Willie Nelson’s Own Brand

According to news reports here in Adelaide, the famous US pop star Willie Nelson, has his own brand named Marijuana; and he has a plantation. Seems grass is legalized in a few US states and one in particular is where Willie is to be found.
Its really quite remarkable how grass has been decriminalized all over the place; that doesn’t mean it’s ‘legal’ though, it just means, for the time being, that no prosecutions will result from possession. It’s gone past medical marijuana, you see. Down to smoking for pleasure. With expectations, according to the article I saw, of eventually being as big as Big Tobacco was in the early 70s.
While I’m on BIG BUSINESS, I should point out the extraordinary headlines this week about “the largest profit in the history of business” being ascribed to Apple with a total of more than 15 Billion in the first quarter only, of this year. Multiply that by 4 and you come up with a figure for the year, at over 60 Billion. You might ask yourself how is it possible to do that much business, legally, and one answer would be that Apple jacks up the prices of their goods by anything up to 200%. There’s no other way to explain this huge profit for the last 3 months. They don’t sell billions of computers and phones, and if you’ve ever tried buying some of their stuff you’ll know how their prices are through the roof for even the most mundane and unsurprising products. Sure, but they do look good don’t they? And that’s a major part of their marketing: making their products fashionable.
But in electronics? I hear you ask…


Former PM Gough Whitlam dies @ 98 years of age…

One of Australia’s best ever politicians/prime-ministers, Gough Whitlam, passed away last night. He’d been living in a “nursing home” for a few years due to his frailty, and his wife Margaret died 2 years ago. Both survived well into their 90s.

Of course, Gough was a Labour leader when he was elected Prime Minister in the early 70s; he’d already been a member of parliament for many years, but the Conservatives had held onto power since the 40s! Australia was a colony of Great Britain, and had a system based upon ruthless exploitation of the lower classes; both in terms of their wages and the services they were entitled to.

Gough came along on a strong Labour platform and within a short time had changed both the university system as well as health. Both suddenly became “free” and as a result, a whole generation was produced which was educated and healthy. I actually owe my degree to him, for without the changes he brought about, I’d never have been able to afford to complete a university degree. Scholarships were far and few between. (These days the conservatives have almost completely brought back fees for education; a simple degree now “costs” well over $50,000!)


As for what his government did for the health of the nation, we’re still able to get health-care cheaply and in some cases, without any fee. The conservatives, when in power, brought in a fee based insurance scheme called Medibank, and right now are in the process of trying to sell it off for 4 or 5 billion dollars, just to raise capital. They also wanted to abolish “bulk billing” because it was almost free, and instead wanted to replace it with a fee for every service amounting to at least $8 per visit. Plus, while wrecking the health system, they promoted “Mental Illness” to the extent that they claimed at least 50% of the entire population would be “mentally ill” at least once every year. Of course, the way these people are treated is very open to question. Mostly, they are given powerful psychotropic drugs which alter the chemical balances within the brain cells; but there has also been a push to increase the use of Electro Shock therapy. In both instances, the typical result is a patient who is more compliant and easily controlled. Their social situations remain more or less unchanged, but their reactions are modified by drugs or electro-shocks.

That’s the difference I see, between a Gough Whitlam type of approach to life, and that of the conservatives. Gough set out to change things so that exploitation became a little less pronounced; whereas the conservatives do everything they can to strengthen inequalities. Plus, they have a love for war and the military. Gough got us out of the Vietnam war, with as much dignity as possible, but these days the conservatives have been participating in wars almost every 2 or 3 years. And warfare is damn expensive. Those bombs dropped by super-sonic jets cost at least $200,000 each, while some go for over a million!

The conservatives tend to have “religious” beliefs, and in point of fact, their current Prime Minister actually studied to become a priest. Because of their appeal to a “higher supreme Being” they are very quick to wage war against what could be defined as renegade Islamic forces and movements. Plus, they support conservative types of Moslems, and it really helps them, when these Moslems condemn the radicalism of the movements they, as a nation, wage war against.

I’ve lived long enough to know that there really isn’t any “higher power.” The God these people believe in doesn’t exist! It’s simply a figment of their imaginations. Darwin was correct when he ascribed evolution with the status of “doctrine.” As you age, you see the way that chance acts to control your life; and you see mindless, blind forces acting all around you and you realise no one controls it. Nor can they!

