Life In Alignment Blog | Sep. 10, 2012
Breast Cancer Awareness month is right around the corner. Pink ribbons, team formations and requests for donations are about to sky rocket. In the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation reported approximately $400 million in earnings. $365 million of that came directly from fundraising activities and donations by the public. (2) Although $400 million was raised in the 2009-10 year alone, breast cancer rates continue to rise. The incidence of breast cancer in the US has been steadily climbing since the 1970's. According to French researchers, the cancer rate is expected to increase by more than 75% by the year 2030 in developed countries, and over 90% in developing nations. Researchers specifically found that the incidence of female breast cancer seems to be INCREASING. (1) How can it be with millions of dollars going to research each year, cancer rates are continuing to get worse? The problem lies in how the money is used. The money raised is not spent to prevent or teach the public the real causes of breast cancer, instead the money is spent to continue developing expensive drugs to treat cancer, once it is already present, and on medical techniques to detect cancer, again once it is already present. I don't know about you, but I don't care about more drugs to treat cancer, I want to prevent cancer from occurring in the first place! Although that may be my wish, it is not the agenda of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to prevent or reverse cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month was launched in 1987 by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). The world's largest manufacturer of pesticides and plastic, and one of the world's most notorious chemical polluters. (3). Both plastics and pesticides have been linked to CAUSING breast cancer. Experiments at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, found that the mammary glands of female mice grew in a way that made them more likely to develop breast cancer and also to respond unusually to estrogen, which fuels most breast cancer in humans, when exposed to a compound called bisphenol-A or BPA. BPA is used in most plastics including plastic food containers. (4) Another study found a strong link between pesticides and breast cancer. Researchers at the Department of Preventive Medicine, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY found an increased breast cancer risk for women residing within 1 mile of hazardous waste sites (HWS) containing pesticides. A significant interaction was shown for women residing on land that was previously used for agriculture compared to women who did not live on previously agricultural land. (5) The link between pesticides, plastics and breast cancer has been confirmed in numerous other studies as well. It is interesting that a company that makes millions off the production of cancer causing substances is the sponsor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hmmm.....
Let's take it a step further. Zeneca Pharmaceuticals is the company that sponsors the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Zeneca is a spin-off company of ICI who exclusively funds and controls Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So ICI founded Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Zeneca, it's spin-off company, sponsors the event each year. Zeneca earns more then $300 million a year from a carcinogenic herbicide (acetochlor) while simultaneously marketing and selling Tamoxifen, which has become the world's best selling cancer therapy drug. (6) So Zeneca makes the toxic chemicals that have been shown to cause breast cancer, makes the number one selling drug used once cancer develops and then sponsors the event that is meant to supposedly find a cure for cancer. Something can not add up in that equation.
Zeneca's Breast Cancer Awareness Month is "focused on educating women about the early detection of breast cancer" with particular focus on encouraging women to get their yearly mammograms. Their trademark slogan is, "Early Detection is Your Best Prevention." Yet, if you read that slogan again you can see its absurdity. By the time cancer is detected, it already exists in the body, so it is too late to prevent it. (7) Which means early detections cannot prevent cancer. None the less, 37% of American woman believe mammograms prevent breast cancer. Other then being too late to prevent cancer, mammograms have also been found to be harmful and unreliable. In one large study, looking at 60,000 women, researchers found that 70% of the detected tumors through mammography were not tumors at all. Even worse, these results lead to many unnecessary and invasive biopsies. Research has shown that 70-80% of all positive mammograms do not show the presence of cancer upon further biopsy testing. (8) Natural News reports,
exposes the individual to an exceptionally high amount of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is something we are all exposed to in nature and the body can handle a certain amount each year without it becoming risky. One series of mammograms (2 xrays on each breast) is equivalent to the radiation dose of 1000 normal chest or spinal x-rays.
Due to this enormous blast of radiation many experts warn that mammography actually increases the risk of breast cancer. Dr. Russell Blaylock, MD, estimated that annual mammography increases the risk of breast cancer by 2% each year. The National Cancer Institute has stated that mammography is especially dangerous for younger women. In fact, they have stated that it could cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies. Other studies have shown up to a 52% increase in breast cancer mortality in young women given annual testing.
