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Breast Cancer: What Every Woman Needs to Know!

Cancer Prevention Tips: How to Prevent Breast Cancer.

Author's Sidebar #1: Despite the millions of dollars that are donated for cancer research, most cancers continue to rise, with not a single cure from the medical industry. The majority of the donations are used (NOT to find cures) but to fund research for more drugs to fill the pockets of the greedy pharmaceutical companies.

Western Medicine continues to only offer chemotherapy and radiation as the primary treatment strategies despite their ineffectiveness and devastating side effects. As a result, cancer patients and their families suffer physically, emotionally, and financially, with many of them losing their homes and life savings.  

Hmm-mmm ... Maybe we should stop donating our hard-earned money to these organizations and hold the medical industry accountable ... As long as we continue to donate our money and time, the medical industry is NOT going to change!
Author's Sidebar #2: Breast cancer touches someone in our lives sooner or later, but, knowledge can help prevent and fight breast cancer and other cancers. There are some simple things that women can do to prevent breast cancer. There are some simple things that all of us can do to prevent or reduce the risk of developing most cancers without having to make a lot of lifestyle changes.

For example:
-- Consume at least 5 servings of raw vegetables (incl. raw juices) every day.
-- Reduce eating conventional animal meat, processed foods, and fast foods.
-- Avoid diet soda, soda, and fast foods, esp. KFC, McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell.
-- Follow a balanced macronutrient-dense diet such as the Level 3 version of the Death to Diabetes Diet
-- Take a wholefood-based Vitamin D3 supplement or get some sunlight.
-- Take only wholefood-based supplements, esp. CoQ10, ALA, grape seed extract
-- Avoid most conventional supplements -- most of them are synthetic and contain lead or other heavy metals, plus color dyes and other toxic chemicals
-- Get 8 hours of quality sleep every night.
-- Reduce the stress in your life.
-- Reduce wearing a bra (restricting lymph flow, decreased melatonin).
-- Reduce/avoid use of cosmetics, hair products and bleach/detergents (carcinogenic).
-- Educate yourself about proper nutrition and alternative medicine methodologies to protect yourself and your family
-- Get tested every year -- early detection is key (but be wary of mammograms).

Note: Below are more details about cancer prevention (part 1), cancer prevention (part 2), and eating the right foods.

Breast Cancer (Statistics)

In 2002, cancer overtook heart disease as the number one killer of Americans under the age of 85. This trend is expected to continue, and in another ten years – by 2018 – cancer will be the number one killer of all Americans, young and old alike. For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.Breast Cancer Can Be Prevented

About 1 in 8 women in the United States (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 270,000 women will die of cancer in 2010 – 40,000 from breast cancer alone.

The ACS also estimates that in 2010, 745,000 men and 692,000 women will be diagnosed with cancer. Of the women diagnosed, over a quarter will be found to have breast cancer.

In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. women. More than 1 in 4 cancers in women (about 28%) are breast cancer.

Compared to African American women, white women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer, but less likely to die of it. One possible reason is that African American women tend to have more aggressive tumors, probably due to excess fast foods and animal meat, and low levels of Vitamin D. Women of other ethnic backgrounds — Asian, Hispanic, and Native American — have a lower risk of developing and dying from breast cancer than white women and African American women.

A woman’s risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a family history of breast cancer.

About 5-10% of breast cancers can be linked to gene mutations (abnormal changes) inherited from one’s mother or father. Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with these mutations have up to an 80% risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetime, and they are more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age (before menopause). An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations. In men, about 1 in 10 breast cancers are believed to be due to BRCA2 mutations and even fewer cases to BRCA1 mutations.

About 70-80% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.

The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman), age (growing older), diet, and stress.

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. To better understand breast cancer, it helps to understand how any cancer can develop.

Cancer occurs as a result of mutations, or abnormal changes, in the genes responsible for regulating the growth of cells and keeping them healthy. The genes are in each cell’s nucleus, which acts as the “control room” of each cell. Normally, the cells in our bodies replace themselves through an orderly process of cell growth: healthy new cells take over as old ones die out. But over time, mutations can “turn on” certain genes and “turn off” others in a cell. That changed cell gains the ability to keep dividing without control or order, producing more cells just like it and forming a tumor.

A tumor can be benign (not dangerous to health) or malignant (has the potential to be dangerous). Benign tumors are not considered cancerous: their cells are close to normal in appearance, they grow slowly, and they do not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous. Left unchecked, malignant cells eventually can spread beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body.

The term “breast cancer” refers to a malignant tumor that has developed from cells in the breast. Usually breast cancer either begins in the cells of the lobules, which are the milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple. Less commonly, breast cancer can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.

Breast Anatomy:

  Breast Anatomy

Breast Profile:

A ducts

B lobules

C dilated section of duct to hold milk

D nipple

E fat

F pectoralis major muscle

G chest wall/rib cage


A normal duct cells

B basement membrane

C lumen (center of duct)

Over time, cancer cells can invade nearby healthy breast tissue and make their way into the underarm lymph nodes, small organs that filter out foreign substances in the body. If cancer cells get into the lymph nodes, they then have a pathway into other parts of the body. The breast cancer’s stage refers to how far the cancer cells have spread beyond the original tumor.

Breast cancer is always caused by a genetic abnormality (a “mistake” in the genetic material). However, only 5-10% of cancers are due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. About 90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and the “wear and tear” of life in general.

Non-invasive, Invasive Cancers

Breast cancer usually begins either in the cells of the lobules, which are milk-producing glands, or the ducts, the passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple. The pathology report will tell you whether or not the cancer has spread outside the milk ducts or lobules of the breast where it started.

Non-invasive cancers stay within the milk ducts or lobules in the breast. They do not grow into or invade normal tissues within or beyond the breast.

Non-invasive cancers are sometimes called carcinoma in situ (“in the same place”) or pre-cancers. Invasive cancers do grow into normal, healthy tissues. Most breast cancers are invasive. Whether the cancer is non-invasive or invasive will determine your treatment choices and how you might respond to the treatments you receive.

In some cases, a breast cancer may be both invasive and non-invasive. This means that part of the cancer has grown into normal tissue and part of the cancer has stayed inside the milk ducts or milk lobules. It would be treated as an invasive cancer.

A breast cancer also may be a “mixed tumor,” meaning that it contains a mixture of cancerous ductal cells and lobular cells. It would be treated as a ductal carcinoma.

If there is more than one tumor in the breast, the breast cancer is described as either multifocal or multicentric. In multifocal breast cancer, all of the tumors arise from the original tumor, and they are usually in the same section of the breast. If the cancer is multicentric, it means that all of the tumors formed separately, and they are often in different areas of the breast.

In most cases, you can expect the breast cancer to be classified as one of the following.

DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ): DCIS is a non-invasive cancer that stays inside the milk duct.

LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma In Situ): LCIS is an overgrowth of cells that stay inside the lobule. It is not a true cancer; rather, it is a warning sign of an increased risk for developing an invasive cancer in the future in either breast.

IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma): The most common type of breast cancer, invasive ductal carcinoma begins in the milk duct but has grown into the surrounding normal tissue inside the breast.

Less Common Subtypes of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma can include tubular, medullary, mucinous, papillary, and cribriform carcinomas of the breast. In these cancers, the cells can look and behave somewhat differently than invasive ductal carcinoma cells usually do.

ILC (Invasive Lobular Carcinoma): ILC starts inside the lobule but grows into the surrounding normal tissue inside the breast.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Inflammatory breast cancer is a fast-growing form of breast cancer that usually starts with the reddening and swelling of the breast, instead of a distinct lump.

Male Breast Cancer: Breast cancer in men is rare, but when it occurs, it is almost always a ductal carcinoma.

Paget’s Disease of the Nipple: Paget’s disease of the nipple is a rare form of breast cancer in which cancer cells collect in or around the nipple.

Phyllodes Tumors of the Breast: Phyllodes tumors are rare breast tumors that begin in the connective tissue of the breast (stroma) and grow quickly in a leaflike pattern. Some are cancerous, but most are not.

Recurrent and/or Metastatic Breast Cancer: Breast cancer that has returned after previous treatment or has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body.

Stages of Breast Cancer

Stage Definition
Stage 0 Cancer cells remain inside the breast duct, without invasion into normal adjacent breast tissue.
Stage I Cancer is 2 centimeters or less and is confined to the breast (lymph nodes are clear).
Stage IIA No tumor can be found in the breast, but cancer cells are found in the axillary lymph nodes (the lymph nodes under the arm)
the tumor measures 2 centimeters or smaller and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes
the tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage IIB The tumor is larger than 2 but no larger than 5 centimeters and has spread to the axillary lymph nodes
the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters but has not spread to the axillary lymph nodes.
Stage IIIA No tumor is found in the breast. Cancer is found in axillary lymph nodes that are sticking together or to other structures, or cancer may be found in lymph nodes near the breastbone
the tumor is any size. Cancer has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, which are sticking together or to other structures, or cancer may be found in lymph nodes near the breastbone.
Stage IIIB The tumor may be any size and has spread to the chest wall and/or skin of the breast
may have spread to axillary lymph nodes that are clumped together or sticking to other structures, or cancer may have spread to lymph nodes near the breastbone.

Inflammatory breast cancer is considered at least stage IIIB.
Stage IIIC There may either be no sign of cancer in the breast or a tumor may be any size and may have spread to the chest wall and/or the skin of the breast
the cancer has spread to lymph nodes either above or below the collarbone
the cancer may have spread to axillary lymph nodes or to lymph nodes near the breastbone.
Stage IV The cancer has spread — or metastasized — to other parts of the body.

Note: For more information about the stages of breast cancer, refer to this web page. For more information about cancer and cancer prevention, refer to the web links on the right side of this web page.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Every woman wants to know what she can do to lower her risk of breast cancer. Some of the factors associated with breast cancer -- being a woman, your age, and your genetics, for example -- can't be changed. Other factors -- maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, smoking cigarettes,  and eating nutritious food -- can be changed by making choices. By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options possible, you can empower yourself and make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible.

The known risk factors for breast cancer are listed below. If a factor can't be changed (such as your genetics), you can learn about protective steps you can take that can help keep your risk as low as possible.

Being a Woman: Just being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. There are about 190,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 60,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer this year in American women.

Age: As with many other diseases, your risk of breast cancer goes up as you get older. About two out of three invasive breast cancers are found in women 55 or older.

Family History: Women with close relatives who've been diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease. If you've had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled.

Genetics: About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, caused by abnormal genes passed from parent to child.

Personal History of Breast Cancer: If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, you're 3 to 4 times more likely to develop a new cancer in the other breast or a different part of the same breast. This risk is different from the risk of the original cancer coming back (called risk of recurrence).

Eating Unhealthy Food: Diet is thought to be at least partly responsible for about 30% to 40% of all cancers. No food or diet can prevent you from getting breast cancer. But some foods can make your body the healthiest it can be, boost your immune system, and help keep your risk for breast cancer as low as possible.

Being Overweight: Overweight and obese women have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer compared to women who maintain a healthy weight, especially after menopause. Being overweight also can increase the risk of the breast cancer coming back (recurrence) in women who have had the disease.

Low of Vitamin D Levels: Research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing.

Lack of Exercise: Research shows a link between exercising regularly at a moderate or intense level for 4 to 7 hours per week and a lower risk of breast cancer.

Smoking: Smoking causes a number of diseases and is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in younger, premenopausal women. Research also has shown that there may be link between very heavy second-hand smoke exposure and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.

