So pissed at this Breastcancer.org TV ad I could scream!! (and I did!)

I just assume that I’m going to get bombarded with crap during breast cancer awareness month, but this TV commercial just made me want to jump through the screen.  It’s an ad from BreastCancer.org and it’s telling women some facts…and some fallacies about breast cancer.

Here’s the ad.  Here’s the transcript of the ad:

“Your bra does not cause breast cancer. Not the underwire, not the straps, and no, size does not matter.  And don’t sweat it. Your antiperspirant is also not a cause.  While those facts may not surprise you, here’s one that might: Only 10% of breast cancer is hereditary, which means 90% is not. Now you can’t change your genes, but healthier lifestyle choices can make a difference. Visit breast cancer.org for simple steps that can save your life.”

Please don’t believe this…

11294920-vintage-brassiere-with-ornamentLet’s break down this ad:

Your bra does not cause breast cancer. Not the underwire, not the straps

Ok I agree with the statement that bras do not cause breast cancer. But the fact is that there are little contributors to the progression of breast cancer.  We all develop cancer cells in our body, but they are excreted and zapped by our strong immune system.  If the environment is right, though, the cancer will take hold, grow, and spread.  Your immune system depends on a health lymphatic system. Your lymph system, like the circulatory system, transports cells and substances to organs…removing waste and bringing substances and help where it’s needed.  Like blood, it needs to flow or it can’t do it’s job, which, among other things, is fighting illness and disease.  Restricting that flow restricts the lymph system’s effectiveness.  We know that if cancer spreads, it spreads to the lymph system…the lymph nodes.  This poor lymph system is trying desperately to remove the cancer for you.  That’s why it is affected first.

How do we keep our lymph systems healthy?  By moving, stretching, exercising, and keeping the flow unrestricted.  A poorly fitted tight bra restricts your lymph drainage.  After my mastectomy and removal of lymph nodes from my left side I was told not to restrict the blood (i.e. lymph fluid) flow in my left arm.  I can’t even have my blood pressure taken in that arm….ever.  I don’t need a scientific study to tell me that cutting off the blood and lymph flow around my breast area might be unhealthy for my breast tissue.

Some studies show that bra wearing does affect breast cancer risk,   in reality it may be the fit and the time worn that seems to have the most impact on lymph system health and breast cancer promotion.

What they should have said: To increase the health of your breast tissue and reduce your risk of breast cancer promotion, wear a properly fitted bra…fitted by an expert, and don’t sleep in it.

 

and no, size does not matter

That’s a matter for debate.  There are many reasons why women might have large breasts.  Heredity is one of them, but excess body fat is another.  We know for a hard fact that breast cancer risk increases with body fat increase because we store excess estrogen (along with many other cancer causing toxins) in body fat tissue which put you at risk for breast cancer but also heart disease and diabetes (which will probably kill you before breast cancer does).  Also, larger breasts make it more difficult to do self breast exam, so those women need to be a bit more diligent.

Larger breasts do not cause breast cancer, but they can indicate an increased risk.

What they should have said: If your large breasts are due to being overweight,  you are at higher risk for breast cancer.

 

doedorant copyAnd don’t sweat it. Your antiperspirant is also not a cause.

This is the one that got me out of my seat.

There is a scientist, sitting in a big lab at Reading University in the UK by the name of Phillipa Darbre and she has spent the last 11 years of her life researching the effects of enviornmental chemicals on women and their relation to breast cancer.  Through her numerous studies, it has been determined that aluminum is a metalloestrogen, which means that aluminum, in your blood stream, acts on your hormone receptors and causes reactions in your body.  One of these reactions is acting like one of your body’s estrogen hormones that sends signals to the tissue to preform certain tasks. One of these tasks is to turn on breast tissue production.  She’s also discovered that while one certain chemical may have an undetectable effect on breast cancer, two chemicals together can have an enormous effect.  Manufacturers won’t ever tell you that side of the story.

We know that the aluminum in antiperspirants goes directly into the bloodstream because it says so right on the stick… it says: Caution: If you have kidney disease please consult your doctor before using this product.  Aluminum stresses your kidneys, and if you can’t filter aluminum because of sick kidneys, the aluminum can’t be excreted and will build up.   Aluminum does not belong in your body at all.   It only take s 26 seconds for that aluminum to go from your underarm into your blood.  What is does when it gets there is mess with your hormones.  It also collects in breast tissue.  I won’t even mention some of the other chemicals like propylene glycol (anti-freeze) which doesn’t cause cancer, but your body still has to filter it out!

Another huge harmful chemical in deodorants and antiperspirants is triclosan.  Triclosan is a known hormone disrupting agent that has been linked to breast cancer and thyroid cancer.  Minnesota has banned triclosan from all state run facilities with hopes to ban it from the entire state.  the FDA is currently developing restrictions and recommendations for triclosan based on the numerous studies and health complaints.  You’ll see them at the end of 2016. But don’t wait for the FDA to tell you that triclosan is harmful!

