All of you, my readers and online friends, are very intelligent – I'd love your thoughts on Hormone Replacement and Breast Cancer Risks…
- What have you read about the synthetic hormone/breast cancer connection? Right after my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer recently, I came across this article about synthetic hormone replacement therapy and the strong link to breast cancer.
- (Read my updated posts on that issue: Is bioidentical hormone replacement therapy safe? Here's part one: Are Extreme Menopause Symptoms Normal? Should We Embrace Our Muffin Top? and my my newest post about my first thermogram: The Best Breast Test.)
- An interesting note: it's pretty widely known (and undisputed from what I can tell) that breastfeeding cuts your breast cancer risk. (However, I know some women are unable to for whatever reason…)
- I'm getting my first mammogram soon, but I hesitated because I've read that mammograms can cause breast cancer. Search online for “Mammogram danger” and you'll read enough to freak you out, too. Yes, we have to be careful about believing everything on the internet, but there's plenty there to at least make you stop and think. My doc wanted me to get one last year when I turned 40, but I hesitated after what I found out. However at 41 1/2, after Mom was diagnosed, I finally decided to just get one for a “baseline”, but I won't get one yearly like recommended for sure. (Update: Now, because they don't even know what they're DOING, they don't want you to start getting mammograms until you're 50, because too many are dangerous! I'm glad I've only had ONE.)
- At the same time, I have a very close friend who went with another friend to get a mammogram, just for support, and found out that she had breast cancer! I know mammograms have saved some lives, maybe a lot of lives for all I know. I'd love to know how much cancer they have caused though.
- Did you know that many males get breast cancer, too? A good friend of my sister's is almost done with his treatment, and doing well thankfully.
- Have you seen this site, Breast Cancer Choices? I've been trying to figure out the iodine issue for myself and my family ever since. I'll keep you posted on that…
- Do you know anyone who was healed using natural treatments? I know that if it were me, with as many cured cases of breast cancer that I hear about now, I'd be very hesitant to not go the typical chemo/radiation route.
- What important issues related to breast cancer have I missed?
- As always, don't make decisions based on what you read here (there's way too much I don't know), do your own research.
- Added later: a great post from Raine on the topic of breast cancer and mammograms.
- Ready to be shocked? Read this: Susan G. Komen and KFC Buckets for the Cure.
Please share your thoughts on all this, and your own experience with breast cancer.
Kelly, the last time you heard from me I said the reason that there is not many studies and reports on alternative treatment for caner is they get silenced. I just read a report on Dr Mercola on this very subject any one interested should check it out. It shows how one sided this subject really is. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/23/dr-nicholas-gonzalez-on-alternative-cancer-treatments.aspx
It is worth your time to read.
My mum (I’m in New Zealand) has thermograms instead of mammograms. She like that they don’t hurt and that they can pick up other concerns because it scans more than just the breast tissue. (Interestingly, I didn’t know that women can have breast tissue in areas other than the breast ie under armpits etc).
Mum also likes that they give advice and prescribe preventative treatments (I think she takes magnesium or something to reduce her oestrogen levels).
One of the biggest things that you can do to prevent getting breast cancer is to not have abortions.
Visit https://bcpinstitute.org/ and https://www.abortionbreastcancer.com/The_Link.htm for all the details behind the link.
Basically, our breasts are the only organ that is not fully developed when we are born/finish puberty. In fact the breast (more correctly the breast milk cell) has 4 phases to go through before it is fully developed. Phase 1: birth, 2: Puberty, 3: 32 weeks gestation and 4: breast feeding.
Writing is not my strength but do have a look at the websites, they even have diagrams (looks like paths that turn into cauliflower heads at the final phase) and lots of research.
My mother survived breast cancer in 1976 and is still alive. I share the concern about mammograms and have decided to opt out. Screening doesn’t make us healthy. It is only a snapshot in time. The breasts are just one part of the body. They do not operate separate from the whole. Cancer is a condition in the whole body.
This is an article titled Best Breast Cancer Defense-A Nutrient-Dense Traditional Foods Diet, Lymphatic Breast Self-Massage and Amalgam Removal by Kathryne Pirtle, a Chicago WAPF member who wrote a book with Sally Fallon
Her article contains this link: https://www.breasthealthproject.com
I checked it out yesterday and it was really interesting. It has very easy self-care techniques that can be done daily. I found this passage enlightening, as my mother had ovarian cysts in her 20’s.
