Thursday, September 18, 2014

Breast Health NOW!  
While breast cancer is a growing problem (a woman’s risk has jumped from 1 in 20 in the 1960’s to 1 in 8 today), knowledge is power to significantly reduce the risk! 

Established risk factors for breast cancer have been established by the medical authorities but it is estimated that less than 50% of breast cancer cases can be accounted for by these risk factors! 

The medical profession’s approach regarding breast cancer in the United States has not been focused primarily on the issue of causation but has rather focused on the best means of early detection. A leading medical entity in Colorado has notices in their X-ray department stating: ‘Remember, early detection is the best protection.’ But is this really true? 

While vitally important, early detection of breast disease is known as ‘secondary prevention.’ Primary prevention is true prevention and requires knowledge of the underlying causes of breast cancer which can be addressed prior to early detection if women are properly informed.

Genetic factors regarding breast cancer, including family history and genetic markers, are important to consider regarding predisposition and inherited tendencies. Some studies indicate that only 5 percent of breast cancers are linked to inherited genes, like BRCA1 and BRCA2. If this is true, then potentially 95 percent of breast cancers may be associated with ‘epi-genetic’ (beyond genetic) risk factors which are much more under our control!

It is important for women to consider the findings of this new science of epigenetics which is confirming that the choices we make can affect ‘gene expression’; this means that nutritional, environmental and psychological factors (belief systems and emotional states) have influence on turning genes ‘on and off’ and thus the impact of our genetic inheritance is not set in stone.

The ‘wellness revolution’ and integrative medicine have created new views of breast cancer causation:
  • Environmental toxins including those that biologically mimic estrogen (xeno-estrogens)
  • Over-consumption of drugs and synthetic hormones, including hormones in food 
  • Nutritional deficiency, unhealthy fats, being overweight and the ‘metabolic syndrome’
  • Gastro-intestinal dysfunction
  • ‘Sub-clinical’ infection, including gum disease and the role of chronic inflammation
  • Stress
Personal dietary habits, stress and environmental impact can overwhelm our natural defenses which generate ‘symptoms’. The word symptom is a Greek word which means ‘signal’ and is literally the way the body communicates that it is in need of corrective action. Addressing the cause of symptoms early on, perhaps years or even decades before diagnosis of a serious condition, can often lead to the avoidance of needless human suffering.

The good news, therefore, is that there’s a lot that women can do proactively to promote their breast health and reduce the risk of serious disease!

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