Lorna Vanderhaeghe, BSc
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
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.