Breast cancer is a physically and emotionally traumatizing disease.
Unfortunately, the incidence of breast cancer has been increasing steadily
for decades. In 1972 when President Nixon declared our national war on
cancer, a woman's lifetime risk of developing breast cancer was 1 in 20.
Today breast cancer rates have escalated to the point where women's
lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 8. In the year 2007, the
American Cancer Society estimated that nearly 240,510 women would be
diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 40,460 women would die from
it. This means that approximately every two and a half minutes a woman in
the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer and that approximately
every thirteen minutes, a woman dies from this disease. Breast cancer has
become the second largest cause of cancer death in women, after lung
cancer, and the leading cause of death for women between the ages of 35 and
Malignant Breast Tumors
One of the most common ways to classify breast cancer is according to the
type of cells where the cancer originates, such as the lobule, duct, or
connective tissue. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, each of
which contain many smaller sections called lobules. The lobes and lobules
are connected by a network of thin tubes called ducts. Ductal cancer is the
most common type of breast cancer, accounting for 85-90% of cases. Lobular
cancer occurs in 10-12% of cases. Inflammatory breast cancer is an uncommon
form of the disease, in which the breast becomes warm, red, swollen, and
Each type of breast cancer can be examined for its degree of
"differentiation," which classifies the cancer according to how different
its cells are from normal cells. This varies from well differentiated to
poorly differentiated. Well differentiated cells are very similar to the
cells of origin. On the other hand, poorly differentiated cells have
bizarre appearances, retaining only a few characteristics of the original
normal cells. This description of tumor differentiation is referred to as
tumor "grade." Low-grade malignancies are well differentiated, while
high-grade indicates poor differentiation. Determination of tumor grade is
meaningful because this is highly related to the degree of aggressiveness
of the cancers and to patient survival, with high-grade cancers usually
carrying the worst prognoses.
Carcinoma In situ
Ductal breast malignancies are divided into two categories, pre-invasive
(have not invaded surrounding tissues) and invasive. Pre-invasive ductal
cancer is called intraductal carcinoma in situ (Latin for "in
position"). This is a very early stage of breast cancer, which is so small
that it can never be diagnosed on breast examination. Mammography is the
only diagnostic method that can detect this in situ stage. In
modern mammography centers, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
composes 25% of all breast cancers detected by screening mammography. In
DCIS, the ductal cancer cells remain within the ducts, with no sign of
outside tissue invasion. If DCIS is not treated surgically, it frequently
evolves into invasive ductal carcinoma. It is believed that all invasive
ductal cancers began as noninvasive forms.
Lobular carcinoma in situ
Invasive lobular carcinomas only account for about 10% of all breast
cancers and they tend to be somewhat less aggressive than invasive ductal
carcinomas. Unlike invasive ductal carcinomas, it is now believed that
lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is not a precursor of
invasive lobular carcinoma. The confusion exists because LCIS, while it has
the word carcinoma in its name, does not behave like a cancerous
condition. It does not grow, form masses, transform into invasive cancer,
or metastasize. Therefore, it does not represent a true malignancy. In
addition, LCIS cannot be diagnosed by a breast exam or mammogram. It is
only diagnosed by accident when a breast biopsy is performed for another
reason. LCIS represents a risk 7 to 12 times that of the general population
for subsequent invasive cancer.
Uncommon Breast Malignancies
Other types of breast malignancies occur less frequently. The first
category is connective tissue breast cancers, which are referred to as
breast sarcomas. Next are metastases, which are malignancies that
have spread to the breast from a cancer in another part of the body. While
spread of a cancer to other sites from the primary site is a common
occurrence in many types of cancer, metastatic tumors rarely spread to the
breasts from another primary site.
Metastasized Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is able to spread or metastasize to distant sites by two
mechanisms; through the blood vessels or via the lymphatic ductal system.
If a tumor invades the lymph ducts, it travels to the armpit (axilla) where
the migrating tumor cells are caught in the filtering processes of the
lymph nodes, which causes the nodes to enlarge. This can make the lymph
nodes feel like firm lumps. From these initial nodes, cancer cells can
continue to spread through this ductal system to other parts of the body.
