Marching for breast cancer

Why is prevention so seldom emphasized? Because there is no money in prevention — at least not to the pharmaceutical industry, which funds the messages informing you and your doctor that the cure will come from a pill bottle.

by Dr. Martha M. Grout — 

We are awash in pink these days in an effort to fight breast cancer — but it is amazing how we go about it.

We stage fundraisers selling sugary confections; yet sugar feeds cancer, so there is such a mixed message there. We sell pink pots and pans coated with Teflon, yet the chemical C-8 in Teflon has been linked to cancer and organ damage. Advertisements encourage us to eat soy, yet soy has been shown to encourage breast cancer cells to metastasize.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

Though they certainly make us feel better, our coordinated efforts do not always empower us to head off breast cancer. Yet we can. Are you listening? Yes, we can reduce the incidence of breast cancer.

One hundred years ago, perhaps one in 70 people had cancer. Today it is likely that one in two men and one in three women will contract cancer. What has changed?

Today we are awash in a sea of chemicals — fertilizers, pesticides, food additives, solvents, stain-free fabrics, fire-retardant mattresses, formaldehyde-treated furniture — you name it. Between the chemical assault and the lack of old-fashioned nutrition these days, our bodies are breaking down.

To reduce your odds of becoming a statistic, you can start connecting the dots.

Here is one: According to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people using chlorinated water is as much as 93 percent higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.” According to BreastCancerFund.org, “One common factor among women with breast cancer is that they all have 50 to 60 percent higher levels of chlorination byproducts in their fat tissue than women without breast cancer …” So filter the water you drink and bathe in, and substitute germ-killing distilled white vinegar for bleach.

Here is another: Conservatively, one-third of us probably have an iodine deficiency, which often leads to an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). Eventually, cancerous nodules can form in the thyroid gland. Medical school teaches doctors to treat enlarged thyroid glands with thyroid hormone, without considering a lack of iodine as a cause. Failure to diagnose and treat iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk in breast cancer. So head to your doctor’s office educated and prepared.

Here’s a third: Legions of medical experts with little understanding of nutrition scold us for risking skin cancer by spending time in the sun; yet for millions of years the sun supplied mankind’s vitamin D, which boosts immunity against all manner of ills, including breast cancer.

Prevention occurs early in life, through a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables, some fish and organic meat, and small amounts of complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and brown rice. Avoid all added chemicals, colorings, preservatives, shelf-life extenders and newfangled vegetable oils. Being unable to pronounce the contents on a product’s label is a good indicator that you should not eat it.

This method does not have the glamorous appeal of an “instant cure,” but what are the odds that something caused in great part by poor nutrition and a chemically saturated environment can be “cured” with a pill?

Why is prevention so seldom emphasized? Because there is no money in prevention — at least not to the pharmaceutical industry, which funds the messages informing you and your doctor that the cure will come from a pill bottle.

So, march for solidarity, for companionship, and to honor the ill and the dead. Then learn everything you can about prevention, and commit to making the changes that will keep you from becoming a breast cancer statistic.

 

Dr. Martha M. Grout, M.D., M.D.(H), serves on the Arizona State Board of Homeopathic Medical Examiners and formerly sat on the Arizona State Board of Acupuncture. www.crossroadsclinic.net, drmartha@crossroadsclinic.net or 480-240-2600.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 2, April/May 2007.

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