As I read the Times this morning, I gagged on my breakfast and that pit in my stomach grew. The US Preventative Task Force has come out with a new recommendation. For women ages 40-70, at high risk for breast cancer, they are recommending taking two very powerful breast cancer drugs, Tamoxifen or Raloxifene, to help prevent the disease. But oh…be forewarned, the drugs may cause blood clots, strokes and uterine cancer. Most likely in older women, but hey you never know.
Does anyone else see the lunacy in this recommendation? I am not a doctor, but if I was advising any woman with an increased risk of breast cancer, I would tell them, the best prevention is…a clean, healthy diet. A low acidic diet–one with lots of fresh leafy, green vegetables. One low in sugar and to completely avoid sodas and all processed foods. To stay away from canned foods lined with an epoxy resin made from BPA, an endocrine disruptor or a chemical that mimics estrogen that has been shown to cause breast cancer. Or I would tell them to avoid Genetically Modified Foods. That endless, non-industry financed studies show a direct connection to breast cancer. Or I would tell them to be careful of all the sources of flouride which can also cause cancer. Or avoid aluminum anti-perspirants. Studies show the aluminum can lead to breast cancer….
I would tell them to put themselves first and to nurture their bodies, minds and spirits. Their families will only be as good as they are. To never sacrifice ones own needs. Yes, a pill may seem easier, but the benefits of doing the work to change diet and lifestyle certainly will not only help prevent breast cancer, but enhance life as well! A win-win!
Mostly I would tell these women that our bodies are not just our breasts and that to take a pill to provide security in one area of our body that may lead to disease in another is hypocrisy. Our bodies stay healthy only when we treat them in a holistic sense– that the whole must function together properly, not in bits and pieces. Western medicine is known for compartmentalizing. Every doctor has their specialty. They may succeed in curing the specific area of specialty, but often at the expense of another area?!!
I have said it before, but why does our society quickly jump to a drug as the answer and the cure? No doubt the pharmaceuticals behind these two drugs benefit from this recommendation, but what about the women? I have had friends with breast cancer on these drugs and they are not to be taken lightly. We are not talking about a baby aspirin!!The side effects are life impairing and not just physically. There are mental/emotional side effects as well (although not mentioned in the recommendation.) One friend against the advice of her doctor just stopped. Best decision she ever made. She got her life back.
Even as the NY Times reported this announcement, I found it odd their reiteration of the facts. No mention of other preventative strategies or inquiry into glaring omissions by the Task Force. What about a recommendation by the committee to rid this world of all the toxins driving the ridiculous rates of cancer? Why does our country continually play on fears– driving people to make irrational decisions like medicating and potentially doing more harm to our bodies to prevent something we may not ever get in the first place? Just the fact that they do not even mention any preventative measures other than drugs in the recommendation is negligence.
Can you tell I am just a little mad? Too many people will rely on this recommendation as the voice of authority ignoring the one voice they should listen to the most…their own. Once you find that voice, please use it. Help make people more aware. With awareness comes much needed change.