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Popular Antidepressant May Promote Breast Cancer

I’ve written before about the dangers of SSRIs, an incredibly popular class of antidepressants that can cause violent outbursts—both homicidal and suicidal. But now, researchers have found another alarming side effect: they may promote breast cancer.
About 70% of breast cancers are sensitive to estrogen—that is, estrogen contributes to their growth. Recently, researchers have found that Paroxetine—the active ingredient in Paxil and Pexeva, some of the most widely prescribed SSRI antidepressants—has an estrogenic effect that likely promotes the development and growth of breast tumors in women.

The same study also identified bisphenol A, or BPA, which I have also warned about, as having estrogenic effects. BPA is found in some plastics, and in particular in the liner of tin cans and on many sales receipts.
In thinking about the breast cancer risk from SSRIs, keep in mind that clinical depression is twice as common in women as it is in men. In fact, one in four women in their 40s and 50s (one in ten Americans overall) now take an antidepressant medication.
It was just last year the FDA approved paroxetine (marketed under the name Brisdelle) as a treatment for hot flashes and menopausal symptoms—despite the fact that the FDA’s own Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee voted 10 to 4 against approval, because the severe side effects associated with SSRIs outweigh the minor benefits. In addition, SSRIs can be highly addictive. Many people struggle to get off them.

The agency touted its decision to approve Brisdelle as an opportunity to provide women with a non-hormonal alternative to synthetic hormone replacement therapy (a common way to treat hot flashes). Why? Because synthetic therapy has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer as well as heart disease.
Let’s walk through this trail of illogic. The two most important risk factors to developing breast cancer are being female and growing older: the older you get, the more likely you are to get breast cancer. So the FDA has approved a drug that may cause breast cancer for the group most at risk for breast cancer—in the hope of reducing breast cancer.

There are other non-drug solutions for these very difficult and complex conditions. In any case the first step should be not to make matters worse.
You’ll note that the FDA conveniently ignored the safer alternative treatment option for post-menopausal symptoms: natural, bioidentical estriol. In addition, as Dr. Joseph Mercola points out, there are well over 800 references in the medical literature showing vitamin D’s effectiveness against cancer. Most recently, a meta-analysis of five studies published in the March 2014 issue of Anticancer Research found that patients diagnosed with breast cancer who had high vitamin D levels were twice as likely to survive compared to women with low levels. Moreover, high levels of vitamin D in conventional medicine is not really high by integrative medicine standards.

Yours for Better Health, Dr. Shapero


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