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Going back little more than three generations, this country was sparsely populated with small towns, made of unfinished wood, with a sheriff and Indians. Up until around 1850, twenty dollar gold pieces - were the primary mode of exchange, and horses - were basic transportation. Out-Houses were within walking distance if you were lucky. The six-gun was the usual arbiter of disputes, and getting shot was off times fatal, as there was no modern medicine or antibiotics. Electricity was still confined to lightning strikes ( which were thus to be avoided ) and a few geniuses toying around in their labs. The electric light bulb was still a few decades off, not to mention all those new fangled things that now make modern life worthwhile: The Telephone, Indoor Sanitation, The Fridge, The Automobile, Electric Fans, Air Conditioning, Frozen Food, Wonder Drugs, Modern Hospitals, Radio and TV, the IRS, Supermarkets, Malls, Fast Food, Jet Planes, Cable TV, Satellite Systems, Pentium based computers, and of course, The Internet.
The turn of the century, enter the 1900's, which brought so much immigration, much from Ireland and from all over Europe. But here in the USA, the streets were really never paved with gold, most were still dirt. Still, many major cities had a massive influx of population. Cities of that day were little more than wood tenement, upon tenement, dark, dank, and filthy. Often, no running water, no more than one communal bathroom per floor, in hotels and what passed for apartment dwellings, and no garbage pickup / sanitation system whatsoever.
Just as the industrial revolution spread through the country, most homes in the 1920's were still wood shacks, as were buildings in the urban cities. Most epidemics swept through tenement housing like wildfire. The TB, Influenza, and pneumonia were qquite commonplace in the early 1900's, and more often than not, these were fatal diseasess for those affected. So, thousands, and tens of thousands died each year in each big city. Severe winters meant people were more susceptible and true epidemics in the nineteen-teens almost causes large urban cities to self-destruct. Perhaps one third of the urban population was wiped out by fire and epidemics in the ten years prior to 1920.
So many diseases were rampant, as were: germs, cockroaches, mice, rats, and vermin of all types. Garbage piled up, and people had a life span of maybe thirty-five years as the norm. The housing and workplaces of the day, were mostly wood buildings until the 1920's. When looking at old silent films from the 1915 to 1925 era, it is amazing just how crude and primitive those typical of the era homes and workplaces looked. That they were firetraps is an understatement, and they often caught fire. The work week was typically 12 hours days, everyday, for young and old alike. Accidents were commonplace and were often fatal.
While this is not meant to be a history lesson, World War One did hasten the exit of people from the farms to the Army, and to industrial centers and larger cities to support the war effort. On the other hand, Mustard Gas and improved weapons of mass violence left many thousands of dead and maimed veterans, many abroad, but some survived to return home. By the 1920's, some changes and progress had been made to the larger urban cities, the most extensive, being the implementation of the Subway, in New York City. This new mass transit allowed the spread of urban life to The Bronx and to Brooklyn extremes, where private housing intermingled with, and co-existed with apartment buildings made of brick and mortar. These new settlements had running water, indoor plumbing, and sanitation facilities. Life and health in these rebuilt urban cities, now improved, which led to increased lifespan and decreased death and mayhem. Better sanitary conditions also helped. Then the 1930's approached, so did: The Great Depression.
The Great Depression started with the stock market crash in 1929. It was a time of bust, to follow the bright, but short lived social expansion and speculation of the 1920's, which had financed a whole generation of city improvements, like private housing and urban expansion. The unmatched rapid influx of immigration from foreign countries and population changes from a primarily farm population, to a primarily city based economy during the 1900 to 1925 quarter of a century was more than most cities could accommodate.
Still, the 1920's and 1930's was a time of rapid social change in large cities. Flappers and nightclubs, the rise of the middle class, and the criminal class would forever change the social climate of modern day life. The 1930's downturn didn't last forever, and more mass exits from the farms to the cities occurred in late 1939 - with start of the war in Europe. While the US was not drawn into World War Two for several years, there was a rapid industrialization in evidence, as industry build up to supply the Allies with guns and planes.
After December 1941, and until 1945, much of the male work force had left the country, leaving a void, that was filled in this new social order, by women. Women working in industry, quite personalized by the infamous "Rosie the Riveter" tens of thousands of women, came to work in factories and plants during the 1940's, and many stayed into the 1950's after the war ended.
