Breast Cancer   


What are the risks?

Breast cancer is a major health issue.  World-wide about 1,670,000 women have breast cancer. And in North America, a woman dies of breast cancer every 12 minutes!

 

Your risk of surviving malignant breast cancer is just about the same as it was 50 years ago, when the only treatment was mastectomy; about one in three. In other words, despite billions of dollars in research and hugely expensive and risky treatments, the conventional medical approach to breast cancer isn't working, and talk of prevention is virtually nonexistent.

 

The incidence of breast cancer is steadily rising and the numbers are appalling. Between 1973-1998 the incidence of breast cancer rose by over 40%. Yet despite being the leading cause of death among middle-aged women in the USA, only 5% of the National Cancer Institute's budget is allocated to research and cancer prevention.


Age

Women in mid-thirties to mid-forties (premenopausal) have the highest escalating risk of breast cancer.

In other words, your risk of having breast cancer increases the most steeply in these years. After menopause, however, your estrogen levels drop significantly and so, too, does your risk of breast cancer.

Premenopausal women start to have cycles in which they don't ovulate, or in which they ovulate but don't produce adequate amounts of the hormone progesterone. They still make the hormone estrogen and bleed each month, but because their body does not manufacture enough progesterone, estrogen goes 'unopposed.

What estrogen says to the cells of the reproductive organ is grow! grow! Progesterone, on the other hand, counteracts the estrogen stimulation, instead encouraging the cells to mature and die on time, to be replaced by the new cells that are continually developing. Damaged breast tissue that receives this message from estrogen to proliferate without progesterone's 'balancing' influence is a recipe for disaster.

Estrogen without progesterone is a setup for many reproductive cancers - not just breast cancer.

Chronological age is a risk factor for breast cancer simply because as you age your body's immune defense systems wear down and become less effective, and because gene mutations accumulate over time.

The fat in your breast tissue can also be more dangerous at age 60 than at age 20 because you've had more time to accumulate and retain toxins within the fact tissues of the breast. However, in some countries the risk of breast cancer after menopause is very low, possibly attributed to less exposure to environmental estrogens and HRT, or diet, or a more active life.


Geography, Race, Genetics

Women in non-industrialized countries have less breast cancer than women of industrialized countries.

Excess calorie intake and lower expenditure of physical energy by women of industrialized countries may be a contributing factor. Regardless of the cause, the fact remains that higher hormone levels correlate with higher incidence of breast cancer.

White women in the United States have the highest mortality rate for breast cancer on the planet - 89.2 per 100,000 women.

Geography is a risk factor for breast cancer if you live in an area polluted with industrial waste and are exposed to high levels of Chlorine in the water your risk factor multiplies significantly.   Geographically as Cancer incidence is plotted from north to south, cancer increases downward.  Louisiana has the highest Cancer rates and the greatest amount of contaminated  water 

Only about 10% of breast cancer in Western industrialized countries can be attributed to genetic mutations that are passed down through generations.


Pregnancy

Women who become pregnant before the age of 24 have as much as 5 times less risk of breast cancer later in life as women who have a child after the age of 30. This is probably because the hormone of pregnancy and lactation develop and differentiate the breast tissue in ways that are highly protective.

Interrupted pregnancies (miscarriages and abortions) do not afford protection, and research is accumulating that indicates they can actually increase the risk of breast cancer.

Women who never have children are at a higher risk for breast cancer than those who had one or more children at any age.


Removal of Ovaries

A woman's ovaries are her primary source of hormones (including estrogens, progesterone, testosterone). Removal of the ovaries is "instant menopause" and hormone levels plummet overnight.

Because women who have had their ovaries removed prior to age 40 are at a much higher risk for heart disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis, this should not be considered a viable type of preventative treatment for breast cancer.


Radiation

Next to Chlorine, radiation is the second most potent risk factor for breast cancer, and its effects are cumulative. This means that the damage done to the breast tissue doesn't disappear with time: Each dose of radiation to the breast adds to the last one.

The more X-rays a woman is exposed to, and the higher the dose of radiation, the greater her risk of breast cancer.


