We are just two weeks away from the “Pinktober” event. For the entire month of October we will be bombarded with pink trinkets and reminders to become aware of breast cancer. Who isn’t aware of it? It has claimed a life from most of us – be it family or a friend. The fact of the matter is that the Susan B Komen program is a scam. The money they use from what they raise is minuscule and doesn’t fund any meaningful research to stop breast cancer. Breast cancer is a huge money making industry. I doubt they want to find a cure.
I won’t bother to go into details about all the issues with this organization but will link the the Truth About Cancer’s post.
The biggest thing that is promoted this time of year is the Mammogram. However, this method of screening is not effective nor is it safe for determining the risk of breast cancer. In the NEJM we find a research article that discusses the risk of false positives.
If a woman undergoes annual screening beginning at the age of 40, she will have had 60 opportunities for a false positive result by the age of 70, with 30 mammograms and 30 clinical breast examinations. The cumulative lifetime risk of her having a result from a screening test that requires further workup, even though no breast cancer is present, is not known. An estimate of 25 percent has been given for the cumulative risk of a false positive result after 10 mammograms and 10 clinical breast examinations. It is important to determine the cumulative risk of false positive tests, because women are advised to have breast-cancer screening every one to two years over several decades of their lifetimes, and false positive results can provoke anxiety, increase costs, and cause morbidity.
The American Cancer Society has now modified the screening requirements to begin at age 45 with annual checks until 54 at which point it is recommended biennially.
So what are your options if you don’t wish to be smashed and radiated? There is another test that has been used safely and effectively in Europe and can detect a high risk of cancer up to 10 years prior to it being detected by a mammogram. This test is called Thermography and measures the vascular changes within the breast.
What else can you do to keep your breasts healthy?
Iodine – If you have been following me for a while you know that I am a strong proponent of supplementing. It is not just beneficial for the thyroid gland but also the breast. The breasts are the 2nd largest storage site of iodine in the body. A deficiency in iodine puts the woman at a higher risk for fibrocystic breast disease  as well as breast cancer. 
Iodine works as an antioxidant in the breast. Lipid oxidation can be a contributor to breast disease. Without adequate levels, the breasts are also subject to excess estrogenic stimulation. In studies performed on the breast, when iodine deficiency is induced, a fibrocystic condition can be obtained.
Sebatiano Venturi reports on the importance of iodine in the ducts of the breast in his “Is there a role for Iodine in Breast Disease?”
It is hypothesized that dietary iodine deficiency is associated with the development of mammary pathology and cancer. A review of the literature on this correlation and of the author’s own work on the antioxidant function of iodide in iodide-concentrating extrathyroidal cells is reported. Mammary gland is embryogenetically derived from primitive iodide-concentrating ectoderm, and alveolar and ductular cells of the breast specialize in uptake and secretion of iodine in milk in order to supply offsprings with this important trace-element. Breast and thyroid share an important iodide-concentrating ability and an efficient peroxidase activity, which transfers electrons from iodide to the oxygen of hydrogen peroxide, forming iodoproteins and iodolipids, and so protects the cells from peroxidative damage. The mammary gland has only a temporary ability to concentrate iodides, almost exclusively during pregnancy and lactation, which are considered protective conditions against breast cancer.
If you are breast feeding your need for iodine increases. Within the breast tissue exists two “iodine pumps” that pull iodine into the cells. One of the vehicles of transportation is the NIS or Sodium Iodine Symporter and is how iodine is pulled into the cells. The other method of transporting iodine into the breast is through Pendrin. The baby requires iodine for proper neurological and endocrine development and will take what it needs leaving the mother depleted. How much is enough? The iodine doctors based their recommendation of 12.5 mgs / day on the Japanese women who experience less breast issues and lower rates of thyroid disease. This amount is also the amount where the least amount of detoxing may occur from toxic halides that can be passed through to the baby via the breast milk. There is a protocol that should be followed when supplementing. The specifics can be found in The Guide to Supplementing. I wrote this guide to assist those new to supplementing with the basics. It can be downloaded for free here. I also run a Facebook support group where additional questions can be asked. Many women there have experienced the amazing benefits in obtaining optimum breast health through supplementing with iodine.
- Ghent WR, Eskin BA, Low DA, Hill LP. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Can J Surg. 1993 Oct;36(5):453-60.
- Lynn C. Hartmann, M.D., Thomas A. Sellers, Ph.D., Marlene H. Frost, Ph.D.,et al Benign Breast Disease and the Risk of Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med 2005; 353:229-237 July 21, 2005 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa044383.
- PP Smyth, Role of Iodine in Antioxidant Defense in Thyroid and Breast Disease, Biofactors 2003; 19:3-4.