Questioning the Entire Breast Cancer Industry

Laurie Becklund: Treat me like a statistic and save my life

Laurie Becklund, Senior Fellow, USC Annenberg, presents at Stanford Medicine X at Stanford University on Sunday, September 7, 2014.

More info and videos
  • Video published on 25 Nov 2014 by Stanford Medicine X channel.
  • Read As I lay dying, latimes, Oct 18, 2015.
  • Read “As I Lay Dying..” LA Times Writer’s Last Words Will Make You Question Entire Breast Cancer Industry, eatlocalgrown, Oct 18, 2015.
  • More research videos on our YT channel.

Diethylstilbestrol in Pregnancy: Canadian Medical Association Journal 1982 update

Use of DES in Canada, 1982

Canadian-Medical-Association Journal banner image
DiEthylStilbestrol usage review buttress the need for adequate and rigorous research into the use of drugs in pregnancy and ensure that they do more good than harm before being introduced for consumption.

Introduction

In November 1971 the health protection branch of the Department of National Health and Welfare announced, on the basis of data reported from the United States, an association of the use of diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy with the later development of adenocarcinoma of the vagina in exposed offspring.’ The health protection branch has since required the manufacturers of DES and other estrogenic drugs to include in their product literature a contraindication to the use of all estrogens during pregnancy. Similar warnings and reminders followed in subsequent issues of Rx Bulletin.

For the past decade the indications for the use of DES in Canada have been limited to the palliation of estrogen-responsive metastatic carcinoma of the breast and advanced carcinoma of the prostate.

In 1979 Canadian physicians were advised by the health protection branch’s special advisory committee on reproductive physiology, a group of nongovernment consultants, of the risks of congenital malformations and malignant disease in the offspring of women exposed to DES during pregnancy. While DES is no longer recommended for use during pregnancy, it is probably still being given for other purposes, such as postpartum suppression of lactation and postcoital contraception. These indications have not been approved by the health protection branch, and our committee does not recommend the use of DES for these purposes.

The problems associated with the use of DES during pregnancy concern both female and male offspring exposed in utero and the mothers themselves. While available evidence indicates that the magnitude of the DES problem in Canada is low we thought it advisable to summarize the current knowledge in this area for Canadian physicians.

Sources and more information
  • Diethylstilbestrol in pregnancy: an update, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1982 Nov 1; 127(9): 812–813., NCBI PMID: PMC1862229.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Breast Cancer, Pink Ribbons and Safer Chemicals

Let’s stop breast cancer before it starts!

rethink-the-pink poster
Pink ribbons are everywhere, but when 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, how much more awareness do we need?

It’s time to #RethinkThePink, and stop breast cancer before it starts!

Sources

More information

Treatment of Symptoms of the Menopause: assessing individual Benefits, Risks of Menopausal Therapies

Experts Recommend Assessing Individual Benefits, Risks of Menopausal Therapies

Menopausal-Therapies
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) on identifying women who are candidates for treatment of menopausal symptoms and selecting the best treatment options for each individual.

Endocrine Society – Hormone Science to Health – press release Experts Recommend Assessing Individual Benefits, Risks of Menopausal Therapies

Washington, DC – The Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG), entitled “Treatment of Symptoms of the Menopause: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline” was published online and will appear in the November 2015 print issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM), a publication of the Endocrine Society.

Menopause is the life stage that takes place when a woman’s ovaries dramatically decrease production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and her menstrual periods stop. The average age of an American woman experiencing menopause is around 51 years old.

During menopause, many women experience symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, mood changes, joint pain, recurrent urinary tract infections, and difficult or painful sexual intercourse. These symptoms can start in the years before a woman’s final menstrual period and last for more than a decade.

Women now have a broader range of treatment options for menopausal symptoms than ever before, but many clinicians are reluctant to pursue them. A 2012 Endocrine Society survey found that 72 percent of women currently experiencing menopause symptoms had not received any treatment for them.

