Breast Health, Toxicity and Early Detection

Dr. Michael Wald and Nilay Shah, MD

Dr. Michael Wald and Nilay Shah, MD of Integrative Medicine & Nutrition

A conversation with Dr. Michael Wald of Integrative Medicine and Nutrition in Mount Kisco, NY, a practice he shares with Nilay Shah, MD

What options do women have for breast screening and an early breast cancer diagnosis?

Medically speaking, methods of early detection for breast cancer involve mammography, sonography, sometimes MRI and occasionally thermography. Based on the age of the woman, her family health history and hormonal, nutritional and toxicity testing, her prevention potential is improved significantly. Unfortunately, self-breast examinations have been disproven for early breast cancer detection.

What is the relationship between toxicity and breast cancer?

Because the fatty tissue in breasts can store toxins, women should avoid wearing tight fitting bras that compress the lymphatic vessels. These vessels are designed to carry toxins away from the breast tissues. When that function is impaired, those toxins can damage the genetic material in breasts, resulting in genetic “breaks” (DNA breaks); by definition, this is cancer formation. If the body’s immune system fails to recognize these abnormal cells, they grow out of control and tumors form.
It is important to know that tumors grow for an average of five years before they are large enough to be detected with mammography or sonography. Thermography, on the other hand, can detect increases in body temperature that may result from new blood vessel growth in the breasts. And the best part is that thermography does not involve the use of radiation.

Recent guidelines for breast cancer screening using Mammograms have been confusing. Can you explain them?

According to the recent Federally appointed task force, current guidelines for women ages 50 to 74 with no personal or family history of breast cancer are to receive a mammography every two years. Regular self-breast examinations are not discouraged in these guidelines.
The American Cancer Society, however, is sticking with the longstanding recommendation of annual breast mammography for women, starting at age 40. These two groups examined the same scientific criteria and came up with very different guidelines. Some say that the guidelines were reduced to cut down on expenditures and save money in the medical establishment, while others say they were reduced because the older recommendations were dangerous.
My experience is that women have always been suspicious of the too frequent recommendation of radiation and crushing mammography. My personal opinion is that breast cancer treatments overall are a medical failure and, scientifically speaking, should be seriously reevaluated or at the very least be combined with natural therapies.

Do you recommend Thermography for Breast Cancer screening?

Thermographic technology has been researched for more than 30 years and has recently been gaining national prominence and more widespread use. It should not, however, be considered an alternative to mammography. As an adjunct screening method, thermography should be included in every woman’s regular breast health regimen. We believe that women of all ages should employ a combination of techniques, including thermography, possibly mammography, and sometimes ultrasound or MRI examinations. Studies have shown that the earliest detection generally occurs when several techniques are used in combination.
Early detection is the best defense against breast cancer. When treated in the earliest stages, a 95% cure rate can be expected. Studies have shown that when thermography was added to a woman’s regular breast health checkups, a 61% increased survival rate was realized. When it is used as part of a multi-modal approach (clinical examination, mammography and thermography) 95% of early stage cancers will be detected. Since 23% of all breast cancers occur in women under the age of 49, we recommend mammography and sonography if indicated, and thermography with nutritional, hormonal and toxicity testing.

What about ultrasound and other tests for breast cancer screening?

Ultrasound is a non-irradiating screening tool for women who are at high risk for breast cancer and unable to tolerate the confinement of MRI. It’s also an alternative for those who do not want to expose themselves to the radiation of mammography, those who have dense breasts or breast implants, women who are pregnant, and those whose biopsy shows an abnormal result.
During my 18 years of practice, I have put together a list of recommended evaluations to prevent, monitor and help treat breast cancers and other abnormalities. They include saliva testing, blood tests, urine nutrition testing, mammography, sonogram, thermography, and metals and toxin testing, depending upon the unique needs of each woman.

You’ve written a book on cancer and nutrition. What are your nutritional recommendations for breast health and cancer treatment?

Many nutritional supplements are extremely helpful in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and other problems like fibrocystic breast disease. For instance, studies show that intravenous vitamin C causes the death of abnormal cells, including cancer cells. Vitamin C by mouth does not have this effect. We have compiled an extensive list of cancer fighting nutrients and presented these findings at the International & American Associations of Clinical Nutrition’s Symposium on Cancer. When it comes to breast cancer treatment and prevention, or the management of other health issues, it is important to first identify what each person’s needs are. This is essential for maximizing their health potential. Only with individualized consultation, testing and clinical knowledge can we determine the ideal nutritional recommendations for each person.

How can our readers learn more?

Go to our website http://www.intmed.com, and download PDFs and audio files. Look for dozens of free health videos coming soon to our website. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 914.242.8844.

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