Internet Hoax: Johns Hopkins Hospital issued a “cancer update” detailing how cancer spreads and recommending methods for treating the disease.



Information falsely attributed to Johns Hopkins called, “CANCER UPDATE FROM JOHN HOPKINS” describes properties of cancer cells and suggests ways of preventing cancer.  Johns Hopkins did not publish the information, which often is an email attachment, nor do we endorse its contents.  The email also contains an incorrect spelling of our institution as “John” Hopkins; whereas, the correct spelling is “Johns” Hopkins. For more information about cancer, please read the information on our web site or visit the National Cancer Institute.  Please help combat the spread of this hoax by letting others know of this statement.

Another hoax email that has been circulating since 2004 regarding plastic containers, bottles, wrap claiming that heat releases dioxins which cause cancer also was not published by Johns Hopkins.  More information from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Mythbusters:  Please help curb the spread of this hoax by sending a link to this page to individuals that forward you this email.

The Truth about the “Cancer Update” Email Hoax

Emails offering easy remedies for avoiding and curing cancer are the latest Web-influenced trend. To gain credibility, the anonymous authors falsely attribute their work to respected research institutions like Johns Hopkins. This is the case with the so-called “Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins.”

The gist of this viral email is that cancer therapies of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy do not work against the disease and people should instead choose a variety of dietary strategies.

Traditional therapies, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, work. The evidence is the millions of cancer survivors in the United States today who are alive because of these therapies.   We recognize that treatments don’t work in every patient, or sometimes work for awhile and then stop working, and there are some cancers that are more difficult to cure than others. These problems are the focus of ongoing cancer research.

We’ll go through each statement in the email hoax and provide real responses from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center experts.


Study Links Circumcision to Personality Trait Disorder

Researchers find circumcised men have higher alexithymia scores than intact men. Alexithymia is the inability to process emotions.

The International Journal of Men’s Health has published the first study of its kind to look at the link between the early trauma of circumcision and the personality trait disorder alexithymia. The study, by Dan Bollinger and Robert S. Van Howe, M.D., M.S., FAAP, found that circumcised men are 60% more likely to suffer from alexithymia, the inability to process emotions.

People suffering from alexithymia have difficulty identifying and expressing their emotions. This translates into not being able to empathize with others. Sufferers of severe alexithymia are so removed from their feelings that they view themselves as being robots. If acquired at an early age, such as from infant circumcision, it might limit access to language and impede the socialization process that begins early in life. Moderate to high alexithymia can interfere with personal relationships and hinder psychotherapy. Impulsive behavior is a key symptom of alexithymia, and impulsivity is a precursor to violence.

The idea for the investigation came when the authors noticed that American men (for whom circumcision is likely) had higher alexithymia scores than European men (for whom circumcision is unlikely), and that European men had about the same scores as European and American women.

The study surveyed 300 circumcised and intact men using the standardized Toronto Twenty-Item Alexithymia Scale checklist. Circumcised men had higher scores across the board and a greater proportion of circumcised men had higher scores than intact men.

A common reason fathers give for deciding to circumcise their son is so they will “look alike,” but these authors speculate that perhaps a subconscious motivation is so that they will “feel alike,” in other words as equally distant and emotionally unavailable as themselves. It was beyond this study’s design to test for this, and yet the comments received from circumcised participants speak to a vast psychic wounding, which, if unresolved, might lead to an unconscious desire to repeat the trauma upon others.

The authors recommend that more research be conducted on this topic, but in the meantime, parents considering circumcising their infant son should be informed that circumcision might put their son at risk for alexithymia, including difficulty identifying and expressing his feelings, and for impulsive behavior. Psychologists counseling alexithymic patients should investigate the patient’s childhood and neonatal history for possible traumatic events, including circumcision.

If this pattern of men suffering from circumcision-related trauma holds true for the general populace, this would constitute a significant mental health problem and, considering that three-fourths of the U.S. male population is circumcised, a public health problem, too.

Alexithymia is from ancient Greek meaning, “having no words for feelings.” It was coined by psychotherapist Peter Sifneos in 1973 to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. Alexithymia tends to be persistent and chronic; it doesn’t diminish with time. This is unlike other trauma-based reactions, like post-traumatic stress disorder, which typically dissipate soon after the trauma.


