Truth in Medicine/Commentary
October 1, 2009

The Economics of Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer: the "poster child" for health-care reform and women's wellness rights


A medical investigation and commentary

by Catherine J. Rourke

Published as an ongoing combined annual series: October 23, 2007; October 6, 2008; and October 10, 2009

Winner, 2010 National Federation of Press Women Award for Health Commentary in the Public Interest


The truth about profitable and toxic treatments is

more disturbing than the disease itself and the failure to promote genuine prevention

Perhaps no American industry is more profitable than than the big, booming business of breasts. From bras to topless bars and breast enhancement, the list of boob-generated revenue remains endless. Mammary glands, along with wombs and vaginas, are a financial hot commodity for many big businesses, not just the medical variety.

And then there's the multi-trillion-dollar industry of breast cancer screening and treatment.

While the well-touted tit is receiving more attention than ever this month during the annual "Breast Cancer Awareness" advertising circus, the real culprit isn't just the disease but the big business itself. From mammograms and ultrasounds to biopsies, surgeries, mastectomies, chemotherapy and radiation, women are breast-feeding corporate medical America as it sucks mammoth financial profits from their mammary glands.

And every opportunistic enterprise in America is jumping on the breast cancer bandwagon with big dollar signs in their eyes, from yogurt containers and cereal boxes to toilet tissue.

Like the trillions in women's hygiene product sales aren't enough to feed this insatiable money monster...

Just tie it up with a pretty in pink ribbon to soften the blow to women's bodies, wallets and dignity. So opportunistic are these marketing campaigns feeding off  women's breasts, it could be called the real Victoria's "Secret."

Billions from breasts

While the ubiquitous Pepto-Bismol-Barbie Doll pink appears on everything from NFL uniforms to donuts in "search for the cure," the sad truth is that the cure already exists but remains suppressed to ensure the profits of a multi-trillion dollar industry laughing all the way to the bank off women's pain and anguish.

Exploiting women's bodies for profit is nothing new. But giving them breast cancer -- and then obstructing prevention while denying them healing and prescribing poison for it -- is as sick as it gets and no different or less criminal than the trafficking of human flesh.

Considering the additional trillions earned off women's other reproductive organs and the big business of menses, pregnancy detection, birth control, labor and delivery -- as well as the ever-burgeoning boom of menopause with its array of hormones, supplements and remedies -- the question remains: Just how much is enough?

It takes American capitalism tie up women's dignity and health care rights with an innocent-looking pink ribbon while turning a disease into a "pinkwashing" campaign -- a blatant marketing opportunity that reaps material gain from women's needless suffering and leaves them with an "awareness" overkill every October but little in the way of genuine disease prevention.

Prime example of a reckless system

As the No. 1 cancer threat to women worldwide, breast cancer also represents one of the most improperly treated diseases of our time. Half a century ago, the chances of a woman contracting the disease was 1 in 20. Now it has increased to 1 in 7. Why is this so?


A large sector of American medicine has not widely acknowledged some of the key factors contributing to this growing plague, nor has it guided women toward safe, preventative measures, according to many medical experts.


Breast cancer therefore becomes the "poster child" for everything that is wrong with the health-care industry, gaily decorated with Pepto-Barbie pink ribbon decals everywhere across America right now during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is really more about brainwashing, or "pinkwashing" women into lining up for high-profit treatments that some experts think may even lead to the disease itself.


Media: posing the greatest disservice to women

Tragically, the media still fails to properly inform women of the truth about breast cancer. And, as most women's consumer magazines feature a parade of tributes to the annual October campaign, all fail to mention the most critical updates about breast cancer and are painfully misleading, if not downright trite.

Of course, these magazines are chock full of ads for everything from synthetic hormones, cosmetics, bras and full-page displays for every form of pharmaceutical drug -- the very things the latest research blames as contributory factors in breast cancer. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to read the Observer sidebar: "Resuscitating Media Moral Responsibility for Human Health.")

Even more outrageous is the way every fashion designer, corporation, retailer and manufacturer has jumped on the opportunistic pink-ribbon bandwagon for mass profit, all under the benign guise of compassionate advertising. Meanwhile, malignancies are on the rise while availabe prevention approaches remain hidden in the dark.

Preventing breast cancer, heaven forbid, would greatly diminish the number of women patients being herded like lambs in the slaughterhouse through the plethora of high-dollar and downright dangerous cancer screening and treatment facilities, threatening a huge industry of its excessive profits. That's why it focuses on treatment versus a cure or even prevention. Imagine that!

Just tie a nice pink ribbon around the problem and put out a dish of pink M&M's at the reception desk in all the diagnostic labs and radiation treatment centers. And, oh yes, give her a pink rose on her way out for the damages to her wallet. Candy and flowers just make the "girls" feel a whole lot better about breast cancer.

Better yet, give the NFL cheerleaders some pink pom-poms and let them shake their boobs in pink T-shirts, the tighter the better. That way, there's something in this for the guys as well and the next best thing to a wet T-shirt contest.

That's cancer awareness, American style.

AstraZeneca: astronomical profits

Now after all of that comes the real humdinger for women. If they aren't indignant enough already, the following fact will push breast cancer "awareness" to the forefront better than a push-up bra.

The founder and main sponsor of the annual October pinkwashing program is AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures the controversial and commonly prescribed breast cancer drug, tamoxifen -- one of the most toxic substances included on the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences’ list of cancer-causing agents.

