By weaving together clues from seemingly unrelated

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remain simple correlations, instead of the more powerful conclusions of causation. By weaving together clues from seemingly unrelated topics like allergies, cancer, and modern genomics, an explanation for an odd pattern can be unearthed. Inflammation and its delicate balance are effectively responsible for both preventing cancer and promoting it. This dichotomy implies numerous inflammation-regulating genes, most likely evolved for fine- tuning the proper response to novel as well as familiar antigens. The errors in responses by the immune system then result in allergy and/or cancer incidence. A synthesis of these ideas, the Inflammation hypothesis was found to be a better explanation than any previously proposed, at least in part. All four hypotheses, however, were found to have at least one set of data contradicting it at some point in the research. As a result, the speculative nature of all four hypotheses was readily visible, with confounding variables being the likely reason for a lack of consistent statistical agreement with any one hypothesis. What maintained confidence in the Inflammation hypothesis over the rest, was its flexibility and ability to explain almost any data point rationally using its widely varying results. However its strength can also turn into its weakness by limiting the predictions that can be confidently made using the hypothesis. As 7
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a final note, the need for an exact pathway to be found must be reiterated, if the true reason for the observed correlations is desired. 8
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Bibliography 1. Estimated New Cancer Cases and Deaths for 2010 All Races, By Sex. American Cancer Society; 2010; Atlanta, Georgia. SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2007: National Cancer Institute. Table 1.1. ( ) 2. Gallup poll results. 2007. USA Today. Posted on usatoday.com June 7, 2007. 3. Paul W. Sherman, Erica Holland, Janet S. Sherman. 2008. Allergies: Their Role In Cancer Prevention. The Quarterly Review of Biology. Vol 83; No 4: 339-362. 4. Glenn Talaska. 2003. Aromatic Amines and Human Urinary Bladder Cancer: Exposure Sources and Epidemiology. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part C: Environmental Carcinogenesis and Ecotoxicology Reviews. Vol 21; Is 1 2003: 29 – 43. 5. Päivi Kurttio , Eero Pukkala , Hanna Kahelin , Anssi Auvinen , Juha Pekkanen . 1999. Arsenic Concentrations in Well Water and Risk of Bladder and Kidney Cancer in Finland . Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol 107; No 9: 705-710. 6. Debra Silverman. 2004. Air Pollution and Bladder Cancer Risk in Spain. The Journal of Epidemiology. Vol 15; No 4: S80. 7. Cristina M. Villaneuva. 2004. Bladder Cancer and Exposure to Disinfection Byproducts in Water Through Ingestion, Bathing, Showering, and Swimming Pools: Findings from the Spanish Bladder Cancer Study. The Journal of Epidemiology. Vol 15; No 4: S105. 9
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8. Mirielle B. Toledano. 2004. Relation of Individual THM Concentrations in Public Water Supplies to Stillbirth and Birth-weight Prevalence in Three Water Regions. The Journal of Epidemiology. Vol 15; No 4: S105.
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