Experts said the focus should shift to changing behaviors like diet and physical activity.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. A woman's lifetime chance of getting breast cancer is about one in eight. Obese women are up to 60 percent more likely to develop any cancer than normal-weight women.
Many breast cancers are fueled by estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue. So experts suspect that the fatter a woman is, the more estrogen she's likely to produce, which could in turn spark breast cancer. Even in slim women, exercise can help reduce the cancer risk by converting more of the body's fat into muscle.
About 13 percent of U.S. women -- or one in eight -- will develop breast cancer during her lifetime. This is far too many, as at least one-third of these could likely be prevented using diet and lifestyle strategies, and, among obese women, losing weight would lower this cancer risk by nearly two-thirds.
Further, last year in the largest review of research into lifestyle and breast cancer, the American Institute of Cancer Research estimated that about 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases, or about 70,000 cases every year, could be prevented by making lifestyle changes.
It is my strong belief that these estimates are seriously low, and it is more likely that at least two-thirds - or even greater than 90 percent of breast cancers can be avoided by rigidly applying the recommendations I will review below.
As it stands, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women -- except for skin cancers -- and the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
As there are now proven steps you can take to lower your risk, by taking these steps to heart, and also sharing them with your friends and family, we can hopefully make these statistics fall dramatically.
Is Breast Cancer Your Genes’ Fault?
Your risk of breast cancer is said to increase significantly if you have a family history of the disease, but according to statistics only about 20-30 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer actually have a family history.
And the truth is, you are NOT a captive to your genes.
The KEY to remember here is that it is NOT your genes that dictate your health but rather the expression of your genes. You have the ability to easily turn genes on and off with your lifestyle and emotional state.
One clear example is vitamin D, which literally regulates the expression of one out of every 10 of your genes.
For some of you reading this, this may be a weight lifted off your shoulders. If your mother or sister suffered from breast cancer, it does not mean that you are destined to have that same fate.
As proven through the massive genetic study, the Genome Project, each one of your genes can create up to 30,000 proteins, any and all of which can create a different outcome. So the fact that you may have a genetic “predisposition” for a certain illness does not mean that you are doomed to develop it.
Rather, there is something that either activates or suppresses your genes, and that “something” is usually lifestyle-related. If you are constantly stressed you will likely have a different genetic expression than if you focus your thoughts in a positive direction.
Likewise, if you eat healthy, fresh, whole foods you will have a different genetic expression than if you rely on sugar and fast foods.
Even women who have mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which is said to increase your risk of breast cancer to 80 percent, can make positive lifestyle changes that may lower their risk. For instance, omega-3 fats like those in krill oil have been found to influence these genes in a positive way.
Ultimately, what this means is you can make the choice to help your genes express themselves in a positive, disease-fighting way. So what are some of the first positive choices you should make?
Optimizing Your Vitamin D: Cancer Fighter #1
Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body, is easily one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters. Receptors that respond to vitamin D have been found in nearly every type of human cell, from your bones to your brain.
Your liver, kidney and other tissues can convert the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitriol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D. Your organs then use it to repair damage, including that from cancer cells.
Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis or cancer cell death. When JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, injected a potent form of vitamin D into human breast cancer cells, half of them shriveled up and died within days!
The vitamin D worked as well at killing cancer cells as the toxic breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, without any of the detrimental side effects and at a tiny fraction of the cost.
It is my impression that it is criminal malpractice not to recommend vitamin D and aggressively monitor a breast cancer patient’s vitamin D level to get it between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I am aware of and has no adverse effects.
According to one landmark study, some 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide were increased. And that’s just counting the death toll for two types of cancer (it actually works against at least 16 different types)!
So please do watch my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to find out what your optimal vitamin D levels should be … and how to get them there. This is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from cancer.
Breast Cancer Prevention Musts
A healthy diet, regular physical exercise, appropriate sun exposure and an effective way to manage your emotional health are the cornerstones of just about any cancer prevention program, including breast cancer.
But for breast cancer, specifically, you can take it a step further by also watching out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer.
So if you are a post menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. So if it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.
Further, the following lifestyle strategies will help to further lower your risk:
Improve Your Insulin Receptor Sensivity. The best way to do this is make sure you have an optimized exercise program. Most of us need about five to eight hours of exercise every week to optimize our insulin receptors. Make sure you just don’t do cardio. You can get some ideas from reviewing my video on exercise.
Although I did not mention stretching and flexibility work, such as yoga, in the video, it is a very important part of your exercise program. It will not affect insulin receptors but it will help prevent you from getting injured and stopping your other exercise.
Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising. It’s important to lose excess weight because estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue, may trigger breast cancer.
Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.
Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.
What about Safe Breast Cancer Screening?
Most physicians recommend mammograms to women as the go-to method of breast cancer screening. However, there is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives. In fact, research demonstrates that adding an annual mammogram to a careful physical examination of the breasts does not improve breast cancer survival rates over getting the examination alone.
Meanwhile, as I’ve written about extensively in the past, the health hazards of mammography have been well established.
The option for breast screening that I most highly recommend is called thermography.
Thermography scans are absolutely painless. They involve no compression of tissue, are non-invasive, and emit no radiation.
Thermography uses an infrared camera to graphically illustrate skin temperature by way of a color image. On the image, degrees of heat appear as different colors. Standard diagnostic tests such as mammograms, x-rays, MRI’s, ultrasounds and CAT scans are designed to test your anatomy. By contrast, thermography tests for physiological change and metabolic processes.
You can find out more about thermography at my Thermography Diagnostics Center.