Recent research out of Seattle shows a disturbingly strong link between young women (40 years and younger) who used oral contraceptives and their tendency to develop triple negative breast cancer, a rapidly growing estrogen-negative type of the disease.
Among women (40 years and younger) the relative risk for triple-negative breast cancer associated with oral contraceptive use (of more than one year ) was 4.2. (95%confidence interval, 1.9-9.3)
This study, Risk Factors for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Women Under the Age of 45 Years, involving over 1,000 women, led by Jessica M. Dolle, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and published in the academic journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention in April of last year, did not find a similar link between other kinds of breast cancer and the use of oral contraceptives in this same group of breast cancer patients.
( one page abstract/summary of study)
( full study: ten page PDF)
Most types of breast cancer seem to be caused by a cocktail of various ingredients that appear to be unique to each person, that mixed together can create a perfect toxic storm.
Triple Negative breast cancer strikes younger women more often than older women, and strikes black women at double the rate of white women. Younger black women are currently the most at- risk population for developing this type of breast cancer.
Sadly 90+% of the dollars earmarked for triple negative breast cancer research, by Susan G Komen for the Cure, by the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, by government and other private grant makers are only focused on developing expensive drugs that can “find a cure” for this disease.
Last week a recent market research report predicted that by 2018 a new breast cancer drug, BSI-201 will enjoy $1.7 billion in worldwide sales, with special potential for the triple negative market.
For women fighting this disease, this is wonderful news as such drugs can be critical. But we also need to figure out how to stop triple negative breast cancer before it starts... even if there is no $1.7 billion drug at the end of the rainbow.
Audre Lorde, poet, lesbian, feminist leader, African American and author of The Cancer Journals, who died in 1992 after a fourteen-year struggle with breast cancer, was one of the first to notice society’s interest in profit making, rather than in trying to stop breast cancer before it starts.
…what would happen if an army of one-breasted women descended upon Congress and demanded that the use of carcinogenic, fat-stored hormones in beef-feed be outlawed?
Each year, about 30,000 women in the U.S. are now being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and this number continues to grow. Most of these women are younger than 40 and more than 15% of these young women are black.
We need to ask foundations and government agencies to fund Jessica Dolle and other cancer prevention researchers as they try to understand more about what chemicals, foods and drugs are causing all of this triple negative.
Meanwhile, do not expect your birth control pack to mention Dolle’s recent research linking birth control drugs to triple negative breast cancer; in fact do not expect the American Cancer Society or even most major breast cancer foundations to breathe a word of Dolle’s 2009 study.
Birth control pills and breast cancer drugs are both multi-billion dollar a year markets. The pharmaceutical companies that sell these drugs also give many millions of dollars each year to the American Cancer Society, Komen and other. Few organizations, I suppose, want to bite the hands that feed them.
From a practical, personal point of view, younger women who want to continue using birth control pills should counterbalance their risk of developing triple negative by getting a Vitamin D3 blood test.. and taking 2,000 IUs or more of Vitamin D3 supplements every day until your blood test shows you have a level of 60-80 ng/ml of vitamin D3. New research shows that this level of vitamin D3 should protect a huge majority of all women against developing all types of breast cancer.
For more ideas on how to help lower your risk of developing any type of breast cancer, at any age, see Know Breast Cancer’s 7 Easy Ways at www.knowbreastcancer.net