“In Chinese Medicine, women’s reproductive health is directly related to breast cancer risk! Most people don
No worries, I just deleted your 1st comment.
Yes, we’re still here, thank you for sharing your story! I’m so thankful to hear you’re doing well.
As far as a test to see where you’re at, what about the thermography mentioned in the comments above?
I just came on from a comment I noticed on Kris Johnson’s Website — you (Kelly) were mentioned by John Klear, whom I know from serving together on the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op board of directors.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer last September, and I have chosen to treat it naturally. I seem to be winning, but my main problem now is finding a good test to confirm this. I have Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, a large enough tumor in the left breast to have mastectomy recommended by my surgeon. This kind of cancer of often on both sides, and although I’ve had a LOT of mammograms (as they were trying to “see” it — several sessions, with no mention of the fact that they might have been worsening my prognosis), ultrasound and two breast MRIs. The needle biopsy confirmed the cancer, but it’s very difficult to “see.” I only know that the distortion that told me I had breast cancer to begin with is almost gone.
I see Dr. Glen Aukerman, who is the head of the Center for Integrative Medicine at OSU (Ohio State University). He had an adrenal gland removed in 1986 because it was cancerous, but by 2001 the cancer was back in his kidneys, other adrenal gland, and thyroid gland. He was determined to be terminal, and began doing the diet changes he’d been recommending to his autoimmune-troubled patients for himself. Today, he says, there is no indication of his cancer.
I do a lot of things to treat myself, but I’d certainly recommend Dr. Aukerman and a reading list that includes Bernie Siegel’s Love, Medicine, and Miracles, and his Love, Prayer, and Healing (or some such title). It’s been awhile since this posting was active. I’m not that computer savvy. Is anyone out there?
I just corrected some typos. Forgive me if this creates a repeated message.
Loved this part: “The days when I don
Kelly, We have no wireless in our home, everything is corded, I feel that until we know more I am not a guinea pig. I choose to not wear underwired. I buy tomatoes in glass jars in winter. I start going to bed at 10pm, not always achieved!
I practice Feldenkrais most days and it is like a massage but also great on the self awareness which is not always easy but effective when practiced. I use CDs that are often 18 mins long. See About me page under Feldenkrais on my site.
I believe prayer is part of a healthy life, some call it meditation, I call it prayer; spending time listening to my body, thoughts, and God.
I use certified organic skin care, as you know as I sell it! 😉 and I do journal, so yes in answer to your question I do these things. The days when I don’t do them I, I am gentle on myself and accept that I can’t do everything! Some nights we have chicken stock soup, and the next night, soup with onions and grated cheese. Some nights a boiled egg!
Good info everyone, thank you! It’s nice getting more comments here on this topic.
Joanna, I’m curious – are you able to follow all this? I’m bad about a few of those…like wireless internet for one! I knew cell phones might not be good (and try to use my speakerphone feature), but didn’t know wireless internet might be an issue, too…?
I agree that keeping a journal and relaxation techniques are important, and I believe prayer plays a big part in this area, too.
Sleep; is vital and I have written a post breast cancer, sleep and the detrimental effects of lack of sleep.
My site also has information about synthetic chemicals and bisphenol A and the probable link with synthetic chemical bombardment from cookware, cosmetics to packaging of food.
The Breast cancer page on Actual Organics’ website: https://ow.ly/OBP0
My advice is just that.. advice, I am not a doctor!
No wireless internet
Avoid cordless phones
No under-wired bras.
Practice relaxation; if that is a long walk and appreciating nature then that is good, equally some find knitting relaxing. Do not worry about the things one cannot change.
Avoid, as much as possible tinned food- due to bisphenol A
Avoid cleaning products that are not bicarb and vinegar or BioPure.
Avoid any personal care products that are not certified organic, Miessence is a good example of spa quality organic skin creams.
Bed by 10pm. Read a relaxing book before bed. Journal feelings even if you don’t understand them right now.
Draw or Paint; even if it is with childrens coloured text pens, what are you sensing right now? what picture conveys that and draw it.
Practice Feldenkrais- mind/body/spirit emotions work and is stunningly good as unraveling the real issues behind what we are feeling in our lives. https://www.feldenkrais.com
Nurture self; enjoy appreciating the body, be grateful, the body is amazing on daily basis, appreciate your wonderful body…even in the state of current dis-ease.