Because “nature” determines so much, you realize, in your maturity, that a conscious effort has to be made, to neutralise the inequalities that have helped shape society in its historic progress over the centuries. And by that I mean, there are philosophies which set out to handle and recompense people, for the ills of society. Conservatives just accept things as they are, as if God had designed society so there would always be the underclasses and the elites, and so when anyone tries to bring about structural change through co-operative actions, they decry it. Yet, when the issue is the welfare of their own elites, they will support it fiercely, as is the case with paid maternity leave, where they wanted to pay women up to $80,000 a year, to stay at home to look after their own young kids. Their scheme was designed so that if you started off poor, or had a low paying job, you couldn’t receive anything like $80,000 a year. More like $10 or $20 thousand per year.

That’s because they have been slowly, methodically, chipping away at the enormous social changes made by the Whitlam government back in the early 70s. Universities are no longer anything like free; there are now schemes whereby you can borrow from the state, the cost of your tuition and university fees. These fees have almost completely been reinstated back to what they were like prior to when Whitlam’s government changed them all. We’ve moved so far away from “Socialism” which you could argue was what Whitlam brought in, that it looks as if it will be almost impossible for any future government to bring in changes designed to help the poor and low wage earners.

Warmest Autumn in 150 years!

The last couple of months have been the warmest on record for South Australia; when Summer ended, and it had been a very very warm one, the first few weeks had actual chilly weather. Temperatures came down to 13 or 14 degrees C during the night, and didn’t go above 18 or 19 during the day. Plus it rained quite a lot.

All in all, seemingly, a normal start to Autumn.

But then as we got further into the season, things changed.

It became drier. Didn’t rain for weeks.

And day-time temperatures climbed into the mid to high 20s. This went on for at least a week at a time with no respite.

Night-time, the temperature didn’t really drop below 16 degrees C.

It was like the type of weather we would sometimes get in Summer after a heat wave had been broken by a cool change, that didn’t produce very much rain or wind. It just stayed very warm for 3 weeks, while Winter got closer and closer.

Interstate, in New South Wales, they broke a record for the greatest number of days above 22 degrees C in June; it had previously been set about 100 years ago. Their weather was much warmer than ours, in South Australia. They had quite a few days over 26 degrees C, while we had many days hovering around the 22.5 mark, which nonetheless, broke a record for the month of June.

The weather bureau predicted that Winter and Spring rains would fail.

They also said that temperatures would be abnormally high in coming months.

When I visited my local doctor, a Korean, he talked about Global Warming, saying that it might not be such a bad thing, because after all, if the polar ice-caps melted, there would be much more water around, and that would mean more food would be produced. Rains would be heavier, and because temperatures would be higher, crops would be more abundant. He decried the Greens for their tax on pollution, saying that it had not yet been proven that Global Warming was caused directly by human activity. Sure, there had been a large increase in the amount of pollution generated by Humans, but that didn’t really explain Global Warming adequately; he believed it might be a natural phenomenon.

I’m not sure either. But I do know that local newspapers have carried front page headlines to the effect that we have been directly experiencing Global Warming.

And if the Winter and Spring rains do fail, we’ll most likely end up in some type of drought situation suffering much higher temperatures than normal. In Summer it is usually anywhere between 23 and 35 degrees C. On heat spell days it can get up to 40 or 41 though.

Last year there were some extremely hot days which reached to 44 degrees C, and the weather bureau has predicted that this year’s Summer will have days even hotter, getting to 46 or 47!

At those temperatures, unless you happen to have very good air-conditioning, life becomes unbearable.

Medical Marijuana

I’ve recently been presented with a “medical emergency” in my family – my brother has been diagnosed as having Lung Cancer Stage IV. That means the cancer has spread beyond the lung and cannot really be cured. It can, however, be treated to prolong life, with Chemotherapy.

He’s only been aware of his condition for less than a week, and has been in hospital most of that time. He was symptom free actually although he had some issues that suggested he had Diabetes Type II. So, he went in to have some tests done, and they confirmed Diabetes, but also picked up on the Cancer, and he was immediately rushed by ambulance to Flinders Hospital, where he’s been ever since. They are treating him for the Diabetes with tablets and injections, and are just at the beginning stage of planning treatment for the Cancer. Surgery won’t get rid of it, Radiation won’t get rid of it, as it’s progressed too far, which means that Chemo might shrink it and thus prolong his life expectancy.

