inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #76 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Wed 20 Oct 10 16:18
    

#72, 73  

Thank you, Sally!  I love when all the little pieces start coming
together. 

As I see it, taken together, debunix’s explanation that angiogenesis
precedes cancer progression plus the two papers you’ve sent in (the
first indicating that thermography picks up (precancerous) hyperplasia 
by actually picking up increasing blood vessel density, and the second
reinforcing the the fact that hyperplasia goes with angiogenesis)
reinforces the idea that thermograms pick up those hyperplastic changes
that are the precursors to invasive breast cancer.

Do they see these changes before a mammogram does?  I don't know. 
There haven't been enough comparative studies.  I'm sure if I asked a
mammographer, s/he'd say no, but a thermographer would say yes.

FWIW, I'm comfortable with thermograms, not because I think they're
better than mammograms (we've agreed there's insufficient evidence as
yet), but because they offer a way of imaging breast tissue that shows
most or all of what I need to know ... and THEY DO NO HARM in the
process. 

* * * *

Mammography has proved so unsatisfactory that many other screening
methods are being explored these days.  I came across an article the
other day for a computed tomography laser mammogram at 
<http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=new-light-on-breast-cancer>
 
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #77 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Wed 20 Oct 10 16:22
    
#74

Divinea,  I wasn’t familiar with David Gorski’s blog prior to this,
but I appreciate your sending us there.  His article is  such a
gorgeous example of the ad hominem attack that it’s a keeper for that
reason alone.   

That does not, however, diminish its value as an article delineating
an opposing point of view.  Life'd be pretty boring if we were all in
total agreement all the time.    
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #78 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Wed 20 Oct 10 19:00
    
#75

Gail, thanks for the other Gorski link.  When the guy stops foaming at
the mouth, he IS worth reading. And interesting.

I've never understood why some people dismiss new concepts as 
"woo woo" science.  Say you don't understand it, say it doesn't make
sense to you or that it so contradicts the science you've learned that
you can't give it much credence, but don't just dismiss it outright ...


* * * 

We talked about watching and waiting, and I started wondering if some
folks might be uncomfortable with that because they weren't sure what
they could do in terms of prevention and intervention strategies while
waiting for the next thermogram OR mammogram.

I'd like to get into some of those tomorrow.
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #79 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Wed 20 Oct 10 19:09
    
#75 
Gail,
One last thing for the day:
You wrote

"
I like the idea of pulling from multiple healing traditions and
looking at science as well as placebo effect or whatever we want to
call belief-based or holistic healing contexts.  
"

I feel the same way.  I'm for any healing strategy that works,
regardless of which side of the medical street it comes from.   

When it comes to breast cancer, all sides have much to teach u
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #80 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Wed 20 Oct 10 19:51
    
[oops]

us.  I'm loath to dismiss a healing strategy that might work just
because someone else thinks it's "too new," "too old," "too difficult,"
or "too unscientific" because I've seen things work that I didn't even
know existed. 

For example, when I first joined the Amazon listserv in 1997, one
member had been diagnosed with such extensive metastatic bc that she
was told there was no medical treatment that might help her.  They
suggested she go home and get her affairs in order, for she had little
more than six weeks to live.

But the fact that THEY had nothing more to offer her didn't mean that
NOBODY ELSE did either.  And so, because she looked, she was able to
find other ways to heal her "Swiss cheese" bones, shrink her tumors (or
at least stop them in their tracks), and bring her cancer markers
down.   

Five YEARS after she was sent home to die, this woman was written up
as a "miracle patient" in her local newspaper and seven years later,
she was opening a new business.

So what does that prove?  I think it shows that there are ways to deal
with cancer perhaps undreamt of in our philosophy. And maybe it says
that, since nobody knows where bc will strike next, it might behoove us
all to look into the wide variety of healing strategies out there. 
I'll gladly share the ones I know about, and hope you'll do the same.  
 
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #81 of 141: David Albert (aslan) Thu 21 Oct 10 04:21
    
> I've never understood why some people dismiss new concepts as 
> "woo woo" science.

