"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Mammograms Cause Breast Cancer


Mammograms Cause Breast Cancer
In Mammogram Debate, Politics Trounces Science

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By Dr. Mercola

The featured three-part article in Bloomberg News1, 2, 3 delves into the questionable practices supporting conventional breast cancer screening and takes a swipe at the politics connected with mammography, exposing much of what the mainstream media has avoided thus far. The articles are excerpts from Handel Reynolds' new book, The Big Squeeze: A Social and Political History of the Controversial Mammogram. Reynolds is a breast radiologist at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

Citing the history behind who's been calling the shots through the years for this cancer screening test, Reynolds reveals how public pressure and key government health officials play a part in fundingor not fundingthis test. One of the key issues is that mammography's failings have been studied for years in excruciating detail, and have shown that mammography has been oversold as an early detector of cancer.

"In a moment of unprecedented candor for an official of the normally message- disciplined American Cancer Society, Otis Brawley, its chief medical officer, made a startling admission... 'I'm admitting that American medicine has overpromised when it comes to screening. The advantages to screening have been exaggerated,'" Reynolds writes.

"Brawley was responding to an article that had just been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in which researchers argued that 20 years of widespread breast and prostate cancer screening had failed to deliver the promised health benefits... [S]creening had led to a huge increase in the incidence of early-stage disease, with only a very slight decrease in late-stage disease.

This is significant because the basic rationale for screening has always been that identifying and treating more early-stage cancers will lower the number of late-stage cancers. That this has not happened suggests that screening detects many nonaggressive cancers that would not have progressed if left undetected. The practical result of large-scale screening, in other words, was overdiagnosis and overtreatment."

Mammography May Actually RAISE Your Absolute Risk of Breast Cancer

 

Many women are completely unaware that the science backing the use of mammograms is sketchy at best. As was revealed in a 2011 meta-analysis by the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews4, mammography breast cancer screening led to 30 percent overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which equates to an absolute risk increase of 0.5 percent.

Researchers noted:

"[F]or every 2,000 women invited for screening throughout 10 years, one will have her life prolonged and 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed if there had not been screening, will be treated unnecessarily. Furthermore, more than 200 women will experience important psychological distress for many months because of false positive findings. It is thus not clear whether screening does more good than harm." [Emphasis mine]

Another study, published in 2010, concluded that the reduction in mortality as a result of mammographic screening was so small as to be nonexistent—a mere 2.4 deaths per 100,000 person-years were spared as a result of the screening5.

False positives from mammograms—a diagnosis of cancer when in fact it is non-cancerous—are notorious in the industry, causing women needless anxiety, pain and, often, invasive and disfiguring surgical procedures. If a mammogram detects an abnormal spot in a woman's breast, the next step is typically a biopsy.

This involves taking a small amount of tissue from the breast, which is then looked at by a pathologist under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. The problem is that early stage cancer like ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S., can be very hard to diagnose, and pathologists have a wide range of experience and expertise. There are no diagnostic standards for D.C.I.S., and there are no requirements that the pathologists doing the readings have specialized expertise.

Mammography Also Misses 20-40 Percent of Cancers

 

There's also the risk of getting a false negative, meaning that a life-threatening cancer is missed. It's important to realize that a negative mammogram does not equate to a clean bill of health. All a negative mammogram can tell you is that IF you have cancer, it hasn't grown large enough yet to be detected. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI):

"Overall, screening mammograms miss up to 20 percent of breast cancers that are present at the time of screening."

This is particularly true for women with dense breast tissue. Forty-nine percent of women have high breast tissue density6, and mammography's sensitivity for dense breasts is as low as 27 percent7—meaning as many as 75 percent of dense-breasted women are at risk for a cancer being missed if they rely solely on mammography. Even with digital mammography, the sensitivity is still less than 60 percent.

New York and Virginia recently passed laws requiring women with dense breasts to be informed they may need to seek alternative screening methods.

Lunch Break with Melinda Beck: Mammograms miss 40% of breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue, and such women are four times more likely to develop breast cancer than others. A campaign dubbed "Are You Dense?" is now gaining momentum.

