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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Breast Cancer and Denial

I was just watching the news, and their top story was a study on the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer.

They interviewed several women, all of whom said that the link makes them think a little more, or maybe reconsider, because being healthy is of the utmost importance, etc.

The news story cited evidence that indicates even ONE drink per day SIGNIFICANTLY increases the risk of breast cancer.

Well, I agree, this could be really important news, but just the same, call me jaded and cynical; did the study include a couple of control groups? Specifically, control groups that isolated the use of birth control hormones or non-use of birth control hormones?

Because I've never ONCE seen the local news discuss the significant link between birth control pills and breast cancer, or, more recently, the effects of elevated estrogen and the impact upon fish.

I have a sneaking hunch that the study in this case did NOT involve the control groups which would indicate a HUGE variable, and in fact, a variable present to such a degree that it would prove the cited results of alcohol and breast cancer to be completely invalid.

Perhaps there is a link; I'm willing to believe that. But why does the link between birth control and breast cancer continue to be suppressed? And if the same women interviewed in bar were told that birth control pills may cause them to be breastless or dead later in life, how many of them would have shrugged and taken another sip, without making another comment?

Doesn't it just make you wonder?


UltraCrepidarian said...

One study I'd like to see is a study that tries to determine what percentage of studies is complete and utter B.S., by looking at whether they did proper controls, designed their experiment in a sensible way, and whether their claimed findings are justified based on what they actually did.

So, then we could say, "Studies show, that 99% of studies are crap". Something like that.


Hidden One said...

Every now and again I read of a study that does that in a particular field. In what I've read the ones with results not supporting Catholic doctrine are the majority of the poorly-done ones.

Anonymous said...

well at least i don't do either!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

One drink/day?! I'm doomed. I better start planning my Funeral Mass now.

It's crap and scare tactics.

Melody said...

A few years back there was a study by Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute concerning a possible link between breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy for menopausal problems. It involved several thousand patients. Before the study was complete it became apparent that there was indeed a link. Though the increase was small(0.08%), it was enough to make them call an early halt to the study and make public the findings, because of ethical concerns. It has changed the way many doctors treat menopausal problems; they are much more likely now to suggest alternative/holistic remedies and lifestyle adjustments rather than hormone replacement. These are the same hormones which are in birth control pills, and I believe the bcp's are a higher dose. But it is said that the hormones don't hurt you before menopause, and anyway they are at higher levels in pregnancy. However in pregnancy they are produced by your body, and bcp's are synthetic. So I wonder how they are so sure that you can't be harmed by the pill, since there is a proven cancer link. It's that elephant-in-the-living-room thing, that it's taboo to bring up. Denial is not just a river in Egypt!

Jennifer said...

Being a nurse I read alot of research articles and I often look at them with a jaded eye...just like you I wonder if there were other factors involved that influenced the outcome.

And as for the suppression of the bcp link...I honestly think alot of things which are huge money makers are not portrayed in the proper light...look at the whole vioxx fiasco. When pharmacies stand to loose billions of dollars IMHO they put the money ahead of the consumers.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Wait just a minute, I thought that red wine had a ton of "antioxidants" or whatever and those things prevented cancer? I took care of a lady at the nursing home one time that took a shot of red wine every night. The nurses were ordered to give it to her and they passed it to her right from the med cart every night. She was REALLY old at this point and, as far as I knew, wasn't riddled with cancer. As I recall, she was a pretty even tempered, nice lady too that liked us aides to sit with her and drink some juice while she had her "cocktail"! I don't care about that study. I'll have a drink now and then (especially wine-I LOVE a good wine) and I WON'T feel bad about it, or blame it on any future illness I might have.

Maureen said...

A lot more women die from heart problems than breast cancer. I'm not real worried.