New Male Birth Control, Vasalgel, Is Perfect And Unavailable — And Needs To Be On The Market Already

There is a new birth control option in town, and it goes by the name Vasalgel. Unlike what the name may suggest, Vasalgel is not, in fact, a petroleum jelly to be used by women. Instead, Vasalgel is a male contraceptive, currently undergoing clinical trials, that’s apparently incredibly effective, reversible, cheap, and lasts for 10-15 years after just one treatment. So why isn’t it widely available?

A project spearheaded by the Parsemus Foundation, Vasalgel is a spin-off of the Indian treatment “RISUG,” or Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance. Sounds scary, but it’s pretty simple. Effectively, Vasalgel is painlessly injected into the man’s vas deferens under local anesthetic, blocking the plumbing that causes the sperm membranes to burst. The procedure is likened to a No-Scalpel vasectomy, and can be completed in 15 minutes.

Unlike the traditional vasectomy, which requires a more invasive procedure to reverse, the RISUG procedure is easily undone with another injection that dissolves the blockage.

Equal ≠ The Same: Sex Differences in the Human Brain

Early in 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the makers of the well-known sleep aid Ambien (zolpidem) to cut their recommended dose in half-but only for women. In essence, the FDA was acknowledging that despite extensive testing prior to the drug’s release on the market, millions of women had been overdosing on Ambien for 20 years. On February 9, 2014, CBS’s 60 Minutes highlighted this fact-and sex differences in general-by powerfully asking two questions: Why did this happen, and are men and women treated equally in research and medicine?1

The answer to the first question is that the biomedical community has long operated on what is increasingly being viewed as a false assumption: that biological sex matters little, if at all, in most areas of medicine. The answer to the second question is no, today’s biomedical research establishment is not treating men and women equally. What are some of the key reasons for the biomedical community’s false assumption, and why is this situation now finally changing? What are some of the seemingly endless controversies about sex differences in the brain generated by “anti-sex difference” investigators? And what lies at the root of the resistance to sex differences research in the human brain?

Why Sex Didn’t Matter

For a long time, for most aspects of brain function, sex influences hardly mattered to the neuroscience mainstream. The only sex differences that concerned most neuroscientists involved brain regions (primarily a deep-brain structure called the hypothalamus) that regulate both sex hormones and sexual behaviors.2 Neuroscientists almost completely ignored possible sex influences on other areas of the brain, assuming that the sexes shared anything that was fundamental when it came to brain function. Conversely, the neuroscience mainstream viewed any apparent sex differences in the brain as not fundamental- something to be understood after they grasped the fundamental facts. By this logic, it was not a problem to study males almost exclusively, since doing so supposedly allowed researchers to understand all that was fundamental in females without having to consider the complicating aspects of female hormones. To this day, neuroscientists overwhelmingly study only male animals.3

To make matters worse, studying sex differences in the brain was for a long time distasteful to large swaths of academia.4 Regarding sex differences research, Gloria Steinem once said that it’s “anti-American, crazy thinking to do this kind of research.”5 Indeed, in about the year 2000, senior colleagues strongly advised me against studying sex differences because it would “kill” my career.

Measles confirmed across Canada, doctors blame anti-vaxxer movement


TORONTO – In the last few weeks cases of measles have been reported from B.C. to Ontario. On Thursday alone, new cases were confirmed in Edmonton, Calgary, and Manitoba.

Doctors and health officials are pointing the blame at the anti-vaccination movement for the sudden outbreak, which is also spreading across the United States.


“When people say some of this might be related to low vaccine rates among people, that’s a huge understatement,” Dr. Gerald Evans, a Queen’s University medicine professor and director of infection control at Kingston General Hospital, told Global News.

“It’s all because of vaccination rates falling. It’s 100 per cent blamed on the fact that people aren’t getting vaccinated,” Evans said.

Evans said that it’s been decades since pockets of communities in such widespread areas have reported measles outbreaks. In Manitoba, for example, 1996 was the last time the province saw an outbreak.

