In no way did I intend on this coinciding with the Angelina Jolie thing, but it is certainly relevant. Only a small percentage of risk of cancer comes from your genetics. Even the greatest risk factor we know of for breast cancer, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, while 80% of these women will go on to develop breast cancer over a lifetime, this means that 20% will not.
Luckily for BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers, the 20% doesn’t happen merely by chance. A few examples include:
- Compounds from cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc..) help to overcome BRCA mutations.
- Selenium, known to protect DNA, can also protect against BRCA mutations.
- Coffee lowers the risk of breast cancer in BRCA carriers.
The list list longer, but you get the idea. And remember, this is for those women who carry the greatest genetic risks for development of breast cancer. For everyone else, the picture is far, far brighter. Some experts believe that genetics play a role in less than 10% of breast cancer cases (which does NOT even take into account the ways to lower the risk for those already at a genetically higher risk). That leaves you with a much greater than 90% chance to avoid breast cancer over your lifetime.
The list of ways to lower your risk of breast cancer is very long (you can check for specific medical references by scrolling through the breast cancer section of the website by clicking here). But here are a few potent factors:
- No smoking
- Plant based lifestyle including non-GMO soy and flax
- A diet high in omega 3 fats and low in omega 6 fats
- An anti-diabetic lifestyle (prediabetes is a massive risk factor for breast cancer)
- Stress reduction such as meditation, prayer, biofeedback
- Keeping calorie intake on the lower end (calorie restriction without nutrient restriction)
While there are many, many more, just sticking with these 6 will pretty much wipe out all but the highest risks of breast cancer.
However, if you’re not willing to do all this hard work, there is no need to worry because mainstream medicine is trying to ride in on its white horse to save the day. And of course, this involves better living through chemistry.
In this particular article, researchers evaluate the outcomes of trying to use drugs, specifically the selective estrogen modulating drugs Tamoxifen and Raloxifene. These drugs are already approved by the FDA to be used in high risk women to prevent breast cancer from occurring. But just how well did this work out?
- Tamoxifen and raloxifene reduced invasive breast cancer by 7 to 9 cases in 1000 women over 5 years.
- Neither drug reduced breast cancer–specific or all-cause mortality rates (are you paying attention here?).
- Both drugs increased blood clot embolism by 4 cases in 1000 women.
- Tamoxifen increased the incidence of endometrial cancer and cataracts.
Wow! Where do we sign up?? What woman wouldn’t want to drop her risk by 0.9% over 5 years and get the bonus of endometrial cancer or a pulmonary embolism?