Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Could Mammograms Screen for Heart Disease?

Could Mammograms Screen for Heart Disease?

 

By screening for breast cancer, mammography has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives. Using the test to also screen for heart disease might someday help save many thousands more.

Though expert guidelines vary, generally women are advised to have a mammogram every year or two starting at age 40 or 50. Nearly 40 million mammograms have been performed in the U.S. during the past year, government figures show.

The prospect of leveraging a test that already is so widely administered, without additional cost or radiation exposure, is tantalizing to researchers hoping to find a new way to fight heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death among U.S. women.

Besides revealing masses that may be tumors, digital mammography – a technique in which low-dose X-ray images are captured and enhanced using computer technology – can reveal buildup of calcium in the arteries in the breast. About 13% of women are estimated to have this buildup, called breast arterial calcification, or BAC, including about 10% of women in their 40s and around half of women in their 80s.

Early studies so far have found BAC’s presence appears to signal an elevated risk for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular consequences. Research has begun to reveal a link between calcium buildup in the breast and coronary artery calcification, an established measure that helps predict cardiovascular disease risk.

“Mammography has the potential to alter the course of two leading causes of death in women, breast cancer and heart disease,” said Dr. Quan Minh Bui, general cardiology fellow at the University of California, San Diego. “We believe that there is truth to the sentiment that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words,’ and that seeing calcifications in the breast arteries may empower patients to participate in their medical care.”

Last month at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions conference, Bui and his UCSD colleagues presented preliminary research examining the utility of BAC in predicting existing or future heart failure, a condition in which the heart is weakened and doesn’t pump properly.

The study looked at records from 2006-2016 for 278 middle-aged and older women who had both a mammogram and coronary calcium test within a one-year window.

Almost one-third of the women had BAC, and 7% had heart failure. Even after accounting for age, diabetes and high blood pressure, all heart failure risk factors, women with calcium buildup in the breast arteries had 2.2 times the odds of having or developing heart failure.

Heart failure is a particular challenge in women, said Dr. Erin Michos, director of women’s cardiovascular health for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. An estimated 3.6 million U.S. women have the condition, and more than 40,000 women die of it annually.

Compared with men, Michos said, women with heart failure tend to be older and have more symptoms such as shortness of breath.

They also have stiffer hearts but normal ejection fraction, a measure of pumping ability. Effective treatments for this type of heart failure are lacking.

“That’s why preventing heart failure from developing in the first place is so important, by identifying at-risk individuals and applying appropriate lifestyle and pharmacology strategies,” she said.

While a mammography finding of breast artery calcification should prompt women to pursue better heart health, it’s still unclear what doctors should do about it, Michos said. For instance, she asked, should those patients be given cholesterol-lowering statins?

It may turn out that BAC is better at predicting some conditions than others. It occurs in a different layer of the blood vessels than coronary artery calcium and may be more closely linked to hypertension and vessel stiffening – major risk factors for heart failure, Michos said. By contrast, “coronary artery calcium likely captures lifetime exposure to risk factors that are key for formation of coronary (plaques), such as high levels of LDL cholesterol.”

Bui’s team is reviewing additional mammograms from women diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions related to arterial plaque buildup, such as coronary artery disease. That effort may help fuel future studies to track breast artery calcium findings and heart health in real time, he said.

Meanwhile, the California researchers hope mammography reports will start to include more information about breast artery calcium.

“Incidental calcification is reported on other diagnostic studies such as CT scans, and we envision BAC not being any different,” Bui said. “We suggest that reports include a statement in fine print noting an association of BAC with cardiovascular disease.”

 

Remember, We are in This Together

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Fight Like a Girl

fightlikeagirl.jpg

October is breast cancer awareness month and an ideal time to learn all you can about the steps you can take to prevent the most common cancer affecting women in the developed world.

 

The information that follows will be much different from what is often spouted from anti-cancer organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS), as — unlike ACS — I have no financial ties to both makers of mammography equipment and cancer drugs.

 

My advice for cancer prevention is much more straightforward, involving simple lifestyle strategies that virtually everyone has the power to make.

 

All you need to become empowered to make these cancer-preventive changes is knowledge, and that is what I seek to give you by the time you finish reading this comment … I suggest you not only learn this information for your own benefit, but also share it with other women in your life as well.

 

Using the Wrong Antiperspirant May Influence Your Breast Cancer Risk

Putting on antiperspirant is a routine part of most people’s day, and you may not think much about it. But here’s why you should: if you use one containing aluminum, you could be increasing your risk of breast cancer.

 

Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.

 

Research, including one study published this year in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, has shown that the aluminum is not only absorbed by your body, but is deposited in your breast tissue and even can be found in nipple aspirate fluid a fluid present in the breast duct tree that mirrors the microenvironment in your breast. Researchers determined that the mean level of aluminum in nipple aspirate fluid was significantly higher in breast cancer-affected women compared to healthy women, which may suggest a role for raised levels of aluminum as a biomarker for identification of women at higher risk of developing breast cancer.

