How to Cut Your Breast Cancer
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Thousands of studies show that simple lifestyle strategies can be
tremendously protective against cancer. This includes food,
supplements, herbs, exercise and sun exposure
Many lifestyle strategies tested have the ability to cut your risk
of cancer by about 50 percent; sometimes more. Optimizing your
vitamin D levels, for example, has been shown to cut breast cancer
incidence by 77 percent in four years
Protective strategies that are effective against breast cancer also
work on these other types of cancer. Cancer prevention strategies
will also virtually eliminate most other chronic disorders
Thermography can be an empowering screening tool, as it can detect
the potential for cancer. By identifying areas of high inflammation,
you can address the underlying cause of the inflammation before
cancer has a chance to develop
By Dr. Mercola
According to estimates by the American
Cancer Society, about 232,300 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer
in 2013, and about 39,600 will die from the disease.
Dr. Christine Horner is quite familiar
with breast cancer. She began her career as a board certified general
and plastic surgeon, performing breast reconstructive surgeries on women
who'd had full mastectomies due to breast cancer.
While Dr. Horner was still in college,
her mother developed breast cancer. Despite having a mastectomy, and
successfully addressing a second breast tumor that appeared 13 years
after the first one, she later died from cancer that metastasized in her
“That’s the thing that really
rocked my world,” Dr. Horner says. “In the interim, I had
started my plastic surgery practice.
Because my mom had had breast
cancer, I thought, well, I’d get active with the American Cancer
Society. I was the spokesperson for the American Cancer Society on
breast cancer issues.
I was trained to say, ‘We don’t
know what causes it. We don’t have any known cures. The best things
that women can do are mammograms and breast exams in the hope of
catching it early to save lives.’
[Then] it was like, ‘Well, that
didn’t work for my mom.’ And then, I noticed at my practice that my
patients started getting younger and younger and younger. Finally, I
was doing women in their 20s. I just thought, something is way wrong
with this picture.”
Thousands of Studies Show Why We’re Not
Winning the War on Cancer...
Dr. Horner began reviewing the medical
literature in search of clues that might reveal an answer to the
dramatic increase in breast cancer, now appearing in women at an
increasingly younger age.
What she discovered was thousands of
studies that show exactly why we have a cancer epidemic—factors that
contribute to it, and factors that are highly protective.
“And they were all natural,”
she says. “It’s food, supplements, herbs, diet, and
lifestyle. ...I’m board certified in general surgery and plastic
surgery... there’s 11 years of training in there.
I didn’t have a single course in
nutrition. I learned nothing about health – nothing. All I learned
was how to suppress symptoms with pharmaceutical medications or cut
It wasn’t until I discovered
that there was such an association with diet, herbs, lifestyle, and
emotions too, that I thought, okay, these are the
real secrets to health.”
As a result of her research, she got
Ayurveda, a traditional system of medicine from India. “Ayur” means
life and “veda” means knowledge, so it literally means “the knowledge of
life”; wisdom that, if followed, can bring you into balance and enhance
your body’s innate self-healing intelligence.
The truth is, there are many simple
strategies that can drastically reduce your chances of developing
cancer, or any other chronic disease for that matter; strategies that do
not involve harmful side effects.
“I decided to quit my practice
and dedicate myself to teaching people about what they can do – the
simple things that they can do – that can have a dramatic impact on
their life,” she says.
“With all my research in the
area of breast cancer, I thought the first thing I’m going to do is
write a book on all the natural approaches to protecting against and
fighting breast cancer because, definitely, we have the information
to end the breast cancer epidemic. No question about it.”
It's worth mentioning that the same
strategies apply for other types of cancer as well. Prostate and colon
cancer tumors, for example, are similar to breast cancer tumors, as
certain hormones cause them all to grow. Hence, protective strategies
that are effective against breast cancer also work on these other types
of cancer. Cancer prevention strategies will also virtually eliminate
most other chronic disorders.
Her dedication, research, and ultimate
findings led to her writing the book,
Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner's Program to Protect
Against and Fight Breast Cancer, which contains research-proven
all-natural approaches for protecting against and treating breast
Conventional Cancer Screening Is NOT a
When it comes to breast cancer, it’s
important to understand that getting regular mammogram screenings is NOT
going to prevent anything. In fact, mammography, which employs
radiation, can increase your risk since ionizing radiation itself causes
cancer... As Dr. Horner writes in her book:
“A European study published in
2012 found that when those who have the genetic predisposition for
breast cancer (BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation) are exposed to any
diagnostic radiation before age thirty, their risk of breast cancer
increases by 90 percent.
