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Health news:
 
June 2010 - Dec 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

May 2010

Time to move beyond salt ?

Salt hypothesis vs. reality

Is sodium bad?

April 2010

Salt studies: the latest score

From Dahl to INTERSALT

Salt hypothesis' story

March 2010

Salt war

Do bone drugs work?

Diabetes vs. drugs, 3:0

February 2010

The MMR vaccine war: Wakefield vs. ?

Wakefield proceedings: an exception?

Who's afraid of a littl' 1998 study?
 

January 2010

Antibiotic children

Physical activity benefits late-life health

Healthier life for New Year's resolution

 

December 2009

Autism epidemic worsening: CDC report

Rosuvastatin indication broadened

High-protein diet effects

 

November 2009

Folic acid cancer risk

Folic acid studies: message in a bottle?

Sweet, short life on a sugary diet

 

October 2009

Smoking health hazards: no dose-response

C. difficile warning

Asthma risk and waist size in women

 

September 2009

Antioxidants' melanoma risk: 4-fold or none?

Murky waters of vitamin D status

Is vitamin D deficiency hurting you?

 

August 2009

Pill-crushing children

New gut test for children and adults

Unhealthy habits - whistling past the graveyard?

 

July 2009

Asthma solution - between two opposites that don't attract

Light wave therapy - how does it actually work?

Hodgkin's lymphoma in children: better alternatives

 

June 2009

Hodgkin's, kids, and the abuse of power

Efficacy and safety of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's:
behind the hype

Long-term mortality and morbidity after conventional treatments for pediatric Hodgkin's

 

May 2009

Late health effects of the toxicity of the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel's true 5-year chances with the conventional treatment for Hodgkin's

Daniel Hauser Hodgkin's case: child protection or medical oppression?

April 2009

Protection from EMF: you're on your own

EMF pollution battle: same old...

EMF health threat and the politics of status quo
 

March 2009

Electromagnetic danger? No such thing, in our view...

EMF safety standards: are they safe?

Power-frequency field exposure
 

February 2009

Electricity and health

Electromagnetic spectrum: health connection

Is power pollution making you sick?

January 2009

Pneumococcal vaccine for adults useless?

DHA in brain development study - why not boys?

HRT shrinks brains

NEWS ARCHIVE
2009
2008
2007

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June 2010 - December 2013

Minimizing breast cancer risk

No pills, but much sense

2 good choices to prevent breast cancer

I - BREAST CANCER
 RISK FACTORS
  

II - SCREENING X-RAY MAMMOGRAPHY

III - ALTERNATIVE TESTS

The biggest risk factor
Risk factors overview
Times change

END OF A MYTH
The whistle
Contra-argument
Last decade
Current picture

 OTHER  X-RAY TESTS
Digital standard
Tomosynthesis
Breast CT

Predisposing factors
Diet       Other

BENEFIT
Earlier diagnosis
Fewer breast cancer deaths

Gamma-ray tests
BSGI/MBI 
PEM

INITIATING  FACTORS
Radiation
Chemicals
Viruses

RISK  &  HARM

OTHER  TESTS
Breast MRI
Ultrasound
Thermography
AMAS test

INACCURACY RISKS False negative
False positive

Overdiagnosis
PROMOTING  FACTORS
Hormonal

Non-hormonal

RADIATION

Radiation primer
Screen exposure
Radiation risk
PHYSICAL EXAM
Clinical
Self-exam

Higher all-cause mortality?

Minimizing breast cancer risk

Is there a viable alternative for minimizing breast cancer risk to popping up pills like Tamoxifen, Raloxifene or alike, that "should" help, but can also make it worse? There sure is. Very simply and obvious, it is a step toward

eliminating or minimizing all known risk factors.

And there is two distinct kinds: those that originate externally, and other that are internal body weaknesses, capable of many times magnifying the risk for given exposure to the external factors. For that reason, no risk factor, no matter how low it may be statistically (i.e. for the "average women") should be neglected.

