A new study published in The Breast Journal, authored by researchers at the Department of Surgery, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY confirms numerous past studies showing low bone mineral density lowers the risk of breast cancer,[i], [ii], [iii], [iv], [v], [vi],[vii], [viii], [ix], [x], [xi], [xii], [xiii] and validates the hypothesis that women with breast cancer and low bone mineral density will have lower breast cancer recurrence rates than women with so-called ‘normal’ bone density.
In the study, titled, “Bone mineral density is a prognostic factor for postmenopausal Caucasian women with breast cancer,” researchers reviewed the records of 309 breast cancer patients with complete follow-up and bone density tests within 1 year of their surgery. The results were reported as follows:
The outcome of patients with low bone density (t > -1.0) was compared to the outcome for patients with normal bone density (t < -1.1). Among the 193 patients with invasive breast cancers and low bone density, distant disease-free survival at 5 years was 96% compared to 84% for 114 patients with invasive breast cancers and normal bone density (p = 0.0239). Local disease-free survival was 94% for low bone density patients compared to 86% for patients with normal bonedensities (p = 0.0794).
In summation, low bone mineral density is associated with a lower local and distant rate of breast cancer recurrence.
The New Normal: Aging As A Disease
It may come as a surprise that high bone mineral density is not somehow magically healthier for overall women’s health, as the myopic focus on increasingly bone mineral density by any means necessary has become a quarter of century long medical obsession, despite the fact that it is based on a warped, if not also dangerous, prioritization of women’s health concerns. In fact, the weight of evidence is now driving us towards the opposite conclusion: unnaturally high bone mineral density is dangerous to women’s health.
First, let us take a closer look at what so-called ‘normal’ bone density means.
Ever since the natural aging (and thinning process) of the bones was redefined as a disease by the World Health Organization in mind mid-90’s, and the young adult (T-score), based on a 30-year old woman at peak bone mass, was used to determine ‘normal’ bone mineral density, millions of asymptomatic and presumably healthy women have been overdiagnosed and overtreated with ‘osteoporosis’ or ‘osteopenia.’
Commonsense says that you should not compare older women’s scores with that of a young adult at peak bone mass, but financial pressure to capitalize on new drug development (Merck’sbisphosphonate Fosomax) and diagnostic technologies (DXA scans) made this type of de novo disease creation a profitable business model, regardless of its veracity or ethicality.
Of course, these new definitions lead to overtreatment, both with calcium supplements and bone-targeted patent drugs, further driving bone mineral density levels higher without thought to the unintended, adverse health effects, which we now know include both heart disease and cancer. [See: Osteoporosis Myth: The Dangers of High Bone Mineral Density]
Bone Fracture Associated Death Vastly Lower Than Breast Cancer & Heart Deaths
What, in fact, the new study has found is that having age-appropriate bones (measured through the Z-score) is in fact healthier, even if the (mis)use of the T-score distorts them into being ‘low’ relative to a 30-year old woman.
Research like this points to a fundamental failing in the way conventional medicine prioritizes women’s health issues. Whereas breast cancer risk reduction is presumably of utmost importance, given the year long drive to raise ‘breast cancer awareness’ through the promotion of fundraisers and of course breast screenings – this despite the now well-known fact that over70,000 women a year are misdiagnosed and wrongfully treated for ‘breast cancers’ that weren’t actually anything beyond natural variations in breast morphology that would never progress to cause harm, much less symptoms in the majority of women – the fact remains that women are being corralled into receiving bone mineral density scans that reinforce the false perception that a woman will be overall healthier, and mortality lower, if only her bones were denser than is normal for her age. Nothing could be further from the truth…
First, women die today primarily from heart-related deaths, such as heart attack associated with coronary artery disease. The drive to increase bone mineral density results in women taking artery-calcifying and heart-stopping megadoses of 1000 mg or more daily of inorganic calcium, even when as little as 500 mg a day of elemental calcium can increase heart attack risk by 24-86%, according to a series of meta-analyses published last year.
Second, after heart disease, cancer is the second highest cause of death in women, with breast cancer mortality second only to lung cancer mortality.
