Thursday, March 27, 2014

Awareness of Breast Cancer Awareness

It's March 27, 2014 and I'm confronted once again with Breast Cancer Awareness.  I feel that it is my duty to be aware, since I have a 14 year old daughter who may at one point in her life have the disease and I want the best for her.  Unfortunately, I live in a world of corrupt humans and corporations that have bills to pay which influence their decisions to keep ineffective drugs on the market, and perform unnecessary procedures and surgeries to pay off school loans.  I don't just see this in cancer treatment.  My dentist has to pay off her new building loan of a million dollars, so I just happen to need a bunch of crowns which she makes in her office while I wait.  This last one was rejected by insurance, until it was resubmitted and my tooth still rests nicely in my jaw without treatment - over a year later.

But let's get back to breast cancer awareness and more specifically mammograms, since that's the hot pink topic.  I currently know of 5 friends who have had mastectomies.  I want to fight against all cancers, having a great uncle that died of lung cancer and a grandfather that died of prostate cancer.  I had a manager who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 34, who was active and seemed "healthy".  Two months later, medicine destroyed his liver and he was dead. This issue is very personal to some, and it might be difficult to take a look at the other side of the issue, but I think it is important to be aware of Breast Cancer Awareness.  It's easy to cheer for a cause that everyone sees as a no-brainier, but what scares me is what is under the pink ribbon that we don't see.  BCA sets off my internal warning signs that there is something more dangerous than cancer.  Maybe the "Rent a Patient" insurance scam from April 24, 2003 has something to do with my concern.

I would love it if I thought we were being effective through early detection, and that mammography had a positive effect on survival rates.  Based on what I have randomly read over the past few years, this is not the case and I'm going to attempt to demonstrate why I believe what I believe.  We can't detect it early enough, so the best prevention is to do what Angelina Jolie did - cut them off BEFORE it's even an issue.  But that doesn't guarantee that we will not get cancer in another part of our body.  Perhaps the cure is to emasculate ourselves, destroying cancer in the process.

I'm going to use the omniscient Google, to search through the years of reports on breast cancer to provide you with a list of articles which don't repeat the same study.  After reading these articles, I will re-draw my conclusions:

 Issue #1 - Breast Cancer Awareness is a Scam - Where is the money going?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Is A Marketing Scam
Oct 7, 2013 - Opinion that money raised for Breast Cancer Awareness is not going into solving the problem.

I Will Not Be Pinkwashed: Why I Do Not Support Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Oct 22, 2011 - "The organization’s biggest sponsors are — surprise! — the corporations that profit from cancer through chemotherapy and radiation. To them, Komen for the Cure isn’t really 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."

The Big Business of Breast Cancer
Sept, 14, 2011 - "Some $6 billion a year is committed to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns. Is it any wonder that the disease has become a gold mine for pink profiteers and old-fashioned hucksters?...Roughly 5 percent, or 70,000, breast cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage, after the cancer has metastasized — that rate hasn't budged since 1975, despite all the medical advances and awareness campaigns."

The Pink Ribbon Marketing Scam
Oct 10, 2010 - Opinion that companies are keeping the money and not donating.

Issue #2 - Screening Doesn't Save Lives

There is a difference between "screening" and "diagnosing".  Diagnosing is when a lump is found either after screening or from an examination where a lump is discovered.

I would like to point out that "saving a life" is a misnomer.  Human life is genetically programmed for death at a maximum of 120 years, with an average of 70 to 80 years.  The goal is to prolong a life, but it's not just about taking a next breath;  It's about a quality of life.  Is it right to destroy the life quality of 10 people for 2 years, in order to give 1 person 20 years of life?  Can the radiation dose of mammograms actually cause breast cancer?

Study Of 1.8 Million: Breast Screening Increases ‘Lethal’ Breast Cancer Incidence
March 10, 2014 -  "Enrollment in Norway’s breast screening program increased the chance of being diagnosed with an early-stage breast ‘cancer’ diagnoses by 221%, and more disturbingly, increased the chance of being diagnosed with an advanced (lethal) breast cancer by 35% — exactly opposite what would be expected if the mammograms were actually catching malignant tumors early..."

Mammograms do not reduce breast cancer deaths, study finds
Feb 12, 2014 - "In the study, half of the women had yearly mammograms, along with yearly physical breast examinations, for five years. The other half received only physical examinations and usual care.  After 20 years, 3,250 women in the mammography group and 3,133 in the control group had been diagnosed with breast cancer; 500 women in the mammography group and 505 women in the control group had died of breast cancer.  The results also suggested that one of every 424 women who underwent mammograms in the study was falsely diagnosed as having breast cancer, according to the study."