There is a high rate of complications from measles, which sets it apart from other diseases also making a comeback, such as chicken pox and mumps.


Measles confirmed across Canada, doctors blame anti-vaxxer movement

Suspected case of measles detected at another B.C. school


Another post-secondary institute is reporting a suspected case of the measles, as the virus continues to make its way through B.C.’s Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.

The University of the Fraser Valley posted a notice online on Thursday warning students they may have been exposed to the virus if they were on campus on March 13th or 14th.

Health officials are now checking on up to 100 possible cases of the virus throughout the Eastern Fraser Valley.

“We believe that it’s partially because individuals who we asked to isolate and stay at home are not following our recommendations and are out and about in the community,” said Dr. Lisa Mu, a medical health officer with the Fraser Health Authority.

Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes, followed by a rash three to seven days later. Children under the age of five are the most susceptible to the virus.

Students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, in Burnaby, were exposed to measles two weeks ago with one student diagnosed with the illness.

As a precaution, BCIT restricted access to the J.W. Inglis building, where students had been exposed to the virus. Only students who had received a measles vaccine, or already had a case of the virus or were over the age of 34, were allowed to access the building.

The outbreak has been traced back to Mount Cheam, a Christian school in Chilliwack, where two unimmunized children contracted the virus. The region has historically had a low-immunization rate due to religious beliefs.

“Unfortunately we also do have to fight some of the messages on the internet which talk about harms associated with immunization. They are not based in science,” said Dr. Patricia Daly, vice president of Public Health with Vancouver Coastal Health.

To help concerned citizens, the Fraser Health Authority has been operating several vaccination clinics this week and will look to add more in the coming days.

Read more:



CHILLIWACK (NEWS1130) – The measles outbreak in the Fraser Valley is now into its third week, and while clinics set up across the region to contain it have been busy, there seem to be some problems at ground zero.

Most of the people linked to the Chilliwack school where it started still haven’t been vaccinated.



Seeking Medical Advice from Pastors and Playboy Pinups Leads to Illness (Duh)





Seeking Medical Advice from Pastors and Playboy Pinups Leads to Illness (Duh)

We leave it in God’s hands. If it is in his will that somehow we get a contagious disease, like in this case the measles, there are other ways, of course, to avoid this. If we get sick, he can also heal us from it.

I bet you can guess who said this – yep it’s a religious leader: Rev. Adriaan Geuze from the Reformed Congregation of North America in Chilliwack as reported in the Vancouver Sun. Thanks to the reverend and his medical advice, there is now a measles outbreak in Chilliwack, BC with 100 suspected cases showing up at a religious school where the vaccination rates are, of course, low.  Thanks to these folks, the measles outbreak has spread into the general population and special vaccination clinics are now being offered.

Last year, we saw a measles outbreak in Wales, there was a recent one in New York and now this one in BC. What does it take to convince people that vaccinations are necessary? At least Jenny McCarthy got a tweet full of fury when she asked “What is the most important personality trait you look for in a mate?” Some notable replies include:


Screenshot 2014-03-18 21.17.27

Screenshot 2014-03-18 21.19.52

Measles Is Spreading In Our Largest Cities Because People Aren’t Vaccinating Their Kids


New York City is currently grappling with a measles outbreak. Health officials have identified16 cases of the highly contagious infectious disease, resulting in at least six hospitalizations, and are now warning unvaccinated individuals that they need to get their shots.

And New York isn’t the only place where measles — which was once so rare that it was virtually eradicated in the U.S. back in 2000 — is cropping up again. Within the past two months, health officials have also identified cases in the BostonSan FranciscoSan Diego, and Dallas areas. Measles have also recently been reported in suburban areas in Connecticutand Illinois.

Just one case of measles can pose a huge public health threat, since it has the potential to be transmitted quickly. It can spread through the air when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. For instance, last month, thousands of California commuters were potentially exposed to the disease after an unvaccinated man with the measles rode public transportation.