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Beware: Popular Cancer Campaigns Fraught with False Claims

 

Unfortunately, even though high-profile people like Dr. Susan Love of the Susan Love Research Foundation agree that mammography has limitations as well as dangers, others like Kathleen Sebelius and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure prefer to ignore the science and continue to campaign for annual screenings without so much as a hint at the risks involved.  

As stated in Bloomberg8:

"Advertisements often contain images of young women, thus heightening fears of breast cancer in this age group while masking the reality that the disease is much more common in older women. Promotions also tend to overemphasize the potential benefits of screening while remaining largely silent on its limitations. The statement 'Mammography can find breast cancer as small as the period at the end of this sentence' appeared on many promos in the 1980s and 1990s, leading many women to expect too much from the technology.

A 2003 survey found that many American women harbor the misconception that mammography can actually prevent breast cancer from occurring. 'Screening' is not synonymous with 'prevention'; mammography reduces the risk of death only by finding breast cancer early. "

A recent article in the British Medical Journal9 (BMJ) exposes how Susan G. Komen for the Cure is using misleading statistics to persuade women to undergo mammography. The authors write:

"Unfortunately, there is a big mismatch between the strength of evidence in support of screening and the strength of Komen's advocacy for it. A growing and increasingly accepted body of evidence shows that although screening may reduce a woman's chance of dying from breast cancer by a small amount, it also causes major harms. In fact, the benefits and harms are so evenly balanced that the National Breast Cancer Coalition, a major US network of patient and professional organizations, "believes there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against universal mammography in any age group of women."

... In contrast, Komen's public advertising campaign gives women no sense that screening is a close call... The advertisement states that the key to surviving breast cancer is for women to get screened because 'early detection saves lives. The 5-year survival rate for breast cancer when caught early is 98%. When it's not? 23%.'

This benefit of mammography looks so big that it is hard to imagine why any woman would forgo screening. She'd have to be crazy. But it's the advertisement that is crazy..."

Komen's Behavior "Not Very Charitable"

 

The data Komen uses — the five-year survival data — presents a dramatically distorted picture. (Furthermore, the advertisement makes no mention of any of the harms clearly associated with the screening at all.) The authors go on to explain why survival data cannot be used to make a case for or against mammography:

"To see how much lead time can distort five year survival data, imagine a group of 100 women who received diagnoses of breast cancer because they felt a breast lump at age 67, all of whom die at age 70. Five year survival for this group is 0%. Now imagine the women were screened, given their diagnosis three years earlier, at age 64, but still die at age 70. Five year survival is now 100%, even though no one lived a second longer."

Overdiagnosis also distorts survival statistics because women who receive false positives are counted as having survived the cancer! As mentioned earlier, for every woman saved, 10 women are misdiagnosed and treated unnecessarily, so the distortion due to overdiagnosis is massive. And, as the authors explain, the more women are overdiagnosed, the more the survival statistics are skewed.

"If there were an Oscar for misleading statistics, using survival statistics to judge the benefit of screening would win a lifetime achievement award hands down. There is no way to disentangle lead time and overdiagnosis biases from screening survival data," the authors state.

The only statistic that matters is how many deaths are prevented. And the only way to determine whether a screening test works in that regard or not is to evaluate how many cancer deaths are eliminated in a randomized trial. Shockingly, according to a recent survey10, most primary care physicians in the US mistakenly interpret survival data as evidence that mammography saves lives, so if you have been similarly duped, you're in good company...

In terms of actual benefit, the authors point out, mammography can reduce a woman in her 50's chances of dying from breast cancer sometime over the next decade by 0.07 percent. Again, the reduction in actual risk is so negligible as to be nonexistent... and that, of course, does not make for compelling advertising. In fact, it undermines the entire cancer industry, which is built around expensive cancer screening tests and drug treatments. In conclusion, the authors state:

"The Komen advertisement campaign failed to provide the facts. Worse, it undermined decision making by misusing statistics to generate false hope about the benefit of mammography screening. That kind of behavior is not very charitable."