You can always make your own deodorant. There are many recipes. Here’s a simple one from Treehugger.com which I altered a bit for you to make it more effective.

3 tbsp virgin organic coconut oil

2 tbsp organic shea butter

3 tbsp baking soda

2 tbsp cornstarch

5-10 drops organic essential oil (use tea tree, frankincense, or red thyme for anti-bacterial properties.)

glass jar with lid

  • Make a double boiler by placing a half-pint glass jar in the middle of a small pot of water. Bring water to a simmer. Add coconut oil and shea butter to the jar and let melt. Turn off the heat, add baking soda and cornstarch, and stir until completely smooth. Mix in the essential oil of your choice. You can transfer to another container if you want. Let cool. Use fingertips, and apply it directly under armpits, where it melts and soaks in.  Some people transfer the deodorant to an old anti-perspirant tube to make application easier. You can find all the ingredients and containers you need to make this here.

Check out the 11 year history of studies on aluminum, other chemcials and estrogen.  While there is no evidence that they, themselves cause cancer, there is strong evidence that the many combined chemicals in antiperspirants, and other products containing harmful chemicals promote hormone related cancers like breast cancer. You can read my post on that here.

What they should have said: There is evidence that the aluminum in antiperspirants do have an estrogen-like effect and collect in breast tissue, so use chemical and aluminum-free products or at the very least switch to just from an antiperspirant to a deodorant that doesn’t contain triclosan.

 

book-coverOnly 10% of breast cancer is hereditary, which means 90% is not.

True 90% of all cancers are lifestyle related, but what they didn’t tell you is that over 70% of breast cancer has no known cause.  That is, 70% of those diagnosed with breast cancer have no risk factors or heredity factors and they still were diagnosed with breast cancer.  (I am one of them) So following BreastCancer.org’s “healthy living recommendations” won’t do Jack.  Currently, “healthy” means you are doing some exercise, you are eating lean meats and eating lots of fat-free yogurt and drinking sugar-free drinks, and working late to earn that extra buck so you can spend it on your 2 weeks of “relaxing vacation” this year.  That is not the lifestyle that I have discovered is truly healthy for cancer prevention, but that is the lifestyle that is commonly and mistakenly promoted by the mainstream as “healthy”.

When I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer, I kept reading, learning, and meeting people with amazing stories of healing, and that convinced me to change from my “healthy American lifestyle” to one of true health and healing, which is:  Whole food plant-based diet, practice gratitude, joy and mindful meditation, exercise as much as possible, but do something every day, practice chanting, positive affirmations and always approach situations with faith.  Do I hit on all these every day? Sometimes.  But this is my goal and this type of Mind/Body/Spirit health has been confirmed by many. Most recently by Dr Kelly Turner in her book “Radical Remission”. (am I an idiot promoting someone else’s book other than my own or what? LOL)

90% of all cancers are not due to genetic causes.  And as you read in my previous post, breast cancer rates are on the rise.  Think about 70% of all those who were diagnosed with breast cancer as having no known risk factors and doing everything that they were told as “living a healthy lifestyle”.  How can we keep promoting a lifestyle that we are told will reduce our risk of breast cancer, when it is clearly not reducing our risk of breast cancer?  Breast Cancer.org is heavily supported by Stoneyfield Dairy (among other sponsors) which makes Stoneyfield yogurt.  And it shows.  Go to their “healthy recipes” page and there’s a big-ass Stoneyfeild ad across the top.  And, not to my surprise….ALL OF THE FRIGGIN RECIPES HAVE YOGURT IN THEM!!! Every one!  Dairy is the most breast cancer promoting food there is.  Not only from the hormones that occur naturally in the cow’s milk, but also the IGF-1 (Insulin growth factor-1) that has been proven to be cancer-promoting, the excess pesticides in cow’s feed that clings to the fat in the milk, the lactic acid lends to osteoporosis, and the casein (milk protein) has been shown in labs to increase cancer cell production.  OK eating one yogurt won’t do harm, but pah-leeze! Give us some recipes that are truly whole food plant-based which the World Health Organization (WHO) states is the the best food for cancer prevention.

As you know if you read my posts, I am a huge believer that creating balance in the body, mind and spirit is the way to true health and healing.  There are a few articles on the BreastCancer.org site that says meditation helps breast cancer patients feel better and sleep better, but none that address the immune boosting response that mediation has and all the articles are few and far between.  They say that meditation help the side effects, but no where do they have articles that talk about truly treating the disease with it.  That’s a lifestyle factor you should be told on a breast cancer site.

The fact is, we don’t know what causes breast cancer 70% of the time.

What they should have said: 90% of all cancers are lifestyle related, but even among people who follow the current mainstream recommendations for a healthy life , 70% of those are getting breast cancer.

 

healthier lifestyle choices can make a difference. Visit breast cancer.org for simple steps that can save your life.”

