Response to Post & Courier’s Column on
I wish to present a different approach to The Post & Courier’s coverage of Breast Cancer Awareness month, especially the recent column by Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz titled, “These Breast Cancer Facts Can Save You.” The column towed the line on mammograms and did not consider other very important factors.
More than just looking for disease after it has appeared, there are so many things women can do to take charge of their breast health. The first is a lifestyle that includes eating vegetables and fruits, increasing exercise, avoiding charbroiled and well-done animal protein, losing weight and finding constructive ways to manage stress.
To counteract the chemical pollution in which we find ourselves, both men and women can avoid BPA-containing plastics. Bisphenol A is a known xenoestrogen and is found in plastic beverage bottles, the nonstick lining of canned foods and in the lined cans of packaged infant formulas. It is mobilized by heat such as from a hot delivery truck, car interiors and microwave cooking.
Estrogen metabolism and hormone balance are also very important to breast health. Women are not being told that the way they metabolize estrogen, a cell proliferating hormone, is a major cause of breast cancer.
Carlton Fredericks, the famous nutritionist, was once asked by a woman, “Why would God give us a hormone that causes cancer?” He answered, “God also gave you a liver and a way to metabolize your estrogen.” The problem is that today, there are too many plastics in everyday use that mimic estrogen and overload the body’s ability to detoxify.
Most American women are estrogen dominant, which doesn’t mean you have too much estrogen. It means you do not have enough progesterone, the anti-proliferating hormone, to balance the estrogen.
More and more young women are having anovulatory menstrual cycles, resulting in very low levels of progesterone. Women no longer make progesterone when they become menopausal. This imbalance leading to estrogen dominance is the key to breast cancer. The increase in this disease is also associated with our living in a sea of estrogen-mimicking, polluting chemicals, like BPA.
Women can test for their estrogen/progesterone ratio and their 2-hydroxyestrone/16-alpha hydroxyestrone/4-hydroxyestrone ratios. The latter test will help determine if you are metabolizing your estrogen safely. If not, there are dietary changes and supplements that can help steer your metabolism in a healthier direction.
Devra Davis, a former Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services is alerting women to the dangers of electromagnetic radiation, especially when wearing cell phones in exercise bras. She is starting to raise the alarm that young women are getting cancer just where they put their phones.
Women becoming educated about lifestyle, environmental dangers, and learning how to protect themselves in everyday life is how we would truly reduce the incidence of breast cancer.
Yours In Health,
Allan D. Lieberman, M.D., F.A.A.E.M.
Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine