Tag Archives: Breast Cancer

Averting breast cancer risk supports Catholic credo

Not only is breast cancer the most common female cancer, expected to affect 1 in 8, and increasing alarmingly at 3.5 percent annually, but it afflicts more women under 50 with more aggressive and more difficult-to-treat forms of the cancer. Only 10 percent of breast cancer is hereditary (genetic); therefore environmental causes have great effect and can be modified by habits and decisions. When detected early, breast cancer has an excellent prognosis.

Risk factors, prevention

Environmental risk factors include smoking, obesity, excess alcohol consumption, and possibly toxins ingested by girls during breast development. As lifetime estrogen exposure increases, so does breast cancer risk, and women in modern Western cultures start menses at younger ages than in developing countries. This partially explains the cancer’s higher incidence in wealthier countries.

Artificial hormones increase its risk, particularly oral contraceptives. A recent whole-country prospective study of the 1.8 million women of reproductive age in Denmark demonstrated an average 20 percent increased risk of breast cancer with contraceptive use. This risk was lower (under 10 percent) with one-year use, but increases to just under 40 percent with 10 years of use. An estimated 140 million women worldwide take hormonal contraceptives including 15 percent of women between 15 and 49 years old.

Many are shocked to learn the link between abortion and breast cancer. To date, around 30 of 40 studies have shown that abortion is a significant risk – and potentially causative factor for breast cancer, particularly if it occurs before the first full-term pregnancy. In this circumstance, there is up to 50 percent increased risk of breast cancer and this risk increases with multiple abortions (references available on www.polycarp.org ).

Habits that decrease risk

Healthy eating and exercise provide multiple health benefits and decrease the risk of breast cancer. Eating a healthy diet rich in natural vegetables and fruits as well as getting good nightly sleep are protective.

Alcohol is a known toxin associated with breast cancer. Women should limit alcohol consumption, since more than 1 or 2 daily alcoholic drinks routinely increases the risk of breast cancer.

Artificial hormones use should be avoided or reduced.

Full-term pregnancies and lactation decrease the risk of breast cancer as well as providing benefits to the newborn.

Routine annual mammography is still the primary method of secondary prevention (early detection). For women without a strong family history, annual mammography starting at age 40 is recommended.

Modern culture, science and faith

Today’s culture promotes patient autonomy and providing more information for making health-care decisions. This trend supports giving patients information on abortion and contraception risks. Many aren’t duly informed of these grave dangers. A recent documentary Hush is available and discusses them. In a culture that values patient autonomy and shared decision making, such serious risks should be included in informed consent.

Recent studies are encouraging since they lend scientific support to the Catholic viewpoint. Contrary to the myth, faith and science are not necessarily in conflict since ultimately truth cannot contradict truth.

DAVID J. HILGER M.D. is a diagnostic radiologist practicing in Omaha, Nebraska, with an expertise in women’s imaging and breast cancer detection. He is on the national board of the Catholic Medical Association and is a member of Legatus, having served previously as president of the Omaha Chapter.

Oral deception

Learn more about how the Pill is killing women and why the liberal media is silent . . .

We live in a world where people are increasingly interested in good health and eating organic. Nobody would knowingly pollute their own body with harmful chemicals, yet few question the toxicity of the oral contraceptive pill. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 82% of U.S. women between the ages of 15-44 have used the Pill.

Media power

Dr Angela Lanfranchi

Dr Angela Lanfranchi

When the media talks about this issue in an honest way, lives are saved. When it doesn’t, women pay the price.

“If you turned on the news in 2002, you would have heard about the Women’s Health Initiative Study,” said Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, breast surgeon and assistant clinical professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “For women, it was a great revelation. The study discovered that hormone replacement therapy caused breast cancer. At that time there were 30 million women on hormone replacement therapy. That same year, 15 million women stopped taking these hormones, just because they heard of this study.”

Widespread media reporting led to the incidence of breast cancer in women over 50 dropping by 11% by 2007. Hormone replacement therapy and the oral contraceptive pill have a similar makeup of estrogen except for one significant fact: the birth control pill is much stronger.

