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  • NicoleDeRosa

BREAST CANCER Awareness

Updated: Nov 15, 2023




Breast cancer doesn't know April from June, or December from January, which is why it can strike at any time. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but we should also recognize that breast cancer is something to be aware of year-round. We book our cars for a service every few months, right?! So why should our bodies be any different? A mammogram and ultrasound can take as little as 30 minutes!

As someone who had a loved one get diagnosed with breast cancer and I know many who have lost someone they love to breast cancer, it's important to do what we can to protect our health and the health of the ones we love.




My Mama Joy + Aunt Janie are both breast cancer survivors + those years that my Mom suffered were honestly a blur because I was young + didn't know much of what was going to happen. Thankfully, her doctors detected it early enough + now she continues to take care of her health by moving everyday, eating well + enjoying life with family.

Early detection of breast cancer saves lives. In fact, when breast cancer is caught early, the prognosis is often excellent.




According to the American Cancer Society, the 5 year survival rate for breast cancer, if found early + confined to the breast, is 99%, which is why taking the time for your annual mammogram is so important. Mammograms are widely recognized as the "gold standard" in detecting breast cancer.

It is recommended that women begin an annual mammogram at age 40 + men at the advice of their physician. No matter how you identify, men + womxn can be diagnosed with breast cancer. Take precaution + get checked!

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 50% of all women age 40 & older have dense breasts.

Women with dense breasts may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer + may require additional screenings along with their mammogram, such as a breast ultrasound + MRI, to help with early detection.



Breast SELF-EXAMINATION





Understanding BREAST DENSITY

Breasts are made up of a mixture of fibrous, glandular tissue + fatty tissue. Your breasts are considered dense if you have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue, but not much fat. Breast density is determined by the radiologist who, under the NJ Breast Density Law, must include information about breast density in your imaging report. My Mom + I both are in this category.


If I have dense breasts, do I still need a mammogram?
Yes, a mammogram is the only medical imaging screening test proven to reduce breast cancer deaths. Many cancers are seen on mammograms even if you have dense breast tissue. As I said above, it is recommended that women begin an annual mammogram at age 40 + men at the advice of their physician.


What should I do if I have dense breasts?
If you have dense breasts, please talk to your doctor. Together, you can decide which, if any, additional screening exams are right for you.




What is a BREAST Biopsy?




What type of biopsy is done for breast calcifications?
Stereotactic breast biopsy is used when a small growth or an area of calcifications is seen on a mammogram, but cannot be seen using an ultrasound of the breast. The tissue samples are sent to a pathologist to be examined. I had to get a breast needle biopsy in 2023 which you can read about here.

Do breast calcifications need to be biopsied?
Any pattern that's suspicious or highly suspicious should be biopsied to rule out cancer. Calcifications that appear benign aren't usually biopsied. But they should be monitored for any changes. Repeating mammograms every 6 to 12 months may be recommended to monitor benign calcifications.

Should I worry about calcifications in breast?
About 80% of microcalcifications are benign. However, they're sometimes an indication of precancerous changes or cancer in the breast. If the biopsy shows the calcifications are benign, most commonly nothing needs to be done except continuing yearly mammograms.

What are the odds of breast calcifications being cancerous?
''Probably benign'' calcifications have a less than 2% risk of being cancer. In other words, about 98% of the time, these type of calcifications are considered not to be cancer. Typically, they will be monitored every six months for at least one year.

What if microcalcifications are cancerous?
Most microcalcifications are non-cancerous + you will not need any treatment. If there are cancer cells, it is usually a non-invasive breast cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), or a very small, early breast cancer. These can both be treated successfully.

What does it mean when breast calcifications change?
Although breast calcifications are usually non-cancerous (benign), certain patterns of calcifications — such as tight clusters with irregular shapes + fine appearance — may indicate breast cancer or precancerous changes to breast tissue.

Can radiation cause calcifications?
Cancer treatments such as surgery, reconstruction + radiation therapy can cause tissue damage + scarring, which can lead to calcifications showing up on a mammogram.



Myth vs FACT






PODCASTS + Videos



Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, better known as Dr. V is the founder of Breast Cancer Conqueror and the 7 Essentials Systems. She is also the co-founder of My Breast Friend. Her signature process has empowered thousands of women in over 56 countries. Her mission is to "change lives, one breasts at a time." Dr. V has personally conquered breast cancer twice, giving her an empathetic perspective to understanding others women facing a healing journey.



BOOKS To Check Out



To order:
Anti-cancer Living, click here
Cancer Diet For The Newly Diagnosed, click here



TREATMENT + Treatment Centers


Source + graphic courtesy of HealthCentral



Dr. Lucas Tims - Integrative Oncology & Medical Director of Riordan Clinic (Kansas)

  • Suggests adding Glutathione & NAC after an MRI.


  • High dose of Melatonin before radiation exposure to reduce the DNA damaging effects.


  • High dose of Vitamin C after radiation exposure to reduce the DNA damaging effects.


