Women’s Health & Breast Thermography
At the Center, we approach Women’s Health in a truly preventive manner. By using sensitive, state of the art testing methods, such as breast thermography, bone resorption assay, and the latest in hormone testing, we can detect imbalances that can lead to disease. Integrating hormone balancing with nutritional and lifestyle interventions, we can avoid the development of more serious health conditions such as breast cancer or osteoporosis.
While mammography is the recommended test for breast cancer detection, it is not reliable for women with dense breasts. Over two-thirds of pre-menopausal women and one-fourth of postmenopausal women have dense breasts. Mammography misses over 50 % of breast cancers in these women. Physical exam alone misses even more. A doctor can tell from a mammogram if you have dense breasts and should then recommend an ultrasound which is much more reliable for these women. For more information on this issue, go to www.areyoudense.org.
Thermography is a better alternative to mammography and ultrasound. Thermography is a physiologic test that can tell a cancer from surrounding tissue because the increased blood flow to the cancer raises the temperature of that area of the breast. These changes are detectable at early stages, 5 or more years before a cancer mass can be seen on anatomical tests such as mammograms, ultrasound or even MRI. Diet, lifestyle and supplement interventions can reverse the early inflammatory changes in many cases.
We recommend annual thermography screening, followed by other tests if indicated.
While the incidence of breast cancer has been increasing and a great deal of attention has been paid to the drugs, Tamoxifen and Raloxifen that block estrogen as a solution, here are a number of simple, natural ways to reduce your breast cancer risk.
Maintain A Healthy Body Weight:
- Obesity increases risk of breast cancer and raises circulating estrogen levels, as the fat cells can manufacture estrogen.
- Regular exercise has been proven to lower breast cancer risk in many studies. At least 4 hours per week of exercise lowers breast cancer risk by at least 37%.
- Get adequate sleep. This lowers night time cortisol levels which can suppress the immune system and increase the risk of metastasis of the cancer. Use Melatonin 1 to 10 mg at bedtime to boost immune function.
DO NOT WEAR CONSTRICTING BRAS:
- Under-wire or tightly constricting bras block the lymphatic flow in the breasts. This impairs the elimination of toxins as well as the immune system’s effectiveness.
LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION:
- Several studies showed that women who have 2-5 alcoholic drinks daily had a 41% increase in breast cancer risk. One drink per day raised the risk by 9%.
- Caffeine increases the incidence of fibrocystic breast changes and may contain carcinogenic pesticides, which have been banned in the U.S. but are still used in third world countries where coffee is grown. Using organic coffee can reduce the pesticide risk.
MODIFY FAT INTAKE:
- Follow a lower carbohydrate diet, such as the Zone diet.
- Limit unhealthy fats in the diet that increase risk of breast cancer:
- Increase intake of healthy oils that lower the risk of breast cancer.
MODERATE SOY INTAKE:
- Soy contains isoflavones (hormone-like substances) that inhibit breast cancer risk, by blocking the effect of stronger estrogens on the breast. The natural hormones estriol and progesterone, used for hormone replacement therapy instead of synthetic or conjugated hormones, are extracted from soy. Consume at one serving daily of soy milk, tofu, tempeh, soy burgers, or soy containing supplements.
EAT A HIGH FIBER DIET:
- Consume more fruits and vegetables. Fiber binds with and helps with the elimination of conjugated (waste) estrogens. Women who eat large amounts of fiber reduced their risk by 37%.
ASSESS HORMONE BALANCE AND METABOLISM:
- Salivary hormone testing (estrogen, progesterone, and their metabolites) helps to assess breast cancer risk and monitor progress with treatment. The urine 2:16 hydroxyestrogen ratio is strongly correlated with breast cancer risk. Natural hormone replacement, nutritional supplementation, and lifestyle modification can be specifically recommended to modify these risk factors.
- Nutritional Supplements that effect the hormone balance and be used instead of Tamoxifen or Arimidex/ Aromasin include:
- Calcium D- glucarate: has been shown to reduce cancer risk.