Over the last 18 years, a select group of doctors and scientists left political correctness aside and studied the Pill’s long-term impact on women’s health. They discovered many harmful effects: blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, increased risk of lethal infections. Worst of all, it increases women’s risk of breast cancer. And breast cancer is the only major cancer that is on the rise.

When Lanfranchi went to medical school in the 1970s, the risk for women of getting breast cancer was 1 in 12. By the 1990s, this risk had increased to 1 in 8.

“I began to notice that my patients were getting younger and younger,” she said. “Whereas before they had been in their 50s, now they were in their 30s. I started to look for a reason why.” Lanfranchi noticed that many of her patients had been on the Pill for a long time, starting at a fairly young age.

Clinical studies

There are a multitude of studies on the link between the Pill and breast cancer. Simple Google searches can find them easily. Even Dr. Oz’s website mentions them. Some of these studies are cited at the end of this article. The problem is that OB-GYNs are not, by and large, discussing these real risks with their patients.

In 2006, Dr. Chris Kahlenborn published a study on breast cancer in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.

“I became interested in this subject 18 years ago,” Kahlenborn said. “It seemed odd that the oral contraceptive pill could be prescribed so commonly. I felt that there were probably politics behind it that were hiding the risks.”

Kahlenborn did a meta-analysis of 23 studies. He discovered that a woman who takes the Pill for six months or more before having children increases her breast cancer risk by 44% over the national average. The risk was greatest for women who used the Pill for four years or more before ever having children.

“This means that 4,000 women every year under 50, who otherwise would not get breast cancer, get it if they are using the oral contraceptive pill,” Kahlenborn said.

In 2007, the International Agency for Cancer Research — which is part of the World Health Organization — classified the Pill as a Class 1 carcinogen, putting it in the same group as arsenic, asbestos, formaldehyde and plutonium. The mainstream media has categorically refused to report these findings.

Dr. Rebecca Peck and family

Dr. Rebecca Peck and family

“True informed consent is not being given to women,” said Dr. Rebecca Peck, a family practice doctor in Ormond, Fla. “In my line of work, I see this every day. I have had 30 young female patients with breast cancer, all under 50. All of them had been on oral contraceptives for long periods of time.”

Peck didn’t learn about the Pill’s risks in medical school and had only expected to find breast cancer in older patients.

“I started to think it could be associated with hormone replacement therapy,” she explained. “But this would have been given to older women. I also found out that the oral contraceptive pill was much stronger than hormone replacement therapy.”

As Peck continued to search for answers for her younger female patients with breast cancer, she came across the work of Kahlenborn and Lanfranchi.

“A light bulb went off,” she recalled. “They had been talking about the link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer for 15 years.”

Peck went back to her patients and asked them if they had ever heard of the risks associated with oral contraceptives — especially of breast cancer.

“My patients were so upset,” Peck said. “They had never been told of any risks.”

Media malpractice

When the Mayo Clinic published Kahlenborn’s study, a few electronic media services picked it up, but never as a main story.

“Someone from the Mayo Clinic told me that the New York Times had called,” Kahlenborn said. “I still have that email. But they chose not to do the story. They’re allowing women to die for the sake of political correctness.”

Kahlenborn spoke with the Wall Street Journal’s health editor, who likewise refused to write a story about it. Vanity Fair interviewed Kahlenborn, but then printed one line from the interview and 10 lines from the opposite viewpoint.

“The oral contraceptive pill is the holy grail,” Peck said. “It’s all about ‘female liberation.’ The pharmaceutical companies make hundreds of billions of dollars off it every year. But we are making the case that this is about women’s health.”

The media embraced the hormone replacement therapy studies and reported on the harmful effects of estrogen in water systems — and the deformation it causes in fish. But the silence on the Pill’s harmful effects and its link to breast cancer is deafening and insulting to women.

“Women have been duped,” Lanfranchi said. “If we want to truly empower women, then why — if we are fertile for only 100 hours a months — do we give them a Group 1 carcinogen every day of that month? It doesn’t make logical sense.”