When someone has been told that there is no hope left and they should
go home to die, there is no harm in trying anything at all that they
want to try -- it will empower them to feel better about their choices,
even if it turns out to have no healing effect.

But when there are tried and true methods and someone chooses
something with no proven benefit over those methods, I have no problem
understanding why a doctor would be frustrated that a patient didn't
want to give themselves the best chance at life.

The problem, of course, is that doctors do not always properly
estimate the harmful psychological effects of various treatments, and
that no two humans perform the same risk analysis in the same way. 
Some people will be happier using treatments that they feel more
comfortable with, even if they end up living shorter lives -- and since
everything is odds ratios and chances, they may just happen to be the
lucky ones who live longer either despite or even because of a
nonstandard treatment.
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #82 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Thu 21 Oct 10 06:30
    
#81, David,

You write,

"
But when there are tried and true methods and someone chooses
something with no proven benefit over those methods, I have no problem
understanding why a doctor would be frustrated that a patient didn't
want to give themselves the best chance at life.
"

--and not just a doctor, but the patient's friends and family as well.
You're right: it does seem folly to eschew what is known to work
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #83 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Thu 21 Oct 10 08:54
    
[oops again]

Why then are so many women doing exactly that -- saying no to
chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone-blocking-- and turning instead to
other ways of dealing with their breast cancers? 

I think it comes down to the fact that what most Americans consider to
be a 'tried and true' set of protocols for breast cancer, though
certainly 'tried' enough, turns out not to be as 'true' as we've been
led to believe.   Chemotherapy for breast cancer is at best a stopgap
measure.  (Note: I'm not knocking stopgap measures, for they buy us
time.  I just want to make clear that chemo isn't a cure.) 

While I'm at it, let me also state that I'm talking about the relative
effectiveness (or lack thereof) of standard treatment for BREAST
CANCER, and breast cancer only. 

Nor do I think chemo is totally useless; I've seen it work, albeit not
as often as we'd like to think.  I know a number of women who went
through mastectomy and chemo, who used a SERM (Selective Estrogen
Receptor Modulator) like Tamoxifen for five years and then moved on to
one of the newer AI's (Aromatase Inhibitor), and here they are, eight
and ten years later, leading productive lives that they enjoy
enormously, knowing how precious each day can be.  

They are, unfortunately, the exception, rather than the rule.  Those
who've gone the chemo route know the danger of recurrence during the
first five years after chemotherapy. They've seen women in the chemo
room who are there for the third time because it failed them twice
before.  They've known women who've recurred right in the middle of a
course of chemotherapy.  It is not a cure.   

However, if you or anyone else can find proof that chemo does cure
breast cancer (i.e., that the cancer never returns, or doesn't return
for at least 25 or 30 years) even if it's only 20% of the time, I hope
you'll share the source with us.  

I think you'll have trouble finding that, though.  I've seen, heard,
and read of no known cure for breast cancer.   There are treatments
oncologists offer for breast cancer, yes, but they're not a cure.  

Still, however flawed those treatments, they're all that standard
medicine has to offer at this time, and to NOT offer them because
they're often ineffective is no solution.  When a woman has breast
cancer, the oncologist has to do SOMEthing. And most oncologists make
clear that what they offer is not likely to be a cure, although they
don't put it quite so baldly.

In part, it is this lack of a cure in the face of millions of dollars,
thirty-odd years, and thousands of scientist-hours poured into the
search for it that prompts many women with breast cancer to start
looking into other avenues of healing.

The other part probably is, as you've pointed out, 
"
Some people will be happier using treatments that they feel more
comfortable with, even if they end up living shorter lives -- and
since everything is odds ratios and chances, they may just happen to be
the lucky ones who live longer either despite or even because of a
nonstandard treatment.
"

There is one more thing:  
The fact that most oncologists are unaware of, say, Eskin and Ghent's
research on the use of iodine for breast cancer means only that the
research hasn't yet filtered down into clinical practice.  It's coming
though, as evidenced by the relatively recent proliferation of research
on iodine and its symporter (the NIS; a molecule responsible for
getting iodine into cells) in breast and ovarian cancer resesarch on
pubmed/medline.  