Some of them can be eliminated, some reduced to a degree, often significantly, and some - like genetic predispositions - can be influenced little, or not at all. Still, being aware of even those risk factors that can't be changed is equally important, necessary to grasp the extent of your individual risk, and act accordingly.

Table bellow summarizes breast cancer risk (BC) factors based on their overview earlier. It certainly isn't complete, but it is certainly a good place to start. Most of these risk factors can be reduced, minimized or eliminated. "Some" implies that the risk can be reduced by some women, but not all. "Yes" implies that it can be reduced or eliminated by all, although the degree to which it can be done may vary significantly from one women to another.

No attempt was made to list factors in order of their importance, since breast cancer always results from the combined effect of a multitude of factors, and it all varies individually. It is safe to say that ionizing radiation and/or chemical carcinogens are what initiates most breast cancers, and that hormonal factors - in particular ovarian hormones - are probably its most potent promoting factors. But a number of other factors - such as dietary, having a major impact of how efficient are body functions - is always important as well.
 

BREAST CANCER RISK FACTOR EFFECT CAN IT BE
INFLUENCED?
AGE predisposing NO
ADVERSE GENETIC INHERITANCE predisposing/
promoting
NO
 A

Diet/
nutrition

NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCY OR IMBALANCE ^ YES
HIGH-CALORIC DIET ^ YES
HIGH-SUGAR DIET ^ YES
ELEVATED INSULIN/IGF ^ YES
 B

Lifestyle

REGULAR ALCOHOL INTAKE ^ YES
SMOKING ^ YES
OVERWEIGHT/OBESITY (BMI) ^ YES
WEIGHT GAIN ^ YES
UNDERWEIGHT ^ SOME
WEARING BRA ^ YES
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY ^ YES
CHRONIC STRESS ^ YES
NEGATIVE SELF-IMAGE ^ YES
LOW MELATONIN ^ YES
 C

Body
defense
 

COMPROMISED DETOXICATION predisposing/
promoting
YES
COMPROMISED IMMUNITY ^ YES
 D

Carcinogens

IONIZING RADIATION initiating BC SOME
CHEMICAL CARCINOGENS ^ SOME
VIRAL INFECTIONS ^ SOME
 E

Hormones
 

Early menarche promoting NO
Late first childbirth ^ SOME
Low/no childbirths ^ SOME
Low/no breastfeeding ^ SOME
Late menopause ^ NO
Exogenous estrogens ^ YES
Height (frame size) ^ NO
Hormonal treatments ^ YES
INADEQUATE CHECK-UPS promoting YES

How to go about minimizing these risk factors? Much of it is a part of healthy lifestyle, but there are certainly other aspects that can be addressed. Glance at the above list of risk factors tells that only a few of them cannot be influenced. Several may be modifiable only by some women, not others, but majority of them can be minimized by all women. And that is, at present, the best bet against breast cancer.

 A ________MINIMIZE DIET/NUTRITION-RELATED RISKS________

It is all but certain that diet and the directly related nutritional status are important factors at all stages: before cancer initiation, during differentiation and during its possible growth. Never mind the negative results that incompetent studies are coming up with. The body needs nutrients in order to function properly. Poor diet will not only deprive it from needed nutrients - either by inducing plain deficiency, or gross imbalances - but will also burden it with toxic and inhibitory compounds inflicting more damage to the already weakened body. 

High-caloric diet (not necessarily resulting in overweight or obesity) during childhood and adolescence stimulates growth hormones, hence cellular proliferation. Hormonal production and activity, in general, remains higher in the adulthood, increasing cancer risk. However, as already mentioned, it is not realistic to expect that this risk factor can be significantly influenced, although some reasonable diet modifications during childhood and adolescence in this respect could have a risk-reducing effect.