Drinking Alcohol: Research consistently shows that drinking alcoholic beverages -- beer, wine, and liquor -- increases a woman's risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.

Radiation to Chest or Face Before Age 30: If you had radiation to the chest to treat another cancer (not breast cancer), such as Hodgkin's disease or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, you have a higher-than-average risk of breast cancer. If you had radiation to the face at an adolescent to treat acne (something that’s no longer done), you are at higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

Certain Breast Changes: If you've been diagnosed with certain benign (not cancer) breast conditions, you may have a higher risk of breast cancer. There are several types of benign breast conditions that affect breast cancer risk

Race/Ethnicity: White women are slightly more likely to develop breast cancer than African American, Hispanic, and Asian women. But African American women are more likely to develop more aggressive, more advanced-stage breast cancer that is diagnosed at a young age.

Pregnancy History: Women who haven’t had a full-term pregnancy or have their first child after age 30 have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who gave birth before age 30.

Breastfeeding History: Breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer than 1 year.

Menstrual History: Women who started menstruating (having periods) younger than age 12 have a higher risk of breast cancer later in life. The same is true for women who go through menopause when they're older than 55.

Using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy):
Current or recent past users of HRT have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. Since 2002 when research linked HRT and risk, the number of women taking HRT has dropped dramatically.

Having Dense Breasts: Research has shown that dense breasts can be 6 times more likely to develop cancer and can make it harder for mammograms to detect breast cancer.

Light Exposure at Night: The results of several studies suggest that women who work at night -- factory workers, doctors, nurses, and police officers, for example -- have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who work during the day. Other research suggests that women who live in areas with high levels of external light at night (street lights, for example) have a higher risk of breast cancer.

DES (diethylstilbestrol) Exposure: Some pregnant women were given DES from the 1940s through the 1960s to prevent miscarriage. Women who took DES themselves have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. Women who were exposed to DES while their mothers were pregnant with them also may have slightly higher risk of breast cancer later in life.

Exposure to Chemicals in Cosmetics: Research strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in cosmetics, hair products, and detergents may contribute to the development of cancer in people.

Exposure to Chemicals in Food: There's a real concern that pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones used on crops and livestock may cause health problems in people, including an increase in breast cancer risk. There are also concerns about the chemicals in fast foods, mercury in seafood and industrial chemicals in food and food packaging.

Exposure to Chemicals for Lawns and Gardens: Research strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in lawn and garden products may cause cancer in people. But because the products are diverse combinations of chemicals, it's difficult to show a definite cause and effect for any specific chemical.

Exposure to Chemicals in Plastic: Research strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in plastic products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.

Exposure to Chemicals in Sunscreen: While chemicals can protect us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, research strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in some sunscreen products may cause cancer in people.

Exposure to Chemicals in Water: Research has shown that the water you drink -- whether it’s from your home faucet or bottled water from a store -- may not always be as safe as it could be. Everyone has a role in protecting the water supply. There are steps you can take to ensure your water is as safe as it can be.

Exposure to Chemicals When Food Is Grilled/Prepared: Research has shown that women who ate a lot of grilled, barbecued, and smoked meats and very few fruits and vegetables had a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who didn't eat a lot of grilled meats.

Absolute vs. Relative Risk

Knowing that limiting how much alcohol you drink or exercising regularly can decrease your breast cancer risk is important. But you probably want to know just how much taking those steps -- limiting alcohol and exercising regularly -- can lower your risk.

Similarly, if you've been diagnosed and your doctor tells you that a certain treatment can reduce your risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back) by 40%, you probably want to know what that really means for you.

Understanding the terms relative risk and absolute risk can help you better understand your own risk of breast cancer.

Relative risk is the number that tells you how much something you do, such as maintaining a healthy weight, can change your risk compared to your risk if you're very overweight. Relative risk can be expressed as a percentage decrease or a percentage increase. If something you do or take doesn't change your risk, then the relative risk reduction is 0% (no difference). If something you do or take lowers your risk by 30% compared to someone who doesn't take the same step, then that action reduces your relative risk by 30%. If something you do triples your risk, then your relative risk increases 300%.

Absolute risk is the size of your own risk. Absolute risk reduction is the number of percentage points your own risk goes down if you do something protective, such as stop drinking alcohol. The size of your absolute risk reduction depends on what your risk is to begin with.

Hazard Ratios. Doctors sometimes use the term "hazard ratio" to talk about risk. A hazard ratio considers your absolute risk to be 1. If something you do or take doesn't change your risk, then the hazard ratio is 1. If something you do or take lowers your risk by 30% compared to someone who doesn’t take the same step, then that action makes your hazard ratio 0.70, which means that the risk is 70% of what it was without taking the step (in other words, it's 30% lower). If something you do triples your risk, then your hazard ratio is 3.0 (your risk is 3 times greater than it was before you did the thing that increased your risk).

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Breast cancer symptoms vary widely — from lumps to swelling to skin changes — and many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. Symptoms that are similar to those of breast cancer may be the result of non-cancerous conditions like infection or a cyst.

Breast self-exam should be part of your monthly health care routine, and you should visit your doctor if you experience breast changes. If you're over 40 or at a high risk for the disease, you should also have an annual thermogram and physical exam by a doctor. The earlier breast cancer is found and diagnosed, the better your chances of beating it.

The actual process of diagnosis can take weeks and involve many different kinds of tests. Waiting for results can feel like a lifetime. The uncertainty stinks, but once you understand your own unique “big picture,” you can make better decisions. You, your doctors, and health coach can formulate a treatment plan tailored just for you.

The tests used for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring, including  self-exams, thermograms, mammograms, ultrasound, MRI, CAT scans, and PET scans.

Whether you’ve never had breast cancer and want to increase your odds of early detection, you’ve recently been diagnosed, or you are in the midst of treatment and follow-up, you know that breast cancer and medical tests go hand in hand.

Most breast-cancer-related tests fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Screening tests: Screening tests (such as yearly mammograms) are given routinely to people who appear to be healthy and are not suspected of having breast cancer. Their purpose is to find breast cancer early, before any symptoms can develop and the cancer usually is easier to treat.
  • Diagnostic tests: Diagnostic tests (such as biopsy) are given to people who are suspected of having breast cancer, either because of symptoms they may be experiencing or a screening test result. These tests are used to determine whether or not breast cancer is present and, if so, whether or not it has traveled outside the breast. Diagnostic tests also are used to gather more information about the cancer to guide decisions about treatment.
  • Monitoring tests: Once breast cancer is diagnosed, many tests are used during and after treatment to monitor how well therapies are working. Monitoring tests also may be used to check for any signs of recurrence.
Note: A screening test tries to find a disease before there are any symptoms. With breast cancer, there's a misconception that if you feel fine, don't have a lump, and have no family history of breast cancer, you're okay. The truth is that three-quarters of the women with breast cancer have very few risk factors. So screening is important for everyone.

Importance of Mammography

Mammography is the process of taking a special x-ray of the breast. Mammograms can find many breast cancers before you can feel them. They can also give your doctor important information about a breast lump that was found during a self exam or during a doctor's visit.

The mammogram is a low-dose X-ray used to find changes in the breast tissue, including calcifications hiding anywhere in the breast tissue, even deep ones.  These X-rays are performed by professional technicians and help to find tumors and microcalcifications (tiny deposits of calcium) that cannot be felt. The earlier a tumor is detected, the sooner the infected area can be treated and the better chance you will have of beating the cancer.

During the procedure, usually the woman has two mammograms of each breast, one from the side and one from the top. The test is a little painful, or if you prefer, somewhat uncomfortable, but it only takes a few minutes. The procedure works as such: you stand in front of the machine and your breast is placed between two plastic plates. The plates come together pressing on the breast to make it as flat as possible. The breast must be compressed as much as possible in order to find lumps, especially ones that may be small cancers. A radiologist reviews the x-ray and reports any significant findings to the doctor.

Mammograms find between 85 and 90 percent of breast cancers. That's why it's so important for a woman to combine an annual mammogram with monthly breast self-examinations and a physical examination of the breasts by her personal physician. And mammography finds cancers up to two years before they can be felt, which means at a very early stage, when the cancer is most curable.

There are two kinds of mammograms:
  • Screening Mammogram -- Taken when there are no signs or symptoms of breast cancer, the X-rays are performed by a registered radiologic technologist and interpreted by a radiologist (medical doctor). This mammogram takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
  • Diagnostic Mammogram -- Taken when there are signs or symptoms of breast cancer, a personal history of breast cancer, breast implants or a specific problem found on a mammogram that needs further evaluation. The X-rays are performed by a registered radiologic technologist. As the mammogram is being performed, a radiologist monitors the films taken and has the technologist obtain all the necessary views to evaluate the problem. This mammogram takes between 30 and 45 minutes.
There are certain circumstances under which you should consult your physician before scheduling a mammogram. If you are pregnant or have been breastfeeding during the last six months, it would be best to postpone your mammogram.

Talk with your physician about a diagnostic mammogram if you have breast implants, or if you have any of these symptoms:
    Lump or thickening in the breast or under the arm
    Marked asymmetry of your breasts
    Changes in the veins on your breasts
    Unexplained discoloration of your skin (redness or bruising)
    Shiny skin, or large pores
    Skin ulcers
    Dimpling, puckering, retraction of the skin or areola
    Fixed inversion of the nipple, which is a change from a previous examination
    Scaling, crusting or drainage of the nipple or areola
    Localized breast pain

You will feel some pressure as the mammogram is performed, but any discomfort will last only for a few seconds. Compression and flattening of the breasts are key to getting the best pictures possible. Because breasts are more sensitive just before your menstrual period, you should try to schedule your mammogram seven to 10 days after the start of your period.

Generally a written report from your screening mammogram will be mailed to you and/or your physician. Reports for diagnostic mammograms are sent only to physicians. Then each patient is notified personally by her physician about the results.

Occasionally, mammograms will provide the patient with false-negative results, which provide information suggesting a healthy breast when there is actually cancer present.  The main cause of false-negative results is from a high breast density, as the fibroglandular tissue and tumors have a similar density which causes them to both appear as white areas on the X-ray film.  The other misleading result mammograms occasionally produce is the false-positive result, which suggests there is cancer in the breast when the breast is actually healthy.  If an abnormal mammogram is detected, it is recommended that additional testing (diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, and/or biopsy) is taken.

Some other negative outcomes that are possible from mammograms are overdiagnosis/overtreatment and radiation exposure.  When a patient is misdiagnosed with cancer, she may be unnecessarily put through the process of cancer therapy, which exposes the patient to the adverse effects that are linked to the treatment.  Although mammograms require only marginal amounts of radiation, repeated X-rays have been found to promote cancer.  With that being said, the benefit of potentially detecting breast cancer far outweighs the risks of the procedure.

Please Note: The key defense for every woman is early detection. Every woman needs periodic safe testing. Remember, even if a breast lump is discovered very early, more than 80 percent of them are noncancerous. 

Research Alternatives to Mammography
While the cost of mammography is relatively low, its sensitivity is not ideal, with reports listing the range from 45% to about 90% depending on factors such as the density of the breast. Neither is the X-ray based technology completely benign, as noted above. Therefore there is considerable ongoing research into the use of alternative technologies.
    Breast MRI
    Breast thermography, infrared imaging
    Molecular breast imaging (MBI), is a new technology used for breast imaging. MBI identifies tumors in dense breast tissue that are often not visible with X-ray based analog or digital mammography.

Key Point: Certain types of cancer can only be found by mammography while other types are more easily viewed with a thermal imaging camera. The truth is that both of these should be used in conjunction with each other to fully and accurately identify cancers.

