Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Chickens, Breasts, and Cancer: Discuss

Hey Matt:

A question popped into my mind today so creepy, so disgusting, it actually made me feel slightly sick just to think about it. Figured it was right up your alley. Do chickens get breast cancer? I figure with some 300 million or so Americans, we must eat a good billion of the little cluckers a year. Surely not all of them could be aware of the importance of regular self-examinations. And even if they were, who’d make sure they were following through? So my questions are:

1) Do chickens get breast cancer?

2) If they do, what are the chances someone has eaten it?

3) Would you be able to tell if you WERE eating it? (You know how sometimes you’re eating an otherwise good piece of chicken, and then you hit that weird, stringy stuff? Could that be it?)

4) And of course, most importantly, if you did eat it, could it pose any health risk?

— Chicken in Lakeside

We haven’t had a really good creepy, disgusting question since sometime in the Nixon administration. Thanks, Chicken. I’m remembering every tendony, lumpy, suspicious bite of fast-food chicken I’ve ever had. Yowza!

So, no, chickens don’t get breast cancer because chickens don’t have breasts. Strictly speaking, a bird’s “breasts” are its pectoral muscles, with no overlying mammary tissue because birds don’t need it. Human breast cancer usually arises in cells in milk ducts or milk glands. That’s both for women and men; men do have a rudimentary baby-feeding system in their breasts, so it’s rare, but men can get breast cancer.

Chickens’ pecs are for flight. There’s a long-shot chance that a chicken could develop DNA changes in pectoral cells. Those changes would have to be in a DNA string that controls the rate of cell reproduction. When the genetic brakes go bad and cells reproduce willy-nilly, you’ve got a tumor. Maybe cancer, maybe not. Cancer in general is a disease of older age, with some genetics thrown in. You usually have to rack up many years of life to be susceptible. Commercial chickens go from egg to frying pan in a flash, without time for deadly diseases to sprout.

If chickens don’t often get cancer in muscles, they do get bone and oviduct cancers. But unless you’re eating chicken butt or going all Neanderthal on that leg bone, you’re probably in the clear. Okay, say you’ve got some stray cancer lump in your bag of nuggets, what would happen? Nothing; the cells would be dead from the cooking. Nothing; your stomach would digest it like any other tissue. And nothing; cancer is not a disease you get from contact with tumors.

Hi Matt:

Can you explain this? Suddenly the news is all buzzing about “phantom electricity.” If I understand the concept, it seems to suggest that I am using my expensive electrical power to energize unused charging devices, televisions, and media centers that have been turned off for weeks. If the preceding is actually true, how do I take control of my ever-increasing electric bills and save money for my huge water bills (which is another issue all by itself) and my disgusting gasoline charges, which sicken me at every gas stop.

— Phil Nichols, North County

It goes by many names (vampire voltage, my favorite), but best I can tell, Phil, you’ve got it right. It’s the sneaky voltage drawn by various appliances and gadgets plugged in to house power, even when the gadget itself is turned off. The power’s necessary in devices that are controlled by remotes or that have to maintain settings from session to session or that need to be on their toes in case they’re needed — an answering machine or motion sensors, f’rinstance. The more Wi-Fi we go, the more of it there’ll be. When you can control your toaster from the comfort of your bed each morning, your toaster will turn into a voltage vampire. Basically, any device with a stand-by mode is guilty.

Until recently, there were no limits on how much power this mode could draw. Some estimates say the average American electrical bill includes as much as 10 percent stand-by power. (One watt of stand-by power translates to roughly 9 kW hours of juice per year.) But a relatively new set of international regulations limits phantom power to one watt per device manufactured after 2013. Soon that will be down to 0.5 watt. But you’d have to replace all your old devices with new ones. No savings there. And to tell you, personally, how to cut your stand-by expenses, we’d have to survey all the appliances and electrical gadgets in your home and see which ones you can unplug from house power. But you’ll still be left with home security systems, motion sensors, and the like that are useless without power. In short: unplug and save.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

No longer a David, Stone Brewing recast as a Goliath

The foe of big beer tangles with small breweries over trademarks, including a local IPA
Next Article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis

Hey Matt:

A question popped into my mind today so creepy, so disgusting, it actually made me feel slightly sick just to think about it. Figured it was right up your alley. Do chickens get breast cancer? I figure with some 300 million or so Americans, we must eat a good billion of the little cluckers a year. Surely not all of them could be aware of the importance of regular self-examinations. And even if they were, who’d make sure they were following through? So my questions are:

1) Do chickens get breast cancer?

