Sample Chapter

Look Inside Fight Now — Chapter 1

Fight Breast Cancer Now

FACT: If you aren’t proactively fighting to protect your breasts, then your risk of getting breast cancer, or having a recurrence, is much higher.

The National Cancer Institute’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are that we will have 207,090 new cases of breast cancer this year with approximately 39,840 deaths. That is over 500 new cases per day.

We should fight now before cancer strikes.

The purpose of my medical research is to empower you to become proactive against breast cancer now with specific food and lifestyle choices. The only alternative is to be reactive after you get breast cancer or have a recurrence of breast cancer. The choice is clear.

How do we proactively fight now?

We can make specific food and lifestyle choices to lower the risk of getting breast cancer, risk of recurrence, and risk of dying from breast cancer. There is hope to change the future.

FACT: If you aren’t proactively fighting to protect your breasts, then your risk of getting breast cancer, or having a recurrence, is much higher.

It is very easy to find lots of information on what to do after you get breast cancer. This book is about what to do before you get breast cancer in order to prevent it, or reduce risk of recurrence.

Cancer begins in our cells. Normally, our cells grow and divide to form new cells in a natural renewal process. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this orderly process goes wrong, and the old cells do not die. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a cancer growth or tumor that can takeover our bodies, and eventually kill us from within. Breast cancer forms in tissues of the breast, usually in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple, or lobular glands that make milk.

As a medical doctor, I’ve dedicated my career to researching prevention through nutrition. Whether you are currently fighting breast cancer; are a survivor; or, simply trying to lower your risk, I’ll give you concise, critical information that you can start using today. You don’t have to read hundreds of pages, or have a medical degree to reduce your cancer risk. Spend just a few hours reading this book, and I promise that you will be empowered to Fight Now.

It’s an easy choice to live a proactive life against breast cancer, but it is an important choice that you have to consciously make each day. Right now, there are nearly two and a half million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone. That’s a bright ray of hope because most breast cancer patients survive the disease. However, some experts warn that we may not have enough breast cancer surgeons to manage all of the new cases in the coming years. Because 1 out of 8 women will get breast cancer, millions will be diagnosed in the next decade. It is a troubling number.

Breast cancer used to have age boundaries it seemed, but now we hear about women of all ages being diagnosed. The news of a 10-­‐year old girl from La Miranda, California with breast cancer recently shocked us. News of young celebrities diagnosed in their thirties and forties now seems routine. The world outpoured prayers and support for Christina Applegate when she recently announced her diagnosis at age 36. My medical school roommate’s sister was diagnosed at age 37.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer, regardless of skin color or ethnic heritage.

Are you ready to start eating and living proactively against breast cancer?

FACT: An ounce of prevention is worth many, many pounds of cure.

New medical research emphatically shows us that food and lifestyle choices can make an incredible difference in lowering risk of breast cancer. Every doctor would agree that preventing a disease is much better than trying to treat or cure one.

We are entering into a wonderful new era of actually preventing breast cancer before it happens compared with current medical efforts targeted to detect breast cancer early, or cure it after diagnosis.

Because of my education at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, I am acutely aware of the absolute need for mammograms and screening tests, drugs, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and other medical procedures to fight cancer. The eating and lifestyle information I share with you should be integrated into your current medical care with your doctor, especially if you are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

During the past 100 years, doctors focused primarily on drugs, tests, and medical procedures to fight disease. This has undoubtedly extended the average life span. In fact, modern medicine has nearly doubled the average lifespan since the early 1900’s! However, we lost sight of the overall picture that should have included vigorous research into the power of foods and plants to prevent and cure disease in addition to medicines.

Just recently, the American Medical Association strongly recommended that physicians start testing their patients for a simple anti-­‐breast cancer vitamin deficiency (which I’ll discuss in detail later). Why? Researchers discovered that 70 to 80% of us are deficient in this anti-­‐breast cancer vitamin because doctors neglected basic nutritional advice for patients. Experts blame unknown numbers of cancers on this failure, and I believe that it could go down in history as one of the greatest failures of modern medicine. Perhaps redemption can come out of this failure.

Doctors are finally opening their eyes to the power of food, and vigorous research on many crucial nutrition and lifestyle factors are now underway.

My goal is to never let such an obvious error happen again by giving you the very latest medical research on breast cancer prevention through nutrition.

The good news is that the same choices that reduce your breast cancer risk can reduce risk of other cancers, like lung, ovarian, and endometrial cancer, and other deadly diseases including heart disease and stroke.

Doctors often can’t explain why one woman develops breast cancer and another woman does not. We do know that bumping, bruising, or touching the breasts does not cause cancer. And breast cancer is not contagious. You cannot “catch” it from another person. However, research has shown that women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. A risk factor is something that may increase the chance of developing a disease.

Living proactively against breast cancer is easier if we understand known risk factors. We will briefly review them now, but discuss in more detail later in the book.

FACT: Many controllable choices can increase or decrease your risk of breast cancer.

WHAT FACTORS INCREASE YOUR CANCER RISK?

Gender — The biggest risk factor for getting breast cancer is being female. Males do get breast cancer, but it is a very rare disease in men.

Age — The chance of getting breast cancer goes up as you get older. Most cases of breast cancer occur in women over 60, but cases in younger women seem more and more common.

Personal history of breast cancer — If you had breast cancer in one breast, you have an increased risk of getting cancer in your other breast, or recurrence. Survivors have a 200% to 600% greater risk of developing a second cancer compared to others. Survivors may still have “micrometastatic” disease, an undetected small group of cancer cells, living in lymph nodes or other parts of the body.