At least in my local area, after The War ended, housing expanded with massive apartment complexes in The Bronx, like Co-OP City, and Veterans Housing Developments in Queens and huge private home developments spanning the entire length of long Island to house millions of returning home war vets.
Queens and long Island were extended and built up on landfill, which was basically an island built up upon compacted trash, displacing shallow water. Housing went into formerly forest areas, and new social classes abounded, as new immigration poured into all urban areas, at record levels.
So what does all of this history or New York urban life during the past 100 years have to do with Breast Cancer ? Well, the rapid social changes within a thirty year span from 1920 to 1950, also marks the first appearance of Breast Cancer on the medical scene, so to speak. While Doctors and the medical community tend to think only in specific terms of: germs, fungi, viruses, poisons, and now prions, there possibly were other forces at work.
And those were forces of Social Change. The rapidly changing face of the work force and family life during these past hundred years were also greatly influenced by not only the changes occurring in the size and nature of our cities, but also the socialization changes that also took place. And nothing more affected the social changes in the USA, during the past hundred years than: Television.
It is this force for social change, which influenced the three past generations more than any other factor in recent history. Rapid, you-are-there news and timely current information on a world-wide scale was heretofore, unknown. Information overload, news and weather, the medium is the message, how could we not become influenced ( in real time ) by this new medium, which first appeared in large quantity in the early 1950's. Since the post-war days, TV sets are on in most homes eight to ten hours a day - or more. Many families had several TV sets by the 1960's, and larger baby-boomer families with several children, of course, had several sets. Perhaps the number of TV's even exceeds the number of Telephones in actual numbers in residences.
So there's always a downside, right ?
Of course, there is a downside to Television. An almost subliminal one: commercials. With the rise of commercials, cigarette smoking became more than fashionable in this country, it became our national addiction. Commercials have increased to perhaps twenty per hour of viewing, day in and day out, on all programs from Soap Operas to night time Cop Dramas and Sci-Fi shows. Yet in these thousands of TV commercials our thinking is influenced, they define who we think we are, and what we are told we need. They influence what we buy more than any print or radio medium. In fact, TV commercials are perhaps the most powerful and pervasive force, like it or not, for social change, during the past fifty years. Think about it.
OK, now we have gone from Urban Sprawl, to Epidemics, to TV, to Social Change... What does that have to do with Breast Cancer ?
Is it just a coincidence that during the past fifty years the epidemic rise of Breast Cancer and the rise of Ad Agencies, Demographics, and Television Commercials, since the 1950's? There have been some curious parallel courses. Coincidence? No, I don't think so. Does the epidemic of commercials tie in with the population's epidemic of Breast Cancer, it just may.
The concepts of advertising as used by Ad Agencies, while not necessarily evil, is basically to remove from a person, some specific aspect of life, or to demean some aspect of their life, and then either sell it back to them, or make their life better -by using the product the Ad Agency is promoting. A few examples: lipstick, foundation, rouge, blush, eyeliner, and lash enhancers. How about some eye glitter? So, just how did people exist for tens of thousands of years, hundreds of generations, without these important, new and improved products ???
Or soaps of all kinds, shampoo is a name for a scented soap, one, with lots of colored additives, which commercials will tell you, you simply can not live without. Or hair coloring products. Look younger. Look sexier. Look more like this tall anorexic model, with breast falsies, shoulder pads, under professional bounce lighting, wearing a professionally applied makeup and hairstyle as applied by three people fussing over her for two hours. Yeah right!
As a result, we all live in an environment full of chemicals these days. So, is it a combination of chemicals that has caused this epidemic of Breast Cancer? I believe that the rise of this chemical environment, has somehow made a situation where one, or two, three, or more specific chemicals, may be the underlying cause. Items advertised on TV, and used by generation, after generation of women. Used by a large population of women, which has steadily increased the risk for Breast Cancer in our population. This has resulted in this Breast Cancer epidemic. Fact: very few men get this disease, which is a puzzle. Fact: Women in some other countries where these types of products are not known, or not imported, have very low, or near zero incidence of Breast Cancer. Isn't that enough to make you think ?
