Last month, I told you mammograms don’t really reduce breast cancer death rates any better than physical exams among younger to middle-aged women in the population as a whole. Well, no matter which side of the mammogram debate you take as an individual, here’s some great news we can all applaud…
A brand-new study found that women with higher levels of one key nutrient dramatically boosted their breast cancer survival rates. In fact, these women were twice as likely to survive breast cancer compared to women with lower levels of this nutrient.
I’ll tell you all about that powerful study in a moment. But first, let’s recap what we know about breast cancer.
Last month, I told you about the seven hidden risk factors for breast cancer. They are:
- Early age at menarche (early puberty)
- Late age at menopause
- Having few (or no) pregnancies
- Late age at first pregnancy (over 30 years old)
- Lack of breastfeeding
- Lack of being breastfed (as an infant)
- Taking certain birth control and hormone drugs
Of course, the government-industrial-medical complex tries to blame breast cancer on diet, being overweight, and drinking alcohol. But these factors actually only play a relatively small role in determining your breast cancer risk.
Fortunately, you CAN improve your defenses against this brutal disease. You must pay close attention to the natural approaches the mainstream government-industrial-medical complex just doesn’t get! (Or refuses to acknowledge.)
First nnd foremost?
Pay close attention to your vitamin D levels. According to this brand new study, it could make all the difference in your survival.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego analyzed data for 4,433 women with breast cancer from five different studies. They looked at 25-hydroxyvitamin D, a key metabolic form of the vitamin. The women had their vitamin D levels measured at the time they were diagnosed with breast cancer.
The UCSD researchers found that women with higher blood levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to survive breast cancer compared to women with low levels.
Women in the study with “higher” serum vitamin D had an average level of 30 nanograms per milliliter of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. While the women with “low” levels averaged 17 ng/ml. Now here’s the interesting part…
Seventeen ng/ml is the average level found in breast cancer patients in the United States. So this data suggests most breast cancer patients need to boost their vitamin D levels. And increasing vitamin D levels will help boost survival rates.
I have been tracking the importance of vitamin D for many years. So these results don’t surprise me. The best research we have on vitamin D comes from my colleague, Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University School of Medicine. He points out that vitamin D acts like a hormone in the body. And that trait helps explain why it plays a major role in preventing so many chronic diseases. Including breast cancer.
In fact, Dr. Holick and his colleagues recently found that vitamin D influences almost 400 different genes.
You see, vitamin D improves communication among cells. It also “turns on” a gene that makes a very important protein that blocks aggressive cell division. Of course, uncontrolled cell division is one of cancer’s hallmark traits. But vitamin D prevents rogue cells from dividing and multiplying.
This isn’t the first study to show that cancer patients benefit from vitamin therapy. In the March issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter, I told you about two other nutrients shown to help fight cancer.
But most conventional oncologists like to make vitamins into a “red herring.” And they claim vitamins interfere with conventional cancer therapies. I put that fallacy to rest at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital when I directed it 10 years ago. But at most cancer centers around the country, many oncologists still warn their patients against taking vitamins. And that’s a big mistake.
This study’s authors argue it’s high time to change this policy. According to co-author Dr. Heather Hofflich, “The study has implications for including vitamin D as an addition to conventional breast cancer therapy.”
The authors also urge patients to get their vitamin D levels checked before beginning treatment. They also want oncologists to add vitamin D to breast cancer patients’ standard care.
According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Cedric F. Garland, “There is no compelling reason to wait for further studies to incorporate vitamin D supplements into standard care regimens since a safe dose of vitamin D needed to achieve high serum levels above 30 nanograms per milliliter has already been established.”
So, what you can do right now?
If you have breast cancer, take this Daily Dispatch and a copy of the actual study to your oncologist. As always, I included the study’s full citation below my closing salutation. Many doctors are starting to catch onto the vitamin D crisis. And hopefully your oncologist is one of them!
Even if you don’t have breast cancer, ask your doctor for a vitamin D blood test. This is especially important at this time of year. After six months of inadequate sunlight in most parts of the country, chances are good your levels are low. The fact is, most people don’t get enough sunlight to maintain optimal vitamin D levels. Even in the summer months. So I recommend taking a daily vitamin D supplement of 5,000 IU throughout the year.
“Meta-analysis of Vitamin D Sufficiency for Improving Survival of Patients with Breast Cancer,”Anticancer Research, 3/2014; 34(3):1163-1166