Monthly Archives: April 2010

Eat fried chicken to cure breast cancer!

Wow.  This is wrong on so many different levels.  KFC is going pink this month for breast cancer awareness.  First of all, is going pink and promoting breast cancer awareness going to invade every month of the year?  But even more disturbing is Buckets For the Cure.  Money will be donated to Susan G. Komen For the Cure for every pink bucket of fried chicken purchased.  KFC is hoping to make the “largest donation ever in the fight against breast cancer.”

The Colonel says pink is the new red.  Is he trying to distract us from heart disease and obesity maybe?

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“Another year and I could have been in big trouble”

“Everyone gets busy, but don’t make excuses. I stay in shape and eat right, and it happened to me. Another year and I could have been in big trouble.”

Martina Navratilova was talking about her diagnosis of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) following a mammogram.  She will no doubt be learning the facts about DCIS and breast cancer as she goes through treatment and beyond.    Unfortunately, the public will be stuck with the misinformed messages that Martina has sent out during the early days of her diagnosis.  She will probably learn that DCIS shouldn’t be called breast cancer.  She may learn an NIH consensus panel on DCIS has recently called for a name change to remove “carcinoma” in order to prevent the exact reaction exhibited by Martina – the anxiety, shock, fear, and misunderstanding. 

Cancer means abnormal cells have become invasive.  In most breast cancers, this means abnormal cells have moved out of the milk ducts into surrounding tissue.  DCIS are abnormal cells that haven’t become cancerous or invasive yet.  They may in the future, but often do not.   Researchers estimate that up to 50% of DCIS won’t ever go on to become invasive, and there is some research suggesting that DCIS may even disappear over time.

DCIS is a product of mammography.  The diagnosis was relatively rare before the widespread onset of mammography.  Now, for every four women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, one is diagnosed with DCIS.  Has this really meant preventing more invasive breast cancer?  Probably not.  There hasn’t been a corresponding  drop in breast cancer incidence following the dramatic rise in the incidence of DCIS.   There has only been a dramatic rise in the number of women experiencing the fear and anxiety, surgery, and radiation therapy that Martina is experiencing.