- Di-indol methane (DIM) or Indole 3 carbinol (150 – 750 mg per day): Modulates estrogen metabolism to favor the less carcinogenic metabolites. Also inhibits estrogen receptor sites and aromatase enzymes (converting testosterone to estrogen). This compound is contained in broccoli, onions, cauliflower, and other vegetables in that family. Eating more of those vegetables is also beneficial.
- Resveratrol: Aromatase inhibitor.
- Soy: Decreases sex hormone binding globulin and aromatase.
- Progesterone (bioidentical only).
- Iodine (IThroid or Iodine Synergy) in higher doses can reduce fibrocystic breast disease, breast cancer, and aid in estrogen metabolism. (“Iodine: Why You Need It and Why You Can’t Live Without It” by David Brownstein, MD, Medical Alternatives Press: 888-647-5616)
- Selenium 200-400 mcg/day in the form of methylselenocysteine or selenomethionine
TAKE ANTIOXIDANT SUPPLEMENTS DAILY:
- Vitamin E: 400-800 IU
- Vitamin C: 1000 to 4000 mg.
- Beta-carotene or mixed carotenoids: 10-25,000 I.U.
- Selenium 200 mcg.
- Coenzyme Q 10: 60 to 400 mg.
- Naturfolate (MTHF), vitamin B-12, SAMe, N-acetyl cysteine, alpha lipoic acid, undenatured whey protein: to raise glutathione levels.
- Celtic sea salt
REDUCE ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURES:
There are many environmental sources of toxic, carcinogenic substances. Whenever possible, avoid these chemicals and hormone-mimicking compounds. These “xeno-estrogens” can literally turn on breast cancer cells. Industrial pollutants in food, water, personal care products, and environment may well be at the root of the rise in the incidence of breast cancer.
- Eat organic meat and poultry. Many estrogenic compounds, such as DES, are given to animals to promote growth.
- Eat organic foods whenever possible. Pesticides often act as hormone mimics. Being fat soluble, they are often found concentrated in breast tissue. Don’t use pesticides around your home or on your lawn. Look into integrated pest management or natural lawn care instead.
- Avoid plastic containers and plastic lined cans as much as possible. Some plastic soda bottles as well as the lining materials for cans contain polycarbonates, potent xeno-estrogens that have been implicating in causing breast cancer.
- Avoid carcinogenic and hormone modulators in cosmetics, skin care products, and personal hygiene products. Most of these products on the market contain one or more of the following chemicals:
- DEA: (Cocamide or Lauramide DEA, MEA, or TEA)
This is a known carcinogen that is in most skin lotions, shampoos, etc. and is absorbed right through the skin.
- Propylene Glycol:
- PEG (polyethylene glycol):
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):
ORGANIC ESSENTIALS personal care products are the only truly chemical-free skin care products available to our knowledge. Ask us for a catalog to order.
FAMILY HISTORY AS A RISK FACTOR FOR DEVELOPING BREAST CANCER:
Synopsis: The authors of a large meta-analysis study collected data on over 150,000 individual patients (58,209 with breast cancer) included in 52 cohort studies of risk factors for developing breast cancer. The data confirms that having a first degree relative with breast cancer increases a woman’s risk by 1.8, 2.9 and 3.6 for one, two or three affected relatives, respectively. The risk appears greatest for first degree relatives diagnosed earlier in life and is a greater burden for younger women. Childbearing history had no influence on risk in women with a family history of breast cancer. the more babies a woman had, the lower the risk when compared to women who have never given birth. Also, the younger her age at first childbirth, the lower the risk If a women’s age at first birth is over 30, there appears to be no beneficial effect. Reflecting hormonal exposure, women with earlier menopause were at lower risk, women who hadn’t been on oral contraceptives for more than 10 years, and women who had never been on hormone replacement therapy were at the lowest risk. Most women with breast cancer had no identifiable risk factors.
Bottom line: While family history is an important risk factor for the development of breast cancer, the magnitude of risk is dependent upon the age at diagnosis and the age of the woman concerned. Having said this, about 90% of women who develop breast cancer have no family history, and 90% of women with a first degree relative with breast cancer DON’T develop breast cancer.
References: Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Familial breast cancer: collaborative reanalysis of individual data from 52 epidemiological studies including 58,209 women with breast cancer and 101,986 women without the disease. Lancet 2001;358:1389-99