page for cancer.net.nz, getting the basics right -
email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a saying that "an apple a day keeps the doctor
away" and with that in mind I have arranged this page with
a view to setting out the things you can do for yourselves
to live well and reduce the work load on your doctor.
With the advent of COVID-19 I have updated my website: the
two biggest killers of our time are and continue to be
cancer and ischaemic heart failure, both caused by the
practice of water chlorination, and each kill around 3000
persons per annum here in NZ. COVID-19 looks to have the
potential to exceed both these epidemics.
COVID-19 is not just another flu. The death rate, at
current estimation is around four fold that of the flu.
The flu kills up to 900 persons per annum, so a four fold
increase on that puts the potential death rate around 3600
persons per annum. These are best guesses, because it
hasn't happened yet. But if it does, then the death rate
will exceed both of our current epidemics. Our hospital
system does not have the capacity to isolate or treat the
possible number of victims.
COVID-19 is a SARS type virus and needs to be contained.
There is no cure for COVID-19. Treatment, in my opinion -
and everyone is allowed an opinion, is to treat for
subsequent bacterial infection to prevent a situation
called "cascade" where a person does not die from the
disease but from subsequent infection which runs wild.
Vitamin C in the oxidised form of ascorbate which passes
the blood/brain barrier would be an excellent contender as
both preventative and therapeutic treatment. Traditional
antibiotics may prove to have the opposite
effect to that desired.
As preventative, anywhere between 1 gram and 5 grams per
day of ascorbate, e.g. Ester C, would be useful.
As treatment, intravenous ascorbate is now a recognised
treatment and available but you do need to
ask for it (demand it!) as it will not normally be
offered. Expect resistance from medical professionals but
please feel free to exercise your human right to elect
The medical journal, Lancet, has published a peer reviewed
article on COVID-19 and I provide a link
to this and a
link to an article from Greece, not peer reviewed
(but understandably so, given the urgency around
containing COVID-19) which may be of interest,
particularly to any doctors reading this who might think
or are led to believe that the response to COVID-19 is a
bit of an over-reaction.
Also as a preventative measure, in my opinion, when
you or your nominated person re-enters your home after
being out for essential supplies, your first task is TO
WASH YOUR HANDS.
Also as a preventative measure, in my opinion, disinfect
door knobs/paintwork daily.
Finally, I do think we are fortunate here in NZ to have
Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister rather than a stale and
weary politician who might have been inclined to be
defensive and play down the risk. We may not be told the
full story of the genetic origins of COVID-19 but at least
we do have the start of a matched response to the threat.
For those in Wairarapa, we seem to have community
transmission, yet to be officially confirmed, which dates
back to around Tuesday 17th March with possible contacts
before then, so self-isolation of Wairarapa residents,
Masterton and Carterton in particular, should now be a top
priority until the case in confirmed, or not, officially.
Last updated 21 March 2020.
Update 7pm: there has been a confirmed case in Carterton,
see this link.
There has been no mention of affected schools but it is
probable if the affected person has children of school
I have already been in self isolation for several days as
we enter the official lock-down today.
The next 10 -11 days will likely see the current rate of
increase continue, or a little higher after the panic
buying of the last couple of days (WHY??), and then the
decline in rate should start. It really does depend on how
we absolutely have no contact with anyone at all outside
our "bubble." From this point, hopefully, all future
contacts can be traced.
To recap the mode of transmission of the SARS virus, it is
aerosol (droplet) transmission, then contaminated surfaces
(by droplet or contaminated contact) and lastly by faecal
matter (nursing staff, plumbers, council staff working on
sewers, i.e. in essential services).
The lifespan of the virus on a surface seems to be less
than 5 days (updated), but faecal is unknown at this
Also, the virus does not like heat: sunshine or a
temperature above about 38 Celsius (updated) seems to be
fatal for the virus.
The implication, then, is that as we exit summer we have a
window of opportunity to beat the virus while the
temperature is in our favour, which the northern
hemisphere countries unfortunately did not.