 

Cancer-Causing Aluminum From Antiperspirant May Collect in Your Breasts

In a study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. Concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast.

 

Why is this a glaring red flag?

 

Aluminum is not normally found in the human body, so this study was a pretty clear sign that the metal was being absorbed from antiperspirant sprays and roll-ons. Please note that aluminum is typically only found in antiperspirants. If you are using a deodorant-only product it is unlikely to contain aluminum but might contain other chemicals that could be a concern.

 

Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants, and a review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body. According to the review, after a single underarm application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of the aluminum may be absorbed.

 

This may not sound like much until you multiply it by one or more times a day for a lifetime, which adds up to massive exposure to aluminum — a poison that is not supposed to be in your body, and may be more toxic than mercury. Aluminum salts can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase breast cancer risk. Animal studies have also found that aluminum can cause cancer. Aside from vaccinations, your antiperspirant may be your largest source of exposure to this poisonous metal!

 

You Need to be Careful with Natural Deodorants, Too

There are many brands of aluminum-free deodorants on the market, and many of these are safe alternatives. And as a general rule, deodorants tend to be less problematic than antiperspirants, as they work by neutralizing the smell of your sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria, rather than by preventing sweating. As such, some deodorants do not contain any aluminum, but you’ve got to be careful about this. While many claim to be aluminum-free, they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide or aluminum zirconium, which are the types most commonly used in antiperspirants and deodorants.

 

“Crystal” deodorant stones, which are a popular natural deodorant alternative often used by health-conscious shoppers looking to avoid aluminum, often claim to be aluminum-free, but some actually contain a different type of compound known as an alum, the most common form being potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.

 

Potassium Alum or Ammonium Alum are natural mineral salts made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers, but while this may be a better alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, it is not completely aluminum-free.

 

So be sure, when choosing a natural deodorant alternative, that it truly is made of toxin-free ingredients. Aluminum is just one of them — you can find other chemical toxins to avoid in your personal care products here.  Alternatively, just use plain soap and water. This is what I use, typically in the morning and after I exercise.

 

Additionally, last year I found an ever more effective strategy and that is to expose your armpits to sunshine. Essentially you tan your armpits. The UVB rays in the sunlight are highly effective germicidal agents and sterilize your armpits in addition to raising your levels of vitamin D sulfate to healthy levels.

 

Do Bras Cause Breast Cancer?

You might be surprised to hear this, but wearing certain types of bras might not be in your best interest. In fact, if you’re in the habit of wearing the most popular styles, you may be setting yourself up for some potentially serious health problems. This includes:

 

Tight-Fitting Bras

 

Many physicians and researchers agree that wearing a tight-fitting bra can cut off lymph drainage, which may contribute to the development of breast cancer because your body will be less able to excrete all the toxins you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Aluminum from antiperspirants is one potentially dangerous source of toxins that can accumulate if your lymph drainage is impaired.

 

You can avoid some of the improper drainage issues if you wear a bra that is properly fitted, so I suggest you make an appointment with a bra-fitting specialist to help you get the proper fit.

Underwire Bras

 

Nearly all underwire bras contain metal underwires coated with plastic. It is the metal that could be problematic for your long-term health.

 

In his 1975 article, Chinese Lessons For Modern Chiropractors, Dr. George Goodheart – known as “the father of Applied Kinesiology” — explained what he calls the “Antenna Effect.” Essentially, he discovered that by taping a small metal ball over an acupuncture point, you could achieve longer-term stimulation to that point in question. This discovery led to what are now known as AcuAids — small magnetic patches that are used by thousands of doctors across the world.

 

However, just like a small metal ball, any metal constantly applied to any given energy channel or point on your body can have the same stimulating effect. Over time, the continued stimulation can cause a subsequent decrease in function of important neuro-lymphatic reflex points located below your breasts.

 

In addition, the metal wire may act as an antenna attracting electromagnetic fields, which may also increase your risk of breast cancer. Fortunately, you can easily remove the piece of metal wire and replace it with a plastic rod of comparable size, which will provide the support but not simulate the antenna effect.

Wearing a Bra in General…

 

There are few solid studies on bra wearing and breast cancer, but one of the most compelling was completed by medical anthropologists Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer — authors of Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. The study of over 4,000 women found that women who do not wear bras have a much lower risk of breast cancer:

 

Their findings included:

 

Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer

Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day, but not to bed, had a 1 out of 7 risk

Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk

Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer

When comparing women who wore their bras 24 hours a day with those who did not wear bras at all, there was a 125-fold difference in risk. Based on the results of this study, the link between bras and breast cancer is about three times greater than the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.

 

Although this study did not control for other risk factors, which could have skewed their results, other studies have found similar compelling links. For example, a group of Japanese researchers found that wearing a girdle or bra can lower your levels of melatonin by 60 percent. The hormone melatonin is intimately involved with the regulation of your sleep cycles, and numerous studies have shown that melatonin has anti-cancer activities.