At the same time, AstraZeneca approves and pays for all Breast Cancer Awareness Month media campaigns.


Even more ironic is the fact that AstraZeneca also makes the very herbicides and pesticides that have been attributed to breast cancer itself. Furthermore, its chemical plant in Ohio is the third largest source of potential cancer-causing pollution in the U.S., spewing 53,000 pounds of recognized carcinogens into the air.


Here we have the classic paradox of the American health-care industry: the cause of disease and the expensive drug prescribed for the cure, both extremely toxic and both interwovenly feeding one another.

Tamoxifen: cause or cure?


The pesticide-breast cancer link was presented in research from Israel that linked three pesticides to an increase in 12 types of cancer. When public outcry forced the government to ban them, breast cancer mortality rates, which had increased every year for 25 years, suddenly dropped dramatically.


On a side note, in March 2007, a small but aware group of Sedona residents demanded that the city stop its planned herbicide spraying. It seems political leaders remain mysteriously insulated from the multitude of alarming reports attesting to the dangers of such chemicals on human health. After all, according to city officials, the "EPA said the chemicals were not dangerous."

Yet, after the successful citizen halt on the use of herbicides on city streets that year, the city put it back into use again in 2010. It will be curious to see if breast cancer rates rise in Sedona and how many doctors put these patients on tamoxifen. But one thing is for sure: Everyone will be wearing their pretty pink little ribbons.


The Cancer Establishment

In her book Breast Cancer: Poisons, Profits and Prevention, author Liane Clorfene-Casten highlights the environmental factors contributing to the widespread disease and how the “cancer establishment” profits from women’s misery while repressing alternative solutions and non-invasive treatments.


The author states that, as a result of this reckless approach, women have been brainwashed while the health industry profits from the screening, treatment and removal of their breasts.

"Those who will profit," she writes, "include chemical companies that make not only the cancer-causing pesticides but also the chemotherapy drugs used to fight cancer. Others are major cancer research centers whose well-connected directors shape the national dialogue on cancer."


Clorfene-Casten notes that drug companies, in addition to profiting from cancer medications, sometimes also produce the very toxic chemicals that may be contributing to the high rates of cancer. Yet pharmaceutical corporations pay PR agencies handsome fees to infiltrate media and government with press releases whose profit-motivated propaganda protects their interests, all tied with a pretty pink bow to represent their alleged compassion for the very patients their products may be harming.



Eager cleavers

Some doctors now claim that many mastectomies were unnecessary and avoidable but blame the medical system for being “too eager to put women’s breasts under the knife” for lack of awareness of any other alternatives to treat breast cancer.


Dr. Ralph W. Moss sums it up this way: "Conventional cancer therapy is so toxic and dehumanizing that I fear it far more than I fear death from cancer. We know that conventional therapy doesn't work -- if it did, you would not fear cancer any more than you fear pneumonia."

But surgery is big business in America.

Alternatives "outlawed"

Moss adds: “It is the utter lack of certainty as to the outcome of conventional treatment that virtually screams for more freedom of choice in the area of cancer therapy. Yet most alternative therapies regardless of potential or proven benefit are outlawed, which forces patients to submit to the failures that we know don't work, because there's no other choice."

In her disturbing report, “Unnecessary Mastectomies: Are Breast Cancer Patients Given Accurate Information About their Options?,” Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D., notes that treatment for breast cancer is often based solely on economics, resulting in largely unnecessary mastectomies.

She writes: “Approximately one out of every two American women who have a breast removed as treatment for cancer does not need such radical surgery. Limited information and biased recommendations are undermining breast cancer patients' choices.


"Everyone down the line, from hospitals and surgeons to the drug companies, make millions off mammary glands
while women suffer needlessly."


Access denied

Articles published in some of America’s most prestigious journals show that many of the more than 200,000 women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer every year do not have access to all the information they need to make the treatment choices that are best for them. This raises questions about what doctors know and what they are telling their patients.

Zuckerman chalks up the large number of mastectomies to sheer ignorance and economics, noting that it’s actually cheaper for today’s health-care system to remove cancerous breasts than it is to properly treat or even prevent them. She claims that everyone down the line, from hospitals and surgeons to the drug companies, make millions off mammary glands.

Read the rest of Zuckerman’s shocking statistics at http://www.center4research.org/health8.html. Her research proves that this growing disease that destroys so many women’s lives is all based on the economics of a profit-motivated health-care system.

This is yet another reason why breast cancer exemplifies the atrocities of our current medical industry and the dire need for reform -- not just for economic reasons but to address the need for alternative practices. The bottom line is that it represents a health-rights issue that should have women of all ages storming Washington and the AMA/FDA or, at the very least, interrogating their doctors and questioning their diagnoses and prescribed treatment.

But we haven't even addressed some of the known factors contributing to the sudden rise of the disease: toxic chemicals, processed food void of nutrients but loaded with sugar, plastics, radiation, saturation from technology screens, chronic stress, loss of quality of life, impure water, and dozens of other endocrine and hormone disruptors.

The right-hand column addresses some of these, including mammography, cosmetics, women's undergarments, toiletries and so on, just to name a few.


Preventative remedies

For many years, doctors concluded that mastectomy and chemotherapy were the only solutions. But, since virtually all chemotherapy drugs are toxic and immunosuppressive, they cannot distinguish between cancerous and normal cells and wind up killing both.

