Last but certainly not least, I want to bring attention to two new studies that refute the validity of mammography as a primary tool against breast cancer. The first, published in JAMA Internal Medicine20,21 on July 6, 2015, confirmed previous findings showing mammography screenings lead to unnecessary treatments while having virtually no impact on the number of deaths from breast cancer.
Previous research22 has shown that for every life saved by mammography screening, three women will be overdiagnosed and treated with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy for a cancer that might never have given them trouble in their lifetimes. In the new JAMA study, a positive correlation between breast cancer screening and breast cancer incidence was again found, but there was no positive correlation with mortality.
The second study23,24,25 published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine declares its conclusion right in the title, which reads: "Mammography screening is harmful and should be abandoned." In short, decades of routine breast cancer screening using mammograms has done nothing to decrease deaths from breast cancer, while causing more than half (52 percent) of all women undergoing the test to be overdiagnosed and overtreated. According to lead author Peter C Gøtzsche, had mammograms been a drug, "it would have been withdrawn from the market long ago."
Cancer Prevention Begins With Your Lifestyle Choices
Mammograms are portrayed as the best form of "prevention" a woman can get. But early diagnosis is not the same as prevention. And cancer screening that does more harm than good can hardly qualify as the best you can hope for... I believe the vast majority of all cancers could be prevented by strictly applying basic, common-sense, and healthy lifestyle strategies, such as the ones below:
- Eat real food; avoid processed foods and sugars, especially processed fructose. All forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer. Fructose, however, is clearly one of the most harmful and should be avoided as much as possible.
- Stop eating AT LEAST three hours before going to bed. There is quite compelling evidence showing that when you supply fuel to the mitochondria in your cells at a time when they don't need it, they will leak a large number of electrons that will liberate reactive oxygen species (free radicals), which damage mitochondrial and eventually nuclear DNA. There is also evidence to indicate that cancer cells uniformly have damaged mitochondria, so the last thing you want to do is eat before you go to bed. Personally, I strive for six hours of fasting before bedtime.
- Optimize your vitamin D. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). If you have cancer, your vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I'm aware of, with no adverse effects. I suggest you try watching my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to learn more.
- Limit your protein. Newer research has emphasized the importance of the mTOR pathways. When these are active, cancer growth is accelerated. To quiet this pathway, I believe it may be wise to limit your protein to one gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass, or roughly a bit less than half a gram of protein per every pound of lean body weight.
- Avoid unfermented soy products. Unfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.
- Improve your insulin and leptin receptor sensitivity. The best way to do this is by avoiding sugar and grains and restricting carbs to mostly fiber vegetables. Also making sure you are exercising, especially with high-intensity interval training.
- Exercise regularly. One of the primary reasons exercise works to lower your cancer risk is because it drives your insulin levels down, and controlling your insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks. It's also been suggested that apoptosis (programmed cell death) is triggered by exercise, causing cancer cells to die. Studies have also found that the number of tumors decrease along with body fat, which may be an additional factor. This is because exercise helps lower your estrogen levels, which explains why exercise appears to be particularly potent against breast cancer.
- 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 body fat because fat produces estrogen.
- Drink a pint to a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
- Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
- Use curcumin. This is the active ingredient in turmeric and in high concentrations can be very useful adjunct in the treatment of cancer.For example, it has demonstrated major therapeutic potential in preventing breast cancer metastasis.26 It's important to know that curcumin is generally not absorbed that well, so I've provided several absorption tips here.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day.
- Avoid electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Even electric blankets can increase your cancer risk.
- Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy, especially if you have risk factors for breast cancer. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
- If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.
- Avoid BPA, phthalates, and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk
- Make sure you're not iodine deficient, as there's compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with certain forms of cancer. Dr. David Brownstein,27 author of the book Iodine: Why You Need it, Why You Can't Live Without it, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells.
- For more information, I recommend reading Dr. Brownstein's book. I have been researching iodine for some time ever since I interviewed Dr. Brownstein as I do believe that the bulk of what he states is spot on. However, I am not at all convinced that his dosage recommendations are correct. I believe they are too high.
- Avoid charring your meats. Charcoal or flame broiled meat is linked with increased breast cancer risk. Acrylamide — a carcinogen created when starchy foods are baked, roasted, or fried — has been found to increase cancer risk as well.