My surgeon gave me the best answer I have yet heard when I asked what had caused the cancer. She said 'being female'. The rest of it is all conjecture at present, although there are significant indicators that being very overweight can contribute. Reading all these books by Jane Plant and others just confuses me - they make sense individually and all contradict each other when you compare them. Other than trying to stay within a reasonably weight limit (difficult when you are undergoing treatment) I'm carrying on as normal.
Having read the article by Allison Pearson I'd advise anyone to ignore what is a poorly informed and poorly written piece of journalism. No surprise when you consider which paper it's in.
thats spot on, Nikiya. I remember years ago, even before my first bc in '97, watching a local (North East)TVnews article about all the fish in a particular river (either the Tyne or the Tees) becoming female due to the amount of oestrogen in the water. I remember talking about it to OH and about how risky it was, then. Cheaper to blame us than sort the environment!
Well I read the article and it seems to me the point the author makes is that this is a sick society (couldn't agree more, but it is not only the UK) where it is difficult for women to lead the lives they are supposed to in order to avoid cancer. Only she should not have said cancer is avoidable because I'm afraid it is not the case.
I am another slim, non smoker, non drinker, mother of two breast fed babies who got it... (I even joke that in my next reincarnation I'll be a junkie). Of course, I was on HRT for some years but hey, if you do not know the causes (and I do not think they know or if they do, they do not want to tell) you've got to put the blame somewhere...
I do believe the amount of contamination in water, air and food might have something to do. But it is easier to tell you not to drink and exercise than defy vested interests and clean up the environment, right?
Thanks Elinda - I have the site bookmarked, but I must admit when I went on it earlier in the year I really just had a quick skim read. I'll be interested to see the BC stuff when it's published.
the update on breast cancer isn't published until later this year. The full report was the earlier one on all types of cancer - think that was 2007.
Hmmm...I've just read the article and I have to agree with Spike. I found its tone broadly sympathetic.
X to all
I seem to think this report and the findings were actually on the WCRE website months ago and you could either read the entire thing or the main points from it. If that's the case then it's taken a long time for it to be reported by the press.
A couple of years back I joined a BC campaign group and wished I hadn't - the report they sent out with the membership details was written by a German woman doctor who was claiming that all BC is hormone related, which of course is not the case. I quickly decided I would let the membership lapse after that one year and I did contact them about the research they were sending out but didn't get a reply. TBH they were really badly organised and it appeared from the newsletter they sent me (6 months out of date as they had lost my details!) that their admin was in total disarray along with the committee running the group. Just shows you you have to watch what you get involved with and what you read.
I read the article in the Daily Mail yesterday and feel that Allison Pearson was writing the article in defence of women with breast cancer. She seemed quite indignant at the suggestions the World Cancer Research Fund were reporting, and that their findings were suggesting that those with breast cancer didn't breast feed enough, drank too much alcohol, were overweight and didn't do enough exercise. I breastfed my 3 children, was visiting a gym 2-3 times per week for a year before diagnosis and was certainly not overweight.
Allison was also questioning the idea that if young women felt confident that they could have lots of babies, take time off to breastfeed and still be able to afford a roof over their heads and a decent standard of living, then would the rates of breast cancer drop. Of course not, and then she went on to say that "Sadly, however, the only women who can afford to have big families these days are Sharon Nightmare and her fast-reactor brood on benefits or Yummy Kristina who is conveniently married to an investment banker and can write off the costs of Esmeralda, Peregrine, Jonquil, Pimms and Indonesia against tax. Or park them with the Filipina maid while she pops to the gym. Most British women fall into neither category"
Maybe some of you would like to read Allison's report:
What I liked about her article was the fact that she was saying how stressful life is for most women with a family and how you end up having two jobs. And, she does finally say "So please let’s stop pretending that a horrible disease which kills 12,000 innocent British people a year is women’s fault."
Anyway, I just thought I would give you my take on Allison's article. I certainly don't agree with the findings of the World Cancer Research Fund and feel they could better spend their research money elsewhere.
Some of it was just words from the report Eileen and cherub, and as I have said if healthy living helps, then all to the good. The part I typed out in my original post on this thread was the main part that got to me, about breast cancer being wholly avoidable, about have kids and stay at home stress free and breast feed them and you wont get cancer... no one can say that for sure.
Mind you, she also complained in another part of the column about the selfish man who was trying to commit suicide off a bridge and causing a big traffic jam, and how the man should have been left to get on with it etc etc. Sensationalism for sure.