Now doctors are beginning to consider alternatives, such as oxygen therapy, bio-identical hormone therapy, marine phytoplankton and a host of other noninvasive treatments. Some even treat the disease as a fungus.

Other measures include Transfer Factors, a treatment for which more than 3,000 published papers and 50 years of research indicate positive results. These approaches all support the Hippocratic principle of “serene behavior.”

Then there's Omega 3 fish oils and EFA's such as evening primrose and a host of assorted antidotes to the disease.

The oxygen theory

Otto Warburg, M.D., believes that a lack of sufficient oxygen delivery to the cells of the breast is a leading cause of breast cancer. Since breast tissue is composed of primarily fatty tissue, it requires large amounts of essential fatty acids, which are oxygen “transferors.”

However, Warburg contends that breast tissue doesn’t receive adequate amounts of EFAs due to the average diet that is high in processed foods. The body uses up the small amount of EFAs present in the modern diet to support major organs, such as the brain, leaving little left for breast tissue.

In a Harvard study using Omega-6 on more than 80,000 nurses, the group with the lowest intake of linoleic acid exhibited the highest incidence of breast cancer.

Has your physician ever explained the need for this simple and inexpensive but potent anti-cancer nutrient? Probably not, unless s/he is a naturopathic practitioner.

The soy ploy?

Higher exposure to estrogens over a lifetime is linked with increased breast cancer risk, and more than 300 foods have been shown to contain phytoestrogenic factors that can pose a detriment to breast health.

One popular nutrient highly touted by the food industry and subsequently by the American consumer and women, in particular, is the revered soy bean, with an extremely high source of these phytoestrogens.

More than 70 percent of the U.S. soy crop is reportedly contaminated since it is genetically modified and uses chemical processes that produce toxins and carcinogens.

The manufacturing of soy milk, which is allegedly the most toxic of all soy products, poses the greatest harm since the beans are transmogrified and deodorized in a chemical process that produces the toxin lysinoalanine. Worst of all, soy is now a major ingredient of many infant formulas and a hidden component in most food -- everything from salad dressings and "health" foods to so-called "power" bars.

Eating our way to cancer?

In addition to the artificial hormones contained in meat, many researchers believe that phytoestrogens found in soy foods can stimulate cell growth and actually lead to a higher risk of tumors and breast cancer.

Some physicians advise women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers or those who are taking the drug tamoxifen for breast cancer to limit their intake of soy products containing phytoestrogens until researchers are able to better understand the effects of soy on breast tumors.

In fact, they also urge women with a strong personal or family history of tumors and breast cancer to completely avoid all soy products.

Debunking the soy myth

In The Whole Soy Story (New Trends Publishing, Incorporated, 2005) author Kaayla T. Daniel, M.D., declares that soy is far from beneficial to human health.

Noting that soy products “have been proven to cause immune system breakdown, thyroid dysfunction and reproductive problems” among many other ailments, Daniel contends that the widespread health claims remain unsubstantiated and represent “corporate marketing strategies supported by the Food and Drug Administration.”

The presence of soy in the American diet is astounding. Read any food label and you will find some form of soy product included. This, Daniel concludes, poses a serious health risk to both men and women, creating a virtual phytoestrogenic soup out of the American diet.

Phytoestrogens have also been blamed for the substantially decreasing levels of testosterone in men as young as 35 and the rising number of prostate cancer cases.

Another physician, Stuart Berger, M.D., labels soy as one of the “sinister seven” top allergans that trigger negative reactions in people. Soy phytoestrogens, he adds, can potentially increase breast cancer risk and impair human health.

Perhaps it's not the innocent little soybean to blame, and certainly there's no conspiracy in plants or natural foods to undermine human health. Instead, it's the manufacturing and production processes of industrialized food that have rendered such foods as harmful.

Conflicting reports

The Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors at Cornell University reports that the results of human studies on the connection between eating soy products and breast cancer risk are conflicting.

The problem: All but two of the studies have been limited to Asian women, and the effect of soy on them may not reflect much of the population of Western countries. More carefully controlled studies that involve women in the U.S. are needed to examine the effect of soy products on breast cancer.

Higher estrogen exposure may be linked to breast cancer risk through its ability to increase the growth of milk ducts in the breast, where most breast cancer appears. One study administered a soy supplement to 28 women for six months. As a result, the women were found to have more growth of the milk ducts in their breasts.

While the study remains inconclusive, researchers agree that such growth could increase breast cancer risk. Obviously, more extensive studies are needed to evaluate the possible effects of soy phytoestrogens on growth within the breast and changes in hormone levels.


Paving the way to reform

With the U.S. leading other nations in the highest number of breast cancer incidents, the future of health care points toward American women to lead the way to reform. Their very lives depend on it.

Women can make choices that can help reduce breast cancer. The contributing factors have already been documented: Stress, insufficient diet and the lack of EFAs, imbalanced lifestyles, synthetic hormones, unhealthy undergarments, toxic chemicals, toxic emotions from unhealed traumas, harmful drugs and dangerous diagnostic techniques can all cause breast cancer.

If you are a woman suffering from the disease, how many of these factors have your doctors discussed with you? Or did they simply jump right into the usual mode to put you under the knife?

How many devastating cases of breast cancer could be avoided if women switched mammography methods, banned the bra, used the right cosmetics, changed to bio-identical hormone therapy and drank a daily swig of cod liver oil loaded with breast-saving EFAs and linoleic acid? While the average breast screening costs well over $100, a bottle of this miraculous elixir costs less than $10.

