mammogram cookies3It almost seems unpatriotic or sacreligious to say that I don't support “Pinktober,” but I think we all are pretty much AWARE of breast cancer; however, we are still clueless about how to PREVENT and CURE this devastating disease. I’m 44 years old, and well within the recommended age for a mammogram according to these recommendations by the National Cancer Society. My grandmother died of metastatic breast cancer 16 years ago. Several close relatives have had malignant growths removed from their breasts, and like me they are estrogen dominant. None of these women nor have I been tested for the BRCA mutation, so the cards may be even more heavily stacked against us than we know.

But in spite of my family history, I have never had a mammogram, nor do I plan to have one. Am I sticking my head in the sand and living in denial that breast is a real threat? Absolutely not!October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.” (1) Unlike cancer organizations in America, wholistic practitioners like myself take an informed position that prioritizes prevention first, detection second, and treatment last. I believe that Ben Franklin was right when he said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

As I begin to explain my personal approach to breast cancer prevention in further detail, please hear my heart: I am not condemning anyone who has chosen differently-- it is a very personal choice. I am also not giving medical advice. Nor do I want to deny the validity of traditional medical care in certain situations. My intent is to provide a sensitive yet fact-driven perspective on this issue.

1. Mammograms are unreliable in detecting breast cancer

The following limitations are listed under Point #4 right on The National Cancer Institute webpage:

 

Dr. Ray Peat agrees that overdiagnosis is a great concern, “The extensive use of mammograms has increased the diagnosis of 'ductal carcinoma in situ' {DCIS} by more than 1000% (a 16- or 18-fold increase in some hospitals, and is expected to double in the next decade), increasing the number of mastectomies and other treatments, but the increased treatments and early diagnosis haven’t produced any visible change in the death rate.” (4) The National Cancer Institute admits that “because doctors often cannot distinguish cancers and cases of DCIS that need to be treated from those that do not, they are all treated.” (5) Did you catch that?

Given these well-known facts and figures, second to breast self-exams, the medical community still recommends annual mammograms for women over 40, despite revised guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 that now recommend mammograms only for women over 50.(9) I don’t know about you, but this defiance raises both anger and suspicion within me.

2. Mammograms are part of a system that profits from disease vs. wellness

If the profits from additional procedures due to false-positive mammogram readings are not enough to convince you that cancer is big business, check out this article about Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Don’t be “pinkwashed!” Once a person is diagnosed with cancer, treatment ranges between “$100,000 to $200,000 a year to extend life for an additional three to six months,” according to Dr. David Chan, MD, Oncologist which, “may be very important to those individuals with cancer, but are a very poor return on investment for society.” (10) According to Dr. Margaret Cuomo in her book A World Without Cancer "The National Cancer Institute has spent some $90 billion on research and treatment. Some 260 nonprofits in the United States have dedicated themselves to cancer – more than the number established for heart disease, AIDS, Alzheimer's and stroke combined. Together they have budgets that top $2.2 billion." (11)

Even after all of the money spent, Dr.Brownstein warns that, “We are not winning the war on cancer…. conventional cancer treatments have been a dismal failure, particularly when the initial cancer returns —often with a deadly vengeance.” (12)This is because “DNA-damaging cancer treatment coaxes fibroblasts to crank out a protein called WNT16B within the tumor neighborhood, or microenvironment, and that high levels of this protein enable cancer cells to grow, invade surrounding tissue and resist chemotherapy. (13)So cancer treatment appears successful at first, then ineffective when cancer returns. In fact, “the overall average was a 2.1% improvement in five-year survival rate compared with not using chemotherapy at all." (14) Life is extended a miniscule amount at great cost to both the quality of life for the patient and financially.

Did you know that cancer death rates have remained nearly unchanged over the last 80 years? CA: Cancer Journal for Clinicians (15), a summary of cancer statistics dating back to 1930 shows that:

In spite of the BILLIONS of dollars spent on research and treatment of cancer in this country, breast cancer has NOT decreased in America!! It makes me sick!!

