Breast Cancer Inaction

  • by: |
  • 10/23/2006
If you want to know why people would whine about corporate sponsorship of breast cancer awareness and's the reason: they don't like the emphasis on pharmaceutical intervention. To them -- and by them I specifically mean the group Breast Cancer INAction headed up by Barbara Brenner, it's all about the environment.

Brenner had made some of the silliest and emptiest statements about breast cancer or any disease for that matter. Here are two:

"We have to keep in mind that with all of this 'light a candle,' that people are dying," Brenner of Breast Cancer Action explained.

"We have got to just stop throwing money at it. We have been throwing money at it since the early 1970s and we still have no answers.

And her she is on the campaign of linking a share of retail sales to breast cancer research: "I understand that people want to do something," she said. But "if shopping could cure breast cancer, it would be cured by now."

All of these gems pale in comparison to Brenner's claim that regular mammograms for women are actually dangerous and cause cancer.

“The benefit of routine mammograms for healthy premenopausal women is unproven,” Brenner’s group asserts in a Web page entitled “What You Should Know About Mammograms.”

This is a lie. The scientific consensus is that routine mammography -- until something better comes along (and it will) -- reduces the risk of dying of breast cancer in women 50 and older by up to 30 percent.

But here is what Brenner claims:

“Healthy premenopausal women should not have mammograms as a routine matter. The risk of radiation, combined with the high incidence of both false negatives and positives, means that routine mammography for premenopausal women may well do more harm than good,” Breast Cancer Action asserts.

Of course she leaves out the increase chance of survival due to new drugs. That's because Breast Cancer Action endorses the "Prevention First" principle. The group opposes reliance on drugs and stresses the right to safe water, air and food. It claims irrefutable proof that PCBs cause breast cancer. In fact there is no mechanistic or biological evidence and the body of epidemiology work -- including that which has been refined by genotype -- shows an association.

Hence Brenner and her group advise women to avoid mammograms and the medicines that can save their lives and instead ask them -- instead of shopping for products that might contribute to such activities -- to donate to their twisted and life denying movement.

Such a deal.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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