SABRINA ARENA FERRISI is Legatus magazine’s senior staff writer.

Birth Control Pill ContainerEffects of the pill

Source: thepillkills.com

  • The Pill makes your blood clot. For women who have never smoked, do not have diabetes or hypertension, the Pill still doubles the risk of heart attack. Those who smoke have 12 times the risk of heart attack. NEJM 2001; 345:1787-93
  • Women on the Pill have over twice the risk for stroke. JAMA July 5, 2000; 284: 72-78.
  • The risk of lung blood clots is two- to three-times higher for women on the Pill. BMJ 2011;343:d6423
  • Women on the Pill are more likely to develop lethal infections such as HIV and HPV. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome 1999; May 1 21 (1):51-58
  • There is a 320% higher risk of triple-negative breast cancer in women on the Pill, which is the most deadly form of breast cancer to treat. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009;18(4):1157-65
  • Women who use the Pill for five to nine years have twice the risk of cervical cancer. Lancet 2002;Mar 30;359(9312):1085-92
  • The Pill increases the risk of liver cancer in women by 50%. IARC 2007 Monograph 91.

Organic alternatives to the pill

Marquette Method

Sympto-Thermal Method

Creighton Method

Komen and Planned Parenthood

Carol Tobias notes that Komen for the Cure is intimately tied to the abortion industry . . .

Carol Tobias

According to the Centers for Disease Control, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, aside from non-melanoma skin cancer. In 2007, the most recent year numbers are available, 202,964 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer — and 40,598 women died from it.

Almost everyone in America knows a woman who has had breast cancer. Some of those beloved friends and family members may have died from it. So when an organization like Susan G. Komen for the Cure conducts fundraising projects for research, it’s difficult to say no. We’re encouraged to help by buying a certain brand of yogurt or a certain soft drink. Pink ribbons pop up on products everywhere. We can buy items we would normally buy and feel good about helping find a cure.

So if Komen’s mission is to find a cure for breast cancer, why are they giving huge sums of money to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider? According to its Form 990, Komen affiliates gave more than $550,000 to affiliates of Planned Parenthood in 2010. A year earlier, they donated over $731,000. Komen says the grants are used to fund breast exams and mammograms. However, numerous reports confirm that Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms. What Planned Parenthood does do is abortion.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America has carefully crafted a public image as a protector of women’s health. PPFA is also the largest abortion chain in America. It is fully in the abortion business and its bottom line depends on performing more and more abortions.

According to PPFA’s 2008-2009 Annual Report, its affiliates performed 332,278 abortions in 2009 — about 27.4% of all abortions performed in the United States. That’s more than double the number that its affiliates performed in 1998, even as the total number of abortions performed in the U.S. dropped 25% during that period.

Planned Parenthood misleadingly claims that abortion represents only three percent of its services. But in order to make abortion seem like a small part of what it does, Planned Parenthood lists every “service” it does equally. If a woman comes in for an abortion, she may also receive a pregnancy test, an Rh-type test, an ultrasound, an antibiotic, a pack of birth control pills, and “other tests as needed.” So, statistically, the abortion is dwarfed by the five or six other services provided, even though the abortion is the reason the woman came to Planned Parenthood.

In fact, 12% of its clients receive abortion services, according to a February 2011 Planned Parenthood factsheet. Therefore, nearly one out of every eight women walking through the door of a Planned Parenthood clinic has an abortion. Of the services Planned Parenthood reported that would have involved pregnant women (abortion, prenatal care, adoption referrals), 97.6% were for abortion.

Planned Parenthood often argues that increased funding will enable it to reduce the number of abortions, but its own annual reports don’t seem to show that. It has an annual income of more than $1 billion. Roughly a third of that comes from federal, state and local governments. Its government funding has increased steadily over the past several years, more than doubling since 1998. But abortions done at Planned Parenthood have not gone down. In fact, they have increased dramatically during that same period, rising at a rate that very nearly matches the rate of those funding increases.

