Mammograms - Avoid this popular procedureNote from Carolyn:
This is some good information on both the causes and preventions of cancer. Many things your oncologist might tell you are the opposite of the information here.
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- In July 1995, The Lancet wrote about mammogramsiv, saying: "The benefit is marginal, the harm caused is substantial, and the costs incurred are enormous ..."
- A 2009 review of the available research by the esteemed Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviewsv found that while mammography screening was likely to reduce breast cancer mortality, screening also led to a 30 percent rate of overdiagnosis and overtreatment -- which meant that all in all it actually increased the absolute risk by 0.5 percent. This means that forevery 2,000 women screened over a 10 year period, ONE woman will have her life prolonged, while 10 healthy women, who would not have been diagnosed with cancer had they not been screened, will be treated unnecessarily
- A 2010 study reported in the New England Journal of Medicinevi suggests that increased awareness and improved treatments rather than mammograms are the main force in reducing the breast cancer death rate. Mammograms, combined with modern treatment, was found to have reduced the death rate by 10 percent, but the study data indicated that the effect of mammograms alone could be as low as 2 percent or even zero. To put this into further context, a 10 percent reduction would mean that if 1,000 50-year-old women were screened over a 10 year period, 996 women rather than 995.6 would not die from the cancer — an effect so tiny it may have occurred by chance!
- A 2012 Harvard studyvii found that 15-25 percent of breast cancer cases are overdiagnosed, translating to 6 to 10 women being overdiagnosed for every 2,500 women receiving annual mammograms. The researchers concluded that mammograms may not only be inappropriate for breast cancer screening, but may actually contribute to significant overdiagnosis of cancer that otherwise would have remained harmless.
- Avoid Fructoseand Sugar. It's quite clear that if you want to avoid cancer, or are currently undergoing cancer treatment, you absolutely MUST avoid all forms of sugar -- especially fructose -- and this is largely due to its relation to insulin resistance. According to Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are "driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells," Gary Taubes reportsxvii.
As a standard recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day, including fruits. But for most people it would also be wise to limit your fructose from fruit to 15 grams or less, as you're virtually guaranteed to consume "hidden" sources of fructose if you drink beverages other than water and eat any processed food.
- Optimize Vitamin D.There's overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in cancer development. Researchers within this field have estimated that about 30 percent of cancer deaths -- which amounts to 2 million worldwide and 200,000 in the United States -- could be prevented each year simply by optimizing the vitamin D levels in the general population.
On a personal level, you can decrease your risk of cancer by MORE THAN HALF simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure. And if you are being treated for cancer it is likely that higher blood levels—probably around 80-90 ng/ml—would be beneficial.
- Get plenty of natural vitaminA. There is evidence that vitamin A also plays a role in helping prevent breast cancerxviii. It's best to obtain it from vitamin A-rich foods, rather than a supplement. Your best sources are organic egg yolks, raw butter, raw whole milk, and beef or chicken liver. However, beware of supplementing as there's some evidence that excessive vitamin A can negate the benefits of vitamin D. Since appropriate vitamin D levels are crucial for your health in general, not to mention cancer prevention, this means that it's essential to have the proper ratio of vitamin D to vitamin A in your body.
Ideally, you'll want to provide all the vitamin A and vitamin D substrate your body needs in such a way that your body can regulate both systems naturally. This is best done by eating colorful vegetables (for vitamin A) and by exposing your skin to safe amounts sunshine every day (for vitamin D).
- Exercise regularly.If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise doesn't immediately come to mind. However, there is some fairly compelling evidence that exercise can slash your risk of cancer. One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells.
For example, physically active adults experience about half the incidence of colon cancer as their sedentary counterparts, and women who exercise regularly may reduce their breast cancer risk by 20 to 30 percent compared to those who are inactive.
It's important to include a large variety of techniques in your exercise routine, such as strength training, aerobics, core-building activities, and stretching. Most important of all, however, is to make sure you include high-intensity, burst-type exercise, such as Peak Fitness. These exercises activate your super-fast twitch muscle fibers, which can increase your body's natural production of human growth hormone. For detailed instructions, please see this previous article.
- Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil or fish oil and reducing your intake of most processed vegetable oils.
- Get sufficient amounts of iodine.Iodine is an essential trace element required for the synthesis of hormones, and the lack of it can also cause or contribute to the development of a number of health problems, including breast cancer. This is because your breasts absorb and use a lot of iodine, which they need for proper cellular function. Iodine deficiency or insufficiency in any of tissue will lead to dysfunction of that tissue, and tumors are one possibility.
However, there's significant controversy over the appropriate dosage, so you need to use caution here. There's evidence indicating that taking mega-doses, in the tens of milligram range may be counterproductive. One recent study suggests it might not be wise to get more than about 800 mcg of iodine per day, and supplementing with as much as 12-13 mg (12,000-13,000 mcg's) could potentially have some adverse health effectsxix.
- Avoid xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens are synthetic chemicals that mimic natural estrogens. They have been linked to a wide range of human health effects, including reduced sperm counts in men and increased risk of breast cancer in women. There are a large number of xenoestrogens, such as bovine growth hormones in commercial dairy, plastics like bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates and parabens in personal care products, and chemicals used in non-stick materials, just to name a few.
- Avoid unfermented soy products.Unfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.
- Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favorite tool for this purpose, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.
- Only 25 percent of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. Ideally, they should be fresh and organic. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli in particular have been identified as having potent anti-cancer properties. Drinking a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily is an easy way to increase your vegetable intake. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
- Maintain an ideal body weight.
- Get appropriate amounts of high-quality sleep.
- Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners, and air pollution.
- Limit your exposure and provide protection for yourself from EMF produced by cell phone towers, base stations, cell phones and WiFi stations. On May 31, 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), declared that cell phones are "possibly carcinogenic to humans."xx Implement as many safety strategies as possible if/when you cannot avoid their use.
- Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them. Better yet eat as much raw food as you can.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author(s). Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the authors. You are encouraged to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.