Rates of breast cancer incidence (the number of cases diagnosed per unit of specified time) are increasing in the U.S. and around the globe. This is thought to be due to multiple factors including increased rates of screening (ie, more mammograms), environmental factors such as toxins from chemicals and cosmetics as well as the increasing rates of overweight and obesity among industrialized countries (and developing countries, although to a much, much lesser degree). It is no surprise that this is occurring, as cancer is now seen as a disease of industrialization...something man-made.
It does, however, surprise me to see the vast differences in the rates of breast cancer incidence among women in the U.S. and South American women - "76 women per every 100,000 in the US (adjusted for age) were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, compared to just 44 women per 100,000 in South America" - almost DOUBLE the rate in the U.S.!! After all, some S. American countries are relatively developed - Argentina and Chile, to be exact - and some have had huge increases in their economies - ie, Brasil, Peru - in recent years.
Therefore, this article is SHOCKING and one that I hope sticks into the minds of Americans across the nation...Basically, we (U.S. citizens) are killing ourselves with food and chemicals! And women are one of the heaviest hit groups...not only do we suffer from increasing rates of breast cancer, but also endometrial (uterine) and ovarian cancers, along with the cancers we share with men - lung, colon, brain, pancreas and blood (lymphoma, leukemia). Yes, we are lucky to have early screening measures and treatments in effect in our great nation, but, do you really understand what it's like to be told you have cancer, have a body part removed to get rid of it and/or had to live your life as a cancer survivor? Let me tell you, from my experiences in medicine thus far (including a month of just cancer screening clinics at MD Anderson and now cancer survivorship clinics)...it's extremely anxiety-provoking and in no way glamorous!!
It is time for us to hold ourselves accountable for the damage we have caused to our health and the environment and to try to work to reverse it! It is time to demand more from ourselves, each other and our governments! Read more about the toxins in our food and environment, talk to each other about it (we all know women are great at communicating with each other!), write your Congressmen and GET INVOLVED!
Here is the article I am referencing: http://www.aicr.org/site/News2?abbr=pr_&page=NewsArticle&id=19381&news_iv_ctrl=1102&fp20100816. Read it and browse the AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research) website for invaluable, evidence-based information and let me know how YOU can get involved in helping turn the incidence rate of cancers around! If not for others, do it for yourself!
11/18/2010 08:49:42 am
I couldn't agree more. These types of statistics abound, where Americans are far more afflicted by disease than people we consider less well off. I believe we can trace this back to legislation from the last 75 years that makes it profitable to turn corn into every type of food imaginable, and other similar laws. In fact right now there is a bill before the senate ( http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/politics/5236-food-safety-bill-to-empower-fda-wins-senate-cloture ) that is expected to pass which will put further restrictions on small farms trying to produce healthy meat, dairy, and produce, while large companies will easily absorb the additional regulation, continue to genetically modify their crops, and lobby the FDA to say what the produce is safe. They call it the "Food Safety Act", and nothing could be farther from the truth. The FDA hasn't been keeping us safe, they have been keeping big drug and food companies safe.
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Dr. Maltz earned a Medical Degree and Master in Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX. She completed a combined Internal and Preventive Medicine Residency at UTMB in June, 2011. She then completed a 2-year Integrative Medicine Fellowship at Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT, during which she simultaneously underwent an intensive 1000-hour curriculum created by The University of Arizona Integrative Medicine Program founded by Dr. Andrew Weil.