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Article Title: The ‘Cancer Villages’ in China: Toxicological Pathways And Susceptibility To Replication in Nigeria


The recent observation of the existence of ‘cancer villages’ in China appears a precise confirmation of the prediction of Rachel Carson over five decades ago; that ‘one in every four’ will develop cancer, a consequence of indiscriminate chemical application . The observation also appears an exquisite confirmation of recent reports that though the incidence of cancer is projected to increase globally, the developing nations will bear the brunt. The possible susceptibility to replication of the China ‘cancer villages’ in Nigeria despite obvious precursors has received little attention. China is perhaps the world’s most polluted country currently owing to the fast pace of industrialization and has openly admitted that toxic chemicals have caused many environmental emergencies, including elevated cancer rates. The toxicological pathways though glaring have been ignored for years. China is one of the countries with the highest emission of cadmium (Cd); a prime and ubiquitous environmental pollutant which contributes to genome instability, precursor of the carcinogenic process through a number of pathways; direct damage to DNA and inhibition of DNA repair mechanisms as well as interference with signal transduction pathways among others. Additionally, Cd is a potent metabolic antagonist of zinc, an important component of p53 (‘guardian of the genome’), regulator of the cell cycle and zinc fingers. Aside, from Cd, China currently uses enormous amount of other chemicals and physical agents; profusion of petrochemicals, existence of numerous steel and iron refineries, numerous power plants to drive her giant industries, a situation similar to that in Nigeria. Therefore, rather than be preoccupied with weight of evidence, Nigeria should thread the path of cautionary principle to avert the emergence of mega ‘cancer villages’