Breast cancer. The very words strike fear into women everywhere. And for good reason. In 2008, according to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 182,460 women were diagnosed with and 40,480 women died of the disease.

With such alarming statistics, it’s tragic that most women just wait until a self-exam or mammogram shows an unusual lump in the breast. By then, the cancer has taken hold and it becomes a life or death battle for survival.

That’s why I did a double-take when I read Dr. James LaValle’s article, “Breast Cancer – Real Prevention,” that appeared in the November 4 issue of Total Health Breakthroughs. His advice could save countless lives if it is read and understood by women everywhere.

As Dr. LaValle explained in the article, “Most breast cancer is determined by how estrogen is metabolized in the body and whether it is balanced by adequate levels of progesterone.

Knowing this – and taking the appropriate steps – means that you may never be involved in this fight for your life. Because with the proper testing and nutrition, the cancer won’t have the opportunity to develop in the first place.

In brief, here’s what you need to pass on to your mother, your sisters, and your friends…

Have your estradiol, estrogen metabolites, and progesterone levels tested. If you have a progesterone deficiency, you are at least four times more likely to develop breast cancer. If testing shows you are deficient in this hormone, there are several bio-identical – not synthetic – progesterone creams available without a prescription that can be recommended by a healthcare professional.

Estrogen testing will let you know whether your body is breaking down estradiol, your primary estrogen, into safe or dangerous metabolites. For instance, 2OH (one of the metabolites of estradiol) actually inhibits breast cancer. But 4OH and 16OH increase your risks, so you don’t want to see those levels elevated.

The good news is that you can encourage your body to make more good estrogen while getting rid of the bad stuff simply by maintaining healthy gut flora and modifying your diet to include more antioxidant-rich and omega-3 foods and fewer carbs. As Laura LaValle, nutrition counselor and Director of Dietetics Nutrition at LaValle Metabolic Institute, explains, the insulin resistance and inflammation caused by carbs significantly increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer.

You might not be aware that your thyroid plays a role in breast health too. If you have an underactive thyroid or thyroid antibodies (autoimmune thyroiditis), your body may not be making enough NK (natural killer) cells – the immune cells that search out cancer cells and destroy them. That’s why it’s vitally important to have your thyroid checked regularly.

This brings me to an important question: Did you realize that it is in your power to dramatically reduce your risk of breast cancer by balancing your hormones and eating a nutritious diet? If you’re like me, the answer is no. I believed it was fate or genetics that determined whether or not I would be faced with a breast cancer crisis.

And, like millions of women, I thought that a yearly mammogram (and waiting for the bad news) was the most I could do to protect myself from this horrific disease. But not anymore. Thanks to what I learned from Dr. LaValle, hormone and thyroid testing will now be part of my yearly checkup.

I can’t even imagine how many lives could have been saved if women had been properly educated about real breast cancer prevention by the medical establishment and media. But we don’t need to wait any longer. We can carry this message to women everywhere, and together we can reverse the killer statistics.

Let’s put breast cancer behind us, once and for all.

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