The use of thermal imaging for breast cancer can be an extremely accurate and early detection device, allowing doctors to find certain types of cancers up to 8 - 10 years prior to a mammogram. And over and extended period of time, thermograms can prove useful in find any abnormalities that may appear on a patient.

In addition, other technologies should be considered, especially for women with a very high risk of breast cancer. Ultrasound and breast MRI are not recommended for every woman because of the high false positive rates and unnecessary biopsies, in addition to being very expensive.

In general, it is more beneficial for women to use every means possible to find any possible cancers or anomalies as early as possible. Those technologies include (but are not limited to): thermography, mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), molecular breast imaging (MBI), vibrational spectral microscopy (VSM), biomarker testing. But, keep in mind that most of these technologies are still in their infancy stage; and, also be aware of the possible increase in false positives.

Breast thermography is a complementary screening and detection procedure, which when added to a woman’s breast health examination substantially increases the sensitivity in detecting pathologies associated with the breast.

But, thermography may not be a complete replacement for mammography for at least 5 reasons:
  1. There is no one test that can detect 99-100% of all cancers. Therefore, no single test exists that can be used alone as an adequate screening or detection method for breast cancer.
  2. A physiological imaging procedure (thermography) cannot replace an anatomical imaging procedure (mammography). The two tests are “looking” for completely different pathological processes.
  3. Thermograms only detect surface bloodflow, so any cancer growth deeper than a few millimeters may not be detected unless it also happens to be large enough to disturb the surface blood flow patterns.
  4. Thermography is far more sensitive than mammography. However, some slow growing non-aggressive cancers will only be detected by mammography.
  5. Thermography is in its infancy, and, does not have all of the research and radiologist networking  associated with mammography over the past 4 decades.
As a unique physiological examination procedure, breast thermography is the only known test that can also serve as an early warning system by identifying women who have high-risk pre-cancerous infrared imaging markers. The procedure can also play a role in prognosis and as a method of assisting in monitoring the effects of treatment.

The true power of any diagnostic image lies not in the technology but in the human brains behind the technology. Over decades, mammographers have been getting smarter and smarter, learning from mistakes and successes.

Radiologists have learned to detect cancers earlier and earlier because there’s been a group who have systematically studied cancer cases, going back to look at earlier mammograms to see if there were any abnormalities in the area of the tumor that, in retrospect, have become obvious.

This information is dissemenated at medical meetings and in journals, textbooks and so on. So now, after four decades of experience using the technology, mammograms can detect very tiny (1 mm), early cancers.

Thermography professionals have small and scattered associations. Mammography professionals have huge and highly organized associations and frequent meetings. The network of intellect behind mammography is huge. Thermography, not so. Not yet.

Mammography vs. Thermography
Recent studies show that we need to move beyond the archaic, intrusive mammograms to the more effective, non-intrusive thermography. Or, at least reduce the number of mammograms by using thermography.

Recently several newspaper and TV reports spoke of the value of mammogram in preventing breast cancer deaths. The truth is that it is not mammogram that leads to the drop in the death rate, but early detection.

The play on words here is to make mammogram and early detection synonomous. Mammogram is not early detection. A cancerous tumor has been growing eight to ten years before it is big enough and dense enough to be detected by mammography. That is why the treatment at that stage is so drastic-removal of breast, underlying muscle, lypmh nodes, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy (Tamoxifen).

By the time a tumor reaches the size of a pin head (approximately two years into its growth) it can no longer be sustained by the normal blood supply and so it develops its own. The development of that blood supply is called angiogenesis.

Thermography is the only technology in place that can detect angiogenesis. The tumor at that stage cannot be detected by mammogram, sonogram, MRI, etc. Ideally, to maximize prevention, the first thermography should be taken at age 25. This is because the highest incidence of breast cancer fatality is between the ages of 40 and 44 and breast cancer can grow up to 15 years before it becomes fatal.

Lifestyle and dietary changes can impact the growth process in its earliest stage to prevent and reverse further growth. Monitoring with thermography can insure the success of those changes. Even if no changes are made, monitoring with thermography can insure the earliest detection by mammography to effect the inclusion of lumpectomy only as a treatment option.

Don't be misled. The radiation used in mammogram(1 Gy) is a different type of radiation than that used in a chest x-ray (Gy). Mammogram radiation is ionizing radiation that can and does cause unrepairable double strand breaks of DNA. This type of radiation has been demonstrated to be 5 times more effective at causing cancer.

Due to hormonal influence, the breasts of pre-menopausal women are far more sensitive to this type of radiation. Each series of mammograms increases the pre-menopausal woman's risk of developing breast cancer by 1% per breast. As the effects of radiation accumulate over time, if one was to follow the American Cancer Society's recommendation to have mammography every year from age 40 to 50 (chosen arbitrarily to coincide with menopause), that risk for developing breast cancer has increased 10% per breast over and above whatever one's risk already is. A recent article published in the Journal of Radiation Research suggests that the actual risk/benefit of mammographic exposure in pre-menopausal women warrants re-examination.

According to a recent report, America is the only country that routinely screens pre-menopausal women with radiation. By some estimates this accounts for up to 20% of all breast cancers annually in the U.S. America also uses two or more mammograms per breast annually in postmenopausal women. This contrasts with the more conservative European approach of a single view every two to three years.

Mammogram should be placed in it's proper heirarchy. First thermography, if suspicious, then sonography, if suspicious, then mammogram to pinpoint the exact location of an existing tumor for biopsy. So, instead of relying on just one form of testing, use additional forms of testing to provide a more complete picture and a better diagnosis.

Which makes more sense to you, use radiation and painful breast compression (which could also cause blood vessels surrounding small yet undetectable tumors to burst and thus accelerate the growth and spread of cancer), or use a painless non-radiation heat sensitive camera to screen for angiogenesis and cell changes that precede cancer ? You decide, it's your body, your health.

Is Mammography Dangerous?

Mammography screening is a profit-driven technology posing risks compounded by unreliability. In striking contrast, annual clinical breast examination (CBE) by a trained health professional, together with monthly breast self-examination (BSE), is safe, at least as effective, and low in cost.

International programs for training nurses how to perform CBE and teach BSE are critical and overdue. [Samuel S. Epstein, Rosalie Bertell, and Barbara Seaman, International Journal of Health Services, 31(3):605-615, 2001].

Dangers of Screening Mammography 

Mammography poses a wide range of risks of which women worldwide still remain uninformed.

Radiation Risks
Radiation from routine mammography poses significant cumulative risks of initiating and promoting breast cancer. Contrary to conventional assurances that radiation exposure from mammography is trivial- and similar to that from a chest X-ray or spending one week in Denver, about 1/ 1,000 of a rad (radiation-absorbed dose)- the routine practice of taking four films for each breast results in some 1,000-fold greater exposure, 1 rad, focused on each breast rather than the entire chest.

Thus, premenopausal women undergoing annual screening over a ten-year period are exposed to a total of about 10 rads for each breast. As emphasized some three decades ago, the premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each rad of exposure increasing breast cancer risk by 1 percent, resulting in a cumulative 10 percent increased risk over ten years of premenopausal screening, usually from ages 40 to 50; risks are even greater for "baseline" screening at younger ages, for which there is no evidence of any future relevance.

Furthermore, breast cancer risks from mammography are up to fourfold higher for the 1 to 2 percent of women who are silent carriers of the A-T (ataxia-telangiectasia) gene and thus highly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation; by some estimates this accounts for up to 20 percent of all breast cancers annually in the United States.

Cancer Risks from Breast Compression
As early as 1928, physicians were warned to handle "cancerous breasts with care- for fear of accidentally disseminating cells" and spreading cancer  Nevertheless, mammography entails tight and often painful compression of the breast, particularly in premenopausal women. This may lead to distant and lethal spread of malignant cells by rupturing small blood vessels in or around small, as yet undetected breast cancers.

Delays in Diagnostic Mammography
As increasing numbers of premenopausal women are responding to the ACS's aggressively promoted screening, imaging centers are becoming flooded and overwhelmed. Resultingly, patients referred for diagnostic mammography are now experiencing potentially dangerous delays, up to several months, before they can be examined .

Unreliability of Mammography

Falsely Negative Mammograms
Missed cancers are particularly common in premenopausal women owing to the dense and highly glandular structure of their breasts and increased proliferation late in their menstrual cycle. Missed cancers are also common in post-menopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy, as about 20 percent develop breast densities that make their mammograms as difficult to read as those of premenopausal women.

Interval Cancers
About one-third of all cancers- and more still of premenopausal cancers, which are aggressive, even to the extent of doubling in size in one month, and more likely to metastasize- are diagnosed in the interval between successive annual mammograms . Premenopausal women, particularly, can thus be lulled into a false sense of security by a supposedly negative result on an annual mammogram and fail to seek medical advice.

Falsely Positive Mammogram
Mistakenly diagnosed cancers are particularly common in premenopausal women, and also in postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy, resulting in needless anxiety, more mammograms, and unnecessary biopsies. For women with multiple high-risk factors, including a strong family history, prolonged use of the contraceptive pill, early menarche, and nulliparity- just those groups that are most strongly urged to have annual mammograms- the cumulative risk of false positives increases to "as high as 100 percent" over a decade's screening.

Overdiagnosis and subsequent overtreatment are among the major risks of mammography. The widespread and virtually unchallenged acceptance of screening has resulted in a dramatic increase in the diagnosis of ductal carcinoma-in-situ (DCIS), a pre-invasive cancer, with a current estimated incidence of about 40,000 annually.

DCIS is usually recognized as micro-calcifications and generally treated by lumpectomy plus radiation or even mastectomy and chemotherapy. However, some 80 percent of all DCIS never become invasive even if left untreated.

Furthermore, the breast cancer mortality from DCIS is the same- about 1 percent- both for women diagnosed and treated early and for those diagnosed later following the development of invasive cancer . That early detection of DCIS does not reduce mortality is further confirmed by the 13-year follow-up results of the Canadian National Breast Cancer Screening Study.

Nevertheless, as recently stressed, "the public is much less informed about over-diagnosis than false positive results. In a recent nationwide survey of women, 99 percent of respondents were aware of the possibility of false positive results from mammography, but only 6 percent were aware of either DCIS by name or the fact that mammography could detect a form of 'cancer' that often doesn't progress". 

The United States vs. Other Nations

No nation other than the United States routinely screens premenopausal women by mammography. In this context, it may be noted that the January 1997 National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference recommended against premenopausal screening, a decision that the NCI, but not the ACS, accepted  However, under pressure from Congress and the ACS, the NCI reversed its decision some three months later in favor of premenopausal screening.

The U. S. overkill extends to the standard practice of taking two or more mammograms per breast annually in postmenopausal women. This contrasts with the more restrained European practice of a single view every two to three years .

Dangers of Mammograms   

Over 50 Percent of the Death Rate From Cancer is Induced by X-Rays

The following information from Dr. Mercola reveals the dangers of mammography and the benefits of a safe breast cancer screening test called thermography.

Your doctor probably hasn’t told you about it, but a suspicious finding via thermography is the single most important indicator of high risk for breast cancer. And an astounding 95 percent of early stage breast cancers are diagnosed when this non-invasive, painless and utterly risk-free process is used in a multi-modal approach to detection and treatment.

Using thermography instead of mammography could mean the difference between overturning your boat in shark-infested waters, life preserver in hand, outcome unknown… and learning how to keep your boat upright so that you never need a life preserver in the first place.

