Breast Cancer: What you need to know
Breast cancer strikes more than one million women a year worldwide but its causes remain one of the greatest mysteries confronting the medical world today.
The disease has now become one of the most serious threats to women’s lives and health in countries such as the USA and UK which have witnessed an alarming increase in cases over the last 40 years. Improved screening and detection go some way towards explaining this increase. But breast cancer campaigners believe there are other reasons behind the rapidly rising statistics which seem to be spiralling out of control.
In the USA, for example, the incidence of small breast tumours doubled between 1980 and 1987. But why? In the UK, certain regions are proving to be breast cancer hot spots with abnormally high levels of the disease clustered within one small geographical area. No-one knows why.
While the medical profession concentrates on detection and treatment, many women whose lives have been devastated by this disease are beginning to ask what caused it. And could anything have been done to prevent it?
This site exists to provide independent information about breast cancer and to give those affected by it an online meeting place and feedback for discussion. The site is not funded by any government or other political bodies and does not rely on contributions from charities or drug companies. So if there are awkward questions that need asking and difficult issues that need airing, this is the place to do it!
Some medics are already questioning the value of routine mammography, claiming mammograms used to detect breast cancer can actually cause the disease. Others say women are being kept in the dark about the possibility that estrogen-based contraceptive pills are contributing to the rising tide of breast cancer cases.
In his explosive book The Politics of Cancer Revisited Professor Samuel Epstein, a leading environmental campaigner in the USA, accuses the American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute of misleading Congress and the public with false claims about the causes and treatment of breast cancer.
Only about 5-10% of breast cancer cases are hereditary. So what causes the others? Many campaigners are convinced that changes in the lifestyle, diet and environment of the developed world over the last half century are directly related to the increase in breast cancer cases. But far more money is poured into developing new drugs to treat the disease than is spent on researching possible causes and eliminating them. One widely used breast cancer drug can earn the manufacturer hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Prevention isn’t as profitable. It might be time to think the unthinkable: could the multi-million dollar cancer industry possibly be standing in the way of progress on tackling the root causes of such a lucrative disease?
You may want to use this site purely for information. We tackle issues that many sufferers are concerned about but which aren’t always easy to discuss with a doctor – issues such as sex after surgery or radiation, hair loss and coping with the sometimes bewildering reaction of partners, family and friends. Or you may want to use the site to get your voice heard. If your life has been touched by breast cancer and you have something to say about it, please contact us or post on our feedback.