It’s October, the annual roll around of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The emphasis is on early detection and treatment. Makes sense, right? Well, if you’re going to be guided by science – think twice if you’re about to book yourself in for your annual mammogram – it’s likely to do you more harm than good. Read on.
Contrary to what you (women out there!) are constantly being told by conventional medics and the media: Your beautiful, nurturing breasts are not out to kill you!
In a time when women should be feeling empowered in their femininity, Angelina Jolie may have found herself unwittingly responsible for one of the greatest disservices to women of our time. But rather than buying into fear, medical profiteering or media hype, it is time to let facts reunite women with their power and their trust in Nature.
Mammograms don’t work
At ANH-Intl we’re firm believers in non-invasive early detection methods for breast cancer. Yet there is significant controversy over what those methods are. The mainstream would have you believe that mammograms are the be all and end all of breast screening. And that without regular annual mammograms from the age of 50, you are at serious risk. Yet the science from even the likes of the Cochrane Collaboration doesn’t concur, and what about women under 50?
The big take home from the current science is that the risk of getting a false positive from a mammogram is high and if you get a false positive, you’ll be sent for a biopsy. Apart from the biopsy being invasive, if you do have cancer, the biopsy may rupture your tumour and spread cancer cells. There is very clear evidence that this happens and it’s not just a possible risk: it’s a genuine risk of over-diagnosis and subsequent over-treatment. Study after study shows this, yet women are not being given sufficient information to make an informed choice about a) their screening method or b) what actions to take after a positive diagnosis.
It’s totally understandable why women feel that early screening is a good thing. But please bear in mind that mammograms become a form of invasive screening because of the sheer amount of pressure the breast tissue is subject to and the resulting risk of rupture to an undetected tumour. Plus, they’re extremely painful, as you will read in Jane Lorimer’s personal story below.
The thermography coverup
Given clear scientific evidence that mammograms do more harm than good, why is there a cover-up about thermography as a safe alternative? The simple answer is money. Would it surprise you to find that the breast imaging market is projected to reach USD 4.14 billion by 2021? Whilst that figure does include non-ionising screening such as thermography, the lion’s share is coming from mammography. That’s big money in anyone’s book and worth protecting. But that’s protectionism, not health care.
A year ago, following three years of research, the Swiss Medical Board agreed to abolish the use of screening mammography in Switzerland due to concerns that the risks the procedure presented outweighed the potential benefits. In January this year, a Danish study brought the value of mammography into further question given that 1 in 3 invasive tumours and cases of DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) represented over-diagnosis. This amounts to an incidence increase of 43.3%. The US is also considering its position where breast cancer prevention is concerned, yet the UK is trailing, still mired in mammograms.
The Promise film: the truth about the routine breast screening program. The film every woman needs to see.
Hands-on is best for breast!
Whilst a non-ionising screening such as thermography allows earlier detection, is non-invasive and doesn’t carry the same risks of false diagnosis, it does still carry a cost. Let us not forget that we all have hands capable of a high degree of sensitivity. A manual self-examination is free, always available, fully portable and can even involve your partner.
When Kristin Hallenga discovered she had incurable breast cancer at the age of 22, she was devastated. Kris was unaware that breast cancer could affect people in their twenties and knew very little about the disease. She found there was next to no information, or support, for young people to educate them about the disease, show them how to take better self-care and even inform them that breast cancer isn’t a disease for the over 50’s. Kris’ experience led her to set up the charity CoppaFeel! with her twin sister Maren, to teach women how to do just that! You can literally feel your way to early breast cancer detection and avoid risky mammograms that do more harm than good.
Breast Cancer ‘unawareness’ month?
Dr Nyjon Eccles is one of the UK’s foremost thermography experts. Writing earlier this month he commented that this is meant to be global Breast Cancer Awareness Month, yet there is still steadfast refusal of charities and the medical community to put information about natural, non-invasive and risk-free methods of screening in the public domain. This means that the majority of women remain completely oblivious to the risks associated with the cancer industry’s preferred method of screening. Hence it should be renamed Breast Cancer Unawareness Month!
Don’t wait, empower yourself:
- Watch The Promise Film
- Engage in regular self-examination – and why not involve your partner!
