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In the Vegetarian & Vegan News...
   Breast Cancer Risk | VegSource Interactive, Inc.

Breast Cancer Awareness MonthOctober is...
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

What can you do to help protect yourself?

Start eating a low-fat, pure vegetarian diet.

Every 12 minutes someone dies from breast cancer. Yet women who eat as few as two servings of vegetables per day reduce their breast cancer risk by 30%.
(American Institute for Cancer Research; World Cancer Fund 10/16/97)

40% of the world's cancer cases could be prevented through the adoption of diets rich in grains, fruit and vegetables.
(Walter C. Willett, "Who Is Susceptible to Cancers of the Breast, Colon, and Prostate?" Annals of the New york Academy of Sciences 768 (Sept. 30, 1995): 1-11)


Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) is a genetically engineered growth hormone many dairy farmers inject into cows to increase milk production.  There is evidence that rBGH promotes tumor growth in laboratory animals.  Of even greater concern, rBGH significantly stimulates a cow's production of another hormone that's secreted in milk, insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1); when we consume dairy products that contain IGF-1, we're overdosing ourselves with a hormone that prompts cells in our bodies to multiply -- including cancer cells.

In May of 1998, Susan Hankinson, Sc.D., published a sobering study in the medical journal Lancet about the relationship between IGF-I levels and breast cancer. Thousands of women enrolled in the Harvard Nurses' Health Study in 1989-90 gave blood samples to be stored. In 1998, Dr. Hankinson’s team identified 397 of these women who had subsequently developed breast cancer. Tests from the 1989 blood samples showed that those women with high IGF-I levels in their blood had up to 5 times the risk of developing breast cancer than those with low IGF-I concentrations.

Subsequent studies have shown that people eating a vegan diet have lower blood levels of IGF-I. (see related article)

Moreover, the drug Tomoxifin, routinely given to breast cancer victims, works by blocking IGF-I production in the body -- the very thing that dairy and meat consumption increases.

By dramatically increasing the amount of IGF-I in milk, rBGH adds to the other known health problems with milk.

It is impossible to know whether the milk, ice cream, cheese, butter or other dairy products you may consume in the US comes from cows treated with rBGH.  This is because Monsanto, the maker of rBGH, successfully lobbied the government to outlaw labeling which would draw attention to milk which is rBGH-free.

In fact, recently the Canadian government reviewed the studies Monsanto used to win FDA approval of rBGH.  They found the studies seriously flawed and lacking, and Canadian government scientists complained of interference from supervisors who threatened them unless they gave swift approval of rBGH.  (Canada rejected the use of the growth hormone in their cattle.) You can read more about this story and read the Canadian government scientists' report.

Being vegetarian is a good step toward protecting yourself against breast cancer.  Choosing rice or soy milks and other substitues to dairy products -- adds greater protection against several different cancers, particularly breast and prostate cancer.


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