FDA Whistleblower Accused of Blocking New Mammography Devices

 

In related news, Dr. Robert Smith, one of the whistleblowers who became a victim of the FDA's spy program as a result of expressing concern that faulty approval procedures allowed dangerous cancer detection devices to be approved, now stand accused of keeping such devices off the market. That's right. In this upside-down world, his actions are reportedly being scrutinized to see whether or not he might have prevented market-entry of valuable new technology in the fight against cancer.

From my perspective, based on the testimony from other FDA whistleblowers, people across the US probably owe him a debt of gratitude for standing up to immense pressure to approve unsafe devices—not reproach! According to MassDevices.com11:

"Dr. Robert Smith spent nearly 4 years at the FDA's radiological devices arm, during which time none of the 6 digital mammography systems up for approval passed muster with the federal watchdog agency. A total of 5 such devices were approved prior to Smith's appointment and 13 have been approved since, according to the Wall Street Journal... '[Smith] was just upholding the law, being an honest and rigorous regulator,' Smith's attorney, Stephen Kohn, told the Journal. "Industry has a cozy relationship with many at the FDA, but they did not have a cozy relationship with Dr. Smith."

Mother Jones12 recently published an engaging article that summarizes the unfolding drama. So far, the evidence points to the FDA opting to put conscientious safety reviewers on the chopping block rather than displease their clients, the drug companies,—i.e. the very companies they're supposed to regulate:

"It looks like the FDA knowingly chose to expose untold thousands of people to unnecessary cancer risk to apparently to appease General Electric and other medical-device makers. And here's the kicker: The scientists were apparently right. The Times reported last week that the US Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency, has 'found a 'significant likelihood' that the devices posed 'a substantial and specific danger to public safety' as the scientists had warned.'"

Articles such as the one by MassDevices.com start to look even more like an attempt at a smear campaign when you consider that most of the devices Dr. Smith and others had objections to were approved against their advice anyway. Three of those devices were feared ineffective, as they risked missing signs of cancer. There were also serious concerns about a computer-aided imaging device designed to help identify cancer. Despite being rejected by the safety reviewers three times, this device was ultimately approved anyway by a senior manager.

How to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

 

As mentioned earlier, cancer screening is NOT to be misconstrued as a form of cancer prevention. Preventing breast cancer is far more important and powerful than simply trying to detect it after it has already formed, which is why I want to share my top tips on how to help prevent this disease in the first place.

In the largest review of research into lifestyle and breast cancer, the American Institute of Cancer Research estimated that about 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases could be prevented if people made wiser lifestyle choices13,14. I believe these estimates are far too low, and it is more likely that 75 percent to 90 percent of breast cancers could be avoided by strictly applying the recommendations below.

  • Avoid sugar, especially fructose. All forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer. Fructose, however, is clearly one of the most harmful and should be avoided as much as possible.

  • Optimize your vitamin D. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). If you have cancer, your vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I'm aware of, with no adverse effects. I suggest you try watching my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to learn more.

  • Get plenty of natural vitamin A. There is evidence that vitamin A also plays a role in helping prevent breast cancer15. It's best to obtain it from vitamin A-rich foods, rather than a supplement. Your best sources are organic egg yolks16, raw butter, raw whole milk, and beef or chicken liver.

However, beware of supplementing as there's some evidence that vitamin A can negate the benefits of vitamin D. Since appropriate vitamin D levels are crucial for your health in general, not to mention cancer prevention, this means that it's essential to have the proper ratio of vitamin D to vitamin A in your body. Ideally, you'll want to provide all the vitamin A and vitamin D substrate your body needs in such a way that your body can regulate both systems naturally. This is best done by eating colorful vegetables (for vitamin A) and by exposing your skin to safe amounts sunshine every day (for vitamin D).

  • Avoid charring your meats. Charcoal or flame broiled meat is linked with increased breast cancer risk. Acrylamide—a carcinogen created when starchy foods are baked, roasted or fried—has been found to increase breast cancer risk as well.

  • Avoid unfermented soy products. Unfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.

  • Improve your insulin receptor sensitivity. The best way to do this is by avoiding sugar and grains and making sure you are exercising, especially with Peak Fitness.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising. It's important to lose excess body fat because fat produces estrogen.

  • Drink a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.