There’s another side to the Amy Robach breast cancer story
Nov 12, 2013 - "Did the mammogram save her life, as one doctor was quoted as saying? The answer, of course, is we don’t know. While mammography is capable of finding about 26% of cancers at a point where it makes a life-saving difference in the outcome, it also finds many lesions which would never have gone on to be life-threatening and others which will still be life-threatening in spite of early detection and rigorous screening."

Breast cancer screening Qs answered (CNN)
Oct 8, 2013 - "It is estimated that 1,900 women will have to undergo an annual mammogram in order to save one life. A substantial number of these women (by some estimates more than half) will have an abnormal screen during that decade. These abnormal screens require additional testing and inconvenience. This, of course, also causes a lot of fear and worry. Most of those abnormalities will turn out to be clinically insignificant...A small number of women will develop breast cancer before the age of 40. No organization recommends mammography for average-risk women under 40."

Mammography: Saving Lives or Overdiagnosis Overkill?
May 21, 2013 - Some light on the CNN statistics, "For every 2,000 women invited to screen for breast cancer over a period of 10 years, one death from breast cancer will be avoided (thank God!) but this life saved comes at a price. Ten healthy women – who didn’t need treatment because they would have never become symptomatic or died from their disease – will wind up diagnosed and treated for breast cancer unnecessarily...After screening mammography was introduced, 1.5 million additional women were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, which would be great if that meant 1.5 million fewer diagnoses of late stage breast cancer.  But that’s not what happened. Only 0.1 million fewer women were diagnosed with late stage breast cancer, meaning that most of the women diagnosed with breast cancer were overdiagnosed. They were never destined to develop symptoms or die from breast cancer, but they got treated anyway."

Mammography Technology Ineffective in Finding Breast Cancer
July 29, 2011 - "Computer-aided detection (CAD) technology is ineffective in finding breast tumors, and appears to increase a woman's risk of being called back needlessly for additional testing following mammography, a large UC Davis study has found."

Issue #3 - Big Pharm is About Sales, NOT Lives

Costly Cancer Drug Offers Hope, but Also a Dilemma
July 6, 2008 - "And despite its price, which can reach $100,000 a year, Avastin has become one of the most popular cancer drugs in the world, with sales last year of about $3.5 billion, $2.3 billion of that in the United States.  But there is another side to Avastin. Studies show the drug prolongs life by only a few months, if that."

It took the US almost 2.5 years to take the drug off the shelf...

Cancer drug Avastin loses US approval
Nov 18, 2011 - "The company says it expects the medicine will generate $7.6bn of revenue annually, despite the FDA decision."

What drugs are on the shelf now, that are harming people with major side effects, without a major return on life?

My Conclusion

I believe that there is a lot of money to be made from cancer.  There's actually a huge amount of money to be made from cancer.  Is it worth $100,000 for 3 months of extra life?  What would you do that is so important, that you can't do it now?

King Hezekiah asked God for 15 more years of life when he had an illness and God granted him 15 more years.  You really need to be careful what you ask for:  "Those last 15 years of Hezekiah’s life were not his best. It was in those last years that he had a son named Manassah who is recorded as being the worst king in Judah’s history. It was also in the last 15 years of his life that he allowed ambassadors from Babylon to come in to see his kingdom. These delegates from Babylon would bring back to their kingdom information that would eventually cause them to invade Judah and Jerusalem years later. Isaiah strongly rebukes Hezekiah for his lack of judgment in allowing these men to see everything in the kingdom, and Isaiah tells Hezekiah that a lot of horrible things were going to happen to Jerusalem in the future. Upon hearing the report, Hezekiah is actually glad because the bad things won’t start until after he is gone. That’s a pretty selfish attitude if you ask me."

Who or what really heals the human body?  What do treatments really do?

Luke 8 - "And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.  "Who touched me?" Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you." But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."  Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed."

This woman was healed.  Where is she now?  Our mind resists the fact that we're going to die.

After all of this, I can't in good conscious recommend a screening mammogram for my daughter.  Perhaps, by the time she is 30 there will be a better screening process, with statistics to back it up.  If she were of age now, I would recommend a normal breast exam and a diagnostic if something is found.

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