Clinical staging is another way to rate and compare disease activity. Each
stage from 0 through IV represents an incremental worsening of the overall
disease prognosis. Staging is important when picking subjects to
participate in clinical settings because it verifies that researchers have
the same number of women at each stage of the disease in both the
experimental group and in the untreated placebo controls. This ensures that
patients in both groups have cancers that are approximately at the same
level of development. Clinical staging is determined by considering the
size of the tumor (T), the status of the nearby lymph nodes (N), and the
existence of distance metastasis (M).
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help Breast Cancer:
Prescription for Natural Cures
by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription #1
Fermented Wheat Germ Extract - Take 9 to 12 grams daily
(powder form). This has been shown to combat a variety of cancers.
Super Prescription #2
- LifeSource Product
Take 5,000 IU or more daily depending on your blood vitamin D levels. A
variety of studies have demonstrated a cancer-protective effect of vitamin
Super Prescription #3
- LifeSource Products
Take 1,500 mg daily of the capsule form standardized to contain at least 80
to 90 percent polyphenols and 35 to 55 percent epigallocatechin-3 gallate
Super Prescription #4
- LifeSource Product
Take at least 400 mg of curcumin extract three times daily on an empty
stomach. This extract from turmeric has many different anticancer effects. Note: It can be safely used in conjunction with conventional
treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation).
Super Prescription #5
– LifeSource Product
Take 1,000 mg or 4 ml of the tincture three times daily. Astragalus
enhances natural-killer and other immune cells that fight cancer. Note: It can be safely used in conjunction with conventional
treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation).
Super Prescription # 6
- LifeSource Products
Take 250 to 500 mg twice daily on an empty stomach. Glutathione protects
against cell DNA damage and aids in DNA repair. It also supports
detoxification of the cells and improves immunity.
Super Prescription #7
- LifeSource Product
Take a product containing at least twenty billion organisms of the friendly
bacteria per daily dose. These good bacteria support immune function,
digestion and detoxification of carcinogenic matter.
The following list does not insure the presence of this health
condition. Please see the text and your healthcare professional for
The primary sign or symptom associated with breast cancer is finding a
· Finding a breast lump upon routine self-examination
· Possible presence of pain or tenderness in breast
· Biopsy with pathologic confirmation following radiographic evaluation
noting the presence of a foreign mass
Diet / Recommended Foods
Many, but not all, epidemiological studies on breast cancer have reported
that high fat-consuming societies have higher rates of cancer. Research
indicates that dietary fat, especially consumption of, tends to promote
A high fiber diet acts to decrease the amount of estrogen in a woman's
body. Estrogens circulating in the blood pass through the liver, where they
are bound into biologically inactive compounds. These inactive estrogen
complexes are then passed via the bile into the intestines for excretion.
Women consuming diets higher in fiber have increased fecal excretion, which
corresponds to a higher fecal excretion of estrogen and a lower risk to
Many people feel it is important to purchase and eat organically grown
foods, which have not been exposed to the pesticides, insecticides, and
herbicides used in commercial farming.
Foods to Avoid
Experimental evidence from animal and human trials indicate that excess
omega-6 fats and oils increase the risk of cancers of the breast, prostate
and colon whereas seem to be cancer-protective. Studies also indicate that
high consumption of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) stimulates
several stages in the development of mammary and colon cancer. Members of
the omega-3 family of fatty acids seem to provide protection against these
cancers by affecting the activity of enzymes and proteins that influence
intracellular signaling and, ultimately, cell proliferation.
Sugar may lead to breast cancer. The fact that women with adult onset
diabetes have a higher incidence of breast cancer supports the sugar/breast
consumption may affect breast cancer progression and such an effect may be
independent of the estrogen pathway.
Alcohol consumption can increase circulating estrogen levels and increase a
woman's risk of developing breast cancer.
Regular exercise lowers circulating levels of estrogen and reduces a
woman's risk of developing breast cancer. It is important to emphasize to
women that even moderate levels of regular exercise can provide substantial
reduction in the future risk of breast cancer. This is especially true for
adolescent girls. When regular exercise programs are started in
adolescence, even moderate levels of regular physical activity will produce
beneficial changes in menstrual cycle patterns and female hormones, which
significantly lower the risk of breast cancer later in life.
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