Another study also showed that a single dose of radiation, delivered directly to the site of the tumor right after a lumpectomy, was as effective six weeks of daily radiation treatments, the current standard practice.
The New York Times reports:
"There is some controversy about whether women should be treated at all for certain early breast abnormalities that some experts say may never hurt them. But if a woman is to be treated, doctors would agree the treatment should be as painless and convenient as possible while retaining effectiveness."
In the US, breast cancer currently strikes about one out of every eight women. Unfortunately, the current medical paradigm is clueless about what causes breast cancer, and how to effectively treat it. Most conventional cancer treatments actually add insult to injury by doing more harm than good – a fact that up to this point has been swept under the rug by the medical industry.
Fortunately, we're beginning to see the initial stirrings of change.
In the past several months alone, a number of studies have been published in which the conclusion was that conventional treatments are not having the beneficial impact previously thought, and that we need to limit the use of certain treatments to get better results.
Cancer screening has also finally come under increasing scrutiny, as it should. And now some of the conventional treatment methods for breast cancer have also been found to be significantly flawed and in need of revision.
It's about time!
Lymph Node Removal May Not Be Necessary After All
Today, the standard treatment for breast cancer patients whose cancer has spread to the sentinel lymph node is to surgically remove the other nodes as well – a procedure called axillary node dissection. (The "sentinel node" refers to the node closest to the tumor, or the lymph node that can be reached by metastasizing cancer cells first.)
However, according to this latest study, which involved 991 women, this invasive procedure has virtually no impact on survival or disease recurrence, while frequently causing additional pain and debilitation.
After five years, 82.2 percent of the women who had the axillary nodes removed were still alive and in remission, compared to 83.8 percent of the women who did not get the operation.
And, interestingly enough, the cancer recurrence was actually slightly higher in the group who had the operation, compared to those who didn't.
"The evidence is overwhelming that the operation might not be necessary," lead investigator, Dr. Armando Giuliano is quoted as saying.
I completely agree.
What About Chemo and Radiation?
In addition to the removal of lymph nodes, current conventional treatment also typically includes chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
For example, chemo is a standard recommendation for women whose cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, despite its magnificent failure rate and oftentimes lethal side effects.
Similarly, six or more weeks of radiation is also part of the standard treatment for most women with breast cancer. However, according to another recent study, just ONE dose of radiation, delivered with precision to the affected site directly after her lumpectomy had the same rate of effectiveness as the extended radiation treatment!
According to the New York Times, "some women undergo a mastectomy instead of more limited breast-conserving surgery because they do not want the weeks of radiation therapy or live too far from a radiation center. "
I can only imagine how many women might have been spared from losing their breasts had the single dose treatment been an option...
The Most Important Cancer Prevention Strategy
There are a number of lifestyle changes that can help prevent breast cancer from ever becoming a reality for you. For starters, we cannot discuss breast cancer without mentioning the importance of vitamin D.
Vitamin D, a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body, is easily one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. According to one landmark study, an estimated 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancers could be prevented each year if vitamin D levels among populations worldwide were increased.
Your liver, kidney and other tissues converts the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitriol (the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D), which your organs then use 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! In fact, the vitamin D was as effective as the toxic breast cancer drug Tamoxifen, without any of the detrimental side effects and at a tiny fraction of the cost.
In my opinion, it should be criminal malpractice not to recommend vitamin D and regularly monitor a breast cancer patient's vitamin D level to make sure it's between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I am aware of and has no adverse effects.
If one of my loved ones had breast cancer I would measure their vitamin D level every week until it reached the target.
If you're still unfamiliar with vitamin D and its many health benefits, please watch my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D.
Safer Screening Options
Reducing breast cancer rates and mortality begins with prevention and effective screening methods. Vitamin D is the most important preventive strategy, but there are also others. I will summarize all of them at the end of this article, but first, it's important to realize that mammography is actually NOT an effective cancer screen.
In fact, mammography, just like chemotherapy and extensive radiation therapy, causes more harm than good, and may in fact be partially responsible for a large number of breast cancer cases!
I strongly advise you to consider the safer and more effective alternative of thermographic breast screening, especially if you are younger and have not already been diagnosed with, or undergone treatment for breast cancer.
By measuring the radiation of infrared heat from your body, thermographic screening can detect signs of breast cancer as much as 10 years earlier than either mammography or a physical exam – all without any ionizing radiation or mechanical pressure.
Sure, there are times when mammograms and x-rays are warranted, and thermography may not be a 100 percent replacement of these ionizing procedures in every instance. However, as a part of your annual health prevention regimen, thermography is a FAR better alternative to mammograms.
Its ability to detect the possibility of breast cancer, before any tumors have formed, is because it can provide a picture of the early stages of angiogenesis -- the formation of a direct supply of blood to cancer cells, which is a necessary step before they can grow into tumors of size.
I recently discussed this mechanism in another article. In it, Dr. Li presents compelling evidence that by including more anti-angiogenetic foods in your diet, you may be able to effectively starve cancer and prevent tumors from ever forming since they must have sufficient blood supply to thrive, just like all other cells.
Just imagine the impact these two strategies could have together!
Were you to undergo a thermographic screening and discover that angiogenesis is taking place, meaning that tiny blood vessels have begun sprouting to an area to feed cancer cells, you now have YEARS at your disposal to effectively "cure yourself" (although by conventional standards you're not yet ill) by implementing lifesaving lifestyle changes.
This would logically include increased amounts of anti-angiogenetic foods such as red grapes, berries, turmeric and broccoli, just to name a few. For more information, I recommend watching Dr. Li's video.
You can also get more information about thermography and other types of breast cancer screening options from this previous article. And for instructions on how to perform an effective breast self-exam, see this link.
Other Important Lifestyle Changes that Could Save Your Life
Here is a summary of all my cancer prevention strategies:
- Normalize your vitamin D levels with safe amounts of sun exposure. Ideally, you'll want to monitor your vitamin D levels regularly throughout the year.
- Control your insulin levels: Make 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 underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.
- Have a tool to permanently erase the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent 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 Meridian Tapping Technique/Emotional Freedom Technique.
- Only 25 percent 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, s don't use thato as an excuse. If you are a carb nutritional type you may need up to 300 percent 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.
- Boil, poach or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them.