Millions Wrongly Treated for ‘ Breast Cancer,’ National Cancer Institute Panel Confirms
A devastating new report commissioned by the National Cancer Institute reveals that our 40-year long ‘War on Cancer’ has been waged against a vastly misunderstood ‘enemy,’ that in many cases represented no threat to human health whatsoever.
If you have been following our advocacy work on cancer, particularly in connection with the dark side of breast cancer awareness month, you know that we have been calling for the complete reclassification of some types of ‘breast cancer’ as benign lesions, e.g. ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), as well as pointing out repeatedly that x-ray based breast screenings are not only highly carcinogenic but are also causing an epidemic of “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” in US women, with an estimated 1.3 million cases in the past 30 years alone.
This week, a National Cancer Institute commissioned panel’s report published in JAMA online confirmed that we all – public and professionals alike – should stop calling low-risk lesions like DCIS and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) ‘cancer.’
There are wide-reaching implications to this recommendation, including:
- Millions of women in this country have been diagnosed with DCIS, and millions of men with HGPIN, and subsequently [mis]treated. Are they now to be retroactively reclassified as ‘victims’ of iatrogenesis, with legal recourse to seek compensation?
- Anyone engaged in a cancer screening will now need to reconsider and weigh both the risks and benefits of such a ‘preventive’ strategy, considering that the likelihood of being diagnosed with a false positive over 10 years is already over 50% for women undergoing annual breast screening.
- The burgeoning pink ribbon-bedecked ‘breast cancer awareness’ industry will be forced to reformulate its message, as it is theoretically culpable for the over diagnosis and over treatment of millions of US women by propagating an entirely false concept of ‘cancer.’
As reported by Medscape:
The practice of oncology in the United States is in need of a host of reforms and initiatives to mitigate the problem of over diagnosis and over treatment of cancer, according to a working group sanctioned by the National Cancer Institute.
Perhaps most dramatically, the group says that a number of premalignant conditions, including ductal carcinoma in situ and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, should no longer be called “cancer.”
Instead, the conditions should be labeled something more appropriate, such as indolent lesions of epithelial origin (IDLE), the working group suggests. The Viewpoint report was published online July 29 in JAMA.
Fundamentally, over-diagnosis results from the fact that screen-detected ‘cancers’ are disproportionately slower growing ones, present with few to no symptoms, and would never progress to cause harm if left undiagnosed and untreated.
As you can see by the graph above, it is the fast-growing tumors which will be more difficult to ‘detect early,’ and will progress rapidly enough to cause symptoms and perhaps even death unless treated aggressively. But even in the case of finding the tumor early enough to contain it through surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation, it is well-known that the minority subpopulation of cancer stem cells within these tumors will be enriched and therefore made more malignant through conventional treatment. For instance, radiotherapy radiation wavelengths were only recently found by UCLA Jonnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers to transform breast cancer cells into highly malignant cancer stem-cell like cells, with 30 times higher malignancy post-treatment.
What this means is that not only are millions of screen-detected abnormalities not ‘cancer’ in the first place but even those which can be considered fast-growing are often being driven into greater malignancy by the conventional chemotherapy, radiation and surgery-based standard of cancer care itself.
Our entire world view of cancer needs to shift from an enemy that “attacks” us and that we must wage war against, to something our body does, presumably to survive an increasingly inhospitable, nutrient-deprived, carcinogen and radiation-saturated environment, i.e. Cancer As An Ancient Survival Mechanism Unmasked.
When we look at cancer through the optic of fear and see it as an essentially chaos-driven infinitely expanding mass of cells, we are apt to make irrational choices. The physiological state of fear itself has been found to activate multidrug resistance proteins within cancer cells, explaining how our very perception of cancer can influence and/or determine its physiological status and/or trajectory within our body.
The NCI panel report opined:
“The word “cancer” often invokes the specter of an inexorably lethal process; however, cancers are heterogeneous and can follow multiple paths, not all of which progress to metastases and death, and include indolent disease that causes no harm during the patient’s lifetime.”
For more details on what our founder Sayer Ji calls the “Cancer Malignancy Meme,” see his video presentation at the Mind Body Week DC conference, wherein he discuss the ‘Rise of Biomedicine’ within the context of the mind-body connection, and breast cancer over-diagnosis in particular.
We must keep in mind that this proposed redefinition of cancer is no small academic matter, but will affect the lives of millions of women. Consider that every year, approximately 60,000 women in this country are diagnosed with DCIS, a diagnosis so traumatic that it results in significant psychiatric depression 3 years after even a ‘false positive’ diagnosis. For those less fortunate women, numbering in the millions over the past 30 years, who were told they had ‘cancer’ and needed to undergo
lumpectomy, radiation, chemotherapy and/or mastectomy, the NCI panel’s recommendation is a hard pill swallow after the damage has already been irrevocably done.