High-sugar diet increases cancer risk through multiple mechanisms: depletion of nutrients, immune system suppression, elevating inflammatory prostaglandins, elevating glucose/insulin levels, and changing cellular environment toward cancer-promoting high-glucose acidic one.

Elevated insulin - with or without diabetic condition - promotes cell proliferation. It can be caused not only by excessive consumption of high-glycemic-index foods, but also by other factors, such as overweight/obesity, physical inactivity, poor overall diet or smoking.

Identifying and minimizing/eliminating these major offending diet-related factors is the easy part. It is more, or much more involved to make the final step and find out what type of diet is optimal for given individual, at a given point in time. But it is worth the time and effort.

 B ________MINIMIZE LIFESTYLE-RELATED RISKS________

There is a variety of known lifestyle-related breast cancer risks, and nearly all can be minimized or eliminated: regular alcohol consumption, smoking, overweight/obesity, weight gain (statistically, postmenopausal), underweight, wearing bra habitually, physical inactivity, chronic stress or psychological trauma, negative self-image, low melatonin... 

As already mentioned, more than once, most of these factors are both, predisposing for, and promoting breast cancer by weakening body's regulatory, regenerative and protective functions.

Underweight may be indicative of a correctable metabolic disorder, or the consequence of self-imposed longer-term caloric restriction. In either case it can be corrected. However, if it is due to a metabolic disorder caused by genetic aberration, chances are, there is little that can be done about it.

 C ________DETOXIFY AND STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY _________

Just by minimizing diet- and lifestyle-related risks much is done to promote proper function of the detox and immune systems. General detox routines will help the body get rid of accumulated toxins, and specialized routines to free it of hard to eliminate toxins, like heavy metals. For the efficient immune system, proper intestinal function is critical, as well as the absence of hidden internal infections, particularly tooth-related. And so is creating an oasis of stress-free, positive-thinking environment (these days, a few can succeed in leaving in such environment all the time).

 D ________MINIMIZE EXPOSURE TO CARCINOGENS_________

Ionizing radiation can initiate nearly any cancer, and it is well documented that the average female exposure to it - primarily from medical imaging procedures, but also from radiation treatments - is high enough, according to the accepted international cancer hazard standards, to be probably the leading causative breast cancer factor. That considered, it is nothing short of scandalous that it is effectively brushed aside and concealed as such.

Since exposure to medical radiation for many a woman started in early years - for some already in mother's womb - most of the damage for the majority of women is already done. More so knowing that early exposures - particularly before the age of 20 - are the riskiest. Still, minimizing the adult-life exposure can be meaningful, especially if it is relatively high.

More importantly, parents can significantly reduce their children's exposure to medical radiation by informed, judicious use of medical services.

Toxic chemicals - including carcinogens - are in our air, water, food, building materials, personal care and household products, toys, medications... everywhere. Those that are known carcinogens are relatively few, but there is certainly more chemical carcinogens than what we know. Even those that are not directly initiating cancer, can promote its growth by inhibiting protective body mechanisms, or simply by compromising its vital functions.

Clearly, use of good water filter, air filtration, and adhering to chemical and chemical-additives-free foods will take many of these chemical threats out. It could make a difference between having your detox system clogged and overwhelmed, unable to neutralize potentially carcinogenic toxins, and havinig it taken care of them. Not being able to detoxify is only the first step in the downward spiral, because a body with toxic overload will be compromised - hence vulnerable - in many ways.

Viral carcinogens - this one is not easy. For one, among the potential viral carcinogens implicated in breast cancer are the endogenous HERV families, which are integrated in our genome for millions of years. Some others, like Epstein-Barr or human papilloma virus, are easily transmitted hence infecting nearly entire human population. Once infected, it is only matter of luck, whether the virus will be harmless in the particular individual environment, or harmful. Still, something can be done to minimize the risk of getting infected, from maintaining personal and household cleanliness to modifying favorably close and physical - including sexual - contacts with other persons.