The reality is reducing exposure to medical radiation such as unnecessary mammograms would likely reduce mortality rates.

What’s more, false diagnoses of breast cancer are very common – as high as 89 percent – leading many women to be unnecessarily and harmfully treated by mastectomy, more radiation and chemotherapy.

So why is there such a push towards screening mammograms?

Because it’s become a billion dollar a year business – one that appears to be more motivated by profits than helping its patients.

Here’s a loose estimate of the money the medical establishment rakes in on mammograms every year:

$100 average cost per screening x 65 million U.S. women aged 40 or over
= $6.5 billion dollars per year

Add to that a few million $1,000+ biopsies and it becomes clear that annual mammography screenings for women 40 years and older is at least a $10 billion dollar per year industry.

In fact, according to Barbara Brenner, Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Action advocacy group and herself a breast cancer survivor.

The United States Public Campaign to Eradicate Breast Cancer has Not Focused on Prevention, but Largely on Efforts to Promote Mammography Screening   

Of course, there are instances where mammography may be warranted. But the truth is there are other technologies that are proven to be more effective, less expensive and completely harmless, that can save far more lives that your doctor isn’t telling you about.

If you’re a woman, there’s a one in eight chance that you’ll develop breast cancer during your lifetime. And despite the fact that reducing exposure to medical radiation such as unnecessary mammograms would likely reduce mortality rates, the American cancer society is promoting mammography to the exclusion of most other screening devices.

The Safe Breast Cancer Screening Test Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You About
(from Dr. Mercola)

You may not know it, but there’s a tool available right now – today -- to help you identify the conditions and diseases that could be growing inside you, symptomless and seemingly harmless … for the moment.

If you’re a woman concerned about breast cancer -- and what woman isn’t? -- this
technology could quite literally save your breasts, and your life.

Your body has an amazing capacity for self-healing. When something goes awry with the normal functioning of your body, it will try to heal itself through natural processes. If those processes fail, symptoms will develop. This is the point at which most people realize they need help – when symptoms appear which affect their lives, or even threaten them.

But what if you could get a heads-up that your body was going through some abnormal changes an entire decade before discernible symptoms develop – well before your life is in potential danger?

Unfortunately, conventional medicine is stubbornly holding on to old ideas of cancer detection and treatment, no matter how ineffective it’s been proven to be. Breast cancer detection methods used by the mainstream medical community include mammography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), and PET scans.

Education and awareness of better, less risky and more effective options for detecting breast cancer are woefully deficient, but as you will learn, they do exist.

The Case Against Conventional Breast Cancer Screening
Health officials recommend that all women over 40 get a mammogram every one to two years, yet there is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives, and the benefits of mammograms are controversial at best.

Meanwhile, the health hazards of mammography have been well established. The routine practice of taking four films of each breast annually results in approximately 1 rad (radiation absorbed dose) exposure, which is about 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray.

John Gofman, M.D., Ph.D. – a nuclear physicist and a medical doctor, and one of the leading experts in the world on the dangers of radiation – presents compelling evidence in his book, Radiation from Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease,1 that over 50 percent of the death-rate from cancer is in fact induced by x-rays.

X-rays and other classes of ionizing radiation have been, for decades, a proven cause of virtually all types of biological mutations. When such mutations are not cell-lethal, they endure and accumulate with each additional exposure to x-rays or other ionizing radiation. X-rays are also an established cause of genomic instability, often a characteristic of the most aggressive cancers.

Additionally, radiation risks are about four times greater for the 1 to 2 percent of women who are silent carriers of the A-T (ataxia-telangiectasia) gene, which by some estimates accounts for up to 20 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed annually.

When everything is taken into account, reducing exposure to medical radiation such as unnecessary mammograms would likely reduce mortality rates.

The practice of screening mammography itself poses significant and cumulative risks of breast cancer, especially for premenopausal women.

Making matters even worse, false diagnoses of breast cancer are very common – as high as 89 percent2 – leading many women to be unnecessarily and harmfully treated by mastectomy, more radiation, or chemotherapy.

There are instances where mammography may be warranted. But the fact remains that there are other technologies that are proven to be more effective, less expensive, and completely harmless, that can save far more lives.

Now, imagine being able to look inside yourself and be able to get as much as 10 years warning that something is about to develop.

What would you do with that information? How would it change your life?

Breast Thermography: An Invaluable Tool in Early Breast Cancer Detection
The best researched use of thermal imaging to date has been in breast cancer detection. For three decades, over 250,000 women have been studied, some of them for up to 12 years.

A critical difference between thermography versus mammography is the ability to detect problems early enough to use preventive measures, rather than detecting disease at a stage where treatment is imminently required.

Thermography for breast abnormalities has an average sensitivity and specificity of 90 percent. The thermal map of a woman’s breast is as individual as her fingerprint.

Confirmed results of multi-year studies show that:
  • A suspicious finding via thermography is the single most important indicator of high risk for breast cancer – it is eight times more indicative than a first order family history of the disease.
  • A consistently abnormal thermogram translates to a 22 times higher risk of developing breast cancer.
  • An over 60 percent increased survival rate is attained when thermography is used with other breast health monitoring methods (self-exam, physician visits, and mammography).
  • An astounding 95 percent of early stage breast cancers are diagnosed when thermography is used in a multi-modal approach to detection and treatment.
Thermography can also detect inflammatory breast cancer, a type of cancer that does not develop as lumps or masses in your breast. IBC is a rare but aggressive form of the disease that accounts for one to five percent of all breast cancers in the U.S.

Inflammatory breast cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of your breast. This type of cancer grows rapidly and often spreads to other organs in your body.

In addition to lumps and breast cancer, thermal imaging can detect other breast
abnormalities like fibrocystic breast disease and mastitis.

In order to make optimal use of thermal imaging, a woman initially receives two scans, about three to four months apart. The reason for this is because active cancerous masses typically double in size and heat at 100 day intervals.

If no abnormalities are suspected with the first two scans, thereafter, an annual scan is considered sufficient to reveal ongoing changes in heat patterns, alerting to possible areas of concern.

Thermograms can be especially useful for younger women, since 23 percent of all
breast cancers occur in women under the age of 49.5.

Breast cancer in younger women is more aggressive and has lower survival rates, so an annual thermogram – starting with a baseline scan at around age 20 – coupled with regular self-exams and breast health checkups is a very smart way to go.

Thermograms are ideal for all women and particularly those who:
-- cannot tolerate radiation
-- are under age 40
-- have dense, fibrocystic or large breasts
-- have had implants or reduction surgery
-- are on hormone replacement therapy
-- are pre-menopausal, pregnant or nursing

So, Why the Push for Screening Mammograms?
It’s important to make the distinction between screening and diagnostic mammograms.

Diagnostic mammograms are given in situations in which a breast mass or other
suspicious symptom has been detected and requires further investigation.

Screening mammograms are those given to presumably healthy women in order to check for changes or lumps in the breast that have not been found through manual examination.

According to Barbara Brenner, Executive Director of the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Action advocacy group and herself a breast cancer survivor: “The United States’ public campaign to eradicate breast cancer has not focused on prevention, but largely on efforts that promote mammography

Pink Profiteering

The push for women over 40 to have regular mammogram screenings has taken on a life of its own (think pink ribbon campaigns). It is on some level simply the thing to do – it’s in vogue, in other words. Everyone can get behind a movement purporting to help women detect breast cancer, right?

It’s a worthy cause and an image enhancer, no matter the product or business. In fact, everything from vacuum cleaners to yogurt is promoted with pink ribbons each October, the official ‘Breast Cancer Awareness Month.’

And in another twist on the pink ribbon marketing phenomenon, certain major cosmetic companies slap pink ribbon replicas on products that contain toxic chemicals suspected of causing cancer, among other illnesses.

A loose estimate of the money the medical establishment rakes in on mammograms:
$100 average cost per screening
x 65 million U.S. women age 40 and over
= $6.5 billion dollars per year

Add to that a few million $1,000+ biopsies and it becomes clear that annual
mammography screenings for women 40 and older is at least a $10 billion dollar per year industry.

Mammography – What Every Woman Must Know!

1. Mammograms do not prevent breast cancer – they detect it once you have it
(and not 100 percent of the time).

2. Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe by PR campaigns promoting yearly mammograms, screening mammography has not been proven to increase breast cancer survival rates to a degree sufficient to outweigh the risks associated with the procedure. This is especially true for women 40-49 years of age.

In fact, in 2007 the American College of Physicians produced a set of detailed guidelines for screening mammography among younger women which encourages doctors toward a careful assessment of each woman’s breast cancer risks, as well as discussion with patients about the risks and benefits of
screening mammography.

3. Mammography uses ionizing radiation, a known cancer-causing agent which has a cumulative effect on your body. The practice of annual mammograms, which
involves taking four films of each breast, delivers about one rad (radiation absorbed dose) exposure.

If you’re pre-menopausal your breast is more sensitive to radiation, and each one
rad exposure can increase your breast cancer risk by about one percent. In 10 years of screening, you can accumulate a 10 percent increased risk for each breast.

4. Mechanical compression of your breast – as well as biopsy – can dislocate and
spread existing malignant cells.[11] This occurs when the small blood vessels that
support a cancer are ruptured. Think about it: medical students are taught to handle breasts gently during examination so as not to spread a possible existing
cancer. Now contrast that with what happens to your breast during a

5. The quality of a mammography screening depends on several factors: the age
and condition of the equipment, the skill of the technician who performs the exam
and the radiologist who reads the images.

6. A percentage of mammogram results present false negatives, meaning that
cancer is present but goes undetected.

7. A percentage of mammogram results also present false positives – the mammogram detects something in your breast, a biopsy is performed, and there is no cancer present.

In fact, up to 75 percent of biopsies performed as a result of a mammogram finding reveal benign conditions. And while biopsies are a relatively simple procedure, they are frightening and stressful, and can result in scarring and disfigurement. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that the cumulative risk for a false
positive result after 10 mammograms is nearly 50 percent. And the risk of enduring an unnecessary biopsy is approximately 20 percent.

8. Many women under the age of 50 have dense breast tissue, which makes mammogram images especially difficult to read. The combination of exposure to radiation and false positives due to dense breast tissue in women in this age group (from about 40 years of age to 50) indicates that mammography can do more harm than good.

9. In women over 69, the benefit of screening mammography is essentially nonexistent. According to the AMA: "Women's preferences for a small gain in life expectancy and the potential harms of screening should play an important role when elderly women are deciding about screening."

10. Your best defense against both the harmful effects of routine screening mammograms and the disease of breast cancer is literally in your hands. If you perform regular breast-self exams, combined with a yearly professional manual exam and thermography screening, you can stay on top of your breast health.

If you notice something suspicious between yearly visits to your doctor, you’ll want to make an appointment right away. If your physician feels it’s warranted, you may need to undergo a diagnostic mammogram and additional tests to investigate a suspicious lump or other finding.

Given the risk-benefit analysis of the advisability of screening mammograms, it’s wise to question the motives of the traditional medical establishment and organizations like the American Cancer Society in promoting mammography to the exclusion of most other screening devices, including breast thermography.

Ignoring the value of thermography as part of a multi-modal approach to early breast cancer detection – and prevention -- is nothing short of negligent.

Cancer is the Number One Killer in the U.S.
Heart disease used to be the leading cause of death in the U.S., but in 2002, the tide turned. Cancer became the number one killer of Americans under the age of 85. This trend is expected to continue, and in another ten years – by 2018 – cancer will be the number one killer of all Americans, young and old alike.

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 270,000 women will die of cancer in 2008 – 40,000 from breast cancer alone.

