Breast cancer risk factors
Conventional risk factors
Less conventional risk factors
Conventional risk factors
Conventional doctors admit that they cannot explain the cause of 70% of breast cancers. Current medicine says that 30% of cancers can be explained (1, 2, 5) by the following risk factors:
- Age. The risk of breast cancer rises with age.
- Sex. 99% of cases of breast cancer occur in women.
- Hereditary / family history (5% of cases).
- Prior cancers.
- Dietary factors:
- American diet (immigrants to USA who adopt the standard American diet suffer increasing rates of breast cancer). America has the highest proportion of genetically modified foods of all countries. It also has the highest level of fructose added to most foods as HFCS, with the majority of the population now being sugar-addicted.
- Fats (results of conventional studies seem to be inconclusive and conflicting). In Grow Youthful I show how polyunsaturated oils cause cancer.
- Vitamin D deficiency. (9, 14, 15, 16)
- Lack of brassica vegetables. Regular consumption of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts significantly lowers the risk of breast cancer.
- No mushrooms. Apparently, regular consumption of mushrooms can lower the risk of breast cancer by 50%. Women who consume both mushrooms and green tea have a 90% lower incidence of breast cancer. (3,4)
- Alcohol. Women who drink 2-5 drinks daily have about 1.5 times the risk of non-drinkers.
- Iodine deficiency.
- Coffee may protect against breast cancer. (8)
- Obesity. (12)
- Exercise - lack of. (13)
- Hormonal factors. Phytoestrogens (xenoestrogens),
estrogen, insulin and
testosterone are associated with increasing cancer rates,
progesterone with lower rates. Factors which increase exposure to endogenous estrogens
and increase lifetime risk of developing breast cancer include not having children, delaying first childbirth, not breastfeeding, being overweight, (12) early menarche and late menopause. (5)
Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) using synthetic proprietary hormones (rather than bio-identical hormones) substantially increases the risk of breast cancer.
Melatonin (7) is depleted through lack of deep sleep (on this page I explain how any light at night can cause melatonin level to plunge).
- Environment and pollution.
- Social and racial factors. Isolation, lack of close friends, lack of family support. One study showed that breast cancer patients who increased their social support reduced their risk of dying by an amazing 70%. (10) It doesn't matter whether that support is obtained from one or two close friends, many friends, or a partner - the benefits are still there. (11)
Less conventional risk factors
- Lack of sunlight. Living indoors most of the time. Being exposed to artificial light, primariy in the blue spectrum, for large parts of the day. Get more sunlight. Get out in the sun, get lots of natural sunlight into your eyes and onto your skin all over your body for hours every day. Eat in the sunlight. Walk and exercise in the sunlight. If you are living in a high latitude and suffering badly from your illness, you may have to move to a location closer to the equator (less than 20 degrees latitude). To test how successful sunlight is, try to have your next holiday or vacation in a place close to the equator. Spend your days outdoors. Get up and out of bed so you can watch the sunrise. Do not wear sunglasses. Do not use sunscreens. Of course, take care not to get sunburned or even slightly red. (14, 15)
As an example of the evidence from many research projects, a study published in 2018 showed that women with good levels of vitamin D from sunlight were 80% less likely to have breast cancer. (16)
- Virus. It is likely that there is a viral cause to many cancers. For example, human papillomavirus and polyomavirus are associated with several types of cancer including breast cancer.
- Not having children or having them after age 30 slightly raises the risk.
- Not breastfeeding. Studies have shown that breastfeeding slightly lowers breast cancer risk, especially if breastfeeding continues for at least 1.5-2 years.
- Early menarche or menopause.
- Radiation. Exposure to X-rays or radiation cancer treatment early in life, particularly during the teens. See 4G and 5G EMF radiation.
- Recent use of birth control pills. Women who stopped using the pill more than 10 years previously do not seem to have any additional risk.
Bras may be a risk factor for breast cancer. Surprisingly, the conventional medical list of risk factors does not consider what to me is an obvious candidate - the wearing of a bra for long periods each day. There are certain points around the body where the wearing of tight clothing may constrain the flow of the lymphatic system, and a bra around the breasts is the most susceptible point of all.
It could be that bras are the risk factor that could explain the missing 70% of causes of breast cancer (lack of regular sunlight on the skin and in the eyes is the other one). The bra factor needs further research, rather than outright rejection.
Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer argue in their book (6) that bra-wearing may be a major cause of breast cancer. They explain that constriction from tightly worn bras inhibits circulation in the lymphatic system. This stops the removal of waste and toxins, and leads to a build-up of fluid within the breast tissue. Carcinogenic toxins that we take into our bodies through polluted food, air and water remain in the body, particularly in the lymphatic system. A tight-fitting bra, according to the authors, concentrates these toxins within the breast tissue, which is near the lymphatic system's outlet into the bloodstream. They show how there is a high correlation between the use of bras, and breast cancer.
