by Ingrid L. Edstrom, FNP, CTT, M.Ed.
Today we live in a toxic soup. Chemicals that mimic or disrupt the hormone estrogen abound. Exposure to and consumption of these excess estrogens, disruptors, and GMO foods play a role in many health problems, especially breast cancer. In the U.S. currently, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer. The American Cancer Society is projecting a future increase to perhaps 1 in 5. Taking action for breast cancer prevention is more important than ever.
Most breast cancer cases are estrogen-positive, meaning that the cancer grows in the presence of excess estrogen, either from natural sources or chemicals mimicking estrogen (xenoestrogens). Other chemicals are endocrine disruptors. “An endocrine disruptor is anything that affects the synthesis of a hormone, the breakdown of a hormone or how the hormone functions,” explains Linda Birnbaum, federal toxicologist, in her Scientific American article.
The following are the 10 most important actions to take to reduce estrogen load and avoid endocrine disruption:
1) Test your hormone levels. Hormone imbalance is a breast cancer risk factor, and estrogen dominant women are at greater risk. My website has a detailed section on Hormone Imbalance Symptoms and FAQ on Hormone Testing. My book Protect Your Breasts, available on my website ProtectYourBreasts.com, explains estrogen dominance and how to balance your hormones without synthetics.
2) Replace white body fat with lean muscle mass. Natural and xenoestrogens bind to estrogen receptor sites found in fatty tissues, like breasts, where estrogen can be stored, making obesity a major risk factor.
3) Eat only “Certified Organic” meat and dairy. Choose grass-fed, which is leaner and less likely to have GMO feed contamination. The two primary sources of estrogen in the diet are non-organically raised meat and dairy products, where the animals are injected with bovine growth hormone and fed GMO grains.
4) Choose “Certified Organic” foods. GMO food products, the pesticide residues, and the mutated microbes on them disrupt the gut/liver’s ability to break down excess estrogen, damage tissues, and cause chronic inflammation. Cancer is an inflammatory condition. Watch Moms Across America’s interview with scientist Dr. Michael Antonio about the alarming results of a new study showing that glyphosate, found in Monsanto/Bayer’s Roundup and 700+ other glyphosate-based herbicides, can trigger aggressive breast cancer cell growth. Go to the Take Action page on my website for resources on avoiding GMO foods and pesticide residues.
5) Eat fish oil or walnuts. Avoid flax and soy high in phytoestrogens.
6) Buy/ store food and water in glass, not plastic or lined cans. Plastic residues are a source of xenoestrogens.
7) Use a water filter.
8) Minimize exposure to insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides. This may take educating neighbors and elected officials.
9) Minimize alcohol consumption, which can increase estrogen, disrupt hormone balance, damage DNA, and decrease liver function.
10) Reduce/manage stress, which causes cortisol imbalance. Helpful links can be found on my Take Action page.
Thermography, using an infrared camera, is the earliest detection tool and a risk assessment tool that has allowed me in my clinical practice to observe how xenoestrogen exposure changes breast tissue. A diet high in conventional meat and dairy products or pesticide exposure increase the metabolic activity in the breasts, seen as an increase in heat and blood vessels in the images. Thermography also shows us that women can take effective actions to reduce their risk of breast cancer or its recurrence.
The good news is that women can make diet and lifestyle choices to reduce their estrogen load, prevent breast cancer, and improve their overall health. In my book Protect Your Breasts, available on my website ProtectYourBreasts.com, I offer my comprehensive Proactive Breast Wellness (PBW) program to reduce estrogen intake, support the liver which breaks down excess estrogen, and support the adrenal and thyroid glands which influence estrogen levels in the body. Moreover, we can actually track this positive change by observing breast tissue over time! If cancer does emerge, we can catch it early. Women have a non-surgical option to freeze the cancer, called cryoablation and can follow the same program to prevent its recurrence.
About 65% of women who have followed my PBW supplement protocol, made lifestyle, dietary, and environmental changes, and balanced their hormones improved their infrared scans and laboratory testing in 6-12 months. Watch the slideshow presentation and see breast cancer prevention in action with telling images showing xenoestrogen exposure before starting the PBW program and images after following the program.
BEFORE following the PBW Protocol
Below is a post menopausal woman and she was eating conventional meat and dairy which may contain bovine growth hormone and antibiotics. She was on too much Estradiol in her hormone replacement mixture without any bio-identical progesterone after a hysterectomy. She was having a host of menopausal symptoms including insomnia.
AFTER following the PBW Protocol for 1-1/2 years, her menopausal symptoms have cleared up
Note below that all the large dilated vessels have shrunk down to light wispy vascular patterns. She now eats an organic gluten free diet and has lost weight. Her cholesterol levels were elevated to 300 and have gone to just above 200. Her “good cholesterol” HDL has improved and her LDL dropped 30 points. She is no longer borderline hypothyroid and her Vitamin D levels are optimal and she now rarely gets colds.
My book Protect Your Breasts comes with Nutritional Supplement Protocols and Worksheets that are easy to follow, a FREE resource download with hundreds of articles/ websites, and FREE relaxation guide. The new edition also has an updated chapter on Cryoablation — the future of breast cancer care – with revisions from Surgeon/ Cryoablation Specialist Dr. Dennis Holmes. Find videos on my Cryoablation Videos page.
Ingrid Edstrom is the Author of the book Protect Your Breasts and founder of Proactive Breast Wellness (PBW), LLC. Ingrid has been providing the PBW program for her patients since 2006. She is also the owner of Infrared Breast Health, LLC. Ingrid became nationally certified as a Clinical Infrared Thermography Technician, CTT in 2007. Ingrid has been nationally certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner since 1978 following her Bachelors in Nursing from the University of Rhode Island in 1974 with a Minor in Clinical Nutrition. Ingrid was awarded a Masters in Health Education from Boston University in 1981.