Today a friend posted some questions on Facebook concerning dense breast tissue and what are the best diagnostic tools available to women. I read through all the responses to her post and was dismayed at how little women know about their own bodies.
A couple of quick facts: 96% of all Americans are iodine deficient. Only 2% of all breast cancers are hereditary. 98% of all breast cancers are caused by environment. That’s a pretty big number, read on to find out why these statistics matter.
Iodine is necessary for every cell in the body. It’s required by the Endocrine System in order to produce hormones. When organs and especially glandular tissues receive adequate iodine, they function well producing and excreting hormones. Without adequate iodine, fluid filled cavities begin to form in the breasts. This is often diagnosed as dense tissue or fibrocystic breast tissue. Many doctors will tell you that although it may be painful, it’s a harmless condition. This is false, fibrocystic breast tissue has recently been recognized as a precursor for breast cancer.
Here’s how it happens… our bodies require two halides (a family of elements with similar properties), iodine and chloride in order to function well. There are two other halides, fluoride and bromine that are toxic halides. They cause our bodies to dispel iodine and make it difficult to absorb both Iodine and chloride. Both of which are absolutely necessary for proper cellular health – especially within the breast, thyroid and prostate. Over the last 50 plus years, more and more fluoride has been pumped into our water, our toothpaste and our dentist office visits. We are exposed to bromine in so many ways, from mattresses, cushions and furniture to pool water, computers and cell phones. Not to mention in much of the processed baked goods, breads and cereals in the form of brominated flours. It’s no wonder our society is deficient in iodine. Unless you supplement or eat a lot of kelp (and other seaweeds), shrimp, cod and tuna you are probably deficient.
The government encouraged the iodization of salt in order to address a growing epidemic of goiters. While it helped for a while, unfortunately, our bodies were being inundated with fluoride and bromine and that small amount of iodine did little in the way of offering protection for regulating cell cycles. A reduction in consumption of seafood is also causing dips in iodine levels. People eat far fewer fish due to heavy metal contamination in our seafood. Supplementation of this incredible nutrient is paramount to healing your condition. For more information on supplementing and dosing recommendations with Iodine, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As a side note, I am a five-year breast cancer, survivor (it was an aggressive form of estrogen positive, ductal carcinoma) and by eliminating my dense tissue naturally through iodine supplementation, I was able to find a petit, pea-sized tumor that a 3D mammogram missed less than a few months before. Had I not found the tumor on my own early, my outcome would be very different and I more than likely wouldn’t be here. Mammograms do not work for dense tissue – it is a waste of your time and your insurance’s company’s money.
So, let’s talk about diagnostics tools; there are several. Mammogram, Ultrasound, MRI and Thermography. There’s a strong push to have yearly mammograms and generally insurance covers it. Mammograms are popular with medical practices because the procedure is done by a trained technician instead of a physician which saves the practice money as physicians have a much higher billing rate. This works for insurance companies as well for the same reasons. They don’t have to pay for a physician fee. Mammograms have become the Gold Standard for diagnosing breast cancer. However, mammograms are an ineffective way of screening a woman with dense tissue and often must be followed up by an ultrasound.
Ultrasounds use high frequency sound waves to create images of your organs and other internal structures. They are harmless and extremely accurate. My experience with ultrasounds for a breast check have always been with a physician performing the test, however, I have recently heard that now, some practices have specially trained technicians who are also able to perform the procedure.
MRI’s are yet another diagnostic tool to identify breast cancer. Magnetic Resonance Imaging utilizes radio waves, strong magnetic fields and field gradients to create images of your internal organs and tissue. They are harmless and can create amazing images which allow physicians to get a clear view of what’s going on in your body. Unfortunately, they are super expensive machines, are time consuming and often very uncomfortable for the patient with the potential for claustrophobia and the loud banging noise is really annoying. They are not cost effective for the hospital or the insurance company.
Last is Thermography which uses digital infrared thermal imaging to detect and record temperature changes on the skin. The presence of inflammation is shown as hot spots. Thermography is FDA approved but only in conjunction with Mammograms. Some believe that thermography is capable of finding cancers long before they even become tumors by identifying areas of inflammation in the body. Although conventional medicine looks down on thermography as a useless tool, most naturopathic doctors see its value. Most will agree that inflammation is the root cause of all disease. If you have a machine that can detect inflammation early on then I consider this tool to be a preventative tool not a diagnostic. Perhaps we should do more thermography early when there is less inflammation. A base line of your body of sorts. Every few years comparing thermograms to see if there’s a growing pattern of inflammation anywhere. In the presence of significant inflammation on a thermogram, it should be followed up with either an ultrasound or an MRI. I believe in the Hippocratic Oath and First Do No Harm means to me that it’s best to try all non-invasive forms of diagnosis first, before moving onto diagnostic tools that do harm. Mammograms would always be my last choice as a diagnostic tool.
Recently physicians have reported that mammograms should not be recommended for women with dense tissue as the dense tissue appears white on the screen, the same as a tumor would appear. They are being exposed to radiation needlessly as the diagnostic tool is not capable of identifying cancer in women with dense breast tissue. There are a number of considerable risks to having a mammogram – especially if you have them every year or more often. I highly recommend reading the following article by Dr. Chris Kresser of the Kresser Institute https://kresserinstitute.com/the-downside-of-mammograms/ Some of the risks she discusses in this article concern repeated exposure to radiation and compression of breast tissue. Compression can damage breast tissue and if there is a cancerous tumor present, it can cause the cancer to spread. The article also talks about other issues with Mammograms, for example, they are so good at picking up breast anomalies, that doctors are actually diagnosing and treating cancers that may not actually be cancer. Breast anomalies don’t always turn into an aggressive cancer.
Why would one choose to have a diagnostic test that has the potential to do harm when there are other options available. If your physician won’t let you have an Ultrasound then I would recommend finding a new practice. After all, Medicine is a business like any other. If you are trying to purchase an item and the sales clerk will only let you purchase the item that causes harm – why are you shopping there. This is your body and you have the right to make your own decisions. Don’t let anyone bully you into a procedure that you are not comfortable with and if you have dense tissue, please get in touch with me to discuss ways to eliminate it naturally.
FDA Disclaimer: Note that we are not licensed physicians and information on our site are merely suggestions that have worked for our families in the past. One should always consult with their personal physician with regard to health matters.