There’s a lot of cancer in my extended family on my mom’s side, but I choose not to live in fear. We’re taking the best care of ourselves we can, and I’m planning to breastfeed for many years. I recently asked my husband if he would be okay with my NOT doing chemo, even if I were diagnosed tomorrow (at 25 with an 8-month-old baby!), and he said of course! He’s so great. Just seems crazy to pump more poison in rather than pump the good stuff in to get the poison out! But I guess there’s not much money in telling people to eat healthy foods…
(No time to read all previous posts – sorry! Look at Apricot Kernels as a preventative.) Mom and Grandma both died of cancer. Both had HRT in menopause years, both developed breast cancer, both had mastectomy. Grandma had radiation (and chemo?), mom had chemo, BOTH lived another 5 years before the cancer showed up in the bones & organs. Mom refused chemo the second time around, and chose to travel down to Guatemala for treatment with herbs. Unfortunately, my dadbe cane very I’ll around that time, so her treatment was cut short by her need to come home & be with him. Mom reported that while receiving treatments, she felt that she was being cured, but that the cancer was too far along for the herbs to keep up. I have also heard from a Peruvian Medicine Man that these herbal cures are better as an early stage treatment for cancer (but miracles do happen). While she was there, my mother saw all kinds of diseases being cured with traditional remedies, which pleased her to no end. However, in almost every case of advanced disease, the people did not respond as well. My point here is that early detection is key to survival, and there are plenty of ways to go about healing the body. Another point to remember is the origin of cancer may well lie in our emotional and mental attitudes – meaning that if we fail to make the necessary changes in ourselves, there may be no escaping it despite physical treatments.
Such thorough info and great advice, thank you!
If you have very specific questions about your risk with any of these, seeing a naturopath who knows you and your body is the most important thing.
Regarding hormones and breast cancer, there are some concerns. This is particularly true if you have (or you family has had) an estrogenic breast cancer. Not all of them are related to estrogen levels but those that are can be very sensitive to any sort of estrogenic compound–this can include any chemical that mimics estrogen in the body.
Having said that, there are hormone replacements that are safer. Naturopaths use bio identical hormones which can be safer than synthetics. Also, acupuncturists use some herbs, which according to Giovanni Maccioccia (I think I have all the c’s right–who is a well known famous, respected herbalist and acupuncturist) they are not estrogenic, although they do help with the perimenopausal symptoms.
As far as mammograms go–any time you expose yourself to radiation, you have the potential to cause a problem. However, early detection is the best way to beat breast cancer and a mammogram can detect it early. Thermograms can be helpful but I have seen few studies, although many naturopaths really like them. It can be difficult to find someone who does these though.
Locally, in the state of Washington I have several alternative care providers I can recommend who work with women with breast cancer and they have many successful outcomes. Most of these work WITH MD’s so that each patient gets the best of all possible worlds. How aggressive treatments should be would depend upon the actual cancer diagnosis (stage it is caught in and the aggressiveness of cancer). There are MDs who work well with alternative providers and others who won’t hear of it.
Most MD’s are okay with acupuncture (if skeptical at times), however many do not want their patients doing any other herbs or supplements while on chemo. Most practitioners treat the side effects of chemotherapy so that the patients are healthier going through the process traditional process.
My first chiropractor always told patients she healed herself of cancer through diet. I did not know her at that time in her life so I have no idea the type of cancer or the extent to which it had invaded her body. Other diseases prevented her from continuing work many years after the cancer.
Also, according to Dr. Brownstein, what was often in the past mistaken for iodine toxicity is almost always bromide detoxification. Bromide (a ubiquitous toxin) replaces iodine at receptor sites in the body. So if you experience side effects fromt he iodine (but still feel okay) just realize that you’re detoxing some very nasty stuff. There are suggestions for supplements to take along with the Iodoral to minimize the side effects and to enhance the uptake and utilization of the iodoral. Check out this link for specific information. https://www.breastcancerchoices.org/iodineindex.html
or even better, if Dr. Brownstein is near you, check him out personally. Lucky you, to have him near by.
Looking into Iodoral is ON my to-do SOON list…
Oh, one other thing. I was at the Brownstein lecture at the WAPF conference and he and others who lectured on the importance of iodine believe that fibrocystic breasts are NOT a benign condition but rather are often a precursor to breast cancer. (Reminds me of my two co-workers who both had “lumpy” breasts and ended up with breast cancer). Start Iodoral or Lugol’s solution NOW! (Something with BOTH iodine and iodide). Incidentally, I’ve never had “lumpy” breasts (until that one recent cyst) and I don’t want them!
I’m 45 and my doctors have been pushing mammograms since I turned 40 even though I have no family history (though I understand genetics is really only a factor in about 10% of cases so it’s really not the big deal it’s made out to be). I have always refused to have one siting the many risks but I did recently have my 1st thermogram ($150 for 6 angles). I’m all about non-invasive safe options. I had recently found a lump in my breast and now realize there is also NO WAY I would ever undergo chemo or radiation. SCARY! In my opinion, they are much too risky, ineffective and very damaging. That kind of treatment scares me much more than breast cancer! Fortunately it seems as though my lump was mearly a breast cyst (though I still don’t like the idea of even a cyst) as it was undetectable at my next breast exam. so I’ve increased my intake of Iodoral (iodine/iodide) to 3 pills a day and will soon go to 4 per day just to be on the safe side. This seems like a much wiser, safer option than conventional means. In about 3-4 weeks I’m due for another thermogram and then will have them annually thereafter. Seems like a very reasonable cost and well worth it.
I just looked up Dr. David Brownstein, the iodine expert. I was listening to the mp3 of his lecture from last year’s WAPF conference. Kel, his office is near you in Michigan!
You should go see him! I’ve been listening to all these lectures from the conference. They are all saying that breast cancer is always related to iodine deficiency.
Flo, I guess I’ll cancel my thermography for now, but I’ll probably do that next time (in a year or two or three or ?) instead of the mamm.
I’m glad your experience wasn’t bad. I had the fibrocystic thing going on at the time I had mine and it was very uncomfortable.
You’re not going to do the thermography, too, are you?
Well guys, I didn’t see these last 4 posts until now and I got the mamm. this morning. Basically I decided to do it just to have “baseline” shots and I don’t plan to do it again yearly like “they” suggest, that’s for sure.
In case anyone wonders: they definitely give you a good squish, just on the line of being painful, but not bad in the least. It’s very fast, and really no biggy at all.
LN, what you said about our sensitivity as women to all this made me think…people get bone cancers all the time, too, but they don’t tell us all to get bone scans yearly…there’s probably some reason that the breast is more susceptible (hormones), so that’s not a good comparison, but you get my point. We hear of leukemia or brain tumors often (I do anyway), but no one says to get our WBC’s checked yearly, or to have a yearly CT scan of the brain. I’ve heard about many cases of testicular cancer, but guys don’t get yearly checks for that. Just thinking “out loud”, wondering why we aren’t told to check for everything, ALL the time…? That would be no way to live…
Wow Katie, well said. I love the way you think.
I believe my daughter was cured of cancer using nutrition and supplementation. Yes, we did chemo but of all the children I saw on the Hem/Onc floor and all the children/adults whose blogs I read Jillian did the best of all of them AND we stopped chemo 3 months early (we wanted to stop 4 months prior but the docs told us they would call CPS).
I personally know a woman named Nancy Morton that cured her own lung cancer using nutrition. She called me when she was diagnosed and I gave her some ideas and she did her own research as well. She did take some oral chemo but her chances of survival were still 2%. Eight weeks later they did a CT scan and there was nothing there.
My question is “What would you do differently if they found a lump during your mammogram?” Why aren’t you doing that already?
Local Nourishment says
So sorry for the double post, but I forgot something (gosh, am I that old already?)
We can none of us know the hour we are called to leave this Earth. Sure, take precautions, take care of yourself, do what you know is right. In a recent dream, I saw myself coming out of my last chemo treatment with a tremendous feeling of freedom, and being hit by a bus.
But, that’s just the way my crazy, sardonic mind works.
Local Nourishment says
I think it’s important to know what your next step would be. How far are you prepared to go? If they find “something,” do you do a needle biopsy (have you read up about that?) Wait and test again (are you able to wait without worrying yourself sick?) If it is cancer, do you do chemo? Radiation? Hormones? I think the line is drawn in a different place for each of us and we need to be aware of the issues before making a decision on where our line lies.
As far as what if I was the one saved, my line is drawn on the side of non-intervention. Crestor, Zenical, all the big heavy hitting drugs out there have proven that they help one or they wouldn’t be sold. But how many did they harm (either through unneeded drug expense or side effect) to get to the one.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I think breast cancer is terrible, as are all cancers. I know it strikes more than it *should* and it frustrates the scientist in me to not understand why. But I think this one cancer in particular preys on our vulnerability as women, the sensitivities we have toward the childbearing-parts of our bodies, our vanity and our fears that we might not live to see our children grow up.
