Cancer in the News

Cancer has been big in the news in the last fortnight or so. There was the report about breast self-exams in Russia and China. Based on their study of two populations of factory workers, researchers found that self-exams didn't help women survive breast cancer. You can find a very good look at the study here. The message (or "take home message," as people are saying now) is that you shouldn't stop examining your breasts. As Socrates said, an unexamined breast is worth examining. Or something like that.

Then from the U of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute comes a warning about cell phones. Don't put 'em directly on your ear. Get a headset or go wireless. They could cause brain tumors. They might not, but you should play it safe.

And the New York Times told us about a kitchen with a radioactive counter. Granite. I feel vindicated. The realtor describe my condo as having a "1990s kitchen and bathrooms--need updating." Need updating? Not really, unless you're allergic to tile. And it seems lots of people are--they need kitchens and bathrooms with granite and slate and quartz. The sellers of our new house remodeled their kitchen and bathrooms before putting the house on the market. For some unknown reason, they put in dark, dark slate on the floors of the bathrooms and on the lower half of the bathroom walls. Why would someone do that? They put in stainless steel refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, and dark blue/black granite countertops. What if they're radioactive? What if they emit radon? Should we get a technician to come out with a Geiger counter?

What will be the next new thing that we need? And will it imperil us?