Kathleen Ruddy, MD

Kathleen T. Ruddy, M.D., Of Mice and Women: Unraveling the Mystery of the
Breast Cancer Virus
(Breast Health and Healing Foundation, 2015)


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Website: http://www.BreastHealthandHealing.org



Breast cancer kills one woman every minute. That’s a statistic internationally recognized breast cancer surgeon Kathleen Ruddy, M.D., is intent on changing. That challenge starts with a question: Can a mouse virus cause breast cancer in women?

Answering that question has become Dr. Ruddy’s life’s work. With 100 years of research establishing that most breast cancer may well be virus-based, the answer is vital to the future of millions of women and men. As Dr. Ruddy, the first and only breast cancer specialist to compile this encyclopedic research in one volume, remarks, “If there’s a virus that causes breast cancer, and a safe and effective vaccine that can prevent this disease, we need to know about it now, not in another 100 years.”

Although we can trace the origins of breast cancer back 5,000 years to the Egyptians, it was the research of John Bittner, M.D., in the 1930s who discovered a breast cancer virus in mice that marked a turning point, Dr. Ruddy explains. From that moment on there has been a long tangled path for research on the breast cancer virus to be taken seriously, despite the mounting evidence supporting this idea.
After eight years of compiling and analyzing all available data, what has emerged, Dr. Ruddy believes, is compelling evidence that a virus found in a certain species of mice (Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus, or MMTV) is responsible for up to 75 percent of human breast cancer.

In Of Mice and Women, Dr. Kathleen T. Ruddy tells the story of this research, and why few of us have heard about it.


“Dr. Ruddy is a talented and compassionate clinician with an inquisitive mind that is not satisfied by simply providing excellent care to her cancer patients, but wants to find a more definitive solution for it. Her passionate quest for a cause has uncovered the hidden truth about cancer research — sometimes important discoveries were not made public and did not impact the natural history of the disease because they conflicted with mainstream research agendas.

“Her avid reading and search reveals a number of important findings regarding the role of viruses in breast cancer and she provides an informative summary presented with intelligence, passion but with the factual balance of a true historian. From Loeb and Lanthrop with their initial mice observational studies moving to Bittner, Andervont, Huebner and to the recent work of Baker and Holland we see the struggles for ever more difficult funding dedicated to investigating the relationship between viruses and cancer.

“Women with breast cancer deserve to know if there will ever be an opportunity for a preventive vaccine. Dr. Ruddy’s contribution involves the reader because of its simple language and passionate narrative showing how profoundly she cares about her patients. She did all this research and prepared this extraordinary book for them. A clinician, a woman and a scientists looking for clues over more than a century of research. A must read for everyone involved in breast cancer.” —  Dr. Massimo Cristofaniili, internationally renown authority on inflammatory breast cancer at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia. Author of Nobody Is Listening: Stories of Inflammatory Breast Cancer

“This is an energetically written landmark book about the virus that causes breast cancer in mice and may very well do the same in women.  Ruddy has given us an extraordinary glimpse into the history of this research that will, no doubt, change the world. We should be grateful to her for it is a noble achievement whose time has come.” — Christine Chroner, MD, author of Waking the Warrior Goddess.

“This needs to be in TED talks!” — Cindy Sullivan, breast cancer survivor and author of the book, Hope, Inc.

“Could a virus be the causative agent for breast cancer, similar to HPV and cervical cancer? In Of Mice and Women: Unraveling the Mystery of the Breast Cancer Virus, a new book on the subject, a strong appeal is made for people to recognize a true opportunity to advance the fight against breast cancer. Dr. Kathleen Ruddy is easily the most persistent and passionate advocate for the scientific world to pay attention to the Mammary Tumor Virus (MTV), the Pink Virus, as a causative agent for at least some breast cancer.

“She has confronted a milieu of non-believers, scant attention to the possibility and a general lack of interest. This is shocking given that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 20 seconds somewhere in the world and a woman dies every minute from it somewhere in the world. It would seem that a real possibility at least 25% of breast cancer might be caused by a virus would have the scientific world excited and enthused, and that organizations like the WHO would be working at break-neck speed to unravel the mystery of MTV and its association with breast cancer. It is not like this is a new proposal. It is a proposal that first came out in 1936.

