FAQ: Breast Cancer Prevention

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How frequently should women undergo mammograms?

Mammogram recommendations vary depending on a patient’s risk factors. In general, baseline mammograms are done at age 40, with subsequent mammograms every one to two years. Mammogram frequency increases as a woman’ risk factors increase.

When do you recommend genetic testing for women?

Genetic testing is helpful upon diagnosis of breast cancer to help determine a course of treatment and future detection regimens. Many women get genetic testing if a family member has had breast cancer to help themdetermine their risks.

What are the most common risk factors for breast cancer?

The strongest risk factor is family history. Following that, risk factors include smoking, obesity, lack of childbearing or breastfeeding, and hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy in perimenopausal women does not appear to increase risks of breast cancer. Again, it is synthetic hormone replacement therapy, not bio-identical, that seems to confer the risks.

Is there a link between estrogen and breast cancer?

Breast cancer is related to a build up of estrogen in the various tissues of the body, including fat. In addition to simply withholding estrogen from women, we also need to help them understand that estrogen must be broken down and eliminated in the body to prevent estrogen build up.

What is estrogen detoxification?

Estrogen detoxification involves breaking down estrogen into individual metabolites that the body can eliminate. Fiber (in the form of fruits and vegetables), low saturated fats, and plenty of healthy fats improve estrogen detoxification. Exercise is critical in metabolizing excess estrogen. Stress reduction also plays a role in minimizing hormonal variations that can trigger or activate a breast cancer gene.

What should a patient look for in an integrative medical center?

Patients in an integrative medical center receive individualized treatment plans to help assess their risks for breast cancer and prevention strategies. If diagnosed, our center plays a critical supportive role in helping coordinate conventional therapy with other modalities like acupuncture, nutrition counseling, stress management, and vitamin therapy. Integrative testing is also offered. At ACHIM, we also work with integrative specialists around the country to help patients make informed decisions. This may involve consulting with oncologists nationally and locally.


breast cancer, Centrespringmd, Dr. Taz, prevention

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