BREAST CANCER Why take the risk

BREAST CANCER  Why take the risk

BREAST CANCER - why take the risk

one in three women and one in two men can currently expect to develop cancer in their lifetimes. And cancer is becoming an ever younger disease. In the last decade levels of breast cancer in the under 60 age group have grown markedly and now 40% of all breast cancers occur in women below the age of 60. There is increasing evidence that lifestyle, diet and environmental issues during your formative, teen years are influential. Worse, the rate of cancer in the UK is predicted to double in the next twenty years. If that happens, at least 5 million people will then be living with cancer. Cancer is not a disease that someone else is going to get.  Almost everyone can develop cancer. You included!



What might cause you to develop cancer? 

The fact is that no single factor has been categorically proven, on its own, to cause cancer - not even smoking or asbestos. Cancer is simply too complex a disease. But what scientific research has shown is that there are a number of factors, which – on their own or in conjunction - can contribute to an increased or decreased risk of developing the disease. No more, no less.


We have to be Grown Up about this.

The truth is that cancer does not just develop overnight. It builds up over time due to factors in your personal environment or due to your personal lifestyle.
Some of these factors may have a direct effect - causing cellular damage and resulting in your cells ‘misfiring’. A strong body, with a strong immune system can usually take care of these developing ‘rogue cells’.

However the problem is that a variety of factors may have an indirect effect: on your body and cells:

* There are those that have been shown to weaken your immune system, allowing a rogue cell to win through and develop its mayhem.

* There are those factors that may stimulate the growth of rogue cells or even cancer tumours.

The World Health Organisation has stated that at least 70% of cancers are preventable.

And that ‘Prevention’ lies in your own hands.

So where do you start? What do you really need to know about?

At CANCERactive we believe in providing you with usable information – all the information – so that you can make more informed personal choices and increase your odds of outwitting cancer.

If we tell you all the factors that research has shown may be implicated in causing breast cancer, you can then make up your own mind accordingly.

Why not start now?
Research studies covered by CANCERactive over the last ten years from around the world have suggested that the following may alter your level of personal  risk:

Reducing your Risk

1 The great majority of breast cancers are associated with dense breast tissue and the female hormone oestrogen. Oestrogen is not a single hormone but a family of similar hormones, which may be aggressive, like oestradiol, or relatively much safer, like oestrone.

While, typically, oestrogen is made in the ovaries, the aggressive form of oestrogen is made from your fat stores by aromatase enzymes. It pays not to carry fat or be overweight. Indeed, being overweight is definitely linked to increases in breast cancer risk.

2 Sadly, most women in the West over the age of 40 have dense breast tissue. The primary reason is too much dairy. Several studies, notably from the US and Sweden have linked the volume of dairy consumed with the risk of breast cancer, especially in your teenage years. This seems due to levels of IGF-1, a growth hormone which can affect your breast cells. Other factors include saturated fat consumption, again especially in your formative years.

3 The overall risk of contracting breast cancer in the Western World is about one in eight women. However about 7% of women carry hereditary genes which increases this risk. For example, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes repair the cells DNA and help the immune system ‘see’ any rogue cells. In some women these are defective and extra preventative care is essential. You can be tested.

4 Some women worry about going for mammograms. Research on their safety and accuracy is mounting, and a number of research studies in the last few years suggest that the risks may outweigh the benefits. It’s an individual decision.



5 Women with breast cancer have been found to have reduced blood levels of vitamin C, vitamin B-12 and Omega 3. Eat your fruits, especially berries, citrus fruits and red peppers, take chlorella or spirulina, and eat oily fish (or take daily fish oils).

6 US studies on breast tissue have shown that Omega 3 (again), vitamin D and natural tocotrienol vitamin E help to keep tissues soft, reducing risk. Unfortunately tocopherol vitamin E (the type approved for sale in Europe) has no effect on breast tissue.

Take fish oils, go in the sun and look at vitamin E labels for tocotrienols (from palm oil).

7 Oestradiol can be converted to its safer sister oestrone by a natural compound called indole 3 carbinol. It is found in broccoli and in cruciferous vegetables, like cabbage and cauliflower. Eat your greens!



8 Polyphenols and carotenoids have a strong protective effect. Think colourful foods, dark greens, and red and yellow peppers, carrots, tomatoes, pomegranates, the spice curcumin or turmeric and drink green tea.

9 Oestradiol and oestrone compete for receptor sites on cells – the aggressive ‘sister’ passes ‘havoc’ messages into the cell.

Phyto-oestrogens (plant oestrogens) are much weaker still and you would rather have these blocking your receptor sites! They are found in pulses (eg chickpeas, lentils, peas, kidney and other beans, soya and in red clover, the herb of Hippocrates). Add these to your diet.