  • Typical MRIs need contrast to get a clear picture, but there's newer technology like the Prenuvo (that doesn't require contrast) which is available in California, Vancouver, Minneapolis, Texas + Florida.


  • 3D Mammogram (Tomosynthesis) - Safe + improves accuracy. If you have access to it, get this over a traditional mammogram.


  • Thermography - Sometimes used in tandem with a mammogram due to dense breast tissue that can perhaps miss a lump.


  • HerScan Ultrasounds - Typically used when you have fibrous tissue in your breasts.


  • Terrain Testing - tests heavy metals, plastics, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, VOCs, etc. Terrain testing should be the baseline protocol for all cancers.


  • Your Cancer Isn't Just Bad Luck - a great series by Dr. Lucas Tims. He discusses the connections with all the environmental toxins + cancer.




CALIFORNIA Residents




THERMOGRAPHY Centers


California: Los Angeles, San Diego, Fountain Valley, Newport Beach, Westlake Village, Valencia/Santa Clarita



RADIATION Info + Tips


During radiation treatment, the best thing you can do for yourself for regular self care is to use calendula. You can moisturize with plain old Aquaphor to keep your skin healthy. No special salve is needed. But the best person to guide you is your radiation oncologist, because sometimes they prescribe other topical medications depending on how your skin is faring during radiation.



Things NOT Covered By Insurance BUT Should Be


Massage
Acupuncture
Cryotherapy
Red Light Therapy
Naturopathic Oncologist
Lymphatic Drainage Massage
High dose Vitamin C IV Infusions
Hyperbaric Oxygen / Ozone Therapy
Nutripath for Integrative Lab Testing




NUTRITION + Lifestyle




There are many known PROTECTIVE chemical nutrients found in foods like...


CRUCIFEROUS PLANTS (indo-3-carbinol found in cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, leeks - try to eat at least 1-2 servings per day)
SPIRULINA (c-phycocyanin)
FRUITS (reservatrol & quercetin - a flavonoid - blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots, watermelon, papaya, red grapes, limes, apples, pomegranates, avocados)
VEGGIES (quercetin - a flavonoid - broccoli, beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, turnips, mushrooms)
GREEN TEA (quercetin - a flavonoid - try to drink 5 or more cups a day by PIQUE)
FISH (oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines
NUTS + SEEDS (walnuts, almonds, pistachios, nut butters / Flaxseed & Chia Seeds: low fat & high fiber - inhibits estrogen - take 1 tbsp. a day)
WHOLE GRAINS (pasta, oats)
BEANS (chickpeas, lentils, hummus)
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (high quality - try to take 4 tbsp. a day)
HERBS + SPICES (anti-inflammatory: thyme, tarragon, mint, oregano, turmeric/curcumin, ginger)



VITAMINS + Supplements


VITAMIN A, B6, C, D, E (Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin but a hormone)
MULTI-VITAMIN (high quality that is specific for women)
FOLIC ACID
CALCIUM D-GLUCARATE
SELENIUM
GRAPE SEED EXTRACT
MAITAKE MUSHROOM
OMEGA 3
HEMP HEARTS



ORA ORGANIC (Plant Based Vitamin + Supplements)

OWL Venice (Bone Broths, Mineral Broths, Mylk Shakes)

PURITY COFFEE (Organic, Specialty Grade, Mold Free, Triple Tested)

TEA DROPS (Organic Teas)

SAKARA (Organic Meal Delivery)





FITNESS + Exercise


Exercising 3-5 times a week not only lifts your mood, but also lowers your risk of getting breast cancer by 30-50%

Exercise, especially in young women, may decrease hormone levels + contribute to a decreased breast cancer risk. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Try to include weight bearing such as walking, jogging + aerobics. These have the added benefit of keeping your bones strong.

Maintain a healthy weight. There is a clear link between obesity + breast cancer. Studies repeatedly link both overweight + weight gain with a greater risk of postmenopausal breast cancer + breast cancer recurrence. Excess fatty tissue is a source of circulating estrogen in your body, which increases risk specifically for breast cancer. (Source: American Cancer Society)






HELPFUL + INSPIRATIONAL

Instagram Accounts


@Goop (especially their PhD articles)
@UFVHMC (UFV Health and Medicine Club)



DR. Christian Gonzalez


"In come Naturopathic and Functional doctors specializing in cancer. We look at the full picture, look for the ROOT CAUSE of cancer and give the body what it needs to heal while removing obstacles to healing. Oncology needs to bridge the gap quick. No, you should not, "go back to living your life before cancer." Cancer is giving you an opportunity to change it.

We see weeds growing. We burn them with radiation, throw chemicals at them with chemo and cut them with surgery. When the field is clear we say the field is "weed free. Yet, no one ever checks as to why the soil allowed an overgrowth of weeds. That's the ROOT of the PROBLEM in oncology."


ESSENTIAL Tests




NON-TOXIC Items For Your HOME



MATTRESSES