Breast Cancer: What Every Woman AND Man Must Know
Surprise, breast cancer can afflict men as well as women! Whether you’ve already been diagnosed or want to reduce your risk as much as possible, I’ve provided some information to help guide your journey towards understanding this disease so that you can better prevent its occurrence or better provide a healthier and more successful outcome. If you have a diagnosis of abnormal chemistry or pathologic abnormality in the breast, consider it a warning to look into the underlying contributing factors that have led to this manifestation of disease; then further seek to understand your options holistically and allopathically in order to make more informed ‘wholelistic’ and proactive decisions, instead of the typical fear-based path pushed in this field of oncology. Ideally find a physician who is also interested in digging deep to discover the underlying causes, so that it does not reoccur or manifest in other forms (look into Functional Medicine or Naturopathic Physicians).
Starting off, one of the best investments would be to do these tests:
- The ION test. http://www.metametrix.com/files/test-menu/patient-briefs/ION-PB.pdf
- The Estronex test (http://www.metametrix.com/files/test-menu/patient-briefs/Estronex-PB.pdf), which shows whether or not you’re making enough of the good protective estrogen to decrease your chances of cancer.
Genetics: The BRCA gene
The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are often known as the “breast cancer genes”. These genes are found in every single person and are in control of releasing tumor suppressor proteins; so a mutation in these genes can increase one’s cancer risk. But while women with BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations have a 45-65% increased risk of developing breast cancer, only about 2% of diagnosed breast cancers are actually known to have been caused by this gene defect. It is most important to understand that although one might carry the genetic susceptibility for a certain disease that does not finitely destine them to be expressed; there are copious lifestyle factors that can dramatically alter genetic expression and thus decrease your risk of cancer through the choices you make.
Important side note: One company, Myriad Genetics, holds a patent on these genes. It’s curious how they can claim to own a naturally occurring part of the human genetic code, additionally since it exists in every single person. Their claim on our DNA creates a profitable corporate monopoly for them, generating approximately half a billion dollars a year in revenue, 85% of which is from genetic testing for breast cancer. They control all variations of the BRCA genes and all possible uses of those genes, so no researcher or doctor can provide testing, conduct research or develop new treatments using the BRCA genes without permission from Myriad. This sort of monopoly hinders research progress and makes treatment further unnecessarily expensive.
The body employs many different detoxification pathways in the liver and elsewhere. Glucuronidation is one of six primary detoxification pathways, converting most drugs, steroids, and many other toxic substances to metabolites that can then be excreted into the urine or bile and eliminated from the body. This pathway removes bad and excess estrogens from the body, decreasing cancer risk, and therefore is imperative to keep this detox pathway in optimal function.
Many environmental chemicals are commonly referred to as environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs). This means they mimic the actions of the bad estrogens. The number one most deadly pollutants attacking the human body are phthalates or plasticizers such as BPA (Bis-phenol-A). Unfortunately they use up and massively drain the glucuronidation detoxification pathways. This one factor has been discovered to be one of the major reasons why many hormone–dependent cancers including breast, prostate, thyroid and pancreas are on the rise. These chemicals are commonly found in the lining of canned goods, plastic containers, and even cosmetics.
Prevention & Treatment
If too much Estrogen is demonstrated in your lab results recommended above, then:
- Eat a diet high in brassica or cruciferous vegetables. These would include: broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, cauliflower, kale, arugula, mizuna, cilantro, radishes, turnips, rutabaga, etc.
- Switch to glass food storage containers and glass water bottles, eat fresh foods rather than packaged/canned, and use natural beauty products.
- Decrease your consumption of meat. The fat in meat (particularly conventional, corn/grain fed) promotes the growth of bacteria, which modify the excreted estrogen in the gut so that it gets reabsorbed back into circulation.
- The next way to improve the estrogen ratio is by taking Indole-3-Carbinol and Calcium D-Glucarate twice a day. Indole-3-Carbinol duplicates some of the brassica chemistry that helps to detoxify estrogen properly, while Calcium D-Glucarate stops the gut bacteria from “un-detoxifying” estrogen.