10 Garlic has been shown to stop breast tumour formation. Ingredients in onions and leeks are weaker but still effective. Selenium, found in fish, brazil nuts and pulses has also been shown to reduce risk.

11 But above all, people who have high levels of blood sugar develop more cancer, and survive least. Think about your diet – cut out the ‘added’ sugar – the chocolate bars, cake, biscuits and especially the fizzy soft drinks.


12 Take light daily exercise, especially first thing in the morning. According to several US research studies women who take 30-40 minutes a day have less breast cancer. And try yoga. People who tried their first ever yoga lesson experienced significant declines in their stress hormones, like cortisol, far better than taking a week at home relaxing in bed! Yale Medical School has also shown exactly how stress can cause cancer.


The Pink Ribbon Foundation  Breast Cancer Charity



13 People who smoke, especially during their breast-formative years, seem to develop higher levels of breast cancer.

14 The oestrogen pool can also be increased by taking the contraceptive pill. CRUK produced these figures for increased risk:

Ever taken + 27%
Take age 30-39 + 58%
Take age 40+ +144%

15 HRT is not without its critics.

The German Health Minister described it as the new Thalidomide! A US study using mixed synthetic oestrogen/progestin hormones had to be stopped after just a few years, and the bad PR that followed saw women turn away from HRT. The breast cancer rates fell 7% the next year!

16 Having more children and breast feeding them for 9 months or more reduces the number of life time periods a woman has and reduces oestrogen levels and breast cancer risk.

17 Increased alcohol consumption also increases risk. An extra glass of wine everyday increases risk by 6%.

18 Xenoestrogens, or oestrogen mimics are sometimes called ‘gender-benders’. These are chemicals that, once inside the body, can mimic the action of oestrogen. The World Health Organisation has called on all governments to ban them urgently. The list includes BPA and phthalates, xylene and toluene (typically in some cosmetics like nail polishes), and preservatives like parabens.

19 Parabens, often used as a ‘safer’ preservative, have been found in every breast cancer cell tested by one UK expert.

20 Phthalates, caused by the use of certain plasticisers when making some plastic bottles, are further released when the plastic is heated or left in the sun.

Bisphenol A (BPA) has been banned in Canada and France wants the EU to ban it. It is found in the white plastic lining of cans and even babies drinking bottles. California has passed a law banning it from toys for the under-3s.

Xylene can be found in nail polishes – your nails are porous and the chemical can thus enter the blood stream. Toluene is used in perfumes, as are another 14 xenoestrogens at the last count. Never use perfumed products on your skin. And switch to manufacturers of products who don’t use chemicals of concern.

21 Certain pesticides and herbicides contain known xenoestrogens – for example, DDT, Lindane, Atrazine and endosulphan. DDT was shown in Israel to have caused a 4 fold increase in breast cancer, over Westernrates.

Add it all up – for example, a suncream can contain xenoestrogens like oxybenzone, come in a plastic bottle you leave in the sun, and be perfumed. Then you rub it into your skin. The Environmental Working Group in California believes only one in five suncreams is truly safe. Build your own safer micro-environment – make better-informed personal choices.

22 Even recycled water in cities can contain oestrogens thanks to the contraceptive and HRT pill ingredients and pesticide residues that are not fully removed. Try glass bottled water and think about buying a reverse osmosis water system for your drinking water.


23 US research showed that women who had taken antibiotics more than 25 times in their lives had double the risk of breast cancer.

The Microbiome Project has shown that certain drugs and antibiotics can restrict the diversity of gut bacteria and this can lead to chronic illness and even cancer. If you have taken such drugs, research shows the use of probiotics, like Acidophilus and Bifidobacteria, can reduce the effects of harmful bacteria and microbes in the gut.


24 Half of all diagnosis by mammograms is something called DCIS (Ductal). According to the breast cancer Professor at UCLA speaking at the annual American Breast Cancer Symposium, this is usually not breast cancer but calciferous particles in the ducts. 

Try fish oils, magnesium supplements and vitamin D to move the calcium out. Restrict your consumption of cows dairy and replace with a helping of greens.

25 If you are pre-menopausal and an operation is likely consider the findings of
two studies from Guys Hospital, London: Women who have an operation in the second half of their cycle when progesterone is dominant have almost twice the long-term survival rates of women who have an operation in the first two weeks when oestrogen is dominant.


What a lot of things to think of! Actually, read it all again. Most of the issues simply involve just little changes in the products you use, your diet or your lifestyle. And let’s be clear. We are not saying any one of these factors causes cancer. But some of them may just contribute to the overall picture and we are merely asking,

‘Why Take the Risk?’

It’s your life, after all.

We’re here to prevent you dying of cancer

(For more information, see our books: ‘Oestrogen – the killer in our midst’, and, ‘The Secret Source of Your Good Health’

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