2) If they do, what are the chances someone has eaten it?

3) Would you be able to tell if you WERE eating it? (You know how sometimes you’re eating an otherwise good piece of chicken, and then you hit that weird, stringy stuff? Could that be it?)

4) And of course, most importantly, if you did eat it, could it pose any health risk?

— Chicken in Lakeside

We haven’t had a really good creepy, disgusting question since sometime in the Nixon administration. Thanks, Chicken. I’m remembering every tendony, lumpy, suspicious bite of fast-food chicken I’ve ever had. Yowza!

So, no, chickens don’t get breast cancer because chickens don’t have breasts. Strictly speaking, a bird’s “breasts” are its pectoral muscles, with no overlying mammary tissue because birds don’t need it. Human breast cancer usually arises in cells in milk ducts or milk glands. That’s both for women and men; men do have a rudimentary baby-feeding system in their breasts, so it’s rare, but men can get breast cancer.

Chickens’ pecs are for flight. There’s a long-shot chance that a chicken could develop DNA changes in pectoral cells. Those changes would have to be in a DNA string that controls the rate of cell reproduction. When the genetic brakes go bad and cells reproduce willy-nilly, you’ve got a tumor. Maybe cancer, maybe not. Cancer in general is a disease of older age, with some genetics thrown in. You usually have to rack up many years of life to be susceptible. Commercial chickens go from egg to frying pan in a flash, without time for deadly diseases to sprout.

If chickens don’t often get cancer in muscles, they do get bone and oviduct cancers. But unless you’re eating chicken butt or going all Neanderthal on that leg bone, you’re probably in the clear. Okay, say you’ve got some stray cancer lump in your bag of nuggets, what would happen? Nothing; the cells would be dead from the cooking. Nothing; your stomach would digest it like any other tissue. And nothing; cancer is not a disease you get from contact with tumors.

Hi Matt:

Can you explain this? Suddenly the news is all buzzing about “phantom electricity.” If I understand the concept, it seems to suggest that I am using my expensive electrical power to energize unused charging devices, televisions, and media centers that have been turned off for weeks. If the preceding is actually true, how do I take control of my ever-increasing electric bills and save money for my huge water bills (which is another issue all by itself) and my disgusting gasoline charges, which sicken me at every gas stop.

— Phil Nichols, North County

It goes by many names (vampire voltage, my favorite), but best I can tell, Phil, you’ve got it right. It’s the sneaky voltage drawn by various appliances and gadgets plugged in to house power, even when the gadget itself is turned off. The power’s necessary in devices that are controlled by remotes or that have to maintain settings from session to session or that need to be on their toes in case they’re needed — an answering machine or motion sensors, f’rinstance. The more Wi-Fi we go, the more of it there’ll be. When you can control your toaster from the comfort of your bed each morning, your toaster will turn into a voltage vampire. Basically, any device with a stand-by mode is guilty.

Until recently, there were no limits on how much power this mode could draw. Some estimates say the average American electrical bill includes as much as 10 percent stand-by power. (One watt of stand-by power translates to roughly 9 kW hours of juice per year.) But a relatively new set of international regulations limits phantom power to one watt per device manufactured after 2013. Soon that will be down to 0.5 watt. But you’d have to replace all your old devices with new ones. No savings there. And to tell you, personally, how to cut your stand-by expenses, we’d have to survey all the appliances and electrical gadgets in your home and see which ones you can unplug from house power. But you’ll still be left with home security systems, motion sensors, and the like that are useless without power. In short: unplug and save.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Three poems for August by Dorothy Parker

With an acidic wit and keen eye for flawed humanity
Next Article

Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
Comments
2

Unplug and save? Sure; if you unplug every device that takes a tiny bit of electrical power while in its standby mode, you'll have some minor savings. But for most of us, it won't be noticeable--and certainly not worth the extra work and inconvenience. The savings can be measured and calculated, but it's a very insignificant fraction of one's energy bill. Of course, some obsessive people will go to great lengths to save a tiny bit on their bill, even if it means rather significant extra effort. I think it was Eddie Murphy who said his father was so cheap, he would go around and unplug the clocks at night... Now, there's a sure savings!

May 16, 2012

Totally agree. Hoped I'd made that option seem pretty ridiculous in the grand scheme of things.

May 17, 2012

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close