According to the site www.breastcancer.org, one out of every eight women will develop breast cancer, which is an astounding number when you think about it. And even though the rates of deaths from breast cancer do seem to be decreasing, according to the same website, about 41,170 were expected to last year, which is still a high number.
What’s especially sad is that many of these cases of breast cancer can be prevented. So while the incidence of breast cancer might be decreasing due to numerous factors, the truth is that most women can be doing more to greatly improve their chances of not getting this disease. What I’m going to do here is list five different things women can do that will almost eliminate the chance of them getting breast cancer, or men for that matter, since some men do develop breast cancer as well. In any case, following all of these five tips will tremendously improve the chances that you will avoid developing this horrible disease:
Breast Cancer Avoidance Tip #1: Make sure your vitamin D levels are adequate. I’ve spoken in great detail about getting adequate Vitamin D on previous blog posts, and so I’m not going to go into great detail about the benefits of Vitamin D here. Besides reading my past blog posts, you can find a ton of information on Vitamin D by visiting the website www.vitamindcouncil.org. This website, along with others, provides numerous resources that show the correlation between decreased Vitamin D levels and increased breast cancer rates, and here is one such study that was taken from this website:
“In the 1990s, a group of scientists from the University of California at San Diego provided the first look at how many women may be dying needlessly from breast cancer due to low vitamin D blood levels. The researchers measured the amount of sunlight available to the women at the latitude where they lived and combined that with the frequency of cloudy weather, as sunny climates are associated with higher vitamin D levels. They found that women in the sunniest regions of the United States were about half as likely to die from breast cancer as were women who lived in less sunny regions. When the same researchers looked at the USSR before the country dissolved, they found that women who lived in the sunniest regions were three times less likely to develop breast cancer than were the women who lived in regions without as much sun.”
Once again, this is only one example of the many studies out there that shows howVitamin D deficiency can potentially lead to the development of breast cancer. The good news is that getting your Vitamin D levels up to sufficient levels isn’t too difficult, as this can be achieved through getting adequate sun exposure, although if you’re extremely deficient then you will probably need to take Vitamin D3 supplements. I recommend that everyone who is unsure as to whether they have sufficient Vitamin D levels receive a blood test to check their levels.
Breast Cancer Avoidance Tip #2: Make sure you have sufficient iodine levels. Just as is the case with Vitamin D, I have also written posts and articles on the benefits of iodine. Just as is the case with the thyroid gland, the breast tissue also need iodine to function properly. According to the book “Iodine, Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It”, Dr. David Brownstein states that “studies have shown that iodine deficiency can alter the structure and function of the breast tissue. This can include dysplasia and atypia that is the forerunner for breast cancer.”
If you haven’t read Dr. David Brownstein’s book, it’s definitely a “must read”. It shows why most people are iodine deficient, and he dedicates an entire chapter on iodine and breast health (Chapter 4: Iodine, Breast Cancer, and Fibrocystic Disease). You can determine if you are iodine deficient by taking an iodine loading test, which is a urine test that measures how much iodine you are excreting over a 24 hour period. Iodine deficiencies are also relatively easy to correct, although if you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis then you need to address the autoimmune component before you can take iodine.
Breast Cancer Avoidance Tip #3: Get out of estrogen dominance. If you haven’t read my blog post on estrogen dominance, I highly recommend you do so. Many women are in a state of estrogen dominance, which doesn’t always mean an excess of estrogen, as it refers to an imbalance in the ratio of estrogen and progesterone. Frequently it’s the levels of progesterone that’s low. However, an increase in estrogen without question can increase the incidence of breast cancer. In fact, this is a big reason why most doctors no longer recommend unopposed estrogen to women, as research shows that this increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
As I mentioned in my past post, the best method of determining whether or not you are estrogen dominant is through a hormone panel. This not only will show the ratios of estrogen and progesterone, but will also show the levels of other important hormones in the body. This is important because they all work together, and so an imbalance in one hormone can affect the levels of the other hormones in the body. In other words, if one sees that there is an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone and just corrects this without addressing other hormone deficiencies or excesses, then there is a chance the estrogen dominance condition will return.
Breast Cancer Avoidance Tip #4: Minimize your exposure to xenoestrogens. I recently made a post on xenohormones, which also can increase the incidence of breast cancer, as well as other conditions. Synthetic estrogens are widespread, as they are put in numerous products, including many household products we purchase on an everyday basis. In addition, millions of people drink bottled water, and there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding whether the synthetic estrogens leach from the plastic into the water we drink. Many of the meats and dairy products we consume also are from livestock that were given estrogens in order to increase their size. Most non-organic fruits and vegetables also contain pesticides, which once again contain xenoestrogens.
While we can’t completely eliminate our exposure to xenoestrogens, most of us can dramatically decrease our exposure to them. Doing so admittedly isn’t easy, and when it comes to the food we consume it can be more expensive to purchase meat, dairy, vegetables, and other foods that don’t contain synthetic estrogen. But if it helps to prevent not only breast cancer, but other conditions as well, then don’t you think it is worth the extra cost?
Breast Cancer Avoidance Tip #5: Think twice about getting regular mammograms. This last one is somewhat controversial, as there is no doubt that mammograms involve a good amount of radiation, although the technology has improved over the years. While getting mammograms can help to detect cancer, many healthcare professionals and researchers are wondering if the risk actually outweighs the benefits. In other words, even if mammograms can help detect early stages of breast cancer, if the radiation can contribute to the development of this disease in some women, then this obviously neutralizes the benefits.
So am I suggesting that women should avoid receiving mammograms altogether? Let’s put it this way: I’m definitely not an advocate of women receiving mammograms every year or two, which many doctors will recommend. I personal prefer thermography, which seems to be just as accurate as mammograms, without the accompanying radiation. And if thermography does detect something suspicious, then perhaps at this point it would be a good idea to receive a mammogram to confirm this. But to receive regular mammograms in my opinion is unnecessary.
So following these five tips can help to prevent the development of breast cancer. While following only a few of these will help you reduce the risk of developing this disease, you’ll want to follow all five of these tips in order to dramatically decrease your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Of course this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other factors that can cause breast cancer, but these are some of the main factors that can reduce the likelihood of you ever being diagnosed with this disease.