October is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is now the
second leading cause of cancer death in women. Breast cancer is a
condition in which cancer (malignant) cells are found in the tissues of
At this time, no one knows
the cause of the majority of breast cancers. There are many theories,
including an inherited tendency, genetic mutations and environmental
exposure; pesticides, and even bras (though many feel it is the metal in
the bras and not the bras themselves); however, the cause of breast cancer is the subject of ongoing
research. Every woman is at risk for
developing breast cancer. Breast cancer is 100 times
more common in women than in men. Following skin cancer, breast cancer is
the second most common cancer in women.
While many risk factors have been identified,
approximately 70 to 80 percent of breast cancer cases occur in women with
no readily identifiable risk factors. Factors associated with an increased
risk of female breast cancer do include: Increasing age: 75 percent of cases are
diagnosed in women greater than 50 years of age; previous history of breast
cancer; family history of breast cancer; prolonged estrogen exposure; genetics; and lifestyle
behaviors, as well as hormonal therapy used to treat other
medical conditions and radiation therapy. The primary risk factor
associated with male breast cancer is advancing age.
Signs and Symptoms
Some women may not
experience any symptoms. The first clue leading to the diagnosis of breast
cancer may be the presence of a tumor as seen on a mammogram or thermogram. For women
that do experience symptoms, the earliest one is typically the discovery
of a lump in the breast or underneath the armpit. Usually there is no pain
associated with the lump. Women who discover a lump or any of the
following symptoms should see their physician:
- Change in the normal appearance of the
breast, including size and shape of the breast, or color or feel of
- Nipple retraction
- Nipple discharge, either clear or bloody
- Sudden onset of breast pain or
The most common symptom of
male breast cancer is a painless lump. Additional symptoms may include
nipple discharge (clear or bloody), nipple retraction or skin ulceration.
Types of Breast Cancer
and Risks associated with them:
Each breast has 15 to 20
sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules.
The lobes and lobules are connected by thin tubes called ducts. The most
common type of breast cancer is ductal cancer. It is found in the cells of
the ducts. Cancer that begins in the lobes or lobules is called lobular
cancer. Lobular cancer is more often found in both breasts than other
types of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon type of
breast cancer. In this disease, the breast is warm, red, and swollen.
Hereditary breast cancer makes up approximately 5% to 10% of all breast
cancer cases. The genes in cells carry the hereditary information that is
received from a person's parents. Several genes have been found to be
defective in some breast cancer patients. Relatives of breast cancer
patients who carry these defective genes may be more likely to develop
breast or ovarian cancer. Some defective genes are more common in certain
ethnic groups. Tests are being developed to determine who has the genetic
defect long before any cancer appears.
Hormonal contraceptives may
be another factor to consider. Research findings suggest a link between
contraceptive use and a slightly increased risk of developing breast
The Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
Generally, the earlier a
breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the prognosis. The traditional
screening methods include: Breast self-examination
(BSE); physical breast examination by a
health care professional, and mammogram. There are also many alternative
tests that can be used - go to our Tests
to Detect Cancer page. Once breast cancer is
diagnosed, the next step is to determine whether or not it has spread -
normally a biopsy, but there are also alternative approaches also
discussed on our Tests
page. For a list of places that offer thermography screening, go to
our Breast Cancer Thermography page.
If it is determined that
there is cancer, some feel it is important that certain tests (called
estrogen and progesterone receptor tests) be done on the cancer cells.
Estrogen and progesterone receptor tests may tell whether hormones affect
the way the cancer grows. They may also give information about the chances
of the tumor coming back (recurring). The results help a doctor decide
whether to use hormone therapy to stop the cancer from growing.
The chance of recovery (prognosis) and choice of treatment depend on the
stage of the cancer (whether it is just in the breast or has spread to
other places in the body), the type of breast cancer, certain
characteristics of the cancer cells, and whether the cancer is found in
the other breast. A woman's age, weight, menopausal status (whether or not
a woman is still having menstrual periods), and general health can also
affect the prognosis and choice of treatment.
new cancer cases and deaths in the United States for the year 2002,
according to the American Cancer Society (Year 2002 Surveillance Research
from the American Cancer Society) for breast cancer are: There is an estimated
203,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women and 1500 in men, and
54,300 new cases of in suti breast cancer. The estimated number of deaths
for 2002 is 39,600 for women and 400 for men.
Improved screening techniques allow earlier
diagnosis and more effective treatment options, and the mortality rate for
breast cancer has declined. The 5-year survival rates for women and men
with node-negative cancer are 92 and 79 percent, respectively. The
survival rates decrease for node-positive cancers and vary depending upon
the extent of metastatic spread. If cancer has spread regionally, the rate
drops to 78% and for women with distant metastases, the rate is 21%. There
are many who disagree with these figures, but these are the figures
reported by the American Cancer Society.