We may also be fortunate enough to have restrictions
lifted region by region or at least island by island as we
break the chain of contact. Well done Northland.
Last updated 26 March.
There are now 5 cases of SARS-Cov-2 in Wairarapa where I
live. I might be tempted to add a page and link for local
residents if any information on those cases is released.
Well done Greg Lang for making the first case public.
Well, a little old information. I have a link here
to an old article copied from the South China Morning Post
which outlines the method of attachment of the SARS-Cov-2
virus. My opinion is that this form of attachment suggests
the virus to be altered, rather than having been adapted,
for facilitating gene transfer for therapeutic purposes.
If this is so, then the virus out of the laboratory is
If this is so, the virus under stress will seek, as its
default mode of transmission, the ecoli in which it was
Genetic engineering uses Ecoli. Ecoli use circular pieces
of DNA, "plasmids," into which can be inserted any desired
DNA. This DNA is glued into place using an enzyme.
Using this hypothesis, surface contamination of door
handles, loos at gatherings such as conferences and
weddings, on board aircraft, etc could be the preferred
mode of transmission where minute contamination with
faecal matter on those surfaces maintains the life cycle
of the SARS-Cov-2 virus.
As with any hypothesis, it remains valid until proven
Last updated 27 March
The SARS-Cov-2 virus survives for different periods on
surfaces. I have attached an article here
which covers some of the conditions. Worst case is over 2
weeks survival in air conditioned indoor spaces
compared to a maximum of 5 days in ventilated
spaces. Hospital conditions tend to be the former.
That's me for this week.
A new week:
And now the waiting game, with the virus getting little
speed wobbles - as it did when incidence took off.
Some doctors in China took HIV drugs. This is interesting.
SARS-Cov-2 is an RNA virus so it has to go to DNA before
it can produce more RNA of itself. A DNA virus can
replicate, whereas the RNA virus must first transcribe to
Please excuse the poor explanation! - the DNA virus can be
vaccinated against by using the protein coat that
surrounds the virus, i.e. the coat only without the virus
inside, so the immune system recognises the virus by its
The RNA virus cannot be vaccinated against (so
assurances that more money will bring a vaccine to market
sooner might not be so compelling) but instead drugs are
used which inhibit the enzymes employed in the conversion
of RNA into DNA. So conventional treatment for SARS-Cov-2
is a cocktail of drugs to inhibit or target the various
steps in the life cycle of the virus.
This may well explain why some Chinese doctors chose HIV
drugs for their own treatment.
My point is that the best defence we have is not getting
the virus in the first place, with continued isolation
(distancing), tracing of contacts and testing being
We are still some days off a reduction in incidence. On
reflection, our border processes were not up to the task
earlier. That it not to lay blame, but to point to how we
might improve border control and isolation processes in
the future. When we do open our borders it will be to a
world which has not beaten, and in my opinion will never
beat, the virus.
Updated 31 March.
Today I have drawn a quick graph of daily new cases. We
are not there yet as we have clusters and an unknown
number of asymptomatic carriers. But this is looking good.
Updated 1 April.
I might just keep this graph going for a bit until there's
a better way to home in on the bell curve. I've chosen the
bell curve on the presumption that the virus might likely
follow the pattern of start, exponential growth, until its
food supply runs out, and then death. In which case the
virus needs people, so keeping everyone away from the
virus until its supply of people runs out is the key.
The graph for today is:
Here we can see the bell curve has been interrupted.
Rather than follow the bell shape, we are now heading to a
second peak. Possibly this may coincide with the
regrettable rush to stock up before lock-down (WHY??) and
could continue for another 2 - 3 days before declining
again. There are other possible reasons, such as increased
testing, repatriation, etc., but I will leave those aside
just for the moment.
Updated 2 April.
This addition is a tidy up. First is aerosol spread.
