Looking Deeper to Find the Cause of Breast Cancer
When I was studying naturopathic medicine in the late 90’s, one of the things I was most impressed about was the fact that we were taught, when faced with a patient and an illness, to get to the root of the problem, to discover why the patient had the illness. I recall one instructor telling us that if you don’t find what is causing a person’s malady – or dis-ease – treating the symptoms was often not going to heal them. It was impressed upon us that in order to heal from a disease you have to find out what is causing it.
Fast forward a few years, and I heard those awful words, “I’m sorry but you do have breast cancer.” I knew that in order to heal, I was going to need to find the reason for my manifesting this disease. I feel that is where conventional medicine totally fails us with regard to breast cancer – the recommended treatments do not address the reason why we got breast cancer in the first place and in many cases exacerbate the problem.
Cancer is a complex disease and can be caused by a multitude of factors, which is why I coach my clients to endeavor to discover what it was in the first place that caused them to manifest this disease.
Many already know. A whopping 90% of my clients tell me that they were under enormous levels of stress in the lead-up to their breast cancer diagnosis, and it was the same for me. Stress is a huge factor, because high levels of cortisol (the hormone that is released when we are under stress) impact our health in many ways.
18 years ago, Stanford University released a study which found that women with advanced breast cancer who had unusually high cortisol levels were significantly more likely to die sooner than patients with normal levels of the hormone. The women also had lower levels of natural killer cells (cells of the immune system that scour the body for cancer cells), and this reduced immunity was also a factor in the higher mortality of the women in the study. 
So for at least 18 years our medical professionals have known about the stress factor yet, to my knowledge, very few oncologists ever suggest that their breast cancer patients examine their stress levels or try to do anything about it. It seems they are too busy to read such studies, but a simple how-to-meditate course together with joining a support group has been shown to effectively lower cortisol levels and provide women with some much-needed social support – and these women are living longer.
Stress is not the only factor in breast cancer. As I stated before, there are many possible causes and here is a list of the 18 more prevalent ones:
- Stress and chronically high levels of cortisol
- Shift work, which disrupts melatonin release (see my article “Optimize Melatonin and Reduce Breast Cancer Risk)
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet with inadequate fruit/vegetable/fiber intake
- Insulin resistance
- Epstein Barr Virus
- Environmental pollution, both in the home and outside it
- Overabundance of xenoestrogens, disrupting hormones
- Genetic predisposition (only 5-10% of breast cancer is due to this)
- Radiation exposure
- Poor breast microbiome (if you haven’t heard of this before, see the studies listed below under references)
- Compromised immunity
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Poor gastrointestinal health
- Poor dental health, including root canals in teeth
- Poor emotional health – an overabundance of toxic emotions
- Chronic inflammation
My goal by writing this article is to empower you with information so that you are better able to make your body hostile terrain for cancer development and growth. I am not telling you to ignore what your doctor has recommended for you. I do suggest that, in addition to whatever your conventional medicine doctor has recommended for you, one of the things to which you give a high priority is to discover the reason why you have breast cancer in the first place. It’s a lot of territory to cover, no doubt about it, but I encourage you to work with an integrative oncologist, or an oncology naturopath, or a functional medicine doctor, or at the very least (not to trivialize what I do) a breast cancer coach. All of us can help you find your way back to good health.
Sometimes it’s simply a matter of prioritizing stress relief. Sometimes it’s an improvement in nutrition, sometimes it’s a matter of dealing with a wonky gene (and that’s where functional medicine can help). It might be that you don’t methylate properly. It could be an environmental toxin. So focus on working with a trained professional, healing and getting past this. YOU CAN DO THIS!
 Stress Hormone May Contribute to Breast Cancer Deaths – https://news.stanford.edu/news/2000/june28/breast-628.html
Breast Cancer Linked to Bacterial Imbalances – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171006124004.htm
Breast tissue, oral and urinary microbiomes in breast cancer – http://www.oncotarget.com/index.php?journal=oncotarget&page=article&op=view&path=21490&path=68289
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