Extract from: Meyler’s Side Effects of Endocrine and Metabolic Drugs
” In Britain the medical community was alerted to the risks by an editorial in the British Medical Journal in 1971, but it was only in 1973 that the Committee on Safety of Medicines advised against the use of Diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy. In Britain, drugs were commonly not labelled with information about their contents, nor with warning of risk until well into the 1990s, thus patients were kept in ignorance.
No measures have yet been taken in Britain to alert the public to the need for medical surveillance of women who have been exposed to Diethylstilbestrol in utero. It is estimated that in the U.S.A, the Netherlands, and France, diethylstilbestrol was given to over 5.3 million pregnant women, and it is known that it has been given to pregnant women in most parts of the world. ”
Is the “NHS ‘Masking’ Number Of Patients Dying Of Cancer Treatment”?
Lord Saatchi, who is attempting to introduce new legislation to enable doctors to carry out alternative treatments without fear of litigation, said that more than 15,000 people could be dying annually in the UK because of cancer treatments rather than the illness itself, but official figures only classify the underlying cancer as the cause of death.
Solo theater artist Alice Eve Cohen knew that childbearing was simply impossible – her own mother had taken DES, and Alice had a deformed uterus, among other disqualifiers. So when what doctors misdiagnosed as a tumor turned out to be a 6-month fetus, the 44-year-old Alice had to wrestle with clueless specialists, cavalier insurance companies, and her own no-see-um maternal instincts.
Her darkly hilarious memoir, What I Thought I Knew is a page-turner filled with vivid characters, and many surprises and twists of fate.
With the suspense of a thriller and the intimacy of a diary, Cohen describes her unexpected journey through doubt, a broken medical system, and the hotly contested terrain of motherhood and family in today’s society.
Be aware that this book is not for the faint of heart. It definitely tackles some difficult issues.
On International Clinical Trials Day, the NIHR promotes its “OK to ask” campaign
International Clinical Trials Day is celebrated around the world on or near the 20 May each year, to commemorate the day that James Lind started his famous trial on the deadly disease scurvy. It provides a focal point to raise awareness of the importance of research to health care, and highlights how partnerships between patients and healthcare practitioners are vital to high-quality, relevant research.
On International Clinical Trials Day, the NIHR promotes its “OK to ask” campaign to encourage patients and the public to ask medical professionals about clinical research.
Combining Oncology Cancer Treatment and Plastic Surgery
” Treating breast cancer almost always involves surgery, and for years the choice was just having the lump or the whole breast removed. Now, new approaches are dramatically changing the way these operations are done, giving women more options, faster treatment, smaller scars, fewer long-term side effects and better cosmetic results.
It has led to a new specialty – “oncoplastic” surgery – combining oncology, which focuses on cancer treatment, and plastic surgery to restore appearance. ”
My own opinion is that DES caused intersexed development in the DES sons by blocking testicular testosterone production. DES is a potent chemical castration agent that for many years the treatment of choice for hormone-sensitive prostate cancer. Just 3mg of DES per day is enough to fully chemically castrate an adult man; the starting dose as a miscarriage treatment was 5mg per day (and often went much higher during the later stages of the pregnancy). It’s a not widely appreciated fact, but male development isn’t driven directly by genes, but instead by hormones (primarily testosterone) produced in the testicles of a male fetus. Given the ability DES has to block testosterone production, it’s no surprise that many DES sons are physically and/or psychologically intersexed. The surprising thing is that there’s so little public awareness of it!
If the problem is just one of testosterone production being suppressed during the critical time sexual development was taking place, then I don’t see any reason for there to be any long term genetic effect or 3rd generation effects. However, one thought that’s occured to me is that DES daughters often have a great deal of difficulty getting pregnant and carrying the pregnancy to term, which puts them at vastly increased risk of medical intervention – and potentially being given hormonal medication during the pregnancy. If one of these hormonal treatments for miscarriage (DES) can cause problems with intersexed development, then the likelihood is that others can too. There’s one drug in particular called hydroxyprogesterone caproate, which is in widespread current use to prevent miscarriages and premature births, and is being given in doses which I’m sure would have some serious gender-bending effects if you were to give the same dose to an adult man.
In short, although DES was phased out 40 years ago, there’s plenty of other sex hormone derivatives still finding their way inside pregnant women and potentially causing many of the same problems. That’s why I’ve been trying so hard to get people to take me seriously, and see whether there’s a link between exposure to these drugs before birth and endocrine and intersex-related problems later in life!
In a joint project with students from Macquarie University, DES Action NSW is asking pharmacists to display the historic DES posters at their scripts-in counters to prompt people to find out about problems associated with exposure to diethylstilboestrol (DES).
So far 75 Sydney pharmacies have agreed to take part in the project but according to DES Action NSW co-ordinator Carol Devine the participation needs to be more widespread.