Family history — Your risk of breast cancer is higher if your mother, sister, or daughter had breast cancer. The risk is even higher if your family member had breast cancer before age 40. Your breast cancer risk is higher if your father, brother, or son had prostate cancer.

Reproductive and menstrual history:

  • The older you are when you have your first child, the greater your chance of breast cancer.
  • If you had your first menstrual period before age 12, you are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • If you went through menopause after age 55, you are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • If you never have children, you are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • If you take menopausal hormone therapy (“HRT” or “HT) with estrogen plus progestin, you have an increased risk of breast cancer.

Exposure to cosmetic and environmental carcinogens — Carcinogens are chemicals that cause cancer. Certain chemicals are known to increase risk. Heavy use of certain cleansers, cosmetics, soaps, hair care products, and deodorants are being investigated.

Being overweight or obese — The chance of getting breast cancer after menopause is dramatically higher in women who are overweight or obese. Some studies suggest that being overweight before menopause also increases your risk of breast cancer. Extra weight increases risk of many other deadly diseases.

Too much dietary sugar — Studies suggest that diets high in sugar promote cancer growth. Why? Eating excessive sugar causes excessive spikes of insulin hormone that may stimulate tumors to grow.

Drinking alcohol — Studies suggest that the more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of breast cancer.

Lack of antioxidants — As you get older, your internal antioxidant systems shut down leaving your breast tissues exposed to increased damage from free radicals. It becomes very important to shield your body with antioxidants from your diet. Getting enough of the right antioxidants is the key.

Vitamin deficiencies — Lack of a specific anti-­‐breast cancer vitamin in your body is believed to greatly increase your risk of breast cancer (and many other diseases).

Lack of physical activity — If you are physically inactive throughout your life, you have an increased risk of breast cancer. Being active may help reduce risk by preventing weight gain and obesity, and stimulating your immune system to fight cancer.

Certain breast changes — Some women have cells in the breast that look abnormal under a microscope. Having certain types of abnormal cells (called “atypical hyperplasia” and “lobular carcinoma in situ [LCIS]) increases the risk of breast cancer.

Gene changes — Genes are blueprints that tell your body how to build things. Changes in certain genes increase the risk of breast cancer. These genes include “BRCA1”, “BRCA2”, and others. Don’t let the scientific names intimidate you. Just simply understand that some blueprints go bad, and can increase your risk of cancer and many other diseases. Gene tests can sometimes show the presence of specific bad gene changes in your body. If a test detects a bad blueprint in your body, it alerts you and your doctor to watch more carefully for breast cancer. Children have several hundred more random DNA mutations than their parents possess. Experts warn that overall “mutational load” may endanger our health.

Heritage — Breast cancer is diagnosed more often in white women than Latina, Asian, or African American women. New research data shows that breast cancer, although less frequent, is more aggressive and deadly in African Americans.

Radiation therapy to the chest — Women who have radiation therapy to the chest (including breasts) before age 30 are at an increased risk of breast cancer. This includes women treated with radiation for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Studies show that the younger a woman was when she received radiation treatment, the higher her risk of breast cancer later in life.

Breast density — Breast tissue may be dense or fatty. Older women whose mammograms (breast x-­‐rays) show more dense tissue are at increased risk of breast cancer. Prescription hormones increase breast density.

Taking DES (diethylstilbestrol) — DES was given to some pregnant women in the United States between about 1940 and 1971. It is no longer given to pregnant women. Women who took DES during pregnancy may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. The possible effects on their daughters are under study.

Mammograms and self-­exams — Early detection of breast cancer is critical to stop spread of cancer to other parts of your body. Failure to perform monthly breast self-­‐exams, and to get regular mammograms is a deadly mistake.

If you already have breast cancer, or already are a survivor, I want you to know that you are in my daily prayers for healing, strength, and courage.

Sometimes we can do everything 100% correct, and still randomly come down with a disease. Let us renew our efforts to do everything within our control to promote healing and prevention. While I can’t guarantee that you will never get cancer, or never have a recurrence if you follow my recommendations, I can guarantee that you will reduce your risk.

DON’T JUST WAIT AROUND TO BECOME A VICTIM

Skeptics of prevention through nutrition will try to discourage you from fighting now against breast cancer. They will say “bigger and better” studies are needed before we can prove a specific food, vitamin, or lifestyle change works. I agree that more research on any drug, food, vitamin, or treatment is beneficial because we learn more with every study. Can you believe that doctors once debated if obesity causes heart disease?

Widespread medical consensus exists today that eating healthy lowers the risk for many deadly diseases including cancer. We may not understand all of the details yet, but it isn’t an excuse to delay. Even as I am finishing this book, medical researchers working with the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) have announced in the largest medical review ever that, “women can make a significant difference to their risk.”

Don’t wait around to become a breast cancer victim.

Fight Now Before Breast Cancer Strikes. Prevention is the Best Cure

 

Copyright © 2009 - 2014 Aaron Tabor MD. All Rights Reserved. Discuss this information with your doctor to determine what is right for you. This information does not take the place of your doctor's professional advice, nor does it substitute for prescription medication, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or any other medical treatment. Unless specified otherwise, risk reductions are reported as relative risks or odds ratios in human clinical, animal studies, or lab culture studies. Fight Now™ is a trademark of Aaron Tabor, MD. FIGHT NOW is not associated with, or endorsed by, Johns Hopkins. Privacy & UsageMedia

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