Do your homework

If women are to reclaim their health, they must start analyzing their choices. From breast cancer, reproductive maladies and hormonal imbalances, women must take the reins to ensure better care because they remain the most vulnerable under the present system.

Amazingly, an article promoting synthetic hormone replacement therapy recently appeared in one of the largest circulating women’s magazines despite the bevy of recent findings that prove its devastating side effects on female health – from stroke and heart disease to breast cancer, dementia and even death.

Yet how many innocent women will read such an article and unknowingly run to their doctors for Premarin prescriptions?

That's why it will take feminine leadership using a feminine approach of cooperation and collaboration to pave the way to health care reform in America, as well as proper access and treatment of breast cancer and the right to choice in medical modalities.

No more assumptions

People in general must do their own research and educate their doctors. Americans can no longer assume anything is good for them as long as the marketing and packaging and doctor says so. This remains especially critical for women.

Soy is just one example. Synthetic hormones are another.

We must read labels and do our homework to safeguard our well-being in a world where food and medicine have become toxic businesses instead of vanguards for safe, healthy living.

What lies ahead ?

It appears that almost every aspect of our modern world, from food and gadgets to underwear and cosmetics, contains carcinogenic substances, reducing people to walking Petrie dishes for cancer cells to develop and multiply.

Women are even more susceptible because of their sensitive reproductive organs and naturally higher body fat content, which provides ripe soil for cancer cells to thrive and  fat cells that store toxins.

But we cannot live in terror of potential danger lurking in every fork, in every product and every lipstick tube. We must enjoy life to the fullest until more solid evidence can be established for these claims.

What we can do is consume more natural and wholesome products, choosing organic over processed food whenever possible and if affordable. The industrialization of food needs closer scrutiny, as does accepting marketing campaigns and packaging at face value.

Regulation of the runaway food industry remains a must, but by whom -- a government already taking handsome subsidies from corporate food lobbyists? The sugar industry along spends over $75 million in lobbying efforts per annum to ensure that the FDA and your representatives keep you pumped up with foods loaded with hefty amounts of hidden sugar and free from any regulation.

How convenient. This, in turn, ensures that doctors' offices and medical treatment centers will remain in thriving practice to treat your breast cancer cells, which thrive and multiply on sugar -- feeding Big Pharma and a runaway health insurance industry.

The cost of healthy food should not be prohibitive for the average person. Today, good health is now a privilege reserved for the affluent American. Food banks distribute canned goods and hot dogs to the working poor and many former affluent people are joining their ranks as the banking/mortgage industry forecloses on their homes, with their pink slips in hand.

This represents just one facet of the need for health-care reform, a social movement that must address the creation of safeguards against the toxic world created by reckless, ignorant and careless industries whose products and practices need stricter regulation to ensure the well-being of people all over the globe.

A women's rights issue

The breast cancer debacle represents a wake-up call for women to stand up and take their power back. And the future of medicine and the wellness of the planet, in general, now hinges on the sacred feminine as women are forced to illuminate the path to balance, wholeness, harmony, health and life itself.

As always, it is up to women to seize the reins as the partriarchy of big business and government -- from the AMA, FDA and the media as well as health insurance industry and other medical fat pigs-- lead them like sacrifical lambs to the slaughterhouse.

Perhaps, no one has summarized this travesty better than natural health researcher and journalist Mike Adams:

What we really have in America today is a conspiracy against women, erected and operated via collusion between Big Government and Big Pharma, both of which benefit when women are sick, frail, afraid and desperate. A woman who can be scared into chemotherapy is easy to exploit for profit by a predatory cancer industry that puts profits first and human compassion last. (www.naturalnews.com).

Amen, Mike!

What can women do? Do your own research and don't passively accept what your doctor tells you as the gospel truth. Follow your body's natural wisdom and your own intuition and do what you feel is best for you and your health.

Finally, assume nothing and question EVERYTHING -- even this article itself!

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article and its sidebars represent an updated composite of the original "Economics of Breast Cancer" series that first appeared in the Observer on October 23, 2007; October 1, 2008; and October 10, 2009.

Catherine Rourke writes about women's health issues, medical industry reform, work-life balance and other socioeconomic topics. Her book, "Hysteria: A Woman's Search for Wellness in Modern Medicine," exposes the truth about hysterectomies and uterine issues. Visit the WHO page for more information and send e-mail to: editor@SedonaObserver.com.

Read the Observer's "Truth in Medicine" 2010 report on bio-identical hormones and how one doctor is using them to treat breast cancer.


Posted October 17, 2010

Yes, and mammograms cause cancer so the oncologists can make big dollars.  Also cancer is a virus and there are many cures; it is also catchy.  It can be treated homeopathically with great success.

Thank you for all the pro bono work you do and for fighting for women's health rights.  I have done the same for many years   but some people just won't listen. You can lead a horse to water, but can't make him drink.

Antarah Rose



Posted October 9, 2010

Check out Dr. Tullio Simoncini, the Romanian doctor who discusses that cancer is a fungus. See his video in the link below.



Jim Law

Executive Producer

V.O.I.C.E. Entertainment

Sedona, Ariz.

