Sunday, October 5, 2014

The hypocrisy of the NFL wrapping itself in PINK

This is the first October Sunday of the NFL season.  It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so the league and its teams wrap stadiums and players in all the pink it can to show support for those impacted by the disease.

It's hypocrisy of the highest order when the same league derives an enormous amount of its income from the alcohol industry, which encourages women to consume a product that is the ONLY dietary factor tied to an increase in breast cancer risk.

A 2013 study links the amount a woman drinks in the years prior to having children to breast cancer years later. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute released the study results online Aug. 28, 2013 showing a double-digit increase in breast cancer risk for women who drank as little as one drink daily prior to conception. The results were independent of drinking after first pregnancy.

"The risk increased by 11 percent for every 10 grams a day of intake, about six drinks per week," said study author Dr. Ying Liu of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. A drink, or 10 grams of alcohol, is a 4 oz. glass of wine or a 1.5 oz. shot of hard liquor... or one 12 oz. can of the product of the Official Beer Sponsor of the NFL.

Researchers also discovered an increase in benign breast disease, a non-cancerous condition which accounts for 80 percent of breast lumps. These benign lumps do increase the risk of breast cancer by 500 percent. 

One in eight women will have an encounter with breast cancer in her lifetime. The only dietary factor with a proven connection to increased breast cancer risk is alcohol consumption. More than 100 studies 1920-2014 have conclusively linked alcohol consumption to increased breast cancer risk. A consensus panel formed by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) in 2007 concluded: "The evidence on cancer justifies a recommendation not to drink alcoholic drinks" ... a recommendation still maintained by the organization. And it takes relatively little alcohol to boost that risk. As little as one drink a day can provide a double-digit increase in the chance of getting the disease. Three or more servings of alcohol per day gives you the same risk as a daily pack of cigarettes. 

Alcohol increases production of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen increases are behind 80 percent of breast cancers. Toxic alcohol also creates another toxin -- acetaldehyde -- as it is metabolized by the body. That second toxin has been shown to alter DNA and breast tissue in drinkers, leading to increased cancer risk later in life, even after quitting drinking.
(View the Breast Cancer segment on The Sobriety :60)

Of course the NFL can't not embrace the pink campaign for the cure. It would be bad corporate citizenry to ignore the biggest advocacy campaign in America, and it would fly in the face of the league's stated goal of attracting more female fans.  How about keeping it real, making a massive donation, and telling the women (and men) what those 12 golden ounces cause instead of pimping it in every endzone camera angle and commercial break?

Visit for a replay of the Bringing Inspiration To Earth show feature with Scott Stevens. Lucy Pireel's "All That's Written" included a feature on Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud called "When alcohol doesn't work for you anymore."  Details on the third literary award for Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud also can be found on, plus an interview with Scott Stevens on Health Media Now and one at Christoph Fisher Books.  Mr. Fisher is an acclaimed international author from the UK, among his works is the Alzheimer's book "Time to Let Go."