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To our readers

Ensuring environmental sustainability is a goal – Goal 7 – of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Muriella’s Corner is committed to support its implementation, in partnership with all who intend to help more than one billion people release their creative energies, to help free them from the shackles of a life of continuing and overwhelming poverty.

Some of you might have noticed that water has been a recurring topic* on Muriella’s Corner and blogs. This seeming bias is due to almost three decades of work in the United Nations in the area of environment, water and sanitation.


17 OCTOBER 2007

Muriella’s Corner

*These are earlier issues on water
To filter or not…
End of an era…error?
Environment and you
Water, water, ice
Tips for Travelers to the Tropics

Most of my work took me to developing countries over short and long periods, working with communities, governments and not-for-profit agencies in the drilling of wells, installation of handpumps, building of latrines.

The theme of water vibrates around the globe. In most developing countries, water quantity and water quality are main hurdles for the people. In others, water quality is the main challenge.

I have seen, first hand, the pain and suffering diseases cause to families who ingest and bathe in water populated by parasites – diseases like dracunculiasis (guinea worm), schisostomiasis,bilharziasis, and all the -isises- you can think of.

People’s lives are very affected, too ill to work, not enough time to go to school as fetching water is one of the main duties, especially of girls, and so on.

But they are forced to drink what is available, even though the source is questionable.

They have no CHOICE.

On the other hand, in the developed countries, there is no lack of water. In the quest to make the water potable, many chemicals are added. One of the most insidious is chlorine.

But, since exotic diseases are not present in the water supply, people are hardly concerned about the chemicals and as such continue to drink,shower and bathe in chlorinated water (swimming pools reek of chlorine).

Some are buying bottled water, but here again, hardly any attention is given to health issues – e.g. the water source from which the water is bottled is questionable; the plastic containers are questionable, pollution issues, the financial costs of buying a bottle of water – not enough to drink per day; no attention given to the water used for showering, bathing, cooking, etc., etc.

What is to be done?

The most important thing, we believe, is for people to know that they have a choice. Information propelled them to be users of bottled water, to choose to drink bottled water instead of tap water. But if their grasp of what propelled them is understood overall, they would also be concerned about the water used for showering, bathing, cooking.

We have prepared a comprehensive newsletter on Water with the following headings:

The Water Cure
Different types of water
Bottled Water – clear choices
Brands of Bottled Water; Filtration systems
Chlorine and cancer?
Chlorine and Asthma?
Testimony on drinking water
Discussion H2O

Given the amount of information this entails, we have decided to send it to you in short sips, so that you can click through and read the article you prefer. We recommend however that you read all of them as they will be of use to you as you make your choices.

We have also developed podcasts on water and can make them available upon request.

We will continue the focus on drinking water (quality and quantity), given the focus on this issues as Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals

-Reducing poverty and achieving sustained development must be done in conjunction with a healthy planet. The Millennium Goals recognize that environmental sustainability is part of global economic and social well-being. Unfortunately exploitation of natural resources such as forests, land, water, and fisheries-often by the powerful few-have caused alarming changes in our natural world in recent decades, often harming the most vulnerable people in the world who depend on natural resources for their livelihood.

Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
  • Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.
  • Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020. (Source: millenniumcampaign.org)

For full articles and links go to this webpage

Thank you

Muriella’s Corner

Is cancer spreading or is it better reporting?

Cancer spreading or better reporting?

Not many decades ago, it seemed that cancer was a disease prevalent mostly in developed countries, sometimes called a disease of opulence.

 The World Health Organization reports that in 2005, out of 58 million deaths worldwide, 7.6 million deaths were due to cancer. 

Is this because of the introduction of new technologies to improve the monitoring and reporting of disease, or is it that more and more people are succumbing to the disease?

More than 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low and middle income countries, where limited or no resources are available for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Cancer deaths are projected to rise, with about 9 million people dying from cancer in 2015, and 11.4 million dying in 2030.

What is the impact of cancer in your country? 

Read more here

For information on how you can become involved in our documentary on breast cancer click this link

Cancer in the Asian-American Population

 Our free online newsletter – Muriella’s Corner -shares more information on Cancer.  Click here for information on Living with Cancer; click here for information on Conversations with Cancer. Click here for information on the documentary dealing with breast cancer.

Green tea and risk of breast cancer in Asian Americans

According to the International Journal of Cancer, there is substantial in vitro and in vivo evidence implicating tea polyphenols as chemopreventive agents against various cancers. However, epidemiologic data obtained from mainly Western populations are not supportive of a protective role of tea, mainly black tea, in the etiology of breast cancer. Much less is known about the relationship between green tea and breast cancer risk. 