Lumpy & Painful Breasts

It's become clear that painful and lumpy breasts of almost every description are caused by estrogen dominance (too much estrogen) and can be helped with the use of transdermal natural (bio-identical) progesterone.

It is believed that estrogen dominance is an unrecognized risk factor for breast cancer, and in this context it makes sense that chronically lumpy and painful breasts would also be a risk factor. However, estrogen dominance is fairly easy to correct with small doses of progesterone cream.


Oral Contraceptive Pill & Teenagers

Use of oral contraceptives by teens is now an established risk factor for breast cancer. The younger the girl, the higher her risk of breast cancer. In general, girls under the age of 18 who use oral contraceptives triple their lifetime risk of breast cancer. This is most likely due to the synthetic progestins in the birth control pills blocking the beneficial actions of real progesterone, and also blocking ovulation and thus the body's production of progesterone.

In women older than 20, taking oral contraceptives long term, and for ten years afterward, confers a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.


 Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Progesterone

Thanks to some major new studies clearly showing that conventional  HRT does not protect against heart disease and that it does increase the risk of breast cancer, doctors are starting to be a little more cautious about prescribing it.

Almost all the family doctors and gynecologists in the United States who are paying attention to their patients will affirm that they've seen many women begin taking doses of conventional HRT, only to return six months later with breast lumps, and/or breast cancer.  The reason that some hormone therapy is not effective, is simple, the drugs that are being prescribed are pharmaceutical look alike that not natural or equal too the hormones the body naturally produces.  

Important...  Hormones are hormones!  Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone are all Organic chemicals they have exactly the same chemical structure when produced by the human body, an animal or a plant. Yes plants product hormones that are exactly the same as from humans or animals.

Proper Hormone replacement is very essential, especially for women 30 to 60 years old.


Diet

This is a controversial and unclear area of breast cancer research. Current thinking is that this is due to a higher calorie intake, which equates to a greater number of free radicals that generate greater damage to tissue, increasing the incidence of breast cancer.

However the types of fat you eat are important. Unsaturated fats that easily oxidize have potential to do harm, because they more easily generate free radicals.

A study in Italy, where most of the population eats monounsaturated olive oil, found that carbohydrates, not fats, are a bigger risk factor, which is likely due to the effects of refined carbohydrates on insulin and insulin resistance.

The body's fat cells produce estrogen. Therefore, the more body fat a woman carries, the more estrogen she'll make, even after menopause.

In general, people from all countries, of all races, and in all cultures are healthier and have less of all types of cancer when they eat more fresh vegetables and fruit, and more whole foods. Some studies have shown as much as a 46% reduced risk of breast cancer in women who eat lots of fresh vegetables.

Cook your meat at lower heats or by roasting or stewing. Avoid charring, frying, grilling (flame broiling) or barbecuing meat at high temperatures.

If you must drink cows milk, it's probably wise to drink hormone-free or organic milk.


Alcohol

Women who have more than one drink of alcohol per day have a higher risk of breast cancer. This is probably because alcohol keeps the liver working overtime, and then it is less able to process estrogens out of the body, so the body has chronically higher levels of estrogen than it would otherwise.

But before you give up that glass of red wine with dinner, which is good for your heart and possibly for your state of mind, remember that according to the same study, at most 4% of breast cancers are links to alcohol.


Exercise

Many studies point to the fact that moderate exercise reduces cancer risk, and breast cancer is no exception. It's important to note, however, that this benefit applies to moderate exercise. Highly strenuous exercise actually suppresses the immune system and greatly increases oxidation in the body. In the long term this could put a women at higher risk of breast cancer. Studies suggest frequency of exercise was deemed more important than how vigorous it was.


Workplace Hazards

Sweden conducted a huge study that followed well over a million women for almost 20 years to assess which occupation had the highest rates of breast cancer. Swedish research theorize that the increased risk in some occupations is due to their sedentary nature, exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and among production workers and beauticians, exposure to toxins such as heavy metals, solvents, and hair dyes.


