Is breast cancer a life style disease? Facts and Statistics
From the National Breast Cancer
Coalition (NBCC) and Statistics New Zealand:
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths for women in the
U.S. between the ages of 20 and 59.
Every year about
1500 New Zealand Women are diagnosed with breast cancer which kills about six hundred
women and various sources say that as many as one in six women die of
breast cancer although the true figure is ambiguous due to the nature of
reporting and assessment.
Actually about ten times more
women die from breast cancer than cervical cancer.
It is predicted that if New Zealand trends continue
to follow those of other countries then a greater
numbers of women will be diagnosed with this disease
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women worldwide.
A woman in the United States has a 1 in 7 chance of
developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime which
has increased from 1 in 11 in 1975.
Approximately 3 million women in the U.S. are living with
breast cancer: There are two million who have been diagnosed and an
estimated one million don't know they have the
In 2004, it is estimated that 266,471 new cases of breast
cancer will be diagnosed among women in the United States:
215,990 invasive breast cancers and 50,481 cases of ductal
carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and approximately 40,110 women in the
U.S. will die from the disease.
Older women are much more likely to get breast cancer than
younger women. Most breast cancers -- about 77% -- occur in
women ages 50 and older. Less than 5% of all breast cancer
cases occur in women under the age of 40.
Combining all age groups, white (non-Hispanic) women are
more likely to develop breast cancer than black women.
Black women have a higher breast cancer mortality rate at
every age, and a lower survival rate than white women because overall, their
diet, education and lifestyle lags behind the white population.
The conventional methods of treatment in use in the United States and the
are surgery (mastectomy and lumpectomy), radiation,
chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and biological therapy
(including, monoclonal antibody therapy).
Mammography screening does not prevent or cure breast
cancer; however, it may detect the disease before symptoms
occur. Breast cancer tumours can exist for six to ten years
before they grow large enough to be detected by mammography whereas the latest
ultrasound is more accurate and revealing.
All women are at risk for breast cancer. About 90% of women
who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of
Factors that increase a woman's risk of breast cancer
include older age, earlier age at menarche, later age at
menopause, nulliparity (having no children), later age at
first full-term pregnancy, daily alcohol consumption, use of
hormonal replacement therapy, use of the drug
diethylstilbestrol (DES), postmenopausal obesity, ionizing
radiation, genetic factors and family history of breast or
ovarian cancer. Factors that decrease a woman's risk of
breast cancer include breast-feeding and physical activity
There are no proven interventions to prevent breast cancer
and there is no cure.
Breast Cancer and Its Causes
We now know that most breast cancers begin in the lining of the milk ducts and
then spread through the lymphatic system. This is perhaps the reason why women
who birth children in their 20's and who breastfeed for six months or
more are less likely to suffer from breast cancer. Whereas in women who put off
having children until in their late 30's or even 40's and women who do not
breast feed are more susceptible to cancer.
Breast cancer risk increases with age.
Breast feeding for six months or more reduces the risk
Breast cancers begin in the lining of the milk ducts
So where are you in your life right now and what can you do to reduce the
chances of getting breast cancer? Now you don't want to just have a baby so you
can breast feed, that would be foolish. So lets explore and look at modern life.
The chances are that you are Miss or Mrs. average, you work and have a social
life and generally you conform to the ideals and expectation within your
community. This means you eat what everyone around you eats, you get some
exercise, wear a bra and consider yourself normal.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
To initiate a prevention program, you need to have a basic
understanding of the breast which may be defined as:
A mass of glandular, fatty, and fibrous tissues positioned over the pectoral
muscles of the chest wall and attached to the chest wall by fibrous strands
called Cooper’s ligaments.
A layer of fatty tissue gives the breast a soft consistency and surrounds the
breast glands and milk ducts.
The breast glands produce milk and the ducts transport milk to the nipples.
