Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer

Interesting Information: Perspectives on Mammograms

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Interesting Information:  December 22, 2013

Perspective on Mammograms

Beedy Parker sent me this article.  Beedy is one of the people I look to in this world for wisdom.

I hope you will take time to read this Orion Magazine piece by Jennifer Lunden, “Exposed.”  I especially hope you will if you are a woman and are still getting mammograms.  Lunden has down a really good job of tracing down the “pink” history of the breast cancer arena and of pointing to the most current research on this topic of mammograms and breast cancer.

Exposed | Orion Magazine.

I do not get mammograms any longer.  But, as always, YOU decide.

Written by louisaenright

December 22, 2013 at 9:29 am

Interesting Information: Mammograms: Yes or No?

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Interesting Information:  May 25, 2013

Mammograms:  Yes or No?

I don’t get mammograms any more.

I’m more afraid of the danger the smashing of my breasts and the x-rays pose for my body than I am of the fear-mongering that might make me want to get a mammogram.

It’s not that I’m not afraid of getting cancer.  It’s that I don’t think mammograms are useful for either detecting or dealing with breast cancer.

And that’s because for the past five years, I’ve been seeing a lot of information that questions this whole practice.

For instance, the authors of a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2012; 367:1998-2005) conclude that “nearly one-third of the women who received a diagnosis of breast cancer would never have developed the full-blown disease if left untreated.”  Apparently cancers come and go in our bodies all the time and may be connected to how our bodies deal with and cure illness.

Here’s a further synopsis of this study, taken from The Weston A. Price Foundation’s journal, Wise Traditions (winter 2012, pg. 14)–all of which is available for free online:

Nevertheless, in such cases [seeing possible cancer] patients typically undergo dangerous and invasive procedures such as surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, and chemotherapy.  H. Gilbert Welch, author of the study, speculated that as mammography technology has become more advanced, doctors are discovering breast lesions in such an early stage of development, it is virtually impossible to distinguish them from the benign cell clusters.  Even worse than the false positives is the fact that the mammograms “fail to catch forms of breast cancer that develop rapidly, explaining why the more widespread use of screenings has done so little to curb the rate at which late-stage breast cancer is found.”  According to Welch, “The sad fact is that there’s a subset of women who develop such an aggressive form of cancer it literally can’t be caught early.”  No one is voicing the thought that the mammograms themselves  may be causing these virulent tumors.

In other words, as I’ve read in numerous places elsewhere, mammograms don’t statistically affect the outcome of bona-fide breast cancer.

The same is apparently true for prostate cancer testing.  All the terrible, stressful  procedures don’t affect the outcome of the disease.  John and I often thought that we wished we had never known about the disease, that we had just lived our lives in bliss until some part of the disease made itself felt in a way that we sought out pain relief.

And doctors are still pushing failed dietary practices that cause diabetes (low fat, high carb, no red meat), are concerned with “high” cholesterol figures when that whole line of thought has been debunked, are still suggesting statins for treatment of a non-disease, are still pushing vaccines without adequate science to support them, will give antibiotics that wipe out all your gut flora and fauna at the drop of the hat, etc., etc., etc.  No wonder they have lost, at least, my confidence.

Truth in writing:  I come from a family of doctors and nurses.  They are all good, caring people.  I know a lot of doctors who are good caring people and who were wonderful to us when John was sick.  They are good people caught in a bad system.  Some of them are more willing to buck the system than others.  And am I glad they are there if I’m in a car wreck?  You betcha.  But for ongoing health care–I’ve taken to saying “stay away from them; they will kill you if you let them.”

Let’s call modern medicine what it really is:  an industry.

What I would like to see is a change in the medical paradigm where the focus is on treating disease from a holistic paradigm, not just treating symptoms, which usually means drugs, surgery, radiation, hormones, and chemotherapy.  These protocols are not working well, if at all.

For instance, the MONTH of radiation John had turned out not to have been needed at all (a suspicious spot on an x-ray was not suspicious after all).  Not surprisingly, his PSA began to rise radically.  My own take is that the month of radiation significantly weakened his body, which made him sicker.  The next treatment up in the standards of care was hormone therapy.  But hormones degrade the bones, so guess what?  The cancer showed up  in John’s bones next.  The oncologist also wanted to do chemotherapy, in spite of the fact that statistics clearly showed it would not prolong life.  The best she could do was to say that “it might make you feel better.”  Really?  Flooding your body with a terrible poison every three weeks might make you fell better?  And bless her heart, for she was a caring person and wanted to help, she offered the hope card:  miracles happen, why not you?  And the treatment for degraded bones?  A drug that basically turns bones into cement, which makes them brittle, and which has horrific side effects.  We stopped the cancer ride at the hormone therapy stop.  But how many desperate people don’t stop?

