Fibrocystic breast disease is a condition called "benign" & "common" by mainstream medicine. Well, it's common, folks(90% of American women suffer), but it's definitely NOT benign. The tissue changes in fibrocystic breast disease absolutely CAN be a precursor to breast cancer, which, BTW, 1 in 7 American women gets now:( BTW, gals, if you have cyclical breast pain, you have FBD. If you DON'T have cyclical breast pain you probably have FBD. Early FBD is only detectable microscopically. 90%, Ladies.... If you are reading this, act now, don't let your FBD progress. Mine is in the process of healing but jeez I wish I would've known about this long ago. Many years of cyclical pain and feeling at odds with my body have gone by....
"Fibrocystic breast disease, which is benign and not cancerous, increases the risk of breast cancer. The greater the changes in the tissue the higher the risk, almost double for proliferative changes and a four-fold increased risk for atypical hyperplasia."
I really feel as though I was well on my way to breast cancer...
"Fibrocystic disease of the breast consists of small or large, sometimes painful lumps in women’s breasts. It varies in the way it shows-not only in different women, but also because it changes from month to month in the same women. Medical doctors generally believe that fibrocystic disease results from the excess number of cells that grow in the breast during the menstrual cycle from the hormonal stimulation.
"Since the number of cells increases in the breast during the cycle, some of the cells have to be removed to restore the normal state each month. Iodine is the trigger mechanism that causes excess cells to disappear to complete this normal process of cell death. Without enough iodine, the extra cells that develop during the menstrual cycle due to the hormonal stimulation do not resolve back to the normal breast architecture. These leftover cells build up over repeated cycles and cause the lumps, soreness, and larger lesions of fibrocystic disease.
"However, while about 90 percent of North American women have fibrocystic disease, about 40 percent of these women experience no symptoms. Their breasts may be normal to examination, but the disease may be only microscopically detectable with a biopsy.
"Enough Iodine enables the excess cells to be cleared out, and the breast can return to its normal resting state as the fibrocystic disease slowly disappears from the breast.
"Fibrocystic disease over decades of hormonal stimulation eventually tends to cause some cells to change to cancer cells. Lack of Iodine causes fibrocystic disease, so women who have fibrocystic disease are susceptible to breast cancer. Although breast scars from fluid leakage out of the cysts are often permanent, iodine given therapeutically in the correct doses gradually gets rid of all fibrocystic disease except for the scars.
"How much iodine is enough? It has been shown that daily doses of iodine above two to three milligrams per day (about half a drop from a standard eyedropper) saturate the thyroid within a couple of weeks. At this point, the thyroid gland stops taking up iodine. This means that at a dietary intake above two to three milligrams, all of the iodine goes to all its other functions in the body, such as killing off abnormal cells."
"Iodine remains the perfect antiseptic with the least side effects of all time. As a perfect antiseptic killing all single-celled organisms, there has to be a common mechanism of a single element like iodine. In fact, the reaction of iodine with tyrosine destroys the protein and consequently the cell itself. If, in vertebrates and multicellular organisms, the tyrosine molecule is hidden from the surface when it is normally functioning, the iodine will not trigger any apoptosis. However, during abnormal development, it could be that tyrosine or histidine molecules are slowly exposed to the surface. Extracellular iodine bathing the cells could then trigger the apoptotic mechanisms.
"The second phase of cancer spread involves thyroid hormone indirectly. The connective tissue barrier and function is controlled and strengthened by adequate levels of connective tissue thyroid hormone. Thus thyroid hormone controls the connective tissue barrier, and prevents the spread of cancer cells.
"Iodine in adequate doses prevents the development of cancer cells, and adequate thyroid hormone in the connective tissue prevents the spread."
"I would like to tell you my thoughts on Breast Cancer and thyroid disease in an abbreviated form. Breast Cancer takes around 20-30 years to develop. The discovered lump represents the end stage of slow cancer progression over decades. The longest period is the first phase of cancer development. This phase which is often called pre-cancerous happens as as a normal cell is gradually turned into a cancer cell. These pre-cancerous lesions are known as fibrocystic disease (lumpy, tender breasts) of the breast. (2-3,13-14) Most fibrocystic disease is benign, harmless and has no consequences.
