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Are Mammograms Safe?
Publish date: Aug 27, 2009
Summary: Learn the truth about mammograms, hormone replacement therapy, vitamin D levels, and breast cancer.
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The Problem With Breast Self-Exams
Diagnostically, breast self-exams (BSE) have long been recommended as a simple way for women to keep track of anything unusual in their breasts.
It’s fairly self explanatory, as you simply palpate your breasts on a regular basis, looking for any suspicious lumps. The problem with breast self-exams is that it typically forces women into a conventional, and potentially dangerous, diagnostic model.
If you do find something unusual, you will typically be brought in for a conventional diagnostic strategy involving the use of a mammogram. Unfortunately, a mammogram uses ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which in and of itself can contribute to the development of breast cancer. Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray, which we know poses a cancer risk. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which could lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist.
And, should you end up getting a breast biopsy, then that too can have detrimental consequences. If I was a woman, I wouldn’t get one as there are much safer options available.
My favorite is thermography,which measures the radiation of infrared heat emanating from your body and translates this information into anatomical images.
Prevention is the Best Cure, and is Easier Than You Think!
It can be incredibly useful to focus on the factors that actually contribute to breast cancer in the first place.
One of the most important ones was a completely unknown factor when I first started this newsletter. As little as ten years ago, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was believed to be safe, but has since been proven to drastically increase your risk of breast cancer.
One study made the startling discovery that HRT with either estrogen alone or estrogen-plus-progestin was associated with a 70 percent increase in breast cancer risk when the therapy was taken for five years within the six years preceding the cancer diagnosis!
This is also true for birth control pills. They’re synthetic hormones which may even be worse than Premarin, so I strongly advise women to avoid birth control pills as well as traditional approaches to HRT.
Bioidentical hormones, which are a safer alternative, do not appear to contribute to breast cancer like its synthetic counterparts.
Two other important components for breast cancer prevention include:
Your vitamin D levels — We now know that if you can get your vitamin D levels up to about 60-80 ng/ml, it will virtually eliminate your risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is particularly sensitive to vitamin D, so it’s very important you regularly monitor your vitamin D status with a 25(OH)D test (also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D).
There are many variables that may prevent your body from optimizing vitamin D from sun exposure, and there’s no other way to determine your levels other than through lab testing, using a reputable lab (I recommend LabCorp in the U.S.).
Your fasting insulin levels – It’s also important to know what your fasting insulin level is (taken after 8-12 hrs of fasting). Ideally you’ll want your insulin to be around 2 or 3. The higher your level, the worse it is.
Breast cancer patients with high levels of insulin in their blood appear more likely to die from the disease, and researchers have even found that insulin levels may predict whether a woman's breast cancer is likely to recur after therapy.
We’re in the process of making these two tests available in the U.S. to anyone who would like them without a doctor’s prescription. This service is not available yet, but stay tuned as it will become available shortly.
Eating and Sleeping Your Way to a Cancer-Free Life
Other preventive components include eating and sleeping right. In particular, you’ll want to pay careful attention to your fats. Nearly everyone needs to increase their intake of healthy omega-3 fats. I recommend using a high quality animal-based omega-3 supplement like krill oil.
Additionally, you’ll want to eliminate all the trans fats (heated, processed fats), because the combination of omega-3 deficiency along with an excess of poor quality omega-6 fats is a disaster when it comes to the production of vitamin D-sensitive breast cancer.
Lastly, you need to optimize you melatonin production. Ideally you should allow your body to do it the natural way, which is far easier than you might think.
Optimizing your melatonin production is a simple, two-part process.
First, make sure you sleep in absolute pitch-black darkness.
If you need light to get to the bathroom at night, use a RED penlight. The red has a wavelength of about 600 nanometers that will not stimulate your pineal gland and disturb its production of melatonin.
If you use an electric alarm clock, beware that blue LED lights are probably the worst as they stimulate your pineal gland and disrupt melatonin production.
Secondly, expose yourself to bright sunshine in the daytime.
It’s the combination of these two strategies that will optimize your body’s natural production of melatonin, which can clearly reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
The Emotional Component of Breast Cancer
Therapeutically, another component to remember is that if you or someone you know has breast cancer, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the emotional factors as emotions almost always seem to be a factor in cancer.
One of the best tools I know to address the emotional roots of illness was developed in Germany by Dr. Hamer. He called it German New Medicine(GNM). A revised version, developed in the US, is called Recall Healing. The therapy addresses emotional components that seem to be really strong triggers for developing this type of cancer.
The leader in that area is Dr. David Holt, who operates in Reno, Nevada. I hope to be making Recall Healing available shortly, in my Chicago clinic.
Combining all of the measures mentioned above can be a very powerful way to prevent breast cancer, which of course is the most effective way. Like Kennedy said, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
But even if you already have cancer, you can still use these strategies as additional therapies, especially vitamin D.
And remember, if you have other insights into this topic, please share them in our free forum below. By participating you can help create the body of knowledge that will help us all find effective alternatives to the current disease-based paradigm.
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