Given that I’m running about a 3 week backlog on emails, you’ve probably heard this information before because it’s been all over the news. Regardless, it does not get any scarier then this.
I will try not to sound like a scaremonger, but I have frequently mentioned that we have not begun to see the tip of the chronic disease iceberg yet. With the exception of pockets of healthy individuals, our lifestyles continue to degenerate at a time we are exposed to more processed foods and environmental chemicals. Children being born today are exposed in the womb and grow up in a toxic environment.
The list of chronic diseases contains the usual players, but when it comes to cancer, the story is a little different.
I have certainly given my opinion on the research as it relates to breast cancer prevention and early detection methods like mammography. Mammography has been the center of a heated debate recently due to the unacceptably high number of false positives combined with the number of women who were diagnosed with breast cancers that would have resolved without any treatment. I have covered this concept in a previous blog article that can be read by clicking here.
While all this debate has been going on, no one has focused on the true problem, which is the shoddy effort at educating women about how to prevent breast cancer. You see, without this education, the rates of women with breast cancer can only increase. The recent debate over mammography has to do with whether women aged 40-50 should get a mammography, and we’ve wasted an awful lot of energy and resources on the debate.
In the meantime, some scary stats are emerging in the background that are completely unaffected by the debate on whether to perform mammography on women 40-50 years of age. The rates of more advanced breast cancer cases is on the rise in the 25-39 age group.
This particular study looked at what was happening in the rates of breast cancer in this age group from 1976 until 2009. Here’s what they found:
- Breast cancer with metastasis at diagnosis increased 2.07% per year
- The steepest increase was from 2000-2009, during which incidence rose 3.6% per year.
- There was no stage migration found (in increase in another stage of cancer due to better diagnostic tools) from regional, localized, or in situ categories, none of which had a decline in incidence at any time since 1976.
So what does all this mean?
- Stage IV breast cancer rates are increasing in the 25-39 age group.
- This level of cancer is much more difficult to treat.
- This is not the population that we actively pursue early detection.
- No level of staging has gone down since 1976. In other words, things are getting worse.
Let me say this as clearly as I can.
While the fight rages on and on about who should get screened when, more dangerous cancers in younger women is clearly on the increase. Screening will not help this population. The ONLY thing that could have and will help is to get our collective heads out of our asses and start to educate women about prevention.
Anything less will be a disaster.