(NaturalNews) As we near the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, once again our country has been awash from shore to shore in a sea of pink - from pink ribbons and donation boxes to pink products, charity promotions, celebrities by the score and even pink cleats on NFL players. Tragically, most people are unaware of the dark history of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) and of the players past and present who have misused it to direct people and funds away from finding a true cure, while covering up their own roles in causing and profiting from cancer.
In this installment of the series we will examine the role of government institutions and the misdirected research into the real causes for breast cancer.
The Role of Government Institutions
In the National Cancer Act of 1971, the National Cancer Institute NCI was given the authority to prepare and submit an annual budget proposal directly to the President for review and transmittal to Congress. This authority is unique to NCI and allows it to "bypass" the traditional approvals that all other NIH Institutes and Centers must get for their budget requests. As noted above, the NCI was one of the first agencies to sign onboard with the Breast Cancer Awareness movement and its actions are greatly controlled and influenced by the American Cancer Society.
Other Federal Government agencies, including other NIH Institutes and Centers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense, fund cancer research. In addition, state and local governments, voluntary organizations, private institutions, and industry also spend substantial amounts of money on cancer-related research.
A 2004 press release from the Cancer Prevention Coalition detailed how President Nixon appointed a three-member NCI executive Cancer Panel following passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act, inaugurating the War Against Cancer. Benno Schmidt, its first Chairman, was a senior drug company executive with close ties to chemical, oil, and steel industries. He was followed in the 1980`s by Armand Hammer, the late oil magnate, and Chairman of Occidental Petroleum, a major manufacturer of industrial chemicals involved in the Love Canal disaster.
Not surprisingly, Schmidt and Hammer ignored cancer prevention and the major role of industrial carcinogens, focusing instead on the highly profitable development and marketing of cancer drugs. This fox guarding the chicken coop relationship was mirrored in the MSK`s Board of Overseers, most of whom were chief executives of drug, petrochemical, and steel industries. In a 1998 Washington Post interview this relationship was admitted by Samuel Broder, former NCI Director, when he stated that "The NCI has become what amounts to a government pharmaceutical company."
Despite the escalating incidence over the last three decades of childhood cancers and adult cancers unrelated to smoking, and despite substantial evidence relating these cancers to avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens, NCI`s conflicts of interest have remained unchanged.
Misplaced Research into the Causes of Cancer
The incidence of breast cancer has been increasing about 1 percent a year since 1940. In the 1940`s, a woman`s chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime was 1 in 22. Today that number is 1 in 8, a risk that has increased over 40% since 1973. In the intervening years since 1973, more American women have died from breast cancer than all Americans killed in World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and Vietnam. Breast cancer has both lifestyle and environmental causes. In particular, toxins accumulate in breast tissues, but research into the environmental links has received little funding or attention by corporate and governmental entities.
Hormones have been at the center of breast cancer research for decades. In the mid-1990`s researchers began to consider the possibility that chlorinated chemicals might contribute to the rising occurrences of breast cancer and researchers Devra Lee Davis and Leon Bradlow hypothesized that environmental and pharmaceutical estrogens were likely culprits. Seen as a threat by chemical interests, the Chemical Manufacturers Association and the Chlorine Chemistry Council banded together to develop a strategy to discount Davis and Bradlow`s hypothesis, including hiring a public relations firm to discredit Davis personally.
This must have seemed like deja vu to Davis, who had performed extensive research into the cozy role between industry and the War on Cancer, especially the 4 decades long effort of the tobacco industry to cover up their role in the increase in lung cancer. Davis later published the results of her research in the acclaimed book "The Secret History of the War on Cancer".
In 2002, Dr. Ana Soto, a scientist at the Tuft`s School of Medicine, testified that the swift increase in breast cancer could not be attributed to mere genetics, which had long been believed to be the major factor in whether women developed breast cancer. Soto - who has researched cell proliferation and breast cancer for more than 2 decades -- was one of several experts to testify at an informational hearing on breast cancer and the environment, jointly sponsored by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and Assembly Health Committee in California.
"While many breast cancer studies focus on genetics, or lifestyle factors such as reproductive history, alcohol use and exercise, Soto said there was little being done to assess how environmental toxins may be causing cancer," reported ABC News.
According to the Tufts professor of cell, molecular, and developmental biology, there is already some evidence to suggest a link:
"The increasing risk of breast cancer and other cancers has paralleled the proliferation of synthetic chemicals since World War II," said Soto. The Tufts professor added that only 7 percent of the estimated 85,000 chemicals registered for use in the United States have been reviewed for toxicity.
"State of the Evidence 2008: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment", which was edited by Janet Gray, Ph.D., was published by the Breast Cancer Fund, an organization which appears to have less industry influence than most others. The comprehensive report detailed the environmental exposures linked to increased breast cancer risk: including natural and synthetic estrogens, xenoestrogens and other endocrine-disrupting compounds, carcinogenic chemicals and radiation. Among the environmental factors identified that combined with genes and lifestyle factors, air pollution, consumer exposures to carcinogens, occupational exposures, pesticides and radiation were identified.
In the next installment of this series, we will look at the role of misdirected research into the real causes for breast cancer and the safety and wisdom of mammograms and mastectomies.
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hosts The Best Years in Life website for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including "Cancer's Natural Enemy" and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group "S.A N.E.Vax. Inc" which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers. Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone "Ask Tony Isaacs - featuring Luella May" forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group "Oleander Soup" and he serves as a consultant to the "Utopia Silver Supplement Company".