Based on the results of a population-based, case-control study of breast cancer among Chinese, Japanese and Filipino women in Los Angeles County, information on dietary habits, including intake of black and green tea among other lifestyle factors was collected.

Risk of breast cancer was not related to black tea consumption. In contrast, green tea drinkers showed a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer, and this was maintained after adjusting for age, specific Asian ethnicity, birthplace, age at menarche, parity, menopausal status, use of menopausal hormones, body size and intake of total calories and black tea. Compared to women who did not drink green tea regularly (i.e., less than once a month), there was a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing amount of green tea intake. The significant inverse association between risk of breast cancer and green tea intake remained after further adjustment for other potential confounders, including smoking; alcohol, coffee and black tea intake; family history of breast cancer; physical activity; and intake of soy and dark green vegetables.

While both green tea and soy intake had significant, independent protective effects on breast cancer risk, the benefit of green tea was primarily observed among subjects who were low soy consumers. Similarly, the protective effect of soy was primarily observed among subjects who were nondrinkers of green tea.

In summary, results point to an important role of both green tea and soy intake in relation to breast cancer risk in Asian-American women.

Source: Int J Cancer 2003 Sep 10;106(4):574-9

Breast cancer is showing up as the fastest growing cause of death in Asian Americans compared with other ethnic group. Stomach cancer affects among Korean men five times more than white Americans; cervical cancer five times more likely to affect Vietnamese women than white Americans; liver cancer also.

 As is similar in other minority groups, Asian-Americans delay going to the doctor, thus early detection and screening are compromised.

According to  the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian-American women, they have the lowest screening rates among all ethnic groups.  . One fifth of Asian-American women have never had a Pap test, compared to five percent of white women.

Many of them prefer to tell their families and not to talk about the disease to outsiders.  There are support groups established to help those dealing with and healing from cancer.

Source:  New American Media

Ordinary women’s health and healing from breast cancer


Our free online newsletter – Muriella’s Corner -shares more information on Cancer.  Click here for information on Living with Cancer; click here for information on Conversations with Cancer. 

The Saliva, Acidity and Alkalinity in Breast Cancer Healing

 Immediately after a diagnosis of breast cancer, the entire world and the outlook of the person diagnosed changes radically.I remember a feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, even desperation, which overwhelms. Hope shuts down.

Somehow the sun sets on our parade, the sunniest day becomes dark, clouds become the norm.

There is a vision shift and the cheeriest person loses cheer for a while. Getting back to a pre-diagnosis mode of operation seems hardly likely again.

And, perhaps, that is a good thing. Perhaps the way we were, the way we interacted, the way we communicated, the way we lived life might have played a big role in the manifestation of the disease, apart from or in addition to any genetic pre-disposition or environmental contamination.One of the pre-diagnosis behaviours I believe helped in my healing was a revisiting of my nutritional habits. My body was in a highly acidic state, a state which it is said is welcoming of disease. I was not digesting, not absorbing, not eliminating as should be done normally. Yet, I was not conscious of that. The diagnosis of cancer was a call to consciousness.

I began to consciously seek information on digestion. And lo and behold, the information I got was very informative.

And the simplest yet most profound revelation I made – digestion begins with the saliva!

Saliva is produced in and secreted from salivary glands. The basic secretory units of salivary glands are clusters of cells called an acini. These cells secrete a fluid that contains water, electrolytes, mucus and enzymes, all of which flow out of the acinus into collecting ducts.

ph testing is one of the best methods of making daily progress measurements in your healing progress. It is simple, inexpensive and meaningful.

PH testing is perhaps, the easiest and most significant marker that you can use on a daily basis to constantly monitor your healing process. One of the important properties of a dietary approach to treating cancer relates to ph. As regards the problem of acidity, I was told that disease does not develop in an alkaline body. That was the advice that started me on the road to the cancer free state that I now enjoy, so far, so good.

“pH” is chemical shorthand for “hydrogen ion concentration” .. Less than 7 is acidic and more that 7 is basic (alkaline). The most healthy ph is 7.0 or 7.2, which is neutral to slightly alkaline.

PH paper is available from many sources. Measurement is very easy. You simply tear a half inch strip from the roll, wet it on the tip of your tongue, and compare the color to the chart on the side of the box.

The most significant reading is taken in the morning upon arising and before anything is eaten or drunk. This will provide a daily reading of your healing process. If your body is acid, it is not healing well.

