Unusual Cancers

In an article in the Washington Post Ariana Eunjung Cha reports on an unexpected phenomenon—a spate of “unusual cancers”:

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Kashyap Patel looked forward to his team’s Friday lunches. All the doctors from his oncology practice would gather in the open-air courtyard under the shadow of a tall magnolia tree and catch up. The atmosphere tended to the lighthearted and optimistic. But that week, he was distressed.

It was 2021, a year into the coronavirus pandemic, and as he slid into a chair, Patel shared that he’d just seen a patient in his 40s with cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and lethal cancer of the bile ducts that typically strikes people in their 70s and 80s. Initially, there was silence, and then one colleague after another said they’d recently treated patients who had similar diagnoses. Within a year of that meeting, the office had recorded seven such cases.

“I’ve been in practice 23 years and have never seen anything like this,” Patel, CEO of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care Associates, later recalled. Asutosh Gor, another oncologist, agreed: “We were all shaken.”

This observation is, apparently, not limited to this single oncologist’s practice but is being reported commonly. The typical explanations are a) delay of care during the pandemic or b) COVID-19 itself promotes the development of cancer. There’s actually some small evidence for the latter:

David Tuveson, director of the Cancer Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and former president of the American Association for Cancer Research, said there’s no evidence the coronavirus directly transforms cells to make them cancerous. But that may not be the full story.

Tuveson said a number of small and early studies — many of which have been published within the past nine months — suggests that coronavirus infection can induce an inflammatory cascade and other responses that, in theory, could exacerbate the growth of cancer cells.

He has wondered whether it could be more akin to an environmental stressor — like tobacco, alcohol, asbestos or microplastics.

“Covid wrecks the body, and that’s where cancers can start,” Tuveson said, explaining how autopsy studies of people who died of covid-19 showed prematurely aged tissue.

I suspect that we will learn that the second explanation is correct but there are other possibilities as well. For example, perhaps going out of doors less frequently and the concomitant reduction in Vitamin D might have something to do with it. I’m sure there are other possibilities.

Read the whole thing. It’s an interesting article.

4 comments… add one
  • Grey Shambler Link

    And they tiptoe around the thought that genetically altered vaccines could alter genes in unintended ways.

  • steve Link

    The case reports about the unusual cancers started in late 2020 before people were really vaccinated and by report they occur more often in people who had covid but weren’t vaccinated. Also, there is no proposed mechanism for vaccines causing cancer while we have other examples of viruses causing cancers and multiple mechanisms by which covid could do so. That said, the numbers are smallish and my first thought would be a statistical anomaly.


  • bob sykes Link

    The mRNA anticovid vaccines are doing this. My wife and I got both shots. Our family doctor is recommending against the vaccines. Big Pharma and the Western Governments murdered us.

    The Old Timey environmentalists, like Paul Erhlich, were always looking for ways to reduce world population.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    There’s a large rift between Americans on this issue, Dr. Fauci has lost whatever faith was credited.
    My wife had four Moderna shots, I had four Pfizer. I’m still here.
    Tribal clinics were given Moderna vaccine.
    Stealth extermination?
    I’m not leaning towards that but it’s hard to see how we restore public trust which is very important now that the anti vaccination movement in children is growing stronger.
    No one is old enough to remember the big four and death before five years.

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