Damn the Facts I Have an Axe to Grind!

The World Cancer Research Fund, who I had never heard of until today, has just announced the utterly pointless statistic that breast cancer rates in Britain are four times higher than in East Africa.

Leaving aside the damning fact that the WCRF are Belgian, surely reason enough to ignore them, they appear to have one axe to grind, “Food causes cancer!”, which they repeat at any opportunity regardless of the facts or indeed thinking. Now while I’m sure their efforts are very helpful for the Daily Mail’s ongoing drive to divide all food stuffs into either cancer causing or curing, I really don’t think we should be encouraging them.

In this specific case I would note these facts;

1. The UK breast cancer screening programme is aimed at the over 50s, it is therefore something of an older persons disease.

2. The average female life expectancy in East African countries is;
Somalia – 52 years
Ethiopia – 58 years (incredible I know)
Kenya – 59 years
Tanzania – 54 years
Uganda -54 years

3. In the UK female life expectancy is 82 years.

From this I make the wild and crazy claim that most women in East Africa die of other causes before they have a chance to get breast cancer and that diet has bugger all to do with it, save for the obvious fact that if East African women didn’t starving to death they might live long enough to  get breast cancer.

Or to put it simply, the WRCF are either stupid, wilfully abusing the facts in order to make them fit their agenda or both.


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