By Darla Carrillo, CN, CNHP
In the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. It is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in women. An estimated 40,000 women die from breast cancer each year. American women have a lifetime risk of one in eight for breast cancer development.
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer:
Being a woman: Less than 1% of all new breast cancer cases develop in men. A woman’s breasts are fully formed by age 14. Her breast tissue cells are highly active and responsive to estrogen until her first full-term pregnancy.
Age: Women over 55 have a higher risk of cancer. 1 out of 3 cases of invasive cancer occur in women 55 and older. 1 out of 8 cases occurs in women under the age of 45.
Family History: Women with close relatives who have developed breast cancer are at higher risk. A first-degree female relative (mother, sister, daughter) having breast cancer will double your risk.
Genetics: 5% to 10% of breast cancer is thought to be genetic. Mutated genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 may account for 1 out of every 10 cases. Researchers are learning that there may be another mutation of genes called SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that increases cancer risk with or without BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations present.
Radiation to chest or face before age 30: If you have been treated with radiation therapy for Hodgkin disease or non-Hodgkin lymphoma your risk of breast cancer is higher than average. If you have had radiation treatments for acne, your risk is higher than average.
Personal history of breast cancer: If you have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in the past, your risk is called “risk of recurrence”.
Being overweight: Anyone with a BMI (body mass index) over 25 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Fat cells make estrogen.
Certain changes in the breast: Being diagnosed with certain benign breast conditions increases the risk of cancer.
Race/Ethnicity: Caucasian: women are at higher risk for developing breast cancer than other races overall. African American women are more likely to develop more aggressive forms of breast cancer.
Menstrual history: Having a first menstrual cycle younger than age 12 will increase a woman’s risk as she ages. Menopause after age 55 will also increase a woman’s risk.
Pregnancy history: Breast cells are considered very active and immature until a woman’s first full-term pregnancy. Pregnancy allows breast tissue cells to mature and grow in a more regular manner.
Breast-feeding history: Breast-feeding will lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer. If a woman breast-feeds for 1 year or longer, her risk is reduced even more. Making milk limits breast cells’ ability to misbehave. Fewer menstrual cycles while breast-feeding results in lower estrogen levels. Women tend to eat more nutritious foods while breast-feeding.
Use of HRT’s: In 2002 research linked HRT use to an increase risk of breast cancer. Women with past history of breast cancer or with mutated BRCA1 and BRCA2 cells are advised against taking HRT’s.
Having dense breast tissue: Women with dense breast tissue can be 6 times more likely to develop breast cancer. Dense breasts have more gland tissue for producing and draining milk.
Use of alcohol: alcohol can increase levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone induced breast cancer. Women who consume three drinks per week have a 15% higher risk than women who don’t drink at all. It is thought by experts that breast cancer risk goes up 10% for each additional drink consumed.
Smoking: Smoking as well as being exposed to heavy second smoke will increase the risk of breast cancer. It can also increase complications from breast cancer treatments.
Lack of exercise: Research is showing that exercising for 4 to 7 hours per week can lower the risk of breast cancer. Exercise controls blood sugar and limits insulin growth factor. This hormone can affect how breast cells grow and behave. Exercising also helps to maintain a healthy BMI.
Low Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D may play a role in normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from forming.
Light exposure at night: Night workers and ‘night owls’ may be at higher risk. Research has linked the levels of melatonin to breast cancer. Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep. Levels peak at night and are lowered when your eyes register light exposure.
Eating unhealthy foods: Diet is thought to be responsible for about 30% to 40% of all cancers. Hydrogenated oils are known to cause cancer of all types. Stay away from foods containing hydrogenated oils. Labeling scams gives misleading information about trans-fats in foods. The FDA states that a food label can list “0” grams of trans-fats per serving if there is less than .5 grams of trans-fats per serving. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver disease, and more. HFCS has lobbied for a new name due to recent lost sales by educated consumers. It now can be found as “corn sugar” on food labels. Educate yourself about HFCS by visiting here look up 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup can kill you.
Exposure to chemicals in cosmetics: Many of these chemicals can be hormone disruptors. They can affect how estrogen and other hormones behave in the body. Choose cosmetics without Parabens and Phtalates.