I think we all need to step back, take a moment and breathe, look at the real risk factors and find our “lines.” Women of faith have a great resource in prayer.
LN, I read the article, and I get the point, yet I kept thinking as I read it, “what if I was the ONE that was saved?” (or my Mom or sister or daughter or friend…)
Kelly, I just want you to think of one thing when you are debating about getting your mammogram. There are risks to anything like that and I know you have to consider them all but I have several friends who are here today because of their mammogram. Their cancer was not large enough to be felt with a breast exam but was detected on their mammogram. It was caught early and three of the 4 our currently cancer free. The 4th person was in remission from her breast cancer and it returned elsewhere and is currently battling her cancer recurrence.
I faithfully have mine every year but I have a strong family history of cancer.
Just one more thing to think about. . .
Local Nourishment says
There was a Reuters News article just this morning:https://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSTRE53101V20090402?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews
Two doctors recommending women be given facts and allowed to make decisions as opposed to instructions. Interesting read.
Flo, so thankful to hear all is well there for you now!
We’re slowly coming back to life here. It’s been a tense week and a half or so. People are allowed back to work today, too. School starts Monday again (thank goodness!!!). It was terribly scary — uncharted territory was a favorite way to express it. Our house was high and dry but we were stranded out of town in the country.
The sun’s out today and we’re so grateful for all the help from everyone and the prayers that have been answered in so many ways so far. One more last crest after the additional snowfall and we should be through it. Thanks for asking, Mary! (AM 1100 WAS wonderful to keep us all up-to-date.)
Mary, I just saw your comment…
Yes, I’ve actually met Jerry Brunetti (at the Deidre Currie conference last fall), but wasn’t able to catch his talk. That’s a VERY good idea, I’ve heard he has great information and has learned a lot since healing himself of cancer.
Thanks for that tip!
Of course! 🙂
If you have thermography, could you please give us all the scoop on what you think of it on this thread? I don’t know anyone personally that’s had it and this is the part of your site that I see most.
Wow, I told you that all of you were smart. You’ve given me LOTS more to think about, and I actually followed the link from Local Nourishment and made an appointment for thermography (not as expensive as I thought) …but I still have my mammogram scheduled for tomorrow…WHAT TO DO?!
I got a call yesterday from a friend (thanks for asking Doug to call me, Natalie!) who knows someone who is up on all the latest with mammography. I know technology has changed a lot in recent years in this area (less radiation & less compression – forgot to mention this in the post), so I think I’ll ask her if she’ll read all this over and give us her thoughts…just as a way to be sure we’re getting the whole scoop from all sides before making our decisions. Shoot, I just called and she’s off on Wednesdays, so I left a message. Maybe I’ll just postpone the mamm. for now…
Are you familiar with Jerry Brunetti? He has made a study of alternative cancer treatment and also of lifestyle choices that deter cancer. His DVD, “Cancer, Nutrition, and Healing,” among tons of good info, gives ideas of what kinds of dietary things can work with Chemo and what things interfere with it. So even for someone who may not be open to totally alternative therapies, he gives a range of ideas one might try.
Acres Mag web site has a whole list of his audio tapes.
And it looks as though the following blog has many of his videos able to be viewed on line, although I did not try any of the links there.
I have been pregnant and nursing for 16 years (10 babies, thanks be to God! first one at 26). I haven’t done self-exams for years because my breasts are constantly changing because of the pregnancy/nursing stuff. When I mentioned this to my Dr., he assured me that my risk of breast cancer is about as low as it can get. But added that of course, I could be one of the whatever fraction of a percent that does get it. But he does not recommend mammograms at 40 unless he sees a strong risk factor. He also does not see a need for other screenings that some Drs insist upon. So I feel fortunate to have such a Dr.
Cheeseslave, I am confused by your comment; please clarify.
“I believe this is because when we are pregnant and when we breastfeed, it depletes our bodies of iodine. So we need to supplement to increase iodine. It is iodine deficiency that causes cysts in the breasts.”
If iodine is good for breasts and bad for cancer, does it follow that women who are pregnant and breastfeeding and therefore allegedly depleting their iodine would have lower breast cancer risk? Probably I misunderstood your point; I am curious about how all this holds together.