Our bodies are made acid by two primary causes, eating acid forming foods , and stress. PH measurement is a good indicator of progress in monitoring body fluids (saliva, urine) effectively.

I would like to know how many of you diagnosed with breast cancer, are, or have been conscious of the role acidity and alkalinity plays in breast cancer healing. How many of you believe that it can play a role? Is it an acceptable CAM practice? and do health professionals advise women on acid and alkaline forming foods?

Click here for information on documentary dealing with breast cancer

Read more in Muriella’s Corner, free online weekly newsletter http://snipurl.com/1grnr

Let Muriella’s Corner know of your experiences in this domain of healing. Email us at customerservice@clik-n-shoppe.com
Sources: http://snipurl.com/1grqi http://snipurl.com/1grqo

Ordinary women are also celebrities fighting breast cancer

 Our free online newsletter – Muriella’s Corner -shares more information on Cancer.  Click here for information on Living with Cancer; click here for information on Conversations with Cancer.

Format for comments for documentary of ordinary, courageous women who are also celebrities dealing with breast cancer  to be presented to Larry King or Dr Sanjay Gupta or the Oprah Show.

Further to the earlier article on celebrities who are also ordinary women dealing with breast cancer  (https://muriella.wordpress.com/2007/04/17/ordinary-women-healing-from-breast-cancer/) it seems that a lot of buzz has been created – see article on Conversations about Cancer in Muriella’s Corner free online newsletter (http://snipurl.com/1gtej)

Ordinary women not only are fighting breast cancer, but they are dealing with life which throws them quite a few lemons re cancer  (no insurance, no social supports, no information on choices…)

Please provide comments/testimonials here. 

 Muriella’s Corner would like all of you ordinary, courageous women who are celebrities in your own right to provide testimonials for our project , all of you who are dealing with cancer from diagnosis to healing to transformation or whatever your pathways are.

Muriella’s Corner would like to invite you from wherever you are, in addition to you who are on Word Press blogs on cancer to begin to contribute to the project.  The aim is to collect your stories and testimonials and provide them to Larry King or Dr Sanjay Gupta of CNN or to the Oprah Show. We need to create another face of cancer which people never see and could only imagine, faces of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.Our suggestions on submitting the comments follow:

  • Your name or pseudonym ( somewhat like a userid which portrays feeling or location in dealing with the disease like – scaredoutofmyunderwear or onwardandupward or notochemotherapy or feelingmightygoodaboutmyself… but with real name hidden so that we can identify you to participate in the event)
  • Year of diagnosis
  • Time of diagnosis (morning, noon, evening)
  • Place of diagnosis
  • Immediate reaction ( e.g. shock, why me, sky becoming very dark, cold hands, cold feet, wet hands, wet feet, sweaty, heart palpitations, crying out loud, crying silently, were you alone, with friend(s), with family…)
  • What followed (decision to talk about it , decision not to talk about it, curse my husband, curse my children, curse the pets, pray, nervous laughter…)
  • How did you manage the sequential process*(handed everything over to the doctor, ran scared out of the room,  bawled, went to a bar and drank, had somber thoughts of suicide, went to a church/temple/mosque and prayed…)

*The sequential process is what followed after your initial reaction and the decisions you made or the decisions that were made for you.  This is really where the meat of the information comes to the fore:

  • Decision to have mastectomy/lumpectomy/other/do nothing
  • Decision to have chemotherapy/radiation/other/do nothing
  • Decision to decide later what decisions to take
  • Any pressure felt and from where (without, within…)
  • Feelings after decision made
  • Roadblocks along the decision pathway (complications of other diseases hidden, fright/fear all the way, weight loss, weight gain, depression, calm, seeing the light, recognizing that there is more to do and more to life…)

Submit information to customerservice@clik-n-shoppe.com

Any other comments would be welcome

We look forward to hearing from you.

To your continued health and wellbeing

Muriella’s Corner

See our latest featured product on strengthening and flexing at the cellular level with the Cellerciser http://snipurl.com/1gh42

Blacks/African Americans and cancer – updated

Update: Gene variant that could double risk of cancer in black men identified. While discovery could lead to new treatment, it could also affect other populations.

It was reported in US News Health Day that almost twice as many black men develop prostate cancer as white men, researchers report. This study confirms that common genetic variants are linked to increased risk for prostate cancer. One of these variants, on the 8q24 gene, confers a particularly significant risk to black men.

For more information on male health, the prostate, prostate cancer go to Muriella’s Corner online newsletter

November 2007

Congresswoman McDonald dies of Cancer


rep-millender-mcdonalds-death-reported-in-california.jpgCalifornia Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald has died at her home in Carson, California. She was 68.