So, what’s the solution? There is a growing movement towards the use of thermography as a primary diagnostic tool, as it uses no ionizing radiation, and can detect the underlying physiological processes that may indicate inflammation, angiogenesis, cancer-specific metabolic changes, etc., many years before a calcified lesion would appear within an x-ray mammogram. Also, – the mainstay of any truly preventive strategy against cancer is diet, nutrition, exercise and avoiding chemical and radiation exposure, the things that we can do in our daily lives to take back control of and responsibility for our health.
For related research read ‘Hidden Dangers’ of Mammograms Every Woman Should Know About
Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation.
He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is widely recognized as the most widely referenced health resource of its kind.
This is MONUMENTAL NEWS.
Now many people will be spared unneeded procedures and the subsequent challenges they created. Billions of Health-Care Dollars and resources will become available to be used elsewhere.
Reversal and Prevention of Fibrocystic Disease (lumpy, tender breasts) of the breast, Iodine may be the answer for the majority of women. You be the Judge!
Dr. David Derry
Having said all that, breast cancer has been one of my interests for many years. I would like to tell you my thoughts on breast cancer and thyroid disease in an abbreviated form. Breast cancer takes around 20-30 years to develop. The discovered lump represents the end stage of slow cancer progression over decades. The longest period is the first phase of cancer development. This phase which is often called pre-cancerous happens as as a normal cell is gradually turned into a cancer cell. These pre-cancerous lesions are known as fibrocystic disease (lumpy, tender breasts) of the breast. (2-3,13-14) Most fibrocystic disease is benign, harmless and has no consequences.On the other hand, some more advanced forms of fibrocystic disease have clearly defined tendencies towards breast cancer. So there are grades of fibrocystic disease with some of the cells looking more abnormal than in the benign forms. The greater the difference in the cells from normal (abnormal) the greater chance of these cells converting to a cancer cell over 10-20 years. So if you have fibrocystic disease still at the age of 45-55, you likely have had this for many years. There maybe then a significant chance the cells may change into a cancer cell. The good news is that it can be cleared up completely with a daily intake of iodine.(9)In 1993 Ghent and Eskin (2) published a landmark paper on the treatment of severe fibrocystic disease of the breast with iodine supplements. This paper was the result of more than 30 years of marvelous research by Dr. Bernard. A. Eskin of the Medical College of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. First in animals and then in humans he proved fibrocystic disease of the breast is the result of low dietary iodine. He has shown also that this can go on to develop into breast cancer.(2-8) I feel Dr. Eskin’s research represents a major step toward conquering breast cancer and likely other cancers.Our main significant source of iodine in our diets is iodized salt. But since the high blood pressure studies in the 1950s on salts and their effects on blood pressure, there has been a steady urging, on all women and the elderly especially, to decrease their salt intake. Women are also told to restrict salt in pregnancy. This salt avoidance leads to a relative dietary iodine deficiency. What’s more children are also being taught to restrict their salt intake because of obesity. If this lowers the children’s iodine intake then they will end up low thyroid and gain even more weight. Although there is still iodine in the diets of women it is much lower in general than was anticipated if they were taking a normal salt diet. (10-13) By law in some countries, but not in the United States, iodine is put into table salt. All other sources of salt, such as processed fast foods do not have iodine in them. So children can be eating a lot of salt but without any iodine in it.If it is true there has been a general decrease in salt intake and thus iodine intake since the 1950s, there should have been a general increase in the number of women with fibrocystic (lumpy) disease of the breast. But if as well even lower iodine intake was occurring in the female population, worse forms of fibrocystic disease would occur which are statistically directly related to breast cancer. The chances of getting breast cancer then go up considerably. Now if we put this together with the incidence of breast cancer going from 1 in 23 in the mid 1960s to 1 in 8 currently then it seems to fit together. Over the last 80 years hundreds of publications have confirmed statistical correlations between the worse forms of fibrocystic disease of the breast and subsequent breast cancer. Unfortunately if you have fibrocystic disease you really don’t know what type you have without a biopsy. On the other hand if you take iodine in adequate amounts daily all of the fibrocystic disease disappears so that you are essentially preventing breast cancer from occurring. If a cancer has already started it is unlikely it will be stopped with the iodine at that dose.
From my personal investigations cancer is roughly divided into two phases. The first part is the pre-cancerous phase (before cancer) and involves the change of a normal cell into a cancer cell. This first phase of cancer development takes about 10-30 years. Iodine in adequate doses stops and reverses this stage of the cancer process by causing the natural death of abnormal cells (apoptosis). Iodine circulates throughout the body in the extracellular fluids found between the cells of the body. If cell surface proteins have the amino acid tyrosine on the outside, the passing iodine reacts with this tyrosine. This little reaction denatures the protein and thus kills the cell. It is implied all vertebrate cell membranes do not have tyrosine on the portion of the protein sticking out into the extracellular fluid.