Right now he has been told he will live only for a couple more months without treatment, and with it, he can expect to survive at least 6 months. For Lung Cancer the survival rates aren’t very high; within 2 years just over 50% of all patients have died, and by 4 years almost 80% have passed away. That’s for all types and stages of Lung Cancer, not only the very advanced Stage III and IV.

It just means it’s a very hard to control disease without much hope for long term survival. But he’s lucky he lives in South Australia because the Flinders Medical Centre, which was built in the early 70s, has a reputation as one of the best Cancer treatment centres in the world.

He had another problem during this period, namely he was being sued locally by a psychic for Libel. He was too preoccupied to attend the court hearings, though, and a judgement was handed down by judge alone, ordering him to pay over $26,000 compensation to the Psychic. The Libel had been published on his web-site and had been read by less than 20 people, even though the web site had a following of over 200,000. The Psychic had copied the web site which identified him, and had presented it to the court as evidence. Apparently, my brother had disparaged the Psychic, calling him an “ambulance chaser” who preyed upon the sick and vulnerable. The Psychic had a lawyer act for him, while my brother didn’t, which is why the judgment went against him. He simply didn’t put up any counter arguments to the Libel charge. Obviously, though, he won’t be paying it, because apart from the fact he simply can’t afford to, there’s also the newly discovered fact, that he probably won’t be around long enough for any further legal actions to be taken against him. In the meantime he’s been given 21 days to pay the $26,000 “fine” or face more legal actions.

Yesterday, when I visited him in hospital, he was watching some U-tube videos on the console that every bed has next to it. These consoles are very up to date and have TV, pay TV, and broadband access, for a small fee. You can only imagine the bandwidth required to service a hospital that size! It has more than 1,000 beds.

Anyway, the video was in a category named: Medical Marijuana. There were over 500 videos in the category, and you needed to subscribe in order to view complete videos, which of course, my brother hadn’t done. So, the video he was watching ended abruptly after an hour and no matter what he tried, it just wouldn’t go any further without him joining a subscription. But the video was interesting and contained information I’d seen before on the SBS TV network (Special Broadcast Services). They had presented a couple shows on the Medical Marijuana issue sweeping America, which focused on using the stuff to treat Cancer. The U-tube video took a similar approach.

It said that there is a system within the body that appears to be specifically designed by nature to interact with the various substances found in Marijuana, in a way that’s beneficial to the individual. It calms him, reduces his blood pressure, and where there is Cancer, tends to fight against it to the death. The video had some patients who claimed they had been cured of various types of Cancer simply by using Marijuana; there were skin cancer subjects, lung cancer and brain cancer subjects, who stated that they used up to 10 marijuana cigarettes a day to relieve pain, and as it turned out, the Marijuana seemed to also kill off the Cancer cells. One subject said he’d lived for more than 12 years after being diagnosed with Skin cancer, and he attributed that to his daily use of Marijuana. Another subject described how he was enrolled in a Federal US government program, that dispensed Marijuana cigarettes to medical patients as a trial. The government arranged to grow the marijuana, and turn it into cigarettes, and would supply this man with over 500 such “joints” every one or two months, and they had been doing it for many years. He estimated they had already given him, for free, more than 100,000 such cigarettes. He said he had survived Cancer for so long as a direct result of taking Marijuana daily in 10 separate doses.

In the same video, they did present a discussion about the negative “side effects” of Marijuana, that included the “high” that people use the stuff to achieve in the first place. But they listed another “side effect” as the onslaught of Psychotic episodes that can bring about a state of Schizophrenia. Remember, this was a video produced by health care professionals to support a case for further research into the medical use of Marijuana!

They also described the benefits of it, to persons getting Cancer treatments, who most probably could not be cured. These included a “better appetite” and reduction of pain.

It’s not surprising, therefore, to see how many states in America have gone the “legalise” route and made Marijuana more easily obtained. There are places where recreational use has also been decriminalised!

A similar movement has existed in Australia since the early 70s, but they have not had much success in legalising the drug thus far because the negative reports about Mental Health issues have been high lighted while the positive benefits, such as possible use in Cancer treatment, have been almost completely ignored. Yet, there are outspoken people in Australia who have been filmed talking about their use of Marijuana when they had serious health issues, such as Cancer. Again, I’ve seen such films on the SBS TV channel.