The ACS also estimates that in 2008, 745,000 men and 692,000 women will be
diagnosed with cancer. Of the women diagnosed, over a quarter will be found to have breast cancer.

If you’re female, you have a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer during your lifetime.

Detecting the Beginnings of Disease
Fact: Inflammation (which generates heat) is the first sign – the earliest stage -- of serious diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and others.

Unfortunately, the majority of diagnostic tests are intended to find the most recent, most critical stage of a disease process. Mammography, for example, can only tell you whether something has already developed, not whether you’re on the path toward developing cancer or some other disease at a later stage in life.

The good news is …
  • If inflammation is discovered through thermography, and treated early – as opposed to the norm, which is years later when anatomical damage has occurred -- it may prevent or inhibit the development of further illness.
  • Most serious illness is lifestyle related, not hereditary.
  • Inflammation can be addressed through lifestyle changes such as diet, supplements, exercise, and stress management.
The Red Hot Core of Cancer
Since the technology of thermography is perfectly suited to the early detection of breast cancer in particular, let’s begin our exploration there.

Long before you or your doctor are able to feel a suspicious lump in your breast, and long before a mass is detectable by traditional screening methods, there are very likely other indicators that something is wrong.

Your body, when healthy, is thermally symmetrical. This means that when, for example, both your breasts are equally healthy, their blood flow and heat patterns are nearly identical.

However, if something is going awry inside one of your breasts, the vascular patterns between the two will be different – in other words, asymmetrical. Thermal asymmetry can be an indicator of disease in the making.

Another sign of a potential problem is a relatively high level of chemical and blood
vessel activity in breast tissue. Breast masses, both pre-cancerous and cancerous, require large amounts of nutrients to sustain growth. Angiogenesis is the scientific term used to describe the process by which your body forms a direct supply of blood to feed cancer cells the nutrients they demand. This happens as a necessary step before cancer cells can grow into tumors of size.

As your body feeds the cancerous tissue, the surface temperature of your breast rises.

Heat-Seeking Technology Gives You a TEN YEAR Warning!
Thermography, also known as digital infrared thermal imaging, easily detects and
exposes thermal asymmetry and the irregular heat patterns which precede a
conspicuous breast lump.

The enormous benefit of breast thermography is that it can detect the beginnings of possible cancer cells up to 10 years before they would be detected by any other screening method.

In stark contrast to mammography, thermal imaging is non-invasive, painless, and
utterly risk-free.

Thermography: Old ‘New’ Technology
While you may have heard of medical thermography only recently, the principle on
which it’s based – heat differentiation within your body as an indicator of disease – is centuries old.

It was first noted by Hippocrates in 480 B.C.16 It was common practice during that time for physicians to paint a patient’s body with mud or wet clay, and then watch for which areas dried first. Those areas were considered ‘hot,’ and were thought to be indicators of underlying disease.

Hot Bodies Are the Key to Early Disease Detection
Hippocrates explained it this way: “Should one part of the body be colder or hotter than the other, disease is present in that part.”

In the 1800’s, Sir Frederick William Herschel, a British astronomer and composer, discovered infrared radiation. He established that ‘dark heat’ is emitted and that it behaves like light, meaning it can be reflected and refracted under certain conditions.

In the 1950’s, the military adopted the use of infrared monitoring systems. During the same decade, Dr. Ray Lawson began using a thermocouple device to look for possible breast cancer in his patients. He discovered increased temperature patterns in patients who later were diagnosed with breast cancer.

During early clinical use of the technology, the only method for detecting potential health problems was by informal observation of the images produced by the equipment. Protocols and controls either didn’t exist, or weren’t carefully followed by clinicians.

Simple and Easy to Understand
And when, for example, a thermal image showed positive for inflammation but no tumor was immediately found, the test result was deemed inaccurate rather than as an early detection device for potential cancer. The result was that thermography received an initial bad rap by the medical establishment.

What early thermal imaging clinicians failed to realize was:
  • Thermography is a functional test which measures heat patterns created by increased vascularity – this may be due to cancer, or it may be inflammation without cancer.
  • The only way to diagnose a cancerous tumor is through biopsy of the suspicious tissue – no screening test can diagnose cancer, it can only point to the possibility that it exists.
  • The main advantage of thermography over other screening tests is that it can measure and monitor inflammation at an early stage, potentially before cancer or other life-threatening disease gets a foothold.
Conventional Medicine Views on Thermography
Recognition by the medical establishment of the benefits of thermal imaging has been a series of stops and starts – and more stops. In the early 1970’s, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare declared that thermography was viable as a diagnostic procedure to detect breast cancer.

In the early 80’s, the FDA gave thermography the thumbs up as another option in breast cancer screening. However, for six years in the mid-1970’s, a study was conducted (the Breast Cancer Detection and Demonstration Project) that was so poorly executed it exacerbated lingering doubts among clinicians about the viability of thermal imaging as a diagnostic tool.

Insurance companies, some of which initially paid for the procedure, have since decided en masse to refuse coverage. This in spite of a unanimous New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling that thermography is a valid diagnostic test and should be a reimbursable claim. Also in spite of the fact that the U.S. legal system allows thermal images as evidence in court cases.

Use of the technology by both traditional and alternative healthcare practitioners isdirectly proportional to insurance reimbursement.

Unholy Trinity: The AMA, Lobbyists, and the American Cancer Society

The AMA has successfully lobbied against thermography, choosing to view it as competitive to mammography rather than as a viable alternative -- or even as a vital tool in a multi-modal approach to early breast cancer detection.

At this writing, the American Cancer Society continues to promote only mammography, despite ample evidence against the advisability of frequent mammograms, especially for younger women.

The fact is that in order to find objective information about the very real risks – and often debatable benefits – of regular mammography screening, it’s necessary to search beyond the traditional U.S. medical establishment for unbiased reporting.

Thermography Explained
Thermography uses an infrared camera to graphically illustrate skin temperature by way of a color image. On the image, degrees of heat appear as different colors. Your skin temperature is affected primarily by blood flow.

Standard diagnostic tests such as mammograms, x-rays, MRI’s, ultrasounds and CAT scans are designed to test your anatomy. By contrast, thermography tests for physiological change and metabolic processes. It measures the amount of body heat delivered to your skin through cellular metabolism and your nervous system.

From the Outside In: Your Skin Temperature As a Measure of Your Health
Each area of your skin is connected to internal organs through a neural reflex arc via the spinal cord. That’s how serious underlying disease often signals its presence -- in the form of skin tenderness and sensitivity to touch.

For example, if you have heart disease, you’re apt to feel sensitivity on the skin of your neck, left arm and left chest wall.

If your appendix is inflamed or diseased, you’ll feel skin tenderness over the site of that organ, among other symptoms. The regulatory pattern of your skin reflects the condition of the corresponding internal organ.

Your skin temperature patterns are indicators of metabolic activity in different parts of your body. Disturbances in your body’s metabolic processes appear via thermal imaging as areas of inflammation, degeneration and/or blockage. Left untreated, these metabolic and cellular stresses often show up in the form of anatomical damage years later.

What Thermal Images Can Reveal
Thermography detects patterns of blood flow, vascular changes, inflammation and
asymmetries. Some very practical areas of application include:
  • Early breast cancer detection. (More on this later.)
  • Back. Thermal imaging detects and illustrates nerve root involvement and soft tissue damage often associated with back problems.
  • Thyroid. Warm or cold patterns can indicate a problem with thyroid gland function.
  • Dental (TMJ, cavities, gum disease). Thermography can detect inflammation of your gums as well as certain drainage patterns. It can point to potential problems with an infected tooth and also the condition known as TMJ.
  • Carotid artery. Inflammation (occlusion) in this artery may indicate an upcoming problem with blood clots or stroke. Thermal imaging quickly detects an inflammatory condition.
  • Arthritis (osteo and rheumatoid). The inflammation of arthritis appears as a ‘hot’ area when imaged.
  • Muscular-skeletal. Thermography can detect and differentiate among conditions such as pinched nerves, muscle spasms, hairline fractures, inflammations, radiculopathy, referred pain, etc.
  • Sinus. Thermal imaging reveals drainage patterns in the ethmoid sinuses into lymphatic pathways.
  • Nerve irritation or damage. Shows up on thermal imaging as an abnormal cold pattern.
  • Asymmetric densities. Densities in your body (growths, masses, lumps, cysts, etc.) tend to have cold rather than hot patterns. Thermal imaging is able to detect asymmetrical cold patterns, and the colder the image, the bigger the density is likely to be.
Thermography, or thermal imaging, creates images called thermograms. These images are what illustrate the unique heat patterns in your body.

Pain Free, Risk Free Testing
Thermography scans are absolutely painless and risk-free. They involve no compression of tissue, are non-invasive, and emit no radiation. The technology is cost effective (prices range from about $150 for a region of interest scan up to approximately $500 for a full-body scan) and provides instant images of scanned areas of your body. A scan of a targeted region takes about 15 minutes and a full body scan runs about 30 minutes.

A yearly full-body scan will show alterations in your body’s heat patterns over time, alert you to deviations, and best of all -- give you time to pursue natural, conservative treatment options to slow or halt potential disease processes.

Think of thermography as preventive medicine which can be used to detect, control and even prevent serious illness or disease that otherwise would not be diagnosed until it is well-advanced.

Also think of thermography as biological medicine. Biologic = the logic of nature. Thermographic images reveal clues about your body’s ability to balance and normalize the state of your well-being.

Your body in its natural state is self-healing and selfregulating. When your health is compromised, thermography can provide clues to what is standing in the way of your body’s ability to heal.

What to Expect During a Thermal Imaging Session
1. You will be placed in a climate-controlled room to allow your body to cool from
any external conditions.
2. Next you’ll be placed in front of a thermal imaging camera while the technician
takes digital pictures. (You’ll be able to see your body – in living color – on the
computer screen during this part of the session.)
3. Your pictures will be read by a certified thermography clinician who will analyze
both the amount of heat and the symmetry of the heat patterns your body
generates. (This process will take a few days or weeks.)
4. Your doctor or other healthcare specialist will sit down with you to review the
report of findings resulting from your thermography scan. Together you will
determine next steps, which may include a personal consultation about ways in
which to reduce inflammation.

Thermal imaging sessions are quick, non-invasive, entirely painless, and risk free.
There is no need for ‘test anxiety’ at any point leading up to or during your thermography session.

The Future of Thermography
To date, clinical thermography has been used primarily to detect and assess breast cancer, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, and pain syndromes.

Obviously, there are many other health-related situations and conditions in which
thermal imaging can be extremely valuable. And in fact, as the use of thermal imaging continues to gain momentum, it holds infinite promise for the detection and prevention of serious disease.

Mainstream Acknowledgment
Thermal imaging technology has been researched for 40 years. Thousands of papers have appeared in a wide range of medical journals supporting the use of thermography as a valid diagnostic tool. The vast majority of papers have been presented in peer review journals, including:
-- Anesthesia
-- Journal of the American Dental Association
-- Journal of the American Medical Association
-- Pain Journal
-- Spine Journal

Medical associations have issued statements confirming the usefulness of thermography as a diagnostic tool. A few of those include the American Academy of Medical Imaging, the American Academy of Pain Management, the American Academy of Head, Neck and Facial Pain, and the ACA Council on Diagnostic Imaging. Thermography screening is being used across the U.S. in a number of well-known medical settings such as the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins, and Tulane University.

It is also being used in countries outside the U.S., at well-respected institutions like the University of Copenhagen, Italy’s Verona University Hospital, the Louis Pasteur Institute in Paris, and Israel’s Yeshiva University Medical School.