Personally, I think the use of iodine will gradually come into focus,
then be subject to debate and argument, etc., as happens with anything
new in medicine, and then be accepted as (at the very least) a valuable
adjunct to standard tx, before there is consensus that cytotoxic
therapies might not be the way to go .... and then the whole face of
breast cancer treatment may change radically.  

Meanwhile, however, those of us in the figurative bunkers watching the
enemy storming the hill have no time to wait until every weapon in our
arsenal has been tested and argued about for years.  We use them now
and hope for the best.  In this, we are no different from the women
doing chemotherapy.  

Here's an interesting info-bit, though:  Those of us who refused chemo
and everything else despite our oncodocs' strong recommendations (but
who turned to alternatives instead, since "doing absolutely nothing" is
a less-than-optimal choice) seem to be living longer and better, with
fewer physical problems, than those of us who went the whole
standard-medicine route. 

Once again, everything I've said refers to breast cancer only.
 
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #84 of 141: Travis Bickle has left the building. (divinea) Thu 21 Oct 10 11:44
    
Do you seriously maintain that women who refuse any medical treatment
whatsoever live "longer and better, with fewer physical problems" than
women who underwent treatment?
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #85 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Thu 21 Oct 10 14:18
    
In 1976, when world-wide rates of breast cancer mortality were
steadily rising, and four years after the US banned the use of DDT, 
some researchers in Israel's equivalent of OSHA conducted an experiment
whose results proved more far-reaching than they imagined. 

THE EXPERIMENT 

From each of a number of women with breast cancer they took TWO tissue
samples:  one sample from her cancerous breast, and the other from a
different, noncancerous area of her body.   

They wanted to know if breast cancer tissue concentrated
organochlorines more, less, or to the same levels as normal tissue.  

To answer that, they measured the organochlorine levels in the breast
cancer tissue and in the normal tissue.  Then they compared the
organochlorine levels of the two tissue samples from each woman's body,
cancerous and normal. 

Many of us would expect the concentration levels to be the same in
both normal and cancerous tissue, since they do, after all, come from
the same body, but this is not the case.
 
What they discovered was a much higher concentration of
organochlorines in cancerous breast tissue than in normal breast or
adipose tissue.    

As a result of that and similar experiments, by 1978 (2 yrs. later)
Israel had banned not only the use of DDT (which we too had banned),
but where our government still allowed for its use on certain crops,
allowed for its export, didn't really enforce its non-use all that
stringently, Israel flat-out banned virtually all organochlorine
pesticides, herbicides, and PCBs. (I'm using 'virtually' as a hedge,
since I no longer possess the articles dealing with that ban, but I
think it was across the board: no organochlorines, period.) 

But now here's the REALLY interesting part.

“Once Israel banned these chemicals , they began noting a significant
decrease in the level of toxic chemicals found in human breast milk.  
Over the next ten years, the rate of breast cancer deaths declined
sharply, with a 30% drop in mortality for women under 44 years old, and
an 8% overall decline.   

"Interestingly, at this same time, all other known cancer risks –
alcohol consumption, fat intake, lack of fruits and vegetables in the
diet – increased significantly.  Furthermore, worldwide death rates
from breast cancer rose by 4%.  

"The only answer scientists could find to explain this anomaly was the
greatly reduced level of environmental toxins.”

From the book called “Cancer Diagnosis” (subtitle= “What to do next”),
by John Diamond, MD and W. Lee Cowden, MD. 
* * * 

More to come in next post.  I just don't want to lose this one. 
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #86 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Thu 21 Oct 10 15:42
    
#84 Divinea

"
Do you seriously maintain that women who refuse any medical treatment
whatsoever live "longer and better, with fewer physical problems" than
women who underwent treatment?
"

Goodness, no.  I'm not entirely sure how you made that leap, but  rest
assured, I don't see how anyone could think that "to refuse any
medical treatment whatsoever" is a sensible path to take when dealing
with breast cancer.  To do absolutely nothing would be such folly that
the thought is anathema to me. 

