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Prevent and Treat Breast Cancer Naturally

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Early diagnosis is essential to acquiring fast and appropriate treatment for breast cancer, but it does not prevent </EM><PREVENT>breast cancer.

Early diagnosis is essential to acquiring fast and appropriate treatment for breast cancer, but it does not prevent breast cancer.

The three strategies described here will help us avoid potential breast-cancer-causing agents in our environment, and provide information that will help us make protective dietary and lifestyle choices.

Prevention Strategy #1: Avoid Toxic Environmental Agents

In his book, The Breast Cancer Prevention Program (Hungry Minds, Inc., 1997), Samuel Epstein, MD, provides scientifically documented information on the environmental factors that increase our risk of breast cancer.

The Dirty Dozen Risk Factors

  1. Estrogen alone or estrogen combined with progestins, in high doses with prolonged use, is a known cancer-causing agent. Avoid synthetic forms of hormones and use herbal alternatives to treat menopausal symptoms. If you must use hormones, use natural bio-identical forms in low doses for a short duration.
  2. Prolonged oral contraceptive use in young women is another known risk factor, albeit a controversial one. “Look for alternatives like a natural fertility monitor that determines your fertility cycle and advises you when you can become pregnant (see hormonehelp.com).”
  3. Premenopausal mammography with early and repeated exposure is a contested breast cancer risk factor, but we know that repeated X-rays promote DNA damage in breast tissue, and breast compression from the mammography plates has been found to create breast trauma. Breast thermography and MRI are safe alternatives.
  4. Prescription drugs, such as some antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering, and antihypertensive medications, have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. Cholesterol-lowering medications called “statins” deplete the body of coenzyme Q10, a breast protective nutrient.
  5. Avoid silicone gel breast implants, especially those wrapped in polyurethane foam. Breast tissue trauma also occurs during implantation. Learn to love your breasts the way they are.
  6. Diets high in animal fat that are contaminated with xenohormones (hormones that act like estrogen in our body) increase our toxic load and breast cancer risk. Women who consume predominantly vegetable-based diets have lower rates of breast cancer.
  7. Reduce your exposure in the workplace and home to chemicals or pollution from chemical plants and waste sites.
  8. Cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, make-up, hair dyes, nail polish and deodorant can contain many toxic substances including xenohormones. In January 2004, a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology found that parabens, a preservative used in thousands of cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and deodorants, were found in 18 of 20 breast tumours tested. Another study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention found that women who used antiperspirants or deodorants and shaved frequently and who began these habits before 16 were diagnosed with breast cancer up to 22 years earlier than women who rarely shaved or used underarm products. Visit your health food store for natural nontoxic products.
  9. Alcohol use with early or excessive use has been a known risk factor for years. Limit alcoholic beverages.
  10. Smoking: quit or don’t start.
  11. Lack of exercise is a risk factor: exercising for 30 minutes three times a week can reduce your risk dramatically.
  12. Dark hair dyes with early or prolonged use increases our risk because they contain phenylene diamine, a known cancer-causing agent. Use natural hair dye found at your health food store, go blonde, or go natural!

Prevention Strategy #2: Eat Protective Foods

Poor diet plays a role in 35 percent of breast cancer cases, so insist on organic fruits and vegetables to reduce your exposure to xenoestrogens (toxic estrogens found in pesticide-laden foods). Choose free range, organic meat and dairy products.

Eat plenty of organic vegetables, especially those from the cruciferous family: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Reduce your intake of sugar as it suppresses the immune system. Ensure that the fats you eat are those that are rich in essential fatty acids. Researchers at the University of Toronto believe that daily consumption of the lignans in flax seeds, which you can grind and sprinkle on your cereal everyday, prevent breast cancer. Alpha-linolenic acid from flax-seed oil has also been shown to have a breast cancer protective effect.

Prevention Strategy #3: Take Protective Nutritional Supplements

I assume that every woman is taking a daily multivitamin with minerals, so I have not included selenium, zinc, and the vitamins A, C, and E in the nutrients mentioned below.

Indole-3-carbinol (I3C): an anticancer plant nutrient found in cruciferous vegetables. Research has shown that I3C helps to breakdown cancer-causing estrogens to nontoxic forms. I3C is the most heavily researched nutrient shown to inhibit breast cancer tumours. We should call this ‘The Breast Cancer Prevention Nutrient’; the dosage is 150 milligrams per day for prevention.

Calcium D-glucarate: a powerful detoxifier of excess and toxic estrogens from the liver. D-glucarate is very important as it ensures that toxins are excreted and not released elsewhere in the body. If you think of toxins as being wrapped up and packaged for removal from the body, then D-glucarate ensures that somewhere along the way the package does not open and the toxic contents spill out. It is most often used in combination with I3C. The dosage is 150 mg per day.

Green tea extract: contains polyphenols, catechins, and flavonoids shown to be protective against estrogen-dominant breast cancers. Research used the standardized extracts at a dosage of 100 mg per day; take this along with your cup of green tea.

Curcumin: is the yellow pigment of turmeric. Research using it in capsules found it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and works to inhibit all steps of cancer formation: initiation, promotion, and progression. Take 50 mg per day to protect your breasts, and eat curried foods.

Milk thistle: enhances detoxification from the liver, where our hormones are processed and packaged. Take 50 mg per day.

Rosemary extract: is a potent antioxidant, inhibits breast cancer development and helps to detoxify carcinogenic estrogens. Take five mg per day and add the herb to your food.

Lycopene: was recently shown to reduce a women’s risk of breast cancer by 36 per cent when the women in the study took 6.5 mg per day.

Sulfurophane: from broccoli sprout extract, has been shown to stimulate the body’s production of detoxification enzymes that eliminate xenoestrogens. Recent research points to this nutrient as a powerful anti-breast cancer agent. A modified sulfurophane is slated to be the next hot cancer drug. Eat cruciferous vegetables or take 100 mcg per day in capsule form.

Omega-3 fats from fish oil: improve the fatty acid composition of women’s breast tissue when taken in three grams-per-day doses, lowering breast cancer risk.

These three strategies will empower us to take care of our health and make lifestyle changes to help reduce our risk of breast cancer.

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