Mainly this is droplet but for the sake of completeness I
have added a paper here
from Wuhan University, again not peer reviewed but
understandable given time constraints, which gives some
examples of potential aerosol spread outside the main
avenue of droplet transmission. These examples are not
primary transmission but if we are serious about leaving
no stone unturned then we need to consider the application
of this knowledge to the hospital context at least.
I have added a further bell graph and a graph of total
cases. The total graph is not the graph of first choice:
it is an assumption, a rush to state an answer without
first asking the question. To arrive at the total graph we
first must draw the bell graph and then, to logically
arrive at the total graph, we must measure the area under
the bell graph:
So the total graph looks like the pandemic is just getting
worse - whereas the bell graph, in my opinion, gives a
much clearer and more positive picture of where we are.
That's me for this week.
We seem to have passed the second peak, with the next
phase largely depending on continued strict adherence of
lock-down and avoidance of coming out of level 4 too
early. Todays graph is:
The decline in daily cases likely will be
irregular given the small sample size and the large effect
of individual clusters.
The graphs are corrected from day to day as previous data
The length of the tail to the graph really does depend on
everyone treating the risk of further outbreaks as a very
serious concern, and taking every precaution to prevent
Updated 6 April.
Another decline today. When repatriations occur they
should be excluded from this graph as they should not
inflate the current static population. If I am still
graphing data when this becomes necessary, I will add the
repatriation data as an overlay to the current data.
Updated 7 April.
While still dropping, there is a catch. If
the growing cluster in Christchurch is dementia related,
this represents a significant challenge: an uncanny
ability of dementia sufferers to thwart containment of
themselves and the virus, as
if it is their god-ordained mission in life, should
not be under-estimated. Hopefully the hook in the graph is
not dementia related but, if it is, my opinion is that
physical containment with very
close 24 hour round-the-clock
supervision is needed. And disinfection. And ventilation.
And disinfection...Unfortunately I have learned the
dementia dichotomy the hard way, where appearances and
reality can be such polar opposites as to stretch
I do not wish to deride anyone: I am just saying that
dementia is a different ball game altogether to old age
and the risks of subversive behaviour should not be
My penny's worth for 8 April.
I would like to argue that the SARS_CoV-2 virus is
genetically modified, and this has an implication for the
Being an argument, I suggest deferred judgment should be
exercised. Deferred judgement allows for greater
opportunity for good ideas to come forward, even if as a
result of apparently dubious arguments.
My argument, then, is that as a country we have a
reputation for being nuclear free. The right wing among us
will now be pointing to the costs of saving lives and my
respectful counter to that is that we are now both nuclear
free and, all being well, GE free. I consider that our
trading position as a country having beaten SARS-CoV-2
puts us in a highly desirable trading position doing what
we do best (even if we do call it "COVID Free NZ" rather
than "GE Free NZ").
In my opinion the costs of lock-down are small compared to
the gains in export reputation, the perceived quality of
our products and our earnings. I know the motive for the
lock down had nothing to do with financial gain or loss,
and rightly so. I am just suggesting the doubters of such
an approach do not have a convincing argument when it
comes to the cost and we can now build on our approach to
the way we do things.
Today's graph is a particularly moving one. I think it
speaks for itself:
Updated 9 April.
I have been graphing disease incidence rather than deaths
and will continue with that focus, but with respect to
deaths there may be a related issue of virus mutation and
its effect on a second wave of infection, either in the
same persons or others, so I provide a link here to
a peer reviewed article which touches on that subject.
Updated 14 April.
Updated 15 April.
Repatriated cases are now separated out. As these data are
not clearly separated at first iteration, corrections will
appear as the data are available. At this stage, the
danger is in a flat tail (where the graph becomes a
Updated 16 April.
Updated 17 April.
Here I have provisionally labelled the last 5
days as a flat line.There appears to be absolutely no room
for a change to level 3. .
Updated 18 April.
New update: The data today are inconsistent. Today's cases
can be either 8, 9 or 12 depending on which data are
referred to. Therefore these data are unreliable for any
decision on level 3. I have graphed for 8 cases but I
doubt this is correct - a higher incidence is likely.
