Breast Healthy Living

 

How lifestyle choices can help shape your risk of breast cancer. It’s never too early to be proactive.

Breast cancer ranks as the top health concern for women young and old. In Canada, 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Despite this staggering statistic, we have made little progress in advancing our understanding of how to treat never mind prevent breast cancer.

“An ounce of prevention, is worth a pound of cure”.

The lack of progress is in part due to our underestimating the important role that lifestyle plays in shaping a woman’s risk. Eight of every ten women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history. Women living in the US have a greater risk of dying from breast cancer than do women living in Thailand. These facts underscore the important role lifestyle plays in shaping our risk.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.

It is never too early to adopt a breast healthy lifestyle. What we choose to eat, drink, and apply to our skin are choices we make everyday. The following guide will help you to take proactive measures to reduce your risk through the decades;

In your Twenties

It’s easier to never start than to stop smoking. Most smokers pick up the habit before their 21st birthday. Starting early and smoking longer are linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. Instead, young women can adopt breast healthy diets adding cruciferous vegetables (i.e. broccoli, bok choy and kale) that enhance estrogen metabolism and reduce health problems caused by hormone imbalance. When we are young it is crucial to limit exposure to environmental hazards such as dioxins in pesticides and mercury in contaminated fish as maturing breast tissue is more vulnerable. We can do this by selecting organic produce (check out the dirty dozen list for the most heavily sprayed crops) and limiting fish intake to three servings a week. While a good diet should be the foundation of health, it may not be enough. From birth, it is recommended that we take the sunshine vitamin (D3) as a supplement as inadequate stores are linked with risk of breast cancer later on.

In your Thirties

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are protective to the breast. Becoming pregnant, especially having a baby before the age of 30 years, and breastfeeding are associated with a lower risk of acquiring breast cancer later in life. Skin and hair care products begin to be used and we must do so wisely. Carefully check labels and avoid those products that contain harmful ingredients such as parabens, hormone disruptors that may be linked to breast cancer.

In your Forties

Body shape changes commonly start at midlife. Being overweight is one of the most important predictors of breast cancer. The diagnosis of breast cancer often follows a stressful life event. In our forties, we face the challenges of aging and ailing parents, children, career and perhaps relationship stress. To prevent the deleterious effects stress can have on our body, we can learn to adopt stress reduction techniques such as meditation.

In your Fifties

The decision of whether or not to start hormone therapy around the time of menopause is an important one that needs to be made in discussion with a qualified medical doctor. There are many factors to consider. Bioidentical estrogen and progesterone when given near the time of menopause have been shown to be safe to the breast. By the age of fifty, it is recommended that women begin to participate in breast cancer screening . While screening is not the same as prevention, it is a powerful tool that has been shown to save lives.

Breast cancer is not one disease but a complicated process that begins with the transformation of healthy breast cells to cancer cells. Our lifestyle, diet and environment may influence this change.

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Take Control Of Your Breast Health With Breast Thermography

The following post was kindly submitted by Mary Kubisewsky, a breast cancer survivor and Clinic Director ofThermography Clinic Kitchener.

 

Breast Thermography is a well known safe, radiation and compression free method of assessing a woman’s risk for breast cancer offering the earliest possible warning that problems may be developing in her breasts. Thermography using an infrared camera and high tech computer software, takes images of the temperature and vascular supply in the breasts, based on the scientific principle that chemical and blood vessel activity in both pre-cancerous tissue and the area surrounding a developing breast cancer is almost always higher than in a normal breast.

The base-line examination will be rated as low, medium, or high risk. Once that is established, thermography is an objective way to evaluate if therapies or life style changes are working to reduce risk of breast cancer.

It takes 8-9 years of growth on average for a tumour to be detected by a mammogram, so don’t “wait for the lump”. Be proactive and in addition to your regular medical breast examinations, consider regular breast screening with thermography; the results could save your life!

Thermography is not meant to replace standard detection methods, but when used as a multi- model approach (clinical examinations, thermography, mammography), peer reviewed studies have shown that 95% of early stage breast cancers can be detected!

Mary Kubisewsky is a breast cancer survivor and Clinic Director of Thermography Clinic Kitchener at 9 Cameron St. N. In Kitchener Ontario. (website: www.thermographyclinic-kw.com), with mobile clinics in Goderich, Listowel and Milton.

To find a Thermography Clinic in your area visit: www.thermographyclinic.com and click on “Locations”.

Thermography is not currently covered by OHIP. The cost is $250 plus HST which includes two appointments: one for imaging and the second for a consultation to discuss your report with you.

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Treatments for Breast Cancer

If you have already had breast cancer, are BRCA2 positive and are taking Tamoxifen, could femMED Breast Health be taken as one of treatments for breast cancer to reduce risk of re-occurrence?-Could femMED libido be taken?

Yes, you can consider taking Breast Health and Libido. Breast Health contains a unique blend of natural ingredients that help protect breast tissue by aiding detoxification, helping the body eliminate harmful estrogens and promoting a healthy estrogen balance. Specifically, it helps raise levels of 2-hydroxy estrogen, which is a form of estrogen that is breast-protective. In fact, several studies have shown that as levels of 2-hydroxyestrogen increase and levels of 16-hydroxyestrogen decrease, the risk for breast cancer decreases.

femMED women’s Breast Health formula was just recently involved in a double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial that was published in a peer reviewed journal called Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research. This study was also presented at a prestigious scientific conference. Researchers evaluated the product in 47 pre-menopausal women and 49 post-menopausal women for 28 days. On day one and 28, they analyzed blood and urine samples for estrogen metabolites. They discovered that femMED’s Breast Health supplement significantly increased the mean urinary concentration of 2-hydroxy estrogen in pre- and post-menopausal women (by 110% and 88%, respectively). The Breast Health supplement was well-tolerated, and displayed no adverse side effects.

Low libido can be caused by a number of factors, including hormonal imbalance, such as low estrogen and/or testosterone. femMED’s Libido product contains ingredients help to increase sexual desire, blood flow to the pelvic area and alleviate dryness.

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Does chemotherapy increase cholesterol and could that cholesterol influence creation of breast cancers?

Yes, some types of chemotherapy can increase cholesterol levels.  Some research has suggested that elevated cholesterol levels, typical of those in a Western-style diet, may accelerate the development of breast tumors and exacerbate their aggressiveness.

Here is a link to a good article that discusses the types of chemo that impact cholesterol levels and ways to improve management of high cholesterol:

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/side_effects/inc_cholesterol.jsp

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Is Lemon Juice What can Prevent Breast Cancer?

Does taking lemon juice with water daily help to prevent breast cancer? (1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 cup of water)?

There is no scientific evidence that drinking lemon juice and water is what can prevent breast cancer. However lemon juice doe contains various nutrients that may have some cancer-protective benefits. Lemons contain vitamin C, flavonoids (type of antioxidant), potassium and B-vitamins. Lemon juice is also good to support the health and function of the liver and gallbladder.

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