"Your biopsy tests positive for breast cancer." These is a sentence feared by all women. In 1971President Nixon declared war on cancer. Since then billions of dollars have been spent on fightingcancer. It seems the only arsenal this war has come up with are the antiquated weapons of poison,slash and burn. There is still no cure. Very little of the money used for the war on cancer is used forcancer prevention. Yet it is far easier to prevent cancer than to cure it.Cancer is a systemic disease. This means that even if the cancer has manifested itself in yourbreast tissue, the actual problem is system wide. Because of this, breast cancer cant be preventedsolely by specifics. It requires an entire lifestyle change.Having said that, there are number of changes you can make to your lifestyle that will reduce yourrisk of getting breast cancer (and all other cancers). I have chosen, what I consider to be, the mosteffective to share with you.Before I list them for you, it would be helpful for you to understand what cancer actually is. JanePlant, "Your Life in Your Hands", describes cancer as "Cells behaving badly." Our cells operate underthe control of the genes in our DNA. These cells grow and divide in a controlled way to producemore cells as they are needed to keep the body healthy. When cells become old or damaged, theydie and are replaced with new cells.However, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. The DNA of a cell can become damaged orchanged, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. When this happens, cellsdo not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them. These mutatedcells thrive in an anaerobic environment and get their energy from metabolic waste. The extra cellsmay form a mass of tissue called a tumour.By definition, a cancer cell is a normal, healthy cell that has undergone genetic mutation to the pointthat it can live in an anaerobic surrounding (an environment where oxygen is not available). Inother words, if you deprive a group of cells of vital oxygen (their primary source of energy), some ofthem will die, but others will manage to alter their genetic software program and mutate in a most
resourceful way: the cells will be able to live without oxygen and derive some of their energy needsfrom such things as cellular metabolic waste products.Only five to ten percent of all breast cancers are due to genetic predisposition and over 70% of allgene mutations are caused by environmental factors. This puts you in a very powerful position tobe able to significantly reduce your risk of the gene mutations that cause breast cancer.I have listed the suggestions starting with the most important and most effective:Eat a whole-food, plant-based diet with lots of raw foods: Diet is the most prevalent cause of geneticmutation. It can also provide the greatest protection against cancer. But which diet? Studies carriedout by Dr Dean Ornish show that our blood has powerful anti-cancer compounds. Thats a goodthing. Even those on a Standard American Diet (SAD) have blood that fights cancer. However, theblood of vegans (those who consume no animal products what-so-ever) decreased cancer growthby nearly 8 times over the blood of those consuming the Standard American Diet. Another studyconducted at Loma Linda University found that vegans have 34% lower rates of breast cancer toother women. Other dietary factors include: sugar consumption processed foods, gluten, chemicaladditives, transfats and over-eating.Give up drinking alcohol: One alcoholic drink per day increases your risk of getting breast cancer byseven to ten percent. Not only that but breast cancer survivors who consume three to four drinks aweek increase their risk of a recurrence by 34%.Give up smoking: Although smoking is usually associated with lung cancer, the carcinogens incigarettes affect the whole system. Women who smoke are 24 times more likely to get breastcancer. The risk doubles if those women start smoking before having their first baby and increasesto 61 times more likely if they start smoking before their first mentrual period.Engage in a high level of physical activity: Women who exercise for more than three hours a weekreduce their risk of breast cancer by 25%.
As many breast cancers are estrogen dependent, itmakes sense to minimise your exposure to estrogen. Two studies published in 2002 and 2003 linkHRT to a higher incidence of breast cancer.Supplement wisely: Three quarters of all women with breast cancer are vitamin D deficient.Maintaining optimal vitamin D levels decreases your risk by 45%. Ensure your vitamin D levels areoptimal through regular blood tests and if theyre not take a supplement. Those with diets rich inDHA Omega 3 fatty acids are two thirds less likely to get breast cancer. We usually think of fish forour Omega 3. But flaxseeds have shown special protective factors due to their content of dietarylignans, a class of phytoestrogens, which have an anti-estrogen effect. Conversly, artificial folic acid(in the form of supplements) has been shown to increase a womans risk of breast cancer. So obtainall your follic acid from natural, food sources - green leafy vegetables.Watch your weight: Obesity is said to be the primary cause of 17% of all breast cancers, especiallyafter menopause. Luckily, if you follow the dietary and exercise suggestions listed here, reachingand maintaining a healthy weight is easy.Dont fry or grill foods: Cooking at high temperatures without water or steam creates acrylamidesin carbohydrate foods (eg.chips) and heterocyclic amines in meat (especially chicken). Both thesesubstances are highly carcinogenic.Have two or more children and breast feed them for up to two years each: When we are pregnantand breast feeding we are exposed to lower levels of estrogen, which in turn, lowers our risk ofbreast cancer.Avoid unnecessay radiation: This includes radiation caused by imaging tests, such as xrays(including mammograms), CT scans, PET scans and bone scans. Remember that mammograms arenot preventative and cumulative radiation exposure over a persons life time includes exposurefrom this breast cancer detection tool. Alternatives to mammograms, that are not publised orencouraged by the medical profession for breast cancer detection, include: thermography, MRI andultrasound. If you are serious about preventing breats cancer, this is something you should lookinto and discuss with your doctor.My hope is that these suggestions will not overwhelm you but empower you to start makingchanges and keep making them.
Remember that permanent change is best accomplished with baby steps. This is what holistichealth coaching can help you with by providing information, encouragement and accountability tokeep you moving forwards towards your health goals.Cath King is a nutritionist and holistic health coach who specializes in creating optimal health onplant-based diets. She has had success in helping clients reverse cancer, diabetes, crohns disease,ulcerated colitus, heart disease and obesity. Her clinic "Seeking Health" is in New Zealand. Contacther through http://ckinghealth.webs.com/