As breast cancer awareness month comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on a month of grandstanding by an industry controlled by pharmaceutical drug companies designed to profit from women with disease. It is tragically a missed opportunity to provide real education on prevention, instead of merely promoting expensive diagnostic tools that some experts believe to be inadequate and even carcinogenic. The American Cancer Society remains fixated on damage control. If decreasing the number of fatalities is truly its first priority, why not prevent the disease before it starts? The use of the word “awareness” rather than the more appropriate word “prevention” is quite revealing. The big business of cancer is not about finding a cure.FACT: Since 1940, the incidence of breast cancer has risen by one to two percent every year. In the past five decades, the incidence of breast cancer in females over 65 rose nearly 40% in the United States.The American Cancer Society (ACS), held in such high esteem by so many, do more to squash legitimate natural approaches of cancer prevention and treatment than a room full of chain smokers – and they do this by using the FDA as their mighty hammer. The ACS is no friend to holistic medicine. In fact, this organization works directly against doctors offering viable natural options, placing their names on a blacklist without even verifying the efficacy of their treatment protocol. I realize this sort of talk is treading upon sacred ground and I have no doubt those responsible for passing out pink ribbons will be appalled at my beliefs but as a 41 year old woman at risk of developing this disease and active in the holistic community, I have a right to be disgusted with this obvious lack of progress and hypocrisy.FACT: Fewer than one in 10 cases of breast cancer occurs in women born with a genetic predisposition for the disease and as many as 50% of breast cancer cases remain unexplained by traditionally-accepted risk factors.So what is causing the substantial increase in breast cancer? Epidemiologists and other scientists increasingly believe many cases of breast cancer are linked to environmental factors. If the ACS would call on both government and industry to rethink the process by which new chemicals are authorized for use and call for accountability, we could make some real headway with regards to prevention.For decades the ACS has spun tales of victories, so small in reality they have done virtually nothing to alter the course of this deadly disease. Meanwhile, chemical companies continue to develop insidious mixtures of cancer causing agents, spraying these chemicals on our food, adding these chemicals to the water supply, and the air we breathe. The ACS’s financial ties with industry clearly influence its policies pertaining to environmental causes of cancer and in some cases have willfully suppressed information about environmental causes of cancer and is often silent on this issue, as is its accomplice, the FDA.FACT: 9 out of 10 women will receive a false positive when screened for cancer, leading to anxiety, unnecessary surgical procedures, and toxic drugs.A study performed on 500,000 women by researchers at the Nordic Chochrane Center in Denmark to determine whether or not cancer screening offers any benefit, determined that for every one woman helped by breast cancer screening, ten were harmed through false diagnosis leading to unnecessary treatments, which could be devastating to their health. This is partly due to the irradiation of breasts caused by mammography, increasing a woman’s chance for cancer but also because the numerous false positives lead to unnecessary biopsies and toxic treatment.Since the introduction of mammographic screening, the incidence of a form of breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) has increased by 328%. It is believed that as much as 200% of this increase is due to mammography. In addition to harmful radiation, mammography may also spread existing cancer cells due to the considerable pressure placed on the breast during the procedure. According to health practitioners, this compression could actually cause existing cancer cells to metastasize from the breast tissue.Before writing this article, I spent some time on the web site for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, [http://www.nbcam.com], and found absolutely no information on prevention. It would seem mammography is the cancer industry’s greatest achievement and yet if you look outside the information published by the ACS, you will find this particular diagnostic tool to be woefully inadequate. If you are pre-menopausal, it will provide you very little accuracy due to the density of the breasts. And yet it is women between the ages of 44 and 55 most at risk. Why is mammography such a great achievement?FACT: Mammography is prone to missing the most aggressive and life threatening types of breast cancer while picking up tumors often found to be benign.I am acquainted with a woman who was sick for a number of months but no doctor was able to diagnose what was wrong. She had a mammogram performed in an effort to rule out breast cancer and no tumor was found. Five weeks later when she was having difficulty raising her right arm because of severe pain she met with another doctor and was then diagnosed with breast cancer, advanced stage four.Since that time, about four months ago now, this woman has had countless chemotherapy sessions and I have watched her grow weaker with each passing day – not from the cancer but from the treatment. She is almost unrecognizable. Then she had a double mastectomy followed by countless radiation sessions. The next plan is to put her on a drug called tamoxifen, known to have serious side effects. In fact, a handful of studies demonstrate that the majority of women who take tamoxifen live no longer than women who refuse it. It is with great alarm that researchers are finding some breast cancers actually learn how to use tamoxifen to stimulate their growth.I would like to focus on tamoxifen, since it is touted by the cancer industry as a great accomplishment in preventing breast cancer. Here are just a few of the more serious adverse side effects associated with this drug: (1) some studies have found that pre-menopausal users are at risk of developing accelerated bone mineral loss and osteoporosis; (2) women using tamoxifen have experienced damaged retinas, increased corneal opacities, and decreased visual acuity as well as irreversible corneal and retinal changes; (3) several studies showed that the risk of developing life-threatening blood clots increased as much as seven times in women taking tamoxifen; (4) depression; (5) asthma; (6) vocal cord changes; (7) liver cancer and liver disease as tamoxifen is toxic to the liver and can cause acute hepatitis; (8) inducing a fast moving, lethal form of uterine cancer – uterine growths such as polyps, tumors, endometrial thickenings and cancers occur in a significant number of women. One study detected abnormal endometrial cells in subjects the day after the first tablet was taken! It is interesting to note that nearly every method of diagnosing and treating breast cancer is a known carcinogen.FACT: In a survey of 79 oncologists from McGill University Cancer Center in Canada, 64 said they would not consent to treatment with Cisplatin, a common chemotherapy drug, while 58 oncologists said they would reject all the current trials being carried out by their establishment. Why? “The ineffectiveness of chemotherapy and its unacceptable degree of toxicity.” Philip Day, Cancer: Why We’re Still Dying to Know the TruthMillions of women right now are developing undetectable, early-stage breast cancer, yet the cancer industry does nothing until the tumor is detectable. Once detectable, an authoritative cancer specialist will push chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and toxic drugs on a vulnerable patient. Never mind that these methods cause permanent, irreversible harm to the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and other organs. Does no one question the lunacy of poisoning cells in a person who needs their immune system to be strong?Why are we so caught up in diagnosis when the real key is prevention? Is it because prevention would pay so little to the gluttonous industry of pharmaceutical drugs? Is it because it would shut down the big business of cancer? Detection is not prevention and prevention requires personal responsibility. It requires very little money and that does not work for the drug companies.In an effort to reduce the risk of cancer, one should focus on strengthening the immune system because there needs to be a break down in the immune system in the first place for cancer cells to thrive. And as long as the FDA is unwilling to hold industry responsible, detoxification of harmful chemicals and heavy metals is of paramount importance and there are products available to help with this great challenge. It is also important to make valuable food and lifestyle choices, and avoid exposure to cancer causing chemicals. Do not wait until your doctor diagnoses you with cancer to make a radical change in your life. I encourage you to start protecting your health today.