- Share Kris Hallenga’s CoppaFeel! initiative with your networks to educate young women
- Book a thermography screen instead of your next mammogram
By Jane Lorimer MA (Hons) DC MAO NT DipCNM MBANT
In 2012, I found a lump like a frozen pea under my left breast. I’d not needed to see a doctor for 30 years (I am a McTimoney chiropractor and nutritionist and ran a Naturopathic Health Clinic in the City of London from 1990-96 and take pride in walking my talk) – but I went straight off to my lovely, lady GP, who palpated my breasts very gently, said I was probably fine, but referred me for a mammogram immediately.
The Breast Care Clinic at Ninewells in Dundee is very highly thought of by people I respect, but my personal experience was not so good. First, I made the mistake of going on my own as I didn’t want to worry my husband unnecessarily. The (male, clammy handed) doctor had what felt like a jolly good grope, exclaiming “ooh you have got lumpy breasts!” When I asked what that means, he replied “it means you have lumpy breasts”. Now, I don’t make a fuss about pain, (I’ve skied down a mountain with a larch branch, complete with fir cones, through my thigh), nor am I precious about my ‘body image’ or femininity, but as my rather small breasts were stuffed, unceremoniously between those heavy metal plates, I was traumatised – physically and emotionally. So when the doctor pronounced that I was “absolutely fine! Nothing to worry about!” I didn’t feel at all fine and vowed never to see him or his machine again. Shortly afterwards, a senior doctor and friend, mentioned the research suggesting that mammograms may mean tumour cells are more likely to spread. I also started talking to my girlfriends about mammograms and found what enormously different experiences we have and that on the whole, the smaller breasted, fitter ones had more pain, while the well-endowed ladies had much less and that this correlated with how we felt emotionally. I wondered whether my pain and emotional insult would have been less had a nice nurse talked me through all this and answered my questions for a few minutes beforehand? And of course there was no mention of the radiation involved and the simple things one can do to antidote this, such as arnica, Rescue Remedy and probiotics.
I’m pretty well informed about health but it wasn’t until 2016 that I heard that some women, usually the younger, smaller breasted, fitter ones again, have ‘dense’ breasts. These show whiter on mammograms, making tumours (also white) more difficult to spot – and that these women may also find their scans much more painful. Doctors knew about this in 2012 so why wasn’t this mentioned before my scan?
I kept checking the lump and it didn’t change, but knowing of Dr Nyjon Eccles’ work, I did keep an eye on things with thermography in 2014 and 2015 at the Aberdeen Chiropractic Clinic and was reassured that there was no malignancy. Since I didn’t have a single risk factor for breast cancer (except stress), I was hopeful it was ‘just a lump’. In 2014, my husband left us for a new life in France, doubling my already considerable responsibilities at home. In 2016, the lump began to grow and would hurt the day before my period or after a particularly stressful day or more than two glasses of wine – but I could stop the pain within seconds by rubbing the kinesiology neurolymphatic points for the liver.
Both my children were sitting their final exams and I wanted to keep a calm and steady ship for them, so rightly or wrongly, I didn’t tell anyone for three months. I was on a largely ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and doing HIIT anyway, all of which would be starving any cancer cells and knowing of Dr Jane Plant’s work, I came off all dairy too. I was feeling great and friends kept telling me how well I was looking. I also had my week’s ski touring booked and I was certainly was not going to cancel that, so I rang for an appointment to see my GP again from over 3000m, saw her on my return and was straight off to Ninewells.
Refusing a mammogram, I had a biopsy and later, a CT scan and was told I had a grade 2, middle invasive ductal carcinoma, 5cm, 8,4 negative, i.e. this was “good”: 8/8 oestrogen sensitive, 4/8 progesterone and not HER2. It had gone to one lymph gland but no metastases. Chemo was recommended to shrink the tumour prior to surgery, but I said I’d like to have time to “research alternatives”. One of the oncologists said, “we know this works – no other treatments are proven” and warned me that alternatives to shrink the tumour are not an option as “once you are outside the system we can’t work with you”. Another, implied the same, but a third (younger and a female surgeon) said, “they would continue to ‘support’ me” – but when I asked her for another scan 3 months later, was told that further investigations would only be given if it would “change their recommendations for treatment”. Considering I’d not cost the NHS a bean in 30 years (I’d even had my babies at home) this was galling, but of course that’s not the way it works …
I’ve known from the start that, for me, this was all about stress and the way I drive myself by putting everyone else first and find it so hard to love and approve of myself (and according to Louise Hay et al, this is typical for breast cancer). My cancer is ‘my higher self’ telling me to change my patterns or else – but it’s not easy. Taking chemo would be much easier! In many cases, chemo does buy time, but I’m intending to ski on my 80th birthday (at least!) and the statistics count chemo as being a ‘success’ if the patient survives for 5 years.