However, the intra membrane proteins may have tyrosine which is only exposed when the membrane is distorted by abnormal cell development such as we see in the pre-cancerous forms of fibrocystic disease. This would then expose the tyrosine to the iodine passing in the extracellular fluid. Again the iodine would denature the protein by reacting with the tyrosine and thus kill off the cell. So thus we have surveillance system for removing abnormal cells from our bodies. On the other hand low iodine intake allows cells to proceed and develop towards cancer. This is more indirect because the gradual increase in abnormal cells are just not being eliminated from the body because there is inadequate iodine to carry this out.
Once the cell has become a cancer cell then it can take two different turns. It can multiply and spread or it can multiply and just stay where it is. The second is called carcinoma in situ. (cancer at the site) The second phase(cancer multiplying and spreading) is the part we are all familiar with. Since on average breast cancer cells double every 100 days, it takes 9 years before mammograms can pick it up and around 11 years before we find it ourselves. (15)
This second clinical part of the cancer phase (the spreading) seems to be arrested by adequate levels of thyroid hormone in all tissues. Thyroid hormone completely controls the connective tissue which forms a strong sieve-like barrier to the passage of cancer cells trying to spread.(16-18) Low levels of thyroid hormone in the tissues (especially connective tissues) promotes the spread of cancer cells. So the body cancer defense system has two parts iodine for the first pre-cancer phase and thyroid hormone and iodine together for the second clinical phase. There is some overlapping of these two defense systems. The excess iodine flows out in the urine. Of course, because the iodine flows out in the urine it is preventing the development of abnormal cells in the bladder and kidney system at the same time. This then prevents cancers developing there.
Now you ask how much is adequate thyroid hormone? Clinically, it means, for you personally, enough thyroid to bring your weight back down. With the increase in metabolism caused by the thyroid together with the thyroid induced personal well-being and motivation you should easily return to your normal weight. You should feel good in yourself and coping well with your life (well-being). If those are all in place then you are likely on a dose that will stop the cancer from spreading. In a normal person this would be between 200 and 400 micrograms of thyroxine. If you combine thyroid hormone treatment with adequate amounts of iodine to prevent any new cancers from developing, then you likely have a good prognosis. For the 8 years I tried this regime on 10 breast cancer patients — there were no recurrences and everyone felt well. There are exceptions to the dosage — related to childhood frightening events. I will discuss this in another answer.(9)
An adequate dose of iodine can be defined as more than 4 mg per day. Lugol’s solution is an iodine-in-water solution used by the medical profession for 200 years. One drop (6.5 mg per drop) of Lugol’s daily in water, orange juice or milk will gradually eliminate the first phase of the cancer development namely fibrocystic disease of the breast so no new cancers can start. It also will kill abnormal cells floating around in the body at remote sites from the original cancer. Of course this approach appears to work for prostate cancer as prostate cancer is similar to breast cancer in many respects. Indeed, it likely will help with most cancers. Also higher doses of iodine are required for inflammatory breast cancer. As well we know that large doses of intravenous iodine are harmless which makes one wonder what effect this would have on cancer growth.
I hope this helps you understand breast cancer better.
1. Links,J.M. Chapter 16. Radiation physics and Chapter 17, Williams,E.D. Biologic effects of radiation on the thyroid. in Werner and Ingbar’s The Thyroid. Eds Braverman, L.C. and Utiger,R.D. J.B. Lippincott Company 1991. Philadelphia pages 405-436.
2. Ghent,W.R., Eskin,B.A., Low,D.A., Hill, L.P.. Iodine replacement in fibrocystic disease of the breast. Can J Surg 1993; 36:453-460.
3. Ghent,W.R., Eskin, B.A.. Iodine deficiency breast syndrome. In: Medeiros-Neto G, Gaitan E, editors. Frontiers in Thyroidology, Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress, 1985. New York: Plenum, 1986: 1021-1026.
4. Eskin,B.A., Grotkowski,C.E., Connolly,C.P., Ghent,W.R.. Different tissue responses for iodine and iodide in rat thyroid and mammary glands. Biol Trace Element Res 1995; 49:9-19.
5. Eskin,B.A.. Iodine metabolism and breast cancer. Trans NY Acad Sci 1970; 32:911-947.
6. Eskin,B.A.. Iodine and breast cancer. Biol Trace Element Res 1983; 5:399-412.
7. Eskin,B.A.. Dietary iodine and cancer risk. Lancet 1976; 8:807-808.
8. Eskin,B.A., Krouse,T.B., Modhera,P.R., Mitchell,M.A.. Etiology of mammary gland pathophysiology induced by iodine deficiency. In: Medeiros-Neto G, Gaitan E, editors. Frontiers in thyroidology, Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress. New York: Plenum, 1986: 1027-1031.