"On the other hand, some more advanced forms of fibrocystic disease have clearly defined tendencies towards breast cancer. So there are grades of fibrocystic disease with some of the cells looking more abnormal than in the benign forms. The greater the difference in the cells from normal (abnormal) the greater chance of these cells converting to a cancer cell over 10-20 years. So if you have fibrocystic disease still at the age of 45-55, you likely have had this for many years. There maybe then a significant chance the cells may change into a cancer cell. The good news is that it can be cleared up completely with a daily intake of iodine.(9)"
"If it is true there has been a general decrease in salt intake and thus iodine intake since the 1950s, there should have been a general increase in the number of women with fibrocystic (lumpy) disease of the breast. But if as well even lower iodine intake was occurring in the female population, worse forms of fibrocystic disease would occur which are statistically directly related to breast cancer. The chances of getting Breast Cancer then go up considerably. Now if we put this together with the incidence of breast cancer going from 1 in 23 in the mid 1960s to 1 in 8 currently then it seems to fit together. Over the last 80 years hundreds of publications have confirmed statistical correlations between the worse forms of fibrocystic disease of the breast and subsequent breast cancer. Unfortunately if you have fibrocystic disease you really don't know what type you have without a biopsy. On the other hand if you take iodine in adequate amounts daily all of the fibrocystic disease disappears so that you are essentially preventing breast cancer from occurring. If a cancer has already started it is unlikely it will be stopped with the iodine at that dose.
"From my personal investigations cancer is roughly divided into two phases. The first part is the pre-cancerous phase (before cancer) and involves the change of a normal cell into a cancer cell. This first phase of cancer development takes about 10-30 years. Iodine in adequate doses stops and reverses this stage of the cancer process by causing the natural death of abnormal cells (apoptosis). Iodine circulates throughout the body in the extracellular fluids found between the cells of the body. If cell surface proteins have the amino acid tyrosine on the outside, the passing iodine reacts with this tyrosine. This little reaction denatures the protein and thus kills the cell. It is implied all vertebrate cell membranes do not have tyrosine on the portion of the protein sticking out into the extracellular fluid.
"However, the intra membrane proteins may have tyrosine which is only exposed when the membrane is distorted by abnormal cell development such as we see in the pre-cancerous forms of fibrocystic disease. This would then expose the tyrosine to the iodine passing in the extracellular fluid. Again the iodine would denature the protein by reacting with the tyrosine and thus kill off the cell. So thus we have surveillance system for removing abnormal cells from our bodies. On the other hand low iodine intake allows cells to proceed and develop towards cancer. This is more indirect because the gradual increase in abnormal cells are just not being eliminated from the body because there is inadequate iodine to carry this out.
"Once the cell has become a cancer cell then it can take two different turns. It can multiply and spread or it can multiply and just stay where it is. The second is called carcinoma in situ. (cancer at the site) The second phase (cancer multiplying and spreading) is the part we are all familiar with. Since on average breast cancer cells double every 100 days, it takes 9 years before mammograms can pick it up and around 11 years before we find it ourselves. (15)
"This second clinical part of the cancer phase (the spreading) seems to be arrested by adequate levels of thyroid hormone in all tissues. Thyroid hormone completely controls the connective tissue which forms a strong sieve-like barrier to the passage of cancer cells trying to spread.(16-18) Low levels of thyroid hormone in the tissues (especially connective tissues) promotes the spread of cancer cells. So the body cancer defense system has two parts iodine for the first pre-cancer phase and thyroid hormone and iodine together for the second clinical phase. There is some overlapping of these two defense systems. The excess iodine flows out in the urine. Of course, because the iodine flows out in the urine it is preventing the development of abnormal cells in the bladder and kidney system at the same time. This then prevents cancers developing there."
