain cancer at the age of 29 than those who didn't use a
"It's only on the side of the head where you use the cell
phone," Carpenter said.
"Every child is using cell phones all of the time, and there
are three billion cell phone users in the world," said Herberman.
He added that, like the messages that warn of health risks
on cigarette packs, cell phones "need a precautionary message."
Carpenter described the situation as "a critical public health
issue," and called on the US government to support further
research and for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),
in charge of monitoring the use of the radio spectrum, "to
review their standards."
Also testifying was Julius Knapp, who heads the FCC office
of engineering and technology -- responsible for setting limits
for human exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy from electronic
devices like telephones that they approve, to prevent it from
heating up live tissue.
"It is important to understand that we rely on guidance from
US health, safety and environmental agencies in setting those
limits," Knapp said.
He added: "The FCC staff is not sufficiently qualified to
speak with authority to the science of health effects of RF
absorption in the body."