Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Breast Cancer Myths....Or Are They?

There are some good facts and opinions in this piece
but there is also a lot of bunk. I will dissect each myth they propose and are against (which is an opinion as they state) one at a time.

Myth 1: Breast Cancer is not preventable
First, I didn't realise that people thought it wasn't preventable (to a degree). There are things we can do to reduce the risk of, not only breast cancer, but other forms as well. The article then mentions that the breast cancer industry "has so far refused to teach women even basic cancer prevention strategies"
Shows that the reality is quite different.

Myth 2: Pink ribbon products are sold to raise money to support breast cancer victims.
It falsely claims that 100% is used for recruitment of more patients.
The myth article writer then goes on to say that not a single grant has been provided for nutritional education (preventing by Vitamin D, anti-cancer herbs, supplements or to avoid dangerous cancer-causing food ingredients like sodium nitrite, MSG and chemical sweeteners.). I would assume this is because, as the American Institue of Cancer Research says "Most – if not all – of the purported links between MSG and cancer or other health scares are based on anecdotal evidence." Studies have been done for decades and it has been shown to be safe as a food additive.

Myth #3: The only proven treatments for breast cancer are chemotherapy and radiation
The article says the chemotherapy doesn't work and that the radiation causes cancer.
It does admit there is evidence that chemo shrinks tumors, but claims that the size doesn't matter. OK, some part truths here and some part misinformation. Reducing the size of the tumor does decrease it's ability to continue it's "cancerous" ways. Regardless though, there are other treatments

Myth #4: Chemotherapy is safe and doesn't cause permanent damage to your health
Ok, I think we all know it can cause problems such as hair loss and vomiting. Interesting though it doesn't mention this which is readily made available as a side effect

Myth #5: Regular mammograms are the best way to detect cancer
Claims that Mammograms harm 10 women for every one woman they help. By harm they claim that 10 would undergo unnecesary treatments. The study they mention does mention this, but it also mentions "Screening is likely to reduce breast cancer mortality. " You can see the whole paper here

Note too, that there are other ways to help with detection as well, including breast examination and also genetic testing. All 3 methods when working together help increase the detection and the reduces the false positives.
Shows a list of growing alternatives to x-ray mammorgrams.

Myth #6: BRCA-positive women should consider mastectomies to prevent cancer
Website claims: Cruciferous vegetables target BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, preventing cancer with nutrition.
It mentions "superfoods" which really there is no such thing. Now there is some current studies being done with Anti-angiogenics. You can see a talk about the works here:

Myth #7: The cancer non-profits are searching for a cure for cancer
It claims that Even if one was found, they would never allow a cure to be publicized: It would destroy the cancer treatment industry.
Let's think about this for one moment. A cure would mean money. And as you saw above, things are being publicized. Also see this:

Myth #8: There is no cure for breast cancer
They claim that There are MANY natural cures for breast cancer available right now
If you view the William Li's video above, you'll see that it's not exactly at a "cure" level yet, but more of a management. I won't get into too much about "natural" and "herbal" dangers because that is covered elsewhere, but quickly will say that a lot has not been shown to work. Most just has anecdotal evidence.

Myth #9: If my mother had breast cancer, I'll get it too
They claim Breast Cancer is not caused by bad genes; it's caused by bad diets
Well, we already established that genetic testing is viable. It has found that 5-10% is due to genetic or hereditary factors.

Myth #10: Sunlight causes cancer
They claim Sunlight generates Vitamin D in your skin, which prevents 78% of ALL cancers
So much miswording. Visible light does not cause cancer, but Sunlight also includes Ultra-Violet rays which is a known carcinogen. UV, Gamma, X-rays are all over 480kJ/mol which has enough energy to break covalent bonds which can cause problems obviously. Vitamin D can only do so much. As we all know, extended exposure increases risk.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as I could go into more detail about each of their points, but suffice to say, they are spouting a lot of misinformation which is dangerous.

September 29th add on:

Found this and thought it related nicely to the above.

No comments:

Post a Comment