Breast Cancer: A Modern Epidemic
Preventive Concepts & Strategies for Optimal Health
By Dr. Michael Wald, Supervisor of Longevity Services at Integrated Medicine of Mt Kisco
495 E. Main Street, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 914-242-8844 /
www.intmedny.com / www.blooddetective.com
Breast Cancer – what you need to know…essential facts and helpful thoughts
Welcome to part II of my V part series on breast cancer. The purpose of my blogs is to educate you and to expand your knowledge regarding cancer treatment and prevention - from both a medical and natural perspective. The science is in that demonstrates that both diet and nutritional supplements, if used correctly, can help offset one's risk of breast cancer and help improve quality of life and the effectiveness of medical oncology treatments. Whether you have breast cancer now, or want to reduce your future risk of potentially getting breast cancer, this series of five blogs is for you. Share these blogs with family and friends, both men and women, so that they too can benefit.
Below are 14 essential facts that you should know about reducing your risk of developing breast cancer in the first place and to aggressively manage breast cancer if it should happen to you:
1. Gender: Breast cancer is much more common in women than in men. Regular self-breast examinations are important to learn the anatomy of your breasts, and to detect as early as possible any obvious changes. Follow up with your gynecologist if you find anything that concerns you. Discuss with your OB how to perform a breast examination.
2. Age: As one gets older the risk of most forms of cancer, and a variety of other degenerative diseases, increases. Therefore, it’s important not to neglect preventative lifestyle practices, like those mentioned throughout this series of blogs, as one moves through the aging process.
3. Certain genetic factors strongly increase one's risk of breast cancer including mutations in the genes called BRACA1 and BRACA2. Only 5-10% of breast cancer cases carry this inherited mutations association which means that the large majority of breast cancers do not involve the BRACA1 and 2 inherited gene mutation associations. Genetic testing can identify some women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes (or less commonly in other genes such as PTEN or TP53). Most often women and men develop breast cancer as a consequence of poor lifestyle such as diet, environment and other factors.
a. Other genetic factors, known as “low-penetrance mutations” or “gene variations “ are a factor in cancer development in the majority of woman and men. Simply put, the environment, and our lifestyle including diet, stress, sleep, exercise and other factors, “wash over” our genes over the course of our lifetime and cause what’s called multiple genes (as opposed to having only the BRACA1 and BRACA2 genes), or causing an imbalance between cancer suppressor (anticancer) and oncogenes (cancer-promoting) genes.
4. Family history: Breast cancer risk is much higher in those with a family history of breast cancer as well as prostate cancer. If you have a family history of breast cancer, or most other forms of cancer, it’s prudent to be mindful of the preventative and treatment concepts I’ve described throughout this blog.
5. Personal health history of breast cancer: If a woman is already had breast cancer in one breast, her chances of getting breast cancer in the other breast are far greater than those without a personal history of breast cancer.
6. Race: Statistically speaking, Caucasian women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African American women. However, African-American women, once they get breast cancer, generally have a more aggressive course of breast cancer and are far more likely to die of it.
7. Dense breasts: Generally speaking, the more glandular the breast tissue the less fat in the breast. Women with more dense breasts have a statistically high risk of developing breast cancer.
8. Breast cancer problems: It seems that certain so-called benign breast cancer health issues may carry an increased risk of breast cancer such as having dense breasts.
9. Lobular carcinoma in situ: In this breast condition, cells that resemble cancer cells are found within the milk-making glands or lobules of the breast. These cells do not go through the lobules and therefore do not spread to other parts of the body but, even though it is not considered a true cancer or even a precancerous condition, having LCIS does statistically increase a women's risk of developing breast cancer at some point in her life.
10. Menstrual periods: The earlier the onset of menstrual bleeding, particularly before age twelve, and the later one experiences menopause, the greater the risk of breast cancer development. Estrogen, especially, in a form of estrogen known as 17-beta-estradiole, is strongly cancer promoting (carcinogenic). Early onset of menses and later onset menopause exposes the breast, ovaries and other body tissues to pro-carcinogenic forms of estrogen for longer; the longer the breast tissue is exposed to estrogen the greater its risk.
11. Breast radiation: Exposure to the breasts to radiation increases one's risk of developing breast cancer.
12. Diethylstilbestrol (DES): Diethylstilbestrol received during pregnancy carries an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
13. Xeno-estrogens, plastics and pesticides found in our food, water and air may substantially cause, or at least contribute to, the risk of developing breast cancer.
14. Nutritional factors are extremely important enhancing one's risk of getting breast cancer. Low levels of vitamin D3, osteoporosis and degenerative arthritis and hardening of the arteries - especially when they occur together in an individual, increase the risk of breast cancer. Think about it - if a person is low in vitamin D3 calcium leaves bone causing osteoporosis and osteopenia and can deposit calcium in the breast tissue causing calcium-laiden breast cysts - a strong and agreed upon risk factor for breast cancer development. Calcium deposits in joints and arteries is called arthritis and arteriosclerosis respectively both arising from dyscalcemia. There are several other health issues and nutritional deficiencies that can increase one's risk of breast cancer, but are beyond the length of my blogs to explore.
NEXT BLOG: Breast Cancer - 11 Ways that INCREASE Your Risk
None of the statements herein have been approved by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) nor does this information substitute for sound medical or nutritional health advice.
Contact us for a free 15-minute consultation by calling: 914-242-8844.