  • Get plenty of high quality omega-3 fats, such as krill oil [or hemp seed – N.I. Ed]. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.

  • Curcumin. This is the active ingredient in turmeric and in high concentrations can be very useful adjunct in the treatment of breast cancer. It shows immense therapeutic potential in preventing breast cancer metastasis17. It's important to know that curcumin is generally not absorbed that well, so I've provided several absorption tips here.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day.

  • Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows breastfeeding can reduce your breast cancer risk.

  • Avoid wearing underwire bras. There is a good deal of data that metal underwire bras can heighten your breast cancer risk.

  • Avoid electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Even electric blankets can increase your cancer risk.

  • Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
  •  If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.

  • Avoid BPA, phthalates and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk

  • Make sure you're not iodine deficient, as there's compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with breast cancer. Dr. David Brownstein18, author of the book Iodine: Why You Need it, Why You Can't Live Without it, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells.

For more information, I recommend reading Dr. Brownstein's book. I have been researching iodine for some time ever since I interviewed Dr. Brownstein as I do believe that the bulk of what he states is spot on. However, I am not at all convinced that his dosage recommendations are correct. I believe they are too high.

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Doctors Prove This Test Can Give Healthy People Cancer

 

The Nordic Cochrane Center has put out a leaflet that every woman should read, explaining the potential benefits and potential harms of mammographyi.

They point out that recent studies suggest mammography screening is not effective in reducing your risk of dying from breast cancer.

And in fact, screening creates breast cancer patients out of healthy women who would never have developed symptoms.

Treatment of these healthy women increases their risk of dying from heart disease and, yes, cancer itself.

According to the Nordic Cochrane Center:

"It therefore no longer seems reasonable to attend for breast cancer screening.

In fact, by avoiding going to screening, a woman will lower her risk of getting a breast cancer diagnosis."

I highly recommend reading the report in its entiretyii, as it contains a number of enlightening tidbits that may help you make a more informed decision.

For example, after systematically reviewing the randomized trials of mammography, the authors concluded that:

"If 2,000 women are screened regularly for 10 years, one will benefit from screening, as she will avoid dying from breast cancer because the screening detected the cancer earlier.

Since these trials were undertaken, treatment of breast cancer has improved considerably.

Women today also seek medical advice much earlier than previously, if they have noted anything unusual in their breasts...

Because of these improvements, screening is less effective today and newer studies suggest that mammography screening is no longer effective in reducing the risk of dying from breast cancer."

... Since it is not possible to tell the difference between the dangerous and the harmless cell changes and cancers, all of them are treated.

Therefore, screening results in treatment of many women for a cancer disease they do not have, and that they will not get. Based on the randomized trials, it appears that:

If 2,000 women are screened regularly for 10 years, 10 healthy women will be turned into cancer patients and will be treated unnecessarily. These women will have either a part of their breast or the whole breast removed, and they will often receive radiotherapy, and sometimes chemotherapy. Treatment of these healthy women increases their risk of dying, e.g. from heart disease and cancer."

So, to recap, in order for mammographic breast screening to save ONE woman's life:

  • 2,000 women must be screened for 10 years

  • 200 women will get false positives, and

  • 10 will receive surgery and/or chemotherapy even though they do not actually have cancer

Cochrane Conclusions Confirmed...

 

A couple of researchers at the University of Southampton set out to "assess the claim in a Cochrane review that mammographic breast cancer screening could be doing more harm than good."

Their findings were published in the British Medical Journal in December last yeariii. By combining life years gained from screening with losses of quality of life from false positive diagnoses and surgery, the authors agreed with the Cochrane assessment, concluding that mammograms may indeed have "caused net harm for up to 10 years after the start of screening."

ABC News reported on this findingiv:

"The default is to assume that screening must be good; catching something early must be good," said James Raftery, professor of health technology assessment at the University of Southampton, U.K., and lead author of the review. "But if a woman has an unnecessary mastectomy, or chemotherapy or radiation, that's a tragedy.

... "It's difficult to balance the gain of one life against 200 false positives and 10 unnecessary surgeries," said Raftery... The alternative is watchful waiting: delaying treatment until it's clear whether a lump is truly a life-threatening tumor. But for woman faced with the words, "breast cancer," watchful waiting is easier said than done..."

