Frequently Asked Questions
Below, you will find the answers to some of my most frequently asked questions.
Of course, if you cannot find the answers to your questions below, please feel free to Contact Me!
Every 12 minutes, a woman in America dies from breast cancer
214,440 cases in US in 2004 (ACS)
43,300 will die from the disease (NBCF)
1,450 male or less than 1% (.067%)
215,990 female cases
Number of people per 100,000
110/100,000 people in US
140.8/100,000 white women per 100,000
121.7/100,000 African American
97.2/100,000 Asian American
58/100,000 American Indian and Alaska Native
89.8/100,000 Hispanic Latino
8/100,000 rural India
Not much. The death rate of breast cancer has decreased, but these statistics may not accurately reflect an improvement in our treatment approach. This is principally due to the fact that the number of women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma insitu has increased, because of increased use of mammography. We are not sure how many cases of ductal carcinoma insitu actually become invasive carcinomas later. Estimates are that only approximately 20% may become invasive within 5 years. In other words, 80% of women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma insitu never go on to develop invasive breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma is usually lumped into the statistics of all breast cancer cases. Therefore the increase in the detection of this benign, non-lethal condition may give the illusion that we are making more progress in treating invasive breast cancer than we are.
Researchers have uncovered many of the significant risk factors for breast cancer. Traditional risk factors include increased lifetime exposure to estrogen (early puberty, late menopause, no history of pregnancies before age 30 or breast feeding) and family history. But genetics plays a small role—five to ten percent of all cases—and 75% of all women diagnosed with breast cancer have none of these traditional risk factors. That means there are other factors with much more influence. Epidemiological studies reveal that Asian women have a very low incidence of breast cancer. But if they move to the US and adopt the American diet and lifestyle, their risk quickly goes up. Researchers who looked to diet and lifestyle for the answers were not surprised to find that the American way of living is a recipe for breast cancer. High consumption of red meat, saturated animal fats, sugar, alcohol; low consumption of organically grown fruits, vegetables and whole grains; a sedentary lifestyle; stress; lack of proper sleep; obesity; and the pervasive use of chemical toxins have all been shown to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
The risk of breast cancer can be dramatically reduced naturally. In rural India, the incidence of breast cancer is 8/100,000. In the U.S., white women have an incidence of 140/100,000. Through adopting a lifestyle and dietary habits that have been shown to protect against breast cancer, it is possible that the incidence of breast cancer in this country could drop as low as that found in rural India. Certain herbs, vitamins, and nutritional supplements have been shown to have dramatic protective effects.
High consumption of red meat, saturated animal fats, sugar, alcohol; low consumption of organically grown fruits, vegetables and whole grains; a sedentary lifestyle; stress; lack of proper sleep; obesity; and the pervasive use of chemical toxins have all been shown to significantly increase the risk of breast cancer.
Eating a plantbased diet, high in fresh organically grown fruits, vegetables, whole grains, soy, and flax seeds, omega-3 fatty acids; cooking with medicinal spices like turmeric, garlic, and rosemary; drinking green tea; eating seaweed, which is high in iodine; exercising regularly; keeping our weight ideal; sleeping between the hours of 10 PM and 6 AM; practicing effective stress-reducing techniques daily; using nontoxic products for cleaning, building construction, clothing and personal care.
There are many dietary supplements that have been found to be highly effective at protecting against and fighting breast cancer. For example, turmeric, DIM, maitake and reishi mushrooms, calcium D-glucerate, green tea, turmeric, garlic, wakame and makabu seaweed, grape seed extract, resveratrol, folic acid, vitamins B12, D and E, CoQ10, flax seed oil, flax seeds, herbal COX-2 anti-inflammatories, CLA, selenium, and rosemary.
Most plants and herbs have nonspecific anti-cancer effects. There are many that also have specific actions against breast cancer, for instance, turmeric, garlic, black cohosh, chaste tree berry, rosemary, licorice root, hops, as well as a variety of medicinal herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.
Flax seeds are higher in Omega-3 fatty acids and cancer-protective plant lignans, than any other known plant source. Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthiest type of fat you can eat. They shrink breast tumors, prevent metastasis, decrease the rate that breast cells divide in response to estrogen, and have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Flax seeds have 100 times more lignans than any other known edible plant. Lignans protect against breast cancer in over a dozen ways: they block cancer-promoting estrogens
Regular aerobic exercise, go to bed before 10 PM and get up before 6 AM, sleep in total darkness, practice effective stress-reducing techniques daily, seasonal detoxification, laugh and stay positive, dont take care of others needs at the expense of your own, and use non-toxic products.
Yes. Most of the natural approaches that help to reduce the risk of breast cancer are also effective in helping women fight it and reduce their risk of a recurrence. Certain supplements, for instance green tea, enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy while protecting against the damaging side effects.
My book, released in April 2005, Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horners Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer, presents a simple step-by-step program to help women adopt these changes gradually and to have fun doing it. The key is to not feel that you must make all the changes at once. Start with one change, then keep adding one at a time at a comfortable pace. Most of all, make it an adventure, have fun, and ask friends to join you.
There are several web sites that have good information. My web site, www.drchristinehorner.com, contains many tips from the book, common questions and answers, and a bulletin board where you can write a question and Ill post the answer. I also contribute to several other excellent web sites that are filled with valuable information: www.protectivebreast.com, and www.brevail.com.