As a plastic surgeon, I witnessed the horrors of breast cancer almost every day while taking care of my breast reconstruction patients. I became even more alarmed as I watched my patients become younger and younger until finally, women in their twenties with breast cancer began walking through my door. Then this disease became too personal—it claimed the life of my own mother in 1994. I knew there had to be a good explanation for why breast cancer had become an epidemic in this country and ways that women could prevent it. So, I turned to the medical literature to look for answers. There I discovered thousands of studies that point out exactly why we have a breast cancer epidemic—what we are doing and not doing that contributes to this devastating and deadly disease.

Here are 12 research-proven tips to lower your risk:

Tip #1: Eat fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables—every day.

Organically grown plants—particularly those in the cruciferous family, for example, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale are filled with a variety nutrients, vitamins, and plant chemicals that act as powerful natural medicines against breast cancer.

Tip #2: Nix red meat

Woman who eat the most red meat—especially when cooked at high temperatures or grilled—have up to a 400 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

Tip #3: Avoid all health-destroying fats. Consume health-promoting fats every day.

Saturated animal fats, trans fats, partially hydrogenated fats, and hydrogenated fats fuel breast cancer, whereas healthy fats— especially omega-3 fatty acids—offer protection. Supplemental flaxseed oil or purified fish oils are crucial for good health.

Tip #4: Eat 2–3 tablespoons of ground organic flaxseeds every day.

Flaxseeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, are high fiber, and contain one hundred times more cancer-fighting lignans than any other known edible plant. Supplements containing lignans are also available, such as Brevail made by Barlean’s Organic Oils.

Tip #5: Drink green tea every day or take it as a supplement.

Women who drink green tea have a much lower risk of breast cancer—and if they get breast cancer, their chances of surviving are much greater.

Tip #6: Consume turmeric every day.

Almost 7,000 studies have documented turmeric’s potent anticancer properties, which include powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Inhibiting the growth of over 17 different kinds of cancer, turmeric is considered the “#1 Anticancer Spice.”

Tip #7: Take an immune-boosting medicinal mushroom supplement called AHCC.

Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) has been the subject of hundreds of studies showing that it supports every cell type in the immune system and lowers the risk of numerous types of cancer, including breast cancer. AHCC is prescribed in hospitals in Japan because it significantly improves survival and takes away many of the side effects of chemotherapy.

Tip #8: Avoid refined sugar—use a natural sweetener such as Stevia instead.

Sugar is cancer’s favorite food. The more of it you eat, the faster cancer will grow.

Tip #9: Take a week or two, once or twice a year, to purify your body.

Detoxing works! Just one five-day series of the Ayurvedic purification procedures known as panchakarma has been shown to cut your load of toxins in half. There are also home detox programs that are effective. Eat a diet of pure organic fresh vegetables and fruits, drink plenty of purified water, and add a few detoxifying herbs such as milk thistle, turmeric, cilantro, and spirulina. Infra-red saunas help boost the release of toxins.

Tip #10: Go to bed by 10:00 p.m. and get up before 6:00 a.m.

Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is a powerful antioxidant that arrests and deters breast cancer in many ways. Staying up past 10 p.m. significantly decreases melatonin and increases your risk of numerous diseases including breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Tip #11: Embrace at least thirty minutes of aerobic activity every day.

Just thirty minutes of aerobic activity three to five times a week can lower your risk of breast cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Regular rigorous exercise can lower your risk by as much as 80 percent!

Tip #12: Practice a stress-reducing technique every day.

Stress has been found to contribute to about 90 percent of all illnesses, including breast cancer. Research shows that the daily practice of a type of meditation, called Transcendental Meditation (TM), can lower your risk of most diseases by as much as 50 percent. Tai chi, qi gong, and yoga are great stress-busters too. The regular practice of special breathing exercises called pranayama improves stress-hormone balance, blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol.

Each of these tips can have a big impact on your risk. I recommend starting with one—the easiest for you to do—and then add another every week. The more you do, the lower your risk will be and the healthier you will become and feel. Finding a partner or buddy to help support you to incorporate these tips into your daily life will add greatly to your success. Remember, breast cancer is a largely preventable disease, as are most other chronic diseases. You have tremendous influence over your health. By following many of these simple tips, you can easily tip the odds in your favor of living a long, radiantly healthy life.

May Cover & Article Photo Credit: Laurie Turner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As a plastic surgeon, I witnessed the horrors of breast cancer almost every day while taking care of my breast reconstruction patients. I became even more alarmed as I watched my patients become younger and younger until finally, women in their twenties with breast cancer began walking through my door. Then this disease became too personal—it claimed the life of my own mother in 1994. I knew there had to be a good explanation for why breast cancer had become an epidemic in this country and ways that women could prevent it. So, I turned to the medical literature to look for answers. There I discovered thousands of studies that point out exactly why we have a breast cancer epidemic—what we are doing and not doing that contributes to this devastating and deadly disease.