During the prior 31 years I have believed that the prior 45 years of medical research dedicated to eradicating breast cancer has been a search mostly in the wrong direction, eg: looking at the wrong things. Yes... 330,000 Doctors and Medical Researchers can be wrong! So, over thirty years ago, I formalized an anti-medical-industrial-complex theoretical position: The Alternative Breast Cancer Research Project = ABCR. Having applied the better part of a year to in-depth-thought about this (now) epidemic problem, and its progression during the prior decades, going back to the 1920's, I concluded a new paradigm, and a different approach was necessary.
So, despite tens of thousands of people "Marching for the Cure" year after year, along with endless hundreds of millions of dollars spent, little has occurred beyond: Better Detection. During the past thirty years plus, more than a few million women have died from this disease, and millions more have been subjected to the worst abuses of medical science: biopsy, mastectomy, lumpectomy, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and painful reconstructive surgery, at best these are sometimes life-saving, but truly, relationship, and life-destroying and ineffectual medical procedures. Many women are forced to undergo these invasive and deforming medical processes. And as a result, they are in constant pain, nausea, and their bodies and souls are depleted; and many soon die. My opinion - this is ineffectual at best.
So many more women are being Breast Cancer diagnosed, compared to thirty, forty, or fifty years ago! In my own family, one aunt and two cousins have become stricken, at this time, only one of three are survivors. Now, nearly ten years ago, as of September, one of my favorite cousins funerals, where I wielded a backward held shovel, to signify that it was with extreme reluctance, that we put her body in the earth, and return her to G-d.
It seems the data and statistics only get worse, even as research has escalated, and doubled, and tripled, and tripled again. Even as our medical technology gets better and better, the numbers get worse and worse. I see a picture filled with contradictions.
So... What is wrong with this picture ?
My Reasons for thinking I'm the best person to solve this:
There has to be a reason why I'm basically dedicating my life, my money, my time to this independent research. Now, what made me think that I was better equipped to do this, rather than tens of thousands of medical doctors, to solve the uncovered basis for this epidemic ? Indeed, from outward appearances, I have had little contact with breast cancer patients and conventional Breast Cancer Research, and having neither medical training, nor lab equipment, nor biopsy data.... Still, it is my insight that a different approach was needed. To be truly innovative was perhaps my best solution.
A good reason: Way back when I was in the fifth grade, at North Ridge School out on Long Island, for reasons that were then unknown to me, I was subjected to several weeks of intensive study. I soon learned that I was discovered to be in the 99th Percentile among their "above average" student population. Perhaps I wasn't quite "Think Tank" material, but having one of the highest IQ's in my generation, was again verified some twenty plus years later, when I become a Member of American Mensa.
So, after graduate school, my year of dedicated thought on the Breast Cancer conundrum, I came to a formal conclusion, in November of 1979, when I wrote my ABCR Theories.
While ABCR is still largely secret, part of those ABCR Theories was my conclusion, that (the then) current research track: The larger plan within the medical community of continuing to study the same old suspects, and the same old causes... stood little chance of finding either a Solution, a Cause, or a Cure.
True to life, My ABCR Hypothesis has withstood the test of time, and has been born out, year after year, after year, now - for over thirty-one years. Part of my hypothetical was that: regardless of the amount of time applied to the task, looking in the wrong place would simply allow the epidemic to continue, unabated. Thirty-one years later, my (early) Alternative Breast Cancer Research Theories still stand as: correct. So far, none of my postulates have been eliminated or disproved by any subsequent new medical research.
Based upon the sheer lack of progress for fifty-five years despite the application of close to One Billion Dollars to the medical infrastructure "Searching for the Cure", one could be so jaded as to contra-postulate that having a large population of women continuing to develop Breast Cancer is such a massive and escalating "cash-cow" for the medical profession, that there exists a huge dis-incentive to actually find either a preventative or a cure so, neither one will ever come from the medical community. I'm not saying that is true or even likely, but I suspect that the ABCR Project is now, the only remotely likely hope for women, in the near-term short-term search for: The Cure.
Current statistics show, that, breast cancer, strikes almost 200,000 women in the U.S. each year, and kills nearly 50,000. Few statistics tell of the heartbreak, failed relationships, destroyed marriages, motherless children, and other social fallout of this epidemic. During the time that I've kept my Alternative Breast Cancer Research Theories to myself, this ongoing plague has killed over one million women most in their thirties, forties, and fifties.