Hormone therapy—at one time the most popular treatment for menopausal symptoms— has been under intense scrutiny since 2002, when a large government study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) reported that hormone therapy – specifically the combination of conjugated equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone acetate (Prempro) – increased the risk for blood clots, stroke, breast cancer and heart attacks in postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years at study onset. But additional research conducted in the ensuing years indicated the level of risk depends on the individual woman’s health history, age and other factors. Experts have formed a consensus that the benefits of menopausal hormone therapy exceed the risks for most healthy women seeking relief of menopausal symptoms.

There is no need for a woman to suffer from years of debilitating menopausal symptoms, as a number of therapies, both hormonal and non-hormonal are now available,” said Cynthia A. Stuenkel, MD, the chair of the task force that authored the guideline and an endocrinologist specializing in menopause at the University of California, San Diego. “Every woman should be full partners with her health care providers in choosing whether treatment is right for her and what treatment option best suits her needs. The decision should be based on available evidence regarding the treatment’s safety and effectiveness, as well as her individual risk profile and personal preferences.

In the CPG – see full PDF – the Endocrine Society recommends that women with a uterus who decide to undergo menopausal hormone therapy with estrogen and progestogen be informed about risks and benefits, including the possible increased risk of breast cancer during and after discontinuing treatment. Health care providers should advise all women, including those taking menopausal hormone therapy, to follow guidelines for breast cancer screening.

Other recommendations from the CPG include:

  • Transdermal estrogen therapy by patch, gel or spray is recommended for women who request menopausal hormone therapy and have an increased risk of venous thromboembolism – a disease that includes deep vein thrombosis.
  • Progestogen treatment prevents uterine cancer in women taking estrogen for hot flash relief. For women who have undergone a hysterectomy, it is not necessary.
  • If a woman on menopausal hormone therapy experiences persistent unscheduled vaginal bleeding, she should be evaluated to rule out endometrial cancer or hyperplasia.
  • Medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), gabapentin or pregabalin are recommended for women who want medication to manage moderate to severe hot flashes, but either prefer not to take hormone therapy or have significant risk factors that make hormone therapy inadvisable.
  • Low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy is recommended to treat women for genitourinary symptoms of menopause, such as burning and irritation of the genitalia, dryness, discomfort or pain with intercourse; and urinary urgency or recurrent infections. This treatment should only be used in women without a history of estrogen-dependent cancers.

The Hormone Health Network, the Endocrine Society’s public education arm, developed an interactive digital resource called the Menopause MapTM for women to explore the stages of menopause and learn about symptoms they may experience. The Menopause MapTM related resources are available. The Hormone Health Network also offers a digital toolkit for health care providers.

Other members of the Endocrine Society task force that developed this CPG include: Susan R. Davis of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia; Anne Gompel of the Université Paris Descartes in Paris, France; Mary Ann Lumsden of the University of Glasgow School of Medicine in Glasgow, Scotland; M. Hassan Murad of the Mayo Clinical in Rochester, MN; JoAnn V. Pinkerton of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA; and Richard J. Santen of the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville, VA.This CPG was co-sponsored by the Australasian Menopause Society, British Menopause Society, European Society of Endocrinology and the International Menopause Society.

The Society established the CPG Program to provide endocrinologists and other clinicians with evidence-based recommendations in the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine-related conditions. Each CPG is created by a task force of topic-related experts in the field. Task forces rely on scientific reviews of the literature in the development of CPG recommendations as well as feedback from co-sponsoring societies, members of the Endocrine Society and expert reviewers. The Endocrine Society does not solicit or accept corporate support for its CPGs. All CPGs are supported entirely by Society funds. A list of CPGs can be found here.

What happens when you purchase a pink ribbon product…

A CAS 137H informational TED talk regarding the effects of pinkwashing in our culture

A CAS 137H informational TED talk – published on 29 Apr 2015 –
regarding the effects of pinkwashing in our culture.

More info and videos

Octobre Rose, Mot à Maux

Pour une réelle liberté de choix

Octobre rose mot à maux, book cover image
Lisez ce livre, et “vous ne verrez plus jamais les slogans d’Octobre rose de la même façon”, nous dit Rachel Campergue.