Flo, You’re from Moorhead? Are you staying dry? We live about 1.5 hrs NE of you and have been listening to AM1100 coverage of the flooding. Wow! what a scary situation.
It’s hard to know who to listen to. I do go yearly as I’ve known several women who missed it and wound up with a late stage cancer.
The cost for thermography is roughly $250 for full front and $425 for front and back. Thermography can be used to monitor and diagnose a multitude of conditions without the risk of exposure to ionizing radiation which, in reality, only causes cancers to proliferate.
My cousin has breast cancer, she felt her’s in a self breast exam. It took a couple of week to go to the doctor and get a mamogram. It was very evasive. She has undergone chemo, and not just one kind, but many diffrent kinds. It has moved to her bones. She has a spot that has poped up on her spine. I am not sure if the Mamogram helped or hurt her. I hope she survives. She is only 40 and has 4 kids.
Hi, again! Julie’s comment reminded me of a situation I had several years ago where I had the fibrocystic thing going on. In fact, I found a lump on each side that scared us — probably about the same “quail egg” size. I went in and found out they were both cysts — but it was pretty scary after both grandmas had breast cancer. I don’t think we did anything with them at the time.
Later I was using the bioidentical progesterone cream to try and solve some health problems. In a week I noticed that my fibrocysts were gone! I kept taking the cream for some time and my other symptoms persisted so eventually I stopped. I drink coffee all the time but the lumpiness has not returned. It may only be coincidence, and I haven’t researched it, but I think it helped. (It would seem to agree with Kristin’s thought of giving the body a break from too much estrogen.)
I haven’t checked into the availability and cost of thermography in our area (Moorhead, MN — generally not too much available that isn’t mainstream — but it’s improving) but our insurance doesn’t do much for us anyway with its high deductible. We also paid to have our son at home even though our insurance probably would’ve helped with that. Of course, every expense like that has to be weighed with the economy the way it is and our income the way it is.
I love all this feedback! Thanks again for a great site!
I will not be having a mammogram. Not only are they dangerous, they are not even reliable:
“Over 99 percent of premenopausal women will have no benefit from screening. Even for women over 50, there has been only a one percent biopsy rate as a result of screening in the United Kingdom. The density of the breast in younger women make mammography a highly unreliable procedure.” (Medical Tribune, 3/26/92)
“When these facts are carefully considered, it comes as no surprise that an independent panel of experts found insufficient proof that mammograms can prevent breast cancer deaths (New York Times, 1/24/02). In fact, the suspicion is that regular mammograms have actually contributed to the huge increase in breast cancer cases over the last twenty years.”
Uh oh I better not paste any more URLs — it will send this to your spam folder.
Re: hormone replacement, I haven’t read too much on that but I would recommend balancing your hormones naturally instead. Maca and iodine are two supplements I’m constantly talking about because they are so important for women’s health.
Kristen is right about this:
“Other factors I
Great information Ann Marie. You are so well informed!
My mom was diagnosed via mammo with breast cancer she didn’t know she had. Because they caught it so early, she was able to go w/only radiation. She’s fine now, almost 5 years cancer free.
My paternal grandmother died from breast cancer.
After saying all of this, I don’t want to get mammograms. I truly believe that mammos increase the risk of breast cancer. However, I did get one last year. Why? My dad and my husband nag and nag and nag and rant and rave and basically make me feel guilty for not getting one. I know, I’m lame.
I don’t know what the solution is. My mom swears she got b.c. from taking hormone therapy when she went into menopause. A friend of mine whose mother died says the exact same thing. There’s got to be a direct link to it.
My mother died of breast cancer 10 years ago. Both grandmothers had it and survived (one is nearly 100, the other 96). And I’ve a great and a great-great that had it too. Mom didn’t breastfeed and was essentially not breastfed. She was born a preemie (in 1940) and was fed margarine and who knows what else during the first 10 years (at least) of her life….it was WWII.
We’re the same age, Kelly. I’ve not had a mammogram and have not plans to at this point. Of course, I’m pregnant and have been or have been breastfeeding since 1999.
Other factors I’ve read about that seem to correlate with lower rates are:
1) Having children young.
2) Having many children
The theory is that these two things, along with long periods of breastfeeding, give a woman’s body a break from estrogen. Not sure if that is true.