There is no question that a woman has to do something or she's likely
to die some years down the road (or sooner,if she comes in at a late
stage).  

Please remember, though, that there now exist treatments and protocols
which don't fall under the heading of "standard medical treatment for
breast cancer."   

I've seen enough of what's out there to know that standard American
treatment is neither the only one that women choose nor the only one
that might be, um, viable. (I'd say 'effective' if I thought chemo
offered better odds, but I've not yet seen anything to indicate that
it's the best choice out there.  To me, it's merely one of many. 
However, should you have proof that it works beyond five years for the
vast majority of women who choose it, I sincerely hope you'll share it
here.) 

Actually, many (though hardly all) of the methods I've seen working
for women do fall within the category of  "medical treatment" (if that
refers to treatment by an MD and only an MD).  They just aren't
standard chemo and rads.  

Some physicians, for example, are using IPT (Insulin Potentiation
Therapy) which --though it uses small amounts of a chemotherapy
cocktail--  is about as far from standard chemotherapy as you can get. 

Keith Block,MD, practices oncology, but he does it in a way my oncodoc
in New Orleans would never have believed possible. Block's protocols
include --but are far from limited to-- chemotherapy, which he couples
with infusions of natural compounds well-researched by John Boik and
others.  He leans more toward the natural compounds than any other MD
I've read or heard about, which makes sense to me, for they've been
shown to be effective even when used alone.  

Tullio Simoncini, an Italian MD who uses, of all things, sodium
bicarbonate in combination with other compounds, has patients who swear
he's saved their lives.  He's another MD whose therapy I think is
worth looking into further, but he certainly doesn't use either
chemotherapy or radiation ... and his patients are still alive and well
at least as long as if they'd done chemotherapy, though for the few I
know personally, it's been longer than five years. In fact, there's a
cancer center in, um, D.C.? Maryland?  which opened in the past several
years; I've heard it offers Simoncini's treatments for those unable or
unwilling to travel to Italy. 

They're just the first few that came to mind; I'm not saying they've
got any more answers than those delivering chemotherapy and radiation. 
Their answers are different, and their solutions seem to be working
for the many women who use them. 

There's an ever-growing number of practitioners who've been using
electronic medicine to treat breast cancer.  Some use Ayurvedic
medicine (which gave us some of the compounds currently used in
chemotherapy).  Some are using TCM (Tradit'l Chinese Medicine).  The
list is very, very long.  Bottom line:  There's much more out there
besides just chemo and rads.  

Other countries have different ways of dealing with the disease.  They
think about it differently.  There are some who see our cytotoxic
therapy as a less-than-practical way of dealing with breast cancer.
German clinics, many of whom rely on proteolytic enzymes (as did
Kelley, as does Gonzales) seem to have an ever-improving track record. 
Certainly they do no worse than rads or chemo, and some do a lot
better.  That's why so many American women have begun going to German
clinics after being diagnosed here.  

I love my country, too.  But that doesn't make our way the best, or
even the only way to deal with this disease.

Chemo and rads certainly are *A* way to go.  But they are far from the
ONLY way. 

* * *

I hope you realize that I'm not suggesting women do anything save what
they think will serve them best.  

I'm here only to share what I've learned about some of the ways in
which women deal with the whole issue of breast cancer, not only here
but in other countries as well (for we draw women from all over the
world). 

I'm glad to be here, and I'm glad to have you here, too.  You turn my
statements around so well that it encourages me toward greater
precision.  
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #87 of 141: Travis Bickle has left the building. (divinea) Thu 21 Oct 10 15:52
    
I am not turning your statements around. I'm reading the words that
you're posting. 

You're pretty good at not allowing yourself to be nailed down to
specifics, though, I'll give you that.
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #88 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Thu 21 Oct 10 18:14
    <scribbled>
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #89 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Thu 21 Oct 10 19:20
    
Divinea,

You said,

I am not turning your statements around. I'm reading the words that
you're posting. 