Vitamin D: The wonder hormone
Optimal levels of Vitamin D decrease the risk of breast and prostate cancers by 75% and eight other cancers from 30-70%! Most people require a daily intake of about 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day (even though the RDA for Vitamin D is only 400 IU/day). It is important to first have your vitamin D levels checked (optimal level should be in the 70-100ng/ml range) and then go on a loading dose for the right amount of time prior to going on a daily maintenance dose. Also, get regular sun exposure, just go inside once your skin starts to turn pink.
Synthetic hormone replacement therapy, such as birth control pills, is known to increase risk of breast, cervical, and liver cancers. Opt for natural methods for pregnancy prevention, and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy for any hormonal imbalances. Balanced hormone function is essential not only for women, but also men, in order to not only prevent and lower the risk of certain cancers, but also to express optimal health. Keep in mind also that men make and must detoxify estrogen and EED chemicals too or they can also get breast cancer.
Diet: Cancer cells feed on sugar (fructose/glucose), so high glycemic (insulin raising) foods and drinks give them exactly what they need to proliferate. So it would be wise to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle, filled with organic fresh vegetables foremost, wild not farm-raised fish, organic sprouted beans/nuts/seeds, moderate amount of organic grassfed meat, healthy fats (cold pressed coconut oil, olive oil, grassfed butter, MCT oil, ghee, avocado, etc), and a low amount of organic whole grains, fruit, alcohol, and processed foods.
Exercise: Estrogen is produced in fatty tissue, so exercise helps to manage a healthy body composition, improves insulin receptivity, decreases stress, improves mood, and prevents most other forms of illness.
Stress: The body’s neuroendocrine response to stress stimulates a suppression of processes that protect against the formation of cancer, such as DNA repair and cell growth regulation; additionally stress increases cortisol and norepinephrine which are linked to tumor cell growth. Our minds are extremely powerful and have an enormous effect on the health of our body; trauma, negative emotions and inner dialogue have the ability to turn on and off genes leading to health or illness. Incorporate daily practices into your life such as: meditation, yoga, journaling, breathing exercises, artistic expression, nature walks, etc. Side effect, you’ll be happier, more at ease, and live longer.
Additional Herbs and Supplements Approximate Recommendations: 10-15mg/day of Iodine (potassium iodide), 2,000mg/day Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), Medicinal mushroom blend (particularly Turkey Tail, Maitake, Reishi, and Agaricus Blazei), quality multivitamin, 1000mg/day EPA/DHA omega3 supplement/liquid.
Mammograms expose the body to radiation that’s 1000 times greater than that from a chest xray; cancer is most often found in fatty tissue, so concentrating this radiation to the fatty breast tissue is of concern. This detection method compresses breasts tightly, which could lead to the spread of cancerous cells, should they exist. Additionally 10% of women receive false positive results, meaning they are treated for cancer when they did not in fact have cancer. Regularly examine your breasts to be familiar with their natural changes throughout your hormonal cycle and identify any abnormal lumps that may develop. Get second and third opinions from different physicians/practitioners. Thermography appears to be a safer and more preventive method of detection; it does not require mechanical compression or ionizing radiation, and it can detect signs of inflammation, and increased tumor growth approximately 8-10years before mammography can. However, this method does not diagnose cancer, but instead tracks your temperature data over time, so to alert you of increased points of inflammation in your body so you can make lifestyle changes for improvement and decreased risk.
Keep your cell phone far from your body as much as possible; use the speaker option, NEVER keep it in your bra or pocket, turn off the WiFi/GPS/Bluetooth whenever possible, and don’t sleep with it next to you at night. You can check your phone’s SAR scale rating at http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-radiation-levels/
Regarding airport scanners: to my knowledge there has not been any verifiable, independent scientific testing of the safety of backscatter scanners used in airport security. Some scientists believe that the high quality imaging that’s produced cannot be obtained with the low levels of radiation being described. If you travel frequently, I just suggest ‘opting out’ and getting the pat down instead, to be on the safe side.
Overall, the takeaway is, take control of your health. We live in an increasingly toxic world so we must take extra precautions in our aim to avoid disease. I hope the information and recommendations in this article help you on your journey towards a healthy life.
Disclaimer: I do not diagnose or treat any disease or health condition. I seek to provide information to assist you in making healthier diet and lifestyle choices in your life, which can naturally lead to enhanced physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
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