31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 17 — Radical Remission

Did you know…

Over 1500 cases of “radical remission” have been analyzed and documented by Dr. Kelly Turner, author of New York Times bestseller, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds.

“Radical remission” is a term that refers to remission that occurs either without conventional medical treatment, after conventional treatment has failed to work, or when conventional and complementary methods are used in conjunction to overcome a dire prognosis.

Hear the story behind the book:

What is the Radical Remission Project?

The Radical Remission Project was born out of Dr. Kelly Turner, PhD’s dissertation research on Radical Remission (RR). As Dr. Turner began to research RR as part of her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, she realized that the opinions of two groups of people were typically missing from the 1,000+ cases of RR published in medical journals – 1) the survivors themselves, and 2) alternative healers. Because Western doctors do not currently have an explanation for why RR’s occur, Dr. Turner decided to ask these two ignored groups what they think can lead to a Radical Remission. Her dissertation research involved a year-long trip around the world during which she traveled to 10 different countries in order to interview 20 Radical Remission survivors and 50 alternative healers about their techniques for healing cancer. Since then, her research has continued, and Dr. Turner has now analyzed over 1,500 cases of Radical Remission.

Find Radical remission stories or share your story

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31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 16 — Dairy May Increase Breast Cancer Mortality Risk

Did you know…

Studies have linked dairy products to an increased risk of breast cancer mortality.

“Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.”

That’s the warning label the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a nonprofit with more than 12,000 doctor members—is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to require cheese manufacturers to prominently display on all dairy cheese products. See petition at PCRM.

“It doesn’t matter if it is organic, grass-fed or not fed with hormones. When we’re consuming dairy, we’re getting estrogen and other sex steroids.” – Oncology dietitian Alison Tierney, RD

Listen to Alison on The Exam Room™ podcast and hear why the hormones, fat, and proteins found in milk can be triggers for cancer.

Physician’s Committee for responsible Medicine states: “Eating a low-fat diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans—while avoiding meat and fatty animal products—promotes breast health.” – Fight Breast Cancer with a Plant-based Diet

The collected data from other researchers and our own data are indicating that the presence of steroid hormones in dairy products could be counted as an important risk factor for various cancers in humans. – Hormones in Dairy Foods and Their Impact on Public Health – A Narrative Review Article

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31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 15 — Toxic “Forever Chemicals” in Pink Post-It Notes May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Did you know…

PFAS are called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down, and evidence shows that even very low levels of PFAS exposure is not safe for human health.

Please consider joining Breast Cancer Action in their campaign to call out corporate giant 3M for pinkwashing while continuing to produce and use toxic PFAS. 3M says their pink products are a “reminder of a good cause” even though their toxic “forever chemicals” may increase the risk of breast cancer. This hypocrisy is called pinkwashing.

Read Kara Kenan’s story. She was exposed to toxic PFAS for much of her life and diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35.

Please consider this easy way to take action — Tell 3M to stop producing, using, and selling PFAS!

Thank you Breast Cancer Action for making a difference with your mission, vision and values

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31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 14 — Some Doctors are Paid $$$ for Persuading Women to Get Screening Mammograms

Did you know…

Some doctors are given cash bonuses for persuading women to get screening mammograms.

One ethical doctor published a paper in the British Medical Journal, April 3, 2019:

Helen Salisbury: Should I persuade patients to have mammograms?

“Our practice has recently been invited by the local clinical commissioning group to take part in a quality improvement scheme aimed at increasing the uptake of cancer screening. We are offered support from Cancer Research UK to make an action plan to improve rates of bowel, cervical, and breast cancer screening. We’re incentivised with payments for engaging in the process and for any increase in the proportion of our patients screened.”

Response from Michael Baum, Prof emeritus of surgery:

“Dr. Salisbury is to be congratulated on her honesty. No GP should be put in this position of being rewarded for meeting targets of compliance with screening, whilst denying the patient the right of informed choice. The NHSBSP management must shoulder this responsibility by setting out the pros and cons of screening for breast cancer without making any covert coercion. As chance would have it I’m off to Lugano in two weeks to be interviewed on Swiss TV in a programme that celebrates the de-implementation of screening by mammography in Switzerland.”

More insightful responses:

“Helen Salisbury is quite right. We do not know if the benefits of screening mammography exceed the harms. The problem is though that to the public the “catch it early” slogan is divine truth. The public does not know what “it” and “early” are. “It” may be a harmless in-situ carcinoma or benign microcalcification, and “early” may be a small tumour that has metastasized widely. Fortunes are being wasted on screening and many lives are being devastated.” – Re: Helen Salisbury: Should I persuade patients to have mammograms? The “catch it early” myth, Roger H Armour, Retired consultant surgeon

“Back in 2012, despite increasing evidence of breast screening harms and lack of benefit, GPs were being paid to encourage women to participate in the programme as part of ‘local enhanced services payments’ if a health authority deemed recruitment was getting too low. Such payments were not ethical then; in light of today’s knowledge, are they not destined to invite litigation?” – Mitzi A J Blennerhassett, medical writer/author, bmj patient reviewer

“The short answer to the title question is “No! Definitely not.”

A trusted doctor should be one who guides his/her patient to reliable information and encourages them to contribute to a well-considered shared, but individual decision that respects BOTH party`s rights to self-determination according to their own values, individual circumstances and preferences. No interference of State!

