by: Loring A. WindbladCancer is the second leading cause of death in North America (after heart and other cardiovascular diseases) and breast cancer is among the leading causes of death among women. Cancer prevention, not cancer research or cure, is therefore a top priority for all women. Of known cancer causes, smoking tobacco accounts for about a third of the cases and diet is blamed for another 30-50 per cent, although the relationship between food and cancer is hazier than for tobacco and there are no pat answers.
But "prevention" may simply not be possible. If it is, and there is some evidence that change of diet and occupation (reduced stress levels) in combination with a special herbal dietary supplement may be effective in preventing some types of cancer in women, so much the better. If it isn't, the alternative is early detection and surgery. But not just surgery, surgery in combination with other treatments which may include any or all of chemotherapy, radiation, lymphectomy, tamoxaphen (tamoxifen, and a new replacement called Arimidex which may have frightening side effects) and even radical mastectomy (complete breast removal).
Mammograms may be painful. All reports indicate that they are. However, the alternative, breast cancer left long enough to detect by conventional means (pain, lumps, etc) is virtually always resultant in radical mastectomy, chemotherapy and often in death. Check this web site for basic information on cancer, breast cancer, side effects, etc.
My wife has had 10 tumors removed from her breasts. The first two, in the late 1980's, and the last two (1 each breast each occurrence), about 1996-7, were benign. The six in between (four in the right breast, two in the left breast) were malignant. Although the diagnosis of breast cancer is a devastating experience, most women face up to and cope well with it. In fact, studies show that many respond with renewed vigour and enjoyment of life and stronger interpersonal ties. But there is an inevitable period of adjustment, usually improved by knowing as much as possible about the disease.
My wife has been “free of cancer” for well over 8 years, but at her last mammogram checkup, in Jan ‘05, they discovered a growth they could not otherwise account for and wanted to do another biopsy-type lump removal. This inevitably raises the heady and frightening spectre of “cancer” once again. As I began to write, this “ectomy” was still in our future, the results and reactions were also “still in our future”. We’ve been there, several times, but that didn’t make a diagnosis of malignancy any easier, any less emotionally stressful, even though the “period of adjustment” was eased somewhat.
So after 8-9 years cancer free she was diagnosed in January, 2005 with another lump and it was removed in early April, 2005. Yes, it was malignant, but, in the doctor’s words, it was a “friendly” tumor. Our “period of adjustment” has been much easier this time around.
My mother had a radical left-breast mastectomy when she was about 77-78. She lived another 11-12 years cancer free.
At what age am I most at risk for breast cancer? Actually, most at risk is probably after 40. But breast cancer has occurred in teenagers. I'm not sure if it occurs in pre-teens? Breast cancer is extremely rare but not unknown in men, also. The age group most at risk of dying of breast cancer is the younger women because "I'm too young to have breast cancer" and so the warning signs are ignored until it is too late.
What are the causes of breast cancer? There are many. They include stress, diet and lifestyle, and genetic tendencies (inherited).
What are the methods of detection of breast cancer? Intermittent or continuous breast pain or breast discomfort for no apparent reason should be quickly investigated. "Feeling" a "lump" or "hard spot" in one's breast should also be quickly investigated. But the best "early detection" method remains, as painful as it may be, a mammogram. My sweetie has had 7 malignant lumps successfully removed from her breasts (four from the right, three from the left) as well as 4 benign lumps (2 each breast), all detected by mammogram. Had she not had those mammograms she would long since have died of breast cancer; as it is, she also still has both breasts (slightly reduced in size).
How do we prevent breast cancer? The first thing is to eliminate undue stress. This may require a radical lifestyle change and could hinge upon something as simple as running one's household in a period of low income - just making ends meet! The next step is to make certain one's diet is not counter-productive to a cancer-free existence. A regular program of exercise, such as walking a mile or two a day, every day, is beneficial (golf is excellent exercise). Finally, an herbal dietary supplement taken as a preventive may be beneficial? However, even doing all of the above is no assurance one will not develop breast cancer. So make sure you get your mammogram.
Disclaimer: This article in no way should be taken as “medical advice” on any product, condition or course of action, nor does it constitute in any way “medical advice” endorsing any specific product, specific result, nor any possible cure for any condition or problem. This article is meant as a source of information upon which you may base your decision as to whether or not you should begin using any vitamin, mineral and/or herbal supplement for better health, or begin using a “greens” product as a dietary supplement.
If in doubt, or if you have questions, you should consult your physician and, if possible, consult a second physician for a possible different opinion. The author does not bear any responsibility for your decisions nor for the outcome of your actions based upon those decisions.