Well, let's backtrack: 

I wrote:
" 
Those of us who refused chemo and everything else despite our
oncodocs' strong recommendations (but who turned to alternatives
instead, 

 ******since "doing absolutely nothing" *********
*******is a less-than-optimal choice) ***********

seem to be living longer and better, with 
fewer physical problems, than those of us who went the whole 
standard-medicine route. "


YOU asked
 "
Do you seriously maintain that women who refuse any medical treatment 
whatsoever live "longer and better, with fewer physical problems" than
women who underwent treatment? 
" 

Since it wasn't what I'd said to begin with, I said you'd turned my
statement around. 
 
You also wrote:
"
You're pretty good at not allowing yourself to be nailed down to
specifics, though, I'll give you that.

"

I'm not avoiding specifics, Divinea.   My posts are already so long
that if I got into specifics at every single turn, I'd be writing even
longer ones, posts perhaps too long for anyone to want to read.

I'm also going on the (perhaps erroneous) assumption that if people
have questions/want further information, they'll ask.  

What, specifically, were you interested in finding out more about?  If
I can give you more details, I'll be glad to.  If I can't, I'll say
so.   And if the specifics are on a website I've already pointed to,
I'll point to it again. 
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #90 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Thu 21 Oct 10 21:09
    
Moving right along. 
* * * 
Come back to that Israeli study about organochlorines and breast
cancer, for a moment: 

I don't expect that study alone to convince anyone to suddenly start
avoiding halogens, but because all the halogens except astatine
displace iodine, and because both very old and relatively new research
points to our bodies' need for iodine, I hope the idea of
not-displacing the iodine you still have in your body will at least be
on your radar.   

For me, the connection is too clear to ignore, and so the first item
on my PERSONAL list of things to do in order to reduce my own risk of
recurrence is 

*** Avoid as much as possible all the halogens above iodine in the
periodic table.*****  

(For those who, like me, are not chemists, here’s a refresher:  the
halogens are those reactive elements on the far-right of the periodic
table, almost to the end.  The list starts with the most-reactive and
goes down to the least-reactive.  They are all reactive, though, which
may explain why they're so easily (and therefore ubiquitously) used.)  

THE HALOGENS
Fluorine, Chlorine,  Bromine, Iodine.   
(There's another one, astatine, but it's rare and it doesn't displace
iodine.)

Halogen compounds, or ‘salts,’ are called halides.  They are  
Fluoride, Chloride, Bromide, Iodide (and astatide)

Anything that comes before iodine/iodide on that list stands ready,
willing, and able to displace iodine/iodide in our tissues.  And that’s
what makes them so potentially dangerous for the woman with breast
cancer.  

The need for iodine in breasts and ovaries is second only to the
thyroid's need for it.   There's a school of thought that says to
remove iodine from the body by daily displacing it with all or any of
the halogens above it on the list is to open yourself to thyroid,
breast, and/or ovarian problems down the road.  

This is echoed in a theory about how breast cancer may begin, called
"The Perfect Storm Theory of Breast Cancer" that deals with iodine's
displacement by the other halogens (bromine perhaps even more than
chlorine).  It is a little long, but it pulls together much of the
research and offers a historical view of the changes in our food,
medicine, and manufactured clothing that may account for how breast
cancer starts.  You can find it at 
<http://breastcancerchoices.org/perfectstorm.html>.  

Every day brings us new opportunities to lose what  iodine we have in
our tissues.  Here are some examples:

Unless you're deliberately making the effort to purchase a
non-fluoridated toothpaste, your toothpaste probably contains fluoride.
 Non-fluoridated toothpastes are available.   We teach our very young
children how to brush their teeth and we warn them not to swallow it,
but that doesn't mean it doesn't get swallowed.  Btw, I have yet to see
a study establishing fluoride’s safety for adults, let alone small
children.  If you've got one, please share it.

Our water is  not only fluoridated, but chlorinated. We swim in
chlorine pools.  We bleach our clothes with Clorox bleach, and the
residue then rubs into skin, which happens to be a better
delivery-system than most folks think. 

