Better Way to Detect Breast Cancer

A new study shows that screening high-risk women yearly with MRI as well as mammography detects more tumors than mammography alone. In the study tumors detected by MRI plus mammography were significantly smaller and were less likely to have spread to lymph nodes than those found by mammography. Mammography is more likely to miss younger women's tumors because their breasts are denser. The problem though is that MRI is so sensitive that it leads to more false positives and more follow-up testing than mammography. The other major challenge is the cost. MRI is expensive in the USA, where a scan of both breasts costs $2,400.

From my perspective, while it is great to screen for cancers, it makes a lot more sense to invest our resources in preventing them than leading our destructive lifestyles and then using very expensive technology to hopefully detect a problem before it gets out of control and kills us. We are well on our way toward spending $3 TRILLION for health care in the United States by the end of this decade, and that is without $2,500 MRIs for breast cancer screens. Folks, we simply can't afford this nonsense any longer without seriously compromising other areas of our economy.

So what is the solution?

How about stepping outside and getting some sunshine for step one. There are over 150,000 new cancers in the United States every year because people are listening to the flawed information from conventional medicine to stay out of the sun. African American women have 300 percent more breast cancer because they need 300 percent more sunshine due to their dark skin color. When we are exposed to sunshine on large areas of exposed skin our body produces vitamin D, and vitamin D is one of the most potent anti-cancer agents in your body.

We can also take omega-3 fats as fish and cod liver oil are another powerful tool to prevent breast cancer. Nearly everyone in the United States should be on cod liver oil for a minimum of nine months of the year as 85 percent of the United States population is deficient in vitamin D. Even if you live in Phoenix all year you will not get vitamin D if you only have your skin occasionally exposed to the sun.

I measure all my patients' vitamin D levels so I don't overdose them on vitamin D, but I have found about 19 out of 20 of my patients can safely remain on cod liver oil year round because their vitamin D levels are low enough to justify it.

So help your friends and relatives get a major clue on this important item. Get them on a high-quality cod liver oil and make sure that they understand the importance of obtaining adequate sun exposure and taking high-quality omega-3 fats regularly. If they are resistant to such a simple inexpensive recommendation then encourage them to start saving so they can pay for expensive diagnostic, medical and surgical interventions to treat problems that could easily have been prevented.

New England Journal of Medicine July 29, 2004

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