Every Month Should be Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Not only is it important to be “aware” of breast cancer, it’s actually more important to be informed about it. Did you know that each year 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer here in the U.S.? Did you also know that right now, over 3 million women in this county are living with breast cancer; 2.3 million of these women have been diagnosed while the remaining 1 million do not yet know that they have it. Why? Because they are either too young for a mammogram or their breasts are too dense for mammography to identify the cancer at this. Here are some startling facts about breast cancer: Breast cancer is now the leading cause of death in women ages 40 to 55. Breast cancer accounts for 26% of all cancer in females 15-39 years of age and 39% of all cancer in 35-39 year olds. This is significant in and of itself; however, considering the fact that most women won’t go into the screening system until they are 40 makes it downright frightening!
So why are so many women being diagnosed with breast cancer?
There are several factors, but one seems to stand out; the environmental factor. According to a study conducted in 2008, there are now chemicals in our food, clothing, water, cosmetics, cleansers we use every day in our homes, and in our air. We are bombarded with toxins, chemicals and radiation. The good news is that we can limit our exposure to some of these toxins by avoiding the use of toxic cleansers, plastics, Styrofoam and Teflon-coated cookware.
If you use a microwave always cook or reheat in glass or on a paper plate covered with a paper towel. Do not heat your food in plastic or Styrofoam! Use green products to clean your homes. Did you know that the inside of our home is more polluted than the air outside? There are many companies that make green cleansers for your home. Avoid exposure to radiation unless absolutely necessary (i.e., a broken bone). Avoid using a Bluetooth, instead opt for the wired headphone and keep your cell phone away from your body.
Other factors that can cause breast cancer are estrogen dominance, lymphatic congestion, chronic inflammation and in rare cases genetics (BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene). As we age and approach menopause our hormones begin to fluctuate greatly and diminish over time. Estrogen dominance can cause issues like, hot flashes, the increased risk of breast and endometrial cancer, breast cysts, increased fat storage, depression and fatigue. The good news; bio-identical hormones can safely bring hormones back into balance. Lymphatic congestion is caused by fatigue, stress, infection, emotional shock, lack of physical activity and dehydration. Our lymph system screens the lymph fluids and some white blood cells of toxins that can accumulate and ultimately cause disease if left untreated. The good news; dietary improvement and lymphaticstimulation—massage, exercise and lots of water—combined with herbs that aid lymphatic purification support the lymphatic system’s ability to carry off debris. Chronic inflammation is a disease. The system has gotten hung up, and instead of protecting the organism (our bodies) it starts to kill the organism, slowly but surely. It is the main contributing factor to all chronic degenerative diseases, and the root cause of the two greatest killers in America, cancer and heart disease. The good news; Thermography can detect all three of these conditions at the earliest stages. Genetics makes up only a very small percentage (5%-10%) of breast cancer cases are thought to be due to abnormal genes. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are rare and there are blood tests that can determine if someone is a carrier.
Myths about Breast Cancer
A lot of women are under the impression that if they have no family history of ovarian or breast cancer, they are not at risk. This is completely false. Eighty percent of all breast cancer cases have no family history.
A lump means cancer! False! If you happen to feel a lump, don’t panic! Eighty percent of all lumps found turn out to be benign (harmless); however, remember that 20% are cancerous so have it checked out immediately.
Men don’t get breast cancer. False! It’s rare, but this year is it estimated that about 2,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and about 440 will die from the disease. Now this is a big myth: Removing the entire breast gives you a better chance of surviving cancer than having a lumpectomy with radiation therapy. False! The Survival rates are about the same for women who have mastectomies and for women who choose the breast-conserving option of removing only part of the breast and following the surgery with radiation treatments.
Another big myth: Low dose radiation is safe. Absolutely false! Radiation exposure causes cancer! Radiation accumulates in the body. Studies have shown that after 10 years of annual mammograms, a woman has increased her risk of developing breast cancer by 20% due to the radiation exposure. Current guidelines for breast cancer screening Up until December of 2009, once-yearly mammograms were recommended for women over 40 and for women as young as 30 with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer. However, studies have shown that the effectiveness of modern mammography is highest only among women aged 50 years and older and is lowest among women younger than 50 years due to breast density. Premenopausal women have dense breast tissue which appears white on an x-ray, as Current methods of detection Clinical breast examination is performed by a trained health care professional.
Self breast examination is performed by you by doing monthly visual and physical inspections of Mammography is an X-ray of the soft tissue of the breast. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), mammography will fail to detect 40% of all breast cancers in women betweenthe ages of 40 and 50. It will extend at best 2 women’s lives out of every 10,000 women it exposes to radiation, and among women under 35, mammography could cause 75 cases of breast cancer for every 15 it identifies. It can also cause existing cancer cells to spread from the breast site due to the enormous pressure placed on the woman’s breast during the procedure. It can, at no point, detect inflammatory breast cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. It can cause damage to breast implants as well as interfere with the detection of cancer because the implants can obscure the mammography image of a tumor. According the NCI, mammography does not result in an increased survival rate for women.
Thankfully, we have an option! We are now using digital infrared thermal imaging cameras to detect breast cancer in its infancy stages. Thermography, as it’s called, looks for an organized vascular heat pattern that supports abnormal tissue development accompanied by intense emissions due to extensive cellular death producing nitric oxide. This process results in an increase in regional surface temperatures of the breast. Thermography also identifies angiogenesis. Angiogenesis refers to the process of new blood vessel formation. When tissues need more oxygen, they release molecules that encourage blood vessel growth. Thermography uses extremely sensitive medical infrared cameras and computers to detect these temperature variations as they are among the earliest signs of breast cancer or a pre-cancerous state of the breast. Thermography is safe, painless, uses no radiation and is FDA approved. It also has the ability to detect many other diseases, often before they can be picked up by standard medical
As a routine screening tool, Thermography has been shown to be 97% effective at differentiating between benign and malignant breast abnormalities no matter age, breast size, breast density, or implants. Mammography offers 80% in women over 50, 60% in women between 40 and 49, and 35% to 40% in women under 40 or those with implants. Which will you choose?
By: Catherine Johnson
Silk Thermal Imaging