Exposure to chemicals in food: Pesticides and added hormones can increase risk of all cancers. Buying organic can be expensive. Choose these foods for limited exposure. The Dirty Dozen (highest chemical residue)
sweet bell peppers
blueberries (from the US)
The Clean 15
cantaloupe (from U.S. only)
Exposure to lawn and garden chemicals: These chemicals are considered hormone disruptors.
Exposure to chemicals in plastic: BPA is a weak synthetic estrogen. It has
also been found to affect brain development in the womb. This can cause signs of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression as the child grows. Look for plastics that say ‘BPA free’, don’t cook food in plastic containers, don’t use steaming or roasting bags.
1 (PETE, OR PET) Clear plastic soda and water bottles. One time use is considered ok. Do not refill these bottles.
2 (HDPE) Opaque milk jugs, detergent bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs and toiletry bottles. OK to use.
3 (PVC) Food wrap, cooking oil bottles, plumbing pipes. Do not cook foods in these plastics.
4 (LDPE) Grocery bags, some food wraps, squeezable bottles, and bread bags. OK to use.
5 (POLYPROPYLENE) Yogurt cups, water bottles with a cloudy finish, medicine bottles, syrup and ketchup bottles and straws. OK to use.
6 (Styrofoam) Plates, cups and packing material. Do not cook or used foods around this type of plastic.
7 (PLA) A plastic made from plants (sugarcane or corn) that do not contain BPA. Label must indicate BPA free, or it is made from plastic containing BPA. Safe to use if BPA free.
Exposure to chemicals in sunscreen: Look for sunscreen that contains Zinc or Titanium.
Exposure to chemicals in water: improper disposal of unused medicines, birth control pills, paints, motor oil, pesticides, cleaners and other hazardous wastes can impact drinking water. Buy filters for your taps and showers. Reverse Osmosis filters can remove contaminants left behind by other filter.
Antiperspirants Deodorants: High levels of mercury have been found in breast cancer tumors.
Xenoestrogens come from chemical compounds that produce estrogen in the body. The most widely used compounds are found in plastics and fertilizers. Other names for xenoestrogens include environmental hormones and EDC (endocrine disrupting compounds). During the last 10 years scientific studies have produced evidence on the adverse effects of xenoestrogens. They have a profound effect on reproduction, and can increase endometriosis. Studies have shown xenoestrogens to cause breast cancer growth. They can also have a profound effect on fertility, rate of miscarriage, thyroid disorders, early onset of puberty, behavioral problems in children, and diabetes.
Chemicals known to be xenoestrogens:
*Atrazine (weed killer)
*4-MBC (4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, used in sunscreen lotions)
*BHA (food preservative)
*FD&C Red No. 3
*Oral contraceptive pills
*Banned pesticides, restricted pesticides, and currently used pesticides (DDT is still being detected in the soil even after years of being banned)
*Parabens (found in most body lotions, shampoos, conditioners, soaps)
*Chemicals used to produce plastics (choose plastic food storage containers that indicate BPA free) Never use plastic wrap in the microwave!!
*Propyl gallate (extends shelf life of oils and fats)
*Growth hormones given to cattle, poultry, pigs and other livestock to speed up maturation or production of milk and eggs.
*House hold cleaners, including laundry soap and fabric softener.
*Chlorine and chlorine by- products.
*New building materials (if your house is new, open windows frequently to air out toxins emitted from carpets, cabinets, paints, etc.)
*Water: There have been reports that high levels of estrogen are found in water coming from water treatment facilities as a result of oral contraceptives.
*Chemicals used in dry-cleaning methods
Reduce your exposure:
*Buy organic when you can. Most important would be to buy organic dairy products, eggs and meat when possible, especially for children. Be aware that imported produce could contain residue from pesticides that have been banned here in the US, but not other countries.
*Avoid processed foods containing food dyes and preservatives.
*Choose personal care products from “clean” product lines. (Avalon Organics, Aubrey Organics, Dessert Essence Organics, Pure&Basic, etc.)
*Limit consumption of water from commercially bottled water bottles. Buy reusable bottles that are BPA free. Never leave your water bottle in your car.
