Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control. These cells usually form a tumor that often can be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump.
Benign tumors are not considered cancerous; their cells are close to normal in appearance, grow slowly, and do not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body. Malignant tumors are cancerous. Left unchecked, malignant cells eventually can spread (metastasize) beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body.
Breast cancer usually begins in either the cells of the lobules (milk-producing glands) or the ducts (passages that carry milk from the lobules to the nipple). Breast cancer also can begin in the stromal tissues, which include the fatty and fibrous connective tissues of the breast.
Did You Know: Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women — but men can get it, too.
Causes & Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Hormones seem to play a role in many cases of breast cancer, but just how this happens is not fully understood. Normal breast cells become cancerous because of changes (mutations) in DNA. Some DNA mutations are inherited. This means the mutations are in every cell in your body and can dramatically increase the risk of developing certain cancers. But most DNA changes related to breast cancer are acquired in breast cells during a woman's life rather than having been inherited.
Breast cancer symptoms include:
- Changes in how the breast or nipple feel
- Changes in the breast or nipple appearance
- Any nipple discharge — particularly clear or bloody discharge
If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated.
Who Gets Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is caused by a genetic abnormality. However, only 5-10 percent of cancers are due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. Instead, 85-90 percent of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and the “wear and tear” of life in general.
Just being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. There are about 190,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 60,000 cases of non-invasive breast cancer this year in American women.
Other risk factors include:
- Family History
- Personal History of Breast Cancer
- Radiation to Chest or Face Before Age 30
- Certain Breast Changes
- Being Overweight
- Pregnancy History
- Breastfeeding History
- Menstrual History
- Using HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy)
- Drinking Alcohol
- Having Dense Breasts
- Lack of Exercise
Prognosis if You Have Breast Cancer
Approximately 12.3 percent of women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2010-2012 data. In 2013, there were an estimated 3,053,450 women living with female breast cancer in the United States.
The 5-year relative survival rate for breast cancer:
- Stage I — 98.8 percent
- Stage II — 85.2 percent
- Stage III — 52.5 percent
- Stage IV — 26.3 percent
Using statistical models for analysis, the National Cancer Institute's SEER Stat Fact Sheets show rates for new breast cancer cases have been stable during the past 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 1.9 percent each year over 2004-2013.
Protocols: How to Treat Breast Cancer
The breasts of breast cancer patients can get very hard. It is important, especially if there is some symptom of the breast(s) getting hard, that the patient massage her breasts to keep them from getting hard.
Every breast cancer patient needs to become an expert on hormones, iodine, and cancer. Mike Vrentas — who supports the Cellect-Budwig protocol for home use, and should support all breast cancer patients who treat their cancer at home — discusses these topics in his lectures.
• Primary: Cellect-Budwig Protocol
Conventional medicine’s main types of treatment for breast cancer include:
- Surgery — including mammaplasty, tissue expansion, lymphadenectomy, lumpectomy, and mastectomy
- Radiation therapy
- External beam radiotherapy
How to Prevent Breast Cancer
No definite risk factors have been found for breast cancer. There are factors may put you at increased risk, including:
- Keep weight in check
- Be physically active
- Eat your fruits and vegetables
- Avoid too much alcohol
- Don't smoke
- Breastfeed, if possible
- Avoid birth control pills (particularly after age 35 or if you smoke)
Immune System Health
A healthy immune system remains your body's best defense. Not only is a weak immune system a major reason patients have cancer — and cancer itself can further weaken the immune system.
Beta glucans help regulate the immune system, making it more efficient. In addition, beta glucans stimulate white blood cells (lymphocytes) that bind to tumors or viruses and release chemicals to destroy it.
Beta Glucan has been approved in Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan as an immunoadjuvant therapy for cancer. In fact, helping with cancer is just the beginning with Beta Glucan. There have thousands of studies showing the product can protect against infections, lower your cholesterol, lower blood sugar, reduce stress, increase your antibody production, heal wounds, help radiation burns, overcome mercury-induced immunosuppression (like Thimerosal, used as a preservative in vaccines), help with diabetes, and even naturally prevent metastasis (or the spreading of your cancer).
Harvard Medical School suggests following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy:
- Don't smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Control your blood pressure.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
More Information: Building the Immune System
Your diet plays a role in a healthy immune system. The top vitamins your immune system needs to perform include:
- Vitamin C — helps to repair and regenerate tissues and aids in the absorption of iron
- Vitamin E — a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection
- Vitamin B6 — supports adrenal function and is necessary for key metabolic processes
- Vitamin A — aids immune function and helps provide a barrier against infections
- Vitamin D — modulates cell growth, promotes neuromuscular and immune function, and reduces inflammation
- Folate — key in development of red blood cells (a lack of Folate can make the body susceptible to cancer)
- Iron — helps your body carry oxygen to cells
- Selenium — slows the body's overactive responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer
- Zinc — slows the immune response and control inflammation in your body
Sources: National Breast Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK