Can Vaccines Cause Cancer?
Could the fact that cancer has now become a leading cause of death in children be connected to vaccinations?
One benefit of having measles is that a person so infected will then have lifelong, permanent immunity to it. Mothers transfer antibodies against measles to their babies, which protect them from this disease during their early critical months of life. The MMR shot, however, does not provide lifelong immunity to measles. It only lasts several years, and successively less effective booster shots are required.
There is a second, major benefit of measles that health authorities overlook. Measles helps a child’s immune system grow strong and mature.
Once past the immunologic barriers of skin and mucosa, our (2-trillion-cell) immune system has two components: An innate system, which all animals have; and an evolutionarily more recent adaptive system that vertebrates have. The childhood diseases—measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox—play a constructive role in the maturation of the adaptive immune system. Two kinds of helper T-cells (Th) manage this system: cellular T-cells (Th1); and humoral T-cells (Th2), which make antibodies. The Th1 cellular T-cells are especially important because they attack and kill cells in the body that run amok and become cancerous. And they also kill cells that become infected with viruses.
Measles (and other viral childhood diseases) stimulate both the Th1 and Th2 components. The MMR vaccine stimulates predominately the Th2 side. Overstimulation of this part of the adaptive immune system provokes allergies, asthma, and auto-immune diseases. Since the Th1 side thwarts cancer, if it does not get fully developed in childhood a person can wind up being more prone to cancer later in life. Women who had mumps during childhood, for example, have been found to be less likely to develop ovarian cancer compared with women who did not have mumps. (This study was published in the mainstream medical journal Cancer.)
Could the fact that cancer has now become a leading cause of death in children be connected to vaccinations? Only a well-controlled, randomized, blinded, long-term scientific trial would be able to conclusively answer this question. But societal entities that could fund such a study, like the government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), drug companies that make the vaccine, or the CDC do not feel that it is necessary to conduct one.
The benefits of having measles (at the right age) trumps the MMR vaccine’s benefits, for these two reasons: 1) suffering through the disease bestows lifelong immunity to it; and 2) measles strengthens and helps mature a child’s helper T-cell adaptive immune system, and most importantly its cancer-preventing Th1 side.
- Dr Donald Miller is a retired cardiac surgeon and Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.