Breast Cancer- Does Science have an answer?
October is the month to turn our attention to the number 2 killer among women, Breast Cancer. While we have become increasingly technologically and scientifically advanced, Breast Cancer still remains a puzzle. Cancer rates are expected to increase and a recent study shows that Breast Cancer seems to be on the rise. (1) While we have spent billions of dollars on cancer research, our approaches to this disease have remained relatively exactly the same.
Our current approach is to burn, cut or poison the disease once it begins in the body. Let’s forget for a moment these approaches are archaic, invasive and aggressive, but studies show they aren’t that effective. Tragically, the five year survival rate for cancer treated with chemotherapy drugs has remained virtually unchanged for decades. Approximately 2% of all cancers will be cured by chemotherapy, meaning the individual will survive and remain cancer free beyond 5 years. (2)
Are the Current “Cures” really working?
Many opt for radiation. There is much debate about how effective radiation truly is and in holistic circles there has been evidence of radiation actually causing more cancer. Dr. John Richardson, who was arrested and tried by the FDA but later acquitted, in the 1970’s for treating cancer naturally observed that radiation did reduce cancer tumor size, but what was reduced was actually the non-cancer cells while the concentration of harmful cancer cells actually increased. (3) He also observed that individuals overall health and vitality was greatly diminished after radiation.
In fact even doctors today agree that radiation does not prolong one’s life. Dr. Richard Evans, M.D of the Texas Cancer Center states, “All authorities agree that radiation therapy does not improve the survival of patients with breast cancer.” Radiation also comes with a list of other known health warnings such as heart problems, problems with memory and concentration, infertility, hearing loss, osteoporosis and a whole host of other known health problems. So if there is a question as to its safety and it is not all that effective, why do we keep doing it?
The Holistic Approach:
Clearly we can see that neither chemotherapy or radiation is the cure we have spent billions of dollars to find. Woman are still dying of breast cancer and hundreds of thousands of woman are still getting breast cancer each year. The Holistic Approach to breast cancer is much different. Instead of only looking at ends ways to irradiate the disease, The Holistic Approach looks at the three most significant areas:
– What is causing cancer.
– How can cancer be prevented.
– How to heal naturally and completely once cancer begins.
By knowing what is causing cancer, we can prevent it from happening in the first place. Prevention is key. It is something most other countries place a huge amount of emphasis and focus on, because it is so effective. Unfortunately, in the U.S. we don’t place a lot of focus on prevention.
The Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL), in collaboration with The European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC) indicates that at least 33% and as much as 50% of cancers can be prevented, according to a new study published in March 2012, just by addressing the key risk factors including tobacco use, poor eating habits, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol consumption. (4)
If we can identify even more known cancer causes, we can prevent even more then 50% of breast cancer from ever beginning. That is where we can make the biggest impact.
Breast Cancer Today in the U.S.
First, let’s look at where we currently stand.
Breast cancer rates have been steadily increasing here in the U.S since the 1970’s. Over a ¼ million woman are effected by this disease each year and nearly 50,000 women will die from breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, that is ahead of natural causes. What are your chances of getting breast cancer in your lifetime? 1 in 8, which is a staggering figure.
Think of how many women are in a crowded bar on a Saturday night. Now count out groups of 8. One person in each group will get breast cancer, and it just may be you. Your chance of dying from breast cancer 1 in 36. This is despite the fact that in 2010 the US budget for breast cancer research was over over 600 million dollars or that breast Cancer research is the most heavily funded type of cancer research, over twice that of colon, prostate or lung cancer.
Breast cancer rates have increased by 90% in the last four decades. To give that some perspective, in one generation this went from not too serious of a risk, to the second cause of death. Recent studies show cancer rates are expected to rise 78% by the year 2030. Researchers specifically found that the incidence of female breast cancer seems to be INCREASING.
Breast Cancer around the world:
Now let’s compare the rates of breast cancer that we see here in the U.S to that of other countries. In the U.S. the death rate per 100,000 women is 101.1. In the United Kingdwom there rates are 87.2, as relatively high. Now let’s look at death cancer rates in non-Westernized countries. In Rural China the death rate is only 18.7 and in rural Africa only 10.3. That means these countries see 10 times less breast cancer.
This World map shows the cancer rates across the planet. The dark red countries see the highest rates of breast cancer, while the closer to white the color, there is an almost complete absence of this disease.
This shows that breast cancer is a Westernized problem. All countries who eat a Westernized diet, live a Westernized lifestyle and live a more Western life, have high rates of breast cancer. It is a reasonable statement, then to say breast cancer must have specific Western causes. We in fact DO know many of the known causes of breast cancer, we just choose not to place any focus on them. So let’s change that.
Breast Cancer Causes
Despite all the hope and fanfare placed on breast cancer being caused by a gene, the Breast Cancer Gene BRCA-1 only accounts for 5% of cases. The known causes of breast cancer are:
– Mammography radiation (see Breast Cancer Causing or Preventing? Think Before Your Pink)
– Chemotherapy and radiation
– Perfumes and fragrance products
– Cosmetics and personal care products
– Drinking non-organic milk or eating non-organic dairy products
– Hydrogenated oils and trans fatty acids
– Home cleaning products, including laundry detergent, dryer sheets, etc.