If you read the ingredient labels on grocery items such as flour,
breads and cakes from the supermarket,  you'll see "bromide" or
"bromate" or "bromide" on the list.  (Non-organic flour is often
chlorine-bleached, but chlorine doesn't appear on the list of
ingredients because it's not actually added.  That doesn't mean it
isn't present in minute amounts.)    Years ago, iodine was used to
stabilize flour.  Now bromide is used.  It costs less and works just as
well for the bread.  The only ones it’s not so good for are those who
eat the bread. 

The fire-retardants in fabrics from draperies to upholstery to
clothing are often made with bromine compounds.  They rub into our skin
as we wear them.  If you do nothing else, consider washing new
clothing at least once, if not several times before you wear it.  This
applies especially to underwear and workout outfits that you sweat in. 

Still using salt? or has your physician convinced you to stay away
from it?  If you’re like most Americans over 45, your physician may
have suggested you go easy on the salt for the sake of your blood
pressure.  Until that started, many of us got our iodine from table
salt . . . until they also started using bromide and fluoride in so
many of the products we use today.

So how does one determined to avoid halogens actually manage to DO it?

I use no bleach (though I have a good, nontoxic substitute for it
that’s easier on fabrics if you’re interested.)   I avoid chlorinated
swimming pools, filter the chlorine out of my shower with a special
shower filter,  and get my drinking /cooking water from a health food
store machine or from the machine at Wal-Mart.   I put it into non- BPA
gallon bottles, and carry it home, though this would not be necessary
if I had a whole-house filter.  

Note: I'm hardly suggesting we stop chlorinating our water supply; I
don't like the idea of dysentery any more than you do.  I am
suggesting, though, that we avoid drinking tapwater because of the
chlorine, fluoride, and pharmaceuticals. 

If I want bread or cake, I either make it myself or get it at the
health food store, but even there, I read the labels and avoid bromide.
 

I use a fluoride-free toothpaste.  

For more information, and to read some of the iodine research as it
relates to breast cancer, see
<http://breastcancerchoices.org/iodineindex.html>
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #91 of 141: Michael C. Berch (mcb) Thu 21 Oct 10 21:34
    
> Btw, I have yet to see a study establishing fluoride's safety 
> for adults, let alone small children.  If you've got one, please share it.

1) United States Public Health Service Review of Fluoride: Benefits and
Risks, 1991 
<http://www.health.gov/environment/ReviewofFluoride/default.htm>

2) National Academy of Sciences on Fluoride in Drinking Water
<http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/nas.htm>

3) A Systematic Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Fluoridation (Australia)
<http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications/synopses/eh41syn.htm>

4) A systematic review of public water fluoridation (UK)
<http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/fluores.htm>

Really, this does seem to be increasingly veering into the area of
fringe science.  
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #92 of 141: Andrea McKillop (divinea) Fri 22 Oct 10 03:38
    <scribbled by divinea Fri 22 Oct 10 03:49>
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #93 of 141: Travis Bickle has left the building. (divinea) Fri 22 Oct 10 03:49
    
Scribbled per desire for perfect clarity.

mcb, I think that's generous.
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #94 of 141: it's all about the margins (gail) Fri 22 Oct 10 10:40
    
With a very quick peek, it looks like there is a lot of speculation
about the role of dietary iodine and the relation between thyroid
diseases and breast cancer. There's also some research that is quite
interesting, such as  
http://breast-cancer-research.com/content/5/5/235 from 2003 -- That
one is sure to inspire more inquiry, and this is also a very
interesting study, which is being quoted all over the place:
http://www.medsci.org/v05p0189.htm   

There's obviously a big market for supplements for people who are not
in the position to wait for better studies. When I was first grappling
with what nutrition elements might help, the talk was about selenium,
and the research was much less compelling.  One thing is obvious --
there are a lot of researchers around the world who want to make
progress on breast cancer treatment and prevention. 