I’ve supported the legalisation of the use of Marijuana since the early 70s, both for recreational purposes as well as for medicinal reasons. I don’t see any conflict between the two, and believe the negative “side effects” reportage is exaggerated and can be overcome by the right attitude when one uses Marijuana. Quite often, in recreational use settings, the experience the user wants, is exactly what the medicos call the “negative side effects.”

It’s said the main reason against medicalization of Marijuana is that because it’s a natural plant they’re talking about, it can’t be patented, which means drug companies can’t exploit it as badly as they do stuff they hold patents on. After all, it would have to be a drug company which did the research and came up with a way to use it as a medicine; so far their approach has been the “usual” : to think in terms of isolating some part of the Marijuana plant and calling it the “active ingredient” while rejecting the other 399 parts. Those who support medicalization believe, overall, that you must use the whole plant to get the positive result. Nature, they say, developed the plant along with our internal system which seems perfectly designed to dovetail with Marijuana use in a very positive life supporting way. The one problem is the way you have to ingest it: through smoking.

Everyone knows that inhaling smoke into your body is going to have its risks. With tobacco it involves more than 40,000 different substances the smoke contains, and with Marijuana it’s something like 400 different compounds the smoke contains. There’s more “tar” in Marijuana smoke than in Tobacco smoke. That seems to be a fact well supported by scientific evidence. And it means that smoking Marijuana is more harmful than smoking Tobacco, and again, everyone knows that smoking Tobacco is a leading cause of Cancer (both of Lung Cancer and various other Cancers).

That’s one dilemma! You might gain positive benefits from using Marijuana, but at the same time you get negative effects as well — beyond the so-called mental ones.

In some ways this whole contradiction brings us to the questions about “What is the meaning of Life?”

Since everyone is going to die, and since everyone has come into this world through birth, there doesn’t seem to be any actual purpose as to why we are hear. If you don’t accept there is a Supreme Being, God, you also don’t need to believe in purpose or some Divine Plan, which means life doesn’t hold any significance apart from what it means to all things that live. We’re just a part of Grand nature, which “designed” us to live in harmony with all aspects of itself; but that came about through trial and error rather than through the intervention of a Higher Being who said, Let there be Light and it was so.

No, there is no such Being and no such method for creating things and processes in this world, and there never has been. It’s a very naive, or immature, belief system that talks about a God, you see.

Our philosophy has come a long way since those times and we have come to accept, perhaps reluctantly, the fact that we are a random product of natural forces and not a special creation of some Majestic God.

From that perspective, the use of a natural plant like Marijuana, to gain pleasure and health is not very fanciful; it’s been done the same way in India and China for centuries and both cultures are such that they don’t support the likes of the Biblical singular Deity.

Marijuana Plant

Here you see a small marijuana plant about to blossom, circa 2012.

Psychiatric Abuse – Oz

Things seem to be getting worse in Australia so far as Psychiatry is concerned, that is if you have any ideas of being against it. If you’re for it, you’ll feel that things are improving almost month by month. It all came to a head a couple years ago when they made a Psychiatrist, Australian Of The Year; and he just went off the rails, to espouse his plans to have virtually all teenagers screened for potential mental illness. He was on TV regularly, talking about how much money would be needed to adequately canvas the population, so as to prevent out-breaks of mental illness as far as possible. He talked about it as if this was necessary, as needed as “defense”, “police” and “social security.”

There was no opposing point of view, however, and so there were never any debates, just an AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR, telling people how much was needed to combat the rise in mental-illness – particularly amongst teenagers and even younger citizens! And this was taken in all seriousness, without there being anyone voicing anything negative about his plans. It was crazy!

No one had ever heard of him, before they made him AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR, and he took the appointment as being his passport to the Australian media, so that he could give out his Philosophy and General Outlook on Life; and it was all very negative and depressing, because he saw the world as being divided into two camps: those with a mental illness or the potential to develop one, and those without a mental illness. For those in the first category, he had no qualms about drugging them, or even providing electro-shock treatment! After all, this was not some enlightened Buddha or Holy Man come down from the Mountain of God, but was a hack, practicing Psychiatrist, who earned his bread and butter by writing prescriptions for patients and of course, by seeing patients.

I have included a link here to a publication you can obtain from the Citizens Committee on Human Rights Australian website: CCHR Website.. It’s short at 48 pages in PDF format and gives a clear brief as to why Psychiatry sometimes seems to get very high profile in the public media.