Singer and Grismaijer claim that breast cancer is only a problem in cultures where women wear bras; in bra-free cultures breast cancer is rare. They maintain that women who wear a bra 24 hours a day are 125 times more likely to get breast cancer than women who are bra-free. Their study also claims that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men.
This husband and wife team examined the bra wearing attitudes and behaviours of over 4,700 women in 5 major US cities, about half whom had had breast cancer. Those who had had breast cancer were asked about their bra-wearing habits prior to their diagnosis of cancer. Although the authors did not adhere to the scientific protocols required for a medical study, they hoped that the medical industry would follow-up with further research to either verify or refute their findings. Their study findings were:
- 3 out of 4 women who wore a bra for 24 hours per day developed breast cancer.
- 1 out of 7 women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed developed breast cancer.
- 1 out of 152 women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day got breast cancer.
- 1 out of 168 women who never or rarely wore bras got breast cancer.
Unfortunately, the medical and pharmaceutical industries rejected their findings out of hand. The pharmaceutical companies and their shills, and many doctors and researchers who are entrenched in their positions, sneer that wearing a hat or shoes is also a constriction on the body. They miss the point that these are not major lymphatic flow points or lymphatic nodes. The authors attributed this rejection to the greed of the fashion and medical industries: "The bra industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. And billions of dollars are spent each year researching and treating breast cancer. Ironically, ending breast cancer could cause financial hardship for many people."
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer.
2. Madigan M.P., Ziegler R.G., Benichou J., Byrne C., Hoover R.N. Proportion of breast cancer cases in the United States explained by well-established risk factors. 1995. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 87 (22): 1681-5.
3. Zhang, M., Huang, J., Xie, X., Holman, C.D. Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. International Journal of Cancer (International Journal of Cancer (Online)) 124 (6): 1404-1408.
4. Hong, S.A., Kim, K., Nam, S.J., Kong, G., Kim, M.K. A case-control study on the dietary intake of mushrooms and breast cancer risk among Korean women. 2008. International journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer 122 (4): 919-23.
5. What Are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer? American Cancer Society. (2006-10-03).
6. Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer. Dressed to Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras. 1995 ISCD Press.
7. Blask David E. et al. Melatonin-Depleted Blood from Premenopausal Women Exposed to Light at Night Stimulates Growth of Human Breast Cancer Xenografts in Nude Rats Cancer Res December 1, 2005 65; 11174.
8. Simonsson M, Soderlind V, Henningson M, Hjertberg M, Rose C, Ingvar C, Jernstrom H. Coffee prevents early events in tamoxifen-treated breast cancer patients and modulates hormone receptor status. Cancer Causes Control. 2013 May;24(5):929-40. doi: 10.1007/s10552-013-0169-1. Epub 2013 Feb 15.
9. Yin L et al. Meta-analysis: Serum vitamin D and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer 2010 Aug;46(12):2196-205.
10. Chou AF, Stewart SL, Wild RC, Bloom JR. Social support and survival in young women with breast carcinoma. Psycho-oncology. February 2012. 21(2):125-33. doi: 10.1002/pon.1863. Epub 2010 Oct 20.
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12. Morimoto LM, White E, Chen Z, Chlebowski RT, Hays J, Kuller L, Lopez AM, Manson J, Margolis KL, Muti PC, Stefanick ML, McTiernan A. Obesity, body size, and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer: the Women's Health Initiative (United States). Cancer Causes Control. 2002 Oct;13(8):741-51.
13. Peel JB, Sui X, Adams SA, Hebert JR, Hardin JW, Blair SN. A prospective study of cardiorespiratory fitness and breast cancer mortality. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr;41(4):742-8. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818edac7.
14. Trude Eid Robsahm, Steinar Tretli, Arne Dahlback, Johan Moan. Vitamin D3 from sunlight may improve the prognosis of breast-, colon- and prostate cancer (Norway). Cancer Causes & Control. March 2004, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 149-158.
15. Tretli S, Schwartz GG, Torjesen PA, Robsahm TE. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and survival in Norwegian patients with cancer of breast, colon, lung, and lymphoma: a population-based study. Cancer Causes Control. 23 February 2012.(2):363-70. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9885-6.
16. McDonnell SL, Baggerly CA, French CB, et al. Breast cancer risk markedly lower with serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations =60 vs <20 ng/ml (150 vs 50 nmol/L): Pooled analysis of two randomized trials and a prospective cohort. PLoS One. 2018;13(6):e0199265. Published 15 June 2018. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199265