"An adequate dose of iodine can be defined as more than 4 mg per day. Lugol's solution is an iodine-in-water solution used by the medical profession for 200 years. One drop (6.5 mg per drop) of Lugol's daily in water, orange juice or milk will gradually eliminate the first phase of the cancer development namely fibrocystic disease of the breast so no new cancers can start. It also will kill abnormal cells floating around in the body at remote sites from the original cancer. Of course this approach appears to work for prostate cancer as prostate cancer is similar to breast cancer in many respects. Indeed, it likely will help with most cancers. Also higher doses of iodine are required for inflammatory breast cancer. As well we know that large doses of intravenous iodine are harmless which makes one wonder what effect this would have on cancer growth."
"Apoptosis is a well-organized process of cell suicide, which is mandatory to normal development and homeostasis of the adult organism. Apoptosis counterbalances the increase of cell number by proliferation and removes unwanted and superfluous cells."
In areas of the body, where many cells die, (apoptosis) there is always an endless source of iodine. All the sites in the body of high apoptosis (natural death of cells on a regular and predictable schedule) find iodine in plentiful supply. The secretions into the nasal passages and lumen of the stomach, for instance, have both a high death rate and an endless supply of iodine. Not only is iodine an antiseptic against bacteria, it also is an anticancer agent.
"Iodine has many anticancer properties. Cancer cells, unlike normal cells, do not have a normal life cycle; they just keep dividing over and over. Normal cells have a life cycle, and when they eventually die, they are replaced with a new cell. This process of timed cellular death is known as apoptosis. Iodine has been shown to induce apoptosis (death) in breast and thyroid cancer cells. However, this apoptotic effect will be negated if a goitrogen is given.
How does iodine provide this apoptotic effect? One mechanism may be the iodination of lipids. Lipids are fats that make up our cell membranes throughout our body. Iodine can become incorporated into lipids (fats) inside the cell. These substances are known as iodolipids. When iodine is incorporated into lipids, it helps to stabilize them and also helps each cell to maintain a normal life cycle.
Iodine has been shown to be a potent antioxidant even more effective than Vitamin E, phosphatidyl choline, and Vitamin C. As with Vitamin C, iodine can function as both an antioxidant as well as an oxidant in the body. This dual effect makes it a strong anticancer agent. One of the best signs of health in the body is a balance between antioxidants and oxidants. Items like iodine and Vitamin C can help maintain that balance, and therefore, are some of the most powerful anti-cancer agents known."
"Iodine induces apoptosis and inhibits cells from forming cancer. The absence of iodine in the thyroid causes goiter. Goiter is associated with breast cancer, stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. It is felt by many researchers that the absence of iodine is a promoter of cancer. I feel that those patients with the lowest excretion rates and the highest absorption of iodine on the iodine loading test are the ones with the highest risk for development of cancer. From literally hundreds of phone interviews with patients over the last two years, the levels of iodine excretion that seem to raise the highest alarm are those in which the excretion is somewhere around 10 mg or less per 24 hours in patients age 35 and up. My observations at this point show that there is a definite increase in the incidence of breast cancer, stomach cancer, ovarian cancer or thyroid cancer. If a patient has the iodine loading test and has an iodine excretion of 10 mg or less in a 24-hour period, I initiate a cancer workup. In 1976, a JAMA article showed that 6% of the female population was at risk for breast cancer. Women who received thyroid supplementation doubled their risk of breast cancer to 12%. The age groups we used to separate the patients in Figures 1-6 were based on this article. As women get older, the risk of breast cancer increases. In Figures 2-6 the iodine/iodide loading test shows that the older the women are, the lower the rate of iodine excretion."
Today 1 in 7 American women (almost 15 percent) will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Thirty years ago, when iodine consumption was twice as high as it is now (480 µg a day) 1 in 20 women developed breast cancer. Iodine was used as a dough conditioner in making bread, and each slice of bread contained 0.14 mg of iodine. In 1980, bread makers started using bromide as a conditioner instead, which competes with iodine for absorption into the thyroid gland and other tissues in the body. Iodine was also more widely used in the dairy industry 30 years ago than it is now.