Yes, I suppose that the well educated, upwardly-mobile, SUV driving mother, or progressive career women would like to think it simply can't happen to her, but... it cannot be denied: All women are at risk, and if I can save one young girl from living under the cloud of: biopsy, mastectomy, lumpectomy, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and painful reconstructive surgery, doesn't morality demand that I try my best to move forward, just in case my answer is the correct one ???
So, what if I am right ? What if - The basic premise of these tens of thousands of diligent researchers within the medical community: Doctors, PhD's, Post PhD students, graduate students, and medical technicians, are simply all wrong ? Since they all have their same basic type of institutionalized medical training, the same basic skills, and tend to reinforce each others ideas, intuition and suppositions, they are "inside the box". If their basic premise is simply wrong, then they will never be able to find any solutions, which is certainly what it looks like, going on fifty-five years now. And lets not forget that across multiple iterations of Doctors, PhD's, Post PhD students, graduate students, and medical technicians, year after year, no progress ?
My being outside the medical community, and thinking logically, "outside the box", would likely be considered more visionary, and in general, greeted with less optimism, as compared with past and current medical researchers, thinking, searching, and investigating "inside the box". Prior and current breast cancer research, has attempted to find some single causative agent, or to isolate risk factors, or potential risk factors, from among the usual suspects as taught in medical schools. And yes, many risks factors exist as our technology and profit motives has perhaps exceeded our intelligence - to wisely use, or protect ourselves from such risks.
To name a few of those usual suspects: germs; viruses; water and air pollutants; proximity to industrial waste sites; proximity to high voltage feeder lines; long term radiation effects of nuclear power plants and irradiated foods; long term exposure to pesticides like: DDT, Chlordane, hexachlorbenzene; man-made PCB's and dioxin; EMF from Computer CRT Displays; eating red meat; excessive diary intake, even family and genetic links, and even the so-called Breast Cancer Genes... That the Breast Cancer Gene, was a faux-pas of immense proportions, based upon a medical establishment's flawed statistical methodology. They don't taut that Breast Cancer Gene research much now, since the population based research data, clearly refuted it.
That all of these many risk factors have been quite absolved, from causing Breast Cancer, that fact only makes it even-more-clear, that my thirty-plus year old theories may, in fact, be the key. I may be right. I humbly paraphrase: when all other possibilities are eliminated, what remains must be the solution. During the past fifty-five years, have all the possibilities been eliminated ? No. But there is significant evidence, that most of the usual suspects - have now been eliminated.
And if my results do look promising, after the initial Pilot Research, shouldn't I bring this information out into the open, and immediately continue with the large-scale study?
Personally, I feel I should be getting a major monetary grant to continue this research which does cover areas of: education, outreach, treatment, prevention, and cure. But, alas, I find that most Foundation and Government Grants are only given to other existing Foundations, so I don't qualify. Yes, full-time research grants are available, related to the study of cancer and the search for its causes, mechanisms, therapies and prevention, BUT, these are always grants for postdoctoral basic scientists, or applicants who have completed an M.D., Ph.D., D.V.M, or D.D.S. degree prior to the application. I have no M.D. and no Ph.D., and I'm not likely to have one any time soon. Obviously, going the conventional route is going to get me nowhere, just as conventional Breast Cancer Research has gone nowhere for the past forty-five years.
While unfortunately, I simply don't have the funds to continue investigating this beyond its simply theoretical stages, while within the medical community, the government, foundations, and private sources, billions upon billions of dollars have been thrust towards outdated concepts and failed research areas. Yet as many risk factors are suspected, and none of those investigated risk factors yet fits the profile of the cases seen in the female population. As each is systematically dismissed, no magic bullet, no solution, no cause, no cure has been found. I have waited and searched for thirty years, studying as much as I could, waiting for some medical establishment study, some medical establishment theory, to blow my own ABCR Theories "out of the water". Well, all I can say is that - it hasn't happened yet!
