We all know someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer whether it is a family member, friend or work colleague. And the number of people we know who are affected is not going to become less any time soon - breast cancer rates have risen over the past five decades.
In 1960 the figures were 1 in 20, but today it is 1 in 7
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 200 000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed each year in the US, making it three times more common than other gynecological cancers. Breast cancer will claim the lives of 40,000 Americans this year alone.
One woman in eight who lives to age 85 will develop breast cancer
- Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women age 40 to 55.
- 15% of all breast cancers occur in women under age 45; in this age group, breast cancers are more aggressive and have lower recovery rates.
- 80% of breast lumps are NON-cancerous.
- 70% of breast cancers are found through breast self-exams.
- About 80% percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.
In his article on the subject of breast cancer
, Dr Mercola says that in the largest review of research into lifestyle and breast cancer, the American Institute of Cancer Research estimated that about 40% percent of US breast cancer cases could be prevented if people made wiser lifestyle choices. He believes that these estimates are seriously LOW, and it is more likely that 75% to 90% of breast cancers could be avoided by strictly applying the recommendations which he sets out in his article.
The signs and symptoms to watch for possible breast cancer
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue.
- A bloody discharge, or any other unusual discharge, from your nipple.
- A change in your breast's size or shape.
- Changes in the skin on your breast, such as dimpling or indentation.
- Redness or pitting of your breast skin – orange skin appearance.
- Pain or tenderness in your breast.
- An inverted nipple.
- Peeling or flaking of the nipple.
- Enlarged lymph nodes or swelling in your armpit
If you notice any of these changes (and obviously it is wise to have a good look at your breasts regularly), consult your medical practitioner immediately. Even then, there may be no cause for concern because the majority of breast tumors are actually benign and many of the signs set out above can even indicate other issues besides cancer.
Back to Dr Mercola once more - in his article he sets out simple and comparatively easy steps that you can take to drastically reduce your cancer risk.
Here are those steps
- Normalize your vitamin D levels with safe amounts of sun exposure. This works primarily by optimizing your vitamin D level. Ideally, it would be best to monitor your vitamin D levels.
- Control your insulin levels by making certain that you limit your intake of processed foods and sugars as much as possible.
- Get appropriate amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats.
- Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
- Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much under appreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have. (Dr Mercola offers a free nutritional test which you take online.)
- Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85% of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favorite tool for this purpose, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.
- Only 25% of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. Ideally, they should be fresh and organic. However, please understand that, frequently, fresh conventionally grown vegetables are healthier than organic ones that are older and wilted in the grocery store. They are certainly better than no vegetables at all, so don't use that as an excuse. If you are a carb nutritional type you may need up to 300% more vegetables than a protein nutritional type.
- Make sure you are not in the two-thirds of the population who are overweight and maintain an ideal body weight.
- Get enough high quality sleep.
- Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution and finally boil, poach of steam your foods, rather than frying or charboiling them.
In one of the first blogs
I wrote back in July 2009 I talked about a young friend Bobbie who had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer on her birthday. She was only in her mid 20s. Well last October, I received the sad news of her death.
Breast cancers are more aggressive and have lower recovery rates when they occur in women under 45.