What are the Treatments
for Breast Cancer?
Most of the current
conventional approaches to treating cancer include surgery, radiation,
chemotherapy, biological and hormonal therapy, including Tamoxifen and
Herceptin. The treatment of male breast cancer is
similar to that of female breast cancer.
approach may also be used - This is where an antibody is produced in a
laboratory to isolate and clone individual B-lymphocytes, resulting in the
production of a pure antibody. This approach attempts to block or inhibit
cancer receptor sites. This approach is an attempt to prevent the spread
of cancerous cells and sensitizes the immune system in fighting off
There are a number of clinics in the U.S. and
around the world that are having good successes treating breast cancer. Call
us for referral. Some of the approaches used include: Iscador
(mistletoe), homeopathy, Essiac,
Green tea, 714X, diet, nutrition, enzymes, laetrile,
use of progesterone creams for hormone imbalances, mushroom extracts, MGN3,
IP6, and more. Most of the therapies listed on our Choice
of Therapies page can be used with breast cancers.
Calcium D-glucurate has been shown in animal
studies to reduce tumor formation by 50-70% and the levels of serum
estradiol were decreased by 23%. It may be worthwhile to add this to one's
Applying progesterone transdermally (directly to the breast) may
help to curtail the proliferation of breast cancer cells.
Flaxseed oil & cottage cheese have been pretty
successful as a protocol.
See article entitled: Flaxseeds
May Help Fight Breast Cancer
Dr. Day has a 10 Step approach to treating
cancer. Go to her website for more information. www.drday.com.
She has a program that can be done at home; however, we strongly encourage
you to work with an alternative physician to oversee any program.
Clinical Trials using more alternative
Burzynski's Clinic is doing a clinical
trial using antineoplastons. For more information, call their clinic at
713-335-5697. There may be other clinics offering this approach. Call us if
yuo would like information on this.
Additional clinical trials can be searched by
going to some of the links on our Clinical
Breast cancer prevention:
Breast cancer prevention includes watching your diet; exercising and avoiding toxins. It is most
important to lower the saturated fat content in your diet, but to include
"good fats" such as fish oils and olive oil.
Eating organic foods will help you avoid pesticides,
which have been linked to this and many other forms of cancer. It is
advised to stay avoid estrogen as it can raise the risk of cancer.
Daily exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer
Minimize your exposure to ionizing radiation.
Once a person has had breast cancer, there is a
greater risk of reoccurrence. A diligent maintenance program and lifestyle
change is important to optimize the duration of remission. The use of a
mega-nutrient nutraceutical, plus detoxification will enhance traditional
approaches and may function on its own as a good adjunctive program. Using
these protocols not only detoxifies the body, but strengthens the immune
Bi-annual check ups are important for physical exams, overall blood tests
(chem panel/CBC differential), selective tumor mark blood tests, such
CA15-3 or CA-27.29 (Breast), and/or various instrumental techniques to
monitor a possible reoccurrence of cancer. Early detection of a breast
cancer reoccurrence can enhance success of various treatment modalities
Info on a Fraudulent
study on using ultrahigh doses of chemotherapy followed by a bone
marrow transplants to treat breast cancer.
is a good website for information on breast cancer - AnnieAppleseed
- http://annieappleseedproject.org/breascanis.html and
a good breast cancer forum at Amazon - for those people who are
using alternative approaches. Some have done surgery but chosen not
to do chemo and radiation. Others have taken a totally
alternative route. These people are very supportive. For
information, go to http://www.bcforum.org/listserv.html.
If you want to talk to women who have used
alternative or integrated approaches, go to Brave Souls at http://www.brave-souls.com/speak-with-survivors/
for a list of people you can talk to.
The Lancet, 2002;360:187-195
reports a study on breastfeeding and family size. Researchers now believe small family size and reduced
breastfeeding may be a significant factor fueling this ever-growing
epidemic. Researchers reported the overall risk of breast cancer
decreased by 4.3 percent for every year a woman breastfed in her
lifetime. Additionally, there was a 7-percent decrease for every birth
regardless of whether the mother ever breastfed. The authors of the
study said that if women were to breastfeed each of their children for
an additional six months, this could prevent about 5 percent of breast
cancers each year. An additional 12 months could decrease that number
by as much as 11 percent.
WorldSources, Inc. reports on a couple of studies. One claims Healthy diet helps reduce cancer risk for
breast cancer and secondary cancers in women. Zubairi Djoerban, internist and hematologist at Cipto Mangunkusumo
General Hospital, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday that eating
vegetables and fruit five times a day or taking a daily 30-minute
brisk walk could reduce the risk of breast cancer. He said that eating fatty foods, smoking and
drinking alcohol made women susceptible to breast cancer. Another study conducted in the U.S., Soehartati said that early
detection could help reduce breast cancer deaths by up to 30 percent.