Self Breast Examination is a Safe & Effective Alternative to Mammography
That most breast cancers are first recognized by women themselves was admitted in 1985 by the ACS, an aggressive advocate of routine mammography for all women over the age of 40: "We must keep in mind the fact that at least 90 percent of the women who develop breast carcinoma discover the tumors themselves". Furthermore, as previously shown, "training increases reported breast self-examination frequency, confidence, and the number of small tumors found".

The Future of Your Health Is In Your Hands
The human race is growing sicker by the year from environmental and lifestyle-related causes. The cost of traditional healthcare continues to soar, both in terms of dollars and quality of life issues that arise from treatment – rather than prevention -- of serious, debilitating, life-threatening illness.

The real advantage of thermography resides in its potential as preventive medicine. Where most diagnostic screening technology can be thought of as life preserving, thermal imaging stands apart in its potential to preserve wellness.

It’s the difference between overturning your boat in shark-infested waters, life preserver in hand, outcome unknown … and learning how to keep your boat upright so that you never need a life preserver in the first place.

Preventing Breast Cancer - Part 1    

Breast cancer is a complex disease, and many things contribute to it. The following points explain some other things that you can do to help prevent breast cancer. In addition, there are specific foods and lifestyle changes that can help to prevent breast cancer as well as other cancers.

Bra Wearing Habits

In a study by Singer and Grismaijer in 1995, 3 out of 4 women studied who wore a bra for 24 hours a day developed breast cancer compared to 1 out of 168 who wore a bra rarely or never.

That is a huge difference, and the implication is clear.  Your first line of defence in preventing breast cancer is to severely limit how many hours a day you wear a bra.

Bras do NOT cause the cancer initially but they restrict the flow of lymph within breast tissue, thereby hindering the normal cleansing process of the breast tissue.  Many environmental toxins and pesticides that cause and promote cancer are "fat-loving" and so tend to reside in the breast tissue.  Lymph fluid carries away waste products, dead cells, and toxins.

Another study found that wearing a bra decreased melatonin production and increased the core body temperature.  Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant and hormone that promotes good sleep, fights aging, boosts immune system, and slows the growth of certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

Note: If you need or want to wear a bra, find one that is fitting. Be especially careful about the underwires and side panels, because if the fit is not just right, the underwire can poke into the breast tissue, and the side panels can create extra pressure and tightness. Consider getting fitted right with a professional fitter by following these guidelines on this web page:

Also, give your breasts "free time". Take your bra off whenever you can, such as at home. At the very least do not wear it to sleep. 

Note: While bras do give breasts support, they do not ultimately prevent your breasts from sagging. Gravity will eventually take its effect. There is actually some evidence that bras can even increase sagging. One possible reason for that is that the breast has ligaments, and since other bodily ligaments can atrophy when not in use, the same might happen to the breast ligaments under the constant artificial support from the bra, resulting in increased sagginess. Another possible reason for bra-wearing increasing sagginess is IF a woman wears an ill-fitting bra, which may force some of the breast tissue to "migrate", resulting in differently shaped breasts than otherwise.

Note: All of this may sound far-fetched ... your doctor may have never heard of it, but the evidence is there. Preventing breast cancer should be a very important matter for all of us. Drastically reducing the amount of time your breasts are bound in bras and being conscientious of only wearing well-fitting bras are easy steps to take that might save you a fortune in medical bills, and even your life!

Vitamin D and Sunlight

Breast cancer mortality rates in the U.S. vary according to the geographic region so that the highest rates are in the northeast and urban areas, and lowest rates in the south and rural areas.  This is explained by the variation in sunlight and the subsequent vitamin D production.  According to William B. Grant's analysis, breast cancer risk could be cut in half by sufficient vitamin D levels - or in other words, by sufficient sun exposure.

Adult humans need much more vitamin D than the amount that used to be recommended (400 IU) — probably somewhere around 3000-5000 IU daily. So you cannot get enough vitamin D from the diet alone.  Sun exposure without sunscreens is the preferred source of vitamin D.  If you need vitamin D supplementation, blood testing of vitamin D level is recommended to know how much supplements to take and not to overdose.  Dr. Mercola's article on vitamin D deficiency explains the testing, as well as how much sun exposure is adequate.  Just remember, don't burn!

Carbohydrates, Obesity, and Breast Cancer

Obesity has long been recognized as a risk factor for breast cancer.  Recent reasearch is starting to unveil a bigger picture where obesity, a condition called insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia, higher estrogen levels, and insulin-like growth factor I are all connected, and act synergistically.  The exact causal mechanism is yet uncertain and under study.

People with insulin resistance or hyperinsulinemia (also called syndrome X) have high levels of insulin in their blood because the cells in their body are resisting insulin and so the body produces lots of it to counteract the resistance.  This condition is caused by eating too much carbohydrates that digest rapidly, like bread, potatoes, rice, corn, baked goods, pop and other sugary drinks, cakes, cookies, most desserts, and some sweet fruits.  These foods have high glycemic index (GI).   Carbohydrate foods with low glycemic index (those which digest slowly) would be lentils, beans, barley, most vegetables, and some fruits.  And some foods have a medium glycemic index, for example pasta and certain kinds of breads.

The mechanism of insulin resistance is as follows:
When you eat lots of carbohydrates with high glycemic index, the pancreas produces lots of insulin so that the energy from those carbohydrates (in form of glucose) could be used in the cells all around the body. Insuling is like a 'key' that opens the door to the cells so that energy (glucose) can enter the cells from the bloodstream. When there is lots of insulin in the bloodstream, the cells start resisting insulin's action. Insulin-resistant cells resist the 'key', so therefore they don't get the glucose (energy). Instead, all the extra glucose ends up stored as body fat (that's why obesity is a symptom), while the person can still feel hungry.
Almost all people with type 2 diabetes and many with high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and overweight people are insulin resistant. But multitudes of apparently healthy Americans also are have this condition without knowing it, because their pancreas is (still) compensating for the resistance by putting out lots and lots of insulin. You can suspect insulin resistance if you suffer from fatigue, brain fogginess, low blood sugar, obesity, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. A glucose tolerance test can determine if a person is insulin resistant.

The remedy to hyperinsulinemia is to change the diet towards foods with low glycemic index, protein foods, and vegetables.  Also exercise works wonders in lowering insulin levels.  Since the typical western diet contains lots of the high GI foods, this is one more factor explaining why breast cancer has become the disease of the affluent modern western world.

Another player in this synergistic play (besides insulin) is the insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) that is normally present in humans.  Consuming flaxseed has been found to reduce the IGF-I levels.  Note also that milk from cows injected with the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone rBGH contains much higher levels of IGF-1 than normal cow's milk.  We do not know if this has much of an effect on breast cancer incidence, but breast cancer patients can consider using organic dairy products or cutting off dairy while trying to recover from cancer.

Omega-3 fats and Breast Cancer

The evidence is very compelling that consuming omega-3 fatty acids helps prevent breast cancer, and that the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in diet is important.  One should not consume too much of omega-6 fats in relation to omega-3 fats.  The typical western diet contains up to 20 times as much omega-6 fats as it does omega-3s; the optimum ratio for health is more like 4:1.  The beneficial omega-3 fats won't work nearly as well in protecting you from cancer if the diet contains lots of omega-6 fats.  This fat issue is also a major factor in heart disease.

Omega-6 fats are found in refined supermarket cooking oils such as soy oil, corn oil, sunflower, safflower oil, in margarine, and in all processed foods that use these.  Omega-3 fats are found in flaxseed, walnuts, and in oily fish, like sardines, salmon, trout, and mackerel.  To limit your intake of omega-6 fats, you can use olive oil for cooking and butter for (occasional) frying.

Flaxseed and Cruciferous Vegetables - Connection with Estrogen

Certain forms of the female hormone estrogen promote cancer growth.  This explains why early puberty, short menstrual cycle, and not having children are risk factors - the more menstrual cycles you go through, the more estrogen you are exposed to. 

The man-made hormones used in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapies have proven not to be totally safe.  Man simply does not understand the complexities of the human body enough to be able to know all the effects of synthetic hormones.  The hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that combines estrogen with synthetic progestin increases the breast cancer risk substantially.  Women using birth control pills possibly have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

You can't stop your body from producing estrogen (and you wouldn't want to) but there are some plant substances that can alter the way your body processes estrogen (estrogen metabolism).

The body metabolizes estrogen in two ways. In one pathway, it is converted into 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16alpha-OHE1) and 4-hydroxyestrone (4-OH), both of which promote tissue proliferation, breast cancer, and estrogen dominance. Obesity, alcohol consumption, and toxic exposure can increase the levels of 16alpha-OHE1, and high levels of it are connected with increased risk and poorer prognosis of breast cancer.
The other possibility for estrogen breakdown is a safer metabolite, 2-hydroxyestrone (2-OHE1) with weak estrogenic activity.  You want to have a proper balance between these two metabolitess, 2-OHE1 and 16alpha-OHE1.

Lignans in flaxseed, isoflavonoids in soy, indole-3 carbinols in the cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc. and omega-3 fatty acids (flax, fatty fish) reduce the amount of the carcinogenic estrogen metabolite (16a-hydroxyestrone), and increase the neutral-to-favorable estrogen (2-hydroxyestrone), thereby increasing the 2-OH:16 alpha-OH ratio.   Consuming flaxseed has been even shown to reduce breast cancer tumor size in rats.

Flax or flax oil should be part of everybody's diet anyway, because it is among the few good sources of the essential omega-3 fatty acid ALA.  The lignans that are so helpful against breast cancer are found mainly in flax seed and not in the oil.  Remember to grind flaxseed before use because if unground, it won't digest too well.  You can add it to breads, muffins, or other baked goods, or sprinkle on oatmeal or salad.

Also, any excess estrogen produced by ovaries is sent to be eliminated in the feces, but if the bowel transit time is long, it can be reabsorbed.  Fiber, vegetables, fruits, exercise and anything that keeps the bowels moving well will therefore lessen breast cancer risk.

Vitamin E

Some studies have found vitamin E to have any protective effect against breast cancer, and many have not, but more recent studies are now finding that it is the form of vitamin E that makes the difference.   It appears that the common form of vitamin E that you find in supplements and in most food sources, alpha tocopherol, is not protective against breast cancer (though it certainly is a very powerful antioxidant and needed nutrient).  But women consuming other forms of vitamin E called tocotrienols have been found to have dramatically lower risk of contracting breast cancer - 50% less risk for women without family history of breast cancer, and as much as 90% for premenopausal women with family history.

The food sources of tocotrienols are rice bran, barley, and wheat germ.  This is yet another piece of evidence about the benefits of whole grains (brown rice, whole wheat, barley) versus the refined counterparts.  Actually palm oil is the best source of tocotrienols but palm oil sold in the U.S. is refined and as usual, refining removes the good stuff.


Research on soy and breast cancer presents a conflicting picture.  Many studies have shown a protective effect, many have not.  One study found that the major phytoestrogens in soy, genistein and daidzein, stimulated breast tumor growth in laboratory and in animals at low concentrations but had the opposite effect at high concentrations.  In yet another study, soy and curcumin together produced a 100% effect in stopping tumor growth.

The fact that Japanese consume soy and have very low breast cancer rates is often used to 'prove' that soy can help prevent breast cancer.  But traditional Japanese diets differ from typical Western diets in many ways so it could be something else that is causing that.  For example, they eat lots of fish and seaweed.  Also, Japanese consume soy in fermented form, and usually only as side dishes, in small amounts, and not as main staple.   So more research is needed on soy.

