BREAST CANCER: New Link With Deodorants

British scientists have uncovered a fresh connection between deodorants and breast cancer: Women who had surgery for the disease had high levels of aluminum in their breast tissue.

Researchers fear the metal could have been emitted from spray-on and roll-on deodorants. The study done in the U.K., which included 17 patients who underwent mastectomies, will be published in the November issue of the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry.

The team identified aluminum in the samples and noted that levels increased significantly near to the armpit. Dr Chris Exley, who led the study reported, “We found a wide variation in concentrations of aluminum. Some patients had low concentrations while others had quite high concentrations. We don’t know that aluminum originated from anti-perspirants but one can put two and two together and make a guess on that. The next work will be to see if the aluminum is coming from underarm deodorants or elsewhere.”

In 2004, Dr Philippa Darbre from Reading University in the U.K. suggested deodorants could raise the risk of cancer because they contain estrogen-mimicking chemicals called parabens. She found higher levels of parabens in the breast tissue of cancer patients.

COMMENT: From vaccines to deodorants, aluminum is a significant health problem. Add it to the list of petrochemicals and xenoestrogens that have been identified as causes of breast cancer.

October is fast approaching and with it the arrival of “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” In fact, today was the Susan G. Komen Northeast Ohio “Race for the Cure.” Runners were featured on the Saturday morning local talk shows and newspapers.

What is the charm of “Running for the Cure” and raising money for drug company research?  The Cure will not end breast cancer.  Wouldn’t it be better to raise money for researching, identifying and eliminating the causes?

Think thermography: Redefining the Meaning of Early Detection.

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Exaggerated Faith in Mammograms: A Better Way

Several years ago, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute  reported on a study that included 145 women who assessed their feelings about mammograms and found the following:

  • Women over estimated their probability of dying of breast cancer within 10 years by more than 20-fold.
  • Women over estimated the risk reduction of annual screening mammograms more than 100-fold.  
  • The study concluded, “women younger than 50 years substantially over-estimate both their breast cancer risk and the effectiveness of screening.”

COMMENT: Everywhere you look — in print, on TV, across the Internet and even at the cosmetic counters of department stores — mammogram advocates are pushing the procedure as if it was the ultimate cure for cancer.  It is not.

While early detection may save lives, screening mammograms do not prevent cancer.  In the 1980s, by the time a woman found a lump, the tumor was advanced. Annual mammography came into wide acceptance around that time as a way to find a tumor before it could be felt.  The idea was that by finding it early, treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemo could reduce the breast cancer death rate.  By this measure, mammograms are a success.

Instead of demanding cancer prevention, we scream for early detection. Researchers stopped looking for the cause because we’re demanding the Cure.  We run and sweat to raise money for “research.”  Does anyone see the problem with this? We are really raising money for the drug companies – which have more wealth than most countries – to cure something we can avoid with the right tools. 

In addition to finding the cause, we need to demand that a state-of-the-art breast thermogram be performed with every breast exam and every mammogram. We need to insist that insurance companies cover this test as readily as they cover mammograms and cancer therapies.  With thermography, areas of concern can be identified and addressed by dietary and lifestyle changes, lymph drainage exercises, evidence-based vitamins and nutraceuticals. Improvements can be closely followed by non-invasive, non-painful infrared imaging. If the area of heat goes away, the risk of progression, by definition, goes away.

Think thermography: Redefine the meaning of “Early Detection.” Here’s more information about our program.

Vitamin D and breast health: True Cancer Prevention

A new study suggests the number of cases of colon and breast cancer could be cut dramatically if people got more Vitamin D.  University of California researchers estimate 250,000 cases of colon cancer and 350,000 cases of breast cancer could be prevented worldwide by increasing intake of vitamin D.   Sunlight spurs production of vitamin D in the skin, and people who don’t get much sun exposure tend to have lower levels of the vitamin.  “There’s been a lot of evidence for a long time that vitamin D is very important, not just for bones, which everybody knows, but for all the organs in the body,” said Dr. Larry Norton, an oncologist at New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

COMMENT:  I always have a mixed set of feelings when Conventional Medical  “confirms” what I’ve been saying for many years: Vitamin D will be changed from a vitamin to a hormone due its widespread effect and importance on every organ in the body.  I feel happy for patients who will now follow through with more vitamin D; sad that many could have benefited from larger doses of vitamin D but did not because of an over-blown fear of consuming more than the recommended 400IU per day dose.  

