Posted By Andrea Purcell, ND,
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2014
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October is breast cancer awareness month.
There are walks for breast cancer sponsored by various groups; many
working to find a cure for cancer. A walk I recently attended was with
Support Connection, a non-profit organization providing free support
services for women with breast and ovarian cancer.
a Naturopathic perspective, preventing cancer is the first step,
curing and or surviving cancer is the second step. It seems as if many
people miss the first step, and by the time they get to the second step
there is a lot of fear involved.
is some basic information that will keep you informed about how to
prevent breast cancer and why conventional medicine often provides a
false sense of security around this topic.
#1: Nutrition is important. Sadly, more often than not I come face to
face with women with cancer and close family members who do not realize
that nutrition has an impact on survival rate and overall health.
Sugar feeds cancer cells and it lowers the immune system. Gluten and
dairy products are inflammatory and will cause more inflammation
slowing down the cellular repair processes. Certain vegetables such as
dark green leafy greens, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,
and parsley have chemical compounds proven to prevent and fight
cancer. Artificial colorings, flavorings, dyes, hormones, and
preservatives in food are often suspect carcinogens.
#2: Most conventional doctors do not discuss nutrition with their
clients. Nutritional biochemistry is not taught in conventional medical
schools. The reason your doctor most likely did not discuss nutrition
with you is because the importance of it is not stressed in medical
Conventional doctors do two things very well:
and treat disease with drugs and surgery. The key word is disease. If
you have a disease they will either recommend drugs or surgery. If you
are trying to prevent a condition that you don’t officially have yet,
it means your conventional doctor can’t help you. Conventional doctors
diagnose and treat diseases only. If you want to know how to help
yourself with nutrition, or pursue natural therapies to help your body,
do not expect to get all the information that you need from your
#3: Mammograms do not prevent cancer, mammograms screen for cancer. A
mammogram will not tell you if you will develop cancer next year or
evaluate the current health of breast tissue. Therefore, mammograms have
limitations. If you are relying on your annual mammogram to give you
the green light, for another year of bad nutrition, and lack of
exercise, think again. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to make some healthy
lifestyle changes now? As Benjamin Franklin said, "an ounce of
prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Mammograms are not recommended in younger women for two reasons:
Reason 1:Younger women can have denser breasts, which create less visibility and therefore less accuracy on a mammogram.
2: Mammograms are x-rays. Repeated radiation of breast tissue can
accumulate in the body and cause cellular damage to breast cells. X-rays
are known carcinogens. Receiving a note that your annual mammogram is
negative provides a false sense of security to a woman who may have
some pre-disease states manifesting that will ultimately impact the
health of the breast tissue.
Note from Dr. P:
As usual, naturopathic medicine has the other side of the story.
nutrition, nutrition, I can’t stress this enough! How can you expect
your body to perform optimally for 40+ years on Frappuccino’s, lunch at
the local sandwich shop, and take out? It just won’t. Yet, I see some
highly educated women out there who put everything before food,
nutrition, and feeding themselves. This has got to stop! Food is our
gasoline; it provides the fuel for every body system. Usually we can
"cheat” up until age 40 but as usual, you can only make withdrawals from
the body for so long before it becomes bankrupt. I call it nutritional
bankruptcy. From this point, we go into accelerated aging, the
development of chronic diseases, hormone imbalance, depletion, and we
are left wide open for cancer and other undesirable conditions.
food is food that grows. When you are reviewing ingredients and food
choices, ask yourself, have I ever seen this growing on a farm or in
the soil? Hint: Frappuccino’s don’t grow on any farm anywhere.
are an important screening tool, yet they need to be properly
understood in order to see the whole story. Breast health is an
indication of whole body health; the breasts cannot be separated from
the rest of the body. Naturopathic medicine has a lot to offer women
with pre-existing hormonal imbalances, which will enhance the health of
breast tissue over time, reduce fibrocystic densities, and prevent
- Be Healthy, Happy, and Holistic