A democrat for seven terms, McDonald asked for a four to six week leave of absence from the House to deal with her illness, after being diagnosed with cancer. The type of cancer Millender-McDonald was battling has not been disclosed.

President and Mrs. Bush issued condolences via the White House website:
“Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald of California. She was a dedicated public servant who tirelessly and honorably served her country for many years. We hold Rep. Millender-McDonald’s family, friends, staff, and constituents in our thoughts and prayers.”

Millender-McDonald was the first African-American woman to chair the House Administration Committee.

She is survived by her husband James McDonald, Jr., five adult children and several grandchildren.

She is the second member of Congress to die of cancer this year. The first was Rep. Charles Norwood (R-Ga.), who died in February after battling cancer and lung disease.

Blacks and cancer

Research shows that Blacks from the diaspora and African Americans have the highest death and shortest survival rate among ethnic groups diagnosed with cancer, i.e., they have the highest mortality of any racial/ethnic group for all cancers combined while African American men have the highest overall cancer rates.

There are many reasons for this phenomenon – time of diagnosis (usually late stage diagnosis); lack of access to adequate health care; less knowledge (or even denial) about cancer symptoms; and lack of awareness or limited access to cancer screening services.

Other important reasons for late diagnosis and early deaths are the pervasive myths that surround a diagnosis of cancer within this diverse community. Many blacks immigrate with their health belief systems intact and are at times very loathe to change.

These beliefs can be that cancer is always fatal and therefore once contracted there is no need for treatment, to the idea that cancer is a punishment or retribution for someone’s bad behavior. The machismo factor among some male members of this community might be among the reasons for high tolerance/high threshold for pain. For them, engagning in preventive health behavior might not be macho, hence they delay going to the doctor until it is too late.

Language plays an important part in the understanding of the diagnostic process. In addition, the shortage of black medical personal specializing in the different “ologies” of the disease also introduce a communication and relational barrier to the doctor-patient relationship. Many might agree that poverty is directly linked to poor health care, however, it could be stressed that having more black doctors would help end a legacy of suspicion in the black community.

For example, people have knowledge about a study that intentionally left black men untreated for syphilis (the Tuskegee study where 400 black men were left untreated so that the disease could be studied for 40 years, even though penicillin was used as a cure during the time); and the rumor that a famous blues singer (Bessie Smith) bled to death from an accident because she was turned away from a white hospital have contributed to that legacy.

The non-participation or reduced participation of these communities in the screening process might also play a large role in the high incidence/prevalence of cancer among them. Emotions might affect frequency of visits to health care services, as anxiety of the results produces more fear than the possibility of having the dreaded disease.

And to top it off, lack of health insurance. Many people in these communities do not want to know that they have anything wrong with them, as their fear is not only about knowing but also about what would they be able to do with the knowledge that they have cancer, how would they access treatment modalities. Their focus might be on disease care (wait until…) and not on health care, which might just correlate with the overall focus of the health system. Prevention is not seen as necessary for maintaining good health, but treating a disease is.

Thus, at times there is complete denial among many Blacks and African Americans as they are afraid to know. Moreover, the daily battle to survive in a country that can be insensitive to the needs of immigrants, the poor, the sick, and distressed is so overwhelming that many Blacks and African Americans ignore the warning signs. Until it is too late.

There is a preponderance of Black/African American men in jails – we might not agree with how they happen to land in jail, but we might have some understanding as to why they are incarcerated.

There is a preponderance of Black/African American men dying of cancer – we know and agree on the why – however, what can we do about it?

More light needs to be thrown on this subject.

Medical schools need to orient more Blacks/African Americans to specialize more in the “ologies” like histology, radiology, oncology, urology, immunology, etc…, since we do have quite a few black sociologists, psychologists…

Political pundits need to take this on as an issue in their campaigns.

The Black/African American community needs to develop a combined strategy for addressing this issue of targeted health care and examine what each of us can do at the individual level to support ourselves, our families, each other.

We support the celebrities who courageously come forward to speak about their diagnoses, and we mourn those celebrities who died of this disease.

Muriella’s Corner believes that the discussion and dialogue need to be driven by the causes of cancer among the Black and African American communities. The discussion and dialogue need to be driven by those who make up the statistics, the ordinary man and woman courageously confronting or negating the disease. How are they coping? How can they be helped? What about health insurance? health education?

Muriella’s Corner would like to hear from you. Email us at customerservice@clik-n-shoppe.com

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