Here are 12 research-proven tips to lower your risk:

Tip #1: Eat fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables—every day.

Organically grown plants—particularly those in the cruciferous family, for example, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale are filled with a variety nutrients, vitamins, and plant chemicals that act as powerful natural medicines against breast cancer.

Tip #2: Nix red meat

Woman who eat the most red meat—especially when cooked at high temperatures or grilled—have up to a 400 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

Tip #3: Avoid all health-destroying fats. Consume health-promoting fats every day.

Saturated animal fats, trans fats, partially hydrogenated fats, and hydrogenated fats fuel breast cancer, whereas healthy fats— especially omega-3 fatty acids—offer protection. Supplemental flaxseed oil or purified fish oils are crucial for good health.

Tip #4: Eat 2–3 tablespoons of ground organic flaxseeds every day.

Flaxseeds are the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, are high fiber, and contain one hundred times more cancer-fighting lignans than any other known edible plant. Supplements containing lignans are also available, such as Brevail made by Barlean’s Organic Oils.

Tip #5: Drink green tea every day or take it as a supplement.

Women who drink green tea have a much lower risk of breast cancer—and if they get breast cancer, their chances of surviving are much greater.

Tip #6: Consume turmeric every day.

Almost 7,000 studies have documented turmeric’s potent anticancer properties, which include powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Inhibiting the growth of over 17 different kinds of cancer, turmeric is considered the “#1 Anticancer Spice.”

Tip #7: Take an immune-boosting medicinal mushroom supplement called AHCC.

Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC) has been the subject of hundreds of studies showing that it supports every cell type in the immune system and lowers the risk of numerous types of cancer, including breast cancer. AHCC is prescribed in hospitals in Japan because it significantly improves survival and takes away many of the side effects of chemotherapy.

Tip #8: Avoid refined sugar—use a natural sweetener such as Stevia instead.

Sugar is cancer’s favorite food. The more of it you eat, the faster cancer will grow.

Tip #9: Take a week or two, once or twice a year, to purify your body.

Detoxing works! Just one five-day series of the Ayurvedic purification procedures known as panchakarma has been shown to cut your load of toxins in half. There are also home detox programs that are effective. Eat a diet of pure organic fresh vegetables and fruits, drink plenty of purified water, and add a few detoxifying herbs such as milk thistle, turmeric, cilantro, and spirulina. Infra-red saunas help boost the release of toxins.

Tip #10: Go to bed by 10:00 p.m. and get up before 6:00 a.m.

Melatonin, the sleep hormone, is a powerful antioxidant that arrests and deters breast cancer in many ways. Staying up past 10 p.m. significantly decreases melatonin and increases your risk of numerous diseases including breast cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Tip #11: Embrace at least thirty minutes of aerobic activity every day.

Just thirty minutes of aerobic activity three to five times a week can lower your risk of breast cancer by 30 to 50 percent. Regular rigorous exercise can lower your risk by as much as 80 percent!

Tip #12: Practice a stress-reducing technique every day.

Stress has been found to contribute to about 90 percent of all illnesses, including breast cancer. Research shows that the daily practice of a type of meditation, called Transcendental Meditation (TM), can lower your risk of most diseases by as much as 50 percent. Tai chi, qi gong, and yoga are great stress-busters too. The regular practice of special breathing exercises called pranayama improves stress-hormone balance, blood pressure, heart rate, and cholesterol.

Each of these tips can have a big impact on your risk. I recommend starting with one—the easiest for you to do—and then add another every week. The more you do, the lower your risk will be and the healthier you will become and feel. Finding a partner or buddy to help support you to incorporate these tips into your daily life will add greatly to your success. Remember, breast cancer is a largely preventable disease, as are most other chronic diseases. You have tremendous influence over your health. By following many of these simple tips, you can easily tip the odds in your favor of living a long, radiantly healthy life.

May Cover & Article Photo Credit: Laurie Turner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Christine Horner, MD

Christine Horner, MD is a board-certified and nationally recognized surgeon, author, expert in natural medicine, and a relentless champion for women’s health. She spearheaded legislation in the 1990s that made it mandatory that insurance companies pay for breast reconstruction following mastectomy. She is the author of Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr. Christine Horner’s Program to Protect Against and Fight Breast Cancer, winner of the Independent Book Publishers Award 2006 for “Best Book in Health, Medicine, and Nutrition.”

Website: www.drchristinehorner.com