For an average of 12 years, the study -- published in the Aug. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology -- followed nearly 1,000 women who had early stage breast cancer and received radiation treatment. Ten or more years after radiation treatments on the left breast in particular, researchers found that the risk of coronary artery disease increased by 25 percent and the risk of heart attacks increased by 15 percent, for up to 20 years after exposure.
While radiation increased the risk for both conditions in the right breast as well, the numbers were a comparatively low 10 percent and 5 percent respectively.
Lead researcher Eleanor Harris and her colleagues theorize that the increased risk in the left breast may be caused by radiation exposure to coronary and heart arteries.
"The cancer industry has an astonishing knack for ignoring the obvious," said Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and frequent critic of conventional cancer treatments. "When you irradiate the left breast, you simultaneously cause severe damage to other organs exposed to the radiation beam, including the heart and lungs. Do these cancer treatment doctors honestly believe the radiation magically stops at the breast tissue?"
According to Harris, women who received radiation treatment more than five years ago should keep a closer eye on their heart health than women who have undergone treatment more recently, because advances in techniques and equipment have reduced the heart's exposure to radiation.
The Florida study did not explore all-natural cancer treatments such as sunlight exposure and foods such as garlic and broccoli, which do not increase the risk of coronary artery disease or heart attacks. "Conventional cancer treatments are deadly, plain and simple," said Adams. "Both radiation and chemotherapy are outmoded, barbaric cancer treatment techniques that only remain mainstays of modern medicine because they generate so much additional business due to the damage they cause. A cancer patient who undergoes chemotherapy or radiation is almost certain to become a heart patient requiring expensive prescription drugs," he added. "That means repeat business for drug companies."