The 5 Stages of

Breast Cancer

"The survival rate for women with DCIS and LCIS is very good — nearly 100%"

Stage 0

Stage 0 is used to describe noninvasive breast cancers, such as Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), and Lobular Carcinoma in Situ (LCIS), which got its name many years ago before doctors realized that it is not breast cancer at all.

In stage 0, there is no evidence of cancer cells or non-cancerous abnormal cells breaking out of the part of the breast in which they started, or of getting through to or invading neighboring normal tissue.

According to the Stanford Cancer Center, LCIS is not really cancer, but rather a noninvasive condition that increases the risk of developing cancer in the future. LCIS, also known as lobular neoplasia or stage 0 breast cancer, occurs when abnormal cells accumulate in the breast lobules.

Each breast has hundreds of milk producing lobules, which are connected to the milk ducts. In LCIS, the abnormal cells are often found throughout the breast lobules and both breasts are affected about 30 percent of the time.

Unlike breast cancer, LCIS does not form a tumor. And unlike DCIS, it does not form abnormal cells that can develop into invasive cancer. That is why no surgery is needed to remove LCIS. Instead, LCIS is one of several conditions that may indicate an increased risk for a woman to develop breast cancer in the future.

DCIS may be discovered when a lump forms within the breast, or the first sign may be the appearance of white specks (microcalcifications) on a routine mammogram.

With DCIS, cancerous cells are confined to the inside of the ducts (fine tubes) within the breast. Since they have not broken through the wall of the breast ducts to affect other breast tissue (become invasive), there is no risk of the cancer cells spreading. This is why DCIS is sometimes called a "pre-cancerous condition."


Stage I

Stage I describes invasive breast cancer (cancer cells are breaking through to or invading neighboring normal tissue) in which:

  • the tumor measures up to 2 centimeters, AND
  • no lymph nodes are involved.


Stage II

Stage II is divided into subcategories known as IIA and IIB.

Stage IIA describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • no tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer cells are found in the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm), OR
  • the tumor measures 2 centimeters or less and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, OR
  • the tumor is larger than 2 centimeters but not larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.

Stage IIB describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • the tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, OR
  • the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.


Stage III

Stage III is divided into subcategories known as IIIA, IIIB, and IIIC.

Stage IIIA describes invasive breast cancer in which either:

  • no tumor is found in the breast. Cancer is found in axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone, OR
  • the tumor is 5 centimeters or smaller and has spread to axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures, OR
  • the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures

Stage IIIB describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • the tumor may be any size and has spread to the chest wall and/or skin of the breast AND
  • may have spread to axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone
  • Inflammatory breast cancer is considered at least stage IIIB.

Stage IIIC describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • there may be no sign of cancer in the breast or, if there is a tumor, it may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast, AND
  • the cancer has spread to lymph nodes above or below the collarbone, AND
  • the cancer may have spread to axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone.


Stage IV

Stage IV describes invasive breast cancer in which:

  • the cancer has spread to other organs of the body -- usually the lungs, liver, bone, or brain

"Metastatic at presentation" means that the breast cancer has spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes, even though this is the first diagnosis of breast cancer. The reason for this is that the primary breast cancer was not found when it was only inside the breast. Metastatic cancer is considered stage IV.





dcis10-06.html - DCIS, LCIS, Pre-Cancer and other "Stage Zero" Breast Conditions: Are Women Getting Mastectomies They Don't Need?

Pink Ribbon Overkill?

Think Before You Pink

Plenty of "awareness" every October and not enough "prevention" spells even more c-a-n-c-e-r for women and big bucks for toxic treatments

The Observer urges browsers to read the following report in Daily Finance titled "Pink Ribbon Overkill: Are companies exploiting breast cancer campaigns?"

Click here for more information on the disgraceful practice of "PINKWASHING."


Click here and learn how to fight pinkwashing now!


Resuscitating Media Moral Responsibility

for Public Health

by the Editors

Published October 1, 2010

Where is the media’s moral responsibility when it comes to protecting public health?

In the morgue, obviously, as the editors and publishers of consumer magazines still fail to feature fact-finding articles warning people about the potential cancer risks associated with soy products, synthetic hormones, bras, cosmetics and other personal products.

We suspect the ad revenues are just too profitable for publishers to ignore instead of worrying about painful breast treatments and a few funerals for some women.

Why aren't more women's and consumer health magazines featuring articles that present breast cancer prevention, solutions and treatment alternatives?

Because the media relies on ads for bras, cosmetics and the very synthetic hormones possibly contributing to the disease, as well as the glut of companies profiting off pink-ribbon campaigns in the pages of the periodical industry. Without ads for pharmaceutical drugs such as Tamoxifen and others, these magazines would cease to exist.

So possible cures and the truth about factors that may contribute to the disease remain suppressed for the sake of profit.

The Observer urges all media to resuscitate the Journalism Code of Ethics and uphold its original precept that “…the press is always for the truth of humanity and indignant at injustice.”



by Catherine J. Rourke

Published October 23, 2007

Medical experts weigh the risks of mammograms, cosmetics and even bras in causing breast cancer



Published October 23, 2007

One factor to consider in the breast cancer epidemic is radiation risk from mammograms, the diagnostic tool preferred by most physicians. While some regard the exposure as minimal, other doctors still warn women about the potential dangers.

While the medical industry and the culture in general obsesses about breast cancer screening for women across America, it continues to ignore proven alternatives, such as thermograpy, that not only minimize invasive radiation but also provide advanced and precise detection of the most minute breast cancer cells that would take traditional mammography 10 years to discover.

