Thermography Series

Lifestyle Tips to Support Breast Health

BREAST HEALTH TIP #1:

Supplement Your Diet with Omega-3 Fatty Acids(link to norways purest fish oil)Eating proper amounts of healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of breast cancer, and are also beneficial for those already diagnosed with breast cancer. Omega-3's decrease the strength of estrogen in the breast tissue, decrease inflammation, and shrink the size of breast tumors while preventing them from metastasizing or spreading. Women with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their bodies, have a 500% lower incidence of metastasis compared to women with the lowest levels of omega-3.

Cold-water fish such as salmon, cod, and halibut are great choices. These fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which support cell health and boost immunity. Eating fresh fish should be a healthy part of your diet but for therapeutic purposes supplementation with quality fish oil becomes a necessity.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #2:

Eat plenty of Dark green leafy vegetables.The Cruciferous vegetable family is named for their cross-shaped flower petals. Research of this family of vegetables indicates that they may provide protection against certain cancers. Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants (particularly beta carotene and the compound sulforaphane), and they are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Cruciferous vegetables also contain a kind of phytochemical known as isothiocyanates, which stimulates our body to break down carcinogens (cancer causing agents).

Raw cruciferous vegetables contain thyroid inhibitors known as goitrogens, therefore people who have low thyroid function should steam all cruciferous vegetables.

LIST OF CRUCIFEROUS VEGETABLES

Arugula Bok choy Broccoli
Brussels sprouts Cabbage Cauliflower
Chard Chinese cabbage Collard greens
Daikon Kale Kohlrabi
Mustard greens Radishes Rutabagas
Turnips Watercress

BREAST HEALTH TIP #3

Supplement with DIM.(link to estroBalance) DIM ( diindolylmethane) is the ingredient in cruciferous vegetables responsible for protection against hormonal imbalances that frequently precede breast cancer. DIM helps your body breakdown estrogen in a healthy way. Supplementing 150-300mg per day will ensure that your body breaks down estrogen into its health promoting antioxidant metabolites. Poor breakdown of estrogen is associated with weight gain, breast cancer, and uterine cancer.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #4

Drink plenty of Organic Green Tea-Green tea contains compounds called catechins and polyphenols that inhibit cancer growth. There have been many studies on the anti-carcinogenic qualities of green tea. Studies of people in Asia who drink large amounts of green tea daily show much lower rates of a variety of cancers including breast cancer. Organic green tea is your best choice.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #5

Consume Extra Virgin Olive oil-Olive oil contains health promoting antioxidants and is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer in Mediterranean populations. Olive oil can be used to sauté, as a salad dressing, drizzled over vegetables, or as a tasty butter substitute.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #6

Move your body!-Exercise improves sleep, appetite, mood and releases stress. In a variety of research studies, both aerobic exercise and weight training have been shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms in women of all ages including sleep disturbances, depression, fibrocystic breast disease, and breast cancer.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #7

Eat Organic , Toss your Plastic!- Many scientists speculate that the increasing number of cancer cases worldwide are due to the toxins in our environment. These toxins act like estrogen hormones in the body and are termed "xeno-estrogens". We know that many breast cancers are estrogen dependent. Xenoestrogens like pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, heavy metals and other toxins in our food, water, and produce accumulate in our fat tissue over time. Their estrogen like properties can be the trigger that starts the cancer cascade. Store your food in glass containers instead of plastic to avoid phthalates, which are hormone disrupting chemicals linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. Stop drinking from plastic bottles and get a stainless steel drinking container.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #8

Drink alcohol in moderation- Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Many studies have shown that alcohol consumption does increase breast cancer rates by a small percentage. However, a small amount of red wine on a regular basis is also known to lower the risk of heart disease which still kills many more women than breast cancer does.

BREAST HEALTH TIP #9

Relax!-According to Chinese medicine, stress, frustration, and unresolved anger can play an important part in the development of all types of breast disease, both benign and malignant. Chinese medical theories suggest that one of the best things a woman can do for her breast (and overall) health is to find a way to relax and release stress on a daily basis. Such methods may include yoga, meditation, biofeedback, simple relaxation therapy, or whatever method you use to release the stress and pressures of modern life. Maintain present time consciousness and express your emotions in the moment. Don’t swallow your emotions!

BREAST HEALTH TIP #10

Take Antioxidants-Studies confirm that low antioxidant levels were linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. Antioxidants are the body’s first line of defense against the damaging effects of oxidative stress. Women with higher markers of oxidative stress in their bodies have a higher risk for breast cancer. Women with low vitamin A had double the risk for breast cancer. Women with low vitamin E had nearly tripled the risk. Vitamin D is one of the most important antioxidants to maintain breast health. A study conducted by Cedric Garland and other prominent vitamin D researchers determined that women with vitamin D levels above 52 ng/ml have half the risk of developing breast cancer as those with 13 ng/ml. If these figures are true then upwards of 58,000 cases of breast cancer per year could be prevented. Studies show it is better to supplement Vitamin D in a large bolus once or twice a week instead of once a day. A dose of 3000iu per day would be better given as 10,000iu 2x per week.

We can never prevent any disease 100%. Breast cancer does have a strong hereditary link, but by choosing a healthy lifestyle you can dramatically improve your odds of staying cancer free.