3. Mammograms expose breasts to cancer-causing radiation

Adding insult to injury not only has cancer research and treatment failed to reduce the incidence of cancer in the U.S., but mammography screening actually contributes to breast cancer, and the medical establishment knows and acknowledges this fact: “Radiation is a known cause of breast cancer. Researchers in recent years have become concerned about radiation exposure from medical imaging, particularly CT scans. A 2009 analysis estimated that CT scans cause about 29,000 cancers and 14,500 deaths a year.” (16) Ray Peat, PhD explains, “Estrogen and ionizing radiation are the most clearly documented causes of breast cancer. Their excitatory effects lead to inflammation, edema, fibrosis, and interruption of intercellular regulatory processes.” (17)

And it only gets worse. A new three-dimensional CT scan/ mammogram has been developed called 3-D tomosynthesis which still requires mechanical compression and actually exposes women to even HIGHER doses of radiation than a standard mammogram! They also still recommend you continue to receive your traditional 2-D mammogram, further multiplying radiation exposure. (18)

4. Mammograms are not preventive

“A 2003 survey found that many American women harbor the misconception that mammography can actually prevent breast cancer from occurring. ‘Screening’ is not synonymous with ‘prevention’; mammography reduces the risk of death only by finding breast cancer early.” (19)

So, if conventional methods of detection, treatment and prevention of breast cancer are ineffective, what’s a girl to do?

Let’s start with some facts about cancer from this video by America's foremost holistic health practitioner, David Brownstein, M.D.:

 

In a recent patent application by the US government, (when they attempted to patent Dr Burzynski’s antineoplastons – which were already patented!), the US government even admitted, “Current approaches to combat cancer rely primarily on the use of chemicals and radiation, which are themselves carcinogenic and may promote recurrences and the development of metastatic disease.” What is wrong here?

By contrast, true prevention involves dietary and lifestyle practices that promote health by boosting natural immunity and reducing exposure to harmful substances. Here are the basics:

 

These dietary and lifestyle practices are all detailed in my 132 page eBook called Preventing & Fighting Cancer Holistically.

Also, check out this excellent resource: Better Breast Health for Life! for even more specifics about breast cancer prevention and screening.

Holistic Breast Cancer Detection:

By contrast, “A malignant breast lump will have an irregular shape (not round) with a pebbly surface, somewhat like a golf ball. It will be very hard, like a slice of raw carrot. It may not be movable during a breast self-exam, but since tissue around it may move, it's sometimes hard to know if the lump is moving, or if healthy tissue around it is moving.” (21) If you are ever unsure, schedule a clinical breast self-exam with a trusted practitioner. Similar to a breast self-exam, a clinical breast exam performed by a healthcare provider is recommended every three years for women 20-39 and annually for women starting at 40. (22)

 

Personally, I alternate between ultrasounds and thermograms every other year. Thermal imaging uses infrared light to detect early warning signs which may warrant further evaluation to determine the cause of the excess heat being emitted to the skin’s surface. This heat may indicate:

 

Thermograms measure temperature differences between breasts to determine abnormalities. I had a full body scan done during my last thermogram, and it revealed excess heat in my right cheek, indicating a possible infection of a tooth or sinus cavity. I addressed this heat using herbs of course, and I continue to monitor it using my ZYTO biocommunication software.

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As well, the upper inner quadrant of my right breast measured at a higher temperature than my left side, so further evaluation was warranted. I worked on getting my lymphatic system flowing and used anti-inflammatory herbs and essential oils.

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For more information about thermography including additional comparative images and analyses from one visit to the next, check out the Breast Health & Preventive Education Center website. Be sure to tell Tirza that I sent you when you schedule your appointment!

If this blog has been helpful, please comment below. I welcome your feedback! Questions?

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L’chaim-- To Life!



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