There are so many things written about don't do this, do that or you will get cancer, no one really knows what is the cause and I feel very angry being told that because I have a glass of wine every weekend, or didn't have kids, I brought cancer on myself.
I read the same meaning into it as you Eileen. I did however complain about the sensational way these stories get reported and they did publish it.
Am I reading a different article or what?. I love the Daily Mail and suppose now I should hang my head in shame. The article I read from Allison Pearson was very good. She was saying that women should not be blamed or made to feel it is their fault that they get breast cancer. Wonder if I was reading a different article. All papers sensationalise we all know that. What she said I totally agreed with. Different folks different strokes. Love to all and for yous goin through treatment hang on in there. I ticked all the right boxes too breastfed 6 don't drink not overweight swam was a walker but still got it. xx Eileen
Hi Elinda, When I developed BC 20 years ago, I was slim, fit, had 2 young children and breastfed both, never smoked, hardly drank, was in good health, never took drugs, no family history....yet I still got BC at age 39. I found the lump myself at 34 after breastfeeding the youngest. I got it investigated immediately. Nothing was done and I kept going back to see the GP who referred me to the hospital on more that 5 occassions. I began to think I was immagining it... The mammogram never showed up the lump even when it was discovered by ultrasould and it was quite a large tumour by this time. You would think I had "done everything right". I am the only one in a large group of friends who have been dianosed with BC, yet some are extremely overweight, one is an alchoholic, and many smoke heavily, yet so far they are ok. Doesn't make sense does it?.....infact it could turn you to drink........I really enjoy red wine or a large G and T, and to hell with it all....But I still here and enjoy life. LOL Val X
An author and doctor called Ben Goldacre has published an excellent book called Bad Science. In it he tackles the subjects of bad journalists reporting on science and bad scientists manipulating statistical findings to suit their purpose. He's very convincing. Reading it might help to reduce your blood pressure (and then again maybe not). It certainly helped me to read these kind of articles with tongue firmly in cheek. If they weren't in almost every newspaper, TV and radio news I would avoid them altogether.
Don't let the b******s get to you.
Had a look at the World Cancer Research Fund site and the full report is going to be published later this year. Their press statement is a bit confusing because the first part talks about weight, alcohol, breast feeding etc as things to reduce risk. The quote from Professor Wiseman does though state that they think that 40% of breast cancer cases could be 'prevented' by changing lifestyle.
Don't know what others think but that seems to be such a large percentage.
Not quite sure how people like me that couldn't have children are ever going to be able to breast feed!
Hi Monica, well I wouldn't want to get a bad reputation here!!
I can understand that healthy lifestyle is a good thing and support that, it was the 'wholly avoidable' that really got to me. It's just not true.
I guess some people like to make waves, no matter how that may affect the people they are talking about. Not true journalism though, trashy in my opinion.
I've read the various online articles that are linked on the BCC website. I think it's a great shame that research evidence is sensationalised the way it is. There is some information there that could be helpful in reducing risk of breast cancer in SOME cases - I'm not sure preventing it is the right word at all. I'm going to look at the actual research later today and see what that says and I'll post again.
My fear is that with all the cuts they want made to the health service that we'll be seeing a lot more of this for all sorts of health problems. It's this horrible blame culture. I do fear for the increasing number of overweight, inactive kids but blame isn't the way to change to behaviour. I think there is enormous pressure put on individuals when what we're actually looking at are societal/cultural issues.
As we also know there are many breast cancer sufferers who don't drink, are slim, have breast fed etc etc. We are none of us perfect though that's humans for you but we don't deserve to be told that having cancer is our fault! What about other factors like starting your periods early or being tall etc which we can do sod all about, they don't get a mention do they.
your last posting did make me laugh - I hadn't had you down as a DM reader, promise! I had been ranting about it after seeing the headlines in the newsagent.
isn't it crazy to be reading such rubbish at hospital!
thanks for giving me a good old laugh!
In my defence everyone, I don't usually read the Daily Mail!!!! It was just the one my hospital handed me when I went in for chemo yesterday. Will refuse to read it next time for sure, not good for my blood pressure 😉
byand I agree, I expect this sort of stuff from the Daily Mail but not on the Breast Cancer Care site. http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/server/show/nav.784
well isn't that just gross!
not enough to lose breasts, hair and any certainty about the future (and thats the lucky ones among us), we can now be looked at askance by bloody daily mail readers because we have bc.
journalism my ar*e !
What on earth do you expect if you read the Daily Mail?!