Se faire dépister ou pas ? Comment prendre la bonne décision ? La décision qui vous convient le mieux ? Qui croire ? Qui écouter ? En premier lieu vous. Mais qui est ce “vous” qui décide ? Est-ce bien lui qui décide ? N’a-t-il pas été trompé en amont ? Trompé par des mots qu’il emploie quotidiennement pour échanger avec ses semblables, mais qui auront été utilisés par d’autres, non pour échanger, mais pour manipuler. Des mots employés à contresens pour leur charge positive, des mots que ce “vous” qui croit décider laisse passer sans méfiance et dès lors, ce n’est déjà plus lui qui décide : il y a eu manipulation. Á chaque fois qu’il y a rétention d’information ou emploi à contresens des mots, vous n’avez pas choisi : on a choisi pour vous, tout en vous laissant l’illusion du choix. Imparable car invisible. Comment résister ? Avec quels outils ?

Ce livre vous en procure quelques uns. Lisez-le, et vous ne verrez plus jamais les slogans d’Octobre rose de la même façon.

En savoir plus

Fracking Chemicals Tied to Reduced Sperm Count in Mice

Study examines endocrine-disrupting effects of known fracking chemicals

fracking
A new study on mice finds that the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing appear to disrupt the reproductive system. America at work via James Wengler.

Endocrine Society – Hormone Science to Health – press release Study examines endocrine-disrupting effects of known fracking chemicals

Washington, DC – Prenatal exposure to a mixture of chemicals used in the oil and natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, at levels found in the environment lowered sperm counts in male mice when they reached adulthood, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology.

The scientists tested 24 chemicals used in fracking and determined that 23 of them were endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs. EDCs mimic, block or otherwise interfere with hormones, the body’s chemical messengers that act through receptors to regulate the activity of cells and biological processes such as metabolism, reproduction, growth, and digestion. Specifically, these 24 chemicals alone and in mixtures were tested for their ability to activate or inhibit action of the estrogen, androgen, progesterone, glucocorticoid and thyroid receptors using a human cell-based assay.

Among the 23 EDCs the scientists identified, more than 90 percent of the chemicals disrupted the functions of estrogens and androgens, male sex hormones such as testosterone. In addition, more than 40 percent could interfere with progestogens, another type of reproductive hormone, and glucocorticoids, which are involved in metabolism and stress. Thirty percent of the chemicals disrupted thyroid hormone signaling. In addition, some chemical combinations exhibited greater than anticipated disruption based on single chemical analysis.

EDC exposure has been linked to health problems including birth defects, reproductive disorders, cancer, diabetes, obesity and neurodevelopmental issues, according to the executive summary of the Endocrine Society’s second Scientific Statement on endocrine-disrupting chemicals. An economic analysis published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in March estimated that EDC exposure likely costs the European Union €157 billion ($209 billion) a year in actual health care expenses and lost earning potential.

This study is the first to demonstrate that EDCs commonly used in fracking, at levels realistic for human and animal exposure in these regions, can have an adverse effect on the reproductive health of mice,” said the study’s senior author, Susan C. Nagel, PhD, of the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. “In addition to reduced sperm counts, the male mice exposed to the mixture of chemicals had elevated levels of testosterone in their blood and larger testicles. These findings may have implications for the fertility of men living in regions with dense oil and/or natural gas production.”

Oil and gas companies are not required to disclose all of the chemicals in the mixtures they use for fracking. The scientists tested wastewater samples from drilling sites in Garfield County, Colorado and identified 16 of the fracking chemicals they had previously tested in these samples. The scientists used this information, along with existing literature on fracking chemical concentrations, to create a mixture of 23 chemicals that spanned the likely range of human exposure from levels found in wastewater to those likely to be found in drinking water contaminated with fracturing fluids.

Researchers added four different concentrations of the chemical mixture to the drinking water given to pregnant mice in the laboratory. The mice were exposed to the mixtures from day 11 of pregnancy until they gave birth. Their male offspring were assessed for effects of EDC exposure. The male offspring were compared to male mice born to mothers in the control group that was not exposed to the chemical mixture.

