Early detection for all cancer makes sense. The medical community would like for us to believe that mammograms provide that early detection, but they DO NOT. By the time a mammogram can detect cancer, it has typically been growing, multiplying and duplicating for 7 years. That’s a LONG time. Typically, if it shows up on a mammogram, it’s also detectable in a breast self-exam. Christine Northrup writes, “Studies have shown that by the time a tumor has grown to sufficient size to be detectable by physical examination or mammography, it has in fact been growing for about seven years achieving more than 25 doublings of the malignant cell colony. At 90 days there are two cells, at one year there are 16 cells, and at five years there are 1,048,576 cells–an amount that is still UNDETECTABLE by a mammogram.” That’s definitely not early detection.

And there’s a more sinister side to mammograms. Things that your doctor may or may not know. Mammograms have an unacceptably high rate of false positive diagnosis which leads to unnecessary treatments including chemotherapy, radiation, mastectomy, and other toxic treatments. Realize this too - that because of the stress of the misdiagnosis, many of those women actually get breast cancer within several years. It’s a common day version of the ancient aboriginal bone-pointers, and their rituals which create a psychosomatic response so strong that it causes disease or death. It’s very real, because our minds are very powerful. The psychological effects alone for a woman with a false positive finding were the same after 6 months for women with a diagnosis of breast cancer. So sad. Studies have shown that for every 1 woman out of 2,000 that is saved, 10 women are injured. Really.

Mammograms are “strongly encouraged” after the age of 45 and many doctors are pushing for patients to begin those annual exams before 45, but listen to this: Mammograms produce a considerable and CUMULATIVE amount of radiation exposure, which can stimulate cancer growth and support metastasis - the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. When a woman follows the protocol to have a mammogram performed every six months to a year, she is getting as much radiation as those who were a mile away at Hiroshima! This should help clarify and put it in perspective: Radiation from 1 mammogram is equivalent to 1000 chest x-rays. The very exam that is suppose to “prevent” cancer actually stimulates cancer cells. No matter what anyone says, that is not okay. And another thing… instinctively I believe women have known that pressing the breast tissue into a vise-like grip is dangerous. And they were right. Research is now proving that the “smashing” of breasts in the mammography machine causes mutation of the cells.

You might be saying to yourself, “Hmmmm, I’m reconsidering mammograms, but what can I do?”

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1. Consider scheduling a breast thermography exam. Thermography is a no contact, radiation-FREE, state-of-the-art screening procedure that uses heat detection to locate areas of temperature differences in the body, not just the breast tissue. Most pathological processes demonstrate a form of increased heat, and some neurological processes show excessive cold, or hypothermia. As an example, breast disease can be detected by looking for areas of excessive or increasing heat that may indicate areas of angiogenesis, that's the increase of blood vessels supplied by a growing tumor. This technology detects irregular cells PRIOR to tumor formation, which IS early detection. It measures inflammation throughout the body not just breast tissue giving a better overall picture of a person’s health. If you live in Ohio, there are two centers that we recommend, and if you’d like that information, please email me at lisa@alivingwelllife.com.

2. Research shows that a home breast exam is equally as effective as mammography at detecting growth but without the radiation, so continue doing them. Set a date with yourself in the shower on the 1st day of the month. If you are pre-menopausal, plan on doing the breast self-exam 3 days after your period ends when the breast tissue is less tender and hormones are stabilized. After checking for visual changes, like color and texture, also symmetry, dimpling, bumps or indentations, check for any lumps or thickening in your underarm area using a circular motion. Repeat on the other side. Be sure to check the nipples. Then lay down to repeat the exam. You can use a self-help guide from google, or simply feel for changes in the breast tissue.

3. Studies are proving that only 5-10% of breast cancer is genetic. That means that the other 90-95% is due to personal choices and environmental toxicities, which puts you back in control. By changing your diet and lifestyle, you could reduce your lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by 95%. WOW!!! Want to know how, what and why?? Stay tuned. I’ll be posting more information in the next couple of days in our private a Living Well Life group, as we continue our month-long journey into breast cancer prevention. Please join us.

Cancer is serious. As much as we would love to see a cure, or progress in treatment, it’s been slower than most would like. Through our clinical experience, we’ve seen many people die from their disease, and just as many that have died from their treatment. It’s heart-breaking, and we grieve with these families. We’ve also seen many people survive their diagnosis through holistic treatments, conventional treatments, or a combination of both, and we celebrate with grateful hearts these victories.

So as you go forth, please remember that these suggestions are merely that. We fully encourage our patients and clients to ask LOTS of questions, listen to all the recommendations, do their own research, and choose what’s right for them!

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