Few medical professionals and insurers will embrace the advantages of thermography, which is safer and no more expensive than traditional and digital mammography. Why?

There's simply too much profit to be lost in such a massive multi-trillion dollar medical industry that thrives off women's body parts -- breasts, in particular.

"Screening mammography poses significant and cumulative risks of breast cancer,” says Joseph Mercola, M.D. “The routine practice of taking four films of each breast annually results in approximately 1 rad (radiation absorbed dose) exposure, about 1,000 times greater than that from a chest X-ray.”

Mammo mania

Dr. Charles B. Simone, a former clinical associate in immunology and pharmacology at the National Cancer Institute, agrees with Mercola.

He states: "Mammograms increase the risk for developing breast cancer and raise the risk of spreading or metastasizing an existing growth. In addition, mammography provides false tumor reports between 5 and 15 percent of the time.

"False positive results cause women to be re-exposed to additional X-rays and create an environment of further stress, even possibly leading to unneeded surgery,” Simone concludes.


A digital infrared thermogram uses a heat-sensing camera that develops a color image on a Windows-based computer screen. It detects temperature differentials on the surface of any area of the body.

In mammographic imaging, thermography requires no physical contact with the equipment, no breast compression and no radiation. All a woman has to do is stand in front of the camera and within 12 seconds an image appears on the screen.

According to some doctors, even the earliest signs of breast cancer show up as a warmer area on the screen with distinctive heat patterns at the site of a possible malignancy.

Accuracy or fallacy?

Thermography has been shown to detect the precancerous state of breast tissue up to 10 years before breast cancer is identified by other methods, and a positive thermographic image represents the highest known risk factor for the future development of breast cancer.

Mammography can be a useful follow-up screening tool when thermography reveals a suspicious finding. When used in conjunction with mammography, thermography can detect 95 percent of early-stage breast cancers. It costs $150, or about the same as standard digital mammography.

The FDA approved the procedure as far back as 1982, but its effectiveness in breast cancer screening is till debated among many doctors today who question its accuracy due to "subjectivity in thermal readings."

Digital good news?

Mammographer Carol Conti, formerly of SimonMed Imaging in Cottonwood, Ariz., has been performing mammograms for 30 years. In that time, she says they have saved "many lives."

Conti notes that, while 1 of every 7 women will get the disease, what alarms her are the increasing numbers of young women contracting breast cancer - some as young as 15.

The good news, according to Conti, is that recent advancements in technology have made digital mammography much safer and significantly more accurate.

A high-resolution revolution

Digital mammography takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it directly in a computer, allowing the recorded data to be enhanced, magnified or manipulated for further evaluation. It lets radiologists heighten the contrast between dense tissue and cancerous cells, which both appear as white, cloudy fields on X-ray film mammograms.

Not only does this enable doctors to view larger magnifications instantly and, therefore, the visibility of lurking cancer cells, but it also reduces radiation exposure up to 80 percent, Conti said.

Instead of the old analog mammogram, this technology also reduces the need for retakes, which were common with the old analog mammograms, enabling doctors to discover minute calcification clusters that were often missed or impossible to detect - while reducing additional radiation exposure to the patient.

Less radiation, more detection

Proof of this lies in the radiation exposure detector that sits on Conti's lapel all day long, screening after screening. After three months, there was no radiation detected, she said.

In addition, Conti explained that the digital technology can do something else that former mammograms could not: detect a form of breast cancer that previously remained invisible - Ductal Carcinoma in Situ, or DCIS breast cancer — the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer.

Pinpoints can be magnified larger than life, giving doctors an unprecedented view of cells, cysts, blood vessels, ducts and breast tissue to scan for cancer in its earliest stages. The technology is so precise that even skin pores are highly visible.

Conti demonstrated the technology to The Sedona Observer, displaying an anonymous digital mammogram that contained tiny cancer clusters. Magnifying them on a huge screen, she explained that these would have previously remained undetected without high resolution technology or extremely high quality films.

Saving lives and breasts

"We have saved another life," Conti declared. "We're finding so many more cases of breast cancer that would have gone unnoticed in the past. Since we're able to catch these cancer cells in much earlier stages now, that means women don't have to face losing their breasts."

Conti explained that digital technology not only saves diagnosis time, but is also less invasive and more comfortable for the patient. "Think of it as the same advantage you experienced when you switched from film to digital photography," she said.

A 2005 study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute concluded that digital mammography is superior to film mammography for certain women. It also advised that good detection also depends on the right reading by a good radiologist.

A digital mammogram generally costs $150 and some insurance companies will cover the procedure.

One mammographer's view

As for breast cancer itself, Conti believes that exposure to environmental toxins, such as herbicides and pesticides, along with radiation from TV and computer screens, microwave towers and cell phones, are the primary culprits.

Conti also blames the high antibiotic and hormone levels found in meat, eggs and dairy products, along with injecting foods such as tomatoes with chicken hormones.

"When I see a 15-year-old girl in here with breast cancer, that tells me something is really wrong," she said. "Such a young person hasn't been around long enough for environmental toxins to take effect. But a dozen years of eating tainted food will do it."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since this segment was written in October 2007, Carol Conti left her position at Simon Med to start her own practice of thermal imaging. She has quite a story to tell. Visit her Web site at http://www.nazthermal.com and learn how thermal imaging saved her life.