Thermography Scan

Breast Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Whether you are tuned into day time television, reading any magazine or even watching an NFL football game you are no doubt aware that October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Many of us have lost a loved one or witnessed the suffering of a friend to this awful disease. In this month’s newsletter I would like to look at some of the research and the need for us to switch our thinking from looking for a “cure” to preventing the disease. If we are really going to help women and prevent this disease than an examination of the present process and who it is really serving needs to be undertaken. Our current medical model has women doing yearly mammograms to check for the presence of tumors. This month you will be hit with the message that mammograms save lives. Is this true? What do we really know about breast cancer and mammograms?

In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute a study of 145 women were asked questions about breast cancer and 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.” In other words, as a whole our society is misinformed regarding breast cancer and mammograms.

Let’s take a look at the research on the effectiveness of mammograms. In September 2000, a large, long-term Canadian study found that an annual mammogram were no more effective in preventing deaths from breast cancer than periodic physical examinations for women in their 50’s. In this study40,000 women ages 50 to 59 were split into 2 groups. The first group received periodic breast examinations alone and the second group received breast examinations with mammograms. The findings: there were 610 cases of invasive breast cancer and 105 deaths in the women who received only breast examinations, compared with 622 invasive breast cancers and 107 deaths in those who received breast examinations and mammograms. 40,000 participants is no small study, and the results show no difference between the two groups.

Do mammograms do any harm? It has been shown that ionizing radiation mutates cells, and the mechanical pressure on the breast can cause cancerous cells to spread.In 1995, the British medical journal, The Lancet, reported that since mammographic screening was introduced in 1970’s, the incidence of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which represents 12% of all breast cancer cases, had increased by 328% and that 200% of this increase was due to the use of mammography. Since the inception of widespread mammographic screening, the increase for DCIS in women under the age of 40 has risen over 3000%.

We are able to establish that mammograms do not seem to be more effective than exam alone, and there is a growing body of evidence that mammograms actually increase cancer rates. Yet some slow developing tumors are discovered only by the tiny calcifications seen on mammograms. Our present system is inefficient yet it is all we have at this time. We look for a “cure” by telling women to radiate their breasts once a year. A cure is only possible when there is one cause. Cancer has more than one cause. Breast cancer, like all cancers, is a multiple system dysfunction. There are immune imbalances, hormone imbalances, weakened detoxification pathways, toxicities, and various other imbalances that are unique to the individual. These imbalances can be identified years before cancer sets in, and some of these imbalances are modifiable with sound nutrition and lifestyle modifications. In order to identify these imbalances we have to use technologies that measure dysfunction and physiological changes. Testing that can predict disease based on past patterns of dysfunction of those that have fought this battle.

In our office we look at promoting breast health through the use of two different forms of thermography.

Thermography is a non-invasive evaluation of the body with a particular emphasis on the breast. Thermal patterns are analyzed that are associated with vascular changes. Vascular changes are not normal in adults. Vascular changes in the breast are associated with the process of angiogenesis which is new blood vessel formation to feed a tumors growth. Thermography has been shown to detect the precancerous state of breast tissue up to 10 years before breast cancer is identified by other methods. A positive thermographic image represents the highest known risk factor for the future development of breast cancer. It is especially useful for detecting early lesions before they otherwise become clinically evident. These changes could accompany cancer, fibrocystic breast disease, breast injury, infections or vascular disease. No radiation is used by thermography, and there is no pain during the examination.

In a German study, 54 percent of breast cancer patients were correctly diagnosed by history and physical examination. The number rose to 76 percent when mammography was added. However, when thermography was used, the accuracy of diagnosis rose to 92 percent.

We use two forms of thermography because each has different strengths. Digital infrared thermography (DITI) is combined with computer regulated thermography (CRT) to give the most comprehensive thermographic evaluation available. DITI is similar to mammography in that it assesses the present state of the breasts. CRT is a whole body evaluation that gives us clues and patterns that precede the onset of cancer by as much as a decade. This allows us to implement treatment plans based on preventing the disease.

After a mammogram the results are either positive or negative. Thermography often shows a healthy breast scan, but we find other imbalances in the body associated with liver stress, hormone imbalances, or toxicities that need immediate attention. By implementing treatment plans based on these dysfunctional states in the body we are able to restore a higher level of health to the patient. We use the thermography testing on a yearly basis. If we see patterns of thermographic change that look suspicious we immediately order an ultrasound. If after two thermograms and an ultrasound there are still questions about the possibility of cancer then we order a mammogram. We feel that if we can decrease the number of mammograms a woman has in her lifetime we believe that will save lives. Some of our clients do their yearly thermogram 6 months after they have had their yearly mammogram. Holistic medicine is an individualized approach to health. It is not a cookbook approach where everyone follows the same recipe. You need to find a formula that works for you based on your risk factors, family history and lifestyle. Someone with normal mammograms for the last few years with no family history of breast cancer could use the thermogram as a yearly check-up along with a healthy eating plan and lifestyle. Those with a strong family history or those not willing to follow a healthy lifestyle should use the thermogram as an added assessment to yearly mammograms.

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. It is time to add yearly thermographic evaluation as one component of a more proactive breast health program. It is the best way to shift your mindset to prevention.