Everywhere you look there are reminders of the supposed inevitable decline of our breast health as we age. Pink ribbons for breast cancer, billboards with basketball players in gowns encouraging men to “man up” and have their prostate health evaluated, or “better” yet, NFL football players wearing pink shoes to commemorate breast cancer awareness. Mammograms, dexa scans, colonoscopies, PSA tests, etc. are just a few of the preventative medicine screening tests that modern medicine is promoting to “catch it early when it is most curable”. The plethora of screening tools is promoting the paradigm of “it is not if, but when”. Why? Because “when” puts money in the pockets of those who profit from illness.
Rather than be victimized by the “when”, you can control the influential factors that lead to the development of cancer. You might be thinking, “what about genetics – hasn’t it been proven that genes determine my fate?”. Not necessarily, according to the field of epigenetics, which studies how environment and choices significantly impact the expression of our genetic code. Because of this exciting research, we know that the presence of a gene, which has been associated with a certain type of cancer, does not guarantee the development of cancer!
It is important to emphasize that we are incredibly complicated beings and our health is dependent upon the optimum functioning of many biological systems that are themselves dependent upon complex biochemical and energetic processes – all the while being influenced by outside forces even before we are conceived. Studies have identified risk factors, such as smoking and obesity, that are known to be associated with the development of cancer in some people, but not all. The fact is, researchers do not know why certain people develop cancer and others do not because the process of development and the disease itself is so complex.
With this in mind, it is paramount that we change the absurd paradigm of thinking that having breasts equals breast cancer. Women’s breasts are beautiful because they are part of what defines womanhood in addition to having an incredible ability to produce the perfect sustenance for infant development. One day we will look back in disbelief of our barbaric present day medical practices. Imagine – using breast cancer screening tool that produces radiation, which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer while contributing to the increasing number of misdiagnosis and unnecessary biopsies! Fortunately, the newer digital mammography equipment significantly reduces the level of radiation exposure.
Currently mammography is still the best tool we have for diagnostic breast cancer screening. There are a variety of breast cancer screening tools being developed as well as other tools, such as thermography, which can be used adjunctively for breast cancer screening. Unfortunately, the United States is run by big business so anytime we try a change an established lucrative business, we encounter incredible resistance because it is all about money.
“Breast cancer awareness” is all about the money. Why wasn’t the campaign called “breast cancer prevention”? Almost anyone who attended a medical conference on breast cancer 10 years ago will attest to the following: rather than focusing on how to prevent or cure breast cancer, the majority of discussion was about how to establish breast cancer imaging and screening centers, obtain government subsidies for mammograms and other equipment, and acquire additional specialists and equipment needed to prepare for increased biopsies. Have you noticed how many “breast health centers” have been built in the last 10 years?
Exploitation of breast cancer has become a way of cashing in on a trend. Women who have had or are currently experiencing breast cancer are probably wondering where all of the research dollars have gone since surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and radiation are still the standards of care. All of these treatments have severe adverse side effects and none guarantee survivorship. This is why we must change our emphasis to prevention of breast cancer.
The development of cancer is a culmination of influences, including:
- Belief one will have cancer
- Lack of exercise
- Consumption of processed foods and drinks
- Use of recreational drugs and alcohol
- Exposure to environmental toxins, NSAIDS, antibiotics, anti-fungals, corticosteroids, and synthetic hormones.
Here are a few tips on how to promote healthy breasts – and health in general:
- Get some sunshine or take vitamin D supplementation according to your doctor’s recommendation.
- Exercise at least 4 times per week for at least 1/2 hour (1 hour is best).
- Get adequate sleep.
- Learn stress reduction techniques, such as yoga, meditation, tai chi and being outdoors enjoying nature.
- Take high quality fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids.
- Take curcumin, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anticancer activities. The best way to get curcumin is by eating lots of the herb, turmeric or ask your doctor about absorbable forms of curcumin.
- Avoid xenoestrogens, such as BPA, phthalates and other estrogen-like compounds. Refer to Detoxification & Chelation Therapy and Childbirth Preparation for more information.
- Avoid synthetic hormone use. Talk to Dr. Hamilton about bio-identical hormones if you are experiencing menopausal symptoms.
- Absolutely avoid the following: trans fats, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats, sugar, corn syrup, unfermented soy products, meat from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations and processed foods in general.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day and avoid recreational drugs and cigarette smoke.
- Make the dominant portion of your diet vegetables – the more colorful, the better. One of the best ways to do this is to get juicing and drink organic freshly juiced vegetable juice daily (heavy on the cruciferous veggies!).
- Do self-breast examinations and get to know your beautiful breasts like you know any other part of your beautiful body. Talk to us about special methods of caring for your breasts to keep them healthy.
- Ask to us about iodine. The thyroid gland isn’t the only tissue that uses iodine – breast tissue does, too. In addition, the ovaries hold the second highest concentration of iodine, after the thyroid. Be careful of self-dosing iodine as it can cause thyroid problems if taken in excess. Seaweed (kelp and Kombu) is a concentrated source of dietary iodine.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, there are more stringent guidelines to follow, including dietary supplements that help your body to metabolize estrogens more efficiently and safely. At the Health and Healing Center, you will be shown how to do self-breast examinations correctly and you will be instructed in how to care for your breasts in order to maintain healthy breast tissue.