It takes more than Pink Ribbons

It takes more than Pink Ribbons

Ann Bailey

A mass of pink-wearing humanity wound its way through New York’s Central Park last weekend.  Young, old, male, female, babies in strollers and young adults on roller skates all joined in to express support to family members who have suffered from breast cancer and to give a push to advocacy and prevention efforts.   It was an impressive and heart-warming sight.   Yet I couldn’t help but wonder if all those sincere and dedicated individuals have all the information that could help their loved ones.

So as October, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” winds to a close, it’s time to point out that one of the best ways to reduce the breast cancer rate is often entirely ignored.  Why?  Because it doesn’t fit the “progressive,” politically-correct narrative.

It can be summed up in one word:  motherhood.  There are numerous studies that show that both having children and breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer.  Having no children or having children late in life (after you’ve built that successful career) might fit the feminist paradigm, but it also will put you at greater risk for breast cancer.  The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute lists “late childbirth” (over 30 years of age) as a risk factor for cancer.

A study that looked at 80 percent of the worldwide data on breast cancer and breastfeeding concluded that breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer.  In addition, the longer that a woman breastfeeds her baby, the more the risk is reduced.  The study’s authors state:

“Our analyses here show that the relative risk of breast cancer is reduced by 4.3% (95% CI 2.9–5.8) for each year that a woman breastfeeds, in addition to a reduction of 7.0% (5.0–9.0) for each birth. These relations are significant and are seen consistently for women from developed and developing countries, of different ages and ethnic origins, and with various childbearing patterns and other personal characteristics.” *

Only about 50 percent of American mothers ever breastfeed and the average amount of time per child is only about three months.   Women in the developed world breastfeed for shorter periods of time than women in the developing world (8.7 months vs. 29.2 months) and as you might guess, the breast cancer in the developing world is lower.

It is estimated that the incidence of breast cancer in developed nations could be cut in half if women would bear more children and breastfeed for longer periods of time (the relative risk of breast cancer declined 4.3% for each 12 months of breastfeeding and 7.0% for every birth).

You add to that the research that implicates abortion as a breast cancer risk and you realize that too many women have bought into a lifestyle and an ideology that threatens their very lives.  In short, motherhood matters and if you don’t know it, ladies, your body does.

 

*Valerie Beral, et al, [Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer], “Breast cancer and breastfeeding: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 47 epidemiological studies in 30 countries, including 50,302 women with breast cancer and 96,973 women without the disease,” The Lancet, Volume 360, Number 9328 [20 July 2002], p. 187-195.

 

 

3 Comments
  • Meagan
    Posted at 12:00h, 30 October Reply

    I am always amazed at how shallow some of the breast cancer prevention participation is. People throw money at these organizations in hope that they’ll come up with a miracle cure, but they don’t take the effort to find out how that money is allocated (for example: do they support institutes that actually do mammograms or just ones that provide referrals). Some of these people aren’t even interested in reducing risk factors for themselves (apparently alcohol and some other cancer causing products–that might ironically bear a pink label–also up the risk). If billions of dollars later a non-profit’s revelation on how to prevent breast cancer is to selectively destroy at-risk embryos, or choose chemical motherhood over real motherhood, then I’m not interested.

    FYI, Planned Parenthood is still funded by Susan G. Komen, even though they don’t provide breast cancer surgery or mammograms. In this youtube video: a girl calls PP and asks for a mammogram, instead she is told to come down, and they would charge her $100 to merely give her a referral to a place that actually does it. If this is the extent of their breast cancer work, then where are the hundreds of thousands of Komen dollars they receive every year going? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7tn2-8IDx2E

  • Anastasia
    Posted at 11:26h, 03 November Reply

    @Meagan

    Well, you are partially correct about Planned Parenthood and their mammogram services. Some of the smaller ones do not have the space/funding necessary for adequate testing…but larger ones do. For example, the Planned Parenthood I use is near a major city in NY state. They provide excellent gynecological services, the people are very friendly, they have great information about the pros/cons of various birth control options, and have clean facilities that are wonderful for getting standard women’s health tests. My own mother has used them for breast cancer screenings, and my younger sister is able to get affordable “birth control” pills that help her deal with her very severe menstrual cramps/nausea. It’s odd that someone told you that they charge $100 for a simple referral though…the one I use has free pamphlets about other services, and the most I’ve ever heard of others charging is about $20. Again, I’ve personally found that for women like myself who don’t have health insurance, Planned Parenthood is an absolute lifesaver for annual check ups and testing!

  • Meagan
    Posted at 13:56h, 05 November Reply

    If your family is worried about using a regular doctor’s office, tell them you don’t have insurance and you’ll pay in cash, they will drastically knock the price down and offer a payment plan, or even an additional discount if you promise to pay right then and there. My husband went to the hospital when we had no income. When we told them that, thousands of dollars were knocked down to a few hundred, by a grant. Hopefully that helps you out 🙂

    For additional information about what I was talking about in my last comment this is PP’s official statement on the extent of their breast services which is that they only offer manual breast exams–they call them clinical, but they don’t have the equipment for mammograms (see factcheck.org)–even at the larger ones (fyi…regular doctor’s offices usually have free pamphlets on doing one yourself at home and self-check lists on whether you need one)
    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/statement-planned-parenthood-senior-director-medical-services-breast-health-services-40483.htm
    Why should hundreds of thousands of money donated to the breast cancer cause go to a clinic that does no breast cancer research, has limited breast health services, and is very controversial be chosen over a place that does more? An answer that implies well they have other great services, focus on that, don’t mind these serious controversies–is so foreign. It would be like giving money to an animal shelter in hopes they save the animals’ lives and finding out later that they actually use the animals for science, but since science also matters in our world, animal lovers should ignore that detail and just be grateful its going to a cause. Many breast cancer donators are very concerned about the breast cancer-abortion link.

    That’s good that you’ve had some good experiences there. I personally haven’t been impressed with them. One issue is that they peddle pornography, my college roommate was a counselor there and all she ever talked about was sex, she wasn’t a health professional-PP just trained her on the spot for cheap about what to say and do. The picture I’ve got of their services is the equivalent of toys made in China vs. hand-carved wooden ones made by real craftspeople–yeah it’s cheap, but I’m not comfortable with the reason why. They’ve constantly lobbied against bills that would have required the employees to be medical professionals because it would drive up costs. Next time you go there ask to see the employees credentials, you’ll be shocked, more often than not it’s quick on-the-job training.

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