The limited consultation time is short enough anyway: it should not be used by the doctor to promote public health issues: a reversal of a true doctor-patient relationship. His/her patient will have taken the initiative to make the appointment and should be free to raise those issues which concern them, without imposition of public health promotion. Especially where the conscience of the doctor is troubled, both by being offered a payment to raise a Public Health Authority issue that is directed at citizens, not patients, and especially when they are uncertain of the value of the intervention – in this case the harm benefit ratio of breast screening? The power of Public Health to blackmail by payment incentive and override the judgement of individual doctors is insidiously corrupting the Profession, crushing its judgement and professionalism, as Seamus O`Mahony has so eloquently written about. Overdiagnosis with resultant wastage of resources stem from this reversal; a sad consequence of this uncalled for activity.” – Hazel Thornton, Honorary Visiting Fellow, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

Thank you Dr. Salsbury and all who wrote responses.

For more responses to Dr. Helen Salsbury’s BMJ article, see rapid responses

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31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 13 — Autopsy Studies Find High % of DCIS

Did you know…

A review of autopsy records showed that somewhere between 9% and 15% of women have undetected DCIS at death (Welch, 1997). This supports the idea that a proportion of DCIS occurrences will not progress into invasive cancer or become life-threatening. National Breast Cancer Coalition

Conclusion: “Our systematic review in ten countries over six decades found that incidental detection of cancer in situ and breast cancer precursors is common in women not known to have breast disease during life. The large prevalence pool of undetected cancer in-situ and atypical hyperplasia in these autopsy studies suggests screening programs should be cautious about introducing more sensitive tests that may increase detection of these lesions. – Prevalence of incidental breast cancer and precursor lesions in autopsy studies: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Autopsy studies concluded: A substantial reservoir of DCIS is undetected during life. How hard pathologists look for the disease and, perhaps, their threshold for making the diagnosis are potentially important factors in determining how many cases of DCIS are diagnosed. – Using Autopsy Series To Estimate the Disease “Reservoir” for Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of the Breast: How Much More Breast Cancer Can We Find?

“Autopsy studies have examined the breast tissue of women who had never been diagnosed with breast cancer and found that many cases of DCIS had gone undetected. At least some of the lesions may go away on their own, though it’s not clear how or even whether that happens.” – No Easy Answers

The majority of DCIS lesions found are detected by screening, as many DCIS lesions do not come with symptoms, but do contain calcifications that can be seen upon mammography. Obviously, DCIS lesions may be occult by mammography or the diameter of the area containing calcifications underestimates the extent of DCIS [25], [26]. This is also illustrated by the much higher prevalence of DCIS (7–39%) found in autopsy studies concerning the age group for which population-based screening programs are in place, whereas in screening and clinical practice (INVASIVE) breast cancer was diagnosed in only 1% of women within a similar age range [21], [27]. – Finding the balance between over- and under-treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

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31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 12 — Switzerland is Abolishing Mammography Screening

Did you know…

Switzerland is Phasing Out Mammography Screening

The Swiss Medical Board released a report of its findings in 2014 and concluded:

  1. no new systematic screening mammography programs should be introduced,
  2. all forms of mammography screening must be evaluated for quality,
  3. women must be given clear and balanced information on the benefits and harms of screening,
  4. systematic mammography screening programs in Switzerland–due to the tool’s limited utility for reducing mortality and the increased likelihood of harm from overdiagnosis and overtreatment—should be phased out.

Weighed against the slight benefit of repeated screening were the harms of increased biopsies and the overdiagnosis of breast cancers that would never have produced symptoms in a person’s lifetime or become clinically relevant. Overdiagnosis can increase the impact of cancer on quality of life and longevity because it leads to overtreatment, exposing patients to potential harms without offering any benefits. – Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board, Gayle Sulik PhD, April 30th, 2014

Listen to Peter Gotzsche explain why “Screening Doesn’t Save Lives.” He states: “Stay Away from Screening” as it harms many women with overdiagnosis and overtreatment. and it increases breast cancer incidence and aggressive treatments.

Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned

More studies and experts speaking out against mammography screening: The Downside of Mammograms – What Your Doctor May Not Be Telling You

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31 Days of “Little Known” FACTS — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month — Day 11 — It’s Ok to Opt Out of Mammograms

Did you know…

It’s Ok to Opt Out of Mammograms.

In this must-read article, science writer, Christie Aschwanden lists key points (see below) of some of the “little known” harms of screening. She encourages women to review a chart on “Benefits and Harms of Screening Mammography.

Key points from article:

  • Here’s the bigger problem: screening mammography has failed to reduce the incidence of metastatic disease and it’s created an epidemic of a precancer called DCIS. The premise of screening is that it can find cancers destined to metastasize when they’re at an early stage so that they can be treated before they turn deadly. If this were the case, then finding and treating cancers at an early stage should reduce the rate at which cancers present at a later, metastatic stage. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happened.”
  • If you find a lump or something weird in your breast, absolutely get it checked out. In those instances, a mammogram is a necessary diagnostic tool. But screening mammograms — those done when you have no symptoms — have never been shown to decrease overall mortality and may cause tangible harms. For these reasons, I’ve chosen to opt out of mammography, and I based my decision on statistics and science.

Be sure to read the entire article and review the chart: It’s Ok to Opt Out of Mammograms

For anyone interested in a better, safer, more accurate way of imaging dense breast tissue, read my blog post: Bye-Bye Mammograms: Hello SonoCiné Ultrasound

Thank you thank you thank you Christie for taking the time (yet again) to write such an important EDUCATIONAL article!

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