                                                                                                                [Back to top]

How to Prevent Breast Cancer - Part 2  

1a. Consume as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Eat seven or more servings daily. The superstars for breast cancer protection include all cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower); dark leafy greens (collards, kale, spinach); carrots, tomatoes, and beans. The superstar fruits include citrus, berries and cherries. Note: It is best to eat cruciferous vegetables raw or lightly cooked, as some of the phytochemicals believed to offer protection against breast cancer are destroyed by heat. Follow a nutritional program such as the Level 3 version of the Death to Diabetes Diet, with raw juicing and raw foods.

1b. Drink 2-3 glasses of raw vegetable juice daily. If you have a juicer and a blender, get the very popular Power of Juicing & Smoothies ebook to help with the diabetes as well as the cancer. This book will also help you to find a good juicer and blender. If you plan to implement a raw food diet program, you may want to get the Raw Food Diet ebook.

2. Eat the right fats (monounsaturated, Omega-3). The type of fat in your diet can affect your breast cancer risk. Maximize your intake of omega-3 fats, especially from oily fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, lake trout and herring).  Consume monounsaturated oils (olive oil, nuts/seeds, avocados) as your primary fat source, as these foods have potential anticancer properties. Specifically, extra virgin olive oil is a potent source of antioxidant polyphenols, including squalene; and nuts and seeds provide you with the cancer protective mineral, selenium. Minimize consumption of omega-6 fats (sunflower, safflower, corn and cottonseed oils), saturated fats and trans fats.

3a. Avoid refined carbs. Minimize consumption of the high glycemic index, "Great White Hazards" - white flour, white rice, white potatoes, sugar and products containing them. These foods trigger hormonal changes that promote cellular growth in breast tissue. Replace these "wrong" carbs with organic whole grains and beans/legumes. Beans/legumes because of their high fiber and lignan content are especially special.

3b. Avoid vegetable oils, trans fats. Minimize consumption of soybean oil, corn oil and other vegetable oils, plus canola oil. Also, avoid fried foods and fast foods, especially French fries and hamburgers.

3c. Reduce consumption of animal meat. Most animal meats contain growth hormones and antibiotics, which affect a woman's body hormonally. If you're going to eat meat, buy organic, free-range.

4. Consume whole food soy products regularly, such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, soy nuts, and miso. Only consume organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) soy. Epidemiologic studies have shown a positive association between soy consumption and reduced breast cancer risk.

5. Exercise regularly and get some sunlight. Many studies have shown that regular exercise provides powerful protection against breast cancer. And, if you can exercise outdoors to get some sun, it's an extra bonus (of Vitamin D). Aim for 30 minutes or more of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking) five or more days a week. Consistency and duration, not intensity, are key!
Note: If you can't exercise outdoors, then, take a Vitamin D3 supplement.

6. Take your (wholefood) supplements daily. A multivitamin, 500-1,000 mg of vitamin C in divided doses, 200-400 IUs of vitamin E as mixed tocopherols, and pharmaceutical grade fish oil. Also take 200 mcg of the mineral selenium or eat one to two Brazil nuts as an alternative. If you have a chronic medical condition or take prescription drugs, consult your physician first. Be careful though since many supplements contain heavy metals and other synthetic chemicals in order to mass-produce the supplements.

7. Minimize exposure to pharmacologic estrogens and xeno-estrogens. Do not take prescription estrogens unless medically indicated. Lifetime exposure to estrogen plays a fundamental role in the development of breast cancer. Also avoid estrogen-like compounds found in hair/skin cosmetics and environmental pollutants, such as pesticides and industrial chemicals. Buy organic produce if you can afford it; otherwise, thoroughly wash all non-organic produce. Minimize exposure to residual hormones found in non-organic dairy products, meat and poultry.

8. Maintain a positive mental outlook. Engage in self-nurturing behaviors regularly. Develop rich, warm and mutually beneficial relationships with family and friends. Get adequate sleep (7-8 hours per night). The mind-body associations with breast cancer are significant.

9. Maintain a healthy body weight (BMI less than 26) throughout your life. Weight gain in midlife, independent of BMI, has been shown to significantly increase breast cancer risk. Additionally, and elevated BMI has been conclusively shown to increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer.

10. Minimize or avoid alcohol. Alcohol use is the most well established dietary risk factor for breast cancer. The Harvard Nurses' Health study, along with several others, has shown consuming more than one alcoholic beverage a day can increase breast cancer risk by as much as 20-25 percent.

11. Breast-feed your babies. Breast-feeding is associated with a modest reduction in developing breast cancer before menopause. The longer a woman breast-feeds, the greater the benefit.

12. Reduce bra-wearing. Limit how many hours a day you wear a bra to prevent the restriction of the flow of lymph within breast tissue, which is part of the normal cleansing process for the breast tissue.  Another option is to massage the breasts regularly.

13. Get tested regularly. Testing is important, but avoid mammograms -- try thermography instead.

14. Think twice before taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There are several good reasons to take HRT after menopause: lower risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease. But HRT increases breast cancer risk. Talk with your doctor, and weigh your individual risks.

15. Stress. It depresses immune function. But the research on the alleged stress-breast cancer link is very controversial. Nonetheless, it's a good idea to incorporate a stress management regimen into your life meditation, yoga, tai chi, gardening, or other relaxing activities.

Foods That Help to Prevent Breast CancerUnrecognized Guid format.

Recent research suggests that adding these foods to your diet could significantly lower your risk of breast cancer (and other cancers).

#1. Yellow orange vegetables -- Eating foods high in beta-carotene has been linked in many studies to lower rates of breast cancer.

Tip: Baby carrots beta-carotene is more absorbable then regular carrots and carrots beta-carotene is 500% more absorbable than in raw carrots.

#2. Cruciferous vegetables
-- radish, broccoli, cauliflower, rutabaga, cabbage, turnips, turnip greens, contain indole -3-carbinol, which lowers women's levels of a type of estrogen that may promote breast cancer.(16-hydroxy- estradiol and 16-hydroxy-estrone).

Tip: Eat at least 3 servings of raw or lightly-steamed vegetables (including raw salads and raw juices) every day.

Tip: Look for BroccoSprouts, a brand of broccoli sprouts with megalevels of SGS, a compound that fights mammary tumors in mice.

#3. Warm a mug of 1%-2% organic hormone free milk (Alta Dena) , add 1 tbs. ground almonds, pumpkin seed or walnuts or 1/4 tbs. natural almond extract, and enjoy it at bedtime. Why not fat-free milk? Because there's an intriguing compound in milk fat (including butter) -- conjugated linoleic acid -- that fights breast cancer cells in test tubes and animals.

#4. Eat tomatoes, including cooked, dried, soups, juice and sauces, even ketch-up to fill up on a compound called lycopene. Diets high in lycopene are linked to lower rates of breast and prostate cancer.

Eat (dark) grapes and give up the red wine. More than one alcoholic beverage a day increases your risk of breast cancer. But concord grapes have cancer-fighting antioxidant power.

#6. Eat cold water fish
(wild salmon, tuna, anchovies, polluck, crab, sardines) and omega-3 rich nuts and seeds (walnut, pumpkin, flax). Research suggests that women with higher tissue levels of omega-3s have lower rates of breast cancer.

#7. Get
20 minutes of sunlight a day. Women whose diets are higher in vitamin D have less breast cancer. To ensure that you get the recommended level, add Vitamin D to a healthy diet.

#8. Eat a small bowel of dark cherries. Cherries are a top source of a compound that may inhibit mammary cancer in rats.

Eat whole fruit oranges and tangerines. Compounds called limonoids, found in the peel and white membrane of oranges, inhibit breast cancer in test tubes.  Look for herbal teas made w/ orange lemon peel. Use real orange and lemon oils in cooking and health drinks.

#10. Avoid refined grains and choose whole grains instead.
At least one study has shown that women who ate the most refined grains had more breast cancer. Another study showed women who ate one serving a day of a cereal high in wheat bran lowered their level of breast cancer -promoting estrogen.

#11. Use (organic) butter over margarine. Butter contains CLA's mentioned in #3. One study suggests that a diet higher in trans fats may increase the risk of breast cancer. Margarine, most french fries, both frozen and fast-food, and many processed and fried foods made with hydrogenated fats are a top trans fat source. If you prefer margarine, use a trans-fat free brand.

#12. Drink green tea, hot or cold. Green tea is rich in EGCG, a compound that inhibits breast cancer cells in mice. Caffeinated brands have twice as much potency as uncaffeinated. And most bottled brands have little. Mix with herbal teas and lemon peel for taste, or naturally sweeten with a little Concord grape juice or super low glycemic Agave.

#13. M
ake your own easy dressing with half olive oil, half balsamic vinegar. Avoid commercial "olive oil" dressings. Mediterranean women who eat lots of olive oil have low rates of breast cancer, studies show.

#14. Eat garlic, including aged garlic. Garlic kills breast cancer cells in the test tube and maybe in you. But if you're going to cook garlic, always peel and chop, then let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before you heat. Heating right away doesn't allow time for the cancer-fighting compounds to develop.

#15. Eat spinach. Women in one study who ate a serving of spinach at least twice a week had half the rate of breast cancer of women who avoided it .

#16. Eat veggie burgers. They won't form the same compounds that meat does when it's being cooked and those compounds may explain why women who eat lots of red meat and lots of very well done meat seem to get more breast cancer.

#17. Eat flaxseed. It has 75 times more lignin precursors, compounds that inhibit mammary tumors in animals.

#18. Add whole soy. Soy’s isoflavinoids work as weak estrogens, blocking the more powerful estrogens from stimulating estrogen sensitive cancer cells. Some  soy foods also appear to speed estrogen's elimination from the body, which would also help prevent beast cancer. But, avoid processed soy foods.

#19. Use phyto herbs
, like don quai, fennel, black cohosh. They are also weak estrogens that compete with stronger estrogens for estrogen receptor sites. These are found in many “Change of life" formulas.

#20. Eat more fiber (vegetables, fruits and beans). In addition to their antioxidant content, beans, fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber. Dietary fiber binds to estrogen in the digestive tract, reducing circulating levels of the hormone. An easy way to boost your fiber intake is to start your day with a vegetable, salad, or bran cereal. Top your cereal with fruit, and you get even more fiber. Then eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables during the day to get all the fiber you need.

