Scientific Evidence Portal
Smoking and cervical cancer |
Type: Bibliographical compendium
Further Information As it is clear that antismoking propaganda associates active and passive smoking with almost any disease conceivable, cervical cancer could not be missing on the list. It has been said, in fact, that active and passive smoking “causes” cervical cancer.
However, not even questionnaire-based epidemiology has been able to point at the smoking-cervical cancer scare. Already in 1994 serious questions were posed against this "political" association, and it turned out that the weak association could be explained with confouders not properly taken into account in original analyses. More and more, in fact, i t is becoming crystal-clear clear that cervical cancer most often has viral origins.
Following is a short compendium of documentation from the FORCES Archives demonstrating that, once again, fear, prejudice and superstition — to say nothing of political bias — have been used to once again “hit” a style of life that no longer enjoys the favour of the so-called “majority.” The elite decress what it likes and calls it "science."
Note that despite the publication in April 1996, in JNCI Monograph 21, of the NIH Consensus Statement on cervical cancer that is tantamount to abandoning the claim that smoking causes cervical cancer, in 1997 JNCI still published two completely inaccurate letters attempting to insinuate that there is such a connection ( Tokudome S. Semen of smokers and cervical cancer risk. JNCI 1997;89:96-97; and Phillip Whidden [of Association for Nonsmokers' Rights] JNCI 1997;89:520).
The Tokudome letter conveyed the falsehood that "tobacco smoke constituents/metabolites or mutagens/carcinogens will be conveyed to the cervical mucus and act as independent initiators/promoters in the carcinogenesis or interact with the oncogenes of HPV" in active smoking. This has been discredited by FX Bosch et al. (Int J Epidemiol 1994 Oct;23(5):1100-1101, with a repudiation of Whidden by Phillips & Davey Smith on the same page). It was shown to be the result of confounding, because there is no association of smoking with cervical cancer in known HPV positives. Tokudome cited nothing but such presumptively confounded studies blaming ETS for cervical cancer in non-smokers as well.
Furtheremore, Tokudome speculated that "tobacco-related mutagens/carcinogens in a smoking sex partner's semen/seminal fluid are applied directly to the cervix mucus membrane during sexual intercourse and may possibly play some role in the pathogenesis of cervical cancer," citing no more support for this than studies showing that condoms, which reduce HPV infections, reduce cervical cancer.
Whidden added to this bizarre contention with remarks that "digital stimulation of the vagina by fingers coated with tobacco tars -- might well add up to a significant burden and might provide a trigger for a rise in risk for cervical cancer in women whose long-time male sexual partners are smokers." !!
The editors of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute know that it is reckless and irresponsible to publish such speculations in the absence of evidence of any disease in need of explanation by them. Smoking does not cause cervical cancer in the first place. It was falsely blamed for disease caused by HPV.
These short letters, however, are very useful tools for antismoking propaganda; and of course they were publicized in the mass media as well, with the implication that with the "prestige" of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute behind them, they must be true.
The causal relation between human papillomavirus and cervical cancer. FX Bosch, A Lorincz, N Muñoz, CJLM Meijer, KV Shah. J Clin Pathol 2002 Apr;55(4):244-265. Review. "The causal role of human papillomavirus infections in cervical cancer has been documented beyond reasonable doubt. The association is present in virtually all cervical cancer cases worldwide... This association has been evaluated under all proposed sets of causality criteria and endorsed by the scientific community and major review institutes. The finding is universally consistent, and to date there are no documented alternative hypotheses for the aetiology of cervical cancer."
Worldwide human papillomavirus etiology of cervical adenocarcinoma and its cofactors: implications for screening and prevention.
Papillomavirus research update: highlights of the Barcelona HPV 2000 international papillomavirus conference - "One phenomenon of interest in relation to risk of cervical cancer is the so-called male factor. Essentially, this is taken to mean that the sexual behavior of men (for example, the number of sexual partners that they have had) can influence the risk of cervical cancer in their female sexual partners. In this regard, Bleeker et al. presented data showing that 80% of the male sexual partners of women with CIN had penile lesions, of which a substantial portion were infected with HPV, and they speculated that penile lesions in sexual partners of women with CIN are probably productive and that they might play an important role in influencing the course of cervical lesions in these women by continuously reinfecting them with HPV."
This is just a small sample of the vast amount of documentatioon that demonstrates that smoking - active or passive - has nothing to do with cervical cancer, and that the Human Papillomavirus is to blame. Yet, still to date, we see attempts to push the responsibility of this cancer on the smokers - either on themselves or on the nonsmokers.
Relying on popular ignorance has always been the main path of antismoking propaganda.