( Philidel has put it more politely than I can)
Arrrghhhh!!! Angry of Buckingham here felt moved to post a comment following that article. My blood is boiling, but then I guess the Daily Mail does specialise in inflammatory journalism designed to make middle England all hot under the collar. I might just have to go & pour myself a glass of wine now 😉
This was not just in the Daily Mail, I object strongly to it. All I will say with statistics and research, choose who and where and when and you will get the necessary 'answer' you want. You can minipulate collected data to suit. Have they examined pollutions etc in the areas that were included in the research. Just one of the things that could and would upset their findings!
Sorry, if you don't smoke, are not an alcoholic, not morbidly obese they need to look at other things they can acuse us of to cause us to have breast cancer!
Hey ho I just needed months off work to get back some of the money I have paid into the system since I was 16yrs old.
Time to shut up now as I am starting to write a book, and yes I am having my second glass of wine diluted with soda of the evening. OK whoever did the research, I BLOODY WELL DESERVED IT!!!!!
Just ask my children and my grandchildren they will tell you different.
This upsets me too....
I don't drink much, a couple of glasses at night at the weekend and not even every weekend, had my first son before 30 (just!), breast fed for 8 months, had another son 13 years later breast fed him for 7 months, didn't use contraception, exercised all my life, am the right weight for my height, good BMI and very healthy diet as am lactose intolerant and we eat carefully because my husband is predisposed to heart problems. I do work hard as I'm self employed but took time off with both boys and I worked as a distraction from the ectopic and miscarriages I had over the years. My periods started at 9 and therefore my body has been exposed to oestrogen for a long time (I'm now 46) I guess that's all my fault....der!
I too am sick of the victim blaming this sort of journalism perpetuates. Living a healthy lifestyle is very difficult for many people for a whole load of reasons and to keep pointing the finger saying its their own fault they have cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, heart failure etc is so wrong. OK, if you are morbidly obese, smoke and drink vast amounts of alcohol then you are on a death wish, but for most of us, this is not the case and our good health is attributed to being given good genes or vice versa if we have bad health. My son had cancer as a baby and I have learned that the tumour would have started growing from conception. No-one could have been more careful than me during pregnancy and prior to conception and this was certainly the case with other mothers/fathers who also had children with cancer. The cause of many cancers, especially in the young, remain a mystery, so I have long ago given up asking why.
I have also lived a healthy life and done everything right to reduce the risk of getting bc (albeit largely unwittingly). The only risk factor I had was that I hadn't gone through the menopause (I was 52 ad dx). Not much I could do about that one!!!
It annoys the hell out of me that healthy living is seen as a panacea for everything. Yes, it's good to live healthily - you'll feel better if nothing else. But it won't necessarily prevent you getting all sorts of nasties - breast cancer included.
You would think walking on the pavement would keep you safe, but if a car mounts the pavement and crashes into you, would the press say it was your fault?
Outrageous. Horrible article. This is so much insult to injury. I hate the Daily Mail. I hope an oncologist or two replies to this rubbish. It will soon be some sort of admission to 'bad living' to say we've had breast cancer. Makes me want to scream.....
I eat healthy, DONT drink the recommended glass of wine a day (does that make me unhealthy??), I breast fed my son, I'm a busy mum that has a full time job and a house to keep (I count this as my exercise??) therfore I am not overweight... the ladies that i met during and after my treatment (25 + ladies), were also healthy, careful ladies. Now scientists claim that over 40% of ladies who are dealt with bc have it because of unhealthy lifestyles and are obese!! Maybe these 'scientists' should look into what has been added to the food that we eat, the pollution that this overcrowded island has to live in, and all the other nasties that are in the air, water and food...maybe then they can find a plausible cause for cancer instead of blaming the 'victims' of this soul destroying disease!!!
We have enough to contend with during and after treatment without being told we are to blame!!
Just read article..
I have taken 2.5 yrs off work to raise my kids and i breastfed them for a yr (8mths for the little one as I FOUND MY LUMP IN PREGNANCY AND WAS DIAGNOSED POSTNATALLY!!)
Sooooo ladies, Ive done the "right thing", taking time to raise my babies and being bloody hard up because of it and i breastfed exclusively. Im a stone over weight-nothing major. So why do i have cancer then?! Just because i do, thats just the way my cookie crumbled.
Articles like this one should not be published because they are drivel.
