Risks of Breast Cancer, Including Family History
Our medical system focuses primarily on early detection and the destruction and removal of cancer cells. This is important yet isn’t it just common sense to prevent breast cancer in the first place?
Our federal government spends about $900 million annually on breast cancer research and programs. There are also many outreach community programs such as the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation which has invested roughly $1 billion since its inception 25 years ago.
But what about focusing on real prevention rather than on more technology for earlier detection?
Are we any closer to discovering effective means of preventing breast cancer? According to our media which drives sensational news and is financially supported by the world’s wealthiest industry, the pharmaceutical companies, there are very few specific preventatives which western medicine can endorse.
BUT we do have medical research which DOES prove viable alternatives for prevention. I will cover just one of them.
One risk of breast cancer is thyroid disease. This comes from several research articles. The first to make this connection was one out of Pisa, Italy where they demonstrated that 50% of the 103 women with ductal cell carcinoma (breast cancer) had undiagnosed thyroid conditions. These included thyroid goiter (most often caused by low iodine), Hashimoto’s (thyroid autoimmune condition) and sub-acute thyroiditis (inflammation).
This percentage of the participants with thyroid disease would have been even higher if both subclinical and sub-optimal hypothyroidism had been included. The conclusion of this research suggested that physicians should screen their breast cancer patients for thyroid problems.
Yet here is such a typical example of how a conclusion can be too narrow because it does not connect itself with other relevant research.
There are many studies from around the world which have made the connection between iodine and the lowered incidence of breast cancer.
In 1976 the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, published a study focusing on the incidence of cancers in various countries around the world. At that time this study shook the world because it exposed the much higher rate of breast cancer in U.S. women as compared with Japanese women. Their conclusion found the only variable between the two cultures was the high intake of iodine rich foods found in Japan.
How are the two studies, the one from Italy and the one from The Lancet, possibly related?
They indicate a couple of important points.
The first is that women with breast cancer have a high incidence of thyroid issues. We know that these issues, thyroid goiter, low thyroid hormones and Hashimoto’s have their origin in inadequate intake of iodine and iodide.
Your physician may not agree with this last statement regarding Hashimoto’s but that is only because they are not familiar with the latest research.
So, might an iodine deficiency cause a woman to develop an enlarged thyroid? Most definitely.
Might an iodine deficiency cause a woman to develop Hashimoto’s? Certainly.
Might an iodine deficiency predispose a woman to develop breast cancer? Yes and this research along with about another 20 articles should be compelling enough to incite us to take action.
Medicine always turns to research to prove its point and to establish protocols and guidelines for their physicians to follow.
But our system, when it comes to breast cancer, is one sided, focusing on surgery, prescriptions and radiation. Our system does not focus on prevention but sides with treatment from a narrower perspective.
I suggest that any woman with a family history of breast cancer or thyroid disease should be fully screened for any thyroid issue. And by the word ‘fully’ I mean a much more in-depth screening than what is being recommended these days. This topic of diagnosing thyroid issues requires much more explanation.
The point here is that we have the research. We know a lot about the prevention of breast cancer. We just need to implement it.
Will it reach mainstream some day? Maybe.
But I suspect it will never happen until women become informed and educated. It is, after all, our bodies, our lives which we have so trustingly placed into the hands of professionals who are looking at us through their own set of lenses.