Revenue Planned Parenthood receives in “Government Grants and Contracts” has gone from $165 million in 1998 to $363.3 million in the organization’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2009. During the same time, and at roughly the same rate, abortions have more than doubled at Planned Parenthood — from 165,509 in 1998 to 332,278 in 2009.

Considering all the money that Planned Parenthood takes in, why in the world would Komen divert money that could be put toward breast cancer research to this abortion behemoth? Federal government grants to PPFA are, by law, not allowed to pay for abortion per se, but the money is certainly used to build infrastructure and promote the organization. Komen, too, says the funds it gives PPFA are not used for abortion, but it helps to bring new clients through the door.

Komen’s support of the nation’s largest abortion provider is ironic in that, while Komen works to find a cure for breast cancer, Planned Parenthood is providing a “service” that contributes to the increase of breast cancer. There is a substantial body of evidence to show that getting an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. Joel Brind, Ph.D., one of the foremost researchers to make the abortion-breast-cancer link, estimates that upwards of 10,000 cases of breast cancer each year are attributable to induced abortion.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has created the public image of an organization doing good. Unfortunately, when you think Komen, you have to also think Planned Parenthood; and when you think Planned Parenthood, you have to think abortion.

Carol Tobias is the president of the National Right to Life Committee, a federation of 50 state right-to-life organizations and more than 3,000 local chapters nationwide. National Right to Life, the nation’s largest and oldest pro-life group, works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Reexamining breast cancer treatment

New research may make some surgery unnecessary for women with breast cancer . . .

Oncologists may soon change the way they treat early stage breast cancer following a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In recent years, women undergoing lumpectomies had a “sentinel lymph node dissection” (SLND), removing one or two draining lymph nodes from the armpits.

If these nodes were negative, no further surgery was recommended. However, if a sentinel node was positive, the standard of care has been to remove 10 or more additional nodes in the armpit — known as axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Both groups of women would then undergo chemotherapy, radiation and possibly hormonal therapy.

Promising results

ALND can have short-term and long-term complications that can range from mild to disabling. Researchers set out to see if they could avoid ALND without affecting survival rates. The new study included 891 patients at 115 medical centers. All patients had early clinical stage tumors less than three centimeters across. The study found that there was no difference in survival rates between women who underwent sentinel node dissection without ALND and those who underwent ALND.

To help us understand the implications of this study, I turned to Healthnetwork’s 2010 Service Excellence Award recipient, Joseph T. Ostroski, MD, of Baptist Health South Florida. Ostroski is a veteran surgeon who specialized in breast cancer surgery later in his career.

Ostroski was “not surprised by the findings in the JAMA article” and believes that it will change the way many surgeons operate. In recent years, Ostroski and his colleague Robert Derhagopian, MD, director of the Baptist Health Breast Center, have been advocating for a less aggressive surgical approach, eliminating ALND in women who meet certain criteria.

The results of the JAMA study are very promising, Ostroski said. Baptist Health, as well as MD Anderson Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, are beginning to eliminate ALND among patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes if they are going to be treated with subsequent systemic therapies and whole-breast radiation therapy. This spares the patient from unnecessary short-term or long-term complications that could result from ALND.

Ostroski feels that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to breast cancer treatment. There are variables other than the size of a tumor — like age and hormone receptor status — that a doctor needs to factor in when designing an individual treatment plan. Ostroski explains that physicians “try to tailor treatments and procedures to the person in order to cause the least morbidity, to get all of the cancer, to subject the patient and family to the least economic hardship and to provide a social and spiritual resource to those individuals involved in the person’s care.”

According to the American Cancer Society, there are 208,000 new cases of breast cancer each year in the U.S., making it the second most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in women. If you or a loved one would like more information on breast cancer centers of excellence across the country, contact Healthnetwork today.

Susan Locke, MD, is Healthnetwork Foundation’s medical director.

Healthnetwork is a Legatus membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. One Call Starts It All: (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. Email: help@healthnetworkfoundation.org