Preventing breast cancer is not about pink ribbons!
Every October we are accosted by pink ribbons, pink buckets of Kentucky Fried Chicken, pink M & M’s and more! We are urged to get “our mammograms.” But preventing breast cancer is not about pink ribbons. and mammograms. No one ever brings up prevention! A healthy diet & lifestyle IS primary prevention; regardless of your genetics. It is NOT as though all you can do is is get your breasts irradiated (with cancer-causing radiation) to find out if you have cancer and them get them lopped off!
I know that last sentence may come off as vulgar & radical but ladies, there is much you CAN do! And maybe the shock of a ‘respectable doctor’ talking about it this way will wake up some folks! I can only hope!
So, How do you prevent cancer and cause it at the same time???
You can’t. The facts are clear: a high-fat diet, like the Standard American Diet, is a Class 1 (Proven), Cancer-causing agent. And the radiation in a mammogram (especially a 3D digital one) is also a contributor to breast cancer.
But no one talks about ANY strategies to PREVENT BREAST CANCER; it’s all just about “early detection.”
Let’s look at what the Medical-Industrial Complex calls ‘prevention:’
Some facts about mammography:
A Canadian study of 44,910 women ages 40-59 who had routine mammography found that 22% of breast cancers (106 of 484 positives) were over-diagnosed. This means 106 women were subjected to surgery and some to chemo and/or radiation who DID NOT HAVE INVASIVE CANCER!
Cancer Research UK and the Department of Health (England) published findings that said in part, “. . . to prevent 1 death, about 250 women need to be screened and 11-19% OVER-DIAGNOSED.”
The UK department detailed, in the above-cited document, that if 10,000 women were invited for screening, 681 cases would be diagnosed, of which 129 would represent over-diagnosis (almost 1 in 5 cases!).
A study in the Netherlands estimated that screening decreased the death rate by 1-2% while increasing over-diagnosis by 32%!
Part of the problem with ‘over-diagnosis’ is that women don’t know they were (are) part of this statistic.
Let me explain: Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common form of ‘breast cancer’ diagnosed by mammography.
Autopsy studies show large numbers of women die WITH DCIS but don’t die OF it. DCIS is, by definition, not invasive. It plays no role in causing death according to at least 14 separate studies. Some in the medical community feel that DCIS shouldn’t even be considered ‘cancer.’
Increasing Cancer Detection Rates at what price?
Now here’s the real kicker: when mammography was instituted as a regular screening procedure, the rate of diagnosis of breast cancer in the United States went from 1:9.5 to 1:8. This represents thousands of more diagnosed yearly. However, the rate of breast cancer DEATHS has not decreased! So, we are diagnosing more, we are treating more but we are not saving more lives! This, by definition, means we are needlessly screening, diagnosing and treating more women (who have non-invasive conditions).
Did the TEST Find the Cancer?
Now, I understand there are women out there that feel their life was saved by a mammogram and that could be true. Many (perhaps most) of those are cases were cases where the woman found the lump herself and the mammogram confirmed it. Cases of invasive cancers found first by mammography are extremely rare. And, as mentioned previously, the most common kind of cancer found by mammography is DCIS.
What happens during a mammogram & the potential harm
Now, let’s look at the mammography procedure. The breast tissue is smashed and squished between 2 plates of inflexible material; a physical action that CAN disrupt the tissue enough to cause bleeding under the skin (bruising) and then the breast is exposed to ionizing radiation (which can cause mutation).
The nature of bruising is such that it stimulates white blood cells to flow into the area which stimulates increased circulation to the area. Pressure can also disrupt the capsule the body forms to wall off a cancer mass. So, now, in someone with DCIS, you have damaged the (formerly contained) cancer mass and increased the circulation in the are making it more likely that those cancer cells can be spread.
Then you’ve applied ionizing radiation to the area; potentially stimulating the growth of the cancer cells! So, if the mass was DCIS you have just injured it enough that the cells could be picked up & spread by the circulation to distant body sites. This is something that typically wouldn’t happen with DCIS! And if the cancer is a more invasive form, you have also stimulated possible spread.
A Suspicious Result: What’s Next?
Then, if the mammogram comes back suspicious, a needle biopsy is used to extract cells. The process of puncturing the mass and extracting cells can, again, cause cancer to spread. Then, if you do surgery, the same thing again! (Now I’m not telling you “don’t do any of this.” I’m admonishing you to be aware of what you’re doing and weigh the potential risks and benefits.)
Can You Do Something Else?
For those that feel they MUST have a procedure for “early detection,” an option is to educate yourself about thermography, which is non-diagnostic but capable of showing inflammation and see if that makes sense to you. Alternatively, you could adopt a healthier lifestyle and understand that there are no guarantees in life.
What About Prevention?
Now that you know all that, how about taking concrete steps to prevent breast cancer in the first place?
First: the absolute best primary prevention comes from diet & lifestyle. A low-fat, plant-centered diet and regular exercise will do more to prevent cancer than any other tool regardless of genetics!
My colleagues at Wellness Forum Health and The Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine have teamed up to put forth a 4-point pledge that WILL diminish the likelihood that you’ll get breast cancer. These 4 actions (choosing more whole plant foods, exercising regularly, limiting alcohol intake and maintaining a healthy weight) have all been positively correlated with decreasing the rate of ALL cancers.) So, sign the attached form & send it back to me & I can get you a gift certificate for $100 off a course through Wellness Forum Health. Their science-based approach will teach you to be pro-active and make choices that will result in better outcomes and longer life.
Disclaimer: The information about the diagnostic procedure in this article is intended to educate and inform only. It does not represent recommendations.