Amazing! The word is out now that women do not need to start mammograms until the age of 50. To do so before 50 leads to false alarms and unnecessary biopsies. To be more specific, beginning at age 40 would prevent one additional death but also lead to 470 false alarms for every 1,000 women screened.The US government task force of doctors and scientists that led the study concluded that the risks of receiving the mammograms themselves outweighed the benefit received by having the screening for women from 40-49.
The task force did recommend that women from the age of 50-74 should get screened every other year until they turn 75, after which the risks and benefits are unknown. Interestingly, they said that the self-breast exam is completely useless and that women should not be taught to do it! I actually found the “should not be taught to do it” part funny. I do think that doing self-breast exam could be helpful in one aspect. And that is that it helps to massage the lymph tissue of the breast leading to more effective elimination of waste!
On that note, I want to recommend frequent self-breast exams! Or I should say breast massage. I also want to recommend something really wonderful from my friend Dae Williams. She formulates pretty incredible organic skin care and cosmetic products for women. She has the coolest Breast Balm made with herbs that help to increase lymphatic flow and support the health of the breast tissue. Check the Breast Balm and her other stuff out at www.daewilliams.com
I also think we need to continue to look a the research being done about breast thermography. The use of infrared imaging in thermography is based on the understanding the metabolic activity is almost always higher in places of developing cancer. The process of rapid cell division and the related increased circulation usually leads to an increase in the surface temperature of the breast. Very sensitive technology used in thermography detects these changes. Translation: the hot spots show up on the imaging. The areas detected may allow us to detect cancer at a much earlier stage than mammograms with no radiation exposure.
The concerns about thermography are more those of false positives. So, the jury is out on breast thermography thus far. It is also very difficult to get recognition of a new test like this. If it proves to be as useful as it shows promise to be, insurance companies will be required to cover it as a screening test. Wow! The resistance to new required testing is high due to the $$$ in new cost.
I think that we cannot have a discussion about breast health and breast cancer without mentioning iodine. This mineral is so incredibly important in the immune system of the body, but there is a special connection here to the health of the breasts. I have found that nearly 80% of the women I have tested for iodine have turned out to be deficient. What does this mean? First, it has implications for the thyroid so let’s get into that.
The thyroid gland is the gland in the body which has the greatest need and the greatest stores of iodine. Active thyroid is called triiodothyronine. Notice the “iodo” in there stand for the iodine! So, there turns out to be a connection between iodine deficiency and low thyroid function, Grave’s Disease, thyroid cytsts, and maybe even thyroid cancer. The toxins in our world contribute to this deficiency in addition to insufficient intake. The reactive halogens knock the iodine off the receptor. Translation: when you shower (chlorine), brush your teeth (fluoride) or eat a cooked, baked muffin (bromides), you displace iodine in your body. Then…who eats iodized salt? Don’t do it! And…if you do eat sea veggies as many raw foodists do you do get an A PLUS. However, depending on your deficiency you may need some help with high doses of iodine in order to get you to baseline.
So…what does all this have to do with breast cancer? Quite a bit. When, in a woman’s body, the thyroid becomes deficient in iodine it looks to grab it from other tissue in the body. Guess what the next richest source of iodine is in a woman’s body? Yes, the breast tissue. So, when the breast tissue become deficient in iodine, the cells begin to change. This is called hyperplasia, and may be the first sign of cancerous changes.
If you would like to speak with me more about Iodine Testing, please contact me at email@example.com
In the meantime…eat lots of sea veggies in the form of dulse, nori, hijike, kombu and arame. There are many good raw recipes that have these sea vegetables. A common favorite in the raw food world is adding chopped veggies to a nori wrap! Yum. I enjoy those often with veggies, sprouts and a filling nut pate. Here is one recipe for nori rolls.
- 2 cups sunflower seeds
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 collard green leaves
- 8 sheets raw (untoasted) nori
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into thin strips
- 1 avocado, halved and thinly sliced
- Place sunflower seeds in large bowl, cover with cold water, and soak 4 hours. Rinse, and drain.
- Transfer sunflower seeds to food processor, and add green onions, cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, and ¼ cup water. Mix in food processor.
- Cut collard green leaves half the size of nori sheets.
- Lay 1 nori sheet, rough side up, on cutting board. Place collard leaf piece on nori sheet, covering half of sheet nearest you. Put 2 Tbsp. of sunflower “pate” on nori sheet. Place carrot strip, cucumber strip, avocado slice, green onion on nori sheet. Fold nori sheet over vegetables, and roll sheet away from you as tightly as possible. Dab edge of nori sheet with water to seal and close. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each roll into 6 bite-size pieces with serrated knife. .