Before HPV there was common sense

The idea that a virus could cause cervical cancer is a relatively new one. In 1977  German virologist Harald zur Hausen claimed that the human papilloma virus – HPV known for causing warts could also cause cervical cancer. From then on all common sense flew out the window.

Why and how the focus changed from an understanding of cervical cancer as a disease associated with social and environmental conditions  to a cancer caused by a virus is addressed in Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed along with the disastrous ramifications for the health of young girls and boys who, in the wake of a scare campaign, are now injected with HPV vaccines.

In my book I explain why I became interested in this story of cervical cancer which stemmed from my diagnosis of cervical dysplasia in the 1980s. This was around the time that the story about a virus was causing the cancer was making the news. With the rates of cancer skyrocketing in the second half of the 20th century the world was concerned about the causes of cancer and in this case cancer of the cervix.  People wanted answers, they wanted to know the cause. Most of all they wanted a cure.

I often wonder about the ability of the scientific community to have most of the world believing that viruses, and not lifestyle and environmental changes, are the cause of these horrid cancers. But that is what has happened in the case of cervical cancer.

Numerous theories as to the cause(s) of cervical cancer have come and gone over the decades. There were the early nineteenth century physicians who claimed that ‘sexual excesses and immorality’ were involved, for it was thought that the disease was found in larger numbers among poorer, city women than amongst married and financially more secure women living in rural areas (Löwy, 2011, p. 140). Domenico Rigoni-Stern, an Italian surgeon, followed this dubious line of reasoning and claimed that cervical cancer rarely occurred in nuns (p. 140). This theory was later discounted when a study revealed that in fact religious sisters were subject to the disease too, and that, contrary to prevailing opinion, women in long-term relationships also developed cervical cancer. Further research by British physician J.C.W. Lever found that “single women bear a proportion of 5.83 per cent, married women 86.6 per cent, and widows 7.5 per cent,” of cases of cancer of the womb. With the notion that sexual excesses and/or immorality were the cause of the disease discredited, researchers began to suspect that a “chronic irritation” or an underlying inflammatory process could be the missing link. In the case of cancer of the uterus it was proposed that the trauma of childbirth itself could be a risk factor. Such speculation might explain why there was more cervical cancer among women of low socioeconomic status than among women of means. Poorer women tended to have more children, lived harsher lives and possibly received less medical care, as well as missing out on much-needed rest and recovery time after the birth of their children (Löwy, 2011, p. 143).

I believe these early researchers were on the right track when they proposed that social circumstances such as poverty and inequality were in some way implicated in the disease process. British psychologist, author and researcher Susan Quilliam documented these lifestyle factors that might increase the chance of becoming ill with cervical cancer in her 1989 book Positive Smear. Quilliam stressed the importance of a balanced diet and claimed that deficiencies in vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid were common in women with cervical precancerous cells. Quilliam strongly emphasised the importance of a healthy environment, good hygiene and excellent nutrition as prerequisites for good health and resistance to disease (1989, pp. 96–98). When discussing the causes of cervical cancer, she doesn’t shy away from a conversation about the contraceptive pill and how it has a negative effect on natural immunity as well as a propensity to lessen the body’s ability to use folic acid (p. 99). Regrettably, since Quilliam’s 1989 book, the pendulum has swung back to regarding cervical cancer as a disease associated with sexual activity. HPV is now seen as the main culprit and any discussion that there may be other factors that lead to this disease is silenced in the mainstream media. To the extent that Harald zur Hausen’s claim that HPV was the cause of the disease was welcomed by the scientific community even though other institutions such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) were wary and stated: “Although evidence for an association between cervical cancer and sexual activity has been available for over a century, the causal role of a sexually transmitted infectious agent has not yet been proven” (IARC, 1989).

Despite this lack of consensus, in 1989, Professor Ian Frazer and Dr Jian Zhou from the University of Queensland in Australia received funding from CSL Ltd, formerly known as the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories to begin work on a vaccine which “would prevent carcinogenic changes believed to result from HPV infections”.  And what has followed is a disaster for over 73000 girls and boys around the world who have suffered shocking adverse events following their vaccination with HPV vaccines for a disease they are extremely unlikely to ever get.

In the interests of this generation of teenagers about to be vaccinated with these fast-tracked HPV vaccines we need to bring back some commonsense. For that I commend the work of Peter Duesberg and the findings presented in a paper published in Molecular Cytogenetics (2013) of which Peter Duesberg is one of six authors which found that the changes seen in cervical cells are caused by exposure to carcinogens such as cigarette smoke. According to the authors, the pieces of inactive HPV DNA that can be found in cervical cancers are from infections or warts that occurred 20-50 years before the cancer.

