Health & Medical

The Mammogram Culture

Could there be a better way to prevent breast cancer?

In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) came out with a study that said that women do not need to get mammograms until they are 50 years old unless there is a history of breast cancer in the family. Today, a new study out of Sweden contradicts the pronouncement, by claiming that the new study indicates that 26% of the women would have a reduction in death by having screenings beginning at age 40, without regards to the fact that the breast would receive 10 more years of radiation in the process. The researchers found that 1,250 women would need to be screened in order to save one life. Some authorities say the harm from the radiation is minimal. The results were presented Sept. 29 during a press briefing in advance of the annual Breast Cancer Symposium sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Timed for maximum publicity. Quickly, the prestigious American Cancer Society and the American Radiology Society endorsed the study as being correct. You have to wonder. Are these institutions more interested in maintaining the status quo to enhance the revenue streams that are produced by over testing women’s breast for cancer? In other words, is it all about making maximum profit by screening for the presence of cancer cells in the breast and the follow up treatment as early as possible?

What the American Cancer Society should have said is that there is a safer way to prevent breast cancer. It is called screening for Vitamin D deficiency. Three out of four women in America are deficient in Vitamin D, based on a standard that is lower than it should be. It should also be noted that Sweden has a similar problem with low Vitamin D levels in their population. Currently normal blood level of vitamin D is deemed to be above a value of 30ng/ml. The new medical thinking is it should be 40ng/ml as a minimum, which could mean that closer to 90 per cent of all women are currently deficient in Vitamin D.

In addition to the fact that the likelihood of developing breast cancer is greatly diminished if there is sufficient Vitamin D in the blood, it has also been found that Vitamin D is essential for preventing the spread of cancer in the body through metastasis. Medical research has shown that the active form of Vitamin D in the body is essential for the production of e-cadherin. In laymen’s terms, it is glue that prevents cancer cells from escaping from a tumor in the breast or another organ in the body and spreading to a new site to create a new cancer. Currently, the spread of the cancer in breast cancer patients is accomplished by removing lymph glands to slow the progress rather than insuring sufficient Vitamin D is present, so this surgical stage would rarely occur if all women had sufficient Vitamin D levels.

Currently, over 45 Billion dollars are spent in the United States for chemo treatment of cancer. In contrast, only 7 Billion dollars are spent in Europe with a population base nearly as large (86% of US). What should be encouraged in the US is the prevention of the cancer state through improved nutrition and the screening for nutrient deficiencies such as Vitamin D and other nutrients that contribute to the development of cancers, rather than the costly treatment procedures that save some but cause many harmful side effects, such as heart damage, tissue damage, cachexia and chemo brain to name a few of the side effects.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that all cancer patients receive 1,000 iu’s of Vitamin D3 each day. The silence from the American Cancer Society is deafening. It appears they would rather give out wigs to women who have lost their hair from chemo treatment than provide free screening of Vitamin D blood levels to prevent the development or return of cancers.

On August 30th, 2010 a Medical study was published in Genome Research by Sreeram Ramagopalan from Oxford University, England which reinforces and confirms the need for Vitamin D testing to prevent disease states such as cancer and other autoimmune diseases. His recommendation states that 50 ng/ml blood level is minimum for avoiding health problems.

A recent statement by American Society of Clinical Oncologists stated the following:

Breast cancer patients who were deficient in vitamin D were 94% more likely to have their cancer spread than women with adequate D levels. “I advise women to take 800 to 1,000 IU a day,” says Andrew Kaunitz, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville.

Rather than focusing on the prevention of breast cancer, the medical direction is to find the cancers early and treat with chemo, and in too many cases the treatment is too aggressive and harmful to the patient.

So, when will the talking medical heads of the major TV stations start reporting the real news, rather than pontificate on the earlier pseudo need for mammogram testing? What is needed is medical leadership in our Public and Private Medical Institutions to focus on prevention rather than treatment and the give away of wigs.

 

T. Braun, Pharmacist, Buyer, Marketing Executive for a Major Drug Chain. Active for over 45 years in Pharmacy.

Legal Stuff: Disclaimer – This document is informational in nature. Medical advice should be secured through your physician.

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