More details about reducing the risk of viral infection can be found on the above link, listing the viruses associated with breast cancer with basic information, including the common ways of their transmission to, or among humans.

 E ______MINIMIZE EXPOSURE TO FEMALE HORMONES________

Female hormones are probably the best known breast cancer factor, although not all sources of exposure are being paid equal attention to. In the spotlight are hormones that are part of woman's reproductive cycle - particularly estrogens - while woman's growth hormones get less, and those acquired from environment the least amount of attention.

It is well known that all factors elevating lifetime exposure to endogenous estrogens - early menarche, late first childbirth, late or no childbirths, little or no breastfeeding, and late menopause - significantly increase breast cancer risk. Childbirths and breastfeeding are, at least to some extent, two factors that can be positively influenced by most young women.

What adds to the exposure to female hormones - possibly significantly - is exposure to exogenous estrogens. Those are substances that enter the body from the environment, with the chemical structure enabling them to mimic estrogens. They include pesticides, plasticizers, hormonal therapies and estrogenic plant substances (phytoestrogens). They are many channels of exposure here, and most of them can be minimized or eliminated.

Hormonal medical treatments and birth control pills are on the list of risk factors.

Body height as a risk factor is a consequence of the activity of growth hormones. In turn, there is a definite positive association between it and the volume - caloric and overall - of food intake during childhood and early adolescence. While limiting food intake would likely reduce the activity of growth hormones and delay the onset of menarche, it is not what many a parent would opt for.

SCREEN FOR BREAST CANCER ADEQUATELY AND SAFELY

By delaying therapeutic action, neglecting checkups effectively promotes breast cancer growth. While it may not matter much whether it is detected at the earliest possible stage, or just early enough, once it spreads pest a certain point - and definitely past stage 2 - it is much harder to treat successfully.

It is not questionable that women need to do regular checkups after the fourth decade of life (or before, if at higher than average risk). Things get really complicated when we come to the subject of how these checkups should be done.

For the past few decades, there was little hesitation as to which test is the best for breast cancer screening. The near unanimous choice for both, medical profession and women, was X-ray mammography. This despite the fact that, since the very beginning, serious objections have been raised by qualified and/or well informed individuals with respect to both, its safety and efficacy. But the critics, as well as all "unfit" evidence, were effectively sidelined.

For a while, near everyone believed that mammography is the next best thing to the sliced bread when it comes to early breast cancer detection, saving many a life, while doing little or no harm.

Good old times... or were they? Within the past decade, more evidence emerged questioning reliability of the trials supporting the view that public mammography screenings are significantly reducing breast cancer mortality.

At the same time, the harms and negatives of such screenings are in the process of changing from "very low" and "negligible" to unacceptable.

These two tendencies have brought mammography screening to the point where its benefits are uncertain, and minimal at best, while its risks and negatives are, all of a sudden, both

certain and significant.

This turnaround in presenting the facts about mammography screening was accelerated by the commercial interest, sensing a huge market opening and, attempting to sell their alternative screening techniques (still generally ionizing-radiation-based), and beginning to expose what is not so good - or not good at all - about standard mammography.

It started, quite inconspicuously, with the introduction of digital mammography, but took a fool swing with the emerging new testing techniques such as dedicated breast CT, and breast tomosynthesis. Although the proponents of new testing techniques were careful not to pronounce mammography unsuitable and obsolete - they know very well what they are up against - it is becoming increasingly and irreversibly dethroned as the best alternative in the very field that was giving to it the fiercest support - medical radiology.

At the same time, unfavorable findings about its benefit-to-harm ratio kept coming in from the research arena.

Even the mammography conglomerate - the industry, official medicine, particularly radiology, government, which are all partners in the mammography screening scheme, and even want-to-believe women and their organizations - as powerful as it is, wasn't able to prevent this.