Indeed  recent research from Egypt puts the HPV causation into further jeopardy. Thabet et al. found that HPV wasn’t the main cause of pre-invasive and invasive cervical cancer among patients in the Delta Region, Egypt. They report the existence of HPV in 39.5% of premalignant lesions and 33.3% in malignant cervical lesions.

Let’s face it. HPV is a very common wart virus. Over 80 percent of us are affected at some stage in our lives. Most of this infection is cleared by the body within two years. Only around 1 percent of the world’s women develop cervical cancer.

This is a cancer much like others in that it is caused by social conditions and environmental factors and other influences such as ageing.

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What causes cervical cancer?

 

There are many unanswered questions regarding the current dogma that HPV causes cervical cancer. For example:

Why is it that only one in 10,000 HPV infected women go on to develop cervical cancer and why does this cancer only develop decades after HPV infection?

The human papilloma virus was not always considered the cause of cervical cancer. Christine Kent author of Saving the Whole Woman has pointed out that there is a lack of glycogen in the squamous mucosa of the cervix and vagina in women with cervical cancer. Glycogen is a stored form of glucose which is necessary for the health of these reproductive tissues. Other researchers have looked into dietary reasons that may contribute to cervical cancer such as Susan Quilliam who in her book Positive Smear noted nutritional deficiencies such as a lack of vitamin C, beta carotene and folic acid. Carolyn DeMarco also mentions the role of folic acid describing it as an important cofactor needed by the enzymes that make DNA and one that is often deficient in pill users, that can protect against precancerous changes in the cervix. Demarco adds that low levels of beta-carotene have been associated with cervical dysplasia along with inadequate vitamin B6 and selenium. Carolyn Demarco and Susan Quilliam both discuss the role that prolonged use of the contraceptive pill has on the incidence of cervical cancer. A 1988 update of a study that had been going on in Britain for the last 20 years links the pill with cervical cancer. The incidence of cervical cancer in women who had taken the pill for more than ten years was four times greater than for women who had not. The overall incidence of cancer of the cervix was increased in women who had used the pill.

Then there is the role that smoking plays in the development of the disease with it being a major risk factor and said to account for a two-to four-fold increased incidence of cervical cancer. Reading from the QuitNow website :

Smoking is a cause of cancer of the cervix. Tobacco specific carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) have been found in the cervical mucus of smokers. Smokers and former smokers risk of developing cancer of the cervix is about double that of never smokers.The level of risk remains after taking into account other risk factors for cervical cancer including infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), a likely factor in most cases. Your risk of developing cervical cancer increases the longer you smoke and the more cigarettes you smoke. Women who smoke are around twice as likely to develop cervical cancer than non- smokers and research has shown that toxins from first-hand and second-hand smoking can be found in cervical tissue. Smoking has been implicated in the causation of cervical cancer since the 1970s.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers the following tips for preventing cervical cancer: Don’t smoke, have regular Pap smears, eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, use a condom and be monogamous. Seems very sensible to me.  And why don’t we hear this sensible advice rather than the baseless message that HPV vaccines are needed to save your daughter from the ravages of cervical cancer. And look where this advice has got the young teens of the world with over 73000 adverse events post vaccination and hundreds of deaths. This is a disease for which HPV vaccination is not warranted. First attend to these lifestyle causes would be a good way to go.

Read more: Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed

 

News, book launch and crackdown on free speech

I keep finding more information that I have not included in my book Gardsil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed.

I recently watched an hour – long interview with a New Zealand couple whose daughter had been injured post vaccination with Gardasil. Her mother had said no to the consent form sent home by the school but on the day of vaccination her daughter was bullied into it – made fearful by classmates and those giving the shots that she didn’t have it she would get cervical cancer and so submitted to the vaccine. The next morning she awoke with a blinding headache and from there her health went from bad to worse. It cost this family much in terms of heartache and money to obtain the help they needed to get their daughter well again. The medical system could do nothing – they could not or would not see the connection between the young girl’s condition that consisted of neurological problems and reproductive issues in that her periods had ceased and so the family sought homeopathy and naturopathic treatment. The treatment is expensive– there’s the testing involved, the detoxing and supplementation. This young girl was fortunate in that her parents were able to seek out and provide this treatment. There are so many who aren’t able to afford this and many who remain ignorant of what is wrong with them and that alternative treatment is available. The information is not in the mainstream where it should be.

In Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed I have written that there are over 50,000 adverse reported events after vaccination and yet during this interview I heard about another larger database of adverse events called Vigibase. It’s a World Health Organisation database and they record the total as over 73000. This of course is still far from accurate as many people don’t know where or how to record their event. It is good that we know where to record these events but what is being done about the huge number of adverse events. Where is the inquiry into these events – surely the World Health Organisation should be insisting on an inquiry and cessation of this vaccination program?

Of this 73,000 adverse events there are some astounding totals

  • Blood and lymphatic system disorders (1718)
  • Cardiac disorders (1921)
  • Congenital, familial and genetic disorders (246)
  • Ear and labyrinth disorders (1356)
  • Endocrine disorders (284)
  • Eye disorders (4076)
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (13313)
  • General disorders and administration site conditions (38918)
  • Hepatobiliary disorders (231)
  • Immune system disorders (1495)
  • Infections and infestations (3935)
  • Injury, poisoning and procedural complications (8507)
  • Investigations (11205)
  • Metabolism and nutrition disorders (1445)
  • Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders (12048)
  • Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) (874)
  • Nervous system disorders (32911)
  • Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions (1153)
  • Product issues (58)
  • Psychiatric disorders (4080)
  • Renal and urinary disorders (942)
  • Reproductive system and breast disorders (2663)
  • Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders (4852)
  • Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders (12557)
  • Social circumstances (1342)
  • Surgical and medical procedures (1737)
  • Vascular disorders (4714)

In Australia 12-13 year old girls and boys are vaccinated with Gardasil as part of the school vaccination programs: Figures from 2014–15 reveal that nationally nearly 79% of girls aged 15 were fully immunised against HPV and 67% of boys. The uptake of Gardasil is much lower in the US where figures recorded for 2013 show that around 40% of girls and 35% of boys have received three doses. No surprise then that there is talk of mandatory vaccination with HPV vaccines in parts of the US. In a highly controversial, unprecedented motion, members of the Allegheny County Health Department in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have publicly revealed that they’re considering administering a countywide mandate to require all 7th grade girls and boys to receive the HPV vaccine before receiving admittance into school for the 2017–18 school year. This is very wrong and not only because they want to forcibly administer this vaccine but the HPV vaccine has been linked to more cases of death, disability and other serious side effects than can be traced to any other vaccine. And as noted in the book HPV vaccines are being associated with the very rare but serious condition of premature ovarian failure (POF), also known as premature menopause.” Surely there are enough problems with infertility already but no we’ll just cause a bit more – this time to teenagers – the future parents.

We need to spread the word about HPV vaccination before they mandate this one in Australia as they have done with the childhood shots linking them to family payments and entry to childcare. Imagine your teenagers not able to go to high school if they don’t get their HPV shots. HPV is not a communicable disease like measles. There is no need for this vaccine which was said to prevent Cervical Cancer and yet there is zero scientific proof that the vaccine has prevented a single case of Cervical cancer in any country. People are resisting all over the world – but very quiet in this country.

 In July 2016, 63 Japanese women and girls aged between 15 to 22 years sued the government and the drug makers for damages over health problems they suffered after they were vaccinated with the HPV vaccines Cervarix and Gardasil. The plaintiffs who had experienced a range of health problems starting after their HPV vaccines are seeking compensation of at least 15 million yen each. The women insist that the government provide expert medical help for their symptoms and that research for a cure happens. The women’s lawyers have stated: “the causal relationship will be acknowledged because the victims have common symptoms”. In the United States vaccine companies have immunity from prosecution. To understand how this happened, we have to turn the clock back to 1982. That is when four big drug companies (Merck, Wyeth, Lederle, Connaught) threatened to stop selling vaccines in America unless a law was passed giving them complete immunity from prosecution. So claims are submitted to the US national vaccine injury compensation program. The drug companies are not sued.

By March 20, 2013 Judicial Watch the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program had awarded $5,877,710 to 49 victims for harm resulting from the HPV vaccine and up to 2016 there were a total of 119 cases of damaged litigants compensated. There is no proof that this vaccine can prevent cervical cancer. It may result in more cases for there are reports of young women who have got cervical cancer after the vaccine. There are likely to be more cases of cervical cancer because there are changes to the successful Pap smear programs that are to start in December. Instead of the Pap smear test there is to be an HPV test. This of course predicated on the basis that HPV causes Cervical Cancer but there are many cases of Cervical cancer where the women are found to be HPV negative. So these cases of early cervical cancer may be missed.

At the launch of my book Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed my publishers and I were verbally attacked by two ardent pro-vaccinators one of whom was a virologist and the other an immunisation nurse. As well as being very disruptive and insulting they were dismissive of a woman in the audience who related the story of her two good friends who had suffered adverse effects from the Gardasil vaccine. The incident was surprising and begs many questions: Why were these two people there? What did they hope to achieve by their interruption and their attempts at disputing the facts presented in the book. Do they hope to shut this story down. Am I to be intimidated into silence?