– Plastic food containers – includes plastic lining inside food cans
– Sodium nitrite – found in most processed meats
– Pesticides, PCBs, chlorine and other chemicals
– Ways of Cooking Foods – processing, high heats, BBQing and frying form Acrylamides
– Lack of exercise
– Refined sugars / refined grains
– Dry cleaning chemicals
– Hair color chemicals
– Nail polish remover
– High amount of animal products in the diet
– Being overweight
According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), household products, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food all contain endocrine disrupting chemicals, which may be causing significant increases in diabetes, obesity, cancers including breast and increasing infertility. By knowing the causes, you can be aware and keep your body free from cancer causing chemicals.
Personal Care products pose a significant risk. The vast majority of personal care products on the market today haven’t been tested by any publicly accountable organization. This very lack of regulation has led to companies using chemicals linked to and strongly suspected of causing cancer, hormone imbalance, infertility, birth defects, learning disabilities, immune system toxicity, organ damage, asthma, skin irritations and other harmful effects. To avoid this, buy organic products. Organic products by nature are not allowed to contain any chemicals or additives that are anything other then natural and safe.
Household products also pose a significant risk, in fact the inside of your home is more toxic then the outside. This is because of all the toxic products we bring into our home and use on a daily basis. Household Pesticides, including herbicides and pest-killing poisons have been labeled as human carcinogens. A common chemical in pesticides, dichlorvos, is associated with mammary tumors in rats and mice. Another, glyphosate, has been linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Find natural ways to get rid of pests and put your back into by pulling your own weeds instead of depending on toxic chemicals to kill them for you.
A most common dry-cleaning chemical, Tetrachloroethylene (PERC), is a toxic chemical that accumulates in body fat so remains in body for a long time. Studies have shown women exposed to this chemical have an increased risk for breast cancer. Industrial chemicals used in the production of detergents and other cleaning products contain a toxic chemical called Alkylphenols. This harmful chemical is also found in personal care products, especially hair products, and an active component in many spermicides. Alkylphenols are endocrine disruptors that have been shown to alter mammary gland development in rats. This is just a very short list of the cancer causing chemicals commonly found inside your home, enough for you to get the picture! Buy natural, non toxic products and you can significantly reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Now let’s look at the Prevention of Breast Cancer.
The best ways to prevent cancer are also holistic, meaning they focus on all areas of your life and body simultaneously. The best ways to prevent breast cancer include:
– A good amount of Vitamin D and Sunshine
– Anti-cancer foods & diet
– Stress reduction
– Cleansing – Especially juice cleansing
– Infra-red saunas and sweat lodges – because sweating expels toxins, going along with cleansing
– Therapeutic massage – helps move lymph and boosts circulation
– Omega-3 oils – healthy fats
– Acupuncture – helps move blood and chi (body’s energy)
– Deep breathing / oxygenation of the cells / stress reduction
– Yoga, Tai Chi or Pilates – These all boost lymph circulation
– A balanced pH
Diet is essential to the prevention of not only breast cancer, but all types of cancer. Eliminating animal products, or at least substantially reducing them in amount and to organic and lean, is right up at the top of the list for good reason! Women who eat a lot of animal products have up to 8.5 times greater incidence of breast cancer. Animal products with high amounts of unhealthy saturated fat, as well as other unhealthy fats coming from processed and refined foods, increase your risk of breast cancer by 55-65%. While inorganic foods can increase you risk by up to 27%. Combined this means that just by making the switch to organic foods without unhealthy fats, your can decrease your risk by up to 90%! Implementing an anti-cancer diet is the best approach to preventing all forms of cancer, most especially breast.
The Anti-Cancer Diet:
– Organic Foods
– High Proportion of Raw Foods
– Organic Berries
– Organic cruciferous vegetables
– Low in saturated fat (animal products)
– High in good fats (chia, flax, hemp, virgin olive)
– High in fiber (the rough, outter layer of fruits and vegetables)
– Switching from red meat to fish, or better yet go vegetarian or vegan
– High in antioxidants
– Adding flax for fiber and healthy fats
– Low in alcohol
– Getting lots of sunshine
– Getting a good supply of probiotics
– Switching from coffee to green tea
– Low in processed and refined foods
– Low in sugar
Exercise is also important, not only does it keep your immune system strong to get rid of rouge cells as soon as they appear, but it also reduces stress, oxygenates the body and helps to balance pH. Woman who exercise 4 hours per week lower their risk of breast cancer by 33%. Woman who exercise more then that, lower their risk even more until such point exercise becomes overly strenuous in which case you can actually do more harm then good.
Stress is something fairly new to women in the last four decades, in the amount and intensity of stress experienced. Now most women have the responsibilities of children, relationships, career, making most of the purchasing decisions, doing more of the grocery shopping and nutritional care of the family and so much more. There isn’t much women are not responsible for these days!
Stress is a problem, though because it causes such unhealthy changes in your body and mind. Stress increases your rate of breast cancer by up to 38%. The higher the stress, the more aggressive the cancer one is likely to experiencing Balancing your life in better ways and finding healthy ways of releasing the unchangeable stress is imperative to good health.
Overall Tips to Prevention of Breast Cancer
– Eat Organic Foods
– Use Organic Personal Care & Home Products
– Healthy Stress Reduction DAILY – Yoga, Meditation, Deep Breathing
– Daily Exercise
– Cleanse & Detox Your Body every 3-6 months
– Avoid plastics, containers and packaging lined with plastic. Use glass instead.
– Healthy amounts of Sunshine
– Don’t smoke or drink
– Reduce sugar, processed and refined foods