Have Dangerous Cancer Screening Devices Been Approved?

 

Based on information straight from the horse's mouth, as it were, the answer to that question appears to be yes. Doctors and scientists at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Device Evaluation have in fact warned Congress that the agency was approving medical devices that posed unacceptable risks to patients. As early as 2007, concerned employees in this department began making internal complaints about a dozen different radiological devices about to be approved despite lack of proof of effectiveness.

They stated they were concerned that millions of patients' lives would be put at risk from these devices.

This included three devices that risked missing signs of breast cancer, and several colon cancer screening devices that employed such heavy doses of radiation they risked causing cancer in otherwise healthy people. In the case of a computer-aided imaging device for breast cancer screening, the scientists recommended against approval no less than three times, but after the third rejection, a senior manager, Donna-Bea Tillman, suddenly approved the device.

Subsequently, over the course of two years, the FDA secretly monitored the personal e-mail of nine whistleblowers within the department of device evaluations, and tried to launch an investigation against them, accusing them of "undermining the integrity and mission of the FDA" and illegal disclosure of trade secrets. Six of the monitored scientists and doctors recently filed a lawsuit against the FDA, charging that the agency violated their constitutional rights to privacy by monitoring lawful activity in personal email accounts, and using that information to harass and ultimately relieve some of them of their positions.

One of the key players in this ongoing drama is Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, who has repeatedly requested action be taken against the employees in question. Shuren is also the official who oversees mercury dental fillings, which they have been fraudulently referring to as 'silver fillings.' Shuren promised to make an announcement about dental amalgam by the end of 2011, but with just minutes left in the work year, the FDA conceded that no announcement was forthcoming, and maybe never will...

The FDA's own doctors and scientists have called for a complete overhaul of the agency due to "deep-rooted systemic corruption at the highest levels." There's no doubt they know what they're talking about. And there's a lot of damning information out there that can, and eventually will, be used to call for a congressional hearing on the mammography cover-up.

Mammograms Often Lead to Unnecessary Treatments

 

In 1974, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was warned by professor Malcolm C. Pike at the University of Southern California School of Medicine that a number of specialists had concluded that "giving a women under age 50 a mammogram on a routine basis is close to unethical."

The warning fell on deaf ears, and the long-held conventional medical advice has been for women to get an annual mammogram once they hit 40. A couple of years ago, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force decided to alter their mammogram recommendation, advising women under the age of 50 to avoid mammograms, and limit them to every other year after the age of 50. The revision caused outrage among many cancer organizations. What was overlooked, however, was the reasoning behind the Task Force's decision to change their recommendation.

The prior advice was given in 2002, before a host of new research came out showing the problems of over diagnosis, including false positives. And as discussed above, it's really hard to justify harming 10 women with surgery and toxic chemotherapy treatment, just to save the life of one woman...

Part of the problem is that cancer diagnosing is not really a cut and dry process. If a mammogram detects an abnormal spot in a woman's breast, the next step is typically a biopsy. This involves removing a small amount of tissue from the breast, which is then looked at by a pathologist under a microscope to determine if cancer is present. However, early stage cancer like ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S., can be very hard to diagnose, and pathologists have a wide range of experience and expertise. There are actually NO diagnostic standards for D.C.I.S., and there are no requirements that the pathologists doing the readings have specialized expertise...

Increase in Breast Cancer Actually Found to be Due to Over-Diagnosis!

 

In other recent news, a Norwegian follow-up study that looked at 14 years of mammography screening in Norway concluded that the increased incidence of breast cancer observed in that period was, again, simply due to over-diagnosis.v  According to the authors:

"In 2004 we wrote in Tidsskriftet that mammography screening resulted in massive over-diagnosis and over-treatment of breast cancer. Our study was criticized because we had only five years of follow-up time and did not take account of the fact that increased use of hormone replacement therapy could lead to more breast cancer.

We have now been screening women for 14 years, and during a period when the use of hormones has fallen by 70 percent.