The study also found that a history of mammography before age thirty
raised the risk by 43 percent. In fact, even one mammogram before
the age of thirty for those with the BRCA1 gene mutation was
associated with an increased risk.
A newer type of mammogram touted
to be much better at detecting breast cancers, called
tomosynthesis, takes a 3-D image of the breast. You definitely
want to avoid this type of mammogram because it uses three times
more radiation than the standard type!”
- Are incorrect 80 percent of the
time (providing a false negative or false positive)
- Use compression, which can damage
breast tissue or potentially spread cancer
- Are not effective for up to 50
percent of women (women with dense breasts or implants)
- Can lead to over-diagnosis and
over-treatment of non-invasive cancers
- Can lead to the disturbing practice
of “preventative” double mastectomies
MRIs, which do not use ionizing
radiation, are not a practical tool as they are very expensive, and,
like mammograms, they’re not very specific. Ultrasound is another
technique used in Western medicine. The traditional ultrasound can see
whether a mass is cystic or solid.
But while a solid mass is generally considered to be something that
might be of concern, this is not 100 percent certain either, as cancer
tumors can sometimes have cysts in them.
In her book, Dr. Horner also mentions
another type of ultrasound called “elastography,” which shows the
elasticity of tissues.
Cancerous tissue is typically stiffer than healthy tissue, so this
ultrasound can identify cancer based on the firmness of the tissues.
Several studies published since 2007 have concluded that elastography
ultrasound is a useful tool for detecting cancers without using harmful
radiation. It also helps reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies from
false-positive mammography readings.
Most Natural Prevention Strategies Cut Your
Risk in Half
What’s most important, however, is
Dr. Horner’s discovery that most of the lifestyle strategies that have
been scientifically tested have the ability to cut your risk of cancer
by about 50 percent; sometimes more. And yet virtually no one
in conventional medicine talks about and shares such findings with their
patients. Why? For example,
turmeric can slash your risk by about half, while optimizing your
vitamin D levels has been shown to cut breast cancer incidence by 77
in four years!
Of course, other lifestyle factors are
also important in preventing cancer, such as nutrition, exercise, sleep,
and managing stress. However, vitamin D’s critical importance seems to
grow with every emerging study. Carole Baggerly, founder director of
GrassrootsHealth—an organization dedicated to increasing awareness
vitamin D and the crucial role it plays in health—believes that as
much as 90 percent of ordinary breast cancer is related to vitamin D
deficiency, which is 100 percent preventable!
Despite its name, vitamin D is actually
a powerful neuro-regulatory steroid with epigenetic influence over more
than 2,000 genes in your body. That’s about 10 percent of all
your genes. There are
more than 830 peer reviewed scientific studies showing vitamin D's
effectiveness in the treatment of cancer, and personally, I believe it
is virtually malpractice to not optimize vitamin D levels when treating
someone with cancer. In this case, your vitamin D levels should be
around 70-100 ng/ml. For more information about optimizing your vitamin
D levels, please see my previous article
Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency.
Now, if making just ONE beneficial
change can halve your risk, or more... imagine what can happen if you
address several lifestyle factors known to have an effect.
“It becomes incredibly simple to
dramatically lower your risk of developing this disease,” Dr.
Horner says. “And then it takes the fear away. We don’t have to
be so afraid of this horrible disease... we do have tremendous power
in dramatically lowering our risk.”
Most importantly, Dr. Horner discovered
that there are a number of healthy habits we've stopped doing
in our modern culture that are highly protective against cancer. We've
dramatically altered our diets—shunning our native, whole-foods cuisine
for highly processed fare—and engage in very little physical activity,
for example. We’ve also been told to fear the sun and slather our
children in toxic sunscreens instead of reaping the tremendously
protective benefits of vitamin D production that appropriate sun
exposure brings. Fortunately, these factors are entirely within your
When It Comes to Breast Screening Options,
You Do Have a Choice
Dr. Horner is a strong proponent of
using thermography to track physiological changes that could indicate
the beginning stages of cancer formation. Contrary to mammography,
thermography does not provide you with an anatomic image. Rather, it
measures the infrared heat emitted by your body and translates this
information into thermal images.
Thermography does not require mechanical
compression or ionizing radiation, and can detect signs of physiological
changes due to inflammation and/or increased tumor related blood flow
approximately 8-10 years before mammography or a physical exam can
detect a mass.
“To me, it’s an incredibly
useful tool,” Dr. Horner says. In her book, she writes:
“Research shows that, unlike mammograms, when thermography suspects
something is wrong, it usually is. A study published in the American
Journal of Radiology in January 2003 concluded that this technology
could help prevent most unnecessary breast biopsies: ‘Infrared
imaging (thermography) offers a safe noninvasive procedure that
would be valuable as an adjunct to mammography in determining
whether a lesion is benign or malignant.’”