This current article suggested dose of 2,000 IU a day will be helpful. However, is still less than Vitamin D that most people need. A study published in January, 2007 by the Council for Responsible Nutrition documented that at least10,000 IU per day is safe…that is the amount that I recommend to my patients, especially those at highest risk of breast cancer.  By the way, I don’t think it is necessary to get a blood test to “confirm” a low level. Vitamin D is inexpensive and the tests aren’t always accurate. Take the supplement and don’t bother with the blood test.

Suggestions such as high doses of Vitamin D are true prevention.  Correcting an underlying biochemical deficiency using a natural substance is definitely a step in the right direction.

Breast thermography Around the World

Who isn’t familiar with the expression, “early detection is the best prevention?” We hear this term throughout the year and most everyone is familiar with this catch phrase as it relates to breast cancer. Obviously, a woman’s chance for survival improves when a cancer is found early. We hear that simple rhyming statement but are women really offered early detection?
 
Our gold standard for breast cancer screening is mammography, clinical breast exam and self-breast exam. Other techniques are used but all current technologies examine structure; something is formed and large enough to be seen or felt. However, it is well-documented that a mass that is detected by mammography has been growing for 8-10 years before it was detected. Is this early detection?
 
There exists a technology that can detect an issue YEARS before a tumor can be seen on X-ray or palpated during an exam and truly offers early detection. This technology has been approved by the FDA as an adjunctive screening tool since 1982 and offers no radiation, no compression and no pain. For women who are searching for early breast cancer detection, digital infrared thermal imaging (DITI) may be of interest.

Historically, DITI fell out of favor shortly after its initial debut in the early 80s. When DITI was first introduced, strict protocols and trained technicians did not exist. Shortly after its initial beginnings, DITI fell out of favor as a diagnostic tool in the medical community.
 
There are now very strict protocols both for testing and interpreting. Perhaps due to these guidelines, thermography is exploding in its technique and capabilities. Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it as a picture on a computer monitor.
 
These images are unique to the person and remain stable over time. It is because of these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool. Tumors or other breast diseases measures warmer than surrounding tissue and can thereby alert a physician to a problem before a tumor is actually palpable.
 
Medical doctors who interpret the breast scans are board certified thermologists. Thermography is not limited by breast density and is ideal for women who have had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, women who refuse mammography, or women who want clinical correlation for an already existing issue. Thermography, because it analyzes a developing process, may identify a problem several years before mammography. As we all know, early detection is important to survival.
 
DITI has an average sensitivity and specificity of 90%. An abnormal thermogram carries a 10x greater risk for cancer. A persistent abnormal thermogram carries a 22x greater risk for cancer. Thermography, as well as mammography is a personal choice for women. This decision ideally should be made in collaboration between you and your physician. However, thermography does not require a physician’s order.

COMMENT: This was a wonderfully written press release that I reprinted in its entirety. Why? Because it came from a online newspaper from Sofia, Bulagaria.  An Eastern European country is advocating the use of thermography; U.S. doctors should take note.

Foods for Breast Health

New, conprehensive research  shows that regular consumption of grape juice can prevent painful breast, chronic cystic mastitis and breast cancer. Scientists and natural medicine practitioners have discovered that a glass of 100 per cent grape juice made from the type of grape known as concord grapes can prevent breast cancer.

Dr. Keith Singletary, a professor of nutrition and the lead researcher at the University of Illinios stated that, “the purple grape compound demonstrated the capacity to inhibit DNA adduct formation, increase the activity of the enzymes that metabolize and detoxify carcinogens and suppress cancer causing oxidative stress.”

The new study suggests that anthocyanins in other fruits and juices,  such as cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and red apples, warrant further study for their breast cancer chemopreventive potentials.

 

COMMENT:  It has frequently been said, “You are what you eat.” Eating more fruits and veggies is important, but when it comes to breast health, specific foods are very important.  In addition to those “RED” foods listed above, here is a list of foods from a 2004 medical article that shows you how to Color Your Way Healthy with different types of fruits and vegetables:

 

  • Red Group: Tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon. Contain lycopene for prostate health, heart disease, and lung disease.

