My Doctor Friend Thinks I Am Crazy To State We Can 'Prevent Breast Cancer' Am I?

Ok, a doctor I know who majored in Oncology, has implied that I am "crazy" for stating that we "can prevent breast cancer."

She thinks that breast cancer cannot be prevented, only "early detected." I think we are both right and I'll explain.

A disclaimer here: I am not a doctor. I have only researched this evil disease for the past four years, spending thousands of hours trying to arm myself with all the known facts about breast cancer in the futile attempt to save my wife. My friend is a doctor and has majored in Oncology.

With that said, the Becky Baker Foundation is giving away free mammograms to those who cannot afford one. So far, we have had six ladies (who have had the mammogram) that were found to have very early stages of breast cancer. 

If they had not gone in for their mammogram, they most likely faced a shortened life by the disease, if not an early horrific death. Now, my doctor friend would say, "See Rick, they had breast cancer! It was not prevented as you claim, because it cannot be prevented!"

Yes, these ladies did have "breast cancer," but any further development of the disease was "prevented" because it was detected before they reached the point of no return.

So, aren't we are both right?

Here are two facts: 

1) About 12 percent of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives (Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2011).

I believe that this number can be reduced dramatically if all women devoted their lives to taking care of their bodies. Using Becky's LAFF2LIVE process that gave her an additional 3+ years of quality life, as just one example. Lifestyle, Attitude, Food and Faith. If all women committed to these four pillars, they would greatly reduce their risk and that 12 percent number would drop. Too many people (not just women) use their stomachs as nothing more than trash cans and then wonder why they get sick and die. Have you stuck your head down inside your trash can lately and taken a deep breath? Yeah, didn't think so.

2) According to the most recent estimates, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation, will develop breast cancer by age 70 years (AChen S, Parmigiani G. Meta-analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2 penetrance).

Many experts recommend a double mastectomy (like Angelina Jolie) if you have either BRCA1 or BRCA2. Even though many with these genes will never develop breast cancer, the double mastectomy will greatly reduce any risk of breast cancer in your body, according to the experts.

So, if a woman is screened for these genes, is confirmed to have either 1 or 2, and has the double mastectomy, hasn't she "prevented" the likelihood of breast cancer in her body? Yes, she has.

But, remember, most breast cancers are not hereditary, and can, by definition, be "prevented." A combination of factors likely causes breast cancer, with diet being one of the largest contributors to the disease. More on this later.

So, I think we may both be right. Breast cancer can be prevented, by early detection and a lifestyle that prevents it. Because, the only way to really beat breast cancer is to prevent it. (rb)