We do not have another mainstream paradigm than these failed standards of care–crafted by Big Pharma and not science.  And doctors who stray from the “standards of care” are penalized or lose their licenses.  That’s how industry works.  Industry does not care about science; it cares about money.  Practitioners within it are, simply, workers.  All freedom has been lost for them.

AND, the amount of $$$$ involved in treating symptoms is, simply, mind boggling, so the industries involved will fight change tooth and toenail.  The only component that can create change is the grassroots understanding of the problem and a consequent refusal to participate in practices that cause harm and do not work.  We have to take the $$$$ out of the mix.  Do you have any idea what a month of useless radiation costs?

Healing disease is going to have to involve cleaning up what’s causing disease (bad food and a degraded habitat).   The notion that we can degrade the world and create a technological fix to the disease that occurs has to be understood as a nonstarter.

Cancer will strike 1 out of 3 women and 1 out of 2 men.  (Or it’s the other way around.)

Contrary to hype, most will not survive to live out their lives.  Five years is not “survival.”

Cancer is a plague.

Isn’t it time for us to insist on cleaning up the mess we have made?

If not for ourselves, for our children and grandchildren.







Written by louisaenright

May 25, 2013 at 11:43 am

Mainely Tipping Points 32: Fiber Menace

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Tipping Points 32:  Fiber Menace


One of the most striking things I’ve discovered while researching food and health issues over the past few years is how often strong personalities (usually males with a fervent belief system and either money or political power) drastically change what we think is healthy to eat.  Science refuting belief is ignored, obfuscated, or denied.  And, when industry becomes involved, the changes are permanently cemented into cultural truth.  Such is the case with our current practice of overeating fiber.   

Konstantin Monastyrsky, in FIBER MENACE:  THE TRUTH ABOUT FIBER’S ROLE IN DIET FAILURE, CONSTIPATION, HEMORRHOIDS, IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME, ULCERATIVE COLITIS, CHROHN’S DISEASE, AND COLON CANCER (2008), identifyies Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) and John Harvey Kellogg (1852-1943) as agents of dietary change.  Graham, a Presbyterian minister who undoubtedly held the anti-body dictates of Calvinism, “prescribed a high-fiber vegetarian diet” to control lust” (1).  Graham believed men should not have sex until after they were 30 and then only once a month.  He believed white bread caused constipation and recommended “Graham” flour made from coarsely ground wheat.  Graham died alone, and Monastyrsky notes that Graham’s “abrasive, irritable personality” was likely a “manifestation of acute protein deficiency and unstable blood sugar” (1-2).

Kellogg, writes Monastyrsky, was a prominent physician, a celebrated surgeon, a successful entrepreneur, an author, a charitable man, and a health reformer.  Kellogg had a profound impact on the American diet since “he had the resources, the forum, the charisma, the conviction, and the authority to deliver his message over a long, long period of time and to lots and lots of people” (2).  Kellogg, like Graham, was obsessed with chastity and constipation.  He “never made love to his wife.”  To remedy masturbation, he “advocated circumcision without anesthetic for boys and mutilation of the clitoris with carbolic acid for girls.”  He believed constipation caused sexual desire as impacted stools stimulated the prostate gland or the vagina.  He proscribed a coarse vegetarian diet and bran and paraffin oil with every meal—which caused constant anal leakage along with the “decline of libido, functional impotence, and infertility” due to protein deficiencies.  Since he lived to be 91, Kellogg was likely “a typical hypocrite, who didn’t practice what he preached, sex or no sex” (2).

Kellogg’s namesake company is “still minting a fortune by peddling…sugared breakfast cereals fortified with fiber.”  In 2004 alone, the Kellogg Company spent over $3.5 billion just on ` promotional expenditures,’ “ so “no wonder fiber is still on everyone’s mind and in everyone’s stools….” (3).  And so, writes Monastyrsky, “if you believe that the introduction of fiber into the American diet came about as a result of thorough academic research, methodical clinical investigation, and penetrating peer reviews…it didn’t.  It’s actually based on profane sacrilege, fanatical misogynism, medieval prudishness, common quackery, crass commercialism, incomprehensible medical incompetence, and by the legal standards of today, negligence and malpractice” (3). 