*Buy organic coffee (high pesticide use has placed coffee on the xenoestrogen food list)
*Use water filters on tap water and in showers (Enviro-wave products have excellent filters for sinks, showers and the bath tub)
*Use personal hygiene products that are chlorine free
Phyto-Estrogen, also known as “plant estrogen” is chemicals naturally occurring in plants that may mimic estrogen in the human body. In alternative medicine, these plant-based estrogens are sometimes used to prevent hormone related cancers. A French study that was published the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states, “A diet rich in estrogen-like compounds found in plants may help curb breast cancer.” Phyto-Estrogens are well known for their ability to reduce the symptoms of menopause when a conventional hormone replacement therapy is not used.
1. Estrogen docks to an estrogen receptor cite and sends a strong message to multiply and divide breast cells in the repair and replication of breast tissue.
2. Rapid replication of breast cells that are fueled by estrogen can result in an inadequate resting phase between cell divisions. Inadequate rest between cell divisions could result in the inability for new cells to eradicate genetic mutations.
3. The uncontrolled replication of breast tissue may produce mutated genes that form a cancerous mass. Estrogen will further fuel the replication of mutated genes. 4. Estrogen docks to an estrogen receptor cite and sends a strong message to multiply and divide breast cells in the repair and replication of breast tissue.
5. Rapid replication of breast cells that are fueled by estrogen can result in an inadequate resting phase between cell divisions. Inadequate rest between cell divisions could result in the inability for new cells to eradicate genetic mutations.
6. The uncontrolled replication of breast tissue may produce mutated genes that form a cancerous mass. Estrogen will further fuel the replication of mutated genes.
Lignan and Plant Estrogen pathway:
1. When lignan or a plant estrogen is docked to an estrogen receptor cite it sends a mild message to multiply and divide breast cells.
2. This slow and more controlled replication of breast cells allows for an adequate resting phase. This may allow new breast cells to better indentify and eradicate genetic mutations. 3. When lignan or a plant estrogen is docked to an estrogen receptor cite it sends a mild message to multiply and divide breast cells.
4. This slow and more controlled replication of breast cells allows for an adequate resting phase. This may allow new breast cells to better indentify and eradicate genetic mutations. Barlean’s is a favorite brand of mine.
Plant sources include saffron, flax, black cohosh, soy, tofu, red clover, nuts, oilseeds, legumes, red raspberry leaf, lentils, alfalfa, bourbon, beer, fennel, fenugreek, wheat berries, wheat germ, rice bran, rosemary, apples, carrots, pomegranates, other fruits and vegetables.
Soy: Good or Bad? While soy has been used by many cultures around the world for thousands of years, today’s soy has changed. Soy has demonstrated many health benefits through thousands of studies in several countries, including the United States. Today, here in the United States, over 93% of soy crops are grown from “genetically modified” soy seeds. Reports of health problems started occurring after GMO seeds were being introduced to farmers. The use of GMO seeds has caused export problems for the United States. Most other countries will not accept soy produced from GMO seeds. Not even for use in animals. If you choose to use soy and you are comfortable with soy, check all food labels. Make sure your label has a seal that identifies the product as NON-GMO.
Key Nutrients for breast health and Cancer prevention
Lignan Rich Flaxseed Oil: A rich plant source of omega 3’s, this oil has health benefits that will affect every function in your body. Full of the “good fat” our body needs for many metabolic functions, this oil is at the top of the list for breast health. Make sure you choose oil that is high in ‘lignans’. Lignan is the flax particulates that have not been filtered out of the oil after pressing. How do lignans work against breast cancer? In the same manner that phyto-estrogens work.
Pomegranate: Suppresses breast cancer cells and slows the cell growth of tumors. Other health benefits of Pomegranate include: keeping cholesterol levels stable, prevents hardening of the arteries, chelates plaque from artery walls, prevents abnormal blood clotting, increases oxygen levels to the heart. Helps to lower the risk of Prostate Cancer and fights cell damage.
Co-Q-10: Coenzyme Q-10 is an antioxidant that is produced within the body. This nutrient is responsible for producing energy within the mitochondria of the cells in the form of ATP (Adenosine Tryphosphate). It is structurally similar to Vitamin E. Other names for Co-Q-10 are Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol. In 1968 Dr. Karl Folkers at Merck reported the chemical structure of Co-Q-10. Folkers later became a Chemistry Professor at UT Austin. He is responsible for the studies linking a Co-Q-10 deficiency to heart disease. Folkers also pioneered studies using Co-Q-10 to treat various cancers successfully. This nutrient is found abundantly in the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, and pancreas. Studies indicate that supplemental Co-Q-10 of 100mg to 200mg daily induces a partial or complete regression of breast tumors. Co-Q-10 is well known for its heart health benefits. Other health benefits include the prevention of migraines, slowing early macular degeneration, slowing the progression of early neurodegenerative diseases, protects against hearing loss, improves learning, prevents muscle wasting during cancer, supports muscle regeneration, promotes male fertility, guards against diabetic complications, lowers triglycerides, and benefits treatments for AIDS, muscular dystrophy, myopathy, and Parkinson’s disease. In Japan it used to treat congestive heart failure.
