Friday, May 15, 2009

Rapid Increase in Thyroid Cancer

The headline from the American University School of Communication Investigative Reporting Workshop reads, "Thyroid Cancer Increase Baffles Researchers." The article points out that thyroid cancer is increasing at a pandemic to an epidemic rate and medical researchers do not know why. From 1997-2006, thyroid cancer increased at a rate of 6.5% a year. "We're all concerned about this increase," said Dr. Elaine Ron, a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute. "We have set up a thyroid cancer working group to see what studies we're already doing on thyroid cancer, what studies can we do to try and find out more about this increase, but at the moment we can't really tell you." Researchers do not believe the rapidly increasing rates of thyroid cancer are solely due to better detection. They speculate that the increased rate could be due to environmental factors such as radiation exposure or genetic factors. I think the researchers are missing a big reason why thyroid cancer is increasing at such a fast rate. I believe that the reason thyroid cancers are increasing is due to a combination of Iodine deficiency coupled with increased exposure to the toxic halides bromine, fluoride and perchlorate. This creates the 'perfect storm' for thyroid cancer rates to increase. There is a reduced iodine accumulation detected in a majority of thyroid cancers. Furthermore, over the last 30 years, iodine levels have fallen over 50% while exposure to the toxic halides has increased. My clinical experience has shown that those with endocrine sensitive cancers (i.e., thyroid, breast, and prostate) often have lower iodine levels and higher levels of toxic halides as compared to patients who do not have cancer. So, what can you do? Maintain adequate iodine levels and minimize you exposure to the toxic halogens. This can be accomplished by taking adequate amounts of iodine and eating a diet free of halides. Don't eat brominated bakery products or drink sodas with brominated vegetable oils. Furthermore, avoid fluoride-containing products. I have been measuring bromide levels in hundreds of patients over the last 7 years. The clinical use of iodine can have positive effects of helping the body excrete bromide. More information can be found in my book, Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It.


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