The incidence of certain forms of breast cancer such as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has increased by 328% since mammography was introduced. Cancer research has also found a gene called oncogene AC that is very sensitive to radiation. Women who have this gene are at extraordinarily high risk when exposed to mammography. Researchers estimate that 10,000 of these gene carriers will die of breast cancer each year due to mammography." (8)
A great deal of attention has been placed on the breast cancer gene as the cause of breast cancer, BRCA-1, yet this gene only accounts for 5% of breast cancers. In 1997, the American Institute for Cancer Research, in collaboration with the World Cancer Research Fund issued a major International report, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. The report found that 60-70% of all cancers can be prevented by exercising, not smoking, and by following the report's number one dietary recommendation, "Choose predominately plant-based diets rich in a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes and minimally processed starchy staple foods." Sadly, with so much concern and passion ignited by the number of loved ones dying from or being effected by cancer, coupled with the Breast Cancer Awareness Month's movement, there is still little understanding by most people of the steps they can take to reduce their risk of breast cancer. Only 23% of American woman are aware of the dietary steps they can take to lower their chances of developing breast cancer. ICI/Zeneca has been the sole financial sponsor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month since the event's beginning. In return for its investment of many millions of dollars, the corporation has been allowed to approve or veto every single poster, pamphlet and advertisement Breast Cancer Awareness Month uses. (9) There is not a word in any of the literature for Breast Cancer Awareness Month to suggest the role diet can play in cancer prevention, nor any mention about decreasing one's exposure to carcinogens, (chemicals that cause cancer, one of which is pesticides).
The primary way most environmental carcinogens enter the body is through foods, and specifically through animal products. Dioxin is one such lethal chemical. Dioxin is extremely carcinogenic. German scientists concluded in 1998 that dioxin may be responsible for 12% of human cancers. (10) Dr. Diane Courtney, head of the Toxic Effects Branch of the EPA, told Congress, "dioxin is by far the most toxic chemical known to man kind." The EPA says up to 95% of human dioxide exposure comes from red meat, fish and dairy products. In 1998, Consumer Reports, published test results that found alarming levels of dioxin in meat based baby foods sold by all the major baby food brands. (11) It has been found that people in China and Japan who eat more fruits and vegetables and less animal products, weigh less, drink less alcohol and get more exercise then American woman have less then half the rate of breast cancer. The death rate from breast cancer in the US is 22.4 (per 1,000), while the death rate in Japan is only 6.3 and China even less with 4.6 deaths per 1,000. It has also been found the breast cancer rate for women in Italy who eat a lot of animal products compared to those woman who don't is 3 times greater. In Uruguay, those who rarely eat animal products had 4 times less risk of developing breast cancer and in Japan there is 9 times less risk of developing breast cancer in woman who rarely or never eat animal products.
Many of the products with pink breast cancer labels on them actually contribute to the disease, including KFC chicken (http://www.naturalnews.com/028631_Komen_for_the_cure_pinkwashing.html
), Diet Coke (http://www.naturalnews.com/031415_Coca_Cola_diet_soda.html
), and even alcoholic beverages (http://www.naturalnews.com/030018_pinkwashing_breast_cancer.html
"It is hypocrisy to use carcinogens in products and at the same time be raising money for a cure," pointed out one woman in the film Pink Ribbons Inc. (http://www.nfb.ca/playlist/pink_ribbons_inc/
) about the countless consumer products that contain known carcinogens.
So how can Breast Cancer Awareness Month claim to be interested in ending breast cancer when they continue to support corporations that continue to make toxic plastics and pesticides, do nothing to oppose the known cancer causes and refuse to educate the public in any way about prevention of cancer?
The answer is they can't.
9. Paulsen, Monte There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos (New York Harper Collins, 1997)
10. Becher, Heiko "Quantitative Cancer Risk Assessment for Dioxins Using Occasional Cohort," Environmental Health Perspectives 106 (Sup 2) (1998): 663-70
11. "Hormone Mimics Hit Home," Consumer Reports (June 1998), pg. 53
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Women, Cancer, Breast Cancer, Zeneca Pharmaceuticals, Mammograms