Cholesterol lowering medications will reduce or stop the body’s production of C0-Q-10, causing an adverse affect on the muscle tissue and the heart.
When choosing a Co-Q-10 supplement look for one that is in a “soft gel”. Co-Q-10 must be in a liquid form to be used by the cells in the body. It is also best to take in conjunction with an oil (flax, vitamin E, or fish oil) for better absorption.
Good brands include: Natural Factors, Jarrow Formulas, Bluebonnet, Nature’s Plus, Carlson’s.
Food sources include: Meats, peanuts, sardines, and spinach.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is actually a prohormone that is classified as a vitamin. A prohormone is a precursor of a hormone and does not add any hormone itself. Vitamin D is vital for the absorption of all bone-building nutrients. Calcium cannot be absorbed without Vitamin D. It has been found to protect against muscle weakness. It is also used in the prevention and treatment of breast and colon cancer, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
Postmenopausal women taking at least 1100 IU daily showed a 77% decrease in the rate of breast cancer. Studies show that 75% of women with breast cancer also have a Vitamin D deficiency. Other cancers that are shown to be reduced by use of Vitamin D include prostrate, bladder, ovarian, liver, lung and pancreatic cancer. This is due to its ability to protect the cells from oxidative stress.
It is necessary for immune function as well as thyroid function. Recent studies indicate that Vitamin D is essential in helping to reduce allergies, asthma, pulmonary inflammation, COPD, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer, Autoimmune disorders, IBS, Chrohn’s disease, Renal disease, muscle conditions such as rotator cuff problems and Parkinson’s. Decreased Vitamin D levels can be associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Things that interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D include antacids, cholesterol lowering drugs, cortisone and mineral oils.
Cholesterol lowering drugs interfere with Vitamin D absorption by disrupting the conversion process the body naturally has for Vitamin D. When we are exposed to sunlight, our bodies actually use cholesterol to convert that sunlight to Vitamin D.
Food sourced Vitamin D is not fully activated. It has to be converted by the kidneys and the liver before being fully activated. This is why people with kidney or liver disorders may be at higher risk for Osteoporosis.
There are three types of Vitamin D.
*Vitamin D-2 (ergocalciferol): This is the form of Vitamin that is naturally occurring in food items. This form must be converted by the liver and kidneys to the active form of Vitamin D.
* Vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol): This is Vitamin D in its most natural and absorbable state. This form of Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Sunscreens and well as the natural aging process decrease the conversion of sunlight to Vitamin D. People who have darker skin pigmentation will have a more difficult time converting sunlight to Vitamin D. Today it is necessary to use supplemental Vitamin D-3 to obtain optimal health benefits. Supplemental Vitamin D-3 is made from the fat of lambs’ wool. Research indicates that supplemental D-3 is more beneficial than supplemental D-2.
Vitamin D-5: This is the synthetic form of Vitamin D.
Foods that are rich in Vitamin D include: dairy products, dandelion greens, egg yolks, oatmeal, oysters, salmon, sardines, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin D, while fat-soluble tends to be very safe. Toxicity usually does not occur until a daily ingestion of 40,000IU is reached.
Kombucha: A beverage made from fermented kombucha mushroom. Studies show that kombucha is full of nutrients and probiotics. Can be useful at detoxifying the body and boosting the immune system.
IP-6: Inositol Hexaphosphate. A compound consisting of the B vitamin Inositol plus six phosphate groups. Studies show this supplement may help fight cancer, prevent kidney stones, prevent and treat heart disease and liver disease, and reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels. IP-6 can successfully boost and maintain the immune system of those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It also prevents fatty deposits from accumulating in the liver. Dr. Abulkalam M. Shamsuddin has studied the use of IP-6 in cancer for many years. He believes that IP-6 helps to take control of abnormal cell division.