Juxtaposed to heart- and cancer-related causes of mortality in women, accounting for 24% and 22%, respectively, lethal complications from fractures associated with low bone mineral densitydo not even figure into the top thirty causes.[xiv]
So, the shattered, fractionated medical system grinds on. The ‘bone doctor’ creates the impression in women that nothing could be more important to women’s health than increasing bone density, even if this obsessive drive results in increased breast cancer risk and poorer prognosis, and calcified arteries from megadose calcium supplements. The ‘breast doctor’ focuses on diagnosing breast cancer early, planting seeds of radiation-induced cancer into their bodies, while misdiagnosing hundreds of thousands of women. The ‘heart doctor’ suppresses LDL cholesterol via chemical poisoning (statin drugs), resulting in the weakening of their patients’ heart muscles.
Sheer madness masquerading as the standard of care.
- [i] J M Zmuda, J A Cauley, B M Ljung, D C Bauer, S R Cummings, L H Kuller,. Bone mass and breast cancer risk in older women: differences by stage at diagnosis. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2001 Jun 20;93(12):930-6. PMID: 11416114
- [ii] Marjolein van der Klift, Chris E D H de Laet, Jan Willem W Coebergh, Albert Hofman, Huibert A P Pols,. Bone mineral density and the risk of breast cancer: the Rotterdam Study. Bone. 2003 Mar;32(3):211-6. PMID: 12667548
- [iii] Ozgur Oktem, Mert Kucuk, Kamer Ozer, Devrim Sezen, Fatih Durmusoglu. Relation of body fat distribution to femoral neck bone density and endometrial thickness in postmenopausal women. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2010 Feb 23. Epub 2010 Feb 23. PMID:20175708
- [iv] P Hadji, M Gottschalk, V Ziller, M Kalder, C Jackisch, U Wagner. Bone mass and the risk of breast cancer: the influence of cumulative exposure to oestrogen and reproductive correlates. Results of the Marburg breast cancer and osteoporosis trial (MABOT).Maturitas. 2007 Mar 20;56(3):312-21. Epub 2006 Oct 17. PMID: 17049767
- [v] Tsutomu Douchi, Yukie Yonehara, Shoichiro Kosha, Ichiro Iwamoto, Yoshiaki Rai, Yoshiatsu Sagara, Yoshihisa Umekita. Bone mineral density in breast cancer patients with positive estrogen receptor tumor status. Maturitas. 2007 Jul 20;57(3):221-5. Epub 2007 Jan 19. PMID: 17240090
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- [vii] Carolyn J Crandall, Yan Zheng, Arun Karlamangla, Barbara Sternfeld, Laurel A Habel, Nina Oestreicher, Janet Johnston, Jane A Cauley, Gail A Greendale. The association between mammographic breast density and bone mineral density in the study of women’s health across the nation. Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Aug;17(8):575-83. Epub 2007 May 29. PMID: 17532645
- [viii] O Ganry, B Tramier, P Fardellone, N Raverdy, A Dubreuil. High bone-mass density as a marker for breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Breast. 2001 Aug;10(4):313-7. PMID: 14965600
- [ix] F L Lucas, J A Cauley, R A Stone, S R Cummings, M T Vogt, J L Weissfeld, L H Kuller.Bone mineral density and risk of breast cancer: differences by family history of breast cancer. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group. Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Jul 1;148(1):22-9. PMID: 9663400
- [x] J A Cauley, F L Lucas, L H Kuller, M T Vogt, W S Browner, S R Cummings. Bone mineral density and risk of breast cancer in older women: the study of osteoporotic fractures. Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group. JAMA. 1996 Nov 6;276(17):1404-8. PMID: 8892715
- [xi] O Ganry, C Baudoin, P Fardellone, J Peng, N Raverdy. Bone mass density and risk of breast cancer and survival in older women. Eur J Epidemiol. 2004;19(8):785-92. PMID:15469036
- [xiii] K O’Brien, B Caballero. High bone mass as a marker for breast cancer risk. Nutr Rev. 1997 Jul;55(7):284-6. PMID: 9279067
Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of theNational Health Federation.
He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.