Electromagnetic Fields

EMFs are emitted from almost any type of device that runs on electricity, to a greater or lesser degree. Although the research is very controversial, it may be prudent to avoid strong EMF fields given off by household appliances such as your microwave oven, toaster oven or coffee maker or, for office workers, your computer. The fields drop off very quickly with distance, and most appliances are safe just a few feet away. You can purchase a simple handheld gauss meter for around $40 to measure the EMFs in your home.


Bras and Underarm Antiperspirants

Although research has not proven that underwire bras and underarm antiperspirants cause breast cancer, common sense says that if you don't block lymph gland circulation from under your breasts with an underwire bra, it's going to be better for your breast health.

There's really no need to wear an underwire or even a very tight bra every day. And not wearing a bra will not make your breasts sag more than they do naturally.

Sweating through the skin is one of the primary ways that your body releases toxins, and your underarms are your most active sweating area. Again, just plain common sense would tell you to avoid putting something under your arms every day that stops sweating altogether, as antiperspirants do, and that also contains myriad chemicals, which both antiperspirants and deodorants do.


The Conventional Approach

Statistics clearly tell us that conventional medicines for treating breast cancer such as Tamoxifen, radiation, and chemotherapy just aren't working in the long run.


Tamoxifen

Estrogen increases the rate that breast cancer cells proliferate (divide & multiply) and Tamoxifen slows the rate of cell proliferation by acting as an anti-estrogen. Tamoxifen may put a breast cancer to sleep for a few years and in some women who have breast cancer it may slow the rate of recurrence for a few years. But in the long term it tends to do more harm than good (unnatural to the body ~ side effects).


Radiation

If you have breast cancer your doctor will most likely insist that you undergo radiation treatment rather than exploring possibly safer alternatives not popular among conventional doctors. Radiation obliterates the breast cancer tumor in a small percentage of women, but in the process it causes many of them to die from other diseases (heart disease, for example).


Mammography

This test procedure is unpleasant and the radiation is potentially harmful. Radiation is a potent risk factor for breast cancer, its effects cumulative, and mammography involves forcefully squashing the breast and then shooting radiation through it. Both tissue damage and radiation are known risk factors for breast cancer, so it may even be logical to assume that mammography can contribute to breast cancer.


Chemotherapy

Generally speaking, chemotherapy is an attempt to poison the body just short of death in the hope of killing the cancer before the entire body is killed. The use of chemotherapy is purely a gamble. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it makes things worse.


Preventing Breast Cancer

You don't hear much that's positive about non-drug alternative health treatments in the national media, yet millions of people visit the Internet daily looking for information on alternative health. Would they be flocking to the Web in such large numbers if they were getting what they need from their doctors, or from print media and TV?

There's no one right formula for preventing breast cancer in every woman. The key to prevention of breast cancer is being aware of the various factors that cause the disease and avoiding them as much as possible, while at the same time being aware of what discourages cancerous growth in breast tissue, and promoting that kind of life-style.

Preventative medicine is a multidimensional approach that takes the entire human - the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects - into account, and optimizes health for that particular individual. Take a middle-aged woman with breast cancer who is terribly depressed and emotionally devastated because of a major trauma or loss in her life. All the drugs in the world aren't going to help her unless her emotional and spiritual needs are also addressed.

We generally accept that the risk of, say, heart disease or diabetes can be significantly reduced by eating a wholesome diet, getting regular moderate exercise, maintaining a health weight, and managing stress effectively. The same approach will also help you lower your risk of breast cancer by creating better overall health.



The Bottom Line

Some of the risk factors for breast cancer, such as race, age, and family history, are out of your control, so the bottom line in minimizing your risk of breast cancer is to lead a healthy lifestyle, use your common sense, and avoid excess estrogen, whether it be from pesticides (throw your ant spray away), Hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives. The only risk factor for breast cancer that we're aware of that's not directly or indirectly associated with estrogen is radiation - stay away from chest X rays as much as possible.



Approaching your Doctor

Women with breast cancer need to be supported in demanding their right to be fully informed about the treatments they receive, and to be able to refuse treatment if they - through education or intuition - feel it's wrong for them, without being "disowned" by the medical system.

And the media need to stop blindly spouting press releases from big drug companies touting new cures for breast cancer that are poorly researched and may do more harm than good in the end.

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