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Breast Cancer Deception
by Sherrill Sellman
Every October since 1985, pink
ribbons are displayed in posters, magazine advertisements, and proudly adorn
women's lapels heralding Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The multitudes of runs,
hikes, walks, and other fundraising events raise hundred of millions of dollars
to conquer that dreaded scourge of the modern woman, breast cancer. High profile
companies like Avon, Lee Denim, and Revlon have joined ranks along with the
Susan G. Komen Foundation's "Race for the Cure", and the City of Hope
Hospital's "Walk for Hope". Popular celebrities lead the charge.
Each year, 180,000 women will be
diagnosed with breast cancer and 44,000 will die of the disease. The US has one
of the highest breast cancer rates in the world. Fifty years ago the incidence
of Breast Cancer for a woman's lifetime risk was one in twenty. Now it has
skyrocketed to one in eight. Clearly the so-called war on cancer has not even
made a dent in the breast cancer epidemic as the rates continue to climb at the
rate of one per cent per year.
The motto of Breast Cancer
Awareness Month is "Early Detection is Your Best Protection". The
National Cancer Institute stated in 1995 that "Breast cancer is simply not
a preventable disease". This tune was reiterated in 1997 by the American
Cancer Society who also announced that "there are no practical ways to
prevent breast cancer -- only early detection."1 So mammograms are the front
line of defense. Celebrities like Rosie O'Donnell offer free t-shirts with the
honorable words "I've Been Squished" if you'll make a date with your
local x-ray department.
So let's all join in and wave
our pink ribbons and don those running shoes and take to the roads, right? Wait!
Before you get swept up by the emotional frenzy of this call to arms, there is
something you should know.
Who Profits from Breast Cancer?
Breast Cancer Awareness month's
primary sponsor and mastermind of the event in 1985 was Zeneca Pharmaceuticals,
now known as AstraZeneca. Zeneca is the company that manufactures the
controversial and widely prescribed breast cancer drug, Tamoxifen. Did you know
all TV, radio, and print media campaigns are paid for and must be approved by
It is less known that Zeneca
also makes herbicides and fungicides. One of their products, the organochlorine
pesticide, Acetochlor is implicated as a causal factor in breast cancer. Its
Perry Ohio chemical plant is the third largest source of potential cancer
causing pollution in the U.S., spewing 53,000 pounds of recognized carcinogens
into the air in 1996.2
Why The Breast Cancer Increase?
When it comes to environmental
toxicity, carcinogens found in pesticides, herbicides, plastics, and other toxic
chemicals that are known to cause cancer -- especially breast cancer -- there is
booming silence by all Breast Cancer Awareness Month programs. Did the alarming
increase of breast cancer rates just mysteriously happen? Or perhaps, the focus
on the cure has conveniently ignored the cause? After, all it wouldn't really be
good PR for Zeneca to have it known that their chemical products directly
contribute to the breast cancer epidemic.
Many experts predicted as far
back as 30 years ago that cancer rates would increase, citing an explosion of
synthetic chemicals. From 1940 through the early 1980's, production of synthetic
chemicals increased by a factor of 350.
Billions of tons of toxic
substances that never existed are now released into the environment. Yet only 3
percent of the 75,000 chemicals in use have been tested for safety.3 These toxic
time bombs are found in our water, air, and soil. Women who live near toxic
waste dumps have 6.5 times the incidence of breast cancer.
A survey conducted by Dr. Mary
Wolff of Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York found that women with breast cancer had
four times the levels of DDE found in non-carcinogenic tumors.4 Also, another
study investigated why upper class women in the community of Newton,
Massachusetts had higher breast cancer rates than the lower economic women.5 The
researchers attributed the increase to greater use of professional lawn care
service and more dry cleaning.
Pesticides & Breast Cancer
The pesticide breast cancer link
was stunningly highlighted in research from Israel which linked three
organochlorine pesticides detected in dairy products to an increase of 12 types
of cancer in 10 different strains of mice. After public outcry in 1978, the
Israeli government was forced to ban the pesticides Benzene Hexachloride, DDT,
and Lindane. Interestingly, breast cancer mortality rates which had increased
every year for 25 years, dropped nearly 8 per cent for all age groups and
dropped more than a thirty-three percent for women ages 25-34 in 1986.6
The American Cancer Society was
founded with the support of the Rockefeller family in 1913. Members of the
chemical and pharmaceutical industry have long had a place on its board. Could
that have something to do with the fact that the American Cancer Society's
latest report on cancer prevention makes no mention of environmental factors?
on the next page:
Tamoxifen: Cure or Cause?;
Zeneca: Two Sides to the Coin;
Mammograms: Adding Injury to
Can We Do Anything?
Another article by Ms.
of the Dark Side of Tamoxifen
Sellman's eight years of research
in writing the book "Hormone
What Women Must Know About Their
Info/Order this book
by this author:
Heresy: What Women Must Know About Their
by Sherrill Sellman.
Info/Order this book
SELLMAN is a psychotherapist, lecturer, and Women's Health Educator. Sherrill actively writes for health
magazines in over 12 different countries and presents public and
corporate lectures and trainings in Australia, New Zealand, America,
Canada, and England. Sherrill offers a Hormonal Balancing Coaching
Program by phone consultation at (918) 437-1058. For further info visit www.ssellman.com
or email [email protected].
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