That quick glance turned up some old fluoride safety lab rat studies
from the 80s that determine iodide gets absorbed faster.  I'd think
that implies that eating some seaweed would be a better response than
cutting one's intake of fluoride, which is so important to bones and
teeth.  I don't think I'd cut out other substances my body needs for
good health, personally. For those who are diagnosed with a life
threatening disease, all kinds of otherwise scary practices including
chemo or hysterectomies to reduce hormones are routinely used, so
dropping fluoridated toothpaste doesn't seem so odd. I do think that in
most places tap water is better for you and the environment (and
possibly even breast health via plastic polutants) than bottled,
personally.

It's interesting looking for non-commercial sources when a vitamin or
mineral is in question.  Does all that marketing hype and
commercialization of any nutritional approaches that seem promising
bother you at all?
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #95 of 141: It's all about the margins (gail) Fri 22 Oct 10 13:39
    
For additional clarity, that second to the last sentence should read: 
 "It's interesting looking for non-commercial sources  *of
information, including scientific research*  when a vitamin or mineral
is in question."  
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #96 of 141: Carole Berlin (caroleberlin) Fri 22 Oct 10 17:17
    
Gail,

Thanks so much for the two links.  The second one (the one finding
that iodine on breast cancer cells both encourages apoptosis and
hampers proliferation) fits right in with many of the other studies
that encouraged us to use Lugol's solution on our breasts in the first
place.
 
For those who may not realize what a good delivery system the skin is,
consider trying this after a morning shower:  

Dip a Qtip into a bottle of ordinary drugstore iodine, and with it
paint an area twice the size of a quarter on any skin which has had
little or no sun exposure.  Let it dry completely before you get
dressed, lest it stain your clothing.  

If your body is hungry for iodine, your skin will suck that iodine in
so fast that the stain will be gone in less than four hours.  (Some of
us can see the stain disappearing while we're still applying the
iodine. That's how starved for iodine a body can be, and that's how
good the skin is at pulling in what the body needs.) 

If your body is NOT hungry for iodine, the stain will stay on your
skin for 24 hours or until your next shower.  And if you're like most
people, the stain might be there for 8-12 hours, but not much longer.

The physician who told me about this little 'self-test' told me that,
if I couldn't keep the stain for at least 8 hours, it would be worth
the effort to keep painting myself daily until I got the stain to stay,
and to continue doing it once a week until it stayed for 12, and then
24 hours.  That was before he or I knew the oral form of Lugol's called
Iodoral was available. 

* * * 

Gail, you also asked 

"It's interesting looking for non-commercial sources  *of
information, ,including scientific research*  when a vitamin or
mineral is in question."  

It's hard, you're right.  It's a little easier when you're a member of
a group.  When some new product comes on the market and is touted as
the best thing since Saran Wrap, we just sort of fan out and start
looking for information from sources we trust.  

Some of us head straight for pubmed 
     <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/>

Others go to the life extension foundation (www.lef.org). 

At the lef.org website, if you type "breast cancer" or "breast cancer
protocol" into their search box, you'll be provided with a list of
breast cancer articles published in their magazine.  If you want a list
of journal articles, look under "references."   The site is worth
exploring. 

Members from or living in other countries look through foreign
language journals.
 
Some go to Ann Fonfa's website (www.annieappleseedproject.org) because
when she says her website is like an encyclopedia, she isn't kidding. 

And then we pool what we've found and make up our own minds.  Some of
us buy every new thing that comes down the pike.  Others wait and see.
 
When Lypo-C first came out, a lot of women leaped for it. They seem to
be doing fine, so far, but I have misgivings about nanoparticles on or
in the human body.  Our bodies aren't built to deal with anything as
small as a nanoparticle.   It might be the best thing in the world, but
my jury's still out.  I'll try what may help, but I won't touch what
is known to harm ... or what I think has the potential to harm.  

You also asked 

"Does all that marketing hype and commercialization of any nutritional
approaches that seem promising bother you at all?"

Blatant hype turns me off, but I've learned from those who just ignore
the hot air and look for information that sometimes it pays to put on
your hip boots and wade right in past the hype.