This is the PDF I just mentioned, CLICK HERE TO OPEN-DOWNLOAD.

CCHR -Germany

[CCHR = Citizens Committee on Human Rights]

After Allied troops swung back the gates of Auschwitz, Dachau and other camps to reveal the horrors of the Holocaust, the long process began of bringing the perpetrators to justice for their crimes against humanity. But one group whose ideologies and programs had laid the groundwork for the atrocities managed to escape notice and punishment. Not only did they walk free, German psychiatrists returned to become “respectable” members of society, not just in their homeland but also around the world.
In 1994 – some 50 years later – the role of psychiatrists in the Holocaust was still nearly unknown, buried deep beneath a cloak of secrecy. German psychiatrists were “pillars of the establishment” – respected “authorities” whom few questioned or challenged. But all that was about to change. And leading the way were CCHR psych busters, Bernd Trepping and Nicola Cramer.
A Scientologist since 1989, Bernd joined the Hamburg branch of CCHR and soon began leading protests to expose psychiatric abuses. Nicola likewise found Scientology in 1989 in Northern Germany and quickly became committed to exposing psychiatric abuses nationally.
With psychiatry in such a powerful position of authority when Bernd, Nicola and CCHR Germany first began uncovering human rights abuses in the field of mental health, few would listen or take action. It soon became obvious they would first need to unveil psychiatry’s dark past to show that history was only repeating itself. The solution cantered on a new book that CCHR members, Dr. Thornas Roder and Volker Kubillus, had been researching for years, “Psychiatrists – The Men Behind Hitler”. Bernd and Nicola used the book to launch a major campaign to open the eyes of Germany to psychiatry’s sordid past.
Released in 1994 in Nuremburg, the same city where Nazi war crimes trials were held after World War II, the book caused an immediate stir. Staging a series of promotional briefings, seminars and PR events month after month, Bernd and Nicola hammered its message to the media and public. This even included an airplane flying over Hamburg harbour over the course of a three-day public festival carrying a banner, “New in the bookstore: The Men Behind Hitler,” a message seen by 500,000 people a day. To attract further attention, they placed six foot tall posters of “The Men Behind Hitler” book cover at the entrances of former concentration camps, such as Dachau, during the 50th Anniversary of the liberation of these camps, for thousands more to see. With Bernd and Nicola promoting the book at every opportunity, its first edition sold out almost immediately after hitting bookstore shelves.
But if the German public were now reaching to find the truth in ever increasing numbers, not so German psychiatry’s power elite. The President of the German Psychiatric Association (DGPPN) furiously countered with an open letter to the federal Ministry of the Interior demanding a government ban on the book. Bernd and Nicola answered with characteristic CCHR panache, strategically shipping out 10,000 copies of the book to state and federal legislators, religious institutions of every denomination, and libraries. To further spread the word of psychiatry’s role in the Holocaust, Bernd and Nicola placed exhibits along the very trail of Holocaust history: in Dachau, the prototype for psych experimentation, in the Marienplatz in Munich, and at Brandenburg an der Havel, where at the exhibit’s opening that concentration camp’s last surviving victim gave a firsthand account of the horrors she had witnessed. And as voices mounted, the men behind Hitler could no longer bury their past, with headlines next appearing all over the media and German dailies. Finally, after 65 years of denial, German psychiatry had no choice but to open their files and come clean, with a published confession by the 13 DGPPN admitting to psychiatry’s role in laying the groundwork for the Holocaust.
With psychiatry now publicly apologizing for the sins of their predecessors, the time was ripe to expose the current atrocities to a suddenly receptive Germany. It began with an expose of the pandemic sexual abuse of female patients by psychiatrists and therapists, with victims telling their stories across the airwaves on national radio. Then, to hold the psychs fully accountable, Nicola and Bernd drove through a bill defining sexual abuse as a full-blown felony. The final law was drawn almost word for word from CCHR’s proposal, becoming the first German statute to criminalize psychiatric misconduct and, in fact, the first such law in any country.
Next they campaigned against Germany’s epidemic of child drugging: briefing key drug policy makers and pressing the Ministry of Health for stringent guidelines on all ADHD drugs. Federal regulations were subsequently issued restricting the use of certain psych stimulants on children and adolescents – thereby slashing the prescription rate of these drugs to elementary school children by 24 percent.
Bernd and Nicola then began zeroing in on modern day psychiatric institutions with the highest incident of abuse. This put the spotlight on a Bavarian state hospital, formerly home to a Third Reich racial hygiene program, now a psychiatric research centre. A whistle-blower tipped off CCHR on the death of patient ‘X” The report stated that he had been heavily and continuously sedated with a procedure called “depot injection” – a high drug dosage with an effect that can last for weeks. After he took his last comatose breath, the psychs claimed his death was a “suicide”.
To unearth the whole story, Bernd and Nicola obtained evidence from the city registry that the patient’s death wasn’t an isolated incident – an unusually high number of deaths had also been occurring at that same hospital. But the most horrifying discovery came along a stretch of moonlit forest where a former patient pointed to a hidden cemetery with rows of unmarked graves. The ensuing news bore such headlines as “Psychiatrists Accused of Murdering Patients.”

