Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

Krishna : Vaccine or no vaccine thousands develop cancer each year. And thousands take vaccines each year. "Correlation is not causation" means that just because two things correlate does not necessarily mean that one causes the other.

Cancer takes several months to years to develop. They just don’t develop within a few days. The claim in the Q reveals a misunderstanding of how fast cancer can develop in the body. In order to be detectable at the time of diagnosis, most cancers have already been in existence for months.

The risk of developing cancer increases with age. Those who develop cancer develop it anyway, even if they don’t take vaccines. With incidence increasing with age, therefore, statistically, some people will unfortunately be diagnosed soon after their vaccination. This doesn’t mean vaccination is responsible for the cancer.

When it comes to vaccinations and cancer, the good news is that being immunized against a specific virus or other types of infectious disease has not been associated an increased risk of cancer. In fact vaccines help prevent cancers caused by viruses. Because certain viruses can trigger genetic mutations that lead to cancer.

Viruses work—and contribute to cancer—by sneakily inserting their genes into our DNA, which can disrupt and de-regulate the genetic activity of our cells and cause them to grow in inappropriate ways. Fortunately, vaccines have been developed that can prepare our immune systems against certain infections and therefore help protect us against the cancers that they can cause.

Many studies are actually starting to provide evidence that vaccines could be good in terms of lowering the risk of cancer. The main reason behind this is because there are certain viruses that are known to cause changes to the DNA of the human body (such as HPV, human papilloma virus). When these changes occur, it could lead to certain changes in genetic activity expressed by cells in the body. The result can then be an increased likelihood of these cells becoming cancerous; thus essentially leading to the formation of cancer and tumors.

When a vaccine is provided to protect against a virus, the risk of being infected with these microorganisms is reduced (1). This protection may also reduce the risk of developing cancer that has been associated with the virus.

Immunization might play a protective role among children. When the appropriate vaccinations were provided to children at a young age, it decreased their exposure to viruses and other microorganisms that might have effects on the child's DNA and genetic functioning that could lead to a risk of cancer. Three particular vaccines seem to have the most significant impact on reducing the risk of childhood leukemia. These vaccinations consist of the BCG vaccination, which is used to prevent tuberculosis, the DTP vaccination, and the Hib (Haemophilus Influenzae type B) vaccine. (2)

Evidence strongly supports that current HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination, reduces the likelihood of developing cervical cancer, anal cancer and oropharyngeal cancer in both men and women. Several subtypes of HPV strongly associated with cerebral and DNA damage within the lining of mucous membranes, vaginal and anal vaults, associated with damage from viral infection, with a strong association towards cancer transformation of the cells after prolonged exposure. The primary mechanism by reducing these cancers among young men and women is by reducing the risk of transmission of the human papilloma virus, which is projected to decrease HPV infection by about 200,000 amongst young woman thereby reducing the risk of cervical cancer by about 3300 cases per year.(2)

For men, the risk of transmission and subsequent infection may be cut by upwards of 90%.

When it comes to cancer and vaccines, it is crucial to note that being vaccinated against a virus or other disease has not been associated with development of cancerous tumors. In fact, studies have demonstrated that appropriate immunizations could actually provide a decrease in the risk of developing cancers, including leukemia in children, and certainly HPV–associated cancers of the cervix, anus and oropharynx.

Then there is a myth that mRNA vaccines alter your DNA and cause cancer. The truth is none of the vaccines interact with or alter your DNA in any way, and therefore cannot cause cancer.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) is not the same as DNA and cannot be combined with DNA to change your genetic code.

The mRNA vaccines use a tiny piece of the coronavirus’ genetic code to teach your immune system how to make a protein that will trigger an immune response if you get infected. The mRNA is fragile, so after it delivers the instructions to your cells, it breaks down and disappears from the body (in about 72 hours). The mRNA never even goes into the nucleus of the cell — the part that contains your DNA.

Therefore, there is no truth to the myth that somehow the mRNA vaccine could inactivate the genes that suppress tumours.

NO, vaccines don’t cause cancer .


  1. http://Vaccines Can Help Prevent Cancer. Cancer Research Institute.
  2. http://Risk of Childhood Leukemia Associated with Vaccination, Infection, and Medication Use in Childhood: The Cross-Canada Childhood Leukemia Study. A.C. MacArthur, M.L. McBride, J.J. Spinelli, S. Tamaro, R.P. Gallagher, G.P. Theriault. American Journal of Epidemiology. 12 Dec 2007.

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