Animal studies show that iodine prevents breast cancer, arguing for a causal association in these epidemiological findings. The carcinogens nitrosmethylurea and DMBA cause breast cancer in more than 70 percent of female rats. Those given iodine, especially in its molecular form as I2, have a statistically significant decrease in incidence of cancer. Other evidence adding biologic plausibility to the hypothesis that iodine prevents breast cancer includes the finding that the ductal cells in the breast, the ones most likely to become cancerous, are equipped with an iodine pump (the sodium iodine symporter, the same one that the thyroid gland has) to soak up this element.
Similar findings apply to fibrocystic disease of the breast. The incidence of fibrocystic breast disease in American women was 3 percent in the 1920s. Today, 90 percent of women have this disorder, manifested by epithelial hyperplasia, apocrine gland metaplasia, fluid-filled cysts, and fibrosis. Six million American women with fibrocystic disease have moderate to severe breast pain and tenderness that lasts more than 6 days during the menstrual cycle.
In animal studies, female rats fed an iodine-free diet develop fibrocystic changes in their breasts, and iodine in its elemental form (I2) cures it.
Russian researchers first showed, in 1966, that iodine effectively relieves signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease. Vishniakova and Murav’eva treated 167 women suffering from fibrocystic disease with 50 mg KI during the intermenstrual period and obtained a beneficial healing effect in 71 percent (it is reference 49 here).
Then Ghent and coworkers, in a study published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery in 1993, likewise found that iodine relieves signs and symptoms of fibrocystic breast disease in 70 percent of their patients. This report is a composite of three clinical studies, two case series done in Canada in 696 women treated with various types of iodine, and one in Seattle. The Seattle study, done at the Virginia Mason Clinic, is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 56 women designed to compare 3–5 mg of elemental iodine (I2) to a placebo (an aqueous mixture of brown vegetable dye with quinine). Investigators followed the women for six months and tracked subjective and objective changes in their fibrocystic disease.
A statistical analysis of the Seattle study (enlarged to include 92 women) was done, which shows that iodine has a highly statistically significant beneficial effect on fibrocystic disease (P < 0.001). Iodine reduced breast tenderness, nodularity, fibrosis, turgidity, and number of macroscysts, the five parameters in a total breast examination score that a physician blinded to what treatment the woman was taking, iodine or placebo, measured. This 36-page report, now available online, was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995 seeking its approval to carry out a larger randomized controlled clinical trial on iodine for treating fibrocystic breast disease.
The hypothesis being put forward here is that a lack of iodine changes the architecture of the tissue of the breast by not being available to cause differentiation of cells or apoptosis of abnormal breast cells that respond to hormonal surges. The connection between breast disease, including cancer, and thyroid disease is a lack of iodine, which negatively affects both of them independently. There are four lines of evidence: (1) thyroid disease-breast cancer link, (2) iodine content in breast tumors and normal breast tissue, (3) animal models wherein iodine suppressed breast tumors, and (4) resolution of fibrocystic breast disease in women.
Fibrocystic breast disease is associated with lumps in the breasts and cyclical breast pain. About 70 percent of reproductive-aged women regularly experience cyclical breast pain, and 10-30 percent of them have pain severe enough to interfere with normal activities (24-26). Fibrocystic breast disease, which is benign and not cancerous, increases the risk of breast cancer. The greater the changes in the tissue the higher the risk, almost double for proliferative changes and a four-fold increased risk for atypical hyperplasia (27). In a study of 111 women with benign fibrocystic breast disease they were given iodine at different levels for 6 months. Their own ratings of pain fell significantly by 3 months in the 3 mg iodine/day and the 6 mg iodine/day groups, but not in the placebo or the 1.5 mg iodine/day. Physician assessments of breast pain, tenderness, and nodularity were also significantly less in the 3 and 6 mg iodine/day groups (28). At least 3 mg of iodine per day were needed to get a response. William Ghent and Bernard Eskin together treated over 1,300 patients with fibrocystic breast disease using iodine in 3 different forms, with over 70% improvement in pain and objective evaluations using elemental iodine at 4 months (29), and over 90% recovery after 16 months of treatment (30). Treatment usually was in the range of 3-6 mg of iodine, though some clinicians have also found higher amounts to work safely and faster. So, iodine appears to be the primary link between thyroid health and breast health. Both organs independently require iodine and a shortage of it will cause disease in either one or both of them.