"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."
Breast Cancer and Iodine: How to Prevent and How to Survive Breast Cancer (Book)
David M. Derry, MD
Trafford Publishing, Victoria, Canada, 2001.
"Iodine is the trigger mechanism for apoptosis (that natural death of cells) and the main surveillance mechanism for abnormal cells in the body. Iodine triggers the death of cells which are abnormal or which have normal programmed death as part of their life cycle.
"This is part of a general thesis that iodine and thyroid hormone act as a team to provide a constant surveillance against abnormal cell development, chemicals that are carcinogenic and the spread of cancer cells within the body.
"Iodine appears to have several more roles in the body. Iodine protects against abnormal growth of bacteria in the stomach (helicobacter pylori is the most clinically significant.) Iodine can coat incoming allergic proteins to make them non-allergic, which likely also applies to the internal equivalent called autoimmune disease. Iodine binds softly to the double and triple bond of lipids to protect these bonds while they are being transported to synaptic sites in the brain and blood vessels of the body. As well iodine in the stomach deactivates all biological and most chemical poisons.
"All of these new proposed testable functions of iodine are discussed. There is a discussion of the possible role of iodine in evolution in relation to development of multi-cellularity and maturation of vertebrates.
"The general thesis of this took is that there is a specific dose of iodine intake above which it prevents several disease processes including those related to fibrocystic disease and breast cancer."
Derry. Iodine and the Breast -- Research