9. Derry, DM. Breast Cancer and iodine Preventing and surviving.Trafford Publishing company, Victoria, Canada. 2001.
10. Lee,K., Bradley,R., Dwyer,J., S. L. Lee,S.L.. Too much or too little: The implication of current Iodine intake in the United States. Nutrition Reviews 57:177-181, 1999.
11. Hollowell,J.G., Staehling,N.W., Hannon,W.H. et al. Iodine nutrition in the United States. Trends and public health implications: Iodine excretion data from national health and nutrition examination surveys I and III (1971-1974 and 1988-1994). J Clin Endocrinol Metab 83:3401-3408, 21998.
12. Thomson,C.D., Colls,A.J., Conaglen,J.V., Macormack,M., Stiles,M., Mann.J.. Iodine status of New Zealand residents as assessed by urinary iodide excretion and thyroid hormones. British Journal of Nutrition 78 (6):901-912, 1997.
13. Glinoer,D. Feto-maternal repercussions of iodine deficiency during pregnancy. An update. Annales d Endocrinologie. 64 (1):37-44, 2003.
14. Gullino PM. Natural history of breast cancer. Cancer 39, 2697-2703. 1977.
15. Clark WH. The nature of cancer: morphogenesis and progressive (self ) disorganization in neoplastic development and progression. Acta Oncol 1995; 34:3-21. 16. Clark WH. Tumour progression and the nature of cancer. J Cancer 1991; 64:631-644. 17. Smith,T.J., R. S. Bahn, and C. A. Gorman. Connective tissue, glycosaminoglycans, and diseases of the thyroid. Endocr.Rev. 10:366-391, 1989.
- “BREAST CANCER & IODINE “
- by David M. Derry, M.D.,Ph.D.
- SHOWING THE IODINE & THYROID HORMONE CONNECTION TO CANCER & OTHER DEGENERATIVE CONDITONS
- Startling Ground-breaking new research shows how to prevent and survive breast cancer & other cancers as well as other degenerative conditions such as fibrocystic disease, fibromyalgia, etc.
- ABOUT THE AUTHOR
- Dr.Derry was born in Selby, England and grew up in Marcaibo, Venezula. He received his MD at University of British Columbia. He did his internship at Toronto General to take his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Neurochemistry at Montreal Neurological Institute and McGill University.
- He has taught Pharmacology to Medical Students and Dental Students in the Dept. of Pharmacology of University of Toronto. He was Medici Research Scholar.
- He started General Practice in Victoria, BC Canada. Over the last 15 years he has researched the connections between iodine, thyroid and cancer and has amassed a library of 5000 reprints and books on breast cancer, thyroid hormones and iodine. He is now retired from private practice and heads his research foundation BITES.
- ABOUT THE BOOK
- “The book is divided into four parts. The first part discusses iodine. From published facts, we can arrive at a proposal that iodine could be the first phase of a two-phase cancer defense system. It appears that iodine in the extra-cellular fluid outside of the cells IS THE MAIN SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FOR ABNORMAL CELLS. Iodine also triggers the natural death of normal cells in the body (editor note: apoptosis). There are many cell types in the body undergoing natural death all the time. For example, some of the cells in the stomach have lives of only 2-3 days. The name of this process is apoptosis.
- Carefully documented description of the cancer process at different places in the body reveals most cancers have similar stages through which it passes. Cancer is not really cancer until it starts to move by invasion through nearby connective tissue. Cells develop abnormalities for a variety of reasons and can continue to become abnormal all the way up through atypical cells and to carcinoma in situ. Carcinoma in situ is the dividing line between the 2 phases of cancer development. Iodine in correct doses will reverse all the changes up to and including the carcinoma in situ.
- The thyroid hormone controls connective tissue function. So, connective tissue around organs forms a structural biological barrier to the spread of cancer. Cancer spread to distant organs can only develop in the connective tissue of those organs. Therefore, if the connective tissue defense is not strong, then the cancerous cell from a distant site can land there and grow. If however the thyroid hormone level in the connective tissue is high enough, then the connective tissue will perform its normal defense duties and now allow the cancer to enter and develop.
- Using these principles, fibrocystic disease and breast cancer become more understandable. Supplemental iodine in the correct amounts will remove all lesions from carcinoma in situ back to just an abnormal cell by triggering death of these cells by apoptosis. Spread of cancer cells in the connective tissue can be arrested by adequate treatment with thyroid hormone to strengthen the connective tissue barrier.
- My experience with patients using this approach so far has been successful. The principles are that there are 2-phases of cancer–one controlled by iodine and the other by thyroid hormones. Thus, this book deals with the prevention and survival of breast cancer.”
- Editor’s Note: This foundational concept applies to all cancers which must use connective tissue to spread, not just breast cancer.