Download Interview Transcript
Thermography Can Empower You to Take
Control of Your Health
Since it can give you close to a
decade’s worth of “lead time,” it can be very empowering tool. Should
the image indicate an area of inflammation, you can immediately start
applying strategies to reverse such symptoms, and within a couple of
months be able to confirm that it’s working by taking another picture.
Since it’s as harmless as taking a photograph of yourself, you need not
worry about making more frequent follow-ups.
“One of the most exciting and
important uses for thermography, I believe, is being able to use it
on young women,” Dr. Horner says. “The earlier we can get
them, the earlier we can get them involved in their own health...
Mammograms don’t usually work on
women 40 and under because their breast tissue is too dense. Plus,
the other really scary thing about it is that when our breast tissue
is younger, it’s more sensitive to radiation. If you’re getting
mammograms when you’re younger, it’s far more damaging. We know that
radiation is a contributor to the cause of breast cancer. It’s like
why do you do a test that uses something that actually causes that
disease? Hello? Early on, it’s worthless.”
Again, the reason why thermography is so
effective as a preventive tool is because it can detect the
potential for cancer, and can detect already formed cancers at a
far earlier stage than a mammogram. Essentially, it detects
areas of high inflammation, which can be viewed as a “hot-spot” with
But it’s important to understand that
thermography does not diagnose cancer. Again, higher
temperature readings indicate higher levels of inflammation, which can
lead to cancer. But if your thermogram shows areas of high inflammation,
it doesn’t mean you have cancer. Rather it lets you
know you need to address that inflammation to avoid deterioration, and
in some cases that the area needs further evaluation.
What Does the Science Say About Unfermented
Soy and Breast Cancer?
I’ve typically recommended avoiding
unfermented soy due to their being high in plant estrogens, or
phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. Dr. Horner, however,
disagrees with the notion that soy can work in concert with human
estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, thereby increasing your
mutations and cancerous cells.
“After all this research, I am
very aware of the plant estrogen controversies,” she says.
“These are the following facts that I can tell you. Most of the
concern over 'plant estrogens' come from one study that isolated and
concentrated one chemical from soy, genistein, andgave it to women
for one year as a supplement. At the end of the year, the breast
cells in these women showed signs of stimulation. This study
certainly raises the concern that taking isolated, concentrated
genistein supplements does not protect the breast tissue and in fact
may increase the risk of cancer.
Therefore, taking this type of
supplement is not advisable. But many people leaped to the
conclusion that all soy foods or anything with phytoestrogens in it
must have the same effects in our bodies and should be avoided. But,
thousands of studies show eating foods high in 'plant estrogens,'
like whole soy foods, lower the risk of breast cancer. Whole soy
foods have many different 'phytoestrogens' in them as well as
hundreds of other constituents and are clearly processed in your
body differently from the isolated chemical genistein.”
Flax seeds, for example, also contain
phytoestrogens and, according to Dr. Horner, there are hundreds of
studies showing that flax not only protects against breast cancer more
effectively than any other food we know of, but may also shrink breast
tumors. She also cites research by Lilian Thompson at the University of
Toronto, who has done many studies on flaxseeds and estrogen-positive
tumors. In one of Dr. Thompson’s studies, she found that
estrogen-positive breast tumors shrank in every woman given flax seeds
for three weeks.
“I had personal experience with
this,” Dr. Horner says. “My business manager's mother
developed breast cancer. I started her on three tablespoons of flax
seed per day, plus a potent herbal antioxidant. Her tumor was 1.5 cm
on mammogram. At the time of surgery three weeks later her tumor had
shrunk to 0.5 cm.
With all these cancer fighting
effects, not surprisingly, research shows that women who have the
highest level of lignans in their body have the lowest risk of
breast cancer. Flax seeds contain 100 times more lignans than any
other known plant source and are one of the most power foods you can
eat to lower your risk of breast cancer.
Here's the key to understanding
this controversy: Plant estrogens are not the same as the estrogens
your body makes, or synthetic estrogens found in hormone replacement
therapy. They are very different. Many actually act more like
selective estrogen modulators or SERMS (Tamoxifen is a SERM) and as
aromatase inhibitors like Arimidex. These plant chemicals act in so
many complex ways that we may never fully understand them all.”
