Breast Cancer - 11 Ways that INCREASE Your Risk: Part III

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

Lifestyle Choices

Here is part III of my blog series of V on breast cancer prevention and treatment. Read all five blogs to maximize your ability to reduce your risk and improve your quality and survivability if you should develop breast cancer. 

1.     Multiparity, or being pregnant many times, reduces one's overall risk of developing breast cancer. Not having children at all or having children later in life carries a higher risk of developing breast cancer.  Women, who have had their first child after the age of 30, especially have a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

2.     Birth control: Birth control pills or certain forms of injectable hormones such as depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA or Depo-Provera), carry an increased risk of developing breast cancer, especially compared to those who never use these forms of synthetic hormones.  Once a woman stops taking these synthetic forms of hormones, the risk of breast cancer is thought to decline. In my patient population, those that choose birth control or other forms of synthetic hormones are placed on various nutritional supplements, and emphasize various foods, that help the body better manage hormones in the liver and other tissues. Some of these supplements might include L-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid (active folic acid), methylated B12 (active vitamin B12, activated vitamin B6 (pyridoxyl-5-phosphate, vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol succinate), calcium-D-glucarate, I3C (indole-3-carbinol), DIM (diindolymethane), vegetable concentrates and others based upon one’s personal health situation and goals and various laboratory tests.  There are dozens of other tests and nutrients that, when measured, can help your health care provider develop treatment and health strategies. 

3.     Breast density: High mammographic breast density (H-MBD) has been associated with increased breast cancer (BC) risk, even after adjustment for established breast cancer risk factors.  A large longitudinal study, the first carried out in Mediterranean women, suggests that specific dietary components may play a key role in determining MBD in this population, thus possibly modulating breast cancer risk. MRI does not involve radiation along with breast sonography and breast thermography offer additional preventative strategies for both detection and assessment of breast cancer presence and response to therapies.

4.     Receiving hormone therapy after menopause: Receiving progesterone and/or estrogen after menopause increases one's risk of developing breast cancer, particularly, it is thought, if these hormones are combined.  Once these hormones are stopped one's risk seems to decline.  Circulating oestrogens and androgens are positively associated with the risk for breast cancer in premenopausal women.  Several nutrients and foods have been studied scientifically to help the body properly manage hormone levels. The elimination of soy products and the use of nutrients such as DIM, vitamin D3, various phytonutrients, vitamin C and others should be considered in a comprehensive approach for treatment and prevention and based upon proper health intake and testing. 

5.     Breast-feeding: Several studies have shown that breast-feeding may lower one's risk of developing breast cancer in the first place, particularly if the breast-feeding lasts between 1-2 years.  Breast feeding also reducing the babies future chances of developing allergies, eczema and other health problems by helping optimal development of the immune system. 

6.     Breast Implants: Maybe linked to developing a form of lymphoma.  If this is true, then it may also be eventually proved that other forms of cancer and autoimmune diseases may also result from placing foreign substances in the body.  it simply makes sense that any foreign substance in the body may provoke an autoimmune reaction that may increase one's risk of many health problems. 

7.     Alcohol intake: Alcohol is clearly linked with an increased risk of developing breast cancer.  Even small amounts of alcohol, such as a single drink per day, increase one's risk of developing breast cancer. No one knows exactly why this is, but some of my theories include toxins in alcohol.  It should be kept in mind that there is NO SAFE LEVEL OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION THAT DOES NOT INCREASE ONE'S RISK OF DEVELOPING BREAST CANCER.  Also the toxin’s produced by the body in its attempt to metabolize alcohol can have adverse effects upon the liver and intestines detoxification enzymes.  Many nutrients and foods help support proper detoxification including, but certainly not limited to, milk thistle, N-acetyl-cysteine, ubiquinone, reduced glutathione, glycinate, methionine, alpha-lipoic acid, concentrates of dozens of fruits and vegetables and others.

8.     Overweight or obesity: Obese or overweight, particularly after menopause, is linked to a higher risk of developing breast cancer.  Basically, fat is an estrogen factory!!  More accurately, an increase in fat mass and a loss of lean body tissue is associated, not only with a greater risk of overall morbidity (quality of life) and mortality (death rate), but also a poor outcome from virtually all causes of ill-health and disease.  A test called a bio-impediance evaluation helps to insure that a person’s health efforts reduce body fat and cause no loss, and preferably an increase, in lean body mass.  The reduction of obesity would have been an effective strategy for cancer prevention, but the reality is that worldwide obesity has kept increasing for decades, remaining a major avoidable cancer risk secondary only to smoke. The present studies suggest that vitamin D may be an effective agent to reduce obesity-associated cancer risks in women.  With a balanced and realistic plan, I have found that most of my patients successfully lose a huge percentage of body fat. Weight gain and obesity are among the most important risk factors for post-menopausal estrogen-dependent breast cancer (EDBC). Weight gain is associated with oxidative stress, which in turn promotes breast cancer progression. Modulation through anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidants drugs combined with endocrine therapy may constitute a targeted approach in post-menopausal EDBC.  Fat is essentially an estrogen factory!

9.     Smoking: Tobacco smoke increases the risk of developing breast and other forms of cancer particularly when someone starts smoking at a young age.  Smoking can increase the body’s need for various nutrients and thus disease risk.  Nutritionally oriented blood work can help reveal many of these nutritional imbalances so that corrective measures can be taken.

10. Sleep: Day-shift workers: Meta-analysis demonstrates that circadian (sleep) disruption is associated with an increased BrCA risk in women. Working at night seems to offset circadian rhythms, and perhaps adversely affecting normal melatonin levels, increasing one’s risk of breast cancer development.  Melatonin, tryptophan, phenibut, magnesium and some other natural compounds may reduce one’s risk; in the case of melatonin, it should only be taken by day-shift workers if they plan on working on this schedule for the long term. Melatonin should only be taken at night before bed in those who are NOT day-shift workers. Those who are day-shift workers take melatonin in the day, but once again, only if it is expected that they will maintain this working schedule for the long-term. Melatonin taken incorrectly can adversely affect not only sleep, but can offset sleep patterns and other hormones. What is very important to know about melatonin is that it is proven to improve breast cancer outcome when taken by women with breast cancer.

11. Antiperspirants:  Aluminum Chlorohydrate is a common ingredient found in many under-arm antiperspirants, lipsticks, and sunscreens.  This ingredient can absorb through the skin and form malignant cells as a result of an accumulation within the tissue.

NEXT BLOG: Breast Cancer - Diet, Exercise..risk, prevention & Treatment

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.

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