I have asked my oncologist each time I visit whether alcohol will affect my chances of breast cancer returning and she has said categorically no. For someone who has never had breast cancer, reducing "risky" behaviour is clearly a good idea, not just to reduce the risk of bc, but a whole load of other health issues too. But those of us who have been "blessed" with the dodgy genes, then adopting healthy behaviour in the hope that it will prevent a recurrence or secondaries is not likely to happen. This is not to say that I advocate an unhealthy lifestyle - far from it as keeping slim and active, not smoking, drinking moderate alcohol is obviously good for us, but is not going to be a miracle.
This silly woman has completely misinterpreted the article yesterday which says that some bc may be attributed to unhealthy behaviour, but nowhere does it say that it is wholly responsible. Just poor journalism - if she wants to launch a counterargument in favour of stressed out women who reach for the bottle etc, then she should read the original more carefully.
Total and utter rubbish ; it should be ritually burnt, I agree the wholly avoidable is total b*llox. All these research papers do is allow our peers and neighbours to point a finger and say she did something to get BC - well whoopdy blo*dy doo, breathing gives you cancer if you happen to work in a coal mine, @ a nuclear plant or in a polluted atmosphere! Fumming in Wales!
Yep I did all the right things too and still got this bloody disease. I had the mirena coil put in and I'm blaming that!!! Maybe she should have stuck that in her report too!! Fact is they don't know really what causes it.
This kind of media rubbish we don't need especially for people like Nikki who are unwell. No wonder there are such alot of myths about BC. I have done all the 'wrong' things smoked, ate rubbish but that does not mean I am to 'blame' for my cancer.
These articles are such a load of tosh, the radio was full of it as well and they do nothing but encourage the blame culture. I breastfed all my 3 kids for nearly a year each, I'm not overweight, don't smoke and run half marathons in my spare time but getting BC is still my fault - apparently.......
Yes, I'm fuming too!!!!
Hi everyone, thanks for your comments, have calmed down a wee bit now, but still. It's the 'wholly avoidable' comments that get to me.
I couldn't have kids, would have loved to have them but was not able to carry a baby to term, after ectopics and misccariages and going down the IVF route, it wasn't meant to be. By her reckoning, maybe that was my fault to in some way too, something about my lifestyle that caused my inability to be a real woman and protect myself from breast cancer, maybe I deserve it.
I just hate that people reading rubbish like that will look at people like me and think 'she must have overdone it on the booze or something, what a shame' because spreading trash that breast cancer is wholly avoidable by not drinking is bull.
Some of us get it and manage to get through it, some of us get it and don't, but none of us are to blame for getting this sh** disease, never ever.
This story was the headline in the Mail yesterday what I think she is saying is dont blame overworked mothers for this cruel disease.
I certainly don't blame my lifestyle on me getting and dying of this disease. Had two children didnt breast feed although I have ample breasts all my life they did not produce the milk when required! Ran very busy pubs for 14 years this gave me the workout that shoulb be considered healthy but maybe I spoilt it at the end of the day with the 3or4 vodka tonics that I drank! The only time I became overweight was once I started the treatments for bc. Today the paper tells us to drink more milk yesterday we were told to drink less. They don't have a clue.
I hate this insidious business of attaching some sort of 'blame' to us. Bad enough to have this filthy disease without being told it is "wholly avoidable". I know what I would like to do to that journo! Fact is that many women who live a healthy lifestyle are diagnosed and many who live anything but a healthy lifestyle do not get bc.
I totally agree it makes me so angry, not only do they trivialise our disease but they blame us too. I am also not happy that on the first page of our webside we have the headlines under latest news. "A healthier lifestyle could prevent breast cancer" - with a link to the Daily Mail article. Surely our site should not be promoting this cr@p.
Oh. If only I'd stuck to one unit of alcohol a day and had a baby and breastfed it and ate lots of fruit and veg and exercised for 30 minutes a day I wouldn't be in this position.
If only I'd known!
The Daily Mail is priceless :-S.
Writing from my hospital bed having chemo, reading paper and there is a big piece by the woman named above talking about breast cancer, the causes that are being cited as responsible and societies fault in causing woman to die from this disease.
Apparantly we should all be supported by society to get pregnant, and not be stressed enough by life causing us to have a glass or two of wine!
I am bloody fuming. She states things like 'being two people is pretty damned stressful. I am sure this explains why a third of woman drink higher than recommended levels of alcohol and risk wholly avoidable breast cancer'
Wholly avoidable! I am so angry at bullshit it'r my fault i'm dying articles like this
A very mad Nikki