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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Breast Cancer. And its links to Pharmaceutical Drugs

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that between 1971 to 2004 the number of breast cancer cases rose by 81% to 36,939 cases - in England alone. It had become the most common form of cancer, and it was estimated that 1 in 9 women could expect to get breast cancer during their lifetime. In 1971 the incidence of the disease was 66.9 per 100,000 people. In 2004 this had risen to 120.8 per 100,000. It became, and remains, the disease most feared by women.

Nor is breast cancer a disease that only strikes older women. As with most other cancers it now affects people at any age, and an increased incidence has been recorded across all age groups. Among women aged 20 to 34, the disease increased by 50% between 1971 to 2001. Morever, several hundred men contract the disease each year now.

So why did the rates of breast cancer rise so steeply during that time? Conventional medicine has come up with a variety of explanations, mostly based on a range of 'lifestyle factors', such as diet, increased alcohol consumption, obesity, more women going out to work, earlier menstruation, reduced breast feeding, smaller families and later menopause. It has even been called the disease of prosperity!

Maybe. But 'prosperity' probably account for only a small part of the huge increase. The role of pharmaceutical drugs has to be considered. For instance, in a Guardian article, dated 8th August 2006, Sarah Boseley wrote this:

               "The daughters of the thousands of women who took an anti-miscarriage pill more than 40 years ago are at increased risk of breast cancer. The drug, known as DES (diethylstilbestrol), was commonly prescribed for pregnant women between the 1940s and 1960s if doctors thought they were at risk of miscarrying and sometimes also for morning sickness. There are no definite figures for the number of women who took it, but research suggests there may have been as many as 200,000 in the UK".

The article, written at a time when the mainstream media was prepared to be mildly critical of conventional medicine, described a study by scientists at Boston University, published in the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. It found that the daughters of women who took DES had an almost double risk of breast cancer of their peers. And the more their mothers took of this now banned drug, the greater their chance of developing the disease. Concern about the side effects of DES started in the early 1970s when first it was discovered that 1 in 1,000 girls born to women who had taken the drug were likely to develop vaginal cancer. It was then found that the women who had taken it had an increased risk of breast cancer.

DES was withdrawn in the 1970’s and is no longer used in the developed world - except for prostate cancer (men beware)!

So it is well known that pharmaceutical drugs has been a important part in the rise of breast cancer figures. And if there were sufficient research done on the adverse reaction of pharmaceutical drugs, more evidence would almost certainly be found.

Another culprit is probably chest X-rays. A Times-on-Line article, dated 27th June 2006 outlined research on 1,600 women that indicated that women under-20 who had a chest X-ray had a 2.5 times greater chance of developing breast cancer before their 40th birthday, whilst women with a family history of breast cancer were 54% more likely to suffer the disease. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Calls were made for further research into the link between breast cancer and X-rays. They have not been done - conventional medicine does not go out of its way looking for 'bad' news about any of its treatments!

Yet for many years, the massive use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) during the previous decades had been the drug most implicated in the rise and rise of breast cancer. So what happens when the prescription of a pharmaceutical drug, implicated in causing disease, is significantly reduced? If HRT was a significant cause of breast cancer, perhaps the increased incidence of the disease would also start to fall.

And this is exactly what has happened!

In July 2002, research indicated that HRT can increase the risk of breast cancer (and heart disease too), and the tests were halted as a result. Many thousands of women came off the drug as a result, at least 50%. In 2003 the University of Texas recorded a 7% drop in breast cancer rates, and a 12% drop in women aged 50 to 69. This was reported in USA Today, 14 December 2006; and New York Times, 15 December 2006). According to a BBC News report, 15th December 2006, UK researches also measured a drop in breast cancer cases. Professor Valerie Beral, director of Cancer Research UK's Cancer Epidemiology Unit, was reported as saying that there had also been a drop in breast cancer incidence in women aged 50-64 between 2003 and 2004.

So here is a very clear link between disease, breast cancer in this instance, and pharmaceutical drug treatment. Yet what happened following the virtual withdrawal of HRT, and the reduction in breast cancer rates, defies belief!

The conventional medical establishment put this evidence of reduced breast cancer as a victory! Our doctors told us that it indicated that conventional medicine was beginning to win the battle with cancer generally, and breast cancer was put forward to justify the claim! This was a brilliant piece of marketing!

  • First, conventional medicine causes a disease. 
  • Second, it withdraws the drug that has caused the disease. 
  • Third, it claims the credit for reducing the disease, even though it caused it in the first place!

Good marketing perhaps, but little to do with the reality, and even less to do with honesty! And unfortunately what happened afterwards has little to do with patient safety. Conventional medicine has tried to rehabilitate HRT, which means that more women are taking the drug, and many of them will contract breast cancer as a result. I have written about this rehabilitation in two blogs.

There is only one lesson that can be learnt from this sequence of events - conventional medicine cannot be trusted with our health. It creates illness with its drugs. It creates profit from our illness. And then our doctors do not tell us truth.

So one of the best ways to avoid breast cancer is to avoid pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines - at any cost!