Many of the measles outbreaks here in the U.S. originate after an unvaccinated individual has traveled abroad and contracted the disease there. Then, when they return to this country, they can spread measles among pockets of other unvaccinated people. This isn’t an issue if most people simply get the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. That’s why San Francisco didn’t experience a larger outbreak after the recent public transportation scare there — the rates of MMR vaccination in that city are high.

But, thanks to ongoing anti-vaccine propaganda, that’s not necessarily the case everywhere. An increasing number of parents are choosing to forgo their kids’ MMR shot based on scientifically inaccurate claims that it can lead to autism. The actress and model Jenny McCarthy, who’s a prominent anti-vaccine activist, has a lot to do with that. By 2008, about one in four adults reported they were familiar with McCarthy’s views about vaccines, and 40 percent of them said her claims led them to question vaccine safety. This issue hasn’t died down since then; just this week, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and his wife, former reality TV star Kristin Cavallari, said they won’t vaccinate their kids over fears about autism.

Federal health officials have already been able to connect the dots here. Last fall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report warning that anti-vaccine beliefs have fueled a rise in measles cases. Researchers noted that 2013 saw the highest number of measles cases in nearly two decades, and 80 percent of those cases occurred among unvaccinated people — most of whom cited “philosophical differences” with the MMR vaccine.

“I hope that those who are vaccine hesitant or vaccine avoidant realize there are consequences to their actions,” Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University who partnered with the CDC to publicize the release of that report, said back in September. “None of us lives in isolation.”

Nonetheless, this continues to be a contentious issue on the state level. Vaccine requirements vary, and some states allow parents to easily opt their kids out of the necessary shots by simply signing a form. Even though vaccine exemptions have beendirectly tied to infectious disease outbreaks, some state residents continue to resist efforts to crack down on those loopholes.


SURREY, B.C. – The Fraser Health Authority is warning that a measles outbreak is spreading outside school and religious groups.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Van Buynder says one child from the Fraser Valley has been admitted to hospital so far.

He says the best protection against the disease is two doses of vaccine.

Arrangements are being made to have more vaccine distributed to doctors and pharmacies from Abbotsford to Hope, and vaccination clinics are being set up.

The authority says children under five years old are the most at risk of serious disease and need to get a vaccinated.

Word of the outbreak came last weekend when the authority reported that two people had measles in Chilliwack, but it now says the disease has spread through the general population in Chilliwack and Agassiz.


A college student who attends classes in Burnaby, B.C., has been diagnosed with a case of measles related to the recent Fraser Valley outbreak, in which roughly 100 cases of measles have been confirmed in Chilliwack and Agassiz.

Fraser Health said Saturday morning that the infected student was at the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Burnaby campus on March 6 and 7.



A brief history of circumcision

BY Jacqueline Hooman

As you read this, you may be sitting to breakfast eating your morning Cornflakes.  But have you ever stopped to think about the man behind the cereal?  Born in 1852, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, of Cornflakes fame, was a nineteenth century puritan.  His ideals about health and hygiene are some of the most oppressive to women and men alike.  He attained his medical degree in 1875 and was hired by the Adventist Church as a Health Reformer.  Among many controversial practices, one of the most highly debated treatments recommended by Kellogg was circumcision of males.

Kellogg recommended male circumcision as a cure for masturbation, impure thoughts, and sexual desires.  He is quoted as saying, “A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision… The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases.” It was important that the boys not be infantile, so as to be mature enough to understand the “punishment”.  His remedy for females was, “…the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement, and preventing the recurrence of the practice in those whose will-power has become so weakened that the patient is unable to exercise entire self-control.”

The circumcision techniques performed by Kellogg and colleagues are practiced the same way today. However, modern circumcisions are performed on infants as opposed to older children or teens.  But the method remains the same.  The male is strapped down or restrained, his penis is clamped, crushed, and the foreskin is sliced away from his body.

Many may argue that modern circumcision is an effective way to prevent infections or diseases.  But it is no more effective now than it was in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The procedure remains the same while the reasons for it continue to evolve. It was once recommended to cure everything from epilepsy to blindness.

