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Signs you may have an increased risk for Breast Cancer


In order to determine what the most appropriate intervention strategy for you to employ, we often recommend testing. Early detection and correction of risk factors can be one of your biggest allies in reducing your risk. If any of the following apply to you, you may be at high risk: 


How to test: Have your serum ferritin level drawn

Common in women after they stop menstruating, elevated iron levels can be indicative of a heightened cancer risk. Excess iron in the body works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals thereby raising your risk. If you are a post-menopausal woman or have been diagnosed with breast cancer you will certainly benefit from having your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80 ng/ml. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.   



How to test: Get your estrogen ratios checked  


Researchers have found that the body metabolizes estrogen into several different metabolites that can impact cancer development. One metabolite, 2-hydroxy-estrone, tends to inhibit cancer, where as another 16-a-hydroxy-estrone can actually stimulate tumor development. A woman's "bio-mechanical individuality" and liver metabolism determines which of these metabolites predominates. Studies have shown that measuring the ratio of these two metabolites provides an important indication of risk for future development of estrogen-sensitive cancers, including breast cancer. 




How to test: Get a Glutathione level test


Glutathione is the key protective molecule of your immune system. It is the cell's most important antioxidant and is needed in detoxification.  Research now demonstrates the correlation between a decrease in this molecule and and increased risk of disease including cancer.  Therefore, ensuring you have optimal glutathione levels can reduce your risk.




How to test: Get a breast thermography


A breast thermography is a diagnostic tool that uses infrared imaging to detect the potential for cancer. By identifying areas of high inflammation, you can address the underlying cause of the inflammation before cancer has a chance to develop. 



How to test: Iodine Loading Test


Get sufficient Iodine  - other than the thyroid, the highest concentration of iodine is found in women's breast tissue.  When the level of iodine is low, the risk of acquiring breast cancer is greater.  Actually, it is estimated that 95% of the world's population is iodine deficient.  You can see what your iodine levels are with Iodine testing.  Iodine testing is simple.  It is a 24 hour urine test. 


You can also do an iodine patch test on the inside of your arm with tincture of iodine.  Check to see how long it takes for your body to absorb it.  If the patch is gone in 24 hours you are iodine deficient.  The body's deficiency is proportionate - the faster the iodine is absorbed by your body, the more deficient you are. 


You can increase your iodine level through eating iodine-rich foods like seafood, kelp, seaweed, dulse, Himalayan sea salt  or taking iodine supplementation (make sure your supplement contains iodine and iodide) .  However, there's significant controversy over the appropriate dosage, so you do need to use caution here and look at your personal medical history and other factors.  If any questions, please talk to us.



What else can you do to REDUCE your risk?


The steps we recommend taking to reduce your risk of Breast Cancer are also those of reducing your risk for many other diseases. In an effort to help you live a healthier life, we invite you to take note of which areas of your life need a little extra attention. Even small changes can lead to healthy habits, and can dramatically impact your future health.

In part I, of our Breast Cancer series we addressed how important your diet is in reducing your risk. You diet can nourish your body, aid in detoxification, and support the following breast cancer prevention strategies:



Maintain a healthy balance of Estrogen

Estrogen is produced in fat tissue, which is the primary non-ovarian site for production. Consequently, women with excess weight have higher levels of estrogen which are associated with a greater risk for breast cancer.  It is imperative that you maintain a healthy body weight, if your goal is reducing your risk. We recommend and believe in reducing your weight and balancing your hormones, by adopting a nutritious diet and engaging in regular physical activity.  

Apply this advice today by structuring your week, so you log 30 minutes of exercise in most days of the week. If you have a hard time getting in a solid 30 minutes, try breaking up your workouts to two shorter 15 minute bouts. When it comes to weight loss and exercise, weight training can have the greatest impact on your metabolic rate. In other words, when you build muscle, you'll burn more fat calories throughout the day (even when you aren't exercising). Over time, building muscle can have a big impact not only on losing weight, but maintaining it.


Optimize your Vitamin D

Optimizing your Vitamin D will radically reduce your cancer risk. Levels that are over 50 ng/ml are satisfactory, but levels 70-100 ng/ml are ideal. Vitamin D is produced in the skin, as a response to sunlight and many factors come into play when it comes to producing it efficiently. In the chicago-land area, and other temperate regions supplementation may be especially helpful in the winter months. We advise getting your Vitamin D levels checked at least once a year to ensure they are supportive of good health.



Get Proper Sleep  


Proper sleep relies on getting enough sleep, and sleeping between certain hours. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the ideal hours for sleep are between 10 pm and 6 am. Modern research has confirmed the value of this recommendation as certain hormone fluctuations occur throughout the day and night. If you engage in the appropriate activities during those times, you're 'riding the wave' so to speak, and are able to get the optimal levels. Working against your biology by staying awake when you should be ideally sleeping or vice versa, interferes with these hormonal fluctuations. 

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