Foods rich in IP-6 include brown rice, beans, wheat bran, grape juice, sesame seeds, and mulberries.
Supplemental IP-6 should be taken on an empty stomach for best results.
Essiac Tea: First produced by nurse Rene Caisse from Ontario Canada, 1922 using an Indian recipe. Brewing eight herbs together, Rene gave this tea to her patients who were diagnosed as being “terminally ill”. Many of these terminally ill patients recovered from their illness to live an additional 20 to 25 years. During the early years Rene was almost arrested twice for “practicing medicine without a license.” In 1942 the government officially stopped Rene’s work. In 1958 she partnered with Dr. Charles Brusch (personal physician to JFK). Together they perfected the eight-herb formula. Rene passed away in 1978 at the age of 91. Essiac tea detoxifies and strengthens the cells in the body. This tea has been used alone or in conjunction with western cancer treatments.
Flora’s FlorEssence: A reputable company who also produces a supplement containing the original eight-herb formula.
*other anti-cancer supplements include Beta-glucans, mushroom blends, and apricot seed.
Breast Cancer Screening Methods
Self-Exams: Get to know your own body. Examine your breasts at the same point every month in your menstrual cycle. It is preferred to do this during the first week after your cycle ends. Before and during the menstrual cycle breasts can be tender or lumpy.
Mammogram: It is advised to receive your first mammogram by age 40 and every 2 years there after. It has been thought the use of powders, deodorants or antiperspirants could interfere with the test results. There has been recent controversy regarding the safety of mammograms, as well as accuracy of detection. New software and the ability to use digital mammography may cut down on mis-diagnosis. Like all preventive diagnostics there is always risk of false positives and false negatives. If you don’t feel right about your test results, ask your Doctor about a second test.
MRI (Magnetic Response Imaging): Can be a safe alternative for women who have breast implants, dense breast tissue, or are at higher risk of breast cancer. Cancer can be harder to detect by mammogram in these women. MRI’s have been known to detect benign spots. New software was created called CAD-stream that is used with contrast. The results have been promising using this method. MRI’s can also be used to detect if implants have rupture or leaked any fluid.
Thermography: Also known as Digital infrared thermal imaging. Non- invasive and pain free detection that can indicate potential problems in breast tissue up to 10 years earlier than mammograms. There is a thermography clinic in Austin. For more information click here.
Picture Your Health, LLC
3500 Oakmont Blvd.
Austin TX 78731
BRCA 1 and BRCA 2: Blood tests to determine your genetic risk factor for breast cancer. These are specific human genes belonging to a certain class of tumor suppressors. Women at high cancer risk have shown to inherit harmful mutations of these genes. If one family has mutated genes it does not mean that all family will have the same mutation process. Women with abnormal BRCA1 and BRCA2 are also at higher risk for developing ovarian, colon, pancreatic, and thyroid cancers. Removal of breast tissue will decrease the risk of cancer by 50%. For more information and frequently asked questions about the BRCA testing the website for the National Cancer Institute has wonderful educational material regarding research on this blood test.
Breast Tissue Cleansing
Breast tissue cleansing should be done for at least three months.
* Eliminate exposure to xenoestrogens
* Flaxseed Oil (1 to 2 tbsp daily), or Brevail
* Calcium d-Glutarate (400mg to 600mg daily)
* Nature’s Sunshine Lymph Gland Cleanse (taken as directed on label)
A ginger bath can also be used as often as you like to help remove toxins:
1 cup sea salt
1 cup baking soda
3 tbsp ginger
Soak for 20 minutes.
Ginger will feel hot, start with a small amount and increase slowly.
The lymphatic system is an integral part of the immune system. It is responsible for producing lymphocytes. These lymphocytes are responsible for the development of certain immunities. They also help the body in detoxifying waste material from cells, pathogens, dead blood cells, toxins and cancer cells. Other important roles include delivering fat –soluble vitamins to cells of the body and removing waste from the interstitial spaces between cells.
Lymph is a clear yellowish fluid that flows in one direction within it’s own system. It flows upward toward the neck. This is where it enters the venous system, and is pumped through the heart. Since the lymphatic system works within itself and does not have the pumping motion of the heart, it must rely on the motions of muscles and joints to move.