Updated 19 April.
New update: Updated data confirm 8 as the correct figure for
19 April. I have removed the reference to the flat line tail
as today's data confirm a downward tail, and eradication as
the probable outcome.
Updated 20 April.
On reflection, and again this is my opinion, as our bell
curve is very short and the rest of the world will have a
very long bell curve, the danger to our economy is not in
the short term, where a cash injection (by printing money)
will give it a kick start, but in the longer term where
our currency falls victim to the financial woes of a world
economy under prolonged stress.
The position of the tourist industry is pertinent. Our
tourist operators charged for their services to the
maximum tourists could stand to pay, which was more than
the local market could pay. So when tourists stopped
coming, their businesses stopped selling. Had they looked
after the local market first, they would have had
resilience when Covid-19 struck.
Similarly, the United States, during WWII, had resilience
because they geared up to meet both local demand and the
We are now in a war economy. If we stay as a floating
currency, we will go down with the global economy if it
comes to that.
My opinion is that we should look to fix our currency to
renewable kilowatts, and add value to exports to meet the
needs of the local market.
By tying to renewable kW, we tie the value of the Kiwi to
something intrinsic to New Zealand and which will hold its
Adding value to exports, in my opinion, should be to lower
our standard of living. My argument is that the added
value should aim to process a significant portion of our
current exports into product which is sold on the New
Zealand market, both to reduce exports and replace some
For example, we export wool. We import materials for
synthetic carpet. So - we produce more wool carpet to sell
in the local economy which means we are less reliant on
imports and more resilient should the global demand for
wool collapse due to failed economies under the effect of
This lowers our standard of living because we are
producing our own goods rather than buying cheaper goods
which have been produced more efficiently elsewhere.
In my opinion, the challenge now is to invest in added
value product for the local market:- to look after the
local economy so that a significant part of our exporters'
income is derived from local sales, to make our economy
more resilient in the face of a likely severe global
This is a digression from health but perhaps not
Updated 24 April.
A small observation on the tail of the bell curve - is
there a 5 day cycle? I put it as a question.
Also, it is rare to read predictive material which rings
true. But I suggest this
article by Daniel Araya is one of those very rare
My apologies for not properly quoting the source. It may
have been Forbes.
Updated 13 May.
Zealand's Cancer and Heart Failure Epidemics
Our cancer and heart failure epidemics can be shut down.
Unlike the SARS-2 pandemic, there would be no upheaval of
daily life, no national emergency and no risk of further
The big difference between SARS-2 and the epidemics of
cancer and heart failure is that these latter epidemics
are not transmissible diseases. Once turned off, they
cannot continue to threaten public health.
Their great similarity is they all predominantly target
the elderly, as fatalities in particular. This "justifies"
the prevailing philosophy which says, in effect, that we
can live with these epidemics because the elderly were
going to die anyway - and a few years sooner is neither
here nor there.
This dismissal of human tragedy has a backlash in two
First, we all get older so nobody is immune from the
consequences of this kind of laissez-faire justification
for maintaining chlorination and, secondly, the epidemics
creep forward affecting not just the elderly but,
increasingly, those in middle age or younger. For cancer
and heart failure, the age at which a person might be
affected becomes earlier because initially, when
chlorination was first introduced, the elderly were
particularly affected while younger age groups had not
been exposed for any length of time. As the years have
passed, people have become exposed for longer and are now
exposed from birth.
The same is likely to occur with SARS-2. As the world
fails to control the pandemic, the "initial kill" of
elderly will progress to "less elderly" as people suffer
not just their first infection but subsequent infections
The cancer and heart failure epidemics are not universal -
some countries have neither. These epidemics are
presentations of an underlying process of oxidation and
reduction gone wrong. We chemically dose our water
supplies where we should be using point-of-use (POU)
My previous web page now continues. Wouldn't it make sense
to take the cancer and heart failure epidemics as
seriously as SARS-CoV-2? We could beat them both in 12
months if the political will was there.
The sole cause of the cancer and heart failure
epidemics is chlorinated water.
The best thing you can do for your health is to
drink water which has not been chlorinated.
Living in a town or city does make this difficult. There
are springs around so search them out. most towns and
cities formed around spring fed water supplies so they are
there, or you may have to go further afield to a farm.
Drinking water is not the only issue. Showering or bathing
should also avoid chlorinated water because of absorption
through the skin and inhalation.
If you are on a chlorinated water supply then this is
going to be difficult. You could drill your own water bore
of course. If that is too difficult initially then
filtration might at least reduce the risks at minimal cost
and inconvenience until you can get of the town supply
Filtration requires three stages. The first is a
pre-filter to get rid of the muck in town water which
would clog up the second and third filters. This first
filter should be 1 micron, which works out to be 1 -3
microns in practice.The second filter should be activated
carbon for "chlorine removal." It actually doesn't remove
chlorine - it changes the chlorine into an ion. The third
filter should be a de-ionising filter to take out the
chlorine after it has been converted into an ion.
The following is my promotional material for the last DHB
election. I was lowest polling of all the candidates - but
I will keep this online for a while yet:
Aims of the Wairarapa DHB:
The aim of our DHB is: "Our performance is measured
against national health targets...(which) provide a focus
for action and are reviewed annually to ensure they align
with government health priorities.
There are six national health targets:
1. Shorter stays in Emergency
2. Improved access to elective surgery
3. Shorter waits for cancer treatment
4. Increased immunisation
5. Better help for smokers to quit
6. Raising healthy kids."
An effective goal might consist of "Aim" (what health
improvement are we seeking?), then "Method" (how might we
achieve this, which can be by multiple means?) and then
"Review" (are we achieving the desired health
The budget of our DHB is around $153 million per annum.
This does relate to aim, we just need some numbers first:
The $153m breaks down, roughly, to:
- Aged care
(subsides to "cap" fees, etc)
- Mental health
- IDF outflows
$40m (see below)
Leaving aside my desire to see the books, the big
discrepancy is the "IDF outflow" - which stands for
Put another way, the elephant in the room is the enormous
cost of sending cancer patients to other hospitals for
treatment. If this wasn't so high, we usefully could do a
great deal better in terms of supporting staff and
providing a better service, all within budget.
The goals or aims, as guidance from the Ministry, don't
address this issue. If we look at (3) above, "shorter
waits for cancer treatments," it is apparent that this is
a Method. We might guess the Aim is improved survival
rates after treatment. If we look at (5) above, "better
help for smokers to quit," again this is a Method if we
presume the goal to be preventing lung cancer.
So goal (1) and goal (5) are aspects of the same unstated
Aim of less cancer victims.
If we reduce the number of smokers, lung cancer will not
go down proportionately. Benzo-a-pyrene from cigarette
smoking attaches to DNA to form mutations because the DNA
is oxidised. In the absence of benzo-a-pyrene, another
carcinogen will fill the same role. It is just that
benzo-a-pyrene preferentially attaches to DNA
because it loses the most amount of energy in the
Too much information?
It means most cancers are caused by oxidation of DNA from
our faulty drinking water treatment processes.
If our Aim was to cut cancer admissions in half, and not
spend, say, $20m on IDF outflows, then we would need to
alter water treatment processes. That would be a seriously
uphill battle, but an achievable first step would be to
reduce the alkalinity of drinking water in our Wairarapa
towns. For example, a change of 0.3 on the pH scale is
proportional to a halving in cancer incidence (the pH
scale is logrithmic).