The scientists found mice that were exposed to the chemical mixtures prenatally had decreased sperm counts, increased testis weights and increased testosterone levels compared to the control group. In addition to exhibiting reproductive changes, the mice that were exposed to the highest concentration of the chemical mixture tended to weigh more and showed persistent effects on the structure of the heart compared to the mice in the control group.

It is clear EDCs used in fracking can act alone or in combination with other chemicals to interfere with the body’s hormone function,” Nagel said. “These mixture interactions are complex and challenging to predict. More research is needed to assess the many other chemicals used for fracking and to determine how they may be contributing to health outcomes.”

Other authors of the study include: Christopher D. Kassotis of Duke University in Durham, NC; Kara C. Klemp, Danh C. Vu, Chung-Ho Lin, Chun-Xia Meng, Erma Z. Drobnis, Victoria D. Balise, Chiamaka J. Isiguzo and Michelle A. Williams of the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO; Cynthia L. Besch-Williford of IDEXX RADIL Pathology Services in Columbia, MO; Lisa Pinatti and R. Thomas Zoeller of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA; and Donald E. Tillitt of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Columbia Environmental Research Center in Columbia, MO.

The Passport Foundation Science Innovation Fund, the University of Missouri Research Council, a crowdfunding campaign on Experiment.com, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s STAR Fellowship Assistance Agreement supported the research.

The study “Endocrine Disrupting Activity of Hydraulic Fracturing Chemicals and Adverse Health Outcomes Following Prenatal Exposure in Male Mice,” was published online, October 14, 2015. See full PDF.

Fracking Pinkwashing Remixed

Make Your Drilling Rig Less Carcinogenic, Paint it Pink!

You can see the original Baker Hughes promo video here.
Video published on 11 October 2014 by Dissent Is Beautiful.

More info and videos
  • Fossil fuel frackers Baker Hughes teamed up with charity Susan G. Komen to “end breast cancer forever“. How? By painting 1,000 of their drill heads pink and donating $100,000 to the charity. Strangely there is no mention in their press release of the high risk of cancer to oil and gas workers from the benzine that is part of their drilling operations and has been linked to leukaemia and, erm, breast cancer. Still, why let little things like that stand in the way of some good old fashioned PR.
  • Our posts tagged #PinkWashing and #ReThinkThePink.
  • Watch these pink washing videos on YouTube.

Why it is Time to ReThink the Pink

Let’s stop breast cancer before it starts!

time-to-rethink-the-pink poster
Pink ribbons are everywhere, but when 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, how much more awareness do we need?

It’s time to #RethinkThePink, and stop breast cancer before it starts!

Sources

More information

Refocusing on the gynecological and obstetrical consequences of intrauterine exposure to DES

Full examination of the DES-exposed pregnant patients is advised, including colposcopy and hysterosalpingography

DiEthylStilbestrol usage review buttress the need for adequate and rigorous research into the use of drugs in pregnancy and ensure that they do more good than harm before being introduced for consumption

1991 Study Abstract

The oncological and obstetrical follow-up is described of 321 patients who presented between 1981 and 1988 in the St Radboud Hospital with a history of intrauterine diethylstilbestrol(DES) exposure.

In 45 out of 321 cases cytological abnormalities were found including 20 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). No relation could be established between CIN and the extension of the cervical adenosis.

  • 22% of 87 evaluable pregnancies terminated in spontaneous abortion,
  • 13% of the patients delivered immaturely
  • and 27% prematurely.

These percentages were significantly higher than in the rest of the hospital population. The consequences of intrauterine exposure to DES are discussed.

Full examination of the patients is advised, including colposcopy and hysterosalpingography. If abnormalities are present it is advised to offer a timely cerclage in case of pregnancy.

Sources and more information
  • Refocusing on the gynecological and obstetrical consequences of intrauterine exposure to diethylstilbestrol (DES)., Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde, 1991 Jan 19;135(3):89-93., NCBI PMID: 1996166.
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources