I’m actually feeling “Pinkwashed”—it seems like everywhere in “Pinktober” some company was ready to sell us something pink for “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” from boxing gloves to bungee cords, even items that contribute to cancer such as chicken fried with vegetable/GMO oil and cosmetics–with known carcinogen ingredients. Cancer has become as commercialized as Christmas and Mother’s Day. According to the American Cancer Society, about 12% of women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. A lung cancer survivor myself, I’ve been immersed in researching causes and prevention of all kinds of cancer. There’s no doubt that most are aware of breast cancer. However, my findings surprised me about what most are unaware of, and motivated me to caution women about ‘buying’ all that the mainstream is ‘selling’ us.
An Alternative to Cancer-Causing Mammograms
I’m excited to report that there’s a totally safe exam, thermography which uses heat sensing cameras) to detect pre-cancerous tissue eight to ten years before mammograms can. Now that’s truly ‘early detection’ and most urban areas now have this technology available.
As documented by Dr. Joseph Mercola (mercola.com), natural health expert, and other health practitioners, there is convincing evidence that mammograms contribute to cancer. He points out that you can get as much radiation from one mammogram as you would from 1,000 chest X-rays. He continues, saying that as mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, this can lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist.
The risk of radiation is higher among younger women. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) released evidence that, among women under 35, mammography could cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies. As Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world’s top cancer experts, stated, “The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1%, with a cumulative 10% increased risk for each breast over a decade’s screening.”
Dr. John W. Gofman, an authority on the health effects of ionizing radiation, estimates that 75% of breast cancer could be prevented by avoiding or minimizing exposure to the ionizing radiation from mammography, x-rays and other medical and dental sources.
Since mammographic screening was introduced, the incidence of a form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has increased by 328%. Two hundred percent of this increase has been attributed to mammography.
Health experts are becoming increasingly concerned about the problem of breast cancer over-diagnosis including false diagnosis. Women who, because of mammogram recommendations, are subjected to excruciating surgery, radiation or chemotherapy to treat cancers that never would have become dangerous, and which they never would have known about if not for the mammogram. An independent panel from the United Kingdom concluded in 2012 that 19% of all breast cancer diagnoses are over-diagnosis, detecting cancers that pose no health risk. Other estimates have ranged from 5% to as high as 50%, according to Natural News.
Race for Perpetuating the Cancer Industry
All across America, men and women participate in “run for the cure” events. What little of the money raised (mostly spent for organizational growth and ‘awareness’) which is spent on prevention/services is spent on “free” mammograms. Those mammograms, in turn, actually contribute to breast cancer since they subject women to high doses of ionizing radiation. Among many, two prominent doctors in an article published in the British Medical Journal, have sharply condemned the organization for lying about the “benefits” of mammograms.
“Their Foundation owns stock in KFC and Coca Cola with product ingredients that contribute to cancer; GE, one of the largest makers of mammogram machines in the world; DuPont, a major polluter; Monsanto, producer of GMOs, glyphosate and other carcinogenic chemicals; and pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, which produces the cancer treatment drug tamoxifen as a prevention device for healthy but high-risk women, despite vehement opposition by most other breast cancer groups because of its links to uterine cancer,” reports Tony Isaacs at Natural News. There are even pink fracking drill bits for an industry shown to pollute air, land and water sources and contribute to increased risk of cancer and birth defects, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (nrdc.org).
“In sum, it seems evident that the campaign isn’t about finding a cure for cancer; it’s about promoting cancer so that they can sell more drugs and radiotherapy that keeps more patients locked into a cycle of dependence on toxic cancer treatments,” says Natural News.
Think of it this way: Buy a bucket of junk food or drink liters of high fructose sodas, and pretend as though you’re helping to save lives through these “sponsors of pink”, while you slowly take your own.
Black Women Targeted
According to research reported in Natural News, “Notably, Black women are targeted with mammogram trucks — “mobile cancer stations” — in low-income neighborhoods in cities like Detroit where breast cancer among African American women is far more common than in White neighborhoods. The result of all this is increased rates of breast cancer due to the mammography itself. This, in turn, results in statistics which are cited by the organization itself to spread fear and alarm over the disease, justifying their very existence.”
Think Before You Participate in Pink
1. Does any money from my purchase go to support breast cancer programs? How much?
Can you tell how much money from your purchases will go to support legitimate breast cancer programs? If not, consider giving directly to the charity of your choice instead. Example: Recently, a shoe company sold pink ribbon clogs—while none of the portion of those sales went toward their already set donation of $25,000.
2. What organization will get the money? What do they do with the funds, and how do these programs help reverse the breast cancer epidemic?
Does the money go to truly addressing the root causes of the epidemic, like social inequities that lead to women of color and poor women dying more often of breast cancer, or environmental toxins (including in nearby dumps, our processed food, cleaning products and GMO produce) that are contributing to high rates of breast cancer? Before donating, check the recipient organization’s website to make sure that its mission and activities are in line with your personal values.
3. Does this purchase put you or someone you love at risk for exposure to toxins linked to breast cancer?
Many companies have sold pink ribbon products that are linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Example: In 2011, “the Cure” commissioned a perfume called Promise Me that contains unlisted chemicals that are regulated as toxic and hazardous, have not been adequately evaluated for human safety, and have demonstrated negative health effects. Although they said they would reformulate future versions of the perfume, without official adoption of the precautionary principle, there is no guarantee that future versions are better.
If you have doubts about your pink purchases and participation, consider giving directly to a breast cancer organization whose work you believe is most essential. Local recommendations: www.beatcancer.org and www.artofwellnesscenter.com; and nationally: www.cancercrackdown.org, and www.thetruthaboutcancer.com.
Steps to Take to Keep Healthy
It’s best to consult with your naturopathic, osteopathic or integrative doctor to individualize your approach. Generally, you can consider these guidelines:
• Use thermography for testing
• Reduce bra wearing, especially with under wires, which restrict the functioning of the body’s lymphatic system
• Use chemical free deodorant
• Treat yourself with reflexology, massage and/or acupuncture to keep your energy flowing
• Take 200 mcg selenium and 1000-2000 mg of Vitamin D3 daily (or 20 minutes of sunshine at least 3 times per week and eat wild salmon, not farm grown or wild caught)
• Check and maintain iodine levels (simple test via doctor prescribed SSKI; food sources are organic eggs and spirulina)
• Drink water (1/2 body weight in ounces daily) and exercise or move at least 10 minutes every hour.
References: www.naturalnews.com, https://bcaction.secure.nonprofitsoapbox.com, www.alternet.org. www.mercola.com; nrdc.org; “Heal Breast Cancer Naturally: 7 Essential Steps™ for Beating Breast Cancer” by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers.