The cancer sleuths on the trail of environmental causes of disease

According to this SOURCE, and researcher Michael Thun: "... much harder than figuring out if a substance can cause cancer is to calculate how many cases of the disease spring from being exposed to low amounts of substances over varying periods of time. One huge area of uncertainty is what the dose-response relationship is with many of these things,” he says.
clipped from blogs.wsj.com

Why It’s Hard to Parse the Environment-Cancer Connection

The President’s Cancer Panel released a  report yesterday that said environmental exposures have a “grossly underestimated” impact on cancer.

While the American Cancer Society agrees with many elements of the report, it’s not too keen on that “grossly underestimated” part. (Read here for more on what the ACS does feel are the big cancer threats — smoking and obesity, for example.)

baby_bottles_art_257_20080515084416.jpg
A shopper contemplates alternatives to baby bottles made with BPA.

It’s not that there isn’t a consensus around the idea that some substances cause cancer in humans, Michael Thun, VP emeritus of epidemiology and surveillance research at the ACS, tells the Health Blog. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has an entire classification system to sort out potential hazards.

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