There is, writes Monastyrsky, no scientific proof that high-fiber diets are healthy or aid constipation (13).  And a major text for gastroenterologists (ROME II) notes that “`there is little or no relationship between dietary fiber intake and whole gut transit time’ “ (114-115).

Indeed, there are reams of studies demonstrating that anything but “minor quantities of fiber from natural, unprocessed food” upsets the whole digestive chain in ways that leads to the problems listed in FIBER MENACE’s title (13).  Worse, many reputable studies show that high-fiber diets do not provide protection from the second largest cancer killer in the U.S.–colon cancer–and are probably a cause of it–information which has been largely ignored (180-187).  And, studies show that “carbohydrate intake…[is] positively associated with breast cancer risk.”  Yet, health authorities continue to insist that we eat more fiber, avoid meat and animal fat, eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink a lot of water (185).     

But, let’s back up for a moment.  Monastyrsky received medical training and a  pharmacology degree (1977) in Russia (Ukraine) before emigrating to the U.S. in 1978, where he embarked on a very successful career in technology, primarily on Wall Street.  Then, after years of eating a high-fiber vegetarian diet, he became very ill with diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, hemorrhoidal disease, and anal fissures.  He returned to his medical training and research skills to heal himself and  learned that his life-threatening condition often takes decades to develop. 

According to Monastyrsky’s web site (www.gutsense.org), he is a certified nutritional consultant and an expert in forensic nutrition, a new field of science that investigates the connection between supposedly healthy foods and nutrition-related disorders, such as diabetes and obesity.  Treatment is through nutritional intervention.  He’s written two best-selling books in Russian and FIBER MENACE and GUT SENSE in English.  His work is highly respected by the Weston A. Price Foundation and is a fit with other work denouncing the overeating of carbs, the loss or lack of gut flora and fauna (disbacteriosis), and the need to eat nutrient-dense foods for health—such as Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME and Gary Taubes’ WHY WE GET FAT.

Monastyrsky explains the “evolutionary functions of each digestive organ” and notes that each organ specializes in a specific food group.  The mouth macerates and masticates flesh for we are “canine-wielding predators”; the stomach ferments and digests proteins; the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine) mixes chyme (a thick liquid without any solids that arrives from the stomach) with enzymes and absorbs water; the gallbladder uses bile to break down and assimilate fats; the jejunum and ileum (the last two sections of the small intestine) complete digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and absorb “their basic components (amino acids, fattly; acids, monosaccharides); and the large intestine recovers remaining water, nutrients and electrolytes, converts “liquid chyme to semi-solid stools,” and expels them (8-9). 

If this process is disturbed by an overabundance of indigestible fiber, the system struggles.  Malabsorption, where needed nutrients are not absorbed, occurs, which leads to malnutrition and disease.  Constipation and/or diarrhea occur, as does bloating and gas.  The stretched digestive system—a condition worsened by drinking water that makes fiber swell–begins to need more and more fiber to function.  The delicate tissues of the normally narrow anal canal are torn and scarred by too-large stools.  The lack of appropriate fats further compounds these disease conditions by causing stool impaction.  Intestines “bloated from inflammatory diseases caused by indigestible fiber” create hernias (28).       

Monastyrsky warns that a lot of fiber is hidden in fake processed foods under obscure names, like “cellulose, B-glucans, pectin, guar gum, cellulose gum, carrageen, agar-agar, hemicellulose, inulin, lignin, oligofructose, fructooligosaccharides, polydextrose, polylos, psyllium, resistant dextrin, resistant starch, and others.”  These factory made ingredients are derived from wood pulp, cotton, seaweed, husks, skins, seeds, tubers, and selected high-yield plants that aren’t suitable for human  consumption without extra processing” (18). 

So, what constitutes constipation?  Monastyrsky notes that mainstream medicine does not recognize constipation as the very serious condition that it is until it is too late and more extreme digestive conditions have developed.  If you’re not experiencing twice-daily easy and complete stools–Monastyrsky describes in detail what a healthy stool should look like using the UK’s Bristol Stool Form Scale—you might want to read FIBER MENACE. 

WARNING:  Monastyrsky warns that one must wean off fiber very gently or one will set off unintended consequences, like increased constipation.  To heal a damaged digestive tract, the GAPS diet, from GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME, is excellent—www.gapsdiet.com.