“Dr. Ruddy has been persistent in bringing the evidence that MTV is linked to breast cancer in mice and that MTV has been found in large numbers of persons with breast cancer to all stakeholders. She has travelled with her message like a crusader.

In this book, Dr. Ruddy presents some of the latest evidence, and I appeal to the WHO, the NIH of the U.S., public health agencies around the world, Ministers of Health and the scientific community to give some consideration to the genuine possibility that the Pink Virus is a causative agent of breast cancer in women, at least some of the time. Cancer NGOs must not let this opportunity slip. If we can establish the association between breast cancer and MTV, as Dr. Ruddy insists in this book, it would go a far way in developing a vaccine and treatment and in prevention of at least a significant proportion of breast cancer. For this reason alone this book is a welcome new addition in the fight against breast cancer. “  —  Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, Former Minister of Health of Guyana (2001 – 2012) and Former President of the World Health Assembly (2008)


Kathleen T. Ruddy, M.D., is an internationally recognized breast cancer surgeon trained at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (1995); Founder of the Breast Service at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey (1995–2005); Founder and President of Breast Health and Healing, her private practice in New Jersey (1999–present); Founder and President of the Breast Health and Healing Foundation (2008–present); and creator of the Pink Virus Project, whose goal is to answer the question: Does a virus cause breast cancer in women?

Dr. Ruddy’s commitment to helping women with breast cancer began early in her medical career, when her own mother was diagnosed with the disease. After completing her surgical residency as Chief Resident in 1994, Dr. Ruddy was chosen as the first Fellow on the Breast Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The following year, Cancer Treatment Centers of America recruited her to establish the Breast Service at the Clara Maass Medical Center, where she has since cared for more than 6,000 patients.

In addition to her work in the United States, Dr. Ruddy set a goal to create an International Breast Service, one that would bring the most innovative breast cancer treatments and prevention modalities to women in emerging countries. In 2006, she was invited by the royal family of Kuwait to create a breast service at the Royal Hayat Hospital in Kuwait City, and in 2007, she received a World Health Organization grant to begin a mammogram screening program for underserved women in Uganda. In 2008, Dr. Ruddy received an International Masters for Health Leadership from McGill University, and immediately created the Breast Health and Healing Foundation, 501(c)(3), whose primary goal is prevention of the disease (www.breasthealthandhealing.org).

In 2009, Dr. Ruddy, with the help of Senator Susan Collins of Maine, hosted the first Breast Cancer Summit for the Pink Virus Project on Capitol Hill, a collaborative meeting of scientists and stakeholders interested in the human mammary tumor virus (aka, the Pink Virus).

In 2010, Dr. Ruddy launched her first free smartphone app, Breast Health GPS, which uses GPS technology to locate the nearest certified mammogram screening center anywhere in the country. The same year she produced a film about the breast cancer virus, It’s Time to Answer the Question, which was nominated Best Film of the Year by Rethink Breast Cancer, a nonprofit organization committed to raising breast cancer awareness among people under forty. Dr. Ruddy’s most recent smartphone app, Lobby Me Pink, provides contact information for U.S. senators and congresspeople, and allows users to send emails directly to the chiefs of staff and health policy advisors for every Member of Congress. Better Homes and Gardens named it one of the six most important innovations in the fight against breast cancer (October 2011).

In 2012, Dr. Ruddy became a member of the Leadership Council of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). On April 8, 2013, Loreen Arbus of Arbus Productions hosted the third Breast Cancer Summit for the Virus and the Vaccine in New York City with the help of members of the faculty of HSPH and Columbia University’s Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health.

Dr. Ruddy is a breast cancer expert for answers.com where she provides original content about the most recent advances in breast cancer research, including several articles about the human mammary tumor virus.

Dr. Ruddy continues to care for patients in her own private practice in Belleville, New Jersey, while working tirelessly to grow the Breast Health and Healing Foundation.