7 Things Doctors Should Be Telling Patients About Preventing Breast Cancer

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Most doctors accept the widely promoted recommendation that all women age 40 and over should have a mammogram every one to two years. As a result, the mammography industry has grown into a huge money-making business.

Unfortunately, this recommendation is more about profits than helping women, for routine screening has a significant, scientifically proven downside: It exposes millions of women to needless radiation—without any real proof that it saves lives.

Although mammograms are considered the gold standard of breast cancer screening, they are notoriously inaccurate. False positives needlessly traumatize millions of women who are sent for unnecessary biopsies and other follow-up testing. On the other hand, false negatives give women a deceptive sense of security and eliminate the possibility of early treatment, completely undermining the entire premise of screening.
 
If physicians really want to help their patients, they should be suggesting steps women can take to protect themselves against breast cancer.

  1. Limit your intake of meat, saturated fat, and alcohol, all of which are linked to breast cancer. Make plant foods the center of your diet. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans every day.
  2. Eat broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables two or three times a week.
  3. Eat 2–3 tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseed daily for fiber and omega-3 EFAs. Mix it in water or juice or sprinkle it on cereal or salads. Flaxseed is sold in health food stores.
  4. Another source of omega-3 EFAs is fish oil capsules. The suggested preventive dose is two 1,000 mg capsules per day.
  5. Take a daily high-potency multivitamin and mineral supplement with antioxidant levels well above the RDAs. I recommend 5,000 IU vitamin A, 2,500 mg vitamin C, 800 IU vitamin E, 15,000 IU beta carotene, and 200 mcg selenium.
  6. Exercise at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Remember, brisk walking is fine.
  7. Avoid pesticides by washing produce with soap and water, peeling waxed fruits and vegetables, and, whenever possible purchasing organic produce.

Now it’s your turn: Have you adopted any of these healthy habits?

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