Before it was over, Bernd and Nicola had exposed more than 1,200 hidden deaths, triggering the closure of the hospital’s “Death Ward.”
It was now time to expose the greatest atrocity of all: “involuntary commitment.” To accomplish that, they blanketed Germany with an anti-psych blitzkrieg, which included traveling exhibits in over 20 cities throughout Germany and Austria, and marches protesting psychiatry to coincide with psychiatric conventions. Meanwhile, they funnelled CCHR documentaries to 30,000 German attorneys, prosecutors and others – all of which ignited a firestorm of lawsuits on involuntary commitment. Until, at last came the case that shook the very foundations of German psychiatry. Because this time, the psych on trial was the head of not only the German but also the European Psychiatric Association. When Bernd and Nicola exposed that he’d ordered the involuntary commitment of a man he’d never met, the very pinnacle of psychiatry was forced to resign. Not long after, a landmark decision from Germany’s Supreme Court was issued, ruling ALL involuntary treatment illegal and outlawed across Germany! These two unrelenting CCHR psych busters set forth to awaken a nation to the evils of psychiatry. And in so doing, they rewrote the history books and so safeguarded the rights of every German citizen.

Capital of the World




AUSTRALIA has become the cancer capital of the world with experts urging us to beat the bulge to help tackle the deadly disease.

An international comparison puts us ahead of New Zealand, North America and Western Europe in terms of cancer rates, and nearly double the global average.

We have the highest rate of melanoma and prostate cancer in the world and the third greatest breast cancer rates.

Medical Oncology Group of Australia chair Professor Gary Richardson said one factor behind the startling finding was the nation’s growing waistline.

“We have an obesity epidemic and that is definitely linked to breast cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer,” he said. “I think Australians are incredibly ignorant to the entire problem. We’ve done well with smoking and skin cancer, the next big thing is obesity.”

The Cancer Council says one third of deaths in Australia are caused by preventable risk factors.

It says the seven key steps to lower cancer risk are: limit alcohol intake, quit smoking, maintain a healthy weight, exercise, eat for health, be sunsmart and take advantage of cancer screening programs.

Cancer Council chief Professor Ian Olver says there are various ways of measuring cancer rates but the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer GLOBOCAN database has Australia on top.

“There are a few possible reasons. One is that we have an otherwise healthy population where you live to an age where you are more likely to get cancer,” he said.

“Screening programs and early intervention push up the incidence and because we are detecting it earlier it looks like the cancer rate is going up. These are not bad reasons for having a high incidence.”

The good news is Australia also leads the world in cancer survival, with fewer of us dying than elsewhere. Claire Williams, from Sydney, had been married just two months when a reminder letter for a Pap smear prompted her to have a test that found an abnormality. When surgeons removed the growth it was just 0.3mm from entering her bloodstream.

She feared her chance of a successful pregnancy might be over but 10 months after she was given the all clear on her cancer she gave birth to a healthy boy and four months ago a baby girl.

“I count my lucky stars every time I look at my son and I thank God I’m so lucky and had that Pap smear,” she says.

The international comparison of the incidence of cancer showed Australia had an estimated 3141 cancer cases per 100,000 people, according to an Access Economics report.

This put us ahead of New Zealand (3092 cases per 100,000), North America (2999 cases) and Western Europe (2877 cases).

Macquarie University oncologist Professor Howard Gurney said many of the cancers counted in Australia may never harm the patient, who may die of something else first.