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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Low Dose Radiation and Breast Cancer Risks

According to the International Journal of Cancer, some forms of low-dose radiation treatment, including chest xrays and for acne treatments, may increase the risk of breast cancer, particularly in genetically susceptible women.

Self-reported information was available for 2,254 breast cancer patients and 3,431 healthy women, which included the sisters of the patients or women from the general population. Radiation treatment of a previous cancer increased the risk of breast cancer by 3.55-foldThey also noted a trend toward higher breast cancer risk among women who received radiotherapy for acne or other skin conditions. Women who had diagnostic chest X-rays for tuberculosis or pneumonia had more than twice the normal risk of breast cancer.

COMMENT: Conventional medicine stopped using routine annual chest xrays years ago because of the increased risk of cancer.  It is time for women to understand that routine mammograms are leading to the same endpoint. For each 1 rad of radiation (which is about 2 mammograms) the risk of cancer is increased by 1 percent.  Radiation accumulates it doesn’t simply pass through the tissues onto the plastic plate.

Thermography’s only error is that it is “too early.” The tools to address a positive thermogram include diet, exercise, iodine, and other neutraceuticals that conventional doctors know little, if anything, about.  It is in this capacity that the paradigm must shift.

Increasing the widespread use of thermography is an exciting opportunity. By painlessly screening younger women using a high resolution tool without radiation, we may be able to prevent or minimize not only cancer, but all breast disease.

Thermography: Redefining the Meaning of Early Detection

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Prophylactic Mastectomies: Where’s the Science?

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COMMENT: This amazing abstract deserved to be posted in full. Conventional medicine poo-poos thermography, writing it off as having “no proof of efficacy” and having ” no support in science” despite years of published studies and clinical evidence.  New research points out that aggressive medical procedures, such as prophylactic bilateral mastectomies even in women with BRCA genes, has little foundation in science.  My vote would be for non-invasive, RISK FREE, pain-free and radiation-free prevention rather than radical surgery with little science to support it.                               +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ABSTRACT From International Journal of Cancer Published Online: 30 Apr 2007

Mini Review: Effectiveness of preventive interventions in BRCA1/2 gene mutation carriers: A systematic review  by M.J. Bermejo-Pérez  et al  

A systematic review of the literature was conducted to assess the outcomes of preventive interventions (prophylactic mastectomies, intensive cancer screening, and chemoprevention such as Tamoxifen) in women who carry mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, in terms of reducing breast and gynecological cancer incidence and/or mortality.

A search for relevant articles published between 1996 and 2005 (inclusive) was run on Medline, Embase and other databases. From the 749 journal articles retrieved from this search strategy, [only] 18 studies were eligible for this review (2 systematic reviews, 10 cohort studies and 6 case-control studies). The critical appraisal of the studies was performed by two independent reviewers with a list of ad hoc selected criteria. The synthesis of results was qualitative.

Mastectomy and prophylactic gynecological surgery (oophorectomy [ovaries removed] or salpingo-oophorectomy [ovaries and tubes removed] )  reduced breast and gynecological cancer incidence in carriers of BRCA mutations, by comparison to surveillance.  However, all the studies presented flaws in internal and external validity, none of these preventive interventions is risk-free, and protection against breast and gynecological cancer, as well as other cancers linked to BRCA mutations, is incomplete.

No studies comparing surveillance programs of varying intensity were found. Exposure to drugs (such as tamoxifen and oral contraceptives) in women carrying BRCA mutations was assessed through a limited number of papers. All of these were case-control studies with prevalent cases and presented major methodological flaws. 

Additional comment: Where’s the science to support this disfiguring, radical procedure?

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Mammograms fail…again

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In the push to get MRIs approved for breast cancer screening, the ugly truth about the poor performance of mammography is coming to light.

In the August issue of The Lancet, a study was reported that included 7,319 women who were followed for 5 years at a national academic breast center in Germany. During that time, 193 women were diagnosed through surgical biopsy with “pure” ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS.  Of those, 167 had undergone both mammography and MRI preoperatively. The MRI had correctly identified 92 percent of DCIS while mammograms had missed almost half (46 percent).  With high-grade DCIS, MRI picked up all 89 tumors; mammography missed half (48 percent.) 

COMMENT: This study is being lauded across news outlets as a “break through” for early detection of breast cancer but be not deceived: It’s not prevention. The MRI is identifying the tiny specks of calcification that cannot be detected by a mammogram.

DCIS is not life-threatening. It is non-invasive, and is considered the earliest form of cancer—Stage 0. Most women who are diagnosed with DCIS are treated with radiation in an attempt to prevent recurrences.  However, a new cancer may turn up 25 years later—or longer. This usually happens in the same area of the breast where the DCIS was.  Sadly, there are steps that can be taken to improve health — such as the right nutrients, iodine and estrogen-lowering supplements — that can help prevent cancer from coming back.

The intent of the research on MRIs (this is one of many) is to force  insurance companies to approve MRIs for annual screenings to the tune of  $1000-1500 per exam in comparison to about $150 for screening mammograms.   That means insurance premiums will increase; those costs will be passed along to the insured.

Most importantly, research on MRIs should clearly point out the undeserved confidence women have been programmed to have in mammograms.  A normal annual xray may be nothing more than a temporary clean bill of health. This fully explains why women can have a normal mammogram five-six-seven years in a row and then the next year, they have cancer. The Lancet study confirms mammograms are *not* early detection!

The goal of breast health is to find areas of concern — and address them — before the tissues degrade to cancer.  While thermograms do not identify non-invasive calcifications, they have the ability to detect areas of DCIS that are starting to become aggressive, reflected as increased heat.   

Thermography: Redefining the meaning of “Early Detection.”

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A High Folate Intake Reduces Breast Cancer

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In a study released August, 2007, involving 11,699 postmenopausal women aged 50 years or more, demonstrated an inverse association between folate intake and breast cancer risk. Those with the highest dietary folate intake, including supplements, had a 44 percent reduced risk of invasive breast cancer. Similarly, those with the highest intake had a 64 percent reduced risk of invasive breast cancer compared to those with the lowest quintile of intake.

COMMENT: Many medications can deplete folate from the body; Here are a few: birth control pills, anti-inflammatory drugs like methotrexate and sulfasalazine (Azulfidine); metformin (Glucophage) used in the treatment of diabetes; antibiotics like trimethoprim (Bactrim) and the anti-convulsant drug phenytoin (Dilantin). 

 

Researchers have reported an association between alcohol consumption and breast cancer in women who drink one alcoholic beverage a day. Drinking more two to five drinks per day may be associated with a rate of breast cancer that is about 40 percent higher than the rate for non-drinkers. Perhaps the link is that alcohol depletes folate.

Fortified foods such as breads and cereals are dietary sources of folic acid. Other good sources are dark green leafy vegetables (such as asparagus and broccoli), green peas, green beans, pinto beans, and brewer’s yeast. Orange juice, beets, dates and avocado are also good sources. Poor sources meats, chicken, milk, and most fruits. In addition, daily supplementation with B-complex can add more energy and health benefits overall, including support to your adrenal.

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