Dr. Thompson’s and other research shows
that flax lignans fight breast cancer: in a number of ways by:
Lowering your overall production of
Blocking environmental estrogens
from attaching to breast tissue
Creating more of a "good"
protective type of estrogen
Protecting your breast tissue from
the damaging effects of environmental toxins
Decreasing three different growth
factors associated with the growth of breast cancer
Blocking the aromatase enzyme in a
way similar to the drug Arimidex
Lengthening your menstrual cycle
Blocking the estrogen receptor in a
way similar to the drug Tamoxifen
Dr. Horner has a chapter dedicated to
the latest research on soy in her book, which will give you far more
details on this complex topic. But according to Dr. Horner, the bottom
line is that:
- You should avoid taking a genistein
- Plant estrogens, although referred
to as estrogens, actually are very different from estrogen
- Thousands of studies show eating
foods high in 'plant estrogens' has a significant protective effect
against many diseases including breast cancer
- Effectively protecting yourself
from breast cancer or improving your chances of successfully
fighting it does not come from "one" thing -- it comes from the sum
total of all of your diet and lifestyle choices.
Are You Ready to Switch to a Health-Based
It’s unfortunate that today’s “health
care” system is so financially wrapped up in maintaining the illusion
that there’s not much you can do about your health. Diseases are seen as
something that sooner or later will “happen” to you, and when you become
ill, the remedy is usually a toxic pill or invasive and costly
procedure. It doesn’t have to be this way. As Dr. Horner says:
“My message to women,
particularly when we talk about breast cancer, is that you have an
extraordinary power in lowering your risk of this disease, which is
all too prevalent in our culture, and that there are so many simple
things that you can do. So you do one thing – again, one thing – and
you can cut your risk in half. If you do more than one thing, those
things will multiply up together. It becomes incredibly simple to
dramatically lower your risk. The side benefit is that you feel
better and better and better. It’s simple. It’s not complex.”
To learn more, I highly recommend
picking up Dr. Horner’s book,
Waking the Warrior Goddess, winner of the Independent Publisher
Book Award (IPPY) “Best book of 2006 for health / nutrition / medicine.”
You can also find more information on her website,
Last but not least, below you’ll find 10 of my own strategies that I
believe will go a long way toward warding off breast cancer.
10 Simple Lifestyle Strategies to Reduce
Your Risk of Breast Cancer
- Radically reduce your
intake of sugar/fructose and processed foods. Normalizing
your insulin and leptin levels by avoiding sugar and fructose is one
of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your
risk of cancer. Unfortunately, very few oncologists appreciate or
apply this knowledge today. Refined
fructose is especially dangerous, as research shows it actually
- Optimize your vitamin D
level. Ideally it should be over 50 ng/ml, but levels from
70-100 ng/ml will radically reduce your cancer risk. Safe sun
exposure is the most effective way to increase your
vitamin D levels, followed by using a tanning bed that has an
electronic ballast instead of a magnetic one. Either of these
methods is far better than taking a high-dose supplement, which
would necessitate increasing your intake of
vitamin K2 as well, either from food or a supplement.
- Make intermittent fasting
part of your lifestyle. Intermittent fasting will help your
body shift to burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel.
There are only two types of fuel; your body can burn carbs/sugar or
fat. Nearly everyone who has cancer is burning carbs as their
primary fuel. Since cancer cells thrive on sugar this is something
you want to avoid.
Intermittent fasting involves
timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting. To
be effective, the length of your fast must be at least 16 hours.
This means eating only between the hours of 11am until 7pm, as an
example. Essentially, this equates to simply skipping breakfast, and
making lunch your first meal of the day instead.
- Maintain a healthy body
weight. It's important to lose excess weight because
estrogen is produced in fat tissue. Fortunately, this will come
naturally when you begin eating right and exercising. Intermittent
fasting is also extremely effective for weight loss and weight
management. As for exercise, I strongly recommend incorporating
high-intensity burst-type activities, which are part of my Peak
- Get plenty of high-quality
animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil.
Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
- Drink a pint to a quart of
organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review
my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
- Avoid drinking alcohol,
or limit your drinks to one a day for women.
- Watch out for excessive
iron levels. This is actually very common once women
stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful
oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer.
So if you are a post-menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will
certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the
iron transport protein and should not be above 80. If it is elevated
you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.
- Get proper sleep,
both in terms of enough
sleep, and sleeping between certain hours. According to
Ayurvedic medicine, the ideal hours for sleep are between 10 pm and
6 am. Modern research has confirmed the value of this recommendation
as certain hormonal fluctuations occur throughout the day and night,
and if you engage in the appropriate activities during those times,
you're 'riding the wave' so to speak, and are able to get the
optimal levels. Working against your biology by staying awake when
you should ideally be sleeping or vice versa, interferes with these
hormonal fluctuations. If you have children, breastfeed exclusively
for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast
- If you have children
breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows
this will reduce your breast cancer risk.