Breast cancer typically begins in the lining of the milk ducts
which means that there is some material in the milk ducts
that becomes cancerous or something may even be dormant or
pre-cancerous material. What ever it is, it is just sitting
there waiting and you will never know.
So lets assume that all women have some latent material in
the lining of their milk ducts, so why is it not removed by
normal circulation? Think of it as a little water in a hose,
fresh and clean, but over many years, it stagnates. Inside
the duct, there is no blood or lymphatic fluid circulation
to refresh or remove it and eventually it becomes toxic and
initiates a cancerous growth.
why would a drop of fluid stagnate in the milk ducts?
exercise and to keep your breasts from smacking you in the
face and to avoid the wandering eyes, you wear a bra which
holds your breasts against your chest creating a degree of
comfort. This restricts normal breast circulation and many
experts consider this to a significant cause of cancer and
you can read more in cancer and the bra.
Are you ready to stop wearing a bra? Probably not. Women did
this back in the 60's but this new freedom was short lived.
So why do you wear a bra?
If you have a small bust, chances are you only wear a bra to
conform to social expectations rather from any physiological
need. If you have an average bust, you wear a bra for
appearance and if you have a larger bust you actually need a
bra for support and to limit the wandering eyes.
But for what ever reason you wear a bra, do yourself a favor
and go without it at every opportunity to allow free
movement and circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid within
your breasts. But this is not enough. We recommend that
every woman practice a daily self massage similar to the
video below. This will help to remove accumulated toxins and
support general breast health. The massage is best performed
using a lubricant, i.e. soap while taking a shower.
Massage for Breast Cancer
Massage therapy reduced anxiety and depression and improved
immune function including increased natural killer cell
Hernandez-Reif, M., Ironsor, G., Field,
T., Hurley, J., Katz, G., Diego, M., Weiss, S., Fletcher,
MA., Shanberg, S and Kuhn, C. (2003) Breast cancer
patients have improve immune and neuroendocrine function
following massage therapy.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 57,45-52.
Self Care Breast Massage
The purpose of
these techniques is to flush fluids from the breast,
(both veinous and intercellular), bring nutrition to
the tissues and specifically remove the toxins via
the lymphatic system. Also, these techniques will
enhance the health and elasticity of the support
ligaments, which will in turn provide you with better
steps number One and Two are to assist in the
movement of veinous fluids. Feel free to experiment
with these to movements and find what is comfortable
for you. Step Three is simply to help keep your
support ligaments in good health and assist in the
fight against gravity. Step Four is a gentle draining
motion designed to drain the breasts lymphatic system
and is possibly the most important of the four steps.
should be done at least twice a week. It can be done
on bare skin, but you may find that using some
vegetable oil or powder may be more comfortable. You
could also use some soft material like silk.
hands to apply comfortable pressure
compressions to squeeze out veinous fluids.
massage the breast with a kneading-like
motion, using lifting and pressing movements.
carefully use your hands to rotate and twist
the breast in a clock wise and
counter clockwise directions, being careful not
to put too much tension on the breast.
fingers to gently smooth away from the
nipple. These movements travel from the
nipple and directly away using no more
pressure than what you would apply to your
eyelids as any more pressure will flatten the
lymphatic vessels and stop the flow of toxins
Breast cancer and your bra
A survey revealed that women
who wear bras over 12 hours daily have a dramatically
increased risk of developing breast cancer compared to
bra-free women. In fact, bra-free women have about the same
chances of developing breast cancer as men have, and this is
over 100 times less than that for women wearing bras 18-24
hours daily. When you consider that smoking increases the
incidence of lung cancer 20-30 times, this makes the link
between breast cancer and bras 4-5 times greater than the
link between cigarettes and lung cancer!
Disclaimer: All Information is provided for
educational purposes only and not intended
to be used for any therapeutic purpose, neither is it intended to diagnose,
prevent, treat or cure any disease. Please consult a health care
professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.
While attempts have been made to ensure the accuracy of this information,
The Health Information Network does not accept any responsibility for any errors or