October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we would like to do our part and encourage all of our clients to be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, including lumps or changes in the skin, talk to your doctor. Educate yourself about mammography and thermography – both are screening tools and Vive! has written about thermography as an important alternative or supplement to mammography. If you would like more information, please consult our article on thermography on our web.
Here are some important breast cancer prevention tips from the Mayo Clinic: (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/womens-health/in-depth/breast-cancer-prevention/art-20044676)
• Limit alcohol to no more than one drink a day.
• Don't smoke.
• Control your weight, particularly after menopause.
• Be physically active.
• Breast-feed as a protective measure.
• Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy, using the lowest dose that works for you.
• Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution.
Other preventative measures that are less well known and still need further research are discussed extensively by Dr. Mercola on his website.
Dr. Mercola makes several suggestions regarding the use of antiperspirants and wearing bras. The active ingredient in antiperspirants is aluminum and there is concern as to how much is absorbed by the body, particularly when applied so close to the breasts. Aluminum is a poisonous metal and a known carcinogen. As a safe alternative, look for a deodorant that is aluminum free.
Tight fitting bras can cut off lymph drainage, contributing to breast cancer risk. In addition, the metallic wires in underwire bras can decrease the functioning of neurolymphatic reflex points. Having metal constantly stimulating a given energy channel in the body can overstimulate and also act as an antenna attracting electromagnetic fields. In fact, in a study cited by Dr. Mercola, women who do not wear bras have a lower risk of breast cancer. The authors studied over 4,000 women and found a link between hours of wearing a bra with higher cancer development. There may also be an association between tight fitting bras or undergarments and lower melatonin levels. Melatonin is an important cancer preventing hormone.
Dr. Mercola makes a strong argument against routine mammograms and quotes research to support this. He cites how the radiation in a mammogram may actually contribute to breast cancer. He references the false positive rate, invasive follow up procedures (like biopsies, surgery, and chemotherapy) as further evidence against mammograms. He mentions that the close ties between the mammogram “industry" and the American Cancer Society promote the interest of companies that benefit from routine mammograms (those who produce the machines and film). He recommends breast cancer screening through careful examination of the breast. He also is an advocate for prevention. Some suggestions he makes in addition to healthy diet and exercise are:
• Radically reduce your sugar intake as it can speed up cancer growth.
• Optimize your vitamin D level through safe sun exposure and oral vitamin D3.
• Maintain a healthy body weight.
• Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. 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.
• Watch out for excessive iron levels.