Note: For more information about cancer and cancer prevention, refer to the Cancer Prevention & Cure Cancer ebook and the following web pages:

Cancer and Diabetes
More Cancer Info
Cancer Prevention
Super Foods

Olive Oil
Power of Garlic
Antioxidant-rich Foods

                                                                                                               [Back to top]

  1. ^ "Breast Cancer: Screening". United States Preventive Services Task Force.
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  9. Baines, C. J., and Dayan, R. A tangled web: Factors likely to affect the efficacy of screening mammography. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 91( 10): 833- 838, 1999.
  10. Laya, M. B. Effect of estrogen replacement therapy on the specificity and sensitivity of screening mammography. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 88( 10): 643- 649, 1996.
  11. Spratt, J. S., and Spratt, S. W. Legal perspectives on mammography and self-referral. Cancer 69( 2): 599- 600, 1992.
  12. Skrabanek, P. Shadows over screening mammography. Clin. Radiol. 40: 4- 5, 1989.
  13. Davis, D. L., and Love, S. J. Mammography screening. JAMA 271( 2): 152- 153, 1994.
  14. Christiansen, C. L., et al. Predicting the cumulative risk of false-positive mammograms. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 92( 20): 1657- 1666, 2000.
  15. Napoli, M. Overdiagnosis and overtreatment: The hidden pitfalls of cancer screening. Am. J. Nurs., 2001, in press.
  16. Baum, M. Epidemiology versus scaremongering: The case for humane interpretation of statistics and breast cancer. Breast J. 6( 5): 331- 334, 2000.
  17. Miller, A. B., et al. Canadian National Breast Screening Study-2: 13-year results of a randomized trial in women aged 50- 59 years. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 92( 18): 1490- 1499, 2000.
  18. Black, W. C. Overdiagnosis: An under-recognized cause of confusion and harm in cancer screening. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 92( 16): 1280- 1282, 2000.
  19. Napoli, M. What do women want to know. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. Monogr.
  20. 11- 13, 1997. 22. Lerner, B. H. Public health then and now: Great expectations: Historical perspectives on genetic breast cancer testing. Am. J. Public Health 89( 6): 938- 944, 1999.
  21. Gotzsche, P. C., and Olsen, O. Is screening for breast cancer with mammography justifiable? Lancet 355: 129- 134, 2000.
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  27. Leight, S. B., et al. The effect of structured training on breast self-examination search behaviors as measured using biomedical instrumentation. Nurs. Res. 49( 5): 283- 289, 2000.
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More References

1 Radiation from Medical Procedures in the Pathogenesis of Cancer and Ischemic Heart Disease, John Gofman, M.D., Ph.D, (Accessed September 4, 2008)

2 Beyond Mammography, Dr. Len Saputo, MD, (Accessed September 4, 2008)

3, What Is Breast Thermography,, (Accessed June 11, 2008)

4, Inflammatory Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers,, (Accessed June 12, 2008)

5, Sensitive Non-invasive Screening for Younger Women,, (Accessed June 30, 2008)

6, Who is a candidate for thermal imaging?,, (Accessed June 30, 2008)

7, Vonalda M. Utterback, CN, Breast Check: Do mandatory mammograms do more harm than good?,, (Accessed June 11, 2008)

8, Mammography Screening and New Technologies,, (Accessed June 10, 2008)

9 Annals of Internal Medicine, 2007 Apr 3;146(7):511-5, Qaseem A, Snow V, Sherif K, Aronson M, Weiss KB, Owens DK, Screening mammography for women 40-49 years of age: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians,, (Accessed July 21, 2008)

10, More on the Dangers of Mammography,, (Accessed July 21, 2008)

11, Thermography for Breast Cancer,, (Accessed June 11, 2008)

12 New England Journal of Medicine, 1998 Apr 16;338(16):1089-96, Elmore JG, Barton MB, Moceri VM, Polk S., Arena PJ, Fletcher SW, Ten-year risk of false positive screening mammograms and clinical breast exams,, (Accessed July 21, 2008)

13, Mammograms After Age 69 Offer Little Benefit,, (Accessed July 31, 2008)

14, 2008 Statistics,, (Accessed July 17, 2008)

15, Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging,, (Accessed June 9, 2008)

16, Martha M. Grout, M.D., M.D.(H) (USA), Thermography for Breast Cancer Screening,, (Accessed June 9, 2008)

17, Sydney L. Murray, Change Your Life With One Simple Test,, (Accessed June 9, 2008)

18, Keith Knowitz,DC,DABCO, Dynamic Chiropractic, June 12, 2000, Volume 18, Issue 13, Thermography: A New Perspective on an Old Test: Its Value in the Clinical Chiropractic Practice,, (Accessed June 12, 2008)

19, Headache, (Accessed June 16, 2008)

20, Overview of Digital Infrared Thermal Imaging,, (Accessed June 9, 2008)

21, Thermography,, (Accessed June 10, 2008)

22, Garrett Swetlikoff, ND, Computer Regulation Thermography,, (Accessed June 30, 2008)

23, Intro – Human Dynamics Thermography,, (Accessed June 10, 2008)

24, Regulation Thermography, (Accessed June 15, 2008

25 Breast cancer risk factors

References About Cancer Prevention

National Breast Cancer Prevention Project
Lots of information about preventing breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Healthnotes
This article includes a discussion of studies that have assessed whether certain vitamins, minerals, herbs, or other dietary ingredients offered in dietary or herbal supplements may be beneficial in connection with the reduction of risk of developing breast cancer, or of signs and symptoms in people who have this condition. The article is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited.

Vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D. Their potential roles in colon and breast cancer prevention. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;889:107-19.

Vitamin D and breast cancer risk: the NHANES I Epidemiologic follow-up study, 1971-1975 to 1992. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1999 May;8(5):399-406.

Breast cancer risk and risk reduction factors by William B. Grant, Ph.D.

Vitamin D and Cancer

Vitamin D and Mental Illness by John Jacob Cannell, MD. Extensive list of references providing evidence that humans need at least 3,000 IU of vitamin D daily.

Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency


Glycemic index chart

Insulin and insulin resistance

Estrogen and Insulin Crosstalk: Breast Cancer Risk Implications. The Nurse Practitioner. 2003;28(5):12-23. Includes recommendations to lower bioavailable estrogen and insulin through lifestyle changes.

Evaluation of the synergistic effect of insulin resistance and insulin-like growth factors on the risk of breast carcinoma. Cancer. 2004 Feb 15;100(4):694-700. "The results of the current study suggest that insulin resistance and IGFs may synergistically increase the risk of breast carcinoma."

Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load, and breast cancer risk: a case-control study. Ann Oncol. 2001 Nov;12(11):1533-8. Direct associations with breast cancer risk emerged for glycemic index and glycemic load. High glycemic index foods, such as white bread, increased the risk of breast cancer (OR = 1.3) while the intake of pasta, a medium glycemic index food, seemed to have no influence (OR = 1.0). Findings were consistent across different strata of menopausal status, alcohol intake, and physical activity level.

Insulin and cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Dec;2(4):315-29.

Dietary energy restriction in breast cancer prevention. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2003 Jan;8(1):133-42.

Dietary glycemic load and breast cancer risk in the Women's Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Jan;13(1):65-70. "Although we did not find evidence that a high glycemic diet increases overall breast cancer risk, the increase in risk in premenopausal women with low levels of physical activity suggests the possibility that the effects of a high glycemic diet may be modified by lifestyle and hormonal factors."

Premenopausal dietary carbohydrate, glycemic index, glycemic load, and fiber in relation to risk of breast cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Nov;12(11 Pt 1):1153-8. In this study lean (premenopausal) women had lower risk or breast cancer the more carbohydrates they ate, whereas overweight women had higher risk the more carbohydrates they ate. Also study found no association between fiber intake and breast cancer risk.

Energy sources and risk of cancer of the breast and colon-rectum in Italy. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1999;472:51-5. In this study, high intake of starch, and saturated fat were linked with an increase risk of cancer. High intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids (chiefly derived from olive and seed oils) were protective for breast cancer.

Dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of incident breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Jun;12(6):573-7. Dietary glycemic index and load were not associated with increased risk of postmenopausal breast cancer after adjustment for multiple breast cancer risk factors.

Breast Cancer, rBGH and Milk

Omega-3 fatty acids

Long-chain n-3-to-n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratios in breast adipose tissue from women with and without breast cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2002;42(2):180-5. "We conclude that total n-6 PUFAs may be contributing to the high risk of breast cancer in the United States and that LC n-3 PUFAs, derived from fish oils, may have a protective effect."

Opposing effects of dietary n-3 and n-6 fatty acids on mammary carcinogenesis: The Singapore Chinese Health Study. Br J Cancer. 2003 Nov 3;89(9):1686-92. "...high levels of dietary n-3 fatty acids from fish/shellfish (marine n-3 fatty acids) were significantly associated with reduced risk." Also, women consuming little omega-3 fatty acids and lots of omega-6 fatty acids had a higher risk of breast cancer.

Regulation of tumor angiogenesis by dietary fatty acids and eicosanoids. Nutr Cancer. 2000;37(2):119-27. "High-fat, n-6 fatty acid-rich diets were associated with a relatively poor prognosis in breast cancer patients; in a nude mouse model the same diet enhanced breast cancer progression, whereas n-3 fatty acids exerted suppressive effects that were associated with impaired angiogenesis."

N-3 and N-6 fatty acids in breast adipose tissue and relative risk of breast cancer in a case-control study in Tours, France. Int J Cancer. 2002 Mar 1;98(1):78-83. "We found inverse associations between breast cancer-risk and n-3 fatty acid levels in breast adipose tissue."

Estrogen & Flaxseed

Supplementation with flaxseed alters estrogen metabolism in postmenopausal women Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Feb;79(2):318-25.

Dietary flaxseed inhibits human breast cancer growth and metastasis and downregulates expression of insulin-like growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor. Nutr Cancer. 2002;43(2):187-92.
In conclusion, flaxseed inhibited the established human breast cancer growth and metastasis in a nude mice model, and this effect is partly due to its downregulation of insulin-like growth factor I and epidermal growth factor receptor expression.

Flaxseed and its lignan and oil components reduce mammary tumor growth at a late stage of carcinogenesis. Carcinogenesis, Vol 17, 1373-1376. (Rats were fed diets with flax oil, 5% flaxseed, 2.5% flaxseed or its purified lignan.)

Multifunctional aspects of the action of indole-3-carbinol as an antitumor agent. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;889:204-13. Indole-3-carbinol, a compound found in cruciferous vegetables, decreases the carsinogenic form of estrogen and increases the protective form.

Estrogen metabolism and the diet-cancer connection: rationale for assessing the ratio of urinary hydroxylated estrogen metabolites. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Apr;7(2):112-29.

Vitamin E

Does Vitamin E Prevent Breast Cancer? LE Magazine May 2002 In-depth coverage based on reviewing the scientific studies made about vitamin E and breast cancer. Evidence points to the form of vitamin E called tocotrienols as effective in preventing breast cancer - and not alpha-tocopherol (the one commonly available as a supplement).

Vitamin E and breast cancer prevention: current status and future potential. J Mammary Gland Biol Neoplasia. 2003 Jan;8(1):91-102. "Recent reviews of epidemiological data suggest that dietary source vitamin E may provide some protection against breast cancer, while vitamin E supplements do not."


The inhibition of the estrogenic effects of pesticides and environmental chemicals by curcumin and isoflavonoids. Environ Health Perspect 1998 Dec;106(12):807-12. "A combination of curcumin and isoflavonoids was able to inhibit the induced growth of ER-positive cells up to 95%. ...a mixture of curcumin and isoflavonoids is the most potent inhibitor against the growth of human breast tumor cells."

Effects of soy phytoestrogens genistein and daidzein on breast cancer growth. 1: Ann Pharmacother. 2001 Sep;35(9):1118-21. "Genistein and daidzein at low concentrations were found to stimulate breast tumor growth in in vitro and in vivo animal studies, and antagonize the antitumor effect of tamoxifen in vitro. At high concentrations, genistein inhibited tumor growth and enhanced the effect of tamoxifen in vitro."

Genotoxic activity of four metabolites of the soy isoflavone daidzein. Mutat Res. 2003 Dec 9;542(1-2):43-8. Thus, both reductive and oxidative metabolites of the soy isoflavone daidzein exhibit genotoxic (damaging to DNA) potential in vitro.

Combined inhibition of estrogen-dependent human breast carcinoma by soy and tea bioactive components in mice. Int J Cancer. 2004 Jan 1;108(1):8-14. This study found that soy and green tea inhibited breast cancer growth, and that that the combination of them two was even better, reducing tumor weight by 72%.

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