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Preventing Breast Cancer


I know some people like to wait until all the medical research has been done, the evidence is indisputable and their physician conveys guidelines endorsed by the American Cancer Society or the AMA before making any changes to their lifestyle or diet.  Personally, I don’t have the time or the inclination to wait!   Not when 1 in every 8-9 women are developing breast cancer, and not when good friends, colleagues and neighbors are being diagnosed way too frequently.

My sister (who has lost several close friends to breast cancer) lamented recently “it’s not a matter of “if” anymore, it’s a matter of “when!”  Being Irish, stubborn and a strong believer in the idea that there’s always more we can learn and do to optimize our health, I refuse to accept this doomsday philosophy.  Knowledge about health is power, and being proactive about preventing illness (even when we and our physicians don’t have all the answers) are the smartest choices we can spend our time and money on.

In this article, in addition to discussing some of the more conventional concepts, we will also examine a few of the more cutting-edge ideas for preventing the devastating illness of breast cancer.   Moreover, I  live in one of most progressive, holistic and open-minded areas of the country.  So reaching beyond mainstream views to more creative ideas on health is one reason why many of us were drawn to the Asheville, NC area.

Before we get into the heart of this discussion, there is one potentially sensitive aspect of this topic that I’d like to address up front. On the flip side of any conversation about prevention, is a subtle but powerful emotion called guilt.  The word “prevention” to someone who has already become ill, sounds too much like “getting sick is my fault”.    So before reviewing what we can do to prevent this disease, I’d like to say to those women who have already developed breast cancer or any other illness for that matter…please don’t feel guilty.  First of all, illness is not always  preventable and secondly: other than the typical suggestions  we read about such as:  don’t  smoke, drink less alcohol, eat healthy fats etc,  much of the information that is coming out now for preventing breast cancer we just didn’t have access to a short time ago.   Additionally, despite billions of dollars spent on research, the medical establishment still doesn’t know the exact causes of breast cancer nor do they understand the specific interplay between genetic factors, environmental toxicity, hormones and diet and why some women are more vulnerable than others. [click to continue…]