When you ask women about how they can reduce their risk of breast cancer you’ll usually hear regular mammograms, avoiding the birth control pills and to reduce exposure to environmental pollutants. And this is about all you’ll hear from doctors as well.
With over $8 billion spent on treating breast cancer in 2004 and with our tax dollars soon to be dedicating close to a billion dollars annually on breast cancer research it’s time we got serious about finding ways to prevent breast cancer?
It just seems like common sense to save lives and money by preventing the problem in the first place rather than after the fact and having to spend billions on cleaning up the mess!!
But the truth is we have the research but nobody is listening, nobody has put the pieces to the puzzle together. The reasons for this is primarily because a lot of the research on breast cancer from countries like Greece, Italy, France, the UK, Japan, Croatia, the Chech Republic and others has focused on specific nutrients and food extracts.
To offer just one example I’ll refer to just 2 out of many papers on the causes of breast cancer.
Many studies mark the relationship between thyroid disease and breast cancer. The first of its kind came out of Pisa, Italy where they demonstrated that 50% of the 103 women with ductal cell carcinoma (breast cancer) had undiagnosed thyroid conditions. These included thyroid goiter (most often caused by low iodine), Hashimoto’s (thyroid autoimmune condition) and sub-acute thyroiditis (inflammation).
It’s worth noting that the WHO has estimated that the number of people in the world with undiagnosed hypothyroidism is approximately 750 million with 2 billion having iodine deficiencies.
The percentage of the participants in the Pisa study with thyroid disease would have been even higher if both subclinical and sub-optimal hypothyroidism had been included. The conclusion of this research suggested that physicians should screen their breast cancer patients for thyroid problems.
Yet here is such a typical example of how a conclusion can be too narrow because it remains disconnected from other relevant research.
Many other studies from around the world have connected iodine intake with the lowered incidence of breast cancer.
In 1976 the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, published a study focusing on the incidence of cancers in various countries around the world. At that time this study shook the world because it exposed the much higher rate of breast cancer in U.S. women as compared with Japanese women. Their conclusion found the only variable between the two cultures was the high intake of iodine rich foods found in Japan.
How are the two studies, the one from Italy and the one from The Lancet, possibly related?
These studies overlap with a couple of important points.
The first is that women with breast cancer have a high incidence of thyroid issues. I suppose we could also look at it from the other angle as well, that women with thyroid issues have a higher incidence of breast cancer, which has actually been proven. Women taking a thyroid prescription have 3 times the risk of developing breast cancer and there are reasons for this.
The second point is that we know thyroid goiter, low thyroid hormones and Hashimoto’s have their origin in inadequate intake of iodine and iodide.
Your physician may not agree with this last statement regarding Hashimoto’s but that is only because he or she is not familiar with the latest research.
So, might an iodine deficiency cause a woman to develop an enlarged thyroid? Most definitely.
Might an iodine deficiency cause a woman to develop Hashimoto’s? Certainly.
Might an iodine deficiency cause a woman to develop hypothyroidism and taking a thyroid medication increase their risk of developing breast cancer? I already answered this one.
Might an iodine deficiency predispose a woman to develop breast cancer? Yes and this research along with about another 20 articles should be compelling enough to incite women to take action.
Medicine always turns to research to prove its point and to establish protocols and guidelines for their physicians to follow. Yet, here is the research but no one is applying it in their practice.
Our system, when it comes to breast cancer, is one sided, focusing on surgery, prescriptions and radiation. Our system does not focus on prevention but sides with treatment from their narrower perspective.
I suggest that any woman with a family history of breast cancer or thyroid disease should be fully screened for any thyroid issue. And by the word ‘fully’ I mean a MUCH more in-depth screening than what is being recommended these days even with endocrinologists. This topic of diagnosing thyroid issues requires much more explanation.
The point here is that we have the research. We know a great deal about the prevention of breast cancer. We just need to implement it.
Will it reach mainstream some day? Maybe.
But I suspect it never will until women become informed and educated. It is, after all, our bodies, our lives which we have so trustingly placed into the hands of professionals who are looking at us through their own set of lenses.
Dr. Alexander Haskell’s recent publication, Low Thyroid Hormone Symptoms, 7 Causes & 7 Solutions, dives deep into the topics of low thyroid hormones and breast cancer to offer answers, solutions and hope to millions of women. His 30 years of clinical experience as a licensed Naturopathic Physician and his last 2 years of medical research have provided him with a unique voice and practical, clinically relevant point of view. His publication is a testimony to the ideology of medicine; to educate, to empower and to encourage.
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