Now we don't have anymore what we only thought we had - the shiny mammography myth - and that is good. From now on, more and more women will be looking for the alternatives. Other tests for breast cancer detection do exist and, as with our health care system in general, the main reason why they are not more advanced, or why their use is not more widespread, is the decades long untouchable mythical status of X-ray mammography.

It is all changing now.

Business, political or professional-preference aspects of it are, of course, irrelevant to those in need of best testing procedure, or procedures, for breast cancer detection. While the newest X-ray test like breast CT or breast tomography, are in most aspects somewhat better than conventional (film or digital) mammography, it is not by very much, and they still carry the risk of radiation. Safer - and at least as efficient - is ultrasound test, which can be combined with judicious use of thermography and AMAS test. And, of course, at your disposal is still the good old physical breast exam, either clinical or self exam, which were undeservedly labeled as "useless but harmful" in the attempt to salvage the sinking ship of the X-ray screening mammography.

Conclusion

Looking at this really incredibly complex list of breast cancer factors, is it realistic to expect that a single pill, be it tamoxifen  or raloxifene, can effectively neutralize all these, and other, some still unknown, breast cancer risk factors? That is a good question. Common sense suggests that even those who opt for the pill, still need to take all other precautionary measures. Those other measures, combined, could easily have more of a protective effect than the pill. And unlike the pill, they could only benefit, not hurt, and would have wider health promoting and protective effect.

The more of these protective choices you follow, the better. But if for any reason you can only follow two or three, by all means, do it. There seems to be sufficient evidence indicating that the relative effectiveness of healthy lifestyle habits in reducing the incidence of degenerative diseases is the greatest with only one or two of them exercised. As an illustration, if the benefit of sticking to 10 major healthy lifestyle habits is 100%, following only one of them will reward you with

significantly more than 10% of the total benefit,

respectively.

Adding more healthy habits keeps increasing the overall protective gain, but at a slower rate. Hence, it is better strategy to exercise only a few, but thoroughly, than to try to pile up as many healthy habits as possible at a price of not been able to do it properly.

Of course, breast cancer risk can be only minimized, not eliminated. Consequently, regularly testing for breast cancer presence has to be one of those protective habits. The purpose of it, obviously, is not to prevent the cancer from developing, rather to

find out it's there while it is in its early stage,

easier or much easier to treat, with generally less invasive treatments.

*  *  *

A simple DO and DON'T list for minimizing breast cancer risk, as well as the risk from other degenerative diseases, could look like this:

DON'T

consume alcohol regularly or in excess

smoke

wear bra habitually

undergo longer-term hormonal medical treatments interfering with your body's ovarian hormone production

expose yourself to unnecessary radiation treatments and diagnostics, especially before age 20

sleep in lighted room at night habitually
(inhibits melatonin production)

gain excess weight, especially after menopause

DO
eat balanced diet of mainly unprocessed, nutrient-rich, chemicals-free foods
(it will also come long way to prevent caloric excess)

drink filtered/alkalized water

maintain low toxic exposure in your living environment,
including exposure to estrogen mimics

maintain healthy level of physical activity

maintain healthy teeth and intestinal tract

keep your stress level low and think positively

find purpose in life through love and work

screen regularly and safely for breast cancer

if possible, test for possible genetic vulnerability
(if underweight, for ATM gene mutation and IGF levels)

if possible, test for viral infections
(effective vaccine for HPV is already available)

 

Of course, this list does not pretend to be all-inclusive; just to give an outline incorporating some of the most important factors.

In the end, it is not so much sticking to the list of do-s and don't-s, as it is having the big picture: your best bet for staying breast cancer free - or to recover from it - is to put good foods into healthy intestines, get rid of toxins poisoning your body, and make sure your immunity is strong. Of course, that includes minimizing your toxic exposure, just as you want to minimize your exposure to pathogens. Have a regular exercise, and be a happy camper - think positive and focus on the bright side of life. Live healthy - live smart. Your body will take care of the rest - trust it.

That is the best breast cancer prevention treatment you'll ever get.

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