In this webinar, we explore a comprehensive approach to maintaining breast health by combining key botanical and nutrient agents with dietary and lifestyle therapies.
Normal breast tissue undergoes considerable variation during a woman’s life as a consequence of the different hormonal stimulation that occurs. Benign breast conditions that affect the breast are relatively common and often considered fibrocystic.
Common benign breast changes include:
- Fibrocystic changes including lumps or thickening and swelling of breast tissue, often associated with the menstrual period
- Papillomas – growths near the nipple
- Hyperplasia – an overgrowth of cells that increases the risk of breast cancer
- Blocked milk ducts
- Milk production when a woman is not breastfeeding
Breast health is also influenced by a host of ecological changes that occur in the body. However, this aspect of breast health is not often discussed in the literature covering the risks of developing breast cancer.
Because the breast tissue is a part of the endocrine system, endocrine imbalances can directly affect breast health. For example, obesity and the associated elevation in insulin and estrogen levels are associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer, especially in post-menopausal women.1 Lack of exercise leads to physiological changes that increase the risk of cancer in general, and the same goes for breast cancer. 4
Blood vessels supply nutrients to the breast tissue while a network of lymphatic vessels drain lymph fluids into the surrounding lymph and back into circulation. Poor lymphatic function, blood stagnation, disrupted detoxification networks, shifts in inflammatory and immunological signaling, nutrient deficiencies, and altered hormone metabolism are some of the key factors influencing breast health.
Additionally, environmental conditions and toxins present in the world today powerfully influence the internal biological terrain, leading to changes that are associated with breast disease. “Gene-environment” interactions, the role that genes, epigenetics, and environmental toxins play in the development of breast cancer, are currently being investigated.5
Of the risk factors for developing breast cancer, age is considered number one.
Young women rarely get breast cancer, while the risk increases considerably with advancing age. According to recent research, the lifetime risk of a woman developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 1 in 8, or about 13%. The risk in women under age 30 is approximately 0.1%.3
A recent study found that if your biologic age is older than your chronologic age, your breast cancer risk is increased. The converse was also true. If your biologic age is younger than your chronologic age, you may have decreased risk of developing breast cancer.2 What this research suggests is that maintaining health throughout one’s life by making good choices, and applying therapies that slow the aging process can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. In traditional medical systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine, pathological factors and constitutional imbalances can be identified and corrected to maintain overall health.
By enhancing metabolism, improving digestion, aiding detoxification, removing stagnation, and clearing turbidity in the body, we can improve the biological age of our patients, thereby improving breast health.
Botanical medicine provides a wide range of tools that are useful for improving breast health, and for addressing endocrine imbalances. Some of these agents work through the modulation of reproductive hormone signaling, production, and metabolism, while others influence endocrine function through a host of other known pathways.
Related Webinars (click links below):
Related Research (click link below):
1. Mohanty, S. S., & Mohanty, P. K. (2019). Obesity as potential breast cancer risk factor for postmenopausal women. Genes & diseases, 8(2), 117–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gendis.2019.09.006
2. Kresovich JK, Xu Z, O’Brien KM, Weinberg CR, Sandler DP, Taylor JA. 2019. Methylation-based biological age and breast cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst; doi:10.1093/jnci/djz020 [Online 22 February 2019].
3.Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (editors). SEER*Explorer. Breast: cancer risk from birth over time, 2016-2018, by risk type, female, all races (includes Hispanic). National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD. Accessed on July 21, 2021. https://seer.cancer.gov/explorer/, 2021.
5. Sandler, D. P., Hodgson, M. E., Deming-Halverson, S. L., Juras, P. S., D’Aloisio, A. A., Suarez, L. M., Kleeberger, C. A., Shore, D. L., DeRoo, L. A., Taylor, J. A., Weinberg, C. R., & Sister Study Research Team (2017). The Sister Study Cohort: Baseline Methods and Participant Characteristics. Environmental health perspectives, 125(12), 127003. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1923
Note: This webinar is intended for healthcare practitioners.