There are 600 to 700 lymph-nodes in the average human body. Another sad role for the lymphatic system is to help spread breast cancer. Breast cancer cells picked up for disposal can begin to grow within the lymph-nodes. Once cancer cells have spread into the lymph-nodes, it is easy for them to enter the bloodstream and metastasize to other areas of the body. The more lymph-nodes that are found to have breast cancer cells, the more likely cancer will be found in other organs of the body.
*Nature’s Sunshine Lymph Gland Cleanse is an excellent product to help move and detoxify the lymphatic system.
Types of Breast Cancer / Signs and Symptoms
DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ). This is considered to be breast cancer at its earliest stage. This cancer is contained within the milk ducts. While there is an increased risk of developing invasive cancer, the survival rate is near 100 percent.
Signs/Symptoms: In most cases this cancer has no signs or symptoms. But signs that may occur include a breast lump, bloody discharge from nipples, puckered or unusual skin, or a thickened region under the skin. This cancer is usually not detected by mammogram.
IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma). This begins in the lining of the milk ducts and invades surrounding breast tissue. 80% off all reported breast cancers begin here.
Signs/Symptoms: new lumps, swelling of part or all of the breast, skin dimpling, breast pain, inverted nipple, nipple pain, any thickening, redness or scaliness of the breast or nipple, nipple discharge, a lump in the underarm area.
LCIS (Lobular Carcinoma in situ). This cancer begins in the milk glands, but does not go through the wall of the lobules. This is not actually a true cancer, but it does increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer later in life.
Signs/Symptoms: This has no signs or symptoms. It is usually discovered when a biopsy is done on a lump, or other tissue for any reason.
Invasive Lobular Carcinoma: Cancer starts in the milk glands and spreads to other parts of the body. This is the second most common type of breast cancer.
Signs/Symptoms: Thickening or hardening of the breast tissue that is not a lump in addition to signs from all other breast cancers.
IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer). This is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that is found in 1 to 3 percent of all breast cancer cases. A tumor begins in the milk ducts, and as it grows it plugs the blood vessels and lymphatic glands.
Sign and Symptoms: skin on breast looks dimpled like the peel of an orange, enlarged lymph nodes under the arm or above the collar bone, breast warmth, redness involving more than 1/3 of the breast surface area, thickening of the skin, ridging of the skin.
There are many more types and sub-types of breast cancer. These are the most common. Please take the time to further educate yourself, and ask questions during your routine exams with your Doctor.
There are numerous treatments for breast cancer depending on what type of cancer it is and how aggressive the cells are. If you or someone you know is faced with breast cancer investigate every treatment option. Naturopathic modalities can often be used along side conventional treatments to keep the immune system strong and lessen the side effects of treatments. Austin has a wonderful Oncology center based on conventional treatments that are used along side nutritional and naturopathic measures.
There are other non-cancerous disorders of the breast that occur. Calcium deposits can be detected in a routine mammogram. Calcifications are most prevalent in women after menopause. They are usually benign, but some cluster formations can be a sign of early cancer and warrant further testing for cancer. You may be asked to return in six months for a follow-up mammogram to check cluster size and formation for changes. Causes for calcification include any past injuries to the breast tissue and normal aging. Dietary calcium intake does not cause breast calcification.
Fibrocystic breast condition affects more than 60% of women between the ages of 30 and 50. It is characterized by lumpy breast tissue and some discomfort. Lumps are benign. The main contributing factor to fibrocystic breast condition is a woman’s hormonal variation. The same hormone that prepares the breasts for producing milk is the same hormone that induces a menstrual cycle. The breast tissue cannot slough off every month so it is programmed for cell death called adipoptosis. Enzymes break down cells from within. Fragmented cells and inflammation may lead to scarring from month to month. Women who have fibrocystic breast condition have a 5% to 6% chance of developing cancer. Nutrients that may help with the condition include Vitamin E and Evening Primrose Oil due to their ability to help maintain proper hormonal balance and reduce inflammation.
Darla Carrillo owns Georgia’s Naturals, Health Food & Vitamins, Inc. located at 3010 Williams Dr., Suite 105, Georgetown, TX. She is a Certified Nutritionist and a Certified Natural Health Professional. She offers a fabulous selection of supplements & gluten-free groceries. Thanks for being a guest writer, Darla!