Pink Ribbon Overkill?

Think Before You Pink

Plenty of "awareness" every October and not enough "prevention" spells even more c-a-n-c-e-r for women and big bucks for toxic treatments

The Observer urges browsers to read the following report in Daily Finance titled "Pink Ribbon Overkill: Are companies exploiting breast cancer campaigns?"

Click here for more information on the disgraceful practice of "PINKWASHING."


Click here and learn how to fight pinkwashing now!


Dressed to Kill?

The real "Victoria's Secret"

by Catherine J. Rourke

Published October 23, 2007

... a nighttime breast cancer walk ...

Do bras cause cancer?

The bra as a contributory factor in breast cancer became a subject of much heated debate about 10 years ago after a Harvard study released its startling findings.

According to this and other studies, bras can impair lymphatic drainage and tissue circulation, therefore entrapping carcinogenic fluids in the breast.

Support or concealment?

Yet modern society regards unfettered breasts as the ultimate female taboo. Brainwashing women with the need for “support,” the term is actually a disguise for “concealment,” as if breasts are a shameful body part they should hide.

Proof of this is the number of women and young girls with small breasts who nevertheless sport the omnipresent underwire bra. Yet no one seems to question why they feel it is necessary to bind such small breasts.

Obviously, the majority of women wear constrictive and oppressive garments more for cultural reasons than for comfort , no different than the corsets of yesteryear. Little has changed over the centuries when it comes to keeping women's bodies bound and wrapped.

Doctors should inform women

What does this have to do with health-care reform? Doctors should be examining these studies and informing their female patients about the findings so women can weigh their options and make an educated decision.

Those who harbor any doubt need look no further than the findings documented in the book Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer (Avery Press, 1995).

While many disagree with the bra-cancer theory, there’s enough evidence to prompt physicians to pursue more extended investigation on behalf of their patients.

The media should inform women

A number of women's consumer magazines published the findings of the Harvard study on bras and breast cancer in the 1990s. However, the evidence still remains inconclusive and the jury is still out despite the evidence from many reports.

Look at any women's magazine: bras are hot and Victoria's Secret carries the torch for women's bondage in a parade of TV and print media ads all boasting the wonders of the Miracle Bra.

Could the VS "Angels" represent devils in disguise? Unfortunately, women need to review the results and decide for themselves if this mandatory undergarment is really such a necessity and if it's worth the alleged risk.

And, last of all, women should inform other women if nobody else will.

The Sedona Observer

Truth and Integrity in Journalism

Truth in Medicine

A Cure for

Breast Cancer?

An Interview with

Bio-Identical Hormone Pioneer

Gino Tutera, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.

Read our exclusive report

highlighting his new book and

the results of his 10-year

breast cancer study

"MUMM's the Word!"

by Catherine J. Rourke

Published October 1, 2010

Do deodorants lead to cancer?

1926 ad for MUM women's deodorant

It's no "SECRET" when it comes to the toxic properties of deodorant as a possible contributor to breast cancer.

Authors Samuel S. Epstein and Randall Fitzgerald reveal some alearming data about the correlation between women's products and breast cancer in their book, Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health And What You Can Do about It.

According to Epstein and Fitzgerald, an article in the Journal of Applied Toxicology reports evidence that aluminum salts, which appear in concentrations of up to 25 percent in some antiperspirants, exhibit the same effects as estrogen in a way that could stimulate the onset of breast cancer, making aluminum salts a hormone disrupter.

Perhaps women should consider alternative ways to remain "safe and dry" rather than "soft and dry." Several excellent Web sites address this issue and offer a variety of healthy and effective solutions. Click here for "How to Choose a Safe Deodorant" at Firehow.com.

Breast Health Seminar with Jan Janzen,

author of

Breast Health Exposed!


Tuesday, October 26

1-2 p.m.

Sedona Integrative Medical Clinic

6486 Hwy 179, Suite 113,

Castle Rock Plaza in the Village of Oak Creek

Sedona, Arizona


Sedona Observer subscribers and browsers around the globe can learn more information at the following links:



Beauty and the Breast

Published October 23, 2007

Do toxins in cosmetics

cause breast cancer?

Last year, numerous reports warned women about the presence of carcinogenic chemicals in many lipsticks, especially the long-wearing variety. If your lipstick stays on longer, you can thank a high content of lead, which has long been attributed to many diseases, including breast cancer.

Ironically, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (October 21-27) coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. (Read the Environmental Protection Agency report on the dangers of lead at

http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwh/c-ioc/lead.html and http://www.epa.gov/lead/index.html.)

Loaded with lead

A 2007 study by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has found that some lipsticks contain higher than expected levels of lead.

In a report released earlier this month, the organization listed product test results claiming that “more than half of 33 brand-name lipsticks tested contained lead. The lead levels in one-third of the lipstick samples, purchased from retailers in four cities, exceeded 0.1 parts per million, which is the federal lead limit for candy.”

For more details of the report, go to http://www.safecosmetics.org/ newsroom/bostonglobe_10_11_07.cfm.

While many “experts” decried the warnings, advising women to ignore the “rumors,” consumers today must take a deeper look at who these so-called experts are – lobbyists and technologists for the cosmetic industry?

Scientists beholden to the FDA and other government agencies aligned with big business? We can no longer trust reports that stem from “experts” who receive funding from pharmaceutical and other business sources.

Lady Killers?

Published October 23, 2007


Is your lipstick safe?