Yes, I agree that healthier lifestyle choices can make a difference, but if your going to tell me that I should eat dairy with every meal, you’ve lost me.  And wow…”simple steps that can save your life”…That’s a kick-ass bold statement considering 70% of breast cancers have no known cause.

What they should have said: Healthier lifestyle choices can make a difference, and we will give you the ones that we have chosen for you based on our financial supporters, but there are more ways to reduce your risk of cancer out there, and MANY more ways to live healthy and happy even after a cancer diagnosis that don’t involve Western medicine and corporate sponsored recommendations.

I love BreastCancer.org’s info on detection and the information they provide to women looking for answers about breast cancer.  I also love all of the inspiring stories.  But to put a TV ad out there like this is just playing to the masses and doing a huge disservice.

I was approached recently by a widely popular breast cancer site to help them promote their online shop during the month of October.  It would have meant a nice chunk of change for me.  After looking at their store, and seeing that they are promoting gift baskets filled with cancer-promoting foods, I declined.  I can not and will not become involved in anything that promotes a lifestyle that I do not believe is in the best interest of cancer survivors. Period. I won’t sell out. Ever.

Now… if Danyblend is reading this and wants me to promote them, I’m all ears.

What do you think of the ad? 

 



Categories: breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, cancer, cancer prevention, health, health and wellness, healthy living, women's health

Tags: , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Hi Susan. I am a medical anthropologist breast cancer researcher, and co-author of Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. I would like to add to your comments about the bra link that lymphatic impairment from bras also concentrates toxins within the breast tissue. These toxins are carcinogens in our petrochemically polluted air, water, and food, as well as endogenous carcinogens, such as free radicals, produced in oxygen deprived tissues. These toxins can cause cancer, and the bra points them directly at the breasts by preventing their proper elimination via the lymphatics.

    There is also the cultural dimension to all this. The bra is a cultural icon, and many women have become conditioned into believing they must wear one in public or suffer ridicule and censure. Meanwhile, the lingerie industry faces potential class action lawsuits for the harm their products cause, and the cancer detection and treatment industry enjoys huge profits from this disease and has no financial incentive to end this epidemic. As a result, the bra-cancer link is not given the attention it deserves.

    This is why breast cancer is a “culturogenic” disease. It is embedded in our culture and the way it dressed women, brainwashes women into feeling they need a bra, and profits from disease treatment.

    I suggest that women try a 30 day bra-free Self Study, to see for themselves on themselves whether their bra is harming their breasts. Most women feel much better after eliminating the constriction from bras, which shows the bra was a problem. Breasts also lift and tone once they are needing to support themselves instead of being artificially supported, as recent research has shown.

    For more, see my website KillerCulture dot com.

    • Thank you very much and I am honored you took the time to comment on this post. I stopped wearing a traditional bra about 3 years ago and I would never go back. It’s amazing how our society values looks over health. Hopefully we can make some headway in changing that

      • Hi Susan! Reading your blog reminded me of all the things I teach my clients (I’m a Certified Health Coach) about breast health! I’m wondering how you feel about Thermography as opposed to Mammography. I was introduced to Thermography many years ago by my mentor Dr. Christiane Northrup and have not had a Mammogram since. I have been able to see the positive changes in my images as I have incorporated “phluffing”, less bra wearing, not holding on to grief, anger, etc. It horrifies me when hear of friends who are going through what I would say are aggressive treatments for DCIS and lobular displasia. I feel that the treatments (surgery, radiation, tamoxifen, etc) are worse than the abnormality will ever be. Thoughts?

        • I am a huge fan of anything that is more diagnostic and less radioactive than mammograms. It’s great that new tools are doing out, but it is only when we, the users make some noise about using them that the hospitals and clinics will change their ways of doing things. I’m sure the makers of mammogram machines are trying to shut this down.

  2. Thank God for people like you, Susan and you too, Sharon, to keep us informed of the REAL facts!

  3. Thanks Susan, GREAT info! I am outraged too, thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh my.Wow did breastcancer.org drop the ball on that one!Anyone who is in doubt do some research of your own.And the quite about not being able to change your genes?Well read this small excerpt from a Canadian publication
    “A project of Toxic Free Canada” http://www.toxicfreecanada.ca
    “A study, published in PloS Genetics, documented another finding-that BPA exposure in the womb can cause chromosomal changes in the third generation, by disrupting the formation of eggs or “oocytes” in the female fetus.”
    Their articles this month pertain to breast cancer and environment and I encourage anyone to go to this site if you want to dispell anything that was aimed in this add.

  5. Wonderful, passionate article. It is such a shame (saying it lightly) that such a powerful advert has watered-down inaccurate information. Seems like they are trying not to scare people. But then what’s the point if it gives people a false sense of security etc. Sharing this widely. I make my own deodorant, too. Recipe in my Index under Health and Beauty.

  6. Great points! It is always frustrating to attend cancer awareness events where they serve gobs of frosted cookies and soda.

  7. WHAT???!!! I understand why you screamed!! Now let’s all share this blog to set the recored straight!!

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