Persuasive Essay on why cancer is preventable.

Essay by spydertl182High School, 11th grade March 2004

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. This year, over 1.2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and about 560,000 will die from it. The rates have doubled in less than forty years. In my opinion, cancer is totally preventable. This may be a drastic statement but I believe the facts will prove it is true.

In 1952, Dr. Ernest Krebs proposed a theory that cancer was a deficiency disease, similar to scurvy. His theory was that the cause of the disease was the lack of an essential vitamin in a person's diet. He identified it as vitamin B17, a part of the nitriloside family which is found in over 1200 edible plants. It is found in the seeds of apricot, cherry, nectarine, peach, apples and others.

To prove a theory it must be tested scientifically. The best way for Dr. Krebs to prove his theory would be for thousands of people to eat a diet very high in vitamin B17 and then check the results.

This would have been very expensive but, fortunately, the experiment wasn't necessary because it had already been done naturally. Between West Pakistan, India and China is the remote valley of Hunza. The people of Hunza have 200 times more B17 in their diet than the average American. In fact, in a place where there is no money, wealth is measured by how many apricot trees a man has. Medical teams who have traveled to Hunza discovered that there has never been a case of cancer. The average age of the Hunza people is about 85, but many live to be 100 years or older.

Eskimos are another group of cancer-free people that have been observed for several decades. The traditional Eskimo diet is very rich in nitrilosides, or B17, that come from the meat of caribou and other grazing animals and also from salmonberries.

There are many other groups of people throughout the world -- from all races and all regions. The one thing that they have in common is that the degree to which they are free from cancer is in proportion to the amount of nitrilosides found in their native diets.

While it is available in most countries, vitamin B17 cannot be sold in the United States. The reason is because it has not been approved by the FDA. That process takes years of research and costs millions of dollars. The only firms that can afford that are the large pharmaceutical companies. Since you cannot get a patent for a substance found in nature, it is not likely that this vitamin will ever be approved. In fact, since cancer treatment in the United States is a billion dollar industry, pharmaceutical companies have an interest in discrediting the vitamin deficiency theory.

The FDA started a false campaign which claimed that nitriloside was toxic and dangerous because it contains cyanide. It does, in minute quantities. If you eat the seeds from a hundred apples in a day you would risk serious side effects, possibly death. If you eat enormous amounts of anything you run serious health risks. Aspirin is twenty times more toxic than the same amount of B17.

In the 1970s Memorial Sloan-Kettering, a cancer center in New York, tested vitamin B17. While they publicly came out with a report that said the results were "inconclusive" and that it did no good, research doctors knew the truth. Years later Dr. Ralph Moss, one of the researchers, confessed that he had been told to give statements exactly opposite of what they were finding scientifically.

Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) was able to be controlled centuries ago. I believe the evidence for vitamin B17 has been scientifically proven to do the same for cancer prevention. Since the American diet is lower than ever in nitrilocides, it is up to each person to try to eat foods that will help us live healthy lives.