Issue #293 March 30, 2015
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
Today, William Campbell Douglass II discusses the the high rate of thyroid cancer after someone has had breast cancer. Not a very pleasant subject, but one to be aware of.
Thyroid cancer often follows breast cancer
Breast cancer treatment can cause thyroid cancer
Ladies, surviving breast cancer is like surviving a two-pronged assault.
It’s not just the disease attacking you — it’s your own doctors!
These guys come at you with scalpels sharpened, ready to hack away at your breasts… they’ll shoot radiation at you until you glow… and they’ll pump you full of so many meds that you won’t be able to tell up from down.
And IF you manage to make it through all that, what’s waiting on the other side? A pink ribbon and a t-shirt that says, “I survived breast cancer and all I got was this lousy thyroid cancer.”
Yes, ladies, breast cancer survivors may face MORE THAN 50 TIMES the risk of thyroid cancer.
If you’ve never had breast cancer, your 10-year risk of developing thyroid cancer is just 0.3 percent, which means fewer than 1 in 300 women will get it.
But if you’re diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at the age of 40, your 10-year risk is 16 percent — as in more than 1 in 6 women will end up locked in a battle with thyroid cancer.
At the age of 50, the risk is a little lower, but not by much. It’s still 12 percent, meaning nearly 1 in 9 breast cancer patients will end up with thyroid cancer, according to the study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society.
The study doesn’t show WHY the risk is there, only that it’s there — but you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure this one out. Blast enough radiation at a woman’s chest, and some of it’s bound to miss the target — and just north of that target is the thyroid, which sucks up radiation the way a sponge sucks up water.
You go from battling one cancer to battling another… and while thyroid cancer is often survivable, the treatment for that one could come with consequences of its own.
It’s a vicious cycle that could leave you fighting cancer after cancer after cancer — or turning you into what your oncologist will call a “repeat customer,” which everyone knows is the best kind of customer of all.
Break free of that cycle before it starts. Most breast tumors need no treatment at all — and those that do can often be beaten without radiation, chemo, drugs and surgery.
So if you’ve been diagnosed with any type of cancer at all, don’t be bullied by some oncologist into signing up for a treatment you may not even need. Get a second opinion — preferably from a naturopathic physician experienced in cancer care.
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