Not sure (eyes rolling)? The incidence of cancer in
Masterton is 4 times that of Wellington. It is 9 times
higher than it was in 1968 before the chlorinator was
Halving cancer rates isn't an impossible dream, it is
the bare minimum we should expect
to do. So my point is that the elephant
has to be acknowledged - and our aim has to be to get
cancer rates down and ultimately this means going to the
I invite you to read further, if you wish, from the
following peer reviewed articles.
et al. This paper is brilliant for the size of
the sampling and control of confounders. It clearly
demonstrates what we already know, which is that
chlorination doubles the incidence of cancers, on average
(that large sample). So our 9 fold increase puts us to
on chlorination. This copy is from the Federal
Register and sets out the confirmed side effects of
outdated chlorination processes.
and Pauling. One of my favourite articles.
These two rather clever people (well, Pauling has a Nobel
Prize) took terminal untreatable cancer patients and
achieved very good results. I think they might know
something about oxidation!
This is only a brief list, so on to mental health:
al. Small study, but outstanding results. This
suggests a trial of magnesium glycinate as supportive
therapy should be a high priority. Of note is the comment
that drinking water treatments strip magnesium out of
water supplies, suggesting that high cancer rates and high
rates of depression go hand in hand.
et al. The counter opinion that alkalinity and
magnesium protect against heart disease, but tactfully
concludes that the effect is really due to magnesium alone
(to avoid criticism from commercial interests, probably,
such as the Chlorine Chemistry Council).
And to air pollution.
of Health. Research contracted out, Massey
University mainly. Tested for Persistent Organic
Pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenols,
dioxins and furans in mothers' milk. Insecticides are
sources (decreasingly), as well as burning rubbish
(increasingly). An example would be burning waste on a
farm and mum drinking water from roof water collection,
and smoke drift from towns entering the food chain via
contaminated pasture. These POPs are passed on to baby
with resultant developmental problems.
So, the Aim is?
In this election there is an opportunity for a clean
sweep. The current model of goverance has done remarkably
well considering just how overloaded our DHB has become -
but it cannot continue, in my opinion, without earning the
frustration of the Minister who expects fiscal
responsibility and governance with vision.
One difference in cancer incidence and ischaemic heart
failure can be seen by comparing water supplies which
adjust pH using lime to those which buffer the pH.
Research on carneau pigeons illustrates the effect:
The first study, here,
uses lime to adjust water pH in line with the vast
majority of water supplies. The second article, here,
uses a bicarbonate buffer instead of lime with the result
that the detrimental effects in the first study are not
found in the second. The second study was commissioned to
refute the first but inadvertently confirmed that
adjustment rather than buffering, all other factors
controlled, was responsible for the formation of excess
plasma cholesterol and reduced thyroxine T4. In real life
terms this equates to a 30% reduction in both cancer and
heart failure rates simply by using sodium hydroxide
rather than lime to control acidity in water supplies.
When it comes to the nuts and bolts, sodium hydroxide can
be put through equipment which doses with lime but not
vice versa, i.e. hydroxide can go through existing
equipment. Also, the cost of lime and sodium
hydroxide are pretty much the same.
So, for a little effort and almost no expense, cancer and
heart failure rates could come down by 30% in the year
following a change to buffering, and stay down.
It just needs to get past the "you and whose army" reflex.
Together we can do it.
My latest post
The Government has, quite rightly I believe, identified
cancer and mental health as two areas which need action. I
am most encouraged by this acknowledgement and, like a
great many others, I am sure I am not alone in being
affected one way or another.
I think it would be easy, instead, to slide into fine
tuning or re-prioritising treatment options to attempt to
balance the books rather than take on the necessary
improvements. An example might be, if a person is
diagnosed with cancer then, rather than jumping to surgery
or chemotherapy, treatment might involve stabilising the
tumour or slowing its growth so that in practical terms
the cancer has no adverse effect on a person's quality of
life - and they pass away in their allotted time of old
age before the cancer advances sufficiently to be a
problem. This saves a little on costs and improves our
patient's quality of life.
That is arguably a more clever way of treatment than the
current slash and burn approach, but on its own the effect
on our health care system is negligible. The real
improvements come when our cancer patient doesn't get
cancer in the first place.
So I maintain that our focus has to be prevention - and,
yes, we can be clever with better treatments in addition