I will likely go for the thermography you mention. There is someone around here that offers the service. As for cost and insurance, we’ve paid to have our own babies at home (at $1000-2400 a pop). We would be willing to pay for this service as well.
I have been able to drink my two cups of morning coffee again after a month on Iodoral. The nutritionist said coffee just aggravates an iodine deficiency in breast cysts but if I supplemented iodine I didn’t need to worry. So far she’s right. I wish I had the iodine information ten years ago.
I took Maca and it was great for energy for a week, and then it didn’t feel right. I may restart it again.
Local Nourishment says
Thermography isn’t covered by most insurance plans, there are few providers and prices vary wildly. https://www.thermologyonline.org/Breast/breast_thermography_clinics.htm has a listing of ACCT approved thermography clinics.
As for me, I won’t be getting mammography. In reading the actual statistics and risk data, I’m not concerned. Yes, my mother has breast cancer, more on that in a minute, but I’m still not worried.
Working against me: I’m female; I have one first-degree relative with breast cancer; I have postmenopausal obesity; I have high bone density.
Working in my favor: I am not yet over 65, I have no BRCA1 or BRCA2 (genetic mutations for breast cancer); my first-degree relative with cancer was diagnosed after age 65; no high density breast tissue; no high-dose radiation to chest; I was younger than 30 when I gave birth the first time; I was younger than 55 at menopause; I had six full-term pregnancies; I breastfed all six; I was never on oral contraceptives; I never received HRT; I have no history of other cancer; I don’t drink alcohol; I’m not tall; I’m not of high socioeconomic status; I am not of Jewish heritage.
My mother was on HRT for 35 years. 35! I’m still struggling to forgive the doctors who just “overlooked” this. She never breastfed a child and had high dose radiation to her chest (in addition to yearly mammograms for the last 15 years.)
I’ve heard too many radiographers say things like “We scan and scan until we find something.” Their goal is to find something. My goal is to live without fear. I don’t do annual colonoscopies or cardiac catheterization, either. I know my risks and I’m comfortable with them. I’m not going to go looking for something to fear.
I am 56 and have a history of fibro-cystic breast disease (which really isn’t a disease as much as a condition of the breast-but it makes it difficult to feel other lumps in the breast that might be sinister.) I get yearly mammograms. Recently I discovered a lump the size of a quail’s egg in one of my breasts–went right in to see my Dr. who right away suspected a cyst, and then told me to “get off the coffee!” (coffee consumption often plays a role in fibro-cystic bd). The Dr. was right and I was relieved, but I was shook enough to cut back on the caffeine to just one cup a day. I never thought I had the will power to give it up-my last vice, but funny what being shook up enough will do to a person. I find that I am doing ok with out too much of the stuff. Also, Ioradol (potassium-iodine) has been found to help with breast cysts. So, for the past week I have been taking that. Thanks to Ann-Marie for this info. And I also added Maca powder (1/2 tsp in POM juice) a day. It has a flavor that passes description, but in juice it is ok. I think Maca helps with energy, adrenal support (which coffee exhausts). So yes, I think getting a yearly mammo is important. At least for me.
timely post, as I just received a notice to get a mammogram. I’m also on the fence and praying/trying to discern what’s best.
Since my immune system is so strong (not sick for almost two years) due to natural health and whole food choices I am leaning toward NOT getting the mammogram.
Thanks for passing along this info, Kel.
Thank you for mentioning thermography, I forgot to add that to the post, to let people know that some choose that instead of a mammogram. I could be wrong, but I think I heard it is very expensive, and not covered by insurance. Does anyone know the cost?
I had thermography instead of a mammogram and it was $200 and insurance didn’t cover it but my flexible spending account did.
Hey, Kelly —
I’ve been checking out your blog lately and like a lot of what I see! I know I’ve only begun to scratch the surface.
I had my first mammogram at 30 since both of my grandmas had breast cancer (one died of it). I can’t remember if I’ve repeated it — maybe I did once — but I’m 46 now. I’m being neglectful and don’t like the idea of going back for that procedure besides thinking that it may be harmful.
Do you read the Mercola site? He suggests thermography: see https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/10/29/thermography.aspx and https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2000/10/29/breast-cancer-awareness.aspx. I know these stories have scary aspects, too, but I always appreciate something off the beaten path (since that path doesn’t seem to serve us very well). If and when I get around to doing another screening for breast cancer, I’m hoping I’ll be able to find thermography in my area.
Thanks, again, for this wonderful site! I’m glad I found it!