You don't usually see new supplements (or old ones in new forms)
advertised until after there's been at least SOME research on them. 
Even proprietary products have to have some research studies.  I don't
bother with the ones that won't share their research, but others in the
group do.     
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #97 of 141: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Sat 23 Oct 10 07:50
    <scribbled by julieswn Sat 23 Oct 10 07:50>
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #98 of 141: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Sat 23 Oct 10 08:07
    
I come at this, at the age of 51 with 45 years of experience with
various illnesses that have put me in the hospital for various reasons.
I have had too much contact with doctors, especially during my most
recent experience with esphageal cancer. I lived in Santa Cruz for 17
years and came into contact with all sorts of alternative therapies,
some that worked, some that did not. I spent 15 years in the HIV/AIDS
field, much of that time before protease inhibitors were in common
usage. I remember when my friends and clients with HIV were trying
everything and anything (egg lipids were found to be useful at some
point, but I forget the reasoning behind that) to stay alive. What I
remember from those days is that often the patients knew more than the
doctors because they had more time to do the research. E-patient Dave
talked about this as well. As I have researched sought out advice for
my own illnesses, I have found much to be skeptical about when it comes
to how our Western medical establishment comes to decide that THIS or
THAT is the correct way to go. I have read a lot about how something as
common as the idea that a low-fat diet is good for your heart was
arrived at through a murky process and probably is not true. If that is
not true, what else might be up  for discussion?


Cancer is not HIV, but in some ways the medical establishment knows
very little about what actually causes the cancer to go away. Yes we
have chemo therapy which works for some cancers better than others. We
have surgery, which works for some cancers better than others. We have
radiation which brings with it all sorts of side effects often
depending upon where and through which organs they have to aim it. 

when people are facing death, they often become open to trying all
sorts of things. Some of these things work, and some do not. Carole
brings with her many years of experience surviving breast cancer and
researching ways to help others survive it or perhaps prevent it. She
is not saying to disregard everything your doctor/oncologist might say,
but she is saying that there is a lot of knowledge out there about
other treatments that have worked for her and others, and some
treatments that work for some and not for others. The best thing you
can do is become as informed as possible about whatever illness you are
dealing with, and not take action till you have several opinions about
what is going on. 
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #99 of 141: Maria Rosales (rosmar) Sat 23 Oct 10 11:39
    
I understand what you are saying, <julieswn>, and I sympathize with
your perspective.  There is a lot of evidence that people, even medical
experts, do not always read studies carefully, that studies are not
always well designed, etc.  I think reading medical studies and
listening to doctors with the idea in mind that humans are fallible is
a great idea, and the healthiest idea.

On the other hand, deaths via cancer continue to drop, despite rising
incidences of cancer.  So the medical field is apparently learning
something worthwhile about cancer.  And much alternative medicine has
the same flaws as mainstream medicine--too many people doing studies on
treatments in which they have economic interests, too many people
speaking as if they know things they really don't know, too many people
misusing data with too few caveats.   

I am all for people becoming as informed as they can become given the
limits of time and energy we all have.  But not all information is
equal.  (For example, that iodine skin test that <caroleberlin>
confidently put forth as fact--what evidence is there that the speed
with which iodine evaporates from the skin has anything to do with the
amount of iodine one's body needs?)
  
inkwell.vue.394 : Carole Berlin, "What You Should Know Before Your Next Mammogram"
permalink #100 of 141: paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Sat 23 Oct 10 13:54
    
And not all of the iodine that vanishes from the skin is absorbed into
the skin.

Remember skin cells rub off when their time is done?  And sweating? 
Remember sweating?

That test strikes me as utterly bogus.  

As a pediatrician, I've had to order and learn to interpret a simple
test in which you put a little something on a patch of an infant's skin
to trigger sweating, and then look at the composition of the sweat
that results to see if the child has cystic fibrosis.  Just collect a
little sweat.  No problem, you'd think.  But it is fraught with a
remarkable number of complicating factors.  To swab a random amount of
iodine on your skin then look for changes in the intensity of the patch
of it over time, and think that an uncontrolled test like that means
anything, is just silly.
  

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