Sophie Sabbage in The Cancer Whisperer, explains absolutely beautifully, how to let the cancer teach us and how to direct our own lives ‘with cancer’ rather than allowing the fear and the doctors take over. Jessica Richards is another inspiring woman living with breast cancer. Her book, The Topic of Cancer is another must read.
Diet-wise, the metabolic theory of cancer makes much more sense to me. Read Dr Tom Seifreid’s retake on Otto Warburg’s work in the 1920’s, as eloquently explained by Travis Christofferson in Tripping Over the Truth. Apart from my diet, I was taking homeopathic protocols from GUNA; correcting my frequencies with light and sound (Jerry Tennant): and my pH and microbiome (see my book The Practical Guide to Candida, 1993) and treating the micro-parasites seen in my live blood, which is one of Rolf Gordon’s ‘Big Four” for cancer.
I wanted to find a medical doctor who was open minded about diet and natural adjuncts to conventional treatment. I drew a blank in Scotland but found a lovely consultant breast surgeon in Guildford. What a relief to find a medical doctor who said I was not mad and that my type of cancer meant that panic would not be helpful! He recommended Anastrozole, an aromatase inhibitor (the enzyme which converts other hormones into oestrogen) which I’ll be taking for three or four months to see if the tumour shrinks and un-fixes enough for surgery. Before starting this drug, I sent my 24-hour urine off to the lab at Genova Diagnostics, which confirmed that my oestrogen was already very low, but my cortisol (stress hormone) is sky high!
He also asked me to get a blood test as a baseline, CA15.3 which is a tumour marker for breast cancer as this is a cheaper, easier way to monitor malignancy – but, for some reason, isn’t routine on the Scottish NHS.
There is bound to be more, but the latest piece in my jigsaw was Geopathic Stress (GS). Four different dowsers and healers, independently, had been insisting that GS was affecting my cancer but I didn’t get around to sorting it until July this year. Knowing about Rolf Gordon’s work in the eighties, we had had Dr Patrick MacManaway check us out when we converted Georgian stables into our house in 1996 and we were all clear – but something must have changed since. Perhaps it was the combination of our wettest weather for years, creating new underground water channels plus some of our electric cables turning 100 years old. Both Rolf Gordon, dowsing in Dulwich and Guy Hudson of Beneficial Environments, who came to the house, confirmed severe GS all over our bed and that my desk is highly electromagnetically stressed. (as Rolf comments in Are you Sleeping in a Safe Place? when an entire bed is geopathically stressed as opposed to one line, separation and divorce is common…) Since moving my bed and making certain remedies such as changing to ethernet, changing our cordless phones and following all Guy’s other, very practical advice, I’ve been sleeping better and feeling much calmer. GS lowers the immune system and with hindsight, I think this explains why I had such inflamed gums in 2013-14 that meant I ended up losing two teeth. Avoiding GS need not be expensive or difficult. Think how much money and suffering could be prevented if it became standard to check and treat GS in our homes and offices! Not just for cancer, but autistic spectrum, babies and children not sleeping or behaving ‘badly’, migraines, MS, dementia and all auto-immune problems.
My family still needed orthodox reassurance so I had a PET scan in September and happily, this confirmed no metastases and I was advised to “keep doing what I’m doing”.
Until the two weeks prior to that scan, I’d never felt frightened or panicked about my lump, but then, I felt it affecting me on every level. On this cancer ‘journey’, I keep seeing how deep our whole culture of fear and panic runs around cancer, creating vicious cycles both for patients and their families and for the doctors themselves. I gradually realised that this all stems from the Cancer Act (1939!) and that it is this that is driving the ‘standard of care’ protocols and has made the whole medical system around cancer so brittle and closed. Obviously, fear and panic are emotions which have a significant, negative impact on any disease process. Repealing the Cancer Act and allowing for new paradigms aside, might bring more understanding and acknowledgement around the huge differences, both in the types of breast cancer and the patients as individuals, lead to more choice and flexibility in the treatment protocols? And might this, by creating positive emotional feedback, empower the patients and be of benefit all round?