During the past thirty years, I've been refining a 200+ question questionnaire, which I feel will narrow the field down. It may provide an initial indication (group response) that will either show highly positive support for my theories, or clearly negative results. I have yet to implement an initial group of responses, I've been financially limited and unable to do so. Optimally, I think my research target research group would eventually be expanded to at least 1 million questionnaire responses from two targeted groups: women who have/had breast cancer, ages 12-75; and women in the same 12-75 age group who have not. Also a third group from another country might also prove useful, as some countries simply don't have our high Breast Cancer rates. I suspect usable results from Pilot Study responses within the first year or two, depending how long it takes to obtain sufficient data responses. My guesses as to the required funding... well, it's beyond what I can provide to accomplish, that much I do know.
Still, if I am shown to be right in a small regional Pilot Study, doesn't morality demand that I fully research my ABCR Theories, get the best and most complete data sample possible, expanding to a full population sample study. Then to later go public with my theories and viewpoint, support it, and demand that opposing voices prove me wrong? I've looked for some major or minor medical breakthrough, during the past twenty years, none of any significance has occurred. Lots of wrong guesses out of these medical researcher types, but no magic bullet, no solution, no cause, no cure has been found. I would certainly expect my Alternative Breast Cancer Theories and ideas would exact huge amounts of antagonism from the medical establishment, were they to be prematurely revealed. There is simply so much money invested in their way of breast cancer research, and their way of doing things - even if it happens to be totally wrong. The medical establishment is like a charging 4000lb. elephant, who am I to say they have it all wrong??? That's why I feel the need huge amounts of data to support my ABCR Theories.
So, in the best case result, could I wipe out Breast Cancer as a disease within the US female population in the next five years ? I don't know if it would be that fast, but that possibility certainly remains to be seen. We certainly won't know anything until the ABCR Pilot Study data starts coming in significant quantity, and passes the 10,000 questionaire response level.
Of course, by now, you have noticed I have indicated nothing specific about my: Alternate Breast Cancer Research Theories. Nor have I revealed my suspect lists - and with good reason. For me to reveal my theories at this point, or at any point, prior to having a large scale study with at least 3 million questionnaire responses "in the can" could possibly pollute the data pool, skew the end results, and put all future collected data under a cloud of doubt.
The IRS states that any person can give up to $10,000 per year, to any other person, without incurring any gift tax or tax penalty. I'm hoping a few people will consider that the research effort here is well worth pursuing, and maybe they will send in something to support these efforts. Even five dollars sent is a start. Until such time that I can proceed with the Pilot Study, the ABCR Theories will remain in limbo, so the time to start is NOW.
Perhaps some multi-millionaire heiress, celebrity who has lost their mother, sister, cousin, or best friend to this disease, might be willing to help fund my ABCR Research efforts. If I'm dedicating remaining years of my life to the ABCR Project, it should be done as the best, most expansive research effort that I can make it.
I Thank You for reading this far, and please consider helping out, as I'm tapped out... In the very least, email this page to your best friends and close relatives ( and perhaps to the attention of: Melinda Gates, Susan Dell, or Oprah Winfrey, if you happen to know any of them personally perhaps you could put a good word in for me).
Here are my update email contacts. The first two can be used to contact me: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; the last can be used if you want to send a monetary donation: email@example.com at PAYPAL. PayPal donations - they do take a 3%+ chunk out for their fees.
Beyond funding issues, I will also need to make up a database consisting of the names and addresses of women age 12 to 75, in the Long Island ( Nassau / Suffolk areas ) for the ABCR Pilot Study, who will get the ABCR Questionaires, when the ABCR questionaire is completed and the ABCR Project is funded. Such responses may be necessarily repeated each year for several years to track any changes. This population must include breast cancer survivors ( and also those who have never had Breast Cancer ) to be later divided into several statistical groups to be evaluated. If you can email several such names with complete mail address ( and their age ) that is concurrently next, please do so with an email having the subject line: ABCR DATA. In about several months, these women will receive a letter of inquiry, asking if they wish to participate in the ABCR Pilot Study, once the funding is in place. Since the ABCR Pilot Study should consist of full sets of questionaire responses from at least 10,000 women in the targeted age group, so I will start making up a database of these names, beginning immediately.
Again, if you can consider sending in a PayPal Payment, a check, or just a five dollar bill, as well as emailing names and addresses, that would be excellent, but is certainly optional.
If you have any Questions or Comments, send me an email, with "ABCR Q" or "ABCR C" in the Subject Line, the link is just below.
-Steven Lawrence Bender