Last month, I told you about how mainstream medicine still relies heavily—and often inappropriately—on radical surgery to treat (or even help prevent) breast cancer in women.
In fact, the rates of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (taking off the healthy breast in addition to the breast with cancer) have more than doubled in recent years—despite offering little benefit to women at risk of breast cancer.
And now, a new study has uncovered yet another shocking outcome associated with these often-unnecessary surgeries…
Breast cancer victims may become “new drug users”
Researchers analyzed data on women who underwent mastectomy and breast reconstruction as treatments for (and as prophylaxis to prevent) breast cancer between 2008 and 2017. Specifically, they looked at prescriptions written for opioid and hypnotic-sedative drugs during three periods:
- The pre-op period—from one year to one month before surgery.
- The peri-op period—from one month before to three months after surgery.
- The post-op period—from three months to one year after surgery.
The researchers labeled the women as “new drug users” if they didn’t use drugs previously, but filled at least one prescription during the four-month peri-op period and at least two during the nine-month post-op period.
It turns out, 13 percent of women who had never used opioids previously—and nearly 7 percent who had never used sedative-hypnotic drugs—became new, persistent, dependent users after surgery.
Plus, the rates shot up even further when the researchers excluded women who only received post-op prescriptions (and not peri-op prescriptions). In that subgroup, 18 percent of women who had never used opioids—and 17 percent who had never used hypnotic-sedative drugs—became new, persistent users.
In addition, the women were 1.3 times more likely to develop an addiction if they were younger than 65 years, compared to women who were 65 and older. And they were nearly 2.5 times more likely to become drug abusers when they were on Medicaid, or if they also underwent chemotherapy.
Worse yet, women with two of those three factors had a 2.3 times higher risk of becoming opioid abusers. And women with all three risk factors had a 6.3 times higher risk for becoming opioid abusers!
For hypnotic-sedative drugs, women with two risk factors had a 2.6 times higher risk of abuse. And women with all three risk factors had a 7.7 times higher risk of abuse.
Which is quite a tragedy…
Rethink prescriptions for women with breast cancer
A woman with breast cancer already runs a higher risk of developing many other serious complications—from the surgeries and treatments themselves. But adding drug addiction to the situation has the potential to gravely exacerbate her problems.
According to Dr. C. Kent Osborne, an oncologist with the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston:
…perhaps we should not be giving opioids at all to certain patients. For example, a mastectomy and implant reconstruction, oftentimes, surprisingly, that’s not a terribly painful procedure…I’ve been surprised that a lot of my patients get the prescription, but they don’t use the pills, and I wonder if the prescription is given out just so that we’re not bothered at nighttime by somebody calling with pain.
Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, an oncologist with the University of Texas, San Antonio, added:
It’s easy to just give a prescription instead of arguing with a patient about why you are not going to give them a prescription. And ultimately…pain is subjective. If a patient tells you they are in pain, you are, quote-unquote, a bad physician if you tell them they should not be in pain. We need to focus on other ways to deal with pain, like physical therapy (PT), sending patients to physical medicine and rehab physicians who are trained to help with symptoms from surgery, with range of motion, and all that; that can help with pain. It’s much harder to do that, right, than to send a prescription in for a narcotic. But that easy answer is also the worst answer.
Indeed, as Dr. Kaklamani suggests, there are many safe, effective, non-drug solutions for pain—including bodywork, massage, and PT (which can also help with painful swelling and lymphedema after breast surgery).
Acupuncture, bodywork, massage, meditation, and yoga can also help with pain and other breast surgery complications and cancer treatments. (To find out which mind-body techniques will work best for you as an individual, take my “emotional type” quiz. For further discussion, read my book with Mike Jawer, Your Emotional Type.)
In the end, resorting to prophylactic mastectomy to try to prevent breast cancer is an extreme measure—with many potentially extreme consequences, as this new study shows. So, no one should undergo this surgery without being informed of the current science and its lack of benefit from their doctors.
In addition, remember, there are dozens of other natural approaches to help combat all types of cancers, including breast cancer. And I’ve outlined them all in great detail in a groundbreaking online learning tool, my Authentic Anti-Cancer Protocol. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now.
“Breast Cancer Surgery Brings Drug Addiction Danger: Study.” HealthDay, 12/1/20. (consumer.healthday.com/b-12-9-mastectomy-breast-reconstruction-brings-opioid-addiction-danger-2649099875.html#:~:text=WEDNESDAY%2C%20Dec.,drugs%2C%20a%20new%20study%20warns.)
“Breast surgery may be a gateway to addictive medication use.” MDEdge, 12/9/20. (mdedge.com/hematology-oncology/article/233237/breast-cancer/breast-surgery-may-be-gateway-addictive-medication/page/0/1?sso=true)