  • Yellow/Green Group: Spinach, collard greens, yellow corn, peas, avocado and honeydew melon. These foods lutein and zeaxanthin for the eyes.

  • Orange Group: Carrots, apricots, cantaloupes, acorn squash and sweet potatoes. Contain antioxidants and betacarotene.

  • Orange/Yellow Group: Oranges, papayas, peaches and nectarines. Contains cryptothanxin, for prevention of heart disease.

  • Green Group: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and kale. Contain  sulforaphanes, isothiocyanates and indoles which affect enzymes and break down carcinogens.  

  • White/Green Group: White wine, garlic, onions, celery, pears and chives. Contain flavonoids and  allicin, which appears to deter the growth of tumors.

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Thermogram vs. Mammogram

People often wonder if a thermogram is better than a mammogram, or if they can get a painless thermogram instead of a painful mammogram.  Though both tests are used to detect breast cancer, each test has a different purpose.

A thermogram detects subtle heat changes that point to an area of evolving pathology in the breast. This may or may not be cancer. A mammogram is used to detect a mass that has already formed in the breast, often identified by a cluster of calcium specks.  By the time a mammogram locates a tumor, it has been growing for at least 5 years.

Making the decision about getting a thermogram vs. a mammogram should be done with much discussion about risk factors, family history and lifestyle. For example, if you have had many years normal mammograms, have no family history and have a great lifestyle coupled with a normal thermogram and normal clinical exam, you may want to consider having a mammogram every three to four years and simply get an annual clinical exam and thermogram. However, if you have a very strong family history, drink alcohol and don’t take supplements, you may want to consider annual mammograms in addition to your annual exam and thermogram. If you have a very abnormal thermogram and you have not had a mammogram in several years, you must get a mammogram (and possibly an ultrasound) right away.

The most effective way to find breast cancer is to use all available tools as often as is necessary.   For example, a clinical breast exam performed by highly trained fingers can identify 61% of tumors that turn out to be cancer.  Adding a mammogram, increases the ability to find a cancer to 84%.  Research done in Montreal in the mid-1990s demonstrated that adding a thermogram to breast exam and conventional mammogram increases the ability to find cancer early — do something about it — to 95%. Thermography not just an either/or test; it is a value-added test that both you and your doctor should learn more about.

Thermography: Redefining the Meaning of Early Detection.

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Why Do We Insist on a Breast Cancer Cure?

From The New York Times, August 25:  Marlene Wrightsman, a registered nurse, takes time for her annual mammograms. On October 23, 2006, she was diagnosed with cancer. Wrightsman was placed on the fast conveyor belt: Her small, non-palpable tumor was removed less than 10 days after it was discovered, followed by chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments.  She is an advocate for annual mammograms.

COMMENT:  I am happy to report that, according to the article, Ms. Wrightsman joined the ranks of the breast cancer survivors. 

Notably, the speed of her treatment demonstrates how positive mammograms are treated like five-alarm fires, hurrying patients through the protocols as though they were hemorrhaging to death. Truth is, her cancer had been growing for many years — possibly as many as seven years — before the anatomical changes were detected on her mammogram.

While early detection of cancer can improve survival, we have lost our demand for finding the cause. In its place, we eagerly walk, run and raise money for The Cure. In a list of the top 15 drugs used in clinics in 2006, 12 of them are chemotherapy agents, topping more than $118 million in drug company revenues…and this is not an all-inclusive list.  This is the industry’s idea of Finding the Cure; they have no interest in the Cure.  That would mean a significant loss of market share and revenues.  Women really need to grasp the reality of that.

We must do better: We must demand identification and elimination of the Cause.

Science has identified more than 200 chemicals  that accumulate in breast tissue; many are known carcinogens. We must demand research dollars be spent developing detoxification methods, measuring the true effect infrared saunas, acupuncture and detoxing baths. The Cancer Industry won’t fund anything like this.  It will have to be a non-profit that is truly interested in preventing the tragedy of breast cancer.

Women need to demand  prevention, not The Cure. We have to stop being satisfied with “finding it early.” We need to redefine the meaning of early detection.

Thermography: Redefining the Meaning of Early Detection

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