US breast cancer rates linked to drug company profits

This is a breast cancer video.

By Minnie Bruce Pratt:

The most common form of breast cancer in the U.S. dropped by 15 percent from 2002 to 2003, says a study just released by the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Researchers believe the reason for this exciting decline may be that millions of women stopped taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in 2002.

That year a study from the Women’s Health Initiative warned that women taking one type of HRT, Prempro, risked higher breast cancer rates.

Until that announcement, about a third of U.S. women over the age of 50 took hormone-replacement drugs prescribed by their doctors.

Breast cancer rates had been climbing since 1945, and killed an estimated 40,000 U.S. women a year.

Dr. Peter Ravdin, one of the study’s authors, said the recent dramatic decline was “the largest for a single cancer in a single year” that he knew of. (New York Times, Dec. 15)

Drug companies and doctors had pushed HRT on women for years, saying it prevented or minimized all sorts of ailments, from heart disease and stroke to bone loss to mental decline.

Critics of HRT were ridiculed, studies undertaken to assess the usefulness of HRT were attacked as unnecessary, and their doctors badgered women who resisted taking HRT.

But, as Cynthia Pearson, executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, points out: “There was never a single clinical trial that showed that HRT prevented cardiovascular disease or stroke.

This is not a story of science moving sedately forward, carefully adding pieces to a puzzle before making recommendations to patients.

This is a story of the corruption of the medical and scientific community. The belief that hormones are good preventive medicine has been a triumph of marketing over science.” (

Drug companies spend an average of $10,000 to $15,000 in marketing per physician per year.

Study suggests racial discrimination harms health in the USA: here.

3 thoughts on “US breast cancer rates linked to drug company profits

  1. Pingback: Nuclear energy and breast cancer in Wales | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Racism gives African-American women breast cancer | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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