Here is a test you can do yourself (although some claim it is invalid):

1. Put some lipstick on your hand.
2. Use a gold ring to scratch on the lipstick.
3. If the lipstick color changes to black, then you know the lipstick contains lead.

Last year, a story in Ms. magazine titled “Is Your Lipstick Safe?” reported:

“Women and girls should be particularly concerned, as our bodies are uniquely susceptible to certain environmental chemicals. Women have a greater percentage of fat in comparison to men, so fat-soluble chemicals such as parabens and toluene tend to be more readily absorbed and fatty breast tissue can be a long-term storage site for some of the more persistent toxic chemicals.

"Hormones also play a role: Synthetic chemicals such as alkylphenols (found in some detergents) and bisphenol A (found in hard plastics) can mimic natural estrogens in the body -- and excess estrogen can play a role in the development of breast cancer.”

Read the entire story at:

www.msmagazine.com/summer2006 /isyourlipsticksafe.asp.

Lethal lips

Another article on the subject in Better Nutrition magazine states: “The number of chemicals in a simple lipstick is astounding. In addition to phthalates (which can cause kidney and liver damage and harm a developing fetus), lipstick may contain the possible human carcinogens butylated hydroxytoluene, polyethylene, dimethicone and a slew of artificial colors derived from coal tar.

And if you wear lipstick every day, you'll ingest at least 4 pounds of it over your lifetime.”


Author Kim Erickson supports this premise in her book Drop Dead Gorgeous (Contemporary Books, 2002). "Some cosmetic chemicals accumulate in the body's fatty tissues,” she says, which can contribute to breast cancer. Propylene glycol, an ingredient found in antifreeze and brake fluid, it is also a widely used moisture-carrying ingredient in cosmetics.

In addition, a study reported in the January 2004 edition of the Journal of Applied Toxicology found parabens, the most common cosmetic preservative, present in significant amounts in 18 out of 20 breast cancer tumors.

Killer chemicals

According to Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition and professor emeritus of environmental medicine at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, most of the cosmetics and other personal products used by women on an everyday basis contain carcinogenic chemicals that can lead to breast and other cancers.

In his book Unreasonable Risk: How to Avoid Cancer from Cosmetics and Personal Care Products (2005, Environmental Toxicology, Chicago, Illinois 2001), Epstein lists the multitude of products that often contain carcinogens.

These include: lipstick, nail polish, mascara, blush, lip glosses and lip pencils, shampoo, hair dye, talcum powder, shaving cream, hair conditioner, dandruff shampoo, eye shadow, face powder, face foundation, concealer and hair spray.

Lanolin, which is one of the most common ingredients in lotions and cosmetics, can be contaminated with carcinogenic pesticides such as DDT, dieldrin and lindane.

Cosmetic chemicals rank among the top alleged “killer” ingredients in cosmetics. While many experts claim that the amounts are too small to pose any harm, Epstein disagrees. Instead, he advises women to read labels and avoid products with the following toxic chemicals that he claims are directly linked to cancer:

D&C: Red 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 17, 19, 33; Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA); Butylated Hyroxytoluene (BHT);  Butyl Benzylphthalate; "Coal Tar Dyes" (and Lakes); Green 5; Orange 17; FD & C: Blue 1, 2 - Green 3 - Red 4 40 - Yellow 5, 6 - Blue 1, 2, 4; Diaminophenol Disperse Blue 1; Disperse Yellow 3; Nitrophenylenediamine; Phenyl-p-phenylenediamine; Crystalline Silica ; Diethanolamine (DEA); Dioctyl Adipate; Formaldehyde; Glutaral; Hydroquinone; Methylene Chloride; Polyvinyl Pyrrolidone; Pyrocatechol Saccharin;and Talc.

Prevention pays

Epstein doesn’t stop there. He has also co-authored a book called The Breast Cancer Prevention Program. He writes:

“The cancer establishment has a vested interest in keeping you focused on early detection, treatment, and basic genetic research rather than on reducing the risks for developing the disease in the first place. The Truth is, breast cancer is not a random killer. There are many simple, straightforward ways women can help protect themselves against it.”

Supported by a wealth of scientifically documented, medically sound information, this ground-breaking book outlines the unpublished "Dirty Dozen" risk factors for breast cancer and describes in detail the ways you can avoid them.

Epstein believes breast cancer is preventable by shunning products laden with toxic chemicals as well as milk, human growth hormone medications, birth control pills, synthetic hormone replacement therapy and X-ray mammography.

For info, visit http://www.preventcancer.com.

Click here to read the Observer's ongoing

health reports


Reporting local, regional and

national health care issues

since 2007


Ongoing series


Prognosis: Disastrous

Doctors speak out

Hippocrates to Hypocrisy:
The health care debacle is alive and well in Sedona and the Verde Valley

Flatlined – A Health Care State of Emergency”


 “Condition: Critical” - Testimonials from medical professionals

“A Mother’s Heartbreak” – Could proper medical intervention have saved her daughter's life?

“From Hippocrates to Hypocrisy” - The medical debacle is alive and well on the local and national level

“Soul-utions for Social Change”



Invisible Sedona

Forgotten folks and neglected news no longer swept under the rug! Stories about the city's firefighters and trash collectors, the homeless and immigrant workers, and those denied health care and decent wages. Tales of the invisible and downtrodden people that Dickens would approve of.

Read the award-winning series here!

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