Bernard Integrative Cancer Center

6060 Cunard Street, Halifax, NS

Tel: (902) 877-0061

Email: Info@DrMeganBernard.com

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Open Hours:

Tue    10am-4pm

Wed  10am-4pm

Thu    10am-4pm

Fri      10am-4pm

Disclaimer: The content on this website is intended for informational purposes only. The information represents the opinion of Megan Bernard and does not replace professional medical advice. Before beginning any dietary, lifestyle, exercise, or supplemental regimen, consult your medical or naturopathic doctor. In cases of emergencies, visit your nearest hospital or call 911. 

Boobs! Now that I have your attention, read on about breast cancer prevention.

It’s boob day! And we’re going to talk about breast cancer prevention. If you have a past personal history of breast cancer or if breast cancer has affected an immediate member of your family, take a read through to see if you’re willing to try a few things to decrease your own chances of disease. This is whether you’re male or female. Although breast cancer in males only accounts for about 1% of breast cancer cases, males can still get breast cancer.


1) Green tea. At least 3 cups/day.

Consider replacing your afternoon coffee with a cup of green tea, not just because it has caffeine levels equivalent to coffee, but also because it has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk. A study found that American women under 50 years of age who were drinking at least 3 cups of green tea a day were found to have a 37% reduction in breast cancer risk. Another study on Chinese women concluded that the more years, the bigger the cups, and the more times a day that green tea was consumed, the greater the reduction in breast cancer risk for any age


2) Vitamin D up to optimal levels. Liquid form is best. Check your blood levels!

You can have your vitamin D levels measured through a blood test. In one study, Caucasian women with low vitamin D blood levels (less than 50 nM) were almost 7 times more likely to have breast cancer than those women whose levels were sufficient. Improving vitamin D levels at the time of the breast cancer diagnosis has also been associated with better outcomes, including survival.


3) Melatonin 30 mins before bed. 20 mg of melatonin is the researched amount for breast cancer and breast cancer prevention.


Melatonin has a significant amount of human, animal, and cell study research and is important in cancer prevention, treatment, and side effect management. The main reason that melatonin became of interest to researchers was because of studies performed on nurses, flight attendants, and other night shift workers. Studies have found that women who work night shifts and have irregular sleeping patterns have a greater incidence of breast cancer. As melatonin is not produced when our retina is exposed to light, it is thought that their eyes are exposed to too much light and therefore melatonin is not being produced to adequate protective levels.


Even if you have regular night time sleep pattern, melatonin could still provide benefit in preventing a primary breast cancer occurrence. However, this research is weak (not statistically significant) and the methods are flawed (not well carried out). Melatonin has been thoroughly examined for its benefits in preventing a second breast cancer occurrence.


Do you know what the great part is here? These are some of the cheapest interventions on the market. Vitamin D runs about $25 for around a 4-5 month supply, melatonin is about $20 for 2 months, and green tea can cost pennies a day. If you’re looking for other cost-friendly ways to decrease your chances of getting breast cancer, exercise 30 minutes a day, a diet low in saturated fats, ensure you have proper blood sugar regulation (that you are eating regular meals that are well-balanced and nutritious), and avoid exposure to estrogens (only use glass containers and never microwave in plastic, avoid BPA, seek alternatives to oral contraceptives, and consume soy in moderation and don’t take isoflavone supplements).


Check out your risk here: https://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/


References:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156033/

2. https://academic.oup.com/carcin/article/28/5/1074/2476570/Green-tea-and-the-prevention-of-breast-cancer-a

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4237401/

4. http://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2010-02/overview-melatonin-and-breast-cancer

5. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention. Weight Control and Physical Activity. Vol. 6. 2002.

6. Ballard-Barbash R, Friedenreich C, Slattery M, Thune L. Obesity and body composition. In: Schottenfeld D, Fraumeni JF, editors. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

7. Lee I, Oguma Y. Physical activity. In: Schottenfeld D, Fraumeni JF, editors. Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

8. McTiernan A, editor. Cancer Prevention and Management Through Exercise and Weight Control. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2006.

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