Tuesday, August 24, 2010


www.telegraph.co.uk - Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes which causes addiction and has now been linked to the development of breast cancer. Previously smoking was not thought to be a major cause of breast cancer although it is known to increase the risk of several other forms of the disease. Yuan-Soon Ho of the Taipei Medical University, and colleagues found that human breast cancer cells consistently over-expressed the alpha 9 subunit of the nAChR (nicotinic acetylcholine receptor). The expression was higher in advanced-stage breast cancer compared with early-stage cancer. They also found that reducing the levels of nAChR inhibited tumour growth in laboratory experiments, whereas increasing its levels or treating more normal breast cells with nicotine promoted the development of cancer characteristics.
These researchers at Taipei Medical University examined 276 samples from human breast cancer tumours and found the cells had large numbers of receptors which nicotine was able to attach to when compared with normal cells. These scientists also found that when normal cells were treated with nicotine, it promoted the development of cancer characteristics.

Because the findings were linked to nicotine and not the usual carcinogenic chemicals in cigarettes, it raises questions over nicotine gum, inhalers and patches that many people use to help them quit the habit. The findings are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In an accompanying editorial, Dr Ilona Linnoila, of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute, writes that the study “suggests not only that smoking could be causally related to breast carcinogenesis but also that nicotine could directly contribute to the molecular mechanism of carcinogenesis in addition to indirectly contributing by promoting addiction to smoking.”

The substance that makes cigarettes addictive may also cause the growth of cancer tumours, scientists revealed. It is hoped that this research has a negative impact on companies that make nicotine gum, patches and electronic cigarettes that are promoted as a 'healthy alternative' for smokers, who are helpless victims, and they run towards smoking like moths attracted towards fire.

The trout is caught by the fisherman’s lure, the mouse by cheese. A tragic irony of the struggle for existence is that living beings are often destroyed by what they desire. But at least the fish and the mouse have excuses: the bait and the cheese look like sustenance. Also the fish and the mouse do not know in advance that they will be trapped. Humans seldom have either of these excuses. ... A question naturally arises: how does an intelligent human being embark on such a destructive course? Most people know that when they start, say, smoking, they are treading into a danger zone. ... Till smoking becomes an irresistible demand, a compulsive need, an addictive habit. ... Regular meditation on the Holy Names enables one to experience happiness streaming down from the spiritual dimension. This spiritual pleasure is so satisfying that it soon frees one from the craving for perverted mundane pleasure like drugs, alcohol etc.

Śrīpad Caitanya Caran das (BE E&TC) :
“The Tragedy of Self-Destruction”
“The Spiritual Scientist” - Vol. 1 Issue 16.
Bhaktivedanta Academy for Culture and Education (BACE), Pune

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