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The Alarming Increase in Double Mastectomies

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 by: Dr. John F. Montalvo, Jr. ND, DNM, MH
Tags: mastectomies, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A recent study that was released in October by the Journal of Clinical Oncology stated that there was a 150% increase in the number of Double Mastectomies between the years 1998 to 2003. In an age where medical science is looking more towards breast conservation. There is a segment of the population that is electing to not only amputate the cancerous breast but also the healthy breast.

Now let me throw out some statistics that were used by this study. They identified 152,755 women with stage I, II, or III cancer - of that number, 4,969 patients chose contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (meaning that these women chose to amputate their healthy breast along with the cancerous breast) . The rate was 3.3% for all surgically treated women; 7.7% for patients undergoing mastectomy. The overall rate was a significant increase from 1.8% in 1998 to 4.5% in 2003. And during the same period of 1998 to 2003, the contralateral prophylactic mastectomy rate for patients undergoing mastectomy significantly increased from 4.2% in 1998 to 11.0% in 2003. What was also surprising was that younger women were making this decision and women who had stage one cancer were making the decision far more frequently than those in advance stages. The women who were mostly white, with a previous cancer diagnosis, were more likely to opt for a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, the study found, as were women who had lobular histology, meaning the cancer started in the lobules or milk-making glands of the breast.

The study's lead author, Dr. Todd M. Tuttle, chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, stated in a report that was published by the Associated Press and in USA Today on October 23, 2007: "I'm afraid that women believe having their opposite breast removed is somehow going to improve their breast cancer survival. In fact, it probably will not affect their survival." Dr. Tuttle went on to explain, "The initial tumor already may have sent out seeds that have spread to key organs."(1)

The Other Disturbing Trend

The other disturbing trend was young women who had genetic testing for the mutation of gene BRCA 1 or BRCA 2. I read in a New York Times article published on September 16, 2007 of a thirty-three year old woman agonizing over whether she should have a double mastectomy because she was found with the mutated gene, but not yet with cancer. Her 63 year-old mom was a breast cancer survivor.

Yet, a Cochrane Review published in 2004 on women with BRCA mutations concluded: "Published observational studies demonstrated that bilateral prophylactic mastectomy (BPM) was effective in reducing both the incidence of, and death from, breast cancer, more rigorous prospective studies (ideally randomized trials) are needed... By one estimate, most of the women deemed high risk by family history (but not necessarily BRCA 1 or 2 mutation carriers) who underwent these procedures would not have died from breast cancer, even without prophylactic surgery... Of the psychosocial outcomes measured, body image and feelings of femininity were the most adversely affected."(2)

What is disturbing about this trend seems like the more "enlightened" the medical community is, the further we are going back to the dark ages. Breast cancer is the most studied disease in the world. Back in the 1950's and 60's, radical mastectomies (where both breasts were removed with part of the chest wall) were the trend. And then in the later part of the 20th Century, we found out that that type of treatment was not increasing the life span of a woman any more than partial removal or lumpectomy. Now here in the 21st Century, we are going back to the 1950's.

The removal of both breasts because of a possible genetic defect is almost akin to removing both your legs; because your grandfather had diabetes and he lost his legs, and your mother had diabetes and she lost her legs. There is a history of diabetes in my family so let me cut off my legs before I have to face the inevitability. In both cases this does not have to be so.

There are hundreds of studies showing that no matter what type of cancer you have, there is a natural alternative to overcoming it or, if you do not have a degenerative disease, you can prevent it. This can be done by eating large quantities of raw fresh vegetables and fruits with nuts, seeds and legumes (preferably organic); by staying away from animal products of all kinds and all processed foods that cause an acidic system. When your body is acidic (on a pH scale) you are more prone to all sorts of diseases. Your body needs to be maintained at a slightly alkaline level of about 7.4 .

There are studies showing that by getting omega-3 fatty acids in your system (preferably from flax seed), you will stop the growth of breast cancer in its tracks. Even if you have the mutated gene BRCA 1 or BRCA 2. It has also been found that by getting curcumin in your system, if you have cancer, this is just as or more effective in destroying cancer cells than chemotherapy agents, and without all the side effects. That study was conducted by M.D. Anderson in Houston and shelved because it was unpatentable, even though the process to extract curcumin was.

These are just a few suggestions that will help you be proactive in preventing cancer, and if you have it, these will greatly help you in overcoming cancer, like I did almost seven years ago.

The medical profession has had a history of mutilating women for the sake of science whether mentally or physically. They want to do radical things to your bodies. And they are not willing to give women the full information of what is truly available to them. They believe that if they tell people that a radical change in their lifestyle and eating habits would help save their lives, it would be a complete waste of time.

Yet their are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of stories of just that, people healing themselves by changing their eating habits and lifestyles. By doing that, they are walking testimonies of true healing and of leading fully active lives. So stop looking at mutilating your body, and start looking at getting a radical healing from changing your lifestyle and eating habits in a radical way (and in some cases it may not be that radical). By doing that, not only are you going to have a better outlook on your life, but you will be doing something wonderful for the planet that we all live on.


(1) Tuttle TM, Habermann EB, Grund EH, Morris TJ, Virnig BA. Increasing Use of Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy for Breast Cancer Patients: A Trend Toward More Aggressive Surgical Treatment. J Clin Oncol. 2007 Oct 22; [Epub ahead of print]

(2) Lostumbo L, Carbine N, Wallace J, Ezzo J. Prophylactic mastectomy for the prevention of breast cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD002748

About the author

Dr. John F. Montalvo, Jr. of The Genesis Health Connection. "Getting You Connected to Your Health"
Dr. John is a Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Voice Bio Sound Therapist, Certified Natural Health Professional, Doctor of Naturopathic Ministry, Health Minister and Cancer Overcomer. He currently has a teaching ministry and does house visitations to bring the Good News of Natural Health from God's Garden.

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