The concept of circumcision is almost as old as recorded history. There are hieroglyphics of Ancient Egyptians performing circumcisions. It is even mentioned in the Bible and other religious texts. Circumcision thousands of years ago was a vastly different procedure than the one practiced today. In Biblical times, and previous to them, circumcisions involved either a prick of the foreskin to draw blood, or a small slice of the skin. Little to no tissue was removed.  Alternatively, modern circumcisions remove up to half of the penile skin, along with more than a dozen immune, protective, and sexual functions, as well as twenty thousand highly sensitive nerve endings found nowhere else on the human body.

Even in this modern world of medicine, antibiotics, doctors, and hospitals, circumcisions are still being performed as preventative medicine. The fact remains that less than 1% of intact males will ever need to be medically circumcised. The male prepuce (foreskin) is fused to the glans (head) in infancy in childhood. Its sole purpose is to keep out dirt and bacteria, thus preventing infections. There is no other healthy body part, on males or females, which is legally allowed to be amputated without immediate medical need. Parents cannot authorize, or consent to, appendix removal at birth on the chance that it may become infected later in life. Nor can they request that a male child have his breast buds amputated at birth as prevention for breast cancer, of which he is more likely to die than penile cancer.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” (Section 15-1.) While females are protected from even a prick of their foreskin, males continue to be subjected to ancient barbaric practices with no medical or legal basis. The Canadian Medical Association’s Code Of Ethics maintains that medical personnel have a duty to “consider first the well-being of the patient” and “refuse to participate in or support practices that violate basic human rights.”

Furthermore, the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons deems that for consent to be valid it must be “related to treatment, informed, voluntary, not be obtained through fraud or misrepresentation.” In Layman’s terms, the Physician is obligated to inform the patient of all potential risks associated with a procedure, along with the risks of not performing said procedure.  But infants are incapable of giving consent.  In the instance of proxy consent (parental consent) to treatment, the O.C.P.S. states, “A physician must provide the substitute decision-maker with the information that would otherwise have been given to the patient to enable him or her to make an informed decision as to consent.”  (18.) and that “A physician must consider whether the substitute decision-maker is complying with the principles set out in the HCCA. If a physician is of the view that the substitute decision-maker is not acting in accordance with the HCCA, he or she can call the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee.”  In other words, doctors are not allowed to amputate healthy, functional body parts just because the parents request them to do so.

The rights of the parent end when they infringe upon the rights of the child.

So why are circumcisions still being performed if they violate the law and medical ethics?  One word: money.  As per The Human Tissue Act which states, “A person shall not buy, sell or otherwise deal in, directly or indirectly, for a valuable consideration, tissue for a transplant or a body or part of a body, other than blood or a blood constituent for therapeutic purposes, medical education or scientific research” it is illegal to sell human tissues.  They must be donated with written and informed consent.  Consider the appalling fact that forcibly amputated foreskins are (illegally) sold to cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies to make everything from skin grafts to anti-aging skin cream, and can fetch up to a whopping $100,000 each in sales and subsequent profits.  There is money to be made, hand over fist.  A prime example would be an enthusiastic public endorsement by Oprah Winfrey of a skin moisturizer by SkinMedica.  Its not-so-secret ingredient?  Foreskin.  And the fibroblasts are not hard to come by, if one knows where to look.  Anyone with a credit card can buy them online.  There is also a market for foreskin fibroblasts with uses in skin grafting and cosmetic testing.  Circumcision is a billion-dollar-a-year industry.  It is a business, nothing more.


Penn and Teller – Bullshit – Vaccinations

Argues that there is no link between childhood vaccinations and autism rates. Covers a controversial study claiming the link and an increase in autism awareness along with a broader definition being used around the same time.

Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal

Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains.

Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women’s brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men’s brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions.

Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men’s brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women’s for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.

“If you look at functional studies, the left of the brain is more for logical thinking, the right of the brain is for more intuitive thinking. So if there’s a task that involves doing both of those things, it would seem that women are hardwired to do those better,” Verma said. “Women are better at intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering things. When you talk, women are more emotionally involved – they will listen more.”

She added: “I was surprised that it matched a lot of the stereotypes that we think we have in our heads. If I wanted to go to a chef or a hairstylist, they are mainly men.”