Setting the Record Straight About Mammograms

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I discussed breast cancer without addressing mammograms — but this isn’t because I want to remind you to get yours. On the contrary, I don’t recommend mammograms, despite what you may hear from other medical sources. There are a few major reasons for this:

 

There is no solid evidence that mammograms save lives. In fact, research demonstrates that adding an annual mammogram to a careful physical examination of the breasts does not improve breast cancer survival rates over getting the examination alone. This is ESPECIALLY true for women under 50 with no breast cancer risk factors as even conventional experts advise this.

A mammogram uses ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which in and of itself can contribute to the development of breast cancer. Mammograms expose your body to radiation that can be 1,000 times greater than that from a chest x-ray, which we know poses a cancer risk. In fact, research in the journal Radiology, reported that annual mammography screening of 100,000 women from age 40-55, and biennial screening after that to age 74, would cause 86 radiation-induced cancers, including 11 fatalities and 136 life years lost.

Mammograms carry a first-time false positive rate of up to 6 percent. False positives can lead to expensive repeat screenings, exposing you to even more radiation, and may result in unnecessary invasive procedures including biopsies, unnecessary surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and devastating false diagnoses.

So why does the American Cancer Society advise women age 40 and older to have a screening mammogram every year, and continue to do so for as long as they are in good health, even despite updated guidelines set forth by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which state that women in their 40s should NOT get routine mammograms for early detection of breast cancer?

 

ACS’ role in the promotion of mammography is far from altruistic, as they have numerous ties to the mammography industry itself:

 

Five radiologists have served as presidents of ACS

ACS commonly promotes the interests of mammogram machine and film manufacturers, including Siemens, DuPont, General Electric, Eastman Kodak and Piker

The close ties help explain why ACS commonly runs advertisements urging women to get mammograms, even going so far in one ad as to promise that early detection leads to a cure “nearly 100 percent of the time.” But mammograms do not prevent nor cure breast cancer any more than an x-ray of your arm prevents you from breaking it or helping a broken bone heal!

 

I do recommend breast cancer screening, however, just not mammography.

 

What Can you do to Prevent Breast Cancer?

Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among U.S. women, and one in eight will develop it during her lifetime. Cancer rates are climbing uncontrollably, and costs are quickly becoming unsustainable, a panel of 37 experts recently reported in The Lancet Oncology.

 

Unfortunately, while the American Cancer Society widely encourages women to get mammograms, they do not do nearly enough to spread the word about the many ways women can help prevent breast cancer in the first place.

 

Along with the tips already mentioned above regarding deodorant and bras, a healthy diet, regular physical exercise, and an effective way to manage your emotional health are the cornerstones of just about any cancer prevention program, including breast cancer.

 

The following lifestyle strategies will also help to further lower your risk:

 

Radically reduce your sugar/fructose intake. Normalizing your insulin levels by avoiding sugar and fructose is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer. Unfortunately, very few oncologists appreciate or apply this knowledge today. The Cancer Centers of America is one of the few exceptions, where strict dietary measures are included in their cancer treatment program. Fructose is especially dangerous, as research shows it actually speeds up cancer growth.

Optimize your vitamin D level. Ideally it should be over 50 ng/ml, but levels from 60-80 ng/ml will radically reduce your cancer risk. Safe sun exposure is the most effective way to increase your levels, followed by safe tanning beds and then oral vitamin D3 supplementation as a last resort if no other option is available.

Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating right for your nutritional type and exercising using high-intensity burst-type activities like Peak Fitness. It’s important to lose excess weight because estrogen, a hormone produced in fat tissue, may trigger breast cancer.

Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.

Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.

Breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.

Watch out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer. So if you are a post-menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr A Sullivan

312-972-Well

 

HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

 

Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Good is not always Good!

rosemamogram

A New Mammography Innovation is touted as a lifesaver. It is not!

It is exceedingly dangerous in two ways.


If anyone tries to sell you on the wondrous advancement of 3-D mammography, draw the line right there.

Just say, “Never! No way.”
It’s a one-dimensional danger. Inside view Unlike conventional mammography, the new 3-D mammography

(we’ll call it 3-DM) can spot smaller tumors in dense breasts. And almost half of all women have dense breast tissue. But in spite of this improvement, 3-DM is actually WORSE than conventional mammograms.
Two reasons — compression and radiation.
Compression is one of the huge drawbacks of mammography. It’s painful, of course, and that’s bad enough. But compression can actually prompt a tumor to become more active. Conventional mammography requires about 20 seconds of breast compression. That doesn’t sound too bad. But when it’s your breast between the plates, that’s a VERY long 20 seconds. Here’s the kicker… 3-DM more than DOUBLES the compression time to nearly 50 seconds. More painful? Absolutely! But even worse, the risk of stimulating tumor activity also increases.
The radiation problem is just as dangerous. And it goes way beyond mammography. That’s because radiation exposure is cumulative. Every x-ray, cat scan, and mammogram adds to your total lifetime dose. As that total grows, cancer risk grows. Now here’s the second kicker… 3-DM delivers TWICE as much radiation as conventional mammography.