Exhaustive index of fearmongering Daily Mail stories about cancer and its causes

Kill Or Cure explores the UK Daily Mail's obsession with hysterical headlines about what causes and/or cures cancer, with a link index to stories on the subject:
affluence both causes and prevents cancer
* Wealthy background can raise the risk of cancer for teenagers
* Middle classes 'face twice the risk of skin cancer'
* Is your lifestyle giving you breast cancer?
* Well-off children 'more at risk of cancer'
* Why affluent women in the South are more likely to die from breast cancer
* Gap between rich and poor women who survive breast cancer grows as disease progresses
Kill or cure? (Thanks, Alice!)



  1. I’d say the prime risk for cancer would have to be either DEET or artificial carrot-flavored stix(sic). Based on what I hear, anyhow.

  2. Depressingly, these are probably just slightly hysterificated versions of BBC articles. The BBC has an unwholesome obsession with dodgy medical studies and miracle breakthroughs.

  3. My own theory is that uttering the word “cancer” is itself the source of all cancer. In other words, “cancer” causes cancer,

  4. I suppose it all sounds funny, but that doesn’t mean these headlines don’t reflect a shred of truth. I’ve been a cancer epidemiologist since graduate school, so I frequently make observational statements like this: Marin County, with some of the highest per capita incomes in America, continues to have the highest rate of incidence of all breast cancers. THat’s true, and we have no idea why. We’ve looked into all sorts of exposures, familial characteristics, genetic profiles, etc.

    I guess what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t mock statements about health and potential causation without looking into the data first. Common sense is often dead wrong, and reality is often reflected in bizarre truths that mean who-knows-what.

  5. @12,

    Correction: highest breast cancer detection rate

    Little known medical fact: some conditions falling under the umbrella term ‘cancer’ are so slow-growing as to be a non-threat (extrapolated to causing a genuine health problem 100 years or more in the future)

    Also, poor cancer victims often die before or proximal to diagnosis.

    Having a hammer and finding a nail, could be it. But not necessarily, of course.

    Ah, Insurance!

  6. Man my wife got breast cancer over a year ago, and we started getting told all the crackpot stories of what must have lead to it and how to cure it (not by professional by the way, just lay people). People giving us books on magic teas (y term for them)and such, just such a crock. So much that we get these days based “on a study” is hard to track down, or is over simplified or mis-represented.

    The thing about the previous comment (above) though, is that while what he observes about “Marin County” may be correct, folks out there will read that as “something in the water/ ground/ air” is causing the higher rate of cancer, or the pesticides that get into the cows an effect the cow’s milk or whatever. That’s the kind of gap that people inject their own brand of bullshit into.

  7. The flipside of some of the stories is:
    Since the Hygeine Hypothesis suggests that a little crud is good on our kids and in our food, maybe we should be less paranoid about our kids and ourselves getting dirty and interacting with the world.

    Which would sell less papers then:
    Will antimicrobial soap lead to the new Black Death?

  8. @5: Jesus Christ!! Dihydrogen Monoxide can fucking -=KILL=- you!!! Do -not- fuck around with that shit!

Comments are closed.