... The number of new cases of breast cancer in the period increased from around 2,000 to 2,750. About 300 cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) were also diagnosed. Today a total of some 1,050 more women have been diagnosed than before screening started. Our calculations indicate that in the absence of screening, around 800 of these women would never have become breast cancer patients. The figures from 14 years of mammography screening indicate that all increase in the incidence of breast cancer is due to over-diagnosis: findings of tumors that in the absence of screening would never have given rise to clinical illness."

When it Comes to Cancer, Getting Second and Third Opinions is Advisable...

 

Once you delve into the research, you find that the issue of mammography is not as clear-cut as conventional medical wisdom would have you  believe. There are many risks, and according to some studies, these risks will outweigh the potential benefits for many women. And, it appears very clear that more women are harmed by it than are saved...

In the event you do receive a mammogram and a biopsy and are diagnosed with D.C.I.S. or another form of early stage breast cancer, I recommend getting a second, and possibly third and even fourth, opinion. I cannot stress this enough, as the false positive rates are so high, and the diagnostic criteria so subjective. Before you make any decision on treatment, and definitely before you decide to have surgery or chemotherapy, make sure your biopsy results have been reviewed by a breast specialist who is knowledgeable and experienced in the field.

How to Dramatically Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk

 

There are a number of lifestyle changes that can help prevent breast cancer from ever becoming a reality for you. For starters, we cannot discuss breast cancer without mentioning the importance of vitamin D. Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body, is easily one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in nearly every type of human cell, from your bones to your brain. Your liver, kidney and other tissues can convert the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitriol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D.

Your organs then use it to repair damage, including that from cancer cells.

Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis or cancer cell death. When JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, injected a potent form of vitamin D into human breast cancer cells, half of them shriveled up and died within days! vi

The vitamin D worked as well at killing cancer cells as the toxic breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, without any of the detrimental side effects and at a tiny fraction of the cost.

It is my impression that it is criminal malpractice not to recommend vitamin D and aggressively monitor a breast cancer patient's vitamin D level to get it between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I am aware of and has no adverse effects. According to one landmark study, some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide were increased. And that's just counting the death toll for two types of cancer (it actually works against at least 16 different types)!

So please do watch my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to find out what your optimal vitamin D levels should be … and how to get them there. This is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from cancer.

Other Breast Cancer Prevention Musts

 

A healthy diet, regular physical exercise, appropriate sun exposure and an effective way to manage your emotional health are the cornerstones of just about any cancer prevention program, including breast cancer. But for breast cancer, specifically, you can take it a step further by also watching out for excessive iron levels. This is very common once women stop menstruating, and the extra iron works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer. So if you are a post menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. So if it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.

Further, the following lifestyle strategies will help to further lower your risk:

  • Improve Your Insulin Receptor Sensitivity. The best way to do this is to cut as much sugar, fructose and grains as possible from your diet, and make sure you have an optimized exercise program. Please don't make the mistake of focusing on cardio to the exclusion of everything else. You can get some ideas from reviewing my video on exercise. (Although I did not mention stretching and flexibility work, such as yoga, in the video, it is a very important part of your exercise program. It will not affect insulin receptors but it will help prevent you from getting injured and stopping your other exercise.)

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating properly and exercising. It's important to lose excess weight because estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue, may trigger breast cancer.

  • Get plenty of high quality omega-3 fats, such as krill oil [or hemp seed oil – N.I. Editor]. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.

  • Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.

  • Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.

  • Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
  •  
If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.

  • Avoid BPA, phthalates and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk

  • Make sure you're not iodine deficient, as there's compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with breast cancer. Dr. David Brownsteinvii, author of the book Iodine: Why You Need it, Why You Can't Live Without it, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells. For more information, I recommend reading Dr. Brownstein's book. I have been researching iodine for some time ever since I interviewed Dr. Brownstein as I do believe that the bulk of what he states is spot on. However, I am not at all convinced that his dosage recommendations are correct. I believe they are too high. I hope to publish some articles on this later this year with my recommendations.

References:


From Dr Mercola @ http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/15/politics-behind-mammography.aspx & http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/14/the-medical-industrys-most-atrocious-assault-against-women.aspx

For more information about mammography see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/mammograms  


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