Such ardent promoters of vaccination must be very worried that the  public is becoming aware that vaccines carry real risks. It is no surprise to read that Australian nurses and midwives who dare to speak out against the dangers of vaccinations on social media or in person will be prosecuted and that the Australian government is urging members of the public to report vaccine skeptics to the authorities.We are entering dangerous times when we cannot speak openly about medical procedures such as the Gardasil vaccination that can cause harm to some people.

 

 

 

 

Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed

 

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Forthcoming June Release

In Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed  Helen Lobato argues that we do not know whether HPV vaccines will decrease the incidence of cervical cancer. What is emerging, however, is evidence of their harmful effects. In 2006, the experimental HPV vaccination program began and there have been at least 315 associated deaths and more than 50,000 adverse events following HPV vaccination.

Gardasil was fast-tracked through the FDA, a process usually reserved for life threatening diseases to fill an unmet and urgent medical need. Improved living conditions had already reduced the incidence of cervical cancer significantly in Western countries. So why is the HPV vaccine so heavily promoted in Australia, a country with one of the lowest rates of cervical cancer in the world?

Gardasil: Fast-Tracked and Flawed documents the early history of cervical cancer and tracks its progression from a disease of obscurity to one of mainstream prominence. It includes the stories of vaccinated girls and boys who remain ill after receiving a vaccine purported to prevent a disease they were most unlikely to get. It records the voices of dissenters and resisters who call for an inquiry into HPV vaccines approved for use after a relentless propaganda campaign promoting a vaccine against a virus that many had never heard of.

This in-depth investigation exposes cracks in the pharmaceutical industry and highlights the problems that arise when government regulators and corporate interests are prioritized ahead of patient safety, independent science and common sense.

To order: women@spinifexpress.com.au

‘Bande de Filles’- Girlhood

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If you think your life is difficult, or that your future lacks promise, well check out Girlhood, a film by Celine Sciamma, released in France as Bande de filles, or Girl Gang.

Many reviewers have written that this film was about female empowerment but I fail to see how they have come to this conclusion. Instead, I think that Girlhood is a stark reminder of the struggle which continues for the needs and rights of women to education and a decent livelihood.

Protagonist Mariame lives in the poor suburbs of Paris in a high-rise apartment with her mother who we rarely see for she is the sole bread-winner; her abusive brother; and her two sisters for whom Mariame provides daily care. Girlhood shows us a view of Paris that we don’t usually see. Life is tough; there are street gangs and drug deals and for Mariame the chance of a better life seems unlikely for at sixteen she is unable to continue with high school due to her low grades. She leaves home knowing that if she stays she faces a life such as the one led by her mother who cleans hotel rooms for a living or married to her boyfriend and bearing his babies. Marianne knows this is not the life she wants.

But there are dangers in the real world and for a time Mariame teams up with a desperate girl gang even stealing for them and funding their entertainment, their drinking and drug taking. And the bleak realities of her life continue to surface as Mariame now known as ‘Vic’ starts selling drugs. Dressed in her small red dress, her short blonde wig and balancing awkwardly on her stillettos, the teenager from the African diaspora is most uncomfortable and at the end of the deals quickly retreats from her sexualised appearance to baggy jeans and sweatshirt – her hair cut short and her breasts bound tight.

Finding a way out of her dilemma is difficult. She has left the employ of the drug dealer and has nowhere left to go. We witness the young teenager seeking solace with her boyfriend but the wise young woman knows this will not work in the long-term. She hesitatingly knocks on the door of her family home but doesn’t go in. This is no solution. At the final scene we see her standing on a balcony contemplating her next move. There is silence, we wonder, and then she struts across the screen. There is some lightness in her final steps and we are left to hope.

Screen shot 2015-09-06 at 2.16.11 PMBefore the screening of Girlhood at the Nova Cinema last week we were shown a preview of a forthcoming film He named me Malala which Chronicles the amazing life thus far of the globally beloved education and children’s rights campaigner Malala Yousafzai. At the age of 15, Malala was famous only in her home region of Swat Valley in Pakistan, where she was an outspoken advocate of education for girls. This all changed when she was attacked by Taliban gunmen, who shot the teenager in the head. Miraculously she survived, and her story reverberated around the world in shock, outrage, and awed wonder at her bravery. Her passion for the rights of girls to education continues and as we saw so clearly evident in Girlhood in the plight of Mariame and her gang, for the young women who don’t have an education and a chance at a decent job, the road ahead and away from poverty and abuse is a really tough one.

 

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